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  • Hello there…

    Thanks for stopping by! I started my business in 2007 shortly after the birth of my daughter, it felt like time was slipping away like a thief in the night. There were so many moments I wanted to hold on to. For me, photography isn't about a staged moment with manufactured, on cue smiles. It's about freezing time to capture a feeling in a fleeting moment. I've found that behind my camera I could see life unfolding and it seemed magical. And I Ioved it. My camera is a conduit of my quest for beauty and connections that I want to preserve. Years from now I want to remember how I felt, provoking emotions and memories that have long past... and I think you will too. I pour my heart and soul into each session. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and I would be honored to tell yours. This is my art and passion, I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm inspired by films, music, and fashion. Amy Poehler is my alter ego. Life is weird, unpredictable, adventurous, sentimental, and so much fun! It's quite a ride... let's go somewhere.

    I encourage all potential clients to shop around. Compare photographer portfolios. There are a ton of photographers out there- one for every budget. See what you like... and what you don't. Photography isn't a brand, it's about finding someone that connects with you... a shared vision and style. Anyone can take a picture, especially with technology today. Not everyone can tell a story.

    Here I share personal projects, client work, amongst other things that inspire me. I try to blog at least once a week. So come back soon!

    Technical details: I am a film and digital photographer incorporating video in all of my sessions. I want you to truly have the finest experience and the greatest memories. Film creates a look that cannot be digitally replicated, digital is perfect for immediate gratification, and video tells a story of its own. I attend several workshops throughout the year all across the country with the industry's top photographers from around the world because I truly believe there is always more to learn, especially in this ever-changing industry... this keeps me inspired and humbled, while giving you the very best.

Thompson Family // Naperville Family Photographer

Bethany and I went to college together- when I think about how long ago that was I start to get a little anxious and frankly, depressed by how fast time truly flies by. So let’s not think about that. It was sheer delight to meet up again after so many years. I always knew she would be an amazing mother. I am thankful for the opportunity to witness it for myself. I enjoyed spending the afternoon with her littles.

If you would like to book your “Day In the Life” session, email: jolenebresney@gmail.com

17/52

 The only color shot in this week’s series!This week in photos. Lots of drama these days with 1 teenage boy and 2 tween girls. My stance on that is to not get overly involved, but to give them tools and tips on how to solve their own problems. Life skills in the making. The overarching theme of forgiveness should cover just about ever offense out there. This is most definitely a work in progress. This is best learned when modeled in the home. It’s so hard to forgive family, apparently. So my working theory is that if we can forgive each other, we can forgive just about anyone… for anything.  I am struggling with the girls, so I did pick up this book . Our first “date” is this weekend. I have to say, I have never missed the baby days more than now. Life is truly forgiveness school. Thank you Anne Lamott for all of your amazing insight. I think I have read all of her books in 2 months.

We are unplugging more and more each week. No weekday screen time at all except 1 hour before bed, and a 2 hour limit on the weekends. I am seeing a huuuuuge change in relationships and attitudes. The outdoors is the perfect remedy for a bad day- at any age. The kids don’t agree, but maybe someday they will all thank me.

Ella had her first overnight camping experience. It was hard to let her go, given the severity of her food allergies. We triple-checked all labels and off she went. She had a blast. Her favorite part was hiking,…swoon. I love that she loves the outdoors as much as I do. Apparently, she has moved past her fear of all insects and critters. A huge leap from last year.

Here’s a video I put together with my phone.

If you would like to hire me to document your family, you can email: jolenebresney@gmail.com.

16/52

This week is best told in pictures and in song lyrics. I listened to the Bahamas radio station on Spotify everyday- which got me thinking that life is so much more exciting and bareable with a playlist. For me it’s the Bahamas. So deep and reflective.

Ella lost her front tooth. We are thinking she needs to stay this way. Forever. Her toothy grin is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! She launched into skit mode, acting out her wedding day with 1 tooth. It was so funny, my gallbladder hurt. For real, it does hurt. To be continued…

We are all drinking shakes daily, I think I could feed a small village with the amount of money that has been spent on Shakeology. Who needs food?! Subscriptions will be the death of my bank account. According to what I’ve been reading about food lately, perhaps it’s money well spent? What’s real?! Best not to think too much on this.

Like a Wind:

Be yourself I want no one else
And if you’re sad
Just let it out

By your side and still you hide
Hide it all
Just let it out

Moved me like a wind
And shook me when you blew in
All winds someday change
Before they blow in cold and strange

Laugh it off, if you’re feeling soft
Then let me in
And let it out

Moved me like a wind
And shook me when you blew in
All winds someday change
Before they blow in cold and strange
Searching for something to feel
Seems like it’s anywhere but here…

Ella had a really tough week, so this song made me think about everything we have been discussing. So she’s the star this week on here. Stay soft and laugh everything off.

Mother’s Day Sessions

I am booking a limited number of Mother’s Day sessions this year.

If you are interested, here’s a few details:

*1 hour of shooting – preferably in the home, can be on location. Or a little of both.

*All images with a print release – approximate 50-75

*Chicago – 30 mile radius and Central Illinois

*Refer a friend and get 25% off.

Email jolenebresney@gmail.com for price.

 

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is on my mind. My oldest just turned 13 last week. Let me say that again, THIRTEEN! I have been a mother for 13 whole years now. What a learning curve it has been. In many ways I feel well equipped, and in other ways, I worry I am screwing this whole thing up and they all will need lots of therapy as adults. I fear that I am failing them- weakness and imperfection are real problems that we project. But here’s the thing, the way we conquer life in the midst of this free-for-all, are the real teaching moments.  They are learning forgiveness, compassion, and acceptance– tools necessary for life in the “big world.” It really does start in the home. Instead of fixing their problems and making life as comfortable for them as possible, our roles are to get them familiar with freedom- practicing making choices and dealing the consequences that aren
‘t always comfortable. Living in love and not fear. I could go on and on, but this post isn’t really about that. (If you are interested on this parenting philosophy further, I highly recommend reading- Danny Silk, Loving Our Kids on Purpose.) I’ll leave the parenting advise to the real experts.

Motherhood is something to celebrate, no matter what that looks like for you. Pregnant? Adopted? In the throws of life with 1, 2, 3..?  Here’s the part where I try to convince you to give me a try. Ready? Soooooo if you are tired of JC Penny-ish pictures: perfectly coordinated hair and clothes, a location everyone uses, perfectly cued smiles– masking the fighting that happened while getting ready for “said” shoot, then I’m your girl. I capture you as you are- don’t be scared. Motherhood and families are not perfect, pretending that they are is the biggest lie we can ever tell ourselves. Having this expectation is a recipe for misery and failure. Maybe you need a perfect picture to get you through the not-so-perfect days. I respect that. Those photos do look great above the mantel. I’m just saying, from the perspective of someone who has graduated from the baby and toddler days, I miss seeing my family for who we really were. I miss the toothy grins, tear-stained cheeks, Cheerios stuck to every possible orifice, wily hair, droopy diapers, temper tantrums (yep, I just said that!), dirty knees from a hard afternoon playing. I MISS ALL OF IT. Imperfectly perfect, but I was too busy chasing perfection to see it. Let me show you your life. It’s unique and beautiful, and so very special. You will fall in love with your family, you will see what I see, and let me tell show you, it’s amazing.

Chicago and Central Illinois- book your Mother’s Day session: jolenebresney@gmail.com

For travel sessions or commercial work, inquire for details.

To see more of my work, click here or here.