Special Needs Photographer, Naperville Photographer | round 1

April is Autism Awareness Month.  Every year,  I offer special needs mini-sessions for all families with special needs children.  Having a son on the autism spectrum, and my assistant has a son with cerebral palsy and epilepsy – we offer a unique understanding to these families. Something you won’t find everywhere else – personal understanding, no judgement, patience, and best of all – acceptance.  I look forward to these sessions every year as a way to give back to these families who work so hard for their children – the countless hours of therapy, battles with schools and teachers, social skills.

These are the first half of the first special needs mini-sessions.  I adore all of these smiles!

I believe it is the third year I have been photographing these brothers.  Both boys have Autism, and I was amazed at the older brother’s progress since last year.  It is great to see them progress and overcome challenges and obstacles.  I can’t wait to see how they are next year!

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Naperville photographer


Now this next family and I go way back.  I have been photographing them since their son was only 3 months old!  He has speech problems and developmental delays, but is hands down one of the funniest kids ever.  His sister has always been very shy, and so I was so pleasantly surprised when she was instantly ready to smile for me!


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I met this next family in the fall for my fall mini-sessions.  Their son has Autism, and in the fall, we struggled, as he would not leave the basketball court to go where we wanted.  This time, I heard him say some words, and he did a great job of being where we wanted him.  And I totally loved his green shoes!

Hinsdale photographer


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This next family was new to me, referred from a friend.  At ages 4 and 3, both children have Autism without much language, which makes communication difficult.  Both currently attend special education classes through their school district and are doing so well!  They also have sensory issues, which make things like large crowds, loud noises, and bright lights very overwhelming – but they did great with the studio lights.

St Charles photographer



It was a wonderful day, and I look forward to editing the rest of this session and the wonderful kids involved.  If you have a special needs child, please contact us, as we would love to work with your family and provide not only wonderful pictures, but a wonderful experience.

1 comment

Amanda Radovic - April 16, 2014 - 12:43 pm

what a beautiful set of images. Each family will be thrilled to have such lovely photos of their kids.

Chicago Dance Photographer, Naperville photographer | Belly dancer

I had a fun and unique session recently with a dancer.  She wanted updated artistic images for promotion  both on her website and for brochures, etc.  I was delighted and giddy when she unpacked her costumes.  They were so gorgeous and intricate, not to mention all the jewelry.  This lovely lady teaches dance all around and does festivals, etc.  Her belly dancing costume was my favorite – I loved the details on it.  Due to the vibrant nature of the costume, I wanted to give her dramatic lighting.


Naperville photographer


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In addition to belly dancing, she is also a can can dancer!  How fun is that?!  Can can is playful, so we went with a different look.

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Her third outfit is a different sort of can can dancing – much more old world, especially with the gloves.


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If you are a dancer and would like pictures, contact Firefly Nights Photography. We also welcome commercial business for use in promotional materials for all industries.  We are a photography studio located in downtown Naperville, but servicing all of Chicago and its suburbs.

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Hinsdale Newborn Photographer, Chicago Baby Photographer | Stylish

It is a strange fact, but I have an unusually high percentage of clients who are in the medical field.  Enough so that I had to mention it – there must be something about my work that appeals to the clinical eyes of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. :)

Now, on to this handsome little newborn.  He was 11 days old when I met him, and just as cute as can be – with so much hair!!  I know it can be difficult for new parents to get out of the house with a newborn baby, so I always appreciate their effort in getting to me, especially when they come all the way from the city. Something to note for clients coming from outside of Naperville – being located in the downtown area, there are a ton of restaurants and shops here, making it a nice little getaway for after your session, as well.

I will frequently have parents ask me what they should wear for a newborn session, as I highly recommend that parents be photographed with their newborns, as it is such a short period of time to be memorialized, and with all the sleep deprivation, you won’t remember it well later on.  Usually I tell parents to go one of two ways – darks or lights.  Of course, I always love skin, as well.  But this new dad is the first one to have worn a suit for a newborn shoot, and I absolutely love the effect and contrast with the baby.  Such a sharp family!

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Naperville baby photographer


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I haven’t used this red set up in ages and was happy to pull it out again.  I love the dark colors – so dramatic.  And check out his huge smile!

Downers Grove baby photographer


And I love the bright colors of the below.  So springy.

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Of course, muted colors are always classic.

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Putting mommy and daddy’s rings on – this little guy unites them all as a new family.

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And we got to use my newest urban setup.  I love the blue doors.

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St Charles newborn photographer

If you are expecting or just delivered your newborn baby, please contact Firefly Nights Photography to set up your appointment.  Of course, we love photographing children and people of all ages, too!

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Chicago Newborn Photographer, Naperville Photographer | Sweetie

This little baby girl was two weeks old when I laid my eyes on her chubby cheeks.  I rarely get such a chubby newborn, and I was in love!  I adore those big cheeks. :)  Of course, she is absolutely beautiful, as well.  During her session, she struggled with getting settled and just wasn’t having a good day.  While we got some pictures (and at least got all the family pictures done), we decided to try again the next morning.  While it isn’t the norm to have to have a Round Two, it does happen on occasion.  Since these newborn portrait sessions are so long (scheduled for three hours), there is no point in just belaboring the point when a baby is having an off day.  Thankfully, she was perfectly content the next day for me.  And – knock on wood – I’ve never had a Round Two session not be great. So don’t worry, parents!

Now, come and meet this little princess.  And welcome to the world, little girl.

We got to try out my new oatmeal colored blanket, which will be great for both boys and girls.  So peaceful.

Naperville baby photographer


Family posing varies for me based on the dynamics of the couple.  I really like this set up for them since he was so much taller than her.

Chicago newborn photographer


Soft grey is always one of my favorite colors for baby girls.  It is so pretty.

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We also got to use some of my new layering fabrics, and instead of doing this on my normal dark floors, I enjoyed using one of my lighter floors.  You can tell I have a thing for neutral colors.

Downers Grove baby photographer


Then it was time to put her in a basket.  This blue, weathered basket is great for boys or girls.  Of course, we “girlified” it with the headband and floral background.

Hinsdale baby photographer


During a diaper change, we got to wrap her up and try out a new tying method, which I will definitely be doing again.

Elmhurst baby photographer


Then time for this cute hat!  I love the drama of it and the pop of color.

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But this one may be my favorite.  I love the soft creaminess and her adorable bum sticking up in the air.  Also love the pop of teal.

Plainfield newborn photographer


By this time, she was awake and getting fussy, but it didn’t take but a moment to get this shot.  And I always try to get at least one that is dark.

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If you are having a baby and would like to schedule a newborn session with Firefly Nights Photography and live in the Chicago area, especially Naperville and the western suburbs such as Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Elmhurst, Wheaton, Burr Ridge, and Plainfield – then contact us!  The ideal time for newborn sessions is 5-9 days of life if at all possible, so contact us early!


Jeni - March 31, 2014 - 12:30 am

These are all so beautiful! You got such a great variety! I love the family shot and the one with the teal headband! Too many great shots to pick a favorite!

April O'Hare - March 31, 2014 - 7:02 pm

Awww…what a little sweetie pie! And how cool that you were able to try again on another day. I’m glad it worked better the 2nd time:)

Peggy - March 31, 2014 - 9:26 pm

You’ve done an amazing job with variety of beautiful images! I love the soft feel of your work. Sweet baby girl & amazing job capturing her!!

Samantha Bachand - April 1, 2014 - 2:50 am

Sooo perfect! Love the shot on the white floor! What a sweet girl!

Amanda Radovic - April 1, 2014 - 11:20 am

everything about this shoot is gorgeous, gorgeous baby, family, props and photography!

Kate - April 2, 2014 - 1:31 am

Gorgeous work and great variety. She’s a beauty.

Shannon Stroubakis - April 4, 2014 - 2:40 am

Beautiful, beautiful. So many sets ups, so much variety! I adore your rich studio shots the most though with the dark wood floor. I instantly know a shot is yours when I see it pop up on FB!

Melissa Klein - April 4, 2014 - 3:54 am

What a sweetie! I LOVE the one on the grey blanket – so pretty!

Naperville Dance Photographer, Barrington Senior Photographer | Ballet Dancer

I got to do something fun recently.  I met this beautiful senior from Barrington who is a ballet dancer.  I had bought these glass light globes and had wanted to photograph a ballet dancer surrounded by light.  It is a tricky thing to do to photograph burning light while using studio lights, but it wouldn’t have been right to do one without the other, as I wanted the edginess of the studio lighting like I do for all of my athletes, but I wanted the glowing light from the candles, as well.

I suspended the globes from the ceiling with clear lines – and shattered one in the process (thankfully before she arrived).  Also thankful I had the black down on the floor, so it was easier to clean up than on my wood floors.  This senior was such a wonderful sport, as I relied on her for posing, as she knew best what poses, positioning, and angles are best for her lines.  I look forward to doing the rest of her senior pictures later in the spring, once her dance schedule lightens up a bit.

Chicago ballet photographer


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Barrington senior photographer


If you would like to schedule your athlete or dancer’s pictures for something different and dramatic, contact Firefly Nights Photography, named Naperville’s Best Photographer for the past three consecutive years.  We would also love to photograph your high school senior’s portraits for all of Naperville and the Chicago area, especially the western suburbs, such as Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Wheaton, Burr Ridge, Elmhurst, and Barrington.


Melissa Klein - March 28, 2014 - 12:40 am

How creative! These are really cool!

Shannon Stroubakis - March 28, 2014 - 5:01 pm

These are incredible!!! Very creative.

Michaela - March 28, 2014 - 7:18 pm

I love these! Especially love that last one! So cool!