Cut off season

It's officially cut off season. I decided to celebrate and head to the beach for a sunburn after a full weekend of family photo shoots and a courthouse elopement. Hope your weekend was just as full and fantastic. xo - Laura



Styled family photo outfits you don't have to trick your kids into wearing.

Today's 65 degrees has me excited for beach weather! Nearly every week this season my calendar tells me I have a sandy shoot planned. I can't wait!!

Before you load up the kids and head for Lake Michigan we are bouncing around outfit ideas. I know it can be a hard balance to stay within budget and on trend. Find outfits for everyone in your family that are neither all white and denim or feel too stuffy is challenging!

I've been gathering clothing for Stephanie's family shoot and was inspired by the non boring neutrals I found. The total budget arrived under $400 and is kid and parent friendly, whooo!

Happy Mother's Day! Hope this inspires your summer shopping and leaves you plenty of funny money left over. xo - Laura

Ideas for Mom (total $133.70) : Denim ruffle dress $49.90 / Citrus studs $12 / Straw hat $29.90 / Gold toe espadrilles $29.90 / Gold bracelet $12 (not pictured but I love both of these options with a dress, white sneakers $39.90 + square heeled ivory sandals ... because sometime you deserve it $99.90)

Ideas for Dad (total $113.35) : Linen long sleeve button down $44.95 / Sunnies $18.50 / Sneakers $49.90

Ideas for little boy (total $81.70) : Bermuda shorts $22.90 / Woven shirt $22.90/ Sneakers $35.90

Ideas for baby boy (total $68.70) : Overalls $25.90 / Animal print shirt $12.90 / Sneakers $29.90



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Your product list to a glowing photo ready face.


One of our favorite make up routines for a fresh glowing face I've taken a moment to outline the products used in these photos. Its amazing how just a handful of well blended basics can deliver a simple, easy to wear, easy to photograph face.


The biggest key to a natural face is to take your time and blend, blend, blend! Try not to over apply your products. Start with a freshly moisturized face (dry skin looks horrible in photos!) and a few quality blending brushes (or clean hands work great too).


I caught some selfies happening behind the scenes in our pop up beauty shop.



We rarely use the same beauty products. Often it's a mixture of our own favorites as well as our clients or models favorite products. Many brands deliver a similar look if blended and color matched properly.

I love the way my camera picks up glowing skin. Often I will dab an oil on top of a totally made up face for extra glow. Try it it's gorgeous!

When I can find it I will sweep on Laura Mercier's illuminating powder in starlight. It's no longer produced (and not on this list) but sometimes you can find it online. I've yet to find a competitor for a prettier sheer radiance. I had run out on this shoot but Sasha has a nice option too, see below.


Most days we are all doing multiple jobs and don't have the luxury of time or a makeup artist on set. All hands are on deck and we often rotate jobs, so we only use the most effective techniques for our shoots. Sasha did a fantastic job on Shelby's makeup (quick too) while I curled and pinned her hair. Ahh, for a shoot day with hours of hair and makeup time! Dream on, right?!

These pretty little flowers are thanks to our friends at Asrai Garden. Improvising is key and since a flower crown would quickly dry out we often opt to cut fresh flowers and pin them into our model's hair to keep the blooms fresh and the style more organic looking. Shelby's couture bridal gown is thanks to our talented friend Veronica at Veronica Shaffer Studio. Cheers and enjoy your last sliver of weekend! xo - Laura

Foundation : BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Concealer : Nars "radiant creamy concealer" in color "Custard"

Contouring : Bare Minerals All-Over Face color

Bronzer : Gosh in color "giant sun powder"

Blush : Benefit Cream Blush in Majorette

Eyeshadow Palette : Naked by Urban Decay

Highlight : NYX Wonder Stick, WS04 Universal

Lip gloss : Bourjois Effect 3D Max


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Battle For Hope + a pink cotton candy machine.


Do you ever wake up thinking I HAVE to find a cotton candy machine?

Thursday morning I felt a little loony running deep into to the South Side just hours before our Battle for Hope event with Off the Street Club to find this little magic sugar spinner.



Partnering with Peter Cowen is always a good idea and delivered a punch with his hand drawn backdrop for our photo booth. A few late nights later we found ourselves snapping, dancing and handing out candy floss for a cause we can all get behind; getting Chicago kids off the streets.



When talented guys like Kris English (above), (also a Charming in Love client... but more on this later) tell you about co-founding an annual charity event with his Digitas ad buddies your ears are already perky.

Since settling in Chicago I've been anxious to find ways to give back to the place I call home. Enter Battle for Hope. Nearly 1000 of the city's finest advertising creatives all came together on Thursday night to cheer on their favorite bands and support the oldest kids club in Chicago.



I'm still feeling grateful for all the new friends made this week and opportunities to share what I've been given, especially the cotton candy. xx- Laura

Click here to see all the event photos.



3 key tips to modeling learned from a pro.

I've started a personal project this week. I asked my friend, Sasha Faye, to unpack the mysteries of the modeling world to me.

Sasha's career began when she moved to a Russian dance academy at 11. She's been on the stage dancing and modeling since. Landing in Chicago six months ago then eloping with her sweetheart, Chris, is how I've met her. Luckyyy me!



Lessons learned first hand are the ones taken to heart. Wish me luck learning the art of grace and poise. I may be the least elegant student but I'm the most eager to know first hand how to share posing tips with my portrait clients.

Here is what I learned in this weeks lesson.



Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. This comes from understanding yourself. What are the unique things about you? What are your imperfections? Learn to accept both.

Did you know you can twist your strengths AND weaknesses into a signature pose, move or facial expression? If you absolutely can't learn to use your weakness as a strength, THEN find a way of hiding it.



Pick a favorite model and study everything about her or him. Identify the way they pose, turn their head and so on.

Can you find an imperfection that they embrace and turn into a strength? Guess what? There is another word for imperfection… UNIQUENESS!!


Image shot by Sasha Faye. :)

Image shot by Sasha Faye. :)



Spend a good amount of time posing or dancing in front of a mirror. Perhaps even turn on the music. Begin to move. Begin to feel the music through different poses. Let it go.

Thinking on what Sasha taught me… I'm noticing that honesty with myself is key. Embracing who you naturally are is a start. I can't wait for my next lesson!! xx- Laura


Images in this post are a direct result of some kind contributors :

Charming In Love / @CharmingInLove / photography / Everyday Charming / @everydaycharming / styling / makeup / Hair + Floral / Sasha Faye / @sasha___Faye / styling / makeup / floral / Kristine Lorenzo / @klolorenzo / hair / Grace Aeschleman / @graceliz12 / Kelsey Henricks / @kelseyhenricks/ Shelby Kupferschmid / @shelbykup / Veronica Sheaffer / @vsheaffer / gowns / Bang Bang Pie / @bangbangpie / pies / Whisked by Cate / @whiskedbycate / cakes / Dallas Maynard / @dallasmaynard / engagement rings