Do you live in Chicago, and are you looking for the ideal photographer to take your family’s photographs? You’re in luck — these 11 shutterbugs are among the best family photographers in Chicago. Each boasts a variety of styles, from totally straightforward to dynamic and whimsical. One thing they all have in common: the ability to take an unforgettable a picture.
Abigail Joyce is one of Chicago’s most talented family photographers. Whether shooting outdoor candid photos or posed photos of you and your newborn in a bright studio space, she captures sweet moments that tell a larger story. When you’re older, you’re going to want to look back and remember what these days were like, and candids have the ability to tell so much of your story. Of course, the best family photographers — like Abigail and the others on this list — are able to bring something unique and lively to all and any photo session.
Maggie Rife Ponce is a Chicago-based family photographer with a refined photojournalistic style. She truly shines with her candid lifestyle photos, especially in-home shots, where you and your family are most comfortable. This means Maggie is able to capture sincere images that will match your memories of everyday life.
She’s exceptional at capturing life in Chicago’s urban spaces, with a great eye for pattern, lines, and foreground/background contrast. She’s able to apply these skills equally to her portraiture and action-filled candids. In her posed studio shots, you get a real sense of familial connection –– a peek at the story of your life. Maggie’s a talented, versatile family photographer.
Sarah Dickerson, the owner of Wildwood Photography, loves making connections with her clients — and it really shows through in her bright, smile-filled family photographs. She’s also a talented photographer of newborns. In addition, she offers multi-generational photoshoots, which is something of a rarity.
Her signature style is very subject-focused — that is, focused on capturing you and your family — but she can be playful with her use of foreground and background objects. Alternatively, she can easily go fully minimalist, with just your family and a bright background. She works by appointment only — and, like all of these family photographers, her slots fill up early. So, if you’d like to schedule a shoot, it’s always better to do it early.
4. Jenny Grimm
Jenny Grimm takes playful, natural-looking candids. Clients love her black-and-white action shots, as well as her touching, occasionally humorous sibling photos. Her images manage to do a lot with simple setups. She makes excellent use of clean backgrounds, ample negative space, and asymmetrical framing to tell quiet family stories of love, trust, and fun. Whether she’s photographing indoors or out in the city, she’s got a great eye for the way people relate to each other and their environment.
If you’re looking for more contemporary compositions — that is, photographs with soft light, classical use of shadows, and slightly desaturated colors — check out Laurie Peacock’s photography. Her style is too varied to be described completely, but she does take amazing Instagram-forward photos that tell stories. Whether she’s capturing grandpa and the new baby or a sweet picture of your family at play, her work always seems new, fresh, and full of life.
Heather DeCamp, like many of the best family photographers in Chicago, applies the techniques of classical photography and photojournalism to capture unique family moments. She has incredible technical ability, and she makes use of all visual elements in a shot — even chaotic candid shots –– to create both dynamism and order. Her photos make excellent use of patterning, especially when she photographs against the rich backgrounds of the outdoors or in the city. And she’s skilled in medium- and low-light photography.
Kristin Milito has a great eye and skill for posed photography. Like the best still-life photographers, she’s able to bring her subjects’ personalities to the surface, where it lights up their eyes and smiles, enlivening their body language. Kristin’s photos capture that — the real energy of love and calm that you and your family exudes when you’re all together. Her candids are playful and rich. All in all, she takes photos that will be treasured.
8. Hannah Drews
Hannah Drews’s photographs are compositionally incredible. Her posed photos are so full of life that they seem more like film stills than mere photographs. You can trust her to capture the real you and your family. She’ll easily capture one of your little one’s first laughs, the types of moments you want to hang on to.
She’s available to photograph in home or on location. For lifestyle newborn photo sessions, she mostly offers in-home shoots, and it’s best to contact her when you’re in your first three to five months of pregnancy to make sure she’ll be available, as her spots fill up early.
Ten Little Bluebirds Photography is Emily Cummings’s family photography outfit. Emily’s photos are distinct and deploy modern techniques, such as nice, clean washes of color; backgrounds colored to harmonize with her subjects; and low light to create magical, one-of-a-kind photographs. She’s also one of the most talented family photographers in Chicago when it comes to capturing kids just being kids. She’s a skilled photographer of joy, innocence, and the silly, ecstatic love families share with one another.
Christina Bailitz has a simple, elegant style. She lets her subjects be themselves, and keeps her colors and light as natural as possible, leaning in to capture the softness and gentleness of family. In addition, she does this all without relying on unnecessary photographic tricks. If you want a photographer to simply capture your children at play or as they grow up, Christina will exceed your expectations. She’s a tremendous storyteller with an eye for the truth.
11. Cianne Mitchell
Cianne Mitchell’s portfolio stands out for its restrained yet clever compositions. Her portfolio has many of the photos you might expect to see from a family photographer, such as a newborn sleeping in its mother’s lap or candids of children rolling down grassy hills. The compositions draw clear connections between family members, making it seem like they’re all part of one organism, moving together. Cianne has an artistic eye and takes cinematic, narratively rich photographs that capture the stories of the families she works with.
Take a look through these photographers’ portfolios and bookmark all the photographs that capture your imagination. When you select your photographer –– and you really can’t go wrong when you’re selecting one of the best family photographers in Chicago –– you’ll want to show them images to help them visualize the types of photographs you’re looking for. Lean on their skill and expertise. As long as you’re open with the photographer and willing to build a good dialogue with them, you’re pretty much certain to be wowed by the photos they take of you and your family. Cheers!