Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony + Mommy and Me Photo Session - Denver

Partners, take note. Something a lot of mothers want for a special occasion (either Mother’s Day, a birthday, or just plain Saturday), is a set of nice photos of the children with her IN the photo. This is really hard for a lot of parents who are behind the camera. Most of the photos we have with our rapidly growing children are filtered selfies (don’t get me wrong, those are super fun and have their place!). I had the pleasure of shooting this Mother’s Day set for a beautiful mama and her 1.5 year old baby girl, arranged in (almost) secret by her husband (you go, Christopher!).

Jerusalem & Christopher brought over goods for a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, and I paired the set with outdoor boho decor, hanging a macrame garland (designed by Woven Will) on sheer panels and layered textured rugs. I’d say it was a success! A studio session followed with an amazing wardrobe change, and I set up some speedlight gels to compliment Jerusalem’s gorgeous head wrap.

This outdoor set is available through the summer. To book, email: stephanie@marilee.co

Summer Art - Paint Your Kids!

2019 marks our first time of educating our kids at home during the long summer break. Our oldest child is 5 years old and is on the cusp of reading, writing, and being an all-around awesome kid who’s on his way to Kindergarten in the fall. Sure, we signed him up for a few weeks of real summer camp, themed around dinos, space, and more. But the rest of the time, he’s with us!

In order to keep his growing brain from getting summer rot, my husband created “Daddy Camp” — it’s our job to fill his day with outdoor play, math, spelling, and my job is Mommy Art Director! It’s pretty fun and silly. Our motto is “KEEP IT WEIRD!” and we even have a family Daddy Camp song.

On this particular day, both our son and I needed a creative outlet. Together, we picked 3 washable Crayola paint colors, and went to town on his hands until he said he was happy with the way he looked. I set up a white backdrop on a rainy day, and filled the scene with a 50” Godox umbrella and a huge 85W 6500K CFL bulb (I often use this bulb that’s consistently on if I’m in a situation where there’s only 1-2 subjects and a speedlight might bother the kid).

With a little hand movements a la Vogue style, we came up with these photos and both mommy and big boy really love them! I’ll always remember this as part of his first summer break. :) The first one is going on a wall.

I try to shoot as close to the right exposure as possible, then used Refined Presets for some amazing edits.

Maternity Selfies With My Son, Noah

We are expecting our second born this April. I've always wanted to have some photos with my now 3-year-old son, Noah during my pregnancy, but somehow life just gets in the way! So one day, we spontaneously cleaned up and set up our studio at home just for fun. I cut his hair, and added a few curls to my own. :) The only thing missing is his daddy. Here are the two of us a couple weeks ago at 35 weeks pregnant. When Noah's little sister arrives, I can't wait to share some photos. 

DJ E-Rock Press Headshots - Studio

This is probably one of my favorite (and most efficient) studio sessions! Eric (aka E-Rock) came in to my home studio for some press headshots to promote his events and personal brand. He nailed the poses and I think we did amazing work together. Congrats on your success, Eric! Looking forward to seeing your name in lights. Here are some of my favorite shots.