The Wagenaar’s {Chicago Family Photographer}

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I adore this family.

We met when they moved out to the Seattle area back in 2003.  And from that point forward we’ve been great friends.

We’ve vacationed together, taken cruises together, watched our families grow and have traveled back and forth over the years for visits.

I hate that we live so far away from each other, but the one benefit to that is that the time we do spend with each other is truly cherished!

I know for a fact that these guys will be our friends forever.

I was so thrilled to finally be able to do an “official” family photo session during my last visit to Chicago a few weeks ago.

Her son Kaeden was one of the first babies I’d ever really practiced on when I was first starting out in photography. Thank goodness for growth and experience! 😉

I put Lauren in charge of scouting potential location since I wouldn’t have time to do it prior to my arrival. 🙂

I won’t lie, I was a little nervous when she was trying to describe the spot to me.
But, when we pulled up to the spot  – I instantly became giddy and my “nerd” photographer side was in full motion!

It was by far the MOST perfect location and the light we had that evening was just so beautiful and golden.

Then you add to it one of my favorite families in their completely adorable outfits  – well, let’s just say it’s was a match made in heaven!

Joe and Lauren – we love you more than you know!  I love that no matter how long it’s been since we’ve last talked or seen you, we pick up right where we left off.

You’re doing such a great job as parents to Kaeden and Meika and we can’t wait to continue to watch them grow up!

They are truly blessed to have you as parents.

Lauren said she’d always wanted to get a photo of Meika in her wedding dress…so, since I happen to know a photographer – 😉

we went ahead and made that happen before the family shoot!

(By the way, don’t even get me started on how jealous I am of Lauren’s dressing room area!)


Seriously, If I could package this location up and ship it to my back yard I’d shoot here everyday!

(See I’ve already forgotten about the 22+ mosquito bites I got while doing this session. 😉

Totally worth it!


Eewww..Mom and Dad kissing?!?! 😉


My favorite one of these two! They celebrated 14 years of marriage in August!



‘Cuz who doesn’t love a good end of the photo session run through the prairie?


Until next time! ~ Much Love and Hugs!


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  • Aleena - These photos are amazing. The one with Meika in Mrs. Wagenaar’s  wedding dress is so cute.ReplyCancel

  • MaryKate - Sarah,

    You have captured Lauren’s spirit and the beauty and connection of her family. Once again your photography is stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Corrie Caldwell - Those photos are breathtaking, Sarah. The ones of Meika in Lauren’s dress had me crying.ReplyCancel

  • sarah - Seriously in love with these photos!!! You all look great and the kids are so grown up!!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Wagenaar - Sarah- I am truly amazed. I can’t stop looking at the beautiful pictures you took of my family. I have never had a more amazing experience- there was no stress. The kids got along perfectly. All because you are an amazing photographer. You made the experience enjoyable. And you can see that in the smiling faces! You knew exactly how to work with kids and make if fun for them. And your talent as a photographer- well those pics speak for themselves. I can’t even count the tines we have attempted to have professional photos taken and we all end up disappointed. Even my wedding photos were tragic ! So thank you so very much! You have given my family an amazing gift!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jim Wagenaar - You captured them perfectly! Sarah, you have a wonderful talent!ReplyCancel