Cool Stuff

We Love Our Clients! Happy Valentine's Day! Chicago Photographer

Happy Valentine's Day Soben Family! We wanted to use this holiday of hearts and kisses to share some things we love most, and at the top of our list is our amazing client family!  Before we get into the amazing end-of-year slideshow featuring of all the fabulous and adorable faces we got to capture this year created by our leader extraordinaire, Laurie, we thought we'd give you a snippet of us, and some things we L-O-V-E!

Laurie Loves: Valentine's Day is the birthday of Laurie's beloved grandmother (98 this year!), so this day is special in two ways for her.  She loves making Valentine's boxes with her children, strong coffee in the morning, and the ever-elusive jeans that fit right all day without getting looser as the hours go by (AKA the unicorn of all jeans).  She also loves working with Jenn, Ellen and Jenny ...  everyone that we meet through the studio!

Jenn Loves: Jenn loves any and everything homemade, as long as it's not the clothes she's wearing. :) Her family has a big bin of clothing and fabric discards (endless pairs of ripped leggings frequent this box) that her daughters use to make fun, crafty items with, and she loves seeing what they've dreamt up. She also loves fill-in-the-blank notes from her girls, such as, "My mom is the best at ____."  Such sweet and funny notes come from these!  Also, a little dark chocolate is never wrong by Jenn.

Jenny Loves: Dr Pepper!  She knows she should start with something like, "My adorable daughter and newborn son," but honestly, Dr. Pepper comes to mind first.  She also loves dance parties to anything with a strong hip-hop beat and trying to think up more appropriate lyrics when her daughter is asking what they're singing during said dance parties.  She also loves six hours of consecutive sleep from her newborn, hair that is freshly touched up, and books that you can't put down.

Ellen Loves: SLEEPING! She also loves her hazelnut coffee, and Starburst candy... as she should. Because Ellen is just as sweet as those delicious candies!

So, having covered what we love in our own homes, here's what we love at work: YOU!!!

Please enjoy this slideshow of our 2015 moments, we so enjoyed living them with you all and cannot wait for 2016's new ones!

xoxoxoxo Laurie, Jenn, Jenny & Ellen!

Mama's Dream Vendor Highlight | Chicago Newborn Photographer

Every mama has her favorite brands. We at Soben Studios are going to be highlighting some of our favorite local businesses in the Chicagoland area. Our first local business in Green Diaper Babies. We love them for so many reasons: 1.) They're green! 2.) They cater to our neighborhood! 3.) They save you money!


They posted a great blog recently on getting started with cloth diapering. We thought we'd share the benefits with all or our favorite Soben moms too! Check out The Basics of Cloth Diapering.


Blue Eyes in Blue Waters | Chicago Underwater Photography

"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf" - Jon Kabat-Zinn ChicagoPhotographer-2

Happy Mother's Day | Chicago North Shore Family Photographer


This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer Wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying,

‘It’s okay honey, Mommy’s here.’

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can’t be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers  at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of the cars.  And that when their kids asked, ‘Did you see me, Mom?’ they could say, ‘Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,’ and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn’t find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read ‘Goodnight, Moon’ twice a night for a year.  And then read it again, ‘just one more time.’

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls Mom?’ in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home — or even away at college -- or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them. For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway?

Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache she feels when she watches her son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes her from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put her hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when she just wants to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in her home?

Or the need to flee from wherever she is and hug her child when she hears news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...

And for mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.  Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us...

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can.

‘Home is what catches you when you fall - and we all fall.’

Tell them every day that we love them and pray and never stop being a mother.... -- Author Unknown


From the Heart / Philanthropy

heartland When we think Valentine's Day, we think hearts, and just like you, we are tickled by adorable Valentine's Day images - one of our few opportunities to embrace props and cutesy. But, in the true spirit of celebrating love, we want to showcase these beautiful people, each of whom knows the real meaning of giving and receiving a gift from the heart. Every year, it is Laurie's privilege to contribute to Heartland Blood Centers' annual calendar by photographing regular people with exceptional stories. It's an honor for us to meet these special people who give us the gift of inspiration, and truly touch our hearts. - LN

Our Studio | Chicago Suburbs Child Baby Newborn Family Photographer

Well, it only took me 7 months to blog about our new studio! We've just been so busy taking care of our clients, that things like our new studio space took a back seat. However, I am so excited to share our new digs with you -- the space is just lovely and I can't wait to see many of you there! Our new studio is located in downtown Highwood, directly above a nail salon (how perfect is that!?). We've got tons of shooting space, with a great brick wall to enjoy. By far my favorite feature is our bay window, and it has been so much fun experimenting with the lighting there. The window is fabulous for newborn work, but it really shines with maternity silhouettes.

We've always got fresh coffee and tea waiting for you, great books, and our free wifi. Come see us soon!

Go Team USA: Olympics Fun for All / Just for Fun

It's hard to miss the Olympics buzz, and my kids are certainly excited about the 2012 Games, but with a limited attention span (hopefully NBC will do a better job editing/broadcasting these games than they've done in the past - JMO), how can I make Olympic viewing a fun family activity and even a learning experience at the same time? Leave it to one of my favorite websites to have some suggestions: Common Sense Media. If you're not familiar with this website, I highly recommend it!

  • Is the new Ice Age movie appropriate for a Kindergartener?
  • My child wants to see the new Batman movie, but I think he's a little young.
  • Are there any new iPhone apps for my preschooler?

These and MANY more questions are answered for parents seeking to be media-savvy.

I'm definitely going to be turning to Common Sense Media's family guide to Olympic viewing as well as their ideas for turning the Olympics into teachable moments. Plus more great ideas for kids of all ages. - LN

Summerfest Fun / Out-and-About on the North Shore

Looking for a fun family activity this weekend? Come visit us at the Wilmette Summerfest Friday, July 13th and Saturday, July 14th. Find us in the Kids Stage area (with freebies and a coupon) along with our North Shore Children's Business Network partners. Fun for the kids includes an Kids Stage entertainment by the beloved Storybook Mom, face painting, art projects and much more! Mom and Dad will enjoy the fabulous Sidewalk Sale bargains, the scrumptious Taste of Wilmette and Saturday's live Music Stage...For more info, visit Wilmette Summerfest. Hope to see you there! - LN

Holiday Cheer & Happy New Year | Chicago Family Photographer

Thank you to all of our amazing clients for another fabulous year. Thanks to you, we are able to make a generous donation in your name to the children's toy fund at Children's Memorial Hospital. Thank you for sharing your smiles with us, and for enabling us to bring smiles to children in need of good cheer. May your holiday season and new year be full of laughter, love and good health.

With love,

The Soben Studios Family

New Jewelry Line! {Chicago Baby Photographer}

Sooooo excited for this jewelry!!! LOVE LOVE! Make an appointment at our new studio boutique to see the line anytime. undefined

What to wear.... Summer 2011 part 1


Mini Sessions!!

May Mini Sessions - Perfect for Father's Day ... or Just Because!

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A new tie? Beer-of-the-month club membership? A power tool? Not sure what to get Dad for Father's Day? How about getting him the gift YOU really want: Updated pictures of the kids!

Just in time for Father's Day, we're pleased to announce two different May mini sessions events:

Book with Laurie or Susan

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 Held on-location at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods.

Whether you choose a 25-minute mini session with Laurie for $175, or a 35-minute mini session with Susan for $125, you will enjoy the quality photography and client service that make Soben Studios one of Chicagland's premier contemporary lifestyle photography studios. Perfect for up to 3 subjects, Soben's mini sessions are a great value! And we've got some fabulous packages that are sure to make Dad smile.

Book with Susan only

Take advantage of a unique opportunity for a COMPLIMENTARY 15 minute studio mini session at Frankie's on the Park in downtown Chicago!! Please join us on Sunday, May 1st from 2-5pm for an afternoon of shopping, photos & jewelry at Frankie’s on the Park! The afternoon will feature a FREE 15 minute studio photo session and complimentary 5”x7” photo from Highland Park’s Susan Ryan Kalina of Soben Studios Photography (a $200 value)! Enjoy a Stella & Dot Jewelry trunk show & Cover FX makeup demo. 10% of sales will benefit DASH FOR DETECTION Pancreatic Cancer Research!!

Mini sessions book-up FAST and space is limited so don't delay!

If we've photographed you before, come join us again -- we'd love to see how the kids have grown. Or if you've been toying with the idea of portraits, this is the perfect chance to see why our devoted clients come back again and again.

Repeat Soben clients receive one complimentary set of wallets as our way of saying thank you.

Just like you, we at Soben care deeply for children and their families. A portion of all profits is donated to the new toy fund for sick children at Children's Memorial Hospital. Just thought you'd like to know that we do good work in more ways than one.

For more information, or to book your Ryerson Woods session, please email us at or call us at 847.374.9123. To book a session at Frankie's, please call their store at 773-248-0400. Sessions booked on a first come, first serve basis. Emails and phone calls will be tracked in the order received.

Please note that in order to receive the promotional pricing, and have your items in time for Father's Day, orders must be placed within one week of your gallery premiere.

Complimentary Facebook websized files of images purchased always included in your package upon request. These files, which bear a small studio logo, are perfect for emailing and Facebook but are not formatted for printing.

See you then!!

Mini sessions book-up FAST and **space is limited** so don't delay!


I have NOTHING to Wear!!!

But what do we WEAR??? Clients are always asking for ideas on what to wear and how to coordinate clothing. So welcome to the first post of our What to Wear series. Our current clients are familiar with the detailed guides we send out ahead of your sessions to help you get ready -but as styles are always changing we thought we'd keep you in-the-know with our clothing series. Hope you enjoy!!



Special thanks to Michelle Anderson of Pinkle Toes Photography for sharing the beautiful imagery.


Believe in your Fairytales....

I am so excited  (and truth be told a little nervous!) -- tomorrow at 11:00 I will be on a fabulous internet radio show featuring people who are living their dreams. I am both honored and proud to be featured --- but more importantly I am grateful to be living my dream every day. If you miss the show, I will be sure to post a link so that you may download it and listen at your leisure. To hear the show live, please visit ToGoInet. We've been busy here wrapping up last year and recovering from our break -- we plan to post more images from last fall, along with some great sessions from January already - within the next week. Thanks for reading!!!

Sparkle & Shine with Girls on the Run

It may be getting chilly but it’s not too late to get tickets to the hottest event in Chicago! It’s the eleventh annual Sparkle and Shine Gala benefiting Girls on the Run, at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, Friday, November 19th, at 8:00. Featuring a live band, hors d’oeuvres with a sushi station, a 4-hour open bar and a live and silent auction with awesome prizes (including a Soben Studios photo session), this is a not-be-missed benefit which promises to put the “fun” in fundraising. For more information about Sparkle and Shine, or to register, click here. The Girls on the Run Program is a national program for girls ages 8-13 years old which inspires self-respect and healthy lifestyles through a combination of running and an interactive curriculum. All proceeds from the Gala will help Girls on the Run expand its program so that every girl in Chicagoland can be a Girl on the Run. Currently, there are over 84 schools on the waiting list for Girls on the Run programs. Please join Soben Studios in supporting this unique and worthwhile program that empowers girls today and helps them reach their full potential tomorrow and beyond. - LN

winter and construction

Greetings! Remember back when we said that we were going to be introducing you to some of our mom4profit friends? We know it’s been a’s just about fall – which gives me the perfect, albeit cheesy, segue: Allow us to introduce winter and construction design, L.L.C. is a boutique graphic design studio specializing in the art of creating and maintaining a brand.  What’s with the name? I was curious, so I did a little bit of research. (Very little. In fact, there is a section on the winter and construction website dedicated to this very question.) Turns out that the firm’s name is a nod to the saying that is Chicago, there are only two seasons: winter and construction. Ahhhhhhhhh.

These folks are creative.   

Run by Susan Fireside, winter and construction gives a visual presence to companies. So that they’re more than just a name. They’re an experience.

Susan describes her company as a graphic design studio that understands that the way to connect with an audience is with words and pictures. They are storytellers. Creators. Brand Generators. Through a variety of projects such as logos, annual reports, web design, advertising, exhibits and environments, winter and construction focuses on telling your story in a visual medium.  It’s not about building a website. It’s about building your brand.

winter and construction has worked with some of the biggest corporations and newest startups. They believe it’s best to do one thing really well instead of trying to be all things to all people.

Love that!

I, however, am a working mom. So I have to settle for trying to be all things to all people (which explains my cooking). To learn more about winter and construction, just click here.  --Laura

Fall Mini Sessions!

Announcing Fall Mini Sessions! Yes, we know it is 90 degrees outside and you're still in summer mode. But the kids are back at school, and September is upon us, and that means it's time to think about Soben Studios renowned Fall Mini Sessions! We are pleased to announce fall mini session dates: Sunday, September 26th and Saturday, October 16th.

Our 25-minute mini sessions are held on-location. September minis will take place in downtown Highland Park, near our new studio. (We've already got some favorite, hidden shooting spots.) October minis will be held at a north suburban forest preserve or park. (Exact location TBA closer to the shooting date as we wait for the auturmn colors emerge.) Whether you've been yearning for some updated shots of the kids, or you're already planning for your annual holiday card, Soben's mini sessions are a great value at only $175. Perfect for up to 3 subjects, Soben Studios mini sessions provide you with the quality photography and client service that make Soben one of Chicago's premier contemporary lifestyle photographers. No minimum purchases, no premade packages. Order only what you want, including newly repriced (less expensive!) digital images. Mini sessions book-up fast and space is limited, so don't delay. If we've photographed you before, come join us again -- we'd love to see how the kids have grown. Or if you've been toying with the idea of portraits, this is the perfect chance to see why our devoted clients come back again and again. For more information, or to book your session, please email us at or call us at 847.374.9123.

Put the FUN in FUNdraiser!

Join Soben Studios on location at Nibbles Café for a special End-of-Summer Mini Session fundraising event! Featuring, not just mini sessions, but also brunch, playtime and lots of entertainment – all to benefit Asperitech. You probably haven’t heard of Asperitech. Allow us to introduce you: Aspiritech is a unique organization devoted to developing employment opportunities for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Given that 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with a disorder on the autism spectrum, it’s likely you know a family coping with the challenges presented by ASD. Now, fast forward and consider the obstacles these kids will face as they try to enter the work force...This is where Asperitech comes in. Asperitech is in desperate need of funding, and along with Nibbles Café in Wheeling, Soben Studios is determined to help out. But we need you! Have a Mini Session at this event and your entire session fee will go toward Asperitech! Please join us at this very special event to benefit some very special people. For all the details, check out the flyer below, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! For booking and ticket information, please call Kathleen at 847-229-0400 or

Make A Wish

We were absolutely thrilled to be part of the Make A Wish foundation's Wish Ball this year. Soben Studios proudly donated photography sessions for both portraits and parties - and we cannot wait to meet the lucky winners! Dana Carvey was the featured special guest, who was a complete hit (of course!). "This occasion is a wonderful way to celebrate the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and bring our mission to life for our supporters," said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois. "It a powerful experience for everyone as we not only laughed with Dana Carvey, but were deeply touched by stories from our wish families." I hope you enjoy the shots above, which were kindly emailed to us from the Wish Ball chairperson (not taken by Soben Studios). I have no idea who the lovely family is with Dana Carvey - but I do know one thing - they had "a ball".