family portraits

Sharing Some Wisdom | Chicago Children Photographer

Look at Master L: You can see him hanging on his Miss E's every word. How great it must be to have a big sister who can share worldly advice or special secrets. I can only imagine: I'm the oldest (and no sisters). Come to think of it, I don't remember being much of a mentor to my younger brother. Fast forward a few decades, and now little brother gives me advice. Here's hoping your sibling bond continues to grow. --LN


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


Old Friends | Chicago Children's Photography

chicagochildrenphotoIt's amazing to have watched these kids grow up while time has stood still for us. Holy cow! It's one of the bittersweet parts of our job: the constant reminder that time marches on. So great to see you again, G kids. Love you! - LN

Happy Everything | Studio News

Screenshot 2013-12-15 10.41.52 It's been a wildly busy fall and holiday season. We've had a great time seeing old friends, meeting new ones and rolling out fabulous new products.

Now it's break-time (if you can call two weeks with with kids off of school a "break"). As 2013 comes to a close, we're looking forward to spending holiday time with friends and family. (OK, there are some family members we could probably do without.) We're anticipating snowball fights, hot chocolate, warm fires, snuggling together on the couch - and some extra rest, if we're lucky. If you're heading to warmer climes, enjoy, and soak up some sun for us.

Remember to take lots of pictures. You can't get these special times back.

Soben Studios will be on limited hours beginning Saturday, December 21st. We will be resuming regular hours on Monday, January 6th. During this time, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you! We will be checking voice mails and returning calls, but it may take us a day or two to respond.

Best wishes for a holiday season filled with love, joy, and peace, and may 2014 bring you good health and much happiness.

~Laurie, Laura and Jennifer

Ruffles & Roses | Chicago North Shore Baby Photography

Saka chicagobabyphotography  

This princess is the light of her parents' life, and she was one of our all-time most cooperative little ones. We're so glad to have met you! Looking forward to seeing you again soon, and creating more imagery together.


Giggles, Hugs & Family Fun | Wilmette Family Photographer

When I reflect on this family session, I am reminded of the fabulous Shel Silverstein poem Hug of War. I will not play at tug o' war. I'd rather play at hug o' war, Where everyone hugs Instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles And rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, And everyone grins, And everyone cuddles, And everyone wins.

What a wonderful day, and wonderful family.

Curly Girls / Chicago North Shore Family Photographer

Two very independent young women made this in-studio family session extra fun. It was great to see how big sister had grown and a delight to meet little sis! - LN

Who Says Blondes Have More Fun? / North Shore Teen Photography

Do these sisters really get along this well? Makes me really wish I had a sister. Mom pulled off a great surprise for Dad's new office: a photo session and a wall gallery! What a priceless gift -- it makes every day Father's Day. - LN

Fall Fun | Chicago Family Photographer

It's just about winter, but it feels like fall today!! This was one of our favorite fall sessions. From blossoming belly shots, to nestled newborn images, to baby busy-ness (and big sis silliness), to family fun in the outdoors, M family, your sessions are always blast. K & D, we can't believe how big you're getting! - LN

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

Good Karma to All!

First of all, let’s re-emphasize the point that all moms are working moms! Now let’s talk about mom4profit. As you may recall from an earlier post, Laurie is a member of mom4profit, a diverse group of women who are juggling being moms with being entrepreneurs.  Being a mom is a 24/7 job; growing your own business is a 24/7 job. You do the math…. How do these Energizer bunnies do it?! Let’s meet some of these hard-working (sleep-deprived) mom4profit women and spotlight their professional endeavors.

Meet Allison Harris of Highland Park, owner of Karma Healing Solutions. Allison is a clinical esthetician  who uses customized blends of natural remedies and aromatherapy to create individualized treatments and therapies for a variety of conditions ranging from stress reduction and sleep problems, to sinus infections and skin conditions. Her natural remedies are free of synthetic chemicals, dyes, fragrance and harmful toxic chemicals.

Allison enjoys educating people about using common at-home holistic remedies and conducts workshops and wellness events on various topics pertaining to natural living, holistic health, and wellness for families. Karma Healing Solutions “spa parties” are hugely popular! As a “mom’treprener,”  Allison is clearly a walking testimonial Karma Healing Solutions’ effectiveness in promoting stress reduction and good karma.  

We’d also like to do a shout-out to Bright Pink. Allison is thrilled to be presenting a pampering and educational workshop for the women of Bright Pink.  Bright Pink is a national non-profit organization that provides education and support to young women who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. By arming young women with knowledge, options and a great attitude, Bright Pink offers support and companionship and strives to empower women to take control of their breast and ovarian health and in turn, grant them the freedom and peace of mind to live a beautiful and fulfilling life. Thanks, Allison, for making us aware of this fantastic organization!


I know, things have been quiet on the blog front here. The truth of it is that I've launched a personal blog project that has taken over my time! It is called Project365, and I take an image (family related) every day for a year, to document our personal story - a photo journal of sorts. The trouble is that I take way more than one, and I get so wrapped up in posting there that I haven't posted here. THAT, my faithful readers, will change today. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite recents that I haven't shared yet with you-- with the promise of more to come in a day or two. 2009 is off to a great start. Without further ado....

Ain't it the truth? I love that quote. Picasso knew what he was talking about, didn't he? Always find your inner child. This was shot at Nibbles Play Cafe, where I've got a display up. It is a great place to go with the kids to hang out, chat, or even have a photo session.

Oh I really love this family. They were so easy going, and the kids are so sweet. Realizing that I need to change the copyright to 2009 ... where does the time go?

Alright, that is all for now - jobs to proof! Until next time--

Totally Fun Family

This family rocked. I really enjoyed the session - we travelled to areas around the studio that I have not been to before, and they were completely up for the adventure. The boys had great energy, too. So smart and inquisitive. I am not sure which was the best part  - the shooting, or when the boys asked, upon leaving, when they got to come back again? THAT is always the biggest compliment that I can get. Here are some sneaks, Mom and Dad.

this next one cracks me up each time I look at it--- though I probably like it more than the parents do....

Thanks for looking!