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Editorial Style Portraits {Bloomington, IL Photographer}

For the past year, I’ve been studying fashion and contemporary glamour photography (for photogs: the best workshops I’ve taken are from Lara Jade & Sue Bryce).  I had really been wanting to try shooting with a 35mm lens (the amazing Sue Bryce shoots with), so I rented one for a shoot I had last week. Unfortunately, I had to cancel the shoot because of the weather (we live in Central, IL.  which was ravished by tornadoes that day). So here I was, beyond excited to practice with this new lens, but I had no one to model for me. Everyone I knew was either sick or hated being in front of the camera. So I contacted my neighbor (who is also an amazing photographer) to see if she would be my guinea pig. Well she turned me down, but offered her 15 year old daughter to model. Now I got really excited because I have secretly been dying to photograph this girl-she is beyond gorgeous and you’ll see as you scroll through her portraits below. She literally had 2 hours notice to mentally prepare for this and was an absolute dream to work with. I couldn’t have been happier with the results 🙂


Why are portraits so invaluable? {Bloomington, IL Portrait Photographer}

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to why we need portraits of ourselves. We live in a fast-paced society that is centered around our families, and women (particularly mothers) tend to put everyone before themselves. I’m a mother of two girls, and I will absolutely be the first to admit that my needs and wants come last in my family. I know I’m not alone when I sheepishly admit to my husband that I didn’t get around to eating until 3pm or I haven’t had a shower in 2 days…It’s nothing to feel ashamed about-it’s just our natural instinct to make sure our family is taken care of first.

HOWEVER (yes this is capitalized because this is crucial), it’s so important to focus some time and energy on ourselves. I know that when I get an hour alone to edit, play guitar, sit and read, or heck-even clean the house, I am a much happier woman. Every woman wants to feel beautiful and full of life, but let’s face it-between changing dirty diapers, getting vomited on,  being a personal servant/cook/psychiatrist/maid/etc. etc. etc……feeling gorgeous and refreshed is a moment far and few between.

Consider this an open letter to all women. Take a moment to stop, breathe and think about yourself. When I meet with women for their consultations, I always ask them what their favorite thing about their body is. And would you believe that almost everyone says “Hmm, I’m not sure.” And I don’t let up until they give me an answer. After having body issues since the age of 9, I’ve realized how important it is to take the time to reflect on one’s self and learn to love and appreciate the little things that make us who we are. It’s easy to rattle off a list of things we wish we could change about our bodies. Why is it so hard to acknowledge the parts we love and are proud of? Especially when we are around other women, we tend to all talk negatively about our bodies, as if it’s a social pastime. Negative behaviors are contagious and detrimental. Next time you’re with a group of your girlfriends and someone starts talking about how much they hate their thighs, instead of chiming in about how much you loathe your own, compliment your friend on a part of her that you think is beautiful. It will instantly change her attitude. As you learn to compliment others and search for the beauty in others, your mindset towards your body will gradually change too.

Now back to why it’s important to have professional portraits taken of ourselves. And by professional, I don’t mean someone who just purchased a DSLR and threw up a facebook page. I am talking about someone who has spent countless hours studying lighting, composition, angles, posing, and who knows how to flatter each woman’s body using all of these key elements to create gorgeous portraits that will stay in that woman’s family for generations. Recently, my grandma brought over a few boxes of pictures she had stored away for me to go through. Stuck in the middle of a mound of photos was a 5×7 fine art portrait of my grandma when she was in her 20’s. It was essentially a “glamour” portrait. I was so taken back by her beauty and the gorgeous, genuine expression in her eyes. The portrait was developed in black and white and the photographer then hand-painted the photograph with colored oil paints. The result is just stunning. Having your portraits taken is not just about you. Do this for your husband, your children, your grandchildren. Trust me, they will appreciate these photos. The picture of my grandma means so much to me. It will be framed and on my desk for years. Even my five year old daughter was amazed by the photo. “That’s my great grandma?? Wow! She’s so pretty.”

A lot of women tend to get a strange expression of confusion when I mention wall portraits for their sessions. “Why would I want a portrait of myself on the wall?” This is often BEFORE they have had their viewing session. Once they see how beautiful they look in their portraits, it kind of clicks and they become so proud of their photos that they would gladly want to show them off. A classic framed wall portrait on archival fine art paper is the perfect accent for a bedroom wall. Imagine waking up every morning and seeing a large portrait of yourself looking simply amazing. What better way to give you a boost of confidence to start the day? Not to mention that if you have a partner, they get a little reminder of how lucky they are to have  you 🙂

Here is the portrait of my grandma. I had to scan it in, so the quality is really bad. And fyi-my watermark is on it just so someone doesn’t steal the picture.

If you know someone who struggles with their body image or needs a self-esteem boost, please share this post with them 🙂

vintage handpainted photo


Gigi BOTTEGA/Bradley Leake Moda Salon Shoot {Bloomington, IL Commercial Photography}

When Bradley Leake of Moda Salon in Bloomington, IL asked me to shoot images for his portfolio, I immediately said yes because I knew that with his flawless talent we could create something really amazing together. He had already chosen the perfect models, but still needed to find the perfect boutique to style the shoot. After researching various boutiques and their brands, we decided that Gigi Bottega (located in downtown Bloomington, IL and Evanston, IL) was our best choice. Owner, Gina Vericella, was very quick to respond and invited us to her store to talk about our vision for the shoot. We were so impressed with Gina’s hospitality and enthusiasm for working with fellow business owners. Gina’s unparalleled sense of style coupled with Bradley’s innate knowledge of hairstyling truly brought our vision to life.

Here are just a few sneak peaks from our shoot. The rest will be revealed once I’ve finished designed the lookbooks. They are going to be fabulous, so watch for an annoucement in a few weeks so you can check them out!





Glamour: High-End Beauty Portraiture {Bloomington, IL Glamour Photography}

Make the day about you. Share it with a best friend, mom or sister. Call Cori today to schedule your consultation and ask about our exclusive gift vouchers. (309) 212-6359.

Bloomington, IL glamour beauty photography. Photographed at Funks Grove, IL.


Before & After Glamour Shoot {Bloomington, IL Glamour/Boudoir Photographer}

If you are a Little Bells fan on Facebook, you might have seen this gorgeous mama (of two teenage boys, if you can believe it) on my page. We did a mini glamour shoot with her and I have to say-she absolutely nailed it! Look at that confidence in her eyes. It says it all… 🙂









To book your very own makeover and glamour shoot, email me at to set up a consultation. Also, be sure to ask about our gift vouchers for a DOUBLE makeover and photoshoot so you can share this awesome experience with a mom, sister or friend.