Spring and Summer – everything you need to know plus booking links


As I am writing this post it is 14 degrees with a -2 degree wind chill and outdoor sessions seem far far away. BUT! Spring will be here before we know it. And I’ve had people inquire about my Spring and Summer calendar since September of last year, so here we are!

In this post you will find all of the info and booking links for my Full family sessions and Mini family sessions since these two are my most popular options. I offer a lot of different packages but if you’re interested in other sessions, for example senior, newborn, or “Day of Lifestyle” sessions, please contact me directly at I don’t want to overwhelm you!

First of all – if you’re worried about the weather let me tell you – every month is different and has different things to offer. April has Spring flowers popping up. There are no bugs and we still get the clear and clean winter light. It’s also empty in all the outdoor spots which is a bliss! We often get the prettiest flowering trees in April and early May. I know some spots that have really stunning Spring foliage! May is beautiful and colorful. We get some warm days but don’t have to worry about about bugs and mosquitos yet. June and July are warm and sunny and gorgeous and golden. I love beach shoots in those months and everything is blooming and pretty. In this post you will see examples for every month!

For those of you who would really prefer a Fall shoot – I will open my booking for Fall (end of August till end of November) in the first week of July. Please be aware that while my weekday prices will stay the same – I do charge more on Fall weekends and my Fall weekends book up very fast.

So what is the difference between a Full session and a Mini session?

Chicago Family Photographer

Mini Sessions


Do you need an updated family picture? Do you just want some nice pictures of you and your kids but you don’t want anything time consuming? Then the Mini may be a good option for you.

Outdoor Mini sessions are 20 to 30 minutes long. I shoot most of my outdoor Mini sessions at Winnemac Park. It’s the perfect place for Minis because we can get a good variety of pictures in a short amount of time and the foliage there is gorgeous. I sometimes shoot Minis in other places if I have a Full session before or after.

Included in the price of a Mini are ten edited photos in both color and black-and-white. You may purchase extra pictures for $35 or upgrade to a full gallery. You will receive an online gallery with your photos to download as high-resolution files and an option to order prints.

Full Sessions


In the Full sessions we take our time and try to capture moments and emotion. We spend 40 to 60 minutes together. We start out with the sort of pictures we’d do during a Mini session – smile in the camera, the perfect family portrait. After we get those shots, we play, we laugh, we run around. I’m going to make this experience as relaxed and positive and fun as possible for you and your kids. My goal is to get everybody out of their shell and to just capture love and personality.

With a Full session you receive at least 60 pictures, usually more, in both color and black-and-white versions. You will receive an online gallery with your photos to download as high-resolution files and an option to order prints.



My favorite time to shoot is the golden hour before sunset but I will also shoot earlier. The results will be a bit different though, so if you are in love with the golden sunset pictures on my website, I have quite a few tips on how to get your kids to be happy even at 6.30 or 7pm for a shoot! If I’ve convinced you to book with me, please follow the links below to the different months. You can just scroll down and pick a date. If you can’t make the days or times in the schedule please contact me with a preferred time and date and we will find a way to make it happen!


The retainer is non-refundable but it is transferable to a different session or session date which has to be done within a year.

Chicago Family Photographer

Booking links for April through July:

April Weekday

April Weekend

May Weekday

May Weekend

June Weekday

June Weekend



If you have any questions about the booking process, please contact me at



I can’t wait to meet you!


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December 7, 2018 by Aline Stern Families 0

Chicago Fall Session

Guys, I am so behind on blogging. I’ve been shooting non stop for months but there are a few sessions I’d like to show you, even if the landscape looks very different now.

I’ve known this family since their oldest was less than a year old. They are just such wonderful children and such a joy to photograph. I love how big brother is so protective and such a gentleman. Middle brother is such a ham and so sweet. And the youngest one is most definitely the boss.


















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October 31, 2018 by Aline Stern Uncategorized 0

November Outdoor Sessions – booking links and everything you need to know!


September and October have been crazy busy! I got to photograph so many families! I originally planned to play November by ear but the trees changed colors so late this year and now it’s warmed up a bit, so I decided to make it official and post all my family session dates for the rest of the year! This includes mini-sessions and full sessions!

I am going to take December off to spend with my family (except newborns – newborns are ALWAY welcome in my studio :)) so snag your holiday spots now!


Outdoor Mini-Sessions


Mini-sessions include 15-20 minutes of shooting and 10 digital files with print rights. You pick your 10 favorites from the session and you will receive hand edited pictures in both color and black and white.

I only do mini-sessions in Winnemac Park or close by Winnemac Park (I will do Giddings Plaza once they put up the lights!). I shoot minis only on weekdays. If you want a mini booked on a weekday morning between 9.30am-1.30pm, please send me an email at If you want to snag up one of my Monday spots (I shoot every Monday in November at 3pm and 3.30pm, you can book here directly:

Weekday mini-sessions



Outdoor Full Sessions


I only have a limited number of weekend sessions left for this year. My full sessions include 40-60 minute of shooting time, 60+ edited pictures in an online gallery and you get to pick your location in the Chicago area. I have a long list of locations that I have shot in and we can come up with the perfect spot for your family pictures. Please be aware younger kids don’t do well being outside for longer. If your kids are under 3, you may want to consider only doing a mini-session and book a full session when it gets warmer again – unless you don’t mind having your kids in a full snow suit set up :).

You can book your full session here:

Outdoor Full Family Session November 


Things you need to know:

I will bring blankets and hand-warmers. We will move fast through the session – not because I want to rush you but because kids do NOT do well in cold weather and I don’t want you having to stand around for a long time and catch a cold. If you book one of the later sessions we may not have beautiful foliage anymore, your pictures will still be beautiful! If you book a full session we have the option to do an urban session, for example with Christmas lights in Giddings Plaza, once they are up.

Do dress your kids according to the weather!! Kids will not be happy if they are cold. If you are set on a cute Christmas dress, layer, layer, layer underneath – long thermal underwear, two pairs of tights on top of each other, a cute scarf and hat to go with the outfit, …

Should the weather just completely turn on us and it rains all of November, we have the option to do the shoot in my Lincoln Square studio instead!


I am looking forward to meeting you!!


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Studio Holiday Mini-Sessions – booking links and everything you need to know!


As it’s getting colder every day, the leaves are changing, it’s time to think about holiday pictures! I host mini-sessions every year for two days in November.

I will have two set-ups – one very neutral for those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas or who just prefer a simpler style one and one more Christmas-y one with props and a holiday backdrop.


At my studio in Lincoln Square/West Andersonville, close to Winnemac Park – easy street parking!

What do I get?

A 20 minute session and 10 edited pictures that you get to pic from a proof gallery – the pictures will come in both color and black and white, so really, you are receiving 20 pictures total!

How much?


I require a $50 non-refundable deposit (if you don’t show up to your session, there will be no rescheduling! If you let me know you can’t make it, we will find a different date that works for you!) and $150 are due on the day of the session – I accept QuickPay/Zelle, cash or check.

Here are the booking links:

Saturday, November 3rd

Saturday, November 10th

Saturday, November 17th

What else you need to know:

-Please be on time! Mini-session days are back to back and any time you are late, it will be taken off your shooting time! Also, don’t be very early – another session will be going on and you don’t want to interrupt. My studio is relatively small, so there is no separate room to sit unfortunately, especially with my two holiday set-ups.

-My studio is on the ground floor of my home and our two cats live upstairs. They don’t usually go downstairs and they don’t come in contact with the props but if you are very allergic to cats, please decide on your own risk!

Otherwise, happy holidays and I hope to get to see you in my studio soon!






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September 19, 2018 by Aline Stern Families, Uncategorized 0

Chicago Beach Session

My favorite thing about living in Chicago is Lake Michigan. I love that we have beaches right at our doorstep. Still, I had never done a professional shoot at the beach. That was until this family suggested it. I am so glad they did! We went to Montrose Beach. We started out at the Bird Sanctuary for some nature shots and then moved on to the beach. We found a patch of beach that we had all to ourselves. It was a hot and muggy day but by the water it was just perfect. The hour went by so fast as the girls were looking for seashells and jumping in puddles. I loved, loved, loved taking these photos. More beach shoots please! Well, maybe once Spring comes around …


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August 27, 2018 by Aline Stern Uncategorized 0

Family Fall Session Dates – everything you need to know plus booking links!

Fall is upon us and I get lots of requests, so I decided this year I will put my left-over dates together and people can book which day works for them.


A few important things to consider:

-My Family Sessions are usually $300 – on those precious weekends between September and December they are $350, weekday shoots are still $300

-My weekends book up FAST so if you want to book a weekend spot, don’t wait!

-I am somewhat flexible on dates and times. If you can only do Tuesdays or Fridays for example, I will see if I can move a session to that day. Also the times in the booking link are “Golden Hour” – that magical hour when the light is the most beautiful and most flattering – I will shoot an hour later in the morning or an hour earlier in the evening – just be aware that in general – this is when you will receive the best results. The only exception is a very dark and overcast day. In that case, we may want to decide the day of to have our session a bit earlier. Anyway – when booking, please tell me time preference!

-I am keeping Sundays free just in case the weather is so terrible that we really can’t find any other day to shoot but I will not book sessions on Sunday otherwise. 

-My mini-sessions are $200, please contact me at for mini-sessions. I usually do mini-sessions before or after a Full session. My premium times are reserved for Full sessions.



Here is the difference between my full and my mini-sessions:

The Full package

This includes a Full session with family and kids, it takes about an hour (depending on how long the kids take to warm up it’s sometimes quicker and sometimes takes longer). We usually start with the posed, looking into camera shots and then move on to more playful poses. I am an “emotive photographer” which means my main goal is to catch true, loving moments and interactions between you and your family. We do this by playing and snuggling and just having a fun time for an hour. You typically receive at least 60 edited pictures both in color and black and white in an online gallery for you to download. You receive the print rights and can print where you’d like but I do also offer professional prints

The Mini-Session

My mini-sessions take about 20 minutes. Those are great if you’d like a holiday card picture or just an updated portrait of your kid. I mostly do mini-sessions at Winnemac Park. Minis can focus on just the kids or family and kids. In those 20 minutes we usually don’t have time to do more emotive shots, so it’s really more the “smile in the camera” kind of pictures.
You receive 10 edited pictures, both in color and black and white.


Here are the links to the booking dates – I require a retainer and the rest of the payment is due on the day of the session!

September Weekend Dates

September Weekday Dates

October Weekend Dates

October Weekday Dates


I can’t wait to see you for Fall pictures!




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