carrie cheng photography: Blog http://www.carriecheng.com/blog en-us (C) carrie cheng photography carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) Wed, 17 May 2017 16:43:00 GMT Wed, 17 May 2017 16:43:00 GMT http://www.carriecheng.com/img/s/v-5/u214692304-o238788270-50.jpg carrie cheng photography: Blog http://www.carriecheng.com/blog 120 82 Naperville Senior Photographer | Congratulations Class of 2017! http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2017/5/naperville-senior-photographer-congratulations-class-of-2017 Congratulations Class of 2017!  I am so happy to have been a part of your journey. I cannot believe the 2016-2017 school year is winding down and the seniors are having their last day of school TODAY!  

Thank you for choosing me as your senior portrait photographer. I hope you cherish your senior images and I wish you all the best as you move into adulthood.  I wish for all of you that today is the beginning of your all your dreams coming to life.

Now, let your caps fly and the celebrations begin!  

All the best,

Carrie Cheng 

xoxo

 

Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS    Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS Carrie Cheng Photography Senior Class of 2017 Girls Naperville North High School NNHS

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville maternity photographer naperville portrait photographer naperville senior photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2017/5/naperville-senior-photographer-congratulations-class-of-2017 Wed, 17 May 2017 16:41:31 GMT
Horse Racing Photography | Arlington Park http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2017/3/horse-racing-photography-arlington-park A behind the scenes opportunity at Arlington Park Racecourse was more than I could pass up, even if it meant getting up at 5:00 AM.  With the early morning sun lighting the track and stables, the steam rose from the horses nostrils as they thundered down the track.  Sun flares and splashing water from their post workout baths made for a photographers dream. I've wanted my whole life to have an opportunity like this.  I am so happy to have these images to share!  

View the complete set of images here --> www.carriecheng.com/arlington

Carrie Cheng PhotographyArlington Park

 

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2017/3/horse-racing-photography-arlington-park Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:29:20 GMT
Naperville Family Photographer + Mommy and Me Magic http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/12/naperville-family-photographer-mommy-and-me-magic Sometimes, when a family truly lets go and just exists in the moment, magic happens... www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer www.carriecheng.comCarrie Cheng PhotographyNaperville Family Photographer

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) Naperville carrie cheng photography chicago family photographer dallas family photographer flower mound child photographer flower mound family photographer naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville kid photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/12/naperville-family-photographer-mommy-and-me-magic Fri, 30 Dec 2016 21:30:34 GMT
Naperville Senior Photographer | Downtown Senior http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/9/naperville-senior-photographer-downtown-senior There is nothing more flattering than when a long time client drives over 500 miles to have their senior photographs take by YOU! Meet Austin, the face of Have a Happy and a senior of 2017. We skirted a few rain storms and Pokemon Go-ers while we wound our way around downtown Naperville. Thank you Austin for stepping up as my first senior of 2017!  

 

Carrie Cheng Photography Naperville Senior Photography

 

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville maternity photographer naperville senior photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/9/naperville-senior-photographer-downtown-senior Fri, 02 Sep 2016 17:10:42 GMT
Carrie Cheng | Vegetarian Bean + Kale Soup http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/1/carrie-cheng-vegetarian-bean-kale-soup Vegetarian Bean + Kale Soup

This is one of my favorite things to eat as it just FEELS good, TASTES good and does so much good for my mind and body.  You can use just about any type of white bean (like Northern Beans), lentils or black eyed peas. Canned (rinsed) or dried beans (cooked) can be used.  I always use about half a bag of pre-shredded carrots.  They come organic from various grocery stores and are the biggest time saver.  For the Vegetable Stock I used Penzey Spices Vegetable Soup Base.  It is sort of amazing and the key ingredient in all my soups.  I also have started added in Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for a little tang, but mostly for its health benefits.  To make the soup more hearty you can always add a meat or bacon at the end, pre cooked.  Celery is also always a yummy addition.  For sick days, some cooked rice goes amazingly well too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
One large yellow onion (chopped into slices and quartered)
1/2 bag of pre-shredded carrots
1/4 to 1/2 cup pressed fresh garlic
One bunch of Kale
Two cups of dried beans or two cans of beans (white beans, lentils, or black eyed peas work best)
Parmesen rind (optional)
Parmesen (optional)
1 oz. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)

Olive Oil 
1 tsp Thyme
2 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
4 Bay Leaves 

2 tbsp Vegetable Bouillon or Vegetable Stock

 

Preparation
In a large soup or pasta pot pour in enough Olive Oil to thoroughly cover the bottom of the pot.   Warm the oil over medium heat and toss in the bay leaves, garlic, onion and carrots.  Stir together and cook until tender.  

Add in the spices and bouillon together and stir thoroughly.  I add my bouillon at this point as it is MUCH easier to break it up WITHOUT water and I feel like the flavor gets in the vegetable more this way.  Cook for 2 minutes on medium-high, stirring frequently.

Add in enough water to cover the vegetables.   Add in the Parmesen rind (it's the vegetarian soup bone).  If you don't have a a rind, you can put in a half cup or so of shredded parmesan or skip it all together.   Add in the beans.  If you need to add more water or stock, do this now and bring to a full boil.  Throw in the Apple Cider Vinegar now too.  Let everything cook together for 5 minutes.
 
Taste your soup now!   See if you feel it needs more spices or stock or beans.  It is a VERY flexible recipe.  Once you are satisfied, cut the Kale into small strips and mix it into the soup.  Once it cook through your soup is ready!  Add parmesan as desired and EAT!

 
 
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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/1/carrie-cheng-vegetarian-bean-kale-soup Sat, 02 Jan 2016 20:33:06 GMT
Carrie Cheng | Be the Magic http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/1/carrie-cheng-be-the-magic The new year slid in last night while I slumbered away.  In bed, intertwined with my two hot bodied kids for hours before I half woke to the sound of fireworks.  A few final curve balls thrown at us in 2015, setting us up for a strong year filled with purpose, strength and intention.

So many ideas and dreams swirling around in my head, I wish for eternal time.  Now here I stand, we all stand, with an entirely new, clean-slated year ahead of us.  So here we go, together, with the pent up cheer in my head that I so desire to share with you all in the coming YEARS.

For a while now, it has been my dream and goal to BE THE MAGIC.  It is sort of, totally my tag line for my photography (www.carriecheng.com).  
What does that mean?  A lot.

Carrie Cheng Photography Carrie Cheng is a child and family photographer in Naperville.

In my photography the magic is me, creating the scene, the mood, the story, finding the best of you and capturing that in timeless art. Photography for me is magical. I see so much beauty in the world and so much beauty in the people who do and don't step in front of my camera. I see it in children holding on to their parents, the way they embrace, the look in the eye.  The innocence and the fear.  I see joy, I see pain.  I see a proud mom, a charismatic dad. I see it all and I watch... Photography is my passion and one of my main outlet to help others see that magic that lies within.  That is my magic.

The magic is you, taking the risk, making yourself vulnerable in front of the camera.  Listening, trusting what I say and seeing the light shine within yourself.  It is all of us, letting go of the insecurities, forgetting our short comings and finding the best within us.  

The magic is having the courage to be wrong.  It is about looking at things for a new perspective.  It is about having sympathy and empathy and everything in between.  Understanding that we all come from a different place and have different stories to write.  Finding the right angle, changing how we think about things.  Paving the way for our friends, family and children to follow in a world of good instead of one of gossip, guilt and blame.

Be the magic.  Don't rely on others to make you happy. Don't wait for your turn.  Find the light within you that you want to show and make it shine.

2016 for me is all about being this magic.  I want to show everyone the light that shines with in me.  I want to carry that light strongly with me on everyday that I can.  I will have my bad days and obstacles will get in my way, but being the magic is a path I choose.  I am working on several new ways to be the magic and share the light in 2016.  Please stick around a join me and invite everyone you know too!

 

#bethemagic

www.facebook.com/carriechengphotography

www.instagram.com/carriescheng

 

 

 

 

 

 

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) be the magic carrie cheng photography child photographer naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville maternity photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2016/1/carrie-cheng-be-the-magic Fri, 01 Jan 2016 20:50:36 GMT
Naperville Corporate Photographer | a new perspective at Danada http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2015/8/naperville-corporate-photographer-a-new-perspective-at-danada Carrie Cheng PhotographyEquine Photographer Carrie Cheng

Like watching an old movie over and over again, I find something new and interesting each time I see Danada Equestrian Center. With most of the horses off on their morning jaunt, I was forced to take a closer look at the OTHER buildings besides the main barn and I was directed to spend more time with the new horses getting acquanted in the front pastures.  With new horses and the birds that were tailgating them, new rust after a rainy summer, windows open that I had never seen open before and an exceptionally cloudy day giving way to an ocean blue sky I was in adventurers and photographers heaven - discovering the beauty that is always there but not everyone always sees. I'm feeling a bit fuller and more complete having created this set of images.

 

 

Naperville Corporate PhotographerCarrie Cheng Photography www.carriecheng.com Naperville Corporate Photographer Carrie Cheng Naperville Park Photography Naperville Corporate Photographer Carrie ChengTaking a new perspective at Danada.

Carrie Cheng Photographywww.carriecheng.com.

 

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) Danada location naperville child photographer naperville childrens photographer naperville commercial photographer naperville corporate photographer naperville family photographer naperville maternity photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2015/8/naperville-corporate-photographer-a-new-perspective-at-danada Fri, 21 Aug 2015 02:44:39 GMT
Naperville Family Photographer | Where did everyone go? http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2015/8/naperville-family-photographer-where-did-everyone-go Wow, I'm coming up to a year on the last time that I blogged for www.carriecheng.com!  The truth of the matter is that blogging is difficult for me.  I pour so much effort and emotion into finding the perfect words to articulate each session that it takes me away from my art.  The time and thought it takes to blog only punctuates what I love about photography - the art of and ability to capture a whirlwind and world of emotions, love and time in a single image.  A picture IS worth a thousand words and I'd truly rather take more pictures instead of writing about them! 

I fully intend to blog every day when I sit down at my photo editing station (yes, that is my desk), but in reality I get swept away in what I see in the photographs on my computer.  I see the moments happening in those photographs and I can't help but to put the final touches on them and share them with my clients! 

Don't be surprised to see a blog post down the road, but for now please, please, PLEASE follow my micro-blogging on Facebook and Instagram (@carriescheng)!


Carrie Cheng Photography Carrie Cheng Photography is a family and children's photographer in Naperville Illinois. Carrie is also available for weddings, special events, and corporate photography.

 

 

 

 

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer child photographer naperville child photographer naperville corporate photographer naperville family photographer naperville maternity photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2015/8/naperville-family-photographer-where-did-everyone-go Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:34:24 GMT
Naperville Children's Photographer | Goodbye Tucker http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/10/naperville-childrens-photographer-goodbye-tucker It is both a surreal and deflated feeling I have as a mother and as a photographer right now.  What are you to feel when the one of your child's treasures, a horse who shares his name, suddenly dies a painful death?  

Tucker was the cooky little horse among the giant draft horses at Danada Equestrian Center.   He was the little guy who didn't sweat and instead of heading to the pasture with the other horses was often found fanning himself in his stall. He was the lone chestnut among the dark bays and dapple grays.  There are so many reasons for which Tucker stood out at the farm. He was our prize. He was the horse we went to find each time we ventured there.  And yet, when we arrived there yesterday he was gone.   In his place was an empty stall, an empty bridle, an empty food tub.  

Tucker was gone.   As a photographer I immediately began cataloging my brain, trying to organize and remember what photographs I had taken of him.   I remember him in the pasture, I remember him in his stall, I remember him with his fan, but unfortunately I could only remember one photograph I had taken of him.   One.   How was that possible?   He was such an important part of our time there, but I didn't have any more than one photograph of him to remember him by.  No photograph of Tucker the horse with my son Tucker.  No photograph of the peculiar horse with the fan.    No photograph of the little guy in the pasture with the giant draft horses.   I had planned to have these photographs, but I never took them.   My mind is reeling, wishing I had taken more, but I didn't.  In his absence Tucker has left a big sad hole in our hearts but also a big reminder that we need to take photographs of the things we cherish.  Thank you Tucker.

As luck would have it, I did take my camera out to Danada Equestrian Center when we visited there yesterday.  The walls of the stall were lined with decorations, memorabilia, and condolences from Tuckers fan and loved ones.  I fell short of capturing the photos of Tucker I had wanted to, but I could still capture the love that is present in that lonely stall today.  I plan to take my own kids by to say their goodbyes and write a message to our lost friend.  I plan to take pictures.   I plan to take pictures of my kids, my dog, my husband, myself.   I plan to take pictures of the things I cherish and the wonderful memories that we makes.  There is a reason a became a photographer and sometimes it takes sadness and loss to remind us these things.  I challenge you to take more photos too.  And lastly, of course, please contact me to help you capture photos of you and your loved ones

In tribute to Tucker and all those who cared for him, the photos of Tucker and his good-bye messages at Danada may all be downloaded for free from www.carriecheng.com/danada.

Hugs to everyone today.

- Carrie

 

A Tribute of Photos to Tucker, the horse
(these photos may all be downloaded for free from www.carriecheng.com/danada)

 

Tucker in his stall.Tucker, hugs, hearts, and love go out to you.The last time I can remember seeing Tucker before he passed away and unfortunately the only photograph I have of him.

My one photo of Tucker the horse.

 

Tucker's Empty BridleAn empty bridle hangs in an empty stall.An empty bridle hands in an empty stall. Tucker the horse has passed away and Danada Equestrian Center. Our hearts are filled with sadness. Photo by Carrie Cheng Photography the empty bridle that hangs in his stall

 

TuckerA silent goodbye to Tucker the horse.A silent goodbye to Tucker the horse at the Danada Equestion Center. Tucker passed away recently due to a bout with colic and we will sorely missed. Photograpy by Carrie Cheng Photography in Naperville. Tucker's halter and fly mask he left behind

 

A goodbye to Tucker the horse capture by Naperville Child Photographer Carrie Cheng.A goodbye to Tucker the horse capture by Naperville Child Photographer Carrie Cheng. lovely artistry by one of Tucker's fans

 

another lovely picture and message for Tucker

 

the walls of Tucker's tribute stall

 

heartfelt and true

 

<3 Tucker

 

Tucker's goodbye story from the staff at Danada Equestrian Center

 

 a suddenly somber view at Danada with the news of Tucker's passing

 

A friend left behind.  We miss you Tucker!

 

 

 

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer naperville child photographer naperville children's photographer naperville family photographer naperville kid photographer naperville maternity photographer naperville natural light photographer naperville portraint photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/10/naperville-childrens-photographer-goodbye-tucker Thu, 02 Oct 2014 16:07:43 GMT
Naperville Maternity Photographer | Simplicity http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/8/naperville-maternity-photographer-simplicity In addition to photographing children-being-children and the connection between parents and their children, maternity photography ranks right up there as my favorite and most inspirational work.    There is something so serene and beautiful about being alone with the mother to be, directing her and arranging her to find her (and her belly bump's) most stunning angles, in the most amazing natural light, and pulling out the ultimate beauty that exists in this so important time in her life.   Many expectant mothers feel heavy, bloated, and not themselves.   I love being able to show them the true beauty that simply radiates from them.

This particular maternity shoot was no exception.   Set at expectant parents' home, with just the dog in attendance, we spent nearly two hours finding various light around the house and then finding her best angles in that setting.   I doubt there was any way this skinny little mommy-to-be fell big and bloated, but I know she was surprised and elated by the photographs.

Being pregnant is a huge life experience.   Whether a good experience or a bad experience it changes who we are and our bodies forever.   Why not cherish and celebrate this time of unforgettable memories in photographs?  

Naperville family photographyNaperville family photographer and maternity photographer Carrie Cheng.Photographs by Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng of an expectant mother. www.carriecheng.com Naperville family photographyNaperville family photographer Carrie Cheng Photographs by Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng of an expectant mother just weeks before becoming a mom. child photographyNaperville family and child photographer Carrie ChengPhotographs by Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng of an expectant mother and her loyal companion. Naperville family photographyNaperville family photographer captures a beautiful young mother to be.Photographs by Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng of a beautiful young mother to be.

Naperville maternity photographyNaperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng. www.carriecheng.comPhotographs by Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng who specializes in families, maternity, and young children.

Napaerville family photographyNaperville family and portrait photographyPhotographs by Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng.

Naperville family photographyNaperville family photographer. www.carriecheng.comPhotographs by Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng of an expectant young mother.

Naperville maternity photographyNaperville family and maternity photographer Carrie Cheng takes sneak peak at a mother to be.Photographs by Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng of a mother to be.

Maternity photo sessions can be intimate in home shoots or in an outdoor setting in our around Naperville.   Please call or e-mail photographer Carrie Cheng to book your maternity session.

 
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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) carrie cheng photography chicago family photographer naperville child photographer naperville children's photographer naperville family photographer naperville kid photographer naperville maternity photographer naperville natural light photographer naperville portrait photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/8/naperville-maternity-photographer-simplicity Sat, 09 Aug 2014 23:58:15 GMT
Naperville Child Photographer | Living in Color http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/8/naperville-child-photographer-living-in-color Any one who follows my photography, especially on Facebook, knows how I love my black and white.   I love it for the romantic feel it gives the photograph and how it leaves a clean, uncluttered focus on the most important thing in the photograph, the subject.   I use if for drama and to center the audiences attention on the feeling I want to express in a photograph.   Many of my favorite photographs of my own children I have converted to black and white as, to me, it adds to the timelessness of the photos.   

This particular session is one of the few that I felt should be entirely NOT black and white.   It is all about COLOR.  Lot's of it.   From the early summer rich green of the grass to the reds and yellows dancing off the setting sun, this particular family photography session is just brilliant in color.   These color in these photographs accentuate their love, the warmth in their embraces, the joy in them lifting their children in the air.  In the same way black and whites make a photo seem timeless, the color in these photos remind me summer, of childhood memories, of the winding down in the late evening before the kids are off to bed.  Often times before I take a photograph I will know whether I will prefer it in color or black and white and this time I new all along, color!

About the warmth in these photos, this family session was of particular importance to me.   The older son is off to school at Beebe Elementary School in Naperville with my own son this year.   I know the importance of this last summer together before it all begins... their oldest son is growing up.  

I know the parents were also concerned about how their children would be during the photo session, like all parents are.   Despite their parents fears, they boys were both little angels, engaged and enjoying the photoshoot as we played and ran through their beautiful white picket fenced back yard.  It was exactly the way a photo shoot should be.   No yelling at or over directing the kids.  We simply let them be themselves, guided them in certain ways, and as a result we have an a wonderful set of photographs that truly capture the personalities and connections between this family of four.  There were so many great photos from this session that I am tempted to post of all them.   Yes, all of them.  For now, here is a sampling of my favorites.

Naperville child photographerNaperville family photographer www.carriecheng.comNaperville family photographer Carrie Cheng captures the warmth of a young family at their home in Naperville.

Naperville child photographerNaperville family photographer Carrie ChengNaperville family photographer Carrie Cheng captures the warmth of a young family's two young boys.

Naperville child photographerNaperville family photographer Carrie Cheng www.carriecheng.comNaperville family photographer Carrie Cheng captures the bond between a mother and her son.

Naperville child photographerNaperville family photographer Carrie Cheng Naperville family photographer Carrie Cheng captures the love and playfulness between a Dad and his youngest son. Naperville child photographerNaperville family photographer and child photographer Carrie ChengNaperville family photographer Carrie Cheng captures the warmth of a young family as the sun sets in their back yard.

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) carrie cheng photography naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville kid photographer naperville maternity photographer naperville portrait photographer natural light photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/8/naperville-child-photographer-living-in-color Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:38:59 GMT
Naperville Child Photographer | Danada Equestrian Center http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/8/naperville-child-photographer-danada-equestrian-center What started out as location scouting has evolved into a deep love of the Danada Equestrian Center (aka Danada Horse Farm).  From it's rich history which began in 1929 when it was built and founded by Dan and Ada Rice to it's 152-acres of lush pastures and trails (perfect for photography) the Danada Equestrian Center has become a personal pastime favorite for my kids and myself.   It's the place we picnic, the place we wander, the place we waste away time enjoying the long lines of white fences and the open aired barn that once housed a Kentucky Derby winner.  Just a few short miles from my now family home in Naperville, Danada Equestrian Center has become a weekly past time for us.  Located just north of Naperville, in Wheaton, Illinois Dan and Ada Rice built not only the farm, a training track, and starting gate, but their family home.   As a closet horse racing fan and an non-closet admirer of horses, being at the farm is like fulfilling a childhood dream of mine.

Naperville family photographerNaperville family photographer and Danada Equestion Center in Wheaton, Illinois.Captain in his stall at Danada Horse Center in Wheaton, Illinois by family and child photographer Carrie Cheng.

Once a would-be client mentioned she was looking for a barn setting for her family photographs, I set out with my two kids for what would be  several test shoots across the western suburbs.   We started at the big red Barn off of Hobson in south Lisle.   The "Greene Farm Barn" as it is called was so majestic in pictures and offered much potential.  Despite the extensive green lawns of the park that surrounds it, with a concrete bottom, no way to get inside, and signs that read "Keep Away" I didn't see much inspiration in this beautiful barn that just didn't lend itself to pictures of children and families.

Next we ventured to the St. James Farm just north of Naperville in Wheaton, Illinois.  It's beautiful lawns, long sweeping fences and blue blood barn were everything I was looking for.  However, it fell a little short for me as well as farm as the barn was concerned.   Without being able to freely move in and out of the barn and the lack of friendly volunteers (like there are at Danada Farm), it just wasn't quite as versatile as I was hoping for.   I'd still love to do a photo shoot there one day, but Danada hands down won on my favorite location.   

What is it about Danada?   

First, the horses.   Grazing in the pastures, watching their movement, watching them watch us in return.   The power and fluidity in the their strides as they race right up to the fences.   Nostrils flared, throwing their heads in the air.   Their sense of wild un-tameness, but then relenting to the commands and wishes of the volunteers that work with them.   In the arena, lessons, training, listening.   In the barn, we get so close, so much bigger.  They stomp their feet, we take a step back.  The scent, the noises, the excitement.  The getting to know the horses by name, like Tucker the smallest of the horses with the same name as my son but who doesn't sweat and stays in the barn more with his industrial fan blowing on him...

Naperville child photographerNaperville child photographer Carrie Cheng captures Tucker the horse at Danada Horse farm in Wheaton, Illinois.Naperville child photographer Carrie Cheng captures Tucker the horse at Danada Horse farm in Wheaton, Illinois.

The kids.  Running down the paths, finding shade among the trees.   Climbing on the lines of white fences.  Enjoying, learning from the site of the horses in an environment that is much the same as it was nearly 100 years ago.   Leaning over the fence, daring to get closer.   Yearning to be old enough for lessons, to climb aboard the giants and move as one with them.   Climbing on the saddles in the barn.  Pretending to be aboard California Chrome in route to another big win.   Searching for the barn cats, which is often more exciting than the horses.

Naperville child photographerLeaning over the fence to get closer to the horses at Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton, Illinois.Naperville family and child photographer Carrie Cheng photographs the beauty in Danada Equestion Center, just north of Naperville.

Me.   Seeing the light bouncing between the trees.   The way the wind blows the kids (and the horses hair).   The barn, the grass, the flowers.  All these things that make perfect backgrounds for photographs and makes me take in a long deep breath of relaxation.   Yes, the barn and the light. Oh the light... Glowing in through the doors.  Beaming in through the windows.   Backlighting the rows of stalls.   Illuminating the children as they watch and play, as I watch them through the eye of a mother and the lens of the camera.   Seeing the horses, being part of their life, I life I so wanted to be close to as a child.   

Naperville child photographer.Naperville child photographer at Danada Equestion Center in Wheaton, Illinois.Giggles and laughter at the Danada Equestion Center in Wheaton, IL by Naperville child photographer Carrie Cheng.

The volunteers.   Always friendly.  Remembering my childrens' names on only our second visit.   Offering their time for the horses and equally taking the time to stop and talk to us.  Their belief in the cause they give their time to.  A friendly face to a wonderful place. 

Naperville child photographer Carrie ChengNaperville family and child photographer Carrie Cheng at Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton, Illinois.A volunteer at Danada Equestrian Center tends to Tucker. Photographed by Naperville child photographer Carrie Cheng.

Danada certainly is a magical place for me.   It makes me feel alive like a child and allows the children to be themselves, running, exploring, and climbing.  It's these moments I love to watch and love to capture in photographs.   We've spent many a days there this summer and I can't wait for the fall.   I'm always open for a photo session there.

In the meantime, we are off to explore another farm this evening.   We'll be attending the Cabernet Cabaret and the polo fields in Oswego.   Hoping for a good time and a potential new location for photographs ... 

Naperville family photographer.Naperville family and child photographer Carrie Cheng at Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton, Illinois.A mares mane blows in the wind of her fan at Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton, Il. Photographed by Naperville child and family photographer Carrie Cheng

And finally, a video because there are so many photos to share from Danada. Naperville family photographerNaperville family photographer at Danada Farm and Equestrian Center.

 
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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) carrie cheng photography child photographer naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville kid photography naperville maternity photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/8/naperville-child-photographer-danada-equestrian-center Sat, 02 Aug 2014 19:00:23 GMT
Naperville Family Photographer | Singapore Superhero Family http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/6/naperville-singapore-superhero-photography December and January I refocused my photographer on the soul behind it.    My family.   That meant fewer clients and more time to explore.    More time to explore the light, the emotions, and capture the wee details of my little kids before they slipped away.

We spent the holiday season at our home away from home in Singapore, desperately missing our family and traditions at home in Naperville, Illinois.   With only a few more months left with our time in Singapore we're in a tangle of emotions.   Grasping on to the friends and aspects we love in Singapore but yearning for the comforts and routine of our own permanent home.    A lot of my recent posts have been and will be of our lives here.   Celebrating our swan song in Singapore.  

My own kids go through a range of emotions when it comes to having their pictures taken by me (if it's another photographer they are in love with the idea).    With some fresh superhero costumes from Christmas however, it didn't take much convincing to get the kids into our ominous carpark for some serious superhero family photos.   There was some argument over the costume choices, but with our masks in hand and a homemade Optimus Prime costume on my husband we banded together, pushed the shutter button and our superhero family photo was immortalized in time.   It may have taken more than just one shutter push, run, pose, repeat sequence, but the result is fun and reminiscent of our adventures during this time of the kids lives.   Exactly my goal each time I take my camera out.

I'm sure there will be plenty more family selfies before we leave Singapore.    We are certainly looking forward to restarting the chapter of our lives back in the Naperville, Chicago area and bringing Carrie Cheng Photography back to life there.

Watch out Naperville, we're coming.

 

 

naperville portrait photographer naperville portrait photographer naperville portrait photographer naperville portrait photographer naperville portrait photographer naperville portrait photographer naperville portrait photographer

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) carrie cheng photography naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville maternity photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/6/naperville-singapore-superhero-photography Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:48:07 GMT
Naperville Family Photographer | Where the end is the beginning http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/1/naperville-portrait-photographer-where-the-beginning-meets-the-end  

This is where is all began for me.   Photography.   I had the time, but I was running out of it.   My beloved, my dog, my Sigmund was getting older.  I guess I didn't realize how old he was getting as in the end it truly went too quickly.   But this is where is began for me, in the end.

Sigmund was my best friend.   A replacement for a boyfriend that went off to college.   Sigmund followed me to college, then to North Carolina, and then to Chicago.   He was there to meet my husband Brian back in College Station, Texas.   They bonded over peeing in the backyard together, but then fought over me for the next few years.    It wasn't until Chicago that we all truly came together.   Sigmund walked with us on Starbucks runs, Sigmund came along for food order pick-ups.   As he started to get older and his hind end failed him a bit, we took apart the bed and we all slept on the mattress, on the floor.   Sigmund still jumped up on it, not quite understanding he didn't need to anymore.  

chicago portrait photographerMy best friend.In the end, was the beginning.

Brian and I got engaged.   We talked of having a small pretend marriage ceremony in our condo courtyard so that Sigmund could be a part of it.    But the winter was coming.   The days got colder.   Sigmund got older and then he got sick.    He wasn't getting better and then he wasn't eating.   A trip to his local vet sent us to the specialist clinic when a flawed test showed some internal bleeding.    We packed his bed in the back of the Volkswagen Golf and headed to north to the specialist.   They wouldn't let us stay with him during the tests and said it would be a while.    Having not eaten a bite all day, we went off in search for dinner convincing ourselves he was okay.   He wasn't.

The doctor started out with the good news, the other vet had made a mistake.  Sigmund had cancer.   His liver had grown the size off almost his entire abdomen.   With blood transfusions, poking, and prodding we could buy him a small amount of time.  There would be suffering and I had seen him suffer.   I was there where he fell down the stairs because he was too weak to make all five of them.    I was there when he cowered behind me during the cold gust of wind because it was too cold for him.   I was there when all the playing he could do with the neighbor puppy was to stand there and stare.  

Suddenly, it was all there before me.   I couldn't let him hurt anymore.   I couldn't let him struggle anymore.   On his bed the three of us held each other as the doctor administered the drugs.   And all too quickly it was over.   Embraced in my affection, suddenly he was gone.   The last breath of  air released from his lungs as his spirit moved on.    

I don't remember how long we stayed there.   It may have been minutes, it may have been forever.   I just remember the crying, the loss, the aged bottle of Balgownie we had been saving for a special occasion.   All night we cried until sleep finally overtook us.   When the sun came in the next morning, instantly the pain of the night before flooded back in, more crying, more tears.    

I was taking photography classes at the Chicago Photography Center.   I had an assignment due that week.   I didn't want to do it.   I didn't want to go to class.   I didn't want to cry or feel.   But I did it.   I did it of my fiancĂ©.    We embraced the cold day and made our first walk alone down to the park where we would take Sigmund.   With his empty collar and tattered leash in hand we went there to remember him.

Those were some of the first photos I took and still some of the most powerful.   I've since been told and critiqued of their flaws, but they mean so much to me. The pain, the sadness, the emptiness, it's all something I want to remember.   It means I once held on to something important and dear.   It means I had a great loss.   I want to remember that.  As much as I didn't want to hurt, I wanted to remember it with every ounce of my being.  It means he was never truly or completely lost.    This is photography.   

This is where is started for me.   Capturing raw emotion, coupled it in the right setting, the right light, and the effect it has on me is profound.   Capturing a moment, an era, and helping someone remember.   This is why I am a photographer.

chicago portrait photographerAn empty leash.In the end, was the beginning. chicago portrait photographerThe loss of a best friend.In the end, was the beginning.

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) naperville child photographer naperville children portraiture naperville family photographer naperville fine art photographer naperville kid photographer naperville maternity photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2014/1/naperville-portrait-photographer-where-the-beginning-meets-the-end Wed, 22 Jan 2014 03:54:58 GMT
the Singapore project | Taxi Line http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-taxi-line If you live in Singapore you've probably stood in your share of taxi lines.   The short, the long, the waiting game of chance as you wondering which taxi your luck will bring you.   This taxi image is at one of the more glamorous taxi lines at the Marina Bay Sands.   I love the blue light cast on the scene and the rare line of green taxi signs.

singapore family photographerCatching a taxi at the Marina Bay Sands.Catching a taxi at the Marina Bay Sands. Photography by Carrie Cheng.

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) child photographer location naperville child photographer naperville family photographer naperville kids photographer singapore family photographer the singapore project http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-taxi-line Thu, 21 Nov 2013 02:00:00 GMT
the Singapore project | the Road Not Taken http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-the-road-not-taken For some reason as I stare at this photograph taken just off the beaten path of Singapore's Marina Bay, I am reminded of Robert Frost's poem, the Road Not Taken. singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, photography of Singapore Marina BayThe Road Not Taken. The view from down below at Singapore's Marina Bay

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer naperville child photographer singapore family photographer the singapore project http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-the-road-not-taken Tue, 19 Nov 2013 06:30:00 GMT
the Singapore project | the Hottest Job in Singapore http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-the-hottest-job-in-Singapore One of the things I most identify with Singapore is the work force.   Not the business workers, the tough and dirty hard workers you see throughout the streets of the perpetual construction of Singapore.  I'm still in awe on how buildings are constructed using bamboo scaffolding tied together with rope.   During my latest photography walk at the Marina Bay I came across this group working the late hours of the evening to erect a stage.   Such an inspiring site of their strength.   I love the way their hot strobe lights gives the perfect back and rim lighting to accentuate their physique.

singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, photography of Singaporean workersA Singapore worker puts together a stage late in the evening at the Marina Bay singapore family photographer.the Singapore project, photography of Singaporean workersSingapore workers put together a stage late one evening at the Marina Bay.

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer location singapore family photographer the singapore project http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-the-hottest-job-in-Singapore Tue, 19 Nov 2013 02:00:00 GMT
singapore maternity photographer | a family maternity session http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/singapore-maternity-photographer-a-family-maternity-session Cate was nearly a week away from her due date when she approached me for a photography session.    Already having contractions, she was running out of time for a family maternity session while she was pregnant with their third and final child.   As luck would have it I had an opening the very next evening and the Singapore rain held off for the day!   We headed out the East Coast Park and in just over an hours time we ended up with a wonderful mix of photographs from individuals of the kiddos, family shots, fun shots, and of course a few photos where Cate just looked simply stunning.   

It was another session where one of the parents was uncertain over how one of the children would "perform" during the photo session (most parents including me feel this way).   The worry was quickly put aside as both children simply had a great time.   From the giggles, running, and kissing mommy and her beautiful belly we were able to get the best out of everyone.   And the results I have to say are wonderful.   The kids show so much emotion in these pictures.   Their emotions portray the love they all have for each other and simply add to their amazing mother's glow.

Thank you Cate and family for spending the evening with me to create these very special images of this amazing time in your life. 

singapore maternity photographerA brother and sister photographed by photographer Carrie Cheng at Singapore's East Coast park.A brother and sister photographed by Naperville family and child photographer Carrie Cheng at Singapore's East Coast park. singapore maternity photographerA photography session of an expectant mother of three by Singapore maternity photographer Carrie Cheng Naperville children's photographer naperville maternity photographerA photography session of an expectant mother of three by Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng A litttle boy by Naperville children's photographer Carrie Cheng singapore maternity photographerA photography session of an expectant mother of three by Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng at the East Coast Beach in Singapore. singapore maternity photographerThe final family photograph before number three arrives by Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng   singapore maternity photographerLove and laughter by Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng singapore maternity photographerThe calm before baby number three arrives photographed Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng singapore maternity photographerMommy kisses by Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng singapore maternity photographerSoon by Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng   singapore maternity photographerSo much love to go around from this expectant mother of three photographed by Singapore and Naperville maternity photographer Carrie Cheng

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer naperville child photographer naperville childrens photographer naperville family photographer naperville maternity photographer naperville natural light photographer naperville portait photographer singapore family photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/singapore-maternity-photographer-a-family-maternity-session Mon, 18 Nov 2013 07:02:11 GMT
the Singapore project | Singapore's Marina Bay and More http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-singapores-marina-bay-and-more Evening photography is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, especially in Singapore where the day heat and night time lights just push you to want to be out later in the day.   An evening photo session of the renowned light show of Marina Bay was exactly what I had in mind this night.

 

I ventured out to Marina Bay just over a month ago to photograph the typical sights and attractions - the Merlion, the Marina Bay Sands skyline, the Singapore Flyer.    I walked the full view of the Marina Bay taking the customary photographs, but what I was doing lacked inspiration.   It seemed as though I was just photographing what others had photographed hundreds of times before.  I had no special vantage point, no secret angle.   It was just me snapping photographs.   The was nothing special about it.   I wasn't creating art I was just taking pictures of it.   Now I still believe there are some good photographs, but it wasn't quite the vision I was after.   

 

As I took my eyes off the main attractions and wandered a bit off the beaten path, I began to notice some hidden treasures as well as some interesting people that gave me much more of the artistic compositions I was looking for.   Then I guess that was exactly my goal of my Singapore project photo walks, not just to photograph the obvious but to find the hidden beauty in Singapore.   From the concrete to the human, here is the beauty I found in the Marina Bay this evening in October....

 

singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, photography in Marina Bay. Booty Call. Two girls decide their fate for the evening in downtown Singapore's Marina Bay. singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, the Marina Bay Sands skyline.Taking step back to appreciate the Marina Bay Sands skyline. singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, Marina Bay Sands light showThe famous Singapore Marina Bay Sands light show photographed by Carrie Cheng singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, the Merlion at Marina BayThe Singapore Merlion at the Marina Bay singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, Singaporeans at play in the Marina BaySingaporeans at play in the Marina Bay singapore family photographerthe Singapore project, the road not takenThe road not taken

 

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer location naperville family photographer singapore family photographer the Singapore project http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/the-singapore-project-singapores-marina-bay-and-more Mon, 18 Nov 2013 06:01:25 GMT
singapore maternity photographer | this is my dream http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/singapore-maternity-photographer-this-is-my-dream I can't believe it's taken me a month to post these images to my blog.  All the anticipation, the preparation, the photo shoot, the processing...  I think until now the words just hadn't come. 

The vision of this photoshoot came to me one evening nearly three months ago.   Driving in a taxi downtown for a dinner at Koi Sushi (our favorite Singapore restaurant).   We drove past the Singapore Flyer on the ECP like we always do, but for the first time I looked past the lights of the Flyer and noticed Marina Barrage.   Marina Barrage is one of my favorite places in Singapore - the breeze, the view, the kites.   It is an absolutely magically place (especially on a late afternoon with the kids).  Until now it had never dawned on me how gorgeous the view must be at night... assuming there was absolutely zero artificial light at Marina Barrage.   As I looked out my taxi window this fateful evening the answer was right there before me.   Marina Barrage is PITCH DARK in the evening making it the perfect setting for an evening photoshoot capturing Singapore's Marina Bay skyline ablaze in all it's lit up glory.   So the dream (and the planning) began.    

I pulled out my umbrellas, my flashes, my pocket wizards.   I searched for the perfect model.   I tested, I planned, I envisioned.   Fast forward nearly two months and the time had come.   I walked out on the Marina Barrage rooftop that night and was in awe of the vibe.   In was PITCH dark and the view was absolutely unbelievable.  The reflection of the skyline in the water was breathtaking and such a welcomed surprise.   There were enough people there to make you feel safe, but allow us total flexibility in where we wanted to photograph.   It was a photographers' clean slate with an amazing backdrop.    

The photo shoot itself lasted an hour to an hour and a half.  Cate was the model of all models, standing patiently as I shone bright lights in her face and continuously adjusted the lighting.   It all seemed to fall perfectly together, the pieces of the puzzle fit and the results were exactly as I hoped for.   In my dream I envisioned the magnificence of the Singapore skyline juxtaposed AND complimenting the innocence, beauty, and glamour of an expectant mother. That is exactly what turned out. The two fit together perfectly, neither distracting from the other but working in harmony to reflect the others' glow.   This is my vision of maternity photography in Singapore.    For all the transient families it is the perfect memorial of your adventures and life in Singapore and for the residents it is the perfect way to honor your country and the life you have created here.   I can't wait to see what's next and who I get to photograph.

If you are interested in artistic maternity photography, please contact me, Carrie Cheng at carriechengphotography@gmail.com

singapore maternity photographerSingapore maternity photographer.This image of a mother to be was shot a Singapore's Marina Barrage. It was part of dream of photographing a pregnancy using the beautiful Singapore skyline as a backdrop. I singapore maternity photographerSingapore maternity photographer at Marina BarrageThis image is part of my dream to photograph expectant mothers using the beauty of Singapore as a backdrop. A celebration of Singapore and the life it brings. Carrie Cheng specializes in artistic maternity photography in Singapore. singapore maternity photographerSingapore maternity photographer at Marina BarrageThis image is part of my dream to photograph expectant mothers using the beauty of Singapore as a backdrop. A celebration of Singapore and the life it brings. Carrie Cheng specializes in artistic maternity photography in Singapore.

Singapore maternity photographyA Singapore maternity photography session at Marina Barrage.A new mother to be illuminated against the Singapore Marina Bay skyline during a maternity photography session.

Singapore maternity photographerSingapore maternity session at Marina BarrageThe beautiful silhouette of this mommy to be is illuminated by the colors of the Singapore Marina Bay skyline. The vision of my dreams as a photographer come to life.

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carrie@carriecheng.com (carrie cheng photography) chicago family photographer maternity photographer pregnancy photographer singapore family photographer singapore maternity photographer http://www.carriecheng.com/blog/2013/11/singapore-maternity-photographer-this-is-my-dream Thu, 14 Nov 2013 02:30:15 GMT