Easter Preparations | Kayla Lunde – Documentary + Lifestyle Photographer | Chicago + West Suburbs

Every year since having kids I feel like the holidays get closer and closer to what I remember them feeling like as a child. I feel like once I was ‘no longer a child’ but before I had my own, the holidays had lost a bit of that Magic. Sure they were still wonderful and beautiful and filled with new memories with family and friends, but something was missing. There is something about viewing holidays through the lenses of a child that adds so much to those extra special days. For example, the simple act of taking an egg and changing the color of its shell… for years my husband and I didn’t even bother. Once our oldest was at an age in which he could engage in the activity though we jumped at the chance and low and behold probably had more fun than he did! Lol. Every new year seems to bring a little bit more of that magic back for us. Now, watching our children experience the holidays together, well I truly can’t think of anything better than that. There was so much squealing and giggling and giddy excitement on Saturday when we dyed our eggs for Easter morning breakfast. Of course, there were a few tears shed, mainly by the wee one who still struggles to wait his turn and understand the flow of the activity.. but we had an absolute blast together. We dyed 2 dozen eggs but I believe the boys could’ve easily done 20. Next year we may have to do more, or maybe start earlier in the week, we shall see! I’m already nostalgic looking back on these images from just a few weeks ago. I can’t imagine how I will feel in 20 years time, but I am so very thankful to have these images to rummage up past memories for me. I hope your Easter was as blessed as ours. Kayla Lunde Chicago Documentary Lifestyle (8)Kayla Lunde Chicago Documentary Lifestyle (3)Kayla Lunde Chicago Documentary Lifestyle (5)Kayla Lunde Chicago Documentary Lifestyle (6)Kayla Lunde Chicago Documentary Lifestyle (4)Kayla Lunde Chicago Documentary Lifestyle (7)

Well Hello, Baby Eastyn! | Kayla Lunde – Documentary + Lifestyle Photographer | Chicago + West Suburbs

Baby Eastyn is the 6th child and 5th daughter of my good friends from Church. I was just floored when her mommy asked me to come and document her transition into their family! At just three weeks baby Eastyn was already showing us her fiery personality. This little one is not going to be forgotten, that’s for sure! She has five older siblings to keep up with and I have no doubt she will. Big sister Blake was reveling in her opportunity to be a big sister for the first time. I am very excited to see the relationship grow between these two. They already seem thick as thieves. If you are looking to book a session hop on over to my contact info and send me a quick message!

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SPRING 2018 | Kayla Lunde – Documentary + Lifestyle Photography |Chicago + West Suburbs

Spring has sprung and I can hardly believe it! I thought I was going to get so much done this winter… Hmm. Guess it will have to wait! We are eager to get outside but are definitely struggling a bit with our transition from indoor hibernation to our mainly outdoor daily lifestyle. I’m trying to ease us into it as much as possible but transitions are hard on kids (and all of us really) no matter how you go about it. I feel that these in between seasons in the Midwest are particularly difficult because one day we may be outside in jackets playing for hours, and the next day it may be snowing or too windy or cold to be out much. The kids never know what to expect from their day and that can be extremely challenging and frustrating for them, especially since they depend on that consistency and predictability in their day until they are able to comprehend time as well as days, months, and seasons. I try to do as much prep work as I can in the weeks leading up to a big seasonal change, and I do notice that it takes the edge off, but it’s still a struggle. One way I prepped with the boys this year is by talking a lot about the upcoming Spring Equinox. We make sure to celebrate each seasonal change because it is one way which helps kids with the processing component that a transition is about to happen. We also feel that the start of each new season is exciting and something to be grateful for, and thus worth celebrating! This year we celebrated the beginning of Spring by painting pots and planting zinnias. The boys have been asking to make a fairy garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds so this is our first step in the process. The boys really dove into this project and had a wonderful time personalizing their pots (so they can tell them apart) and planting their seeds. They have been caring for them tediously all week and today we notice that two of the pots have sprouted! I am REALLY hoping that third one does too but I already told that little plant daddy that if it doesn’t we will replant some new ones and try again. Keep your fingers crossed for him okay!? Here’s a little glimpse at our activity.

Kayla Lunde Chicago Documentary Lifestyle

Welcoming baby Oliver| Kayla Lunde – Documentary +Lifestyle Photographer | Chicago and West Suburbs

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start my feature blog series with the one who helped start it all! Sweet Ollie’s mama and I went to high school together and have grown so close since becoming mommies. One day, not long before Ollie was born, we were talking while the kids played and somehow we began talking about me doing photography professionally. She has always been a big time supporter of anything I do and I cannot show enough appreciation to her for that. She told me to go for it and I said ‘well, what if I practice on you guys once the baby is here? That way I can just see how I feel about it.” She was all for it and honestly, I had the best time documenting their transition into a family of four.

Now this sweet boy will be 6 months next month and I can hardly believe it! I may have to sneak over for a milestone session… J if you’re reading this consider this my text message! Lol. Everyone else, you’ll have to stay tuned and see if this insanely adorable and precious family makes another appearance..


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Choose Happiness | Kayla Lunde – Lifestyle + Documentary Photographer | Chicago + West Suburbs

My husband and I work hard to teach our children that they are the only ones who have access to their feelings. We teach them that no one can *make* you feel or not feel anything, and that anything you do feel is valid. We teach them that we all have the power to react or not react. And that no one can steal our happiness, but instead it’s something we can choose or choose not to give away. But one can teach all day and all night; we know via research and experience that kids do much better with what they see than what they hear.. Some things are easy to model.. others.. such as holding your tongue when you really want to let loose or choosing happiness instead of wallowing in the offenses of someone who hurt you… are not quite as easy. But children are our best teachers, are they not? And they bring us a multitude of opportunities to be our best selves. They push us to grow and morph into who we desire them to be. They require us to look deep inside ourselves, confront all of our insecurities, weaknesses, and demons. They require more of us, better of us, they require us to find happiness amid the shadows of life. And for that I am grateful. So my friends remember this the next time you find yourself in the dark shadows of life. No one can steal your happiness. Choose to see the light amid all the darkness. And dance in it. ❤️

Kayla Lunde Chicago Lifestyle Documentary Photographer

Why Photography? | Kayla Lunde – Lifestyle+Documentary Photographer | Chicago + West Suburbs

Hello and Welcome!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

I figured I should start out by doing a little introduction post to help you get to know a little bit more about me and my photography journey. I have been fascinated with photography since at least the age of 5. My earliest memories are of running around my family farm with my purple hand-me-down film camera, just snapping away at anything and everything. I still have many of those images today. Most are out of focus and crooked and the majority are literally of the ground or a tree or something, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere am I right!?

I also remember spending hours upon hours looking through old photographs of my parents and grandparents and all of my relatives and their friends. I very much enjoy family history. I love digging deeper into who these people were and what their lives were like. For as long as I can remember I’ve been interrogating my family members (and my husband’s!), craving more and more information, more and more stories. I am a visual learner and I think that’s where the photography came in for me. It is a visual story. It is something tangible that I can hold in my hands an play out the story in my head like an old film reel. I can place myself at the scene and engage my other senses to get a feel for what it may have been like. To this day I get the most joyous explosion in my heart and chest when I sit and look through old photographs; intensified when I’m sitting with someone else and talking through the story of that day. This is exactly where my passion for photography comes from. I want to tell my life’s story in the best, most tangible way I know how.. and for me, that is through photographs. I want to write out the story of my children’s childhood for them in the most detailed narrative I can muster up. I want more than just a few images of each holiday or special occasion, everyone standing in a group or a line and smiling at the camera. Those are great! I have many from my own childhood! I love and cherish them, they are important, and I still do take those images of my own children and family to this day. However, I want more than that. I want my children to flip through their photo albums as adults as if they are flipping through a children’s storybook.  I want it to take them right back to that very moment. Or at least take me back. I want to smell it and feel it; relive it. This is ultimately what drives me and my art. And I am seriously over the moon, to now be offering this to other families. I am also an empath and a giver. Giving and helping others fuels my body and soul like nothing else on this earth. When I do a session for someone I look at it as a gift from me to my client. This ensures that I am putting my heart, my soul, my very best into the session. I want this gift to be something that is loved on and cherished for decades to come. And my hope, my priority, is that this message is easily conveyed to every client I work with.

Like many other momtogs I know, it was after the birth of my first child that my photography journey really took off. Prior to that the idea of telling a story drew me in, but pressing the shutter at any given time was all I really knew. On the day he was born though, telling a strong visual story became the most important part of photography for me. I wanted to capture and hold onto every age, every stage, and every milestone. Even more so, because we were far from our family and that was the only way they could watch my son grow. I wanted them to feel as though they had been there to experience each moment and milestone with us. For about 6 years now I have worked diligently to hone my storytelling ability. It hasn’t been the quickest journey I have to say, and thankfully it is far from over. I love that there is no ceiling to an artists ability to learn and grow. I look forward to each new adventure and exploration in the world of photography. One of the biggest reasons I have decided to take on clients is because of the joy and adrenaline rush it gives me. It’s fueling my growth in a way that documenting the same people in the same environments all of the time just cannot accomplish. And I am excited to see where it will take me.

So here we go… I hope you will jump on my train and ride this journey with me. I hope you stay to watch as I grow and change (hopefully all for the better! hahaha). I hope this post gives you a better understanding of who I am, what my focus is, and Why, Photography.