| Del’s Popcorn on Merchant | Rebuilding | Decatur IL |

One of Decatur’s most beloved downtown businesses, Del’s Popcorn on Merchant, recently suffered a fire and has been on the mend. This week I was contacted by Continental Carbonic, to be a part of their rebuild, specifically the dry ice blasting that they began today.

After touring all three floors of this historic downtown building and taking a peek back into it’s history, I cannot wait to see what’s in store for it next. Kemper gave us a full tour and was getting his hands on the dry ice blasting equipment when we left saying that though they estimated 14 days for this portion of the project, they get work DONE and he hoped for it to be done in 10 (that’s my kind of work ethic right there).

I’m excited to look in on them next week for some ‘during’ images and then head back when the work is done to show off what Continental Carbonic’s dry ice blasting can do to restore life back to their building.

Here are just a couple images from my day at Del’s (just a peek outside for now!).

decatur il, illinois, dels popcorn on merchant, dels, fire, rebuild, fire damage, before images, continental carbonic, dry ice blasting, commercial photography, sarah jane, sjp, sjanephotog, sjanephotography, sarah jane photography, architectural photography

decatur il, illinois, dels popcorn on merchant, dels, fire, rebuild, fire damage, before images, continental carbonic, dry ice blasting, commercial photography, sarah jane, sjp, sjanephotog, sjanephotography, sarah jane photography, architectural photography

Daddy Daughter Family Session | Decatur IL | Sarah Jane Photography

daddy daughter portraits, family pictures, family pix, decatur il photographer, sarah jane photography, family photos, outdoor photos, family poses, sjp, sjanephotography, sjanephotog,

This adorable little gal had a birthday this week so in honor of her big day I thought I’d share a few from her session on the blog! Jason wanted a fun session to show his little gal she’ll always be daddy’s little girl even though she’s growing like a weed. They were both so sweet and so fun to photograph. I know the album Jason chose is going to be something very special for her for years to come.

daddy daughter portraits, family pictures, family pix, decatur il photographer, sarah jane photography, family photos, outdoor photos, family poses, sjp, sjanephotography, sjanephotog, daddy daughter portraits, family pictures, family pix, decatur il photographer, sarah jane photography, family photos, outdoor photos, family poses, sjp, sjanephotography, sjanephotog,

Amber | Senior Class of 2014 | Decatur IL

senior pictures decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses


We are right in the heat of senior portrait season for the class of 2015 and before we officially kick off the 2014-2015 school year (in like a month… AHHH) I wanted to let the class of 2014 have a little more time in the spotlight.

To start with, here’s Amber (Mt. Zion High School Senior, class of 2014)… If you follow me on instagram you may remember this from Amber’s session:

senior pictures decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl posesAs you can see we got a little (a LOT) wet on her session when a sudden monsoon hit when we were in the middle of a downtown alley. The rain really snuck up on us and though we tried to wait it out we soon realized there was no way to not get wet (soaked) so we’d have to reschedule the rest of her session… but before we called it a day I asked Amber if she’d be up for just going for it and getting totally soaked for a few images. She didn’t even hesitate to say yes and the images we created ended up being some of their favorites.

Check out some of the senior pictures we created for Amber this summer:

senior pictures decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

| Warrensburg-Latham High School Winter Dance Photos |

warrensburg latham high school 2014 winter dance court, king queen, sarah jane photography, decatur il

Elizabeth of Punch & Sizzle did an amazing job AGAIN painting the heart for the Warrensburg-Latham High School winter formal dance and the ‘snowy’ backdrop was quite fitting as this dance was snowed out once and then called early due to freezing rain the second time! Despite the crazy weather we had a great time creating images for the WLHS students and were so proud to have one of our very own seniors, McKinzy be crowned queen (Congratulations McKinzy!!!).

As I gear up for not one but TWO proms in the next month I thought it would be fun to take a look back at this last dance! I’m so excited to be working with WLHS and Decatur Christian School students to create their prom images. 🙂

warrensburg latham high school 2014 winter dance court, king queen, sarah jane photography, decatur il warrensburg latham high school 2014 winter dance court, king queen, sarah jane photography, decatur il

Lehman Family Portraits | Forsyth IL SNOW Session

family session decatur il, snow session, outdoor family portraits in the snow, forsyth il photographer

You might remember Jaycee’s senior portraits from earlier this year (when it was MUCH warmer!) but we wanted to mix it up a bit for their family session and have a little fun in the SNOW. In honor of yesterday’s random snow flurries here in Decatur and the kick off of baseball season this month I decided to post a little throwback to this winter family session (no body start throwing things at me).

Hopefully the few white flakes we saw last night are the end of this look for awhile! I’m excited to get back out in the warm weather this week!

family session decatur il, snow session, outdoor family portraits in the snow, forsyth il photographer

family session decatur il, snow session, outdoor family portraits in the snow, forsyth il photographer

Fisher Family | Decatur IL Family Portraits | Sarah Jane

Love working with this gorgeous family! These poor guys were amazing on a VERY chilly day and we had a ton of laughs…. their ‘Hollywood’ fake laughs are unbeatable. I’m so excited to have the chance to work with them again for Lucas’s senior portraits. We just planned that session this week and it’s going to be MUCH warmer (whew).

I’m so honored to have had the chance to work with them and create these portraits and can’t wait to design something unique for them again very soon.

family portraits, decatur il, sarah jane photography, urban family portraits, family photos, family pix, location photographyfamily portraits, decatur il, sarah jane photography, urban family portraits, family photos, family pix, location photography

| Decatur IL Small Business | The Secret Garden Florist |

It’s SMALL BUSINESS FEATURE time! This month, I’m so excited to bring you one of Decatur’s finest florists, The Secret Garden. Lori & Michael are so much fun and are really big supporters of growth and development in our area (which y’all know I love). That’s actually how I reconnected with these two in time to bring you their feature this month; we ran into each other at Millikin’s Micro Business Roundtable event last month and with the cold weather out I figured they would be the perfect business to feature in March so we can get a little reminder of the spring beauty that is just around the corner! Well, enough from me, let’s hear from Lori!

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral design

DON’T MISS THIS DEAL JUST FOR SJP READERS: MENTION “SJP” FOR 10% OFF YOUR PURCHASE IN MARCH!

The Details:  Lori & Michael Barrett , Owners/Operators at The Secret Garden | In Business: 25 Years, Lori & Michael purchased the business in January 2010.

Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:30 – 5:00, Friday 8:30 – 6:00, Saturday 9:00 – 2:00, Closed Sunday | Location: 1215 E. Pershing Rd. | Phone: 217-875-9038

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral design

Tell us about your business… What do you do? We make people smile! The Secret Garden is unique in its variety of gifts and offerings. We carry an array of Fresh Flowers, Permanent Botanicals, Green and Blooming Plants, Collectibles, Gifts, Balloons, Tasty Treats, and so much more. You never know what you will find when you come into the Secret Garden. We delivery all of the items we sell to Decatur and the surrounding areas.

Can I just stop to say I LOVE the first sentence of Lori’s reply ‘We make people smile!” She goes on to tell you how they do that, but their focus is truly to make you smile and what better business model is there?!? 

We are also a full service wedding and event florist. Offering full wedding set up, tear down, rental, and on trend designs. For brides on a budget we offer package deals that cover all of their floral needs but help with keeping the costs low. For the DIY bride we offer bulk flowers. We order, inspect, and process the flowers for the Bride. Then they pick up the flowers and create their own wedding flowers.

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designWhat makes your business unique/special? We have 3 Illinois Certified Florists and 1 certified balloonist on Staff at The Secret Garden. This is a certification offered by the Illinois State Florist Association. After completing a series of courses and tests in design, care and handling, wedding and event work, funeral arrangements, and basic business skills the certificate is awarded. Our balloonist attended classes at Burton and Burton in Georgia. She studied techniques, trends, and tips to create balloon arches, sculptures, and more. Her ribbon can be seen on stage at Come Together Lets Walk in June.

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designWhat item or service on your menu or in your shop do you just LOVE and think everyone needs? Flowers of course! If everyone had flowers on their table in the morning or on their desk at work the world would be a happier place. You would not believe the power of a flower. It can comfort the grieving, give hope to the sick, fill a bride with joy, celebrate a moment in time, and make even the gloomiest of days bright.

“You would not believe the power of a flower.” – Lori

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designWhat is the coolest thing you’ve ever had a client do for you? Bring their friends! We are always honored when folks come in and show off our store. They walk around like a tour guide and tell their friends how much they love our stuff. It’s humbling knowing that people love what we do as much as we do.

Amen sister!  It really is an amazing feeling to have someone love your work as much as you do and love it enough to share it with friends and family. 

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designWhat tool/equipment/or other vendor could you not imagine doing business without? Why? Our coolers! Our coolers are essential in keeping our flowers fresh and long lasting. When one goes down it always makes for a long day. Without our coolers we could not do what we do.

What other local business do you just LOVE? Why? Oh wow, this is a tough one. We work with so many it would be impossible to decide. We have partnered with local bakers, photographers, dress shops, and so much more. We believe that supporting small business is the best way to give back to the community. (You all know I agree 100% with that!)

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designIntroduce us to your STAFF…
Carol ~ Shop manager and an Illinois Certified Professional Florist. Carol has worked at the shop for 15 years.

Sheryl ~ She is a Certified Balloonist and lead designer. Sheryl has worked at The Secret Garden for 20 years! Certified Balloonist?!?! My job is fun, but that sounds awesome! How on earth could you have a bad day as a certified balloonist?!? 

The Amy’s ~ Amy H ~ Amy calls herself “lead grunt” she works for major holidays and some Saturdays. She does it all, phone, delivery, and some designing.

Amy G – Our newest staff member – She loves to spread smiles by delivering flowers. She is in training for a sales position and may someday become a designer.

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designTell us about YOU… WHY did you choose to do what you do? Michael and I stumbled into this opportunity and fell in love with flowers. We enjoy working together and seeing our vision take shape.

When did you know you wanted to go into this business? We both worked for corporations in the past. In the evenings we would discuss our day and see the mistakes that big companies make. Not valuing their employees, poor planning, unrealistic goals. We always felt that if we went out on our own we could do things differently and become successful.

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designthe secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designWhat are you passionate about outside of your business? Our kids! We have 3 and they keep us busy when we are not at work. Our “eldest” is in 10th grade at MacArthur, the “middle one” is 6th grade at Dennis and our “Boy” is in 3rd grade, also at Dennis.

Describe your PERFECT day… When you are surrounded by flowers it’s hard not to have good days just about every day. I think we will see a PERFECT day when we retire. We will be able to look back on our business, see the impact on other people’s lives, and know that we did what we set out to do… make people smile!

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral designWell there you have it, a great look inside the shop of The Secret Garden. I highly suggest you make it a point to stop in and see them very soon! As you can see their store is beautiful. One of my favorite parts is the open view of the design area where while you’re browsing you can watch new designs and custom orders being made by these very skilled designers.

You’ll also want to like The Secret Garden Page on Facebook where you can get in on some amazing deals like their $5 Fridays, Birthday celebrations and Name Days!

the secret garden, decatur il florist, small businesses, small business owner, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography.com, sarah jane, sjp, small business feature, millikin small business, micro business network, mbn, micro business, millikin, flower arrangements, gift shop decatur il, central il florist, best florist, send flowers, flower delivery decatur il, florist, floral design

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS:  If you’d like to have your business featured on the SJP blog please visit the following link to download the information/questionnaire form which you can email back to mail@sjanephotography.com. We are now booking for 2014 features and showcase one business each month. Your feature includes FREE 20 minute location shoot by Sarah Jane Photography, blog and facebook feature and web images to use on your online spaces (facebook/website/etc).  Our business features are now also being published monthly at www.redecatur.com!

Download the information here:https://www.dropbox.com/s/urr7zdkh64szon7/MarketingBusinessFeatures.doc

| Zach | Warrensburg-Latham Senior 2014 | Sarah Jane Photography |

senior pictures, senior photos decatur il, senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

I LOVED Zach’s senior session, which we did completely on location at Warrensburg-Latham High School. What better way to commemorate high school senior portraits than to have them AT the high school?! Zach is very involved with his school, and very talented as you can see… he’s appeared in numerous plays and musicals for his school and others and he plays the clarinet (just like I did for a bit in high school) for the school’s marching band.

We had a gorgeous day and a lovely sunset which was the perfect way to finish the session. Only for just a bit did we think we had terrible planning and that there might be a track meat scheduled that we didn’t know about, but luckily the hoards of buses that pulled into the school parking lot as we started the session were full of volleyball girls (whew).

Well, be sure to head over to the Sarah Jane Photography Facebook Page to view Zach’s gallery and be sure to give him a few LIKES so we can post more images.

senior pictures, senior photos decatur il, senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

| Rachel | Senior Pictures Decatur IL | Sarah Jane Photography |

senior pictures, senior photos decatur il, senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

Take a look at a few of Rachel’s favorites from her recent senior session at Sarah Jane Photography! You know we love to go tromping around town for our seniors but sometimes all we need is a quick 45 minutes in the studio and that’s exactly what we did for Rachel. The best part about studio sessions is they can be done anytime throughout the year and we never have rain delays! If you’re a senior looking to beat the rush on senior portraits and get them back before all your friends (but don’t want to freeze outside in this sloshy snowy mess) then now is the time to call and book your studio session.

Brand new in the studio for 2014 I’m excited to have nearly 15 new backdrops to debut. We’ve got everything from classic black/grey to glitzy and glittery, grungy, patriotic and so much more! I’m so excited about what’s new in the studio this year (can you tell).

Well, don’t forget to head on over to the Sarah Jane Photography facebook page to view more of Rachel’s session in her gallery and show her some love with a few LIKES too!

senior pictures, senior photos decatur il, senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

| Jaylan | Senior Photos Decatur IL | Sarah Jane Photography |

Well you can’t tell it from these photos because of how awesome Jaylan rocked his senior session but it was FREEZING! I had two senior guys scheduled for a random cold day this fall (like seriously cold, it snowed!) and both toughed it out and did an amazing job not looking cold.

I loved Jaylan’s style (we had a lot of fun with that hat!) and he was a natural in front of the camera. I was excited to be able to show off his car to add even more personality to his session (there’s nothing quite like a boy’s first car).

Check out a few of our favorites here and be sure to head over to the Sarah Jane Photography facebook page to view more in his personal gallery. And don’t forget to give him some LIKES so we can post even more! senior pictures decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior guys, senior guy portraits, guy poses

| Amanda & Chad | Engagement Photos Decatur IL | Sarah Jane Photography |

Say hello to Amanda & Chad! They are ENGAGED (whoohoo)!!!! I’m so excited about their fall 2014 wedding, and honored to be a part of their big day. Amanda and I hit it off right away and I was thrilled when they decided I was the photographer for them. It was a gorgeous day so we decided to hang out around Allerton Park for their session (just like for Kiersten’s senior session that I posted yesterday).

I love that locations like Allerton offer so much variety that you can have countless sessions there without producing images that look exactly the same. Decatur is full of gorgeous areas to photograph from the parks and lake areas to the downtown city scape and even grungy back alleys, the possibilities are endless.

Be sure to head over to the Sarah Jane Photography facebook page to see more images from Amanda & Chad’s engagement session and check out their personal gallery where you can show them some love and LIKE their images to help them earn more posts.

decatur il wedding, wedding photography, mt zion conference center, country wedding, barn wedding, outdoor wedding ceremony, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotography,, sweet life bakery, shirley's flower shoppe, masonic temple wedding reception, formals of litchfield wedding dresses, springfield il wedding, northfiield inn and suites, springfield il churches, reception halls, springfield il photographer, engagement photos, engagement pictures, couple's pictures,

| Kiersten | Senior Pictures Decatur IL | Sarah Jane Photography |

 

Check out Kiersten’s senior portraits! We spent Kiersten’s session all around Allerton Park. She had fond memories of spending time around the park as a kid and wanted to commemorate that by creating her senior portraits there. It’s such a beautiful place, with a lovely girl and pretty dresses our possibilities were endless! Take a look at some of our favorites below.

I just loved her album design so had to show off one of her layout designs here, but be sure to head over to the Sarah Jane Photography facebook page to view more from her session and browse her gallery to give her a few LIKES so I can post even more! senior pictures decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

| Offermann Family Maternity Portraits | Decatur IL | Sarah Jane Photography |

 

Aren’t these two adorable?!? Ashley enjoys photography too and we first met the first time I was invited to teach at the Decatur Camera Club. The Club is an awesome group of photography enthusiasts and I was excited to be able to work with Ashley for our fall family mini sessions this year!

Fall did come a little late this year but we were able to capture a little of the golden yellow on these trees for this early fall session and, of course, we had to include their gorgeous pup too! These two have now welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family, congratulations to you both!

Head on over to the Sarah Jane Photography Facebook Page and check out their image gallery to show this family some love and give them some LIKES! And be sure to keep an eye out for our fall family mini sessions coming up in early fall 2014!

sarah jane photography, decatur il family photos, family photographer, oreana il, outdoor family portraits, rock springs, portraits at rock springs, rock springs photos, sjanephotography, outdoor family photos, outdoor photos, family poses, what to wear family session

| Chris | Warresnburg-Latham High School Senior 2014 | Sarah Jane Photography

 

Chris was all smiles throughout his senior session, which was awesome! He was so relaxed and had great natural expressions and plenty of laughs when we’d try to get a serious look. 😉 We had a great time hanging around some Decatur alleys near downtown then heading out to Rock Springs for a little more natural look.

Be sure to head over to the Sarah Jane Photography facebook page to view a LOT more from Chris’s session (like really, a LOT, Chris opted for the full facebook collection which means we posted ALL his favorites!).

senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior guys, senior guy portraits, guy poses

| Espinoza Family | Decatur IL Family Portraits | Sarah Jane Photography |

 

Check out this gorgeous family and some of my favorite photos from their recent outdoor family session at Rock Springs. The Espinozas did such a great job coordinating for their session I just pinned them to our ‘What to Wear – Session Styles’ board on Pinterest

The Espinoza family portrait would not have been complete without Oscar (of course all the other family members were must haves too!). I am a big fan of including your pets in every family session, after all they are part of the family! We produced a 30″ framed wall art piece for the Espinozas and, of course, it had to be of one including Oscar. And in my own home, the largest family portraits on my walls include a 50″+ canvas collage including my husband, myself and both our Yorkies, Bear & Lily… our home wasn’t complete in my mind until we had our whole family on our walls. 

sarah jane photography, decatur il family photos, family photographer, oreana il, outdoor family portraits, rock springs, portraits at rock springs, rock springs photos, sjanephotography, outdoor family photos, outdoor photos, family poses, what to wear family session

 

Families, if you’re ready for an SJP Family Portrait in 2014 be sure to call early. Spring and Fall are our most popular seasons for family portraits and we’re already filling fast so if you’re looking to get an SJP Family portrait on the wall this year the time to call is NOW. Contact us at mail@sjanephotograpy.com to book your consultation and start your portrait experience. 

| Brielle | LSA Senior | Decatur IL | Sarah Jane Photography |

Introducing… Brielle, LSA High School Senior 2014! I loved working with Brielle and her mom and we had so much fun start to finish creating these images for her. My favorite part of Brielle’s order is her 30″ canvas portrait (the one in the top middle below). This image was PERFECT for a canvas with the beautiful coloring of the trees/leaves that wrapped perfectly around the canvas. Now with snow outside, I know they can walk by this canvas every day and feel just a little bit warmer!

Check out MORE from Brielle’s session on the Sarah Jane Photography Facebook Page and be sure to give her some love by LIKING her images so I can post more!

senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

| Jaycee | Mt. Zion High School Senior Portraits | Sarah Jane Photography |

 

Check out Jaycee’s senior portraits!! We spent Jaycee’s entire session outside, around downtown Decatur and finishing up at Rock Springs so we could show off her car, which I LOVE! I may have come home after Jaycee’s session and tried to convince my husband that my next car should be a VW Bug (I got shot down so don’t be on the lookout for my sporty new car around town anytime soon).

You all know I love to design albums for my clients (especially seniors) and that was true for Jaycee too, but I’m also very excited about what we designed for her wall (check out that design below).

Be sure to head over to our facebook page to see more from Jaycee’s session and give her some LIKES so I can post even more!

senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

| Erin & Nick | Gorgeous Springfield IL Fall Wedding | Sarah Jane Photography |

I was so honored to be a part of Erin & Nick’s big day! The couple created a simply gorgeous day from venues to dresses, flowers and even weather their day was stunning. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out a few of my favorite images from Erin & Nick’s wedding day (including a couple of their album designs!). Be sure to head over to our facebook page to show them some love!

decatur il wedding, wedding photography, mt zion conference center, country wedding, barn wedding, outdoor wedding ceremony, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotography,, sweet life bakery, shirley's flower shoppe, masonic temple wedding reception, formals of litchfield wedding dresses, springfield il wedding, northfiield inn and suites, springfield il churches, reception halls, springfield il photographer

decatur il wedding, wedding photography, mt zion conference center, country wedding, barn wedding, outdoor wedding ceremony, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotography,, sweet life bakery, shirley's flower shoppe, masonic temple wedding reception, formals of litchfield wedding dresses, springfield il wedding, northfiield inn and suites, springfield il churches, reception halls, springfield il photographer  decatur il wedding, wedding photography, mt zion conference center, country wedding, barn wedding, outdoor wedding ceremony, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotography,, sweet life bakery, shirley's flower shoppe, masonic temple wedding reception, formals of litchfield wedding dresses, springfield il wedding, northfiield inn and suites, springfield il churches, reception halls, springfield il photographer decatur il wedding, wedding photography, mt zion conference center, country wedding, barn wedding, outdoor wedding ceremony, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotography,, sweet life bakery, shirley's flower shoppe, masonic temple wedding reception, formals of litchfield wedding dresses, springfield il wedding, northfiield inn and suites, springfield il churches, reception halls, springfield il photographer decatur il wedding, wedding photography, mt zion conference center, country wedding, barn wedding, outdoor wedding ceremony, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotography,, sweet life bakery, shirley's flower shoppe, masonic temple wedding reception, formals of litchfield wedding dresses, springfield il wedding, northfiield inn and suites, springfield il churches, reception halls, springfield il photographer decatur il wedding, wedding photography, mt zion conference center, country wedding, barn wedding, outdoor wedding ceremony, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotography,, sweet life bakery, shirley's flower shoppe, masonic temple wedding reception, formals of litchfield wedding dresses, springfield il wedding, northfiield inn and suites, springfield il churches, reception halls, springfield il photographer

| Emily | Decatur IL Senior Portraits | Sarah Jane Photography |

You may not be able to tell, because Emily did an amazing job, but it was C O L D for her recent senior portrait session (well not -20 like it has been here in Decatur for the last month, but still cold). Emily loved the layered winter look of her adorable coat and scarf so she was able to stay snuggled up for most of her session until we retreated to the warmth of the studio. This gorgeous gal had incredible expressions and she owned every look.

A big shout out for Katie at Salon 402 for another beautiful job on hair and makeup for Emily. Here are a few of our favorites from Emily’s session but be sure to head over the the Sarah Jane Photography Facebook Page to see more and give her a few likes!
senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

***2015 SENIORS: We’re already booking quickly for March/April and even May so be sure to call early to reserve your session time. Sunset sessions are already all full for March!

| Laney | Decatur IL 2014 Senior Portraits | Sarah Jane |

Check out LANEY!! This girl worked it for her senior session and even threw in a first for me; portraits with not one, but TWO horses. I have to admit photographing horses provided a few new challenges that kept me on my toes but they are such gorgeous animals and within minutes of photographing with them you could see the relationship they have with Laney. Both quickly snuggled into her when put in the new situation with the lights and camera and all the attention on them.

I have to say I’m looking forward to the chance to work with more clients with horses and always suggest we include the things like this that really show off your personality and interests in your session. Laney definitely got a session unlike any other I’ve ever done!

I’m also really stoked about the collages we designed for their home, including the first image below that she’ll be rocking in a 40″ canvas collage! I cannot wait to finish her album, they chose so many awesome images that I cannot wait to show off in a one-of-a-kind album design. (Can you tell I’m excited?!?!).

Thanks for choosing SJP for your senior portraits Laney, I had a blast creating these for you.

senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, horse portraits, senior portraits with horses, senior photos with horses, senior photos, horse photos,  sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

| Decatur IL Family Photographer | Christmas Photos |

This year (well ok, last year) I did something brand new for Sarah Jane Photography! I hosted a one-day mini session event for Christmas portraits at the studio. Since it was the first event we had just a few available spaces and I’m so excited about the beautiful families and little ones we hosted.

Take a look at these adorable families and the gorgeous makeover my fireplace received from the ever-talented Elizabeth from Punch & Sizzle.

sarah jane photography, decatur il photography, family photos, christmas photos, oreana il photographer, photo studio, decatur il photographer, decatur, photos, portrait photographer, portrait studio decatur il, decatur il christmas photos, holiday photos, christmas cards, custom christmas cards, christmas card designs

Decatur IL Small Business: The Perfect Pair Antiques & Salon | Sarah Jane Photography

Its time again for our small business feature, the first of the year since I was gone most of January. I’m very excited to be featuring The Perfect Pair Antiques & Salon… that doesn’t even begin to highlight all the wonderful things this place offers!

I had wondered into Wanda’s shop once before but was re-introduced to this awesome space by Elizabeth VanHoutan (who you might remember from my September small business feature) who hosts her Paint Like Me Parties at The Perfect Pair. It’s come a long way in the past year and I love everything they’re offering right her locally. But Wanda can tell you better than I can so let’s hear from her….

The Details: Wanda Timmons, Owner of The Perfect Pair Antiques and Salon | In business 2 years!

Hours: 10:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday thru Saturday | Or By Appointment

Location(s): 266 N State Rt 121 Warrensburg, IL 62573

And be sure to check out The Perfect Pair Antiques and Salon on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theperfectpairantiques

decatur il small business, the perfect pair, commercial photographs, small business owners, small business advertising solutions, decatur il, warrensburg il, illinois small businesses, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography, decatur il photographer, decatur il commercial photographer, product photography, oreana il photographer, forsyth il photographer

Tell us about your business… What do you do? Our business has taken MANY directions. What started off as a painting business and faux finishing school has turned into a Furniture refinishing, Repurposing of furniture, Paint Classes, Canvas Classes, Paint Parties, Distributor of Faux Effects Silver label paint products and a warehouse full of Furniture Consignment.

What makes your business unique/special? We strive to create a relationship with our customers to make their experience here memorable. Wanda is so detailed in her work and expects the same from her vendors. She wants her furniture pieces to be of such good quality that they can be handed down for generations.

Wanda has just about anything you could possibly imagine at The Perfect Pair… doors, custom painted furniture, antiques, mirrors, windows, frames, and even the kitchen sick! 

decatur il small business, the perfect pair, commercial photographs, small business owners, small business advertising solutions, decatur il, warrensburg il, illinois small businesses, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography, decatur il photographer, decatur il commercial photographer, product photography, oreana il photographer, forsyth il photographer

What item/service on your menu or in your shop do you just LOVE and think everyone needs? Taking one of our Classes and creating a piece of art or learning a paint craft to me is one of the best parts of this business. I love seeing the look on the faces of both young and old when they have learned a new painting skill or created a piece of art.

I’ll have to agree with her on this one! Ryan and I took a Paint Like Me class at The Perfect Pair and LOVED it (yes Ryan loved it too). Our canvas was Christmas themed so we’re going to have to get back in there for another set we can leave up all year round! 

decatur il small business, the perfect pair, commercial photographs, small business owners, small business advertising solutions, decatur il, warrensburg il, illinois small businesses, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography, decatur il photographer, decatur il commercial photographer, product photography, oreana il photographer, forsyth il photographer

In what way have you gone above/beyond in the past for a customer? I strive to take any steps I can to make our customers experience one to walk away from with a since of appreciation. I never want a customer to feel like I don’t have time for them. Whether it be helping load a piece of furniture, taking a package to UPS late in the day, pouring off a small amount a paint product so they can try it out before investing in the larger amounts, adding a custom finish to a piece of furniture or having a custom piece of furniture built.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever had a client do for you? Years ago when I was a painting contractor I had mentioned (one day while working in her home) that all I wanted for Christmas was a set of Christmas dishes and my family thought I was crazy. At the end of that job (several weeks later) she handed me an extra check and said go and buy those Christmas dishes. I went out the next day and bought them and now each year at Christmas I think of her.

decatur il small business, the perfect pair, commercial photographs, small business owners, small business advertising solutions, decatur il, warrensburg il, illinois small businesses, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography, decatur il photographer, decatur il commercial photographer, product photography, oreana il photographer, forsyth il photographer

What tool/equipment/or other vendor could you not imagine doing business without? Why? I have been blessed with many Vendors that I could not run this business without, too many to mention. From the quality of the product they bring in to sell, from the amount of help they provide when I call upon them. Of course, I am also blessed with an amazing Daughter that runs her Hair Salon out of the back of our showroom. Her and her customers in the beginning were the jump-start I needed.

What other local business do you just LOVE? Why? I really enjoy Del’s Popcorn Shop in Downtown Decatur. I love the environment when I go in there and sharing there products with family and friends around the country.  My daughter in laws favorite gift is one of their caramel apples.

decatur il small business, the perfect pair, commercial photographs, small business owners, small business advertising solutions, decatur il, warrensburg il, illinois small businesses, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography, decatur il photographer, decatur il commercial photographer, product photography, oreana il photographer, forsyth il photographer

Introduce us to your STAFF…

Mandi Morlan: She is my right hand when it comes to the social media part of my business. I have seen the business grow so much since I hired her. Her writing skills and dedication to our business has been a true blessing.

Megan Timmons: Megan is not only my daughter but also my best friend and business partner. She is always there to pull up the slack when I need it most.

Mike Timmons: He is not only my husband, but also most of all he is my problem solver and every business needs a problem solver.

Tell us about YOU… WHY did you choose to do what you do? Out of high school I worked at a bank. I started as a messenger and worked my way up to a teller. I loved working with people. I strived to have the customer want to come to my window. I loved seeing them stand in my line to have me wait on them even when there were other windows open. Once I had my children my life long dream was to become the best mother on the face of this earth. After staying home for 4 years and the need for me to the make money for the extras (vacations, ball leagues, Christmas gifts, etc..) I decided after learning to paint and wallpaper my own home that would be the business for me. I would be able to schedule my business around my family. This is when Wanda’s Wallcovering took shape and from there, it turned into Designer Finishes (my faux finishing school and contracting business) and now the addition of The Perfect Pair is the rest of the story…where I still want my customer to choose me when it comes to the services I offer.

decatur il small business, the perfect pair, commercial photographs, small business owners, small business advertising solutions, decatur il, warrensburg il, illinois small businesses, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography, decatur il photographer, decatur il commercial photographer, product photography, oreana il photographer, forsyth il photographer

When did you know you wanted to go into this business? I have said many times in this journey that God has been my guide and lead me in every step and change of my business. I would have never guessed 26 years ago that this would be what I would be doing. I truly believe my purpose in this life is to serve, teach and provide a business for others and myself to prosper.

What are you passionate about outside of your business? Cooking. I love to cook, especially when I am able to cook for my family. Now that my children are grown and some having families of their own, it means so much when I am able to have family dinners together.

decatur il small business, the perfect pair, commercial photographs, small business owners, small business advertising solutions, decatur il, warrensburg il, illinois small businesses, sarah jane photography, sjanephotography, decatur il photographer, decatur il commercial photographer, product photography, oreana il photographer, forsyth il photographer

Describe your PERFECT day…
I would describe the perfect day as one where I could be in my paint room with my granddaughters.  When one of them ask “Memaw can we go to the Paint Shop?” I want for nothing else in this world. It is our playground! Being able to help them create and learn my trade is something I hope to be able to pass down to them.

I hope that when my day on this earth is over that my family and customers will be able to look at the life I have lead and saying she was truly passionate and loved her God, Family, Job and life to the fullest.

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS:  If you’d like to have your business featured on the SJP blog please visit the following link to download the information/questionnaire form which you can email back to mail@sjanephotography.com. We are now booking for 2014 features and showcase one business each month. Your feature includes FREE 20 minute location shoot by Sarah Jane Photography, blog and facebook feature and web images to use on your online spaces (facebook/website/etc). 

Download the information here:https://www.dropbox.com/s/urr7zdkh64szon7/MarketingBusinessFeatures.doc

Maddie | Decatur IL Senior Portraits | Sarah Jane Photography

 

Stunning! That about sums up Maddie … just look a those features!! I had a fabulous time photographing Maddie’s senior portraits and am so excited to share some of our favorites with you. Be sure to stop by our Facebook Page and view her gallery to see more. senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

Carlie | Decatur IL Senior Portraits | Sarah Jane Photography

Check out this lovely senior! I had so much fun with Carlie featuring not only her but her talent as well (check out that gorgeous instrument!). These are just a few of our favorite portraits from Carlie’s session so be sure to head on over to our Facebook Page and check out her gallery!

senior portraits decatur il, maroa-forsyth high school, class of 2014, mfhs, maroa-forsyth, sarah jane photography, sjp, sjanephotog, outdoor senior portraits, senior girl poses

Decatur IL Small Business | Lockhart’s Barber Shop | Sarah Jane Photography

It’s time for our small business feature of the month and this month I’m proud to bring you Lockhart’s Barber Shop! As a lady, I’m not exactly of the shop’s target market but but if you’re a man, woman, or child and you’ve been in the Decatur area recently (and not been under a rock) you’ve probably heard of these guys so I had to see what all the fuss was about. Take a look for yourself at Decatur’s own classic Barber Shop and get a behind the scence look at Brandon (Mr. Lockhart himself) and the rest of his staff…

AND DON’T MISS THIS DEAL JUST FOR YOU: FOR NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY!  MENTION “SJP” FOR A $10 HAIR CUT!

The Details:  Brandon Lockhart, Owner/Operator at Lockhart’s Barber Shop | In Business: One year and three months.     

Hours: Tues-Thurs 9-5, Fri 9-6, Sat 9-3 | Location: 248 West Main Street, Decatur, IL, 62523

 lockharts barber decatur il, small business, sarah jane photography, decatur il small businesses, small business owners, barbershop, men's haircuts, straight razor shave, classic shave, sjp, sjanephotog,   Tell us about your business… What do you do? I own and operate Lockhart’s Barber Shop in downtown Decatur.   What makes your business unique/special? Lockhart’s is one of the few barber shops still offering traditional services, including straight razor shaves. It also has a unique business model with a great deal of ambiance. lockharts barber decatur il, small business, sarah jane photography, decatur il small businesses, small business owners, barbershop, men's haircuts, straight razor shave, classic shave, sjp, sjanephotog,   What item/service on your menu or in your shop do you just LOVE and think everyone needs? Every man should try a hot towel shave at least once!   In what way have you gone above/beyond in the past for a customer? I do my best to go above and beyond for every customer, from the service, to the experience, to the pricing! lockharts barber decatur il, small business, sarah jane photography, decatur il small businesses, small business owners, barbershop, men's haircuts, straight razor shave, classic shave, sjp, sjanephotog, What is the coolest thing you’ve ever had a client do for you? A client gave me a life size cardboard cutout of Betty Page for my barber shop. What tool/equipment/or other vendor could you not imagine doing business without? Why? Definitely the Square application, which allows us to process credit and debit cards from the convenience of our smart phones. lockharts barber decatur il, small business, sarah jane photography, decatur il small businesses, small business owners, barbershop, men's haircuts, straight razor shave, classic shave, sjp, sjanephotog,   What other local business do you just LOVE? Why? I love all local small business!   Introduce us to your STAFF… Matt Cupp and George Burrell work full-time at my barber shop and are both highly skilled in men’s hair cutting and straight razor shaving. lockharts barber decatur il, small business, sarah jane photography, decatur il small businesses, small business owners, barbershop, men's haircuts, straight razor shave, classic shave, sjp, sjanephotog,   Tell us about YOU… WHY did you choose to do what you do? There are 40,000+ Cosmetologists in Illinois and around 4,000 Barbers. I saw an opportunity and went for it!   When did you know you wanted to go into this business? I decided to give this business a shot during the summer of 2010. lockharts barber decatur il, small business, sarah jane photography, decatur il small businesses, small business owners, barbershop, men's haircuts, straight razor shave, classic shave, sjp, sjanephotog, What are you passionate about outside of your business? Family and friends! Describe your PERFECT day… A busy day from start to finish!   We’re not the only ones noticing Lockhart’s … Check out what others had to say:

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS:  If you’d like to have your business featured on the SJP blog please visit the following link to download the information/questionnaire form which you can email back to mail@sjanephotography.com. We are now booking for 2014 features and showcase one business each month. Your feature includes FREE 20 minute location shoot by Sarah Jane Photography, blog feature and images to use on your online spaces (facebook/website/etc). ALL FREE (seriously!). 

LINK: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h3bojuo6ty0cgp0/uZhIqVSO_k