The Payne Family – Blackburn College – Carlinville, IL Family Photographers

This post – this FAMILY – is very near and dear to our hearts.  Steve has known Mike and Jennifer since they all went to college together at Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL.  Mike and Steve were roommates.  Mike was the best man at our wedding.  Their daughter, Katie, was our flower girl.  These friends are our FAMILY!  When we decided to take a vacation to Chicago, we knew we had to spend a couple of days with Mike and Jennifer.  We had not seen them in about 10 years.  Life goes by way too fast.  We need to slow down and enjoy life more.  We have promised to not let that much time go in between visits, again.  I am going to hold them to that!

While we were visiting, we made a trip to the Saint Louis Zoo – during the rain.  We had a great time!  It was fun to watch Steve and Mike jam themselves onto the little train that travels around the zoo.  It’s definitely not the Disney train at Magic Kingdom!  But, oh the memories!!  🙂  Then, Jennifer wanted family pictures while we were there.  We were discussing locations and I suggested Blackburn’s campus.  Why not?  Mike and Jennifer met there, are graduates and Katie is now attending.  She will be a senior this fall.  It was perfect!

Mike, Jennifer, Matthew, Katie and Mason…

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Just because they love Disney and we thought this would be funny!

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Katie’s boyfriend joined for a few pictures…

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I cannot express how much I love this family.  They are goofy and absolutely love each other!  I am so happy they had such a good time and felt comfortable enough to be themselves in front of our cameras.

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Now for some MAJOR closeups!!!  😉


Hello up there!!!

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Katie – you are beautiful!  You are so smart and such a caring person.  Steve and I are so proud of you and love you to bits!


Matthew – you are one of the kindest people I have ever met.  Stay that way!  We love you and are so proud of you!


Mason – you are the comedy relief for your family.  You are a lot like your father, but sweet like your mother.  Don’t change!


Jennifer – my dear friend.  I love you SO MUCH!!  You are an amazing wife and mother.  Life has not been easy.  But, whoever said it would be?  You are so strong.  Keep your chin up and that smile on your face.

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Mike – what do I say about Mike?  The picture above sums up Mike pretty darn well!  You are so funny.  You are also an amazing husband and father.  You are a true and loyal friend.  We are so appreciative to have you and your family in our lives.

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I love this!


YMCA!!!  The majority of you will not know the backstory for this photo.  For those who would like to know, you can see it HERE…  Our wedding.  Mike is the “policeman”….


This is Hudson Hall.  This is where it all started for the Payne Family!!


Steve & Mike…


Me & Jennifer – How did Steve and Mike get so lucky to be married to two of the most beautiful women in the world?!?!  😉


Mike & Jennifer – thank you SO MUCH for allowing us to capture some pictures of your amazing family!  We love all of you to the moon and back!  We miss you terribly.  We look forward to seeing you, again, sooner anther than later…


Behind the scenes taken by Grace…



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