Jill Hotujec Photography » Blog

Sally and Devon’s Wedding Day ~ MN/WI Professional Wedding Photographer

Sally and Devon chose a May wedding day because they wanted to avoid the hot summer heat but they never expected 10 inches of snow 2 days before their wedding.  We lucked out with warmer temperatures and not a snow storm for their beautiful day and were able to capture many of their photos outside.  The wedding was in Eau Claire, WI and the reception was at Fanny Hill in Eau Claire, WI.  I had so much fun at this wedding and truly enjoyed getting to know Sally and Devon with their planning and on their big day. They are both very intelligent young people who have so much love to share with each other.  I wish you both much love and happiness on this new journey together! Thank you for letting me be apart of your day.


Kaden 3-Year Old Winter Session ~ Twin Cities Minnesota Professional Photographer


I took Kaden’s three-year-old pictures at the Guthrie in St.Paul and then we took some outside ones in Minneapolis.  He never usually wants his picture taken unless I do not have my camera with me.  This was a really short session but he cooperated for the most part and was a total ham for the camera.  I feel the pictures capture many of his facial expressions and his personality.

I always want to share my passions in life through my photography and when I blog about my own child I feel it gives me that “ok” to write.  I try to write from my heart and I am by no means an English major.  As many of you know there are many different stages of parenting and there are moments of challenges and moments of bliss.  Recently with my husband traveling during the week…our weeks have many struggles and moments of pure exhaustion.  I often have to tell myself when Kaden asks me to lay with him for “just 2 more minutes” in bed that there will be a moment that he will not ask for that and a moment he doesn’t want to cuddle with mommy.  I try to take that deep breath through the exhausted feeling of one million things to do then cuddle him and love him.  There is a quote I love that many have heard and just resonates with me because I find it so true…“Having children is deciding forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body”.  There are such raw moments of emotion from when you are pregnant, newborn moments, first giggles, baby toes, milestones and as they grow into toddlers and older children to watch them learn and grow and explore and figure out their space in life and how to be independent and succeed is an emotional observation to make as a parent.  To let them take that leap is always hard to do or to let them gain more independence and not need your hand for that jump or riding their bike…. this is always rewarding and difficult as a parent.  I cried during swimming class watching him swim by himself the first time.  I will cry during a car ride when he says something so sweet and real to me or asks such curious questions.  I will be frustrated and ready to pull my hair out and have to leave the room when he has to go potty or brush his teeth or get a drink of water one more time before bed.  Such a roller coaster ride we are on with these children with our hearts.

As I look back at his pictures of when he was first-born to when he is 3 holds this quote holds so true.  “The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born. Your life, as you know it … is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk … and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life. — Bob, Lost in Translation.  I love it!  I remember driving home with Kaden in a snow storm at night the first night leaving the hospital and we forgot to turn the lights on for the first few miles we drove.  I had a difficult labor followed by a c-section and wasn’t in the best health leaving the hospital and I looked at my husband wondering…I hope we know what we are doing?  The funny thing about parenting that I have learned with each stage is you never truly know exactly what you are doing but you use your morals, God’s strength, your support system, your foundation of how you have been successful to this point and you learn as you go and you somehow figure it out.  If there was a perfect “right” way to parent it would be a book given to you when they were born.  Each child is different and your parenting has to help that child succeed in kindness, manners, spirituality, gaining independence, love, passion and life and we have to help them foster that.  Which leads me to another quote I love… “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. — Anne Frank.

I will leave you with this…it is NOT easy!  I find days and weeks to be struggles and I find it difficult to balance being a wife, parent, work, photography and your own personal health.  I am still looking for that balance in life and I think that just working at that balance each and every week is a step in the right direction.  I have also found over the past year to truly look at “the little moments” in life and breathe them as a sign from God that this is “right” and this “will” work and if you work hard at things in life, you can make it happen.  I always tell Kaden that the words “I can’t” are not allowed in this house.  He has to try first and then he can always ask for help but we have to try in life and work for what we want.  Even if that is as small as putting on your own shoes to getting a promotion at your job to running a marathon, to balancing your every day life and demonstrating your morals and values to your children and family.

There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child. ― Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year

I hope you enjoy my son’s pictures!  Thank you for your support with my photography business and in life!  I love meeting new people and learning from all of you.


Charlotte Turns 1 ~ Minnesota Woodbury Children Portrait Photographer

I have had the pleasure of watching this little one grow from when she was in her moms belly.  Her mom, Dominique, is a beautiful person both inside and outside and her Dad, Travis is wonderful with her too.  It has been fun getting to know your family.  It has been so much fun watching Charlotte’s personality grow…she makes me laugh most of the session every time I see her.  Thank you for the opportunity to get to know your family and capture Charlotte at every milestone age this first year.  I hope to continue to see you and look forward to your new adventures this next year.

Baby Desmond Turns 1 ~ Twin Cities Child Portrait Photographer

I had the pleasure of photographing Desmond as a newborn at their home.  I know how fast children grow but when you are with them as a mother every day I feel like it is such a slow change.  As a photographer when you only see children for sessions it just amazes me.  I feel like I blinked and he was 1-year-old.  We had to reschedule our session due to the family being ill and Desmond was ready to party and have fun when he came to see me for his session.  He is an active little boy who is full of smiles and giggles.  I had so much fun with him and his family and I look forward to seeing him in years to come.


Wow….the difference a year makes….what a handsome charming little boy he is!:)

I love his sweet eye lashes, cheeks, and big beautiful eyes!

What a beautiful family…inside and out!

Seriously…can he get much cuter.  I love his outfit his mom and dad brought!  So perfect for his curly hair and huge smile!

Happy Birthday Desmond!  I hope you keep your charming personality and huge smiles for all your years to come!

They even braved the cold for a family photo outside!  Awwww..so cute!

Rachel - Jill-
Thank you for taking such amazing pictures and most of all for capturing our son’s personality in every shot! We had so much fun!!

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