Welcome to Locally Grown! Locally grown introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Mila Aron of Milamemories Photography.
Milo Aron loves to tell stories…with photographs. She can capture the love between siblings. She can make a family look warm and cozy in front of a winter wonderland. She can make a mom-to-be feel beautiful. But she wasn’t always a photographer. Here is her story.
Mila grew up in Wheeling with her older brother and parents. She loved arts-and-crafts projects. Her favorites were paper crafts, especially memory-making ones such as scrapbooking. She also loved animals—she had turtles, iguanas, bunnies, dogs, and birds. She decided to go to school for business administration with the hope of owning her own animal shelter and boarding kennel.
However, after college, Mila went into marketing. And she was successful. But something was missing. It wasn’t until she had kids that she found her niche: photography. When taking photos of her sons, she found that her point-and-shoot camera was not capturing what she wanted it to. So she got a quality camera. And that’s when the magic began.
About three years ago, Mila started her business: Milamemories Photography, based out of Mundelein. Her specialty is photographing moms-to-be, newborns, children, and families. Her goal is to tell a story through pictures. And not all families have the same story to tell. She takes the time to discover what makes each family unique and creates the whole picture—intermingling her own flair with the family’s vision.
Mila describes her style as whimsical and magical. If you visit her website, you will probably agree. Her photos have a fairy-tale feel to them.
When I asked her what pictures people forget to take, she immediately mentioned that mothers are often the ones taking pictures and are missing in the memories. Pictures are kept for generations; your children (and your children’s children) will look at them and remember the special times in their lives. But, mothers, you need to be in these pictures, too!
If you’re like me, you may shy away from being in the picture. I don’t feel I have the right outfit, I’m not good at putting on make-up, I’m completely un-photogenic…Luckily, Mila wants to help you look wonderful. She takes her job very seriously: “Clients are choosing me to capture the images.” Having that ownership really shows in her photos. She’s not taking the typical straight-on, stiffly-posed photos many of us grew up with and fear. Her photos are more personalized. Smiles are genuine. And if you’re still on the fence about being in the pictures, she can help you choose an outfit, loan you a beautiful gown to wear, and even has a make-up artist that can come on set. (She also has beautiful props and outfits for the little ones!)
Mila is often inspired by her sons. She’ll be watching them play and it will spark a great idea for her. One day, when she was playing superheroes with her kids, she even realized a hole in the market: mothers and sons. If you look at portfolios of photographers, there are a lot of princess-like girl photos. But boys and mothers can be captured with the same magic! (And her love of animals hasn’t disappeared. She loves including pets in her photos.)
So where does she take photos? Anywhere! She’s taken them all over Lake County (peek at her glorious backgrounds!). Once she finds your style, she’ll be on the hunt for the perfect location. If it’s in Lake County, she’ll find it! But she doesn’t only take pictures outdoors. She can also take them in a studio or even your home! When I heard this, I panicked, as my house is so far from a show house (one word: kids). But that’s okay. One, she brings tons of things to jazz it up, such as backdrops, lighting, decorative pillows, and even flooring. And two, the photos are so focused on the people, the background just blends into the…background. (However, she took gorgeous photos inside a baby’s bedroom. It not only captured the baby but the essence of the baby’s room. All part of the storytelling.)
Here are some quick tidbits about Mila:
Her favorite spots to take photos in Lake County: Captain Daniel Wright Woods, Lakewood Forest Preserve, and Old School Forest Preserve.
Her favorite spots to dine: Yumi Sushi and Mambo Italiano Ristorante (both in Mundelein).
What her family likes to do for fun: Hike around Lake County. [Check out Little Lake County’s guide for little hikers!]
How she handles her own photos (as in does she have a better system of organizing photos than I do): Times change and systems change. Since it’s unclear where technology will take us, she doesn’t want to lose access to her photos. She prints out family photos and organizes them into albums. She also stores them in Amazon Prime’s Prime Photos app.
It was great getting to know Mila. She is a true inspiration to following her dreams and creating magic.
Mila has a special for Little Lake County Readers:
Disclosure: Milamemories Photography is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County. Contact littlelakecounty[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series.
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