Liz Zorek Photography » Madison, WI based children, family, lifestyle photography

Twelve little girls joined me for a Princess and the Pea styled shoot a couple weeks ago.  I did this shoot in Texas a couple years back and everyone had such a fun time, I decided to do it again here in Madison.  In the weeks leading up to this shoot, you could find me scouting the neighborhood brush piles for appropriately long tree branches to make the ladder, cutting those tree branches in my backyard with a handsaw, driving around with at least two mattresses in my car at any given time, ordering sheets online (why are there not more stores that sell cute crib sheets here? Mystery!), and ironing frilly princess dresses.  Not to mention walking around with gold glitter all over my face and arms from painting and attaching the crown that went around the canopy.  Photography is glamorous, people!

Anyway, after all was said and done, I am in love with how it all turned out.  Now I just have to find a place to store all of these props!

I absolutely LOVE doing styled shoots like this, and am currently scouting locations to do another one of a different theme in July for kids age 5-9.  If you have a little one in that age range and are interested, please check back for a posting in the next few weeks announcing the details.

Thanks so much to the families who brought their sweet girls to Princess and the Pea!


  • Ashley - A friend of mine had her daughter at the princess and the pea shoot! We would LOVE to do something in July! Have you figured out your location and theme? Please let me know! Thank youReplyCancel

    • - Hi Ashley! Thanks for your interest! I’m actually visiting a location tomorrow and hoping to announce details by the end of the week. I will be sure to contact you once I have everything sorted out.ReplyCancel


A few years ago, on one of my first Mother’s Days as a mother, a really good friend sent me this beautiful piece written by Tara Thayer.  I’ve come back to this post over and over again through the years, loving the sweet nuance of her words and the way she seems to perfectly capture this journey of mothering.  Each year, as my own girls grow, it takes on a new meaning for me:

i began as the mother of babes.

and i mean that, for i was born then, too.
all of the me that had begun,
the wonderings and wanderings of my first three decades,
melted away in the faces of those new babies
and i was born anew.

i spent the next decade tending.
and tending, i did well. it was my thing, apparently.

i grew into it, and i loved every minute.
you know that to be a gentle lie.
there were quite a few minutes of awful.  of anguish, even.
and so much comedy, uncertainty, dishevelment.
you know.

but now…
some of my babes are almost grown.
do not kid yourself about how quickly that happens.
do not kid yourself and do not miss a second wishing those
wonderfully intense, delicious early years away.

for it happens even as you are watching them.
they grow.

and as much as you need to lose yourself to care for those newborn babes, those littles-
when they have grown to your size almost-when their feet may be as big!-
it is then that you need to find yourself again.
you need to grow.

for then, as they come upon ten; at twelve maybe…fourteen certainly;
then you must find yourself in order to know how to guide them.  you must be the you
that you want to be,
so that the you they are growing up against and alongside, is the you that you want them to know.

for here’s the thing:

in the end,
what you want for them most of all is to leave you.
to leave your house to become who they will be.
and when they are gone
who do you want to be left with?

my wish is that my own answer
is the me that was born out of mothering them.
and the man that’s loved me all along the way.


I spent the weekend with one of my oldest and dearest friends, featured here.  There’s something so comforting about being with an old friend who’s walked with you from college kid through your seeking twenties and thirties, as you try on the new skin of wife and mother while reconciling it all with where you’ve been and where you want to go.  Life for us both has wandered around, taken us on detours and sometimes thrown up roadblocks, but over midnight drinks or morning coffee, we may as well be 18 again, chatting on a couch in the dorm lounge.

I’m off now to do the final preparations for the Princess and the Pea shoot, taking place tomorrow!  Eleven little girls will be stopping by to join us.  I can hardly wait!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

  • Molly - Beautiful, Liz.ReplyCancel

  • Yolanda - Gorgeous pictures and beautiful sentiments.ReplyCancel

  • laura - love. love. & more love.ReplyCancel

  • Sapna - Liz, thank you so much for all of the time you spent capturing these moments. And more importantly, thank you for your friendship and all of those late night chats! I love you! And you’ll always be my favorite photographer!!ReplyCancel

One of my favorite things about this work is to get to photograph a family through the years as they grow — meeting the new baby, seeing the older sibling walking and talking and imagining and playing, in a place where once I photographed that child at only a few days old sleeping in her mama’s arms.  I went to Chicago last weekend to meet the newest member of this now family of four, whom I also got to photograph when they were a new family of three.  Their easy way with one another, the lovely light in their home, the creativity infused in every corner of their space, and the fabulous colors they chose for the shoot made this whole morning such a joy.

I’ve been wanting to test out the HD video function on my camera for awhile now, and this negative temp Saturday morning seemed like as good a time as ever.  Marie was drawing a picnic scene, complete with hotdog, raspberry lemonade (with ice and a straw!), chips, and a purple cake (of course), and the light was so nice coming in through the kitchen windows.  If you closed your eyes and sat in the sun, you might forget that we’re still weeks away from warmer weather.

Please forgive the imperfect editing — I did it with a four year old on my lap!

Music is “Christmas Day Secrets” from Suzuki Book 1.

I recently created a photo gallery going down one of our staircases, and in the process of choosing which photos to print, I went through literally thousands of photos from the last seven years.  I also came across some videos we took when the girls were younger, from our time in both Chicago and Texas.  Photos are great at capturing details, but video is so powerful at capturing emotion!  When I watch this one back, I can already see myself watching it ten years from now and reminiscing about her little pre-school mannerisms, her sweet little hands, the way she tucked her hair behind her ears, and the fact that my kitchen table is hardly ever free from a pile of crayons and paper these days.