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  • We are blissfully happy you are here!



    Welcome! We are so glad you are here!! My name is Laurie Nowling and I am the owner and lead photographer at Bliss Eleven Studio. We are a fun boutique studio located on Main Street in historic Saint Charles, MO. We specialize in kids and their families, high school seniors and we LOVE shooting weddings.

    This blog was created to share with you our two favorite types of sessions - high school seniors and, of course, our beautiful weddings. We will also be sharing some of our most inspired kids and family shoots - we love showing off our gorgeous clients. Be sure to check in regularly as we will also be featuring tips and information on how to make the most of your day and how to be beautiful, fresh and photo ready for your shoot. Thank you for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment while you are here, link to us and if you really like what you see, go ahead and pin away!!

Erin & Nick | Chicago Engagement Session | Bliss Eleven Studio

Erin and Nick are getting married at Chandler Hill winery this summer but, they live in Chicago, and they didn’t have to do too much convincing to talk me into an engagement session in their Lincoln Park neighborhood.  It also gave me an excuse to spend some time and shoot with my good friend Sarah of Sarah Melissa Photography who is based right outside of Chicago.

We had so much fun exploring the city and I love that it gave me the opportunity get to know Erin and Nick a little better.  They are so much fun and a city couple through and through.  I can’t imagine doing their e-session anywhere else.   We started out near the Hotel Lincoln where Sarah and I  were staying for the weekend and then hopped in a cab which took us down to the lake where we were able to shoot with the beautiful city skyline in the distance.  We finished up in Nick’s neighborhood where we grabbed some shots in front of his building and at their favorite ice cream shop on the corner.  Aside from the lingering cold (will it ever be warm again?!)  and an unfortunate lost pair of Ray-Bans (sorry Erin!) it was one of my favorite engagement sessions to date.

Erin and Nick thank you for sharing your beautiful city with us and for being so darn cute and easy to work with.  Enjoy your preview!

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The Venus Project 2014

After a long, very stressful day at work I was at a much needed happy hour with my friend and fellow Saint Charles small business owner Jen Estes of Manestream salon. We were talking about how difficult it can be to run a small business and how demanding it can be to be everything to everyone all of the time…..a mom, wife, sister, daughter, boss and a friend. We talked about how busy life can be and how we always tend to put everyone else’s needs before our own. It was that day, over cocktails, that the Venus Project was born. We wanted to start this tradition to focus on appreciating and empowering the hard-working, awe-inspiring women we all know and love and after enlisting the help of some very generous Saint Charles businesses we started our search for the winners of the First Annual Venus Project.

We asked participants to nominate a deserving woman in their community and include a short story about why they deserved a day of pampering. We received some amazing entries and it was beyond difficult to choose because so many of these women were deserving, but we were finally able to narrow it down to our top two winners. They were Kelly Belhman, founder and Executive Director of the Disabled Athlete Sports Association and Ashley Swip, founder of 3 Little Birds 4 Life.

Sisters Sonia and Christina Boirie nominated Kelly Belhman and here is their nomination letter:

I cannot think of a more deserving and selfless person who impacts so many lives in such a HUGE way. Kelly has a degree in Physical Therapy from Maryville University. She has a 17 year old daughter, Alex, and just recently adopted an adorable 5 year old boy, Kyle. Her family is her love and light! She cares for them in a way that is so heartwarming and something rarely seen in the world we live in today. My personal attachment to Kelly is not one of family but of utmost respect, love, and admiration as the coach to my niece, Amaris.

Kelly founded DASA in May of 1997. It has literally been a dream come true for her. Kelly dreamed of an organization that would provide athletic and fitness opportunities to children with physical and visual disabilities. As a Physical Therapist, she understood the need to stay fit. She also understood the need to give disabled children the same opportunity as others. She does not see those children any different as one who may have both feet, both arms, both legs, she sees them all as equals and helps the kids believe that themselves. Her commitment to her DASA kids has no limits, it’s not only about making them good athletes, she cares about the kids daily lives and their families. Her love and support does not stop with the child, she extends that same love, support, and compassion to the families of her children. She understands that her purpose is not just to make the kids see themselves as equals, which allows them reach their full potential, but have families and our community believe it as well.

Our family has witnessed her passion, love, and care for DASA athletes as well as for athletes that are competing against them. I was able to travel to see my niece compete Nationally this year and Kelly was not only supporting her own athletes but those trying to beat her own team. She was up and down those sidelines rooting everyone on, giving out high fives, and coaching anyone who needed her help. For her it’s not about the win … it’s about the support!! Though she might not realize it her support has an everlasting impact on that child’s life and their families as well. That “go, go, go”, the “great job”, or the simple high five means more to them than any medal on a wall or plaque. It is important to Kelly that all the children have the emotional, spiritual, as well as the physical strength to achieve their goals as an athlete and a person. Kelly embraces that with every interaction and her support means more to our family than all the medals money could every buy.

My niece Amaris is now 9 years old and has a strength, confidence, and heart bigger than we could have ever imagined. When you ask her about all her accomplishments, all the medals, all the trophies, and records she holds none of that matters to her. Through her time with Kelly what she has gained is a spirit of resilience. She has learned that she is special even though God didn’t give her two feet. She has taught her that she does not have to walk into a school and fear to be different. That her difference makes her beautiful and if you ask my 9 year old niece she says she is blessed beyond belief even with her foot. Her time with Kelly has helped her mature in a way that most kids don’t and has taught her to value life in a way that inspires us all. Our family is so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Kelly and the impact she has made on our niece and family as a whole is an everlasting one. I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Kelly Behlmann!

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Our second winner, Ashley Swip, was nominated by her sister-in-law, Krista Swip and here is her nomination letter:

In February 2010, my sister-in-law’s brother was diagnosed with malignant melanoma at the age of 28. While he was suffering from depression from the treatments, diagnosis and general lack of independence, Ashley wanted to do something special for him to help him forget for a day. Like we all do, Ashley went to Google in the hopes of finding an organization that could help her grant her terminal brother a wish. To her dismay, there were no organizations that helped the young adult cancer community. Ashley took it into her own hands, hit up some connections at the St. Louis Cardinals and gave her brother a day that did exactly what she wanted – made him smile. Tyler passed away a few months after that day but Ashley never forgot the experience.

A year after Tyler’s passing Ashley decided she had to help others in the same situation and started an organization called 3 Little Birds 4 Life (3littlebirds4life.org). In about two years the organization has granted around a 100 wishes all over the country to young adults with cancers in all different stages.

It is not Ashley’s accomplishments that drove me to nominate her, but rather her absolute and complete humility. There are far too many people that use non-profits or charity work as a way to prove themselves to others, but Ashley started this charity due to a passion and maintains a humility that is almost unheard of for someone who has done so many extraordinary things.

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Both Kelly and Ashley received full cut and color plus hair & make up by Jen Estes of Manestream Studio and a photo shoot with me. Kelly received her fabulous dress, styling, and accessories by Beth Mohr of Lillian’s Boutique on Main Street and Ashley received her adorable outfit, styling and accessories by Nicole Moss of Moss Boutique on Main Street. Both women were also given a gift certificate for a night out in Saint Charles. Kelly’s was donated by Prasino which is located in the Street’s of Saint Charles and Ashley’s was provided Bella Vino on Main Street. We were so grateful for the amazing local businesses that came together to provide a complete day of pampering to the two Venus Project winners. We would like to thank those businesses, those who nominated the winners, and of course the winners for their service to the community.

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Bliss Eleven’s Baby Bump Photo Contest 2014

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Here at Bliss Eleven, we believe the first few days of your newborn’s life are so precious and that is why we are so excited to be giving Moms to be a chance to win a FREE Newborn session and more!

Things you need to know:

  1. It does not need to be a photo taken by a professional photographer.
  2. The winner will be decided by the number of  ”likes” on Facebook, so keep in mind that your photos will be seen by many!
  3. Email your baby bump photo to blisseleven@gmail.com and remember to include your first and last name, plus include a link to your Facebook profile.
  4. Not only will you be receiving a Newborn photo session, but also a CD with the images and a 16×20 Canvas of your favorite image!
  5. Because we want everyone to get a chance to win this amazing deal, we have agreed to extend the deadline to Monday, March 3rd.

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 Check out our Facebook page to view more of our Newborn photography!


Bliss Eleven Baby Bump Photo Contest Voting:

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We are so excited to begin the voting process! Please read this next paragraph carefully as it will include some very important information. All voting for this contest will take place on our Facebook page. An album will be created on Facebook with all the baby bump photo entries we have received. Those who entered our contest are free to share their photo from our album to their Facebook page, HOWEVER, voters must “Like” our Facebook page in order to “Like” the photo they are voting for in the album. Voting will be closed Friday, March 7th. Afterwards, all “Likes” per photo entry will be counted and the winner will be officially announced! Voting begins tomorrow, March 5th! Good luck to all!


The Winner of our Baby Bump Photo Contest is…

After much voting and a close contest, the winner is Megan! She had the most votes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 7th. We are so excited for Megan and we cannot wait to work with her! The response was absolutely amazing and we are so grateful to all who participated either by entering the contest or voting.

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Kate loves Chris | Hermann, MO Wedding | Saint Louis Wedding Photography

Wow! What an fabulous way to kick off the 2014 Bliss Eleven Wedding Season.  Kate and Chris’s wedding was everything I hope all of our weddings this year will be.  It was a day filled with love, family, friends, joy, laughter and one rockin’ party at the end of the day.   Add to that two beautiful people who are so completely in love with each other, a quaint venue in the Hermann, MO hills and a blanket of freshly fallen snow and you have a recipe for some seriously amazing wedding photos.  For me, this wedding was a fresh start to what I know is going to be a wonderful season and watching how sweet and caring Kate and Chris were with each other all day renewed my hope in true love and commitment  (Chris’ reaction to Kate walking down the aisle was the best one yet).   Kate and Chris congratulations to you both.  You are made for each other and I feel truly blessed to have experienced the day with you and even more blessed that you entrusted us with the task of capturing it for you.  :)

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Love is in the air | Bliss Eleven Studio 2014 Wedding Couples

I was downloading and backing up my 2013 files the other day and I got lost in the images of the sweet engagement sessions that I photographed.  These are all couples who will be getting married this year and I am always so happy to have the privilege to work with them before their actual wedding day.  One thing that really stood out to me is that I am so fortunate to be working with couples who are really, truly, madly in love.  I’ve gotten to know them a bit better through this process and it does my heart good to know that, while the wedding and all of it’s details are important, there is nothing more important than the love that they share and that I will be there to capture that for them.  I really do have one of the best jobs in the world! I’ve posted some of my favorite moments captured from these engagement sessions and I’d like to send out a big virtual hug to all of my amazing (and gorgeous) 2014 brides and grooms.  I cannot wait to be there when you marry your best friend!

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