About Velvet Aardvark

Who we are

Velvet Aardvark is brought to you by Dmitriy and Elena Makarov with a little inspiration from their son Vladimir. A husband and wife team, we are looking to share our newfound passion for children’s photography and celebrate the joys of parenthood by creating original, personal and unique photographic portraits of children and families. Specializing in lifestyle child and family portraiture that is simple, natural and full of life, we offer individually-tailored, on-location children's photography sessions in Buffalo Grove and its surroundings. Our simple philosophy is to work together with our clients to create portraits they will cherish for years to come.

Our Approach

We are committed to providing the best service to our clients by tailoring our photography sessions specifically to each child, because every child is unique. We collaborate with families on many levels, working together to capture the child’s personality and create photographs that are truly reflective of the child’s individuality.

Although we prepare and carefully plan each photo session, we know that children can be unpredictable, so we are always ready to improvise.

Some children are camera shy and require more time to get acclimated and forget about being photographed. We don’t mind this because we care about the end result and the extra effort is never wasted. When the child is unconcerned with being photographed and we are able to capture his or her true personality, it is always a delight for us and for the parents.

Why we photograph kids

Velvet Aardvark is passionate about child photography and you should be too. Childhood is fleeting. It would seem that not too long ago your child just learned to hold his head, and today he sits confidently, talks, runs around the yard, goes to school. As time goes by, our memories fade. Recent memories of new experiences replace memories of old ones and little by little only snippets of memories remain of how it really was.

Child and family photography helps preserve memories of childhood and is invaluable for nostalgic trips back in time, whether for parents, kids who have now grown, or their descendants.

Our philosophy

We work together with our clients to create portraits they will cherish for years to come.

Simple, natural and full of life. We strive for simplicity in our photographs, taking conscious steps to minimize extraneous elements in our compositions. We see beauty in the everyday and prefer a candid approach to children's photography, allowing the child to do what comes naturally within a series of scenarios that we create. We try to capture natural action and genuine emotion, letting the vivacious, sparkling and magical world of childhood shine through.

What makes us different

We are selective and only accept a limited number of commissions. This allows us to develop a personal relationship with every client and tailor our sessions specifically to each client's needs.

We strive to get it right in camera rather than relying on Photoshop. We find that less is more when it comes to post-processing. Our post-processing is subtle and does not call attention to itself.

We believe in quality over quantity. Just because our cameras can shoot at eleven frames per second, does not mean we should. We try to be deliberate when we photograph.

We are committed to producing compelling portraits that adhere to the highest industry standards.

Our steadfast commitment to furthering our photographic education through professional workshops, online classes, books and online forum discussions with other photographers translates into our continual improvement and assures that our clients can benefit from the best of current practice.

We serve your family as if it were our own.

Cast and crew

Meet the family behind Velvet Aardvark:



Muse, Location Scout, Foley Artist

Early riser and claymation aficionado. Toy airplane collector. Friends with Elmo. Craves mom's attention, red velvet cake and Artek waffles. Listens to Rammstein. Speaks his mind. Enjoys exploring new places, camping and traveling with family.



Production Manager, Director of Public Relations, Child Wrangler

Mom. Wife. Weekend adventure architect and ringmaster. Loves kids and revels in their endless supply of energy, sincere curiosity and eagerness to explore. Driven but easygoing. Avid cook and baker. Mover and shaker. Excels at basking in the sun and getting things done.



Director of Photography, Lighting Supervisor, Post Producer

Family man and aspiring children's photographer. Enjoys playing golf with Elena, assembling Lego sets with Vladimir, and solving blank-wall problems for others. Sushi muncher. Harley fanboy. Happy camper.