St. Johns, Botanical Gardens, and Hinterland Brewery Wedding in Green Bay, WI

Green Bay WeddingSt Paul's Church Wedding Bonduel Wisconsin Church wedding green bay photographer Green Bay Botanical Gardens Wedding Green Bay Wedding Photographers Hinterland Wedding Reception Green Bay Wedding PhotographersAshley and Kyle wanted a simple wedding from the very start. When they began planning, the two most important priorities for them were to get married in their home church and invite only their closest friends and family.

Green Bay Botanical Gardens Wedding

The ceremony was beautiful and intimate at St. John’s in Bonduel, Wisconsin. We stopped by Green Bay Botanical Gardens for portraits and had the most beautiful sunny day to roam around. As the couple had no bridal party, it was a relaxing and connecting time for just the two of them.

Hinterland Brewery Wedding, Green Bay

The reception was held in the upper level of Hinterland Brewery with hot hors d’oeuvres, taco bar, and artisan desserts. The mood was lively and joyful and just a fun evening for family and friends to celebrate with the couple. They even gifted their guests bottles of microbrews to take home with custom bottle openers. Such a cute touch! Congratulations, Ashley and Kyle!

Intimate Door County Covid Wedding, Airbnb and Anderson Dock

Door County Airbnb Wedding Covid Pandemic Wedding First look Door County Wedding Virtual Wedding Door County Door County Elopement Photography Small Wedding Photographer Door County Wedding Photographers Airbnb Wedding Door County Anderson Dock Wedding Door County2020 weddings looked a little different. Couples everywhere were put in a difficult situation of swapping venues, cutting guest lists, and putting preparedness plans in place to keep themselves, their guests, and their vendors safe. This was the case for Alissa and Joe’s summer wedding.

2020 Covid Pandemic Wedding

Alissa and Joe’s wedding was always planned to be intimate, but with the pandemic in full swing, an 80 person guest list soon became a 15 person guest list with many close friends and family joining virtually. Alissa and Joe swapped their venue over to an Airbnb in Door County that was perfect to house themselves and their bubble as well as offer beautiful fields, fire pit, and scenery for their outdoor wedding.

The wedding itself was a destination Door County wedding, so unfortunately their parents were unable to make it. Alissa and Joe handled this with grace and scheduled a “Zoom first look” with each of their parents before the start of their ceremony. They were all smiles as their pup sat at their feet, basking in the sunshine.

Door County Airbnb Wedding Photography

We wandered the fields and took advantage of outbuildings for photos. As the ceremony ended, clouds blackened the sky, and everyone was ushered in to sanitize hands and mask up for the sweetest, most intimate reception. There were fairy lights everywhere, and soft music played as friends grilled out and served class Door County treats like Renard’s Cheese Curds and Wood’s Apple Cider Donuts. The entire evening had the feeling of best friends enjoying a weekend getaway. Good food, good conversation.

Anderson Dock Rainy Day Twilight Photos

As the time approached we had scheduled for sunset beach photos, we closely monitored our weather apps and made the on-the-fly suggestion to go at twilight and swap our location from the beach to Anderson Dock in Ephraim. We surmised from the radar that the rain should cut out just as we arrived.

Luckily our hedged bet paid off, and the rain stopped long enough for us to get some moody sky photos and fun candids in front of the graffitied Hardy Gallery before daylight disappeared. It was the perfectly imperfect ending to a perfectly imperfect wedding day.

As an aside, I’d like to thank all the couples we’ve worked with over the last year for making choices that kept us safe and comfortable. It’s because of you that we were able to do what we love most! Thank you.

Personal Post: Juniper Turns Three

Green Bay Photographer Rainbow Birthday PartyLife is different right now. We see less people and go fewer places. Things that used to be general toddler rules — keep your hands to yourself, cover your cough, don’t lick things — are a little higher stakes. Somehow nine months have passed. And as a reminder that time doesn’t stop, Juniper is three.

Where’s my Fashionable Pandemic?

Excuse me while I derail this blog briefly with my strange thoughts… I keep thinking about pandemic movies and how everyone is walking around with full gas-masks and wildly fashionable armor. The camera pans to show the world in upheaval as buildings burn and people fight for resources. There are epic battles and elaborate ways to purify water and some pretty sweet dirt bikes.

I don’t mean to make light of what we’re facing now. Things are ugly. People are dying. And quite honestly, we have no idea what’s coming next. But I just keep thinking about how strange it is to live the part you don’t see in the movies… to be living during the pandemic but not in the pandemic.

Trying to Keep Things “Normal”

Ben and I are privileged to be far from the frontlines in jobs that could be altered to function in these circumstances. I am super aware of this and exceedingly grateful. This gives us distance. And unlike the movies there are not bodies lining the streets and the world has not ceased to have electricity or government. Instead, the bad things are happening in swirls around us and we are in the eye of the storm with threats and worry coming at us in fits and starts. Meanwhile we’re just trying to figure it out as though any of this was something we expected.

Things that were once carelessly easy are now decisions that have to be made, boundaries that have to be set, protocols that have to be established. We are constantly assessing what feels safe and what feels necessary to decide how much risk we are comfortable with. And here’s the clincher: we are doing it while trying to keep things “normal”.

In pandemic movies nobody is logging onto dating apps and trying to decide if it’s safe to meet face to face, nobody is continuing to earn their college degree and adapting to hybrid virtual education models, and nobody is planning birthday parties for their three year olds and trying to figure out how to do it safely and responsibly. But here we are, trying to do normal during the weirdest year.

Happy Birthday, Juniper!

Juniper celebrated her birthday with a rainbow themed party — a sign of the end of a storm when that’s all we’re wishing for. Her grandparents and uncles came by the house and enjoyed cocoa bombs and cake in the backyard, and Juniper unwrapped her presents from a safe distance with her own little propane heater to combat the 40 degree temperatures.

I would have never chosen this party; it would have been too small, too cold, too unimpressive. But it was just as it should have been, filled with sunshine, laughter, and Juniper’s favorite people. Most of all it was filled with gratitude. We are safe and healthy. Not everyone can say that right now. And even though the afternoon ended with longing faces, arms wrapped tightly around ourselves as though we were giving the hugs we so desperately craved, we know how lucky we are.

Cheers to my wild girl, full of boundary-pushing energy and all the words in the English language (at top volume, at 7:00 am). She is all the good things I love best in this world.

Maribel Caves Senior Photos, Wisconsin

Green Bay Senior Photographer Maribel Caves WisconsinWhen Will began planning for his senior session, there was no question on where it would be held. Will loves the outdoors and spends lots of time hiking and hanging out at Maribel Caves County Park in Maribel Wisconsin, just a short drive from his home in Denmark.

Maribel Caves County Park Photography

Aside from enjoying the outdoors, Will is a talented trumpet player and the captain of his soccer team at Denmark High School. We worked each of these things into the session including a few photos with the happiest pup ever.

Green Bay Senior Photos, Denmark High School

Thanks for taking us on a hike with a side of photography on a beautiful early fall day. Enjoy your senior year, Will!

Green Bay Botanical Gardens Senior Photos

Green Bay Senior Photographer High School Senior PhotosWe love when families of high school seniors return! We get to find out what they’ve been up to in their new [grown-up] lives and meet the younger sibling whose turn it is to step into the spotlight. After photographing Ethan, it was Cara’s turn!

Green Bay Senior Photographer

Cara is a fashion lover like myself, so planning her session was extra fun for me! We always discuss clothing during our consults and oftentimes seniors send me pictures of their wardrobe options with questions or seeking feedback. It’s the best. Cara chose a wide range of clothing from casual denim to a blue floral wrap dress (my favorite!)

Green Bay Botanical Gardens

We decided to do the entire session at Green Bay Botanical Gardens because of the great variety it offers — woods, brick, flowers, fountain — it’s got it all! Midway through the session, the clouds grew heavy and we ducked into shelter just in time for rain to fall. Luckily for us it was light and brief and we were able to step back out into a garden made even more vibrant by the rainfall. (I love when things work out like that!)

Rustic Senior Photos in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay Senior Photographer Green Bay High School Senior PhotographerWhen we planned for Bryce’s senior session, I knew a rustic location was a must! We always want to help seniors and their families select a location that feels like them. Senior photos should be unique and customized to the person in the photos. We sent some location options Bryce’s way and he selected a log cabin location in Green Bay and Fonferek Glen which we love for its rustic old granary and tall, grassy fields.

Rustic Senior Photos, Green Bay, Wisconsin

We had great weather for his session. The sun was warm and bright and the evening finished with pink skies. We even got to include photos with his dog and his truck which was extra fun! Congratulations on this milestone, Bryce, and best wishes on everything yet to come!

Green Bay Senior Photographer

Green Bay Author Headshots Photography

Green Bay PhotographerEarly in the pandemic while most of us were baking bread and trying to figure out which store had toilet paper in stock, Abby was writing a book. Abby wrote and completed her young adult fiction novel in just four months and it’s set to be published with Titletown Publishing early next year!

Author Book Jacket Headshots, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Abby and her mom contacted us mid-summer to get headshots ready for her book jacket and future promotional use. We developed a vision for something clean, simple, and with a pop of wardrobe color to help Abby’s creativity take centerstage.

Titletown Publishing Author Headshot

We love working with inspiring young people like Abby! It’s such a joy to be a part of their big dreams even if it’s just in a small way. Best wishes on all your future endeavors, Abby. Can’t wait to read your book!

Anderson Dock Senior Photos, Door County

Door County PhotographerEphraim, Door CountyLauren contacted us looking for a photographer with bright, vibrant color for her destination senior session in Door County. She and her family were traveling into town over Labor Day to spend the weekend with her grandparents in Ephraim. We photograph destination Door County sessions all the time, but usually seniors are from the midwest; Lauren came all the way from Arizona!

Door County Senior Photographer

As we planned her session she talked about how everyone in her yearbook would have neutral photos, photographed mostly in the desert, and she wanted something unique and popping with color. (You don’t have to tell us twice…chasing vibrant colors and creating interesting color relationships is kind of our jam!)

Unique Lifestyle Senior Photos

On the session day, the wind was strong and the waves crashed up and over the pier at Anderson Dock in the heart of Ephraim. Instead of fighting the wind, we used it to our advantage and captured some lifestyle candids of Lauren with glamorous blowing hair. We had gorgeous golden hour light and finished up the session with a sunset. Thanks to Lauren and her family for sharing a bit of their holiday weekend with us! I can’t wait to see your photo albums as they arrive and get packed for their long trip to the southwest. Enjoy your senior year, Lauren!

The Photo I Really Wanted to Share

Green Bay WisconsinI have a vision for everything. I am easily influenced by space and clothing and light and color. I can see how one thing connects to another thing to convey mood and emotion. It’s why I love planning parties and putting together outfits and making art. All of these things use my creativity and my analytical brain to assemble beautiful stories.

Pandemic Pregnancy

When we found out we were pregnant in July, my brain immediately strung all the joy together in neat little rows. An April due date meant sweet pastels for clothing and bunny stuffies for their first Easter basket. It meant late winter maternity photos in a grove of evergreens and announcement photos in an apple orchard (perfect timing as I would be 14 weeks mid-September). Three and a half years seamed like a wonderful age difference, and we talked about what it would be like to share the news with Juniper and how great she would be as a big sister. I was carried away as if this wonderful news were a symphony that lifted me straight through into the future. I could see it all.

I envisioned the nursery – white furniture and a brand new bookcase filled with all the art I had made while pregnant. There would be windows that needed replacing, and we should probably switch Juniper to the larger room, that’s only fair, and maybe the crib would need repainting, and should we get new carpet now before that baby is old enough to crawl or is it better to wait until both kids are grown?

My mind could see it all, but my actions were more hesitant. We didn’t buy the cute baby booties or tell all our friends the news. In fact, I tried to suppress that visioning instinct. After all, it was early. And we had been here before.

Miscarriage / Infant Loss

The tests looked normal, my levels were rising well. I ordered the clothes for our apple orchard session and booked the photographer. Then one day I woke up and I didn’t feel pregnant anymore. Shortly after, I ended up in the E.R. and heard the thing I really didn’t want to hear. I choked on sobs through the double-layered masks I had worn to keep myself and my new baby safe. It was all happening just like before.

At the hospital they wouldn’t let me see the screen or print a photo. I was hearing that it was all over, that there was no heartbeat, but I hadn’t even seen the baby I would never meet. I walked out of there with nothing. No sign that this baby had ever existed, no tangible way of knowing that this baby I had carried for 9 weeks was anything more than a fever dream. And it hurt. There was the hurt of losing the pregnancy I desperately wanted, but there was also the hurt of having nothing to remember them by, of losing this entire future I had imagined for us together.

After more ultrasounds to confirm (with a plea for a photo) and the physical act of miscarrying, our apple orchard outfits arrived.

I folded them up and left them on the dresser. The thing they had arrived to celebrate was no longer happening.

I was grieving. And even with the support of those who love me best and the reassurances of people who had been there before, I felt alone in my grief. I was grateful for my little ultrasound photo, but I was haunted by the fact that I never got to celebrate this baby. Those outfits sat on the dresser as though the life I had planned for myself had been cancelled. And I realized that I wanted those photos. I wanted to celebrate my pregnancy in an apple orchard with my family. I craved a substantial way to hold onto all the joy that this pregnancy had brought us during those 9 weeks in the midst of a pandemic. When there was next to nothing around us that felt good, this baby was our bright spot, here to bring us hope.

Our Bright Spot

So here it is. The photo I really wanted to share.

The vulnerability of the act of sharing makes me uncomfortable. I am not healed; I am still in the middle of this. My impulse is to never let anyone ever know I wanted something I couldn’t have. I worry you will think I’m ungrateful for the child I already have. I fear your pity, or worse, your deep and exposing empathy. But I am writing this because I need to celebrate the best thing that happened to us during this pandemic. Though the time may have been brief, the love is without end.

Read about our first miscarriage: Loving a Baby After Losing a Baby and The Fog of Grief.

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