Portraits: bay shore park maternity session, new franken, waiting for baby dax

What a dreamy evening we had for Kori and Dan’s maternity session awaiting the arrival of their first baby, a boy named Dax. The couple was hoping for a waterfront session and after discussing a few options and sharing sample photos, we decided on Bay Shore Park in New Franken. It gave us the opportunity to capture bright, warm golden hour photos in the woods, then take the session down to the bay for a water view. In the heart of summer with a long, warm evening winding down, we thought it would be fun to end the session in the water. Kori and Dan were up for the adventure, and we got the opportunity to photograph the most romantic pregnancy photos with sun-flare and waves splashing on the beach!

Baby Dax is now out and about in the world — smiling and checking off baby milestones! Congratulations, Kori and Dan!

2019 Photography Classes

Here it is — my 2019 photography class line-up! I have one teen class next month and three adult classes over the summer and early fall. Taking Control in Manual Mode is the most comprehensive class for beginners and involves a lot of hands-on learning, detailed visual guides, and practice time as well as one-on-one and group critiques to help you feel confident behind the camera.

Lightroom: A Beginners Guide to Editing Your Images is the most popular class, selling out each year! In this class we will learn about workflow, how to organize your images into catalogs, how to safely store and back-up, as well as how to batch edit your images to save time and make corrections to light, color, cropping, saturation, and more!

Overcoming Difficult Light in Photography is new this year. It’s an intermediate level class for students already comfortable with their cameras. We will talk about difficult lighting situations: bright noonday light, sunsets, back-lighting, strong side-light, and low light, and how to account for them. We will use various tools including reflectors, diffusers, led lights, and flash. This will be a fun introduction to lighting. SIGN UP FOR PSA CLASSES

If these classes don’t cover a topic of interest to you or don’t work with your schedule, contact us about setting up a one-on-one mentoring session where I will tailor content to your skill level and interests, and we can work around your schedule. LEARN MORE

Every year I announce my teaching schedule here first! If you don’t subscribe to the blog, but would like to be the first to see where I will be teaching, enter your information in the sidebar and you will be the first to know! It’s 2019; let’s take the plunge and learn something new!

Portraits: cozy cabin family session, green bay, wisconsin

The new year has rolled around, and we’re busy making plans for next season, but as we do, we have a few favorite sessions left to blog. One of those is Amanda’s cozy log cabin session as part of our Limited Edition Seasonal Sessions we hold each spring and fall. Amanda is our web designer, and very talented, so we’ve had the pleasure of working with her as her photographers and as her clients. This session was her family’s first official family photos and it was a blast! Jameson is smart and funny, full of brilliant ideas, and clearly has lots of love for Amanda and Jason. We loved teasing and joking and making images together! Cheers!

Seniors: soren & erik, downtown green bay, wisconsin

Soren and Erik’s senior session was planned for downtown Green Bay to provide us with an urban landscape for their high school yearbook photos. Twin brothers, Erik and Soren attend Notre Dame Academy where they love to play music, participate in German club, and spend time skateboarding and mountain biking. They liked the idea of a downtown location and we love the clean lines, texture, and creamy neutral tones that photograph so well. With a final year filled with IB classes, their academics are keeping them busy, but will set them up well as they prepare to head off to college next year. Best wishes for the future, Soren and Erik!

Personal Post: crazy sort of love

This wasn’t Juniper’s first Christmas, but it kind of felt like it to us. Last year we were still in the crazy first few months of life with a baby — living on no sleep, recovering from labor, and just keeping our heads above water in the chaos. This year Juniper was able to participate in many of our holiday activities (or at least stay awake for them).

We have a very tradition-oriented family and so there are many things we do together to celebrate the seasons. Sometimes the “season” can be as simple as “that cold boring time” (aka: February — Potawatomi State Park hike) or “that time it’s supposed to be spring, but really isn’t” (aka: March — maple syrup tapping), but when it comes to holidays, it’s even more serious. In December there is St. Nick stocking opening, picking out our trees together, a Christmas day hike in the woods, and watching It’s a Wonderful Life in our pajamas with grasshoppers or hot cocoa in hand. But most important is Christmas Eve, with church followed by dinner and gifts at our grandparents’ house. This is where I’ve always found my Christmas spirit.

Every 24th of December my family attends the candlelight service at Sturgeon Bay Moravian. The tree at the front of the church is covered in hundreds of paper stars and we hold lighted beeswax candles, singing carols and waiting for the last verse of Joy to the World where we all raise our arms up high before extinguishing the flames. As a kid, I remember being sad the moment we had to blow the candles out, holding it just a little longer hoping to preserve that feeling of incredible joy and togetherness. One of the gifts of parenthood is getting to share these traditions with our children — getting to see Juniper mesmerized by the dark church filled with glowing lights, watching her try her first bites of my mom’s homemade pie, and hearing her elated giggles over her favorite toy (the step-stool intended for my office).

As a parent everything is more work, the holidays included. There is more stuff to carry and less arms to carry it with. There are nap schedules and picky eaters to consider, and gone are the uninterrupted board game marathons and quiet evenings under the tree. Instead we look up from our movie to debate whose turn it is to intercept Juniper as she climbs from floor to chair to table to access the bowl of Chex-mix. Everything is more work… but it’s worth it. And I don’t say this as a martyr like “it’s worth it so they can enjoy the holidays” or in an attempt at banking future happiness like “it’s worth it because once we make it through this we can enjoy our family as they grow older”. I mean it’s worth it right now.

If sharing traditions is the gift of parenthood, the power of parenthood is in a crazy form of selective memory. The day might filled with chaos as we discover which toys are small enough to fit in Juniper’s mouth, wrestle and bribe our way through diaper changes, and try to convince her to nap in unfamiliar homes while there is clearly a party happening next door; but when the day is done the only part that remains in our memory is the good stuff.

This past summer when Juniper was cutting her first tooth she had a particularly hard night. She was crabby, awake on and off for hours, and then she was up for the day at 5:00 am. I was exhausted and counting the minutes until 8:00 when I could drop her at the sitter. And the moment I pulled out of the driveway, leaving Juniper behind, I missed her. She kept me up all night, woke me up at 5:00, and I missed her immediately. This is the whole thing in a nutshell. Love makes good stuff more powerful than the hard stuff, even when it’s mostly hard stuff. And parenthood is a crazy sort of love.

So I’ll take the chaos that would normally unnerve me completely; we’ll stress-sweat through our dress clothes and say “no thank you; hand’s aren’t for hitting” for the thousandth time, and we’ll breathe a sigh of relief as we tuck her into bed. But I guarantee you as I lay down to sleep at night, Ben and I will reminisce about the best parts of the day and I’ll be flipping through pictures and videos on my phone, already missing that little girl asleep one room over.

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Pictures above from some of our 2018 Christmas traditions. 

Portraits: bay beach wildlife sanctuary winter family photos, green bay, wisconsin

The skies were bright and the wind was calm for Vicent’s third birthday and family session. We met at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay, which is a favorite spot for the family to explore and feed the birds. Snow had melted and left puddles perfect for splashing in galoshes, and geese and ducks were flying and landing in the water. Vicent has a December birthday and so photo sessions are always on the chilly side, but with their warm wool clothes, boots and scarves, the family kept warm and we enjoyed the morning adventure. I love the candids of him watching the birds, asking questions, and splashing in the puddles! Happy Birthday, Vicent!

Portraits: three generations cozy cabin family session, green bay, wisconsin

Three generations of beautiful women to photograph at a cozy winter cabin? Yes, please! Danielle and her family booked one of our Limited Edition Cozy Cabin Sessions this November as an opportunity to get Hazel’s four year photos done, have images for the yearly Christmas card, and get pictures as a family. Grandmother, Debbie, was along to help out with the pup and jumped in for a few photos with her girls. We loved Danielle’s fur-lined puffer vest and Hazel’s buffalo plaid — too cute! Their session was at the windiest point in the day, but Hazel was tough and a couple car breaks with some hand warmers and a little teasing by Ben helped her make it through. Bentley was his puppy self, happy with the snow and snacks, and pleased to have room to run. The family traveled from Wausau area to Green Bay for their family session and we’re so glad they did!

Portraits: fall family session in seymour, wisconsin

When Ashley and Mike suggested their family’s property for a fall photo session, I had no idea how beautiful it would be. The land has been in the family for years and features a house (still kept in its original style), renovated barn, and many rows of trees, fence, and garden, all perfect for us to photograph. We know Matthew, Blake, and Ellie well, and Ben is all about wild, crazy play that gets kiddos to open up and be themselves during sessions. By the end of the afternoon, all three of them were chasing him in circles and trying to jump on his back (behind the scenes pictures may or may not need to be shared later, lol!) Needless to say, real play means real smiles. The afternoon was a little cool and drizzly, but we had the best time and still got to make great images together. See you next time {R} Family!

Portraits: cozy cabin limited edition session, green bay

A few years ago we stepped away from doing “mini sessions”. One of the main reasons for this was that we felt rushed. If a kiddo took some time to warm up (introverts get it) or a baby needed a bottle break, half our time was already over and we didn’t have room to make exceptions. I felt like we weren’t delivering our best work, so we just stopped doing them altogether.

Then last year, Ben and I dreamed up our own type of session. We asked ourselves what we would want if it was our family, and that’s when we came up with Limited Edition Sessions. Limited Edition Sessions still have the exciting location and exclusive dates, but they also have a spacious time slot (nearly an hour) so we’re not worried about feeling rushed. The long session time alows us to photograph in our favorite way, mixing posed and candid photos and cuing families with activities to help them interact and play. Limited Edition Sessions are also lower cost to allow new clients to “try us out” and families with older kiddos to come back for fun, shorter sessions.

Nicole, Jeff and their family are new to us this year. Their girls, Alex and Quinn, are so sweet and so happy! It was a pleasure getting to know them and make pictures together on that snowy Saturday! Happy Holidays!

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