Destination Family Photos at Peninsula Park in Door County

Door County Family Photographer Fish Creek Beach PhotosVacation Photos, Door County

We love photographing in Door County and any chance we can head that direction makes our hearts happy! With high water levels we were worried we would have trouble finding a sandy beach for family photos, but just a little scouting led us to Peninsula State Park. There we found sandy beachfront, long grasses, and a limestone coast. The {K} family was in town for the holiday weekend, traveling from Missouri and wanted to take unique family photos to commemorate their visit and the beautiful scenery in Fish Creek.

Door County Family Photographer

The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed exploring different areas of the park together. Lexi and Ryan did a great job and we even captured a couple photos of Erin and Scott to celebrate their anniversary.

Green Bay Extended Family 50th Anniversary Photos

Extended Family PhotosGreen Bay Outdoor Family Photos

50th Anniversary Photos

Pat and Dayton planned this family session in celebration on their 50th wedding anniversary. They wanted to gather their children and grandchildren together for a nice shot of everyone together, and in the process we also got fun photos of the grandkids together, pictures of them with their three children, and breakdown photos of each family individually. The evening light was perfect and the weather couldn’t have been better at our location at Green Isle Park!

Green Bay Extended Family Photographer

The {H} family is so wonderfully welcoming and Pat and Dayton are full of travel plans and interesting stories. When scheduling when they would like to pick up their album and wall art, we were working around a flight to Ireland, a cruise to Puerto Rico, and a weekend in the northwoods. This family knows what’s important and they make it happen. Congratulations, Pay and Dayton, on 50 years together and cheers to all the big things ahead!

Our Travels to Iceland

Iceland travel photographyhiking iceland babyreykjavik vikWhen you see pictures from Iceland you think “it can’t really look like that, can it?” and somehow it does. While visiting, I found myself snapping pictures of everything in a panic, the way I do when I know I can’t possibly capture something in its entirety. It happens during major changes in Juniper’s babyhood and it happens in moments of great beauty like this.

Reykjavik, Iceland

We didn’t book our tickets because Iceland was our next most longed for county. It was actually that we wanted to take Juniper on her first international trip and after asking around, our well-traveled friends recommended Iceland as an easy, “kid-friendly” destination. We had never been anywhere in Scandinavia, and were intrigued by the black beaches, waterfalls, and culture. The night flight over was shorter than expected, and direct to Reykjavik where we had the cutest two bedroom apartment for Ben, Juniper, myself, and my brother, Josh. We settled in, did our best to adjust to the time change and 22 hours of daylight, and the next day we were off on our first adventures!

Reykjavik is a very walkable city, small and beautiful. Our apartment was near Hallgrimskirkja church which was designed after waterfalls and is very tall and identifiable. Every time we headed uphill toward the church, we were going home, and every time we headed downhill, we were going toward the city center and waterfront. Juniper also adapted quickly. She learned the routine of how we did things there; stand-up showers instead of baths before bed, European high chairs, and Icelandic food were all taken in stride. By day four she knew to go downstairs to get to our apartment when we entered the building. It really was a testament to how adaptable kids are. The heated public pools were Juniper’s favorite part of the city and if there was something I could bring back home with us, that would definitely be it.

The Golden Circle

We took a day trip around the Golden Circle with stops at the Icelandic Horse Center, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Gulfoss waterfall, and the Geyser.  Icelandic horses are famous because the country has not allowed the import of horses for a thousand years (this type of history is astounding to me growing up in the young USA). The breed is small (almost like ponies) but sturdy; I think they look like miniature Belgian work horses. They also grow long hair over their coats in winter and are super friendly. I’m not so much of a horse person, but these horses were more like dogs in their affection and need for scratches. It was Josh’s favorite part of the day.

The waterfalls were beautiful, and we particularly liked Seljalandsfoss because you can walk behind it. The drive itself was amazing with mountains, fields of lupines, and sheep and horses running about without boundaries. Iceland is made for road-tripping, and we were very happy for a baby who does well in carseats and loads of snacks for the long rides.

Icelandic Cottage Life

Other trip highlights include hiking a glacier where we drank straight from the spring and smeared volcanic ash on our faces, taking a puffin sight-seeing cruise (they are so tiny!), seeing the black sand beaches, and exploring Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon by amphibious car (my favorite!). For the last two days of our trip, we rented a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere. To clarify, when I say “nowhere,” I mean this: drove to the last town with a gas station, then drove two hours north until the road turned to dirt, then continued 6 miles, crossed a questionable bridge, scared the living daylights out of sheep who aren’t used to cars, then arrived at cabin and debated if the fog rolling over the hills looked like the start of a horror movie. It’s safe to say I chose the cottage completely based on how beautiful the view would be, and I don’t regret it.

On our last night, we put Juniper down for bed and the three of us gathered up snacks, tea, blankets, and other cozy items and spent the evening on the porch watching a telenovela and the three hour sunset. An hour and a half later I woke up to see the sunrise. It was surreal and magical, just like everything else about the trip.

Toddler Travels

I know many people will read this and think, “Why take an 18 month old on a trip like this when she won’t remember it.” And honestly, I don’t understand. With this logic, I think, “Why take my kid to do anything until she is five and creating substantial memories?”

My “why” is twofold. One reason we are traveling with her young is to teach her skills. We take Juniper to swimming lessons so she learns not to fear the water, we take her to baby gym so she learns balance and coordination, and we take her traveling so she learns adaptability, gets a bigger sense of the world, and develops a love of adventure. These things don’t just appear in our personality when we’re 25 and have saved the money to backpack across Europe; they are learned.

And the other reason is for our own benefit. One of the greatest pleasures of parenthood is sharing new things with our children. Yes the stakes are higher on a six hour flight, but seeing Juniper’s reaction to something as I also experience it for the first time is like a multiplier of joy. We can love something on our own, but we love these things even more when we see someone we love love them. We are blessed to be able to travel and we are more blessed to be able to share it.

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Photos above from our June 2019 trip to Iceland. For details, suggestions when planning your own trip, or licensing information, Contact Us.

Door County Beach Proposal, Ridges Sanctuary

Door County Wedding Photographer Door County Proposal PhotographerI love being in on the secret when it comes to good news like a proposal. It’s even more fun when I know the couple personally. Erick messaged me just a week before he proposed to my cousin, Danielle, saying “I have a question for you…” and right then I knew he was going to ask her to marry him. We planned out the proposal together to get Danielle and her daughter Hazel down to The Ridges Sanctuary Beach under the guise that we were doing family photos over the Fourth of July holiday. But to Danielle’s surprise, just two photos into the session, Erick turned around and got down on one knee.

Door County Surprise Proposal

Before he asked Danielle to marry him, he presented 5 year old Hazel with a miniature version of her mother’s ring and asked her permission. After he got it, he asked Danielle, slid the ring on her finger and gathered them both up in his arms. There was laughter and tears followed by an impromptu engagement session. Congratulations, Danielle and Erick! We wish you a lifetime of happiness!

Door County Wedding Photographer

1920s Styled Wedding at Hotel Northland, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay Wedding Photographer Hotel Northland Wedding Photography Green Bay, Wisconsin Wedding Photographer Hotel Northland Wedding, Green BayStyled weddings are a great way to explore new venues and push the boundaries of wedding trends in the area. They give us the opportunity to sharpen our skills, try out ideas, and collaborate with talented vendors who can build a vision into reality. I’ve been closely following Hotel Northland’s renovation for years, and as an “old soul” with a soft spot for 1920s architecture (we live in a 1924 American Four Square home if you don’t already know), Hotel Northland is a dream wedding venue right here in the heart of downtown Green Bay.

Hotel Northland Wedding

This spring I reached out to Elizabeth who is the event coordinator at Hotel Northland and she was happy to show us around and help make plans for the shoot. Lucky for us, our wedding industry friends here in Green Bay loved our vision for a clean-cut, 1920s inspired wedding in shades of blue and were excited to collaborate. Erika’s bridal had a gown that was not only a perfect fit for the theme, but also a perfect fit for the model, DuBois had a brand new super-slim tux in blue which fit our color story perfectly, Nichole at Petal Pusher created a gorgeous bouquet and an architectural flower crown, Monzu constructed a gorgeous art nouveau cake, Alyssa loaned us an emerald cut ring that is a great fit for the era, and Caroline at Mint completed our vision (as though she were inside my head) like she always does. Toss in a few vintage books and coupe champagne glasses, and we were in business!

Green Bay Wedding Photographers

In our original plan for this shoot we were seeking a bride model with darker features (I always love dark hair with a white dress) but after seeing Emily and Luke’s email come through, we were hopelessly in love with them and knew they would be our couple. Contrary to most styled sessions, we always choose real life couples because I like the natural intimacy. Luke and Emily had a whirlwind romance, loved the 1920s, and were just so cute and in love. We immediately emailed Katie at Erika’s Bridal with our model’s measurements, and through some kind of magic, she had the dress we had already chosen in the perfect size. I love when things align that way.

1920s Gatsby Wedding

This styled wedding at Hotel Northland opened us up to play with a lot of concepts we have been toying with, allowed us to work with vendors we love, and let us explore every square inch of this historic hotel in downtown Green Bay. We are truly blessed to do what we do, the way we love to do it.

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Thank you to our fabulous vendors!

Venue: Hotel Northland Autograph Collection Hotels
Dress:  Erika’s Bridal
Menswear:  DuBois Formalwear
Flowers:  Petal Pusher
H&MU:  Mint Salon
Desserts:  Monzu Bakery
Ring:  Alyssa and Anna Fine Jewelry
Models: Luke and Emily Hoppe

Green Bay Outdoor Family Photos in Lilacs

Green Bay Family Photographer Outdoor Spring Pictures BirthdayEach year we host Limited Edition Sessions with an exclusive theme and location in spring and fall. Although I am tempted to call them “mini sessions”, that doesn’t do a good job of describing what they are. When we were new photographers just starting out, we did “mini sessions” a few times a year, but I hated how rushed everything was. It reminded me of my portrait studio days with ten minute sessions and a boot out the door. The photos were prop-heavy, overly posed, and just didn’t feel like us. We fell away from special sessions for a number of years, and returned with a new concept three years ago — longer times so everyone can settle in and be playful, no cheesy props, and letting the natural work speak for itself by choosing dates and locations that emphasized the beautiful changing seasons we have here in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Green Bay Family Photographer

Our first Limited Edition Spring Sessions in 2017 were in a Door County apple orchard surrounded by blossoms, the next year we offered tulip sessions, and this year I was dreaming of the perfect location in a grove of lilacs. Lucky for us, Alex and her family offered up their home which was landscaped with flowering trees, fruit blossoms, and, of course, lilacs. The location was a perfect match to our vision and the date lined up exactly with peak bloom; it couldn’t have been more perfect! Toward the end of the day we photographed Alex, Jake, and their kiddos at their home among the lilacs. It was a beautiful afternoon to make special memories for a special family.

Outdoor Spring Photos in Lilacs

Police Dog Mattis and Deputy Dennis (Brown County) Photo Session

Green Bay Photographer Green Bay Family Photos PetsWe are “dog people” as most people know just from visiting our about us page where we introduce Pieper (our rescue) as part of the photography team. As such, we photograph pups often and are full of tricks to get them to sit, stay, perk up, and come running when needed. All those skills were unnecessary when it came to Mattis and Deputy Dennis’s photo session this spring. Mattis is a trained K-9 officer for the Brown County Sheriff’s Department and so bribery and teasing were not necessary. He followed every command Nick gave (all of them in German), my favorite of which was platz! where he would just lay down immediately, wherever he was at. He is such a handsome dog and was such a good boy for his session.

K-9 Officer Police Dog Photos in Green Bay Wisconsin

As we finished up the photos, Lizzy joined the session along with their other dog, Callie, and it was funny to see how different Mattis interacted one-on-one with his doggy mom. Whereas with Nick he was at full attention, ears perked, direct eye contact, with Lizzy he had his tongue out, sat lazy to one side, and immediately rolled over for some belly rubs. Mattis lives at home with Nick and Lizzy and it was so obvious how much of a comfort Lizzy is to him. Both dogs did a great job and it was such a fun experience for us!

Limited Edition Lilac Session, Green Bay Family Photographer

Lilacs Spring Photos Green Bay PhotographerI love photographing toddlers. Many photographers dread this age — they like sleeping newborns or well-behaved grade-schoolers best — but I love the energy toddlers bring! There is no “sit and smile”, there is no convincing “cheese”, but there is always big play. We will get down in the grass, we will tickle and tease, we will be our most ridiculous (anyone who has had photos with Ben knows this!) And the reward for getting to their level is unbridled laughs from kiddos who haven’t learned to be self-conscious or “tone it down”. They are completely themselves, making each photograph their own.

Green Bay Outdoor Family Photos

As a mom of a toddler, I know the age is not without difficulty. There are tantrums over which shoes to wear (galoshes every day if you ask Juniper) and there is no logic that can penetrate their sadness when you won’t let them play in the thunderstorm, but the other side of it is little lessons they teach over and over reminding us to be in the moment. Stop and smell the flowers, see that the dandelions are as pretty as the lilacs, and enjoy the time we have with the people we love best.

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Photos above from Joey and the {T} Family’s Limited Edition Lilac Session in Green Bay, WI.

Limited Edition Lilac Session, Spring Family Photos in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay Family Photographer Lilacs apple blossom picturesWhen Nicky contacted us about a family session for herself, her husband, and their little girl, Hayden, she admitted that the last professional photos she had been in were her senior portraits. Sometimes people are afraid to tell us the last time they had photos, but we know what it’s like to be a parent, and we know how time can fly by and how easy it is to wait for the “perfect time” — when the weather is better, when the baby reaches a milestone, when we “improve” something about ourselves that makes us feel worthy of being in photos. Of course, deep down we know there is no perfect time and every season of parenthood is both beautiful and difficult. We were honored to be the first to photograph this loving little family.

Green Bay Family Photographer

Even with it being her first pictures, Hayden was a pro in front of the camera. She was happy and ready to play all the silly games we had in mind. She snuggled daddy and nuzzled noses with mommy. The lilacs were in full bloom for our Limited Edition Spring Sessions and she gathered the blossoms up and gave them a big sniff, so proud that they matched the purple of her dress. In short, we loved photographing this session!

Hannah & Jake’s 5 Year Anniversary Session, Downtown Green Bay and Hotel Northland

Hotel Northland Green Bay Wedding PhotographerWhen Hannah and Jake approached me with the idea for their 5 year anniversary session, I was 100% onboard. Their wedding was a small affair and they didn’t get to have the photos they felt truly captured the celebration of their marriage. As their anniversary approached, Hannah got an idea for a chic, glamorous, downtown session with a floor-length gown and city all around them. I got her email and was like, okay, we need to shoot this session. I could imagine her vision and couldn’t wait to bring it to life!

Downtown Green Bay Anniversary Session

On the morning of Hannah and Jake’s session we were met with rain. Hannah and I debated on whether to cancel or continue with the session that evening as planned. I knew a rainy day would be harder — there’s lots of picking up dresses and hiding under umbrellas — but I also knew that the rain was supposed to let up, and if the timing was just right, we could get the dramatic, overcast light and the glossy, vibrant color that rain brings to every surface. We decided to go for it, and as soon as Hannah stepped out in her long black dress and flawless makeup, we were ready for the challenge.

Hotel Northland, Green Bay

As predicted, the rain stopped for the perfect window of time for a jaunt around downtown Green Bay stopping at various spots for photos. As we finished up our last shots outside Hotel Northland, it started up again, and Hannah and Jake snuggled under an umbrella for intimate photos that wrapped up the session. We loved every minute of it and felt honored to be chosen to bring their ideas to life! Happy 5th anniversary, Hannah & Jake, and cheers to 50 more!

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