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!

Personal Post: Travels To Savannah Georgia

Travel Photography Kasey and Ben TravelI love packing for a trip. Let me rephrase that, I love planning outfits for a trip. Rolling up clothing and puzzling it together in the suitcase brings me great joy, and having just the right number of pieces to mix and match lights up the “type a” planner in me. This was even more fun for my trip to Savannah because I was traveling with my mom — no hubby to plan for, no baby stuff to pack. I knew I would miss my little family while I was away, but the luxury of packing carry-on only and thinking only of myself cannot be denied.

I was headed to Savannah for a business retreat with other lady bosses from the Green Bay area as part of Rise Retreat. For three days we stayed in the gorgeous De Soto hotel in the historic district expanding our ideas of what we are capable of, sharing openly with one another about dreams and struggles, and taking notes like wild women so we would be ready to make big leaps when we returned home.

Savannah, Georgia Travel Photography

I invited my mom to come along, as Savannah in spring seemed like the perfect girls’ trip and she is an excellent travel buddy. In the days leading up to the retreat she and I walked the squares, ate lots of food, and spent time by the water (including a beach day at Tybee!) It was easy and blissful. I was able to get some sketches in, enjoy warm weather, and soak up the history and arts culture of the city. It’s amazing what a break like this can do for the spirit. Sometimes we need a little reminder of who we are as powerful, capable women. I think this is especially true for us moms whose identity can get consumed by one title. Savannah was the perfect little reset before the busyness of summer!

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Film scans above shot on Kodak Portra 400 35 mm film and developed by Dwaynes Photo.

Green Bay Maternity Session at Fonferek Glen

Green Bay Photographers Fonferek Glen WaterfallsSpring may be my favorite time of year to photograph maternity sessions. The grass is coming up, the trees are budding, and even before the flowers bloom, baby animals are being born. New life is all around and nothing emphasizes that more than maternity photos. Megan contacted us in winter partway through her pregnancy to plan for her session and pick the perfect location for the time of year, knowing we wouldn’t quite have leaves or blossoms yet.

green bay maternity photographer

After chatting about her vision, we decided on Fonferek Glen in Green Bay to capture the rustic charm of the old granary, barn, and fence line, as well as the fields of tall grass. Megan dressed perfectly for the season in florals, and although we fought with a little wind, we had a golden hour sunshine to make beautiful photos. Megan and Randy’s little boy is due to make his arrival in the next week or two. Congratulations, M & R!

Green Isle Park Spring Family Photos, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay Family Photographers Green Bay Family PicturesJust a few weeks before this session there was a foot of snow on the ground as Courtney and Tanner celebrated their engagement. Now, in March, we celebrate their family! This was Ainsely’s first official portrait session and she did a great job! Baxter (the first baby) was also included in the session and brought extra joy and energy to the scene. The four of them are so sweet and we were blessed with such lovely spring weather and bright sunshine. Happy babies and a happy families make for beautiful photos that make our hearts happy! (Be sure to check out Courtney and Tanner’s Engagement and stay tuned for wedding photos next year!)

Green Bay Rising Tide Society (calling all creatives!)

Green Bay Wedding Florist Green Bay WisconsinEvery second Tuesday of the month, a local business in the Green Bay area hosts a Rising Tide Society Meeting. Rising Tide Society is a community for creative business owners with chapters all across the country. It began in 2015 in only 12 cities (Green Bay was one of the first!) as a way for creatives to support one another through education and face-to-face networking.

But this isn’t your daddy’s networking group; there are no neckties or elevator pitches here, just real people getting to know one other, sharing ideas, and supporting one another’s goals. This is because Rising Tide is founded on the quote “a rising tide lifts all boats”. We know there are plenty of opportunities out there for all of us because we each offer something different (even those of us who work in the same industry). Believing this frees us up to be open with one other no matter what stage we’re in, because nobody is guarding their plans or backstabbing their way to the bottom. It’s about community over competition every time.

“a rising tide lifts all boats”

The Green Bay chapter of Rising Tide is led by Sarah Schrader and Nicole Bergeson and supported by area members who offer up their spaces for hosting and volunteers who provide drinks and snacks. This month’s host was Angie Kusek-Schubert, the owner of Ginger Birch in Vickery Village. Her beautiful shop is filled with fun gifts, beautiful florals, and pieces for your home. I was disappointed to have to duck out so quickly after the meeting, but will certainly return for browsing (and suggest you do the same!)

Each Tuesdays Together meet-up has a theme and comes with an informative guide on the subject. April’s theme was SEO and Alex VandeHei of HeiPro Digital gave an informative presentation to help us understand how Google “reads” our sites and what changes we can make to improve our online visibility. Alex also answered questions on this tricky subject, and Nicole guided everyone through small group exercises on the user-friendlieness of our individual websites. I found both the presentation and exercise incredibly helpful.

For me, the best part of Rising Tide is getting out of the house and meeting real people facing the same challenges as you are. So much of being an entrepreneur is going on it on our own, stumbling through problems and inventing solutions, and sometimes we just need to be with people who “get it”. Rising Tide is completely free and welcoming to all, so we encourage you to join us at our next meeting (May’s meeting will be the first Tuesday instead of the second due to an unusual conflict) and you can always find event details in the Facebook Group. Special thanks to Nicole, Sarah, Alex, Angie, and everyone who offers up their time and talent to make events like this happen. See you at the next meeting!

Waterfront Family Session at Sunset, Green Bay

We Photographed this beautiful family at their home on Nicolet Drive along the mouth of the bay in Green Bay. When we first met, we visited them at their home to get an idea of the space, noting the gorgeous waterfront, docks, and trees. We planned for sunset photos and were pleased with the cotton-candy pinks and soft blue tones we had on that calm day. The family even decided to end their session splashing in the water! What a fun session and a wonderful family to work with!

Courtney & Tanner’s Winter Log Cabin Engagement

Green Bay Wedding Photographer Green Bay WisconsinCourtney and Tanner’s engagement session was such a blast! When we started planning for it, Courtney knew she wanted a location that had a rustic feel to it, and after sharing a few samples, we settled on this log cabin location in Green Bay. A fresh layer of snow had just fallen and the day was bright and sunny. The cold temperatures required some layering up, but Courtney and Tanner had one another to keep warm. With a few car breaks for fingers and faces, we had a great opportunity to photograph throughout the space and capture cabins, evergreens, and lots of snow!

Courtney and Tanner have been together four years and have the sweetest little baby girl, Ainsley, and a snuggly fur-baby, Baxter. We are so excited to celebrate this milestone with them and look forward to photographing their reception next October!

Personal Post: Living in the Fog of Grief

Trigger Warning: Infant Loss / MiscarriageInfant Loss MiscarriageThree years ago in April I was losing our first baby.

We conceived on a trip to California and brought home this special secret. I loved knowing I had this little being to care for who would be with me on all our adventures. Ben and I didn’t know whether the baby was a boy or a girl, but we called her Sweet Pea. Together Sweet Pea and I made maple syrup, attended a cooking class, celebrated Easter, taught photography classes, and road in an airplane. We only had ten and a half weeks together, but I can tell you from experience, ten and a half weeks is a long time. It’s long enough for priorities and plans to change, and most importantly, for one’s identity to shift. I was mom to that little baby.

There are things I remember so vividly about the beginning. I remember singing Sloane’s Song in the shower while rubbing my belly to send in a little extra love to the baby. I remember lying back in the ultrasound room and seeing her heartbeat for the first time. I remember my world crashing down as the doctor explained that the baby looked small, but we would have to check back to know more. The wait was excruciating. Each week brought worse news, and on April 19th, we were told the baby no longer had a heartbeat.

I was grief-stricken, and the process of physically miscarrying made it all the more traumatic. After losing the baby at home, I ended up needing D&C surgery because of continuing tissue loss, and after the D&C did not remove everything, I spent weeks, then months continuing to lose blood and tissue. As I was trying to heal emotionally, I was facing a constant physical reminder of the worst thing that had ever happened to me.

During this time, life went on. I tried to fake happy through my birthday just two days after the surgery; a week after that I stood up in my best friend’s wedding, then busy season hit, family holidays came and went, and it wasn’t until the end of July that my body finally healed. And when it was healed, I didn’t care.

My body had failed me. I had done “everything right”; I had loved that baby with all I had, and yet there I was, empty. I didn’t want to care for a body that didn’t seem to care for me in return. I was depressed, living in darkness, and completely unable to see anything beyond that. All I wanted was to make it back to who I was before that happened.

I’m sharing this now, not for closure (I don’t really think that’s possible) because I’m not in that dark place anymore. Eventually I could see past the fog of grief, not all at once, but gradually. I began to care for myself and my body again, I began to look forward to things (a feeling I thought was gone for good). I never made it back to who I was before the miscarriage, but I found my new identity somewhere along the way.

There are things that still hurt even now, three years later with a baby in my arms. I can’t listen to Sloane’s Song and I wince when people refer to Juniper as “such a ‘sweet pea'”. When someone asks if J is my first, I pause, because that questions is harder than the asker means it to be.

I feel things deeply and I think this makes me responsible for sharing my story. I got a big dose of sensitivity from my dad, and extra empathy from my mom, and the end result is that I feel everything at 100% whether it’s mine to feel or not. It took me a long time to find my way out of grief, much longer than the world around me assumed was necessary. And I faced it without sharing, somehow fearing the acknowledgment of my pain would make it all the more real. So, right now, I’m just here to say, if you’re struggling with miscarriage, infant loss, or something else that has you in that dark place, I want you to know I see you. I’ve been there, and it’s okay to not be okay.

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If you are facing grief or mental health issues, don’t be afraid to ask for help through support groups, grief counseling, or call the free National Helpline for someone to talk to 24/7 1-800-662-HELP.

If you want more on this topic, read blogs Loving a Baby After Losing a Baby and Joy for Joy, Pain for Pain (written while losing our first baby). Film scans above from February and March 2016.

Caiti and Jake’s Berkshire Wedding in Downtown Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Windway Kohler WisconsinKasey and Ben PhotographyWinter Wedding Sheboygan WisconsinKasey and Ben PhotographyKohler Wedding PhotographersSheboygan Wedding PhotographersThe Black Pig RestaurantSheboygan Wedding PhotographersNortheast Wisconsin Wedding Photographers

We’ve been looking forward to Jake and Caiti’s wedding since before they were engaged. Let me explain… With no experience beyond stories told by his uncle, Ben always dreamed of sailing. It was something he was drawn to and always wanted to try. When I came across the Sheboygan Youth Sailing Center and saw classes that fit our schedule, I signed him up! And thus began two summers of hour-long post-work commutes and Ben coming home excitedly telling me about everything he had learned. (If you know Ben, everything was a harrowing tale!)  It was there that he met Caiti and Jake, his sailing instructors. Sailing had brought them together and planted them in Sheboygan, and although they were not yet engaged, Ben offhandedly passed Jake a business card.

This was five years ago, and for five years that little card stayed tucked safety into Jake’s wallet until the day he pulled it out and sent us an email. When I realized who they were (these super cool people Ben had gone on and on about) I was so excited. And when we met and I got to hear about the wedding they were planning, I was over the moon. A sunset wedding in winter at The Berkshire in downtown Sheboygan? Yes, please! We chatted more about their plans, and the wedding was everything we love best, a small, intimate affair truly focused on who they are as a couple. Winter weddings are automatically dreamy, but adding in some vintage neon, a stop at Riverbend Country Club, and a fresh dusting of snow, and it was downright perfect.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Caiti’s getting ready location was changed the morning of the wedding. Last minute changes on a wedding day are never ideal, but thanks to Caiti’s friend, Winter, the getting ready location was saved! The bridal party was given access to the Frank Lloyd Wright house, Windway. Everything about the space was beautiful and it was the perfect spot for Caiti to bond with her girls, get into her dress, and share her first look with her father and Jake himself.

The Berkshire Sheboygan Wedding

The wedding ceremony was held at The Berkshire Event Venue in downtown Sheboygan. Lights were strung overhead and, as the couple said their vows, the sunset shone pink through the industrial windows behind them. The mood was perfect and it was felt by all the guests. To honor their sailing history, Jake and Caiti performed a knot-tying ceremony. As the guests were ushered out, we snuck outside for some photos under the lights of the alleyway then met up with family for portraits. Everyone enjoyed cocktail hours, dinner, and moving speeches by parents and friends. The evening concluded with cake and dancing.

We are so happy Jake kept that little card in his wallet all those years so we got to witness such an amazing day! Congratulations, Caiti and Jake, and cheers to many years!

Vendors:

  • Venue: The Berkshire, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • Photography Stops: Windway Estate, Kohler, Wisconsin and Riverbend Country Club, Kohler, Wisconsin
  • Dress: Stone Manor Bridal, Grafton, Wisconsin
  • Suit: Art Imig’s Clothiers, Kohler, Wisconsin
  • Floral: Bare Buds Floral Design, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • Hair and Make-up: Salon Aura, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • Rings: Scroggins Jewlers, Sheboygan
  • Cake: Better Sweet Bakery, Plymouth, WI
  • DJ: Infinity DJ, Sheboygan, WI

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