Portraits: green isle park spring maternity session, waiting for baby {j}

When Ashley and Jesse got married two years ago, we were there for their wedding day. We also had the privilege of taking their engagement photos that May in an orchard full of apple blossoms. This winter they’re celebrating a new milestone as they wait for their baby boy due next month.

When Ashley contacted me about her February session, we planned for a “winter wonderland” theme. Imagining layers of snow, and heavy branches in one of the coldest months, we were surprised as the date came closer and the forecast was in the mid-sixties. Wisconsin weather is always out to surprise us! The warm, sunny day was beautiful. Ice still coated the East River, but little buds were on the trees, and the creamy long grasses made for a beautiful spring backdrop. How perfect for the world to be in a season of renewal as Ashley and Jesse await their first baby.

Congratulations! We look forward to meeting him!

Personal Post: making maple syrup

March is the dullest month of the year. We rush into March with dreams of spring and (as yesterday’s massive snowstorm proves) we are rewarded with another month of winter parading itself as a new season. Stuck somewhere between “winter wonderland” and “budding spring” I usually use these weeks to update our website, clean out the junk drawers, and make plans for warmer days. But last year we started a new March tradition with our family: making homemade maple syrup.

Learning to make maple syrup had been on our bucket list for awhile, and in the summer of 2015 we casually mentioned it to my grandpa at the farmhouse in Door County. Turns out, years ago, when the land was still an orchard, grandpa’s family used to tap the sugar maples every year. Some rummaging through the picker’s cabins drummed up pails and beautiful, old spiles. It was with a complete lack of knowledge and an impetuous spirit that we tackled our new project last spring.

On a Monday afternoon we cancelled our previously scheduled plans and drove up to Baileys Harbor on a whim. Using a hand-drill and hammer we knocked the spiles into the sugar maples around the farthest reaches of the property with no plans of how or when to retrieve them. By midweek the jugs were overflowing and mom and uncle Keven were scrambling to replace them in time. Maple tapping had begun.

Between small cookstove batches, there was a sap boiling weekend where all of us were there together. Gallon after gallon of sap simmered down over the wood fire while we gathered more jugs and spent the long lulls in camp chairs eating hot dogs and drinking coffee. The end result was 30+ jars of sweet syrup and one of my favorite rolls of film to date.

This year we’re making a few changes with some new tools, five gallon pails, and a little more forethought. We will be changing our boiling time to make the syrup thicker and sweeter than last year’s batch. March might not be good for much, but it’s definitely good for maple syrup.


Film scans above from March 2016, Nikon FG 35mm Kodak Portra 400

Engagements: regan & zach, woodsy snow session

Winter-Engagement-Green-Bay-Photos-Suamico-Wedding-Photographer-Wisconsin-Snow-Couples-Woods-Rustic-New-Zoo-Reforestation-Camp-1 Winter-Engagement-Green-Bay-Photos-Suamico-Wedding-Photographer-Wisconsin-Snow-Couples-Woods-Rustic-New-Zoo-Reforestation-Camp-2Staring out my office windows, there is nothing but sunshine. It’s hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago there was a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, and tiny, spiraling snowflakes falling overhead for Regan and Zach’s winter engagement session in Suamico. The evergreens were made even brighter by the precipitation, and although the wet snow made the cold day colder, Regan and Zach were happily teasing one another and laughing as we wandering through the woods.

The couple met three years ago after being set up by mutual friends. It’s not often we hear brides and grooms tell about romances that began with a blind date, and I think the success of their meeting has to do with how well their friends know them. Whether or not Regan and Zach knew what they were looking for, their friends knew what they needed. This one is a love story with a side of best-friendship. Congratulations, Regan and Zach; we can’t wait for your October wedding!

Why Your Groom Needs Portraits Too

Green-Bay-Mens-Photography-Groom-Wedding-Photographer-De-Pere-Appleton-Pulaski-Tundra-Lodge-Gather-On-Broadway-Barn-1 Green-Bay-Mens-Photography-Groom-Wedding-Photographer-De-Pere-Appleton-Pulaski-Tundra-Lodge-Gather-On-Broadway-Barn-2Post By Ben:

Sometimes in the whirlwind of wedding planning, it’s easy for grooms to get overlooked. There are so many customs that revolve around just the bride and her family, that a modern couple may need to look past tradition to create a wedding day that speaks to both of them. This is exactly the case when it comes to photography.

Bridal portraits have been a southern tradition for decades, but it’s rare to see portraits of a man on his wedding day. The reason for both sets of images is the same and equally important. While couples’ portraits are about the wedding day itself, individual portraits are a physical memory of how your spouse will always see you.  Your individuality is the thing that attracted your partner when you first met, and that doesn’t go away with marriage. Thirty, forty, fifty anniversaries from now, these images will be a reminder of the person you married and how you felt about them that day.

And guys, I get it, it can be hard to be in front of the camera. Although we can be less vocal about our insecurities, we have them. Instead of thinking of this as “another thing you need to do”, think about it as a pause before the ceremony – a little time to yourself away from the chaos of guests. When you have a moment to take a breath, you can open up to the joy and nervousness, and we get to capture real images of you.

For the men underestimating their ability to look great in front of the camera, I am ready to show you otherwise. For the brides missing these images of their husbands before the ceremony, I am ready to share them with you. When the day is done, and the memories feel like a quick flash, the photographs will be there – simple reflections of the person your spouse knows you to be.

Weddings: taylor & joey at st. johns lutheran, pulaski and tundra lodge, green bay

Green-Bay-Winter-Wedding-Photography-Snow-Door-County-Photographer-Tundra-Lodge-Pamperin-Park-Photos-1Green-Bay-Winter-Wedding-Photography-Snow-Door-County-Photographer-Tundra-Lodge-Pamperin-Park-Photos-2Green-Bay-Winter-Wedding-Photography-Snow-Door-County-Photographer-Tundra-Lodge-Pamperin-Park-Photos-3Green-Bay-Winter-Wedding-Photography-Snow-Door-County-Photographer-Tundra-Lodge-Pamperin-Park-Photos-4After nearly a decade together, high school sweethearts, Taylor and Joey, tied the knot. Their wedding was held at St. John’s Lutheran in Pulaski with the reception at Tundra Lodge in Green Bay and a short stop at snowy Pamperin Park for photos. When Joey proposed to Taylor it was also winter. February 4, 2015 Joey asked Taylor to a nice dinner, and once she was all dressed up, he had her put a full snowsuit over her dress and took her hiking. As they crossed a river, he gifted Taylor a necklace with his grandmother’s diamond in it, and once they reached the top of the cliff, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. On their wedding day, she wore the diamond pendant for the first time.

Their wedding was held on New Year’s Eve with mild weather and a heavy blanket of snow. The church featured beautiful stained glass windows that stretched floor to ceiling behind the alter and the aisles were lined with white branches. Taylor’s vision was winter wonderland and that came through from the sparkling details to the blue ombre bridesmaids gowns. At the park, their dog, Lady, joined them for a few photos – she has been with them since they were in high school and she was just a tiny pup. She wagged her tail, cried happy little cries, and ate as much snow as she could. The bridal party was good-humored out in the elements (even when we asked each of the attendants to toss handfuls of snow high into the air for a final photo!) It was a beautiful day with a fun party to follow. Cheers, Taylor and Joey!

Personal Post: fall day trips

Wisconsin-Midwestern-Adventure-Photographer-Explore-St-Louis-Crivitz-Northwoods-Vintage-Moped-Cabin-1 Wisconsin-Midwestern-Adventure-Photographer-Explore-St-Louis-Crivitz-Northwoods-Vintage-Moped-Cabin-2You know those Fridays when you are about to pack for the weekend, then realize you never unpacked from last weekend and the ten outfits you actually wear, are in the laundry? It’s the busy season scramble with work to be done, great weather to be enjoyed, and the overnight bag ready for adventure!

In this winter lull, I have a moment to organize our personal photos from the past few months, and in doing so, I realized this fall was filled with fun day trips. There was the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in late August, a day-long moped trip in September, an October weekend in St. Louis (with a stop at the Leinenkugel’s Brewery), and Ben’s birthday celebration at a cabin in November. On Monday we came home with full hearts (and memory cards) and by Thursday, we were already preparing for the next outing. A more practical person may be tempted to feel domestic guilt for all the weeks where our refrigerator only contained mustard and beer, but I know better. There are only so many summer days that hit 70°, and only so many fall days that hit 50°, and if I’m in the grocery store pushing around a cart and missing one of the twenty beautiful sunsets on one of the ten warm evenings, well, that just won’t do.

Photography drew me in because it gives me the ability to capture things. My restless side is just another urge to keep events, places, feelings, and sensations, storing them away in my memory. That way, when there are no trips on the horizon and no sun in the sky, I’ve got memories of day trips like these to keep me warm.

____________________

Photos above are film scans (Kodak Portra 35 mm) from August-October 2016.

Engagements: cora & eric, winter cabin engagement

cabin-green-bay-winter-engagement-pictures-oneida-photographer-snow-wisconsin-woods-evergreens-plaid-1 cabin-green-bay-winter-engagement-pictures-oneida-photographer-snow-wisconsin-woods-evergreens-plaid-2I love changing seasons; it’s a distinct part of my personality. When it’s summer I want to be on a boat in the sun and when it’s winter I want to be snuggled with hot cocoa. This love for the changing seasons influences our photography, and all it takes is a quick scroll through our Instagram feed to see the crisp blues and warm sunset pinks of summer shift to the bright oranges and rich crimsons of fall, and then to the evergreens and creamy tones that color the world before the winter snow settles over them.

Cora contacted us from Madison to set up the session for their short visit to Green Bay. Eric was living in Colorado (where they would soon be settled together) and we found the perfect date that fit all our schedules. Cora and I brainstormed a few ideas to fit the rustic, woodsy look they were going for, and we settled on a spot with log cabins and pine trees. Since winter engagement sessions are all about the cozy factor, we even brought along a little hot chocolate to add to the wool blanket winter snuggles. Cora and Eric were so natural in front of the camera and just happy to be together. Congratulations, Cora and Eric! Looking forward to your wedding day!

1 2 3 4 35