Seniors: greta, botanical gardens and de pere waterfront

I have always loved bold fashion choices. I may not have been savvy enough to figure out what I could (and could not) pull off when I was a senior in high school, but seniors like Greta already know exactly how to put an outfit together. When Greta showed up at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in a yellow floral jumpsuit, I may have made the heart eyes emoji with my actual face. I love the vibrant color choice and it was a perfect fit for a summer evening (especially with those boho platforms!)

Greta is a senior at Green Bay East High School in the class of 2018. She is involved in soccer, cross-country, and yoga and loves art and painting. She spent the summer as a lifeguard and is currently thinking about a path in medicine for her future. We wish her the best of luck on all her future endeavors!

Personal Post: loving a baby after losing a baby

Those of you who follow the blog closely may have noticed a gap in last year’s posts. When I write, I write from the heart – I share about sessions, travels, and thoughts on photography and life in general. But during those months there was only one thing on my mind, and it wasn’t something I was ready to share.

As most of our readers know, Ben and I are expecting a baby in October. I am seven months along and typing this blog as the baby flutters in my belly and I agonize over how much more water I should be drinking. I feel good and capable in my body – an incredible gift. This baby has given me a bigger reason to share what I had gathered up in my heart last year, and now I feel ready to talk about our first pregnancy.

In February of last year, Ben and I learned we were going to be parents. We were overjoyed and reveled in the magic of it all. We fantasized about baby moccasins and sharing the news with our families. I dreamt of nurseries and family traditions. It amazed me how much we loved that baby right from the start, surrounding it with our dreams for a future together.

But at our first ultrasound appointment, eight weeks into the pregnancy, the baby was small. We watched the heartbeat flutter on the screen like a tiny, flickering light, but the doctor said it was measuring at six weeks instead of eight. Two weeks later our little baby still hadn’t grown and our doctor confirmed what we had been hoping and praying against; that baby wouldn’t make it.

We shared the news with our closest family without ever having the opportunity to celebrate our initial joy. I sunk into depression. In my dreams each night I was still pregnant, and when I woke in the morning I felt empty. I had spent the past few months caring for my body with new purpose, seeing everything I consumed as fuel for the baby; so with the baby gone, treatment of my body bordered on destructive. There were complications to my miscarriage that resulted in a physical reminder for days, weeks, months. I couldn’t find myself or the things I was passionate about.

It was easy to feel alone in the loss because I couldn’t explain what I was feeling. There was no memorial service or official goodbye, just a slow, agonizing loss. Family and friends told me over and again “just because this happened once, doesn’t mean it will happen again”. They were trying to console what they imagined was worry about my future. It wasn’t worry; I wasn’t even in a place to consider my future. It was mourning. I was mourning the loss of that baby – that individual whom I already loved.

Months passed by and little by little I fell into my normal routines. Slowly I was able to find moments of joy and reflect with bittersweetness on the memories. There were still days when I couldn’t make it out of bed, but in between I was getting better. It was as though I was reassembling myself from old and new parts. The last feeling to fall into place was anticipation – something I thought I had lost for good.

And now, here we are. Almost exactly one year later we conceived this baby. Doctor appointments have us terrified, and the weeks between them are nearly intolerable. We guarded our hearts, yearning for that golden “12 week mark” and when we hit it, I was still fearful and newly desperate to make it to 20 weeks when we would see an ultrasound. People have asked why we waited so long to announce and why we adamantly held off on celebrating. This is why. When we made plans to announce our pregnancy, I already knew I couldn’t share news of this new life and find perfect joy in it without also sharing our history.

I know this perspective may be foreign to some (even those who have experienced similar circumstances), and I honestly believe there is no right or wrong way to feel about anything – especially something so complex as parenthood. I am simply writing my experience because I need it out in the world. We’ve shared with you our love and anticipation, but my heart yearned to honor our first baby as well.


Above photos taken by KL Creative at 20 weeks pregnant.
Read More: I am Thankful – Pain for Pain, Joy for Joy
See More from our Announcement Session: Baby On Board

Weddings: dana & lucas, nativity of our lord parish, green bay

On June 17th, Dana and Lucas said their “I-dos” at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Green Bay. We have had the pleasure of photographing this couple when they were dating, once they became engaged, and now, celebrating with them on their wedding day! The morning of their ceremony followed heavy rain, but the day cleared up and the sun shone. As we were outdoors taking group portraits at Meadowbrook Park, we heard a distant whistle. Assuming it was nothing, we continued portraits before loading everyone up for our next location. At the reception we would find out it was a tornado siren from the town over! With such a beautiful, sunny day, none of us imagined there was a storm so nearby.

After some rustic photos with the bay in the background, everyone headed to Dana and Lucas’s reception at Rock Gardens. The night included thoughtful toasts and lots of dancing. The wedding was styled impeccably with simple, gray bridesmaids dresses, bouquets of peonies and succulents, and Dana’s gorgeous trumpet gown, beaded from top to bottom. So many pretty things to point our cameras at! Congratulations, Dana and Lucas!

Seniors: luis, downtown green bay & voyageur park

Luis’s senior session was planned for the rainy month of July and needed to be rescheduled due to a storm that passed through. Happily, we ended up with a gorgeous afternoon with golden sun going down over the water and tree line at Voyageur Park on the De Pere waterfront. Before heading into De Pere, we spent time in downtown Green Bay capturing photos inspired by urban lines and architecture – something Luis plans to study in the future. There are so many we love from this session and we had a hard time narrowing them down for sharing! Enjoy your senior year, Luis!

Seniors: cassidy, botanical gardens, green bay

Years ago Cassidy’s cousin, Jenessa, was one of the very first high school seniors we photographed. Since then we’ve photographed Jenessa’s brother’s senior photos, Cassidy’s sister’s senior photos, and even Jenessa’s wedding day last summer. We love this fun-loving down-to-earth family!

Cassidy chose Green Bay Botanical Gardens for her senior session in mid-June, which is one of our favorite times to be at the garden (especially because the peonies are in bloom!) We had beautiful weather and a fun afternoon exploring the garden together while talking about school, summer plans, and Cassidy’s Converse collection. Best wishes on your senior year, Cassidy!

Vendors: wedding invitations with basic invite

When we meet with clients, I ask a ton of questions. I love to hear about wedding colors, venues, and the vision for the overall wedding. It helps me imagine what the “color story” and mood of the day will be, and how that can be reflected in the images we create. Coming to photography from an art and design background, one of my favorite wedding day details is the paper suite. I have always had a love of fonts and colors, so getting to see beautiful invitations layered with foil cards and textured envelopes gives me all the heart eyes.

Basic Invite is a stationery designer with over 200 wedding invitation samples as well as nearly unlimited color options (so if you’re picky like me, you can find just the right shade of “seafoam”). Basic Invite also offers custom samples so you can physically handle your top contenders and check out not only the paper quality and pigment colors, but also see how your names and information will look in that particular design.

Whether you are looking for wedding save the dates, invites, or table place cards, you can find darling designs at Basic Invite.

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Sponsored Post for http://www.basicinvite.com. All images provided by Basic Invite LLC.

Engagements: brittany & tim, door county state park

For Brittany and Tim, Door County is their getaway place, so as we planned their engagement session, we knew we would be heading north. Potawatomi State Park is one of our favorite locations to photograph because of the diversity – woods, water, beach – it’s got it all. Their day was beautiful and warm with overcast skies and and tree-filtered light.

Brittany and Tim met through mutual friends nearly two years ago. On their first date they started the day with mini golf at Bay Beach, but a day date turned into lunch, and then into a movie until they had spent the entire day together. It was only a short time before they knew that each of them had met their match.

On a spring day, Tim woke up and knew he wanted to propose to Brittany that morning. He had planned to wait, but something about that day told him it was the right moment. He asked her to go for a walk at Green Bay Botanical Gardens and he tucked the ring into his jacket. Partway through their walk, she was cold and asked for his coat; as he helped her into it, he crossed his fingers that she wouldn’t tuck her hands into the pockets. At the top of the overlook, he wrapped his arms around her and snuck the box from his coat; moments later he asked and she said yes!

This couple is so sweet together. They know that life isn’t all celebration; they have seen the harder sides of things. But they face everything together, leaning on one other for strength and greeting each day with optimism and thankfulness for each other. Congratulations, Brittany and Tim!

Portraits: welcome baby nora, newborn photos

Baby Nora arrived four weeks early, happy and healthy. Big sister, Charlotte, will be turning two in October and it’s fun to look back on her newborn photos and compare those little baby faces – imagining how much more they will look alike as they grow older. Nora did a great job for her session, barely fussing as we changed poses. Love all those sweet little baby features! Congratulations to Emily and Graham on baby number two!

Weddings: amy & steph, woodwalk gallery, door county

Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor is one of our dream wedding venues. Firstly, it’s an active gallery with beautiful artwork, but then it’s also a historic barn surrounded by hilly fields, woods, and vintage ephemera. When I first sat down with Amy and her mother, and found out what friendly, down-to-earth people they were, I knew we wanted to be a part of their wedding day. After meeting Steph and getting to know them both, we couldn’t have picked a better couple to work with.

Amy and Steph’s day was full of personal touches, from a reserved chair at the ceremony for Amy’s late father, to an aisle lined with “pennies from heaven”, to Amy’s service dog dressed in a custom “work vest” for the event, every detail was attended to. One of the most striking features of the wedding was the seemingly endless flowers. Everywhere we turned there were vases, jars, and pails brimming with purple and white blooms.

Although rain was forecast at 80% throughout the day, the clouds stayed away for Amy and Steph’s first look and outdoor ceremony. As dinner began in the tent, the rain started to come down, and as speeches came to a close we could hear the thunder begin and the wind pick up. On our wedding day in the midst of family portraits, a sudden gust of wind brought down a large tree branch which fell between us and out photographers. A friend of mine said that she felt it was someone up in heaven greeting us and joining in the day. If that is true, Amy and Steph had lots of love sent down to them that day with the rain, wind, and thunderstorms that carried on throughout their barn reception. Cheers, Amy and Steph!

Personal Post: baby on board

We’ve been keeping a secret, and it’s time to share! Ben and I are excited to announce we’re expecting a little one to join our family this fall! Baby Hock is due October 27, 2017. Big sister Pieper doesn’t seem to get it, but she’s thrilled about the midday naps!
Stay tuned for more.
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Photo session in Door County by Kayla LeBlanc of KL Creative.

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