Weddings: sara & mike, surprise vow renewal and landmark resort, door county

We’ve been photographing Sara and Mike’s family photos for the past few years, and normally when it’s time to set up a session, Sara will call or email and we will chat about locations and ideas. So when I got a call from Mike instead, I was a bit surprised. He told me he was planning a surprise vow renewal for Sara to celebrate their 20 years together. Years before, Sara mentioned how she would like to renew there vows at 20 years, but to keep it a surprise, Mike planned the renewal for 18 years of marriage, and 20 years together.

The renewal was held at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor. Family and friends gathered near in the garden overlooking Lake Michigan while a family friend played music on the piano. Covert texts were sent back and forth about timing, and Ben was stationed with his longest lens for the best view of the approaching couple. As they got to the top of the hill for their “casual walk” Mike told us Sara stopped and said, “I don’t think we can go down there; there’s a wedding happening.” But by the time they turned the corner, she knew it was for her. The ceremony was beautiful — a thoughtful meditation on commitment, love, and God. There were tears and lots of smiles. After the ceremony, we took a few photos with their boys, Sam and Ben, and everyone celebrated with dinner at the Landmark Resort restaurant. Congratulations, Sara and Mike, and cheers to 20 more!

Seniors: claire, downtown de pere & bairds creek

Before every session we sit down with clients to get to know them and what their session goals are. During this time we also chat about style, location, and wardrobe “dos and don’ts”. I love getting to  know seniors and their parents so we are all comfortable at the session and we can make images that show off their unique personalities and sense of style.

Claire and Pat were such a joy to work with from our very first meeting! They are fun, funny, and Claire is natural in front of the camera. When we got to our first location and she stepped out of the car in this vintage, linen romper, I was so excited! It was a bold, fun outfit choice, and it totally paid off. We started the session downtown for some urban shots and ended at Bairds Creek where the color was just starting to turn and had that dreamy, warm sun that only happens in September. Enjoy your senior year, Claire!

Personal Post: juniper’s first birthday

And just like that, a year has come and gone. One year ago we were in the hospital meeting our baby girl for the first time, trying to settle on a name and realizing, awestruck, that life would never be the same. This year, I am watching Juniper run from room to room with an excited gallop-skip, shrieking just because she likes to hear the sound of her own voice. Time is a crazy thing.

A few weeks ago we gathered together with family for a first birthday party at The Art Garage in downtown Green Bay. Juniper was in a wool pleated 1960s-ish dress we found at Little Bird and the theme was lemons with lots of bright yellows and soft pinks. We had lunch with a lemonade bar, and a little photobooth area for guests to take snapshots with our Fuji Instax. Juniper liked eating watermelon and playing on the floor with her friends. She was very excited to see people she knows and likes everywhere she went as she cruised the room. Grandma Jeanie made a three-layer lemon and raspberry cake for guests, and I made Juniper a simple white smash cake. She tasted the frosting and little bits of cake, but wasn’t wildly excited about it until daddy started helping her smash it. It was a fun way to celebrate her first big milestone. Happy Birhtday, Baby J!

Seniors: hope, cave point, door county & downtown green bay

It’s amazing how much variety we can capture when seniors pick two really cool locations! We started Hope’s senior portrait session in the summer at Cave Point in Door County and ended it in fall in downtown Green Bay. The variety of the seasons, wardrobe, and setting made it such a fun session for us to photograph. The Niagara Escarpment is always gorgeous to photograph and even though the water has been high this year, Hope braved the rocky climb down to the water and was rewarded with beautiful Lake Michigan waves crashing and pouring over the rock face. When we met up in Green Bay, the leaves were just turning gold and we were able to get an urban mood with brick, murals, and industry for our backgrounds. So much to love about this session!

Weddings: stephanie & cory, southern door church wedding

 When I first met with Stephanie and her sister over drinks to chat about she and her fiancé’s wedding day, I had no idea the connection they had to the Brussels area or Southern Door School (my grade school alma mater). As we chatted about details and her fiancé, Cory, I started to piece things together and realized I knew exactly whose wedding this was, and was all the more excited about their special day! Cory and Stephanie are an incredible couple. They are both smart, determined, and down-to-earth. They care not just about what is best for themselves and each other, but what is best for the people around them and their community. Anyone who knows them well realizes how lucky them are to call them friends.

Stephanie and Cory got married at our favorite little Catholic church in Brussels and held their reception at Rock Gardens in Green Bay. We stopped along the way for pictures at Sugar Creek looking out over the bay (so gorgeous!) and Green Bay Botanical Gardens for photos of just the two of them. The wedding details were stunning, her dress was timeless, and the guests really brought the party when it came to the dance floor (choreographed bridal party dance, anyone??) But the best part of their wedding day was when they were announced as husband and wife at the end of the ceremony. This is always a special moment to witness as the bride and groom turn toward their guests glowing with pride, but it was even more intense with this couple. As Stephanie and Cory turned toward their friends and family, big smiles across their faces, their guests erupted with applause and cheers. I have never heard a celebration like that; it was as if everyone in that tiny church was feeling that moment right along with them.

We were so happy to be a part of this special day! Big congratulations to Stephanie and Cory!

Personal Post: “pictures of the summer to prove that it really existed”

Fingers crossed and saying my prayers for safe transit, I packed up the film I shot all summer long and shipped it out to be developed. When the package arrived, Ben and I sat in bed together and flipped through the prints, my heart exploding with every photo. This summer wasn’t just any summer, it was Juniper’s first summer, something I anticipated since that second pink line appeared 18+ months ago.

Part of the joy of parenthood is sharing the things you love with this new little person. It may be your 200th visit to the beach, but it’s the first time she’s felt sand in her toes, and it may be your annual camping trip at the usual spot, but it’s the first time she has woken up to the sunny pattern leaves make on the tent walls in the morning.

This summer was full of “Juniper’s firsts”, and part of that was sharing places with her that meant a lot to us growing up. We visited The Farm where she held a kitten and giggled when she touched a baby goat. We went camping at Peninsula State Park where she rode in a canoe and took naps in a cargo wagon. She ate fruit straight from the orchard, visited beaches, parks, and pools, and soaked up the summer sun right in our own backyard.

Every outing required more planning and packing than any previous summer (babies come with SO much stuff), but as anyone who has ever loved anyone knows, the joy of wonderful things is multiplied when you see someone you love experience that joy. And we are closing out the summer with a heart full of memories and a head full of stories to tell as she grows up.

It’s amazing how children can change how we experience our world. Everything is new again — just like magic.
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Photos above from 35 mm film scans July-September.
Blog title taken from song “People Take Pictures of Each Other” by The Kinks.
If you like this blog, check out The Family of Over-Celebrators and Summertime on Film.

Weddings: laura & nick, sepia chapel and tundra lodge, green bay, wi

Laura and Nick said their “I-dos” at Sepia Chapel in Green Bay with a reception to follow at Tundra Lodge. After a summer of squeltering wedding days, Laura and Nick’s day had the perfect weather, cool and sunny, and everyone was beyond excited to celebrate with them! The colors were purple and charcoal with hints of rustic details including pinecones, burlap, wood slices, and wooden flowers in Laura’s bouquet. Their cake was topped with a family heirloom gifted to Laura by her grandmother before she passed.

We love both venues the couple chose. Sepia chapel is warm and neutral; the symmetry and natural light make for great photos and the guest experience is always impressive. Tundra Lodge is always on schedule and we love the bright, low ceilings, and dramatic chandeliers. We also want to thank The Woods Golf Course for taking us around in golf carts and seeking out beautiful places for us to photograph (silly golf cart racing photos will have to wait to be shared another day, lol!) Congratulations to Laura and Nick, and their three adorable boys who added even more joy (and some wicked dance moves) to the special day!

Portraits: cozy log cabin family photos, green bay, wi

Jacob and Trish got their “Cozy Cabin” session in early this year, helping us show off our Limited Edition Sessions theme with their adorable boys. “Cozy Cabin” is a one day special event in Green Bay with only eight sessions available. We will have the space prepared with a wooden bench, fresh cut birch, cozy wool blankets, cups of cocoa, and real log cabins. You just bring fall spirit! Sessions take place Saturday, November 10th and include a full 50 minutes with us (nothing “mini” about these sessions!), comprehensive editing, an in person viewing session, three social media images, an 8×10 archival print, and a $100 print credit all for $195! Book yours HERE.

Weddings: washington island lavender farm styled wedding, door county, wi

For years I have been dreaming of photographing a styled wedding in the fields of lavender on Washington Island. I pictured the wild, herb bouquet, glamorous gown, and french macaron tower. This August we were able to collaborate with some incredible vendors who made it a reality! People have asked us why we do styled shoots, and the answer is simple: everyone who is a part of your wedding is a creative. Whether they are making your cake, styling your wardrobe, or designing your florals, we are creative people whose job it is to make your vision a reality. Playing with new ideas and trying things that we have imagined helps keeps us fresh – it feeds our creative energies and makes us better at what we do.

This Washington Island styled wedding took place in the lavender fields of Historic Island Dairy with a stop at Stavkirke Church and champagne at sunset at the iconic Schoolhouse Beach. Never before has a styled shoot involved a ferry ride or an overnight stay, but we had an absolute blast!

We couldn’t do this without the talents of the amazing vendors who collaborated with us. Seriously, if you are looking for vendors for your Door County wedding, look no further. Thank you to everyone involved:

Venue: Island Lavender at Historic Island Dairy http://www.islandlavender.com http://www.historicislanddairy.com
Dress: Erika’s Bridal Couture http://www.erikasbridalcouture.com
Suit: DuBois Formalwear http://www.duboistuxedo.com
Florals: Blossoms Flower House http://www.blossomsflowerhouse.com
Hair & Make-Up: Rachel @ Invidia Salon
Rings: Alyssa & Anna Fine Jewelry http://www.alyssaanna.com
Cake: Monzu Bakery http://www.monzubakery.com
Models: Hope Copiskey and Oliver Wallschlaeger

And special thanks to Rachel from Invidia and our models, Hope and Oliver, for traveling across Death’s Door to the Island with us!

Seniors: alli, green bay botanical gardens & green bay beach

It’s so fun for us when seniors choose two locations that are completely different from one another. With our first stop at Green Bay Botanical Gardens, we had beautiful greens, flowers, and fountain with everything precise and perfect, and with our second beachy location we got the wind and water completely untamed and beautiful. As we got to the bay, the wind picked up along the shore and we were worried about how it would affect pictures, but we actually love Alli’s windblown hair and dress, especially as the sunset glows in the background! Alli is sporty, easygoing, and fun, and we loved getting to know her and her family. Best wishes on your senior year and beyond, Alli!

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