Posts Tagged ‘beach photos door county’

Door County Greenhouse and Beach Senior Photos

Door County Senior Photos Door County PhotographersI’ve been looking forward to photographing Sophie’s senior photos for years. She’s one of the art students who I work with one-on-one up in Door County and we’ve known each other for a long time. So when the session planning began, we had many ideas for themes, locations, and outfits, and I couldn’t be happier with all the variety!

Door County Senior Photographer

Sophie goes to Sevastopol High School in Door County. She’s a great student, involved in many activities, interested in arts, languages, and culture, and loves her animals. She is incredibly smart, kind, and conscientious. For her session, she knew she wanted to begin at Sunnypoint Gardens greenhouse, which was fun and original. She planned that stop with a silk, floral shirt that paired perfectly with the magenta in the flowers (I love color relationships in photographs — blame my art background!)  After that, we hopped across the street to Cornerstone Suites to photograph with the rustic buildings and field of wildflowers. Our last stop was for sunset at a Door County beach.

Door County Beach Photos

We were lucky enough to have the most beautiful calm day, and since fall was just around the corner, we had the beach all to ourselves. Sophie took off her Converse and walked out on the pier where the horizon was starting to blur water into sky and giving us the soft, even light that is so lovely for portraits. Best wishes on your senior year, Sophie!

Door County Senior Photos at Pebble Beach and Anderson Dock

Door County Senior Photos Anderson Dock Photos, Ephraim, WisconsinRachel’s family has been traveling up to Door County for years. They have a place along the water in Sister Bay where they spend family weekends (including many cozy winter days!) So when Rachel started planning for her high school senior photo session, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.

Door County Senior Photos

Pebble Beach is located just around the corner from their condo, so they knew it’s beauty and felt connected to the place. We began our session in the evening with bright sun glowing off the water and waves splashing up on the rocks. Our next location was chosen because its a Door County staple, and (in my opinion) the best place to see a Door County sunset. That place is Anderson Dock a pier in Ephraim featuring The Hardy Gallery covered in graffitied names of visitors.

Door County Destination Session Photographer

When we arrived, the sun was low enough for golden hour light, and we stayed long enough to capture a brilliant sunset. With the high water levels we’ve had this year, there was this infinity pool effect of the water meeting up with the top of the pier. It was the perfect magic for a summer session. Congratulations on your senior year and upcoming graduation, Rachel!

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.

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

10 Best Door County Venues for Small Weddings

Small weddings are our absolute favorite! The short guest list usually means the day is more intimate and shows couple’s personalities. Brides feel less inclined to follow traditions that don’t suit them, and couples get to better enjoy their wedding day free from major stressors!

Door County is a great spot for small weddings whether you’re planning an elopement, small wedding, or destination wedding. Since we photograph in Door County regularly, we thought we would compile a list of the best small wedding venues in the area so you can get an overview and details on each before jumping website to website!

Door County Wedding Photographers

1. Wineries

Even if you don’t know much about Door County, chances are you know that the peninsula is dotted with wineries from toe to tip. What you may not know is that these wineries often open their doors to small weddings.

Simon Creek Winery, Sturgeon Bay, WI

  • Outdoor weddings can be held in green space near the creek (see photos above).
  • Ceremony tents are allowed.

Stone’s Throw Winery, Baileys Harbor, WI

  • Outdoor weddings can accommodate up to 150 people in the green space, or smaller groups on the patio or in the sculpture garden.
  • Indoor weddings can accommodate up to 80 people in the Barrel Room or Tasting Room.

2. Garden Gables

Garden Gables, Sister Bay, WI describes themselves as Door County’s premier DIY wedding venue. It’s romantic, whimsical, and charming with an outdoor stone bar, concrete band stage, indoor barn area, and outdoor gazebo. Everything about this venue is unique and perfect for weddings with a boho theme or a rustic vibe.

  • Open June through September and can accommodate up to 200 guests outdoors or 100 guests indoors.
  • There is a cottage space with restrooms available for wedding preparations and two multi-stall indoor restrooms for guests.
  • Only four miles from downtown Sister Bay.

3. State Parks

Until we were invited to photograph our first state park wedding at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek, I had no idea they even rented for weddings. But with all the water views and gorgeous wooded areas, it’s a great choice for your warm weather affair. Some parks even rent shelter areas to be used for simple receptions!

Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek, WI

  • Only small weddings are permitted. Two enclosed shelters are available for rent and can accommodate up to 50 people. Other than the shelter rental fee and vehicle stickers, there is no fee for holding your wedding at Peninsula State Park.
  • There are some locations where tents are permitted.
  • Wedding locations include Weborg Point (see photos above), Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, Welckers Point, Sven’s Bluff, Eagle Panorama, and Eagle Terrace.

Potawatomi State Park, Sturgeon Bay, WI

  • Some facilities are reservable including the picnic shelter on South Shoreline which seats 30 and the Amphitheater located in the center of the park near the campground which seats around 60.
  • A tent can be set up outside of the picnic shelter for outdoor ceremonies.
  • There are areas that are not reservable, but weddings can also be hosted there, (see photos above) just contact the park for details.

4. Gordon Lodge

Gordon Lodge, Baileys Harbor, WI may be Door County’s most popular wedding venue. Their unique grounds feature so many options from an intimate beach wedding, woodsy views, or indoor spaces, you can customize to your heart’s content. Onsite catering and lodging is a big plus for this venue as that is not easy to find in the area. The water views are unbeatable and the food is incredible!

  • Amenities include onsite catering and lodging, private beach, and equipment rentals (bicycles, kayaks, and paddle boards for exploring).
  • Gordon Lodge’s Event Center seats 250 without encroaching on dance floor, and the Boathouse is perfect for smaller weddings which can seat 50-60 based on wether you choose to do plated dinner or banquet style.
  • Ceremonies may also be held outdoors on the green space where Lake Michigan and North Bay meet.

5. Woodwalk Gallery

Art, wine, and beaches, that’s what Door County is known for! Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI is an active art gallery and a beautiful venue featuring a historic barn, landscaped trails, and multiple outdoor wedding locations. They are also known for their friendliness when working with couples to plan their wedding!

  • Although known mostly for small weddings, Woodwork can accommodate outdoor groups up to 250.
  • There are many outdoor options for ceremony including a garden lattice and vintage silo (see photos above), or you can hold your wedding inside the historic barn. A tent may be set up barn adjacent to make the transition indoors easy for your guests.
  • There is a getting ready space onside for wedding preparations and indoor bathrooms are available for guests.

6. Horseshoe Bay Farms

Although mostly know for its larger weddings, Horseshoe Bay Golf Club, Egg Harbor, WI is set up well for smaller affairs in their Beach Club venue. Centrally located, Horseshoe Bay Farms is only a short drive from Sturgeon Bay where many of the peninsula’s amenities and lodging are, or guests can plan to travel north after your wedding to explore more of what the county has to offer. Murphy Park is just across the way which is a beautiful stop for photos with a pet-friendly park and warm bathing beach.

  • At Horseshoe Bay the Members Clubhouse seats up to 200 indoors for dinner, the Private Dining Room seats 35, and Horseshoe Bay’s Tent Pad is an outdoor venue with seating for up to 140 guests.
  • The Beach Club is it’s own small venue along the shores of Green Bay with rooftop deck, patio, and indoor venue space with seating for up to 70 guests.
  • Horseshoe Bay is also known for their signature cocktails such as Door County Cherry Mojitos or Horseshoe Bay Old Fashioneds to add a personal touch!

7. Stavkirke Church

If you’re feeling adventurous, an island wedding might be for you! Stavkirke Church, Washington Island, WI is a small wood chapel surrounded by woods (see photos above). It was build by local craftsman to honor the Scandinavian roots of the island and based on a church in Borgund, Norway from 1150 AD. Washington Island does require a ferry from Gills Rock, so it’s not for the faint of heart, but your guests will appreciate the weekend getaway. No guests? Washington Island is the perfect spot for an elopement, just don’t forget to pack you swimsuit!

  • Great for elopements and small weddings of 30 or fewer guests.
  • Just around the corner from famous Schoolhouse Beach, perfect for photos.

8. Bjorklunden

Bjorklunden, Baileys Harbor, WI is a 440 acre estate on the quiet side of the peninsula. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the “bay side”, choosing a location along the “lake side” is a good option. Bjorklunden is actually a small music school (a branch of Lawrence University) but they do rent multiple spaces for private events and weddings.

  • The most popular option for weddings is Boynton Chapel which is a wood stav church built in 1939. It can accommodate up to 36 guests.
  • There are multiple onsite lodging options available (including a studio apartment space) as well as indoor spaces for food and events.

9. Landmark Resort

Although not exclusively for small weddings, Landmark Resort, Egg Harbor, WI is a Door County staple, voted “Best Wedding Venue” by Door County Magazine. In addition to their well known reception site and lodging options, The Landmark also has two outdoor ceremony locations including the Egg Harbor Terrace (see photos above) and Flagship Garden offering views of the bay.

  • Best known as a reception hall, the Landmark also offers outdoor ceremony venues and a smaller restaurant space (Carrington Grill) perfect for intimate weddings.
  • In the banquet space, The Landmark can hold up to 200 guests. The State Room seats 80, and there are smaller rooms to accommodate groups up to 40.
  • 284 condominium suites are available for rent for you and your guests so they can make a weekend of it. Book hospitality suites, distribute brunch vouchers, or even host a fish boil for your guests!
  • Outdoor ceremonies can hold 120-200 guests.

10. About Thyme Farm

About Thyme Farm, Baileys Harbor, WI is a gorgeous barn venue on the “quiet side” of the peninsula. It is surrounded by fields and lush green space. If you are thinking a barn wedding might be for you, but want a place that is already prepared to host, About Thyme is that venue. They are set up for DJ and band equipment, have a built-in bar, and chandeliers throughout the main of the barn with Italian bulbs lighting the back of the barn.

  • About Thyme boasts amble parking for up to 75 cars and the option to leave vehicles overnight if you are shuttling guests to lodging.
  • Wedding ceremonies can be held indoors or outdoors.
  • Indoor restrooms able to accommodate a full guest list.
  • Barn can seat up to 200 for dinner.

Honorable Mentions:

We didn’t want to make this post too overwhelming and there are so many great places to get married in Door County! If you didn’t find your hidden gem listed above, we suggest you check out Silver Poplar Studios, Birch Creek Music Center, Hillside Inn, Bridal Chapel of Door County, or Whistling Swan Restaurant. There are also many more restaurants that can host wedding receptions.

If you are considering an elopement, we suggest checking out a bed and breakfast (like the Chanticleer B&B cabin elopement pictured above) or a public park or beach area like Cave Point County Park.

We hope this guide has helped guide you through your planning process! We love Door County and it’s been such a pleasure to work with the people at these incredible venues to make beautiful, memorable wedding days. If you have questions about a venue or want to meet up and chat about your wedding photography vision, send us a message HERE.

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.

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!

Seniors: clara, jackson harbor, washington island, door county

This past winter I shared with Ben the fact that I longed to shoot a session on Washington Island. In spring we started chatting about how to make that happen, then out of nowhere, I received an email from Clara. Clara’s family has enjoyed the island for generations and for her it’s a home-away-from-home, the place to get away and reconnect with nature, family, and herself. With both of her parents as teachers, Clara and her sister are able to spend the majority of each summer at their cottage on Jackson Harbor.

For those who don’t know, my family has an old farmhouse on orchard land in Baileys Harbor that I connect to the same way Clara connects to her cottage, so when we started messaging I knew her session would be a perfect fit for us to photograph. After FaceTiming to plan her session, we set a date and packed our gear to board the Washington Island Ferry. The ferry departed from Gills Rock and took us across Death’s Door to the island. It was a beautiful, breezy ride. When we arrived, Clara’s family was there to greet us and share the island and all the spots they’ve enjoyed there over the years. It’s amazing to me all the memories that a place can hold, and how those memories can become the legacy of a family. Clara’s senior portraits were meant to be on Washington Island; anywhere else wouldn’t quite have been the same. Enjoy your senior year, Clara!

Portraits: beach maternity session, waiting for baby alena

Elizabeth was turning two and Rachel and John were expecting their second baby girl – so much to celebrate! Lizzy loved playing in the sand and patting her baby sister, and we loved the sweetness of three of them (soon to be four) snuggled up together. Together we explored the beach, watched seagulls, and chased Lizzy down the boardwalk. It was a beautiful evening to celebrate milestones.

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