Posts Tagged ‘door county photographer’

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: door county orchard blossom family session

When Tiffany contacted us to set up their Limited Edition Orchard Blossom session, she let me know that she wanted a special way to celebrate mother’s day with the important women in her life. We did just that with a four generation photo with Vicent, mom, grandma, and great-grandma.

The afternoon was cloudy, but the cherry trees were at peak bloom and everything was beautiful. Vincent enjoyed snuggles with family and exploring the orchard at the top speed of an 18 month old (although he did stop in his tracks to check out the old truck!) We love lifestyle sessions like these. There is so much play and personality in the images and I think that makes them even more special!

Portraits: limited edition orchard blossom session, egg harbor, door county

This spring we hosted our first limited edition orchard blossom sessions. We paired up with a Door County orchard to offer special sessions for the short week when the cherry trees hit their peak bloom.

We have been photographing the {P} Family since before little brother, Everett, was born and it was so fun to see how much they changed in the last year. In between family photos, the boys ran, played, and even danced through the orchard. Everett was loving the freedom, David was loving the games of catch we were playing, and we were loving those natural smiles. It’s tough to beat Door County in the spring!

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

Portraits: winter family session at door county tree farm

door-county-tree-farm-photography-family-photos-pictures-one-year-sturgeon-bay-green-bay-photographer-christmas-lifestyle-winter-pictures-1 door-county-tree-farm-photography-family-photos-pictures-one-year-sturgeon-bay-green-bay-photographer-christmas-lifestyle-winter-pictures-2As I type this blog with my coffee in hand, it’s 12 degrees outside my office. Wisconsin winters can be cold and long, but they also allow for some pretty spectacular photographs for those brave enough to handle these chilly days. We loved Vicent’s one year session and family photos at this Door County tree farm in late November. Tiffany and Carlos brought along a plaid wool blanket, and a little wagon for Vicent. We packed up some cocoa to help keep the chill out. That baby was bundled and wrapped and snuggled to keep warm. All of it set us up to capture real moments of parents caring for their little one, and loving one another. Such a magical reminder of what matters as we go into this holiday season. Happy First Birthday, Vicent!

Personal Post: i am thankful, pain for pain, joy for joy

Hazel-Door-County-Film-Photographer-Northwoods-Summer-1 Hazel-Door-County-Film-Photographer-Northwoods-Summer-2The day my film scans arrive back is like magic. When we wait for weeks or months, the memories of long weekends and summer nights begins to fade, but in handling the prints, I have those feelings back in tangible way – the good, the bad, and the bittersweet. Every moment is replayed in emulsion with the soft texture of film and I remember vividly how I felt when I made each image.

I have been absent from the personal blog for a few months. When I write these posts I write from the heart, and sometimes it can be difficult to touch upon what I feel and what I want to say about it. Even now, with so many photos I want to share, the clarity of phrasing isn’t quite clear, other than to say I am thankful. I am thankful for my beautiful home, my capable body, and most of all, my family. When things are good, family celebrates in our joys, and when things are bad, they are the people who check in every. damn. day. Not out of obligation, not because they’re sad we’re sad or happy we’re happy, but because they feel it 100% – pain for pain, joy for joy.

I have people like this in my life – family I am related to, and people whose lives have become intertwined with mine in the unlikeliest of circumstances. I am grateful for both. Life is built experiencing the feelings of others in whatever way we can. I am showing up for that – pain for pain, joy for joy.

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Film scans above ^^ from summer events with friends and family around Fourth of July.

Personal Post: two best friends and 30 years of marriage

Southern-Door-County-Country-Anniversary-Photos-Photographer-Wisconsin-30th-LoveFor a few years after graduating, I worked in a portrait studio (one of those ten minute sittings, photo collage, six background options commercial chains). People came in, we pulled forward a matching backdrop, posed them the same as the last group, and sent them home with the coupon deal of the week. No need for names or stories. Working there helped me define what it was I wanted out of photography in a way I don’t think I would have otherwise been able to articulate.

I know how valuable images are. And I know how much more a photograph can mean if it captures who the person is, right then. It isn’t always a portrait, in fact I would argue that more often it’s a snapshot: cousins climbing an old maple tree in the front yard, grandpa in his teens laying in the grass strumming a guitar, mom on her second easter cheesing for the camera in their very first apartment. These are the photos that stick with us because they feel like the person we love.

This September my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. Their story is a real story of two friends building a home, raising a family, and overcoming struggles. A vinyl backdrop and studio lights couldn’t tell that story. My outdoorsy dad and adventurous mom needed to be photographed in a place that characterized who they are and how they cherish one another.

More than anything the way they show their love it is through sharing their time and interests. The location we chose is not just a field filled with old buildings to make the world of Pinterest swoon; it is the place where together they hunt, and hike, and snowmobile once winter arrives. It is a physical place that symbolizes their love. I know this, and they know this, which means when I look at these images I see mom and dad, jeanie and rick, two best friends who decided to get married, and did, 30 years ago.

Portraits: family session at cornerstone suites, door county

Door-County-Family-Photos-Egg-Harbor-Cornerstone-Suites-Barn-Photographer-Green-BayThe {L} family held their summer session in Door County at Cornerstone Suites in Egg Harbor. Not only was it a beautiful location (fields of wildflowers, rustic old buildings, and colorful landscaping) but it is also near to their hearts. Cornerstone Suites is owned by Leif’s family and it is filled with stories of local artists, big ideas, and overcoming difficulties. Hearing about taking down half the concrete silo and building it up in wood (to give it windows), or vacuuming endlessly between each individual brick in the floor after a tornado had gone through, you will begin to feel like you have no excuses for not chasing down whatever dreams have been simmering on your back burner.

The session was relaxed and positive; not only was it a time to create images for the family, but it also meant a visit home from their oldest daughter who lives in Milwaukee. We loved exploring the space with the {L} family and we can’t wait to deliver their new wall art collection!

Personal Post: a midwesterner’s spring

Door_County_Photography_Family_Maple_Rat_Terrier_Dog_Green_Bay_SpringThe last few weekends have been filled with outdoor adventures of every sort.  Between events and obligations we have found every little crack of time and filled them with fresh air. (I’m not even owning up to how much laundry is waiting to be done!)  Before Easter there was hiking and pussywillow hunting, the week before that was maple syrup tapping, this weekend was biking and fishing.  And you can bet that every unmentioned minute revolved around dog park walks with Pieper and downtown wandering with cameras.  I’m starting to wonder if the theme for April is “how many places can I appropriately wear my Hunter galoshes?”

I think this “spring buzz” is an exclusively midwestern thing.  If you glance through my photos, you can see that it is still cold enough to require hats and coats.  There is ice floating at the edges of the river, and other tokens to remind you that though the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, the thermometer only reads around 45.  This week is of course the exception, and after a long winter involving layer-upon-layer of clothing and stomping our feet while pumping gas (to make sure we don’t lose blood flow), the spring buzz has hit us, and we are out the door nearly forgetting our keys and shoes in the process.  We are raking our yards, trimming our trees, mulching our gardens, tuning our bikes, stringing our fishing rods, and vowing never to wear socks again.

It’s funny how we can be trapped in our homes by the negative 30 degree windchill in the dead of winter, swearing to ourselves that we will not stay in Wisconsin another year, and then that feeling can be completely erased by these first warm days of spring.  Somehow it is replaced by daydreams of campfires, parades, and summer. And that is the beauty of the midwest: there is something so much sweeter about having earned it all, (paying for it with windburned faces and icy car windows).

Happy spring, midwesterners! Time to walk my dog.

Personal Post: the family of over-celebrators

Door_County_Winter_Photographer_Snowmobile_Kangaroo_Lake_Carnival

I come from a family of over-celebraters.  As a child I had naturally assumed every family had not only Christmas decorations, but also an array of Easter decorations, Halloween Decorations, and 4th of July paraphernalia.  It wasn’t until I grew older that I understood that Memorial Day and Labor Day are not actively celebrated holidays for most families.  In my family every holiday is an event, and every event is a party.  This means themed weekends with historical research, homemade costumes, and period-specific antiques dug up from grandma’s basement. It means multiple Birthday celebrations, because lunch with friends didn’t involve cake, and the party with family wasn’t on your actual Birthday, and if the present arrives late there should be some sort of event associated with opening it.  I’m kidding (kind of).

I think the reason I never saw this as anything extraordinary is because it is so clearly a part of who I am in this family.  I am an over celebrator.  Each Wednesday farmers market in summer, every live music event downtown, any oddity that I’ve discovered… I want to be there and I want the full experience. I’m tempted to blame the beginning of this phenomenon on my wanderlustly mother, but only a moment discussing party plans with my grandma and I know this is not the case.

These photos were taken last weekend at the Baileys Harbor Winter Carnival on Kangaroo Lake.  We spent the day on the ice eating Coyote Roadhouse chili, and watching pond hockey and snowmobile races.  As it does, the morning carnival stretched into the afternoon and became pizza at my uncle’s house, night ice skating in Sister Bay, and a family movie night… because every event is a party. 🙂

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