Posts Tagged ‘door county’

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!

Personal Post: the gift of curiosity

Since it’s off season for us, I have yet to really try my hand at the artful act of balancing life and work. It’s an intimidating task and one with few examples to follow as my job doesn’t give me a 9-5 schedule or any difference in work and living space. This is both a blessing and a curse as it means I can work in my robe and pajamas (please don’t come knocking on my door unexpectedly), but I have to use my judgement to know when to call it quits, shutdown the computer, and turn off email notifications.

On the slow days I’ve been thinking about the kind of parent I will be. And although it’s likely I have little choice in the matter, I can’t help but consider what I want Juniper to receive from me beyond a warm house and a full belly. And it comes down to one thing: curiosity. The gift I most want to give to her is the ability to look at the world with an open heart and curious mind — exploring, daydreaming, wondering. Curiosity means probing into the things we take for granted and asking questions. It means walking off the path, getting dirty, and breaking rules.

Juniper comes from a long line of well-intentioned rule-breakers who are curious to their core. Curiosity leads to passion, and when people we care for love something with great passion, we learn to appreciate what they love because their loving it makes it special. There are a million things I want to share with our baby girl: hundreds of books I want to read, scores of cities I want to bring her to, and many acres of land I want us to explore. But whatever her interests, whether they overlap with mine or not, I hope to pass along this great gift. That way she can love whatever she wants to love and chase whatever she wants to chase, and curiosity will call her to dig deeper every time.
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Film Scans above from hikes in February 2017 at Cave Point, Newport State Park, Potawatomi State Park, and Whitefish Dunes in Door County.
In the top photo I am pregnant with baby Juniper but don’t know it yet. <3

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: 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

Senior Session: nicole, sturgeon bay waterfront

Door-County-Senior-Photos-Stone-Harbor-Photographer-Senior-Portraits-White-Lace-Inn-Steel-Bridge-Sturgeon-BayWe had the most beautiful overcast day for Nicole’s senior session in downtown Sturgeon Bay. For everyone wishing for sun on their session date, here’s a little secret: bright, cloudy days are the best! The clouds act as a natural softbox and give us beautiful, even light that could not be more flattering.

It’s always fun for me to have seniors with a great sense of style like Nicole has. Patterned high-waisted skirt (love), and a chambray shirt with leggings (which is the perfect outfit to walk that line between summer and fall). It was great getting to know Nicole and hear all about her future aspirations. Have a great final year, and best wishes for a bright future, Nicole!

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: fourth of july hayrides

 

Fourth-of-July-Door-County-Photography-Moped-Cana-IslandIf you counted my family on your fingers we would be small in number, but if you pressed your ear to the door, you would never know it. Whether this is due to the sheer volume we achieve during scrabble matches and golf cart chases, or just a side-effect from sharing a two bedroom farmhouse on summer weekends, I’m not sure. What I am sure of, is that I love it.

This North Bay farmhouse that we all flock to each holiday weekend has been in the family since the 1920s (and the orchard land it sits on for years before that). As a kid it was my getaway – a place for daydreaming, climbing trees, and creating adventure out of nothing. Now it is a place to stop time – right in the midst of the busyness of summer – and just be with family.

One of the best traditions is our Fourth of July hayride. My grandpa hitches a bright red trailer to the back of the tractor, we fill it with straw bales and blankets, and everyone climbs aboard (drinks and dogs in hand). We take the tractor down past the little old cottages on North Bay Road, down to Cana Island, or around to Mud Lake. Grandpa waves at the locals he knows and the confused tourists who pass us by. Grandma tells us stories of who lived where when she was growing up, stories of what it all used to look like, stories of picking cherries and finding a dollar on the road that made her feel rich for weeks.  Sometimes we listen to music and sometimes we sing, and always we are snapping pictures trying to find a way to hold on to the feeling of being together on a summer afternoon in the place we love best: Up North.

Senior Session: maggie, cave point door county

Door_County_Senior_Photos_Golden_Light_Modeling_Cave_PointI have had the pleasure of knowing Maggie for years.  She is genuine, caring, and incredibly talented.  The world is a more beautiful place because of the way her curiosity delves into it, turns it over, and yearns to discover more.  Being asked to document Maggie’s senior year was special to Ben and I – showing this moment she is in, as she decides what she wants to do and where to go next.

We had beautiful light as we photographed at Cave Point and a field north of Sturgeon Bay.  Maggie and her sister Juliana played around, joked, and even did a little dancing, which kept the session fun and relaxed.  We ventured into tall grass and down rocky cliff edges all with the spirit of playfulness and the goal of creating beautiful images of someone special.  Enjoy your senior year, Maggie!

 

Senior Session: alyssa, crossroads at big creek, sturgeon bay

Dantoin-Sturgeon-Bay2Each year we choose a few soon-to-be seniors from local schools to be our senior reps.  We choose bold, fashionable, outgoing students who have something interesting to offer.  Alyssa is no exception; she is smart, sweet and involved in nearly everything in school and out including being a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters and being class president.  Somehow, with all of these commitments, she still manages to work on the side.  To say that Alyssa is hardworking and looking toward the future is an understatement.  For Alyssa’s session we chose a mix of downtown urban locations, and rustic fields at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.  Alyssa and her family were wonderful to get to know and the session was a blast!  Glad to have you as our rep, Alyssa!