Part of my mini session morning a couple of weeks ago were a couple of families from my neighborhood. Sessions with young kids are probably the thing that has become the "easiest" thing for me... mostly because I let the kids lead the shoots. I try to figure out with each family how the kids are feeling... shy, rambunctious, excited, etc. and that helps me figure out my own approach. No single method works for all family. Fortuntately, both these families of five were on the enthusiastic and high, energy side which made for some enthusiastic and high-energy photos!
So much thanks to the Buege and Swanson family for spending the morning hiking around a field with me for the sake of pictures! You guys are the best!
Last weekend I shot a few short mini sessions at Willow River State Park. My first two sessions of the day happened to be maternity shoots! It was so fun to be a part of the excitement and anticipation. The first set of pics is from Mallory's and RJ's session. They are expecting a baby girl, just about any day now! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to hear for news of her arrival. Mallory basically photographed like a goddess and I'm so thrilled I got to take these photos for their family!
I also shot photos for Kayla and Jeremy who are expecting a baby boy in just a few short weeks. They were such a fun couple to work with and a breeze to pose and prompt. Hoping for more sessions with their sweet family in the future!
So, people! Stay tuned for baby arrival news and family photos for these adorable couples in the near future!
If there is one thing I can tell you that is true about Minnesotans, it's that the State Fair is near and dear to their hearts. (It's not hard to see why... baby farm animals, amazing food on a stick, endless entertainment, people watching, cheese curds, mini donuts, butter sculptures... truly the finest things that only come around once a year!)
I was so excited when I got asked to take Solvi's one-year photos at the great Minnesota get-together. It was a gorgeous, bright morning, and little Solvi had big eyes full of wonder for all of the fair's sights and sounds.
A few interesting notes about this shoot! It was all about embracing the things I would usually try to avoid... harsh sunlight and lots of distractions (people, animals, and signs) in the background of my photos. I felt like this session required a more photojournalistic mindset rather than a portrait photography mindset which kind of brought me back to my approach when I first started shooting. I gotta say, I love how the images turned out!
Thank you Tara, Scott, and Solvi for such a fun morning and a great shoot.
(And for the mini donuts! You guys know the way to a pregnant lady's heart!)
A couple weeks ago I got an email from Emily who had just gotten married this summer. Instead of boxing up her dress, she wanted to say farewell to it in style and I was extremely flattered that she thought of me as the photographer to help pull off her vision. I've never shot a wreck-the-dress shoot before, nor have I ever shot at the falls at Willow River (though I've always wanted to!). So, at 7 am we hiked down to the falls with no one else there and I focused intently on not slipping on rocks and staying still and balanced as possible to get these shots. Every bit of the physical challenge was worth it because she and her husband absolutely killed this session.
So, if you need me, I'll just be here fanning myself from this ridiculously romantic session. I definitely think there's something to having a session with your significant other post-wedding when all of the wedding planning is behind you. Pressure's off and the shots just feel intimate and absolutely natural. So, if anyone has a wedding dress that's just shoved in the back of your closet (like, um, me), there's a lovely photographer over here who would be more than happy to have a dramatic and adventurous session with you!
In August I trekked out to Alma, Wisconsin to document Susan and Tom's wedding on her parents' farm. It was truly an intimate and beautiful celebration. There were only about 20 guests and I was the only person besides the officiant who wasn't a blood relative. I loved so many aspects of this wedding from the beautiful old farm house, to the gorgeous rolling hills, to the solemn and sweet vows, the wild flowers used throughout the ceremony, and the pure joy emanating from everyone.
Thank you again, Susan and Tom, for inviting me to be part of this incredibly special day!
As school is beginning next week, I've taken some time to look back and reflect on our summer. I'm revisiting some of our favorite moments, figuring out which ones to frame, planning what to do next year already, and researching how to keep siblings from squabbling (so far, I've got nothing on that last one).
One thing Rosie has really enjoyed the past few years is attending a summer dance camp at The Dancing House. This summer the theme for the camp Rosie attended was the Unicorns and Rainbows Camp which was just as magical as it sounds. I got to stop in during their last day of class and got to capture the activity, energy, and grace of all these young ladies!
I truly can't say enough good things about Miss Melissa and The Dancing House. Not only have my girls enjoyed taking classes, but I have too! Boogie Fit (the Monday and Thursday night adult dance class) has been one of my favorite things I've done for myself this past year. I have to admit that I don't have an actual dance background (I have years of cheerleading, figure skating, and most recently Zumba teaching under my belt, but I've never considered myself an actual dancer).
However, after taking and loving Boogie Fit so much I actually feel like I can call myself a dancer! It's an ideal class for anyone who "used" to dance (sort of like myself) or has always wanted to try. I feel very fortunate to have found The Dancing House and Miss Melissa as she has been such a wonderful source of positivity and encouragement in my life!
Whether you are interested in a class for your kids or yourself, I definitely encourage you to check out all the offerings of The Dancing House! As mentioned above there are classes for kids as well as adults including tap, ballet, hip-hop, yoga, virtual classes, and more! Speak of more, the studio will be expanding this fall to a larger location in Hudson, WI and I absolutely cannot wait to experience the new space.
Thank you again, Melissa for providing such exceptional dance experiences for both my kids and myself!
A couple weeks ago, my kiddos and I attended Addie's 5th birthday party! I've know her mama Kristina for 15 years and I've been photographing Addie since she was an infant! As you can see, the party was an absolute hit with all attendees, adults and kids alike. I am endlessly impressed by how creative and thoughtful Kristina is when it comes to hosting parties (or planning anything really. If she wasn't already doing and succeeding at literally all the things, I would tell her to start an event planning business.) Between the kid-sized ice cream truck to play in, the piñata to break, the sweet photo op, the delicious treats, the fun swing set, and the great company, there wasn't a frown in sight!
Addie, it's been an absolute privilege being able to watch you grow over the years! I hope five is your very best year yet!
Now that fall is almost here and I have back-to-back weddings, I'm going to throw it back to the beginning of summer when I got to capture Sarah and Mike's wedding day! They had a traditional church wedding followed by a reception at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course. It rained for most of the day, but we did get a little reprieve from the rain in the evening and were able to shoot a few outdoor photos of the two of them together. Their must-have shot list was simple (no getting ready photos, nothing over the top.) Just a simple, classy, celebration of a sweet love! Here are just a few moments from their day. I hope married life has been everything you guys hoped it would be and more.
I hope the two of you remain full of light and love for each other always.
Congrats again, Sarah and Mike!
My first session of this August was with the Langness family in Hudson. We were able to squeeze in two locations to our shoot and I'm so glad we did! We started off at Birkmose Park and then strolled around downtown Hudson until we were at the Lakefront.
Sometimes I'm out of my element working with older kids. Babies and toddlers tend to lead shoots most of the time for me and I just chase and follow and work with their attitudes and moods. Having two older girls at this shoot was a fun change of pace, and they were so sweet! The whole family was so easy and fun to work with... I found myself wishing that photos with my own kids were this easy! Thanks so much for this great opportunity!
Last month my family and I loaded up our minivan for a road trip to Asheville, North Carolina! The purpose of the trip was to get my husband Joe to compete in a Spartan Race out there, but also to visit some new territory for us. Last year our family took our first big road trip to Colorado and had such a great time that we wanted to do the same type of travel, but to a different location. Part of our trip included a bunch of hiking and exploring a couple different waterfalls in the area. This first set of photos is from Catawba Falls. (Our Airbnb was only a half mile from the trail head).
I will forever and always be grateful to strangers who offer to take a whole family photo for us!
This actually ended up being a pretty technical trail, but the kids did great (with some help from found walking sticks). And it's not everyday you get to frolic at the bottom of a waterfall! After this 3 mile round trip, we ordered pizza, bathed everyone and settled in for a cozy evening. It was fantastic!
We also drove out to Linville Falls and probably hiked about another 3 miles to see all of the different overlooks. Something I was extremely surprised and pleased with was the total lack of bugs and mosquitos! I figured being in the south during July was going to be really buggy, but not a bite on any of us!
Cece took this photo of me! I kept wearing long shirts with shorts, so I look pants-less, but I'm really not. I love having baby bump photos to show #4 all the places he/she got to tag along too!
We felt our trip was probably a day or two too short, so we'll just have to come back again and stay longer next time. Thanks for the memories, NC!
Welcome to my photography blog!
Rachel again! Here's where you'll be able to find blog posts about all things photography: recent sessions, upcoming events, and just fun musings on photography in general. Can't wait to fill 'er up with content!