Madison

Wedding Make-Up Photos in Olbrich Park, Madison WI

My first wedding make-up shoot. After their Utah wedding day was completely and mercilessly rained out, these two moved to Madison to start the new chapter in their lives. But they hung onto their celebratory duds and soon enough, they were ready to to reclaim their basic American right to gorgeous wedding portraits. We chose Olbrich Gardens because it was the best place to find some flowers still hanging on in late May AND it is the perfect place to get married after work on a Tuesday. I am always impressed by structure, color and tranquility at Olbrich and feel really lucky to have it just down the street from our house.

Corporate Headshots Create a More Intimate Workplace

Roche NimbleGen is a Madison biotech firm owned by Roche, a much larger Swiss company. Roche invests in staff headshots as a way for their employees to know each other better. As a multi-national business with thousands of employees, headshots associated with email and other internal technologies enable co-workers to pair sharp, modern, flattering images with work communications, which in turn fosters closer, more intimate relationships amongst far-flung staff. It's certainly not the same as being able to enjoy a coffee break in person with a co-worker, but I love that the firm sees the value in providing this service for their staff.

Breakfast Morning Portrait Session - Monona Bay, Madison, WI

Michal's mom had been asking her to please, please, please take some updated photos of her and Gavin, since her most recent ones were from their wedding a decade ago (or something like that). So Michal finally relented to stay in Mom's good graces. We talked about where to shoot and settled on a breakfast shoot at their place (though a cyclo-cross shoot was also considered). Done deal.

Michal actually didn't know how to cook eggs, which was awesome. Everyone should maintain a few basic things you don't know how to do, because it makes for great photos when someone teaches you. This is why I still don't know how to ice skate.

After breakfast, we walked out to the barely-frozen Monona Bay. I often walk the rails over the land bridge here early in the morning, it's a great place for capitol views, or to see folks on the lake. The trestle bridges are old and tastefully unimproved, always a nice contrast against a couple beautiful people.

Family Portrait Session - Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin

It is such a strange, blessed fall we're having. Last week, we sat comfortably on a pier, watching the sun go down on Lake Mendota, wearing only t-shirts. Something seems wrong about that, but I'm not complaining. I just feel lucky, and slightly worried that we'll have to pay for this mild weather, sooner or later.

Last year, it was pretty tough to get either of these kiddos to look my way, let alone smile or act naturally. But this year was completely different, which made this shoot incredibly fun and easy. This family feels so comfortable with themselves and I think that really comes through in the images. It smells like good parenting, but I'm no expert.

Autumn Family Portrait Session at Olin Park

This kid is cool, probably because his parents are cool. Coolness is genetic. This dad is infamous in his family for being un-photogenic, but I didn't experience that at all. Funny how some people get that reputation, usually from some isolated photo were the camera caught them in in a momentary cross-eyed moment, but then they can think they look bad in pictures forever. I like to wipe that slate clean.

I love Olin Park for family photography sessions because there is such varied landscapes within a short walk. Lakeside, parkside, big oaks, forest, field, playground... it's all close at hand. And it's separate enough from residential areas that it's usually pretty quiet too. Recommended!

Newborn Photography Session - Madison, WI

There is nothing quite as classic and pure as a newborn baby. We had a huge house available with lots of big windows and beautiful natural light, and our best images were the simplest: tender compositions, simple backgrounds, intimacy and family. This baby was the most cooperative little model I've ever worked with, sleeping, waking, posing, and smiling as if reading my mind. A special morning.

Wedding Photos at Tiny Period Garden Park, Madison, WI

An intimate, nearby locale seemed appropriate for this small wedding party. After a ceremony at the Federal Courthouse off the square, these folks stopped for a drink, then sauntered over to tiny Period Garden Park, a favorite Madison treasure of mine. The Period Garden is hardly a secret (how can anything along E Gorham be a secret?), but it's so easy to drive or walk by it daily and not notice it. 

Olbrich Gardens Family Portraits in Madison, Wisconsin

This shoot was scheduled for Labor Day weekend, but it turns out the Navy does not predictably schedule leave for its sailors. Which was okay with me, considering I'm not the one with a family member in some unknown location in the Pacific Ocean most of the time. That brings some perspective. Thank you, thank you a thousand times to those who serve and protect us all over the world.

Before our session, I got to visit the home and see the wonderful collection (and implied appreciation) of black and white prints this family has in their home. Beautiful work all over the walls, both in-house from dad and daughter and from friends and colleagues as well. And they asked ME to photograph their family... I felt that was quite a compliment. And a little bit of pressure, but that's a good kind. Nice making work for folks with a deep appreciation for photography as a medium.

Great Gatsby Holiday Party at The Edgewater Hotel, Madison, WI

Want a delicious recipe for holiday party success?  How about 20's garb, casino games and dueling pianos in one of Madison's newest and oldest establishments, the newly refurbished Edgewater Hotel. The Edgewater is decked out in its holiday finest right now, and the ice rink, the comfy chairs, the huge fireplace and all the gorgeous people coming and going make it a fantastic spot for a party. And with the Statehouse bar available upstairs for the afterparty and beds available above when you're ready to hit the sack, you don't even have to drive anywhere afterwards. How convenient.

I gotta mention the dueling piano guys, Felix and Fingers, because they were fantastic.  F&F take song requests - ANY song requests - and more or less nail them anytime. They played everything from 90's rap to "Wreck fo the Edmund Fitzgerald" to the them song from "Jurassic Park" to They Might Be Giants. And more. Even when everyone was on the other side of the Grand Ballroom playing craps or what have you, these guys were having a blast on the other side, keeping the party going. If you want awesome party entertainment and are looking for something a little different, check them out.

Looking forward to more holiday cheer this week. Happy solstice and enjoy a wonderful holiday week!

Christmas Family Portraits in Madison, WI

There are lots of kinds of people out there. I don’t know exactly how to describe these kind of people, but I could stand to spend more time with them. Funny, loving, kind, warm, at ease with themselves. Maybe that’s because the elders of this clan are so heart-meltingly wonderful. Grandpa’s eyes sparkled the entire time. And those glasses grandma was wearing… so awesome. Fun challenge to shoot an indoor session where two people can’t leave their chairs and half the family leaves for Toronto in an hour, I like adventure.