Portraits

Therapists and Dogs

 Rhonda Reinholz and her cute pooch.

Rhonda Reinholz and her cute pooch.

A couple years ago, a client told me about how people spend 2-3 times as much time on website with dogs on the homepage. I was incredulous at first, but she went on to explain how she had done her Ph.D. research studying how and why therapy website works (or don't). One of her discoveries was this dog-loving thing... just feature a dog on your website, and BOOM, folks stick around longer.

So I was shooting headshots with Rhonda Reinholz, a Madison therapist on the near west side, and we made sure to include some shots with her adorable dog. I don't think she's going to use them on her website like Amy Collins, but at least she'll have the canine option available in case things get slow sometime. 

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 Portraits - Neshotah, WI

Where is Nashotah? It's next to Oconomowoc. Lake Country. Honestly, there's a lake around every-other bend in the road, and there are lots of bends. When you live on a cute little peninsula, staying home for your photo shoot is a no-brainer.

Extended family portrait sessions are a great excuse to get together. These boys were not too interested in posed family portraits, so we pulled the wagons out and played in the street. Playing in the street is cool! Everybody is doing it.

The adult-to-kiddo ratio was strong here, so I was able to sneak off with each couple for those portraits that are so easy to forget about once kids dominate family life. Personally, I think having a recent photo with your mate is pretty important, so I try to request it when nobody is pulling on my leg. 

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. 

Newborn Photography Session at Taproot Farm, Ridgeway, WI

Taproot Farm farm sits atop a hillside clearing east of Ridgeway, WI, looking east toward a rolling valley of forested folds. I first visited Taproot with my brother, who is knows the owners. They had invited a bunch of folks out to help pick and press apples from their old orchard trees, a fun project with delicious results. We brought Sebastian, our newborn first child, out for the festivities and enjoyed a wonderful evening of food and good folks. When the owners asked if I would photograph their newborn baby boy, I jumped at the chance.

This boy must have been excited too, maybe that's why he didn't want to sleep. Mama really wanted to do some sleepy naked baby photos, but the kiddo wasn't having it. He was wide awake, super curious. So we sauntered around the property, up and down dirt roads, past the orchard and gardens, and generally had a nice time waiting for the babe to get sleepy. It didn't happen until the sun was just about gone, but right around sunset he finally close his eyes and we got a few precious shots in the grass.