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.

Autumn Family Portraits in the Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood

I love it when families want to do an urban shoot. Not that Madison is that "urban," but shooting along an urban corridor is just a lot different - in a challenging, good way - than shooting in a park. More difficult, I think, because the hard lines of the city don't naturally place to the warm, intimate feeling most families are looking for. But shooting in a city neighborhood feels more day-to-day than park romping and I like that authenticity.  

The black and white image of this little boy holding his dad's hand... it might be my favorite capture of the 2014. I can't think of one I like more. It has a timeless feel to it, and his eyes are so dead-on sharp and beautiful.

Heather + Becci - Married in Iowa, Toasted at Memorial Union

"Should we wait to get married until it is legal in Wisconsin? Or get married immediately because we just want to be married, damn it?" It is ridiculous that gay couples here have to have this conversation. But at least for now, they do. Heather and Becci had been discussing this for a while, and ultimately decided to make the trip to Decorah, Iowa (the closest county seat to Madison where two gals can get a marriage certificate) to seal the deal legally. They decided to make the ceremony an intimate affair... I was the only invitee... and follow up with a party at Memorial Union in Madison.

We had a great time shooting in Decorah; it is a LOVELY town I will sure to revisit. The girls brought their dog to the ceremony, Becci wore her Chucks, and we hit up the local ice cream parlor for post-nuptial treats. The reception bash happened a couple weeks later, with perfect weather. The Main Lounge at Memorial Union is a great reception venue... it offers impressive privacy, while adjacent to the exciting energy of the crowded Terrace hum. Guests can hang out on the balcony and take in some fresh air and music, then come inside to a the private party. Couldn't be better.