The bride slipped into her layers of white satin and lace. Her lifelong friend clasped the endless delicate buttons together. In all the meticulous unending details everything was all going so fast. Someone offered a stool for her to sit on as her sister secured the veil. Suddenly it was all so real. The wedding dress, the veil, her father waiting outside. It was her wedding day! In all the chaos things were falling into place. She was finally marrying her best friend!
Yes I know it's Fall. And Fall in Wisconsin explodes like nowhere else in all of its colorful flamboyancy. But I'm still stuck on Summer, and I love that one time my sister and I took the boys and visited Wakanda Park in Menomonie for one last late Summer hiking excursion.
My favorite thing is to have her over at my house for no reason at all but to love on her. She is such an angel! She loves to be cuddled, and she loves to play happily on the floor. She is quiet and sweet and even patient. When I take her pictures just because she is visiting me and I want to surprise her mom, she effortlessly flashes that gummy smile. Then when it's time to take her official pictures of turning one, she becomes very serious and turns into this little baby Gerber model.
This particular July morning we woke up to the very air begging for adventure. The clear blue sky and the warm scent of Summer carried on a gentle breeze was calling our names. We packed a little picnic and took the boys to discover the rugged beauty that is the Devil's Punchbowl just South of Menomonie. It was paradise down there, with the rushing water falling in streams from up above echoing against the cavernous walls, and the scenery somewhat reminiscent of the Jungle Book. There were pools of water and little streams, and the way the sunlight filtered through the trees and reflected off the walls and the water was magical.
Heavy downpours had this photoshoot delayed an extra day. We took a little detour from our original destination to discover the quiet peace that is Braun's Bay. The clouds were still heavy, threatening rain at any moment and igniting the fury of the swarming gnats and mosquitos, while the friendly ducks waddled around hoping for handouts.
He has the wild spirit of an Arabian, and the gentle streak of his quarter horse ancestors. He proudly carries his head high, arching his neck with that gorgeous mane flowing in the wind and his tail held with spirited Arabian pride.
Walker Alan was welcomed earth-side two weeks ahead of schedule. Early and eager to accomplish life, like eating, sleeping, becoming acquainted with his furry siblings and being adored by his sweet parents he was gracious enough to be a perfect little newborn model for my camera. His darling features actually reminded me a lot of the baby doll I was obsessed with when I was a little girl.
The Best Portraits Are The Candid Ones
Hone skills of stealth, speed and accuracy. Basically, think like a fighter jet.
I have known this family for a little over two years now. Two years of getting to capture their greatest moments, my Canon and I. A country engagement, a barn wedding, an ice fishing pregnancy announcement, a Summery maternity session, an Autumn newborn shoot and now this; a willow shaded, family session in the rugged territory of Hoffman Hills. Seriously, this is one of my favorite spots on all of God's green earth (i.e., Wisconsin) with quite possibly my favorite family (shhh!).
With no schedule of events or agenda in place, some went early to get their fishing in, others, such as myself and my uncanny navigational skills, got lost and found themselves arriving late. There was tubing and boating and wading and swimming and splashing and kayaking and great food (did I mention the strawberry shortcake?) and volleyball and playgrounds and tadpoles and sand castles and selfies and sunburns.... Bottom line, fun was had by all, and every family should have days like this one.
I'm the cutest catch.
The 48 hours immediately following birth are a complicated medley of magic and infatuation, coupled with pain and physical discomfort. There is so, so much to take in, so much to recover from, and there's this brand new little person in your family that you are head over heels for who comes with her own set of opinions, needs, and you just can't get enough of her. There's so much newness, so much to learn about each other, the very thought of missing any little detail makes your hormonal heart fall apart. That is why I love the idea of a fresh-48 session. These are the pictures that bring it all back. Your memories of those fleeting days when your child first entered your world are important to hold onto. Get pictures during those first days. You will cherish them.
This beautiful family is completely infatuated with their little surprise gift straight from heaven.
This baby; a little masterpiece that entered the world, by all standards of logic, a less than ideal time. But here he was, in all of his perfection born to his beautiful, loving, courageous mother and two of the most dedicated sisters a baby could possibly hope for. He is loved and cherished and the most beautiful gift God could ever give to his amazing little family.
One of our very favorite highlights of the Summer is the Menomonie Airfest and Autorama. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, we were unable to take in the pancake breakfast and all the sights and sounds like we usually do, but we made it to the airshow because it would not be Summer without it. And as usual, it did not disappoint. Here's a few snapshots I got of the day. What a great community event.
Recently, I visited a home for a newborn session and was greeted by the tiniest painted turtle I had ever seen. His "mommy" thought he needed a mini newborn session too. I was schooled on his diet, habitation, and what bugs he strongly dislikes and how you can tell. I welcome these distractions. This is why I love what I do. I never know what to expect; it's like every shoot is a new adventure. I love the challenges and the fun interactions I wouldn't have if I had my own studio.
As if on cue, people were swarming us. So many people from almost every direction, all claiming to be part of this same family. I'm not sure I believed them all, but not that I would blame them.
In spite of her great dislike to be anything but cuddled in her sweet slumber, and the storm that rolled in robbing me of my natural light source, her perfect doll face and crazy newborn fuzz made my heart sing. I just adore how her pictures turned out.
Long story short, I got the job and Anissa didn't think I was weird. Ah, I take that back. She did think I was weird, but it was more of a mutual weirdness. We bonded over chocolate and coffee, how adorable her daughters were, worked out potential trade deals amongst our kids, pranked team members a time or two, and sometimes it was suggested we not sit together during meetings. It was the best day job experience I have ever had.
Motherhood. The most secure of all job titles, for she will never be fired from it; but her salary becomes the deepest insecurity known to mankind of imminent failure. Motherhood feels like a world of judges with no jury, the verdict remaining guilty until proven innocent. It feels tiring and thankless but then she looks into the eyes of her child and every single teardrop of agony is but a tiny price to pay for this love she could have never prepared herself for.