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Award Winning Photography | "Match Point"

Ever since I shared the news of my award winning photo (YAY!), I’ve had lots of questions about photography competitions. I will do my best to answer those questions here. But first, let’s admire Joe the Volleyball Player….

“Match Point”

“Match Point”

The first thing about photography competitions is that it is NOT a race with one single winner. Each image in a competition is essentially graded in its own race.

When you submit an image into a competition, usually there’s a specific category. For example, this one was submitted into the Boy/Sports Category. Usually it’s more general than that - portrait, album, illustrative, etc. - but this was a conference for high school senior photography.

Next, the judges give points to an image based on 12 different elements that Professional Photographers of America has created as an industry measurement. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the 12 elements essentially boil down to two aspects:

CREATIVE and TECHNICAL

Is the image impactful? Does it tell a story?

Is the image technically sound? Is the lighting, color and composition on point?

It’s no coincidence that these are the categories that I (subconsciously) use to determine if an image is “client-worthy”. If it’s good enough for a client, it very well may be good enough for competition.

And that brings up another point. THE point.

When you hire me, I am NOT focused on shooting for competition. No, ma’am! My numero uno is YOU. I want to get your good side. I want to capture you in the best light. I want to show you your image on the back of my camera and hear you gasp with joy. I want you to be utterly blown away by your portraits and walk out of my studio absolutely GLOWING.

The competition aspect comes later as validation that yes, I’m serving my clients well and worthy of their business.

It’s a full-circle moment when a client loves an image it and then later, it scores well - even MERITING an award! - in a competition.

That’s a real win-win, isn’t it?


Okay, I have to share this. Here’s the fun part… the dark, shadowy and dramatic photo of Joe (go on, scroll back up and glance at it again) was taken in a FULLY LIT GYM. Seriously!

Check it out…. here’s a behind the scenes photo. See? It’s fully lit with ugly, unflattering fluorescent gym lights.

Oh, the power and magic of photography.

behind the scenes with Joe at Wauwatosa West HS

behind the scenes with Joe at Wauwatosa West HS


Do you want to have some fun with your senior photos? Do you want to do something different, memorable and attention-grabbing? Let’s talk! I’m now booking the class of 2020. Check out the MKEseniors page here.


2018 | what a year!

Whew. The calendar has flipped.

All the 2018 in reviews are floating around. All the lists of things to do in 2019 (cleverly disguised resolutions - I see through you!) are being shoved down our throat. I’m still reeling from the amazing year I had. Stop making me plan my next move - I’m just happy to be here!

Why so happy? Let me give you that long awaited (or not) 2018 recap…

JANUARY. My head literally exploded. OMGee. I won the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee award for Best Children’s Photographer. It was an out of body experience and such an honor. Thank you sososososo much for your support and votes and pats on the back.

(In case you’re wondering about 2018’s award - they closed down my category! Does that mean I get to be the reigning champ?!)

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MARCH. I had a BLAST collaborating with some beautiful and talented people on the Spring Style Guide. Did you get your copy? The tips inside won’t ever get old! Check it out.

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APRIL. I was featured in an article in Professional Photographer Magazine. This was a huge honor considering all the options for photographers they have at their fingertips. Definitely a super-proud moment for me.


MAY. I volunteered to do headshots for a group of women at a makeover event sponsored by Cabi. This was an exhausting day - physically and emotionally - but it was worth every single minute. When someone walks away from me believing - perhaps for the first time ever - that they ARE truly beautiful, my heart fills. This happened over 50 times in one single day. Oh my heart. Ironic that the event is called The Heart of Cabi? I think not.


AUGUST. I had an article published in an industry magazine. If you don’t know my secret past life, I went to college with plans to be a journalist. My life goals twisted and turned and somehow I ended up being a journalist! It was literally a life goal - accomplished! Blow me over!


SEPTEMBER. They say that if you don’t ask, you don’t get, if you don’t try, you don’t win. Well, I asked and tried — and got it and won! I asked to write again for the September issue of Toffee + Honey. She said yes! And THEN. In the same month I was published in Behind the Shutter Magazine. Wowowowow.

P.S. this is the month Shadow the Dog became a diva. Help me.


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OCTOBER. WHUT??? Again?? Speechless. And giddy. And a little bit hungry.

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NOVEMBER. Thanks to some generous sponsors and amazing support, I photographed 21 active duty soldiers and their families for Portraits of Bravery. They all received a package of holiday cards, prints and gifts. Merry Christmas, indeed.

This has been an amazing, mind-blowing year for me. I have to say, before you go, that if it weren’t for the loyal Stories Framed Photography family, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of this. You support me, you build me up. And I am TRULY GRATEFUL for you.

This one’s all you…. THANK YOU for being so GREAT in 2018. Now let’s BREAK RECORDS in 2019. What else do we have going on? CONTACT ME TODAY to get on my fast-filling calendar this year.

xo

When You Hold a Model Call | The Results Are In

I've got something exciting and different up my sleeve for later this month.... when it's ACTUALLY spring. They say it's coming... I'm confident that it will. Sometime around June 3rd??

If you follow my social media you may have seen that I posted a model call for a few upcoming projects. Thank you to everyone who responded - if we didn't use you this time, there's always next time! Stay tuned!

The four beautiful ladies who came into the studio on Saturday were PHENOMENAL. Thank you so much to April, Kelly, Mara and Monique. You really, truly rocked the camera. 

This is a small sneak peek of the gorgeousness that seeped out of the camera this weekend. I had to share at least a few... 

Clockwise, Top Right: Kelly, Mara, Monique and April. 

Want to see more of these lovely ladies? Join my super-exclusive mailing list to be the first to learn about this project I'm working on.

Elm Grove Photography Studio Opening a Grand Success

Elm Grove, WI
Monday morning

Wheeeeeewwww.

That. Was. So. Much. Fun.

I want to give a GIANT THANK YOU to EVERYONE who came to my Thursday evening ribbon cutting with the Brookfield and Wauwatosa Chambers of Commerce. I was overwhelmed by all the people who walked in my doors. I still can't believe ALL OF YOU were there! But I think I know why - you secretly wanted to make sure I really had a photography studio, didn't you? haha. I do, I'm not faking you out!

And then Saturday, I was once again honored to have Local First Milwaukee perform a ribbon cutting at my Open House. We were really lucky to have GORGEOUS weather so we went outside and basked in the sunshine. 

A big lesson I learned over the two events... I need to get myself a pair of giant scissors. 

Thank you to my friends and family who stopped by on Saturday. The Wauwatosa Mayor, Kathy Ehley, visited me! I couldn't believe she took the time out of her day for little old me. 

I have SO many photos to share and there are lots of them floating around on Facebook and Instagram. Are you ready? 

Thank you to Jason Brewer for shooting photos on Thursday.... and to my own kiddo, Sam, for "second-shooting". 

Here are some moments from Saturday's Open House... however, I didn't have a personal photographer following me around that day.  :)

THANK YOU! | Stories Framed Photography voted Best Children's Photographer in Milwaukee

Last November (as in a few months ago) I was asking (begging) you to vote for Stories Framed Photography for the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee List. I was - to my shock and surprise! - a finalist for Best Children's Photographer.

For real, I almost didn't recognize my own name. 

I landed on the page after voting for an awesome friend in her category (go Anna!) and thought, what the heck, I'll look at some of the other categories while I'm here. When I saw the names listed under Children's Photography I swear to you, I almost kept scrolling. Then it sunk in... and I completely lost my mind!

I spent November begging you to choose me.

I spent December desperately trying to not worry about the results. (Do you know about my tainted past with elections? Let's just say #perpetualloser is my own personal hashtag.)

Well, I can finally sleep again. 

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The results are in and I'm absolutely positively blown away by your support. I was named to the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee List for 2017 as Best Children's Photographer. 

ME!!!! 

THANKS TO YOU!!!!

Really, thank you from the bottom of my ice-cold toes to the top of my frizzy, curly hair. I am honored and flattered and just giddy with excitement. THANK YOU for choosing Stories Framed Photography. I promise to continue to live up to the title.

Do you see that red word? It says WINNER. Someone pinch me.

Do you see that red word? It says WINNER. Someone pinch me.

I sincerely hope you can make it to one of my Grand Opening celebrations... the word "celebration" may just be an understatement. I'm going to personally hug each and every one of you.