Best of Milwaukee 2017

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

Tosa West HS senior photos | Kate + class of 2019

Nay, nay. We are NOT done with the senior portraits.

Today I present to you a Sneak Peek from this weekend’s session with Kate.

Kate is a senior at Wauwatosa West High School and - what d’ya know - she’s one of the yearbook editors!

If you’re new to the blog, (welcome!) I’ve had the privilege of photographing not one… not two but THREE yearbook editors for their senior portraits. Why does this matter?

Well, the truth is, it might not matter.

But to me it does. Something you may not know about me is that I was the loyal assistant to the editor of my own high school yearbook. I spent many late nights at my friend Donna’s house putting the book together… by hand. See, back in the day we hand cut articles, pasted photos and layed out the entire book on - what’s that stuff? - PAPER.

I know, I know. But what can I say? Paper was a big deal back then.

So, enough reminiscing. Let’s get on with it!

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re sitting down. Kate is an absolute stunner.

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Do you still need your senior portraits? I have limited number of openings remaining. But… I DO have some openings. Let’s get your session booked PRONTO.


The Cellist | Tosa West HS class of 2019

Aidan didn't want much messing around for his senior photos. All he really wanted was the one thing that is most important to him: his cello. 

He came into the studio (with his a-dor-able mom, Jill) and carried with him a giant green hard-sided case.

I set up the lights and the backdrop. I put a chair in place. Aidan sat down and I directed him to just "hang out a minute" while I set up my lights and such.

Naturally, he played his cello.

I really only took one shot to "set up" my lighting.

But I kept shooting as he kept playing. 

I have to say, it was BY FAR the most soothing portrait session I had ever photographed. Seriously, I felt like I could have curled up in the corner and taken a little nap. 

My inspiration came from the classical paintings like the Mona Lisa and The Girl with the Pearl Earring. I'm so IN LOVE with how it turned out.

Here's your Sneak Peek, Aidan! I hope you like it!

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Do you have a special skill or craft that you would like to feature in your senior portraits? Let's do it! It doesn't have to look cheesy. It doesn't need to be corny. I want YOU to be BE YOU

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Franklin HS class of 2019 | AJ's Sneak Peek

Here's the real, unfiltered truth.

Sometimes I photograph high school seniors who are just not that into being photographed. I get it: Mom is making you do it, Grandma is pestering you for an updated picture for the wall, your school has a yearbook photo deadline you have to meet or they'll use your school ID photo (noooooo!!!!!). 

But the fact is, no matter how badly you don't want your photo taken, it just makes me WANT to photograph you even more. (nanny nanny boo boo!) This goes for grownups, too. Nearly everyone comes in and says, "I hate having my photo taken," or "I'm not photogenic at all."

I don't buy it.

I submit, reasons #1, 2 and 3 for why you should hire a professional photographer.

Not because we are better trained at torturing you (though it may feel like it...). Rather, because we are trained in how to work with our clients - no matter who or how they are - to make them more comfortable in front of the camera.

When I first meet a client on location, I talk to them. Really, I babble. I ask them questions. Then I coach them through some basics of posing. Throughout the session I guide them through different ways to sit and stand for my camera. The key, I have found, is to make it as natural and easy as possible for the subject. 

The results?

This is my favorite part! More often than not, they are literally SHOCKED to see the first few shots on the back of my camera. Hmm... maybe "shocked" is not the best choice of words...

Pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed with joy is more like it.

So.... Does this sound like a portrait experience you could learn to appreciate? Let's talk!


Here is AJ from Franklin High School's class of 2019.

The real, unfiltered truth on AJ? He knocked it out of the park during his session. He may have not been so thrilled to be in front of the camera, but he did SO GREAT that I actually had to make myself put my camera away or I'd keep shooting. Thanks AJ for being such good sport. You rock!

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Sneak Peek | 3 Tips for Perfect Outdoor Summer Photos

Sunday I met up with this adorable little trio for some updated family portraits. Kerrie and her kiddos Lana and Ryan were a blast to work with. I know, I know, that sounds cliche. But it's true. Ryan was game for almost anything (no holding hands, MOM!) and Lana was as sweet as pie. 

Of all the adorable shots I captured, I had to somehow choose one to share as their Sneak Peek. This one won the contest. If it wouldn't be totally corny, I'd draw little hearts all over it. I LOVE this photo! Perfect smiles, perfect hugs, perfect capture of this moment in their lives.

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Our time together made me think... a lot of people will be together for the 4th of July holiday week and many family photos will be taken. Whether you're using an iPhone, a point-and-shoots or a big fancy DSLR, I want you get the best shots you can. Here are some tips to help you get there.

3 Tips for Perfect Outdoor Summer Photos

  1. BE SHADY.  Making your sister stand in the bright sunlight and squint at the camera is no fun for anyone.  (Plus, who wants raccoon eyes?) Find a spot under a leafy tree or on the shady side of a building. 
  2. GET ORIENTATED. The orientation of the camera (horizontal or vertical) makes a huge difference - especially when you're photographing a group of people. A general rule of thumb - go horizontal with three or more people in the shot. 
  3. BUZZ OFF. Must. Use. Bug. Spray. Let me put it to you this way: after Sunday's session, I immediately went to Tar-jay and bought a super-sized can of mosquito repellent. And a giant tube of anti-itch cream. 

I hope these ideas save you from bad photos and hungry mosquitos. 

If you'd rather a professional handle the photography end of things, give me a call and let's chat! I'd love to capture your family this summer. (BYOBS.... bring your own bug spray.)