Elm Grove Photographer

Sneak Peek for the Stein kids

Let me tell you a secret. You never know what conditions you might run into with an outdoor portrait session…

The weather could be utterly humid.

The balloons could all pop before we could use them.

BUT.

The kids? They were perfection.

John and Julia were fun and flexible during their outdoor session, balloons and humidity be darned.

Here’s a Sneak Peek:

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Summer is halfway over! Are you looking to schedule a family session this season? My weekends openings are filling fast. Let’s get your session on the calendar TODAY!


Tonawanda Elementary learns photography | High Interest Day

Last week I spent the day back in elementary school.

No, I didn’t forget my A, B, C’s. I was teaching photography for high interest day. If you’re unfamiliar, High Interest Day is sorta-kinda like Career Day for little kids with some marshmallow rockets and relay races tossed in.

I showed the kids some neat tricks that made them ooh and aah. As grownups, you may not be overwhelmed with awe at seeing a BLUE kid, but let me tell you, they loved it!

First I shared what a simple reflector can do. They now know they don’t even need a real reflector - a white piece of paper can do the trick!

Next I showed the kids how to turn that reflector into a portable, non-electric fan. A little bit of fake breeze can really liven up a portrait. Check out the before and after:

All the girls with long hair wanted in on this. They felt (and looked!) like models.

This next trick one was their collective favorites. It’s truly every kid’s dream to look like a Smurf, isn’t it? I asked them two questions:

1. what is your favorite color?

2. what does that color make you feel?

Here are some of the results…

Lastly, since I was on a roll with the Wow Factor, I showed them how I can make a fully lit room look pitch black. Sure they were impressed. However, once I saw these shots appear on the screen, I knew what I had done. These are two of my favorite (non-Smurf) photos of the day.

These two photos were taken in a bright room, with lots of (gross) overhead fluorescent lights.

Thanks to Tonawanda Elementary School for inviting me in for the day. You guys were so much fun to hang out with!

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to | William turns one

I absolutely adore photographing one year olds and their cake smash sessions.

That is, once I get over the massive amount of jealousy I harbor for these little humans who are allowed to sit on the floor and dive head-first into a cake they get to have all to themselves. They just don’t know how good they have it!

Echem. Yes, back to the cute little toddlers and their teeny little birthday cakes.

It really is fascinating to watch someone taste a new food for the very first time. This birthday cake is one of the many first tastes in a baby’s young life. It may also be about a zillion times better than pureed green beans. So to watch them react to that sweet, soft and unexpected new flavor is life giving.

Then there’s William. He thought the cake was okay. I’m not even sure he ate much of the cake. However, the blue frosting polka dots were what made his heart go pitter patter. And once they were gone (as far as he could see), he was very clear about his displeasure…

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Um…. Happy birthday William! I hope you’ve recovered from the apparently traumatic experience that was your first birthday cake.


Do you have a little one who’s got a full 12 months under his belt? Let’s do a birthday cake smash session!

When you book your session, we will discuss themes, colors and styling. We’ll do a short portrait session before the cake smash to prove to your family that your baby’s face was clean at one point. Once your little bugger is covered in frosting, that’s when the “fun” begins. It’s a Parent Puzzle - how to successfully squeeze a sugar-buzzed child covered in a slick coating of frosting into a set of clean clothes and a carseat. (Good luck!)

Now that I’ve painted such a glamorous picture of the experience (haha), click below to learn more about child portrait sessions with Stories Framed Photography.

It really IS worth it. (Besides, you get to help “clean up”.)


Her Family Portrait Sneak Peek | to warm your heart

It’s SO cold outside. Snow is everywhere. And it’s just… SO COLD.

I’m not complaining (technically), just stating the facts.

Today’s expected HIGH temperature in Milwaukee (similar to the entire midwest) is ONE DEGREE. One. With a windchill of -24. (that’s not a mark on your screen…. that is NEGATIVE 24 degrees.)

So what better way to warm up (besides jumping jacks and burpees) than by sharing a gorgeous family with you.

This group came to me from all over the country and yet, managed to immaculately coordinate the most stunning outfits. This family’s session was one of the times that, even though I’m behind the camera, I felt completely under-dressed. They were all SO beautifully put together.

I promise to share more from their session so you can see their gowns and bowties, but as this is just an itty-bitty peek, I decided to post only one of my favorite individual portraits from the day.

This is Dana.

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Caught your breath for second, didn’t you?

Forgot you were shivering down to your toes, didn’t you?

She is such a beautiful girl, isn’t she?


It may not feel like spring - or that other season, summer - will ever visit us again, but they will! And when they are back, will you have your session scheduled for your family portraits? Something tells me outdoor sessions will be in demand when we can finally go outside again.

Can’t wait that long? Let’s create some modern-classic portraits indoors at my studio with you and your family.


The Kids Are Back in Town | Estock Family Sneak Peek

When is the best time for family portraits?

The fact is, there is no perfect answer. I tend to be much busier with families during the second half of the year - so if you want some extra TLC, you may want to consider a winter or spring session.

Also, if one of your goals is to get holiday cards from your family session, I’ve got you covered! I’ve had families as early as June ordering Christmas cards. (They come with a free reminder to send them out!)

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the ideal time of year for your family portraits.

Is your family in town?

If your kids are older, winter break is an ideal time for family photos. They’re already home from college. Your session will take less than two hours and just like when they were little, you can bribe them with food.

Do you want to be indoors or outdoors?

If you are absolutely set on outdoor photos with warm fall foliage in the background, I think you’ve answered your own question. If you want snow photos and nothing else, we clearly know when and where you are destined to go.

Ed. Note: Tomorrow is your magic snow day. Call Abbie immediately and start getting the kids geared up first thing in the morning.

On the other hand, if you love outdoor photos but really don’t mind a nice, clean studio session either, then you’ve opened up a whole year of opportunity. I have a spacious studio in Elm Grove, Wisconsin that is just waiting for you and your family - from three to thirty - quantity is no concern. Bring them all!

What is your decorating style?

No, this isn’t some weird personality test. But knowing how you decorate your home does help me choose where to go for your outdoor session - and what type of setting we use for your indoor session.

Do you like long walks on the beach or roughing it in the woods? Those settings are self-explanatory. We might go to the beach or to the woods. (See? You’re so good at this!) Do you lean more modern and urban? Maybe we go downtown. Are you into the hottest barnwood trend? I know of places you would just adore!

The key to location choice truly is coordinating your family photos with your decorating style. Afterall, you will be decorating your home with a piece of portrait art - and we want it to pop off your wall in a beautifully natural way.

You don’t have to have all the answers.

I will guide you along the way with phone calls, emails, questionnaires and more. By the time your session rolls along, we will know where and when and why.


So, let’s talk about Tracy.

She knew her kids would be home for Christmas.

She bribed them with haircuts and lunch.

Since it was December, we smartly planned on a studio session. I worked with Tracy on selecting a set that would suit her style and clothing choices.

Here’s a Sneak Peek of Tracy and her sweet little family. Well, they’re not so “little” anymore, are they?

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Let’s talk about scheduling your family photos. You don’t have to know any of the answers, but let’s start the conversation.