Professional Photographer

Sneak Peek for the Spring kids

I decided, since we were supposed to meet for their BIG REVEAL last month, that I wasn’t going to post a Sneak Peek. It all happened so quickly and I couldn’t wait to show mom how the beautiful portraits turned out - in person!

But then, life happened, and Mara had to reschedule our reveal appointment. We still have a week until mom will see their images but I just can’t make her wait that long!

As a mom, I totally get it. It’s hard - not knowing if anything good will come the from your family’s session. You can’t see what I, the photographer, sees through the eye-hole of the camera, into the lens and out into the frame of the shot. Rest assured, Mara. Your kids are STUNNING.

See for yourself…

Children’s Photographer Tip

Do you have an upcoming session for your kids? There are a few things to remember when you tote your kids to the studio or the park for the big day…

1. YOUR KIDS WILL LISTEN TO ME. Your kids will listen to me more than they will to you. Why? I’m not their mom. That’s just kid nature. It happens with my own kiddos. If you ask any preschool teacher, dance instructor or babysitter, it’s the same story. Mom walks into the room and everything changes.

2. I HAVE SOME GOOD OL’ TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE. I’m no magician, but I do have lots of experience photographing kids. As your photographer, my primary goal is - yes, to make YOU happy - but at that moment, I want the attention of your kids so that I can show the world just. how. adorable. they. are. I’m constantly brushing up on my skills by attending workshops and conferences and reading books and articles… all so I can succeed at Getting Any Kid to Be Adorable in Photos.

3. Which leads me to this one. LET IT BE. John Lennon (or is it Jack Malik?!) couldn’t be more right. I want you to sit back and relax. I want you to read a magazine. I want you to check in on Facebook and tell the world how cute your kids’ photos will be because - oh, look at them! And this amazing photographer has them in the palm of her hands. (too much?)

Let them be. I’ll do my job and they’ll be kids. And I promise you some breathtaking images with your precious little sweethearts looking their best.

Quick before they grow up! Let’s get your kiddos’ session on the calendar before summer is over. My weekends are filling up fast, so let me know if you’re interested in scheduling a session.

Congratulations to Kayce | Greendale HS class of 2019

I’m so thrilled to introduce you to this beautiful and sweet athlete. Kayce Litzau is graduating from Greendale High School and couldn’t be more excited. I know this girl will take over another level of volleyball courts with flying colors.

black and white portrait of girl by a barn

Kayce Litzau

Greendale High School

I'm involved in club volleyball, playing at Milwaukee Sting, high school volleyball, and the drumline in the Greendale high school marching band.

I like to hang out with friends or just chill out at home.


Anywhere in Europe

when my club team finished 3rd at nationals

I will be going to Wichita State University to play volleyball. I am thinking about studying psychology, but I'm not certain.

You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you take that first step and just go for it.
— Natasha Hastings

It was a pleasure working with you, Kayce! I hope you love your senior photos. More importantly, I hope your mom loves them so while you’re off conquering the world, she can still see your beautiful face every day.

Best of luck to you, girl!

Hey class of 2020! You’re up next! I’d love to talk to you about what we can do to make your senior portrait experience the better than you can imagine. Let’s start the conversation.

Nowak Family | Third Ward Portraits

You may have seen this Power Couple around town if you shop and eat locally. Dan is the owner of Tall Guy and a Grill Catering. Amanda owns The Simple Home, a design company for senior living.

And then, as with any family, there’s the real star. Introducing... Murphy the Dog.

Family Photos in the Third Ward
Meet Murphy the Dog Who Joined for Family Photos.

You can tell just by looking at these photos that they love to laugh. Dan and Amanda’s laid-back personalities made very easy it to show off their wedded bliss… ironically, the last set of professional photos they did were at their wedding in 2011.

Meet Amanda, Dan, and their dog, Murphy and enjoy their family portraits.
Pets are members of your family and welcome to join family portraits!

Photography Tip

5 Favorite Locations for Family Portraits

Here’s are some of the most popular locations families choose for their sessions.

  1. Woods - Woods present - obviously - more of a natural environment, usually portrays more of a casual family though the contrast of a more dressed up look is ideal with a woodsy background. Just make sure you bring mosquito repellent to your session!

  2. Park - Similar to the woods, though a park may have swings, slides and picnic tables to give little ones something do (or stand on!). Bridges and paths are popular in both areas due to “leading lines” - the lines of the bridges or railings literally lead the viewer’s eye to the focus of the photo - YOU!

  3. Farm - Some families are really drawn to the look of an old barn - whether you grew up on a farm, live on one now or love the hot trend of barnwood-chic. There are so many options for families at a farm and in and around a barn.

  4. City - Not everyone likes a rustic outdoorsy look. Think about the decor in your home: is it rustic and casual? Or is it more sleek and modern? Perhaps an urban look is for you, like it was for Dan and Amanda. We could have gone even more urban-y with skyscrapers and reflective windows but with their dog, it didn’t fit quite right.

  5. Studio - Maybe you want to keep it simple and do indoor, studio-based photos. Maybe you have a more formal and classic look in mind. Maybe it’s raining (boo). This look never gets old and really, matches any decor in your home. Plus, I’ve got just the place! (centrally located in Elm Grove)

Which setup would appeal to YOU the most? Let’s make it happen! Your family photos should be a reflection on your personality and style. No better way than to choose a location centered around just that.

Back to Dan, Amanda and Murphy. This swell couple are the kind of people who just make you smile. I mean… look at Murphy’s big ol’ doggie smile and just try not to smile back.

Look at that puppy smile!
Big smiles and a wagging tongue for this family photo in the Third Ward.
It’s fun to get creative with posing!
This black and white photo showcases this swell couple.

Have you not taken photos with your sweetheart since your wedding day? Whether it’s your 8th anniversary or your 25th, now is the perfect time to take updated photos.

Treasured Family Photos | Rusty’s Family

This is such a special family. Wendy, is a mover and shaker in the finance world. (Congrats on your new job!) Her son Ian is as ADORABLE as can be. His smile lights up a room. Then there’s Justin, the love of Wendy’s life. They are such a happy little family. It’s a delight to see.

But that’s not all. Their fur baby - a dog with his own Facebook page! - is just as much a member of the family as any of the humans. Allow me to introduce Rusty the Party Dog.

This dog is a model and hammed it up for his family photography session.

I asked Wendy why she wanted to have photos done and her answer brought tears to my eyes…

Justin and I absolutely adore each other and our boys! I want to capture how much fun and love there is in our house! I haven’t had photos of Ian since he was a toddler. I want to capture his adorable boy face, missing teeth and all, before he’s a teenager. And our sugar-face Rusty, of course. I would like a shot of our hands with Rusty’s paw, if we can get it.
This shot is PAWsome.
Being a dog photography is a title I wear proudly.
This is the reason I’m a Family Photography.

Photography Tip

People ask me all the time if I will include their furry friends in their family photos. The answer is an eye roll (done out of love, of course) and a resounding YES! OF COURSE!!!

Want to know one of my little secrets to getting good photos of dogs? (Aside from lots and lots of treats!)

I try not to use their names. Usually dogs are trained to hear their name and a command - like “Come!” So if I call the dog’s name, they will probably react naturally by coming toward me. So I eliminate one small problem by avoiding using names. I’ll tell you what, it’s harder than you think!

Pet Photography Tip - Don’t use their name! Use a command that they know.

Treasured Family Photography

Wendy was so happy with her session and her final portraits that she stood up at a networking meeting and gave this testimonial on my behalf. I’m pretty sure we were ALL in tears. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?!?

This family photo could almost be an album cover.
Children photography is fun to capture their spirit.
Photography Tip - Don’t use the dog’s name when you’re trying to get them to pose.
Loved photographing this warm embrace.
This family photo session was so fun and I loved that they included their dog.

Do you want to capture your family as they are right now? I’d love to photograph your family (pets included!). Please contact me to book your session.

A DEElightful Family | Father’s Day Portraits

I love photographing families. I love it even more when we do something different, go somewhere off the beaten path, think outside the box.

Gina came to me with an idea for a SURPRISE Father’s Day session. Within a few days, we made her dream a reality.

Wauwatosa Photographer

I showed up early at The Landing Beer Garden in Wauwatosa. I staked out our table and then, as the surprise-(d)ees arrived, I LITERALLY hid in the bushes to catch them walking to the park. Have you ever been photographed by someone with a giant telephoto lens without knowing it*? Me neither, but it was creepy for me, too. I’ll tell you what, though, it was totally worth it.

(*I don’t make a habit of this and please understand that ultimately, I DID have permission since this was prearranged with Gina. This is my official statement in case you think I need one.)

I was there to capture their afternoon together telling stories and sharing jokes. I was there to photograph Pop with his grandchildren. These photos represent time captured in a bottle. Um, ok, bad analogy since they were drinking out of glasses, but still. These are the moments we want to remember forever.

And now they will…whenever Chris looks at his Father’s Day portraits hanging on the wall in their home or the kids flip through their book… it will all come rushing back to them.

Grandpa enjoying a laugh during Father’s Day photos.
Family photography captures the best moments!
I love snapping candid photos of families!
Cheers to taking family photos that you’ll cherish forever!

Here’s your BONUS! Photo Tip:

How to get your husband excited about family portraits when nothing else will work

  1. Tell him what to wear and when to show up.

  2. Tell him it will be fun. Not dentist office fun but, let’s say, road trip fun.

  3. Tell him he can have a beer. Why not? Having a session at your local beer garden is a great way to incorporate the love for his family AND his second love… that golden nectar from the brewing gods.

Those pretty blue eyes captured during a family photography session!
I love capturing their personalities!
Captured those brown eyes during our Father’s Day Family Shoot!
Children are so fun to photograph!
Two awesome dads!
I love using my photography to capture families how they really are!

All joking aside, one of the reasons some dads don’t value family photos as much as we wish they did is because they know, behind the scenes, the Picture Perfect Family in the frame is not “them”. My goal is to make your family portraits REAL. Sure, we want those beautifully posed shots so we can see everyone’s clean faces, smiling and happy. But there’s nothing wrong with a hearty laugh, a shrug or even an eyeroll. Okay, yes... even a cold frosty beer.

Family photos this summer are booking fast, especially if you want a weekend. Let’s talk about how we can make this a fun annual activity for your family.