September 2014

Five Lessons from an Extended Family Session | Stories Framed Photography | Milwaukee Child & Family Photography

Over the summer I had the privilege of photographing a large, extended family, some of whom I've photographed in the past. But this time it was all seventeen (17!) family members.  Allow me to introduce you to the Keenan family. But truthfully, if you live in Wisconsin, odds are pretty good that you already know at least one of them. 

Five Lessons from an Extended Family Session

1. It never hurts to ask.

All 17 members of the family were scheduled to be in the same place at the same time.  They were doubtful if their favorite photographer (echem, ME!) would be available on that particular day, at that exact time. They asked anyway -- you know, just in case. And you guessed it - I was free! Moral of the story: just ask.

2. I am a terrible, horrible, not very good gardener. 

I arrived to the grandparents' beautiful home and was floored by what I saw. Judy is a Gardener. And I'm not talking a row of tulips under the front window. Their backyard was an absolute WONDERLAND! There were actual botanical ZONES! There was the under-the-tree-and-down-the-path zone. The between-the-evergreens-and-down-a-different-path zone. The grassy knoll zone. The shed-that-looks-like-a-cute-barn zone. The secret-hidden-bench zone. And then there was the POND ZONE. For real. And here I am, I can't barely keep a tomato plant alive. Moral of the story: I may be compelled to relocate my studio to the Keenan family backyard.

Judy is so good at gardening - and paying attention to details - that she actually thought to spray paint some of the blooms that had browned.

Judy is so good at gardening - and paying attention to details - that she actually thought to spray paint some of the blooms that had browned.

3. You don't have to matchy-match your outfits.  

I try to suggest to my clients that the era of everyone wearing white shirts and khakis in their family portraits has been long gone. Nowadays (um, a word that needs to go for a long walk with the white shirts and khakis), families are coordinating colors and tones. I told this to Judy and she went with it. This family hit the clothing bullseye with dashes of black, white, navy and yellow. Gor-geous. Moral of the story: match something, not everything.

Vance bought that stunning yellow dress for his wife for Mother's Day. That must have earned him some serious Husband Points! It's perfect! 

Vance bought that stunning yellow dress for his wife for Mother's Day. That must have earned him some serious Husband Points! It's perfect! 

4. Sometimes the best shots happen when you least expect it.

As a photographer, my job is to see... and sometimes to foresee. Anything and everything a little kid does can be cute. Little Nyo wanted so badly to help me hold my reflector while I photographed the grownups that he passed up playing with his cousins. So there he stood next to me with this giant fabric circle in front of his face. I turned to look at him and this happened... 

He had me at "I'll hold your reflector."

He had me at "I'll hold your reflector."

Moral of the story: I don't put my camera away until I leave. Your kids don't stop being cute. Ever.

5. I am now a proud, card-carrying member of the Keenan family (surprise!). I absolutely fell in love with this family. So much that I might just move in and become one of them. From the youngest kiddos - who, coincidentally, were born in matching years - to the matriarch and patriarch (let's call them King and Queen) and everyone in between. I adore and admire them all. I look forward to many years of family photographs and watching their children grow. Moral of the story: I hope they don't mind when I crash their family Christmas party...

This is the Keenan family who started it all... or at least began my adoption process. Thank you Tanya! Muah!

This is the Keenan family who started it all... or at least began my adoption process. Thank you Tanya! Muah!

If you, too, would like to adopt me - or at least have me photograph your family and extended family - contact me today. As we move into October, the autumn colors are literally falling from the sky, begging  for you to gather for a family portrait. Let's get your session on the calendar before.... well.... before white stuff starts falling from the sky. Email me right now

Fall Mini Sessions Are Here! | Stories Framed Photography | Milwaukee Child & Family Photography | Rim's Edge Orchard | Germantown

It's the time of year we have all been waiting for -- school's in session, cooler weather is coming, leaves are starting to fall, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back. And I'm announcing my Fall Mini Sessions.

WHEN: Sunday, October 5, 2014 10:00 am - 12 noon (time extended if needed)

WHERE: Rim's Edge Orchard in Germantown. Their address is: W220N10550 Amy Belle Road, Germantown, WI. Here's a map.

WHAT'S A MINI SESSION: Literally, a short photo session. Teeny. It's only 20 minutes. If this is your first family photo session or you have kiddos who may not cooperate on demand (never!) this may not be the best option for you. Perhaps a full-sized, more relaxed family session is more your speed? Go here for more info. Mini Sessions are intended for an updated family photo (for your holiday cards perhaps?) or just a few updated shots of the kids in a unique setting. Also, if your kiddos DO cooperate on demand but for only a short amount of time, Mini Sessions might just be ideal! In, out, done, snack time.

WHAT TO WEAR: Dress weather appropriate (okaaay MOM). Nothing too dressy. This is an apple orchard, we could get dirty. Save the fancy stuff for our indoor Holiday Mini Sessions (coming soon!) 

WHAT DO YOU GET: You will view 10 beautiful images of your family in a private online gallery. From those, you can choose which one you want as a framed 8x10 (or 8x12). I will also have special Print Packages available for Mini Sessions only. Additionally, you may order from my regular Print Packages, A La Carte Product List or I can custom design a Wall Collection for you. Finally, you will get a mobile app loaded with your photos and a free Facebook timeline.

Oh yeah!  You also get to take home a small bag of apples from the apple orchard! Snack time, indeed.

HOW DO I GET IN: Email me. Comment below. Call me. Send a carrier pigeon. No matter how you do it, reserve your spot TODAY! Your appointment will be considered "filled" when I receive your $100 Session Fee. 

RAIN DATE: In case of yucky (inclement) weather, the rain date will be Sunday, October 12. Same times. Now let's all do the Blind Melon "No Rain" Dance....

See you at the apple orchard!

Balloon Girl Has a Little Sister | Stories Framed Photography | Family and Child Photographer | Milwaukee, WI

There are certain images that I've shot that stick with me. Many of them are personal, not business-related - after all, I do take a photo a day! (Yes, I'm crazy.) However, some of my professional portraits have also resonated with me in a big way. Not because they were friends, extraordinarily cute or even related to me. (What?!?) But rather, because the image has substance, composure, color, meaning, value, victory.

As we all know, a photo tells a story. Here are a few...

ENGAGED.

This is when I realized I can see things in a different way. Look and shoot outside the box. This is the perfect engagement photo: the ring, the happy couple, the embrace. You see it all, not necessarily in that order.

This is when I realized I can see things in a different way. Look and shoot outside the box. This is the perfect engagement photo: the ring, the happy couple, the embrace. You see it all, not necessarily in that order.

MAX.

This image sticks with me because I realized that not every portrait of a kid needs to be all smiley-happy-time. This one photo turned my entire thought process on its ear. Every session I shoot, I strive to get down to the essence, the meaning, the SOUL of the individual. Look in Max's eyes. You can see his soul.  Not that there's anything wrong with a smiley-happy kiddo.  Because then there's this...

This image sticks with me because I realized that not every child portrait needs to be all smiley-happy-time. This one image turned my entire thought process on its ear. Since then, I am very conscious that at every session I shoot, I strive to get down to the essence, the meaning, the SOUL of the individual. Look in Max's eyes. You can see his soul.

Not that there's anything wrong with a smiley-happy kiddo.

Because then there's this...

BALLOON GIRL

THIS. Oh, my. Just.... THIS. This is Alexa when she was one year young. As happy as a girl with a big, pink balloon can get. And here it is. One day, her silhouette will be my logo. Because.... Balloon Girl.  And recently I saw Balloon Girl again - now three years old! - with her little sister who is just turning one. Allow me to introduce.... 

THIS. Oh, my. Just.... THIS. This is Alexa when she was one year young. As happy as a girl can be with a big, pink balloon. One day, her silhouette will be my logo. Because.... it's Balloon Girl. 

I recently saw Balloon Girl again - now three years old! - with her little sister who is just turning one (awww). Allow me to introduce.... 

BALL GIRL.

Balloon Girl has a little sister and her name is Ball Girl. This. Is. PERFECTION. I am in love. What did I learn from this? Get down. Let them play. Magic happens.

 Ball Girl. Oh. My. Goodness. GRACIOUS! This is PERFECTION. If I could have asked a one year old to play with a giant pink ball and look like a tiny little pink princess, this would be the result. THIS. IS. HAPPINESS.

Oh, yes, and this is absolutely why I do what I do.


Now booking fall and winter sessions. Don't delay! Once those fall colors emerge you will want your spot on my calendar. Contact me TODAY. Click HERE

Back to School, Back to Routine | Stories Framed Photography | Wauwatosa Family & Child Photographer

Yesterday, a great and powerful SIGH was heard from all the mothers of the land.

Some mothers sighed with grief. How could their babies possibly be old enough to leave their side? How did they grow so fast? How on earth did time go so quickly? These are usually moms of wee-little ones - ones headed to their very first day of preschool.

Other mothers sigh with relief. These moms don't love their babies any less, but they have also learned to love routine. And when the first bell of the school year rings, it's the moment they get their routines back. These are also the moms who look around at their work and their house and gasp with horror, "Oh. My. GAWD. Everything in sight is a complete and absolute disaster!" (I'm just guessing, he he.)

Every day I am blown away by something my kids do or say, proving once again how incredibly quickly time goes by and how amazingly fast my babies have grown. My daughter is in middle school. My son is in third grade. There is baby gear that has been invented that I've never even heard of. How did this happen???

Once upon a time, I was the mom who cried all the way home after dropping off my oldest at her first day of preschool.

I was the mom who sobbed on the street corner as her kindergartner got on the school bus for the first time.

(I was also the mom who, six months later, sobbed upon learning that there are no buses in our current school district.)

I was the mom who returned to an empty house when her youngest went to his first day of preschool. And then, while sitting at the dining room table with a bowl of cereal, I completely lost it. I mean, really LOST IT.

Now I'm the mom who wishes summer could last forever... until about August 1. Then, I can't hardly wait for all of us to get our routines back in gear. C'mon school bell! But I still get sniffy watching my (big!) kids walk off through the thresholds of their schools.

BACK TO SCHOOL 2014

Time goes fast, people. So fast, indeed. Make sure you capture every moment you can - whether in a camera, in words or simply in your mind. That's what we have to do... Quick, before they grow up.


Let me help you capture some of those memories. Click HERE to schedule your back-to-school photo session or fall family session. I am also now booking holiday sessions.