Tween Birthdays

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.

Stories Framed Photography 2017 Holiday Gift Guide | Day 4

Before you read on, you may want to catch up on the previous ideas from the list... 
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Onto today... it's a good one! 

In your family, who is the most difficult person to buy gifts for? Aside from the "person who has it all", I would have to guess a child between the ages of 10-14. Am I right? Yes, I'm right. You don't need you to tell me. I KNOW that tweens are HARD to please. They can be really picky - now that they have developed opinions and all. But when you do get it right with them... oh man, you are a HERO!

DAY #3: BOOK A BFF PHOTO SHOOT

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Imagine her delight when she learns that her and her Best-Friends-Forever will be getting together on the Friday night of their choosing to have their very own just-for-fun photo shoot. Each participant will get their own framed photo to remember the day and the hostess will also get a brag book with all the photos from the session. 

This is more than just a party. You are gifting these kids the opportunity to have a fun night - and not need social media to remember it!

Side effects may include... a giant hug and "thank you!" being screamed into your ear. 

Learn more about my tween program -- #MKEkids -- and schedule your hard-to-buy's BFF session - or even a birthday party! 

#MKEkids Tween Birthday Party | Mia is 11

Saturday night, during a break in our little snow storm, Mia turned 11. 

I was at her party and got some ADORABLE shots of Mia and her friends - school friends AND friends from her basketball team, thankyouverymuch. I can't wait to share them! However, with the holidays and winter break so soon, Mama Weber and I decided to wait on the big reveal. 

Honestly, as a fellow December birthday girl, I can totally relate to the agony of "the holidays" getting in the way of the REAL celebration. Sorry Mia. I feel you.

But here's a gorgeous little sneak peek for you... this sweet and spunky girl is ELEVEN! Happy birthday, girlfriend!


Struggling to find "entertainment" for your tween's birthday party? Looking for the perfect gift for that tween-aged kid? What about a photo shoot with Stories Framed Photography's tween division - MKEkids! Click to learn more. 

(Oh, and, psst.... gift certificates are available!)

How old are they? | No two tweens look alike.

These three girls were my first models for #MKEkids. I did not know them ahead of time, so there was no planning for what I would discover...

Honestly, when I laid my eyes on the adorableness of Emily, Erika and Megan, I did a double take. And then I asked probably three different times what grade they were in. 

See, these three different girls are the same age and the same grade in school. Yet their appearances are completely unique and totally different. 

This is why I need to photograph tweens. They are ever-changing, you never know what you're going to get - and it's all so fleeting!

So... did you guess their age yet?

They are ELEVEN. They are all going into 6th grade next week.

Crazy, isn't it?

Don't forget your own tweens as they head off to school next week! Book a Back-to-School session now and an End-of-School session in the spring. You will be amazed at the changes and thankful that they were captured.

Quick, before they grow up. 

Why Do I Want to Photograph Tweens?

We all know why we photograph - incessantly - newborns and babies. Survey says, the number one reason - because they grow so fast and change so much in such a terribly short period of time. They go from being one second old, squishy and new, to being a month old, getting used to sleeping a few hours every night. It's all so fleeting. 

We all know why we take a million pictures of toddlers and little kids. It's the same philosophy as with the babies: those little ones grow so darn fast. They sit up, they crawl, they walk, they run.

They show off their new-found personalities in all the facial expressions, funny words and more. They are becoming little people. And we don't want to miss a single second of it.

AND THEN.

We all know why we make such a big deal about photographing high school seniors. After they walk across that stage, diploma in hand, they are grown up. We cling to their presence for one final summer and then they run off to college, work or to the military (or maybe all three). They are not "kids" anymore and we want - so desperately - to capture the last fleeting moments of their youth, to hold on to forever.

So... did you notice anything? Something missing, perhaps? 

The "kids" we are so fervently photographing leapt from five years old to high school graduates in a single bound... there's a GIANT GAP. a HUGE HOLE. For the math deficient, I did the calculations. It's approximately 12-13 years. GONE. MISSING. NOT ACCOUNTED FOR.

So what happened to all those years in between baby-hood and young-adulthood?

They didn't stop growing. They didn't stop changing. They didn't stop becoming more independent beings, more unique creatures, more individual in style, thinking and behaving. We have simply stopped photographing them. The crying shame of it is that between the ages of 10 and 14 in particular, those "Tween" years, our babies change as much - if not more - than when they were actual babies. WE NEED TO CAPTURE THE CHANGE RATHER THAN AVOID IT. 

Let's take this lovely trio of sisters. I have been photographing this family for years. Looking back, I found these two nearly identical photos. One was from the first photoshoot I did with them, the second was the most recent. Two years apart. So much change.

And by the way, that second photo is already a year old. I have seen with my own eyes that this year's portrait will be entirely different with a now fourth grader, seventh grader and a high school freshman. Yep. See what I mean? Catch it, don't ignore it.

Tweens get a bad rap. I don't need to go into all the stereotypes we hear about the Tween Years. Surely we've all had our own personal experiences in middle school. Instead, what we need to do is nurture them, we need to push them up instead of keeping them down. These are the years we not only continue shaping them but also begin to point them in a certain, hopefully positive, direction. It's our job as parents and grownups and society at large to tell these kids that they are smart and beautiful and that they matter more than they even realize.

And yes, we must do this even if they push back. Even if they don't seem to appreciate it. They DO. They WILL. Why? Because this is the time they will remember for the rest of their lives. Not when they're two, but when they're 12. It's all documented in their mind's eye. A postive, uplifting experience when they're 12 will carry them through the halls of middle school, the corridors of high school and yes, even across the stage at their high school graduation. And beyond. WAY BEYOND.

Stories Framed Photography | tween photoshoot | three girls | MKEkids

Call me today to book a Tween Portrait. It's not just a picture. It's a boost in their self esteem and happiness. It's capturing youth. It's love. 

Whether you want to surprise them with a session for their birthday, 5th or 8th grade graduation or just because.... 

Just do it... Quick, before they grow up.