children

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!

Love, Kids + Mom | a family portrait session

Sometimes I have to just step back.

Sometimes the love and adoration just FLOWS — and why would I possibly want to interrupt that?

This adorable little family is one of those. You can just see it.

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Look at those smiles, those happy eyes and mom’s warm, protective embrace. I just LOVE it. It was so easy and natural. The kids were getting along (all moms everywhere: HOW did you do that?!?) and just seeing the way mom doted on her babies was adorable.

And to top it off, Kerrie (mom) did a fantastic job at picking perfectly coordinating outfits for everyone.

The wine color (okay, BURGUNDY) along with navy blue is a perennial favorite color combination. Wear it in the spring and summer and it pops out from the fresh greenery in the background. Wear it in the winter and it takes on a festively seasonal feel. Brighten up the color combo with a splash of aqua - like Kerrie and her kids did - and you’re good to go.

spring color palette for family photos

Here are some more adorably love-filled samples of how to rock this color palette. Something tells me these will be treasured memories for a long time to come. Just look at them!

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Thanks to Lana, Ryan and Kerrie for being superb models. Little did you know you’d be official spokespeople for the color burgundy. It’s all just so perfect!

Oh, one last thing. Since we’re all loving on the Kerrie and her kiddos - check out their portrait video. Would you want to have a keepsake video with your family featured? All my clients get a custom created video with any print collection. It makes a great momento for your family. You can watch it whenever you want, share it with whoever you want, and bring back all those beautiful memories in an instant.


Get on my calendar for this spring. Among so much more, you will have access to easy to follow wardrobe advice as well as a personal and memorable video to accompany your printed portraits. Click below for more information on family portrait sessions.


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.


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