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.


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!


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.

raise your hand if you love cake | happy birthday Sebastian!


A charming, energetic little smiler.

Who likes cake.


This little boy came to me - well, he snagged a ride from his parents - for his one year portraits. We had quite the time… playing with blocks, pretending to sweep, climbing stairs, sitting on chairs and stools. And then… the big finale. The Cake Smash.

Sebastian is not shy around cake. He dove right in. And loved every second of it. (Ok, so did we!)

Afterwards mom and dad literally peeled his clothes off and put him into pajamas for a great, post-sugar-rush sleep.

Happy birthday, little one!

Tosa West class of 2018 senior | congrats to Logan

Senior Month for the Stories Framed Photography Class of 2018 continues. Here's another great kid. Read on and learn all about Logan...

Logan Steinike

Wauwatosa West High School


Calculus class because there is always an undisbutable answer


Track and Field, cross country, key club, Math Club, peer tutoring, National Honor Society, director of baseball mentoring program, green team member

Performance Running Outfitters

Hiking, running, biking, yoga, read, listen to music in a hammock, go out to eat

Tosa Public Library Leadership Award Recipient
Two Sport Varisty Athlete
Member of National Honor Society
Voted Key Club Treasure

I received the Tosa Public Library Leadership Award

New Zealand

Consult as an Enviromental Engineer


Congratulations Logan! Go forth and conquer!

It's getting to be that time of the year...if you are a junior becoming Senior, that also means you need senior portraits. So... LET'S TALK!

Architecture + Senior Portraits = Epic-ness for Christopher

This kid. 

I should have known we'd totally vibe when HE sent ME a guide of locations he wanted to use for his senior portraits. (And yes he's hired, by the way.)

You need to know Christopher... here's his story.

BW portrait boy sitting on a bridge

Christopher Bravata

Wauwatosa West High School

I am the Lead Student Editor for my school paper.
I am the only student 'employed' by my school to repair Chromebooks.
I played on the JV Ultimate Frisbee team my sophomore year; and I moved up to the Varsity team for my Junior year, as well as my Senior year.

Senior Boy centered on a MKE bridge

I take photos for school events (ie Football games, Marching Band Parade performances, etc). 
I also code websites and design things. I enjoy biking and exploring on the weekends, weather permitting.

MKE Cream City Brick and metal bridge in portrait

I have my own business designing & developing websites.
I started the live-broadcast division at my school's Journalism program; the only school IN THE USA that live-broadcasts athletic events (internally - fully operated by students, not done by a local TV channel)

senior portrait in front of metal grid

Seattle/Portland or NYC

Working at Apple, particularly on the team that designs and develops products like the iPhone, the Mac, and the Apple Watch.

I walked into the local Apple Store, had a conversation with an employee, who called over the manager - who 15 minutes later offered me a job; all at the age of 16.

Milwaukee Public Market in senior portrait at night

Like I said earlier.... THIS KID. 

He's destined for something big. 

Congratulations Christopher on your high school graduation. I'd say, "may all your dreams come true" but perhaps "come up with some new dreams" is more appropriate! You will do great things, and I'll be watching! 

Yo, Class of 2019 - you're up! Get more info on your senior portraits HERE.