Stories Framed Photography | New Studio Soft Open Celebration

Hey, hey, hey! The day is finally here. 

The walls are painted. The floors are installed. The backdrops are hung. Most of the furniture and photos are in place. (The kids are back in school!) I think I'm ready to call it.... OPEN FOR BUSINESS! 

Now let me be super clear, this is a totally UNOFFICIAL opening celebration. I will be having a major extravaganza for the GRAND OPENING IN JANUARY. But I couldn't make you wait that long to come say hello. 

Consider this your New Studio Sneak Peek. 

So... c'mon over! I'll be here all day. Stop by and say hi, check out the place and see what I've been up to lately. (And why I need a nap!)

SFP Soft Open 9/8/17

Friday, September 8, 2017

890 Elm Grove Road --> in the Village Court

I may even have some goodies to give away. Hmm... 

Oh, and pretty please bring a new or used book for the September BOOK-ing DRIVE for Next Door Foundation

Stories Framed Photography | Back-to-School BOOK-ing Drive

Yesterday was BACK TO SCHOOL DAY! It was a rather emotionally draining day. I actually had intended to post this yesterday and I just didn't have it in me. 

See, this is a transition year. I now have a Freshman in high school and a 6th grader in Middle School. Sniff. Snort. Sob!


I wanted to do something extra-special in honor of the kids going back to school... I wanted to celebrate new beginnings... fresh starts... exciting opportunities.


Yes, that's right. For every session BOOKED this month, Stories Framed Photography will donate a BOOK to Next Door Foundation. That means one more child will have a book all to himself! 

Next Door Milwaukee is a a fantastic organization that provides books to kids who might not otherwise have them. More than that, their mission statement says, they "support the intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional development of children". 

I recently had a tour of their facility and I fell in love. I absolutely applaud everything they stand for -- helping children learn to read and supporting children's appreciation of books -- all while supporting their overall welfare and happiness.

Here are just a few shots of the very quiet school and library - mere days before the halls would be filled with little faces and voices.

While we were touring, a school teacher stood in front of this very bookshelf to personally select books for his students.

Picture this: a fresh crop of students shows up for the first day of school. They are greeted by their happy and enthusiastic teacher. Then they each are handed a book - or two! - to take home and keep forever.

I want to help keep this library filled for more teachers, more families and more children to understand the joy that comes with holding a book in their hands. A book that is all their own.

So you've been thinking about scheduling family portraits? You still need to get your high school senior in for portraits? You've been procrastinating replacing your outdated headshot? CLICK HERE to schedule your session. When you do, I'll add another book to the bookshelf!

Not in the market for portraits? You are invited to come by my new studio and bring a new or used book for the Next Door Foundation collection bin. I will happily pass them on.

Learn more about Next Door Foundation HERE. There are so many great volunteer opportunities available - from sorting and cleaning books to reading to kids. 

Local Business Spotlight | Sarah Alt

Sarah Alt

Triple Ten Consulting



Who is your ideal client?
Clients who want more inclusive cultures. Clients who are navigating change (organizational, leadership, technology, etc.) and need a strategist along their way.

What is something people THINK they know about your job?
People think inclusion is the same as diversity. They are not the same and are measured very differently.

Name one thing you WISH people knew about your job?
I WISH people knew how important inclusion is for their personal and professional growth.

Tell us a secret about your job.
I know I am successful when my clients don't need me anymore.

What is the ONE book that you think I should read RIGHT NOW?
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People


The Local Business Spotlight is a special perk for headshot clients of Stories Framed Photography. Click below to learn more about headshots and to book your session.

The Story Behind the Camera | How I Went from Basement to Brick & Mortar

Once upon a time, I took the giant, scary and terrifying leap and turned my love of photography and storytelling into a business. I birthed Stories Framed Photography at my dining room table on a laptop and a free website. 

I began this journey with the mere hope to survive at least two years and not completely humiliate myself. I pushed through tears and pain and agony. I celebrated the wins and victories - no matter how small.

This was from my first portrait session as Stories Framed Photography. | 04.01.12

This was from my first portrait session as Stories Framed Photography. | 04.01.12

And... I did it. I made it past the two year mark!

In fact, at the time of my two year anniversary, it didn't even cross my mind to stop. It was more like, "Well, I'm here. Let's get this party started!"

And so I spent another three years (and counting) photographing families, kids and headshots in my basement studio. My "lower level" studio got me through my first five+ years and it worked just fine (as long as my subjects were 5' or shorter).

This is my "lower level studio". One end housed The Table (referenced below) where I would sit and talk with clients. The other side had the "camera room" .

Last fall, after thinking it MIGHT be time for me to move my business into a larger (above-ground!) location, I had a serious breakthrough moment. 

I was photographing a very pregnant mama-to-be, Dani. She was due at any moment and in order to get her whole belly in the frame, I had to lay UNDER THE TABLE. That did it. I was DONE running a home-studio. It had actually - literally - passed the point of absurdity. 

This was the shot I imagined as I lay underneath the table in my basement studio. To get there, first I had to get past the original, "straight out of camera" version. 

I signed my lease and celebrated with my late grandmother's favorite drink - a vodka tonic. She would have been bursting with joy. I bursting enough for the both of us.

I signed my lease and celebrated with my late grandmother's favorite drink - a vodka tonic. She would have been bursting with joy. I bursting enough for the both of us.

July 1, 2017

I had finally found the perfect place!  I signed the lease! I FINALLY had a place to call my very own! More accurately, Stories Framed Photography finally has a place to welcome clients, friends and family who have endlessly supported my dream.

Let's be really clear, here. The truth is, my giant new studio space gives me the freedom to not lay under tables anymore. Unless by choice. But that would be weird.

This is the pen that changed my life. 

This is the pen that changed my life. 

I will slowly be transitioning into the new place. There are some changes that need to be made but nothing that will keep me from using the space. I'd love for you to follow along as I work toward creating the perfect space. And I PROMISE to invite you to the Big-Giant-Grand Opening, whenever that will be. My personal event planner will get right on that.

Follow Stories Framed Photography on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest details and anecdotes. 

For example, this little nugget happened yesterday:



Why Hire a Professional Photographer?

I recently attended a photography workshop (in some circles that's known as "continuous ed"). I learned a LOT - and I'm SO excited to share the images I shot at the workshop.

But I stopped myself. 

WHY would any of my clients, potential clients, friends, family or non-industry types CARE about these photos? Sure they're pretty, but it's not like I'm going to explain the technical information and camera settings for each photo. Heck, most of the people I come in contact with don't even care what type of camera I shoot with (Canon, always Canon!).

So why would they be interested in these photos?

People sometimes hesitate when hiring a professional photographer. "Why PAY for photos when I have a perfectly good camera on my phone?" "Why SPEND the money on a photographer when my cousin can do it for free?"

While there are a million reasons why, today's explanation is simple. Why would you hire a teacher who is professionally trained and, year after year, continues her education? Because you can tell the difference between a TRAINED teacher and a novice... Just as you can tell the difference between a PROFESSIONAL photographer and a novice.

So, with that being said, here are those images...

The wall in this image was not blue, nor did we paint it. Except with LIGHT. ;)

Portrait of a woman with a blue wall

In fact, all these photos were taken in a dark, boring hotel hallway. Except the last one with the beautiful mama-to-be. For that shot we were outside and I STILL used flash... but you can't tell! (That's a good thing!)

So now imagine you're out with your friends. The scene catches your eye and you MUST take a photo of your friend sitting at the bar. This is most likely how it would turn out, right?

iPhone picture of man at bar

I shot that with my iPhone. You can't even see the poor guy's face!

Enter professional flash lighting and a photographer who is trained to use it...

Man at bar with dramatic lighting

Wait, WHAT? Let's see that again.

As if you weren't already sold on the benefits of investing in professional photography, here's one more... THIS was my actual vision for the photo of the guy at the bar...

Sad guy at a bar in black and white

Are you ready to make the leap? I'm here for you! Let's talk about what's important to you for your next portrait session. 

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