Last Sunday I drove up to Stevens Point for a session with a family that I love. We met at Schmeeckle Reserve which was bursting with one of the most magnificent fall color displays I've ever seen.
This family is so much fun and I'm so thankful that I was able to photograph these memories for them! Here's sneak peek from their session!
And just had to finish it off with this...
Because pictures are hard for toddlers.
I really enjoy senior session but I LOVE senior sessions in fall. Here's a sneak peek from Kyleigh's session this past Saturday
The EAA grounds in Oshkosh proved to be the perfect location for the Bauknecht family's session on Saturday. Lots of wonderful moments captured and, of course, many of the 'in-between poses' photos are usually some of the best.
Before we had the kids all settled for a photo, the little ones and their great-granny were making jokes and being goofy. So grateful that I am the one that gets to capture these moments for families. I'm also grateful when a family requests to close out the session with a funny face picture.
Here are just a few of many from their session- Enjoy!
It was perfect weather for a session at Menominee Park a few weeks ago with the Karst family. These kiddos were goofy and adorable- the perfect combination for a great session in my opinion. Here's a sneak peek from their session!
Sweet little Caleb was an absolute joy to photograph. He stayed still, flashed his best smile and didn't even need a diaper change during the session ;) Here are a few favorites from his session...
Happy Senior Year to Koryl! We had a beautiful night for her senior session out at Terrell's Island. Here's just a few of many from her session
I had the honor of spending an afternoon with the Andersen family documenting their newest addition, Wade Christian. He was born on February 14 and was the sweetest, most laid back little guy. It was such a joy to watch this family interact with their newest member!
The days, weeks and seriously, the first few months following the birth of a child are such an incredible blur. Sleepless nights, endless feedings, and most often, living minute by minute as you try to figure out a tiny human. It's hard, it's taxing and time consuming and it's wonderful. It's also really hard sometimes to remember.
I wish I could bottle up those moments. I long to remember the smell, the soft newborn skin and those little noises that only a fresh baby makes. It all swiftly passes by and more often than not, it's a haze for a mommy and daddy.
All of these reasons are the very purpose and drive behind my newborn lifestyle sessions. It's so easy to forget those first moments as a family and of life with a new addition. I love to bottle up those emotions and freeze them.
I get contacted quite a bit asking how I photograph newborn sessions and typically clients are looking for newborn photography that includes perfectly placed babies (I'm sure you know of the images I am talking about- perfect sleeping babies, with perfectly smooth skin, wrapped in gauze) While I don't think there is anything wrong with a newborn session that looks like that, it isn't my passion. It's not my style. It's not me.
I'm not sure if you've ever experienced a session like that but I've heard they can take hours and patience beyond measure to even get one shot. Newborn photographers, I salute you.
This is what I love...
I adore a squishy baby that is just BEING. I love a natural environment with natural lighting. I love the fact that mom and dad can pick baby up to soothe or feed AND I am ready to photograph that interaction. I love newborn lifestyle sessions and sometimes, if you're patient, a photo like this just happens
When I first started out in newborn and family sessions I tried very hard to be the photographer that I thought clients wanted. I was so wrapped up in following what so many others were doing and I wasn't enjoying it. I felt stressed and pressured during sessions. When I finally let go and began just letting the baby be free, to let siblings just be and to let parents pick up their baby and interact, I felt like I struck gold. I would pour through images following sessions and fall in love with documenting precious first family moments.
If you're just starting out in photography OR you're a parent trying to figure out how to wrangle your kids for pictures please take this one piece of advice- Let it go. Let go of the control and just let your kids be, prompt them and encourage them but try not to force moments to happen. I guarantee that they will happen and be genuine if you let kids take the lead.
That moment my babies were laid on my chest after giving birth is a feeling and an image that will forever be engrained in me. Hours of deep, hard, reaching to the depths of my own strength, kind of work were rewarded by the first touches of my sweet, squishy babes.
As a photographer, you better believe I had my camera ready to go before delivery. Even while in labor, I can recall getting my camera ready to go so my husband could catch those first moments. I am forever grateful that those moments are forever memories thanks to him.
After the hustle and activity that happens after baby is born, I shimmy up the bed to sitting and grab the camera. From the hospital bed I make sure I get a picture of my husband holding our newest little one. I’m not even sure he notices I am doing it until the shutter clicks. He is always so entranced and engaged in the moment.
I’m always encouraged by Him. I see a Father’s love for his child in those first life moments. He gently swaddles them and lifts them up in his strong arms and talks to them as if he’s known them forever. He doesn’t even have to say much because I know exactly what he’s promising to them in that moment.
Our son, our first, was a whirlwind of fast labor and a quick entrance into Fatherhood. As he held him, I could see the tenderness. I could sense that strong desire to love, protect and dream of what his little life would become. Five years later, he is all boy and his daddy is all in.
Our daughter, our first little girl was an even faster whirlwind of labor. Holding her held a whole new world of emotions. This little, petite daddy’s girl already had him wrapped around her finger. I could see his protective love already as he introduced her to our son. He never shied away from holding her and soaking in those first moments. Even still, he delights in her and cherishes time with her.
Our second daughter, came into the world a bit slower but very peacefully. Like her siblings before her, she was wrapped up in her daddy’s arms within an hour of birth and even without words, was promised protection, love and dedication.
My wet eyes could barely see through the camera as I witnessed those first meetings. A little bit of pregnancy, post partum and mommy hormones may have a bit to do with it but for the most part, it’s from complete and utter happiness and joy
This father is the man that delights in his children. He teaches, guides and lovingly takes everyday moments and makes them important learning opportunities. He plays, with boundless energy after a long day. He prays fiercely for them as they grow, learn and makes mistakes. He makes them feel safe, secure, protected and above all, loved.
To my husband on Father’s Day. You are loved very much, you are appreciated and you are cherished by me and our three little ones.
When we moved into our foreclosed home over five years ago the yard was overgrown. It had sat, untouched, for nearly two years causing buckthorn to grow. By ‘grow’ I mean take over. It choked out all of the beautiful perennials that someone had so carefully and strategically planned and planted.
We attacked the yard the following spring and cut down all that we could. In the next few years those perennials started to poke through. All sorts of pinks, yellows and purples started to pop up as the ground thawed. This year I saw the greatest bloom of peonies. As I trimmed a few to put into a vase, I breathed in the wonderful scent that reminds me of warmer weather.
These pretty flowers were hidden, trapped, under a mess of an invasive plant. These plants did not immediately come up after we rid our yard of buckthorn. It has taken years.
I carefully trim a few stems to place on our dining room table and am reminded of the journey it took to get this many blooms. This peony journey is my motherhood journey.
That first year of motherhood was a blur. From going through labor for the first time to navigating through those newborn days, I was probably a mess. There was a lack of identity that first year. I was a teacher, a wife, a daughter, a student, etc. but all of the sudden, this squishy little being is relying on me for everything. There was an absolute dying to my own selfishness that had to take place, sometimes with my feet dragging and sometimes willingly.
I always wanted to be a mom and I always knew I wanted to stay at home with my babies. It has been nothing short of rewarding, an absolute joy and the greatest blessing. When I left my teaching career, I never looked back. I know I was called to be mommy to my children but like those peonies, I was choked a little.
Most of my hobbies, passions and creative outlets were things I had to push aside in order to keep a house running and kids alive. Each year, I have allowed myself to carve out time, to put aside household tasks that weren’t critical and remember that I need to do these things that make my creative side flourish IN ORDER to better serve my family. Each year my peony plants have grown and bloomed larger. Over five years into motherhood I feel like I am able to balance life a bit more.
I’ve pulled out my brushes and paints more, I’ve taken more photos and allowed myself to carve time into my week that allows me to create art. As my children have grown older they have taken interest in creating art alongside me and it brings me so much joy.
This is what motherhood looks like for me. Sometimes it’s flourishing and everything is beautiful. Sometimes it’s choking and leaving us searching for a way to catch our breath. Sometimes the everyday-ness of being a mom leaves us tired, exhausted and ready to throw in the towel. Sometimes we can sit with a hot cup of coffee and watch our children play peacefully together.
My Motherhood is a lot like peonies.
I love simplicity and taking time to cherish beauty. My hope is to inspire, encourage and connect. Find all my session featured here.