Recently, I was doing some reorganizing in my closet and stumbled upon the first camera that I ever bought. I tried to sell it once, but I am really glad that didn't work out. It serves as a fun reminder of the beginnings of my love for photography. So today I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane and share the story behind this first camera.
Growing up I always loved taking pictures. I burned through a ridiculous amount of disposable cameras (more than my mom cared to continue buying LOL). Back then I remember the excitement of taking those cameras up to the local grocery store to drop them off to be developed. Oh yes, I am talking about when Schnucks had a photo department and VHS movies for rent. After my umpteenth disposable camera I started saving for a real one. Babysitting money, birthday money, chore allowance - I saved everything. As I researched what "real" camera I wanted to buy, I focused on Canon. That was really the only brand that younger me had heard of. I settled on saving for the Canon Rebel 2000 that came in a kit, with a lens and a bag. After at least a year of saving, the time finally came when I was ready to head up to Best Buy and purchase my then dream camera.
I remember the sales associate asking me "was I sure that I didn't want to keep saving for one of the new digital cameras?" I was like, "No way, film is where its at!" Waiting long periods of time when you are younger is hard, and its also challenging to envision how much technology will change. Also to be fair, the digital cameras of those times were NOTHING like they are today. So I left Best Buy the proud owner of a new Canon Rebel 2000. When I got home I was so terrified of breaking my new prized possession. I fearfully attached the lens, inserted my first roll of film, and realized I had no idea what I was doing. Even so, I read the manual and started giving it a go. Now that I didn't have to rely on waiting for my next disposable camera, I was constantly taking pictures - of our pets, flowers, animals, and anything I encountered. Picking up the developed film and printed pictures was always my favorite part. There were lots of terrible pictures, but some good ones too. These prints made their way into an album (which luckily I also kept) and my love for photography continued to grow. My first year of high school I took a photography class and absolutely loved it. Getting to develop our own pictures in the school darkroom was AWESOME. I can still remember the dim red light and smell of chemicals surrounding us as we waited for our images to appear on the paper.
I am really grateful for this first camera. I am also grateful that I have these printed pictures to look back on. In such a digital age, it is a good reminder that printed images allow you to stumble upon these fun memories from the past. My toolkit looks a lot different these days. My DSLR Nikon cameras and lenses blow me away with their capabilities, but my love for photography is still the same. I just have always really loved taking pictures.
Can we just talk about how beautiful and under appreciated winter light is!? My goodness, those tones of pink and amber in the evening - so gorgeous. The key of course is to match up that beautiful light with mild temperatures, which fortunately was exactly the case for Amanda + John's engagement session! They chose Forest Park for their location and we had the perfect temperature with zero wind. Thank you warm weather pattern! In addition, the park also happened to be filled with the most adorable puppies, what more could you ask for.
I have been so excited to photograph these two. Not only do Amanda + John make a fabulous couple, but they were our first engagement session since the Nikon D850 arrived! After four months on the backorder waitlist, I was ready to put this beauty to work. It did not disappoint! Everything I had heard about the responsiveness, detail, color depth, low light capabilities, etc - exceeded my expectations. I love this camera. Add in how adorable Amanda + John were together, and we were in engagement session heaven! It was so fun getting to know them. We chatted about our dogs (of course), wedding planning, and movies - it was a blast! Their wedding day this October is going to be one for the record books I just know it. Please enjoy some highlights below!
When it comes to making a wedding day successful, it really does take a village. That is why I am so appreciative of the amazingly talented vendors that I get to work alongside! One such vendor is Lisa Lipsitz, makeup artist extraordinaire and owner of Looks By Lisa. Her team and I have worked together for several weddings now, and I am always so grateful to know that my brides are in her hands. Lisa's expertise and master makeup skills have led to over 600 weddings throughout her career, giving merit to her professionalism and broad makeup skill set. What I love about her work is that she emphasizes her clients' natural beauty and best features. Her signature look is: radiant, natural, sophisticated, and never overdone. Not only does her work speak for itself, but she is extremely fun and will give you lots of killer tips along the way.
I was lucky enough to get some hands on (or I suppose "face on") experience with her as we chatted about all things wedding and makeup. I already knew that Lisa is extremely personable and will have you laughing and smiling instantly, and this was definitely the case when we got together yesterday. Lisa told me all about the makeup line that she works with, Maskcara Beauty, and let me tell you it is awesome! Never before have I fallen so in love with a makeup and felt so confident (thanks to Lisa) about using it. She has a wonderful eye for blending your perfect color combination for everything - foundation, highlights, contours, blush, and lip color. It was all so helpful and I am excited to have a refreshed makeup routine that makes me feel beautiful and ready to take on the day!
Our approach to weddings is very similar - we both believe in creating a personal experience for clients, staying organized, being on time - and are 110% committed to the success of our couples' best day ever. Lisa has a great motto "dawn to dusk hair and makeup for the most photographed day of your life". As a wedding photographer, I certainly appreciate that Lisa and her team create lasting looks for my clients, and I know they do as well. Lisa and her team provide services on location and will get your day started on a flawless foot!
If you would like more information on how Lisa and her team can provide makeup and hair services for your big day or special event - check out her website Looks By Lisa. A big thank you to Lisa for doing my makeup and also to Daniel for photographing our fun yesterday!
New Year's Eve is a very special day to get married. Not only are you ending the year/starting the year as a married couple, but it only falls on the weekend so often. Heather + Aaron were our last couple of 2017 (and first of 2018) and they could not have been more amazing! Not only are they a beautiful couple, they are just as beautiful on the inside and absolutely adored by their friends and family.
It has to be said that the weather can go many ways when you have a winter wedding, and for these two we got the coldest of the cold! The high was 12 degrees and the low that night was -24 with the wind chill. Brrrrrrr! However, Daniel and I have dubbed Heather + Aaron our ultimate weather warriors! Seriously. They were total troopers and during our short stints outside for pictures, they did amazing. Not once did I have to ask them to relax their shoulders or smile like their faces weren't freezing off. Not even these subzero temps could lessen their excitement on their big day! I don't know how they did it - I could barely feel my legs at one point - while Heather was in a dress and open-toed shoes totally killing it!
Their ceremony took place at Graham Chapel and they held their reception and New Year's Eve countdown at the Marriott Grand downtown. Both locations were stunning and WARM! I absolutely loved their choice of colors and details for their glamorous winter wedding, everything looked perfect and festive. The maid of honor and best man both did tremendous jobs on their speeches and had everyone laughing, as well as wiping some tears. Add in a photobooth, lots of dancing, new year's props, and a pizza delivery to sustain everyone until midnight - and you have a perfect night! Daniel and I had an absolute blast photographing everyone having so much fun! In fact, we captured one of our all time favorite reception dancing pictures...you will know it when you see it. Heather + Aaron's wedding day was all around a wonderful celebration of their becoming Mr. & Mrs. and we loved every minute of working with them! I was so glad that they honeymooned somewhere warm! Enjoy some highlights from their best day ever! Happy 2018!
Beth + Matt's love story started on match.com. As Beth was telling me about their meeting, I instantly felt a kinship with her as Daniel and I also met on Match. Thank you modern day technology for connecting us all!
When these two lovely souls intercepted, their bond was plain to see. Friends and family knew that this was the beginning of something extra special for them both. And most importantly, once Beth's dad determined that Matt wasn't jinxing the Badgers into losing, he was accepted into the family!
With their wedding date falling at the beginning of December, notes of holiday magic filled the air and everything felt wonderfully festive. Their ceremony took place at St. Ambrose church (always beautiful) and their reception was at Majorette (yay Maplewood!) I was so excited to hear that their puppy Quincy would be meeting us at the park after the ceremony for a quick visit. She was oh so adorable and did a great job posing for the camera! Throughout the day so much fun was had by all and everyone took FULL advantage of the party bus - which led to some hilarious "bus-dancing" pictures. SO FUN! I now wish for all of my couples' transportation to have a dancing pole and people willing to use it lol.
That evening we arrived at Majorette and the celebration continued with three incredible speeches that had everyone doubled over in laughter! Beth's dad recounted the close call that occurred during Matt's first visits to Wisconsin. The Badgers had lost two games during his stay and this threw everything into question. Fortunately, the third visit proved a successful Badger victory and everyone breathed a sigh of relief! As fate would have it, there was a Badgers game taking place the night of the wedding, but not to worry they were able to have it projected infront of the bar area lol. True sports fans to the end! It was a night of dancing, cheering, and celebrating! I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph Beth + Matt's special day. They are such a wonderful couple and I had so much fun with them! Enjoy some highlights from their December wedding!