A Week Away... | Personal Post

The place where the floors aren't level, where the screen doors have slammed the same way they have since I was a kid. The place that if you're showering and hear a toilet flush it's going to be one of two things 1. scalding hot water or 2. ice cube water which is a 50/50 chance you are willing to take.

The place where the train comes through at 10PM, 12AM, and 2AM at night blaring it's horn three times consecutively across the bay. It's loud reminder brings you to a coherent thought, comfort you, and lulls you back to sleep.

My family has been going to Pine Acres since my dad was a little man. Thankfully the tradition has continued since then..This place is my childhood and holds so many memories. Every year I leave in tears and every year I am reminded of how special this place is.

Ian (my youngest brother) and I used to ride bikes at our house on the gravel driveway and mimic the way it sounded when we'd pull in to Pine Acres bright and early. The slow crush of gravel and smell of northern pine holds a big place in my heart. It may sound crazy but Nicholas (my second oldest brother) said it perfectly.. "Our parents didn't realize the impact this had on us as kids".. & he is so right.

This year Michael was able to join our crazy crew to Pine Acres and I was so happy to have him there. It was another crazy week full of laughter and jokes that will be told for the years to come. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family to bounce memories off of. I'm not sure what I would do without them.

If the owners of Pine Acres EVER changes this bathroom I will conduct a picket line. This bathhouse has looked this way for my whole life and it's weird to say that I'm that attached to it.. But it's true. 

 I can not believe I am posting this horrendous of a photo of me online. But alas.. Here it is...
So there was this funny time that we were going to see the Vermillion Royal Gorge and hiked (what felt like) 5 miles in the wrong direction... Turns our we wandered up the snow mobile path.. The bugs were horrid.. Nicholas the plant master suggested fern leaves. It worked. No joke. 

 So my cousin has this kick butt westie named Otis. This is Otis. 
 I tried to get a good one of Nicholas on the boat (Hey ladies.. He's single! ;) but this guy always has so much to say.. So mid sentence Nick it is! 

 Here are some iPhone snaps from the week! 
Hard hats were from the Soudan Mine! 

Till next year! Love to all my amazing family for once again giving me one of the best weeks. It's always so hard to leave but each year it gets better and better! 

Rachel & Chris | Allen Centennial Gardens

I walked up to the most beautiful botanical gardens and squealed with excitement. Rachel suggested having their session at the Allen Centennial Gardens and after a quick Google search I quickly agreed.

Just another reason why Madison is the best city ever.. ;)

Meet Rachel & Chris.. Oh these two.. I so enjoyed our evening together strolling around and getting to know them. Their wedding is approaching us quickly which I am so very excited about. These two came from a great 2015 bride (Hi Lauren!!) so I was very excited to work them!

I knew Rachel and I would get along when she said she bought her wedding dress from Ann Taylor. I love me a girl with style! I would also love to add that Rachel has the BEST hair.. As I was getting sweaty and frizzy her's remained flat, and beautiful. I was so envious!

Can I also express how much I love the 50mm 1.2.. It seriously was the BEST purchase I could have bought. I have shot every engagement session (apart from ring photos) with this bad boy. It doesn't leave my camera! So in love. 

I always explain that the first half hour or so is usually awkward as we get into a "groove".. I was reassured this was going to be easy when these were the first few frames. 
Rachel requested they sit on this old looking front porch. I loved that she also pointed out areas that she thought were beautiful! 

These next few frames are my absolute favorite. I love how hidden they feel! & we were in the middle of the garden! 
Hands down my favorite. 

My parents own a baby version of this tree. I love the shape of the leaves.  

Look at the thickness on the ends of her hair! I wasn't kidding! Jealous! 
During this location I expressed my fear of fish. Chris reassured me that they weren't going to jump out and attack me. Thanks Chris! ha! 

Wait... I lied.. This is my favorite. I absolutely ADORE this image. 

Sam & Kelly | Chicago Columbia Yacht Club Wedding

I approached them to say our final goodbyes. The hugs lasted long and as we all pulled back a sadness washed over me. Our wedding journey was over.. The constant communication, the planning, the excitement..The wedding was over. Kelly made a gorgeous bride & Sam was the best kind of groom.. The one infatuated with his bride.

"Since day one you have felt like a best friend to us" Sam said. It was in that moment that I realized I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing with the people I love. We start out as strangers and end as friends, it's cliche, but true.

I met with these two for their engagement session last year. We ended up grabbing coffee afterwards and talked for 3 hours. These two individuals are the most caring. open, considerate, and loving people.

I am so proud to call them friends and even more proud to have been a witness to their beautiful wedding day.

Sam and Kelly met at an ice cream social where they shared root beer floats in 3rd grade. It is so magical to witness a love that runs as deep as theirs. I wish you two the happiest of years. May your days be filled with laughter, and root beer floats ;)

The Columbia Yacht club made for the perfect city back drop. Kelly got ready in the wheel house which was a natural light photographers dream. 

 Who needs the 100mm macro lens? I sure don't! Although I may just pass out one of these times during ring shots.. (I don't breath). 

 Look at that bling bling ladies. WOWZA! 

 Those hands on the right? In that moment a bridesmaid stuck them out and said, "whoa Kelly you are beautiful".. She is so right. 
 The three of us snuck down to the library to put on Kelly's dress.

 Sam working it GQ style. Handsome! 

 Find the former Caynay Groom! CoughCough second from the left.. Hi John!! 


 The awesomeness of Chicago? No veil flufflers were harmed in this image :) 

 This image was pure luck. A shot from the hip that turned out perfectly. 
 & then as I was going through Michael's images I saw this one. Holla BF/GF Photog telepathy! 

 I've talked about it a few times but Kelly has the most adorable nose crinkle smile! I LOVE it! 

 I spy a second shooter. 

 & this folks is my favorite image from the whole day. Pure happiness. 

 I spy a former Caynay Bride :) 

 It's grainy, rainy, and perfect. 

 Hey Kelly! Make this a canvas ;) 
 Much love you two! Hugs! 

Vendor Love:
Ceremony, Reception, & Catering: Columbia Yacht Club
Baker: Lovin Oven
Flowers: Floral Acres
Dress:  David's Bridal

Eric & Emily | Orchard Ridge Farms Wedding

Oh this wedding. I've had a good feeling about this wedding since the engagement session but I've also been very nervous for this wedding. I went to high school with this girl & she's always been so wonderful to me even when I was the "new girl in town".. Emily & Eric both deserved a beautiful wedding & an even more beautiful marriage.

I arrived at the church and Joni, Emily's mom, was there to grab flowers.. I ended up riding with her to the reception site and she said Emily & Eric were fate. Emily got dragged out one evening with friends and little did she know that was the night she'd meet her husband. The way these two interact it's obvious that their lives will be full of blessings.

I'm excited to watch the adventure they are going to embark on. I absolutely adored their wedding day.. From the dress, to the flowers, to the reception site, it was classically beautiful.

I am so excited to share these images with you.. I was so honored to be there to capture it.

Congratulations you two! You will have one beautiful life!

Emily's grandmother made the cake.. Whoa! Beautiful! 

Event Floral knocked it out of the park as usual & the Orchard Ridge Farms made for the perfect backdrop. 
Seriously?! Could this be ANY more beautiful?! 
Diamond earrings?! Way to go Eric! 

Love this ring portrait! Swoon! 

Love the sister portrait! These two look so much alike! 

This was Michael's first wedding with me and he did so well! He snagged this portrait of Emily before her walk down the isle! 
Groom's reactions are my favorite & Eric's was perfect. 


Eric's parents are so cute! 
This was totally unposed and it might be my favorite bridal portrait! 

I always initially get weird looks when I ask the ladies to do a fake laugh. But this is ALWAYS the outcome. Perfect. 

Michael's angle! 
Another random snap that I just love. 

Love me some men with bouquets. 
Emily, I hope you love this one as much as I do. I just think this is adorable. 

Michael is my official pro veil fluffer. 

Michael's capture. Whoa! Love this one. 

We snagged the same photo during their engagement session! 

Vendor Love:
Catering: Hoffman House
Baker: Cal Rhyner (Emily's Grandma) 
Videographer: Vixen Productions
Flowers: Event Floral
Dress: Martina Liana at Brandi's Bridal 

Caynay Packaging

Less is more in my world. Unless it comes to doughnuts then less is WAY overrated.

I like packaging a lot. A real lot. I do a lot of recon on companies packaging and it's one of those things that can speak magnitudes about you and your business.

I'm also a girl who appreciates consistency and have a hard time getting out of my groove sometimes..So with that being said I have realized that I probably need to re-think my packaging as it needs a little sprucing up but it's working for right now.

Part of me wants to invest in a custom made wooden emblem burned box. You know that kind that releases butterflies or maybe doves?

That'd be wicked cool.

Or wickedly weird.

So with all that being said, I keep things simple. I don't shove my packaging full of confetti (gives me anxiety just thinking about all those little pieces everywhere. No no no). But it does include some handwritten love, a flash drive (which let's be real is the best part), some ribbon, and a shameless plug of business cards.

That's it. Stick some custom stamps on the outside and bada bing bada boom. Perfection...For now.