Sunday, July 31, 2011

day 545 | all day affair

today was an all day affair .... meeting, ground round breakfast buffet, pictures of denise, swimming party & cookout, more pictures of denise at sunset, staying up until way past my bedtime. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

day 544 | soon-to-be mama

i am not a morning person by any means - but there is just something about morning light!  the sun was a little higher in the sky than i had hoped for - BUT i got what i wanted out of the shoot! :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

day 543 | matthew

for those of you that follow the blog - check out day 201 and you'll recognize these baby blues!  spent the evening chasing john deere tractors with this little one.  he smiles so big at times he got dimples underneath his eyes!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

day 542 | choosing a photographer

granted - you should choose me as your photographer :)
HOWEVER - no matter who you choose as your photographer - here's a few guidelines:

1)  the majority of photographers in general (and specifically in our area) get along with each other, share work, and have a common respect for each other.  i have worked with more than one photographer in our area and i am seriously in awe of the respect that is shown.  we share ideas, we share techniques, we share a lot of valuable information with each other - we give credit where credit is due. 

we even share clients ... i have many photographers who have referred work to me because of scheduling conflicts or limits in what they feel they can do - and i gladly do the same.  for instance - some photographers shoot AMAZING natural light with low faded colors and a retro feel ... some shoot brilliant colors with harsher details ... some shoot studio only ... some shoot outside only.  it doesn't matter who you are as a photographer - every photographer has limitations and most have the common sense to humbly accept them.  for this reason - if there's something i feel i cannot do  - or i feel that your needs would be better served by another photographer - i will glady help you find one that fits your needs. 

that being said - choose a photographer who is humble and gets along with the majority of photographers in your area!

2)  pricing isn't everything.  i've heard so much debate on pricing lately and i feel the need to say this.  due to the influx of amazing camera technology - anyone could call themselves a "photographer" today.  there are a LOT of people who can take a good picture. so why the pricing debate?

i guarantee if you took the cheapest photographer and the most expensive photographer you could find in our area - gave them the same person to take a picture of in the same field at the same time of day ... even take it a step further and let them use the same camera, same lens, and same lab to produce the images - put the images side by side and don't say which photographer took which picture - i guarantee you would choose the most expensive photographer every time.

why?  you can argue equipment, labs, etc all that you want - but what you can't argue is a more expensive photographer knows how to run their camera.  they worry about all the technical stuff so you don't have to.  they know how to consistantly get good "technically-correct" images and turn them into amazing CLEAR prints.  they don't need to spend hours editing an image to get it where they want or where it's presentable - they know how to set the camera to do all the work for them.

now, every photographer i do know shoots a little different from the rest (and that's ok!).  as long as you have technically-correct images that you can blow up into 20x24 prints and they're still clear - it doesn't matter what photographer you choose.  but save your money for the photographer that can do that because there is no reason to sacrifice quality over saving a few pennies!

so my suggestion - ask to see a photographers "whole" sessions rather than just what they pick for their best of galleries to show off.  ask your photographer how many photos you get on a CD.  if they say you get 30-50 images but only 5-10 look good - why would you pay for that?  and seriously - NEVER prepay for a session or a disc (obviously for a wedding this is a little different because there are highly thorough contracts involved - etc) - but NEVER, and i repeat NEVER prepay for a session.  there should be no reason why you should have to pay for a session before you even go there.

3) legalities.  and this is my biggest, BIGGEST suggestion.  i don't care if you skip over number 1 & 2 - don't skip this one.  your photographer needs to be legal.  what do i mean by legal?  for starters - they NEED to be paying sales tax to the state of wisconsin (or whatever state they live in).  if they say they are paying taxes - ask for the proof.  they should have a tax-id number at the very least.  if they're not paying taxes - you're paying higher taxes so they can run an illegal business.

they need to have insurance.  there are a couple of reasons why - but one reason - god forbid they take you out on a photography shoot and you get hurt.  they need insurance to cover you.  you need them to have insurance so that if you suggest a shoot on the railroad tracks (for instance) and they get hit by a train - they don't sue you.  ask to see their proof of insurance. 

4) and my last suggestion for the day - if your photographer tells you that their photography equipment doesn't matter - find a new photographer. 

there's a ton more i could say on this - but i'll keep it short and sweet for today.  so, now that all being said :)  i am going to be taking on a helper or two who are interested in assisting at a couple of our weddings coming up.  possibly even a few of our family sessions depending on times.  if you are interested - shoot me an email at and let me know what your skills are and what you shoot with (you must have your own equipment - and yes, equipment does matter).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

day 541 | school shopping

spent the entire day school shopping.  ugh!  child a (tegan) is super easy to shop for.  he has no color preferences ... no brand preferences ... no cares whatsoever about what we buy.  he just wants a cars 2 backpack, his pants to be adjustable because otherwise they fall down when he runs, AND he needs boxers - not briefs.  these are his only concerns.  school shopping can be crossed off for this child ... except for a backpack, BUT he has informed me he is not going shopping again ... i can pick it out as long as it has mcqueen and francesco on it.

child b (tatum) is NOT SO super easy to shop for.  she has very specific color preferences ... everything should have an owl on it (and if it doesn't it better have some super cute baby animal on it) ... and she is so stinking tall with junk in her trunk - it's impossible to find jeans for this child.  so basically she has nothing - except a backpack (which conveniently has owls on it).  which means we now enter phase 2 of school shopping.  the crying phase.

i must say though - the BEST part of school shopping was going to knuckleheads in the dells with sawyer.  the day was filled with bowling, rides, and bumper cars.  the absolute BEST part was sawyer on the bumper cars.  someone would run into him and he would yell ... HEY stop that.  i so wish i would have had a video camera.  it could have won some serious cash.

and the absolute must have from this school shopping trip.  angry birds ... now available at a build a bear near you.  help me!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

day 540 | memory

finally caught back up!  one of my customers had this idea - a memory photo with grandpa (who died before the baby was born).  i think i'm getting this whole family picture thing narrowed down - maybe.  now for the decision on what we want to do for family pictures this year.  ugh - i have to decide on a photographer who can capture what i want in my children lol.  and no - not their naughtiness ;)  school shopping in the morning ... pray for me ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

day 539 | denise

spent the entire day with a migraine :(  ever since i was a kid i've had periods of insomnia where i just can't sleep no matter what.  thankfully i'm on the tale end of this sleeping drought - but now i get to make up for it all with a migraine.  at least with not being able to sleep - i'm caught back up in editing.  now to catch up on other stuff.

for instance, tys has decided we need to have family pictures up on our walls.  it's kind of funny but since i'm a photographer - that's the one thing i NEVER get done.  i feel like hanging up a picture is so permanent ... and what if there is one later that i like better ... or what if i forget someone and they forever stop speaking to me.  it's such a huge ordeal (probably more so for me than most people lol).  so that's my goal for the week - figure out who to hang up and where.  i have TWENTY empty picture frames to start.  AGGGH!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

day 538 | maternity

my progression maternity is full-term!  bring on the baby!!  :)  i wish macey nothing but an easy labor & delivery - she's had a long road!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

day 537 | miss charlotte

left for minneapolis right after my last session yesterday and did a last minute edit before i left.  how sweet is this little girl?!?  miss charlotte.  she's 4 weeks old and she is TINY! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

day 536 | occupational hazard

i found that with shooting pictures of newborns & babies there are some occupational hazards ... this being one of them

now as most of you know my knee jerk reaction when someone pukes is to either run away or puke myself ... HOWEVER, i would like to say ... i did pretty stinkin awesome and recovered quite well!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

day 535 | miss desiree

this little one was a natural!  the smiles were right on cue - you can tell she's done this before!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

day 534 | miss myiah

i LOVE this baby.  it took some work - but once she got comfortable - she GOT comfortable!! :)  and those leggings - i so wish there would have been an awesome studio around when tatum was baby!!! :( 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

day 533 | heat index

just as a notice :)  our summer 2012 wedding dates are almost COMPLETELY filled ... unless you want a Friday night.  so if you are looking at getting married in 2012 - AND you want to book our AWESOME DJ/photography package - you may want to start thinking about giving us a call! :)

and we may have had a heat index of 115º - but that didn't stop this family from rocking it last night!  miss addy wasn't going to look at me for anything - there was too much excitement going on around her!  finally we got her attention and this was one of the last shots of the evening!

Monday, July 18, 2011

day 532 | third generation

i didn't fill out the info in the center because i'm still waiting to get all of it ... but i LOVE these new layouts.  mom's LOVE them because they come in three packs - so one for mom, one for grandma, and one for the other grandma.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

day 531 | flower girl

we had to reschedule most of this session because it was thundering, lightening, and pouring down rain - but we did get a few AWESOME shots before we had to quit.  this was the flower girl in my wedding 9½ years ago.  she's all grown up *sniff sniff*

and ... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to one of my bestest friends ever :) 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

day 530 | graduation parties

spent the day in wisconsin rapids celebrating at a graduation party.  it was a LOT of fun and it was super HOT!  but nothing beats dancing in a tent!

Friday, July 15, 2011

day 529 | baby business

this little guy makes me smile.  after all - in his 40 minute session (give or take) he did every single thing a baby should ... sleep, smile (okay it was probably gas but there was a tiny smile there), cry, spit up, poop, and eyes wide open.  and this image is straight out of the camera - so those baby blues are ALL his!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

day 528 | time out

i am convinced that i have the weirdest daughter in the world.  picture this - she wants to go to a garage sale - they have a million toys that you could throw a fit for - BUT NO - this is what she wanted. THIS is what she throws a fit for.  "sure you can get it" i told her ... and then when we get to the car i introduced her to our new time out timer :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

day 527 | dancefloor garter

so if you can't tell - i'm in the middle of editing pictures for the wedding i did last weekend.  i'm on a roll and i'm refusing to stop editing - so you may still have a couple days of wedding picture viewing left :)  i love this picture.  the best man calling his single friends onto the dancefloor for the garter toss.  sadly - i do think i've been a DJ for too long because this DJ left little to be desired.  i loved his equpiment but showing up to a gig in holey jeans and a camoflauge hat just isn't my idea of wedding attire.  but maybe that's just me ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

day 525 | peek

"be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse "i love you", go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense, never let your prayin' knees get lazy, and love like crazy" - lee brice

that song never gets old!  this weekend threw me off - and now i'm having an off monday.  ah well - there's always tuesday :)  and all my sessions are caught up - so now it's time for wedding editing :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

day 524 | cooper & noah

spent the afternoon with these two ADORABLE boys - cooper & noah!  they were ALL boy ... complete with tractors!  i have many, many photos to edit from sessions since last friday - but for now - it's time for me to recover from the emotional weekend!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

day 522 | tyson mcgrumpy pants

although this may look like it was taken in the studio (although on one of my computers you can see the background and on the other you can't) - this was actually taken dead center in the middle of our living room.  i kept setting off the flash and this is the look i got :)  haha.

getting ready for our first solo weddings tomorrow.  this will be the first time in NINE years that me and tys will be working at different weddings.  it's a scary daunting task - and i'm terrified yet super excited :)  by this time tomorrow night i'll be ready for a stiff drink :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

day 521 | vacation with vacationers

just because i'm on vacation doesn't mean i can't take pictures of other vacationers :)  tys and i spent the morning at castle rock taking pictures of the hoffland extended family.  it was perfect overcast - beautiful blue water - and excited people - what more could i ask for?!?  and i officially spent the rest of my day editing the wedding i had before we left for vacation - caught up just in time for my next wedding!  whew.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

day 520 | nick universe

and we finished off our mini vacation at nick universe.  one entire day of riding rides, playing minature golf, getting caricatures drawn, eating ice cream - the WHOLE works!! :)  i think we are officially done with vacation for awhile.  although technically we are still on vacation til monday - no one will know i am sitting in my nice air conditioning doing absolutely nothing at all! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

day 519 | mall of america

we hit rainforest cafe for lunch since tegan & tatum have never been there.  unfortunately, i think we just totally upped their qualifications for constitutes a good restaurant.  they are never going to want to go to mcdonalds or culver's again lol.  the day came complete with a volcano cake AND build a bear.  seriously - how can you not get a build a bear when it's inside a rainforest cafe?

Monday, July 4, 2011

day 518 | minneapolis

view from our 16th floor hotel room in minneapolis.  what's really cool is if you look at the left hand side right before the lights start - there is red fireworks! :)  those were over in some other town but it was super cool.  i sort of missed the actual fireworks because i was eating at fridays :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

day 517 | como park

here's a summary of our trip to como park zoo & conservatory - lol - i despise point and shoot cameras but when it's 100º and humid - i didn't feel like bringing the big camera along.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

day 515 | lambert

at the convention one day, we gathered afterwards to get some pictures of the lambert family.  all of the kids were home together at the same time - from alaska and florida.  love the grandchildren sitting on the park bench in the background!