Back in September, I hosted an open house and officially opened up my studio for business! Thank you so much to all of those who came out to support me. I had so much fun going through the cards and little messages you all wrote.
A special thank you goes out to my mom and my sister for helping me (but actually doing it!) with the charcuterie cups and the photo stand. And a big thanks goes out to my significant other for helping me hang all the shelves and photos. You guys are truly amazing and I most definitely couldn’t have done it without you.
Now let’s chat about the studio! The build out was a whole process and I learned so much along the way. Pulling permits, scheduling city inspections and finding contractors were all things that were new to me. The space had been vacant for 3 years before I came along and it was a massage area off of a spa which used to be next door. Carpet was replaced with LVP flooring, walls were torn down and painted and drop ceiling tiles were brought down to really open the space up. Although there were some tears to be had, I couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out!
A lot of people have asked me, “What will you be using the studio for?” I will be using the studio for maternity, family and newborn sessions, senior portraits, and branding and headshot sessions. It will also be nice to have an alternate indoor spot just in case weather is inclement. For the past 5 years I’ve gotten by with renting space from other photographers as needed, but a few times space has been double booked, therefore causing me to have to reschedule with clients. Because of how my business is transitioning out of weddings and leaning into motherhood and family portraits, I felt it was time to have a studio to call my own.
Last month my oldest daughter turned TEN! 10 years of parenting fails and parenting wins. 10 years of feeling like my heart is going to explode with so much love and hope for this girl. 10 years of wondering if I’m doing this right. Through the years I’ve learned parenting is not for the faint of heart. From the time you see the first positive pregnancy test until eternity, you will worry about your children. Each stage of life has brought both its own set of joys as well as fears and has taught me so much about life and myself. Here are the top 5 things I’ve learned in my last 10 ten years of parenting.
1. Unconditional love. The love you have for your significant other is completely different than the love you have for your child; there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children. There is simply nothing like the bond between a mother and a child.
2. Finding joy in every day. Sometimes my oldest gets caught up in a cycle of negativity (like the time I asked her how gym class was and she listed all the sports she didn’t like) so to start our day off, I’ve created a positive songs playlist we listen to on the way to school. It’s taught me to be more optimistic and teach her to find the good in situations.
3. Making memories > things. Every year we go through the toys and throw away/donate so much STUFF. I’ve learned that making memories, like our yearly Nutcracker outing, vacations and taking her to Chicago for her first Broadway musical, has more staying power than buying them all the things.
4. Be silly. Dance parties in the kitchen, car karaoke and dancing at local live bands are all part of our routine. I love that these kids fully embrace the saying of “dance like nobody’s watching.” They are truly themselves in every way possible and have taught me to be more of the same way.
5. No two children are alike. If you decide to have more than one child, you will quickly find that each one is unique. How I parent my first child is completely different from how I parent my second.
Life these these two is anything but dull. They test my patience, challenge me to think in new ways, and make me want to be a better version of myself. The title ‘Mom’ was something I never knew I wanted untilI I became one and it truly is the best.
In celebration of Mother’s Day this month (May 13th to be exact!) I wanted to highlight 4 moms that I think are doing an AMAZING job! Each Monday this month, I will be interviewing a mom who I feel has a unique story that I want to share with the world. Each post will feature an interview, along with some cute pictures of her with the kiddos.
To start things off, I interviewed my own mom! This woman right here is so amazing, I don’t think the Internet has the capacity to hold everything that I could say about her. She’s an incredible mom (and Grandma) to my two girls, along with my niece. She raised two girls on her own and has accomplished so much and has shown me first hand that anything you put your mind to is possible. I’m so proud of her and I love seeing my girls with her. I had so much fun sitting at my kitchen table, sipping wine and interviewing her. Scroll down to read it and stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more tributes to awesome moms!
Me: As a mom (and grandma) what has been your biggest accomplishment?
Mom: My biggest accomplishment has been raising you two girls and watching you two grow up and become the women that you are. But not only that, watching you become moms yourself has been so incredible to watch. It’s truly been a blessing.
Me: If you could go back now and tell your young mom self something about parenting, what would it be?
Mom: Hmm. I think I would tell myself not to sweat the small stuff and that time goes by so fast so just to enjoy every moment and to cherish the time and phase of life that you girls were in.
Me: What are some challenges that you see moms today facing that you didn’t have to think about when we were growing up? Mom: The need to be, or appear to be the “perfect mom”. You know, people want everything to appear to be perfect on Facebook or social media and that’s just not the case. Society puts a lot of pressure on moms nowadays to be perfect and there’s no such thing. To have the pressure of the perfect birthdays, and dinners while working and still taking care of your house. It sounds exhausting!
Me: What was your mom right about?
Mom: OooO….she thinks…can we come back to this question? haha! She always told me to spend more time with you kids and that you will grow up in the blink of an eye and I will have wished I had this time back.
Me: What advice would you give younger/newer moms today?
Mom: Don’t sweat the small stuff. That whatever you’re going through right now is just a phase and won’t last forever. To spend time with them whenever you can but also to remember it’s not about the quantity of time, but rather the quality.
To the many, many families I was able to serve over the course of the year. THANK YOU! Thank you for trusting me with your families’ most cherished memories and for giving me the opportunity to laugh, play and run around with your little ones.
To all of the lovely married couples and engaged couples…THANK YOU!!! Taylor and Kyle, you will forever hold a special place in my heart as being my first ever wedding. Thank you to all of this year’s couples who trusted me with documenting their most important day. For booking me and putting your faith in me when I had yet to shoot a single wedding.
If I had to choose one word to describe 2017, it would be incredible. Never did I think a long time hobby could turn into something like this. I’m so excited for 2018 and can’t wait to work with more wonderful families and couples. Thank you to all of my clients, my family and other seasoned photographers for all of your love, support and advice! 2017 wouldn’t have been this amazing without all of you!
Taylor and Kyle had the most perfect wedding day anyone could’ve asked for. It was so much fun hanging out with them all day long and I’m still so honored that they asked me to document their big day.
I had the joy of hanging out with the ladies at the salon before the bridal preparations took place. Because Jamie had another wedding that same day, she had to fit Taylor in earlier in the morning. Afterwards, we all had lunch together before heading to the venue.
One thing I learned about Taylor and Kyle is that everyone at their wedding had a long history with them. These two definitely make friends for life, which should be a given since they’ve known each other since they were kids themselves. It’s so amazing to see a couple that has grown up together and who are still so in love after all these years of really knowing each other.
Congratulations Taylor & Kyle! Thank you for asking me to be your wedding photographer and for making me feel like part of the family.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Cupcakes: Miss Cupcake Bakery
Groom’s Suite: Men’s Wearhouse Navy suit
Florist: Rachel Block @ Reflections of You
DJ/Entertainment: On the Limiter Productions
Bridal Party Hair and Make up: Impressions
Timing played a key factor in the relationship between Ally and Nico. They met through mutual friends and upon getting together, they realized they probably should’ve ran into one another sooner: from being on the same dinner cruise as one another to visiting the same pick your own fruit farms as children. They kept missing each other but Ally said that they met when the timing in their lives was just right.
For their engagement session we headed down to the lakefront for some tandem bicycle fun. These two love being active and have participated in a number of races together throughout their relationship. They told me that they had gone down to the lakefront a few weeks prior to make sure they practiced for their shoot. I’ve heard these bikes can be tricky to ride, but these two were champs. We had so much fun!
Nico and Ally will be married next summer in an intimate wedding. They aren’t having a bridal party, so the day will be focused on just the two of them. I can’t wait to hang out with these two again and I’m so grateful they chose me document their day!
James and Nichole met in Denver back in 2014. They knew right away, after meeting, that they both wanted a future together. When James was offered a job in sunny California, the two packed up and started on a new adventure. Nichole is from Wisconsin and James is from Ohio so they knew with planning a wedding that people were going to have to travel regardless of where they would be having it.
They both knew they wanted a small and intimate wedding. They went back and forth for months trying to decide on a location until James’ mom suggested that the two elope and she told them it should be where they wanted to have their honeymoon, Italy. After they received their parents blessing, the two found a magical, beautiful little town called Ravello, Italy in the Amalfi area. It was the absolute perfect place for a honeymoon and wedding.
The two decided to host a celebration and marriage blessing here in Wisconsin. James said it didn’t feel official until they celebrated with their closest family and friends. When I first met Nichole the day of their party, the first thing she said to me was that she wanted me to focus on their guests. It didn’t take long to see how much their family and friends really meant to them. Everyone was so warm and loving and FUN!
Congratulations Nichole and James! I’m so happy that I was able to be part of your special day and celebration!
Donut Cake: Holey Moley Donuts
Kurt reached out to me a few months back and asked if I’d be available to take pictures of his kids for his wife’s birthday as a surprise. Kurt’s son is getting ready to leave for basic training, so he knew that this would be a gift that should would love.
Photography sessions make great, one of a kind gifts for moms. Whether it be a seasoned mom who wishes she had more professional pictures of her children, or an expecting mom (maternity & newborn sessions) photography sessions are a wonderful gift to give. They also make great anniversary gifts to couples, because every year deserves to be celebrated.
Luke and Lynda welcomed baby Carmen into the world on April 5th and she could not be any more sweeter. I was overseas when I heard that Lynda had her baby and I was hoping that she would contact me when I got home to take pictures of their sweet little girl. Luke and Lynda are such wonderful, caring people. Their love and affection for each other is palpable and they were completely natural and comfortable in front of the camera. Little Carmen is extremely blessed to have such two loving parents. I’m looking forward to capturing more family photos of them in the near future.