Rad Photographers Retreat - Bathtub Boudoir

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You know you’re in a rad group of ladies when an impromptu bathtub boudoir session breaks out

But that’s just the kind of thing that happens with the kickass ladies who attend the Rad Photographers Retreat that is hosted annually by Natural Intuition Photography. Kailey + Krista were both game for some awesome bathtub photos in the AMAZING claw-footed bathtub (complete with skylight just above it) at the Rad Barn!

If you want to check out more thoughts on the Rad Photographers Retreat and the experience of attending, check out my review of the 2017 retreat here and the 2018 retreat here, and enjoy the photos of these two photography badasses!

—Sam

 
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Vintage Brewing Company - Styled Shoot

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Wood Violet Events + Styling planned a gorgeous and inclusive styled wedding shoot At the Vintage Brewing Company - Sauk Prairie and it was freaking awesome!

No seriously, see for yourself. It was amazing! I’ll let the images speak for themselves, but here are all the awesome vendors involved in this collaboration (with links)!

—Sam

Moji + Jory

Lyjya + Stephanie

Caity + Jason

Miriam + Paul

 

Moji + Jory

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Lyjya + Stephanie

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Caity + Jason

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Miriam + Paul

 

Krystal + Jake: A Lego-Themed Madison Winter Wedding

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Doesn’t this wedding seem wonderfully Frozen-inspired?

Krystal+Jake had a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L winter wedding day. It was cold as all get out, but so worth it, because just look at these first look photos and wedding party photos in that pretty February snow! Also, check out Krystal’s awesome use of a veil-turned-wedding-cape cuz holy smokes. <3

These two sweethearts also let us throw so much glitter at them to get that fun confetti shot, laughed and celebrated with their friends and families, and danced the night away. We loved how affectionate Krystal + Jake were with each other all day. They were so fun to photograph!

We are so honored to have been able to celebrate with Krystal+Jake, and take a look at their wedding day below!

—Sam

Here are the vendors (with links) that helped make this wedding awesome!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Goodman Community Center

Officiant: Kayla Francis (friend of the couple)

Bridal Gown: Vera’s House of Bridals

Groom Tux: Men’s Wearhouse

Wedding Jewelry: TQ Diamonds

Wedding DJ: Aaron Jai

Florist: DIY

Wedding Cupcakes: HyVee

Catering: Blue Plate Catering

 
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Rad Photographers Retreat - Styled Shoots

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Not one but TWO styled shoots at the amazing Rad Photographer’s Retreat!

For the past two years I’ve been to the Rad Photographers Retreat (for more info, click here) each Spring, and I love, love, love it! The styled shoots are something else! Always really thoughtfully designed, and always using real couples or families (which trust me is a helluva a lot easier than trying to get two people who don’t know each other to have on-camera chemistry). Here are the two styled shoots from the 2018 Rad Photographers Retreat; One engagement, one wedding! If you want to check out more thoughts on the Rad Photographers Retreat and the experience of attending, check out my review of the 2017 retreat here and the 2018 retreat here.

—Sam

Styled Shoot Vendors: 

 

Gretchen + Jason

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Kayla + Ezra

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Feeling Yourself

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A great boudoir experience is one of the most empowering, sexy things you can give yourself

“I feel vain loving these pictures so much!" — M

Girl, I get it. We live in a world where women are bombarded with how much we’re either not enough or too fucking much. How we’re not pretty enough, or are too smart, too intimidating, or are not thin enough, are too bossy, are not confident enough (men love confidence!), or too confident (men hate women who are full of themselves), and the list just goes on and on and on until you die.

Well I’m over it. And although I don’t want to be one more person telling you what to do if you’re a lady, I’m going to lovingly suggest that maybe you should be over it too. No one can live up to those super sexist expectations, and if even someone like the lovely Miss M pictured here (who is basically the epitome of the western world’s beauty ideal for women and also like the nicest most humble person on the planet) wondered allowed who I had photoshopped her head onto because she could not believe these gorgeous pictures were of her, then we’re all screwed if we can’t just give up trying to be this perfect, impossible, does-not-actually-exist woman.

Boudoir doesn’t have to be about impressing a partner (in fact I’d argue that impressing a partner shouldn’t be the main goal at all), and it doesn’t have to be only for the young and perfect, because most of us aren’t. What it can be about is taking an hour or two to really feel yourself. To celebrate yourself in all your fucking amazing glory, exactly as you are right now. To feel empowered and sexy and just pretty damn cool.

So if the concept scares you, I get it. But I think there are some pretty compelling reasons to do it anyway and to finally give yourself an opportunity to impress the one person that matters most… you. After all, you’re a pretty impressive person.

—Sam

 
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Fiona's Newborn Portraits

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Miss fiona had some friends along for her newborn portraits

First, you might remember Fiona’s mom and dad from such weddings as this - check out this super fun wedding and dream of warmer Spring days!

Now, about the baby! Fiona was a gem for our photo day! She was wide awake (which almost never happens), and just looked so curious about the world, which I love. She also had some animal friends get curious about getting their photo taken too!

Welcome to the world kid! It’s crap sometimes but good family and good friends make it all worthwhile. I think you’re going to like it. :)

—Sam

 
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Alex + Derek: A Surprise Downtown Engagement

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Derek planned not only a beautiful surprise engagement, but stealthy photos as well!

As we waited for Alex + Derek to walk up to the designated spot at the Capitol Building, Ben was acting as my decoy photo subject, and Rob was a ways away with the telephoto lens. Once I made eye contact with Derek, I couldn’t really say anything to Ben without giving it away, so I continued to take photos of him, and then eventually motioned him to move over a bit, as Derek + Alex stopped on the steps of the Capitol, and Derek began his proposal (funnily enough, Ben didn't realize that the folks we were going to be photographing were there already, so he kept trying to get back in front of the camera!)

While I was too far away to hear any details, Derek’s words were clearly having an impact on Alex, and when he got down on one knee, her reaction was priceless. It was so wonderful to bear witness to this super special moment in the rich history that is their relationship, and to be able to capture that in a way they’ll be able to relive forever.

Check out the fun and super sweet photos below (and see if you can spot the moment Alex realizes they were being photographed)!

—Sam

 
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Lily + Aaron: A Lovely Wedding in the Park

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These two beat the pre-winter chill and had a sweet, simple, and intimate wedding in the park, followed by a fun night of celebrating at One Barrel Brewing

And boy was it cold! But Lily + Aaron were troopers, and the spiked hot cider didn’t hurt either!

Lily was stunning, surprising no one, and look at the detail on the back of her dress! Holy smokes was that pretty! I love details like that!

There were some beautiful moments (obviously!) but there were also the funny ones, like when Lily’s Dad was about to walk her down the aisle, and remembered he still had his camo hat on and tossed it into a nearby bush. There was Lily’s veil trying to hit Aaron in the face over and over again, and succeeding a few times too. ;)

Congratulations to Lily + Aaron, and thank you both so much for inviting me to come hang out with you and celebrate! If you’d like to check out their engagement photos (which I would recommend since they’re so darn cute!) click here.

—Sam

Here are some of the awesome wedding vendors who helped make their wedding day fabulous!

Ceremony Venue: Towne of Burke Park (Reiner Road)

After Ceremony Drink Venue: Brocach on the Square

Reception Venue: One Barrel Brewing

Florals: DIY!

 
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Tamara + Greg: A Luscious, Jewel-Toned Wisconsin Wedding

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Holy smokes, this wedding was GORGEOUS!

Tamara + Greg met on OKCupid and after a first date which consisted of a few beers and Battleship (Tamara won), they both knew something cool was happening! Now this awesome couple loves to travel together, and actually got engaged at a castle in Scotland (how is that for a story they’re going to be able to tell for ages!)

All of the little details that went into this wedding day were fantastic. From Tamara’s polka dot wedding dress (what?!) to the jewel-toned color scheme of the flowers and decor, to the cozy, high-backed chairs for the couple to sit in and the S’mores given out as favors, everything about this wedding was awesome.

Thanks for having Rob and I celebrate with you two!

—Sam

Here are the vendors (with links) that helped make this wedding awesome!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Barn at Harvest Moon Pond

Officiant: Pastor Bob Riggert

Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero

Groom Tux: Michael Strahan Collection for JCPenney

Florist: Tamara (the Bride) & Eleanor Kahn Design

Event Coordinator: Aisle Less Travelled

Wedding Cake (except couple’s pie): HyVee

Catering: HyVee

Decor Rental: Event Essentials & A La Crate Rentals

 
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Andrea + Adam: An Intimate and Chill Madison Wedding

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Great things can happen when you both swipe right…

Yep, that’s right, these two met on Tinder, and hit it off immediately. One of the things that stood out to me on their wedding day was how freaking excited they were to be marrying each other, and how pumped their kids were as well! Both Andrea + Adam have 2 kids from previously marriages, and these 4 are already thick as thieves. All 4 kids stood up with their parents as the wedding party, and part of the wedding ceremony was a little bonding ritual of sand to symbolize the blending of their newly formed family, which I loved. :) It was so sweet and meaningful it brought most of the guests to tears!

Andrea + Adam were also kind enough to indulge me in stopping by my favorite local mural (Try a Little Tenderness, the Otis Redding mural on Willy St.) and also to pop by the UW Arboretum to do some photos with the last of the fall colors.

This wedding was one of my favorites of the year, as I’m quite a fan of intimate weddings, and I’m so excited that Andrea + Adam invited me to celebrate with them! Congrats you two!

—Sam

Here are the awesome vendors (with links) that helped make their wedding day fabulous!

Ceremony Venue: Gates of Heaven Synagogue

Reception Venue: Wisconsin Brewing Company

Officiant: Rodney Spillane, Groom's Uncle

Wedding Dress: David's Bridal

Wedding Flowers: Dried Flowers Forever

Wedding Rings: Bride's ring - Handmade by Bride’s Uncle; Groom's ring - Chalmers Jewelers

Groom’s Suit: Men's Wearhouse

Wedding Party Dresses: Brides N' Belles

Hair & Makeup: Anaala Salon - Hilldale

 
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Shannon + Chris: A Sweet Wedding for Two Adventurous Spirits

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These two adventurers planned a wedding and an international move all at the same time!

Shannon + Chris met at Greenbush Bar in the spring of 2015 and hit it off quickly, bonding over being in the 99.9 percentile of height and a shared love of pizza, the outdoors, and getting in the last word. Chris loved Shannon's enthusiasm and sense of adventure, and Shannon thought Chris was endearingly goofy and smart, despite finding out that his basketball loyalties lay with with the Kentucky Wildcats (woo hoo!) and that he somehow despised chocolate. They continued dating that summer and it was full of rock climbing, concerts on the square, and visits to the zoo.

They also love traveling, and have traveled to 12 countries together - Watching the macaques in Gibraltar, sea fishing in Iceland, climbing a via ferrata in the Pyrenees, remaining civil over 2,900 km across Spain in a tiny smart car, and swaying around a mid-summer bonfire in Latvia. But it was right here in Madison, on a walk through Allen Centennial Gardens, that Chris asked Shannon to marry him.

These two adventurers also took on the adventure of moving to Bristol, England shortly after their wedding (the next week in fact), and I’m sure wherever their curious and adventurous spirits take them will be filled with love and joy! :)

Check out the photos from Shannon + Chris’ fun and intimate Goodman Community Center wedding and join us in wishing them the best with their move!

—Sam


Here are the kickass wedding vendors (with links) who helped make this wedding wonderful!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Goodman Community Center

Officiant: Court Commissioner Daniel Floeter

DJ: Erin Crowley with Musical Memories

Bridal Gown: Vera’s House of Bridals

Groom’s Tux: Lucca Menswear

Engagement Ring: The Diamond Center

Groom’s Wedding Band: TQ Diamonds

Hair Stylist: Thorp’s

Wedding Party Attire: Vera’s House of Bridals

Florist: Daffodil Parker (except for DIY centerpiece greenery)

Event Coordinator: Samantha Hintz with Wishful Weddings

Wedding Cake: Carl's Cakes

Catering: Working Class Catering (Goodman Community Center)

Decor Rental: A La Crate

 
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Fall Family Portraits at the Arboretum

They say behind every great family portrait is a mom threatening to end all joy forever if everyone doesn’t just behave and smile for like 2 seconds…

But honestly, I’ve found that when people are relaxed and having fun, no one has to threaten bodily harm to get great photos. ;) This is the third year that I’ve photographed this family, and it’s so neat seeing kids get older each year, and yet, as awkward as most tweens and teens find family photos, everyone is still laughing and having a great time, and I think that’s freaking awesome! I also love making sure parents get photos of just the two of them as well!

Many thanks for the fun times and good laughs, and enjoy the photos!

—Sam

 
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