Jenny + Brad: A Sunny Olbrich Botanical Gardens Wedding

 

Jenny + Brad are exactly as laid back, happy, and fun as you would expect two people who met at a music festival to be...

Which is to say, very.

When Jenny was talking with us about how they met and their story, one of the things that really stuck out to me is the sense of family that they have, as a blended household. Jenny has a daughter, and Brad has a son and a daughter, and although the road was not always smooth, their kids get along great, and they have this wonderful way of interacting with each other and their kids that was a joy to capture! As Jenny put it, they have each other's back, and are truly partners, in every sense of the word, and that's what, at its heart, a marriage is supposed to be. 

We arrived at Olbrich Gardens to photograph their wedding, and the day was already sweltering! Jenny looked gorgeous in her dress, and I was so impressed and happy that she decided to go without makeup, since, as she put it, it's just not her thing. There is so much pressure on women in particular to be "perfect" on their wedding day, that I was super excited to see someone so confident in their natural beauty on their wedding day. 

Jenny + Brad did their first look by the willow tree in the Olbrich gardens, followed by their gorgeous and heartfelt outdoor ceremony, surrounded by their friends and family (and with their kids making up most of the wedding party!) After the ceremony, we spent some time with the wedding party (they do a great Brad impression!) and then just the couple, wandering around the lovely grounds and snapping some photos. After that, we headed over to the reception at the East Side Club where Jenny + Brad had karaoke, danced their first dance to Radiohead's 'All I Need', and indulged us in grabbing some sunset shots, where we got some super pretty pictures of the two of them and Rob got to photobomb a few teenage girls taking selfies. Win/Win! 

We're so happy to have gotten to celebrate with Jenny + Brad and their loved ones, and hope you enjoy the pictures! 

--Sam 

 

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

Ceremony Venue: Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Reception Venue: East Side Club

Bridal Gown + Accessories: David's Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal

Groom's Tux: Men's Wearhouse

Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse

Officiant: Joan Page

DJ: Jukebox Bandstand

Cake: HyVee

Catering: Upstairs Downstairs

 

 

Come In From The Cold

 

Do you ever feel like a tourist in your own life? 

And not in a fun "Oh isn't my life exciting?!" kind of way. More like a feeling of maybe not quite fitting in, or just being on the outside looking in. 

I have a particular affinity for a Joni Mitchell song called "Come in From the Cold", and of course the lyrics are amazing, because Joni Mitchell is a ridiculously talented artist, but also because a chorus proclaiming "All I ever wanted was just to come in from the cold..." really speaks to me in a way I can't quite put my finger on. 

This vague 'outside looking in' feeling persists in most situations, and has, for most of my life. Feeling like a guest instead of at ease when visiting family in states I no longer call home. Not feeling queer enough in LGBTQ spaces because I'm married to a man and so it isn't apparently obvious that I'm not straight. Feeling a little out of place in the leadership team at my 9-5 work because I don't have a college degree, don't own a single power suit, and am not particularly good at networking. Feeling like an outsider in creative circles because I get nervous around large groups of people, particularly people I feel are considerably more talented and successful than I am, and so have a hard time not just reverting to quiet observation instead of interaction.

I don't know what makes that feeling go away. I thought it would be achieving some measure of success, so I would feel "legitimate", but, unless I just haven't hit the right level of success yet, I don't think that's it. So, if it's not success that makes imposter syndrome go away, then how does one overcome that uncomfortable feeling of not belonging? Asking for a friend. (Just kidding, all my friends have their shit together way more than I do, or at least are very confident in not having their shit together). 

I wish I knew what the magic combination of success, confidence, talent, and stick-to-itiveness is that makes one feel like they have a definitive right to take up space in circles they would be otherwise welcome in, save for their own inhibitions and fears. Since I don't have that recipe yet, I'm just taking it one step at a time. I'm attending regular creative entrepreneur meetings, I'm having fun with our photography clients and continually learning better ways to serve them, I'm attending Pride parades and equality marches, I'm doing my best at my daytime work to not feel like a fraud, though I draw the line at purchasing un-ironic power suits. And what else can one do really, besides keep moving forward? 

What do you do that helps you when imposter syndrome comes on strong or when you feel like an outsider? If you do nothing else, just remember that you're not alone. 

--Sam 

 

Carrie + Tom: A Devil's Lake Engagement Session

 

They bonded over Vincent Price, surreal cartoons, and beer... 

Carrie + Tom have one of the best 'meet cute' stories I've ever heard! They both worked at Epic, and became roommates with a mutual friend, and ended up living together for over a year before they started dating. During the pre-dating time they lived together, they bonded while watching old Vincent Price movie adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories, watching cartoons, and drinking excellent Wisconsin beer. 

These two adventurers knew exactly where they wanted to go for their engagement pictures; the top of the Devil's Lake bluffs! They even put up with me needing to take breaks every 10 minutes of straight uphill hiking, because they're super nice people. ;) 

I loved seeing them interact together, and we're so excited to be photographing their wedding next year! 

--Sam 

 

Kimberley + Jason: A UW Arboretum Engagement Session

 

These two are going to be having a Dr. Who-themed wedding and we cannot wait! 

You heard me right, a Dr. Who wedding! We love fun couples and themed weddings, and are super excited to be a part of their big day! We met at the UW Arboretum (and boy was it hot!) on Friday to hang out, take engagement photos, and talk about their upcoming wedding plans. 

Can you guess which Dr. Jason is going as? 

--Sam 

 

An Arboretum Family Portrait Session

 

Evie + Carly were the life of the party at this golden hour family portrait session

This fun family photo session took place in the UW Arboretum, and everything about the session, except for maybe the bugs, was an adventure! Evie, the oldest, got to see a toad, a turtle, and a deer. This awesome family played hide and seek, made silly faces, and were generally really good sports about all the  mosquito bites. I had a blast spending time with them, and hope you enjoy the photos! 

--Sam 

 

A Trip to Kentucky

 

Over Memorial Day, we took a trip to visit Papaw in Kentucky

I love taking car trips with Ben, and the 8 hour drive flew by quickly, on our way to see Dad (Papaw). When we arrived at my Dad's house in Kentucky, it was warm and stormy and gorgeous. We don't get down to visit at much as I'd like, but at least the weather was nice enough that we could take a trip out to the farm to visit Dad's horses, Bella and Alvarez, and that we got to see my uncle Barry and Uncle Derek while we were there. We also spent some time at an arcade (brings out the kid in us all, right?) and in general had a great visit. Can't wait until the next one! (Also, can you tell that I love horse noses?)

--Sam