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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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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Fall Family Portraits for 3 Adorable Kiddos!

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There’s pretty much nothing more fun to photograph than kids (or adults) having fun in fall!

Have I mentioned that Fall is my favorite season? Anyway, I love fall family photos, and this year I got to meet this family’s newest addition, so it was extra special!

Check out these fun photos and start thinking about what you’d like to be doing for your Fall family photos next year!

—Sam

 
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Family Portraits at Home

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I love in-home (or in this case in-yard) family portraits!

There’s nothing that can beat the comfort level of just hanging out in your own space, particularly with a young child. Sunaina + Kyle were just getting ready to move out of state when they had me come over to take some family portraits before the big move.

It has been such a pleasure getting to know these folks since their wedding a few years ago, and I’m thrilled to have gotten to take photos of little Ryan, both when she was first born, and then just a few days before her first big adventure moving to a new state.

Take a look at this sweet and adorable family! <3

—Sam

 
 

Lynn + Brian: A Fall Engagement Celebration

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Secret Handshakes, Leaf Piles, and Kitty Cats, Oh My!

Lynn + Brian heard about us from their friends Mary + Tanya (you can see their wedding pics here) and since we adored working with Mary + Tanya, it was no surprise that Lynn + Brian have also been wonderful to work with so far! Their engagement session was so fun, and I love any engagement session that works in UW Arboretum, Willy Street, and cats!

Check out this adorable couple (and their clearly thrilled to be invited kitty cats)! We can’t wait for their wedding next year!

—Sam

 
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Lily + Aaron: A Fabulous Fall Engagement Session

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The Arboretum’s gorgeous fall colors were the perfect backdrop for lily + Aaron’s engagement photos!

Lily and Aaron both grew up in Janesville and actually lived only a few blocks from each other. They went to the same high school and worked in the same restaurant for a few years while in high school, and eventually started dating in 2012, moving to Madison in Summer of 2013, and they’ve been in the area ever since.

When they became engaged, these two knew they wanted a small, intimate wedding and to celebrate with their closest friends and family. For their engagement portraits, they were both a little nervous to be in front of the camera (which is totally understandable, as most adults are!) but pretty soon were having fun and goofing off, which is what I love taking photos of!

I can’t wait for Lily + Aaron’s wedding a few weeks from now!

—Sam

 
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Jen + Jason: A Couple's Session at the Arboretum

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This super fun couple hadn’t had photos since their wedding 9 years ago…

Which is something I hear a lot, and I love when couples decide they’re finally tired of not having any photos of each other and that it’s time for a session! Jen + Jason were so fun to work with. We laughed, joked about poop (because I’m a very mature adult-type person), and played rock, paper, scissors, which is just about as much fun as I could hope for in a session (and my cheeks hurt from laughing after we were done).

Hurray for getting couple’s photos! :-D

—Sam

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Kayleigh's Newborn Portraits

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Complete with Yoda hat and a knitted lightsaber!

You know you’re photographing an adorably nerdy family when the phrase “We don’t hit the baby with the lightsaber” comes out as the toddler gently bops the newborn with a soft, knitted lightsaber.

One of the first things Kim and I bonded over when we first met was our mutual love of Star Wars, and it’s obvious her husband and kiddos share that love. So when little Kayleigh was born, it’s no wonder she got her own turn to wear the Yoda hat (it was too small for Alex when he was born) and to wield a lightsaber.

Check out these cute photos of this awesome family of Star Wars fans!

—Sam

 
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Senior Portraits at the Arboretum

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I don’t do senior portraits often, but when I do, it’s for kickass young adults like Joseph

Joseph has an interest in Personal Training, with an emphasis nutrition, which is amazing to me, because when I was his age, all I wanted to do was paint hand prints on my jeans and drink coffee. This kid is going places for sure!

And okay, maybe I’m a little biased, but I am such a sucker for moms and sons, so I had to include these super sweet photos of Joseph and his mom! Hopefully Ben will let me get in a hug or two at that age also. ;)

Enjoy the photos, and good luck on your journey, Joseph!

—Sam

 
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Ada's Newborn Portraits

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Little Ada, rocking a dinosaur hat, and making album covers already!

Seriously though, Ada has two amazing parents, and if she’s lucky, will be a firecracker just like them. Check out the last photo, which will be the album cover of her grunge revival band in about 18 years. I had so much fun taking photos of this beautiful family! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to photograph such an important milestone, so thanks to James & Carlie!

—Sam

 
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Jenny + Jason: An Adorable Dino-Themed Engagement Session

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Okay, so it wasn't all dino-themed, but there were dinosaurs and cats and eskimo kisses, so obviously it was pretty rad! 

Jenny + Jason met while working at Best Buy/Geek Squad. After several weeks of not quite knowing whether or not they were flirting, they both figured it out when Jason asked Jenny to go with him to GenCon (a board game convention in Indianapolis, IN). From there, they were pretty much on the same page about that whole flirting business, and 6 years later, Jason proposed to Jenny at GenCon (they go every year) and she obviously said yes!

Besides loving all things board-game related, Jenny also shared with me when we met for the first time that she was thinking of themes for their wedding, and 'Elegant, Classy, but with Dinosaurs' sprang to mind, and I was instantly sold! I love a good dinosaur-themed event and I love weddings, so clearly I cannot wait for theirs!

Jenny + Jason are so laid-back and fun to be around! They love cider, board games, and their cats (who made a special guest appearance, however reluctantly, in these engagement photos). So without further delay, here are the photos from this super fun engagement session! 

--Sam 

 
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Sharayu + Ajinkya: A Stylish Pre-Wedding Session in Madison WI

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With the wedding in India just a month away...

Ajinkya + Sharayu are working hard on wedding and travel planning, but wanted to make sure to have some pre-wedding photos taken in Ajinkya's adopted city of Madison before the big day! 

We met on Willy Street by Machinery Row bikes (isn't that an awesome building?!) and walked around the area taking photos by the lake, by some of the neat old buildings, and in front of some gorgeous blossoming trees! Sharayu + Ajinkya were great sports about playing games and having fun while taking photos, and also about making sure I didn't get hit by any cars or bicycles in the busy Willy Street area while we were photographing! Once we were done there, we headed down to the Capital for some photos, just as the sun was getting low. These two were a blast to photograph, and so sweet! I'm so excited for them as they make the final preparations for their journey to India and for their wedding ceremony there! 

Good luck you two! 

--Sam 

 

 
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