Family Portraits

Late Summer Family Photos at the UW Arboretum

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Family portraits with one of my favorite families!

I have the honor of photographing Kim + Peter’s family once or twice a year, and we finally got to do family portraits in the late summer timeframe at the UW Arboretum!

I love how the photos turned out and look at what a cute little ham Alex was! You can tell he loves having his photo taken. Kayleigh was adorable and adventurous and, as Kim later told me, managed to hold off throwing up until about 20 minutes after the session lol! Turns out she was a tough customer on smiles because she wasn’t feeling well, but she still did great during the session!

Enjoy the photos!

-Sam

 
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Spring Family Portraits on the Farm

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These family portraits took place on a lovely spring day with perfect weather!

We got to feed adorable baby goats, play tag, and blow on dandelions during this family’s portrait session. It was so lovely to see these kiddos run around and to see their parents play right along with them! Also check out some of the cutest goofy faces ever!

Many thanks to Michelle + Jon for inviting me to come spend time with you and your family!

-Sam

 
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Family Portraits on the Rooftop at MMoCA

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A rainy day forecast led to some beautiful rooftop portraits at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

When the weather is iffy, Madison offers some fun indoor or mixed-use spaces for photos, such as the Madison Central Library, the Overture Center, and one of my faves, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (which boasts both indoor and outdoor spaces in case there’s a break in the rain).

Enjoy these fun extended family photos!

-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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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

 
 

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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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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Benji's Newborn Portraits

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Welcome to Earth, little Benji! We're glad to have you! 

The first thing I noticed about Benji (how flipping adorable is that name?!) is that he loves looking around and taking it all in. He was fascinated by what was happening outside the living room window in his house as we were taking photos. This little guy was so well-behaved and just the sweetest, though since his parents were as sweet as can be, despite the lack of sleep common to all new parents, this comes as no surprise! 

I don't often get to photograph newborns, but I always love how even at such a young age, you can see personality and wonder in the world around these little ones! 

So with that said, welcome to the world, kiddo! I think you're going to like it! 

--Sam 

 
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Ryan's Newborn Portraits

 
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Meet little miss ryan: An actual Christmas miracle

Ryan (sidebar: I LOVE it when names break gender stereotypes and Ryan is such a cute girls' name!) was born on Christmas day to two of the sweetest humans, Sunaina + Kyle. (You might remember them from such adventures as this one here and also here.)

I got to meet Ryan just under 2 weeks after she was born, and got to catch up with her unsurprisingly sleep-deprived parents for a bit before we settled into photos. Let me say that I have never photographed a newborn who was so wide awake (sorry parents!) and expressive during their photo shoot! Normally we're lucky if we get even a handful of shots with eyes open, but Ryan was not to be outdone, and made the cutest most adorable faces for her photos! 

I think some of my favorite photos from the session (and it was super hard to choose!) are the ones of Sunaina + Kyle getting her dressed together. It reminded me of how I felt when Rob and I first brought Ben home, and the constant feeling of "We have no idea what we're doing, but, here goes!" that accompanied most of that first year with him. 

I feel pretty strongly that being a parent is one of the hardest, most joyful, most exhausting, and most magical jobs you can take on. For that reason, I think it's so important that new parents in particular extend themselves the grace to have hard days (no, you don't have to love every second of being a parent to be a good one - I happen to really dislike getting pooped on and I think I'm still a pretty decent mom). Sleepless nights and projectile poop aside, one of the greatest things about being a parent is seeing your child grow and learn and generally just turn into the person they'll become, and we wish Sunaina + Kyle all of the happiness possible at the start of that journey. I have no doubt Ryan is to do great things! 

Welcome to earth, Ryan! We're glad to have you. :) 

--Sam 

 

MMoCA Family Portraits

 
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Celebrating a holiday family reunion and an elopement

Kristin (a.k.a. 'KB', one of my very first friends when Rob and I moved to Madison, WI in 2006) and her husband, Brian (a.k.a. 'BK' - you can't make this stuff up) eloped a few months ago, and got to celebrate with her parents and brothers, who traveled from Alabama and braved the Wisconsin weather to see KB and BK over the holidays. 

As a Christmas gift, KB coordinated a mini portrait session at MMoCA, an iconic downtown Madison staple, and her family now has not only some great memories of Madison, but photos of all of them together for the first time in a while, along with their newest family member, BK. 

Enjoy the photos!

--Sam