Eliza's 6 Month Photos

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There is nothing sweeter than summer family photos!

I photographed Erin + Eric’s wedding in Spring of 2018 (check out the photos here) and was so happy to be able to photograph their daughter Eliza for her 6 month portraits!

We had a good time at the UW Arboretum, and Eliza was fascinated by the camera (I feel ya, kiddo, they’re super neat)!

Enjoy these sweet family photos!

-Sam

 
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Aubrey + AJ: A Downtown Madison Engagement Session

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a fun jaunt around iconic madison landmarks and ending with a summer Thunderstorm!

Aubrey + AJ, who live in the great state of Texas but are having their wedding up in the Madison area to be closer to family, came into town mid-July to scope out wedding plans and had their engagement photos at some of the most iconic downtown landmarks.

We started off at the Memorial Union Terrace for waterfront photos (and Babcock hall ice cream!) then scooted over to the Capitol Building (look at that dramatic sky) and then hit the Monona Terrace just as the rain started pouring and by the time we got back to the car we were all soaked to the bone but laughing!

We can’t wait for Aubrey + AJ’s wedding! Enjoy these fun engagement photos (and go get yourself some Babcock hall ice cream while you’re at it!)

- Sam

 
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Ann + Sam: An Early Summer Engagement Session

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Ann + Sam had perfect weather for their early summer engagement session in Fitchburg, WI

And it wasn’t even too buggy! (A minor miracle in a humid Wisconsin summer)

We started off snapping some photos with Ann + Sam’s adorable kitty friends at their apartment, then stopped by a little random stretch of woods that I thought was very striking (all dark evergreens and shadows, I love it!). We also had a blast at McKee Farms Park, singing ‘I Want It That Way’ while Ann + Sam slow-danced and giggled and it was pretty magical.

We finished up at the Vintage Brewing Company with some cocktails and good laughs, and I can’t wait for their wedding in June of next year! *squee* 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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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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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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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