Rad Photographers Retreat - Bathtub Boudoir

RadBoudoirBath-1017.jpg

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

 
2019-02-02_0011.jpg
2019-02-02_0009.jpg
2019-02-02_0010.jpg
 

Feeling Yourself

Maria2018-4059.jpg

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

 
2019-02-02_0024.jpg
 
 
2019-02-02_0025.jpg
2019-02-02_0026.jpg
 

Fiona's Newborn Portraits

FionaChristine-1008.jpg

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

 
2019-01-29_0004.jpg
 

Alex + Derek: A Surprise Downtown Engagement

AlexDerekBlog-1030.jpg

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

 
2018-11-23_0004.jpg
2018-11-23_0006.jpg
AlexDerekBlog-1029.jpg
AlexDerekBlog-1035.jpg
 

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

 
FreiberFamilyBlog-1013.jpg
 

Fall Family Portraits for 3 Adorable Kiddos!

MelbyBlog-1031.jpg

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

 
MelbyBlog-1005.jpg
MelbyBlog-1007.jpg
MelbyBlog-1010.jpg
MelbyBlog-1013.jpg
MelbyBlog-1018.jpg
MelbyBlog-1028.jpg
2018-10-28_0020.jpg
MelbyBlog-1034.jpg
 

Family Portraits at Home

SchultzFamilyBlog-1015.jpg

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

LynnBrianEngagement-1082.jpg

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

 
LynnBrianBlog-1003.jpg
LynnBrianBlog-1009.jpg
2018-10-28_0007.jpg
LynnBrianBlog-1010.jpg
LynnBrianBlog-1018.jpg
2018-10-28_0010.jpg
 

Lily + Aaron: A Fabulous Fall Engagement Session

LilyAaronBlog-1015.jpg

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

 
LilyAaronBlog-1001.jpg
LilyAaronBlog-1003.jpg
 

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

JenJasonBlog-1006.jpg

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018-10-28_0002.jpg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018-10-28_0003.jpg
 
 
 
 
2018-10-28_0004.jpg
 

Kayleigh's Newborn Portraits

KayleighBlog-1008.jpg

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

 
KayleighBlog-1030.jpg
 

Senior Portraits at the Arboretum

JosephBlog-1008.jpg

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

 
2018-09-18_0006.jpg
2018-09-18_0007.jpg