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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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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Andrea + Phil: A 10 Year Anniversary Session

 
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Andrea + Phil had a delightful mix of fancy af and punk rock elements for their 10 year anniversary session 

When Andrea contacted me about photographing her 10 year wedding anniversary with Phil, she was clearly a woman with a plan. She wanted a dress that was reminiscent of the wedding dress she wore on 4/19/2008, when she and Phil were married, she wanted Phil in a grey suit, she wanted to hit up special places near the Capitol building and near the Memorial Union Terrace, and she wanted to cap off the celebration with champagne and cupcakes! Needless to say, I was on board immediately

Not finding exactly what she was looking for in the dress department, she ended up making not only her dress (which was really a satin thigh-length, corset-backed sheath dress with a removable tulle skirt) but also the cute faux-fur wrap pictured below, because she is basically a wizard. She came fully prepared too, with a rolling suitcase of goodies, including champagne & cupcakes, toasting glasses, and extra shoes for when the heels got to be too much, plus a little sewing emergency kit for quick fixes on the go. 

We got extremely lucky with weather, and to be honest, given that Thursday morning I was literally shoveling my driveway just to be able to get my car out, I did not think that it was going to be very pleasant out, but it ended up in the upper 40's by the time our session started, and all was well! 

Phil + Andrea were so fun to work with (we are so blessed to work with such amazing couples!) and it was really cool to see how excited they were to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. I wish more folks would get into the spirit like that! After we finished champagne and cupcakes at the Memorial Union Terrace, they dropped me back off at the parking garage, before heading off to dinner, and I will guarantee they were the best dressed couple in whatever restaurant they went to! 

Happiest of 10 year anniversaries to this awesome couple! 

--Sam 

 

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 

 

Winter Family Portraits at Epic

 
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These extended family photos happened in the perfect setting at epic! 

Epic is one of those places that you can photograph and have a different kind of setting for every occasion. Carolyn's husband's extended family were all together for the holidays, and decided they'd love to have family photos taken while everyone was in the same state (a rare occasion for some families!). They braved the cold for some shots next to a gorgeous outdoor area, walked around the huge campus for more photos, and recreated an old family photo pose from back in the day! Since kids will be kids, we did have one little one who was not particularly happy about having her photo taken, but that's par for the course with family photos. I hope she can look back on that photo and smile later! 

--Sam 

 

Family Portraits at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

 
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holiday portraits are the best! 

I love love love holiday portraits, and thought it was really sweet that Vitalijus and his family were going to do some family portraits downtown before heading to Overture to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas (a holiday classic)! 

I met Vitalijus what seems like forever ago when we were both working for Dean Health Plan, but this was the first time I'd had the pleasure of meeting his wife, Dalia (who is expecting in February), and two kiddos, Saule and Simonas. 

Saule and Simonas were so much fun, and really got into the picture-taking spirit while we played some games to get them laughing, interacting, and less worried about the camera. This holiday session was a great reminder of how fun they can be! 

Enjoy the photos!

--Sam

 

Fall Family Portraits at Home

 
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A rainy day blessing in disguise

On family portrait day, the weather was abysmal. Kris + John didn't let that keep them from getting family portraits taken, so I headed over to their home to do an in-home session instead of an outdoor session. I love in-home sessions because their so unique to each family or couple. When hanging out with Kris, John, and the kids (Jax and Daria), I got to photograph them playing Exploding Kittens (while ones of their cats made a hilarious guest appearance), and then got to photograph them telling secrets, having tickle fights, and heading outside for the 5 minute break in rain that the day offered at the end of the session! 

It was so nice to see Kris, John, and the kids again, and to get to hang out with them! Enjoy the photos! 

--Sam 

 

Mary + Tanya: A Cozy and Colorful Engagement Session

 
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A super fun Session on Willy Street 

Have I mentioned before how lucky we are when it comes to our clients? We seriously work with the best couples (not that I'm biased lol), and Mary + Tanya are definitely another exceptional couple on that list! They were so fun, quick to laugh (a trait I love in other humans), and were so sweet and intimate with each other, that they were just a joy to photograph. The session included running into a coworker of mine canvasing to make sure people are registered to vote (hi Jane!), a 'stolen' scarf and some gifted mittens, and the world's quickest wardrobe change behind a random house on Willy St. With adventures like that, how could we not be excited about their wedding next May?! 

--Sam 

 

Family Portraits in the Park

 
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Erin + Dan and the kids had family photos taken in a park that means a lot to them

I love it when people have photos in places that are significant to them. Erin + Dan (and the kids) took fall family photos in the park behind their house, because it's where the kids play almost daily, and where they watch the sun set each night. 

The kids, Grace, Ben, and Isaac, were super fun and goofy, and really got into the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors they were playing. They climbed all over stuff, flipped out of swings (I used to do it too but now that I'm an adult who has seen an ER bill, this is terrifying to watch!), and were generally pretty freakin' awesome. I was also super happy to get some photos of Erin + Dan. I really love it when parents get some of just the two of them during family sessions. 

Enjoy the photos, and some of the last of the fall colors!

--Sam