family session at retzer

beautiful light pouring through the trees, surrounded by wildflowers and chased by butterflies, grass tickling our ankles, sweet kisses, tree climbing, laughter and tree climbing all created a lovely session with an incredible family of five...

"we all have a weakness for beauty" albert camus

 

villa terrace maternity session

this session was everything...

We met at the incredibly beautiful Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, with beautiful cloudy lighting touching this family so perfectly we began our session. Lots of laughter, sweet kisses and chasing sweet Liam around. Then the clouds rolled in and we took cover while a storm took over. We sat together and talked about parenthood and life. When the storm passed we finished our session complete with puddle jumping (and if you know me, you know this is one of my favorite pastimes). I left session knowing I didn't just have a wonderful new client but also new friends and of course a beautiful set of images to go through <3

simple 02

a quiet tuesday after school...

homework was finished, crumbs from snacks lay on the table, the wind chimes were roaring and these three were having a sweet moment together on the porch.

our life these days is full. often spent driving from place to place, attempting to balance three schedules, two schools, friends, family, work and play. lately I leave my camera behind in the midst of the chaos I want to view them not through my lens but through being present. only I noticed that the result is I don't capture them as often as I used to.

on a day like this one though I couldn't resist. I raced inside and grabbed my camera with only a sliver of charge left and snapped away while they played with the flowers on the porch, whispered secrets and gave gentle kisses. I am certain a lot of that was for my entertainment; knowing my camera was out, feeling my enthusiasm and knowing the direction I often give but even still I was in awe because hidden behind that posing was something so pure and so genuine...my three children...a brother and his two sisters just basking in childhood.

our backdrop wasn't fancy and this moment was short and sweet but this is our now. I was thinking the other day I don't know where the time has gone but then I do because I've been here for it all. through all the tears, the bumps and bruises, the triumphs and moments of defeat. I've watched them grow and change right before my eyes and I know if I blink for too long so much will be missed. and so I am glad I have images to relive these fleeting moments of their childhood.

I've said it before and it's because I am so passionate I'll say it again. don't wait. pull out your camera or your phone for the moments inbetween. hire a photographer to capture these moments in your life. on your porch, in your yard, having breakfast, snuggled reading a book. I so strongly believe having these images are the one investment you will never ever regret. just remember to keep it simple and don't wait for a perfect moment. the moment is now.

the family narrative

I never want to stop learning. Whenever I take time to embrace the photography community I am left inspired. It can be a lonely business. No happy hours, no Christmas parties and no co-workers to vent with. When I throw myself into the community at a workshop or over coffee I feel an excitement for the art of photography that fuels me to continue to grow.

Early March I went to New Orleans for The Family Narrative. A weekend spent with family photographers from all over learning from one another. I had the honor of observing, learning from and shooting alongside the beautiful and talented Brooke Davis for a live shoot. I love seeing how other photographers approach a session. It's beautiful watching an artist work. To then get to capture this beautiful mother on my own left me feeling completely fulfilled.

Madeline and her three gorgeous children were so much fun to capture. There is an obvious beauty with all of them but it was so much more than that. Watching a mother of three so calm and so clearly in love with her babies made me homesick for my own babies. We took turns holding those beautiful twins while capturing sweet kisses, beautiful smiles and that lovely New Orleans light covering all of them. A big brother constantly showing his tough boy love to his sisters, sweet baby girls who would share their beautiful smiles with us and a patient mother who laughed with us as we talked about motherhood and the immense patience and grace it takes. It was an incredible session and truly such a gift to be part of.

 

a family session by the river

The milwaukee river is one of my favorite places to be...this spot in particular is where I played as a child. Returning here to capture children and families means so much to me. There is something magical about the connection between children and nature. They quickly become lost in their imaginations and the freedom to embrace all of their senses.

Once we all kicked off our shoes and got our feet wet this session became effortless. Snuggles, splashes, laughter and sweet kisses filled our time together. We all went home with dirty feet kissed a little by the sun.

I will be offering sessions at this spot throughout spring and summer. Contact me if you would like to get a spot on my calendar. I would love to work with you especially in this incredible spot <3

simple

a slow Monday morning...

music playing, sipping on a cup of coffee that was quickly cooling off and snow falling outside

I looked in our bathroom and noticed the light. It was soft and simple. I bribed the kids with cookies and asked to photograph them.  In this tiny space, with changing light as the snow fell we turned up the music and had our little photo shoot. They grabbed the eucalyptus from the dining room table and their personalities took over. The ever changing 10 year old balancing confidence, silliness and uncontrollable laughter. The quiet 7 year old with all of his sweetness and sincerity giggling his way through the attention of the camera. The wild 5 year old with her charisma shining through constantly asking for more cookies.

It's a good reminder that it doesn't always need to be complicated. Perfect lighting, perfect backdrops and perfect behaviors are hard to obtain. I would rather document honesty and childhood which is far from perfect. This wasn't about anything but them. And I'm left with images that I could stare at forever. I see bits the past when they were babies and I see so much of what the future holds. And above all of that this is the now. All within a tiny space and a tiny moment. And sure shortly after the cookies were gone and the moment had passed the chaos of life ensued and they bickered, messes were made, my coffee was cold and exhaustion took over but days are made up of all of the moments and I was glad these photos were one them on this day.

Don't wait for good weather, a perfectly clean house, haircuts or the best outfits. Capture your children now. Document your life now. Keep it simple. The results are guaranteed to be something you will cherish.

colorado lifestyle session

I am extremely passionate about capturing people. Mothers and their children are always at the top of my list. Motherhood is messy. It's chaotic, thankless, exhausting and even brutal at times. But within all of that there is a the deepest beauty I have ever seen. This mother is a close friend of mine. We connected over the passion for photography but have also been supporting and encouraging each other through motherhood. Being in CO to see her and her beautiful family was wonderful. I am in awe reliving these moments. Completely thankful for being able to document a piece of her life and even more so for a strong friend who inspires me.

 

a wednesday

Just another Wednesday. Dishes in the sink from breakfast, the mail sitting in the mailbox waiting to be picked up, beds unmade, music playing and cold coffee waiting to be finished. Life for me was moving fast as always.... But I looked up and saw them. One of those moments where I was suddenly completely aware of how fleeting their childhood is for me. They don't feel that speed they bask in their childhood as if the smallest moment could last forever.  Fully present and completely lost together. I watched them forcing time to stop. Soaking up their laughter and their details. These images are raw and honest. The little bits of blur remind me to slow down. I am reminded of how fast they seem to move but how beautiful their movement is. They are tangled and close and full of so much joy. Just another Wednesday sure but to me it's a day I will revisit often. A day that shows me our now. A day where for a fraction of time everything finally slowed down.

Brianna & Leo + Monroe Workshop

A while back I took a little trip to MN to visit with Brianna & her sweet son Leo to capture them in  their beautiful home sprinkled with toys from Monroe Workshop. Leo was full of that perfect little boy energy. Bouncing from room to room playing with these beautifully handcrafted toys. Brianna was effortless to capture especially while snuggling her little prince.

There is no need for more words. These images will give you a taste of the beautiful morning I had with these two.

I highly recommend Monroe Workshop. These fantastic toys would make such wonderful unique gifts. And be sure to follow along with Brianna on her beautiful Instagram feed <3

 

welcome addison

I first met Janice to capture her maternity photos in Lincoln Park in Chicago. She was beyond radiant. Almost unfair. Almost. Her stunning smile and endearing personality were effortless to capture. Both of these soon to be parents were filled with so much excitement and so much love for one another.

 

I couldn't wait to meet their little girl. I headed back to Chicago to capture them in their new home with their brand new beautiful daughter. Still beyond radiant mixed with that insane new parent exhaustion. Watching a family settle into their new roles is incredible. Its familiar from when I had my own children but there is also something unique to each family. These sessions are intimate and personal and it's such a great honor to capture this time for a family.

Addison was not a fan of wardrobe changes. My favorite moment was watching these new parents comfort their sweet baby. Both so madly in love and so deeply concerned. It made for such a great session.

I absolutely love my job.

welcome milly lu

That beautiful light filling their home. Their giant dog Buckley sneaking kisses in every chance he could. That new parent exhaustion mixed with that insane love creating the most genuine beauty there is. Tiny clothes and a perfect sleepy baby.

Welcome to this world Milly Lu <3

Jolley + Nathan Lifestyle Session

The moment I walked into Jolley + Nathan's beautiful Atlanta home I was swept away by sweet Jagger to see her magnificent room and her favorite toys. She was bouncing around showing me every detail and I was instantly in awe of her sweet and charismatic demeanor. The family piled on the mom and dads bed and laughter filled the room. Zea kept his eyes on me taking it all in and staying close to mom but even he couldn't hold all of his smiles in. Jagger bounced off the bed with excitement telling me she had to show me something. She ran from the room and came back in beaming with pride holding her very special frozen toothpaste.  I knew I had made a perfect tiny new friend.

We went outside to a beautiful spot in the neighborhood to capture the end of summer and their tight family bond. Sticks and wind + kisses and tiny giggles. Their love filled the frame and left me completely inspired.

After our session we talked parenthood and life and I left with the biggest hug from the amazing Jagger. It was an incredible day.

10 years

10 years of marriage for these two.

Aleisha + Jonathan have built a life together. Children and a business, day-to-day joys and challenges. We wandered around the Milwaukee River talking about the trials of marriage. The bright moments and the dark moments. The growth and the little things that push you from one moment to the next. They held each other close and they let me document their quiet moments where they were both vulnerable and falling for each other all over again. Documenting this time in their life was such an honor. This is a marriage. This is 10 years. This is life.

Thank you to my beautiful Mother for putting together this incredible bouquet from her garden to add to their beauty and their moment.

 

brothers

A beautiful day.

Warm weather, a cool river,  wooden swords, colorful paint and wild imaginations.

I loved spending time with these boys while they adventured and discovered together.

This is brotherhood.

brother + sister

There were dirty dishes in the sink, groceries to put away, crumbs on the table from lunch with a beautiful breeze blowing through the one open window. Sam Cooke filled our home with a nostalgic sound and a cup of coffee ready to give me boost was quickly becoming cold. I was ready to tackle the end of day tasks to start preparing for dinner and bedtime. Our daily routine at it's finest.

I heard them giggling and whispering. I peaked in my room and saw them snuggled up in a tangled knot on our bed lost in a moment. The light kissed their skin and wrinkles of the blanket seemed to outline them perfectly. They were lost in a moment and I was in awe at the beauty of it all.  Everything could wait. I grabbed my camera. They continued with their giggles and perfect snuggles while I captured a true moment of bonding between them. They were talking about elephants and tigers, smelly fish and lady bugs. In this quick moment I saw how important they are for one another. A big brother and his little sister.

My tasks waited for me and our daily routine continued almost and of course that natural sibling bickering began but for a moment I was lost in them and they were lost in each other and that was all that mattered.

a mother + her children

It is such an incredible honor to be hired by another photographer. I have admired Laura's work for a while. She has such a keen eye for capturing the beautiful innocence of children.

When I walked into her home I was instantly drawn to her children. Sheldon and Fern wasted no time showing me their favorite things. Sheldon showed me his dinosaur collection and said to me "if we were both t-rex's we wouldn't hurt each other we would be great friends" eet Fern quietly showed me around her room and would peak at me every chance she could and give me such a gentle smile. These two won me over effortlessly.

Capturing Laura with her children was a good reminder for me to get in the frame. All mothers should. We talked about how rare that is for all of us but look at these images they show how important it is. There is such a beauty in how children look at their mom. The gentle touch and stunning smiles are worth documenting. I wish all mothers could see what I see through my lens. You aren't as tired as you feel and you are more beautiful then you realize. You are adored and you need to see that and they need to have photos of their superhero to cherish as they grow.

I'll let the images say the rest xo

 

 

beyond the mundane

It's so easy to be consumed with the ordinary day to day life. The routine of it takes over and we flow through it like water unable to freeze. But on this day, we were the ripple, the hiccup that stops life for a mere moment.

We fully embraced the first day of warmth. We put everything on hold. Set off together with no plan and no time restraint. We basked in the sun and danced in the wind. Their sibling rhythm was on and together we created a memory to be cherished. A memory to carry us through any of those mundane day-to-day tasks that would soon take over again.

We came home tired and refreshed, covered in mud with tangled hair. Smiling from ear to ear we fell back into our routine; dinner, bath, books and bed. It seemed less tedious now. Our small moment nurtured us giving us the nudge we needed to see the beauty in our everyday. The food tasted better, the bath made them extra clean, the books reminded us of our own adventure and they went to sleep dreaming magnificent dreams.

A small moment helped me to look beyond the mundane andfind rhythm in our day-to-day life again.  

 

 

sean + justine

Hug Point on the Oregon coast was beyond beautiful, Sean and Justine made the whole experience breathtaking. The elements were against us and even though we fought rain, wind and blowing sand it still felt effortless to capture intimate moments between this couple.

Dress:: Adored Vintage  Hair:: Jessica KerschMake up:: Maia Jeramiah

welcome roxie

Spending the first moments with a family when they welcome a new addition is so beautiful. As a mother, I've lived it. I know how tired you feel and how messy everything feels. For mothers, preparing for these sessions is a lot. It's usually the first time we brush our hair and put on make up. We push past the post birth pain to look in awe at our family and we fight exhaustion to have this amazing time documented. Being there to capture these moments and show you how beautiful you are is such an honor. During these sessions I can always feel the pure joy and immense love. It's incredible to witness.

My beautiful sister-in-law and her incredible husband invited me to share these beginning moments as her family became 5. In between our little photo session I enjoyed snuggling my beautiful new niece Roxie and playing with her big sister Josie and big brother Leo. It was a weekend I won't forget.