the o'tool family

simply put I adore this family. 

I think these images accurately tell the story of our sessio so I'll let them do the job. 

note: my favorite image is the last one, it just so honestly depicts marriage with a side of parenthood. 

 

take advantage of the short time we can bask in warm weather and book a beach session. I still have a few spots left and I would love to work with YOU. Message me. 

the ibarra family

I left this session with a bouquet of hand picked wild flowers a huge cheek to cheek smile, bursting with inspiration. Two parents madly in love with two little girls, one beautifully outgoing and one shy drenched in charisma and a little boy in suspenders with the biggest most contagious smile I've ever seen. This session was pure magic. 

Beach sessions are definitely a favorite for me. Children are so carefree by nature and the backdrop of the beach is just an effortless setting for their fanciful behaviors. Living in WI these beach days are definitely numbered and worth seizing. Message me to book a beach session. Lets build sandcastles, collect rocks and flowers and capture those fleeting moments. 

greenhouse elopement

There is nothing more authentic than a greenhouse filled with immense beauty and cared for with pure love. It's a truly magical backdrop. Monches Farm is an incredible space with intrigue every where you look. From the doves, to the chickens, the gentle dogs that live there, the beautiful pottery for sale, and of course the variety of flowers and plants that cover every inch. It's the perfect backdrop for a love story. The details of this styled elopement are breathtaking and the connection between Cassandra and Ryan was deep and effortless to capture. A truly beautiful start to a marriage. Such an honor to work along side such talent to document such a beautiful couple. 

Wedding Planning: Et Voila Events

Flowers: Feisty Flowers

Dress: Miss Ruby Boutique

Hair & Make Up: Hair By Smash & Lustrous Beauty Studio

Shot along side the beautiful and talented: Autumn Silva Photography

the beautiful scholz family

I always walk into sessions with no expectations. Having the majority of my job revolving around working with children I know that they run the show. If they want a snack we stop, if they are sad we slow down, if they are having fun and running then I am running right along with them. With that being said somehow with no expectations this session far exceeded any I could have had. That little girl is so full of life and her little brother though shy was completely endearing and was more than willing to follow along with little smiles that melted my heart all while keep a close eye on me. These stunning parents are not only enamored with their beautiful children but also with each other.

I can't help but be in awe when I walk into a home in the middle of winter with light pouring in and an abundance of love set in front of me to capture. And honestly my favorite part about it was the little in between moments, whether that be a few tears (lets be real, kids cry) a bit of attitude when little brother stole the show, and lots of genuine laughter and kisses. 

Book a session in your home. Yes outdoor sessions are great, without a doubt. But your home is so much a part of your life. It's beyond beautiful and you won't regret it. Children especially respond differently to photo shoots in their space than anywhere else. This is an investment worth making. I promise that. Message me please. Let's work together! 

welcome vienna

It goes without saying that children are loud, if you are a parent you know that the moments where your children are sleeping or when they are away from home there is a deafening silence. When you bring a baby home for the first time that is one of those enormous changes. The noise. And although it is fairly instant (lets be honest newborns can belt it out with the best of them) there is also a quiet and stillness with a brand new baby that is so fleeting it's hard to remember it when it passes. That is my favorite part of getting to do newborn sessions. Sure they cry during our sessions and we laugh at their little noises and stretches and sound just fills the air but there are moments where things are so peaceful and just covered with love that I absolutely adore. This whole session embodies that. 

These brand new parents, their beautiful peaceful brand new daughter and their incredible dog who was calmly checking things out gave me all the feels. It was such an honor to document this beginning. 

I'll allow the images to say the rest <3

casey & carlos

I usually photograph children and families and I've always said adults were easy but I'd be lying if I said it's where I am most comfortable shooting. Children think I'm funny, adults don't always. As my business grows and I expand to shoot more weddings and more engagement sessions I am learning that while adults don't throw tantrums they do a really good job and not always being vulnerable in front of the camera and honestly I love that challenge. 

Casey said she wasn't sure about being in front of the camera but she trusted me and allowed for her love with Carlos to take over. We laughed and talked our way through our time together and I am just so proud of these images. 

These two are incredible. They have a beautiful home and a fun and beautiful marriage. They are clearly adoring of one another. The light poured in and we moved effortlessly throughout their home. When I left the only thing I was thinking is I should have shot more. 

More couples please! Message me lets work together<3

afternoon tea party

Often people hesitate for in home lifestyle sessions because "my house is a disaster" or "there is no good light in my home" I feel EXCATLY the same way about my home and let me tell you every home, even the darkest, has a pocket of beautiful light that photographers drool over. 

This is my home. The light was pouring in so I grabbed Story's coveted tea set from santa and got her set up. I removed distractions; a poster from the wall, a basket of clean folded laundry that had been sitting there for days, and my reheated cup of coffee. Story grabbed my ukulele, her sisters hat, her camera, roses from the dining room table and a bunch of her favorite friends. She quickly became lost in the moment with her little imagination running wild while I moved around the room documenting it. I am left with a collection of images that perfectly portrays my beautiful & wild 6 year old basking in her childhood on a bitterly cold winter day. 

Children are most themselves for photo shoots in their own home. It's their space where they feel most safe. They are surrounded by their favorite things. I love when a tiny hand proudly pulls me into a room to show me their favorite toy. And I promise by the time I am there, parents forget about the disaster they were ashamed of. They too become lost in the moment. So hire me to come into your home to document your life. Make pancakes or bake cookies, have hot coco together, dance, play, build a fort or simply snuggle in with a favorite book. Allow your children to bring their treasures into the photos and I will take care of the rest. All I know is someday Story won't grab that big bear for a tea party anymore and I am so glad I have a photo of it to look back on. 

For the month of January I am offering $100 off in home lifestyle sessions. That's how much this means to me. I'm taking a pay cut :) For the remaining openings I have, I want to fill it documenting real life moments. It would be such an honor  and something I truly don't believe you will regret investing in <3

harmon family at monches farm

I fell in love with monches farm years ago if you've been there you know exactly what I mean and if you haven't I strongly urge you to check it out. A true hidden treasure. 

It's a place so carefully cared for that is filled with beauty around every corner. Between the roaming chickens, beautiful flowers, the greenhouse, the doves, the little shop and all of the incredible plants it's hard not to become consumed with whimsy. 

Exploring this magical place with the Harmon family was simply amazing. Our session was short and sweet but not at all lacking any depth. There is a calmness to this family that I have admired since the first time I met them. The way they are all looking out for one another and checking on one another is so sweet and such an honor to capture. 

We fit in dancing, kisses, close snuggles, lots of giggles and even feeding chickens while the sun lowered in the sky and monches farm closed for the evening and I smiled behind my camera the entire time moving quickly to document all of the beauty around me. 

 

family session at retzer

beautiful light pouring through the trees, surrounded by wildflowers and chased by butterflies, grass tickling our ankles, sweet kisses, 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.