One of the most challenging aspects a photographer faces on a wedding day is finding the perfect location for portraits. Ideally, we like to shot these images in nice even overcast light, however, most times these images have to take place during the middle of the day when the light is most harsh. In the Northwoods, if you are outdoors, you fight the elements which include flying insects of all kinds, humidity, and heat during the summer. I personally am always thinking about how others are feeling – I want to make sure that brides and grooms that are in front of us are not only comfortable but look great too! You want their dresses 7 tuxes to stay perfect and yet at the same time want to take them on a hike through the woods. It is our preference to do these after the ceremony and as close to sunset as possible.
We work directly with our couples to help them plan their day around photography to ensure the best uses of their time and so they don’t feel like their entire day was spent in front of our cameras. We want them to have fun and come away with some gorgeous photographs that will stand the test of time and live on their wall or in their Heirloom Album. Similarly, this is why our collections include these options, because we want our couples to print their images so they don’t just live on their thumb drive or in their gallery.
I photograph my subjects how I would want to be photographed if I were them. In fact, that is how I do just about everything. How would I want this done or how would I want it to look if I were on the receiving end? I very much enjoy not only taking photos but being in them with the people I love. Life goes by too fast to not be photographed regularly and I don’t mean with your iPhone. When we do, we make tens of copies to share with family and friends to ensure at least one makes it to the next generation. As a curator of old personal photos, I have learned the value of a printed photograph and it is often the ones that were stored in the Family Bible that we have the privilege of holding one hundred years later. My wife grew up an oval convex framed print of her great-great grandfather on the wall, presumably a wedding portrait taken shortly before he died of the Spanish Flu around 1919. There was so much mystery behind the photograph; how did he die? Who were his parents? Where did he come from? It wasn’t until recently that many of those questions were answered. Had it not been for that photograph, his only living descendants might never have known he even existed. His own daughter new knew him.
I think of stories like these and realize that there are many such cases out there scattered throughout people’s family trees. It is our hope that our clients would realize the value of family and history and preserve their story for their descendants. We want your portraits to spark great conversations about the past and tell of a love that created an entire branch on your family tree.
From Minneapolis to Chicago & just about every region in between, we have captured couples this past year. One common thread that ties them all together is their mutual love for each other and thrill of a great adventure. Many of them have a great passion for the outdoors and enjoy taking in every moment of it together whether it be fishing, hunting, jogging, hiking, or camping. While some live in the big city, they often have roots here in the Northwoods or Central Wisconsin and it is their down-to-earth personalities that make them all so easy to get to know.
Katie and I are an open book. We may share with you much more than you ever hoped to know when it comes to life, marriage, and raising a family during one of our meetings; our story stretches back over nearly 20 years. Many of our couples met online or through mutual friends while in college or grad school. In our initial hangout dates with our couples, I like to ask how our couple met and more often than not, one will look at the other and hesitantly say, “Online!.” I then reassure them that they are not alone and it isn’t weird. We think online dating or long distance relationships are great! They’re often driven by strong communication and algorithms designed to match people based on their personalities and interests. Gotta love psychology!
Dating can be rough. I know that Katie and I wouldn’t know where to start. We’re so very thankful that God matched us when we were pre-teens to become best friends and it wasn’t until nearly a decade later that we would say, “I do.” It is so neat getting to have conversations with couples from around the country who are willing to open up and share a part of their story with us. Even more so, it is is an honor when couples entrust us to capture one of the most important days of their lives. We feel privileged to be able to spend our weekends with such extraordinary people who place a premium on their wedding experience and their marriages as a whole. They know this [marriage] is a once in a lifetime event and they want to embrace it for all it has to offer and hold dear to every passing moment; because they know it will fly by so very quickly.
You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Hold on to one another and invest as much time in your marriage as you will on planning your wedding day! Life is truly made up of all the little moments and you will remember the times that you slowed down and intentionally reflected. Make time, better yet, schedule time to be alone without your phones, screens and the like and simply be present with one another. Listen. Be quite. Just exist in one another’s presence. That feeling of complete comfortability combined with butterflies is what we all wish for in a soulmate. Take a walk, ride a bike, go on the trip you always wanted. Sometimes life gets a hold of us and once it does it is hard to step off the merry-go-round. If you’re the journaling type, which we hope you are, take a few moments out of your week to put pen to paper. Write it all down, the good with the bad. When you look back and reflect, you will want to be as true to yourself as possible – and to your future generations who read your words you will want to provide wisdom. Share your mistakes, your frustrations, your passions and your regrets. Life is short, but also precious – so cherish and revere it. #liferevered. Make memories and dream big!
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
If you are recently engaged, first of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! This is an awesome moment in your relationship with your now Fiancé. Take a moment to let that sink in. You two have made the commitment to become married in the very near future.
Awhile back, I found an article on the Bridal Guide blog that I felt really captured what it was like to get engaged and I find this still to be true every time I come back to it. When I look back on our engagement, I experienced a lot of these same things, and depending on where you are in the engagement spectrum you will either experience some of these things or have already experienced some of these moments. They are fun, exciting, and sometimes can be overwhelming with all of the decisions that you have to make, but that’s another blog post in itself. I really wanted to give those of you who are engaged some tips that I learned from being in that same place where you are now.
Don’t stress yourself out.
Before getting engaged I was bombarded with rules on what the “perfect engagement” should be like. For example, I thought that in order for my engagement to be considered valid, my nails needed to be done all of the time, and my boyfriend had to have a photographer lurking in the bushes somewhere; can we just take a minute to acknowledge how creepy that is in the first place, having a person hide to take pictures of you two at your most vulnerable moments where you will most likely have mascara running down your face…. Creepy. Well, things didn’t work out this way, for me at least. When Nathan proposed, I didn’t have my nails done, I almost was wearing duck pajama pants (but decided last minute to change), and there was no photographer. Looking back on it now, it really didn’t even matter, because he proposed at one of our favorite places growing up and did it in a way that was special for both of us and I can’t imagine having anyone else there. So all in all, don’t worry about if your nails aren’t done or you’re wearing pj’s. As long as it’s special for both of you, that’s all that matters.
Size doesn’t matter.
If you log onto Pinterest and search “engagement rings,” all of the pictures that pop up will be of engagement rings that probably cost between $5,000 – $7,000 without the wedding band. For me, this painted a picture that a “proper” engagement ring should be as massive as Kim Kardashian’s because “I deserved it.” I am sad to admit that I bugged my boyfriend for months about buying a ring in that price range just so I could have my friends and family gawk at this large rock on my hand. Thank goodness he was more level headed than I was because I love the ring that he did pick out, simply because of the meaning behind it, not the amount of carats that it was. A ring is a one time buy. You can’t live in it and it doesn’t clothe or feed you. I didn’t see this at the time because I only saw the sparkle and I wanted the Pinterest-worthy diamonds. Now that doesn’t mean that if your significant other buys you an amazingly beautiful, large diamond that you should tell them to take it back. Enjoy whatever gift they give you and photograph the heck out of it. No matter the cut, clarity, color, or carat you are officially engaged and this gift is a symbol of the love you both have created.
Enjoy this time!
You will only be engaged for a short time in your life. Enjoy it! Take all of the perks that come with calling your significant other your fiance. You won’t get this time back. Whether your engagement is less than a year or over two years, take the time to revel in these moments, they go fast!
Go on a date.
Take time to step away from the wedding planning and go on a date where there is no wedding talk allowed. Focus on the reason you two are getting married in the first place. Go some place that’s quiet, or if that’s not you, then go some place that is crowded with people. Wherever you go or whatever you do make sure to shut off your phones! Taking time to reconnect in the craziness of wedding planning and giving yourselves time to step away from the multitude of people who have questions about dates, locations, vendors, and details, is going to help keep you sane and get you back to that place of pure joy in just being engaged to one another.
So there you go, that’s everything I’ve learned about what it’s like to be engaged. It’s a fun and crazy ride, just don’t lose sight of the reason you want to get married in the first place. Keep that spark between you both and don’t get caught up on the little things. The countdown for the wedding is on! Congrats again.