Hi there, we’re thrilled you’re here!
We are James + Katie Stokes, a husband & wife team located in Medford, Wisconsin who travel across the State, the US, and abroad photographing weddings, seniors, and lifestyle portraits. Our small business is our full-time profession and we enjoy every challenge and triumph it brings. We are truly blessed to do what we love and meet incredible people who value life, faith, & family, every day!
We want to capture simple true-to-life moments of you playing, laughing, loving, – that brings joy to your heart, tells your journey, and enriches your soul!
This might sound prophetic, but photographs can change lives that transcend generations. One day we hope the moments we capture will remind you and your loved ones of how blessed you are to have lived and experienced the joy of God’s goodness in your life.
Along with our love for documenting life and serving our clients, is our love for our Lord Jesus Christ. We are blessed beyond words for the life we have been given and thankful each day for the promise of salvation! We hope your images are a reminder of how beautiful and wonderful God’s creation is and that HE is the true artist. To HIM be the Glory!
I grew up on a dairy farm. It was the greatest childhood a kid could ask for, but I knew very early on that I was called serve people.
My love for printed photographs is what drew me to the art of making them. My personal family photo albums are priceless and have helped shape my appreciation and value for life and family.
It has been an incredible blessing to pursue my calling and love for others through photography. Being able to tell authentic stories through timeless photographs is part of the WHY I get out of bed each morning, but it is bigger than that. As a father of seven, I don’t really get a choice. My children have shown me how precious and fleeting life is. In the beautifully controlled chaos that is our life, I am reminded of the BIG PICTURE through small intimate moments we so often forget without the help of photographs. I am reminded to be THANKFUL for everything I have been given.
I believe that God can use something as simple as a photograph to repair a marriage, enhance a family, or tell a story nearly forgotten.
My wife and I met through a church youth group when we were twelve & thirteen- she’s older. She stalked me ever since. We were married in 2007 after years of friendship filled with long distance phone calls and many hours spent in cars and churches. Our family has grown over the past 8 years of marriage and we truly believe that love conquers all things.
My perfect day is spent on the water or exploring the great American west. Utah, Wisconsin, and UP of Michigan are my favorite places on earth and if I could live in a tree house I would. We dream of owning a Tiny House and living off the land. If I wasn’t living the American dream, I would be caring for orphans and widows (James 1:27). A prayer and dream I believe will one day come true.
Katie is a loving mother to our seven children and the love of my life . We have been best friends for nearly fifteen years and married for seven. It might go without saying, but I think she is pretty great! She has been blessed with creative talents and ambition that are seemingly infinite. Katie has devoted herself to motherhood and providing home-based education for our children, which has been both our greatest challenge and greatest reward in parenting.
Her sewing machine and camera compete for her spare free-time affections; it is her joy to create the majority of our custom handmade packaging. Katie’s kitchen is her office – where she spoils us with gluten-free recipes and healthful crockpot meals. She enjoys being a wallflower on a wedding day and capturing quiet unseen moments. Life through her lens is much different than my own; with an eye for details and heartfelt emotion, her images add variety and a female perspective, which greatly compliment our style.
We could not function as a household without her talent and endless support to our family and our business. Her personal sacrifice and dedication to our marriage make capturing life our beautiful reality. We are thankful to be living out our purpose each day as we strive to serve others with the gifts we have been given.
1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
My name is Cassie Leiby, and I am the newest member of James Stokes Photography.
My passions in life include my family, friends, and my kids. Now even though I call my dog Baxter my child, I do not have any actual children of my own, but I work full time as a First-grade teacher at Marathon Area Elementary School and those kids mean the world to me. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but God had other plans when it came to photography. Photographs for me aren’t merely a printed picture, it’s all of the memories that go along with it. For me, images bring back those funny stories, those moments I laughed so hard I cried, those moments I wish I could play on repeat, and it captures memories of those who we wish were still around. Photography is the tool that I use to tell a story and a reminder to be present and live each and every moment to the fullest. I am honored to be joining the Stokes team as their new Associate. I will be working alongside both James and Katie to learn how to refine my skills and how to grow as a photographer. I am currently booking Lifestyle & Senior Sessions for Summer 2016 and Weddings for 2017.
This new change in “my original plan” is exciting and really a true blessing. I figured my career path was set, but God seems to have other plans, so instead of choosing between my two passions, I will be doing both and I am beyond thrilled to see where this road takes me.
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” ~ Luke 12:34
Rustic Romance / Lifestyle Weddings with a Fine Art Approach
Love is our greatest adventure! We absolutely love rustic barn weddings, much like our own! We like when our faces hurt after photographing two people desperately in love. Katie and I are fueled by moments filled with laughter and genuine emotion that are both fun and romantic. We want the images we capture to feel fresh and original having an organic feel. We push ourselves to be creative and adventurous and if that means risking getting a little dirty, wading in lake Michigan, or standing in a canoe, so be it. Together our style combined with your unique personality creates timeless images and memories you will cherish for a lifetime!
Lifestyle Wedding Photography is candid, yet done with some direction & styling. We want to direct our subjects to the best possible light; It has an approachable feel and a relaxed result.
We deliver a combination of stylized editorial images, emotion-filled candids, classic portraits, and romantic lifestyle images that flow together into a timeless wedding album with a modern twist.
While shooting for and pleasing our clients is our ultimate goal, it is also a thrill to have blogs and magazines think YOUR wedding fits their aesthetic and will be an inspiration to others. Our work over the last seven years has been published in both local and national magazines and blogs including, but not limited to Wisconsin Bride Magazine, The Knot, Green Wedding Shoes, Woodsy Weddings, One Lovely Day, A Northwoods Wedding, Midwest Bride, & Rustic Wedding Chic – just to name a few!
With the help of amazing brides like yourself, we’re able to share your story and your vision with the world! If having your wedding featured or published is something you might be interested it, please let us know. We think you deserve it and want to help make that a reality.
“Such a WONDERFUL husband and wife duo! We are so glad that we had them capture our special day. Leading up to the wedding they were very quick to respond to emails and very helpful in planning our pictures out which made the task of creating a timeline for the day much easier. They both fit in so well with our wedding party/guests which made the whole experience with photographers a very comfortable and natural one. James and Katie are such hard workers and are both so creative with the shots they took. They got our finished pictures back to us very quick and we fell in love with them! Everything turned out just amazing and we are so glad that we will have these to treasure forever. HIGHLY SUGGEST THEM! :-)” ~ Traci & Bill, Lake Ripley Country Club, Cambridge, WI Wedding on September 1, 2012
“You will spend countless hours planning your perfect day, but the truth is, once it is all over all you have left are memories. James Stokes Photography does an amazing job capturing those memories by creating a picture narrative of your entire wedding process. From your engagement pictures all the way up to your last dance, James and his wife Katie capture every detail. Their artistic eye makes your photos come to life as works of art. They are extremely easy to work with, quick to reply to any questions you have, and care most about capturing every detail that you’ve put so much thought into opposed to punching a timeclock. The quality of their work really speaks for itself. They have many packages to fit any budget. I would definitely recommend them. If they are available for your wedding date snatch them up fast! You will be glad you did :)” ~ Dallas & Chris, Veranda Country Club Medford, WI Wedding on July 7, 2012
“James and Katie were amazing to work with. They not only made me feel beautiful on my wedding day, but when I was truly stressed – 3 days before the wedding – they called just to check in. As I was on the phone with James, he talked me through ideas for our itinerary. He even typed it up and emailed it to me afterwards! He really helped ease my mind. James and Katie are great people with big hearts and a great eye for amazing photography! They are such a fun couple to be around. It was calming to witness how well they compliment each other, not only as photographers but as a couple on your wedding day. One more example of how amazing they are: It was a busy day (as I am sure every other bride will tell you) and we never assigned anyone to place the pedals down our aisle for the wedding ceremony. With all the nerves I had that day, I hadn’t even noticed until after the wedding ceremony when James and Katie had found the bag and brought it to our “sunset” wedding photos. They said they had found the pedals and “figured we should use them for a picture or two.” I still had these beautiful pedals in a few of our amazing wedding pictures. It was so thoughtful (not to mention assertive!) of them to do that for us. And I totally forgot to mention how amazing I felt in the engagement session they planned for us! James made me feel like a model. It was a humid day and my hair is extremely difficult to curl (again, as most brides will probably tell you). After our first location, my hair went from beautiful to completely flat and frizzy. James stopped at my house and waited at least 30 minutes while I redid my hair before our second location. I couldn’t believe it. It was so nice of him and I am so glad that it happened. I have never felt so beautiful or loved how I looked in pictures- until that day.” ~ Tim & Dani, Willow Pond, Weyauwega, WI on August 24, 2013
“I don’t really know how to put into words how much we love James & Katie. We cannot give them enough praise, but to say they were much more than photographers to us throughout the entire wedding planning process. They are a sweet, genuine couple with a great sense of humor, and honestly felt more like friends to us rather than a “vendor”.
From day one they made the whole experience relaxed and fun. We fell in love with the Stokes at our engagement photo shoot when they traveled all the way to Chicago. We are so lucky to have had Katie and James with us throughout our wedding day. They acted as much more than photographers- from Katie stepping in as an emergency seamstress (not to mention she’s 8 months pregnant on the floor helping my mom pin up my dress!) to James staying so calm while trying to photograph 10 screaming kids in glaring sun!
They did a great job of going with the flow, but also keeping us on schedule. I can honestly say that my confidence in James and Katie is what kept me calm the entire day. They have a very professional but relaxed manner and I found myself more than once turning to them for advice over anyone else present that day. I was sad to say goodbye to them at the end of the night!
We’ve only seen a few sneak peek photos, and so far we LOVE them! Hire James and Katie! We plan on keeping in touch with these two wonderful people and cannot wait to work with them again for anniversary/baby/family photos in future! Wishing these two and they’re expanding family the best of luck! They deserve all the happiness in the world!” ~ Jenny & Matt, Heidel House Resort Wedding, Green Lake, WI on August 15, 2014
James and Katie Stokes are a true gift! Their honest and raw photography captured the true feeling of the day. The sheer talent they have for picking photo locations, timing the sunset, and positioning for a beautiful photo, is truly extraordinary. Day after the wedding we had 4 beautiful photos, two weeks later we had the photo website and three weeks later we had a USB with all of our photos! Brilliantly fast! On top of everything else, James and Katie are simply people you want around! They are kind, lovely and loving. Making us comfortable, laugh and smile, they made even those of us who hate being photographed into models! We could not be more impressed or more grateful for the treasure they have given us in our photos! The captured smiles, kisses and tears are invaluable memories! ~ Simon & Julia, Wild Eagle Lodge. Eagle River, WI on August 15, 2015
You believe that love is one of life’s greatest adventures and you want every part of your wedding day captured by two people who share your love and appreciation for photography. You cherish printed memories of friends and family and understand the value of preserving family history for future generations. You want the freedom print and share your images online, yet want the ability to create archival quality products that will be a physical reminder of the day you’ve been planning since you were little. You’re looking for someone who understands what it is like to be in front of a camera and can help you feel at ease on one of the most profound days of your life. You love the outdoors and believe that romance exists in the small things. You think the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
You’re looking for someone who can help you navigate the nuances of your wedding day and can assist you in creating a timeline that best fits your goals. While photos are important, you want to make every moment count and cherish your time with wedding guests. You want to look and feel amazing! You want your day, with all its chaotic moments, to be real and genuine. You’re looking for more than someone to just photograph your day. Your wedding should be fun, carefree, and beautiful and that is why you’ve come to us! To make you laugh, capture your love, and tell your story.
Event Design:: Et Voilà Events – Allison Feltz
Floral Design: Inspired by Nature – Fawn Mueller
Hair And Makeup: BellaZenn Salon Spa
Please let them know we sent you over!