Muskego, Wisconsin Family Portraits: Getting ready for the holidays

•November 2, 2011 • 2 Comments

Moving into the holiday season once again, the time of year that often sparks that need for a new family portrait for holiday cards and gift giving.  Recently I had the great honor to meet and photograph the family of one of my college professors. Among other activities with the communication department, I served as a department secretary and am still fairly active as an alum with the department. His grandaughter made me chuckle when she asked why I kept calling him Dr. Hemmer. For as long as I know him, I’m not quite sure I could address him any other way. 

Being the unpredictable fall season we hoped for good weather, but we were prepared for the rain we were given that afternoon. Our weather plan was to shoot in front of the fireplace in the livingroom of their home, so I brought with me a 44″x36″ reflector, a 32″ umbrella, a set of Speedlights and Pocket Wizards. Following the session, I was invited to stay and partake in Sunday football cuisine and television. During a commercial break in the first half, the rain lifted and the sun came out just long enough to run outside for a quick football themed group photo before a light shower and the game resumed.

A lovely family and afternoon-many thanks for the good food and good company. And happy holidays, Hemmer family! 

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Colorado Springs Family Portraits: Mommy and her trouble makers

•August 24, 2011 • 5 Comments

Earlier this month I had the privledge of traveling to Colorado Springs to shoot family portraits. Sirkant was stationed overseas with the Air Force for six months. KC and I are already old friends (think preschool friends), so while her husband was away, we decided it was a good time for a girls visit and photo session with the kids. Genesis (8), Sela (5), and Solomon (3) are all very smart, very funny little kids. Each with these big, but unique personalities. And of course in Colorado you are never far from spectacular backdrops.

Everytime I am out in the mountains I wonder why I don’t live there yet, and swear that I would never take the view for granted. We started with a trip up to Pikes Peak. America’s mountain, at over 14,000 feet in elevation it was a symbol in 1850 to gold seekers heading west. We were 5 people of half a million people who will reach the summit this year. We ended the shoot at the Garden of the Gods National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs. This park isn’t very large in comparison to some protected areas, but the Gods sure did a lot with the space they were given! It was a blast to have the family in tow, making up adventure songs the whole hike through.

KC, thank you for a wondferful visit and I hope your family enjoys the photos. Next time we’ll schedule it so Sirkant is around too.

Kenosha, Wisconsin Wedding: Lauren & Adam

•July 24, 2011 • 2 Comments

What was predicted for a week to be a rainy day, turned out to be beautiful. Perhaps a bit steamy, the first truely humid day of the summer, but blue skies. I met Lauren and Adam through the alumni network at Carroll College and shot their engagement photos in Chicago last summer. They were married at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wisconsin in June. I think my favorite part of photographing their wedding was the time we spent driving around the golf course shooting portraits of the couple. It was really the first time they had to be together and seperated from the excitement that day. It was an opportunity to breathe, and to recount all of the excitement and chaos that had unraveled while they had been apart that morning. They kept talking and laughing through their teeth and smiles through the whole session on the green. The BFF vibe was thick. It was fantastic! Of course the country club surroundings were also gorgeous, as were the couple.

And I can’t go without mentioning the photo booth by ShutterBooth that they had at their reception – best prop wardrobe I’ve seen. What’s more fun than that?! Lauren and Adam, I had so much fun shooting your wedding and getting to know you both. It was really hard to choose images from your gallery for the blog and I can’t wait to start working on your album photo story!

Engagement Session: Lisa & Tim

•April 15, 2011 • 2 Comments

My primary goal with every engagement shoot is to get to know my couple better and for all of us to have fun making pictures. Getting to know each couple helps me tailor my photography approach to their personalities, but this time also helps them get comfortable in front of a camera. And in every sense of the word, my session with Lisa and Tim was a success. I got the best compliment from Tim when we said good night–he thanked me for making the shoot fun for someone who finds being photographed awkward. I couldn’t ask for more than that! 

Lisa and Tim will get married in Milwaukee in the fall. We started the engagement session downtown in the loop, for a little antique, a little modern and a little gritty…  

…but also wanted to find some off-the-beaten-path locations.

I loved, loved, loved shooting at the Montrose Harbor Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary. No end to the amount of backdrop choices! And I had so much fun hiking through the brush in the golden light…

…and even more fun watching Lisa and Tim as they became naturals in front of the camera. When a couple is having fun and being genuine their pictures are naturally gorgeous.

To see more of Lisa and Tim’s engagement session, click here to view the slideshow.

Chicago Blizzard 2011: Adding to the Tapestry of Stories

•February 3, 2011 • 2 Comments

Chicago Blizzard 2011

Since the slow of the wedding season my efforts have been diverted my other projects. We’re making headway again on Lion in the Street post-production, and I’ve spent an afternoon experimenting with light at Your Shooting Space in Chicago this month. Both I hope to blog about coming up. But this week’s winter storm brought a welcome day of pure photographic fun and adventure. Stories of perilous commutes and hours of shoveling are echoing each other across the web today, and I thought I’d add to the tapestry with a few photographs of the aftermath in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park. Once the last band of snow and wind lifted from the city, a photog buddy and I hit the streets to see what had transpired. To see more, hit the jump. More>>

Portraits: Nicole & Robert

•October 24, 2010 • 1 Comment

Most of the couples I work with are celebrating their engagement or wedding, and then later the beginning of their family. These are all wonderful milestones in a shared life, and that my job allows me to get to know these couples during these moments is a gift. But often couples forget to continue celebrating their relationship between the milestones. This month I had the opportunity to work with a couple who wanted to do just that, and what a gift that was to share. Nicole and Robert,  I hope you love your photography, and enjoy sharing these images with your friends and family through the holiday season and beyond.

Engagement Session: Amanda & Scott

•October 19, 2010 • 2 Comments

I’ve had several opportunities to do fall portrait shoots this month. Such a beautiful season. This week I have an engagement session slideshow to share of a couple whose chemistry with each other shines. 

Not many people would call themselves entirely comfortable in front of a camera, especially in an intimate portrait setting. It’s the photographer’s job to create an environment and relationship with each couple that puts them at ease, but couples with a pure chemistry and comfortability with each other bring that extra spark that can not be orchestrated. When a couple can let down their guard, take risks and share their personal brand of intimacy without fear – playful, comical, spicy or tender – this is when we create magic.

Amanda and Scott, your chemistry is explosive. You guys are so comfortable with each other and shared such a range. I had so much fun shooting with you, the morning was like a playground. I hope you love your images!