Sweet Lilliana

Congratulations to my sister, Marcie, and brother-in-law, David. They welcomed a healthy baby girl in late December. Just in time for tax season! ūüôā

Kidding aside, if you’ve been following me, you will know that I have been documenting my sister, Marcie, from engagement to marriage and now to motherhood! What an honor it is to be a lifelong family photographer; much like a family doctor. I have to say that I am already fortunate to be a part of their lives as a sister and aunt, but getting to document their memories as a photographer is another role entirely.

So, Lilliana? She is a sweet tart. That is no mistake. Yes, a sweet tart. Lilliana is very much adorable but beware her rules. Her top three rules are: Must hold at ALL times, Likes singing, Must be rocked to sleep

It’s easy to forget how much a baby holds power over an independent and self-serving adult until you cross paths with one.¬†Asleep, however, Lilliana is an unsuspecting angel in bliss. And I have the photos to prove it.

With so much personality, I cannot wait to see her bloom as she grows!

 

Advertisements

When in Hawaii…

My sister, Marcie, is quite the traveler. I shot her engagement photos in St. Thomas last year. She married my brother-in-law, David, in Cozumel on a Caribbean cruise, and now the latest is her maternity session that was just recently captured in Hawaii (on Big Island).

bump (4 of 6)

As an expecting mother would be… she was tired for most of the trip. We took half these images on the first day and the rest on the second to last day. We attempted for more photos on the very last day of our trip but to no avail. It was just too piping hot and humid. I literally jumped into the pool. It was definitely the hottest day of our stay. My brother-in-law even said that the locals commented on the heat of the day. Man, oh man, I was ever grateful to come back to Wisconsin with 67 degree weather and a cool breeze waiting for me.

As a photographer, I’ve faced many challenges. One of them was rushing to capture my sister with the slipping light of the day on the trip. Though the light was going down very quickly the on our first session, I did what most artists do; I created images out of what was given to me. With the sunset, the wind, and the ocean, I managed to snap images on quick wits. These images could not be any more organic than what you see.

bump (2 of 6).JPG

With her expected due date in December, I am awfully happy to be an aunt to another little one this Christmas!

Joanne & Lee

I always told my husband that I wanted to shoot a wedding in a beautiful mountainous landscape. Little did I know that my dream was about to come true when my cousin, Joanne, asked me to be her wedding photographer this past August.¬†I bet you are wondering where… COLORADO!

JL_WP (3 of 1)

 

Oh my gosh, the venue was just gorgeous for her rustic themed wedding. Joanne’s exquisite taste in her choice of venue and color scheme was a photographer’s dream. She kept it simple with an already fantastic venue (just like Tom and Marisa’s wedding at the Pabst Mansion!) and chose a jewel toned color scheme inspired by the bright colors of the Hmong.

When I met her husband-to-be, Lee, do I dare say that he is a perfect match for her? Kind and generous, his heart perfectly mirrors my sweet cousin, Joanne. Their genuine love and affection for one another was an envy to witness and a blessing to capture.

JL_WP (2 of 1)

The choices in detail, decor, and celebration perfectly reflected Joanne and Lee. Not to mention, their date could not be any more special. It was the same day Thor and I got hitched too! (Fun fact: This is the second consecutive wedding that another one of our family member has gotten hitched since our wedding in 2015! Romance is definitely in the air on this day!)

As weddings sometimes go, there was a bit of confusion in the flow of things for a time after the ceremony, but it was made up with a lot of love, laughter, and fun. You can bet that Joanne and Lee know how to run a good party and keep it alive.

I was so happy to be a part of their special day as friend, family and photographer. There were many photos captured, but the images selected below are a snippet of my favorites that I think tells a great story their beautiful wedding day.

Thank you Joanne and Lee for entrusting me to be the one to capture your precious memories!

 

Gwen’s Senior Portraits

I have been looking forward to the year that my oldest niece, Gwen, would graduate from high school. To imagine the woman she would become was something to look forward to. She was quite the lonely child, being the only niece on both sides of her parents. I remember Gwen as a child as quiet, sensitive, and often sad. She had no playmates and often had to entertain herself throughout her early years. We were all too young then to grow a family of our own, and it would take years until our next niece, Mahlaya, would be introduced.

Thao.Gwenevere (7 of 11)

Now, a woman of 17 years, her feathers are vibrant, her opinions and thoughts more pronounced, and the stars in her eyes show signs of excitement and fear of what is yet to come. I am sure the fear comes from breaking away from family. She holds her family close and with good reason. Gwen has been surrounded by eight aunts and two uncles on one side and four uncles and one aunt on the other throughout her life. In addition to that, she has two younger siblings that know her as their big sister.

Thao.Gwenevere (1 of 11)

I still recall the day I spoke to her about her taking senior photos in my early photography years. It was like it was just yesterday. I knew then I would take them and I am so glad that I did.

With this shoot, I already knew I wanted to do something extra special for her. We worked together with wardrobe and details and made it all happen. As I said before — I am so glad she entrusted me as her photographer, art director and aunt! haha

Thao.Gwenevere (4 of 11)

Wishing you a bright and long future ahead, Gwen. ‚̧

 

 

 

A Long Awaited Engagement

As romantic as a proposal could get, Josh popped the question while they were in Paris, France. My sister, Mary, had been dating her fiancé, Josh, since middle school. Mind you, she is my older sister. It was then they finally decided to officialize that announcement with these beautiful engagement photos!

JMB_WP-5

Throughout my years as a photographer, I have found that the most challenging photoshoots were often for family because of the lack of boundaries. You’d think it would ¬†allow for easy communication but, really, it is not! It is a recipe of too much of opinion and not enough trust. haha But for the most part, this particular photoshoot went smoothly save for the french fry order Mary ordered as a bribe for their dog, Bruno.

Luckily, this shoot was easy peasy. The only challenge that we may have encountered bribing Bruno to behave for photos! The fries and fake treats in our empty curled up palms were just not going to cut it for him.

JMB_WP-10

It took quite a surprisingly short amount of time to get Mary and Josh situated for the shoot. With my quick thinking, I took advantage of our informal relationship to squeeze out the true colors of their nature and relationship. They laughed and smiled, but most importantly, they were themselves. Voila, the proof is in the photos; A stunningly happy couple who love each other (and their dog) and want to get married.

JMB_WP-12

Thor and I look forward to their pending union in Mexico next April!

Friends are Forever

So three best friends come together for a photoshoot.  They wanted something fun, pretty, and chic all captured in a photograph. And so I did.

KBW_PIXIE (2 of 10)

I could not have been happier to take on this shoot. Custom tailored and directed specifically for my sister and her two besties from high school, I did the best I could muster for my little sis. The best part of being their photographer was getting involved in the details for this shoot. Being able to contribute ideas or suggest details was what I believe contributed in making this a successful stylized shoot. Their willingness to ask for my thoughts on their wardrobe, color scheme, and share many other details allowed us to work together and bring this vision to life.

The pastel colors, high neck tops and tulle skirts came together like a dream. All three were matched in style and couldn’t have picked a better setting for the wardrobe they chose.

KBW_PIXIE (1 of 14)

Like many things in life, friendships can often change. The people we know, talk to, or keep in touch with can change with each path we decide to take. And, as paths may divide many times in life, we can all agree that the value of friendships is held in high regard, especially those who have stayed constant.

Kim, Blaichia, and Wendy have made this shoot possible with their friendship. Lucky for them, they have one another. Lucky for me, I was their photographer.

To long lasting friendships!

 

Yeng and Sam

A winter engagement in Wisconsin is one of the best things that the midwest can offer. It’s a magical time of the year to capture a¬†fleeting season that parts of the world can only dream of.

YengSam_Engagement09-Edit

Yeng had reached out to me about an engagement session after seeing Blaichia and Abe’s New Year’s Eve shoot. The opportunity came knocking in February as we planned for an¬†early morning session¬†to get the rays of the sun rise. On that day, we¬†found out that we¬†were also gifted¬†with small flakes from the skies which unfortunately melted as it fell to the ground.

There were spurts¬†of moments where the snow would¬†fall¬†and then moments where it would stop completely. However, that didn’t stop the session from being romantic!

As we moved on to the barn, the snow would revisit us again at a later moment.

YengSam_Engagement51-Edit

I have to admit that Yeng and Sam were pretty laid-back and great to direct. The fake laugh practice couldn’t have been any more real when one had to laugh for the shots.¬†ūüôā

Personally for me, it¬†is a very rewarding part of my job to get to know my clients. I got to learn how they met and how Sam proposed!¬†Though, that story I will probably let them tell.¬†ūüėČ

Many may view a photo session in winter to be a daunting task, but halfway through the session, I promise that you end up forgetting the cold and live in the moment. Reality hits after the session when I call the wrap. And Yeng and Sam make winter shoots look so good!

This session was one of my rare mini sessions, and it will probably be my last one for the year. It was definitely sweet getting to shoot for them.

I am ever so grateful to continue photographing people and capturing their affection for one another. Love itself is truly a magical thing and, that, is worth capturing and reliving in photographs.

Congratulations to Yeng and Sam on their engagement!

YengSam_Engagement45-Edit