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.

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.

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

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

 

 

 

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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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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. 😉

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!

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A Quarter of a Century

This birthday girl celebrated her 25th birthday with a photoshoot.

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My little sister, Lisa, reached out to me in the recent month with her worries, hopes and aspirations upon turning 25. The conversation continued with the idea to capture her as a 25 year old woman. This was a critical moment in her life. Turning 25 gave her pause for thought. Who is she? What has she accomplished? Who does she want to be? Where does she want to go?

At 25, my little sister realized there were still so many questions, but one thing she didn’t question was her development and progress to who she has become today. And that, she wanted to capture.

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Flying from Boston to celebrate her 25th with us all in Wisconsin was such a whirlwind of events. Her shoot was priority and, that, I knew how to help plan.

For the second part of the shoot, we traveled back to our hometown, Sheboygan. She wanted to capture three generations of Hmong women in one photo: Our grandma, our mother, and herself

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If I remember correctly, the day was not so pretty outside. So we were stuck with an indoor shoot. Though it would have been more ideal to work with more space, time, and a proper set up for this part of the photoshoot, I am proud to say that I was able to capture the session with one light in a tiny, cramped living room space.

I was definitely more appreciative and envious of the worth of the photographs when I started working on the editing.

Look at three beautiful generations captured in one sitting.

A secret part of the shoot:

Being bold and beautiful, Lisa also requested a tasteful, classy nude. I obliged. I have to say that I’ve never felt such empowerment from such a photo that I have taken.

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Happy 25th little sis!

The Engagement: Anand and Ruchi

Earlier last year, I had the pleasure of capturing Anand’s surprise proposal with a definitive “Yes!” from Ruchi.

This year, I had the pleasure yet again to capture their engagement with the surprise snow fall in mid-March!

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Ruchi is no stranger to snow. However, Anand, coming from Florida’s warm and humid weather, was completely ecstatic about it.

The day was warm for a Wisconsin winter day. Cold enough to keep the snow from melting but warm enough just for a jacket to stroll through the park without regretting a hat or pair of mittens.

With little direction needed, Anand and Ruchi photographed just beautifully together. There is nothing like natural chemistry between a couple in a photoshoot. Ruchi was looked like a dream in her traditional Indian outfit and Anand looked like regal in his attire.

And, that, was only the first outfit.

As we moved onto the second outfit, they definitely got the hang of posing and showing that chemistry naturally. I literally just shot after shot after shot until I had to tell myself to stop. I blame it on the red blanket and the start of magic hour.

After a shoot like this, I admit I am usually exhausted, but a good kind of exhausted. I did my job and I make sure that I do it well. This couple and these results further exemplify my work and are a reflection of why I love what I do.

So, thank you Anand and Ruchi for having me capture your love. Congratulations on your engagement!

 

Abe & Blaichia

The New Year usually starts off with a kiss, but this year started off with a photoshoot.BlaiAbe-21

Blaichia is a natural and with much experience with the camera, she already knew how to work it! That definitely came in handy to help Abe with his nervous jibes.

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We first started inside Milwaukee Public Market. However, the hustle and bustle just didn’t seem to help with the nerves. As we moved our way outside, that was when the magic started to happen.

Blaichia and Abe’s natural chemistry came out to play and really showed through as they laughed and had a bit of fun.

Even though these were not engagement photos, I have no doubt that these two will be ready to take that on effortlessly in the future. Just look at these photos!

Thanks Blaichia and Abe for having me capture your affection, fun, and laughter.

Happy 2017!

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Marisa & Tom

Celebrated at the Pabst Mansion, this wedding came with a lot of detail without the usual wedding day labor involved in the process. The details were already in the venue they selected. With Marisa and Tom’s quick thinking and unique personalities, they added enough of their own personal touch to uplift the details that were already in the wedding.

Pabst beer, Milwaukee mugs, personalized wooden bookmarks (which I forgot to take!), paper bouquet made from book pages… you get the idea!

Marisa is a librarian, so this Victorian theme along with the book theme really hit it out of the ballpark. I was so swept up with all these details, I often forgot to credit Tom for coming up with Pabst mansion as their venue. Everything just really came together really well for this couple. It was such an honor to photograph such an intricate theme and this fabulous couple.

We were really lucky to hit so many great locations over the course of one day! Marisa and Tom were a joy to work with. I can only think of them as good friends, and I hope it will remain so. This is one of the unique perks of working with such great people. Clients become friends, and friends are definitely always welcome in my life.

What also made this wedding extra special was that it was set on my husband’s birthday! 🙂 He wouldn’t have it any other way! Love and support to the max.

Congratulations Marisa and Tom! Thank you so much for having me as your photographer.