Astraea's 3rd Birthday Portraits | Madison WI Children & Family Photographer

Too often it feels like things need to be "perfect" before we get photos done. I'm no exception, I've put off my own family photos for a long time, and in the past I spent a lot of time not photographing my own kids due to an abundance of excuses, mostly related to wanting everything to be perfect before I bothered with it. 


What's that thing they say about cobbler's children? They have no shoes. Well that's certainly been true for a certain photographer's children and photos the last several years. 

Last year I meant to do birthday portraits like these of my daughter for her second birthday, and then I didn't. I couldn't find the right location, I didn't have the right outfit for her, etc... so it never happened. I was too busy focusing on what I didn't have, so I didn't do anything.

THIS year I swore I really was going to do it, and that I'd do it on her actual birthday so there would be no putting it off until later... and then we got unexpectedly busy and my plan was derailed by errands and appointments.

Luckily, I had learned something from last year's mistake; capturing the memories was more important than being perfect, so I went for it anyway. On the way out the door I grabbed some of her dress up favorites and I took what I could get: The last ten minutes of light, in an office park, 20 feet from the parking lot, while we waited during my husband's appointment. 

Being willing to give up the quest for perfection gave me the best photos of my daughter that I've ever taken. This is exactly who she is... soft, and sweet, and goofy, with a massive personality. In other words, completely 3.

When I focused on what I had and not what I didn't have, it was clear I didn't need to do anything to make these moments perfect, they already were. 

(P.S. If I can do this next to a parking lot, just think what we could do with your family portraits at a REAL location. What are YOU waiting for? I'm now booking September and October portrait sessions and expect them to fill quickly. Contact me today to schedule yours!)

Snowfall | Madison WI Childrens Photographer

Apart from a couple of cold snaps we've had so little winter this year, it's hard to believe it's already March and that by next month the first little green buds of spring will be appearing.

My daughter loves the snow, and I love her exploring spirit. I snapped these shots quick on the way to pick up her brother from school yesterday. In 2017 I'm working hard to remind myself to take real photos of my own kids because I was especially lacking last year.

My Daughter Is a Wild Thing | Madison WI Childrens Photographer

My daughter is a wild thing, an untamed spirit of wonder.
Her heart is deeply content, but her soul is not quieted. 
She announces her presence to the world in a cacophony,
Stomping, splashing, pounding, clattering, bouncing, spinning. 
She is an exporer and an adventurer. 

My daughter is a wild thing. 

Ice Castles Wisconsin | Madison WI Photographer

We took advantage of the way above average February temps today to check out Ice Castles in Wisconsin Dells, and are very glad we did. The kids (aka all of us) had a fantastic time exploring the castle and enjoying the outside play time. 

Lastly, here is proof that being a professional photographer who works with dozens and dozens of families every year doesn't mean your family will just let you take lovely photos of them. Ha!

Snow Day

Dmitri and Astraea spent all yesterday morning playing in the snow. I'm delighted by the amount of time I have with my kids in the off-season.

It was the first time Astraea got the concept of snow as a plaything, and possibly the first time the two of them have spent playing together without Dmitri trying to boss her around or Astraea getting board and trying to wreck his things in order to be annoying.

Nature is wonderful, and magical, and precious.

January Thaw

Winter is my season of renewal. 


When I am worn down and weary at the end of the year I often think to myself, "I can't wait to stay in my pajamas and sleep for a week" but when the time for rest comes around in January I often find myself still out seeking a story to capture. Seeking something precious to be a part of. Nurturing the renewed passion for everything I love. 

I endure the hectic busy seasons of summer and fall and slide across the finish line burnt out, aching, with every ounce of creativity spent. And then January comes and I live for the abundance of family and personal exploration time that I get in the winter. A new start, new goals, new plans... and rekindled joy for the gift of being present in today.