Since Justin and I have been together, we have gotten our photos taken at least once a year. Sometimes a couple when friends want to try new things. There are so many things that I learn each and every time. No, they are not things from the photographer, it’s things about ourselves and we want our clients to know.
First, fights happen! Just before we met with our photographer we argued about the fact Justin didn’t plan his clothes (yet I adore what he wore, it’s him). I was also angry about the outfit I planned to wear didn’t look as great as I thought it would. (still, wish I would have worn it). But, you know what – the clothes don’t really matter all that much when I look at the images. I see the laughs we had when the waves rushed up to our feet. The silly dance moves we did, and the beautiful sunlight that beamed down.
I am not perfect, either is he. But, we are human and we are imperfectly beautiful. Trust me, when I look at these images I see how the shirt I am wearing doesn’t hit me just right, I have a double chin in most of the photos – from laughing so hard – and my hair isn’t perfect. What you do not know when seeing this image, Justin and I were camping 3 nights before this. We didn’t have a shower where we were camping, so we bathed in the lake we were camping next to. I didn’t have a hair dryer or straighter – and Justin’s hair hasn’t been cut in weeks. BUT – this is US – and I love us.
I have never loved how I look, but this year I am learning how to love what I see in the mirror. Because Justin loves the woman that stands before him. And my dear family and friends will always love me unconditionally. That is what I tell myself on a daily basis – sometimes multiple times a day.
I have been photographing humans for 8 years professionally – and I love capturing memories. Yes, you’re not perfect, double chins happen when you have a big belly laugh and those extra pounds you wish you would have lost before the shoot — DO NOT REALLY MATTER! The love you two share, the goofy word he said in your ear and the way you get to relive those moments over and over with each photo.
So my advice to you when you’re getting your photos taken:
BE YOU when it comes to your clothes, be comfortable and don’t be afraid to bring a few outfits to change into.
My advice to those who don’t get their photos done every year:
DO IT – do it now! Find your favorite photographer and capture your life as it is right now! Your love for each other, your kids your season in life. Photos are your transport – and a photo other than a selfie or a blurry cell phone picture. Just do it – you won’t regret it – I promise you!
It didn’t really hit Justin and I that we travel so much until a bridesmaid mentioned something! While our Bride was introducing us to everyone, one of the bridesmaids mentioned that they follow us on Instagram that she sees us all over. So far this year we have traveled over 7000 miles. These miles have been mainly Wisconsin – which is SUPER easy to do!
We are adding a few plane rides to these miles! I just flew a couple weeks ago to Washington State for the Cascade Workshop. Now Justin and I are leaving for Washington State again for a road-trip to San Fransisco for 2 weeks! Two amazing weeks of hiking, camping, and new places! Next February we are traveling to Mexico for a couple’s wedding on the beach! We are also talking with TWO amazing couples about their destination weddings! They are having a hard time finding the perfect spot – but working with each couple to ensure they find a beautiful location is a dream!
Truth Bomb Time
We love to travel and so want to travel more … But! As a small business owner of 2 employees, gearing up for two weeks away in the middle of prime wedding season isn’t easy. The past few weeks we have been working long hours, meeting with our 2017 couples to ensure we are all set, and meeting new couples getting married in 2018! OH! And launching the 2018 Rad Photographers Retreat dates AND new website! A site that along came with LOOONG hours to make sure it loaded and fit the style of the Retreat. We wanted to make sure before leaving that everyone was taken care of before we unplugged.
These long hours came with gallons of coffee drank, some stuttering in those meeting and some really silly moments due to a tired, tired brain! After, all that you’d think I was complaining – but, nope not at all! Our motto is – Work Hard Play Hard!
Yellowstone National Park & Tetons National Park | the Ultimate Vacation
Tetons National Park is one of my favorites in the US that I have been to. I knew I wanted to show Justin just how beautiful it was, so I planned a 2-week vacation to see Tetons AND Yellowstone National Park. We camped, drank beer by the fire and hiked a mountain.
When we left our campsite at Yellowstone we just missed the fire that closed the road between the parks. It was crazy hearing about all the fires surrounding us. The light the smoke made was simply beautiful though!
Along the way we traveled unplugged it was simply amazing!
Atlas in hand we made our way through some beautiful mountains, prairies AND a mule deer just missed my car! Yes, JUST MISSED! This dang deer camp falling from the sky! Quite literally, it jumped from a mountain/hill right next to the road – thankfully we missed it!
Adventurous Engagement Session in Cedar Rapids Iowa
From the moment I “met” these two (and Kelsey’s Mom) via Skype, I just knew that they were going to be the best! These two have a love that you can just feel when you’re around them. Justin and I stood back a lot during the session just allowing them to get lost in each other. There were so many moments of calm that were so beautiful. These calm moments were mixed in with some of the best laughs between them! It is always a beautiful thing to experience – love that was meant to be. These two met in college – while they were dating other people something just pulled them together. After 2 years of meeting and becoming good friends, Sean invited Kelsey to a party and the rest is history.
I always ask my couples how they knew they loved him/her, and when I read Kelsey’s answer my heart swelled so much. She knew when they met, it was a love that grew with every day they’ve known each other. She talked about him for hours to her Mother – when he had to go back to Germany. Her Mother told her they were in a “love bubble” – haha! Little did she (Mom) know that they were Life Teammates!
These two have a love that was set in the stars.
I just knew that we had to do their engagement session in Cedar Rapids – it’s where they first met. We started at COE College, where we tried to feed squirrels, danced on the lawn and they kissed in the vines. I always also try to make new memories while mixing in their story – so we headed to Palisades Park just outside of Cedar Rapids. This park was simply perfect to showcase their love in the wild. They got to dance in the sunlight, cuddle under the trees and gaze out at the sunset.
Justin and I are elated to photograph their wedding this coming October, head back to Cedar Rapids for camping at Palisades AND for Kelsey and Sean to move to Madison soon! Fate was sure in the mix of us all coming together!