Sunshine is a Gift

We’re so excited about the consistent (enough?) sunshine!  Somehow life becomes more peaceful when the majority of our days are filled with sun, grass, dirt and sand… =)

Continuing to count things I’m thankful for…


a favorite shirt in a favorite color.  paul frank designs fun stuff.

a sincere smile,  lovingly looking at his sister.

more blue eggs, comfortably placed in a salvaged-from-our-front-porch bird’s nest.

a girl who already loves our garden.

the cutest chubby legs… I could stare at them all day long.

7 Tax Mistakes Made by Photographers

Taxes, you gotta love um… Not because they are fun, or enjoyable, or anything even close to that, but because in the process of filing them they force you to compile and analyze how you spent your money in the past year. And this is a good thing. So if you earn money as a photographer, and haven’t done your taxes yet for this year, or if you ever plan to do taxes again, you should definitely watch this short video:

And if you would rather read this info than watch the video, you can do that here.

Now, off to do my own!  I always am perplexed at why I wait so long…

La Crosse Golf Course Wedding | Kevin + Bethany

Kevin and Bethany’s wedding took place at the Forest Hills Golf Course on an incredibly hot and sunny day with beautiful views of the bluffs in La Crosse and train tracks running through the course.

We had fun getting to know Kevin and Bethany and their cute son throughout the day.  A sweet and funny moment happened when we were taking some family shots of them, sitting on the railroad tracks.  Their little guy was sooo concerned that a train might come (totally valid, since we saw many trains pass by throughout the day!) and smash them all!  It was a little tricky to keep his eyes toward the camera, because he really wanted to keep watch behind them to make sure they were all safe.  It was really adorable and made for a lot of giggles, which is always better than everyone’s eyes toward the camera, anyhow.  =)

Wedding Photo (1) Wedding Photo (2) Wedding Photo (3) Wedding Photo (4) Wedding Photo (5) Wedding Photo (6) Wedding Photo (9) Wedding Photo (10) Wedding Photo (12) Wedding Photo (13)

Venues & Vendors:
Ceremony & Reception: Forest Hills Golf  Course in La Crosse

Readstown, WI Shabby Chic Farm Wedding | Aaron + Emily

Nearly everything in Aaron and Emily’s wedding was DIY and they really pulled off an amazing rustic, vintage-y wedding.  The location of the wedding was already quite picturesque, but they outdid themselves and made the farm totally beautiful. They turned an old chicken coop into a room to showcase pictures and turned a tin machine shed into the sweet reception area, decorating tables with vintage bed sheets that they found at thrift stores and used them to create patchwork tablecloths.  Their family’s made-from-scratch food (all the way down to the meat — Emily’s dad is a butcher — and grown-from-seed basil used in the pesto pasta) was not only gorgeous, but delicious, too.  And as if that wasn’t tasty enough, they filled a cute gazebo full of candy and cupcakes (yum!).

Confession/story time: I was eyeing up the candy-filled gazebo all night, so right before we were ready to head out, I went up there to grab a treat (yes, I have a major sweet tooth)… anyhow, it was super dark and, as I stepped out of the gazebo, I stepped partially on a stone and twisted my ankle!  I limped to the road and had Ray pick me up!  I thought I may have broken it, but alas, it was just a sprain.  I felt so bad because I wanted to say a formal goodbye to Aaron and Emily, but thankfully, I saw Aaron as I was walking toward the road.  And in case you’re wondering, I didn’t tell him what happened, who cares about me? – it was his wedding day!

Anyhow, a few of our favorites (there were many!):


Vendors and Venue:
Family Farm, Readstown, WI

Pedretti Party Barn Wedding | Garrett + Jessamyn

I love living in rural Wisconsin — the pace of life is so much more enjoyable than than that of big city Portland, and especially big-ger city Chicago (both of our former dwelling places).  But one disadvantage of living in a small town with no big cities nearby is that normally we have to travel at least an hour to get to most of our weddings.  This was not the case for Garrett and Jessie’s Wedding!  But it did not mean that their wedding was lacking in style: they had so many well-thought-out details and beautiful flowers galore.  (I’m pretty sure this was the most flowers I’ve ever seen at a wedding – amazing!)  Kelly shot alongside me at this wedding (it was her debut after being on “maternity leave”!) and both she and I absolutely loved all the vintage, shabby-chic details.  Nice work, Jessie ;).

Vendors and Venues
Ceremony: Coon Valley Lutheran Church
Reception: Pedretti Party Barn
Favors: Lees Bees

Lussier Family Heritage Center Wedding | Paul + Jessica

If I were the guy who gave out awards for one of the most calm, and stress-free brides, Jessica would definitely get a trophy.  It is pretty typical for things to run behind on a wedding day.  But when the bride shows up at the ceremony site 5 minutes after the ceremony is supposed to start and the she isn’t even a little bit on edge, I find that pretty remarkable. =)

Everything took place at the Lussier Family Heritage Center outside of Madison.  Their day was so enjoyable, the location was beautiful, and so was the couple.   I think I could write a whole book about all of the things I loved about their wedding day: outdoor ceremony, amazing lighting, great reception area, great food, amazing ice cream sandwich desserts….

When the day was over and I made another one of my late night drives home from Madison, I remember thinking to myself how quickly the day went and how I wished it would have been longer so that I could have gotten to know this fun, adventurous couple better. Thanks again, Paul and Jess, for letting me be a part of your beautiful day.  And thanks to Patricia of ReJoy Photography for joining me as a second shooter.

The photo above was taken by Patricia The photo above was taken by Patricia

Vendors and Venues
Venues: Lussier Family Heritage Center
Second Shooter:  Rejoy Photography