Last month Luke and I packed up my Honda Fit with musical instruments and cameras and hit the road to Austin, TX stopping on our way for Luke to play a few shows. Our main reason for this road trip was to visit our dear friends Katie & Maia and meet their sweet sweet little baby named Noah Ryan. He is basically perfect, their new home is the best and I really didn't want to come home - I wanted to stay on their back porch, snuggled in with a book and a baby and eat tacos from breakfast, lunch and dinner. So before we left, I had to document this little family in their new space.
I never really partake in the TBTs of the internet but on this cold winter Wisconsin afternoon I can't help but wander back to the day I spent in Joshua Tree National Park with my dear friends Janelle and Andrew back in October. I came into town to document a wedding but these two have been on my list of "I want to photograph" since they started dating years ago. So they drove down to Palm Springs from L.A and we took the beautiful drive out, did a little thrifting and made our way to a little slice of heaven.
I find myself in January wandering back to August when Luke and I spent 10 days in Panama away from email and wedding edits. So today will be a little throw back to the images I took on that trip where we spend a few days exploring Panama City,Â then took a bus to Boquete for some coffee tours and hiking to then get a shuttle to a water taxi to Bocas Del Toro where we lived the island life for a few days, biking, swimming and not seeing a sloth- which was my one goal for this trip.
A few weeks ago Luke and I took to the road and drove to the warmth of New Orleans for a few days for a little vacation. Often times when I am on vacation I find myself working still, photography is my job and also my hobby & passion so I find it difficult to put my camera down, so for this trip I decided to leave my digital cameras and computer behind and just take what I learned on - my little canon that I shot my first 5 weddings on with a 50mm and 3 rolls of film - I took only the good shots, I framed up, focused and decided in that moment if what I saw in the Â view finder was worth the space of the roll of film. I took under 100 images, here are some of my favorites Â - I still have one roll to develop but I couldn't wait to share.
A few weeks back the oh so talented Anna Vogelzang released an E.P entitled Driftless at a wonderful brunch gathering at Old Sugar Distillery catered by Underground Food Collective and coffee by Crescendo. A unique and lovely way to celebrate music, Whitney Mann & Dietrich Gosser Â Â opened up the show and Anna played with a full band and it was a magical way to spend a Sunday morning. I love Madison for community we have in music, and this coming Saturday (12/13/14) these three amazing musicians along with Corey Hart, Crane Your Swan Neck, Count This Penny & Faux Fawn will be performing at Wintersong at the Barrymore TheatreÂ Â --- Â grab your ticket, and a few friends and we will see you at Wintersong 2014!
As many of you know, back in 2013 I travelled to Ethiopia to work at a school and document for Seeds Of Africa. After returning a decided I wanted to share my images and not just through my instagram, Facebook and blog but instead with prints in a pretty gallery filled with people who can discuss the images rather than giving it a thumbs up or a heart. I wanted these images to do something for Seeds of Africa and the families they support, so I put together a show, had a grand openingÂ and all proceeds from sales will go to Seeds of Africa this coming Monday when I go out to New York for a fundraising eventÂ where two of my prints will be auctioned off. This has all been exciting for me, I do enjoyÂ documenting weddings, families and even fashion but this is what makes me the happiest. Below you will find the prints that are currently for sale, these prints are mounted and ready to be put on your wall sizes range from 12x18 ($150) to 16x24 ($250) -- if you are interested in purchasing a print, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org --- All proceeds will go to Seeds of Africa.
A few weeks ago my dear friends Maia & Travis came for a visit from San Francisco and I got the chance to meet their lovely daughter, Ingrid. I met up with them at their cute AirBnB on Spaight St. to catch up and do a little photo shoot of their adorable child. Maia runs a successful blogÂ and has been something of a guruÂ in that department,Â she is also the art director for Rue MagazineÂ Â andÂ every time I head over to San Francisco I try to work with Maia, she is one talented lady and a joy to work with.
A few weeks back I travelled to Missoula, Montana to spend aÂ week with my dear friends Abi & Christopher and celebrate with them at their wedding. The day after I gotÂ in we took a trip up the mountain to the spot whereÂ these two were going to say their vows, a beautiful little hike into a quiet little spot. I am so thankful for these two and feel so honored to have been able to be there on their wedding day -- I love you guys and I am missing you dearly.
Last week Madison had to say goodbye to the lovely Elise Hunt, who is currently road tripping out west to California after living here and working with us at ShopBop for the last 2 years. It is no secret that this lady will be missed, her spirit, her kindness and her ability to plan epic parties and dinnerÂ gatherings will be remembered and we all expect a visit from time to time. On Tuesday of last week some lovely ladies planned a party on a boat to send off Elise, Â it was perfect weather, wonderful company and a great way for Elise to spend one her last days here in Madison, Wi --- and I took a few images.
My favorite way to spend my time with friends is around a table sharing food. A few weeks ago we went over to our friends home for a meal and a night of swing sets and firefly hunting - a perfect summer night.
My dear friend Kristina and owner of Brown Rice & HoneyÂ Â hosted a vegan pop-up dinner on beautiful rustic tables from A La Crate and laid out on linens by Midwest Textiles.Â Brown Rice and Honey focuses on â€œback to basicsâ€ food, featuring baked goods that are primarily vegan and often also gluten-free. This dinner was set up to raise funds forÂ a new commercial kitchen space and to start a CSBÂ (Community Supported Bakery) program. The CSB will give customers a chance to directly invest upfront and receive weekly or bi-weekly baskets of fresh Vegan or Gluten-Free baked goods, and all at a fraction of standard retail cost!Â
I've known Anna since our Junior High Days, she then moved away in High school & continued moving through college and then her and Daniel moved to Madison a few years ago from Chicago and we've always lived 2 blocks from each other. Their wedding weekend was spent in Monroe, Wi in Anna's parents yard, one of the most beautiful places in Wisconsin and I got to be a witness with a camera. Here are some images that I took during the weekend.Â
I'm not entirely sure how to start and where to end on this one -- Elizabeth Rose has been my best friend since before we had our drivers licenseÂ and we were pen pals before cellphones were in everyone's hands. Elizabeth and I have many stories I could share, so many memories growing up together - every weekend being a sleepover throughout high school. I love her dearly and being a witness to her marrying into this amazing family was one of the greatest things I have been apart of. I could write a novel about how I feel about these two and this family of six, but I don't feel like everybody who reads my blog needs to know, or really wants to know â€“ so I'll say this â€“ when Elizabeth called me to tell me they were engaged â€“ I made the weirdest sound possible - a combination of a scream, a burst of tears and some kind of words of congratulations â€“ I was filled with joy because I truly couldn't pick out a better match. The love these two have for each other and for those 4 amazing children is a beautiful thing to witness â€“ the love these two have for their close friends and family is just as beautiful and I am so thankful that when I come up to Appleton, I know I can spend a day at the beach hanging out with the kids and Elizabeth followed by making massive amounts of food and end the night sitting on their porch talking until the early hours of the morning.
Here is a series of photographs that I took while being apart of their wedding, with the exception of a few that I am in taken by my lovely Father and Elizabeth's brother, Ezra.
Sometimes before you start to set up a DIY wedding you need a little time in the woods. A few week back, my best friend, Elizabeth Rose got married and before the wedding I spent 3 days with some wonderful women in a cabin.Â Time with my girlfriends is a rare thing in my busy season, but something I need -- these women are lovely and inspiring and when my time is up, I always feel refreshed and inspired. Elizabeth Rose makes me all of my favorite jewelry, sends me the most beautiful mail and I get to spend many evenings on her porch in Appleton until the late hours of the night. Noelle and I just met on the trip, but it didn't feel that way, she is an amazing artist who has made a career out of Â her talents, Â the hats in these photographs are made by her, she is currently having a 30% off sale until the 4th, so visit her website hereÂ . Here is a series of images from Elizabeth, Noelle and I's Â morning stroll in the woods, before Colleen arrived and we baked 100 cupcakes and made burrito fixings for 60 people.
Oh my darling Nora, my dear little friend has turned 5! I have known this sweet girl since she was a baby, I would spend every Thursday afternoon with her and she became a subject in many of my photographs through the years and will continue to be so through her childhood. Nora is a big reason why photographing children is my favorite - no insecurities, no 'good side' just pure joy and true candids. When I get to spend an afternoon with her with my camera at my side, I feel like I can really document her - she doesn't have a pintrest board, she doesn't say 'can you photoshop out my (insert an insecurity), she just is, and I get to document her - and it makes me remember why I am and continue to work on being the best photographer I can be. I wish we could go back to the mindset of a 5 year old, get the pintrest mindset out, get rid of the insecurities and just be - so I hope this set of images from Nora's 5th princess themed birthday party helps awaken your 5 year old self.
As many of you may know, last summer my darling Luke and I traveled to Ethiopia to teach for and work with an education and community development nonprofit called Seeds Of Africa. During my time there I took many photographs of the children and the community as well as taught the students photography . When I returned home I thought about the many photographs that now sit on a hard drive and decided to put together a gallery show to share what Seeds Of Africa is doing to my community here in Madison, Wi. Adama, the city where we were is about the same size as Madison and in many ways they are similar, so it is only fitting to share with you all my experience, my photographs and together raise some money to help Seeds Of Africa continue with all of the things they are doing. The opening is this Saturday, April 26th at the Common Wealth Gallery located at 100 S. Baldwin St. Madison, WI. We will be there from 6-10pm with Yes Coffee Roasters sampling Ethiopian pour overs, as well as some lovely coffee donated by Johnson Public House - Brown Rice and Honey is baking some delicious goodies, there will be a raffle Â and DJ ASUMAYA (aka Luke) will be spinning some Ethiopian cassette tapes that we found on our days off.
The gallery will be open until May 2nd, which there will be a closing reception from 5-9pm for Madison's Gallery Night.
The last part of my trip was in Leipzig, a beautiful city only 120 mile and only a 1 hour train ride from Berlin. My dear friend Katie Krol studies there and she took the a few days off to show me around the city and I was finally able to meet her boyfriend, Lukas. My time spent in Leipzig with these two was wonderful and although I got sick, I have Katie and Lukas to thank who made me tea, soup and watched Harry Potter movies with me all day. When I wasn't sick we spent our time wandering the city, Â eating amazing food and meeting up with Katie's friends. If you ever find yourself in Germany, try to make a trip to Leipzig, I only wish I would have had more time to explore.
After my time in Sweden I hopped on a plane to head to Germany for a week. My plan was to spend 3 days in Berlin alone and catch a train for 4 days to Leipzig to visit my dear friend Katie. I arrived to Berlin on Monday afternoon, me with a big ol' backpack and 2 camera bags -- grabbed a cab to head to Berlin Mitte where I had a room booked through AirBnB with a lovely family. I spent my first evening finishing my first book I brought on the trip ('Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' read it, you will not regret it) and mapping out my first full day in the city - feeling overwhelmed with how much I wanted to do and see and realizing 3 days just wasn't enough. I made it work -- waking up on Tuesday at 7am and made sure I was out the door by 8:30, Day 1 ---amazing breakfast buffet, art museums, and wandering on foot. This was my first time traveling solo in another country, apart of it was refreshing, not having to work out a plan with another person (or persons) but just going with the flow, if I got tired of a museum, I would leave and go sit in the park with a coffee and read or just watch all the tourist look at their maps or search for reception on their phones. The other part of traveling alone; the photographer - I had this pressure to make sure I documented everything I saw, the texture in the roads, the people on their bikes or the ladies sitting outdoors with their latte in hand and their dog resting by their feet, the street musicians collecting euros in exchange for a song, the architecture that literally brought tears to my eyesÂ -- the list could go on. I had to take a moment to remember to be there,on the first day in the park I remember writing in my journal 'it is so beautiful here, I have to come back' instantly scolding myself, you are here, so be here. I often don't live in the moment but instead relive it from my photographs, a problem I am sure many photographers experience. So my week in Germany was less photographs more just being there- enjoying meals alone, taking small bites and ordering a second coffee, honestly a hard thing for me to accomplish, but I did my best. So with that I will share with you the only photographs I took in Berlin. Enjoy.
On the day before the wedding I went over to Isak and Clara's place to help bake 150+ buns for their wedding dinner. In Sweden it seems to be a popular tradition for the couple and family to make the dinner for their wedding guests, something I find amazing and such a personal touch to a wedding, a community coming together to create a meal is one of my favorite things ever and I was so happy to be apart of it. Â when my hands weren't filled with flour and dough, I grabbed some photographs of Isak and Clara's teamwork to get the meal prepared -- and I never did get an image of the end result due to my dedication, I turned baker instead of photographer and forgot about my camera, a very rare occasion.
"The songs of the season, the music for that special time of year, when families gather and when friends...chatter. When one night's oil can light the lamps for eight and when a very large man laden with a sack of gifts for the whole world can sneak in through a chimney...even if you live in a place that has none." Oh WintersongÂ the second annual all-ages holiday event that is tomorrow, December 6th, at The Majestic at 7pm SHARP- Â and proceeds benefit theÂ Second Harvest Foodbank, which serves more than 140,000 hungry Wisconsinites each year -- for more information on Wintersong, read this article by Isthmus.Â
So come spend some time with Anna Vogelzang (the brain behind this operation), Count This Penny, PHOX,Â Whitney Mann, Corey Hart, Dietrich Gosser, Crane Your Swan NeckÂ and Paul Otteson & Faux FawnÂ (where you will find me playing the Autoharp) tomorrow night, DOORS AT 6:30pm, this event will be starting on time at 7:00pmÂ and last year we sold out so if you would like a seat and to not miss anything please plan to get there early.
Last night all of the musicians got together at the Phox Den for a fire, mulled wine and some music making. Paul Otteson is a musicalÂ genius who has put together a few numbers for us to sing all together -- so we learned, played and all got really excited for Friday -- so please come out and celebrate the holiday season with us!
Click here for the facebook event with a link to purchase a ticket(s) in advance.