What a year. If at the beginning of 2014 you told us how the year was going to end, I’m pretty certain neither Eric or I would believe you, even a little bit. There’s just no way we would have been able to foresee everything that happened this year which led us to ending the year in New Zealand, let alone all the things that happened in between.
While I’m not going to explain how the entire year went down for us, I will tell you this. 2014 was a great year of growth and new experiences for us, in so many ways. We shot more weddings in one year than we ever have so far. We attended an amazing conference at the beginning of the year that really helped us define some of the largest goals we implemented this year. We were able to network and make friends with so many amazing people within this industry. We were blessed with AMAZING couples and families this year, many of whom we were able to get to know quite a bit and now call our friends. We took a huge leap of faith and I quit my part time job at our favorite cafe in the world, and decided that once the wedding season ended this year, we were going to travel. We moved out of the house we were renting, put all of our things into safe keeping, and convinced some friends to become long term sitters for our kitties. We were able to spend 6 weeks in Japan, hanging out and living with my brother & my sister-in-law, and going on adventures with two friends who recently moved there as well. The year ended, as I mentioned, in New Zealand- a place both Eric and I have always dreamed of visiting, but never really thought would be possible.
I know online we tend to only talk about the good things, and we tend to make our lives look like this perfect place- and I want to make it clear that this year definitely wasn’t perfect. So many things in 2014 will determine how 2015 will go, and taking time and money to travel might end up causing us more stress than we would have had if we’d have just stayed home. Thankfully, I’m an optimist. When I look back on the year my mind tends to glaze over all the doubts and questions, the stress of trying to finish weddings before leaving the country, the drudgery of having to pack up and move our belongings, the strain of being away from comforts of home and having our own space. I’m able to look back and see all of the good and excitement that happened this year, and to see how blessed we were by our friends, family, and clients.
So, this blog post is a bit on the long side. (that might be an understatement) It’s a bit tough for us to try and separate our personal work from professional work, and especially since we became friends with so many people we worked with, and were able to travel because of them- they’re all here together. All of the biggest highlights, favorite moments, and favorite images we created.
2014 was pretty much amazing, and we are so curious and excited to see where 2015 will take us. Thanks to all of you who we’ve spent any amount of time with in the past year, our year couldn’t have been as great without you.
Ashley and Laura got married on one of the most beautiful days that Wisconsin had in September. Their sisters made up the bridal party, with two on each side, and two of their friends were the officiants. They had bean bags and cheese curds, local brews and one of our favorite “first look” sessions to date. Their family and friends flew in from all over the world to celebrate the two of them getting married, and I really don’t think the day could have been more perfect for the two of them.
Eric and I have now been in Tokyo for almost two weeks, and I’m so behind on keeping everyone updated. I originally drafted this post after day four, but I’m just now getting around to posting it, so forgive me. In those first four days, we had a few moments of sensory overload, and many moments of confusion, amazement and wonder.
This place is weird. We’ve barely seen anything so far, and that is the synonymous conclusion we have come to; it is a very strange place. There are vending machines, animated characters, and cats everywhere, not to mention far too many options for what to eat or drink. Thankfully, strange and weird are not bad things in our book. We’re looking forward to the next few weeks in this country exploring much much more.
What a sweet, sweet bunch. I yet again adored getting a little glimpse into another family’s life and routines.
Thanks Katarina, Jay, Buddy, and Kimchi for letting me document what a hot summer morning is like with you all.
Recently I was searching for some specific photos and realized how many photos we never got around to sharing from our travels to California earlier this year. We were lucky enough to make it out there a handful of times this year, mostly for work, but each time we made sure to hang out a day or two extra to enjoy wherever we were. The first trip out there was for a fantastic photography workshop in Santa Barbara: Photo Field Trip. After the conference was over we spent a day driving up the coast with some new friends from PFT, on our favorite road in the states, pulling over here and there to take in the gorgeous California coastline.
Veronica and Eric met at a wedding in Wisconsin, back in 2011. She was living in California at the time, and at the coaxing of her friend, she bought a plane ticket to attend the celebration. By the time the night was over, she and Eric, a groomsmen she met that day, had cleared the dance floor. Veronica figured he was from Wisconsin, but was happy to hear he was actually from New York. Luck had it that Veronica had a ticket to fly out to NY from the wedding they were both at, as one of her good friends was going to be running a marathon and she was planning on being out there to support her. Upon the realization that they could get to know each other further than just a night of dancing, they went on their first date the following weekend in New York. From there they spent time traveling between New York and California, until six months later when Eric moved out to California as well.
Naturally, the two of them wanted to come back to Wisconsin to hold a wedding of their own. Much of their families live in the midwest, so it was an easy choice. They got married at Hoyt Park, on Madison’s westside, under a giant tree and surrounded by some of the most expressive and loving people we have had the chance of meeting.
When Stephanie emailed me to let me know when I pulled onto their street I couldn’t miss the house, she wasn’t kidding. It’s a bright pink (or salmon, as Gus insists) Victorian home, set on a cobblestone street in a small town in northern Illinois. Stephanie told me they were just renting, and they wanted to be able to remember this place, this awesome old house that they’ve been able to call their home for the past few years. Their house is full of life; with two kids, a dog, and two rats, they’ve easily made the place their own.
I had the privilege to spend an evening with this family; to capture how they spend their summer nights together. They worked on schoolwork, played games, listened to Gus play guitar on their front porch, sang, read books, and in general enjoyed each others company. I love being able to witness and document everyday life for families, the moments that happen seemingly all the time at that stage of life, but years later those are the types of moments that become so difficult to recall. At the time they don’t seem special, they just seem every-day.
So thank you Stephanie & Gus. Thank you for letting me follow you around and get to know you and your family. I loved every second of this family session.