We met on an unusually warm day at the beach in Chesterton. I had expected a rather empty beach, but instead found that many were out and about enjoying the sweet sunshine and mild air. Jill, a senior at LaCrosse, has to have one of the pretties smiles I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. Right off the bat I could tell she’s one of those happy-go-lucky girls. A delight to work with! The subtle colors of sunset appeared over the glasslike water, and set the mood for the session. It was a day to rejoice in one last hurrah before winters blanket decended. I think that’s one good reason to spin about, don’t you?


What makes The Whimsy Tree different. . .

When someone schedules an outdoor family or little one’s session I ask some basic questions, one being “what colors does your family plan to wear?”, and sometimes I’ll even give suggestions. From that point I let my imagination run wild with ideas based on colors and their age. If parents share details about themselves or their children, it adds an extra source of inspiration that will complement their own personalities. You’re not just scheduling a session to get pictures taken, but rather, your scheduling a sort of play date. This play date will most likely have whimsical scenes or elements with different places to explore and play. You and I won’t just show up at an agreed time as if it were an average studio session, instead I will be there hours early, scouting the perfect spots and setting up different scenes before your arrival. This not only allows for more natural expressions, but becomes a fun, lasting memory of something the family’s experienced together. What’s created in the end are beautiful works of art, something worthy of hanging in your home for years to come. I know these days there so many different kinds of photographers, but as for me, there is this continuos development of style that embraces the childhood imagination and the closeness of family… this is what makes my heart happy.

The image below is a color inspiration for an upcoming Little One’s Session and it reminds me of sunshine.

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to photograph grandparents day at a local private school. While studio lit formal portraiture is not something I regularly do, I enjoyed it. I wanted to play it safe with the background color, BUT also incorporate a bit of my style. The backdrop idea is originally from this pin, however she must have changed her link, and it seems to have disappeared all together. These simple paper fans are made from inexpensive white paper towels, around 50 sheets of them. It seems like the cheaper the paper towel is, the better, since softness isn’t something you want for this project. This is an extremely budget friendly backdrop at a cost of around $4.00 for the paper towels and glue sticks for the hot glue gun. We had everything else. I simply made various sized paper fans and pinned them all over the white fabric I use on our backdrop frame. While this project was a tad bit labor intensive, I think it’s still worth it, and if your well organized, you can carefully stack and store the paper fans in boxes for the next use. You can also make them with colorful scrapbook paper and insert popsicle sticks where the two pieces of paper meet, this will allow them to fold up and store more easily – like traditional paper fans. I used the paper fans again for the testing session below with Sarah. If they happen to be used again sometime, I’m thinking of spray painting some for a touch of color. For more details, just check out the last image – an animated gif. Most images were photographed with our Canon 5d mii and the Lensbaby Composer Pro with Double Glass.

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Thirteen. It’s an age when childhood begins to meet adulthood. The sometimes awkward stage of growing up. I remember thirteen fondly. It was a time of excitement. Honestly, it seems like just the other day and somehow I’m now approaching thirty!

My niece, Sarah, just recently turned thirteen and I thought it was an opportune time to capture her entrance into that teenage whirlwind.




Lensbaby contacted me to see about featuring one of my images in their gallery and their Facebook. They chose the one on the right. To see more from this session, click here. And be sure to “like” my Facebook page if you like my work.