Monday, March 31, 2008

Beth & Colin

Beth & Colin were married on March 15th. The skies were clear and there was even a hint of spring in the air. The girls chatted together, giddy with excitement, the birds were chirping and the lions roaring. The lions were roaring?!? Yup you heard me right. Surrounded by all of their friends, whether warm or cold blooded... two or four legged, the delightful Beth & Colin exchanged their wedding vows.

Beth works at the Dane County Zoo as a zoo keeper. So when it came time for her & Colin to discuss the plans for their big day, there was only one place that would be a perfect fit for their wedding day photographs. Following their traditional church ceremony we traveled to the zoo for an after hours photo shoot with the many animals that call this place home. What an incredible experience! We spent time in the aviary with all the beautiful birds, fed the giraffes, road on the carousel and even got one on one with Cal "the educational penguin". Remember how I said the bridesmaids were giddy with excitement... well count me in that group! To make the day even more fun I brought along my good friend and the uber talented Ms. Karmen as my second shooter. I know I speak for both of us when I say, Beth & Colin we had a blast! Thank you so much for allowing us to photograph your unique and magical wedding.

Some more fun with textures.... love the detailing in her dress.

Feeding the giraffes... Favorite!

What lady doesn't love a man in a tux?!?!

Karmen snagged this one of Cal striking a pose.

FAVORITE!!!! Love it!

Here's something we haven't seen in a while... green grass. Beth & Colin grew
sheets & sheets of it for centerpieces at the reception. It was beautiful.

A quiet moment during their first dance.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I am thankful for....

Each year at Thanksgiving time I remember writing those four words on my wide ruled sheet of note paper - I am thankful for.... Of course they would be followed closely behind by a listing of my current favorite toys, cds, or other odds & ends that cluttered my bedroom as a child. Yes I realize it's not Thanksgiving and in fact I just missed Easter, but today I'm finding myself thinking about all that I am thankful for. I am thankful for the many blessings in my life.

2008 has been a difficult year to say the least. My incredible father-in-law Joe is once again battling the cancer we thought he had conquered last year. The chemo treatments are not doing as much as the doctors would like so the stem cell transplant scheduled for this summer has been moved up to take place in three weeks. Although we all knew this transplant was coming that simple fact does not ease any of the anxiety now that the day is rapidly approaching. Joe needs to be in the best health possible for his transplant so our visits from now on will be rather limited to avoid passing on any infections. At this point it's difficult to know what tomorrow will bring... each day brings new worries and also new hope. I find myself thinking of all that I am thankful for....

I am thankful for the incredible family I have married into.. who welcomed me and loved me unconditionally right from the start.

I am thankful for my own family who has always supported me.

I am thankful for Easter Sunday spent with family.

I am thankful for so many blessings in my life.... I am thankful.

The entire Andersen clan in 2006 before the first round of chemo began.

***Edited to add - I just have to take a quick moment to say thank you. When I find a new comment on my blog it totally makes my day... I LOVE comments! The fact that I didn't receive one comment on this post moves me even more. The fact that so many of you took the time to email me directly to send your prayers and thoughts for my father-in-laws recovery is so very much appreciated. I am touched beyond words. :) Thank you so much for your prayers... we will take as many people on our side as we can get! - Much love, Jennifer

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Miracle of Life

As a photographer I get the opportunity to work with individuals and their families at the very highlights of their lives.... whether it be graduation from high school or the much anticipated wedding day. I experience genuine emotions through my camera viewfinder each and every time I go to work. There are many times when I find myself choked up during a father's speech to his daughter on her wedding day... emotions run high in my line of work. But nothing could have prepared me for the day I spent with Becky and Tim in early March. This was truly one of the most incredible photographic experiences of my life!

After working with Becky & Tim for their maternity session they approached me with the idea of photographing the delivery. We discussed the specifics a bit and I agreed to photograph their son's birth in a photo journalistic style... simply as a silent observer. As Becky's due date approached I found myself going to bed each night with my cell phone on the nightstand close by and my camera bag packed and ready to go. Lucky for me the call never came in the middle of the night... it came at about 2:00 in the afternoon. The plan was that I would be notified when they checked in to the hospital and then again when she had progressed a bit further along. Those calls came within a matter of 30 minutes of one another. I have to thank the Madison Police Department for being no where near the vicinity of Park Street that afternoon because I was definitely driving a touch over the speed limit. Thank goodness I did though... after finding Becky & Tim I was only in the room at most 20 minutes before their son made his appearance. There were a lot of tears and a lot of smiles... it was a moment I won't soon forget.

Many of my close friends and family knew that I was "on call" to photograph a birth. So following the delivery I was asked many times over how it went. Each time I recounted the story my audience would tear up remembering their own child's birth. I decided I really needed to share the incredible experience I captured. A huge thank you to Becky & Tim for allowing me to be a part of their first day as a family and for allowing me to share these pictures here with all of you. Much love * baby N's proud "Aunt" Jennifer ;)

Tim's mother was sending some prayers out for Becky & baby.....

I just adore this picture! I can only imagine what it is like to have that first touch... making
actual skin to skin contact with your child after waiting to meet them for 9 months.

At 10 days old handsome baby "N" visited me in the studio for his official newborn session.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


First of all I have to apologize to all of my regular blog stalkers (aka Ms. Karmen:) for my recent unplanned absence from posting. Life sometimes just gets in the way... I'll explain more about what's been going on lately in a future post. Right now I want to introduce you to a couple of real beauties.

Recently I had the privilege of meeting sweet baby "J" and her darling brother "N". Yes twins! Can't you just hear the giddiness in my voice. :) Honestly the minute I entered their home the oohing and awwing began and it really hasn't stopped since. As I sit at my computer today editing I am once again falling in love with these two all over again. I could have spent all afternoon cuddling and cooing over these two adorable little peanuts. A big thank you to proud Momma Katie and of course grandma for all of your help. I so appreciate being welcomed into your home to meet your beautiful family.

Favorite!! If you look close you'll notice they are even holding hands.

On a seperate but somewhat related note... I have to send a shot out to the center of my own beautiful family... My Momma. Happy Birthday Old Lady! Sorry I'm a day late:)

Friday, March 7, 2008

An Evening at the Casino....

This past weekend I had the opportunity to photograph an incredible event ... the Madison Junior Woman's Club annual Evening at the Casino Event. Each year this organization supports an important cause with the funds raised at it's annual casino night. This year the MJWC recognized the Madison Children's Museum. If you have never been to this incredible museum you really need to take a trip.. don't have any kids?? Borrow your niece or nephew.. they will thank you for it! The Children's Museum's successes over the past years have far exceeded their current space limitations so the funds raised will help the museum to expand to a new location.

This was my first time attending the Casino Night event and it certainly didn't disappoint! The Chairwoman for the event was none other then Angela DuPont of Top Shelf Weddings... so I should have known right off the bat that this would be a stellar event. From the food to the decorations and traveling performers.. it was definitely a site to see. Attendees were invited to partake in a number of casino style games were local celebrities stepped into the roll of dealer. Following the casino there was a silent auction and then a live auction for the biggest ticket items. The evening was capped off with a performance by the dueling pianos Piano Fondue Definitely a group to check out if you have never seen them perform before... very high energy, audience interactive.. they don't disappoint! Here are just a few of the images I grabbed from this fantastic evening... My thanks to the Madison Junior Woman's Club for allowing me to be a part of the fun.

We have a winner!

The always delightful Olympic gold medal winner Casey FitzRandolph and his lovely wife.

Celebrity host & hostess for the evening... Christine Bellport & Charlie Shortino
If you were an attendee of this event and would like to see the entire gallery of images click here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Tracy & Todd Snowed in....

A lot of people I meet completely under estimate the amount of time I spend alone each day. Somehow the title of PHOTOGRAPHER sounds so glamorous. I like to think that's true :) but quite honestly on the days when my office staff is off the only interaction I have is with the UPS driver and my cats! During the winter months this is especially true as the snow covered roads just don't seem to scream "let's schedule a photo shoot!" So Kudos to Tracy & Todd for thinking outside the box. I met this adorable couple at Tracy's parents home, the exact spot where their ceremony will take place this summer.

As we trudged through the deep snow of their beautifully wooded acreage Tracy ever so sweetly apologized for asking me to wear my snow shoes and trudge to the ends of the earth for their photos. I guess I was cursing under my breath a bit more loudly then I thought! No seriously though... she couldn't have possibly understood how wonderful it was to be out shooting again. This was my first session since taking my medical leave and it felt exhilarating to be out on assignment again... not to mention the fact that the location they choose was gorgeous.
Tracy & Todd thank you for braving the cold with me on Friday. I can't wait to come back this summer for your beautiful backyard wedding!

Love this!!!

Favorite! Played with some textures here and I love the results,
plus just look at these two... so adorable.