When Lauren contacted me, she mentioned her wedding was taking place on an island in Northern Wisconsin, in the city of Birchwood. I replied, as giddy as can be “oh, you mean the Bluegill capital of the world?” For those that don’t know (Lauren included) a Bluegill is a fish. The excited inner child in me came out as a flood of memories resurfaced…fishing the creeks near my grandma’s house in Rice Lake, spending summer afternoons at our family cabin, so appropriately named “the shack”, located a few miles from Birchwood. We explored the woods and got into all kinds of trouble. These memories and this place never leave you and I was reminded once again at how much I miss it and need to let my own kids experience life apart from a big city. Shortly after mentioning the location and after I wrestled the excited inner child back down…we had another conversation about why she chose this location and what type of wedding and photography she desired. As excited as I was about the potential of photographing a wedding on an island, in the woods, I was more excited about what I heard her say about photography. Simply put, she wanted someone who would be a guest and take photos of the event as it happened. And here is what happened on this “Island of Happy Days”…

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And then it was still. A beautiful calm. I sat and waited for the ferry to pick me up and bring me back to my car, while the day and all its emotion and energy was left ringing in my head. Exhale. What an amazing job.

Chuck + Jessica live in Philadelphia and I didn’t have too much convincing to do to get them excited about me coming out for an engagement session. I contacted one of my favorite photographers (Michael Ash) who lives out there, about some locations near their home. My only regret from the trip was not taking him up on the offer to head out to the burbs and hang for a bit. What was I thinking? The trip was simply too fast. But, I did have a great Sunday morning with Chuck and Jess and after spending a few hours with them, chatting about the city, driving around and taking some photos, I knew I would be excited for the wedding back in Minneapolis. I learned a small lesson day of the wedding, however. Never post something on Facebook about being sick, when the bride may see it. The moment I showed up, Jessica gave me that look and asked…”So, how are you doing?” when I know she really wanted to ask…”you gonna make it today?” I felt horrible. I should never be a source of stress for a bride on her wedding day. Thankfully, every hour that passed that day I felt better and better. It truly was a great day that went so well. I have been blown away by how amazing my couples have been this year and the only explanation is I am really connecting with the right people. Every photographer is different and I think its really crucial to find clients who really connect with you and your work. Its vital for building trust and excitement. I am so thankful for the privilege of using photography to help document some pretty amazing people and such unique events. Couldn’t ask for a better job.

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