Cake Smash

A milestone birthday calls for a milestone photo session! Following her one-year commemorative photos, we celebrated with a cake smash!

Now there are different levels of “protective parent.” I let Connie explore and figure things out for herself and don’t hover too much. She’s received bruises and scratches along the way, but she has also gained confidence and curiosity and is developing very well. When it comes to what she is consuming however, I hover! It is important to me that her exposure to pesticides, toxins, and processed foods is very limited. Continue reading


Happy, happy, happy birthday, Miss Connie! I could mention all the clichés that come with time going too fast, but I’ll just say I am in awe. She’s developed into a little person with personality, tenacity, and a big heart. This has been an amazing year, truly. One year transformation

Weight: 22.02 lbs (83%)   |   Height: 32.75″ (100+%)   |   Head: 18.25″ (86%) Continue reading

Family Winter Session

Fall is the typical time in which families gather to get their annual photo session. The fall colors, the comfortable temperatures, and the timing before the holiday card season favor this timing. While we did do a fall session as we typically do (find here)–colors arrived late so these look more like summer images–Rachel and I also wanted winter snowy photos. We had scheduled and rescheduled this session three times to try to get the right amount of snow on the ground. Little did we know our last date shift would result in a perfect snowy Wisconsin day in February. Valentine’s day no less.

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2015 Family Photos

Each year the wonderful Rachel Manzke Photography family comes to my place for family photos. Rachel, correct me if I am wrong, but I think we have been doing this for the past 5 years now? Even before I had a “family” of my own, Rachel and her’s would allow me to photograph them and in turn, she took images of me with my dogs and horses. When Cody and I began dating, we had annual “couple” photos. And now, this annual session captures our new little family.

Rachel’s family, Team Giblin, resides in Sun Prairie. They love the convenience of being in a larger town and take advantage of Madison activities. When it comes to our annual photo event, however, Rachel prefers the country backdrops we have to offer. I am grateful they choose our home and make the trip each year.

This year we created a new flow for the session and moved the session to later in the day which also allowed us to enjoy dinner together while the image files downloaded to our respective computers.

Thank you, Rachel. Even though we did not have any fall color this year, we did have a beautiful day and I love these images!

Check out more of Rachel’s work at _L3A4175_1 _L3A4131_1 _L3A4065_1 _L3A4032_1  _L3A4002_1_L3A4028_1_L3A4002_2  _L3A3969_1 _L3A3941_1 _L3A3913_1 _L3A3862_1 _L3A3843_1 _L3A3827_1  _L3A3798_1 _L3A3768_1 _L3A3754_1_L3A3818_1

One Month

One month has flown by and I have seen so many changes in that time. I can’t help but wish for time to slow down. At the same time, I find myself asking who she will look like, what she will become. To remember her early days and months, I plan to take monthly pics. These images are certainly not my best work, totally amateur style, but the important thing is capturing images of this sweet baby to cherish and have for recall. We’ll be able to look back and review changes from one month to the next and always remember this first year of her life, and the months when she was tiny and squishy.

Month One

  • Eyes: Stormy blue (greyish blue)
  • Hair: Brunette
  • Nicknames: Sweet Baby, Baby Girl, and Boobie Monster
  • Favorite things about her: Her smile ( I get more smiles with each passing day and she gave me a few for the photos too!), snuggles, watching her watch us
  • Approximate weight: 10+ lbs (8 lbs 10.6 oz at her first check up on 05/01; up from 7lbs 12 oz at birth)
  • Eats: very good, exclusively breastfed
  • Sleeps: very good. some nights she’ll do a 5 hour stretch, but on average 3-4 hours between feedings

First set-up includes a baby blanket made for my mother when she was pregnant with me and a pink elephant from Grandma Cathy. Mint onesie, compliments of great-aunt Paula.

DW4A39911_1DW4A4024_1 DW4A4022_1 DW4A4019_1 DW4A4007_1 DW4A4005_1These images are for Daddy. He wanted some with is model JD 820 tractor. We’ll have to work on a better set up for future monthly sessions. JD socks from aunt Dena!


Showing off her muscles!



That smirk! Love!

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And I couldn’t have managed this photo session without the assistance and supervision of Gus and Nora. They have felt slightly neglected since Connie’s arrival, but are handling it well.


Connie Elizabeth_Newborn Session

Our baby girl is ONE MONTH new today. I want to document her growth and changes with monthly sessions and did so today, which made me realize I hadn’t posted her newborn session.

At just 5 days new, our precious angel had her second photo session (we’ll count the birth documentary as session #1). Love these photos captured, as always, by our dear friend and photographer, Rachel. Check her out at

I am realizing all too well, already, how quickly time goes. I’ll say this cliché statement a billion times before she is 18. These images will help me remember her always as my tiny, innocent, squishy, sweet-smelling babe.

My Connie Elizabeth, you have stolen our hearts!

Maternity Session

Another fun session with Rachel Manzke Photography. Last week, she came out to the farm to capture our maternity photos during our 32nd week of pregnancy. It was COLD out but I really wanted some winter/snow pics as this has been a winter pregnancy. We were fortunate to have snow on the ground and braved the frigid temps. I love that all these images are captured at our home. Cody’s handy carpentry skills made for a wonderful backdrop!

Belly bump photos. I love the belly! Who would have thought I’d be so attached to a larger waist size!? I’ll miss it. I asked Cody one night, “Do you just wish they would stay in there?” as I rubbed my belly. He quickly replied with a “no.” In there they are safe. In there it is easy. In there they transport so well. In there, we are perfect parents! I am very excited to meet out little one, and do want them to come out, exactly when they are intended to. But I am in no hurry for this pregnancy to be over. It’s gone too fast in my opinion (less than 7 weeks from our anticipated due date) and I’ll spend these last remaining weeks enjoying it, adoring my growing belly, and savoring in their comfort and safety. Grow strong and healthy, my sweet babe. 

Home renovations continue! We stripped down the spare bedroom (formerly my office) and are preparing to put in new walls, flooring, and closet. That makes way for us to finally tackle the nursery, which actually requires the least amount of physical labor, just tearing out carpet and setting up for baby. We should be able to move into the nursery within the next 2 weeks! Which will come in handy to house and organize all the new baby-oriented goodies we received at the baby shower last week.

Next up, get the hospital bag prepped….. and maybe decide on baby names! 🙂

(Click on image to view in slide show)


Rachel, thank you for capturing our life, all the many chapters!

Photo credit: Rachel Manzke Photography

Our Engagement Session

The Engagement Session Photo Post! Nearly three months ago we had our engagement session with Rachel Manzke, and a week before our wedding, I am getting them posted! It’s been a busy summer to say the least. I am very excited to walk down the aisle next week, to the man in which my soul finds peace, happiness, and joy with. He has enriched my world, shown me true love, friendship and partnership. God placed him in my path and lead me right to him, and I am forever grateful.

In true fashion, Cody humored me. I didn’t just want a couples photo session to commemorate our engagement, I wanted a themed, multi-wardrobe, multi-location, prop-infused session. 🙂  Continue reading

birth photography: welcome baby Brody

Birth photography is growing in popularity. For some the idea of inviting a stranger in to share an intimate moment may seem unnatural. For others, it offers a narration of your birth experience and allows you to recall memories that could not be remembered otherwise. The birth of a child is a moment that cannot be recreated. There is no posing in birth photography, its documentary, and captures the tiniest details, the emotion shared between partners, and the moment that baby and parents fall in love at first sight.

I am so honored to share this blog post with you all. I was euphoric to be a part of the birth of baby Brody. To witness the strength of a woman, the power of partnership, and the miracle of a child. Brody became the third and final child for this young family. After seeing her birth gallery, Mama shared that she wished she had the same documentary for the first two babes. I’m glad they invited me to be a part of this one.

You can see Brody’s birth story photos here.

And if you are expecting your own little one, I encourage you to capture this once-in-a-lifetime moment, your own personal miracle. I know when the time comes for me, I’ll have my photographer there!

Reasons to Consider Hiring a Photographer for Your Child’s Birth:

1.      Quality of images and composition

2.      Your partner and or support team should be focused on you, not on taking photos

3.      With a photographer, you and those with you can be in the photos

4.      You’ll have a record of one of the most precious and miraculous moments in your life, and the life of your child

5.      This is a life milestone worthy of capturing—just like your wedding—you can’t recreate it

6.      A photographer with capture details or moment that could be otherwise missed

7.      You see your birth from a different perspective

8.      Newborn babies change so quickly—a photographer will capture the freshness of your baby

9.      Your photographer will select the best images—the ones that tell your story—edit them, and deliver them—no work for you


Photographer’s Paradise

In preparation for some upcoming sessions, I went out for a hike to scout locations.  I don’t have to wander far to find wonderful backdrops, beautiful vegetation, and amazing views.  Bear Vale Farm features nearly 120 acres of photographic possibilities!  Many of my sessions have been shot at my home for this very reason.  

I know I have a beautiful setting here, but my scouting reminded me all the more what a great location this provides for portraits and what a truly beautiful place I get to call home   I am very excited for my next sessions and honored when clients choose my land for their portraits.  I know they won’t be disappointed.  

Here is an assortment of images captured along the way featuring a variety of locations and views from atop our hill.  These are what photographers refer to as “SOOC” — no post-production, just taken straight from the camera as captured and shared.  A peek at the possibilities.  If you are considering outdoor portraits but don’t know where, you’re welcome at Bear Vale!  

p.s. The kids joined me and are featured in some of the images…five dogs (we are currently fostering a lab mix which adds to our count), the goat, and even the cats.  We must be quite the sight.  Blessings! Continue reading

How Did I Do That? Capturing Movement

Images captured earlier this month on an early frosty morning have proven to be some of my most popular and favorite images to date.  The original post drew my highest number of blog readers and many compliments.  The greatest compliment however, came from my biggest fan.  After seeing the below image, Cody said, “It’s so good it doesn’t look real; it looks like a painting.” Continue reading

Frosty Winter Morning

So many times I have drove past this spot and wished to photograph it, especially during early morning hours.  Knowing this day would offer the perfect blend of natural light and Mother Nature’s elements, I bundled up and left early with my camera and tripod.  I was going to wish no longer–I was going to capture!  I’m so glad I did.  My sister thinks I am crazy, but I love Wisconsin winters; I love the variations of beauty we get to experience here.  Standing at the bridge adjusting my settings, I was excited, and thanks to the cool air, very awake.  Here are the results.

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