At the end of the summer, I went south on an assignment with GS Design and Zoom North America. Zoom was coming out with their new F4 field recorder and GS Design had the idea to create a video that would launch the new product. They hired Quinn Hester from Helix Productions to make the video and I went along for the ride to create the stills and take a few portraits. Lucky for me, it was close to my home town and I never felt so comfortable on set.
Earlier this year, I worked with Saint Michael’s Foundation to capture the stories of four breast cancer survivors to support the efforts to build a new Breast Care Center at Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital. "You should be surrounded by everyone and everything you need to move quickly from fear to hope. The hope that you can get your life back. "
"Everyone knows someone whose had breast cancer. And it doesn’t just touch the women who’s diagnosed. It’s their family, their co-workers…"
It was honor to meet and photograph these brave and amazing women and their families. Chris and Matt Vanderlinden at Detonator are the ones who brought me on this journey. They created a video that is inspiring action. I enjoyed working with them, and was thrilled my pictures could play a role in supporting their storytelling.
To learn more about this great cause, you can check out their website: www.hopeisbuilding.com
5 years ago, I played my last Roller Derby bout. It was the first Brewcity Bruisers Midwest Brewhaha at Franklin Sports Complex. I was there when the Milwaukee's Roller Derby league first formed in the winter of 2005/2006. I pretty much credit BCB for keeping me in Milwaukee. It opened me up to all the great things I love about this city. I made lifelong friends and I am guessing I may have never met my husband if I hadn’t joined. I never played many sports as a kid, but it made me wish I had. It gave me the confidence in my physical appearance and abilities. It’s one of the best things I have ever done. In 2011, I got married and began the next chapter in my life starting a family, and I said goodbye to derby. Recently, I wanted to put my skills toward documenting an organization that I love and maybe help them to promote what they are doing. These girls, between the ages of 8-17 are amazing and fierce. I wish I had this when I was their age and grateful that my daughter has the opportunity to play derby if she chooses to. I watched these mighty girls practice, scrimmage, bout and then finally getting their end of season awards. You can visit http://www.brewcitybruisers.com for more info and https://www.facebook.com/BcbMicroBruisers to learn more about them.
I tagged along with my friend and her daughter Adeline as they went to get went to get her ears pierced for the first time.
At the end of last year, I had another great opportunity to work with Hanson Dodge Creative. I was given an assignment to photograph still images and portraits alongside a three-day TV commercial shoot for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin's “Little Sparks of Light” campaign. The commercial was shot/produced by Robb Fischer, Mary Patt Cupertino Fischer, and Sue Karpfinger (Full Circle Media) and their amazing crew. Wow… were they lovely to work with. The lighting setups alone were a dream come true for me. I hope to get many chances to work with them again.
Children’s is not only a professional client of mine, I also trust them personally as my children’s healthcare providers. Luckily, we have not had to spend too much time there ourselves, but the staff and patients I have worked with on projects over the years have touched my heart. I am so happy to play a part in spreading their message. I made a lot of photos during this shoot and it was hard to choose what to share. Below are some of my favorites:
When Hanson Dodge Creative showed me the pre-production reel, I brainstormed how I was going to add my own little “spark." I wanted to do as much as I could in camera, so I ended up using a series of prisms, mirrors, magnifiers, and convex lenses to reflect light (or, sometimes, just to block out the video cameras/crew in my view). I first learned about some of these prism techniques from Washington DC photographer Sam Hurd. After borrowing some lenses/prisms from a fellow Milwaukee photographer to test out the techniques, I went on a little shopping spree at American Science and Surplus and got my own.
Link to one of the TV Spots: http://www.hansondodge.com/work/childrens-hospital-of-wisconsin/little-sparks-of-light-tv-spot/
Client: Children’s Hospital
Agency: Hanson Dodge Creative
Executive Creative Director: Chris Buhrman
Associate Creative Director: Damian Strigens
Account Supervisor: Jefferey Ohm
Copywriter: Beth Musni
Director/DP: Robb Fischer
Producer: Mary Pat Cupertino
Producer: Sue Karpfinger, Full Circle Media
Photography Assistant: Rusty Malkemes
I recently edited down the 14,000ish images I shot last year of my family to 500 favorites. They were mostly shot with my Canon 5D Mark III, Fuji 100T & iPhone 5S. (My husband helped me out with a few that I am in.) I never even got to scanning the few rolls of film and Polaroids! Those final 500 were printed for photo albums and out of those, I cut it down to about 100 to share here. I am so lucky to have these kids and it feels amazing that I get to watch them grow from babies into kids. (click on the thumbnails to enlarge the image)
Super fun project with GS Design for Zoom's new amazing music machine.
2016 has kicked off with a bunch of new projects in the works that I'm super excited and thankful for. Over the weekend, I received my copies of the January issue of Milwaukee Magazine which included a bonus wedding issue. I had a blast working with them on two profile portraits: Kate Mau from Wild Haven Fiber Company and Jan Oelke from Relics Vintage Rentals.
I have felt for a while now that it was time for me to take my work to the next level, but for the past few years my main focus shifted to starting a family. And while my family remains my main focus, my husband and I are finally getting out of the trenches of new parenthood and I am able to give more of my time to expanding on the possibilities of my career. This past summer, when talking about changes I wanted to make with two friends and colleagues of mine, they both—within a week of each other—mentioned the production company Wonderful Machine. I am so glad Andrea and David told me about them, because now I am one of their roster of shooters and getting their expert advice in so many areas. One of the first tasks was updating my website. Editing and choosing a portfolio can be one of the hardest things to do and it felt great to get the support from a super skilled and experienced photo editor, Stacy Swiderski, at Wonderful Machine. I threw hundreds of images at her and we combed through them all and reorganized the website overall. I was sad to see some things go, but it was time to cull, and I am very pleased with how it all turned out! Click on my new categories to the left to see the results.
I met the violinist, Frank Almond, at the Youth Symphony Orchestra building just a little northwest of Milwaukee’s downtown. I was directed to a practice room where we could do the shoot. I brought along small strobes, but I hoped I would be able to keep them in my bag and shoot with natural light alone. As soon as I entered the room I noticed the strong window light coming in and the patterns it created on the walls and floor. Soon Frank arrived, and we got to work right away. I basically just shuffled him around trying to fit him in the precise pocket of shadow and light I was looking for. At first, I think he was skeptical, but I just talked his ear off while I moved him around and I could soon tell he was seeing something in my weird way of taking his portrait. We ended the shoot out in the parking lot, but none of those shots came close to these. I was so excited that I posted an instagram grid that day. Below is the finished piece in Milwaukee Magazine.
I recently photographed modern dancers Daniel Burkholder and Andrea Chastant Burkholder for Milwaukee Magazine. It focuses on their monthly performance "Real Time" at the Holton Bridge Swing Park. I photographed them in their practice space at Danceworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I always enjoy photographing dancers because of the way they carry themselves. The hardest thing about most subjects is getting them to loosen up and act natural. Probably as a result of their training, dancers are very comfortable with their bodies and seem to know instinctively how to position themselves, so that hurdle of discomfort doesn’t exist.
I was lucky to spend my birthday this year on my Sister-in-Law & Brother-in-Law's farm near Caledonia, Wisconsin. I first captured this scene of Amy and her horse, Herze, with my iphone but it was just so gorgeous, I had to grab a shot with my "big" camera too.
3 years ago this week, Dylan and I traveled to Japan for our 1st wedding anniversary. One of our first stops was at Tsukiji Fish Market. We were not ambitious enough to get there at 4am for the tuna auction, but when we did start, our friends the Komatsubara’s took us to their favorite stall for a sushi breakfast. It was such a busy time in our lives (I had my first baby that following February and we had just moved into our first home a month prior) that I just recently had time to go through the photos again. It's an amazing place to explore!
Design by Damian Strigens