Fourth of July

I'm not sure how, but somehow a tradition of Fourth of July photoshoots accidentally began a few years ago, so when the end of June started approaching fast I knew I had to find some cute outfits and a few girls to model them for me! There's something so fun about photographing bffs, so I reached out to Shelby (we were on a swim team together in middle school!) and asked her to pick a few of her favorite ladies to come along with her! Keely and Sunni were the cutest ever, and we had a perfect summer night to shoot away. After about an hour,  a few confetti popper casualties, and a couple close calls with sparklers they headed home and I spent the night immediately editing all of the photos. Enjoy!

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Johns Root Beer, Since 1937

"Lost in the dust: John's dogged by Arcadian Avenue Construction" read a USA Today network paper mid-May. The article stated that John's Root Beer, a Waukesha staple, probably wouldn't reach its 80 year anniversary. Since then, everyone in the community has been flooding to our little root beer stand despite the construction blocking their street. 

I vividly remember nights with my grandparents at Johns Root Beer stand, running around the parking lot hyped up on root beer and cheese fries with my little brother until the mosquitos came out and the vintage neon signs turned off. There's something so charming and nostalgic about this little place, whether you've been going since you were a kid or if you're visiting for the first time. 

It's a testament to their stellar root beer and vintage vibe that so many people in the community have shared, posted, and encouraged others to visit the stand this summer in order to get it through this rough patch of construction. It's summers like this, where we see a problem in the community and can collectively come together to fix the problem that make me love this little Wisconsin town. It's incredibly heartwarming, to say the least. 

I'm happy to announce that the parking lot was full during out photoshoot and we had to dodge plenty of people to get a shot without a crowded background. 

If you haven't taken an afternoon or evening to drive over to John's and get a root beer, hot dog, and cheesy fries, you're really missing out. It's a Wisconsin summer classic, and I promise you won't regret it.

That Summer Feeling

A major goal for this summer is to get back to blogging. I absolutely love sharing full shoots, and I have so many planned for the summer (I have 6 styled shoots just this week!) and I can't wait to share with everyone! I'm so lucky to have so many lovely ladies in my life that are willing to take some time out of their day to get all dressed up and let me capture their beautiful selves. Up first this week was Ellie! Give her a follow on insta at @ell_hase and enjoy her full shoot! All clothes are from Free People (check out their new location at the Von Maur mall in Brookfield.) Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Sometimes it gets super hard to shoot in the winter- there's only so many frozen toes and fingers a girl can deal with! My true love is natural light, but I've loved taking on the challenge of working with a little bit of artificial lighting as well. Honestly, I think that I could shoot in all-white bedrooms for the rest of my life- there's something so natural and aesthetically pleasing about them! Anyway, without further ado, here's a pretty Third Ward apartment shoot for your viewing pleasure:)

Waukesha South Varsity Pom Team

This summer was the second in a row that I had the privilege of photographing Waukesha South's Varsity Pom Team, and let me tell you how much FUN this shoot was! You can definitely tell the dynamic of the South Pom team is different than any other- there's genuine kindness, camaraderie, and friendship between these girls that is rarely seen among a group of high schoolers. I'm just happy that I could capture even a little bit of that on camera:)

 

-CK 

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Alec + Jessie

Any shoot that allows me to pull out my (extensive) collection of random vintage items is pretty much sure to be a great one. Alec and Jessie were so much fun to shoot with- we had a great time catching up after almost 2 years of not seeing each other. They truly are one of the cutest couples I've ever had the privilege of photographing- they were joking around pretty much constantly, keeping all of us laughing. Nothing's better than a couple who's so adorable you barely have to pose them. Keep reading to see the genuine joy and love these two share <3

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Fourth of July

After a miserable attempt at taking pictures with smoke bombs last year (pro tip: don't buy them from the dollar store), I found myself doubly determined to use them for a photo shoot this summer. Last week I found myself driving to Wisconsin from Chicago, bombarded with a billboard for fireworks stands at nearly every exit. I took it as a sign, pulled over, and bought as many smoke bombs as the stand had in red, white, and blue. Although we were short on time because of a storm rolling in, this first attempt was more than successful (not to mention fun!). Now I just need to find some seniors willing to use colorful smoke in their senior photos... :)

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La Vie Est Belle

Sometimes inspiration hits and I get this insatiable urge to get out of the house and just shoot. Oftentimes, those moments of inspiration turn into what I feel is some of my best work. As much as I love doing senior shoots or family portrait sessions, having complete creative control and the ability to get a little more abstract with my shooting is so much fun.  Lucky for me, last week I was able to steal Reilly away for a little bit, drive down some country roads and pull over at any whim. Here's our full shoot- enjoy!

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Aaaaaand a fun little before and after for those of you who get a kick out of stuff like that- I love seeing things like this from other photographers!

AFTER

BEFORE

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The Nieskes

The past few weeks have been incredibly family-filled for me, so what better way to start off the blogs posts of the new year than with quite possibly my favorite family shoot from 2015! The Nieskes were so much fun to work with, and little Oscar was one of the sweetest boys. I think my heart swelled to 3 times its normal size when I got a text a few hours after our shoot saying that Oscar asked if I could come over to play with him! It's families like this that make me love what I do.  

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Waukesha South Varsity Pom

Where do I even start with these girls? I really lucked out with this group of pretty ladies- talented, sugar-sweet, and I don’t think even one of them has a non-photogenic bone in their body. The joy, laughter and friendship that these ladies shared during our shoot honestly made me kind of miss high school. I love love loved the style of this shoot- I jump at any chance to shoot more lifestyle portraits and just being able to capture people’s natural smiles. I feel like I always say this, but this really was one of my favorites of the season, and I can’t wait to work with them again next year. Best of luck to you, ladies! Thanks for letting me photograph your beautiful selves <3

Grace 2015

There's not too much to say about this shoot- a beautiful fall day, great company and lots of laughter always makes for a wonderful set of photos. Honestly, my best advice to seniors- bring someone that can make you laugh to your senior shoot! There's nothing better than capturing genuine joy, and that tends to happen most often when you have someone there who makes you comfortable. Grace brought her ever-so-sweet boyfriend along, and he kept her laughing the entire time. Much love to you Grace! Thank you for letting me capture your smile and joy:)

Pitches and Notes

Backstory to this photoshoot: my best friend in the entire world, Claire, is basically the most talented and wonderful human ever. We met in high school and became attached at the hip during our time in masters a cappella jazz choir junior and senior year, and when she left for college there was no doubt in my mind that she would end up continuing with music and land a spot in one of UW-Madison's a cappella groups.

Flash forward two years and Claire is now co-music director for the most kick-ass group of lady singers you can imagine. Pitches and Notes is one of the most fun groups to watch perform and are talented beyond their years. Being able to work with your peers to direct, improve, and promote a creative performance is incredibly difficult, but somehow these ladies have mastered handling themselves with an incredible amount of grace, poise and camaraderie to create something truly magical.

Spending the weekend at UW-Madison and being able to take an afternoon to photograph the girls of Pitches and Notes was so much fun- their friendship and love for each other shone through in every moment and every photograph, and I couldn't wish for a better group of people for my BFF to surround herself with (while I'm not around, of course ;) ).

P.S. Pitches puts on a killer tour each year, and plenty of performances in Madison as well! Check out their Facebook Page HERE, or their website HERE.

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The Koplins

The weekend of my shoot with the Koplin family was crazy-booked, like not-sure-if-I'll-catch-the-last-train-back-to-Chicago booked. Weekends like that tend to have a high potential for sucking the fun, creative energy out of shoots for me, but when I arrived at the park they had chosen and saw them all hop out of their cars in outfits that matched the wildflowers surrounding us to a tee, I knew that this shoot was going to be a good one. They had such a fun and loving energy (and are cute as can be) which is really all a girl can ask for! I love the soft fall colors and happiness in these photos. Koplins, thank you for letting me be a part of your family's weekend! Much love to you all <3

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Zoe 2015

Every once in a while there's a shoot that I get home from and just can't stop editing. Zoe's was just that- so be prepared for a photo overload! Zoe is one if those girls that's just a ray of sunshine and perpetual happiness. We've known each other a few years now, so I was so happy when she asked me to take her senior photos! It turned out to be one of my favorite senior shoots of the past few months- it was the perfect combination of great weather, perfect light, and wonderful company. 

Zoe, I wish you so much luck with the rest of your senior year and at Mizzou next year! Thank you for such a wonderful evening:)


Ellie 2015

Every once in a while there's a shoot that you can just tell was photo magic, and Ellie's senior shoot was exactly that kind. Between the gorgeous setting and an equally, if not more, gorgeous subject, Ellie's senior session turned out to be one of my favorites from this summer! With the constant downpour that's been Chicago weather this week, I've loved getting to edit these sunshine-filled shots. Enjoy!

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Jacobsens 2015

Any family that's down for a little splashing around in a lake for their family photos is pretty awesome in my book. I had so much fun taking pictures out on the pier with these guys, and I can genuinely say that their boys are the most well behaved, adorable quartet I have ever had the pleasure of photographing! I really felt the love during the Jacobsens shoot (which made for some awesome candids- my favorite!) and I wish all six of them the best! I hope the joy and love I felt throughout their shoot comes through in their photos- enjoy!

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Sam 2015

I figured it was time to get some guys' senior photos up on the blog, so here's Sam! Sam happens to be one fifth of one of my very favorite families in the world, so I was so happy to be able to shoot his senior pictures! We actually took the majority of his photos up at his family's farm in Green Bay- how cool is that? We spent the whole weekend up there taking family photos as well as photographing his grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, so look forward to more coming soon! In addition to Sam being a total natural in front of the camera we were blessed with perfect light and some crazy-cool settings that definitely made for some blog-worthy pictures. So without further ado, here are Sam's senior photos! Enjoy!

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Flower Child(ren)

This shoot is one I've been meaning to blog for forever now! It's so easy to let the fun stuff slip off your plate when your schedule is bursting with other responsibilities, but I finally had a day free to edit and post these beauties' pictures! After doing the flower crown photoshoot with Liv on Washington Island, I couldn't wait to try another one with some more colorful crowns, so I recruited my BFF Emily to gather the perfect threesome to pose for me. Hunting for faux flowers at Goodwill and other thrift stores and combining different colors of flowers was so much fun, and I really think that I ended up with a crown that suited each girl perfectly! I'm so incredibly fortunate to have such beautiful friends, inside and out, at my disposal to satiate my creative whims. A huge thanks to Emily, Alli, and Nancy for being the perfect muses!