December 17, 2019

2019 Year in Review | Portraits | Part 01


Last year I decided to do something different. Instead of going through all my weddings and pulling hundreds of images I wanted it to be a little unique and special. I opted to pull my absolute FAVORITE image from each wedding. Only one & explain a little bit about what I remember the most from each wedding and WHY that image was my favorite. From the composition, to the emotion, to the exact way a dress has fallen, I wanted to give you a little creative background as to why that image stood out amongst the rest.

Each year I put together a post similar to this & every single year I am filled with immense gratitude. I’m not sure it’ll ever get old.. Of being trusted with the imagery from one of the most important days in a couples lives. To balancing their unique relationships with the people they love the most. To be allowed a front seat on an emotional, joyful, thrilling, stressful, and intimate day. To have the chance to peer into the in between moments, the ones that no one else gets to witness. The forehead kisses, the jitters that wash over moments before the walk down the aisle, the giggles that happen during portraits, or the sweet words exchanged during a first look. It’s all these moments, the ones that truly make up a wedding day, that I can’t believe I get the honor to photograph.

This season was nothing short of magical & while I feel like I say that every year, I truly do mean it. I feel that each “group” of couples always have similar characteristics. Things that connect their personalities and I truly believe that if I was able to get these individuals all in one room with their corresponding year that they would become life long friends. Getting to pick out the traits of the 2019 couples was something I wanted to highlight because it was completely true.

The 2019 Couple

  • Organized: These couples were all on their absolute “A” games & while I think I’m organized. They often times were working 2 steps a head of me. There were a lot of my emails back that said, “reaching to you (pertaining said thing) was on my to-do list for the week so high fives for beating me to it. We all know I LOVE some good organization so these couples were awesome for that.

  • Hospitable: Holy macaroni. I don’t think I’ve EVER had so many couples ask me how I’m doing on a wedding day. It was a consistent pattern amongst my weekends and while I never want to feel like any of the attention is on me, I really appreciated the hospitality and consideration.

  • Joyful: This seems blatantly obvious but I’m actually not talking about my brides here. The grooms of the 2019 season were some of the most joyful and excited men I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. I’m talking BIG BIG BIG smiles

I don’t know about you, but those three characteristics are pretty dang wonderful.. & while I’m sure I could drum up a million more to describe them, that truly just begins to describe the Caynay Couple. I ADORED all of my couples from this season. They all left such a big imprint in my heart and I will forever be reminded of their love and magic. Here is Part ONE of my favorite portraits. Part dos will be coming in early January once the 28th & 31st happen. Can’t believe I still have TWO more weddings to shoot this month. So unbelievably excited!



May 3, 2019

what I remember most:

How EXCITED I was for Kelly & Joe’s big day. There is always extra nerves and joy surrounding the first wedding of the season & these two didn’t disappoint. Kelly & Joel are some of the most FUN people I’ve worked with and there is no one I would have wanted to kick off my 2019 season.

why I love this photograph:

I mean, just by looking at it, it feels obvious. The epitome of a perfect veil fly & Kelly’s relative did a solid job in helping create this portrait. I also absolutely LOVE pine trees of any kind so having them off in the distance makes me love this shot even more.

See more of their day at The Fields Reserve, here



May 1, 2019

what I remember most:

From Abby’s dress, to ben’s perfectly fitted black tux, to the Rolls Royce that Abby rented as a surprise.. Their day was one word.. Classic! Spring had started to peak out a little bit more this day and getting to work at the Oconomowoc Lake Club was such an honor. I walked away from their day with a happy heart.

why I love this photograph:

A completely candid after the ceremony shot. You can almost feel their joy bursting off the image & that’s what I love most. I also love Ben’s chivalry here & the framing of the trees on the left hand side. It swoops you around the image and brings the attention fully to them.

See more of their day at the Oconomowoc Lake Club, here



May 18, 2019

what I remember most:

That we were SO fortunate that the weather turned out as good as it did. We had a good amount of rain leading up to their big day but not a single drop fell that Saturday. These two have such a fun energy that surround them and getting to spend the day with their friends & family was something I’ll always remember.

why I love this photograph:

I mean, I feel like this one is pretty obvious as well. I love using foreground when I can & while it takes a little bit more finesse the result is always SO worth it. I freaking ADORE how this plant creates the perfect frame around them and really draws you into them.

See more of their day at Union South, here



May 25, 2019

what I remember most:

Their first dances! It takes me a real lot to cry at a wedding but this moment from their day had me balling like a baby from behind the camera. I’m pretty sure between their dance, Kent’s dance with his momma, & Megan’s dance with her momma + brothers there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

why I love this photograph:

I knew IMMEDIATELY which image I was going to pull from their day. No questions asked, this is it. It feels completely candid and I absolutely adore their facial expressions. That light also streaming in through the trees is top notch. It creates such a beautiful and sparkly light. Man, I loved this day SO much.

See more of their day at Vennebu Hill, here



June 1, 2019

what I remember most:

Moments before their wedding ceremony, the sky opened up and poured out some of the hardest rain fall I have ever heard. Jessica was in the bridal suite essentially trapped until it let up & then picked back up mid ceremony causing us to pause. With that hiccup, the day was still unbelievably PERFECT & the sun eventually did peak out. It was such a unique piece of their day that I will always remember.

why I love this photograph:

Okay, first off. Chris’ joy is truly palpable & it was the entire day. Secondly, I love how classic and stunning this shot is. I just imagine a shot like this being adored for multiple generations. I am also borderline obsessed with the background & the little bokeh the string of twinkly lights created against the green trees. All-in-all this is the kind of portrait I really strive for. The kind that stand the test of time.

see more of their day at boxed and burlap, here



June 8, 2019

what I remember most:

Meryl & Tyler got to celebrate their day with the most PERFECT weather. June can sometimes be a hit/miss (jk. all 12 months in Wisconsin can be a hit/miss) so these two were extra lucky to have their dreamy fully outdoor wedding. Dancing away under the stars is about as romantic as it gets.

why I love this photograph:

I immediately knew this was a money shot the second I pressed the shutter button. Meryl’s joyful nose scrunch truly makes this shot for me. Along with the perfect weather, these two had the most spectacular light. I really love the way both of them are illuminated in this shot. Note to self: need to instagram this one again soon.

see more of their private estate wedding, here



June 15, 2019

what I remember most:

Lisa & Tom wanted a day that was uniquely THEM. They wanted a party & they wanted their guest (most of which were from out of town) to experience Madison is all it’s glory. I think it’s obvious that what I will remember most is the UW Marching Band coming in with Bucky for a spectacular performance. Hands down one of the best events of the 2019 season.

why I love this photograph:

Working at The Overture Center is one of my absolute FAVORITE things. The light is so unbelievably dreamy and makes any day so stinking beautiful. So that’s why I wanted to highlight this image. The light is so even and clean feeling but I also adore the leading lines of this shot. The stairs just create such an interesting element that doesn’t weigh the image down.. Oh and the teal/aqua colored windows that are actually the Madison Public Library!

see more of their overture center wedding, here



June 21, 2019

what I remember most:

Where oh where do I begin with Kelli & Blaise. Two of my absolute FAVORITE people. The one thing that sticks out so much to me is how much FUN their day was. Their bridal party was one of the best & welcoming groups of people I have ever come in contact with. I felt at home this whole day and I will forever remember that.

why I love this photograph:

The little wisps of hair, the bokeh of the leaves above their heads (the little circles for non-photography folks), the perfectly out-of-focus rolling tree line behind them. The look of pure JOY on both of their faces. This was such an easy pick for me. I also loved the greens in this wedding. June weddings are the best!

see more of their wedding at the fields reserve, here



June 22, 2019

what I remember most:

I had the chance of photographing Chris’ brothers wedding a few years ago so I was extra excited to hang out with everyone again. It’s always extra special when you get to photograph a wedding that has a connection. What I think I’ll remember most (which maybe seems weird) is I walked into the bridal sweet and there Brittany was. Full hair & makeup in her bridal robe chomping down on a Culver’s cheeseburger. I already knew these two were my kind of people but that right there just solidified it!

why I love this photograph:

That I have NO recollection of taking this image. I usually keep tabs throughout the day on what shots I’ve taken and which ones I know will be some of my favorites and end up on the blog. While I was importing that night, this image stopped me dead in my tracks. The composition, the little bit of trees above, how the pine tree perfectly fits in the line of the tree line.. OMG. I did (& just did another) BIG dance in my chair over this shot. One of my absolute favorites that I’ve EVER taken.

see more of their wedding at the evergreen country club, here



June 29, 2019

what I remember most:

OH man. What don’t I remember about Avery & Chad’s big day. From the moment I walked into the bridal suite till the second I said goodbye, this day was so unbelievably beautiful. From Avery’s bridal details down to the escort cards. Their day is one that I would photograph over and over and over and over again.

why I love this photograph:

I feel like this is pretty obvious. You remember earlier when I mentioned how JOYFUL my 2019 grooms were? Chad always comes to the forefront of my mind when I reflect on that. I love how classic and timeless this photo feels. The joy is palpable and I adore Avery’s soft touch on Chad’s face.

see more of their wedding at vintage fields farmin’ betty’s, here



July 20, 2019

what I remember most:

We were all standing under the big oak tree at sugarland barn taking family formals. It was hot and muggy (like really hot and muggy) and I was closely watching the radar as a storm was brewing nearby. Then the most miraculous cold front smacked us. It was so unbelievably welcoming. Outside of a weather related memory, I will always remember how classic Erica & Blake’s day was. You could plop them down in any year and their day would still be spectacular.

why I love this photograph:

THE LIGHT. The humidity gave this wedding a real ethereal feel. When I reflect back on the images they all seem very dream-like which makes me absolutely ADORE them. Humidity can be really difficult for a couple but it’s always produces an awesome element to photographs.

see more of their sugarland barn wedding, here



July 26, 2019

what I remember most:

I have never laughed MORE at a wedding before. I walked away from this wedding feeling so unbelievably joyful and refreshed. The PERFECT mid season wedding and what I will remember most is that these two were my 100th wedding. I was overwhelmed with so much gratitude and love and I will forever remember how wonderful these two are.

why I love this photograph:

Let’s see. The golden light? Their passionate smooch? The way Molly’s bustle is pulling away from her dress? The way the light is hitting both of them? The joy on both of their faces? All of those are great contenders and all of those are 110% why I am head over heels for this photograph.

see more of their barn at harvest moon pond wedding, here



August 3, 2019

what I remember most:

I always try to guess what kind of dress a bride will wear. Based on their clothing choices from their engagement session and what I see on social media. I was 110% WRONG on Heather’s dress choice but that’s one of my favorite memories. Her dress (as you can see) was so unbelievably beautiful. These two also had a very memorable ceremony and I will never forget the giggles and love they and their bridal party had.

why I love this photograph:

I feel like explaining this one seems just silly. Like of COURSE this would be my favorite image. If you’ve noticed a little bit of a trend around here, it’s that I love JOYFUL images so if a shot contains some big smiles or laughs, I’m usually happy as a clam. A few technical things though, I love how Heather’s dress is so perfectly exposed that you could almost count all the beads. I love the three little lights over her left shoulder, I love the sole building of the Milwaukee city scape. All in all this is a 10/10 for me.

see more of their wedding at discovery world in milwaukee, here



August 16, 2019

what I remember most:

How unbelievably CALM their day was. From the moment I arrived till when I left, there wasn’t an ounce of stress (that I saw). Everyone was happy, joyful, content, excited, and just thrilled to be celebrating Anne & Emmett. These two also opted for a more intimate wedding and I will always keep a special place for it in my heart. Celebrating the day how YOU want to celebrate it is so unbelievably important and I love that these two decided to do it that way.

why I love this photograph:

Okay.. Obviously the Madison Capital is the obvious answer but would you be surprised if I told you it was actually the CLOUDS? I love their fluffy amazingness. It was the epitome of an August sky and I absolutely ADORE this shot. It feels candid, relaxed, and love filled. Just like Emmett and Anne!

see more of their wedding at the edgewater, here

These weddings happened between May 3, 2019 & August 16, 2019. If you’re wedding is after 8/16/19 you’ll be in Part 2!

Last Years Year-in-Review

Part 2 coming soon