Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Capturing Magic - Photographers who Rock!

As you've probably noticed, I am obsessed with taking photos.  No, no...I can admit it.  Let's face it, if I am willing to step up to the challenge of taking a photo every single day for an entire year, it must be because I actually enjoy doing it!  I love taking photos of my kids and everything else that goes on in our life, but sometimes there is just something missing. 

My photos look like this:
and this:
and this:

And this:

Perfectly fine for my scrapbook layouts, but there comes a time when you need the trained shooting skills of a professional.  I have been fortunate enough to work with two incredible photographers who I would like to brag up to you.  Please note that I have not received any kind of compensation or swag from either of these businesses to plug their services on the blog.  I just genuinely love their work and want to share it with my readers.

- Owned by photographer Emily Engelhardt

- Based in Waupun, Wisconsin

- Specializing in weddings, families, children, and seniors

Emily and I went to high school together and literally grew up across the corn field (or was it alfalfa?) from one another.  She studied digital photography at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and has been running her own studio for several years now.  When not snapping amazing photos of people, Emily enjoys coaching gymnastics and spending time with her husband Jason (who was in my class!) and her baby boy, Hayden (that's him at left in the cute hat).  
Emily shot my maternity photos as well as my son Isaiah's entire first year of pictures.  Every time I walked in her studio, I felt comfortable and relaxed.  She is flexible (and not just because of the gymnastics), creative, kind, and super-easy to work with.  Here are just a few shots to show off Emily's range:
Love it!
Seriously?  There are no words for how precious this shot is.
The sun shining through the trees really makes this photo amazing.
I love how the setting enhances the beauty of the subject.
The sunshine, the beautiful.
Hey, I know that kid!  That's my Isaiah at 12 months!
I love the details in this one.
The colors in this one are just gorgeous, aren't they?

Aren't those awesome photos?  That's why I had Emily handle Isaiah's photos every three months for his first year.  Be sure to check out her website or visit her page on Facebook and let her know you heard about her here on The Arena Update!  She also has a blog that got especially exciting when baby Hayden was born! 

- Owned by photographer Jenn Van Wyk
- Based in Madison, Wisconsin
- Specializing in weddings, children, families, and seniors.

- Took all the photos you see in the header and side bar of this blog!!

I met Jenn back in college (I say that like it was so long ago) when she and I were in the same life group at Blackhawk Church.  At the time, I was the old, married member of the group, but Jenn and I hit it off right away.  She's down-to-earth, genuine, and casual.  These qualities translate beautifully into her photography.  She has such an incredible eye for showcasing her subject's personalities in a photo and her ability to capture amazing candid shots is a talent I have witnessed firsthand. She even nearly fell off a bench once while trying to get the shot she wanted of Isaiah!  She has grown so much as an artist since she was first starting her photography career and shot this photo of Isaiah when he was 9 months old: 

Nowadays, Jenn is booking up several months in advance as her popularity has spread like wildfire.  Jenn's husband, Brian, acts as a second shooter on many of her photo shoots and the two of them make a terrific team.  They live in Madison with their dog, Edie.

Here are a few of some of my past favorites from Jenn's photos of my family as well as a few she selected for me to share with you:
My litle Badger already had a good pout at 18 months. Love the angle of this shot!

A stunning black and white shot I will cherish forever.  I have this one blown up and framed in our living room!

Gina & Luke
The setting, the lighting.....what's not to love?

Andy & Sharon
This kind of shot makes me want to get married all over again just to have a photo like this taken.

Andy & Sharon
I love how the flowers are only enhancing the bride's beauty.
I'm a sucker for a good black and white baby photo and this certainly is.  Gorgeous.

Can I jump in a DeLorean and re-do my senior pictures too?  Check out the lighting in this one!  Awesome.
And last, but not least....remember the photos at the very top of this post?  The ones I took?  Well, here's what happens when you get someone who knows what they're doing to take those photos.

Can you see why I am so addicted to getting my kids' photos taken?  Stop in at Jenn's website to check her availability and see a more expanded portfolio.  She was also recently named one of the six finalists for BRAVA magazine's cover photo contest, so Jenn is truly one of the biggest up-and-coming photographers in the Madison area.  Stalk follow her blog to read all about her adventures in photography and more.  You can also follow her on Twitter!  Be sure to tell her you heard about her on The Arena Update!

Whew!  I think that's the most cutting and pasting I have ever done in my life!  My little fingers are exhausted!  I hope you've enjoyed this little adventure into the world of two photographers I truly love.  Emily and Jenn are both incredibly skilled at capturing magic.  I hope you will consider letting them help you preserve your magical memories.

All images were used with permission of Emily Jane Photography and Jenn Van Wyk Photography.  Please do not "borrow" these images without their consent.  Thank you!

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