Happy New Year & Christmas Too (Snow Day Catch Up)

We finally got our White Christmas weather in northern Indiana… a week or so late! Since it was more of a muddy and gray Christmas here we burned off some cabin fever energy and let the kids get into Christmas PJs for some photos that matched the magical snowy weather outside. (Neither were too picky that it was early January either.)

Indiana kids childrens christmas portraits photographer 1
Madeline - 2 years old
Northern Indiana childrens christmas portraits photographer
Adrian - almost 4 and a great big brother
Indiana childrens christmas portraits photographer
Adrian & Madeline - Christmas 2011 / New Years 2012

We hope you had a Merry Christmas and a great start to 2012!

– Eric, Adrian & Madeline

Happy 2nd Birthday Madeline!

South Bend Mishawaka Granger Indiana Child Photographer

Has it only (and already) been two years since Madeline joined my family? A year ago I shared the letter I wrote to her when I found out she was on the way. Early this morning marked my daughter’s 2nd birthday, and I feel the need to brag a little on my kids. 🙂

Maddie loves music and dancing around. I attribute these skills to her mother (Lord knows I’m more of a Carlton Banks on the dance floor). She only needs two beats of rhythm to start bopping to the music, and usually the second note is optional. She just loves to dance around.

Right now she absolutely loves to run up to Dad and give hugs and kisses. Even if she’s given me a dozen kisses as I’m trying to get out the door she still runs up for one more just before I go. It just melts me. 🙂

She’s a bookworm. She’ll just grab a book and climb up on my lap and it’s story time. She absolutely loves looking through books.

She has hilarious curly hair bedhead when she wakes up.

She now wakes up and quietly climbs out of her crib and starts getting into things. She’s already been known as “Maddie Sneakers” by Adrian for her stealthy antics for a while, now she’s upgraded to “Super Sneakers.”

She’s not a terribly picky eater, and usually enjoys getting into whatever snacks her big brother Adrian has set down to go play with trains or blocks or find fun of some sort.

She laughs through her nose a lot, and it cracks me up. Adrian loves to act silly and make her laugh, and it’s pretty impossible not to smile and laugh when they get the house full of giggles.

I’m certain she knows she’s cute – hears it all the time – but isn’t abusing her charm too much to get out of trouble just yet. Let’s keep it that way, ok?

Almost every time she sees my iPhone she starts chanting “e-hat! e-hat!” to watch & read along to the Cat in the Hat book app. She also switches to different book apps left and right and even deletes apps if Daddy blinks while she has his phone.

She’s my favorite Madeline in the whole world. Happy birthday Maddie!

Children’s Outdoor Autumn Portraits – Stella

It’s been a while since I overloaded the blog wrote about our First Friday Fashion (fail) contest from September, or the free photo shoot prize our winner received.

In late October I joined our contest winner Aim for the free photo shoot giveaway. She contrived a clever and generous plan to enlist the help of Facebook friends to vote for her photo entries to win the shoot for her daughter Stella.

Here are a few favorites from Stella’s outdoor fall photo shoot around Beutter Park and Battell Park in downtown Mishawaka, Indiana.

Mishawaka Indiana Children's Portrait Photographer

Indiana Children's Portrait Photographer Beutter Park Mishawaka

Indiana Children's Portrait River Walk Ideas Photographer

Battell Park Mishawaka Child Portrait Photography Ideas Photographer

Congrats Newlyweds Anne & Marty!

Notre Dame Basilica Wedding Couple Photography

If you find yourself dancing along to the reception music after 12 hours of wedding day photography… you’re doing it right.

We had a way fun day celebrating with Anne & Marty, their families, the West Side Porpoise Club, and enjoyed the non stop laughs from start to finish! Congrats, Newlyweds!

Laughter keeps you young – Hazel’s 90th Birthday

I’m no physician but I’m pretty sure laughing keeps you young. At Hazel’s birthday celebration last weekend there was a great amount of humor from her and the family. Even when family members apologized for laughing through most of the portraits I reminded them I’d rather have a laughing bunch than being stared down by an unhappy one any day!

Truth be told, the great sense of humor and abundance of laughs reminded me of my own family’s gatherings. I’m convinced great humor was part of how my Grandma Eleanor lived to be 96. Our family gatherings are full of chuckles, family stories and ornery jokes. Hazel’s party was nothing less!

Never Underestimate the Power of Grandma
Never Underestimate the Power of Grandma

Hazel's 90th birthday!

Family portrait laugh outtake

The laughs continued into the evening portraits when the ladies decided to help the birthday girl not feel too self conscious about her height. Just before I hit the shutter release they all decided to shrink a little. Unscripted, but maybe rehearsed. Outtake? Given the family’s humor I’m thinking it’s a keeper!

Family portrait group squats to make grandma taller

Lots more laughs on the way – see them at the proof gallery here.

Happy birthday Hazel!

Here’s an extra dose of laughs for everybody from one of my favorite movies – enjoy!

For Whom the Bell Tolls – Brandi & Matt’s Metallica Wedding

And now for something completely different.

Punk goth rock wedding bridal party offbeat wedding photographer

I met Brandi and Matt through rock concerts so it’s no surprise their customized, personalized wedding was nothing shy of ROCKING too. Elements of Alice in Wonderland, goth, punk, vintage pin-up styles, rock shows graced their celebration at the theatrical auditorium in the Scottish Rite building in downtown South Bend, Indiana.

I got a special backstage passes to this rock show wedding and helped plan this extraordinary celebration.

Pinup punk goth bride red black hair tophat veil

Red and black were featured in everything from Brandi’s wedding dress, hairstyle, the gents’ tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses, and accessories.

Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” rang out and the bridal party paired up and made their way to the front. Brandi entered with her parents to join Matt.

Punk Goth Rock Red & Black Theater Wedding

The lush red velvet stage curtain and wooden tones fit Brandi’s ideas perfectly.

Goth metal rock boots wedding accessories

I’ve seen a variety of different shoes for weddings, and think the groom and guys should have a little fun with their tuxes too. Matt had the first pair or buckle boots I’ve seen at a wedding.

Black and red wedding dress, top hat and tux

Coffin wedding podium prop artwork - Offbeat wedding photographer

‘Til Death – Custom coffin podium by the Father of the Bride.

Goth rock offbeat wedding handfasting ceremony photographer

Handfasting Ceremony, black Unity candle with skeleton hands. Love it.

Skeleton black unity candle offbeat wedding photographer

Punk goth lolita bridesmaid dresses offbeat wedding photographer

Red and black ribbons, plaid, zippers, buckles, studded, heart patches… the bridesmaids styled them all. Great snap by JR.

Goth punk rock rockabilly metallica wedding groom in top hat

 

Easygoing snap of Matt greeting the guests, window light does the trick. Red podium uplight for a little more sinister look, devious was an easy expression.

Goth rock rockabilly Metallica wedding groom skeleton

 

Pinup Bride Hairstyle First Dance

First dance to Green Day’s “Last Night on Earth”

Custom red & black painted goth rock offbeat wedding cake topper

Personalized & painted wedding cake topper couple and blood red drip frosting. Delicious.

Offbeat nontraditional Wedding headbanging photographer

Groom and groomsmen headbanging to Metallica with the Father of the Bride: priceless. Rocking reception soundtrack!

Favorite quote of the day – “It really WAS a rock show – we had mic feedback, wardrobe malfunctions fixed with gaff tape, a big stage…” – and a rocking couple, I might add. Congrats newlyweds!

 

Whether it’s traditional or something a little different, I’d love to tell your story – drop me a line to see how I can tell your wedding story!

 

(PS, if you’re a fan on Facebook we’ve got more rockin’ wedding photos to enjoy! Come see!)

No rain no rainbows

Also no tornado, lighting strikes or hail damage.

Between stormfronts I raced up to Lake Michigan with Lauren and Andrew for a great engagement shoot on the almost deserted Weko Beach in Bridgman, Michigan.

Weko Beach engagement portraits thunderstorm

“I was hoping for some lightning in the background… but you two are pretty electric!”(yes… I seriously said that. I was rather proud of how fast I thought of it, but man it was cheesy to hear aloud. Thanks for the courtesy laughs!)

Great laughs, SNICK television lineup trivia, and a relaxing afternoon hearing about their exciting August wedding ahead! More photos ahead…

eB

Engagement Cards Anyone?

Chicago Indiana Michigan Wedding Photographer engagement portrait cards

I put together a quick sample of our work for a friend of ours planning a summer 2009 wedding and thought I’d better share the summery favorites from last year’s engagement sessions. Nice warm thoughts from the toasty beach shoots should warm up this odd weather December. The shoreline was definitely this year’s favorite location – hard to beat working barefoot!

We had way too much fun on these shoots taking a break from wedding planning and hanging out with our couples to limit this session to just one package so now it’s included in ALL of our Wedding Photography Packages!

Have a great New Year!

Trash the Dress – Sand Dune Style

On our way up to Lake Michigan I wondered if in fact we wouldn’t also be getting a bit messier than usual at a location shoot. Thunderstorms were in the forecast and we hit a good drizzle as we neared one of my favorite beaches, Weko Beach in Bridgman, Michigan. The rain was gone when we parked but there was lightning in the distance so I opted to keep the light stands and tripod in the car!

We started with some test shots and walked a ways down the shoreline when our brave trashee model noted the rain coming across the Lake. I saw clouds across the Lake and mentioned it would add a nice touch to the sky when I noticed what she was talking about. You could literally see the storm front’s edge as the calm water in front of us was quickly turned to splashing ripples of rain. I got cameras in the bag and threw the top closed as the wave of rainfall swept up the beach and soaked us and everything uncovered. Didn’t quite expect we’d be getting pretty trashed by weather while trashing a dress.

The sudden rain stopped as quickly as it arrived and the rest of the afternoon was dry and the sunset evening’s sky was filled with dramatic clouds.

Dune grass trash the dress

It wouldn’t be a summer Saturday night if I wasn’t skimming photos and posting a favorite before bedtime! Enjoy! (Many more to come!)