If June said, "Hold my beer," July and August said, "Hold my whiskey."
My preferred brands of good corn likker are Jim Beam and Bird Dog, but that's irrelevant.
It seems like I was staring down the barrel of July, and I blinked and here I am thinking about pumpkin spice lattes and dusting off the flannel shirts in my closet. I'm going to go in chronological order because that's what makes the most sense, and if you make it all the way to the end you get a prize!
The month kicked off with a super-fun extended family session all the way north of WIS 48 with the five Cutsforth daughters, their parents, and all their kids! The whole family was in town for Independence Day weekend, and they collectively decided to have some updated family photos. Proud parents Leonard and Rita really wanted to include their prized Case IH Quad Trac tractor, and there was no way in heck I would say no to such a request. I met the family at their farm, Lotarock Dairy, on a sultry and sunny Saturday morning without a cloud in the sky. Images of laughter, love, and lives lived well ensued.
The following weekend, the Gundrum family stopped over with their UFOs (unstoppable flowing objects). The rest of us call them mullets. This band of badasses wanted to enter a contest for S1K Apparel, a clothing company celebrating those who are all business in the front with a party in the back. I still haven't heard if they won, but even if they didn't they got some awesome family photos out of the deal (including a shot of mama Torri flashing the cows, which might have been a joint idea). I also shotgunned my first beer.
Later that month, it was time to head over to Prairie Farm after chores and do senior photos for the ever-lovely Justyne Frisle. Her session was filled with perfect light, countless laughs, almost getting swept away by a creek, and cows. She was up for anything I suggested, and her hilarious and awesome mother Leslie tagged along to keep us all busting a gut. Best wishes at UW-Madison next year, Justyne, and no matter where life takes you, don't forget where you come from!
On a more somber note, their longtime pupper Scrappy was crossing the rainbow bridge the next day so we squeezed in a few with him, as well. Here are a few of my favorites from that sublime evening!
Later that week, I headed down to River Falls to do senior photos with Ascher Carlson. I've had some extremely talented and capable seniors, and with his second degree black belt Ascher is no exception. We did quite a few shots down in the Kinnickinnic River at Glen Park before heading downtown; I had no idea so many weapons were involved in karate, and Ascher brought an entire duffel bag full of them!
Another thing I really enjoy about senior sessions is getting to know the young men and women and finding out what kind of future they want to build for themselves. As of right now, Ascher wants to attend Arizona State University for pre-med but I know his mom wouldn't mind all that much if he stayed closer to home. (Amber, I tried.)
August started off at the beautiful Miller Dam Reservoir in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest just east of Gilman, Wisconsin with a post-COVID wedding celebration. One of my best good friends Danielle Endvick (see you in October if not sooner for kayaking) recommended me to her ultra-sweet mother-in-law for photography purposes, and despite the weather literally trying to rain on our parade we got lots of great pictures. Kare, you were a beautiful bride and I'm so happy for you and Dutch.
Side note: I love second weddings and I seem to do a lot of them. They're very laid back and I think it's such a blessing to have a second chance at everlasting love.
Aside from a couple of other shoots this summer that weren't posted out of respect for client privacy, August kept on truckin' and I found myself down in the far southeast corner of the state second shooting with Dusty Boots Photography! Not only do I love working with Katie as a friend, I respect her as a mentor and I learn more from her each time we shoot together. I give her a 14/10 if you're in that neck of the woods - she's incredibly talented and hardworking.
Rachelle and Channing got married in the beautifully restored barn at Lac Lawrann Conservancy in West Bend, and I had a great time getting to know the newlyweds and their families (including their adorable toddler, Darci) a little bit before heading westward that night.
I crashed overnight at Wildweed Holsteins and Jerseys, aka the farm operated by Frank Behling and Mara Budde. You've probably heard about Mara before. We kept up our yearly tradition of picturing some of their cattle and decided to kick it up a notch with three cows at sunrise instead of our usual two. Gotta get that good light when and where you can, even when you've had a few too many drinks the night before.
Vengeance was a perfect angel that morning, but Volatile and Super Freak were especially naughty. Volatile decided to go check out the neighbors' apple trees across the road, and much swearing and dread followed. Oh, well - you can't tell how naughty they were in the pictures, and Volatile went on to win the senior two-year-old class along with first junior and best bred-and-owned at the Wisconsin Championship Jersey Show just a couple weeks later!
Last but certainly not least, I got to collaborate on a beautiful bridal styled shoot with Hayvn at Hay River and Winnowburrow Farm on August 17th. The model, Ginger, is a friend of mine and she absolutely killed it - as did hairstylist Jayme Holden of MJ and Company Hair Parlor! We decided to go with a more boho and feminine mood for the shoot, and I'm pretty proud of how so many moving parts came together. The dress was kindly lent to us by Off the Rack Bridal World in Eau Claire. If you're in the Chippewa Valley and newly engaged, I highly recommend working with any of these incredible women-owned businesses to make your vision for your wedding day come to life.
It's been a wild summer, and if the last couple of years have been any indication this fall is going to be just as bonkers in all the right ways! We start remodeling our dairy barn on September 13th and that month has already filled up with bookings! I can't wait to share what I've got coming down the pipeline.
Catch ya on the flip side,