Nicole & Jack’s St. John Military Academy Ceremony and Legend at Brandybrook Wedding Photography!


Nicole and Jack had a wonderful wedding day surrounded by all those that love them most.  It started at The Delafield Hotel, carried on to St. John Military Academy and culminated at the always gorgeous Legend at Brandybrook.  Through this experience, Nicole and Jack learned that when planning a wedding, “be prepared to spend lots of time on preparation!”  Armed with this knowledge, they were able to sit back and enjoy their wedding day knowing all the details were covered.

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Beautiful Wedding at the Madison Masonic Center in July – Jane and Brian


Jane and Brian hoped for and received a memorable gorgeous day for their wedding.  They invited only those that meant the most to them to share in this intimate experience.  Given the freedom to interpret not only their day but all the most precious relationships they have was not only an honor but also a blast!

Enjoy the results!

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Kate & Vance – The Perfect Blend of Pretty and Gritty – Milwaukee Engagement Portrait


Kate and Vance are the rare couple who are as nice as they are fair as they are genuine.  We met in the 5th Ward at a secret location that is now obsolete (it’s being developed as we speak).

Kate is used to being the subject of attention, having been a dancer nearly her whole life.  Vance has not been a dancer his whole life, but he found his comfort in Kate’s loving gaze and wry smile.  Honestly, it was like they were in their own little momentary world.

To see Kate and Vance on their wedding day, click here!

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Avoid Confusion – Make Sure You Ask the Right Questions at the Right Time


Our friends at really hit the nail on the head with this article about the importance of planning prior to a session.  Just a few key questions can mean the difference between missing and maximizing an opportunity.

Planning for your photography session can seem overwhelming.  There are so many factors that can influence your end result and are worth consideration prior to your shoot. And while your photographer can remain fluid and flexible with respect to timing and location, and session structure, it is helpful if you – the client – considers your goals and planning points.

Your session should be relaxed and fun, but keep in mind that it is an investment, and an important one that perhaps you’ve been saving for.  With a little bit of extra thought and planning, you can be assured you are more than satisfied (and perhaps a little amazed!) with the final results!

When planning your session, think about these 4 key “W” questions:
1. When (time of year),
2. Where (beach, city, park, meadow, home),
3. What time (time of day)
4. What to wear (casual, traditional, preppy, trendy, etc.)

And while you nail down those basic planning elements, take a step back and think about what you will DO with your images.  Do you plan to:
• Create a keepsake album or coffee table book?
• Display images on your walls, and if so, to what size… will they be framed or canvases?
• Give gift prints?
• Share the images online and use in your personal photobooks and slideshows?

Once you’ve thought through those items, you will want to consider your family’s personality, your style, and the decor of your home.
• What type of family are you (sporty, preppy, beachy, traditional, casual)?
• Which room(s) are you most likely to display your images (foyer, family room, hallway/staircase, living room, bedroom)?
• What is the style, decor and color of that area (warm, cool, formal, modern, beachy, cottage, traditional)?

 Next, describe your dream images – if you could have 5 images come out of your session, what would they look like?

 Armed with these answers, regroup with your photographer and communicate your vision.  Together you can come up with a game plan that will ensure you are on the same page and allow your photographer to deliver the type of images you have always dreamed of having for your home.  Additionally, once you view your gallery, you are not arbitrarily looking at images, but instead selecting them with your specific goals in mind.

 To make sense of this, consider viewing a gallery in two scenarios:

1. Without Session Planning: “Huh, well, I like the family ones, but they are cropped tight and you can’t see the landscape and I think it will look funny over the beach house fireplace… plus, our  winter, formal clothes don’t match the beachy decor.”

2. With Session Planning:  ”Awesome, this is exactly what we wanted for the focal point wall gallery in the family room.  I love it!  The beach backdrop, the colors and our outfits are exactly what I had in mind when I thought of a story-telling canvas collection for above the fireplace.”

Remember, it’s your session.  You probably don’t have time (or energy) to repeat it at this exact stage in your life, so make sure that you stack the deck in your favor the first time!  Your planning, preparation and communication will surely pay off and you will have personal art in your home that makes you smile every day, for years and years to come. Isn’t that what custom photography is all about? We think so.

~ The F Stops Here is an exclusive collection of articles by Design Aglow, designed to be used and shared by photographers. Look for this column twice monthly here on the Design Aglow Blog and feel free to grab & share on your site, blog and/or social media pages with a byline and link to

The Importance of Being Present – The Unplugged Wedding!

A wedding day is long-awaited, anticipation building for everyone with every passing month.  When the day finally arrives, make sure you experience it.  That means taking a moment to breathe, looking around at everyone that has gathered in your honor and seeing their beaming faces looking back at you.

That’s hard to do when an increasing amount of guests have cameras, phones and iPads in front of their faces.  We’ve even seen mothers of the bride shooting photos of the kiss at the end of the ceremony.  You want to remember the look in your parents eyes when you’ve just said your vows, not the make and model of their latest gadget.

And bonus, when there aren’t 10 people standing up adding to the media frenzy during your Maid of Honor’s speech, your photographer will have more freedom to get a clear shot across the room and include many more guests in the your story!

A trend that is becoming more popular is the Unplugged Wedding.  No phone, no cameras, no hash tags, no Facebook….just a real experience.  It’s  terribly rewarding!  No need to snap shots during the ceremony, just ask them to be there with you, for you. You’ve hired a professional photographer to make sure every important moment of the day is captured. Leave it to them.

And really, what are the odds you will like your friends iPhone picture better than the professionally captured, edited, and delivered hi-res version? Wouldn’t you rather have those who are dearest in the world to you intently engaged with what is going on, rather than playing with camera settings and stressing about getting a shot where your eyes aren’t closed?

Not to mention, this is one of the only days you can actually control the social media content: no unflattering angles or awkward moments in the bathroom will end up on Facebook! The first and only set of pictures will be exactly what you want the world to see – professionally composed art of you looking stunning!

Some brides have chosen to send out their wishes with their invites & programs, put a sign up at the entrance of the church & reception, have the officiant make an announcement- or all of the above! Creative brides can come up with their own unique way to implement this fun idea!