Those Things We Tend to Forget ~ Wisconsin Wedding Photographer

I fancy myself a bit of a yarn-spinner.
A storyteller.
A writer, on good days.....though I hesitate to put that out there, lest one think I think far too much of myself.

But, photographing weddings is all about telling a story....even if you're a pretty traditional shooter who still focuses closely on controlled portraits....you're still creating a narrative.

When I approach a wedding, I'm always scanning. Even if it looks like I'm just hanging out in a corner with my head lost in a dream (I get that look a lot)....I'm scanning. I'm hunting down my next narrative.

The things we tend to forget. 
 

There about a bajillion little moments, little things, little nuances, little glances in a wedding day. Seriously. A. BAJILLION. This is why I toot the horn of any working photographer who has the jublies to take on a wedding because it is a crazy, fast-moving-train of a story that you are being tasked with capturing the entirety of. 

To get to the point where you are actively crafting a STORY with intent and authenticity......that's where every wedding photographer with any heart for their work wants to end up. 

They want the magic powers to catch the things we tend to forget.
 

If I can catch your new husband giving you a wink across the room.....if I can catch Grandma grabbing your hand and squeezing...if I can catch an outpouring of pure joy,I just won the lottery. Not that I know what that's like, exactly, because I avoid the lottery like a plague of locusts, but I can imagine it's probably pretty exhilarating if you win big.

Every single time I am lucky enough to freeze those moments for ever and ever? Damn, even now I get so excited. I get home and I look at those pictures and I just think......there's a story there.

I feel like I was just let in on a secret. It's so humbling sometimes I can't really wrap my head around how lucky I am. I got let in on the secret and I was entrusted to carve it into the history of my clients.

Damn.

You may not remember what color the dress was that your mother wore to your wedding.
You may not recall exactly what the weather was like when you woke up that morning or how it felt to take that first spin on the dance floor. 

These are the things we tend to forget.

I realized quickly that my job on the day of your wedding is to always be ON IT.  On the story, like a voracious journalist. 

I may feel, some days, that calling myself a storyteller is awful presumptuous. As if I'm up there with some literary giant.

But writers come in all strengths, sizes, and disciplines. 

I'm catching those things we tend to forget, and to kinda quote Josie Gross-ie's sassy office pal Cynthia in Never Been Kissed, "Damn girl, you ARE a writer". 

Fractured Thoughts.

'Member when I used to do these every week?
"Oh yeah, I 'member"

What was WRONG with me?

Anyways....let's get to it....

(There be affiliate links yonder) 

Currently Spinning: Hamilton (natch). I've been really enjoying The Pretty Reckless when I've caught them on the radio. I kind of passed them off as cheeseball chick-rock trying to exploit their very good-looking former child star lead singer. But.....I enjoy them. I'll own up to it. 

Currently Reading: I read quite a bit this past 30-40 days, which is WEIRD considering how busy I've been. I read Janesville: An American Story, which was FASCINATING being that I live in Rock County and knew a lot of the major players in the story. Tried to read Girl Code. It sucked and further solidified my "side-eye" at the whole "Girlpreneur" movement that is crawling it's sparkly, stark white way out of the crevices of social media. 

I'm a "girl" (though I prefer woman. Lady even. Chick sometimes). 
I run a business. 
But I cannot identify with a large majority of the big "social media influencers" in my market.  I just cannot. Even though it's what I'm supposed to do. 
So, I sent the book to a friend. For free. Maybe passing it on will help. 

Right now I'm making my way through You've Got a Book in You by Elizabeth Sims to....I dunno...see if I've got a book in me.

Currently Watching: Not a damn thing. I guess that's why I've had more room to read. I haven't been really watching anything.  I did catch a REALLY good documentary on Netflix about MLM's called Betting on Zero. 


- I've been doing a LOT of writing in the last few months. Some for blogs for money and some for myself for....I dunno. Myself. My notebook budget is going through the roof. I definitely have a notebook addiction issue. 

- We are still camping out in the in-law's basement.
  We still have no hole in the ground on our land.
  No, I don't want to talk about it.

- I did three double header weekends in a row in June. I'm WIPED. Seriously, I need to take up regular massages or something. I'm coming to the realization that 40 is just around the corner and my joints are starting to feel prematurely creaky. I also went to the doctor and she told me I have high blood sugar and high cholesterol and I need to stop eating so many carbs. Which pretty much eliminates my entire diet. So there's that. Getting older sucks. 

Proof of my on-coming elderly status? I tried to add Snapchat to my phone.....and after being on it for all of about 3 minutes...I promptly deleted it. Damn fool kids and their chatty snaps.

- Hit up several antique shops in the area over the last month....my biggest "score" being three early 1900 LM Montgomery books. They were just SITTING THERE....waiting for me. 

- Bridget is now a walker/semi-runner......and can say several words like Hi, Dada, 'Nack (snack), Bye Bye....but not Mama.....because she's a goober.

- The husband and I bought a table and chalk painted it. Just give me my own HGTV show already.

- I sat out fireworks on the 4th and instead stayed "home" (read: in-laws home) and watched America: The Story of Us, which is always incredible. 

- Celebrated 11 years of marriage with the husband with a lovely dinner out in Madison and one too many cocktails. (Again. Old.)

- DUUUUDE. THE NEW DOCTOR IS A CHICK!!!!!!! (Not a girl. A WOMAN.)
I'm not mad at it.
I'm intrigued. 
As the husband said "At least she's hot"
He would say that. Men.

Coming up: More weddings, of course. Seniors are BLOWIN. UP. Like, insanity. Pure insanity. No complaints here, it's what I've been working towards for years.

The Christmas in July Sale is STILL going on and you can save 50% off portrait sessions until July 31st.  Grab your voucher HERE 

I'm also hosting a beginner's photography workshop called Newbie U at the studio on September 10th. Grab one of the remaining 4 seats HERE 


Now, look at pictures of my kids. For fun. :) Yeah...it's a bit Bridget heavy....but coming up on 10, Betty has been a bit "meh" about the camera as of late and Molly is still nearly impossible to freeze mid-craze. 

A House That Built Me.

Duuuuuudddde.....I just semi-quoted a lame country song.

I'm getting all saccharine over here folks. Some things just do that to me. Like thinking about my babies not being babies anymore. Like Dusty Springfield songs. Like super-special TV episodes. 

Like my grandmother's house. 

The house is for sale right now, and when I discovered that there was an Open House planned for this weekend, I sent out the family bat-signal...hoping to reach Lowreys far and wide who may have wanted to join me for a final tour/goodbye/so long/and farewell to the house that built so many of us.

Walking in I knew the house had greatly changed. Someone had purchased it as a rental unit and it had been through some hard times.

 I walked in just waiting....straining....wanting so badly to hear the sounds so familiar to me for years: the crash of the screen door against the frame, the "click-click" of their Schnauzer Muffin's claws as he ran to the door, barking that high-pitched bark. "Hellloooooo!......" A hug....the smell of Grandma's detergent......the smell of coffee....the smell of THERE.

It was all too quiet.
The house didn't smell like it used to.

I never lived here, but I feel like this house raised me. I feel like the people within it's walls at any given time were my people....my base. I feel like whenever I would walk in and sink into Grandma's scratchy couch.....or curl up on their red living-room carpet (Yes. RED.).....I truly understood HOME. That feeling of belonging. I feel like I've been chasing that Red-Carpet-Curled-Up-Feeling ever since.

Whoever had been here since 2004 (when Grams and Gramps moved to their condo) didn't know that. They saw walls....floors...maybe too little closet space and a basement that probably could have used some updating.

Her drawer liners are still there.
Her stove is still there.
His workshop is still there.
Pieces of them, scattered throughout the place....

The wood floors could tell you so many stories. 
The old, proverbial "if these walls could talk"
My aunt, my uncle, my mother, my brother....we all came in and the volume rose instantly....just like it did then. Our voices echoing around the empty rooms. 

The house is so much smaller than I remember.
So much smaller than my memories, my stories, my childhood.
How could such little square footage contain so much?
There wasn't a stitch of furniture in the place.....I knew where everything was. Where everything belonged.
 

The linen closet where Grams stuffed years of mismatched towels and fitted sheets.
The pantry where she kept all of her canned goods in the basement.
The counter where she once cut her finger on an aluminum foil package edge and had to go get a tetanus shot.
I remember it like it was happening in front of me. It was one of the first times I realized Grams was vulnerable.
Grams was real.
Grams wasn't always going to be safe.
Funny what we remember.
What stays with us.

We stayed far longer than the realtor probably wanted us to.
We told stories.
We laughed.
We sighed.
We wondered what they would be thinking. 
(I remarked "Grams would shit if she saw this." Always so poetic, eh?) 


This house. The people it held. The stories it tells. The backdrop it served for countless memories. It built me. Piece by piece. 

A lump in my throat, I still walked away today with a smile....feeling fortunate to have something so wonderful to miss so badly. Some people never get that....ever.

“Houses are like people - some you like and some you don't like - and once in a while there is one you love.” 
 - LM Montgomery