Dederich Family | A Playful Summer Family Session | Vesper, Wisconsin

Dederich Family | A Playful Summer Family Session | Vesper, Wisconsin

I know I haven't advertised it a lot, but I have decided to start doing more family and newborn portrait sessions! Over the years I've done a few here and there, but I have finally found what I want to do and that is lifestyle family portrait sessions and in-home newborn portrait sessions!

Last weekend I went up to hang out with my family for a birthday celebration for my niece and nephew, and as we usually do we take a quick 20 minutes to take some portraits which is usually just 20 minutes of my brother and sister-in-law playing and having fun with the kids! That is exactly what I think these portrait sessions should be about :) Real moments, real life, and really fun!

To celebrate offering more portrait sessions I am doing a mini portrait session day on August 12th at a park in Madison! I still have some spots left for these fun 20 minute sessions starting after 4:30pm just shoot me an email at jen@jendederich.com for more info! And even though we just started summer now is the time to think about booking a fall family portrait session! Time flies once the leaves change and my calendar fills up fast! Also, if you know of anyone having a baby that wants those precious moments as a newborn captured, I come right to their house so you can be all comfy and cozy and stress free with your new little one.

Mollie + Steve | Springtime Downtown Madison Engagement Session | Madison, WI

Mollie + Steve | Springtime Downtown Madison Engagement Session | Madison, WI

Since it's almost the official start of summer with Memorial Day, I thought I should take a second and do a quick feature with some gorgeous spring images! Luckily I had a super cute couple, Mollie and Steve, who wanted to go to all of the Madison hot spots for their engagement session a couple weeks ago! My favorites are definitely from the UW-Arboretum with all of the beautiful blossoms :)

TIPS FOR A RELAXING DAY GETTING READY FOR YOUR WEDDING.

TIPS FOR A RELAXING DAY GETTING READY FOR YOUR WEDDING.

You've spent months and months planning for this day and now it's finally here! You're excited, nervous, and going over every detail in your head making sure you didn't forget anything but is there a way that you can avoid all of that stress and nervousness? If there is any part of the wedding that is going to run late it's going to be the getting ready or setup. I'm going to share some helpful tips that will hopefully make your wedding day stress free and stay on time!

  • Hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator

I know you're already spending a lot of money on this day and you have to be smart where you spend your money, but when there are a million decisions to be made and last minute details to set up why not have a professional there to handle all of that for you? Your wedding day is also an experience that you don't want your friends and family to miss! If your mom is helping to set up the ceremony site she might be late to help you get dressed in your gown and that could mean less time for beautiful portraits later. Please don't let anything get in the way of you relaxing with a mimosa while your hair and makeup gets done :)

  • Plan extra time for hair and make-up for you and your ladies

What can throw off your entire schedule? Hair and make-up! Ladies, we all know how long it takes to get ready for a night out, lets be realistic and assume that a wedding day will take just a bit longer. I like to pad the getting ready schedule with a little extra time but I also like to tell the girls that they need to be ready by 1:00 when really I need them ready by 1:15 and somehow we always need that little time buffer. This works great for the family portraits part of the day as well!

  • Have all of your details ready for when your photographer arrives

One super easy thing you can do is to set out all of your details for your photographer before they arrive! I always start the day by photographing your dress, shoes, jewelry, flowers, etc and if I can grab everything at once and not have to interrupt while your make-up artist is applying mascara or your planner is helping to find the groomsmen lost pants (yes, this does happen) the getting ready will just flow seamlessly and on time. Haha if you haven't noticed, I'm a fan of keeping the day on schedule :)

  • Schedule time to eat lunch

Lets be real, everybody gets hangry now and then, and when you're nervous and stressed that can get even worse! I know your stomach is full of butterflies, but please take a minute to eat a sandwich and drink a bottle of water before you get in your dress! You might not feel hungry, but when you accidentally don't eat your dinner because you're having so much fun catching up with your guests, you'll be thankful that you've at least had lunch!

  • Keep your getting ready space clean of clutter

It sounds trivial and like that's not really capturing the "real" wedding day and what happened, but do you really want to be looking back on these pictures with your kids and them seeing your hot pink panties and bottle of wine in the corner as your getting in your wedding dress? That is one of the parts of the day that it's okay to pretend that everything was "picture perfect" and people don't need to see the pile of curling irons and make-up bags on the other side of the room.

  • Write a special note to your future spouse

Getting ready to day "I do" is a whirlwind of events! How awesome would it be to take a few minutes to yourself to relax, take a few deep breaths, and read a little note from the person you're going to marry in a few hours?! Maybe you tell each other how much you love them, maybe you tell them a funny joke to relax, or maybe you tell them what you're looking forward to on the honeymoon (don't worry, I don't read it or judge) but I've found that little time always calms and grounds my couples when nerves and stress starts to rise.

I've learned a lot of things after photographing 125+ weddings, and I know that things don't always go as planned, and problems may happen, but with a little planning and preparation you can minimize your stress and focus on the only important thing which is getting married!

A Cozy In Home Session | Madison, Wisconsin

A Cozy In Home Session | Madison, Wisconsin

Wedding trends come and go, but there is one trend in the photography industry that I hope will always be here and that is in home sessions! Who doesn't want to get all cuddled up and cozy in your home?! And if you're worried that your home isn't photogenic or perfectly styled, rent an Airbnb for the night! That way you get a little staycation as well :)

Why have I been so quiet on social media lately?

Why have I been so quiet on social media lately?

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Hi friends! I'm sure some of you have noticed that I kind of dropped off the face of the earth as far as social media goes. Yes, winter is naturally my down time for my business, but to be honest I just haven't had any desire to post anything! Haha well, that's not something terribly new for me, I've said it before how I'm really not a huge fan of sharing my life online, but that's been especially true lately!

I've been taking a step back because my life was turned upside down this past December. The man that I had hoped and planed to spend the rest of my life with was supposed to be finishing up his battle with one disease only to be diagnosed with a new one that we were told was terminal. Not something you expect to hear and have to deal with in your early thirties! So, needless to say my priorities had shifted a bit and I've been focusing my thoughts, time, and energy elsewhere. Fast forward through a second opinion which led to more tests and now a different diagnosis which will hopefully prove to be correct when he goes in to remission after treatment!! What does this all mean? Why am I finally sharing about it? What have I learned?

First, people are what matters! Thinking that I would only have him in my life a short while longer just made me want to spend every moment possible together and have as many experiences together as possible! Along with that, you need people to get through life with! One afternoon after we first found about all of this I was sitting in a coffee shop with a good friend and we both ended up crying, not able to talk, having to type messages to each other, all the while I'm picking at my lettuce hoping that it'll help me to stop crying. Guys, as great as lettuce is at helping you cope, people are much better :)

As self serving as this may sound, I really have a new appreciation for having pictures of us! Trust me, I am the last person who wants a picture of myself, but suddenly none of that mattered anymore and it meant so much to have those moments to look back on! Take the time, make the effort, spend the money on professional portraits, because honestly they will become some of the most valuable things you have!

Lastly, I know we hear it all of the time, but I'm going to say it again because it's important, and that please do not take time or your health for granted! You honestly never know when something may happen. Also, please just remember to always approach people or situations with kindness! You never know what someone may be going through or dealing with and the simple act of kindness and understanding may be just the thing they need to help them get through their day!

I know this post may seem a bit random, but I felt that I need to explain a bit of what's been going on before I jump back in to normal life. I know the points I made earlier seem a little scattered and short, but I could go on for days about all of these thoughts and more! So, my goal was to just explain why I took a bit of a step back and maybe remind you to be grateful for what you have, appreciate the people in your life, and to just always start with kindness!

Photo credit: April Zelenka