2018 Prom Trends

Prom season is here! Prom is one of the most memorable events in the lives of high school seniors and high school juniors everywhere. In this post, I wanted to provide a guide to this year’s hottest prom trends.

Prom Dress Trends

For girls, the gown that you choose is a very important decision. Your look will be immortalized through photographs and portraits taken on that day, and those photos end up framed and displayed for years. So, it’s important to find a dress that helps you look and feel your best. You should also feel comfortable and confident, since you’ll be in the dress (and shoes) for hours as you dance the night away.  Here are some popular prom dress trends for 2018.

Illusion

One of this season’s hottest trends revolves around ILLUSION. Illusion dresses give subtle hints of skin while being totally timeless and classy. Whether a peekaboo side or a dramatic back, illusion dresses can provide timeless drama for any formal occasion. Pick from illusion designs embellished with lace apliques and crystal beading, sheer overlays, pretty keyhole cut-outs or low-cut open backs.  Keyhole backs and illusion details offer beautiful coverage, while low-cut and open backs are a bolder choice. Read more

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Danielle | North High School Senior Session

It’s no wonder that Danielle is our FEATURED senior for this week’s blog, because she absolutely rocked out her senior session.

Danielle is a senior at North High School. She has a fun, outgoing personality that made it easy for me to capture those huge smiles of hers. She’s got a great sense of humor, too. It made the session enjoyable not only for her but for me as well.

It was a gorgeous day in Chippewa Valley, with perfect weather for our senior session. The beautiful weather allowed us to really let loose and have some fun. After all, who doesn’t love getting ice cream in between heat waves? We went to Olson’s Ice Cream in the Chippewa Falls area, which was the perfect treat on a warm and sunny day.

We got a little bit of everything in this session, from the eclectic downtown landscape to the country roads and fields. Danielle absolutely rocked everything I threw at her!

Last but not least, I couldn’t blog about Danielle’s session without mentioning the fact that we got some pretty awesome images with her and her family’s Hummer. I love it when I get seniors who bring something personal to them and their families!

Danielle, thanks for an amazing session. Your epic, fun personality is the reason I wanted to feature you this week on my blog!

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Theo | Stanley High School Senior Session

 

I met up with Theo near Stanley, Wisconsin, for an epic high school senior session filled with plenty of action.

Theo wanted something special for his session, and he especially wanted to incorporate his love of football. After all, that’s his happy place: he loves to be out on the green turf and grass and to feel his cleats digging in deep. He loves the feeling of working hard for that win and of being part of a team. Basically, he loves to have a “ball” (literally and figuratively) when it comes to his football games, and that passion was definitely something I wanted on film.

Still, we started out a little more low-key. I headed to Theo’s home to shoot some pictures there before we went downtown to get some more fun photos.

But that wasn’t all. Theo is part of the launch of my new EXTREME Sports, which allows me to create one-of-a-kind collages for my sports players when they come see me for their sessions. We pulled together an epic collection of all the best sports pictures for Theo, and I’m incredibly pleased with how they turned out.

Theo, thank you for being part of my EXTREME Sports lineup and for sharing your passion for football with me. I know you’re going to keep rocking the world!

If you’re a Midwest junior or senior interested in booking a senior session with an EXTREME Sports collage, make sure to contact me to get onto the calendar! We’ll have lots of fun and get some amazing photos that you and your family can cherish for a lifetime.

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Anthony & McKenzie | Two Harbors Engagement Session

Two Harbors engagement andrew samplawski photography

I met up with Anthony and McKenzie for a fun engagement session in Two Harbors, Minnesota, before their wedding next year.

While we hung out during the session, Anthony and McKenzie told me their love story and how it related to the locations they’d chosen for their engagement session. Anthony proposed in the Grand Teton Mountains, so they wanted to have that same outdoors-y imagery in their session. Two Harbors offered the perfect rustic backdrop for their winter engagement session.

There were so many opportunities during the session to capture that feeling for them. We grabbed some family pictures with their dog before we went to a private cove off of Lake Superior, where the ice formations on the cliffs and rocks were stunning. We were then able to start a campfire and end the day in their family cabin, cozy and warm. I love when couples are creative with their engagement sessions. Not only does it make the session more personal, but it’s also great to keep my creative juices flowing.

In addition to some beautiful backdrops, I was also spoiled with a fun, competitive couple. Throughout the session, Anthony and McKenzie spent most of their time laughing with each other and trading one-liners. And of course, I couldn’t forget their jumping high-fives. These two really were up for anything, and that made the whole session not only more enjoyable for me but gave them the chance to make fond memories before their wedding.

McKenzie & Anthony, thank you for asking me to be your engagement photographer. I’m so glad that I got to hear your love story and spend time with you, and I can’t wait for your wedding next year! Read more

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Michelle & Josh | St Paul’s Church Wedding

Michelle and Josh were married on February 10 with a ceremony at St Paul’s Lutheran church in Fall Creek, and a reception at Lake Wissota Golf in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. 

Alberto and I arrived at the church to find the bride getting ready with her ladies and the groom getting ready with the guys. The bridesmaids in Michelle’s wedding party were Jackie, Jeanne, Chrissy, Kelly, and Holly. Josh’s groomsmen were Jeremy, Pendy, Dan, Nate, Chris. The wedding party also included junior usher, Corbin and junior bridesmaid, Ellie and the adorable flower girl, Bailey. Michelle’s personal attendant was Debbie. Pastor Carlton delivered the ceremony.

We had a great time hanging out with the couple as they were getting ready. Alberto and I were able to capture some candid moments of the wedding party as they prepared for the big day. Josh and Michelle chose to be traditional and elected to not see each other before the ceremony in a first look. So, during the ceremony, as Josh saw Michelle come down the aisle, he was very emotional. His tears of joy and happiness were absolutely beautiful to capture. During the ceremony, it was wonderful to hear the vows as the bride and groom professed their love to one another. The weather was gorgeous—a little chilly, but that’s the joy of our Wisconsin winters. To avoid the cold, after the ceremony, we chose to do family photos at the church.

Then, Cody Limousines arrived to pick up the wedding party to set out on an adventure for wedding party photos. The bride and groom chose to stop at Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls for some wedding party pictures and cocktails. Afterwards, we were transported to Lake Wissota Golf where we took photos around the property. We even ventured out on the frozen ice of Lake Wissota for some truly stunning images of the bride and groom. Read more

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Allison | Greenwood High School Senior Session

Greenwood High School Senior Session andrew samplawski photography

Allison, a high school senior at Greenwood High School, is set to graduate with the Class of 2018, so we headed out to the Chippewa Falls area to put together some senior photos for her.

Cross country and track is her big love, so of course we had to pay homage to that during our senior session. At the start of the session, we had a blast pushing off the block. She’s got a great energy and was up for all kinds of action poses. I love getting to capture seniors doing the things that they love, because that passion shows through so honestly.

Her style reflected that amazing energy, too. With a larger-than-life closet, I enjoyed helping her put together fun looks and outfits that not only showed off her beauty and personality but created a flair unique to her.

Even though it was pretty hot during the session, Allison toughed it out. We cruised around the city and stopped at some hidden gems that I’ve always wanted to photograph. And then once we got to the water, Allison got to have some fun and splash around. After all, when life hands you water when it’s hot and humid, why not seize the opportunity to cool off? Read more

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Kaysie | Chippewa Valley Senior Session

Chippewa Valley senior andrew samplawski photography

Kaysie is all set to dazzle the world when she graduates with the Class of 2018, but before she takes on adulthood, she took on an awesome senior session in Chippewa Valley.

We turned up some tunes and had plenty of fun during this session—and even got some hair flips out of Kaysie as she let her outgoing personality shine. She absolutely nailed it; it was hard not to grin through this session with a fun subject like her!

She had some stylish outfits that we made great use of as well. With the different backdrops available to us, it seemed like she had a look for every location, both indoors and outdoors. We got some great shots near the water that I think made her look like a model. I can’t say enough about how easy Kaysie made this session—when she’s already such a rock star, the photographs come naturally.

It was also great to have Kaysie’s family there behind the scenes. I love having my seniors bring their family, because that often means we can bring out those genuine smiles that come from being around the ones you love. It’s also a great way to keep up the energy and the love. Read more

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Jarred | North High School Senior Session

Jarred is an amazing North High School senior, and I thoroughly enjoyed our senior session. He really showed off his wide range of taste and style. He is this week’s featured senior!

We started out moving around the city in Chippewa Valley, capturing some grunge and fun. We even turned up the beats a bit to get the full effect, and Jarred nailed his pictures in that more urban atmosphere.

Then we switched gears and headed to the great outdoors, where Jarred proved that he’s not afraid to have a little fun. Some of my favorite images were from when we played in the water. He got all the way down in the water and looked like he was ready to take on the world.

Of course, it’s no surprise that Jarred was right at home in the outdoors, because he has done some amazing things in the Boy Scout program. In December, Jarred became an Eagle Scout, so we obviously had to get some pictures of him in his scout uniform both outside and back at the studio. His whole family loves the Scouts, and it’s obvious they couldn’t be prouder. It really is an accomplishment to be proud of and those lessons will carry on to many other areas in his life.

When Jarred isn’t scouting, he loves to camp and cheer on the Green Bay Packers. So we had plenty to talk about all day!

Jarred, thanks again for asking me to do your senior portraits, and thanks for being so willing to get out there to get some action shots!

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Dillion | Chippewa Valley Senior Portrait Session

Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography

When I met up with Dillon for his senior portrait session in Chippewa Valley, we put on some serious miles—both by foot and by car—to find some off-the-beaten-path locations. I love it when I get seniors who are willing to have a little adventure, because it always make the session more fun and more personal.

Chippewa Valley Senior Portraits

Dillon was pretty shy and quiet, but I was able to learn more about him as the session went on. He’s a big fan of camping and traveling—which was probably why he was willing to trek around with me to find those hidden gems for locations. And he absolutely loves his car, so we were sure to get pictures of him with it, too.

It was also obvious that Dillon’s family means the world to him and that they love and support him in return. They came to the session to help out and ended up laughing and smiling with him. It’s so nice to have family like this at my sessions, because who else can get you to open up like the people who know you and love you best?

And what family is complete without a trusty family pet? Dillon’s dog was a great addition to this session, and you could definitely see the friendship that those two have together. Read more

family photo session

Surviving a Family Photo Session

5 holiday photography tips andrew samplawski photography

Family Photo Session

Want to know how to make your next family photo session a stress free one?

Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations. Getting the family together to take those perfect portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There is usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photo session since there are members of all ages, which means that there is some extra coordination involved.

Below are some family photo session ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through.

  1. Timing is everything. If you have younger children involved in the session, try and arrange the photo session at a time when they would be well rested. A rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before as this helps with the fun and relaxation aspects of the session.
  2. Dos and don’ts of bribery. Get your family excited about the photo session instead of offering a reward in return for their cooperation. This tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people. If you do have small children coming along it’s not a bad idea to give the photographer some bribery options in the form of toys or small food items to make those difficult moments a little easier
  3. Relinquish control. As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Not having this pressure will also make you feel more relaxed.
  4. It’s not just about the posing. The best photos happen when you’re having fun so joke and play with your children, hold your significant other’s hand, give he or she a kiss on the cheek or embrace your loved one with a hug and just let the moments happen.
  5. Plan ahead. Discuss all of your requirements with your photographer beforehand so that the family photo session can just flow. Let your photographer know if you want specific pictures taken so this is already planned for to make your experience flawless and relaxing.
  6. Keep those sugar levels up. If everyone is well fed, the photo session will also run a lot smoother. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few snacks and some water along for those who might need it.

Enjoy capturing your memories to display those moments, in the walls of your home, and the walls of your heart!