Chippewa Falls senior session andrew samplawski

Paige | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

I love doing senior sessions at Chippewa Falls, and this amazing session with Paige was no exception.

Paige goes to Chippewa Falls High School, or Chi-Hi as it’s known around here. She has plans to go to nursing school, even if she hasn’t quite decided where that will be. But the more I talked to this amazing young woman, the more I became certain that whatever school she chooses, she’s going to rock it.

She also loves the outdoors, which was perfect for this kind of senior session. We were able to journey off the beaten path to find some locations where I had never been to capture images that were pure Paige. Her sense of adventure led us to try new things, and I thoroughly enjoyed following her and capturing that zest for life.

You can tell from the images that Paige is laid back and has a sort of grace about her that’s impossible to replicate. She had an addictive smile, and I loved when she would let it out, even if she was a bit self-conscious about the braces—which I removed from these images.

Paige, thank you for being so willing to go on an adventure with me and for being a true joy to photograph. I can’t wait to see what amazing things you will do with your life.

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five reasons andrew samplawski photography

Five Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer

One of the most important things you can do when planning your wedding is to find the right photographer. While there are plenty of amateur wedding photographers out there, a pro will give you the better experience every time. In that vein, here are five reasons to go with a professional photographer.

Professional Photographers Help you Plan

Professional photographers have been in the industry for some time, doing weddings day in and day out. That means we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to planning the photography for your day. More often than not, a professional photographer knows how best to budget your time for a first look, or what the schedule will look like at favorite photography spots when you plan your portraits. Read more

chippewa falls senior session andrew samplawski photography

Vita | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

For Vita’s senior session, we headed to a nearby hidden location near the studio in Chippewa Falls so that we could capture some amazing images.

Going into the session, Vita was convinced that she wasn’t going to enjoy having her picture taken. She claimed that was wasn’t very photogenic, but I disagreed and did my utmost to try to get her to come out of her shell. After 10 minutes, she was absolutely rocking out like a supermodel for Seventeen magazine!

I was particularly proud of the fact that I was able to get her to relax enough to get her in the water, splashing around and grinning. You can’t fake the emotion for moments like that—it has to be genuine—and Vita rocked it!

In fact, Vita enjoyed herself so much that, after the session was over, she left a 5-star review:

“Senior pictures: I’m not the type that enjoys having pictures taken. But today was definitely a great experience! I was a little nervous at first, always feel awkward when other people take pictures of me – but Andrew did an AMAZING job when it came down to pulling me out of my shell. Easy to work with and definitely recommend!” – Vita N.

It always warms my heart to hear from my clients when they have a portrait session they enjoy, and this was particularly sweet because she had been so nervous going in. Thank you, Vita, for sharing your experience!

As Vita gradually relaxed and started to open up, I was also able to learn more about her. This high school senior from Thorp is a total family girl, and she especially enjoys the time she gets to spend with her nephews. Her last outfit with her sweatshirt was her grandfather’s who passed… and she also brought her grandfather’s custom made ring. Such a great touch to add to her session that means something to her. She had so much love in her heart, and it was a true joy to be around her.

Vita, thank you so much for an amazing senior session. I’m so glad that you were able to enjoy yourself, and I know you will do wonderful things in your future.

chippewa falls senior session andrew samplawski photography

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5 holiday photography tips andrew samplawski photography

5 Holiday Photography Tips for Capturing your Holiday Memories

The radio stations have already started with their holiday music. The temperatures start to dip, the nights get longer and there is a little bit of excitement in the air.  The holidays are coming! With the impending gatherings of the holiday season, it’s always nice to have a few suggestions on how best to photograph the holidays. With families coming together from far and wide, it is the perfect time to capture pictures while everyone is together, sharing in the love and warmth of this holiday season. And so, from my family to yours, here are 5 holiday photography tips for capturing your holiday memories.

Holiday Photography Tips: Capture Family Photos

There’s nothing more fun than taking advantage of the multiple generations all together at the same time. One of my favorite things to do when everyone is together is to capture big, generational shots including the whole family. Get great-grandma, grandma, mom and the youngest all together. Showcase the love of multiple generations all in one shot. Pile everyone up in front of the fireplace and get a shot of everyone together. These moments will be cherished years later when those faces in the photographs are no longer with us. A photograph is a way to freeze time, even if just a moment. Read more

chippewa falls senior session andrew samplawski photography

Tiffany | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

I met up with Tiffany for her senior session near my senior portrait studio in Chippewa Falls, and I loved how much personality she poured into our pictures.

Tiffany brought a few props to the session, one of which was the clarinet, since she is in the marching band at Chippewa Falls High School (affectionately called Chi Hi for those of us in the area). I had the honor of seeing the marching band this year during the Pure Water Days parade, and DANG, they are incredible. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such an outstanding marching band—so of course we had to capture her pride at being part of something so incredible!

She also brought her golf gear—all of it pink, from the ball to the bag. She’s an avid golfer, and it was just as important to her to capture this part of her personality as it was to get that shot of her with her clarinet. After all, she is a young woman of many talents.

Tiffany loves the country life and enjoys hanging out and just being herself, so one of my favorite images is of Tiffany out on the dock with her feet in the water. Is there anything more carefree than letting the waves lap at your feet like that?

I also loved the outfits she chose. She rocked out in style and fashion during the entire session, and it seemed like she had a different look for every facet of her personality. From the tinted sunglasses out on the dock to the pink golf outfit to the purple shirt and jeans—I really feel like the pictures we captured together showcase what an engaging young woman she is.

Tiffany, thank you for asking me to be your senior photographer. I know you’re going to do amazing things as you face your future!

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Engagement-Session tip andrew samplawsk

5 Tips for Engagement Sessions

My clients will often ask me for advice ahead of an engagement session on what they should be prepared to do and what they should expect before, during, and after the session. In fact, I get asked this often enough that I’ve decided to make a list of the 5 most important tips for a successful engagement session.

Engagement Session Tip 1: Pick a special location

Engagement sessions are always more fun when the location means something. Maybe we could go to the restaurant where you had your first date or the place where you got engaged. Or you could go with a themed location. If you’re movie-lovers, we can go to a theatre; if you’re more of an outdoorsy type, we can go out to the woods or travel along a favorite hiking path.

If you can, try to pick a location where we can do things. Action shots are always more interesting than posed shots, so any place with paths to walk on, places to sit, trees to climb, or other unique aspects that lend themselves to activities can all work well toward making your session more fun and memorable. Read more

milwaukee engagement session andrew samplawski photography

Nadia & Eric | Milwaukee Engagement Session

I met up with Nadia and Eric for an engagement session around Milwaukee and can honestly say that I enjoyed every second of this new location for me.

I’d never photographed in Milwaukee before. But, since Nadia and Eric are from the area, they already had an idea of where they wanted their photos taken before I even arrived. I love it when my couples come with a game plan. For this session in particular, it really felt like a group effort to come together and make their vision come true.

I had a blast getting to know the two of them as we explored this city that was entirely new to me. Their love for one another was amazing to see, as well as their genuine ability to have fun with each other. They love hockey, they love beer, and they love to simply enjoy the moment—my kind of couple.

One of my favorite images from the session reflects that laid-back attitude—with the two of them on the tire swing. It perfectly captures the feeling the two of them embody of knowing how to have fun and embracing the little moments. Their smiles were quick and genuine and their love was easy to document.

I always love it when my couples are willing to be lovey-dovey around each other, and as you can see from the images here, that was definitely the case with the two of them. There were so many forehead touches, cheek kisses, and nose touches that even people who haven’t met them can tell how deeply they are in love.

Nadia & Eric, thank you for asking me to be your engagement photographer and for being so willing to be my guides through Milwaukee. I truly enjoyed getting to know you both and look forward to your wedding next March in Duluth.

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Chippewa Falls senior session andew samplawski

Amanda | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

I met up with Amanda for her senior session in Chippewa Falls, a favorite secret location of mine for these sessions, and couldn’t get enough of her sense of humor and smile.

Amanda is in her senior year at Stanley Boyd High school in Stanley, WI. I love getting to work with seniors like Amanda, who make senior photos fun.

She wasn’t shy at all and had the most amazing sense of humor. No one was ever bored, and we were all laughing and enjoying ourselves. Amanda really is a senior to remember and a joy to be around, with a genuine smile that just won’t stop.

I also got to know Amanda a little better as we cruised around to some of my other favorite locations near Chippewa Falls and she told me about playing volleyball and basketball. She even made All Conference this year! This girl is going places, I’m telling you.

Of course, for as much fun as Amanda can be, she also has an incredibly sweet side. Her Grandma Marla is a critical part of her life, and she wanted to be sure to include her in her senior photos. I couldn’t say no to a request like that, especially after seeing the two of them together. Marla is a beautiful grandma and such an inspiration. The bond that they share really is something special. It’s wonderful that family plays such an important role in her life. I loved being able to see the relationship that the two of them share and to capture that in photos. It was a special moment.

Thank you, Amanda, for an unforgettable senior session! I wish you the best as you finish up at Stanley Boyd High School; you are going to do amazing things.

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minnesota family session andrew samplawski photography

Alberto, Jonna, & Maxwell | Minnesota Family Session

When Alberto asked me to do his family pictures, I was absolutely honored. He has been one of my associate photographers for 5 years, and I consider him to be a good friend as well, so that trust meant the world to me.

Alberto and Jonna have the most amazing relationship. Their connection and love has always been something that I admire about the two of them, especially because through it all, they have never stopped being each other’s best friends. They are so easy to photograph together, because they’re so real.

Their little boy, Maxwell, is 6 years old and already has big dreams. It’s something else to hear him tell stories about all of his little-boy adventures, from the start of school to the start of karate and everything in between. He has the biggest heart and most amazing personality, and watching him interact with his parents is a thing of beauty.

I loved Maxwell’s smile—especially the way that it would come out in full force when he was with his parents. They were totally up for some fun shots with their little boy, making silly poses or lying in the autumn leaves or letting him climb on them.

And the pictures of Maxwell himself are amazing as well. I especially loved the one of Maxwell with his umbrella, because of the way it pops against the fall background—though the image of Maxwell lying back in the leaves with his hands behind his head perfectly captures his personality. He’s a dreamer, and he knows how to seize the moment.

Alberto & Jonna, thank you for trusting me to take your family pictures for you. That trust means a lot to me, and I hope that you will treasure the images we captured together. Here’s a sneak peek from the family portraits!

minnesota family session andrew samplawski photography
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duluth engagement session andrew samplawski photography

Morgan & Brady | Duluth Engagement Session

I met up with Morgan and Brady in Duluth for an engagement session, and I enjoyed not only playing tour guide but photographing this hilarious couple. Morgan and Brady had never been to Duluth, but they were absolute rock stars as they ran with my suggestions for places to get some great engagement portraits. 

We had a blast all around Duluth, and I can honestly say that the two of them are a joy to be around. They complement one another and love each other unconditionally, but best of all, they weren’t afraid to be themselves, which is perfect for photography, because it makes it easier for me to capture those genuine moments and smiles. I particularly loved some of the dip pictures, because they perfectly capture that feeling.

Of course, since they are huge Green Bay Packer fans, we couldn’t pass up the chance to do some shots in their gear. Jordy Nelson is one of their favorite players, and since Brady’s last name is the same as Jordy’s, they wanted to add in a surprise to their engagement session and have a Baby Nelson’s photo to announce that they were expecting a new addition to the Nelson Family. Those are some of my favorite pictures from the session—they are both clearly over-the-moon excited, and they had a blast with the itty bitty onesie finding new ways to pose with it.

Sadly, the weather wasn’t quite as good as we might have hoped it would be. It rained on us a bit, and the sky was gray rather than blue—but when I had a couple that couldn’t stop laughing with each other and being sarcastic and hilarious, we were able to get some incredible imagery anyway.

Brady & Morgan, thank you for asking me to be your  photographer for your engagement session as well as your wedding next year! I’m so excited for you two to be married next year, and I know you’re going to be amazing parents!

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