Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography

Jarrod | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

Today’s featured senior is Jarrod! I met up with Jarrod for a senior portrait session in and around the Chippewa Falls area.

Jarrod opted not to have a meet and greet ahead of our senior portrait session, so I met him for the first time on the day of the shoot.  I loved getting to spend time with him and get to know him. For a gentleman who didn’t really want to take pictures – he rocked his session and had some great portraits created.

Chippewa Falls Senior Photography

Every senior and every senior session is different. So we took our time wandering around Chippewa Falls taking pictures. These portraits ranged from more serious pictures to some more fun shots, where Jarrod’s smile really lit up the whole image. Jarrod also admitted having a senior session was more fun than he thought it would be. As a senior photographer, that’s always my goal! I want you to have fun during your photography session!

Jarrod says the most enjoyable thing about high school was being able to hang out with his friends. While growing up, he wanted to be a pilot because he thought that would be cool. But now, he is working towards a career in architecture or mechanical engineering. He likes to design things and see them built. He plans to attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering here in Wisconsin in pursuit of that goal.

While his favorite color is black, he wore a few different colors during his portrait session as well as a sharp white button down for a more professional look.

Thank you, Jarrod, for asking me to be your senior portrait photographer. I am sure you’ll build and design great things in your future and I wish you the best of luck at MSOE!

Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography Chippewa Falls Senior Portraits Andrew Samplawski Photography

Schedule your Senior Session Today!

Make sure that your senior portraits are a reflection of you! As a Midwest high school senior, this exciting time in your life should be preserved for years to come. If you’d like to schedule your own senior session, make sure to contact me and we can talk about how to make your senior photography session as unique as you are. Sessions book quickly, so don’t delay to make sure you can get your portrait session done in time for the holidays!

Now Jade Resort Destination Wedding Andrew Samplawski Photography

Tiffini and Dan Destination Wedding

 

Tiffini and Dan were married on April 16th in an amazing destination wedding at Now Jade Resort in Riviera Cancun, Mexico. I was lucky enough to be the wedding photographer for not only their destination wedding in Mexico, but also their second wedding reception for friends and family back here in Wisconsin at the Skyline Golf Course in Black River Falls. I consider it both an honor and a privilege to photograph these amazing events for this great couple.

Now Jade Resort Destination Wedding in Mexico

The wonderful thing about destination weddings is the fact that you can get married in paradise, surrounded by gorgeous landscapes and magnificent vistas. The same was true for Tiffini and Dan’s destination wedding at the Now Jade Resort in Riviera Cancun. The day was gorgeous with a light breeze off the Gulf of Mexico and the tropical sun was shining brightly.

On the day of the wedding, Tiffini had her hair and makeup done at the salon right on site at the resort. Her up-do was absolutely beautiful. Meanwhile, Dan was spending time with the groomsmen that morning. The previous evening, Dan and the groomsmen had a gift-opening ceremony. He had gifted each of the gentlemen a handsome watch, socks, and matching ties.

Getting ready for the day with the bridesmaids was a special time for Tiffini. She was so happy to be surrounded by these important women in her life who had travelled so far to be a part of her special day. Her stepmother, Tina, helped her get into her stunning wedding gown.

Dan and Tiffini did a first look out on the beach in a secluded area with an awe-inspiring view of the coastline. Tiffini came up behind Dan and when he turned to see his beautiful bride, his whole face lit up. The first look allowed them to spend some quiet time alone together, just enjoying the spectacular scenery and preparing for the day to come.

After some wedding portraits, we went back to the lobby to cool off. The lobby of the Now Jade was simple in its elegance and made a great backdrop for family portraits. After portaits were done, we had a pre- ceremony cocktail hour featuring the bride and groom’s signature cocktail: Mini Beer Shots! A Mini Beer is just that- a shot that looks like a miniature beer. It’s made with Licor 43, a smooth Spanish liqueur comprised of 43 secret ingredients. Then, it’s finished with a dash of cream to add the foamy head. It was such a fun choice for their party! Read more

Stonebrooke Golf Club Wedding Andrew Samplawski Photography

Tyler & Bryce Wedding

 

Tyler and Bryce were married on May 26 with a ceremony and reception at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee, Minnesota.

Tyler and Bryce’s Stonebrooke Golf Club Wedding

One of the great things about a wedding venue like Stonebrook Golf Club is that you can have all the wedding day activities at the same place. That was true for Tyler and Bryce’s late spring wedding. They had their ceremony, cocktail hour, portraits and reception all on site at the golf club. The day began with the wedding party getting ready. Tyler and Bryce showed up ready to rock and roll in their stylish suits from Men’s Warehouse. One of the things I love when photographing same sex weddings is the variation in the wedding parties.  Whether a maid of honor or a man of honor, it’s all about love. That was true for this wedding party– it was a mix of guys and girls, and they all had one thing in common: they adored Bryce and Tyler.

Stonebrooke Golf Club is a gorgeous venue. Since it is both a wedding venue and a high-end golf course, there were strict restrictions about where on the course we could go. But the landscaping and gardens were gorgeous, offering us a beautiful backdrop for formal wedding portraits with the wedding party and the grooms’ families ahead of the ceremony. From the brightly colored florals to the stone patios and outdoor fireplaces, there were plenty of beautiful backdrops for wedding photography. And, of course, the rolling green of the golf course was present as well!

Their ceremony took place outside near a waterfall. It was a lovely little spot for a ceremony with the beautiful water flowing over rocks. It was warm, but overall it was a beautiful Minnesota spring day. Tyler and Bryce had a simple, heartfelt ceremony with their friend, Amber marrying them. They greeted guests inside with cocktail hour. The flowers from Shakopee Floral were gorgeous. And the cupcakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes were moist and delicious. During dinner, the toasts were awesome. You can tell that Anna, Nikko and Jacky had so much love for the grooms! Since I hadn’t had the chance to spend a lot of time with Tyler and Bryce before the wedding, it was very special to hear the words of love and congratulations that their friends and family shared. Read more

Wedding Bling Andrew Samplawski Photography

All about that Bling

All about that Bling | Capturing the Symbol of Love

As a wedding photographer, one of my favorite things to photograph are the rings. Capturing this symbol of love and commitment is so powerful. Every set of rings, like every love story is different. Blue Nile Diamonds have been working towards streamlining the process of designing and purchasing an engagement ring as unique as your love. Once you have that ring, what’s the best way to preserve it in photography? In this post, I wanted to share some best practices on how to be prepared to show off your engagement rings and wedding jewelry during engagement sessions and your wedding photography.

Sparkle and Shine

There are so many clichés when it comes to talking about diamonds. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Diamonds are forever. Diamonds have become a symbol of light, of purity, of endurance. Wearing a diamond continues to be a symbol of commitment and love. In recent years, the diamond industry has fallen on criticism of how diamonds are mined and obtained. This has brought about an evolution of additional gemstones, synthetic diamonds and other ways to display love. No matter what kind of stone is in your ring, including your wedding jewelry in your engagement sessions and wedding photography are very important to me!

How to Showcase your Bling:  Engagement Tips

Engagement sessions are such a sweet time for couples. Your love shines through in every smile. And, of course, that new engagement ring shines, too! During an engagement session, I try to make sure to capture shots of your engagement ring in a candid and unobtrusive way.

  • When you’re both holding hands as you walk, catching that hint of sparkle.
  • As you kiss, your hand upon your partner’s shoulder.
  • During your poses, I try to make sure that ring is visible.

Engagement sessions are a way to have fun and for me to get to know you as a couple, so I always enjoy these sessions. When it comes to jewelry, I encourage couples to wear the accessories they usually would. If a bride-to-be wears additional rings on her hand, she should continue to do so! There’s no need to be too fussy.  For engagement sessions, I love when my couples can just relax and be themselves.

How to Showcase your Bling: Wedding Day Tips

On the wedding day itself, the ring shots are so important to include  Because of that, make sure to be prepared!

Be Prepared!

When couples are prepared, it makes photographing the rings and the details a breeze!  Here are some tips towards being prepared. Ideally, the detail shots will be captured while the bride and bridesmaids are still getting hair and makeup done.

  • Get your rings cleaned before the big day. A good rule of thumb is to ask the jeweler to clean the engagement ring when you pick up your bands. Make sure that stone shines as brightly as your smile!
  • Have your engagement ring, wedding band, and husband’s wedding band together. Make sure to designate one of your wedding party to hold onto them. Put that Best Man or Maid of Honor to work!
  • Make sure the rings, the bride’s shoes, the bridal gown and any accessories the bride and groom will wear are together. This makes for awesome pictures.
  • If you like, include copies of wedding stationery: the invitation, RSVP, any other interesting paper that was meaningful to you—especially fun if it all supports your theme.
  • Make sure anything else important to you, your day or your story are handed over to the photographer. You’ll get it all back—promise!

These images don’t take long if everything is ready ahead of time! The ring photographs are a wonderful way to add personality to your wedding images. I love tying in details that are unique to the couple, so the result is that no two ring images are the same. Whether the rings highlight an important psalm or prayer, nestle into your wedding bouquet or complement your shoes, these photographs are all based on my couple’s wedding day style.

A Symbol of Love

However you show your love and commitment to each other, make sure it is included in your wedding photography. Whether the stone on your engagement ring is amber, emerald, diamond, ruby, amethyst, sapphire or opal, the fact that it is a part of your love story is the most important thing. Make sure it is captured in your wedding images.

Wedding Bling Andrew Samplawski Photography Read more

Tips for Taking a Killer Selfie

tips for a killer selfie andrew samplawski photography

Summer is just around the corner. Some would say that Memorial Day is the first day of the official summer season here in Wisconsin. But if there’s one thing I can say, is that Memorial Day is the kickoff of selfie season! With lazy summer days at the lake and exciting vacations around the world ahead, now is the prime time of year for Facebook and Instagram to be loaded with selfies. In honor of unofficial Selfie Season, here are my five top tips for taking a killer selfie.

Taking a Killer Selfie: 

Tip 1: Good Lighting

Make sure you double check yourself when taking a selfie. To get the best selfie, you need to watch your lighting. Let’s face it- the blue glow from your phone’s screen does nothing to bring out your complexion. Celebrities who take selfies constantly know where the best light is! Natural, outdoor light is best for selfies. Find a window if you’re inside, or when you’re outside find a shady space with indirect light.  Try not to look straight up towards your light source because it might make you squint unnaturally. 

Pro tip:  If you’re really looking to elevate your selfie lighting, you might want to consider using a ring light, like the YouTube and Instagram super stars! Read more

Preserve Photos Andrew Samplawski Photography

Preserve Your Photos

Lately, I’ve been giving advice for how to prepare and what to do for photography sessions, but this time, I’d like to speak to what happens after. When you get those pictures from your portrait session, after the initial excitement of seeing everything, what do you do to preserve those images so you can still look back on them for years to come?

Preserve your Images in Albums or Scrapbooks

One of the most obvious answers to how to preserve your images is to have an album or scrapbook made. This way, you have physical copies of the pictures that will last beyond any technology or online database that might run out of storage or go out of operation. After all, remember floppy discs? Physical albums are a tried and true method.

Preserve your Images in Wall Art or Frames

Another obvious answer is to get your photos printed out and put in picture frames or made into wall art. This is especially true for those family pictures, those senior portraits—the images you want to hang up for a daily reminder of the unity and love in your home. Again, since these are physical copies, these will outlast tech that might go out of date. I’ve spoken about wall art before, so if you’re looking for advice on how to find the right image size for your living room, hallway, or bedroom, you can check out that blog post as well. Read more

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!

 

Enchanted barn wedding andrew samplawski photography

Emily & Joe | Enchanted Barn Wedding

Enchanted barn wedding andrew samplawski photography

Emily and Joe were married on January 5 with a ceremony and reception at the Enchanted Barn in Hillsdale, Wisconsin.

A Winter Wedding at the Enchanted Barn

Arriving the morning of the wedding, my second shooter, Jeff and I arrived at the Enchanted Barn to find the ladies getting their hair and makeup finished by Jade from Touch of Class Salon in Cornell, Wisconsin.  Emily started out the day a little nervous, but when her nerves were calmed, it was a pretty good morning! Some mimosas were mixed, and the wedding party enjoyed some pre-wedding snacks.  The guys were already dressed when we arrived. They got ready at the Grand Shanty, right on the property, making it easy for the gentlemen to get dressed. Read more

Chippewa Falls senior portraits andrew samplawski photography

Adam | Chippewa Falls Senior Session

Chippewa Falls senior portraits andrew samplawski photography

I always enjoy it when my senior session are willing to put themselves out there and get adventurous with their senior pictures, and that was certainly the case with Adam, a high school senior at nearby Stanley Boyd High School.

Adam was more than willing to explore some new locations with me in the Chippewa Falls area, which meant that we were able to get a good variety of looks for his pictures. We got some great shots in a back alley and with the urban feeling of the city while also catching a few more natural backgrounds.

But my favorite part was when we headed back to the studio to get some extreme sports shots. Adam plays football for Stanley Boyd, so you can usually find him weight training in the gym to prep for big wins, and it was important that we captured this aspect of his life. It was awesome to see how easily he transitioned from student to athlete in pictures.

Adam pulled off some great action poses and put on his game face—literally—with some face paint. Complete with a helmet and football, Adam looked the part of an extreme sportsman. We were able to create a collage of all the epic images that I think looks like something right out of a sports movie poster. I think it fits right in with the photo collages they do for the Super Bowl! Maybe in a few years, we’ll see Adam out there. Playing for the Packers, of course.

Adam, thanks for an awesome senior photoshoot! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Read more