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.

Dillon, thank you for letting me capture these moments for you. I loved getting to meet you and your family.

And remember, juniors and seniors, if you’re interested in booking your own senior portrait session, I would love to hear from you.  Make sure to contact me in order to book your own session. Make sure you get senior portraits that are a reflection of who you are! I can’t wait to hear from you.

Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography Chippewa Valley senior portraits andrew samplawski photography

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

stout ale house wedding andrew samplawski photography

Chelsie & Heather | Stout Ale House Wedding

Chelsie and Heather were married in a beautiful wedding this past August with a ceremony at a private location and reception at the Stout Ale House in Menomonie Wisconsin. I was so looking forward to capturing their wedding since I’d had the pleasure of documenting their engagement session earlier this year at Cottage Winery in Menomonie. These two brides were so much in love, and that love was carried through their entire day.

The brides both got ready at Chelsie’s parents’ house. Once they were both ready, we staged an emotional first look with these two beautiful ladies. Seeing them when they saw each other for the first time was absolutely beautiful. The joy when they saw each other in their stunning wedding gowns was truly palpable. Both brides’ faces were lit up with the light of their smiles. Their love is so easy to document. The way they connect was so easy and effortless.

Chelsie and Heather chose to get married at a private location filled with friends and family. It was simply gorgeous, a perfect balancing of rustic glamor. There was a pond, lush greenery and florals and stunning decoration.  I love how they used a pair of doors as the entrance to the aisle and instead of chairs, they used covered bales of hay for the guests. What a genius way to add interest to an outdoor ceremony. It was elegant, beautiful and private for the brides to say their “I Do’s.”

From there, the whole bridal party hopped into the back of a tractor to head over to the nearby pub. I love how the ladies with their bouquets were just loaded into the back. It clearly illustrates how much fun this whole bridal party was. Chelsie and Heather love to hang out at this nearby pub with friends and family. What better place to enjoy their first married drinks?

We then moved over to the reception at the Stout Ale House where the brides and their bridal party were greeted with hundreds of friends and family. The brides’ fathers gave the most heartfelt, sentimental speeches about their little girls. Everyone’s eyes misted up! As these two families joined to be one, it was so clear that the love and support that Heather and Chelsie is something very special. Two families became one in this wedding and it was such an amazing thing to capture.

The sun set and a rock star reception kicked off. Dave DeVille Entertainment had the dance floor packed all night long with music ranging from polka dancing to today’s hits. Even the little ones were out there dancing the night away.  It was such a wonderful celebration of joy for these brides.

Chelsie and Heather, thank you for allowing Alberto and I be a part of your special day. It was such a pleasure to document your love and happiness as your wedding photographers.

stout ale house wedding andrew samplawski photography Read more

monson bridge senior session andrew samplawski

Bo | Monson Bridge Senior Session

I had an awesome time hanging out with Bo during his senior session. It’s always amazing to meet up with seniors on the cusp of a whole new chapter in their lives, and Bo was no exception.

We tried to incorporate plenty of Bo’s personality and interests into the session itself, like his truck and the family collector car. He looked so relaxed and happy leaning on that car.

Bo is also really big into baseball, so we created an Extreme Sports piece for Bo with his baseball gear. We made sure to get pictures with his mitt as well as with his bat and even got a great shot of the back of his jersey. With the face paint completing the image of his game face, he looked like he was ready for the Major Leagues.

Because we did the session out at Monson Bridge, we were able to take advantage of the gorgeous location for a variety of different shots. The perfect weather meant we could make use of the water and the grass for some classic pictures, not to mention the rustic buildings for a look that suited Bo’s personality.

Bo, thank you for hanging out with me for your senior pictures. I loved getting to know you, and I hope that your last year at Owen-Withee High School is everything you want it to be.

monson bridge senior session andrew samplawski

Read more

Metropolis Skybox Wedding Andrew Samplawski Photography

Mikey & Kate | Metropolis Skybox Wedding

Mikey and Kate were married on August 26th, with a ceremony and reception at the Metropolis Skybox.

My second shooter, Jeff, and I started out the morning documenting the getting ready process. The bride and bridesmaids were at the Metropolis in the Dulce Bridal Suite, and while we were photographing them, they busted out a full-fledged pillow fight. Then, just to keep things interesting, we had to duck outside in between the rain showers to get pictures of Mikey and his groomsmen too.

After a beautiful ceremony, we moved around Eau Claire for wedding portraits. Despite the rain, Mikey and Kate were real troopers—funny and goofy the whole time—as we went around Phoenix Park and other locations. The wedding party, too, was hilarious as they photobombed pictures and enjoyed cocktails.

We headed back to Metropolis for the grand entrance and then some cake cutting—which was unlike any I’d ever seen. The cutlery wasn’t out for the cake cutting, so Kate and Mikey improvised by using their hands. It was hilarious—and delicious! Baking Memories in Menomonie really did a good job with their desserts!

I also have to praise All Occasions DJ Service for providing quality entertainment. The dance floor was constantly packed, and DJ Paul made sure to keep everyone entertained. In particular, the DJ’s scavenger hunt was hilarious. Everyone was sooo competitive, but they all managed to have a great time.

Of course, for as much fun as everyone had, there were also some truly touching moments. Kate and Mikey’s son, Brayden, played the piano with his grandma for a special song to his parents, and Kate’s brother put in a $100 bill to see the two of them dance together as he watched from the edge of the dance floor. Seeing him dance with her from his mobile wheelchair was absolutely amazing. No matter what, no limitations should stop you from what you want to do in life.

Kate & Mikey, thank you for having us be part of your special day. And thank you to the staff at the Metropolis and All Occasions DJ for an amazing day.

Metropolis Skybox Wedding Andrew Samplawski Photography

Read more

wall art andrew samplawski photography

The Appropriate Portrait Size for your Wall

With the New Year, it might be time to give your walls a new look with wall art. Here are some tips for the appropriate size portraits to decorate your home.

Appropriate Wall Art Sizes At a Glance:

Figuring out what size print to choose for your printed portraits can be overwhelming.  Size matters, at least when it comes to what hangs on the wall! It’s hard to know what frames will look too big or too small. Here is a brief run-down of the most common sizes.

  • 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10 frames are meant for tabletops or desktops.
  • 11×14 and greater are for the walls.
  • 20×30 and 30×40 are perfect above a couch, staircase, or on a larger wall.
  • Remember that adding a mat to a frame can add to its visual weight and overall size.

Read more

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.

Chippewa Falls senior session andrew samplawski Read more

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