I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my new blog. All of the posts from this blog live over there now so hop over, redirect your blog readers and retrain your brain to come visit me there. The first post is a very personal one, too (can you find the hint above?) so you’ll want to grab a cup of coffee and relax for a little while.
See you on the other side!
Strolling around Lake Geneva and its eponymous lake on a beautiful afternoon I was struck by the constant, sweet lilt of Abbey’s laugh paired with Eric’s deeper but equally easy chuckle. Together they are clearly on that proverbial Cloud 9 – comfortable, smiley, almost giddy with love and affection. They are year-round residents of Lake Geneva and met working on the Lake’s Water Safety Patrol boats where I imagine her smile caught his attention pretty quickly. They still spend the better part of each year working together on and around the water so we had to include some boat time during their engagement session. For the shoot everything came together pretty perfectly, kind of like the two of them.
I told you they laughed and smiled easily. I love this last series of images that swing from serious to romantic to silly and back again. I think that’s how love is – all over the place, but always where you are.
Melissa & Dan are a sweet, eclectic couple that tell me their house is covered in photographic art from their wedding day that I shot back in September. I consider it high praise when clients tell me they not only love their photographs but they literally live with them in their everyday life, too. We decided to add to their collection with an alternative Ever After session that included rubble, water, and guns. Rubble and water you expected, but guns? Probably not.
Melissa’s family is an integral part of the Boxhorn Gun Club family and Dan is a talented marksman. How could I not love the fact that she shoots with a modified (pink) gun that once belonged to her grandfather or that Dan’s ammunition case is leather and personalized? (And yes, they did shoot clay tiles during the session and both made their marks.) We ended the session at a private lake where Melissa channeled the most romantic Ophelia-meets-Juliet I could imagine and truly we captured some delicate, perfectly sweet and a little sexy ever after moments.
Sarah & Patrick are two kindred spirits that see eye to eye on most things in life. They devote themselves to others in so many different ways – from coaching to teaching to literally healing people. During their engagement session last year I felt that I got to know them well enough to write such sincere and wonderful things about them, but after hearing all the things their wedding guests said about them I realized I had just scratched the surface of who they are. Their day was perfectly planned and beautifully executed but what struck me all day wasn’t how schmancy or elegant everything was (which it was, by the way) but rather that everyone was truly in the moment, supportive and glad to see these two turn themselves into a family for forever. No stress, no worries, just love and happiness and the longest cocktail hour I’ve ever photographed. Which turned out to be a sweet thing for me and all their guests as the cocktails were enjoyed outdoors where the sun was out for possibly the first time in Wisconsin since last year and it really – finally – felt like summer.
I love ending the night with just the bride and groom, alone under the stars. So much happens during a wedding day that little quiet moments like this last image are the ones we remember so vividly.
The Details ~
Andrea & Derrick already have a sweet life together, sharing their love and friendship with friends and family, including their darling little girl Ashlyn. Still, there is just something about a wedding to seal the deal that remains important to so many of us like-minded souls who love love. Of course, any wedding where everyone from the groom to the guests to the photographer gets to feel a little sand under foot at the I do moment is bound to be a great one and Andrea & Derrick’s was no exception. I knew from their flirty and fun engagement session in Milwaukee that our time in Mexico would have to stretch beyond the wedding day and some of my favorites from their destination wedding come from a sexy ocean session and from hanging out with the 20+ friends and family that traveled to the Riviera Maya to celebrate with them. Plus, there was a burro on the wedding day that, very simply, made my 2011. This is a monster post in terms of sheer images, so, if you will, imagine yourself with a mojito and nothing to do, sitting in the shade of a perfectly placed palapa roof. The ocean rumbles softly a few feet away and you’re with your best friend in the world. Now your in the right frame of mind to take in all the love and intimacy and happiness of Andrea & Derrick’s wedding week in Mexico.
Andrea made wonderfully personalized welcome gift bags for all the guests and included bright pops of color in her flowers and details. Brilliant color contrasted with bright white everywhere my camera looked as the clear turquoise of the Gulf and the sparkling blue of the resort pools caught the eye alluringly. The boutique resort Andrea & Derrick chose for the wedding went above and beyond and I adored the luxury suites where both bride and groom stayed and dressed for the day. Light and shadow constantly played out a dance on the white adobe walls of the structures while palm fronds framed nearly any view imagineable.
Into the night Andrea & Derrick toasted their new marriage with family and friends…and I felt part of something secure and lovely – a family, a promise. Andrea & Derrick – thank you for the opportunity to share in the sun and relaxation, yes, of course, but mostly for the opportunity to capture beautifully real images of the two of you wrapped up in one another, happy for the moment, excited to share a future.
2011 is turning out to be a great year in the press – or would that be on the screen? – for Heather Cook Elliott Photography. Today’s newest love comes from On To Baby, a delicious site for all things baby. I’m thrilled and a bit humbled to be a part of the On To Baby family today with the stunning images from Astella Quinn’s two week old shoot featured on the site.
On To Baby features great photography but also wonderful nursery and shower ideas. I’ve been checking them out for inspiration both professional and personal. And then earlier this year one of my favorite inspiration sites, Style Me Pretty featured the lovely rustic chic wedding of Michele and Andrew and I couldn’t have been happier! Abbey from Style Me Pretty put together a great feature and included 9 pages of images in the full gallery. If I’ve ever shot a wedding that deserved some national attention it was this one!
Also in early spring local blog The Milwaukee Wedding Boutique debuted their Real Weddings feature with the spring green perfection of Jenny & Kyle’s Grain Exchange Wedding in a two part series. (Want to see both? Here’s Part I and Part II.)
I’m not sure when they’ll publish but two more Heather Cook Elliott Photography weddings from 2010 will join the Real Weddings on The Knot. I’ll make sure to post some links once those are live. And finally, some love on real paper comes from Wisconsin Bride Magazine who features Darrah & Ross in their most recent issue. How could they resist Darrah’s infectious smile and the complete easy luxury of the whole day? Happy clicking and more to come!
Cathy & Steve had one of my favorite engagement sessions of 2010 – we played in big fields and by the water then added a few insanely happy balloons to keep the atmosphere light and fun. Basically, I can’t resist people who can’t resist balloons but even without them – or any props at all – Cathy & Steve were radiantly irresistable on their wedding day.
They designed thoughtful and elegant but always fun details into their day. From bright pink shoes to “monkey tails” in the bride’s bouquet to wine stopper favors to putt-putt for kisses at the reception, it was obvious that Cathy & Steve enjoyed planning their wedding day, living their wedding day and – it’s easy to suppose – will enjoy remembering their wedding day. I hope these few images inspire them to crack a bottle of wine and start the reminiscing already.
Cathy & Steve ~ thank you for inviting me into your whimsical and lovely day. As one guest wished you in your guest book: I hope your marriage is full of happiness and foot massages.
Bride’s Dress: Essence of Australia at Stone Manor Bridal
Bride’s shoes: Luichiny
Bride’s hair piece and jewelry: Stone Manor Bridal
Bridesmaids’ jewelry : made by friend
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Mora Lee at Stone Manor Bridal
Florist: Urban Sense
Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse
Cake: Sweet Perfections
DJ: Sound by Design
Wine stoppers: Ordered online, tags made by sister and bride
Church: Holy Family Parish, Whitefish Bay
Reception: Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Park Place