I spend a lot of time on the ground to get just the right angle for each shot.

The places I have been...

You've heard of the book "Oh, The Places You Will Go," right? After all of these years of doing crazy things in the name of getting an exceptional picture, I've decided I should start writing a book about all of "The Places I Have Been" when photographing clients. I sure wish I'd asked the moms to take pics of some of these scenarios!

Here are JUST A FEW fun ones:

  • ​Top of a silo (yes that is me on the stairs trying to brace my legs so I could take a pic without hanging on)
  • Knee deep in a creek (so many times that I've lost count)
  • Lying with the side of my head pressed into a gravel road, asphalt road and dirt path countless times (because the angle and light are EVERYTHING)
  • ​Ankle deep in a squishy spring cow pasture
  • Inside a hay rack
  • Dangling from a tree stand
  • On the very top step of a step ladder with a mom holding both of my feet onto the top
  • In a weight room
  • At the end and to the side of a drawn bow
  • On the edge of a steep rocky drop off with a mom holding my belt loop so I didn't fall
  • In a ditch
  • In abandoned buildings (with permission of course)
  • At an airport
  • In hundreds of fields of flowers
  • Balancing over the top of a basketball hoop shooting down
  • On top of a tractor
  • In a dance theater
  • Balancing on a hay elevator above a hay mow
  • Under a C____ transport plane
  • On top of a ladder in a plank position over a sleeping newborn with a mom holding my legs
  • In mud puddles
  • In a sketchy alley filled with junk
  • In a child's fort
  • On a construction site
  • Under a jumping dirtbike shooting up in the air
  • In a library
  • On a golf course
  • At an Army base under a Blackhawk helicopter
  • In a boat
  • At a tea party
  • In a clearing in the woods at the end of a several mile hike with full gear
  • On many rooftops
  • Hanging out a pickup window
  • In state parks, national parks, and wildlife areas
  • In the bucket of a tractor
  • On top of a boulder
  • In a vineyard
  • Under a bridge, and on a rail of a bridge with a mom holding my belt loop
  • In fields of barley, corn, alfalfa, sorghum, sunflowers, soybeans, cut flowers, etc
  • In a junkyard
  • On site with various animals including a spooked horse, runaway dog, iguana, parakeet and ornery Canadian goose
  • Behind a softball pitcher
  • On the back of a UTV
  • In a fire station and on a fire truck
  • On a football field
  • On a ridge top at sunrise with a make shift hot air balloon
  • On location with snakes, spiders and mice I relocated for clients who were too afraid to pose
  • In a cemetery
  • In a parking garage
  • In the back of a pickup
  • In an attic
  • On too many roads to count with hazard cones out and spotters
  • Standing in a mosquito infested marsh up to my shorts in mucky water
  • In a band room
  • On the football sidelines during freezing drizzle
  • In a studio session with a parent giving me a wet willy....truly...to get his child to laugh
  • On a porch rail, hanging over with a mom holding my belt loop (are you seeing a pattern)
  • In a waterfall
  • Standing on a beam in a tobacco shed
  • In the middle of a herd of cows
  • In a snowbank up to my thigh
  • Balanced on the top edge of the folded up bleachers 
  • Too many others to list.

And my ONE ask is that clients NOT ask me to go where everyone else goes because I want your images to be truly original, genuine, and tell YOUR story. Sometimes you will question why I would choose a location UNTIL you see the final image from the camera's point of view.  Trust me, and we can make some amazing memories and stories together.

Awesome experience shooting at the Army base in Madison with the Blackhawks!

Very unflattering, but my face was pasted to the ground to get that light in exactly the right spot for this shot.

Balancing at the top of the silo for a shot to include her whole farm.

  You've heard my story. Now it is    time to let me tell yours....

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When you just can't get the right angle without going in deeper water, you just go deeper and get that perfect shot.

Meet Karen...

In 2005, after going through professional coursework and attending many seminars, I took a leap of faith and left teaching to open my professional photography studio in Westby, Wisconsin.  After years of being too afraid to take my own two high energy toddlers anywhere for family portraits, I was determined to create a safe space to capture the reality of life for all families and be able to tell their story in a natural way.  I wanted to create a place where we could capture the spirit and soul of the family or child, in their truest, authentic self, regardless of how messy or different that might look.

As I look back through more than 16 years of portraits, through multiple generations of families who have become friends and not just clients, I know that being real and taking time with each client has made a tremendous difference in being able to tell their family's stories. I included portraits in the final image collections that might have been thrown away by others, knowing that in each moment, there was a certain expression or action that melted someone's heart.  I kept the images with upside down toddlers, wide open laughter with eyes squeezed shut, and funny faces because in the end, these were the authentic moments that told their story in the most  genuine, natural way.  They were not all "wall portraits," but each image was a part of their story, and my job is to tell that story in our short time together through  beautiful, sometimes messy, wonderful, chaotic, creative images.

In recent years, I have also taken on roles for storytelling through marketing and social media for several local businesses. Now located in Readstown, Wisconsin with a satellite location opening soon in Buffalo City, WI for portraits on the river, I can travel anywhere to make your portrait dreams a reality. Whether you are looking for a professional to help tell your personal or business story, let's talk and make a plan for the best way to tell your story for years to come.