Like every December, I'm excited to post some of my favorite images from 2012! These are not necessarily my best, but are the ones I like the most. I tried to cut down how many I posted, but 2012 was just a great year!

First, a peek at my great assistant - my husband, Paul - doing a wonderful job! Don't tell him I posted these though, he'll kill me. :)


And now...drumroll please...my favorites from 2012! I hope everyone had a great 2012 and will have a wonderful 2013!

Ways to Say Thank You

 Each holiday season, I try to do something for each of the clients I've done photo shoots for during the year.  It's not typically something expensive, but just something to say thank you - thank you for trusting me to document your family or wedding day, for letting me be a part of your memories, and for allowing yourself (and me) to have fun while we create great photos!

In the past, I've done ornaments, calendars, or prints.  I recently signed up for Pinterest so I was feeling rather crafty this year.  I spent some time thinking about what might be fun to make, and eventually settled on wood photo ornaments.  They aren't perfect (although Paul says I should strive for perfect :) ), but I like them enough to make some extras for family Christmas gifts!

I did have to purchase most of the materials for this project.  This is what I used:
  • Square/rectangle wood cutouts - I sanded the edges & corners so they were smooth/round
  • Printed pictures (I just printed at Walgreens because I wanted to get them quickly)
  • Paint - I bought an 8 oz paint sample from Home Depot online
  • Mod Podge
  • 2 foam brushes (1 for paint, 1 for Mod Podge)
  • Clear spray paint
  • Wire to hang

I started by painting the wood.  I chose black because I thought it might look classier.  I used two layers of paint.


Then I placed a picture upside down on wax paper & painted Mod Podge on the back.

Back of photo

I flipped the picture and stuck it onto the wood.  I started by using black printed squares with the year on the back of each ornament, but ended up painting over them because I didn't like it!  :)


After giving the ornaments some time to dry, I put Mod Podge over the back of each ornament and over the front/sides.  It goes on white, so don't be worried when it looks like glue - it dries clear!  I used a couple layers on each side and added a bit of texture by using the foam brush in the opposite direction after painting a layer of Mod Podge.

Mod Podge

Wet Mod Podge

Drying Mod Podge

With some help from my husband, we drilled holes to put the wire into.  Between drilling and putting in the wire, we chose to spray each ornament with clear acrylic spray paint because the Mod Podge was still a little tacky & we thought it would be a little nicer with paint/sealant.


Once the wire was in the holes, I twisted the back with a needle-nose pliers so it would stay.  The final products are some nice-looking (I'll stress again - not perfect, although they got better as I did more) ornaments!



This makes a fun personalized gift - without too much expense or time!  Plus they look very nice!  I added a little thank you note & some ribbon before I sent them out.

Fitzl Family {Newborn & Family Portraits :: River Falls, WI}

One of my favorite little girls to photograph, Brooklynn, recently became a big sister to not one, but two gorgeous baby boys! Lucas Edward and Logan John were born on December 12 (great birthday, 12-12-12!) and I was so happy to get to come meet them.

We spent a lot of time laughing during this photo session - not only because newborn sessions usually mean a lot of waiting around and (possible) messes, but also because Andrea and Travis may have been slightly sleep-deprived.

All three of the kiddos did wonderfully!

 We started of pictures of the new big sister with the boys - and we managed to get one with both the "green one" AND the "red one." :)
Green & Red

Next was a surprise visit from Santa & Mrs. Santa! I tried to pick just one of these family pictures to post...but I just couldn't do it!
Santa 1
Santa 2

I L.O.V.E. this candid one - Brooklynn looks so happy! :)
Santa 3

Brooklynn was pretty tired from Christmas celebrations, so we moved on to just the boys.
Name blankets

I felt really good about telling the twins apart in real life, but it seems to be a little harder in pictures... This is Lucas - not my favorite shot, but it's pretty similar to one I have of Brooklynn!

Here's Logan!

Some people may say these shots are cliché, but I love them!
Arm 1
Arm 2
Lucas 2
Logan 2

Andrea and Travis had the great idea of putting the boys in their Pete the Cat stockings - adorable!

We even got some of the boys together.
Together 1
Together 2

See more - coming soon!

Alaina is 1! {1-Year Portraits :: River Falls, WI}

I've had the opportunity to see Alaina and her family every few months, from maternity to newborn to now. I can't believe Alaina is already one, but we had so much fun playing and taking pictures!

We took a few outside, even though it was mid-December!  It was actually a beautiful day, but a bit cold.
Outside 1

I love this "baby smile"!
Outside 2

What a gorgeous family!

We got a few with a Christmas theme, but quickly switched to regular 1-year portraits.

Book 1

Book 2

"I'm 1!"
I'm 1


I love that we got some smiles out of this usually serious (in portraits) little girl!  :)
Outside 1

See more - coming soon!

Happy Holidays!

I'm sitting on the couch with my dog on my lap, drinking hot chocolate and watching the huge snowflakes fall outside.  Is there any better way to spend Christmas Eve?!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season - from Paul & I!  :)

P.S. Does anyone else love this movie as much as I do?