Hello and welcome to my blog! I am a portrait and wedding photographer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Here you will find my latest work and what I've been up to. Please feel free to browse and comment!

For more information and pricing, visit my website at www.jennvanwyk.com or find us on Facebook!

If you have any questions or would just like to chit chat, I'm available at jenn@jennvanwyk.com or 608.335.9213

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lisa & Frank are Engaged!

I met Lisa and Frank on a warm afternoon downtown. When we started the session, it was sprinkling, but luckily it soon cleared up and we were able to ditch the umbrella! Contrary to popular belief, overcast days are some of the greatest times for photographs. Without the harsh sunlight of a bright sunny day, we were pretty much able to shoot anywhere we liked, without having to worry about the sun.

Lisa and Frank grew up on opposite sides of the country, but met in Lisa's hometown of New York. Currently in Madison for Frank's job at UW Hospital, these two are going back to New York to get married in just a few weeks - how cool! I was referred to the couple from their friend Eurri all the way in L.A. thanks to flickr (ah the wonders of the internet). These two are a great couple that can keep each other laughing, and I know that they are going to have a great life together! Just check out their photos and you'll see what I mean!

Lisa and Frank, I had a great time getting to know you, and I wish you the best of luck in your future marriage!










I love Lisa's face on this dip, and the sweet kiss Frank gives her on the cheek... they are such a fun couple!
Let's Dip!

Thanks guys for a great afternoon! I hope you enjoy your photos!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lisa & Frank Sneak Peek

Just a little appetizer for the main course of Lisa & Frank's engagement pictures yet to come! Can you tell this was a fun couple?!


Having a Ball.

In January I began volunteering with our church's 6th grade girls, and just have had a ball doing so. I know most people when you mention "middle schoolers" kind of shutter, and have this look in their eyes like they need to go wash their hands. However, they hold a special place in my heart. They are awkward, and well, I am awkward. They need a friend, and well, so do I. I am convinced most weeks that I learn more from them then they do from me, but I find this often happens when you volunteer in any regard.

Last Friday we had a sleep over with the girls. At first this idea evoked a sense of terror, I mean 12 middle school girls, one small room, and wee hours of the morning. But, we had a ball. Literally. We went bowling. Except I forgot my socks. Luckily you can buy socks at the bowling alley, and they even have a little bowling ball and pins on it... but I digress. We had a great time together, and I learned that if you are in middle school, it is not cool to put your real names on the score "board". I swear these girls were in there after every frame changing their names.

The Coolest Bowlers Ever

Waiting for a Turn

Afterwards, to my surprise, we even got some sleep! And I figured out that if you are 14 years older than middle schoolers, your body doesn't take sleeping on the floor as it once did. But, we had a ball and that's all that matters : )

Friday, April 17, 2009

High's & Low's

If I had a quarter for every time I've done an ice breaker in my life I think I'd be rich! From House Fellow (R.A.) training, to church gatherings, to small group work in high school the ice breaker always seems to pop up. I now know only to take 1 toilet paper square, my "random fact" is that I can sing all 50 states in alphabetical order (thanks to 3rd grade music class), and can toss balls across the circle and state your name even though I met you 2 minutes ago. Booyah! I feel like I have rocked the Ice Breaker over the years. However, there is one that I even keep around, and that's "High's" and "Low's". The premise is basic, share one good or "High" thing and share one bad or "Low" thing that has happened to you recently. You can really learn a lot about people by this simple question, it's amazing. I'm going to try and let the blog world into my "Highs" and "Lows" for each week to give you a little glimpse into the world of Jenn. I think it's important when choosing a photographer that you not only like the images they produce, but also get along! On your wedding day the photographer is one of the people you spend the most time with and you should enjoy yourself. So future clients, let this be a glimpse! Oh, and feel free to comment if the same has striked you over the past week.

I ordered two new lenses this week just in time for wedding season. I can't wait to get them, I know they will rock my socks off. First off a Canon 24-70 f2.8, and a Canon 70-200L f2.8 (which literally looks like a cannon). For you non-camera people, all this means is you will look 10 times more amazing than before. No really, 10 times more, it's scientific : )

The weather. It's 70+ degrees outside, need I say more?

Merrell Hiking Shoes. Hubby and I love these. We bought them for our honeymoon about a year and a half ago and couldn't say more good things about them. They have awesome support, including a "roll strap" that goes around the back that prevents your ankle from rolling. Seriously you put these on and they become one with your foot they are so comfortable. Also, they are meant to wear without socks, so you can easily go into the water and come out no problem. Or on a hot day at the dog park a.k.a. yesterday, you can wear them and have good tracktion along with good ventalation. If you're in the market, these are great.

The Office. I was a little worried that it was going downhill, but these last few episodes have ROCKED! My favorite quote from last night " You respect dibs don't you? .... duh, I'm not a barbarin" . Too funny!

Our house backs up to the beautiful Ice Age Trail, and it's one of the main reasons we bought it. No one will ever build behind us, and we get a lovely scenic backyard. Yeah, until firemen came last night and set it on fire! Now, let me back up. I have what you would call "Catostrophic Anxiety". My husband doesn't call me right away. It doesn't mean someone unexpectdly walked into his office and he's running late. No, he crashed his car off the side of Hwy PD and is lying dead in ditch. Get the point? So, when one with Catostrophic Anxiety sees their backyard on fire it is a little disconcerning, but luckily there was a grove of trained firemen ready to put it out. Turns out it is part of their efforts to keep the trail maintained. Still, my heart rate was a little elevated.

Cops in Verona. Like a lot of them. I went to Verona last night and in 10 minutes saw 3 Cops. Crazy! Moral of the story blog readers - don't speed in Verona!

Left over Easter Eggs. They make the whole entire fridge smell. Guess I'm going to need a new box of baking soda in there!

And since posts are better with photos, here's one of the "burning" in my back yard. Side note, all went well and the fire was out about an hour later. Phew!

Controlled Burn

Monday, April 13, 2009

mibirthday according to my iphone

I was fortunate enough to turn a quarter of a century on this past Saturday... and I thought what more special than to take my blog readers through a photographic journey of my day : ) It was a hodge-podge of events recorded by my trusty iphone (hence the sub par quality!). Thanks to everyone who made my day special, it was great to get all of the emails, phone calls, and facebook messages, you sure do know how to make a girl feel special!

My mom, dad, and brother were unable to make the 2 hour trip this year, so the sent me some flowers at work on Friday, how sweet? And Gerber Daisies... love them!

Now, to understand this next photo, you must understand my father in law. He loves Harbor Frieght. No, loves really isn't the right word, more like "obsessess" over Harbor Frieght. Between trips to Madison he collects their fliers, studies their sales, and creates the all important "list". The list still didn't stop us from spending over 45 minutes in the store! If you've never been to Harbor Frieght, it is quite the interesting store. They have cheap tools, and more tools, but then, you come across something like this photo below. Mixed in with the tires and heaters is a Bingo set. Weird, I know.

After a following trip to Home Depot where we purchased some plants for our house, we went to my favorite restaurant - Cheeseburger in Paradise. I love the theme there, not to mention their tropical drinks!

Brian's brother is getting to the interview for interships stage of his college career, so we went a suit hunt for the rest of the afternoon. Needless to say, I got a little bored in all of the suit sections of each store in the mall, so I thought I'd take a few pics. This is store number 2 of the journey with no luck!

I was so impressed at the colorful ties in all of the stores. I was trying to convince Brian he needed a purple one... no such luck yet!

Wait, Brian.... why do you have a suit on? Turns out when Tom bought his suit, he got one free, which Brian gladly gobbled up! So, Brian got a suit for my birthday. Figures!

Tommy at store #4, Men's Warehouse with the winning suit! Yay!

We then went out to eat at Samba with Brian's parents. They were pretty impressed and had never been to a Brazillian Steak House before. Brian and I have been there before, however this time they had roasted pinneapple on the swords... oh warm pinneapple with brown sugar and cinnamon was delicious!

We then boogied on down to the Overture Center, where we saw Bill Cosby. He is 71 years old and still doesn't miss a beat, he is hillarious!

So... there is my birthday in a nut shell. All in all a great day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Washington D.C.

I'm baaaaaacccckkkk! We went on a little mini vacation the end of last week into Monday of this week to Washington D.C. My hubby and I had a great time going to all of the monuments, museums, and great restaurants. Although, we must admit, we're getting old! After day two of walking around all day we were completely exhausted. It feels like just yesterday we were on UW's campus walking miles every day and not thinking twice about it! Oh well, we managed to get our old legs a walking.

As I was walking among all of these great landmarks and historic places in our country, I couldn't help but wonder how many times this place has been photographed. It was a little bit intimidating to lift the camera to my eye wondering if I really have a new a creative shot that hasn't been captured before. That didn't stop me though, and I think I got some great shots of some really cool places.

The first night we got there, we went for a walking tour of all of the monuments at night. During the day, the are kind of mundane - grey stone monuments that barley stand out from the sky. But at night, they were awesome!

Bri in front of the Washington Monument
This is part of the World War II Monument. It was striking how many of the monuments used water as an important part.

Hello Mr. Lincoln

This is arguably the most exciting piece of paper in the National Archives. This is the application for a land grant from "Charles P. Ingalls", also known as "Pa" to Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Gotta love the self timer!
This is the antenna from the top of one of the World Trade Center Towers, in the Newseum, one of my favorite things I saw in D.C. We had been walking around to all of the other monuments in D.C. with appreciation, but able to fully understand the significance. However, after walking around this exhibit for a while, it brought back all of the emotions and memories from 9/11, and it was very powerful. It gave me a greater appreciation for the other monuments, and it made me wonder if this is what our generation would be remembered by in D.C.

This is a chunk of the Berlin wall. As you can see this side has a ton of graffiti, however in stark contrast, the other side is completely blank. It was very interesting.

These are just a few of the hundreds of photos I took. I'd recommend going to D.C., it has definitely given me a better appreciation of our country, and being the visual learner that I am, a great history lesson!