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!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Photo Friday! 365 Photo Project


Between the laundry, unpacking, vacation photo uploading, and catching up over this past week, I have been terrible at my take a photo a day project! In fact, this is the only photo I've taken since Sunday! We grilled out on Tuesday night when the highs were in the mid 60's, and Edie was out in the yard soaking up some sun.

So, I start new today and promise to get back on track next week!

Since I've got you here, I also wanted to remind everyone that my sessions are filling up quickly! Right now I have one spot left in May, and then am booking into June! Here are my available spots as of today:

Tuesday, May 11th - 6pm
Tuesday, June 22nd - 6pm
Sunday, June 27th - 9am
Thursday, July 15th - 6pm
Sunday, August 8th - 4pm (Waupaca, WI Area Only)
Tuesday, August 24th - 6pm
Sunday, August 29th - 4pm (Sheboygan, WI Area Only)
Thursday, September 9th - 6pm
Tuesday, September 14th - 6pm
Tuesday, September 28th - 6pm

I am planning a special Christmas Card Photo Extravaganza Event in October, so stay tuned :)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Puerto Vallerta - Mexico Trip


Well, we made it back home safe and sound, and had great time in Mexico! We have been taking the beginning of this week to get caught up and back to the real world - including adjusting for Daylight Savings time. Mexico does not observe it until April 1st, so we were on "old time" until we got back. It's amazing how just one hour can throw your body off so much!

I've had a lot of requests on facebook to share photos (what do people think I'm a photographer or something?!? :P), so I thought I'd share the adventures of our trip to you, my favorite blog readers :)

The first picture at the beginning of this post was taken upon our arrival in PV last Saturday. This was literally the only gloomy weather we had the entire time. This is looking down the beach toward the city, which is located on a 35 mile wide port. Hence the "puerto" part of the name I guess :)

These are my parents at dinner the first night. They came to PV last year with friends, and loved it so much that they ended up buying a timeshare!

While we were eating dinner, the sun was setting and it was just gorgeous. On the right, our waiter Samuel made us a delicious dessert with some sort of liquor topping (which adventally requires being lit on fire!).

My mom (aka Salsa) and my dad (aka Nacho) on the beach the next morning.

Here's a little video of the just being goofy

Brian and I on the beach. He does look a little tanner now :)

These were the views around our gorgeous resort.

On our way to Mexican night, and proof that the international sign for "Party" is a balloon arch!

Watching all of the performers at Mexican night was a lot of fun. They definately made you want to get out of your seat and dance!

And this guy really liked his dancing, and was very entertaining!

The next day we went on a Cultural Tour of the city. It was really interesting to get a look into how the Mexican people live, and know that it is not totally All Inclusive Resorts and pools.

One of the three churches we saw when we were there. This one is Our Lady Gudalupe in the town square of Puerto Vallarta. It was a beautiful church, with lots of gold foiling, sculptures, and stain glass. My favorite part though? The electric candles that you could light at the front of the church for a peso. My mom lit one for a friend who accidently ate meat last Friday - what a hoot! She also lit one on a more serious note for her Grandma who would have gotten a kick out of the electric candles :)

We then ventured onto the "Flea", a market full of goodies for the tourists. It did take some getting used to that all prices were negotiable, but by the end of the week, we had the bargining down pretty well and I wasn't as intimidated by it. I also learned not to pick up anything unless you'd like to buy it. You'd have one of the merchants over there right away ready to bargin! I had to keep my hands in my pockets, because I LOVE touching things when I shop, Brian makes fun of me all of the time!

Here is a picture of the outside, and then inside of "Flea"

Through a little research, I found out this is the River Cuale. Right now PV is waiting for their rainy season to hit, so the water was very low.

The Dutch welcoming committe on the tour :)

I think I could have walked around all afternoon and taken pictures of doors...

This drink my friends is a Cocoloco Nut. It was a toss up between this or the Pink Chi Chi. Yes, for those of you who know Spanish - that was the actual name! And to offset the quirkyness of the drink, some of the beauitful flowers that we saw...


We had extra flowers, so my brother was the lucky recipiant! Don't worry Aaron, it's a "Racing Flower" :)

While we were back at the resort, a cruise ship started to make it's way into the port. When my Dad had told me how large they were, I thought I understood. No way did I think they were THIS BIG! It was crazy! I think while we were there 3 cruise ships docked, bringing lots and lots of visitors to the PV area.

This is a shot looking back at our resort

Down the shoreline towards PV

Our next tour we took was a Cultural and Tequila tour, where we started off by visiting the small town of Ixtopa.

My handsome man at the Tequila Distillery (check out those glasses - got them on the beach. The vendor made a good deal just for us :P)

This is a close-up of a Blue Agave Plant. They essentially grow this plant for the root, burn the root, squeeze it and distill the liquid to make tequila. I didn't realize this, but we were actually staying in the area where tequila was invented. How about that?

A little video of my mom during the tasting

And here is the face that followed after I stopped shooting!

Brian took this close-up of the root of the blue agave plant.

On the left, is a picture of the little tourist area they had set-up at the Tequila place, and they served some wicked good tacos, just ask my brother who ate 4 while we were there! We also bought some of the flavored tequila - which we had no idea existed! On the right, my parents and I walked the beach every morning - it was really relaxing.


And just for you, a mini 30 second vacation on the shores of PV:

On Thursday we ventured downtown again to the Malecon, a 2 mile beach front boardwalk filled with sculptures and art - not to mention great views!

There were these awesome sand sculptures on the beach, but note there are no shovels and small pails here - check out the backhoe!

Brian took these few shots:

I like this one, you can barely see the resort through the first arch on the left. These arches are also a popular symbol for the town of PV.

This is a market along the river front. Notice the Chicago Bears pancho. My dad was really tickled that he could travel thousands of miles and find a similiar Green Bay Packer pancho. So tickled that he had to buy one. It was pretty funny!

And when you go on vacation with a professional photographer, you get to take fun pics like these! This is my brother and girlfriend:

I LOVE this picture of my mom and dad

Brian and I

And everyone!

I think what I've taken away from this trip is a need for simplicity. Once outside the walls of the resort, you realize that the people of Mexico keep it simple. There are no elaborate houses, even not elaborate ways of running electrical wires (which scared my dad slighty!), or even no real hurry to get anywhere (although the city buses sure move fast!). I definately left with a better appreciation for the culture, and although it is easy to feel bad for those who live there, I almost feel bad for us. We make everything in our society so complicated, so materialistic, and often unatainable. We are so unhappy with so much. It definately gave me a little something to think about.

Thanks for reading about my trip! I have had a lot of fun sharing it with you - and it's been amazing the comments I have gotten from people who have been to the same area!

Friday, March 12, 2010

On Vacation...

If you are lookin' for me, I am on vacation in sunny Puerto Vallerta Mexico until Sunday, March 21st.

(it's ok, you can be jealous)

I will be unable to answer email, facebook, blog comments, and the like - but will do as soon as I return!

Have a good week everyone, and I'll update you on my trip when we get back!

Photo Friday! 365 Photo Project

Well, it's finally here, the Friday Brian and I are headed down to Chicago to catch our flight to Mexico on Saturday. But before I leave on a jet plane, I thought I'd share with you the latest of my 365 project, where I take one photo a day for a year.

This weeks' photos definitely have a weather theme, with temperatures in the 50's and the snow melting more and more each day it's been the topic of conversation among us Wisconsinites. Plus Brian introduced me to the phrase "it looks like pea soup"... which is supposed to mean it's foggy out I guess?! If that's true, than there has been a whole lotta pea soup this week.

These are our toothbrushes. If you follow me on Facebook, you'll know that Brian and I were sharing the same tooth brush without knowing it for about 2 months. Well, when we found out, we wanted to start using new ones, except the only two we had in the drawer were both blue. Mine now has a hair tie on it to distinguish it as mine (not seen in the photo though)

I snapped this photo of the Blackhawk Church steeple during my photo session with the Kooimans on Saturday.

This is what your desk looks like after two weekend photo shoots, and trying to get your gear ready to go on vacation!

A pea soup morning in the Target parking lot.

The cloudy, dreary day made way for sunshine just in time for the sun to set. Taken out the wind shield of my car.

Taken near the Verona Library, I have become really fascinated with the fog!


Have a good weekend!