Summer of Senior Portraits

     Summer is here and that means it’s time for the class of 2019 to get the glam on in front of the camera before they graduate next spring and head off into the great wide world as adults. First, there is one more year high school, reports, tests and as some young women love and some young men dread the senior portrait session ahead of them.

     For most it’s their chance to show a more adult side, be the jester for one last time or just be the person they really want to be. It is all meant to show the world I have arrived. At Vagabond Photography we strive to help bring those dreams to the photos we create with our Seniors.

     We understand that sometimes what our Senior’s has in mind for an outfit is not always what the parent had in mind or will approve of. Recently with changes in the fashion industry to push young kids to dress more like adults (not necessarily always in the best ways) we have seen that trend reflected in our photography industry as well when clients bring outfits. The one thing we always recommend to all our clients (seniors, families and engagement couples) if it’s not something grandma and grandpa would hang on their walls at home or mom and dad would put on their desk at work because it might be seen as a little to provocative maybe it would its best also if you bring an alternate outfit so both parties are happy in the end.  

     The great thing about senior portraits is that is doesn’t just have a be a quick simple headshot for the year book like in years prior where we all lined up sat for a minute and a half and then were back in class. We can feasibly go anywhere and do almost anything (but not hanging your photographer from a rope off a cliff). Vagabond Photography is nestled out in East Troy, WI we are 40 minutes from the lake front & downtown in Milwaukee, 50 minutes from our state capitol in Madison and all around us in the perfect lake and nature settings. If there is another place outside of those areas that holds special meaning to you and your family we can travel there as well.

     Including sports and hobbies into our photo sessions is something we have always tried to get our clients to do more of. It brings the feeling of this is part of who I am into the photos and allows our Seniors to experiment with different poses that include their passions.  If possible bring your pets as well. While we understand at some locations it is not possible to have them there but when they are it always brings in the possibility of unexpected hilarity which translates into beautiful photos.

     Dates book fast we only do few sessions a day at Vagabond Photography and we do this to give out Seniors the right amount of time in front of the camera to bring their ideas to life. We are also able to do group sessions so if you want to incorporate a senior portrait session with your friends. We have all had that one friend we have grown up with who might as well be family and it is always a fun time when we can bring friends like that together.

     We look forward to hearing from you.

The wedding of Jess and Derek Dutkiewicz

Weddings, are something special for everyone involved, there is always a lot of stress building up to the big moment where they say “I do” and then are presented for the first time because there is always so much in motion. From there it’s quick do the posed photos and then onto the party where the stress of the day hopefully fades away into the happiness of the night.

Over the weekend we had the privilege of being the photographer at our good friend Jessica and Derek’s wedding. It was the first wedding for the season for us over at Vagabond Photography and to see the happiness and joy in their eyes it made the day truly memorable.  

Going back over the day in my mind two moments really stand out. The first was the ring ceremony. It is my guess from a little bit of stress and nerves it made it hard to slip the rings on and Father Danczyk knew just the joke to make bringing some light and laughter to a special(if not somewhat stressful) moment. The joke was along the lines of good things take time and sometimes it’s not always easy, I believe.

The second stand out moment came during the reception. The best man Tony Z. and a good friend of ours gave one the most memorable speeches I have heard in a lifetime of attending weddings as a guest or photographing them. It was a mix of a lifetime of memories that Tony and Derek have shared thrown in with some classic Jonny Carson style one-liners.
(when they first met) Tony: Hey Derek wanna help shovel driveways for 5 bucks a driveway?
                                   Derek: Hell Yeah.
(over a summer)         Tony: Hey Derek wanna go fishing?
                                   Derek: Hell Yeah.
(repeat over multiple life time events and always with laughter with the response “HELL YEAH”)
(Oct 1, 2015)                Tony: Hey Derek wanna going to Canada deer hunting?
                                   Derek: I can’t I’m with Jess now.
(Oct 2, 2015)                Tony: Time to find a new hunting buddy.
                                    Derek: Laughing the hardest I’ve ever seen him laugh. Needless to say,  
                                               Jess laughed, but not at hard.

In those moments there is the joy and a little frustration. Not just between the bride and the groom at the altar of love where the rings are being a little fussy. Also between two good friends, who in that moment knew how to throw that one little jab at his friend to make the night more memorable for themselves and to everyone in attendance. As a photographer getting that special candid moment can sometimes mean more them than a posed photograph with the entire wedding party, because looking at the candid many years later can bring back a flood of emotions and you’ll start laughing all over again.

At Vagabond photography our goal is to be able to tell the story of your special day whether that be in a slideshow, an album or in the select photos you choose to hang on your walls. Moments like the two listed above make the love of our work so much more fulfilling and easier.

Jess and Derek, its was such a privilege to be a part of your wedding and I wish you both nothing but the happiest of days and I cannot wait to see your smiling faces again.

Now here’s a sneak peek from Jess and Derek’s wedding day.

Today I marry my best friend: The Morgan's April 2017

Yesterday at Vagabond Photography, I had the privilege of being able to show a recent bride and her mother the photos from her and her husbands big day.  I never get over be able to watch the joy come over a husband and wife's face when being presented with they photos for the first time. In this case it was the bride and the mother but it was still fun none the less.

One of the things we enjoy covering at Vagabond Photography is military weddings and this young couple made for such an enjoyable day.

Nici and Jack we wish you both all the best in life.

Fair winds and following seas.

Look, Listen and Live!

Look, Listen and Live

As a photographer, we are here to create lasting images that our clients will love forever. In today’s world though it seems we have forgotten about keeping them safe in some circumstances. I will be the first to admit I will go to almost any lengths to get the precious shot my clients want.
Though a recent horrific event for one photographer has been a reminder for most to stay away from active railroad lines. Per CNN on March 16 a young aspiring model was struck and died from passing by train (full story) in Texas. Occurrences such as this happen more than I would ever like to admit.  Tragic events like this seems to make the news at least once a year and it runs the same, a model or photographer were killed by a passing train while photographing on the tracks. Also, through online messages boards or magazine stories, close calls happen way more frequently than most people know about.

I grew up around railroad yards in Central Wisconsin and as a kid we played around the railroads which was a big no no. As I got older, I learned that our normal waitress at a place called the Little Pink Restaurant had lost her leg while playing around the trains as a teenager. Also, there were several incidents in the early 90’s where trucks would go through the railroad grade crossings and get taken out by a locomotive from the Green Bay and Western or the Chicago and Northwestern and later on the Wisconsin Central.

Having grown up around events like this has made me appreciate the fact that we as photographer should offer something different to our clients. Yes, it is easy to go to a set of steel rails polished by hundreds of trains a week or to a trestle with a scenic view where you don’t know the schedule of the intermittent trains but it’s not safe and it is a major risk we take. As big as those giant work horses of industry are, they are fairly quiet and can sneak up on you quickly. At first one hears a light humming in the distance and then the next before one knows it right there and you might be left without a place to run to, too get out of the way.

In 2016 according to Operation Lifesaver and the FRA, in Wisconsin, we had 46 vehicle vs train collisions resulting in two deaths and 15 injuries as reported. Which raked Wisconsin in the top 15 in the US, while this isn’t a lot but it is significant but it is down overall. Granted we were lucky and didn’t have any people vs trains due to trespassing in our state in 2016 in Illinois they had 22 person vs train related deaths due to trespassing on the rails. But here is some food for thought for photographers from 2015 to 2016 there was increase in trespassing on the rails by 14.5%, deaths were up by 12.8% and overall injuries by 16.4%. Also, the fines are not cheap fines according to Wisconsin statute 192.32 starts at $100 a person but can vary by county/municipality and go up from there. So, if it’s you, a model and assistant the fine can be as little as $300 in total fines. Also in some locations in Milwaukee and some other major cities you could end up in jail plus a fine.

For that photographer in Texas I feel so sorry for them because it something they have to live with and I hope like hell it never happens again to any photographer.
As events like these become more prevalent why don’t we as a community say, hey we’re not going to work in those locations anymore? Is it worth it?

Love is in the air or is it cabin fever?

It’s that time of year where love is in the air or maybe it’s the cabin fever or some form of both.

For us at Vagabond Photography it’s where we come out of our winter hibernation and start gearing up for spring/summer weddings, corporate events, senior portraits and so much more. Also, we will be traveling around to a few of the areas comic cons for fun.

It’s been a long, kind of dull winter here in Southern Wisconsin. We have had a lack of snow and an abundance of rain and abnormally high winter temps. It seems though, weather is finally starting to change for the better, hopefully, and we would like to reach out to the recently engaged or couples looking to have a unique on location photo session. There is still some snow in parts of Wisconsin so if you were thinking “hey I’ve always wanted pelt my significant other with a colored snow ball (provided we still have snow) or ice skate on a lake” for a photo session we can help with that. The joys of Wisconsin the possibilities are endless you just need to have a love of outdoor spaces and the willingness to brave the cold.  As spring progresses and it gets warmer out we can even change it up to suit you and your significant others outdoor activities. That could be anywhere from activates on the lakes and waterways, to the riding trails of Northern WI or relaxing on the beaches of Lake Michigan/Superior to the cities Madison/Milwaukee or anywhere/anything in-between.

This spring we are also looking forward to getting back to some of our fun personal projects and we will be looking for some people to collaborate with to create some new and exciting photos. We’ll discuss those more at the spring rolls along.

We look forward to hearing from you and bringing your dreams and imagination to prints that will hang on your walls. We also hope that you and your loved ones have a great Valentines Day.