Melissa & Anthony {engagement session}

When we first met Melissa & Anthony I absolutely loved the two of them!  I love how they interacted and how the 4 of us could joke and laugh together like friends that have known each other for years!

I was thrilled when they decided to book us to capture their wedding and even more excited to capture their engagement session shortly after meeting them!

We had a great day for their season and lucked out with some warmer winter temps!

We started their session out at a special place in Melissa’s heart- a park she grew up going to and the place he proposed- South Shore Park.

I’m so happy I could capture so many great new memories in this park that they can cherish for years to come!

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The area by the water was just breathtaking!   Such beautiful color for the winter!!!!  I was absolutely in LOVE with this location!!! IMG_0596mIMG_0401mIMG_0473mIMG_0433mIMG_0404mIMG_0627m fbIMG_0777m fbIMG_0674m fb

What better way to end this session but to get an awesome sunset/night shot of them with the beautiful city behind them!  This is the skyline as we know it now and I’m so excited to see the future of the Milwaukee Skyline in the year and years to come!  IMG_1093mr fb

Thank you again Melissa & Anthony for choosing us to capture your journey!  We are so honored to be a part of your day and to have captured these memories of you during your engagement!

Michelle & Ben

Melanie & Martin {engagement session}

I was sooooo excited for Melanie & Martin’s engagement session!  Let’s face it not everyone is willing to freeze on a winter day for photos in the snow!   I was excited to do a winter wonderland session with these two and even more excited when Melanie told me she had some ideas for her session along with props!  PROPS?  UM HECK YES!!!! I love props!!!  I seriously do!  A lot of my couples don’t bring props- but when they do- I just LOVE the extra element it adds to any session!!!!!

I’m a huge fan of pinterest myself and the ideas it can stir to add to a session or a wedding day!  It’s eye candy for me to photograph and elements to help tell a story!  So I was thrilled to see what Melanie all had in mind!

Like any winter session we had to reschedule once for a warmer day- our original day had a Zero degree wind chill and I offered to move the date so they could enjoy the session a little more!  They agreed and the 30 degree day we had instead was much better!  We met at Grant Park at Seven Bridges for their winter engagement session!

I was super excited for the props Melanie & Martin brought and was pumped for this awesome session!

Some of the props were found at one of my favorite spots:  TJMaxx!

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These mugs are the best!

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Laughter on a session is my favorite!

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Martin you are such a kind man and this picture of you holding Melanie’s hand says it all…IMG_0863m fb

I love Ben’s detail shots!  Melanie’s bling in the snow…

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Throwing hearts in the air – EPIC Glitter toss!  ;)  I love a reason to throw confetti – so these hearts are just awesome!IMG_0724m fbIMG_0828-2m fb

Melanie & Martin you two are beautiful inside and out!  Thank you again for having us capture your journey!  These engagement photos make me so excited for your wedding day this year!   Michelle & Ben

2016 Goals

If you saw my refridgerator right now you wouldn’t recognize it belonging to me – in fact I barely recognize it!  It’s filled with fruits, veggies, meat and really no junk.  Fact is I’ve never watched what i’ve eaten, and i’m addicted to sweets!  :)  YIKES I put that out there!  I made the biggest goals for myself this year than I’ve ever made!  I’ve continued to slowly watch my scale number go higher and higher and I’m not ok with what number it’s become.

Growing up I never had any weight issues- so this is new to me!  Well it’s been me over the past few years.  I’ve put on weight that was never in my life before and I’ve become someone I barely recognize looking in the mirror.  I’ve never had the motivation before to actually do something about it- what clicked?- hmmm, I ask myself that over and over.  I don’t think there’s one exact thing that finally made me jump to do anything – just a combination of a lot of things!  Planning to go into a new year always makes me set goals- but this year I’ve gone BIG!  LIKE HUGE!!! LIKE CHANGE MY LIFE goals!  YIKES!  Admitting what I’ve put out there for myself is crazy- and I honestly think it’s long overdue!

My daily motivators- I now have on my bathroom mirror- my daily tally of if I’ve eaten low carbs, no sugar days and days I’ve worked out!  It helps staring at it daily!  If my scale doesn’t lie then I’ve actually lost 8 lbs so far in 3.5 weeks!  WHOOT WHOOT!  A small amout worth a mini celebration!

Like I said before I made other huge goals for myself – and so far I’ve been sticking to those too!  Maybe I’ll save all that for another blog post! ;)

Besides eating healthy, working out and making those goals I’ve also made goals for my business!  To be more open, take more time to blog, and focus on hopefully having a little less craziness this year!  Last year we did 30 weddings, that didn’t sound too crazy to me- but when I added up how many events/sessions I photographed last year it came out 113 sessions – SERIOUSLY – that’s 1 in every 3 days something – a newborn, a maternity session, a family session, a senior, boudoir, engagement session, etc.  I honestly don’t know how I managed to do that many sessions last year and have a family!  I’ve put our business first over a lot of family time and husband time.  I’m hoping this year we find a better balance!   It’s another huge goal- but i’m excited for what our year holds!

So DREAM BIG people!  Share with me your goals and what you are doing to accomplish them! Its February and I’m hoping you too have a success to share with whatever you’ve accomplished so far in the past month of the new year!!!!

Happy Thursday!

Michelle

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and the WINNERS ARE……

So I’ve delayed the winners being announced because I really thought I was going to do an awesome video message with me pulling the names out of a hat, fumbling trying to pronounce names…. BUT that would require me to get dressed up & do my makeup.  But with a toddler running around, weddings every weekend, wedding meetings, engagement sessions, edits, albums to work on etc yea that didn’t happen quick enough! :)  You get the point!   SO today I decided nevermind I’m pulling the winners and here we go!!!!  

First let me say that WOW Thank you again to everyone that is our FAN!  You are all AWESOME and if I could mail each & every one of you a gift I would!!!!!!  We are the business we are today because of loyal friends, family & clients that seriously was built with our beginning weddings sharing photos or tagging wedding party and that led to numerous “word of mouth” clients we then got in the years to come!  We truly are thankful for FACEBOOK and what it has done for our business!  I know a lot of things have changed in recent years and many of you may not even see our posts because Facebook decides what shows up on your newsfeed!  But for you that do see a post or two, comment, tag,  “like” photos etc – we are grateful!!!!    

I HAND WROTE each & every fan’s name on a little piece of paper – (I couldn’t find any easier way with facebook to export my fan list) and that alone was a task, however it was awesome to reflect on people that have been our fans for YEARS!!!  Seriously 1015 fans names went into my hat!  Some of you we have had the honor of photographing & meeting and a few we have never met!  :)  But it was completely RANDOM and all you had to do was be our fan to be in the drawing!  So without further ado here’s the names that got pulled from the hat…..  

Erin Valusek  

Michelle Schrock  

Ashley Timmermann  

Wanda Hunnicutt Mecone  

Stephanie Berger-Steinert  

Jill Sandercock  

Nick Petterson  

Victoria Roberts  

Edward Fries

& Margaret Vitale Dombrowski!  

I will try to send each of you a message through Facebook to give me your addresses so I can mail you a treat – if you don’t see a message – please check your OTHER box or message me (some profiles are restricted to sending private messages)!  

CONGRATS again to our 10 winners and Thank you again ALL of you for being our FANS!!!!  

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Andrea & Dean { Wedding Day } 3.14.15

Hey y’all! Amber here with my first OFFICIAL Blog Post! This wedding was beyond adorable and I have loved getting to see a sneak peek into this beautiful day!

Andrea and Dean an adorable couple who tied the knot on March 14th 2015. The date is a very special date. I’ll give you a second to see if you can figure out why……… Don’t worry i’ll wait………..

Did you figure it out? If your a math lover like my hubs then you quickly said um DUH PI! 3.1415(9) Andrea is a teacher and when picking out dates 3.14.15 was just meant to be! I think it is simply adorable!

They incorporated the date into their cake! How cute?

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BUT the cuteness didn’t stop there! NO! They gave out mini pies as wedding favors!! HOW CUTE IS THAT?!

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And of course Ben worked his magic and got an AMAZING detailed ring shot!

Here is one more showing off the rings!

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~ Flowers ~

The flowers were SO beautiful! Very colorful and unique!

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~ First Look ~

I LOVE seeing first looks! Its such a special moment between a Bride and a Groom these are beyond precious, the moment the Bride and Groom FIRST see each other!

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I am a sap and this just makes me tear up! They are both SO in love! You can just tell by the looks in their faces!  These moments are PRICELESS!

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Now even tho these moments are precious and priceless they can quickly turn well goofy!! These moments are natural, unmade up and just show the fun that this couple  has together!

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This wedding was beyond beautiful! Congratulations to ANDREA & DEAN! Thank you for letting us be apart of your special day!!

~ Blog post written by: Amber – PR Manager ~

~~ Vendors for this Wedding! ~~

~ Getting Ready/First Look:  Intercontenital hotel – downtown milwaukee, WI

http://www.intercontinentalmilwaukee.com

~ Flowers: Marius Bell Floral – Shorewood WI

https://www.facebook.com/mariusbell/info?tab=page_info

~ Ceremony/Reception: Hubbard Park – Shorewood WI

www.hubbardlodge.com

~ Officiant:  Judge Derick Mosley

http://www.marriedinmilwaukee.com/wedding-officiant-derek-mosley

Exciting things happening here!!!

So life happens and time slips away- WAY MORE than I’d like it!  Every day I do my best to answer many emails from current, upcoming & sometimes past brides, edit images from recent sessions/weddings, chat with vendors, get orders for prints placed, set up meetings with brides and the list goes on.  It is soooooo exciting to see our business in the spot it is in today!  6 years ago this June we did our first ever wedding and all of this was just mearly a dream of a girl working a full time career as a Retail Store Manager.  

In my career as a Store Manager there were manager meetings that helped us not feel overwhelmed with the many many tasks and responsibilities we had.  I’ll never forget a meeting we had once with the company’s HR manager and her excercise for us – we all had to make a list of all of our day to day responsibilities as you can imagine it’s a large list!   We then had to figure out if this is a task that only we could do or could it be something we delegate to another member of our team.  It was always eye-opening to see that maybe some of the tasks we view that WE have to do, don’t really HAVE to be done by US!  Would I love to do EVERYTHING for my business yes- but as a mom and growing business owner it’s becoming more and more impossible!  

So here I am today – creating a list of all my tasks and realizing that YES there are things I can delegate out and don’t HAVE to be done by ME! :)  For the overall growth of our business it needs to happen.  I need to rely on others to help me get it done and be able to use my valuable time I have for the tasks that I do need to complete myself and making sure that all my brides have an amazing experience with us!  I think all of this is called “growing pains” :)  

So I’m excited to say I’ve got lots of plans in the works right now, but one that I can announce is that I now have an Assistant that will be our PR Manager.  Meet Amber!!!!!!  

I first met Amber 6 years ago – she was a bridesmaid in my FIRST EVER wedding we shot in Nebraska!  And last year Amber was one of my own brides I got the honor to shoot her wedding for!  

Seriously this girl will be a great addition to us – she my kind of girl- LOVES people, AMAZING personality, LOVES Sparkles, Glitter & sunshine ;) , loves Tiffany blue, loves make up, loves to shop, need I go on?  I think we’re meant to be besties but live too dang far apart! :)  

So what will she be doing you may ask?  Amber will be in charge of emailing vendors from each wedding making sure they have photos of details that they helped with for each wedding, contacting local /national blogs, websites & magazines to get my beautiful couples weddings published, growing our Nakasato Couture Brand / Etsy shop & helping me keep up with BLOG posts!!!!  It’s been sooo long since i’ve had “extra” time to do these things – all things that will help benefit our business!

I’m soooooo excited to have her a part of my team!!!  There’s still many more aspects to our business that i’m focusing on and perfecting as we grow so stay tuned for more adventures and exciting things happening here!!! :)  Drop Amber a comment on this post or an email to welcome her to my team – amber@nakasatophotography.com

My new PR Manager

My new PR Manager

the best is yet to come…

4 years ago today it was another COLD foggy day- I married my best friend!  I look back at it all now and remember clearly- we chose to do a very small wedding and very simple!  We were SOOOOOO excited to invest in our business and grow it that this was the best option for us at the time.  We both knew we wanted to be married so why wait! :)  We married March 12, 2010, super excited to get our business growing and investing more time and money into our business.  We had already done a few weddings and knew we wanted to continue where this was going!

I look back at the pictures I have to show for my day- we didn’t hire a professional photographer and that probably is the ONE regret I’ll carry- I have pictures from friends that they took , but I can’t re-do our day.  Again we decided to skip that option because hey WE were photographers and the biggest investments we were making that year was into more equipment for ourselves.  Yea yea I know, I shouldn’t have skipped on the photographer!

But overall, I am soooo happy we married, I’ve spent the last 6 years with this man and love every minute we’ve had together!   We now have a business that we’ve dedicated 5 years to, a beautiful 1 year old boy and a great marriage that I am happy to be in!  I always joke that I live vicariously through our brides and grooms on their wedding days. :)  I think I do, I get sooooo excited for the plans they plan and the day they put together and I feel excited for them to start their lives together as husband and wife, if it’s anything like ours the best is yet to come.

Happy March 12th everyone!

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picture taken by our friend David Redlin

 

turning 1…

I have been DREADING my baby turning 1!!! I think the entire thing of being a mom is still surreal!  I am finally used to the idea of having a baby and now he’s not a baby anymore!?  YIKES! Where does time go!  People said all the time watch out they grow soooo fast- DON’T BLINK.  I thought to myself (sure) but seriously it’s beyond true!  I blinked and here I am a year later!  Crying in my cherrios my baby is one (ok I guess I didn’t get that bad). But the sap that I am had to go to the hospital he was born at and take the nurse that was with us the entire birth process flowers – crazy mom?- yes I’m sure I am. I had to reminisce!  

I have been excited this past month about his one year old photoshoot!  I have been on Etsy & Pinterest putting together ideas left and right!  I found the perfect outfit (thank you etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SewLovedBaby) and how been creating and buying props!  I custom made my own confetti!  I know I have a boy- but I seriously can’t pass up a good confetti moment and turning 1 I think deserves a confetti toss! :)  See my video clip for a behind the scene view of Bryson’s 1 year old photoshoot :)  My little stud muffin!  More pics of his session will be on my facebook fan page soon! :)

Video clip of Bryson’s Shoot: https://vimeo.com/87974981

one 1 yr old

Choosing the perfect spot…

Choosing the PERFECT photo spot can sometimes be one of the most difficult things to plan for on a wedding day!  I always encourage my brides and grooms to pick a place that represents their style or the “look” they want in their photos.  Basically What would you want hanging on your walls?  

I knew before Saturday’s wedding that we had the perfect Rustic spot picked out for bridal party photos- Trimborn Farm.  LOVE this spot!  I was even more excited when we arrived that the red barn was a PERFECT compliment to the bridesmaid’s dresses and matched their bouquets!!!  The red backdrop makes their colors POP even more!  

And Best of all this spot had perfect areas that wouldn’t make the sun shining directly in their eyes for squinty photos!  I always am on the lookout for ANY photo session for spots that are not in direct sunlight- that have just enough lighting on them – this spot we found was absolutely PERFECT!!!!!  I’m always here to help any of my couples with any suggestions on where to go and what to look for in any location.  

Happy Monday Everyone!

Alissa.Mark2.22

 

Getting back into the swing of things…

Seriously where has the time gone again since i’ve last blogged!  Now is the time to get back in and blog again!!!

Our year has been flying by!!!  Soooo many changes have happened and I don’t think one blog could sum it up!  I will try to communicate and update as much as possible in the next upcoming blogs over the next few weeks, but wanted to get a THANK YOU up on my blog to all that have read my blog or have just stopped by!

So to switch things up I’ve done a video message!  Yea really going all out here! : ) too bad it took me forever to figure out how to load a video! : ) But here it is! : )

Check out my blog video post here:  Blog Post thank you

We are forever evolving and I am constantly growing us a brand and who we are and who we want to be!  So thank you to all of you that have been along for our journey and have watched us grow!!! :)  We are super excited for all that’s to come and where we plan for our future to go!

Michelle