From the Photographer – Blu Moose Photography: Claire and Peter (Pete) were the winners of our Wisconsin Engagement Session Giveaway. After meeting up with the beautiful Claire we came to the conclusion of having more of a date night feel to the session. With her and Peter walking downtown with stops at the State Capitol and Memorial Union Terrace. Claire wanted to shoot here because of the significance it had for her and Peter. Where they met and fell in love.
What makes Claire and Peter special are their eyes and smiles. You can see the love in their eyes, the way they look at each other, the way Claire glows when Peter looks at her. Their smiles are radiant when they are around each other. You see and feel the love.
Unfortunately I can’t look forward to photographing their wedding, because I am not their wedding day photographer. Before they won the contest they had already met and booked with another great Wisconsin photographer. However, I didn’t feel I needed penalize them for having another photographer so I went ahead and did the session anyway. It’s not always about the money. To me it’s about making memories and they allowed me to do that. So I wish Claire and Peter the best on their wedding day and I know they are in good hands.
From the Bride-to-be: I’m not sure if it was love at first sight, but the moment I saw Pete at the UW Volleyball camp, it was enough for almost-college-freshman me to exaggerate a sore shoulder to get ice from the cute trainer across the gym. And while nothing really came out of that awkward, sweaty first conversation, seeing Pete again at a college teammate’s birthday party six months later, I felt that same, half-nervous half-excited butterfly feeling when he immediately walked across the room to chat.
We immediately hit it off and Pete swept me off my feet – by doing things like surprising me with an acrylic paint set and canvas on one of our first dates because he learned I almost went to art school, or a giving me a frozen yogurt gift card for the times he wasn’t around to go to our favorite spot. We spent the next four years in Madison, dancing on the Lake Mendota piers, “splurging” on $10 wine for Concerts on the Square, learning to cook with fresh Farmer’s Market veggies, falling more in love with each other and our city.
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve, 2016. I had graduated in the spring and started a full time job in Madison. Pete was finishing up PA School in La Crosse. We were so excited to finally spend some time together over the holidays as we headed up to the Upper Peninsula to go skiing with my family in a cute cabin on the hill. Days earlier, I had gone wedding dress shopping with Pete’s future sister in law, and I had weddings on the mind. I drilled him with questions on the drive up, with a lot of Pete laughing off my questions and doing some major avoiding of the topic. Little did I know, he had a ring burning a hole in his pocket!
We got up to our cozy cabin, and headed out for a long day of skiing. By the time it was the last run of the day, I was exhausted and ready to go in. “One more,” Pete said. I begrudgingly obliged. I jumped on to the chairlift, and was too busy thinking about hot chocolate to notice how jittery Pete was. He pulled out his phone, and some headphones, and before I could ask “what are you doing with headphones on a chairlift?!” He said, “I need you to watch this video.” As much as I didn’t want to take off my gloves in the freezing cold, I could tell by his tone that something was up. He had made a sweet video with pictures and sentiments about how much he loved me set to one of my favorite songs. I took my headphones off, looked at him with some confusion, and then he pulled a ring out of his ski jacket and asked me to marry him. We both immediately shed happy tears as I said yes. The sun was setting over the mountain as we shared moments of pure happiness. Being the last lift of the day, we skied into the cabin on the hill and I got to share the news with my mom (whose reaction was probably better than mine), my brothers, and my dad, who was in on Pete’s plan and had chilled the same champagne he and my mom popped the night they got engaged. We celebrated the New Year with fireworks, family, and so much joy. It was as magical as I always hoped it would be.
Cue the wedding planning! We got on it right away, deciding on a Milwaukee wedding (as both of our families live there) at the new venue called The Atrium next June. We loved it because it fits with our modern, natural, romantic theme. Our wedding photographer is Autumn Silva, and we had planned to do an engagement session with her in Milwaukee. However, I came across Blue Moose Photography through an Instagram post on Love, Madison Weddings, and saw his great work and that he was doing an Instagram giveaway for a free engagement shoot. I wanted to do some pictures in Madison, too, because that is where we fell in love! So of course I entered. We were fortunate enough to win, and immediately Talwin (aka Moose) was so incredibly gracious and easy to work with. We met for an initial consultation where we talked a little bit about our story. He suggested the idea of a “date night” theme to the shoot, starting up at the capital, walking down State Street, and then ending with a sunset on the terrace. We couldn’t book a date soon enough!
We met with Moose on a hot June evening. It was our first time as a couple behind the camera. Naturally, we were a little nervous, but Moose immediately made us feel so comfortable, and it was SO much fun. He gave us cues and ideas, but mostly just let us have fun as a couple and really feel like we were on a date. It was so natural and beautiful, and we could not be more happy with the way the photos turned out. He gave us so many options, and an adorable video compilation that is both stunning and special. These are definitely images we will cherish forever, to remind us of where we met, where we fell in love, and the city that will always feel like home. To any Madison brides – I would 100% recommend working with Moose for your wedding! You will not regret it. And to Moose – thank you for capturing such sweet and special moments – you are so talented!