MyReverie Blog

Traveling the UK: Northern Ireland

My family and I went to Northern Ireland during our semester abroad in Scotland. I hope these images can show what we experienced there.

Pets and their Humans

I’ve come to love and appreciate the dynamic of pet ownership. In my family we have a beautiful little Balinese cat named Lucy. She is curious, mischievous, and loves to be around people. I love that she’s not a super vocal cat for the most part. My kids love her far more than she sometimes can tolerate, but for a cat, I think she is incredibly patient with them. There is a dynamic she’s brought to our family that I’ve come to appreciate very much. Lucy has brought joy to our lives in unexpected ways, and has become part of our family. We are planning on adding a dog once conditions are right and necessary arrangements have been made, and we are really excited! 

I was touched this past year through the experience of photographing a particular “last” family session with their ill golden retriever. Hearing the history of how this sweet darling had been around before the kids had “arrived”, gave me perspective. How important it is to capture these fleeting relationships in life! Our companions give so much comfort and friendship and their lives seem to come and go so quickly. This sparked a desire in me to incorporate pets (or companions)!  I’m super excited about a new session now available to clients who have the specific need of pet portraiture. I chose to call these sessions “Pets and their Humans” because I wanted to put the companion(s) in the forefront or center of focus, a celebration of their life combined with their human(s)!

My vision is to capture connection, personalities, and spirit. My goal is to give those scheduling a session imagery to remind them of what they had once their companion is gone.  

These sessions ought to be held on location where you and your companion feel safe, and comfortable. Preferably it’s a familiar environment you enjoy being in together. Each session will be customized! 

 Session Information:

 Deluxe 

- up to 2 hours session time

- travel within 1 hour of River Falls, WI included

- editing prior to post session review included

- watermarked, low-res images for sharing online if desired

- $450: hi-res digital files on CD; (2) 8x10, (2) 5x7 professional prints

Mini 

- up to 1 hour session time

- travel within 30 min of River Falls, WI included

- editing prior to post session review included

- watermarked, low-res images for sharing online if desired

- $375: hi-res digital files on CD

 

To schedule a session, contact Rachel @ 715-245-0239 or feel free to send a message through this website’s contact page.

Living in Scotland

This past four months have been an amazing experience for myself and my family. My husband works at UWRF and applied to teach in the Experience Scotland program. Once accepted it took a lot of planning and saving to prepare for our temporary move to the Dalkeith House!

This manor is a centuries old "palace" with an amazing amount of history, and played host to an array of royal political figures such as Mary Queen of Scots. The grounds of the house is referred to as Dalkeith Country Park which is 800 or so acres. There is a beautiful arched bridge and a small chapel on the grounds as well. It's a stunning place which became a home away from home to our family, along with the working staff, students, etc. I hope very much to return someday!

Dalkeith itself isn't a huge town, but the main downtown area has a handful of charity shops, a yummy little bakery, and other interesting shopping options. Most places in town were closed by 5:30 pm, which I found both frustrating at times, and amazing. In the U.S. businesses are scrambling for our every penny, but there I felt an incredible sense of balance. It's possible!? 

We didn't have a car on a regular basis so we used the bus transit as our connection to Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Living this way really made me slow down and plan my time carefully. A trip into Edinburgh was a guaranteed bus time of at least 45 minutes one way, and with kids that can be tricky! We did love the double decker buses and usually made a point to sit on the second level so we could see more! The slideshow directly below shows Dalkeith House, St. Mary's Church, the bridge, and a little view of the part of Dalkeith we saw so very often! 


Edinburgh is a city that I will forever think of with great fondness. The architecture is so amazing, and there is so very much to see and do. All the museums are free (you only pay to see special exhibitions) for the public! I loved that because since I was homeschooling my kids while there, they were an amazing resource! I took an afternoon and photographed some of my favorite parts of Edinburgh. The images were taken on and around the Royal Mile. I know, very touristy of me! :-) I just had to capture the things I loved about the architecture. You'll notice in the gallery below that there are pictures of "closes". A close is a Scottish word for an alley way of sorts. It gives people access to areas that are generally for residents and not thoroughfare. 

I grew to love the Scottish people and their culture as well, but that was harder to photograph. I'm sure there are exceptions as with anywhere, but I found the Scots to be incredibly kind-hearted and very accepting. I found myself in situations where raw honesty was both surprising and amazingly refreshing. I found that those I interacted with were very direct and open, but not in a rude manner. As with the country, I equally love the people I came to know. 

I'll be honest, it was really hard for me to leave. It was a strange feeling being pulled in opposite directions. Part of me wanted to stay forever, and the other half longed to be back home. It's hard to adequately put into words "how our visit was", because there are things that simply can't be put into words. It's a time in my life I'll never forget, and I'll hold onto. I spent so much meaningful time with my family, and came to know my kids and to love them more than when we left. I feel like it brought our family closer together. If Dan and I do return again someday to do the program again, I'm certain the memories will be overwhelming.

I'll do a follow-up blog post featuring our adventures throughout the UK soon so keep your eye out for it. 


What did I use in Photoshop for my image editing?

I want to give a shout out to MCP Actions! I used their amazing Photoshop Actions Set called MCP Summer Solstice for my images. My absolute favorite action was Pop Star which helped me get the crisp clean edit and a little extra pop of color that I wanted! For those pesky cloudydays, a little bit of color was needed to mute that grey so I used the Summer Skies action to give a little life. If you use Photoshop and love to use actions to make your editing easier, MCP offers actions that help speed up that workflow! Here is the link to the set I used for my editing: https://mcpactions.com/product/summer-photoshop

A Target Family Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Target Christmas! Read about and see some images from this featured family session which was shot at the Hudson, WI Target. Totally different session than any other!

Read More

Local Boutique Feature: Shoppy Chic

Discover this amazing local business! Gorgeous boutique bags hand-made by Cindy Ritger, owner and operator of Shoppy Chic in beautiful downtown River Falls, WI. 

Read More

Summer Vacations and Life Changes

Oh summer, you come and go so quickly. It seems as though last week summer vacation began and the summer heat slowly made it's way in, prompting impromptu outings to ice cream shops and Perch Lake. I love long days and the freedom of comfy t-shirts and shorts. I love the feeling of being free of coats, boots, and cold hands. I heard that winter will be pretty cold this year... you know it's bad when you live up north and they say it's going to be "cold". Hmmm... enough said.

At this moment I prefer to reminisce about summer experiences. My husband and I took our three kids on a lengthy road trip across the west to the coast. We saw some beautiful sites and spent far more time in the car then I have in my entire life! Our first leg was to Colorado, 14 hours. We got to see and spend time with a close friend from college and reconnect. She showed us some beautiful places such as Garden of the Gods and Cave of the Winds (this was at such a high elevation that I kept getting light headed)!

 Garden of the Gods, CO

Garden of the Gods, CO

 View from up by Cave of the Winds

View from up by Cave of the Winds

We spent several days and then moved on. We stopped in Utah to sleep and then did another 14 hour stretch of driving to the Redwood National Forest on the northern California coast. On the way through Utah I saw the Bonneville Salt Flats for the first time. It was at sunrise and absolutely beautiful.

 Bonneville Salt Flats, UT. 

Bonneville Salt Flats, UT. 

 Salt.

Salt.

Once we arrived to the Redwoods I was absolutely awestruck by the beauty. I love trees, but I can being to convey the majesty of these ancient giants. I think everyone should go there at least once. Here are a few of my favorite images:

 Circle of Redwoods growing out of one stump.

Circle of Redwoods growing out of one stump.

 Fallen Redwood

Fallen Redwood

 Fallen Redwood.

Fallen Redwood.

 You couldn't see the top from the bottom!

You couldn't see the top from the bottom!

It was such a peaceful beautiful place and I hope to go back and see more of the forest some day. 

After several days we drove north up the Oregon Coast. It was gorgeous! We had the opportunity to see whales for the first time. They were magnificent and beautiful!

 Scenic Oregon Coast

Scenic Oregon Coast

We beach combed for agates at Gold's Beach and explored other areas looking for what ever jewels nature had to offer. 

 Panorama. Loved all the driftwood!

Panorama. Loved all the driftwood!

 Stranded Jellyfish

Stranded Jellyfish

We stayed in Cape Meares, OR right on the border of Tillamook. It was a quiet and peaceful area, very little traffic and not many tourists. The ocean is such a magical place! We did go to some tourist spots naturally. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is the antithesis to any healthy diet, but I enjoyed my giant waffle cup and ice cream (wasn't hungry for a while after that)!

After completing our stay on the coast we stayed with family in Canby, OR. We spent a day exploring Portland by hiking the 4T trail. I won't go too much into it but it involves both hiking some beautiful trails and seeing Portland on foot and via public transportation. I loved seeing it on foot versus driving through. My kids were exhausted by the end, but they got to see and experience something they wouldn't have otherwise.

 

 Portion of the 4T trail: Portland, OR

Portion of the 4T trail: Portland, OR

 Portion of the 4T trail: Highest point in Portland

Portion of the 4T trail: Highest point in Portland

 4T trail, headed to down town Portland

4T trail, headed to down town Portland

 Waiting for food truck goodness before continuing on...

Waiting for food truck goodness before continuing on...

 Waiting for the light rail. Starting to get hot and a bit tired.

Waiting for the light rail. Starting to get hot and a bit tired.

 He probably won't remember this, I'm glad I have proof!

He probably won't remember this, I'm glad I have proof!

 Voodoo Donuts... our destination, the thing that kept our kids going. Lol

Voodoo Donuts... our destination, the thing that kept our kids going. Lol

 Perhaps he'll remember this carousel of goodness?

Perhaps he'll remember this carousel of goodness?

We loved Oregon.

We arrived back in Utah after our Oregon visit and stayed a while. We celebrated my son's 5th birthday with family. It was a fun way to spend his birthday amongst the people we love the most. 

 5 years

5 years

We completed our visit and drove back to Utah, without stopping for sleep. It was a 22 hour drive and my husband and I took turns. After having driven so much already, we just thought, "Why not?!" Our kids were amazing travelers and I'm pretty sure additional road trips will be in our future!

Now that we are back it's been tricky trying to get back into a schedule of any kind. I've started to refocus on my photography business and wanting to be sure everything is in order before the fall season hits with all it's force!  

I have some big life changes coming my way, my youngest will now be in school which opens my schedule up for the first time in 13 years (I have three kids)! I have so much I want to do and am so excited to have some time to put towards things I have put off! If you took the time to read this whole post let me know what your favorite summer activity was in the comments below and I'll give you a $25 gift certificate to go towards print product purchases for your next session!

 

 

Mothers

Are you guilty of always being the one behind the camera instead of in front of the camera at special family occasions? When going through your photo books does it ever appear the children in the book are *motherless*? It's been a goal of mine in the past few years to try and be in family event pictures simply because I want my kids to be reminded that I did in fact spend time with them, and to remind myself that I spent time with them! ;-)

This spring (now through May 31st) I am offering the Mother-Child session. This entails me coming to your home or other favorite location to photograph you and your child(ren) doing some of your favorite things together. Reading, bike rides, hiking, cooking, etc. These images would not be formally posed, but gently directed. We will plan beforehand what you would like to do with the images, whether it be a keepsake album, a framed collage piece, or a fun image cube to put on display in your kid's room. The goal is for you to have a tangible keepsake for your children. A visual reminder of the special relationship they have with you, their mother. Click HERE for details.

Mother child relationships are so important. Why not get it documented this spring?

Snap Out Hunger

I love the opportunity I have to make a difference in my own small way. I love the River Falls Community and love to figure out ways I can give back! Last year I did a fundraiser for the River Falls Backpack Program, and with permission, this year I've chosen the River Falls Food Pantry. 

This year the promotion runs from November 2-December 31, 2015 and works as follows:

Buy one regularly priced family "Snap Out Hunger" session ($175; may be booked this year, or purchased as a gift certificate to use in the coming 2016 year), and 20% of the session fee will be donated to the River Falls Food Pantry. As my thanks for participating, you will receive a gift certificate for a Snap Out Hunger Mini Session ($99 value) that you can use this year or in the coming 2016 year. The special thing about this mini? It can be scheduled on Saturdays, which isn't allowed with the standard mini session I currently offer. You may gift your mini session to someone else if you wish to. 

Young Family Photography

For a very long time it was super hard for me to choose a particular "favorite" subject to photograph. Over the years I have come to discover that my absolute favorite subjects are young families! I love how young kids and babies alike can evoke the sweetest affection from their parents. They seem to breathe life into the adults as they help them remember what it's like to be young and carefree again. I feel so happy when those I'm photographing ignore my presence and fully engage with their children. There is a light in the eye and genuine joy that is unmatched.

Every parent longs for their family to have great relationships. I believe that images that capture moments of joy can help family ties. It helps to have a visual reminder of why we love each other in the first place! 

Instead of the mundane, cookie cutter, traditional studio setting, I feel on-location portraiture lends an artful and meaningful element. This is part of the reason why I love photographing families in an environment that tells their story! 

So many worry that their home is not one that can be used for photographs because it doesn't look like a catalogue cut-out of a Pottery Barn ad. I've found that with my sessions, the more minimal an environment is in it's surroundings, the more focus there is on the most important aspect of the image: emotional impact. 

Outdoor environments are sometimes frowned upon because of perhaps what is being worn. My favorite place to photograph families is outside however. There is an unending opportunity for children to run free (which I encourage through out my young family sessions)! It give the whole family time to play and spend time together while being photographed.  

So the next time you cringe at the thought of getting family pictures taken with your young ones, remember that it doesn't have to be torture! Rather, it can be a time for some fun times and new memories. Capture this time while it's here, don't let it slip away.

River Falls Days Sale!

Happy River Falls Days! Starting today through Sunday you have access to a coupon which will get you $50 off the regularly priced session rate! It is valid between July 27th - August 30th, 2015. You must present your coupon at the time of payment in order to get the sale price. One coupon per household, per session, no exceptions. Have fun and stay safe! I love our community and am looking forward to participating in the festivities! Click HERE for limited time access to this offer.

Summer is Around the Corner

Wow, I blinked and it's June. Did I black out or something?

Things are wrapping up at our local schools and summer vacay officially starts tomorrow after those bells ring to let the kids out of school! Is anyone else out there in the online world feeling the whiplash of time?

Speaking of time, we are going to have A LOT of it on hand this summer! I decided not to sign up my kids for anything (however we might do the swimming lesson thing, but still deciding on when...that's sort of an important life skill, right?) because sometimes it's nice not to have every minute committed to something. However, I also realize that there needs to be some sort of plan so we don't go crazy over summer break here at home!

So if you're like me and need a visual reminder of ideas, this post may do you good. Better yet, if you read the activities and see that I have left out something super cool that everyone should know about, feel free to leave a comment below and share your wealth of information. I personally haven't visited all these places, but would like to this summer

Phew! I'm sure I've missed a ton of things, but that's a great start to my list of places to go. They are all a pretty close (within an hour mostly) drive to River Falls, WI. Besides really great places to go and experience, I know there are so many summer events that happen as well. If you have any that you love please let me know and perhaps I can do a post on Summer events to attend! I am super excited for some new adventures!

Mothers & Fathers Day Promo

I just love Spring don't you? Living in Central Wisconsin I am blessed with four distinct seasons which, I might add, comes with some great benefits! As a photographer, I would have to say a huge benefit is the diverse color palette I get to utilize for my sessions. That's one reason why I am in love with on-location photography! I love all the splendor it offers. I am in complete awareness that families just love the fall for the color it provides, which I admit, is quite breathtaking at its peak. The following images being a great example:

reveriephotography
reveriephotography

Who doesn't love great fall color? At the same time, the other times of year can get ignored sadly. Spring, flowers are in full bloom... think apple orchards...wouldn't that be sooo gorgeous? (I've been wanting to do a session at an apple orchard when the trees are in full bloom!) Summer has long gorgeous evenings, perfect for beach photography, and perfect weather for cute summer outfits (benefit: nobody gets too cold, or red noses, as can happen in a late fall session).  

reveriephotography
reveriephotography

For these reasons, I am officially launching my Mother's & Father's Day Promo! Starting today, anyone who schedules and completes a regularly priced session during April 27th-June 30th, will get a complimentary Christmas mini session ($115 value, includes: 1 hr, 1 location, FB timeline cover photo, Mini MyShowcase, Gallery App, exclusive pricing on products) this November 2015!  This offer is on a first come first serve basis. Don't wait to book your session, if you book in advance you will be sure to get your spot! Click here to connect with Reverie.

Enjoy the spring weather, and best wishes!