Being a mother is something I had always dreamed about and Nate and I knew early in our relationship that children was something we both wanted. From the day I took a positive pregnancy test in June 2017, I had begun reading and researching and “preparing” for the transition to a family of three.
As a person who has struggled with a number of mental health issues, becoming a mother did test me mentally and emotionally more than anything else. Postpartum anxiety and depression were both something I had to work through for the 15-months or so after Riley joined us. Daily tasks seemed overwhelming, I barely felt some days I could get out of bed, but yet I did 98% of the days. I did end up seeing a therapist who truly helped me sort out and find myself again in all the hustle and noise that motherhood had brought. Riley also wasn’t the best sleeper and did not sleep through the night until she was a little over a year old, so pure exhaustion began to improve around this time as well. The past three years have truly made me a more complete person. I feel that the transition into motherhood has helped me identify my strengths and flaws and own that. I feel proud of the journey I am on and where I am at. In the past three years I have really learned to give myself grace, to let go of things not serving me, and invest in the things that fuel my spirit.
Today our little girl turns three. She is truly a remarkable human being, confident, goofy, smart, funny, I hope that these are all traits she never lets go. She radiates positive energy and makes everyone around her laugh. This year she has really begun the journey to becoming her own person, with attitudes, opinions, interests, and I relish in watching her develop and grow.
Riley Marlys Kirchenwitz, you are a dynamite gal and I feel so lucky to be your mom. Cheers to the big ‘3’!
Tips to smooth, painless family wedding photos
Your ceremony overs, you have hugged all your guests (pre-covid) and heard all of their ‘congrats’ - now it is time to do family photos. These are the many combinations of family members with you, the newlyweds, often at the ceremony site or a nearby location. Family photos can be cherished shots to capture in years to come when you look back on who was all their on your special day, but if not planned and prepared for can end up being one of the most unforeseen stressful moments of the day. But do not fret! A couple of simple steps in the planning processes can ensure that family photos are quick, easy, and stress-free! Whew!
Create your family shot list ahead of time
One of the pieces that I asked for from all of my wedding couples is a family shot list. This is a list of the different combinations of family members you would like photos with. Thinking of this list ahead of time allows you to create a comprehensive list and to get any other opinions that might be important to you on who is all included in family photos. When the day arrives, your photographer has the list and all you need to do is simple stay in position as the photographer shuffles people in and out to get all of your family photo combinations.
Consider the order of family combinations
It can be nice and helpful to plan to do the largest family photos and the photos with elderly and littles early. This gives grandpa and grandma time to rest and recoup before the reception and gets the littles done before they get antsy. Having the large family photos done early is especially nice if you plan to include aunts, uncles, and cousins, if they are not in any other shots they can then head over to the reception sooner.
Assign a louder family member (or close family friends) that knows the people on your list to help the photographer swapped people in and out
If you have an Aunt Sally that is not afraid to be loud and call out who is up next for photos, this can help the photographer focus on placing people and capturing the shots. If Aunt Sally and your photographer work together, family photos will go a whole lot quicker.
Tell family in your family photos ahead of time
Let all of your family members that are in your family shot list when and where they need to be for family photos. This can help eliminate us from searching for your cousin Bobby or grandpa Joe who left right after the ceremony to head over to the reception. A quick heads up keeps everyone on the same page and ensures everyone is present for family photos when it is time.
Four simple steps can really make all the difference between family photos taking 20 minutes or an hour. Doing a little work ahead of time and communicating with your family can really make for a better wedding day experience for both you and your loved ones. If you have any questions about planning for your wedding day family photos, let me know! I would love to chat. :)
My Photography Journey - How Morgan E Photography Came to Be
My journey to becoming a wedding and portrait photographer begins with a love for the outdoors, being involved, and photography. While attending UW-Stevens Point, I loved spending time in the immense number of outdoor spaces that were near or on campus and would often spend weekends and time not in classes or work exploring. During my sophomore year, I was looking for other way to get involved that would boost my resume and the work I was hoping to do after graduation, which landed me attending the college's student run newspaper meetings. After one meeting I had volunteers to photograph pieces for three different stories and I was off.
I remained involved with the newspaper throughout school and during my senior year one of the editors of the newspaper asked if I would be interested in photographing his engagement session. “Let me know what you would charge,” he said and in that moment I knew that I could make money doing something I loved, photography. Needless to say I said “Yes!”. After the session, my mind began to race on how I could show other people that I was worth investing in to take their photos. I began photographing friends, planning styled shoots, joining photography groups on Facebook and finding any information I could as to how to build experience and my skills.
I was lucky in that I had a close friend that was already photographing weddings that I was able to second shoot with her to build a portfolio of images. In 2016, I received my first wedding day photography inquiry from an acquaintance in college and after meeting they chose to book with Morgan E Photography for their wedding and engagement photos!
After that I was able to build a website, social media following, and I began to develop word of mouth referrals. I have been photographing weddings as a head photographer since the Summer of 2017. I would love to someday go full-time with my photography, but in the meantime I will continue to love and build the community that I have. :)
Hello! I'm glad you are here.
I am an Appleton, Wisconsin-based photographer. I lean into my creative side when I shoot and love bringing out your personality during your session. To ramble off a few of the things that fuel my soul (other than my camera); clear night skies, snuggles with loved ones, the outdoors, sunsets, having genuine conversations with new people, and listening to audiobooks.