Tracy & Mike :: Engaged! :: Madison WI Engagement Photographers

Here it is, 2:46 am, and I was convinced I’d have given up and gone to sleep by now.  Nope, not today!  Not only do I have a Friday OFF ahead of me, but I have a fantastic Thursday behind me that I absolutely must blog about RIGHT NOW. 

There are so many different types of love that draw two people together into the commitment of marriage.  I’m a very lucky person to have regular opportunities to see those different types of love in action and get to know couples who teach me so much about love, respect, adoration, friendship, and all sorts of other warm fuzzies!  Tracy & Mike are no exception.  I knew from the minute I met them that we were going to have a blast working together on their wedding photography!  The energy that they have together is exciting to be around.  They’re comfortable and calm together, yet with an electricity that hangs over them just waiting to burst into spontaneous laughter, smiles, or playfulness at any moment.  And it often does, and it draws you in.

Tracy & Mike chose a particularly special day for their engagement portrait session: their two-year anniversary.  How wonderful!  It was a great excuse for both of them to take the afternoon off of hectic work schedules and enjoy some quality camera time.  What better way to get an anniversary celebration rolling than to spend a few hours cuddling, kissing, hugging, and smiling on command?

Our anniversary/engagement adventure began at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.  I love love LOVE shooting at the MMoCA…it’s got a special place in my heart since my own dear hubby and I tied the knot there back on 8.8.08.  The design & architecture is inspiring!  We warmed up with a few quick & simple shots in the lobby.

Because a TV crew was setting up just across the lobby to begin filming a news clip, we hurried upstairs to spend some time in the warmth & sun on the sculpture garden.  I love this spot… a perfect combination of sculpture & garden, if you ask me!  This shot was the moment I knew our session was going to be a huge success.  I adore the way Tracy & Mike so easily crack one another up.

After their session, Tracy told me she had picked up early on the idea that there are lots of times that I don’t give specific instruction.  They both figured out right away that if I want my couples to do something, I’ll tell them…if not, it’s free reign to do your thing.  They’re dead on, and they laughed it up!  Perfect!

I posed this shot, but I love the candid capture we got when Mike couldn’t keep from laughing at whatever it was he and his wife-to-be were sharing together.  The genuine smiles are PRICELESS.  And isn’t Tracy’s dress FUN??

This next one is one of my faves from the session.  It feels light, airy, and happy!

This rooftop provides a wealth of textures, colors, & patterns!  Brick, mosaic, glass, cement, garden…  What’s not to love?  And it certainly sets the mood for Hollywood-style smooches.  All the better when the wind kicked up a bit to play with Tracy’s hair & skirt!

The Capitol makes a great backdrop here.  The way Tracy’s giving Mike a little squeeze makes me smile!

There’s that contagious laughter again.  It was everywhere!

We reluctantly left the sunshine & beauty of the garden for some indoor shots.  Don’t you love it when a couple can barely keep their eyes off one another?

One of my favorite things about watching Mike interact with Tracy was the tender way he touches & brushes her hair.  I think this is one of the most romantic images we created together today, and I hope that it will always remind Tracy of how tender & delicate Mike’s love for her is.

Gotta get a ring shot in there!

The glass steps at the MMoCA are beautiful.  I love the way they float, and the way that the angle & light change their look.  It’s always a challenge to shoot them in a new way.  The space is such a great place for a shoot that I don’t want it to ever get old!

We finished at the MMoCA and had a quick wardrobe change before heading down State Street.  This colorful mural is something I’ve walked by countless times, but today it just felt like the right spot for Tracy & Mike.  It’s colorful, playful, and vibrant just like they are!

But don’t judge these two by their smiley natures…  They proved that they could rock the SERIOUS look, too.

No, wait…  These two OWNED the serious look!

Between the mural and the Pyle center, we ran into several of Tracy’s coworkers who were leaving the office for the day.  They excitedly told each one what we were up to.  Yay!  We made our way to the lakefront and I went stealth mode again.  Yes, I’ve learned that I love to shoot through stuff.  You know, whatever’s available to get in my way!  It’s nice if it’s a pretty color, too.

OK, bloggy-blog readers, this next shot is your formal introduction to Dave. 

  Dave is another Red Gecko Studio intern who’ll be hanging out with me this summer.  Today was our first chance to shoot together, and I’ve gotta say…  I’m excited!  He’s got some great training under his belt from the MATC program, and I really like his artistic sense so far.  As a fan of geometric elements and leading lines, he set up our lovely couple in this backdrop.  Here he is in action!

I’m eager to see and share Dave’s shots, but for now here is my favorite from this location.

Our next stop was the Red Gym, one of Tracy’s requests.  These doors are just too much fun.  I find it hilarious that the signs on each side point to other doors.  What makes this image for me is the way that they’re embracing one another with just their hands, all four of them.

The giant sunburst chairs are fun for all ages.  Trust me, I know…we kicked a young child out of it to take this shot.  It’s OK, Tracy was VERY sweet about it!

Some of you may know that I’m not a native Madisonite.  I’ve been in Madison for about 6 years now.  I’ve apparently not spent enough time at the Union to have discovered this great balcony, though…  So THANK YOU DAVE for pointing it out!  Not only is it a lovely little secluded spot, but the light was just to die for!

Sometimes I miss the small details, like the fact that one half of a couple has their sunglasses ON and the other does not.  I actually kind of like it in this shot, though, it makes it look a bit more spontaneous than it actually was!  Or, it makes Mike look like he’s just Tracy’s best-looking accessory. 

Oh, light…

…could you be more DELICIOUS?

As a fun experiment, our absolute last stop for Tracy & Mike’s shoot was Bascom Hill.  You see, before we started shooting I asked them to choose a card from a very special deck of inspiring ideas.  I didn’t let them see the back, only the image on the front.  I was excited about the option they chose because I knew they could pull it off!  So what was this little challenge?  Simple.  Unlock some child-like playfulness together.  The results were FUN and ADORABLE and these shots had Tracy & Mike literally rolling around and having a ball!

Truly, guys, thank you SO MUCH for trusting me enough to try this out!

To Tracy & Mike:  I can’t quite explain how flattered & honored I am to have spent your two-year anniversary with you today.  To spend not only a good chunk of the afternoon on our shoot, but another couple of hours chatting at the Brink (and making you Butterfinger ‘Tini’s!) was a great way to spend a day!  Having gotten to know the two of you over the past couple of months, I am entirely confident that your wedding is going to be a BLAST.  You guys are truly blessed to have one another, as I am to have met you both.  I look forward to becoming better friends & sharing your special day together!

I hope you’ve enjoyed your preview!

P.S.  The video portions of our shoot look awesome!  I can’t wait to edit them into something fun…just as soon as I get better with that editing software.  Oh, and just as soon as I get some sleep.

For details about hiring Red Gecko Studio as the photographer for your upcoming wedding, please use the Contact section of this blog! Red Gecko Studio proudly serves weddings and special events in Madison, Milwaukee, and southeastern Wisconsin. Travel to any other location in the world can always be arranged,so don€™t hesitate to ask about your destination wedding! Thanks for visiting, and please take a moment to leave your thoughts as a comment!

April 30, 2010 - 10:45 am

Tracy - Oh, Mandie, these are wonderful! You are amazing! I can’t decide whether my favorite is the serious pose by the mural, the shot outside the Pyle Center, or the Red Gym doors. Too many to choose from. I am even more excited (if that’s possible) about our big day now! Thank you, thank you, thank you

April 30, 2010 - 10:25 am

Bev - Very nice set of pics!

April 30, 2010 - 9:38 am

Heather Holterman - Mandie… the pics are fantastic, as always! Love them!

April 30, 2010 - 9:09 am

Marilee Karamanski - Wow! What a fun couple! it’s so cool that you can portray their nature so beautifully! Congratulations Tracy & Mike!

April 30, 2010 - 9:07 am

cammie holterman - Love these shots, what a fun couple!!! I love the red gym door shot!

April 30, 2010 - 5:18 am

Rebecca - I love the balcony at the Union… that third to last shot is my absolute favorite. :) I also love the one on the steps of the MMoCA. Congrats, Tracy and Mike!

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