Lake Country Senior Photographer | Jada

LAKE COUNTRY SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER | MEET JADA

Photographing seniors is a tremendous opportunity for me to make them feel even more beautiful than I hope they feel about themselves already.  This is their time.  Their year.  And they have their future ahead of them to take by storm!

I love making images that not only represent who they are that they will treasure forever but helping them see their beauty right now.

We were forced to reschedule Jada’s original date due to rain. Second time’s a charm in this case because we couldn’t have asked for better light!  It was a tad cold but Jada was a total trooper and did not complain even once.  It is such an understatement to say she rocked her session.  Just take a look at a few of her images!

High school senior girl in forest in Waukesha Wisconsin High school senior girl in forest in Waukesha Wisconsin  Senior girl in Waukesha Wisconsin forest leaning on tree High school senior girl in forest in Waukesha Wisconsin High school senior girl in field in Delafield, WisconsinHigh school senior girl in field in Delafield, Wisconsin High school senior girl in field in Delafield, Wisconsin

I just love the wood prints her family chose to print for their walls.  Gorgeous!

Two 16x20 wood prints of beautiful senior girl

My name is Julie based out of Oconomowoc in beautiful Lake Country, WI and I love capturing true personality and beauty of seniors in high school.  If you’re looking for a senior photographer, send me a message and let’s chat!

Come visit my senior photography site to view more beautiful pictures of seniors, and families too!

Interested in specials, VIP announcements and tips and tricks for taking better pictures?  Take 30 seconds to sign up to receive my newsletter delivered to your inbox every once in a while.  Click here to join in on the fun!  I promise never to spam you!

Beautiful Children

Looking for a deserving child with inner beauty to be featured in the Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Children Magazine 2018

I have had the honor of being chosen as a photographer for the Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Children Campaign for 2018.  The mission of this campaign is to tell stories of children with real beauty who show attributes of kindness, courage and strength.  The beauty of these children is not measured by their looks.  The children in the campaign will have demonstrated their true beauty by their service, grace in defeat, and kindness when tried. 
The child chosen through our nomination process will be gifted a free photo session with Julie Collins Photography.  This campaign is all about giving back and honoring children with inner beauty who are deserving of national recognition.  Their story and images will be featured on Beauty Revived’s website and printed in their quarterly magazine which will be published in August 2018.

Who is Beauty Revived?

In a world where the media celebrates only those with perfect skin, weight and hair, Beauty Revived is a movement that focuses on true inner beauty.  It is an online and print publication dedicated to telling the stories of real people with real beauty.  Photographers from all over the world have partnered with Beauty Revived and donated photography sessions to women and children who exemplify this real beauty through their campaigns.
Hundreds of photographers applied to be a part of the Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Children’s Campaign and I am honored to have been chosen to find a deserving child to photograph.

Do You Know a Beautiful Child?

I am looking to give an incredible experience to a child whose light shines bright by what they have overcome and how they make a difference in the world.
Do you know a child who has persevered in the face of adversity?  Do you know a child who has a giving spirit, brave soul, or big heart?  If so, help me tell their story by nominating them!

Accepting Applications May 30-June 11

Please nominate children (ages 4-16) for the Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Children campaign and help them win a free photo session!  It could be your own child, a close friend’s child, a neighbor, or even a child you may know through the school/community.
I am accepting nominations until June 11, 2018.  The child and their family must be available to travel to the Lake Country area in Wisconsin for the photo session at the end of June/beginning of July.
The winner will be announced on June 12, 2018.  The gifted session must be redeemed by July 7, 2018.  The child’s family will be required to sign a model release in order to be featured.

How Do I Nominate a Deserving Child?

  1.  Follow Julie Collins Photography on Facebook and Instagram
  2.  Fill out the submission form and let me know why the child you’re nominating should be chosen.
  3.  Share it!  We need to get the word out about this great cause.  Share this page on social media to spread the word.
 That’s it!
I can’t wait to give this one-of-a-kind experience to a deserving child in our community.  Thank you for your help in finding him or her!

Come visit us at our photography site to view beautiful pictures of babies, kids and families too!

Interested in specials, VIP announcements and tips and tricks for taking better pictures?  Take 30 seconds to sign up to receive my newsletter delivered to your inbox every once in a while.  Click here to join in on the fun!  I promise never to spam you!

I Had a 10+lb Baby with No Meds and I Credit Hypnobirthing
Recently we celebrated pregnancy and motherhood at our big Love Your Belly event in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  I invited my Hypnobirthing Instructor, Caryn Bird, of Win With Hypnosis to join us.  To my delight she accepted my invitation and had a booth at our event to help spread awareness.  It was so great to see her after so many years! 

Let me tell you about how I stumbled across hypnobirthing in the first place.

Just after marrying my husband we felt the urge to be adventurous so we moved to California.  About a year after our move I decided to pursue a career in academia, teaching at the college level.  I needed further education to make this goal a reality so I applied to Graduate School at UCLA and started my Master’s Program that next fall.  During this time I was taking a lot of linguistics classes.  One of the them required me to work with a partner on a project exploring alternative language.  The girl I paired up with was a native Californian who suggested we choose hypnobirthing for our topic.

I had never even heard of it and honestly thought she was pretty “out there” and a typical “Californian.”

However, after she took some time to explain it to me I have to admit I was intrigued and wanted to know more.  I learned that it’s a practice using meditation, breathing, and visualization that allows you to relax deeply during child birth.  This way of preparing for welcoming your child into the world breaks the fear-pain cycle that is so common with modern pregnancy and childbirth and in return reduces the pain you feel in the process.
In a nutshell, fear brings about a primal fight or flight response causing our bodies to release stress hormones, which depletes blood flow to the uterus causing pain. 

By replacing fear with relaxation oxytocin, endorphines, and labor hormones called prostaglandins combine to relax the muscles progressing labor quicker and with significantly less pain.

A big part of hypnobirthing is keeping a positive mindset and simply not allowing yourself to fear giving birth.  Nobody prepares you for it but everyone wants to tell you their horror childbirth stories as soon as you start showing that you’re pregnant.  This is where alternative language (and our project) came in. 
When practicing hypnobirthing you are to replace words such as “contraction” and “pain” with “surge” and “sensation.”  You are also instructed to politely ask people to refrain from telling negative birth stories in your presence (when they inevitably start).
After graduating with my master’s degree and moving back to Wisconsin I got pregnant with our first child.  I knew I wanted a natural birth and decided to try hypnobirthing first-hand as a means to my goal.  That’s when I reached out to Caryn.  She taught us the skills I needed to succeed and I’m forever grateful for the birth experience I had.  I won’t go so far as to say I had a pain-free birth but I know the discomfort I did feel was greatly reduced because of hypnobirthing.  Hunter was born four days after my due date, a healthy 10 lb. 2 oz. baby.
Though I prefer a natural birth I am so thankful that we do have interventions when needed.  My twins would not be here today if we didn’t.  So if your interests lie in natural child birth I highly recommend hypnobirthing!
Come visit us at our newborn photography site to view more beautiful pictures of babies, kids and families too!
Interested in being the first to know about specials, promotions, VIP announcements and tips and tricks for taking better pictures?  Take 30 seconds to sign up to receive my newsletter delivered to your inbox every once in a while.  Click here to join in on the fun!  I promise never to spam you!
Madeline’s Milestone Portraits | Oconomowoc Baby Photographer

Madeline has grown so much since I captured her newborn portraits six months ago.  I was definitely looking forward to this little girl’s milestone “sitting” session for quite some time.  I like to keep tabs on my “baby planners” checking in with mom every so often to see if baby is sitting unassisted yet.  Oftentimes this doesn’t happen until month seven and that’s fine!

Every baby is different and focuses on different skills at different times.

The six(ish) month milestone session is one of my personal favorites to photograph.  I loved it when my own children were at this stage.  I could sit them down safely in the middle of the floor with a couple of toys within reach and they’d be happy just sitting there for a while.  They weren’t crawling away or getting into any trouble for this short time.  Just sitting there kept them happy!

Our patience for sweet little Madeline to master this skill paid off and was rewarded with these beautiful pictures!  How adorable is she?!  I can’t get over her big eyes and long eyelashes!  I definitely have some serious eyelash envy.  Many things change with babies between their newborn and first milestone photography session but those eyes and long lashes definitely weren’t one of them!

While I was taking photos of her she definitely wanted her mom nearby and we took numerous short breaks for snuggle time.  Good thing there are unlimited snuggles included in portraits with Julie Collins Photography!  Have a look at all the sweetness of Madeline’s first milestone portraits.
Picture of six month old girl Oconomowoc
Picture of six month old girl Oconomowoc Picture of six month old girl milestone portrait
Picture of six month old girl milestone portraitsEven big sister got in on the action and wanted to pose for a shot. Three year old girl at milestone photography session

Come visit us at our newborn photography site to view more beautiful pictures of babies, kids and families too!

Interested in specials, VIP announcements and tips and tricks for taking better pictures?  Take 30 seconds to sign up to receive my newsletter delivered to your inbox every once in a while.  Click here to join in on the fun!  I promise never to spam you!

Lake Country Baby Photographer | Baby Owen
This baby has been doing some serious growing since the last time I saw him when he was just days old.  Just look at all of his skills!  Sitting all by himself.  Crawling to get what he wants.  Eating some “solid” foods.  And that sweet face is sure to get him out of some trouble if he decides to create some, wouldn’t you say?

He’s so sweet, I could just eat him up!

I’m pretty happy his family decided to sign up for the Grow With Me (Baby) Plan.  As a result I get to see him every six or so months for more pictures.

Afterall, that first year flies by so fast it would be hard to remember this time without any pictures!

Good thing I’ve got your back.  Almost all of my newborn clients sign up for this program because they want in on the ground floor for the awesome savings.

Three sessions for $100?  Yes, please!

That’s right!  When you’ve held your newborn session with Julie Collins Photography you are eligible to buy into the Grow With Me program for only $100.  That’s a tremendous savings in session fees alone and my Baby Planners don’t have to choose between digital images either.  They get them all!  Read more about it here.
You might be thinking…”Oh no!  I never had a newborn session with Julie Collins Photography.  I missed out on a really great deal!”  Not so, my friend!  This program is open to anyone who wants milestone images of their baby.  The session fees go up to $250 for the three if you didn’t buy in during the newborn reveal.  Still an awesome savings at just over $83 each!
Enough about that!  I have GOT TO talk about this precious little boy and his sweet, sweet family.  They recently moved into a beautiful new home across town yet right in the middle of the chaos of moving his momma still made time for pictures!  I’ve been keeping dibs on him since his newborn session (like I do for all of my “Baby Planners”) just waiting for him to master the skill of sitting by himself.  That’s the milestone I’m looking for to hold that next session.

I call it STAGES not AGES.

That means that if baby reaches six months old but still isn’t sitting unassisted, we wait until he or she gets that skill.  It could take another month.  And that’s fine!  I’d say this guy mastered it alright.
six month old baby boy looking at camera
six month old boy sitting up
And how do you like that little outfit?  It’s one of the most recent additions to my growing wardrobe collection available to parents.  Now his six month images will match the brown tones we used in some of his family’s favorite newborn images.  Why is that important?  So that your images are cohesive, of course.  That way when you put them together (in an album, in a wall collection, framed and next to each other on a shelf) everything looks well designed.
See what I mean?  I’ve got your back!
Check out some more from this little guy’s session.
baby boy crawling
six pictures of baby boy six months old
Can you tell I love capturing babies playing with their feet?  It’s my favorite at this stage.
baby eyelashes
And don’t forget the baby food shots!  I always offer these included in the six month milestone session because that’s an important milestone baby is learning at this stage.  And well, HELLO CUTENESS!
Baby eating baby food
Lake Country Baby Photography by Julie Collins

Baby Isabella’s milestone photo session | Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

The “sitter” session (as it is widely referred to in the photography industry) is one of my absolute favorites.  The baby has mastered the milestone of sitting all by his or herself and that is definitely reason to celebrate!  Here at Julie Collins Photography I like to capture “stages” not “ages.”  This means that rather than photographing a six month old just because traditionally this is when a milestone session would occur, I work closely with mom and dad keeping tabs on when baby is sitting unassisted.  Typically that happens around seven months.

By waiting you get a much bigger variety of images.

Baby girl laughing and smiling lying on wood floor

I make it a point to capture some belly shots, on the back shots, sitting unassisted, standing assisted (if possible), and nibbling toe pictures, which are my favorite.  I loved it when my own kids went through that stage and definitely want that captured in imagery for mom and dad.
Baby girl on belly looking at camera
Here’s a glimpse into sweet Isabella’s milestone “sitter” session.  She rocked it out!  Isabella loved her toes!  She is always a pleasure to photograph.  So sweet, so happy and so photogenic!  I love spending time with this sweetheart.
Baby girl seven months old looking at camera
Baby girl on back looking at camera
Three pictures of baby girl playing with feet

Pewaukee Family Photographer | The Sloanes

You know you have a dream client when they bust out the hammer and spiff up your props mid-session.  Seriously!  How did I get so lucky?  I have taken innumerable pictures of this awesome family and they always put a smile on my face!  Every year I look forward to seeing and photographing their children.  They recently built a new home in Pewaukee and their backyard provided the perfect backdrop for this year’s session.  We were hoping for snow but unfortunately had to make do without.  It snowed so late this year!
Before you go you absolutely must take a look below at Jack’s original idea for family posing at the fireplace!  He came up with that idea all on his own!  I simply told them to get together over by the fireplace.  I just love his pose!  Genius!  He has always been so full of energy and life!  Love these kiddos!
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JCP Parenting Hacks: How to get your kids to MOVE IT ALREADY!

How many of you moms and dads out there have been on the brink of pulling your hair out because your children are on their own time (inevitably super slow) and don’t seem to care that you need them to HURRY UP to match the pace of your life?

Yep!  Been there only about 12,485 times.

Like many of you I’m constantly on the go and unfortunately too often than not am guilty of waiting too long to prep my little ones 10 minutes in advance that we need to leave NOW.  Suddenly it’s exactly five minutes past when we were supposed to leave in order to be on time to wherever and my children are barefoot and still have a half-eaten breakfast in front of them.  After about the 4,018th occurrence I finally gave this some serious thought and came up with a few ways of tackling this problem.

Here’s a few strategies I’ve found helpful to inspire our children to get moving faster.

parenting hacks getting children to cooperate

1.  The checklist.  I’ve found this to work well for the morning routine.  I grew really tired of asking my kids if they’d done everything they need to do in the morning to get ready for school.  So I made a check list and wrote it on our chalkboard wall (you could easily tape a piece of paper to the wall and yield the same results.)  We have a strict media usage rule in our home and have tied extra time to this list.  Our kids are not permitted to use their tablets (or any technology/gaming) on school days.  They are allowed 30 minutes each day of the weekend including after school on Fridays.  They are also allowed one 30-minute television show after school each day but no time on any technology device at other times.  As a result, they’ll do practically ANYTHING to earn extra media time.  We’ve leveraged this for many things and getting them 100% ready for school independently in the morning (and quickly) is one of them.  If they check off everything on their list and still have time before the bus picks them up they can use whatever time is left to play on their tablets.  Each kid has their own chalk color to easily keep track.  You wouldn’t believe how fast they get ready.  It’s frankly brilliant.

2.  The hand squeeze.  This technique works well if you’re already en route (on foot) to your destination but your little one(s) is walking at a snail’s pace.  I told my children (one at a time) that I had a secret signal just for them.  When I squeezed their hand twice it was my secret message to them that they should walk faster.  I told them that they could send me this signal anytime they wanted as well.  Every kid loves a game and this made it more fun than just barking at them to pick up the pace.

3.  Use different language.  I figured out not so very quickly that my kids tune me out when I use the same language to get them going.  “Hurry up!” or “We’re late!” or “C’mon, let’s go!” wasn’t working very well after the 482nd time I used those phrases.  So I’ve had to get creative with how I ask them to MOVE IT already!  Some favorites of late:
“Who’s going to be the best listener?”
“Race you to the car.”
“Let’s see how fast you can (get dressed/clean up the toy room/put your shoes on/etc.).  I’ll time you.”
And when all else fails I break out into Spanish.  (Did you know I speak Spanish?)  It really gets their attention so try “Vámonos!”

So there you have it!  I hope these few strategies help you get to wherever you are going on time and with a little less frustration!

Hartland Newborn Photography Session

I’m photographing this little guy’s “sitting” milestone session today and I never even blogged his newborn session!  This family is so devoted to this little guy and it definitely didn’t feel like they were new parents to me.  They had this thing down!  Helps that they’ve had some experience with sibling’s children but I was seriously impressed!  They didn’t have that deer-in-headlight, sleep-deprived, not really sure what’s happening look to them that I sometimes see with new parents.  Ha!  Happens to the best of us but I really just enjoyed this time together with these sweet parents and their new little bundle!
Dad is an avid hunter so of course we had to integrate some of his prized antlers into the session.  I love how it turned out!
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Ice Cream Session | Oconomowoc Family Photographer

The mom of this awesome family usually comes to me with an idea in mind.  I love dreaming with her and building on her vision.  This year she wanted an ice cream session.  The combination of three small girls who love ice cream and the beautiful historic buildings that Oconomowoc provides made for a pretty awesome session!

After some discussion of location we settled on Whelan’s Coffee and Ice Cream.  This coffee and ice cream shop opened its doors in 2007 and has been going strong ever since!  I love the character of the building both from the street as well as once you step inside.

We started outside on the streets of Oconomowoc for an urban feel to their images.  I love the wardrobe that Caty picked out for her family.  It’s well-coordinated with just the right amount of neutrals mixed with pops of color.  Nicely done!

One of the first stops was in the alley alongside Whelan’s that happens to be next to a Mexican Restaurant called Fiesta Cancun.  The goal was to get a family picture with the sign painted on the brick but we didn’t expect an audience.  It was a beautiful summer night so there were quite a few people outside on the patio adjacent to the alley watching us as we were arranging for that shot.  Caty had me cracking up when she announced to the restaurant-goers that she was “sorry (they) weren’t the mariachi entertainment for the night” while attempting to imitate the sounds a mariachi band would play with nothing but her mouth as an instrument.

We of course wrapped up the session with the girls enjoying their promised ice cream cones on the bench in front of the shop.  I love candids and this type of session definitely offers plenty of opportunity to capture much spontaneous sweetness.

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One of the products they decided on at their reveal included a photo book to revisit the fun they had together as a family for years to come.  These girls are sure to love flipping through these pages as they get older looking back at themselves when they were much younger.Photo book Family session photo album Family photo album Photo product book Photo product album Photo album family portrait Photo book child portrait Photo album family session Photo book family session Photo album

Oconomowoc Newborn Photographer | Baby Isabella

Meet baby Isabella!  This sweetheart is halfway to her next milestone photo shoot with me so I’d say it’s about time I actually blogged her newborn session!  She was the sleepiest, easiest baby and I could have photographed her forever.  Not once did I get a glimpse of her eyes.  They were shut the entire time.

Her mommy worked very hard decorating her nursery in their new home so I made sure to capture some of those details during a quick feeding.  I definitely saw a mermaid theme and grandma made her a mermaid tail so we had to work that in.  Mom requested big bows and graciously had some to choose from.  A number one request was to use the crown she had me photograph on her belly at the maternity session too.  It was so evident how much love Elyse and Jeff have for their sweet baby girl.  She is super blessed to be born into this family of dog lovers.

Little Isabella is in my “Grow with me” baby plan so I am beyond excited to be able to follow along with her throughout her first year capturing all of those awesome milestones she is about to experience.  It won’t be long now before you see more of her in my social media feed!  YAY!
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Wisconsin Newborn Photographer | Baby Owen, Oconomowoc, WI

Hello there!  Your friendly Oconomowoc newborn photographer here to bring smiles to your faces with beautiful baby pictures yet again!  This mom contacted me fairly “last minute” for professional photos of her baby boy expected to arrive any moment.  She was in the hospital at the time 34 weeks pregnant and trying NOT to have the baby quite yet.  I was about ready to leave on vacation but the baby was expected to spend several weeks in the NICU so we had a bit of time.  I was so happy to squeeze it into my schedule because just look at all of the adorable squishiness I would have missed out on had I not.
The craziest thing happened with this session too!  Tracey’s out-of-state colleague contacted me wanting to purchase a gift certificate for her not knowing Tracey had already booked a session with me.  With the number of photographers out there what are the chances they both unknowingly chose me?  It was so much fun presenting this gift certificate to their family at the reveal.
And now for the images of this sweet family welcoming home their sweet little boy…
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