minoksidil sprey

Kendra and Kyle- {Manhattan, KS}

When a friend of mine and fellow photographer (Susie Higgins) asked if I would like to help with an engagement session this summer, I was both extremely excited and a bit nervous at the same time. Although I always enjoy engagement sessions, it has been over four years since my last engagement photo shoot. So with my nerves in check, I packed up my good old photography equipment and set out on a very hot and humid evening to meet Kendra and Kyle.

Susie and I met Kendra and Kyle at Wildcat park, located just west of Manhattan. This was my first time ever at this location and so it was a “go with the flow” type of photo shoot. Kendra and Kyle couldn’t have been a better couple for this type of atmosphere, as they were completely easy-going throughout the entire photo shoot. The combination of their carefree personalities with the laid back environment made it a very fun engagement session! Although it was extremely hot and humid, Kendra and Kyle were in great spirits as Susie and I guided them through many different poses and settings. Even with the heat, the July evening light was incredibly beautiful, making this a photo shoot to remember!

Here are a few of my favorite photographs from their session. I hope you enjoy!

To Susie: I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to have the opportunity to capture an engagement session again! I very much appreciated your help, support, and creative ideas throughout the session!

To Kendra and Kyle: Thank you very much for being patient with us and braving the heat while I captured this exciting time in your relationship! You guys were troopers! I wish you the very best with your upcoming wedding and for many years of love ahead! (P.S. I loved your dog and his awesome bow tie! 🙂 )




Circus World Museum-{Baraboo, WI}

Holy Moly! It is hard to believe that I am here again, taking photographs and writing about my adventures! It has been truly a number of years since I have willingly picked up my camera and headed out of the door to capture the world and life through my eyes/lens. In a future post I will address the reasons behind my extensive break from photography, but in the meantime, I am happy to be back enjoying the world and photography like I once knew.

So, for my first comeback photography adventure? (It couldn’t have been more perfectly planned although it was rather random at the time) The Circus World Museum located in beautiful Baraboo, Wisconsin. I have been wanting to revisit the Circus World Museum for years now, specifically to photograph it. Back when I was living in Illinois and was in my photography blogging heyday, I desperately wanted to take a trip up to the museum, but sadly never got a chance. So finally this opportunity arose for me to come and I jumped right on it.

As a child, attending the circus when it came to town was the most amazing experience. Now as an adult, I must admit that I have very mixed and complicated emotions when it comes to the circus. Currently there has been a lot of controversy in the media and general public around circus animals. Being an animal lover myself, I struggle with seeing animals performing unnatural tasks, however at the same time I am completely awestruck by seeing these magnificent creatures up close. The circus allowed me to be in the presence of these great animals even though it is not how I would have liked to see them. With that being said I move on to the next issue I had to deal with as an adult, clowns…

Clowns, clowns, clowns! So over the years, I have developed a general uneasiness around clowns and/or other people who dress up in costumes in elaborate ways . Okay lets be honest, it is not just clowns that make me uneasy, it is also mascots, smokey the bear, chuckie cheese, you name it. So, I don’t have full out clown-a-phobia or coulrophobia (the technical terminology), but I always get mildly anxious when they are near. From my past experiences, it is like they sense that I am uncomfortable and they always seem to seek me out. So I try to avoid them if possible. Having to put all of these emotions aside while on a trip visiting Wisconsin (the state where I grew up) with my mother, we decided to revisit the Circus World Museum.

On June 14th, my mother and I may our way to the museum. We got there late in the day, around 2:00 PM (which by the way, the Circus World Museum closes at 4:00 PM) and so we did not have a whole lot of time to visit it. We were unaware that it closes early but decided to make the most of it while we were there. Once we purchased our tickets, we were directed to a show that was already in progress called “Shake, Rattle, & Toot!”. This show was a demonstration of circus music on old and unusual instruments, presented by the Ringmaster, David Saloutos. We spent a few minutes watching the show and taking pictures, however we knew if we wanted to see enough of the museum in the short amount of time, we would have to move on. We quickly looked around the main building and viewed some of the history of the Ringling Brothers. As we were about to make our way to the Ring Barn, I looked outside and noticed it was rainy heavily and a major storm had blown in. Just as my mom and I were discussing waiting out the storm (the Circus World Museum involves both indoor and outdoor activities and most of the museums exhibits involved going outside) the power in the main building was lost. My mom and I found ourselves sitting in this circus museum in pitch darkness. In the distance we could hear the Ringmaster talking to the crowd at the show saying that the power was on in the Big Top Tent and circus performance scheduled for 2:30 would still go on. I chuckled to myself  and thought, “The show must go on!”

My mom and I sat in the darkness with many other guests waiting patiently for the lights to turn back on. A little disappointed I thought, “This surely is not ideal for photographs!”. Soon we heard other guests talking about heading over to the Big Top Tent and so we followed the crowd to the doors. It was still raining very hard but we all made our way over the Baraboo River, past the Nothing but Nonsense arena, along the Sideshow tent, all the way to the Big Top.

Once inside the tent, drenched but in good spirits, we paused to let out eyes adjust to the darkness. A worker tried to coax us to sit in the white chairs that were positioned ringside. I looked to where he was pointing and then I saw them, the clowns! It was then that I realized we would not be sitting ringside. Although this would have been the best option for photographs, we chose seats in the middle of the audience at a safe distance. As I sat there, I realized quickly that this was going to be a challenge to photograph. It was pretty dark in the tent even though there was show lighting. The show lighting also posed another challenge. Strange colors. I could hear my photography instructor’s voice in my head warning about dynamic lighting and white balance. I played around with my camera settings, only partially noticing that someone had walked up beside my seat. I glanced up and to my surprise, one of the clowns was standing there selling circus merchandise. Before I could react in any way he says with a huge smile on his face (or maybe it was just painted that way 🙂 ) “Hey how about you trade me that camera for one of these lovely coloring books”. For a minute I completely forgot that he was a clown and laughed at his absurd suggestion. He kindly left it at that and went on his way. I sat there thinking amazed, “Holy crap! That clown just made me laugh! He’s really good.”

A short time later the circus performance began. This circus was an awesome combination of horses, juggling, acrobatics, balancing, dogs, unicycling, clowns, and yes, even elephants. Although it was tricky with the lighting, I managed to get a few decent shots from the show. Unfortunately once the show was over, it did not leave us a lot of time to explore and photograph the rest of the museum. The Circus World Museum was incredibly kind and allowed my mom and I to come back the next day, due to the power outage. I can not tell you how happy I was to be able to photograph the Circus World Museum after all of these years! It was overall a very memorable and enjoyable experience! I would highly recommend visiting the Circus World Museum if you ever get the opportunity. It is a great way to learn about the extensive and exciting history of the circus as well as experience a form of entertainment rich in that history.


***Please check out the Circus World Museum’s website at http://www.circusworldbaraboo.org

***Also, the clown that made me laugh and his partner (Steve and Ryan) have a great blog too. In this blog Steve gives an inside look at the life of a clown and behind the scenes of their comedy show, Nothing But Nonsense. They are the real deal! Check them out at http://steveandryan.blogspot.com


So to wrap up this unexpected long entry back, I can relate a lot to the “circus” in my life and my photography journey. It sure feels like a circus at times. Mysterious, obnoxious, incredibly beautiful, entertaining, joyous, and yes at times, somewhat terrifying. Ladies and gentlemen…..Let the circus begin!

The Big Top



Ringmaster David Saloutos during Shake, Rattle, & Toot

Steve and Ryan: These guys were moving so fast, it was hard to get a clear shot!




Look at this unicycle!

Clowns, clowns, clowns!

The Greatest Show on Earth


There were so many amazing circus wagons!


I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Thank you, as always, for stopping by to take a look!


Meanwhile, Somewhere in Kansas….

A photography adventure in rural Kansas.




































































Oz Museum & Oz Winery {Wamego, KS}

When I first told everyone that I would be moving to Kansas, the reaction I received from person after person was pretty much the same. Comments such as “Make sure you find a place with a basement” and “You’ll be like Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz” were frequently spoken. Not that I could blame anyone for saying this. Even I didn’t know much about Kansas besides tornados, The Wizard of Oz, windmills, and sunflowers. It seemed all too perfect when I discovered the Oz museum located in Wamego. I knew this would be the very first place I would visit after the move. Why not embrace the jokes and comments and celebrate the cliché. So off to the Oz museum I went shortly after the move. This little museum displayed fantastic movie memorabilia and a nice gift shop for all of your Wizard of Oz needs. Here are a few pictures from my visit, but I suggest if you ever have the chance to stop in and see it for yourself. Even though I have only been in Kansas now for a couple of weeks, I can say already there is so much more to this state than what I had originally thought. In fact there are so many places I want to visit and photograph, I can hardly wait to share these experiences with you. Until then, please enjoy these pictures from the Oz museum and Oz winery. We are definitely in Kansas now!

For more information about the Oz Museum, please check out their website at: ozmuseum.com



































































You can purchase your very own pair of ruby slippers!

Just down the street from the Oz Museum sits the Oz Winery. Of course I had to stop for a quick tasting. I was pleasantly surprised with this little winery. They had quite the selection of wines with names such as; Oil Can, O.E.O, and (my favorite title) Squished Witch. Unfortunately they did not have any white wines available when I was there, however the red wines were fun to try too. I guess I will just have to make another trip sometime to try their whites. The Oz Winery was very cute! Here are some of the pictures from my visit.

For more information about the Oz Winery, check out their website at: ozwinerykansas.com














Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!
As you know, I absolutely love vintage items and antiques, and so I thought I would share a vintage valentine from 1913.