August 11, 2014


We love weddings that take place at venues we most likely will never be able to photograph again. Triglav Park will probably be one of those venues, since a couple needs a bit of an in to have a wedding there. Thankfully, Mara’s Slovenian heritage was the necessary connection to be able to get married at this beautiful, secret, unmarked gem, just outside of Milwaukee.

Something that hits us every wedding season, almost inevitably, (and honestly, almost every weekend) is the nervousness that the rains might ruin the day. Here’s the normal scenario: the forecast in the week leading up to the wedding shows clear skies, then it creeps to 30% chance of rain, then it sometimes takes a turn for the worse, leaving the couple/family/photographer/planner all checking the radar to decide if the ceremony should be moved inside or not. Since we photograph mostly outdoor ceremonies, we see it happen almost weekly, yet the rain never actually ruins the day! And in this very special circumstance, we might even argue that the rains *made* the day — truly, we’ve never seen such beautiful sun-drenched rain on a wedding day before.

So here’s a pro tip — if your photographer urges you to head out to a wobbly dock just as the rain is starting to come down, trust them. ;) Sam and Mara get lots and lots of bonus points (as well as non-reproducible photos) because of their willingness to fully embrace the rain – yay!

Here’s a little glimpse into their day – their lakefront ceremony, bocce-playing, BBQ-ing wedding at Triglav Park:

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July 23, 2014

 Sanborn Canoe Co – Winona, MN
Wooden Painted and Performance Paddles
Zak Fellman and Todd

Sanborn Canoe Co

If you follow us on social media, you have probably viewed this story about the amazing people at Sanborn Canoe Co. already, but if not… we recently started a collaborative project with other photographers around the United States in order to help foster the craftsmen resurgence. We are calling it Drift Journal. With the help of a growing list of amazing photographers, videographers, and writers we hope to highlight great craftsmen/artists in order to inspire more people to learn and appreciate heritage crafts. As a society we have reached a point where technology allows us to do many things with little effort. As a result we are using our hands less and so many great skills are slowly being forgotten.

But we hope to change that! So before you even read this, click here to open a new tab with more craftsmen at Drift Journal. And join the resurgence! (facebook, and instagram)

Sanborn Canoe Co – Zak and Todd are two of the most unassuming, humble guys you may meet. Cousins, they both grew up in Minnesota each with a crazy love for the outdoors and a grandfather who, before they were born, carved out his own wooden canoe and took to the water. It was that canoe that inspired them build their own, and shortly after, start what is now Sanborn Canoe Co. And only a few short years later, with the help of a couple friends, they are carving some of the finest handcrafted paddles in North America. Here is a little look into their work.

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June 20, 2014

Quality ingredients for a yummy wedding:

  • Pacific Northwest souls
  • an officiant who is also a close friend of the couple, engaging the audience in well-told stories
  • food-inspired florals by Alesa De Jager
  • Scandinavian kransekake
  • our talented pals, with their farm-to-table goodness, over at Enos Farms
  • square dancing with a real-live caller
  • a fabulous bluegrass band, The String Ties
  • weekend camping and…
  • llamas

Eva + Travis, Seattle residents and Wisconsin natives, along with the help of Nancy, planned this fabulous Midwest wedding at Justin Trails resort — taste and see a bit of it for yourself. :)

Justin Trails B&B


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June 11, 2014

Let me introduce you to TJ Habel.

His family and my family have been friends for around 20+ years.  He’s an all-in kinda guy. Here’s one illustration: picture him bungee jumping in New Zealand and — instead of slowly falling off the bridge platform — jumping as high as he can, so that his body literally goes head first (up to his waist) into the river rapids below. If there is an extreme sport out there he has dabbled in it. So when TJ told me his proposal plan and asked if I would document it, I knew it would be a good one.

We met up before and hiked out to the Conservancy River Bluffs in La Crosse and he showed me the cliff where he had created a geocache a week prior. This was also a memorable spot for him and Kristen from years ago. He then hiked back down while I waited, and hoped the rain that was forecasted would stay away. While I was waiting, the rain came up over the other side of the river valley and drenched half of La Crosse but miraculously veered south and missed the spot — where TJ would propose — completely.

To add a TJ element to the story… during that scouting trip, after he reached the cache, the top of the box caught wind and dropped part way down the 200ft cliff so he had to climb down to get it (rope not included).  I really wish I would have moved to the best angle to illustrate the height, but I was way too concerned that he would need a hand (and I really didn’t want him to die, an hour before he was planning to propose).

So long story short:

He didn’t die!
He asked her to marry him.
She said yes!
They planted two oak trees (beside each other, so they can train them to intertwine as they grow).
And then, the next day, they went to Mali, Africa.

Congrats, guys!


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June 4, 2014

So if we were to recommend one wedding format to copy completely it is probably this one. :) A simple ceremony in the woods with 30 or so of your closest people. Each one, having the opportunity to speak love and encouragement to the couple and share in the moment. No performance, no wedding party, just honored friends and family. Then a party with a larger group of friends and family, the following day.

Amanda + Jeremiah’s wedding weekend at Camp Winnebago — which is just walking distance from the land where Amanda grew up and where her parents still raise sheep, grow grapes, make wine, and make maple syrup — was wonderfully low-key and beautifully simple.


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