Kelly and Cody| Milwaukee Art Museum Wedding Photography

I don't think I've ever laughed so much as I did during Kelly and Cody's wedding toasts! It's one of my favorite parts of the wedding day because, after getting to know these two truly beautiful souls for the past year, I get to learn so much more about them from people who've loved them for so long. 

Why I love wedding toasts

So as I listened to Kelly's sisters laugh and share stories about Kelly teaching them her wiley ways, shed a tear as they got serious and told us how Kelly never missed being a part of what mattered to them, or listening to Cody's hilarious guys share story after story about life in their a capella group, it affirmed everything I thought I knew about them. They are loyal, caring, and most importantly, deeply gracious people. And their wedding reflected that.

Designing a modern and organic wedding at Milwaukee Art Museum

When Kelly first shared their wedding vision, they talked about their love of the Napa Valley and how they wanted to bring that into the sleek and modern Milwaukee Art Museum. At first, I didn't understand how those two design looks would come together.  But Kelly and Cody made the smart decision to hire one of my favorite planners in Wisconsin. Janelle from Evenement Planning is the perfect mix of experienced and easy-going. She can give clear direction, but always has a smile or laugh ready. Working with her is such a pleasure!

Janelle and their florist, Esther Fleming, were able to translate their original concept into the beautiful idea of bringing the outdoors in, softening the edges of the art museum, and still honoring it's show stopping architecture.  I just love the custom pergola Esther's team built and designed for this wedding, allowing Kelly and Cody to feel a sense of al fresco intimacy in the middle of the soaring Calatrava building. 

Creating a personal experience for your guests

Whatever you do, tell your story in your wedding design! Not in a literal way, using words, signs, or photos plastered around, but in an experiential way by creating an atmosphere, beloved memory, or favorite experience together to share again with your guests. 

Many thanks to the following talents:

Event planning and design: Evenenment Planning | Florist: Impressions by Esther Fleming | Venues: Villa Terrace Museum of Decorative Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum | Bride's Gown: Nouvelle Amsale | Wedding invitations: Paper Envy | Catering: Calatrava MAM

Reflections and Home Tour of the #Boothhome

Today feels a little bittersweet. We've lived in our beautiful townhome for 2 years and in that time, we've worked hard  to bring it to life and give it the style we always envisioned. So much growth and change has happened in this home and as we prepare to list our home for sale, I got a bit nostalgic at all the memories we've made here. 

Decorating real walls, dealing with metaphorical walls

For me, this home has been my cocoon. Through some intense trials and pain, I've retreated here and felt safe. As we're leaving this place, I feel like I'm leaving like a different person, someone who's emerging from her cocoon! It was in this place that I lost my "perfect" side job and decided to become a full time business owner. It was here that I began facing some intense fear surrounding risk, the unknown, owning a business, and who I was as a person.

These walls have been there through many losses-lost pregnancies, lost relationships, lost business deals, and lost sense of identity. There were times that my cocoon was the only thing that felt safe when everything around me was being taken away.  

But during that journey, I began finding hope again. I began seeing God's abundance in my life, finding such love and acceptance in my husband, some really life giving friendships and I began allowing myself to grieve my miscarriages. I began to learn how to really OWN a business and not work for a business. I began living more confidently and respecting the deep waters I'd been through. It has been an amazing journey of renewal that I'm still in awe of.

Developing a point of view through self-discovery

We came into this  home with very little idea of our personal aesthetic and taste. During our time here, we've traveled the world and identified our sense of style in those travels. It's fun to see that we're leaving this place with a confident idea of our design sense and how we'd interpret that in any situation. 

It was during this transformative time in my life, that Stephen and I began brainstorming new ideas for our home design. Since I wasn't spending my energy dealing with fear and grief, I finally had room in my mind again to be creative! All of a sudden, life had so many opportunities and I wanted to explore them! 

As we leave this home, we hope you see a sense of our growth journey here. The confidence I now live in, the sense of wonder and exploration we want to cultivate, and the simple, textural approach we take to home interiors. 

The kitchen was my favorite transformation, with it's soothing carrara marble inspired palette and simple styling. My favorite design element in this house, however has got to be our charcoal plank accent wall in our living room! This element was the perfect way to create a sense of division in our open concept floor plan, giving the living room a defined sense of place. It made our already tall 9 foot ceilings seem even taller, and it gave the perfect nod to our love of travel.

Our master bedroom confused us when we purchased this home. The layout seemed funny even thought the room seemed huge. After a few iterations, we figured out how to really show off this room for all it's space and glorious window light! The layout wasn't the problem at all! It was just how it was used! 

Our guest bedrooms were our latest project and, though we haven't really had anyone here to enjoy them since we've completed them, we just love what we've created. Stephen really wanted a simple, clean design for each room with a soothing, refined look. He completely transformed those rooms on his own and I love what he did! I totally want to use those designs in our new home!

So as we list our home, we hope you enjoy our home tour! And we hope you see us in it and the amazing journey we've been on here! 

Before + After

When we first attended an open house at this townhome, it took us some time and thought to get on-board with living here. The space was not to our taste at all initially.

After spending more time in the place on a second showing, we began to see more potential. Once we were able to look past the paint colors, basic finishings and furniture choices, we noticed the high ceilings, lots of light, an open floor plan and ample square footage.

We knew we could transform the space to be what we really wanted and we worked so hard to being our vision of what the space could be to fruition.

My Favorite Wedding Dress Trends for Summer Brides

Last year, we learned that our brides had a recurring theme: they wanted their wedding dress not to just be a pretty white gown, but an educated fashion statement. Our Booth Brides were knowledgeable on the bridal market trends, chose what best suited their personality, and most importantly, looked and felt amazing! 

So, here are the summer wedding gown trends we want to see more of in 2017! 

Non-white wedding gowns

From Melissa's gold Carol Hannah gown to Zoe's soft gray-blue MoniRose Bespoke Gown, I just really can't get over gowns that aren't any rendition of white. If I were selecting my own gown again, I'd go for a soft gray blue or gray-green. Would you consider a non-white gown?

Gowns with sleeve details

Two of our darling Chicago brides were up on the growing sleeve trend and showcased it perfectly! Shelby's Liancarlo gown had a delicate but fresh take on illusion cap sleeves that matched her personality perfectly. Christina's Zuhair Murad gown had longer sleeves with geometric detailing that was perfect for her edgy and chic personality.

Bridal Separates

Adya made my day...maybe more like my month when she told me she had gotten separates at BHLDN. She wanted the option to change up her look throughout the day. I adore these options-especially for girls who like to change up their look throughout their day or who may have a size difference from top to bottom. 

Bridal Pantsuit

When I found that we were photographing this sleek and modern Delphine Manivet pantsuit, I actually died and came back to life. This is my idea of the perfect chic look for a really confident and modernist bride. I mean. Dang. How amazing are those architectural cutout details and cropped pantlegs? I'm definitely dying to see more simple and modern pieces this year.

So, which of these trends are you loving? I think I talked myself into each one now...but I think in reality, I'd love a non-white gown the most!

Elements of a Stylish Groom| Groomswear inspiration for Summer Weddings

We have to admit-it's easy to spend time reminiscing about our beautiful brides. But we've worked with grooms who have a distinct and intentional sense of style that is incredibly inspirational. From custom suiting, distinctive style choice, to the accessories that make their looks, here are some of my personal favorite elements that make up a stylish groom.

Custom Suiting for the Groom

A groom who chooses custom suiting is usually a man with an eye for heirlooms. He's the guy thinking about 10 years from now and making choices based on the legacy he wants to leave. This is probably my favorite type of groom to work with simply because this mindset most closely aligns with ours!

A custom groom is all about fit and detail. From a crisp suit that fits like a glove, to those personal details, like custom embroidery, ticking, stitching, or fabric selections. I love Christian's sleek monochrome look, Tom's Enzo Custom suiting with all kinds of handsome personal touches, to Matt's trim fit suit (his slim leg pants were seriously perfect!).

Accessories for the Groom

My favorite parts of a groom's wardrobe are his accessories. Yeah, I love how guys look in a well fitting suit, but those personal touches show his investment into his day and his distinct personality.

Take Mike, for example. He's wearing a crisp white dinner jacket to reflect a sense of mid-century style. His accessories were on point. From velvet smoking loafers, to gogosha optique sunglasses, a silver watch and black bow tie really showcased his sleek and mid-century modern aesthetic. So sexy!

The Best Hair Trends for Summer Brides

I adore summer. I bask in it's sunshine, generally refuse to let heat upset me (I went through a very long winter, after all!) and spend as much time outdoors as humanly possible. I love everything about the summer, so naturally, summer weddings are my absolute favorite! 

I particularly love summer wedding hairstyles as brides want to capture a more carefree and romantic feel to their style. I've selected a few of my personal favorites, from some sleek, minimalist hairstyle options to some more loose and carefree looks, I love each one!

Which style is your favorite?

The classic ponytail two ways for the effortless bride

You know the drill. A Ponytail is a staple for any woman, so naturally a comfortable choice for a bride who wants to feel effortless. Whether straight behind you or a side pony, take this classic up a notch by wrapping your hair around the tie, or adding in volume and loose curls. 

Textural and delicate updos for the romantic bride

All of these are variations on a classic-the chignon. But each of these girls had their own distinct personalities and I love how it turned out! Add in loads of texture with loose curls, volume with hair extensions (check out these hair extensions by legendary Team Hair and Makeup in LA!) or wrap with braids or a bun. 

Classic chic updos with showstopper hairpieces 

Choosing your moments with your bride style is key and each of these brides knew they wanted their hair to be the canvas for a show stopper hair piece, so they played it cool with sleek, sexy styles that framed these hair pieces beautifully.

Loose beachy waves for the carefree bride

Want to feel the breeze in your locks and toss your hair around without a care? Consider these gorgeous carefree options. If you have a glorious head of hair, do me a favor and choose this style and call me to photograph you.  We're going to have SO much fun!

Dynamic and Detailed | Elise and Travis' Wedding Photography Review

Dynamic and Detailed | Elise and Travis' Wedding Photography Review

"Booth Photographics is a dream team to work with. From the very first time Travis and I met Stephanie and Stephen we felt so comfortable, at ease and had so much in common with them.

They have an incredible eye for capturing the smallest details to the biggest moments. They truly captured our engagement and wedding pictures exactly how I had envisioned them and took my breath away!

I love the fact that they are a team. Stephanie was able to take pictures of us girls getting ready while Stephen was able to take pictures of the guys getting ready. They are a dynamic duo that is hard to find! I am so thankful and grateful that they were able to capture our engagement pictures and wedding pictures because after going through the whole experience there is no one else Travis and I would have rather had by our sides. My sister in law is also using Booth Photographics for her upcoming wedding in June of 2018."

—Elise and Travis

Intimate Catskills Lodge Upstate New York Elopement

The beauty of elopements is in the feel of intimacy they portray. So when shooting this elopement at the Jake Anderson Workshop at Foxfire mountain house in the Catskills, my goal was to see everything through that lens of intimacy.

Intimacy & Warmth

The styling from Lacy Geary and stunning floral works by Kelly Lenard lent themselves perfectly to this intimate approach, wrapping you with a sense of love and warmth.

Workshop: Jake Anderson | Stylist: Lacy Geary | Florist: Kelly Lenard | Silk: Frou Frou Chic | Paper Goods: Plume Calligraphy | Ring: Susie Saltzman | Film Lab: Photovision | Venue: Foxfire Mountain House

The Best Luxury Northern California Wedding Venues

A few years ago, Stephen and I had the opportunity to spend some time in northern California, including the Bay Area, Napa and Sonoma Counties in California. Over the course of our time there, the relaxed pace and every day elegance of the lifestyle there worked it's way into my system, leaving me feeling nostalgic about leaving.

Yes, there are wineries everywhere you turn, making some of the loveliest wedding venues every. Adding in the beautiful mild climate and perennially sunny skies, and you have the ideal conditions for outdoor weddings in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Here's an ever growing list of our favorite wedding venues in Northern California. When you book one of these, do give us a call! We'd love to be a part of your wedding in Northern California!

Napa Valley

Beaulieu Garden

  • Where: 1960 St Helena Hwy Napa, California
  • Why: Beaulieu Gardens Exudes that California elegance in the most tasteful way possible. With such a beautiful outdoor setting, it's no surprise that it's become popular spot for luxury weddings in the Napa Valley.

Calistoga Ranch

  • Where: 1960 St Helena Hwy Napa, California
  • Why: For those who want to get away from it all while still having it all, Calistoga Ranch has you covered. Nestled in the very top of the Napa Valley in the foothills of Mount St. Helena, you'll find a laid back luxury in a private and unforgettable environment.

The Vintage Estate

  • Where:  6525 Washington St, Yountville, California
  • Why: In the heart of Yountville, just past French Laundry and V Marketplace, The Pavilion at The Vintage Estate and the Barrel room offer the best of both indoor and outdoor Napa Valley elegance. The central location and stunning grounds ensure a memorable experience for all guests.

V. Sattui Winery

  • Where: 1111 White Ln, St Helena, California
  • Why: V. Sattui is a staple in the Napa Valley. While they've been creating luxury experiences for some time and have been named on of the top 5 winery wedding venues in the world, their experienced, helpful staff and award winning catering team will help you provide a fresh experience for your guests that will be well worth the trip.

Sonoma Valley

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

  • Where: 24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, California
  • Why: The rustic stone and vine covered central courtyard will transport your guests to the Tuscan countryside. 

Buena Vista Winery

  • Where:  18000 Old Winery Rd, Sonoma, California
  • Why: One of the oldest wineries in California, Buena Vista Winery is a beautiful blend of historic character and understated elegance. Tucked in the hills just outside the town of Sonoma, your guests will love the private setting and beautiful grounds.

Chateau St. Jean

  • Where: 24724 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, California
  • Why: Make your guests feel like their invited to the wedding of the year at this fashionable estate wedding venue. The Italian renaissance revival style is plenty elegant without being stuffy or too formal.

San Francisco

The Pearl SF

  • Where: 601 19th St San Francisco, California
  • Why: San Francisco is such a vibrant city and you'll be hard pressed to find a more bold and energetic wedding venue in the city than the Pearl. The large, open indoor space is a great canvas to work with, and the rooftop space a wonderful bonus full of potential for creative brides and grooms.

City Hall

  • Where: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl San Francisco, California
  • Why: If you're looking for an iconic location in the Bay Area, chances are you've already considered San Francisco City Hall. The building itself is stunning from top to bottom. And while you may need a large production team to handle setup in such a large space, the unforgettable guest experience and enduring imagery ensure you'll relive your wedding day for the years to come.

San Jose

Villa Montalvo Arts Center

  • Where: 15400 Montalvo Rd Saratoga, California
  • Why: A stunningly elegant Italian renaissance revival estate in the hills outside of San Jose, Villa Montalvo is the perfect luxury estate wedding venue to make your guests feel like they're getting away from the business of the valley while staying close to the city.


Holman Ranch

  • Where: 19 E Carmel Valley Rd C, Carmel Valley, California
  • Why: Holman Ranch provides a stunning rustic stone villa setting on a private, working ranch for a relaxed yet luxurious and exclusive outdoor wedding in the Carmel Valley. Not only is the estate practically made for beautiful photos, the ranch grounds provide unforgettable vistas and sunset views.

Bernardus Lodge & Spa

  • Where: 415 W Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, California
  • Why: If a relaxed outdoor garden wedding in a winery setting is what you're looking for, Bernardus lodge might be the wedding venue for you. 

Nicklaus Club

  • Where:  100 Pasadera Drive, Monterey, California
  • Why: This beautifully elegant Italian style golf club venue offers so many beautiful spots for you and your guests—not to mention your photographer—to enjoy it's almost not fair! All just a short drive from beautiful Carmel.


Want to conquer wedding photography 'FOMO'?

We address the key reasons bride's fear missing out in their wedding photography and clearly break down what you can to to fix it and enjoy your day swept up the beauty of each moment.

Booth Photographics is a fine art wedding photography husband & wife team serving Northern California. We are passionate about blending enduring beauty & intentional storytelling to create timeless wedding photography.

How To Use Ideal Lighting For Your Wedding Photos

In over 60 weddings together (plus a bunch of second shooting), there’s one thing that will truly make my heart hurt while photographing your wedding day. I’ll watch the best light of the day (sunset) used for things like seating guests or cocktail hour while the worst light of the day (12-2 pm!) is used for the most important photos, couple’s photos. 

Flashlight or Snapchat filter?

Have you sat around a campfire as someone tried to spook you while shining a flashlight up their nose? They look terrible in that light, don’t they? It exaggerates every line, eye bag and blemish. It’s harsh, contrasty, and unflattering.

Using light at noon is the sun’s equivalent of a flashlight shining up your nose (just flipped the other direction!). It’s harsh, contrasty, and unflattering. It makes you look washed out and anything that bright sunlight is bouncing off of (like the green grass) will lend a color cast to your skin.

Using sunset light, on the other hand is like using a snapchat filter that makes your skin look amazing and smooth (I call it the “pretty filter”). Because the light is softer, directional, diffused and warmer, it’s more flattering to your skin tone making it look healthy and golden.

Prioritize your lighting

So how can you take the most important photos at the best time of day? Prioritize your timeline around your photos.

Use the best light for the most enduring photos. It’s really that simple. Our opinion is that you don’t need lots and lots of mediocre photos, but rather that you need the right amount of great photos.

Putting it into Practice

Be strategic with your time for photos. We can do more with 15 min at sunset than 1 hour at high noon.

With flattering lighting, we have much more freedom with how we can use a particular location for photos and the technical limits of where we can place you or which setting will work are much more relaxed so we’re free to focus on strategic direction and authentic interaction.

I’d recommend planning your ceremony for 2-3 hours before sunset to use lovely soft light for your ceremony. Whether you choose a first look or not, plan to make time for your couple’s photos after your ceremony instead of before. Here’s an example of my process for planning best use of lighting for, say, an early June wedding:

In early June, for instance the sun sets around 8:30 CST. Your best light will be from 6:30-8:45 (weather depending, of course) while you can’t fit in everything during that lighting, here’s what I’d recommend:

  • 3:45-private first look
  • 4:00-bridal party photos
  • 5:00-photograph completed reception space
  • 6:00-Ceremony
  • 7:00-Immediate family photos (4 shots)
  • 7:30-Couple’s photos-these are so lovely because you’re freshly married and there’s a lot of joy present! It’s amazing to channel that energy into a few moments of serenity together before you head to the more high energy cocktail hour.
  • 8:20-First Dance

As photographers, light is our muse. The better the light, the better you’ll look and the more you’ll cherish your photos for years to come!


5 tips for Better Fine Art Wedding Ceremony Photography

2016 brought some of my favorite ceremony sites to photograph and after narrowing the selection to my personal loves, noticed that they all share a common recipe that made me love them (I had no choice in the matter, really). I'm sharing the simple tips I have found to create a beautiful ceremony site that’s both intimate and intentional

Natural light/outdoor weddings

If you're planning an outdoor wedding, we thank you in advance! If your day is indoors, consult with your photographer on how to make best use of your light sources. 

Ceremony floral design

We love it when couples make their ceremonies an intentional time and think it’s particularly special when you use beautiful floral design to create that intimate and romantic atmosphere for you to share your commitments to each other. Talk with your florist about how you can create something that makes a statement for your ceremony (and how they can help you enjoy that design into your reception as well!)

Ceremony time of day

I cannot communicate how important this is! My favorite ceremonies were planned for later in the day so the couples could take advantage of the softening sunlight. These couples did this after consulting with us so if you like the way your photographer has photographed weddings in similar conditions, do share with them what you like and ask how you can achieve that. They/we are the experts on utilizing the conditions available and should have some great recommendations for you.

Ceremony location

all of these ceremony spots had beautiful locations, but notice the direction? They're all facing west-ish (so technical, right?) Because our clients were aware of our shooting style and asked us how to get the look they wanted in their photos, they adjusted the time of their ceremony and the location so we could photograph backlight and in softer light

Guest experience

Your guests are making some sacrifices to be with you! When the ceremony time comes, It takes a lot patience and dedication for a guest to sit quietly amid a group of people they probably haven’t seen in a while! Show your guests your gratitude during your ceremony time with a few thoughtful touches. Choose some pretty chairs for them to sit in and pass them a champagne flute or cocktail as they enter the ceremony site to thank them for their commitment to you during that span of time.

Many thanks to the following talents:

Jina and Jae's destination wedding at Villa la Vedetta in Florence, Italy: Florals-Jardin Divers | event design-Italia Celebrations

Shelby and Tom's wedding at Artifact Events in Chicago: Florals-Stems Chicago | Event design-Shannon Gail Weddings

Elise and Travis' wedding at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club: Florals-Flora Flowershop | event design-Door County Event Planners

Ashley and Eric's wedding at Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus: Florals-blossoms and branches

Franchesca and Josh's destination wedding at Walnut Grove at Tierra Rejada Farms in Moorpark California: florals-EmLily Floral | event design- Mia Bella Weddings

Adya and Brandon's wedding at the Lageret in Stoughton, WI: florals-Daffodil Parker | event design-Lavender Hill Events

Destination wedding at Villa Cimbrone: we haven't shot a wedding here yet...but we're putting it out into the universe that we want to and believing that it's going to happen! Isn't that the perfect spot for an intimate wedding ceremony?