the studio… it’s still there!

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This past year has meant a lot of changes for the building at 144 Merchant Row in Milton – the building where the Don’t Blink Photography studio is located.  A change of tenants and construction improvements have breathed new life into the building and now you can often find the space buzzing with people eager to get their morning treat from the bakery (, picking up their evening dinner from Paul Revere’s Pizza, or checking out the latest crafts at Cranberry Cottage.  All of the recent changes have had quite a few people asking me… where is your studio now?!?  The answer… in the same building, just down the hall 🙂


In order to fill the spaces that best fit all of our tenant needs, Don’t Blink Photography just moved into a different space right down the hall.  We still have our logo on the window, but without the storefront I know that it had a few people confused.  I’m still there!  And I still use the studio for most all of the same purposes as before.  Here’s what they are…

As most people know I’m a natural light photographer.  This means that instead of using studio lighting and equipment to achieve the lighting that I need for sessions, I shoot outdoors or in areas indoors that have enough available light that extra equipment isn’t necessary.  The reasons why being that I prefer the look of natural lighting in photos, my skillset better matches this type of photography, and also because a lot of my work involves chasing little ones around 🙂  We all know that it’s much easier for a two-year-old to play outside and get their picture taken rather than being asked to sit in a little space!  Even with this being said, there are a few situations that require the studio lighting to achieve the desired final product, and these are:  high school senior headshot photos for the yearbook, and professional headshots.  I use the studio throughout the year to enhance my senior sessions by offering headshot photos and then also have the chance to take professional headshot images for local business people to use for their business cards, advertising, campaigns, etc.  The studio is also a great spot for me to meet with clients about upcoming sessions or weddings, and a space where I can show clients product samples or meet them to deliver print or product orders.  There are lots of times when the space comes in handy for Don’t Blink Photography, but I just don’t do my lifestyle portrait sessions there.

I’m also proud to be an approved vendor for  If you haven’t checked out their unique frames yet – you have to visit the site!  If they look familiar, you might’ve seen these frames used in the Extreme Home Makeover houses that Ty Pennington designed!  They can make an awesome addition to your home decorating and come in tons of color choices (see photo below!).  I also showcase canvases in the studio, which are also available through Don’t Blink and also professional print samples!





Happy Friday!

♥ Erin

winter wedding

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The winter months are typically a little slower when it comes to wedding photography.  I was so excited when Stephanie and John asked me to take pictures at their December 28th wedding this past month!  There is just something so magical and cozy about a winter wedding, and this event proves it!  Taking place at the Barn at Harvest Moon Pond in Poynette, WI – this gorgeous wedding carried the spirit of Christmas through an event that was both elegant and festive at the same time.  Guests were greeted by a warm, crackling fieplace, holiday lights, and even mistletoe as they made their way up to the loft of the barn for the dimly lit, romantic ceremony.  The dinner and party that followed were also rustic and fitting with the scene, as children could visit the hot chocolate bar or adult guests could sample the bride and groom’s favorite mixed drinks.  Thank you to Stephanie and John for letting Don’t Blink Photography be a part of your special day!

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love is in the air

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It was a warm spring day when I had the opportunity to take pictures for Matt and Kaitlin’s engagement session in Madison.  Planning an October 2012 wedding, it’s obvious that these two are head over heels!  Enjoy these photos and I can’t wait to post pictures from their big day later this fall.


baby bump

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Maternity sessions took on a whole new meaning for me this spring, as I now have a little one of my own.  It was so much fun taking photos for Falicia and Justin… and their baby-to-be.  Such a happy time in their life, it was fun to capture these moments for them, especially because I know all to well how quickly this time goes by.  As I’m posting this, their little girl is now here!  I can’t wait to share photos from their newborn session as well!

minnesota love

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I was so honored to be the engagement photographer for these two love birds this spring.  This gorgeous bride-to-be is a friend of mine from back in first grade!  When life took her to Minnesota, she met the man of her dreams and they started their own “happily ever after.”  Congrats to Kelli and James!

spring seniors

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Not only is the high school senior in this post absolutely stunning, but she also happens to be my cousin-in-law 🙂  Congratulations to Cassie on her last year of school before her next big adventure!  We had so much fun shooting on this overcast day (my favorite weather for sessions!) in Madison.  Spring had just started turning the world green again, and one of our favorite parts were all of the gorgeous flowers that were starting to fill up the trees in the neighborhood where we held our session.  Enjoy!


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I found out last week that there’s no sweeter sound in the entire world then hearing your baby laugh for the first time.  It’s so sweet and innocent and amazing all at the same time, that it brings happy tears to your eyes before you can even realize what is going on.  It’s a moment that you’d just like to hit replay on a million times whenever you want to.  Luckily, once that first little laugh comes out there are many more to look forward to – but there’s just nothing like that very first time.  It’s so reassuring to know that your baby is truly happy, and I’ll never forget those first giggles…

We had known for a couple weeks that we were going to hear those little giggles soon.  We were to the point where sometimes Ensley would smile so hard that it just seemed like a sound was the only thing that she could do to show that she were any happier.  Looking at herself in the mirror seemed to be her favorite, and when we would get all excited and say something along the lines of “…mommy is going to give you kisses…” and then nuzzle into her little neck, she would smile and even squeal with excitement.  We thought for sure that this would probably be how we’d hear that sweet sound the first time.

Last week after her bath, Mitch laid her on the floor in the living room to put her jammies on and talked with her as she cooed and listened intently to all of the sounds and words he was saying to her.  She’s always such a sweetie, but even more so when she’s all relaxed and content after her bath.  Before long their conversation turned to “daddy’s going to give you kisses…” and in that excited voice Mitch would lean over and nuzzle into her little cheeks and give her kisses.  I’m not sure if it were the great mood she was in, or the fact that she just loves everything about her daddy talking to her, but then we heard it.  A sweet little giggle came out, and Ensley just looked up at us and smiled just like nothing new had happened, waiting for the next kisses.  Mitch and I looked at each other like we couldn’t believe what our ears just heard.  It made our hearts so happy.  I reveled in the moment for a minute and then grabbed my phone to try and record what was happening, knowing that I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone so that they could hear just how sweet it really was.  Once my camera was rolling, she was done with the giggling for the night – but that was okay.  I love the fact that this special moment was just between the three of us.  We loved talking with Ensley so much that night, knowing that a laugh could be coming any moment, that we kept the poor little girl up until after 9:30!

Ensley’s getting plenty of practice showing us her beautiful smile these days – it seems to be her favorite thing to do.  She’s our happy little girl, and we just can’t get enough of her.  Just over three months old, this age just seems to be magical.  Her personality is showing more and more each day, and we’re looking so forward to all of the “firsts” that we’ll be experiencing with her over the next few months.  Since last week we’ve been lucky enough to hear her laugh a handful of times after that first giggle, and we absolutely can’t wait for more!

a melody sounds like a memory

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Life is good.  That pretty much sums up the way that I’ve been feeling lately.  It might be partly because the weather is getting nicer and summer is on its way – everyone is usually in a better mood at this time of year – but I know that a big part of it is the fact that I’m just genuinely happy.  Mitch and I now have this beautiful little girl that makes our days that much better.  We love every minute of spending time with her, and last Friday was one of my favorites days with her so far…

When it was just Mitch and I, some of my favorite evenings together were those that happened on accident.  We’d get out one of our computers and look up our new favorite country song that we heard on the radio and play it on repeat on YouTube.  Don’t laugh… but we’d spend hours listening to each other’s favorite songs and then it would remind us of other favorites from the past too.  Before we knew it, hours would pass as we forgot about anything that was bothering us.  We’d talk about what’s been going on in our lives, our plans, and we’d even reminisce about memories from the past too.  I’m not sure what it is exactly about listening to these songs and the lyrics, but it’s always helped me put things into perspective and put me in a good mood.  I’m pretty sure that it makes me feel – grateful.  All of these songs help remind me what an amazing, and fun-to-remember past that we have, and they also makes me feel grateful for how things are right now.

Last Friday, I found out that Ensley might like listening to these songs as much as we do.  It was late in the afternoon and she was bored of our usual routine of laying under her play gym, bouncing on the ball, or walking around the house to look at ourselves in the mirror.  When Mitch started playing the new song by Eric Church called Springsteen on his computer, it was like that was what Ensley was waiting for.  As I held her, trying to sing along (unfortunately I don’t have the “good voice” genes to pass along to her), we danced around the kitchen… and she just melted.  The windows were open, and a warm breeze was coming in.  Her little cheek was smooshed against my shoulder because she was so relaxed.  It was perfect and everything in the world seemed right.  As lyrics sang about remembering summer days and time gone by, all I could think about was how much I loved this moment.  I knew there wasn’t anywhere else in the entire world that I would rather be than right there dancing with little Ensley.  I was sure that this was another, of many, times that I would never want to forget.

Probably the upcoming “country anthem of the summer,” this song will always mean a little something more to me.  I smile every time that I hear it.  “…funny how a melody sounds like a memory…” is a line of the song, and this one will certainly always be a special memory for me.

ensley paige

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For almost the past year, I’ve been thinking about this moment.  The moment where I am sitting down to write in my blog about how the past few weeks have changed my life.  I knew that becoming a mom would be the best experience to ever happen, but I can honestly say that I had no idea just how much of an impact this beautiful little girl would have on me.  From the very first time that you start telling people that you’re expecting a baby, those who have kids of their own and know the feeling, start telling you about how “your life will never be the same.”  I know that before Ensley was here, I took their advice to heart and thought so many times about how different mine and Mitch’s life would be and how we knew that our soon-to-be little girl was going to be a wonderful addition.  But I know now that I didn’t (and couldn’t) fully understand what everyone was telling me.  Until I held her in my arms for the first time, I just didn’t know.  In fact, I had no idea… no idea that my entire universe would suddenly revolve around this little baby who I just met for the first time.  I had no idea that my heart would actually hurt because of how much I loved her from the very moment that I laid eyes on this sweet little girl.  So, for this post (and maybe some others in the future too!) I’m going to write about my new favorite topic in the whole world – my little Ensley.  I know that my blog is supposed to be about photography too, so I’ll include some of my favorite pictures to go along with our story about the day that we became a new family…

After one of our first ultrasounds, when Ensley’s due date was set for February 4th, we were a little extra excited because Mitch’s birthday is on the 5th.  How much fun would that be to have our little girl on her daddy’s birthday?  And what an amazing present for him on a birthday he would never forget.  So, after many evenings of “false labor” or even when the doctor told us in mid-January that he thought we’d be having this baby “within the week,” we were also hoping that just in case he was wrong that it could be on February 5th.  I had long before realized that especially with anything having to do with pregnancy and babies that my trying to plan things (something that I find myself doing with most everything) just wasn’t going to work for this.  So, we spent the last few weeks of January waiting… and waiting… with our hospital bag packed just in case!  But when February 4th came and went and then February 5th came and was starting to pass by – I started considering the fact that maybe this baby would decide to stay put for longer than we thought.

So, with no baby news to keep us occupied, Mitch and I decided to go out for dinner in honor of his birthday.  The ride to the restaurant was a lot like other times, contractions here and there, but nothing that seemed to amount to anything.  Even throughout dinner the contractions weren’t anything close to the “can’t talk, can’t walk, can’t even think” kind of pain that I was expecting – so I just assumed that this was another bout of “false labor” – something that I was starting to get used to.  The only difference this night was that Mitch decided to download a contraction timer app on his phone just for fun.  It only confirmed the fact that the irregularity of these first signs of labor probably meant that it was nothing.  So with that, I went to bed, and woke up around midnight to go sleep on the couch.  For those of you who know about being nine months pregnant – sleeping isn’t easy.  Between trips to the bathroom every couple hours and overall achey-ness you just can’t sleep.  I’ve heard people say that this is probably God’s way of getting you ready for lots of sleepless nights – whoever said this might be right, because it’s like you develop insomnia and quickly learn to function on a mere four or five hours of sleep. So, after watching a few of the middle of the night shows on TV (a schedule that I had memorized – weekdays, weekends – The Doctors, Dr. Oz, infomercial, World News Now, Wake Up Wisconsin, etc….) I started considering the fact that my contractions were actually starting to keep me awake and might be getting a little stronger than I had thought.  As a first-timer, the last thing in the world that I wanted to do was make something out of nothing – or end up going to the hospital thinking that I was in labor just to be sent home and told that I didn’t know what I was talking about.  So, I let Mitch keep sleeping, and just waited to see what would happen…

Well, it didn’t take too long for what I thought was probably nothing to be something.  By about 3:30 in the morning I was sure that if this weren’t labor, then my appendix must’ve burst or something because this wasn’t normal.  Mitch was up by this time and telling me that I should really be timing these contractions so that we could call the hospital and see when it was time to come in – I had been reluctant to time things out or call the hospital up until now – probably partially because I was in denial that this was actually happening!  Within a couple of hours the contractions were about four minutes apart and that was our sign that it was time to head in.  By about 8AM we were at the hospital, and to my relief, being told that this was real labor and that we would be staying until we had a baby.

After a long day of labor, and me realizing that I had the most amazing and supportive husband in the whole world, it was time to meet our little girl.  I’ll spare anyone reading this the details of the day… don’t stop reading yet!  I promise, this is as far as I’ll go and the story only gets better from here!  Meeting Ensley for the first time was nothing short of surreal.  It was like the whole universe just stopped, and it was just the three of us.  Just typing this brings tears to my eyes, reliving the moment.  I honestly can’t even hardly remember what I did or said.  I just remember thinking that our baby… our baby that we had waited so long to meet, was finally here.  I remember her laying on my chest looking up at us, barely making a sound, and just being mesmerized by Mitch’s voice.  I was always so excited to witness the moment when Mitch got to meet his little girl.  I knew that it would be a moment that I would never want to forget – and I was so right.  Between the tears, the smiles, and just the raw emotion of the day, we were both in awe at this precious, perfect little girl that we were meeting for the first time.  We were head over heels in love.  So in love, that for the first half an hour, we completely forgot that we still had to name our new baby.  We just couldn’t believe how lucky we felt to have her.

I’m sure you’ve probably seen the YouTube video of the little boy coming home from the dentist on pain medicine and he says “is this real life?!?”  That is exactly how I felt for the next week, and the best way to describe it.  Not only is having a baby an out-of-body experience, but I think the first week as a new parent is, too.  I know that I spent hours in the chair just rocking Ensley, looking at her, crying because I was so genuinely happy.  I barely slept.  Not because she was keeping me awake (she was actually sleeping most of the time I was rocking her), but because I didn’t want to miss a second of this.  I knew that closing my eyes would mean that the time would go by even faster, and I was already feeling like each day was slipping away too fast.  I remember that I kept thinking that she would only be three days old for just a little while, or that she’d only be one week old for such a short time… I’m even thinking right now that she won’t be one month old for long.  Maybe I should stop typing and go cuddle with her right now :)…

Okay, I’m back… So, that’s the story – even though words can’t even begin to do justice to the way that I feel.  This is the best way that I can describe what it was like to become a mommy for the first time.  I know that our life will never, ever be the same again – and I’m so glad.  From now on, I’ll understand exactly what people mean when they say “your life will never be the same,” and I might even be the one telling my friends who are soon-to-be parents too.  Right now my days revolve around waiting for that next little smile, getting in all of the cuddling that I can, and wishing that the Sleep Sheep sound machine had a timer longer than 45 minutes (who ever thought that 45 minutes was long enough anyway?!)  I am grateful for all of the moments and memories that have led up until now, but I wouldn’t trade a minute of this for years before Ensley. Now we’re all settled in at home, and have been for a few weeks now.  Mitch has been back to work, life is returning to somewhat normal, and I even started taking a shower every morning too!  Haha.  I guess when I say that life is returning to “normal,” that’s not exactly true, because it’s so much better than normal.

what a difference a year can make…

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Tomorrow is the last day of 2011.  The last day of yet another year gone by.  Of course I can’t believe that it’s already this time of year, but I also can’t believe that we’re entering the year 2012.  I remember a time back in grade school when the teachers would ask us to draw what we thought that the year 2000 would look like.  I specifically remember drawing flying cars because that’s honesty what I thought that the future would look like.  Well, cars don’t fly (not that I know of) but I’m still pretty amazed at how different the world is and how much life changes as the time ticks on.  I feel like every year at this time, it’s so neat to reflect on where things were just a year ago.  For the past few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to think about where I’m at at the end of the year and think about how different it is.  Would I have ever expected that things would’ve turned out the way that they did?  The answer is always no, and this year is certainly no different.

There’s a country song that has a line that says “if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans,” and that’s a phrase that I would say sums up this year for me.  I realized this morning that it’s been five years since I graduated from college.  Some of you would say that it’s hardly any time at all, but if you’re my age then you’re probably feeling like I am… like I’m getting old! Haha.  What’s significant about five years is that it’s that benchmark year that you always thought about while you were sitting in class.  Going back to what teachers ask you about the future, professors would always say “where do you want to be in five years?”  Sitting in a college classroom it feels like an eternity away so you can dream a little and talk about having the perfect job and how you’ll have everything all figured out by the time you’re looking back five years from now.  Well it makes me panic for just a second thinking that I’m here already!  This is the time in my life where I’m supposed to have it all figured out… but instead, I realize now that every time I thought I knew how it was supposed to work out, I was wrong.  I’m pretty sure that my answer to my “having it all figured out” back in college would’ve been to be working my way up in a corporate marketing job for a company like Nike or Target (that would be cool, right?), and probably living in the Twin Cities.  At the time, I thought I knew for sure that this would make me happy.  The funny thing is that the way life’s turned out so far isn’t even close… but I couldn’t be happier.

A year ago, I never would’ve thought that my whole world would be turned upside down by this little girl that you see in the picture.  I honestly don’t go a minute during the day without thinking about her and how anxious we are for her to get here.  Here I am, just about to begin the year 2012, knowing that in just a matter of weeks, my husband and I will be holding our new baby.

I also have to admit that photography was never in a million years a part of my “5-year plan” either.  It was a surprise to me, and an interest that kind of picked me before I had the chance to choose it.  Between some of the most character building months after college, trying to find a job, and then finding marketing jobs that just weren’t exactly what I’d hoped for, I realized that taking pictures made me happy.  A hobby that turned into a profession, I’m so excited and feel so lucky that I now take pictures for people part-time and am choosing to make my business a career.

Thinking about how happy I am going into 2012, it’s amazing to think what a difference a year can make…  Here are just a few of my favorite photos from the beginning of 2011.  More to come!