And You Are???? .....

Type A Images is a portrait and wedding photography company based in Wisconsin but available for any place your little heart desires! If you are interested in booking your event or session, hit me up on email!

Type A Images has been featured on The Rock and Roll Bride blog, The Offbeat Bride Blog, WeddingWire's Brides Choice for 2010 and 2011, and The Knot Best Of Weddings for 2011. Type A also offers a hospice photography program called Kindred Spirits through the Beloit Regional Hospice, which was featured as WPPI's Photolanthropy of the Month for September 2010.


A Little Hitch in My Giddy-Up | Madison Photography Workshop Review

As a true "Type A" personality, the whole concept of failure is not only scary to's always been unacceptable. I fend off failure like the black plague. How this applies to day to day life is that I often avoid situations that may produce an "EPIC FAIL" experience.

This week I attended a 2 day workshop that centered around the idea of leveraging failure to create success. It was created and run by Brandon Perron, a photographer from Oregon (a strange little place where they pronounce the "b" in subtle and don't have sales tax....very odd). Brandon takes a decidedly different approach to the workshop experience. For one, his "method to success" is not based on having an awesome personality and being "cool". If that were the case, it would be the road to EPIC FAIL for me for sure. Not that I don't HAVE an awesome personality (naturally...I mean, cmon...have you MET me?), but I wouldn't exactly say I was "cool" least not in a "hip photographer" sense. I've embraced my geek-hood. It's okay.

Brandon actually covered the ideas of building a strong business, identifying target market, and successful branding. Real business ideals, you say?!? Surely not! I mean, honestly....isn't all I really need is a camera , a cool logo, and good connections?

It was incredibly refreshing to hear a workshop platform that revolved around running a serious business.....not a bunch of fluff, rainbows, and butterfly kisses. It's great to follow you "dreams", hitch your wagon to a star, whatever corny saying you want to hang up in your office to motivate yourself....but if you are completely jacked when it comes to running an actual business, the rest matters very little. I really don't care how fun and personable you are, if you can't properly expose an image or properly pay your taxes, the future doesn't look too bright for you!

But what was immensely helpful over the course of the two days was getting an in-depth look at how another photographer works with regarding to getting clients, servicing clients, branding, shooting, and post-processing.

We photographers work in a very solitary field. Although many of us may have partners, interns, or second shooters, it's still primarily sole business owners. Many who did not go to school to run businesses or become photographers. We are navigating this scary scary world on our own. We fail. It's simply inevitable when you're pretty much "making it up as you go along".

When I entered this business, it was on the heels of a massive failure: I had been fired from my job. A job I had held (under duress, really...the job sucked) for 5 years. I had a mortgage. A family to support. Bills. And no college degree. I had been working to put myself through school for a social work degree for some 8-odd years with no end in sight, taking classes at night as I worked full time and took care of my daughter, home,...not to mention made time for my husband. Something had to give at some point. Enter failure.

As I've talked about before, getting fired ended up being a GIGANTIC blessing in disguise. I didn't know WHAT I was going to do...but I knew if I didn't risk a bit of failure, I would simply end up in another dead-end desk job for very little pay and even less personal fulfillment.

Starting Type A was a HUGE HUGE risk. I had no start-up money. Everything was out of pocket. I had no idea what I was doing business-wise (thank goodness for my super patient CPA). I had no clue how to market, how to brand, how to gain a solid client base. NADA. And, I didn't know any other photographers. I didn't approach the area photographers for help, or ask if I could assist. I ventured out alone. Did this work? Sure....if by "work" you mean I built a business on the work I did then. Is it a path I would necessarily recommend? Probably not. First off, I would recommend second shooting! Second...I would recommend gaining a strong local network...and taking workshops like Brandon's.

The last two days have been incredibly fulfilling. Not only for what I learned on the business end, but I feel like I was able to strengthen my bond with other local photographers as well as gain a new friend in Brandon Perron. He's a very down-to-earth, pull-no-punches type of guy...and I admire that. I think he has a long career ahead of him not only as a photographer but as a mentor and teacher as well. Plus, he introduced me to InDesign, which was INSANELY eye opening (no more 2-3 day album design marathons!).

I have to thank Brandon for coming out here...and for giving me a little "hitch in my giddy-up" so-to-speak. I feel motivated to enter 2011 with new ideas, new branding, and a new way of looking at Type A. And if I fail? I'll learn from it.

I may be the Tracey Flick of Wisconsin Wedding Photography, but I can recognize a learning experience when one comes along!

Thanks Mandie from Red Gecko Studio for the group shot! ('re totally shootin' the camera some Blue Steel in this one!)


Sociable Chickens and Apple Pickin' | Elkhorn Engagement Photographer

Who knew chickens were so friendly?

Certainly not me! But, they're like little dogs....with beaks.

I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

Tonight I shot a fun, down-home engagement session with Kim and Bryan in Elkhorn. We started at Bryan's family farm where we met the sociable chickens, who wanted to join us on our sitting. More the merrier, I say. I want a chicken.

Then we headed over to a local apple orchard, which was wonderful. Got myself some apples and some GREAT shots...even though I made them lie in the grass and dirt. Totally worth it.

Kim and Bryan are getting hitched next summer, and after tonight I just can't wait! They are complete naturals in front of the camera....even Bryan. Made it a joy to "shoot" them.

Enjoy the sneak peek, guys! Tell the chickens I said hello!

Chicken pals.

You know I couldn't visit an apple orchard without a cheesy homage to Twilight, right?

Locations: Private home
Elkhorn Apple Orchard

Basilica, ABBA, Pauly D, and Harley...Common Bonds | Milwaukee Wedding Photographer

This is going to be a tough one to keep brief. This wedding had so much involved in the way of "funny stories I must remember for the blog" that even coming up with a somewhat appropriate title was a bit daunting.

I always try to remember themes....songs....stories. What came up for Paul and Katie's was: The Basilica....the band ABBA...a sighting of Pauly D...and Harley. Completely unrelated things...but somehow they all came together to create a wonderful wedding day.

Paul and Katie were married at the absolutely STUNNING Basilica of St. Josephat in Milwaukee. Now, if you've never paid a visit to this Milwaukee landmark, it may sound a bit trite when I say "stunning", but take my word for it...there are no other words to describe this place. It's truly breathtaking.
The former Bishop of Milwaukee, Bishop William Callahan, officiated the service...which was a full mass in all it's glory.

We made a few stops for pictures, including the art museum and the always awesome Iron Horse Hotel. I'm mid-shot when my 2nd shooter Maggie grabs my arm and says "The cast of JERSEY SHORE is here!"
Well..not the cast. Turns out this guy, Pauly D (I'm old...I don't watch this stuff! He's on that show, right?), was paying a visit to Milwaukee...and the lobby of the Iron Horse. Celebrity sightings at a wedding...good stuff, the things memories are made of.

Now, you may be stopping and asking yourself "Amanda....where does ABBA come in? Your story telling abilities are quite lacking....."
This is one I promised Paul would be blog-making, simply because it was pretty funny. I was talking to bride and groom, getting them relaxed during portraits, and Paul told me about the first time he told Katie that he loved her.
It was a great story.
For one, the guy waited a whole year....
For two, he did it at an ABBA tribute concert (Katie says it was probably during Mamma Mia!)
For three, Katie's response was "No you don't!" Or something to that affect...
Paul made a promise to spend the rest of his life proving it to her. (Insert AWWWWWWW here).

The reception was held at the Harley-Davidson Museum . Even though we lived in Milwaukee for some time, I had never been there before. What a neat place for pictures...lots of steel and gritty backdrops. Right up my alley.

It was a raucous good time. Paul and Katie have an envy-worthy group of friends and family that know how to bring out the PAR-TAY. The dancing! My lord, the DANCING! It was just a trip to about commitment to a craft. Paul and Katie carefully orchestrated a first dance that paid homage to some great movie-dance moments of the past....and to their rivaling football teams.

All in all, it was a great day....and I hope this blog post doesn't come off as rambling as it feels, but I wanted to get it all in!

Maggie and I enjoyed your day, Paul and Katie....thank you for allow us to take part. Enjoy your sneak peek!

The cufflink that wasn't a cufflink.
Even the BASEMENT of the Basilica is awesome.


Wind is my friend, sometimes.

The "Wedding Ring" (Paul and Katie's collection of friends and family that stood up with them as they took their vows)

This is just a small snippet of the 1st me folks...for those who witnessed was truly epic.

Commitment to the craft of dancing. I went through hundreds of "dancing" shots trying to find the one that encapsulated the "feel" of the dancefloor the best. It was a TASK...believe me, but this one was pretty funny, so here you go!

Ceremony: The Basilica of St. Josaphat Milwaukee, WI
Reception: Harley-Davidson Museum Milwaukee, WI
Videographer: Charms Video
Picture Locations: Milwaukee Art Museum


Friday Fractured Thought | Milwaukee Wedding Photographer

Another week down and another day closer to the Dexter premiere. Oh yes, priorities! I've been waiting a YEAR for this week!

In other "news":

- I'm sure if you follow me on Facebook (if not...what'supwiththat?) you've grown weary of me complaining about the neighborhood kid's and the local high school's homecoming antics. Now, I'm going to preface this by saying I am not some crabby old lady who doesn't remember what it's like to be 16. REALLY...I'm not. But holy buckets...these kids have it ALL WRONG.

First off, when we were in high school, the whole point of night-time mischief during Homecoming week was to NOT get caught. That was paramount! You wore parked a block away from your intended quickly TP'd their house...and you stole away into the night undetected like Chuck Norris.

That is not the case these days. Now, apparently, the point is to be as LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS as humanly possible...throw in some profanity and hurled eggs and you have Homecoming 2010.

Last night we were the crabby neighbors. It was late, our kid was trying to sleep, and the neighborhood was being taken over by these KIDS and their baking goods (not to mention their crappy cars with equally crappy stereo systems). So, cops were called. Kids actually got ARRESTED (the cops said it's ridiculous this year, pure vandalism..not just fun and games).

I will be glad when Homecoming is over.

- On a happier, less "rant-y" note, as I mentioned, this week is the Dexter premiere! I am so giddy-excited about this I can barely stand it. The season finale last year just messed. me. up. For at least a week. Cannot wait to see how they resolve everything!

- Also, Jimmy Eat World's new album "drops" this week, and tonight they will be on David Letterman. Jim Adkins is my super-not-so-secret girlie crush, so this is good news. And if you're not a fan of the band, or only remember them for "The Middle", I highly recommend picking up their album Clarity. It will blow your mind.

- Next week I will be attending a workshop in Madison with Portland photographer Brandon Perron . Since getting back from WPPI's Road Show I've been pretty motivated to take Type A Images to the next level, and I'm hoping this two day workshop will be even more motivating. And FYI to my photographer pals, there are STILL open seats for this workshop, folks. It's affordable for a 2 day event and I highly recommend attending if you can!

Mandie Haberman from Red Gecko, who is hosting Brandon Perron in Madison, will be at the Great Dane on Monday night to welcome him to town. Stop on by! I'll be there nursing a kiddie cocktail. : )

- Speaking of changes and motivation, I finally got a hold of a friend of mine who is a graphic designer to start on the new Type A Images website. It's been something I've been kicking around for awhile and had been afraid to pull the trigger on it, but when you go to my current site I don't believe it really SAYS anything about who Type A is and what I want clients to know. Hopefully the site will be ready to go live shortly after the New Year.

- How funny was yesterday's Facebook outage? And how sad are we as a community of folks who cannot seem to function normally without CONSTANT online connection? (Oh I am guilty, believe me!) Nuts. Twitter blew up like mad when FB went down. I have to wonder how office productivity went up!

- I just signed up to do my first bridal show this February. It will be the Wedding Show and Tell in Milwaukee (at the Audubon Center). I'm pretty excited about it, since it's another thing I've always put off doing.

- I feel like a broken record here, but there are STILL openings for the Halloween/Fall Mini-Sessions I'm holding on October 31. SEVEN in fact. This is a great way to get affordable shots for your Christmas cards, so hop to it, people!

And speaking of work...I'm gearing up for a wedding in Milwaukee tomorrow with the always fabulous Maggie . Reception is at the Harley Museum and I'm super jazzed about shooting there. Sunday I have an engagement session (and here's hoping no rain) and then I intend to glue myself to the TV in anticipation for Dexter!

Next week is all learning from failure and Brandon Perron fun....and then TWO weddings. I also have to give a great big fun shout out to Andrea Paradowski as she prepares for her wedding next week! Good luck!!

And here is some Betty fun....


You Wanna Take This Inside? | Milwaukee Family Photographer.

So, summer is over. It may still be warm outside....but I'm looking out my office window right now at a massive rainstorm that is sending my DirectTV into a non-working frenzy and making my window panes rattle. Not exactly "frolicking in the meadow taking pictures" type weather.

Last week a photographer pal of mine and I were discussing studios and the pros and cons of having dedicated studio space to offer indoor shoots to clients. I expressed concern that in our state, which has two season: construction and winter , people seem to be reluctant to schedule family and child portrait sittings in winter months if there is no studio available. She suggested I blog about the wonders and pros of using your own home for your portrait sitting.

Now, don't get me wrong...studios have a LOT to offer. Controlled lighting, for one thing. You often have a bevy of backdrops, props, and situations to bring to the shoot. But, there are many positives to allowing a photographer to come into your home.

Now, wait a minute Ms. Type may be house is a cracker box and I we have a dog, a cat, a monkey....our couch is ugly...the drapes need to be replaced. You can probably think of a million reasons NOT to have a professional photographer shoot in your home. I've heard most of them. And I intend to address them in hopes that when the weather takes a turn for the'll still consider having an on-location photographer visit you and your family.

Excuse #1: My house is tiny and/or FUG.
Ok, I can relate. Really, I can. Our old house in Milwaukee was dinkie. Super-dinkie. And not all that fancy. The neighborhood wasn't stellar. Curb appeal? Meh. It was brown. Very brown. And did I mention small? Oh yeah. It was small. Plus, I decorate about as well as I dress....and I have several people that can attest to my lack of fashion sense.

But I took a TON (read: thousands) of pictures of Betty in that space....because it's really all I had to work it was all about making it work.
I've shot in big, beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens homes....and I've shot in hospital rooms. Not only can you make nearly any space work, but people often really overlook the beauty in their "ordinary".

Beauty in the ordinary. (Shot in the super-tiny bedroom of my old house)

Excuse #2: My Kids are Crazy and Won't Behave Indoors.
Ok, I can relate as well. Cramped up indoors all become insane little monsters. But, believe me, they are much LESS insane if they are comfortable with their surroundings and you have their favorite items around to bribe them with.

Excuse #3: We Want Something "Different".
Studios are fabulous, because you truly get the "photographer" experience. The lights! The props! You are a SUPER MODEL. But, there is something to be said for using the items in your home to truly bring a personal touch to your images. Your couch. Your chair. Your grandmother's heirloom painting. Your weird collection of troll dolls. Something that says "US".

I walked into this client's home and was instantly taken by their couch. The clean lines, the retro vibe. LOVED it.

Excuse #4: We Want Something Very Simple.
I am a HUGE fan of the plain color background. HUGE. I love just a great smile (or great big eyes) backed by black...or blue...or white. Stark and to the point lovely.
This is not something that is out of the question in the home. I do it all of the time. Often, all you need it some fabric (which I typically bring with me) or a great colored wall.
Black velvet on a Boppy on the floor. Viola! Portrait backdrop.

Excuse # 5: My house is a Mess.
Not sure I can really help with this one too much, because...well...that's your deal! But unless you're a candidate for the show Hoarders, I guarantee you I can work around it (or work with it and create a really cool concept shot).

The Pros:
There are definitely pros to allowing me to come to you. Here's a quick run down:

1. You can schedule your shoot year round. And I promise to take my shoes off in your house.

2. Kids can be comfy and you don't have to hustle them out of the door.

3. No use dragging a million outfits and personal props to the studio. Just keep them on hand...if you decide to throw another outfit on the pile, go for it. We're right there!

4. Brings a very unique, personal touch to your images.

Images taken in the client's home. Fun wall color = bonus!

So, fear not the onset of cold weather, Wisconsinites. I'm still shooting....and having a sitting in your home can be a great, personal way of getting those holiday shots.


Grandma and Papa and Betty. | Beloit Family Photographer.

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey

I normally try to mix up locations, especially with back to back shoots, but Beckman Mill has family connections for my its hard to beat this place for versatility and beauty in the Beloit area.

So, today we headed over to the Mill again, this time for a fun fall/family shoot with my mother and father-in-law Jim and Jan and the infamous Betty Claire. Betty was a bit punchy, coming off a weekend of parties and candy, but settled down for a few shots at least.

It was a bit chilly, and we didn't get any of that warm sun wash I normally seek out, but I think they turned out wonderfully given the kind of cruddy weather we had to work with.

Enjoy the sneak peek, love you guys!

Now, Jim said this shirt was "melon"....I say its pink and he's in pink-shirt denial.

Location: Beckman Mill Beloit, WI

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