The Parachute Dress: A Fun Option for Senior Photos

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The Parachute Dress: A Fun Option for Senior Photos

One of the most exciting things about photographing seniors is the creativity that we can bring to their sessions. As professional senior photographers, our goal is not just to understand and amplify your senior’s unique personality, but to allow them to have a fun time and create photographs and wall art that go several steps beyond the ordinary.

This year we chose to implement parachute dress sessions, not just because they’re fun, but because, I’ll admit, I always wanted a parachute. Yes, I was one of those kids jumping off balconies holding onto my wubbie or trying to convince my mother to sew a giant parachute every time we went to the fabric store.

Now I’ve got one! My jumping days are long gone, but we recently purchased a white military surplus parachute (minus the cords….nobody’s jumping off the Capitol building!). I still had to lean on my mom to help us retrofit it as a dress, but she was happy to bust out the sewing machine to complete the project.

The inaugural session occurred over Easter weekend in front of Monona Terrace, and we can’t wait to bring in a few more seniors for this kind of session. If you’d like a session with this dress, just give us a call, and we’ll design a senior session that not only brings out your personality but also makes a statement like this! For more info, call 608-620-8304 or contact us through our website.

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Senior Model Zoe's Fashion Session

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Senior Model Zoe's Fashion Session

Zoe, an upcoming senior at East Troy High School, is whip smart, sarcastic, and passionate. We had her into our Madison studio recently for her first session, a glamorous and fun fashion shoot, that showed off not only her stunning beauty but also some of her spark. She’s active in music and theater in her community and school, and also engaged in activism across a variety of important causes.

Using lighting and techniques from editorial fashion and incorporating some of her favorite looks, we put together a portfolio that brought out a wide range of emotions (no doubt in part to her theater training!), and even evoked a bit of drama to highlight her singing chops!

As a senior model, this is only the first of her sessions. We can’t wait to get her outside later this spring!

If you’re graduating in 2020 and are looking for something fun, different, and customized to your personality, give us a call! And if your son or daughter needs senior photographs, we can create art that will not only appeal to your senior, but also will help you as parents mark this coming of age. This experience will help you see your senior in even more amazing ways. A special shoutout also to Katrina Christine of The Posh Beauty Bar for the amazing hair and makeup design!

Give us a call today at 608-620-8304! Or use our contact form and we’ll call you!

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Now Booking 2020 Senior Sessions!

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Now Booking 2020 Senior Sessions!

My daughter Veronika at eight years old.

My daughter Veronika at eight years old.

The first thing I learned about Veronika is that she loves to dance. I met my future daughter nine years ago when I invited her mom to a barbecue in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Veronica, who was eight, wore a bright green and white dress, spoke no English, and spent the afternoon dancing and making chalk drawings on the patio. Her bright blue eyes twinkled when she smiled, and her exuberance was contagious.

Now, nine years later, I’m taking her senior portraits. So for us, 2020 is a big year, and to celebrate, Steve Daubs Studios is launching all new sessions, wall art, and albums for Madison area Class of 2020 future graduates. For the most adventurous seniors, we are building a senior model team that gives your children the opportunity to get free sessions, earn cash, and represent our brand in their high school. Details and the online application are available on our website now. If you’re interested, sign up soon, as we’re closing the program at the end of March!

We provide a complete photographic experience when we photograph your senior. We get to know what you love about your child, what they love about themselves, and capture all that in stunning portraits that will grace your walls for decades.

We know that in another year, Veronika will be off to college. We don’t see her a lot these days between school, poms practice, friends, and dates, but we’ll definitely miss her even more when she’s out on her own. So we have a wall in the living room prepped for a collection of her photographs showcasing that mischievous smile and twinkling eyes. For us, that’s priceless.

What would it mean to you to have a daily reminder of the impressive young man or woman you have raised? What would it mean to have an album capturing your child’s unique spirit sitting on your nightstand for those times you’re missing them? Our senior sessions capture exactly what is unique about your child and what you love about them the most.

Call us today to set up a consultation, or send us a message via our website. We’d love to show you how we can help you celebrate this landmark in your child’s life.

Veronika Today….

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A Marriage Proposal Done Right | Elegance and Style in Downtown Madison

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A Marriage Proposal Done Right | Elegance and Style in Downtown Madison

Charles had a plan. It involved champagne, a bunch of candles, a new suit and the love of his life, Kim. Oh, and a big diamond ring. He planned out a romantic weekend for his longtime girlfriend in downtown Madison, and contacted us to help him document the moment he popped the big question. We were excited.

Proposals rank second only to weddings for us in terms of the opportunity to capture that giddy love which drives our photography. Emotions aren’t something we manufacture as photographers, but rather they emerge naturally between people when they’re in the right frame of mind, at ease in their surroundings, and connected to their partners. Charles had a great plan, proposing at the quaint and quiet Period Garden Park and celebrating with a glass of champagne surrounded by dozens of candles that linked the walkway. She, of course, said yes, and after a few minutes of quiet celebration they came with us for a quick pre-engagement session downtown.

We felt like we were working with models—Charles in a new suit and tie, his chiseled features popping each time we snapped the shutter, and Kim in a slinky blue dress that almost glittered in the evening light. And man, were they troopers. Not only was it more than a little cold, we also had to navigate around Freakfest and the costumed crazies streaming past us as we walked around downtown.

But the effort was worth it. We got to capture not only the moment of the proposal but also the joy and passion Kim and Charles obviously share, and all of it in time for them to make their dinner date that night. Thanks so much to both for braving the elements to get these stunning shots.

If you’re thinking of documenting your proposal, we’re happy to work with you to help create an evening that neither of you will forget! Give us a call at 608-620-8304 or email at info@stevedaubs.com for more information.

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From "Wal-Marting" to Wedding Bells: A Picnic Point Engagement Session

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From "Wal-Marting" to Wedding Bells: A Picnic Point Engagement Session

We are blessed with consistently amazing clients. They’re all different; some are wild, some are quiet, and some are silly, but they’re all different and that’s one thing we love about them. It gives us the opportunity to collaborate with our couples to create both wedding and engagement photographs that go beyond the ordinary and capture their love in very specific ways.

So when we start to plan a Madison engagement session, we always ask: Is there a place or activity that is important to your relationship? We’re not looking for the most beautiful location or setting. Rather, we’re looking for the places that are special, that evoke memories and emotion and allow our clients to showcase their real selves.

Nikky and Greg delivered this in spades when they answered, “Wal-Mart.” We were more than a little intrigued. As we started our session in the beautiful fall colors of Picnic Point, Nikky and Greg explained that when they started dating, they weren’t quite ready to tell their kids about their new relationship. But they were hungry to get to know each other, to build the connection that eventually resulted in their engagement, and they devised a plan: Wal-Marting.

Living in a busy household, they both needed to make regular runs to Wal-Mart for something or another, but now they teamed up to meet at there, pick up a few things they needed, and spend some time getting to know each other better. They strolled the aisles, and sat in Greg’s truck talking into the night. So after getting some more traditional “pretty” photographs of the fall color, we headed to Wal-Mart. That’s where I got to see their goofy side, the way that they know how to enjoy each other regardless of anything else. They’re truly some of our favorite moments from any of our engagement sessions ever.

We all had a blast, and we can’t wait to photograph their wedding!


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A Symphony of Color at Olin Park Engagement Session

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A Symphony of Color at Olin Park Engagement Session

Most Wisconsinites look at us incredulously when we tell them we moved from South Florida to Madison a couple of years ago. “Why would you do that?” is always the first question they ask. But the truth is, we love the change of seasons here, and no more so than in Fall, when the forests erupt in orange yellow and red, like a cool weather sea of fireworks across the landscape.

Those same people who wonder why we moved back to the Midwest also are the first to call in scheduling their fall color engagement sessions. They appreciate it, too, but after several years of hot and humid falls followed by hot and humid Christmases, we can’t get enough of the fall color. So when Anne and Reed wanted to schedule something when the leaves turned, we were happy to oblige.

Despite scheduling around the wet weather, we were able to get a beautiful, crisp fall day at Olin Park, and we spent the afternoon wandering the park's paths and lingering on the view of downtown Madison and the Capitol across the lake. We also were able to spend a little time documenting them at their house as well.

We can’t wait for their wedding next year!


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Lovebirds over the moon at Over the Vines Wedding

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Lovebirds over the moon at Over the Vines Wedding

Last weekend marked the end of the wedding season for us, bringing a mixture of joy at all the great people we met this year and exhaustion at the six months of heavy work that isn’t quite finished. Between all the editing and planning and consultations, it could start to feel like a grind.

But people like Ben and Jordan make us remember why we love photographing weddings in the first place. We had a blast with them last winter in our snowy outdoor engagement session, so we knew this wedding would be fun. They are as madly in love as anyone we’ve met, and Saturday’s wedding at Over the Vines showed us that it’s not just the two of them, but all their families and friends who enveloped the day in love.

The cold weather and wind didn’t even slow them down, and they put on a beautiful ceremony near the vines and a rocking fun reception in that gorgeous barn. And the weather gods rewarded them with the most spectacular sunset we’ve seen since we moved to Wisconsin! We wish them all the best in their future together!

Special thanks also to the other great vendors: getting ready: Courtyard Marriott East Side; ceremony & reception: Over the Vines; DJ—JS Sound & Events; catering & cake—Hy Vee Madison East; pies—Hubbard Avenue Diner & Bakery; hair & makeup—Creative Beaute Agency; dresses—Vera’s Bridal; suits—Men’s Wearhouse; ceremony & cocktail music—Soggy Prairie; day-of coordinator—Melissa Finkelstein.

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A Cozy, Intimate Milford Hills Wedding

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A Cozy, Intimate Milford Hills Wedding

Nobody would call Stephanie and Amanda traditionalists, so when they decided to tie the knot last weekend, their first priority was making everyone feel at home. They made a great choice with the Milford Hills Hunt Club. The rolling hills, sloping valleys, and still-turning hardwood forests of the club are the facility’s featured attraction, but the lodge itself is warm, inviting, and a great place for their intimate wedding.

Olga and I felt more like guests than hired help, and their friends and family joined together with us to celebrate two women who are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Even the constant rain didn’t deter anyone from a great time, and we were able to sneak outside in between the raindrops to capture a little bit of that gorgeous scenery.

Everyone got in on the fun, whether it was maid of honor Mary reading the perfect Shel Silverstein book, “The Missing Piece,” as her toast to the couple or parents rocking out on the dance floor or friends recalling memories of their times together.

Special thanks to the vendors who made everything work just right: Milford Hills Hunt Club, the Sweet Spot for cake, Cris at Red Velvet DJs, Taylor Kallhoff for hair, and David’s Bridal for dresses.

We certainly had a great time, and we wish Amanda and Stephanie a lifetime of joy together!

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A Union of "Mutual Weirdness" | Star Wars Wedding at Olbrich Gardens

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A Union of "Mutual Weirdness" | Star Wars Wedding at Olbrich Gardens

One piece of advice we give all our clients is to be themselves. It’s easy to get swept away by all the cool things you see on Pinterest or get pressured into choices by well-meaning relatives. We believe there is no one right way to have a wedding, and we will work with you to create the most fun, representative wedding you can imagine.

Samantha and Zach didn’t need our advice. They came to us with a vague plan to have a space-themed wedding of some sort, possibly involving “Star Wars” characters and other costumes. We were all in on the idea! Last weekend at Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Olin Park Pavilion, Samantha and Zach, along with their closest friends and family, all delivered.

While the Olbrich Gardens ceremony begin simply and classically, the recessional turned into The Imperial March as Zach donned a Darth Vader mask and cape as they left the intimate ceremony in unique style.

So when we arrived at the reception in the Olin Park Pavilion, we were charmed by all the space-themed details. Our favorite was a sign proclaiming “Mutual Weirdness Forever.” But even more fun were the varied costumes the guests wore, from R2 D2 dresses to Princess Leia hair buns and white robes to Zach’s Darth Vader bow tie to steampunk jet packs and goggles.

To borrow a phrase, the force is strong with these two.


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Joyous Abandon at Common Gardens Wedding

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Joyous Abandon at Common Gardens Wedding

We were particularly honored to photograph the wedding of a dear wedding industry colleague, Jen, and her kickass fiancée, Courtney, last weekend. And like you'd expect from another industry pro, they took great care all day to make sure everyone there had a blast, from the family and friends who came from all over, to the staff at their whimsical venue to the chickens wandering the grounds and the family dogs who join in the ceremony. And they made sure they had a blast too, bringing energy and loads of personality to every photograph we took. 

This wedding was amazing because the people there were extraordinary in the joy they brought to celebrating the union of two people and families. Instead of a dollar dance or fundraiser for their honeymoon, Jen and Courtney held a 50/50 raffle to raise money for the JDRF to honor their dear friend Julie and Agrace Hospice Care for their dear friend Dana. The love showed during the ceremony, officiated by Courtney's brother, extended into heartfelt toasts and a wild and exuberant night of dancing. 

Special thanks to all the vendors who made this great celebration possible. Common Gardens provided the scenic venue and great help in making the day smooth, Bunky's Catering served up a wonderful family-style meal, and to D&S Rentals and Steve at Master Works Design Group for decorations and support as well. 

It was an honor capturing the moments of this fabulous day, and we wish Jen and Courtney the very best in their life together. 

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