last week in pictures | march 31-april 6, 2014

Last week was honestly fantastic. The sun came out to play quite often, banishing any last traces of snow and steadily defrosting Madison's many lakes. All this sunshine (and the caffeine I've just imbibed) has me feeling like a chatterbox today, so grab yourself a cup of tea and settle in, if you have a few moments!

Work-wise, I've been on the post-production end of the recent collection of test shoots I completed with models from The Rock Agency. I had so much fun working with these talented young women, getting to know them and hearing about their future plans and dreams. You might have seen Maria and Katelyn's shoots, and I'm really excited to share the next five girls' portraits with you over the coming weeks.

As our time in Madison begins to draw to a close, I'm working hard to get myself organized before we return to Canada and jump into wedding season. I'm trying my best to use this relatively calm time to finish up a few new side projects and implement new ideas. It's also a great time to test out my lesser-used equipment and brush up on some new technical skills. Over the last two weeks, I challenged myself to put aside my favourite lenses and only shoot with my 70-200mm and my 45mm tilt-shift lenses. It's been a really cool process to get used to the weight and power of the former and really take advantage of the amazing mechanisms of the latter.

This week, I'm planning to finally complete the last few lessons of Susan Stripling's 30 Days of Wedding Photography course on creativeLIVE as well as watching the newly updated version of Davina + Daniel's fantastic Webshop course. You guys already know this, and I probably sound like a broken record, but I am passionate about education and continually improving skill sets. These slower months are great, as they allow time for a deep dive into learning.

Speaking of education, I was very excited to see that Miss Aniela posted the finished image she created during her Imaginative Fashion Photography course I attended. It's so cool to see the final product after observing her process. It's awe-inspiring! As even a casual visitor to her blog would observe, in addition to being a visionary photographer, she is also a captivating writer.

Sometimes during the afternoons when I've gotten more urgent work out of the way, I set aside time to plan personal work. These are little side projects designed to stretch and build on creativity, feed the soul, and in turn generate even more ideas that will be put into practice for my client work. Personal projects are immensely valuable for honing skills on your own time and dime, so that when you're working for a paying client, you're not messing around and are completely prepared. Here's a colour board I created last week that's part of the pre-production for a project I'll be working on over the summer.

Over the weekend, we got out quite a bit. On Friday we visited Karben4 Brewery for a friend's birthday where I discovered an affinity for black IPAs, and stopped by Natt Spil afterwards in time for a friend's DJ set. On Saturday we had a fantastic brunch at Sardine followed by a long run in the sun, and headed to Next Door Brewing Company to watch a very exciting but ultimately heartbreaking final four game that saw the Wisconsin Badgers eliminated. Basketball is really the only sport I like even a little, so it's been really exciting living in a town that has such a great college basketball team and being able to attend a few games. We spent Sunday working and then exploring little pockets of Madison that we hadn't seen before, which was lovely. And of course, last night was the Game of Thrones premiere. Did you watch?!

 And the moments in-between, on Instagram:

Wishing you a great week!