life . Portrait . street

Madison, WI


Fontana Giusti

A motherhood session in full bloom

I know every year the obsession is about the early Magnolias and the Cherry blooms, and some will track the lilacs peak, but in my opinion Crabapple flowering week is the prettiest time in Madison WI. The Arboretum has so many Crabapple trees it’s impossible to not find a stunning spot and get one or ten good shots. 

For a family photographer in Madison WI, what better time and place to celebrate motherhood? Blooms are inherently feminine and they evoke fertility, and they also pair oh so well with young children’s skin, the tone, the texture, the magic of a fleeting season…

So to save my motherhood mini sessions fiasco (let’s call this what it was), I got in touch with Kregan, who had booked a slot, and asked her if she’d want to turn it into a full session with her family, to which she enthusiastically said yes! This was the deal of the decade, I photographed at cost (if you look at it a certain way, at a loss if you look at it other ways, but you should not let me get into any of this, I’m pretending it’s not true), and I’m glad she took it, because that last week of April was indeed the best possible time to be photographing a mother with her darling darling toddler – and we took a few images of dad as well.

I decided to photograph this family hybrid, which is new to me, I either do all digital at volume events, or all film at family sessions. I’m not sure I’ll do it again, because it was more challenging than I thought it would be: the process is so different, I meter and photograph almost in opposing ways with each medium, and it makes post-production a mess… 

photo of a mother holding and kissing her toddler in front of blossoming trees

So one of the (many) lessons I’m drawing from this, is that next year I’ll be doing mothers’ day mini sessions (or any minis you’ll fancy, for what it matters) without a partnering business, by the crabapple blossoms of the Arboretum, and it will be glorious! 

Now that I put it out, set the intention and marked my calendar, I look forward to seeing you there, mamas!

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