Saturday, December 12, 2009

Superman + Superwoman = Superbaby?

What happens when two of the most fit and well-built (and nicest, by the way) people I have ever met get married? Two years later they have Tristan the Superbaby! Zach and Heather brought him when he was just a few days old. Now, this buff little guy is a bundle of fun at twenty-weeks old. I'll be seeing him again soon as I photograph his changes during his amazing first year. Our goal is to create a hardcover PhotoBook documenting Year One of Tristan.

2010 wedding dates are going fast

Tis the season to book weddings. And 2010 wedding dates are flying off the shelves right now. June, September and October are getting filled in a hurry for both myself and the Associate Team of Allison and Krystal. July and August will be going soon, too. Check your date before it is too late: or 608-846-5319.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A hot time in Markesan.

How hot is it in Markesan? It was so hot on Saturday that the bat flying around the church finally left to find someplace cooler. Now that's hot. It was a five Gatorade day on the thirst-o-meter. But the heat couldn't stand in the way of Jayme and Matthew (plus 1500 or so members of the Quade clan) saying "I do" in a beautiful wedding ceremony that was punctuated by a opera-quality solo by the pastor. He had some serious pipes! After a pit stop in Manchester, we
dropped by Jayme's house for some Rural Chic pics (my Urban
Chic fashion pics, country-style), then swung over to a lake for some cool shots on the pier. Then we capped everything off with a great reception at Beaver Dam Country Club (and I cranked the air conditioning on the car ride home). Thank you to Jayme and Matthew for a fun day, and thanks to the intrepid MaryBeth for doing an awesome job assisting while Allison and Krystal had their own Associate Team wedding that day.

See a show of Jayme and Matthew's highlights here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We have a winner!

We have a winner in my September Wedding Giveaway! And the lucky couple is (drumroll please)....Karrie Kluever and Kyle Ghostley! They win coverage of their wedding on September 26, including my Urban Chic fashion walkabout and all of the high-rez files, for a total value of $2500. What a great feeling it is to give something like this away to a very worthy couple. Plus, I got a bunch of hugs when I told them. :)

In addition to just being a nice guy, I do have another purpose for giving away the wedding photography: I will have a film crew there to tape how I cover a wedding, including how I prep, what gear I take, how I use directional light with on-camera and off-camera flash, how I interact with and direct the couple, and other tips and secrets I utilize on a wedding day. My goal is to make it as good as if not better than if the viewer had actually tagged along on that day. The footage will be edited to include voiceovers and instruction tips, with the end product being a very comprehensive "how to shoot a wedding, Michael-style" DVD. My target release for the DVD will be first quarter 2010. When we get close to the release time I will post a special pre-release order offer for anyone who wants to be one of the first on the block to get one. :) Stay tuned for future posts and info.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Neither rain, nor monsoon, nor blistering heat nor biting mosquitoes, shall...blah, blah, blah.

Bobby and Christine's wedding was one wicked awesome day. They were, of course, fabulous in so many ways. Fun, relaxed, beautiful....and that was just Bobby. LOL. We started at 8 a.m. at Olbrich in a steady downpour. Every
time the rain let up and we considered going outside, it would renew with a vengeance. Whenever I said "I don't thinkthe heavy stuff will come in for awhile yet" in my best Carl Spackler imitation, it would, of course rain even harder. Needless to say, the wedding ceremonies were both held inside. Afterwards, we braved the rain to get some cool shots around the gardens.

After a quick break for finely
shaved roast beef and a
champagne toast (okay, it was Arby's and Miller High Life, "the champagne of beers"), we rocked some of my Urban Chic-style
shots with some cool old buildings. Then it was off to the Capitol for wedding party pics and an impromptu parody of "Rocky" by Bobby and the groomsmen. (See photo to see what I mean.)

After the Capitol, Bobby and Christine were game for
a "walkabout". A "walkabout" is where we just deviate from the normal path and find cool locations to shoot. And boy did we ever find cool stuff! Textures, colors and incredible light. A fire
escape for a little Romeo and Juliet action. Christine pulled off coy, aloof, passionate, vulnerable while Bobby was suave, rakish and commanding. What fun!

After a break for Christine to change back into her white wedding dress, we met up at Maple Bluff Country Club for the reception. Throw in some killer sunset shots by the lake, and all in all you have one fantastic wedding day.

To see a slideshow of Bobby and Christine's wedding highlights, click here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beeyootiful day at Lussier Family Heritage Center

Maggie Bach and John Hanrahan certainly could not have picked a more gorgeous day to have their wedding. Late July and it's in the high seventies, sunny and no humidity? That's pretty awesome. And with everything happening at the Lussier Center, it was a Capitol-free day, to boot. (Not that I'm dissing the Capitol by any means, but it is nice to get away from it every once in awhile.) Give me a rustic barn, a majestic rolling natural prairie and lots of natural light any day. As you can see, we were able to work a little magic with the setting and our wonderful couple.

If you want to see more from Johnny and Maggie's wedding, check out the slideshow.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Double the ceremonies, double the fun!

Okay, maybe it wasn't TWICE as fun to have TWO wedding ceremonies, but I did have a blast photographing Rita and Tyler's wedding(s) at Monona Terrace in the Grand Terrace room. First we started with a Hindu Lite ceremony -- two and a half hours rather than three days (although it would have been cool if we could have had Tyler arrive on elephant, but I digress). Rita was stunning in a red sari. Tyler was rakish in his tux with red tie. Then after an accelerated Hindu ceremony that seemed to confuse everyone including our officiant, there was a quick change and we rolled into the Christian ceremony. I didn't clock it but I think it came in around 10 minutes. :) The bridemaids switched from yellow saris to yellow bridesmaids dresses, and the guys, um, didn't change anything that I could tell, but I was afraid to ask. Rita was again stunning in a beautiful red wedding dress. How cool! After some rooftop families pics we boarded the party bus and rocked/hip hopped our way to the Capitol for some fun wedding party pics. After pulling Rita and Tyler away for some "urban chic" photos, we boarded the bus and invaded Brothers. After several beverages and some dancing on the bar, we made our way back to Monona Terrace for the reception. Now I have 2500+ pics to edit and process....Zowie! But well worth the effort!

Friday, July 17, 2009


FREE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY! No, that's not a typo. If you or someone you know is getting married on September 25 or 26, 2009, you could get free wedding coverage. What's the catch? An inobtrusive film crew will be filming me as I photograph the wedding. We'll be turning the footage into an instructional DVD as part of the new "Behind the Scenes with Michael" series. The DVD will show how I approach wedding photography...on they fly, in real time, with real results for a real couple. Only one couple will be selected. The selected couple will receive between 5 to 7 hours of free wedding coverage plus a copy of the high resolution processed image files. Interested couples must contact me ASAP to apply. Call me at 608-846-5319 or email me at

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boll-ing in the Capitol

Okay, so it is a bad pun at the expense of Ken and Jessica Boll's name, but I'm sure they understand, right guys? Guys?? :) I love photographing weddings in the Assembly at the Capitol. So much history and some incredible architecture. Mix that with a great couple and you have a really fun day. And a creative day, too, as I was able to create some entirely new looks. Thanks to Ken and Jessica, I have some powerful new images for the portfolio. Way to go, guys!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bless me Bucky for I have sinned...

I believe in going the extra mile for my clients...or in this case, an extra 100 yards or so. When you are with a bride on her wedding day you're allowed to bend a few rules. You know, cross the street in the middle of the block, or, park the limo in a no parking zone, or, sneak into Camp Randall, or, have a bottle of Champagne open in the....wait a second...go back...what was that third one again??! Okay, okay. I admit it. I snuck into Camp Randall with the wedding party to get a few cool shots. But officer, it was her idea. :) Eric and Torilynne couldn't have dialed up a better day. Beautiful weather, a great wedding ceremony and reception at Quivey's Grove, and a little larceny, too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Best of Madison? I guess so!

Talk about a really cool, out-of-the-blue surprise. Beautiful Portraits by Michael was named Best Local Photographer in the recent Madison Magazine Best of Madison reader's poll. Wow. I didn't even know that I was nominated. A huge "thank you" to everyone who voted for sure to do it again next year. LOL.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NEW: Book your senior portrait session ONLINE!

I like to be on the cutting edge (excuse me while I bluetooth a file from my Blackberry to my netbook). Anyway, as I was saying. I like technology when it makes things easier. And what could be easier than booking your senior portrait session with a couple of clickity clicks and a credit card? To book your session online, just go to my new reservation site at: . You can check date and time availability, pick the perfect session to fit you, then book it directly through the site. I do require that you pay for the session with a credit card at the time of booking in order to guarantee your spot. Of course, you can still book the old fashioned way by calling 846-5319 and sending a check via snail mail. Either way, it's all good.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Windy and wormy in Milwaukee

Sunday of Memorial Day weekend gave me my first chance this year to practice my Milwaukee wedding photography skills. I also got to shot at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple for the first time.
Hart & Becky had a beautiful day...but, man, was it windy by the lake. I thought we were going to get blown into Whitefish Bay when we stopped by Hart's home for a few lake view (and treehouse) shots. Of course, we had to work in some images at the Calatrava designed art museum. And of course, I tried to put my own unique spin on them so they wouldn't look like the thousands of other Calatrava shots. I even convinced them to close the giant wings on the building. ;) Okay, so maybe they closed them because of the gale-force winds. We still got some great images. Check them out.

When the happy couple entered the reception at the Harbor Lights Room, Hart blew everybody away with a full-on worm...he even got air. Impressive.

To see a slideshow of their highlight images from the day, click here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kelsey Rudisill, Class of 2010

Highlights from the spokesmodel session for Waunakee's Kelsey Rudisill. Fun stuff!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marriage is a marathon, baby.

Madison Wedding Photographer Michael MowbrayWhat do you get when an Ironman marries a marathon runner? A great, high-energy day with Craig and Megan Schaning. After a beautiful ceremony at St. Patricks in Madison, we ran (almost literally) to a ton of great locations, including the Capitol, Overture Center, the Memorial Union, and finally, Monona Terrace. Craig and Megan also blew everyone away with a fantastic swing dance to cap off their first dance together. Awesome!

Here are a few highlight images. You can also view a show of their highlights here.Madison Wedding Photographer Michael Mowbray

Madison Wedding Photographer Michael Mowbray

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Jesse Von Behren, Class of 2010

Jesse is our senior spokesmodel from Lodi. Life's rough when you're photogenic, huh? :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back in DeForest for Amanda and Brad

Madison Wedding Photographer Michael MowbrayIt seems like forever since I photographed a wedding in DeForest....weird, huh? I travel all over photographing weddings, which is way cool, but sometimes it's nice to stay in town. Thanks to an amazing couple, Brad and Amanda Roudebush, for breaking my streak. :) We had a perfect day, especially for early May. Ceremony at Christ Lutheran church, some fun outdoor shots at the Capitol with the tulips in bloom, and we wrapped it up with the day with a DeForest contingent at the Concourse Hotel -- Austin from Jukebox Bandstand was the DJ and Karen the Cake Lady crafted the fabulous cakes.Madison Wedding Photographer Michael Mowbray

Here are a few shots from the day, and here's a link to see a highlight show: ShowMadison Wedding Photographer Michael Mowbray

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Chopped" for photographers

I finally watched "Chopped" on the Food Network last night. For those of you who haven't seen it, four chefs are matched against each other. They must make three courses: an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. After each course, the judges select the one chef who came up short and they are "chopped" and can't continue on. The kicker is that each course must include all of the ingredients in a mystery basket, and the ingredients are "interesting": one appetizer last night needed to be made from lump crab meat, grapefruit, bran flakes...and a rubber duck (okay, I made that up, but you get the point). It's amazing what interesting and potentially great dishes these chefs concoct with these discordant ingredients in a mere half hour. The challenge shows how truly talented these people are.

So, this got me to thinking: What if we had a "chopped" competition for photographers? Four photographers matched head to head in creating a portfolio of prints from three separate funky challenges. Like "Create a portrait of a baby with ISO 25 Kodachrome, a plastic Holga camera, a flashlight and a construction helmet." It would be really cool to see which photographers really knew their stuff AND could create highly quality images despite being hamstrung by the requirements.

I'm just saying I think it would be fun and really interesting. I'm in if anyone wants to create a pilot episode. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April Showers Bring Great Photos

Madison Wedding Photographer Michael Mowbray So what if it doesn't rhyme? (Jeez...critics!) Yes, my friends, despite the light rain that fell throughout the late afternoon in Madison, we were once again able to get some great outdoor wedding images. Megan and Ryan were so cool and laid back...and game for just about anything. So with plastic bags on the cameras and Ryan carrying my Dollar Store umbrella, we traipsed around the Capitol and captured some really cool pics. Then it was off to Olbrich Gardens for the wedding ceremony in the dome.

Madison Wedding Photographer Michael Mowbray

Madison Wedding Photographer Michael Mowbray

You can check out their initial highlight images and slideshow at my online shopping gallery here:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Elizabeth Kunz, Class of 2010

Highlights from the spokesmodel session for Elizabeth Kunz. Want to be a spokesmodel for your high school? Call or email me today.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Best of 2009 Seniors

Getting ready for your own senior portraits? Check out our Best of the Class of 2009 for some ideas.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MVP Collages -- Bigger and Better Than Ever

Check it out...we're doing MVP Collages bigger and better than ever this year. We introduced them last year and they became a smash hit. Now you can schedule an MVP photo session as an add-on to your regular senior portrait session. It's just $49 for the session and we'll create a sample collage proof for you to view from the images that we capture. That's crazy, I know. But they are so cool, you gotta have one if you are in sports, dance, or even competitive log rolling.

More info to come as we roll out our new and improved senior sessions and packages.