all the flowers: an inspiration shoot featured on darling magazine

I am the biggest advocate for creatives creating for themselves — as early + often as possible!

When you allow yourself to conceive of a new concept and then make it a reality, you regain confidence and fall in love with why you do what you do all over again.  These little shoots are where I’m able to test drive ideas and enjoy the ‘high’ that comes from collaborating with people that I have creative crushes on!

This shoot is the epitome of just that.  Collab’ing with my faves, having possibly the most fun ever, and finishing the day with lungs full of fresh creative oxygen.

I was originally inspired by these images from the Fall 2011 campaign for Celine, and texted one of them to my friend Kiersten … who is a dream stylist … and she was lovely enough to get excited about the concept, and then we took it + ran!  Floral arrangements are so often the subtle element of an event of styling of a room–they’re the gentle detail that simply augments the color palette already present.  So with this shoot, we were inspired to challenge these traditions — by juxtaposing unexpected colors and textures, and drawing dramatic attention to the floral arrangements themselves.  The vision was to celebrate the unexpected, while still respecting the beauty + femininity of the subject.  With the amazing hair/makeup skills of Amy, and the beauty of Ms. Pruitt, this shoot came together in a matter of moments.  We hope you find inspiration in what we created together!

[We're so thrilled to say that the incredible ladies over at Darling Magazine are featuring this shoot today here!]

Concept + Photography: Caroline of Woodnote Photography
Hair + Makeup: Amy Clarke

by Caroline

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creative tea + sympathy : introducing MENTOR SESSIONS!


Hello, hello!  ’Tis a New Year!  If you’re anything like us, you use that ol’ December 31 to sit + reflect, and look back at where you’ve been, whilst looking ahead to where you hope to go. While we were having said reflective discussions, this epiphany came to us … and so here we go!

Over the past few years, it might be apt to say that here at Woodnote we have been ‘making it up as we go along’.  From starting a business, to making that business both of our full time jobs, to journeying through foreign lands, living a year on the road, to navigating through an inter-continental relationship, and then launching Elephant Landing … the list goes on!  So for whatever reason, we get asked daily by a variety of people across the planet and in different walks of life, “Just how on earth do you guys do this?! Can you give me advice about how to do [this thing] I’ve always wanted to do that scares me silly?!”.  Fair enough.  We’re living differently, and loving it!  Why wouldn’t people be curious?  The truth is, it’s a very long and detailed story.. one that we have nothing but gratitude for.

As far as little ol’ Woodnote is concerned, it comes as a big surprise when we are asked our advice —  welcomed as it is, we feel honored, humbled, and frankly a little shocked — probably because we see ourselves as the learners, and always will!

All that to say, it got us thinking about how we might best provide the answers, advice, and guidance to those folks who seriously want a helping hand, an empowering word, a chance to process their abilities + strategize about how to put them into play so that they can achieve their goals, OR, even a straight-up kick in the pants creatively!  So, starting now, we are opening up dates for what we like to call “Creative Tea + Sympathy”…!

“Creative Tea + Sympathy” is time with us, dedicated to you and your creative aspirations. Whether you are a photographer or create in some other form, a business person with a rad idea, “Creative Tea + Sympathy” is an opportunity for you to get nourished, empowered, heard and guided in your vision.  We believe that collaborating with the right people can make or break the success of your journey, and we’d be honored to be a part of you achieving success!

We LOVE creatives and visionaries, but more importantly, we LOVE seeing people succeed. If our successes, failures, lessons and journey can help you get where you want to be personally and creatively (is there a difference?!), then let’s share some Creative Tea + Sympathy!  We’ve also found some fantastic books + resources along the way that we would love to share with you, so prepare yourself for a tiny bit of homework, too…  :)

Creative Tea + Sympathy sessions will be dedicated times meeting with both of us face-to-face, talking through what you are hoping to achieve creatively, and asking us your no-holds-barred burning questions. Whether your endeavor is photographic or otherwise, start penning down your questions now – they can be as random or obvious as you’d like, from exploring creative philosophy, dealing with people, keeping the books in order, arranging a us to do a shoot that you can watch + observe us complete, time management, how best to clone dinosaurs, photography technique, social media and balancing real life with online life, ninjas versus pirates, working professionally with your romantic partner, how to build a robot that hugs back, or even, “how do I get started!”, etcetera etcetera.

There are no wrong, dumb, or pointless questions in Creative Tea + Sympathy. There are no silly visions. There are two parties getting together for the better of the world through your vision and dream.

We are traveling all the time, and so nowhere is off limits – if you’re there, chances are we will be soon, too! Plus, for all those living on the moon, there’s always Skype!;-) Sessions start at $100/hr — but email us [] for more info, and let us know what you have on your mind!

Let’s get chatting!

xo, Caroline + Jayden

winter wonderland sunrise engagement shoot (amy + michael are engaged!) – milwaukee wedding photographers

We’re terrible at ‘end of the year summary / highlights’ blog posts.  We never do them.

Partly because we are always months behind in our blogging, and still haven’t posted 50% of our work from this year … and partly because, well, it is impossible to ‘pick favorites’ like that.

Truth is, thinking about this year takes our breath away.  The people we have met, the stories we have gotten to tell, the lives we have been allowed to be a part of — I mean, not to be dramatic, but it’s an absolute blessing.  Jayden + I shared some misty eyes over an ‘end-of-the-year-recap-sesh’, because darnitall, our hearts are sure as full as anything.  And we’re so thankful to those of you who’ve been a part of enabling us to do what we love.

We are so grateful for this year.  For the lessons we have learned.  The souls we have gotten to know.  For the losses we have been forced to face, and the grace we’ve been given to grieve them.  It hasn’t been an easy year, and there are definitely things we are eager to leave on the pages of 2013.. but golly, we are sure thrilled to welcome 2014!  The unknowns, the blessings, the challenges, the learning curves and the smiling faces that come our way over the coming 365 days?  We can’t wait.  Get at us, ’14!  We’re ready.

And so, in lieu of a ’2013 highlight reel’, we bring you our last blog post of 2013 … amy + michael and their sunrise engagement shoot in Wisconsin on Christmas Eve.  Did we mention that it was -6 outside?  Because it was.  But golly, it was worth it when that winter sun popped up over the horizon, y’know?  The love these two share is innocent, authentic and contagious.  Watching them interact and smile at each other was so completely energizing that we forgot how cold it actually was during the shoot..!  We couldn’t be more thrilled that they’ve found each other, and that they’re going to spend the rest of their lives together … and, we feel pretty stoked that they’ve chosen us to capture this season of their journey together, too!  Guys, we so love getting to know you!

Enjoy your last hours of 2013, friends!  See you in the New Year… xo

by Caroline

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century barn wedding (allison + michael are married!) – madison wedding photographers

* W A R N I N G : make sure you have, like, 5 hours free before you read this post + check out these photos.  this one is pretty mega!*

Allison + Michael’s story of how they met just might be the very best story we’ve ever heard.  Get this:

They met at a Halloween party in 2008, where Michael was dressed as a Hooters girl(!), and Allison was dressed as a pirate.  Allison recalls, “My best friend was there and told me to stay “far far away from the creep in the Hooters Costume.” I’m very happy that I didn’t listen to him (Andrew) that day.”  (Seriously.  Who can top that story?!)

You might remember these faces since they graced our blog with their smiles last year for their engagement sesh, and now, we’re so excited to have them back again as we share some from their spectacular day!

Allison + Michael, sum up your wedding day in one sentence:  A day that only happens once in-a-lifetime for a reason; it was just that perfect.”

Any advice for future brides/grooms currently planning their wedding?  Hire a day of planner, listen to your photographers (especially if they are Caroline and Jayden) because they have a unique perspective on the wedding day and will steer you in the right direction. Be selfish and do what you + your fiancé want for your wedding day (not what others want you to do) and take time for just you and your husband on the wedding day. You will not regret those private moments later.”

 You guys, we are over the galaxy that you asked us to be a part of your day…  (Saying ‘over the moon’ seems just too attainable these days, you know?!)  Your love for each other.  That barn.  Allison’s hair.  Michael’s swagger.  The fact that you guys are the most photogenic kissers on planet earth (weird to say, but its true!) … oh snap!  Yours’ was not a day we’ll ever forget.  We hope that you revel in these memories for decades to come.  Enjoy a few of our faves from your weddin’!  (And to everyone else, be sure to check out Allison + Michael’s favorite memories later in the post…!)  xo

Favorite memory from the day?  (* side note … both of their favorite memories include us … we did not pay them to say this!)  ;) 

+ from Michael, “My favorite memory of our wedding was right after the ceremony.  Allison and I had just shared our vows with one another in front of all of our family and friends so we were full of emotions.  After walking back down the aisle, Caroline and Jayden helped us escape from all the commotion.  They dropped us off in a beautiful field so the two of us could revel in the moment and share our excitement with each other that we just became husband and wife…”

+ from Allison, I have many favorite moments from that day, but my favorite was taking pictures at sundown alone with Michael. It was almost like it was a secret because we were so far away from the barn and in the middle of the field and it was so quiet and it started to gently drizzle the most perfect little rain drops and it all hit that the ceremony/dinner was all over, and that it was just “us two” now … and it was just a really cool feeling. I remember just feeling overwhelmed with happiness and tearing up in the moment.”


This is an excerpt from the email that Allison + Michael sent us after they had received their photos … lest it come across like we are tooting our own horn, we merely wanted to share the power that a photograph holds.  To capture an emotion, and allow you to relive what you went through for years to come … that is why we do what we do (+ love the chance to do it, too)!

“We just went through every emotion all over again, those pictures are amazing/stunning/out of this world and all I can say is thank you thank you for this gift. I was having a hard time remembering the reality of this day and these pictures bring it all back to me/us and I’m remembering so clearly now. Just such a perfect day. 
Seriously, I’m literally shaking a little. We are just in awe of your work — Michael and I feel so lucky to have had you two on board.”

Some Credits:

Photographer –  Ummmmm. You know who;)(Caroline + Jayden of Woodnote Photography)

Wedding planner – Day of planner Canvas Weddings (Corrine Van Arsdale… Pretty much the best!)

Allison’s Dress – Robert Bullock

Allison’s shoes- Lilly Pulitzer

Allison’s Jewellery – Bracelet and Earrings belonged to Allison’s grandma who has passed away. Hair piece: David’s Bridal.  Blue Ring: wedding day gift from Michael (New York Jewelers)

Bridesmaid’s Dresses –  Amour Sans Anguish

Hair + Makeup Stylist – Anne Boettcher

Flowers – Garden’s Laurels (Donna Sager)

Stationery & paper goods- Wedding Paper Divas

Ceremony + Reception Venue – Century Barn

Celebrant/Officiant – Thomas Wakeman (uncle)

Ceremony Music – Andrea and Justin Dotoli (sister and brother in law)

Ceremony Songs - 1,000 years by Christina Perri + I Won’t Give Up* by Jason Mraz (A note from Allison: *We originally were going to dance our first dance to this song, but after trying to dance through it with Michael, it just wasn’t meshing. We thought it was too slow/sappy. We wanted something more upbeat and happy for our first dance as Husband and Wife. But, we couldn’t let go of the song so we worked it into the ceremony. We both felt it appropriate to acknowledge that relationships can be tough and that we refuse to give up on one another, even if “the skys get rough” (cheesy, but real). It in some ways covers our feelings on where we have been as a couple as well “for us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am” I think it is in many ways our vow to one another seeing as it was right after our vows in the ceremony. Just vowing to never give up and to carry on despite what the world throws at us.

“Well, I won’t give up on us (no I’m not giving up)
God knows I’m tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We’ve got a lot to learn (we’re alive, we are loved)
God knows we’re worth it (and we’re worth it)”)

First Dance – You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne

Reception Music – Rhythm in Motion (Bill Wondrachek)

Wedding favors – Popcorn from Clarys Popcorn in Madison

Caterers – Bluephies

Pies – Hubbard Avenue Diner

Wedding rings – New York Jeweler’s, Chicago IL

Transport – Gallant Knight Limousine

Wedding registry – Macy’s and Amazon

by Caroline

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into the woods with autumn reeser, jesse warren + finn! — featured on

Autumn first reached out to us about shooting for her fabulous blog, Move LifeStyle.  We’re so used to shooting for/with bloggers, that I didn’t really think anything of it, and never quite put 2 + 2 together to figure out that this was also that Autumn Reeser.  (But then I did.  It’s OK, I know now.)  Fastforward to when Autumn + I met for lunch in LA, and then when she + her writer/producer huz Jesse Warren had us over for dinner where we had quite possibly the best night of the summer — just laughing our heads off + connecting on all sorts of unexpected levels — and basically, a fabulous friendship has begun!  Autumn + Jesse both have insane schedules and amazing careers, and yet somehow find time to be fabulous parents to Finn — the sweetest most well-behaved lil 2.5 year old you’ll ever meet.  They’re quite the inspiring family to be around!

Back in September, we did this charming lil shoot with Autumn, Jesse, Finn + the lil bump, with the help of our favorite team of wonder-workers; Robert, Kiersten, Heidi + Amy.  Oh, and bonus!  The shoot ended up on!  So fun.  What a pleasant lil surprise.  :)  (Insider info: Autumn gave birth to sweet Dashiell Ford early Monday morning, and we can’t wait to go meet him later this week..!)

And now, a few faves from the shoot.. be sure to check out the short video at the end, too!  A very Happy Thanksgiving to you + yours’ … we have so much to be grateful for!  xo

Into the Woods with Autumn, Jesse and Finn from Robert Ingraham on Vimeo.

the team: 

. photos Woodnote Photography . video Robert Ingrahamstyling Kiersten Stevens . hair Heidi Marie Garrett . makeup Amy Clarke .

by Caroline

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December 19, 2013 - 3:00 am

A Walk in the Woods – Move LifeStyle - [...] sweaters, and a cozy time in a cabin somewhere. That’s why I LOVE this photo shoot I did with Woodnote Photography. So much that I saved it to share with you during December. We had an AMAZING team to work with: [...]

November 28, 2013 - 9:36 am

Autumn Reeser + Family // Featured on – Im Having Fun Now - [...] You can see more photos on Woodnotes blog. [...]