Tag Archives: Lifest

Lifest 2015: Behind the Scenes with a Lifest Ninjagrapher

Batteries charged? Check.

Memory cards cleared? Check.

Gatorade and giant tub of animal crackers packed? Check.

Ear plugs and closed-toe shoes loaded up? Check.

Forms, forms, contracts, releases, and more forms? Check.

Tent, pillows, sandals for the cow showers? Check.

Pep talk planned for our new recruits? Check.

I was ready for Lifest.

Some of my adventures include:

-driving the golf cart


Hooking my power inverter up to my car battery proudly by myself to blow up my air mattress:


Watching Jeff work his video magic at the grandstand:


Trying to take a cell photo from my post for the shows:


Sleeping with a teddy bear my first night since Brian was gone:


Taking this selfie for a periscope contest where we held the meet & greet passes:


Checking in with my two new recruits obsessively and like a nervous mother (“DID YOU PEE TODAY?” “WHERE ARE YOUR EARPLUGS?” “DID YOU TAKE A SHOWER?”):


Sitting down for lunch with a couple Nikon lovers:


Trying to get everyone together for a team photo:


Tracy’s magical beverage:


Giving the Jaeger family a little Lifest tour:


…and last, but not least, wrapping it up with Traceface. This girl has got major concert photography skills. Check out some of her work on Instagram: @tracykapela.


And speaking of Insta, here’s a couple of my captures from the concerts. I don’t often shoot concert photography, but I love the opportunity to grow and share our skills with new generations of shooters. ❤image4 (1)

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Some of my personal highlights from Lifest are seeing our family and friends from all over the Midwest, catching up with our favorite musicians and meeting new ones, and braving the cow and horse showers. Yeah- animal showers… you walk up to the side of a concrete building with giant water nozzles at waist level. Turn them on, and you’ll experience high-powered cold water. After sweating all day and walking miles around a dusty fairground, those showers are needed, but it’s hard to get that initial spray over with.  Woo, it’s refreshing. 🙂

Until next year, thanks for reading! ❤

Miles this year: 323.05

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So Many Photoshoots, So Little Time

I love my weekday photo shoots- they’re less of a time commitment than weddings, but I still get the chance to capture some adorable people and catch some unique moments!

The Pulvermacher boys met me at the park for a little play time! It has been two years since I had the chance to capture a little Pulvermacher… Grant was so tiny when he was in last!

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Look at him now- all grown up, loves to tell me about life, and he has a baby brother!

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Photo shoots are exhausting.

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These two are just the cutest. I am an only child, so I just love learning about and capturing the relationship between siblings!

Later that afternoon, I ran over to Appleton for the Lifest leadership meeting. Being partially in charge of our team of photographers and videographers makes me excited but also nervous! I’m always worried about everyone’s wellbeing.

I found a few friends at the meeting- Bill and Darrell!


Love those guys. I left the meeting totally pumped! 🙂

The following day was a session with the gorgeous Robyn. I have worked with her several times before- for her engagement and wedding photos with her husband, Rodney. These two are expecting a baby, so we headed out to Robyn’s parents’ land in the country, and we had a blast!

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Robyn is just glowing, and she has this beautiful laugh that just resonates with my soul. I’m so excited for these two!

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Congratulations, Swart family! I can’t wait to meet your little one. ❤

…and that shoot brought me to Friday, where I had another opportunity to work with Heidi and Maxx. They are the couple that does a “picture-in-a-picture” shoot every year to celebrate their anniversary. I was lucky enough to shoot their 2nd anniversary photo, and they came back this year for their 4th anniversary. Time flies!

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I just love these two, and their anniversary photo idea is super cute! Take a peek at the frame that they’re holding… you can see their other pictures inside of that image!

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That brought me to Friday night, and the start of my Fourth of July festivities. My next post will tell you all about that- running, cookouts, time at the lake, time on the river, a trip to the winery… it gets better and better!

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 304.55

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Lifest 2014

After our busy Fourth of July weekend, we kept right on chugging with our busy schedule.
I actually spent Monday- Wednesday filling in as the receptionist at my physical therapy office- Point Forward Physical Therapy. I made a great office girl!
I even had time for a few runs, including a Green Circle loop with Abbie.

I packed up my gear, my pup, and my husband, and we headed over to shoot Lifest, a music festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
I don’t usually share too many photos from the event, but I take a lot of photos of people hanging out, camping, and generally being awesome. The evening concert crowds are usually around 20,000 people, and lots of people stay and camp for the week. I am a photo team supervisor for an awesome group of 14 photographers and videographers. Our team is called the Ninjagraphers.
The Beirl family and friends were there:


And Kenzie did some incredible spray paint art…

Chris, my twin “our intern” was working, too!

…and Jordy…

…and a goat. Well, a whole petting zoo…

And this. Father of the year? 🙂

John, my physical therapist, brought his oldest boys for Toby Mac.

There were lots of concerts, lots of speakers, lots of signs, and lots of folding chairs. 🙂








…and last, but not least, Wes, from my favorite late night comedy folks, Happy Fun Time.

Lifest hosts a 5K run on Saturday morning, and I ran it with a stranger! I met her during the first mile and we chatted and prayed our way through the run. Pretty awesome.

Jean brought me lots of healthy snacks, and the Fawley family took great care of me (and Brian, too!), as always.
I will leave you with some smiley balsamic vinegar, on the bottom of my salad plate.

We came home from Lifest on Sunday afternoon, exhausted, and left for another adventure on Monday…


Stay tuned for that story! Thanks for reading, friends.

Miles this year: 347.25

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A summer of grilling, families, running, paddling, and reading…

Right in the heart of grilling season, the folks over at Ski’s Meat Market called me up for some promotional photos. They haven’t made them to their website yet, but are featured in ads and fliers.




I’ll be going back for a shoot with the cheese case next! 🙂
The Laudons, who I met through Trout Unlimited, celebrated their 50th anniversary this summer. They had us come over for family photos of the whole crew who flew in for the occasion. What a beautiful family!

Congratulations, Jim and Marilyn! 🙂
George (my beer-drinking-cycling-running friend) and I ran a little race over in the geographical center of Wisconsin- the Pittsville Heart and Sole race. It’s always a weeknight close to my absolute favorite holiday,, the 4th of July. Last year, it was so hot that I almost drowned in my own sweat, but this year was a pleasant five miles. All proceeds go to support this small town fire department. What’s not to love!


On the actual 4th, the Beggs family invited us over to their lake house for photos with their extended family. In a word? Granddaughters.


And as always, it wouldn’t be summer in Wisconsin without hearing the Mark Little Band on the chain while drinking Jameson.

Love you guys. Love dancing in a sundress, in the heat of the summer, to your music.
I usually give Lifest it’s own post, but I am not going to post a single photo from my camera this year. I was “promoted” to photo team supervisor this year, so I basically felt like a nervous mom…
“The pyrotechnics are starting, where is everyone?”
“Stay away from the flames!”
“Where are your earplugs?!”
“Are you drinking water? HAVE YOU PEED TODAY?”
I snagged one image off my phone for you guys to get a feel for where I was most of the time…

On the Saturday of Lifest, they host a 5K. You know I had to get in on that action. I even dragged B along for the ride.




…and, even though I’m sure you all think I won, I finished in the middle of the pack, and was greeted by the infamous Bill and Darrell!

A few days of shooting, a lot of friends, some great music and fellowship… And of course, selfies of me with my neck strap.



…and a table full of cameras.

Until next year… avoid sensor dust, my ninjagraphers.
I’d barely been home from Lifest for 24 hours before I found myself up at Cynthia’s charming bookstore in Wausau for a photo shoot with River District Theatre’s latest featured performer.





They are working on creating a brand new, super hip, NYC-style intimate venue. So cool.
And speaking of cool, I took off for a paddle on the chain and to practice all my kayaking tricks. Love the water. It heals every ill.



I make standing in that sea yak look easy 😉
Another quick trip up to Wausau to visit my Delta Omicron sister, Amanda, after surgery. Can you see the family resemblance?

I’m happy to report she is feeling better and healing well. Speaking of healing…
I ran some single track trails with my Oklahoma friend, Brandon. 10 miles, two skinned knees.


Those little scars are worth it 🙂
I couldn’t shove those sore knees of mine into waders, so I missed a TU work day with the DNR, but I stopped by to capture them all working hard 🙂


I was able to wrap up my knees and hide them under a long dress to shoot Ashley and William’s colorful northwoods wedding.














Congratulations, Mr. and. Mrs. McCarron!
One of the things I love about shooting weddings is being a part of this brand new family unit as it’s being created. Heidi and Maxx called me up to ask if I would be a part of their tradition with their “picture-in-a-picture” shoot. Basically, on their first anniversary, they had a picture taken of them holding their wedding photo. Then they framed that new image, and had me take a photo of them on their second anniversary, holding their first anniversary photo. So cool!

I couldn’t resist taking this beautiful couple to a perfectly dreamy spot.

Keep up the love, you two!
My best friend, Amy, was a star in a murder mystery dinner theatre. Brian and I headed up to see her perform, and eat steak, of course!


We practically wore the same dress!
Happy fifth birthday to our sweet nephew, Reid. He was present at our wedding, but probably couldn’t see or hear anything, since he was still inside my sister-in-law! 🙂 It’s amazing how time flies.

I’ll leave you with a few yoga photos- I am in the middle of doing a new series of group fitness photos for Adventure 212, and this is the class that I attend… I almost put down my camera and jumped in!






Miles this year: 327.85

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My week as a ninjagrapher!

Brian and I spent the last five days shooting at Lifest as a part of the ninjagraphers. Ninjagraphers are the photographers and videographers contracted through Life! Promotions to capture their events. I have a ton of photos and stories to share- but I’m going to start at the beginning of my week.
I had to do a headshot self-portrait to use in the publication of Hoopla, which will be coming out in two weeks.

I’m very excited for this new publication, although we’ll have to wait until the second issue to see my work on the cover- this month’s cover story comes from out-of-state.
I started jury duty on Wednesday. I was unhappy that the timing had to coincide with Lifest, because that’s one of my favorite events to shoot all year. I got up early to commute the whopping 1.5 miles to the courthouse…

…then waited patiently in the hallway…

…then turned off my phone. I had to sit through a few hours of jury selection, random number drawings, and lots of questions. I wasn’t selected, though, and I was able to make a break for it (legally!) and get packed for Lifest.

We packed up the cameras, overnight gear, and puppies…

…and headed to Oshkosh.
As a reminder, all photos on this blog are (c) Heidi Oberstadt, and the Lifest photos are (c) Life! Promotions.
Our work at Lifest is always an amazing time. It’s hard to explain the bond between our team- it’s a group of photographers, videographers, and editors who capture, sort, edit, upload, and build videos of the event. We’re a well-oiled volunteering machine.

That’s one of Lem’s (our team leader) portraits of the team. We spend the week logging lots of miles walking around, climbing, laying in the dirt, riding on a golf cart…

…and trying desperately to stay hydrated. We work in a TINY trailer next to the grandstand…

…and try to work as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are two married teams on the ninjagraphers, and the rest of the team has friends and families that graciously let us steal them away and work them to exhaustion during the festival. 🙂

We do have an incredible opportunity to shoot some world-class artists (like Switchfoot and Newsboys), but we have an even more wonderful chance to catch the joy, excitement, and faith of all those in attendance. We also get to meet a lot of awesome people! This year, we met a band from Kentucky called Too Many Drummers. Those guys are classically trained musicians, so we sat and geeked out about things like marimba, accordion, and the joys of teaching music and sharing it with others. We caught their second show, and we caught some great facial expressions, too!



I caught our friends, Bill and Darrell. They were ninjagraphers a few years ago, and we had a blast! I see them once a year, and they always make me smile.

I end up feeling so special at Lifest. Our job can be exhausting and stressful, but it is an amazing opportunity. I work with wonderful people, and after five years on the team, I have gotten to “know the ropes.” I get to wear a fancy lanyard with a fancy all-access pass and fancy backstage access.

It gets me to places like this:

Despite that, I still get really nervous being up on stage. I’m afraid I’m going to get in someone’s way or distract from the show. That’s part of why we’re “ninjas,” we try to be sneaky and not intrude. I’m not very good at that. When I come in a room, people almost always see me. I even wear black in the heat, but I’m not exactly flying under the radar. I’d have to stop smiling and glowing from the inside, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon. 🙂
Fort Fawley is my favorite place to hang out during the week.

Andy has an incredible food ministry going on over there- they feed us (delicious home-cooked REAL food!) and make sure we’re hydrated. In fact, they cook the best meals at Lifest!

They don’t even make me pull any meal shifts. 🙂

I can’t divulge their location- it’s top secret. 🙂 I did take Too Many Drummers over there for breakfast on Saturday, though.


They had plenty of watermelon to feed my addiction.

Thanks for everything, Fawley family! You are wonderful.
This is what it looks like from my point of view. I shot this view forwards…

…then turned around and shot this view, behind me!

Tracy and I are the only girls allowed on the stage to shoot. It’s an honor but comes with a lot of responsibility. Responsibility to shoot a self-portrait in an awesome place, anyway!

I always try to sneak around and find new places to shoot from. These are two of my favorite shots of Duncan- the drummer from Newsboys.


Lifest had their second annual 5K race this year.

Brian ran it with me, and we had a great time!

I think he liked it, but I don’t know if he’ll be running marathons anytime soon.

Lem and Nick gave our sweaty ninja bodies a ride back to the campsite to get changed and ready to shoot for the day.

It’s good to know people. 🙂 Sometimes, the ninjas all get together and be nerdy camera-y tech-y people together. Like this…

Here’s a few of my favorite shots from the week.



Those are Switchfoot. Just as exciting was the performance of the Black Star drumline from Madison.


Those little drummer kids absolutely stole my heart.

We stayed at my mother-in-law’s home for the week, and we had a full house with us, our pups, and Brian’s aunt and cousins- Jill, Mackenzie, and Allie. Brian’s aunt Jackie came for one of the concerts, too. 🙂





I talked with Tiffany Thompson…

…saw a fancy motorcycle show…


…heard Bob Lenz speak (Lifest is his party, really)…

…shot Family Force 5…

…was amazed at the crowd for Steven Curtis Chapman…

…and enjoyed an outdoor Catholic mass.



Lifest is always an incredible experience. It’s so exciting to be a part of something so big, and we love being able to make people happy. We get to give away private meet-and-greet invitations and prizes, and we get to put their photos up on the jumbotron. After another successful year, we were exhausted.
Our pups had a wonderful time running in the woods at Jean’s house, so they had a great week, too.


We were all ready to go home, though.

We came home to a warm house with a warm forecast for Monday, so we installed our new air conditioner in the office.

It’s now a comfortable 73 degrees in here!
Just when I thought my week couldn’t get any better, I found out that my billboard for Lee Ayers is up. It’s the first time that a photo of mine has been on a billboard!

My mom saw this photo and said, “When I told you the sky was the limit, I didn’t think your photos would be in the sky!” How cute.
This is a new milestone for me. Woo hoo! I’m off to celebrate.

Miles this year: 375.6

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