Tag Archives: music

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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I can’t believe I left my keys on the hood.

Yes, you read that right. Apparently, I was unloading the car when I got home, and I put my keys on the hood of the car. Later that evening, Brian and I hopped in my car to drive to hang out with some of our friends, and he used his car keys. We were several miles from home when he looked down on the hood and noticed my keys were sitting there.

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They’re not magnetized or anything- I don’t know how they stayed! I urged Brian to pull over, but he said, “If they haven’t come off yet, they’ll be okay until we get there.” We drove the last few miles with baited breath, but they didn’t budge. I’m so lucky!

I paid forward my good karma by donating a photo shoot for the absolutely precious little Bennett.


His momma and daddy tried for many years to have this little peanut, and we all eagerly awaited his arrival!

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Congratulations, Kostuhoski family! ❤

I spent several days doing headshots for a couple different companies, including my physical therapist’s office, Point Forward. Look at these friendly PTs! 🙂

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I also had the opportunity to do headshots for the Festival foods company.


I did about 130 of them, and they all look pretty much like this. 🙂

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After my first day shooting for Festival at their Green Bay support office, I swung by my favorite fly shop, Tight Lines. They were prepping their gear for the busy guide season.


I dropped off a couple beers (share the love with your fly shop, people!), had a few laughs, then headed home to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Brian. Margaritas, fajitas, and eating on the porch. I love summer in Wisconsin.

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I had a bunch of other shoots, but made time for a little community race that raises money for CAP services. Our friend, Jenny, also ran the race! A little warm weather 5K was perfect for a weeknight.

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I finished off the week with my last TU chapter board meeting at Shooters in Plover. We’ve switched our meeting location to the new community room in SentryWorld. It’s an incredible facility.

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Our weekend included a shoot with all of the individual students at Heywood Music Studios. Here’s the group shot from their spring piano recital!

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Always a busy girl, and always running around. More adventures to come.

As always, thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 282.1

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Fly fishing on my mind

What is an avid fly angler to do in the winter months in central Wisconsin? 

Go to trade shows. Lots of trade shows.

I went to the Chicago Outdoor Sports show to visit my friend, Jen, who runs DUN magazine and had a booth there. It was awesome to play around with a couple new rods and remember what it feels like to cast a line to water. They had a pool for us to cast into. 

I stayed with my aunt Eileen and uncle Rick in their beautiful Elk Grove home, and I got to hang out with my cousin twin, Killeen. She just bought a super cute house and it was wonderful to hang out there, drink some wine, and relax. 🙂

I loved running around their neighborhood- they even have a little pond.

I returned home to the frozen tundra, and headed over to the Eastern part of the state for Fox Valley TU’s Cabin Fever event.

Jen is an active volunteer in the Fox Valley chapter and she’s doing great work for the women’s initiative. It was great to see you, girl! I also had a booth at Central Wisconsin’s TroutFest, and I’ve been working on reaching out to the women in our communities and in the angling industry to get them hooked up with the work that Trout Unlimited does here in Wisconsin. 🙂 I also have some blank trout outlines for kids to color. How cute is this?

The short days and no sun has really been getting to me, so my incredibly talented electrican husband whipped together a light box for me.

After sitting in front of that contraption for a few days, I felt like a million bucks! We were lucky enough to cap off our busy week with Central Waters’ 17th anniversary party. I was covering the event for Hoopla magazine, but I ran into Lydia at the party!

We drank some delicious beer and danced to live music. A perfect Saturday!

Thanks for the fun night, Central Waters!

I’ll leave you with some of the most refreshing subjects I’ve had in the studio lately- fruit!

I just love working with food. Seriously. 🙂

Up next? Frame’s 150th anniversary, an encaustic artist, and out of town friends.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 84

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Singing + playing in the snow

I was offered the opportunity to sing with the Central Wisconsin Master Chorale.


We sang Bach’s Magnificat and a few other beautiful Christmas pieces in a three-concert series.

I had a busy concert weekend, including a shoot with these cuties.

Katrina and Jed brought their new puppy, Stitch, out to play with us in the snow for their Christmas photo session.



Brian makes the best model for me to test my settings on. ❤

This was also the weekend of the Frostbite- a 5- and 10- mile race here in town. Winter weather is always unpredictable here in Wisconsin, but this year was beautiful. Brian ran with me, so we did the five mile race, and we had a great time!

It’s a partial out-and-back course that basically loops around our neighborhood. I’ve run parts of the course hundreds of times. We finished this year in 45:41, then came home for lunch and hot coffee. 🙂
Sunday morning, I had brunch at the Wooden Chair with my cousins…

Love these girls.
Right after brunch, I sang in our last chorale concert, then skipped over to shoot the CWSO concert- specifically, the blue guitar.

Luthier John Currier, of Currier Guitars, designed and built this beauty. The DC jazz sextet Chaise Lounge came to Wisconsin to debut a commissioned Christmas concert. It was a treat for my ears and my lens. Wonderful work, John, and thanks for the tunes, Chaise Lounge!








I left at intermission and sped home to finish packing- my flight to the Pacific Northwest left at 5 am Monday. That adventure is next- a storm, a couple monster steelhead, and a couple reunions. 🙂

Miles this year: 35

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More cute families + a very sexy bassist

The Romatowski family. A chilly day + two very energetic boys = mountain climbing fun on Rib Mountain.







I love working with families. I have the opportunity to sneak a peek into the lives of some amazing parents and get the chance to win over the little cuties in an hour. How awesome is that?
I also worked with some repeat clients- the Schurk family. So. Cute.

See? Even though it was chilly, the kids were all such troopers.







And now… A total 180… To a gorgeous bass player.

Meet Jenilee. This stunner was preparing for her bass recital, so we met up for some promo photos for her recital posters. How lucky am I?





That’s all my adventures for this week, friends. As always, thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 2.5

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Baby Lily Nowinski!!

Our fabulous friends, Mary and Joe, welcomed brand new baby Lily over Labor Day weekend. We popped over on Monday to meet her, and gosh… she’s adorable.



If I’ve been lucky enough to meet you, you probably know that I love dimples. Brian has them, and I think they’re so handsome. Mary also has dimples, and she passed them on to Lily!

We love this little cutie. Congratulations, Nowinski family!
My heart was kept warm that week by stopping over to catch some photos of Hart Equine Therapy for Hoopla. These fabulous folks volunteer their time and their facility to help kids with special needs. How awesome! We were greeted at the barn by horses, donkeys, and your standard farm cats and dogs. I loved it!





The rest of my week was pretty typical. I ran…

…I went to Radio Kaos with Bill…

…I heard Brian play with River Cities Jazz and danced with my students…

…ate some fabulous food (look at that fish plate!) from Freckled Frogg…


…and capped off a busy summer week with a bonfire.

Summer life in Wisconsin is the best. 🙂 thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 446.95

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Labor Day weekend pt 2…

As soon as we wrapped up Casi and Eric’s wedding, I headed to bed so I could get up early for the Just Run 1/2 marathon and the Riverfront Jazz Festival.
I ran over to the start line, and found Jenilee and George!

This is a great hometown race, with a half marathon and a 5K. It was a very hot and humid day- it was between 97-98% humidity. The race started nice and easily, on the bridge right above the dam. I found Ray, manning the 3 mile water station with the Boy Scouts.

It is a beautiful course, and this year, they switched it up with a little stretch through the Sculpture Park on the Green Circle.



One of my favorite things about running is meeting new people. The running community is so welcoming and friendly!

I crossed the finish line one sweaty woman, received my medal, and ran home, with 15 miles for the day.


I took a shower, packed a lunch, and we headed over to the Riverfront Jazz Festival. I spent a lot of time at the Jazz Festival, both on Saturday and Sunday. Once again, I was shooting for those guys, but I also got to hang out with my college friends and people that I love from the community!






My college friend, Matt, brought his sextet up from Illinois to play. In fact, his group, Old Style Sextet, just won second place at a competition in China, and are bringing home $20,000! Congratulations, Matt 🙂




















Brian and I spent some time dancing, and after a couple swing songs, we headed back to our spot to sit down. A lady I didn’t know chased after me and said that there were friends of mine in the water that wanted to say, “Hi!” Lo and behold…

My Wausau kayaking crew! 🙂 in a fun twist, I have danced with or learned to dance from many of these people. Missy and Jeff were my first ballroom dance instructors! Seeing them was a great surprise.



We crashed pretty hard on Sunday night, after chowing down some Bucky Badger jello jigglers! Way awesome.

Up next? Meeting Baby Lily Nowinski. ❤

Miles this year: 458.7

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Summer randoms…

Technology is amazing. I had a call with one of my co-workers, Jeff, where I shared my computer screen with him and he shared his with me, so we could show each other what we’ve been working on and I could explain my latest project. So cool. Having coworkers thousands of miles away is made possible by these awesome technological advances.
I was so happy to be back at home and in my office. With the air conditioning off, it was about 80 humid degrees up there, and the orchid on my desk was loving it.

Abbie and I took advantage of the humid late-summer weather with lots of running along the river.

The city is trying some new techniques to keep the geese off the grass in the park…

They fooled Abbie at first- a big 2D dog is scary when you’re a little Jack Russell! She got over it quickly, though, and we continued. I love that little runner dog.

Sometimes, I just cannot believe how that little 21 pound furball stole my heart so quickly.

As you may know, we love live music, and we have a lot of it here, being a college town. We made a weeknight trip out to Great Northern Distilling to hear some jazz. 🙂




Our beautiful friend, Mary sat in and sang a tune, even though she was almost ready to have baby Lily. Too cute.
I’ll leave you with a fun shot from my Ice Bucket Challenge.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Miles this year: 429.85

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Baby Lily and Summer Shenanigans

Here she is.

The first Oberstadt girl in over two decades. My brother-in-law, Avery, and his beautiful wife, Megan, welcomed baby Lily into the world two weeks ago. We are thrilled!







She was adorable, even though she kept giving me a look that said, “I don’t know about this whole photo shoot thing, Aunt Heidi…”

Visiting Lily was the best way to spend a summer Sunday.
It also happened to kick off an exciting week in our home, starting with a little visit from the infamous Peach.

He sat in with the Mark Little Band, along with my college piano teacher, Prof. Buchman! What an awesome treat.

I ran a bunch…


Whoa. That’s the same shirt. I swear I washed it… I am not one of those runners who can re-wear their running clothes. I smell… like roses.
Lydia even found this little lizard guy while we were out!

I ran one of my least favorite errands- the pharmacy. I usually try to actually run there since it improves my spirits… It’s only a 5.75 mile loop.
The other thing that makes me feel better is this guy.

John. Best pharmacy tech ever. When I go to pick up my thyroid hormones, it always makes me a little sad. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it just makes me feel a little defective. Luckily, John knows me by name and always has my pills ready for me! If I’m sweaty (a.k.a. literally running my errands), he packs the pill bottles with cotton for me so they don’t shake around in there. He just makes my day!
The other highlight of our week was Brian picking up his motorcycle. He bought a 1990 Suzuki Intruder. It’s blue, it’s beautiful.

I’m also an overprotective wife. I want to follow him in my car and make sure he’s safe!
I snagged my first snapshot… the beer!

It seemed appropriate 🙂
Brian is putting the finishing touches on my paddle board this week. It’s turning out beautifully. ❤

That is all the adventures for now… we are heading off for a gorgeous coastal wedding. Where? Here’s a sneak peek.


Miles this year: 369.05

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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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