I'm mthree. Those are my initials. Always have been, and thanks to a hubby with a "M" last name; always will be.

I've been a designer for over ten years, I was an animator and a filmmaker once, I was a bride before I was a photographer, I'm a new business owner, but I've always been an artist.

You can get a glimpse of where I've been, a better look at where I am and a peek at where I'm going right here.

You gotta S -T-R-E-T-C-H your browser window to see the BIG pictures...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wedding: Katie & Dave

She waited nervously on the small stage in the cafe, adjusting her train, fiddling with her veil and earrings, she wanted to be sure she looked just right. Hours of preparation had gone into this moment, years had gone into this day, and here it was. He walked into the room, blindfolded and trusting the guidance of his Best Man to lead him to his bride. He could hear voices, giggles, the click of the camera, and then her voice was clear "Can you find me?". "I'm trying" he replied and was prodded a bit further until, yes there it was - her hand. She pulled him in front her and said "Okay now you can look".

Katie and Dave were my first "First Look" couple, and the moment was so wonderful! They both said that it did not take away at all from seeing each other at either end of the aisle, and the private (well besides me and my lens) ten minutes they got to share before marriage was upon them are some of the most priceless ones they have had I'm sure. Witnessing it firsthand was a lucky treat indeed. For this couple it was truly the right decision - all the stress, worries and panic of the day melted away when their eyes met. I am hereby encouraging anyone considering this to do it. You won't regret it.

First, I must say that there are so many wonderful pictures from this day. I had to do some seriously brutal editing to get the slideshow down to one song. I felt like I was truly a friend at this wedding, not just a photographer thanks to the warmth with which Katie and Dave have welcomed me into their lives, and also their family members that day as well. Plus, Katie and I share a good friend; Monica from the White Box, who served as a bridesmaid. Having her there made the day extra fun for me. I always fall in love with each of my couples at some point during the process. Often it is during editing, when I get to sit down and really spend time looking at their images and reliving the moments of their day. For Katie and Dave it was watching their slideshow at the reception. Dave's father did such a wonderful job at putting this together, it was such a great expression of parental love to both of them. I have never seen an entire hall of guests sit in rapture of a slideshow - but these people did. And for good reason. It was touching, funny, and memorable. He even interspersed small video snippets in with the pictures, showing Katie as a young girl singing or Dave riding his bike.

Katie and Dave's day was chock full of moments of high emotion. There was the moment when their parents joined them on stage during the ceremony, along with their siblings to surround them as the entire congregation said a prayer just for them and their marriage. The love and care was seeping from these people. There was the private prayer they said together after lighting their unity candle, while a good friend sang. There was the incredibly moving and touching speech that Katie's father gave after dinner - such love and devotion. Watching Katie's mom look on for the Father/Daughter dance. Oh yes, and one of my favorite moments was watching their first dance as Dave sang every word of their song to his new wife. I just love it when a wedding day has such unleashed emotion and the participants really let themselves feel it.

Katie got ready in this tiny bathroom, and everyone kept peeking in the doorway to see the action:

She wasn't sure that her dress would safely go over her veil and hairdo, so a little extra luck was being put forth:

The ushers had a great time decorating the mustang the couple used as a getaway car:

Yummy cake (so I heard - Harmony and I didn't catch any):

Handsome Men:

Is there anything better than a laughing bride?:

Caught during the first dance:

Watching the slideshow:

I love this series, it is just so Katie and Dave:

This one might show up in my own stuido:

Please someone, buy this for them in a nice big canvas wrap for their new home:

And there you have it - two Wisconsin kids who met half a world away are now on their way to California on a whole new adventure as husband and wife.

Enjoy the slideshow. I used their first dance song, because it was just too beautiful to pass up. I hope Mr. David Barnes won't mind.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


While out shooting portraits on Katie & Dave's wedding day we sent the wedding party off to the reception and then realized that Katie's dress needed to be bustled. I quickly handed my camera to Dave to hold and Harmony and I got to work. Dave proceeded to take pictures - because he is a cool groom like that.

So this is what it really looks like behind the scenes on a wedding day: a photographer and her assistant inspecting the back-end of a wedding dress searching for the tiny loops that will get it bustled up and all of us on the way to the next location.

Please note that said fabulous assistant does so with a lens in hand:

And yes, I shot the whole day in heels.

It didn't take long for Dave's attention to turn to his beautiful bride:

The real post about Katie & Dave's big day is coming soon, but I thought this role reversal needed some attention.
Thanks Dave!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Miscellaneous Monday - Memorial Day Edition

Happy Memorial Day to all! I hope you are spending it with beer, brats and fun!
I know we all look at this as a free day off or a nice long weekend, but I wanted to remind everyone it is also a holiday so that we can take a moment and remember all of those who have served our country and fought so hard for the freedom we enjoy each day. I know today I'll personally be taking a moment to thank my Grandpa Ultsch, Uncle Tom, and Uncle Terry for serving in the past and also my nephew Logan who is currently serving in the Marines in Okinawa (coincidentally, along with my good friend Britany's brother). Even one of my grooms is in the service - Peter (of Carie & Peter) is serving currently in the Air Force in Korea. You don't have to agree with war, or even the reason for being at war to appreciate the sacrifice our military men and women make.


I had two weddings this last weekend and I am exhausted. A full day wedding (Saturday was 15 hours) can really kick my butt. So much so, it makes me glad the gym is closed for the holiday to day. We had amazingly good weather for both, even Sunday's which should have had rain - had sunshine and not a drop fell until the guests were leaving. Sunday's wedding was also an unusual one - small (40 guests), ultra laid back, the couple was already married (back in February in Vegas), and they had an Elvis Impersonator:

(picture by a camera savvy guest)
Definately not your every day wedding!

I have some fabulous new Mthree stuff to brag about. For awhile now I've been trying to create a nice, slick way to present couples with the DVDs of their images. My packages have the option for you to purchase your image files, and when someone does, I want to be able to give them something a bit nicer than an office max disk and a home-made label. After a few experiments (one that hubby called " downright embarrassing"), I think we have a winner. I give you the fancy schmantzy disk cases:

I also included a personalized "snippet" on the back for each couple to fit in with my new branding.
I can't wait to drop these in the mail tomorrow!


Jamie and I have tickets to the Sex in the City Movie premiere on Friday and I can't wait. Bring on the cosmos!


Hubby got me a fabulous anniversary gift - but I'm going to wait until it arrives before I blog about it. Oh, the suspense is killing you, I know. ;0)

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ashley & Eric

A classic tale of High School sweethearts is what brought Ashley and Eric together. Friends first, and then one day a realization that they might be a good couple. Years later, while vacationing with Ashley's family up north, Eric took her out on the lake in the family boat one evening. While cruising the water he got down on one knee with a beautiful classic ring and made their relationship permanent. The best part was everyone back on shore knew what was happening and was waiting for their return with a celebration.

I met Ashley when she was one of the brides at the fabulous White Box shoot we did back in January ( I swear one day I will blog about it). She and Eric are getting married on July 4th, and using a friend for their photographer. But, she asked if I could do an engagement session anyway, and I was happy to oblige. It was fun to see a different side of Ashley that Eric brought out in her, and it is clear she is going to be a stunning bride. Best of luck guys!

Enjoy the Slideshow:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oh the Places You'll Go...

For the past three days Hubby and I have been celebrating our first wedding anniversary in Las Vegas.

We decided a couple of weeks ago to bite the bullet and make the trip. I've been shuffling work around for quite some time to make room in my calendar. It was really, really hard to leave so much work behind and try to decompress and relax for a few days, but I'm really glad we did. We needed a break, and we needed to take the time out for ourselves. On Monday we had dinner at the fabulous Onda Ristorante at the Mirage, and then we saw "Love" by Cirque du Soliel. That show was so, so fabulous, I can not even describe it. It is as if they took the Beatles' music and made what you hear a visual experience instead of a hearing one. Completely breathtaking. There was one number where it was easily one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. And of course, being the hard-core Beatles fans we are made it all the more wonderful.

We also packed in a trip to the Neon graveyard (which I have been wanting to visit for years), plenty of shopping, a gondola ride at The Venetian and gambling at The Playboy Club and a host of other places too. And thanks to Hubby's comps at The Palms we got to stay in quite a mac-daddy suite, which so completely spoiled us; we didn't want to leave. It was quite a trip packed into three days.

I'll have pictures from the Neon Graveyard soon (I hope). Watch soon for Ashley and Eric's engagement session, Katie & Dave's wedding and much more in the coming days (because of course at the last minute I brought my laptop along and spent the 8+ hours on the plane editing away at photos).

Thanks to all who shared their well wishes for our anniversary - it was much appreciated!

Monday, May 19, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

(photo by Heather Cook Elliot)

Hubby and I were married.

I've had a lot of goals in my life, but none so precious to me as my desire to marry this man.

It is hard to believe it has already been a year. So much has changed since May 19, 2007, and yet it still feels like only yesterday, our memories of that day are still so vivid. It is true what they say, life moves faster and faster. I only have to think about it before signing my name now half as much. But I still get chills when someone calls me "Mrs. Michel".

I'm sad to give up our "newlywed" status, but so much more so, I am excited about the coming days and years I have ahead with Hubby.

This popped up on my computer as I was working on this post:

That is just the kind of hubby he is.

Happy Anniversary Babe. May this be the first of many we share. I have known from one of our first moments that we would be here one day - but it is so much better than I ever dreamed it would be.

I thought in celebration of our anniversary I would share a reading from our ceremony. Just reading it still makes me cry, it is one of my favorites, and I believe it wholeheartedly. Blog posts will be light early this week as we take some time to celebrate. Have a good one!

by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment.
At some point, you decided to marry.
From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way.
All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.
All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Carlyn & Dave

Out for an evening with friends at The Wicked Hop, Dave decided to be bold and sat down at a table that happened to be where Carlyn was sitting with her friends. They struck up a conversation and have been talking ever since.

For her birthday last year he presented her with a gift. It was clear upon opening the box that he had alterior motives. The gift was a sweatshirt - Carlyn was always wearing his favorite one, so he figured, why not get her one of her own? At least that is what Carlyn thought. As she was attempting to feign gratitude for the gift, Dave was trying to get her to dig deeper in the box. There beneath the tissue was a question. When she answered correctly she got a much better gift - an engagement ring, and Dave.

We had a beautiful sunny afternoon for their engagement shoot - and we hit our stride in the Third Ward, ending
at The Wicked Hop for a pint. The top picture in the post is by far my favorite - it may just change the way I shoot altogether. It is the kind of shot I would admire on someone else's blog and clip for future reference. Woot!

It is clear that Carlyn is going to be a beautiful bride - I'm really looking forward to their November wedding!

Here is their slideshow:
**Update: For some reason, the skintones on some of the pictures are looking weirdly magenta - not sure what that is b/c before uploading to the blog they were perfect. I'll see if I can fix it in the morning.