That hat.

Sometimes when I scroll through my photo stream I feel a little pang of motherly guilt; there are so many photos of my youngest compared to the rest. But no matter how hard I try, she is just always providing me with photo-ops! She’s always with me (think skirt moppet), she’s always animated in some way, she loves being photographed. This is in stark contrast to the rest of my children (sans animation, perhaps, but if you are hiding in your room being animated I probably won’t get a photo of you!)

This is Bug. This is her antique hat, probably once worn by some animated old man who either passed away or found a new beloved hat. She chose it, among all the myriad of options at our favorite antique store (Antiques on Second). See? She gives me photo ops. Like, all. the. time.

milwaukee photographermilwaukee photographermilwaukee photographermilwaukee photographermilwaukee photographerAnna Mayer is a premiere photographer in Milwaukee,Wisconsin and serving San Francisco and San Jose, as well as Portland, Seattle, and San Antonio. She loves to fly, actually, and will pretty much go anywhere a beautiful story needs to be told.

Capturing life.

We hope to help bring a little joy in a painful time in a family’s life. If you or someone you know is facing the loss of a child, please connect with us and you may be eligible for a complimentary family film featuring your child.

Anna Mayer does a limited number of family films for families with terminally ill children. If you, or someone you know, has a need such as this, please fill out the contact form, telling us about the family you nominate and why they are the perfect candidates for a complimentary film session with Anna.

Xavier was a sweet, beloved little boy who lost his battle with a rare autosomal disease; Gaucher Disease Type 2.

The Secret to a “Good” Life.

As I turn another year older and, hopefully, wiser, I think about what makes life “good”. Is it the big stuff; where you live, who you married, what you do for a living? Or is it a cluster of little things; the car you drive, your cup of coffee in the morning, lunch with a friend? What I am coming to believe is that it is neither. I see people around me married to lovely people, with great homes, gourmet coffee, great friends . . . and still they don’t seem “happy”. Yet I can turn and see someone with so much less and instead of disappointment their lives radiate with joy. How can this be?

Many years ago a friend of mine told me that after her baby died her pastor told her, as she grappled with her grief, to write down five things every day that she was grateful for. Just five things. That’s not as easy as it sounds when your heart is broken. But she did and it changed her. Instead of thinking “How can God take my baby away, but not hers?” she began to think “I have three beautiful, healthy children.” I was amazed by her. It was a beautiful transformation.

Inspired, I began my own Daily Five. At the time, although I was not dealing with anything as earth shattering as my friend’s loss, I was miserable in my life. I hated my travel schedule, I felt trapped in my marriage, one of my children was not thriving and was driving us crazy, I was constantly overwhelmed and I felt like we would never get our feet under us financially.

At first it was really difficult. You’d think it would be easy; who doesn’t have five great things to be thankful for every day? But after months, maybe even years, of dwelling on what wasn’t right with my life I struggled to see what was. Slowly the joy became easier to see, the gratefulness began to flow. Before I even realized what had happened my life began to change. Yes, good things happened that lightened my burdens, but more importantly, I began to see what had been there all along.

I like to think that even though I don’t continue to practice my Daily Five in a tangible way, it has become a part of me on a deeper level. I look around me and see the good, the gifts, the joy. Not every day. I have my moments of despair, like everyone. But I always try to stop and look around and say “What is good about my life today? What gifts have I been given?” Without fail I find myself just a little bit “happier”.

So, what do I believe makes life “good”?

That’s easy; it’s what you see.

This is just a litte 15 second moment in my day, but one of the moments I most love. My morning coffee with my sweetheart, my record player playing music that stirs the soul …
A Little Morning Coffee Music from Anna Mayer on Vimeo.

My awesome office art. Vintage cameras.

Check out the awesomeness of my new wall art. I know I am biased, but my son Tyler, 21 years old, created these posters for me and I think they are beyond cool. Don’t you? They all have a special meaning for me. The Rolleiflex is the camera my grandfather used in his studio, the Super8 is the video camera my dad captured my childhood with, the 110 is the first camera I ever had, the Polaroid represents the coolest photo thing I’d ever seen as a child, the Minolta was my very first camera of any quality, handed down to me by my mom and it began my photography career and finally, the Canon EOS represents the 5 different Canon cameras I’ve owned as a professional photographer and now filmmaker. I am giddy over these! milwaukee videographer

Check out Tyler’s other work here.  And the handsome schoolboy below is my other son, just fyi, not a 21 year old that looks 12 (just a 15 year old that looks 12).

48 years of marriage and this couple has found the secret to lasting love.

keeping the love aliveWhat is the secret to lasting love? The list of possible answers could go on and on. For one Northern California couple the secret was so simple it took me by surprise. When they contacted me last year to photograph the two of them at home I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. As a family photographer with a bent toward wild and crazy kids I struggled to imagine filling an entire album with photos of one older couple. I was delighted, though, to learn their vision for the shoot; to capture their relationship throughout a typical day, from their morning tea on the balcony to the kiss he gently plants on her sleeping cheek every night. Their love just shines through this unique and special gallery of the everyday.

So, their secret to lasting love? It’s in finding joy and beauty in one another, not just on a fancy date (although that is certainly a part of their strategy) but in the little moments that happen each day.  How he makes her tea in the morning and how she fills their home with fresh flowers from the garden and the flavor and aroma of homemade soup. How they both dress up to go out on the town and how he carefully removes her glasses when she’s fallen asleep reading, again. Seems pretty simple, right? It is profound in it’s simplicity. It might be hard to achieve in our busy world of go go go, but after seeing this couple’s simple, beautiful daily-love, I for one (along with the love of my life) will be finding the beauty in the everyday.