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mermaid girl & the awesome [but limited] graduating senior offer! | madison, wi senior portrait photographer

The sunny, talented & adorable Mallory and her (equally so) mom met up with me for her senior session several months ago. The braces she had worn when I first photographed her a couple years ago clearly did their job, I’d say. What a smile on this McFarland girl! And the dimples, gorgeous hair and chocolate brown eyes don’t hurt either.  She plays the piano, loves everything to do with the theater, is an amazing big sister, travels and is a competitive swimmer to boot. Be sure to scroll down through her very last frame to see why I’ve proclaimed her “mermaid girl”.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Miss Mallory…I know you’ll continue to do fabulous things and stay the amazing young woman you are (even if you are a Bears fan)! 😉

And HEEEEEY! Not so fast, you guys. Remember the “awesome [but limited] graduating senior offer” I promised above? Well, here it is:

The first 5 class of 2013-ers who book a senior session with me will receive $50 off their session fee AND a free 8×10 portrait of their choice from the session gallery! Yep, you read correctly. I don’t make this stuff up. All you have to do is email me to get the ball rolling AND (muy importante) “like” my page on Facebook. Easy! And if you graduated longer ago than you care to say, but know of a graduating senior in the vicinity…SPREAD THE WORD QUICK! You snooze, you lose and all that.

On your mark, get set, GO!

Jennie - Beautiful! So much better than the senior pictures we had!!

windy with a chance of magic | madison, wi family photographer

My lady Jill proudly and enthusiastically labels herself a “Tara Kuhlow Photography addict” and if you think she’s kidding, check out her pretty face here and here and here. And if you look reeeeally hard, you might even find her here. Isn’t this fun? And don’t you feel like you now know and adore Jill, just as I do? Yep. She has that effect on people.

We met up some time ago for a family session with her lovely brood and managed to have ourselves a great time despite the frequent gusts of hair-raising (literally!) wind. One of my favorite things about being a photographer is that I am invited into the private bubble of family life. Laughing, teasing, bickering, hugging, chasing, annoying, connecting, being. I love it all and was so honored to bear witness to the beautiful world that Jill, Dale, Bennett, Emma and Stella have created for themselves and for each other. I’m truly flattered when a parent feels I “got” their family through my images. There is nothing like it and I am so grateful to experience this celebration of family love with my clients. Thanks again, Jill and company!

♥ t.

By the way…if you are one of those folks wanting some of this action for your own family, let me know without further ado! Things are booking up fast for spring and summer sessions and I would hate for those little stinkers to grow another inch (or four) before you get the chance to create beautiful, authentic images of their sweet faces and just-as-they-are personalities! You won’t regret it. Just ask Jill. 😉

Emma, age 9.

Stella, 18 months.

Bennett, age 12.

Sister love! ♥

This momma/son moment  is the BEST.

Guess who’s running the show?

Me too, me too!

Chillaxin’ on their much-loved, history-rich “Movie Blanket”.

Absolutely heart melting, wouldn’t you say? Sigh.

Would it be weird to frame the second frame for my own house? No? K, thanks.


Emma attempting to click her heels together. Girl got some height!

wee elvis | madison, wi newborn photographer


Remember me? I’m the girl who used to blog a lot. In a timely fashion. Consistently. Ring a bell?

Lost my wits for a while there, as I was swirled up in the holidays, family commitments, shooting sessions, doing dishes and the like. Something to had to give, as I could not juggle one more ball. I would have then dropped them all and that is no fun for anyone.

But now I have returned, shiny and happy and all revved up for a fresh start. Bring on those balls, baby!

We’ll begin with sweet Olivia and her folks. Never mind that she is now a good 6 months old. WHAAAT? Who said that? Not me. That would be craziness!

Love like crazy the way Kelly & Dave looked at their baby girl like they just could not believe she was theirs. So tender and natural and ecstatic. It was a beautiful thing.

♥ t.

She made this exquisite little Elvis-y face. A lot. It was my favorite thing ever.

Such a friendly, loving pup! I find their matching smiles here totally contagious.

Mural created by momma. Gorgeous!

Where was this amazing mobile when I was havin’ babies?

Tickles me to know this family shot is blown up huge in their home!

Miss Olivia’s expression in that last frame kills me.


SarahInParis - Oh my goodness your first few sentences are my life Tara! But thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos. As always a delight coming to your blog. And how gorgeous is Olivia! Loving her hair!

carrie anciaux - beautiful baby, beautiful images from this session. LOVE the wall painting by her crib, too!

Janna - Beautiful photos! Love love love.

Katrina - She’s soooo adorable! The pictures capture the aww and love Dave and Kelly have for their little girl!

Jen - These are great pictures. Time goes so fast – it will be so nice to have these to refer back to when she is running around!

Em - Baby O and proud mom and pop. What a beautiful collection of pics documenting your little one!

Kelli - so, so adorable – so glad I got to meet her at the holidays and Tara captured them very well!

Liz - Beautiful!

Dave - These are such great shots of all of us!

Marlene Lee - Lovely!

Emily - What great photos!

Bob - A visual lullaby at the beginning of family: Happiness, peace, warmth and innocence.

Michelle - Gorgeous pics!

Sherry - I don’t think you’d recognize Olivia now. She’s delightfully photogenic, would be a great ad for you!

Margaret Colman - Awesome photos! I love how well they capture just how precious and sweet Olivia is, and how loved! Thank you for sharing such beautiful moments.
Love, Margaret & Lauren

Jill - LOVE these photos. The 4×1 series is fantastic! I’ve never seen a more adorable yawn.

Wendy - Olivia’s getting to be such a “grown-up” baby now. If it weren’t for these lovely photos, we’d forget how small (relatively speaking) she was when they were taken. A beautiful memory!

margot - wow, these are just stunning pictures. gorgeous family. gorgeous mural. so many beautifully open smiles.

Sharon - Adorable little Olivia! Love the family shots including the puppy, too. Can’t forget the canine baby! 😉

Linda - Fabulous photos!!!

Uncle Joe - An adorable baby and great photos! (But in some of those pics, she looks more like a big white dog–guess it’s just my imagination!) I’m looking forward to some Olivia updates in the near future.

Susan Stuart Clark - These are such great photos. The best I’ve seen of baby and family.

Jaime - LOVE these shots (and Miss Olivia!!! What a sweet baby girl – wish we lived closer!!!)! Really love the way you captured the peace and contentment all three of them have found as a family – the joy rolls off of them in waves 🙂

Kelly - I love how these remind me of the warm sunny day we had–somewhat hard to believe it now that it’s snowing outside! You’ll be pleased to know that her hair still stands up, Tara!

seven | madison, wi children’s photographer

My boy is seven today.

The only one of my kids with enough consideration to come on his actual due date.

Who decided earlier today he wants to be a veterinarian and go into practice (Kuhlow Vet Clinic) with his big sister Avery.

Who has recently been crawling into “the most comfy bed in the whole world!” most nights with his big sister Ellie.

Who wrestles with his daddy each day with a threatening “Bring it on, big boy!”.

Who took 5 steps out the door this morning on his way to the school bus before coming back to get “just one more kiss, Momma”.

Who loves the color blue. Building snow forts & lego structures. Cheese & crackers. Running like the wind. Hippos.

Who has the uncanny ability to walk up to a group of strangers & come away with new best friends.

This is my Simon. Man, I love that kid. He is one charming little stinker, if I do say so myself.

Happiest of birthdays to you, sweet boy! Mommy loves you TONS.

♥ Momma

[Check out Si’s newest scar-to-be. A slip while on the countertop trying to get a bowl down from the cupboard earned him a trip to Urgent Care & a superglued chin. Tough guy.]

Working soooo hard to not crack up at his sister’s diligent silliness. Tried & failed many a time. Proof as follows.

Mustache man.




SarahInParis - Oh Tara your little 7yo Simon is just gorgeous!! Loving the sprinkling of freckles on his nose and I have to confess … I’m smitten with my little 7yo too!!

Ellen - Oh, those pictures are so sweet! Happy birthday Simon!! We feel lucky to get to watch you grow up before our eyes.

carrie anciaux - you are one special dude, mr si guy! love all of your freckles and handsome expressions 🙂 happy birthday sweet boy!

thirteen | madison, wi teen photographer

On Friday my Avery Hazel had a BIG birthday. The girl went and turned into a teenager on me. Some nerve.

I remember a similar mixed sense of disbelief, excitement, pride and anxiety when she turned eleven and twelve (and let’s face it, every year since that very first birthday). But this one feels even more intense. Something about that “teen” thing that is rocking my world just a little. My child, however, is handling it like a pro. Isn’t that always the way?

So, in honor of my beautiful girl’s day, I have created a list of 13 things she loves right now. And I will try my darnedest not to embarrass her, but am making no guarantees.

1. Salmon, cheese, pasta & chocolate.

2. DANCE. Holy guacamole, that child does love to dance. Even with over 15 hours a week at the studio, she is still ready for more. She is now officially stronger than her mother, which is unfortunate. Need to work on that. But I digress.

3. God. Her faith is strong & has become more personal.

4. Animals in general, and dogs in particular. Her current menagerie includes Macy & Zoe (the dogs), Lava & Jailbird (the fish) and Amor (the hermit crab). Her lifelong dream of being a veterinarian is still firmly in place.

5. Tiny Tower and her new iPod Touch.

6. Red, yellow, orange & green. I think? I may be corrected and reprimanded for this one.

7. Her amazing friends. An incredible, smart, strong, loyal, talented group of young women she is blessed to have in her world. Avery’s mom loves them, too. 🙂

8. Reading. Lately it’s been the Uglies seriesMatched and Crossed.

9. Math. A gift from her dad.

10. Her siblings. Screaming, hugging, disliking, laughing, annoying, snuggling. I hope Ellie & Simon know how much she adores them in between the battles and rolled eyes.

11. This hand cream. Applied by her loving mother each night before bedtime tuck-in. (I believe I’ve earned mentioning this.)

12. Toddlers & Tiaras, Dance Moms, and just the thought of this movie being released in March. She’s a bit obsessed, really (admit it, Ave).

13. Her parents. Some days it’s harder to recognize than when she was little, but it’s there. I see & feel it. Her gorgeous, sensitive, brilliant little heart is transforming and when it connects with ours, it’s magic.

Hope you had a fantastic birthday, sweet girl! Can’t wait to cheer you on as you navigate this fantastic, scary, amazing new stage in your life. Love you so!

♥ Momma



SarahInParis - Hope Avery is enjoying being 13. Love that last photo!!!

Dad - Love you Ave. Happy Birthday!

Sharon Mischio - This brought tears to my eyes. Lots and lots of love to you Ave! And to you, too, Tara.

Bill - You are one amazing young woman, Avery. Truly a gift!

Ellen - Definitely a girl who is going to make the world a better place. Happy birthday!

carrie anciaux - FABULOUS! what a gift she is 🙂

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