Featured Guest {Gretchen Willis}

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Making Memories. That’s the very best part of being in a family. All the little parts that go into special moments – giggles, snuggles, new adventures, old traditions – they all add up to the lasting memories that everyone takes with them for the rest of their lives.

We have a pretty big family, by modern standards. We’ve maxed out the seating in our minivan and family trips usually max out our budget as well. But that doesn’t stop us from spending time together and making the most of it.

Our summer vacation trip, this year, was to spend the weekend at the home of our very good friends, Bryan and JoAnna. They have a beautiful house on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh. Their huge backyard is perfect for entertaining: plenty of room to stretch out, a family-sized grill, and a dock for swimming and boating. We brought along our tents and sleeping bags and camped out in their back yard. The weather could not have been more perfect, only to be outdone by the amazing friendship we shared with them.

We don’t often get a chance to completely unplug – get away from phones, TVs, computers, and video games. But this weekend’s focus was on togetherness and relaxing. We ate great food, laid on the hammock, dipped our toes in the water, visited the farmer’s market, fished, and did I mention we ate great food?

I also indulged my love of film by leaving my digital camera at home, taking only my Canon AE-1Program with me. All these images were shot on 35mm film: Fuji Elite Chrome, Kodak Portra, and Kodak Ektar.

This may sound very strange, but I'm thankful that our family lives onl imited income. We have 5 kids and my husband is our only wage-earner.This has forced us to find pleasure in the small things and be creative about how to get the most fun on the least amount of money.Our family vacations are usually meager and typically involve just visiting family. This past summer, we went to a friend's house and camped in their back yard. But I'd say, it was one of the best family vacations we've ever taken.
Gretchen Willis shoots on her farmette in south central Wisconsin and
the surrounding area. She loves shooting a variety of subjects but her
heart lies in landscapes and tweens. When she's not chasing her 5 kids,
2 dogs, or dozen ducks and chickens, she shoots both film and digital
and loves using her lensbaby.

 Gretchen Willis Photography: facebook | blog | website


  1. Gretchen! Love this series! It's amazing what an intentional focus on gratitude can do. That's actually how I got into photography to begin with!


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