Summer in Madison, Wisconsin
Summer in Madison, Wisconsin
July 29, 2020
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July, 2020
by Sarah Laughland

Sarah Laughland is a lifestyle & portrait photographer serving the DMV & Southwest Virginia. She’s a performer & creator who adores connecting with people through the art of visuals. She lives for supporting local, strong lattes, and good light. <3


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This year has been anything but ordinary. But, to be honest, I’ve built my life in a very similar way. There’s not a ton of structure, and years never look the same. Stepping into the world of theatre and performance doesn’t allow the freedom to plan, because it requires an all-consuming mentality and commitment. For the better part of 10 years, I’ve worked 8-11 months out of the year, 6 days a week, with set vacations, and definitely working summers. Summer shows are the height of the year, which is why the pandemic is slamming theaters left and right and devastating artists across genres who are relying on unemployment and bits of virtual teaching and part-time work.

This all leads into the opportunity that arose from this lack of work. I didn’t have a contract set for June into July, nothing on the calendar when the pandemic hit and my cousins asked if I could come and live with them to nanny my littlest cousins while they found time to teach and work virtually from home. My cousin, Heather, has wanted me to come stay and help out for YEARS, but I never could because I was performing. But then it fit perfectly. We opted for me to drive, rather than fly, and we had a month indoors, save for a handful of excursions to state parks and strawberry patches to pick ripe fruit for Friday afternoon baking.

Getting this time with twin 7-year-olds is not a memory I’ll soon forget, because their minds are moving a million miles a minute, curiouser by the day, with a fierce love for books, tag, bread items, and their dog, Willie. It was a GIFT to spend a month in Madison, Wisconsin with them. I didn’t have my camera out as often as I planned, but when I did, the kids wanted to learn, so we had a ton of fun. We talked about how to compose a photo, the proper way to hold a camera, and all about focusing. You’ll see that I make an appearance in a few photos (hair brought to you by humidity), where the kids nailed it!

Enjoy our photos below from Kohler Andrae State Park and Pheasant Branch Conservatory, both in and a short drive from Madison, Wisconsin and the Great Lakes!

And want to know how you can support artists out of work? Check out Capitol Bop (Washington DC musician relief & support), as well as The Actors Fund.

Twins posing with rabbit ears in red and teal hoodies at Kohler Andrae State Park in Wisconsin by the sand

Twins posing in the trunk of car in red and teal hoodies at Kohler Andrae State Park in Wisconsin

boy in red hoodie running sand down to water Kohler andrae state park Wisconsin

black and white boy running sand down to water Kohler andrae state park Wisconsin

foot in sand and girl running to sand in teal hoodie at Kohler andrae state park Wisconsin

Wisconsin cheese license plate yellow Jeep parked

color and black and white cousin hugging her younger cousin in teal outfits with grocery bag

boy swinging his shirt and blurry photo with funny faces

little kids laughing and reading on a couch on back porch

little kids laughing and reading on a couch on back porch Madison Wisconsin

girl laughing and reading library books on a couch on back porch Madison Wisconsin

little kids laughing and reading on a couch on back porch Madison Wisconsin

little kids laughing and reading on a couch on back porch Madison Wisconsin

Pheasant Branch Conservatory Madison Wisconsin boy wading in the water

Pheasant Branch Conservatory Madison Wisconsin boy wading in the water

Pheasant Branch Conservatory Madison Wisconsin girl in teal wading in the water

Pheasant Branch Conservatory Madison Wisconsin girl in teal wading in the water

Pheasant Branch Conservatory Madison Wisconsin girl in teal wading in the water

Pheasant Branch Conservatory Madison Wisconsin posing on the trail adult and little cousin in teal

fin. <3

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