Red Dress in Spring

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.


The energy of the universe (& Facebook) fascinates me. I volunteered with this woman years ago. I remembered her as put-together, smart, talented, & well-connected.

We connected again some years later – six to be exact. I remember because I was going through cancer treatment. So was she.

We’d touch base on occasion and talk about creative ideas. We talked about her doing a portrait session with me for at least two years! We found a date and scheduled it.

As I waited for her to arrive yesterday, I opened Facebook memories. I had chills when the memory popped up that 10 years ago to the day, is when we volunteered together, taking photos of the Miracle Field Grand Opening at the Pabst Farms YMCA.

I showed that post to Lisa. We couldn’t get over the timing of connecting with each other.

Her session was amazing!

Women who trust me

A strong woman is one who feels deeply & loves fiercely.

Her tears flow just as abundantly as her laughter.

A strong woman is both soft & powerful.

She is both practical & spiritual.

A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.


I see strength & beauty.

I’m grateful for a woman’s trust on the other side of my camera and wonder how she interprets my gestures when I see THE shot. Often I wipe a tear from my eye when things line up and I have the photograph to show her how beautiful she is to the world.

I see a woman’s strength, not in skinny, perfect make-up or designer clothes. I see strength in her journey up to the moment I press my shutter. I see her beauty shine when the wind messes her hair, laughing with her girlfriend, on a mountain, in the woods.

She’s the woman I love to photograph, her stories, pain, resolve, laugh lines and
all the reasons she is who she is today.

That is real. She is a beautiful woman.

She will exist in my photographs for all time.

I will show you how beautiful you are.
©Wendy Andrews Photography



Gratitude & the Mountains

Hiking boots. 4:30am alarm. Fender-bender.
3 Generations. Mountains. Gratitude.

For many, this collection may seem completely at odds. ©WAVphoto

Years ago, my hiking partner & I would greet the day with an early alarm. Rising with the alarm would be crazy to assume, as neither one of us would have slept a wink, knowing we had the opportunity to hike together in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upper New York State.  One of the first on the trail that day gave us the chance of collecting all the spider webs, making our footprints in the mud from the night before and getting a jump on the summer daylight. (the truth: most days it rained when we hiked…there was no beautiful sunrise).

Back then, we hiked with a mission to finish hiking all 46 peaks in the Adirondacks over 4,000 feet in elevation. Once we accomplished that goal (and it was a huge accomplishment) everyone wondered “what’s next?” will you continue to hike or just pack it in now that you’ve accomplished your goal? I knew instinctively that I’d return with my camera. It wouldn’t be a hike, it would be a photo op. The photo documentation from our hikes had consisted of: arrival at the peak – sometimes with a marker or a plastic disc with the mountain name – in the rain – the swift removal of my point & shoot from the zip lock baggie, one shot at a selfie with both of us in it, the return of the camera to the zip lock & trying to get below the tree line for shelter so we could take in a quick energy break.

During the miles of footprints on the trails I saw so many beautiful places that I wanted to photograph. Carrying a camera & spending the time to stop & start seemed counter to our success at that time. However, in my mind, my creative thoughts flowed constantly…almost as strong as the river we ascended Seward Mountain in. I pictured a beautiful vista – we passed several – with a strong woman in red, in complete possession of her beauty and power with the Adirondack mountains as a stunning & supportive backdrop. The mountains with all their beauty couldn’t shine as bright as a strong woman. The combination, in my mind, was powerfully crazy. It kept my thoughts occupied as the long winter months dragged on, just waiting for the opportunity, the stars to align, the moment when I could look thru my camera, press the shutter and capture the beauty, the strength, the elegance, the moment.

Until it happened.


A small window created itself. Then closed. The only day for a hike was postponed by a fender-bender. It couldn’t be helped. Fortunately no one was injured, just the mounting anticipation postponed. It had already been two years, what’s another day?

Funny thing when we listen to the energy of the universe.

The fender-bender was only to delay our hike, avoiding heat, humidity and…rain & thunderstorms. The weather the following day was…incredible. It began with a gift of a beautiful blue moon reflecting on the lake. We hiked a long road into the base of the mountain, uphill all the way.

I carried my pack with my usual hiking gear and an additional pack with my camera, a few dresses and flow-y fabric and a few assorted props. Gratefully, my hiking buddies/models helped to carry the additional pack. We quickly ascended to our destination. Up. And more Up. I had only seen photographs of our location, sight unseen but listening to the universe.

The day was just dawning with beautiful sun rays peeking through the trees along the trail. The birch trees glowing white. The river singing alongside our path. My only Adirondack hike of the year and I anticipated the smell of balsam. I wasn’t disappointed.

With excitement came our last turn off the uphill trail, I was leading and as the trees parted, I came out onto the granite ledge. W. O. W. All I could say was “wow”…with that raspy, not-really-a-sound but more of an exclamation, almost to myself…and to the universe. Gratitude flowed over my soul as I looked out onto the most beautiful sight I had only dreamed of. Mountains to the left and to the right, mountains I had climbed over 25 years, with the beautiful blue lake, nestled in between. Blue sky and white clouds as far as I could see.  There really are no words when you come across such majesty. Nature is an incredible editor, making everything just so.

My girls, hiking buddies, taking in the view as well, were psyched! I had packed a couple dresses and fabric – game ON. Hiking boots and beautiful dresses! I could not contain my excitement for another minute. The three of us, bonded by legacy. Our fathers had known each other years ago at a local camp (the Greatest Camp in the Universe). We reunited recently, after one of the connectors passed away. We were together to sprinkle some ashes in his beloved mountains.


Our hike quickly erupted into a photo session…my vision came to life right before my eyes! It’s always a wonderful feeling when others will take your lead and trust you immensely – to allow me to coach their body into a moment and wait for me to photograph it. Completely vulnerable. Strong. Incredible. Feminine. Powerful. Without a doubt, beautiful.

We laughed. We worked hard. Almost as hard as the hike to get here. My vision had come to fruition. These women made it happen. I was filled with gratitude beyond words. Just images.

my vision of strength

The final series was with both women. A bond with roots 50 years in the making. We are the middle. Our sons were also at the Greatest Camp in the Universe this summer, together. Continuing the legacy of their grandfathers.

I positioned the models on the edge of the cliff, allowing their poses to naturally flow, as the clouds came over and covered the sun, as the breeze blew cool air through their hair, their hands connected, the moment captured.

As I pressed my shutter for the final time that morning, tears fell from my eyes. The beauty. The majesty. The honor. I knew that was my final frame. There could be no more.

Legacy bonds

Gratitude poured from my soul, from my eyes. My vision of my hiking partner in a red dress on a mountain, strong, beautiful, came to life. The legacy and friendship between three people captured forever.

On a mountain.


a writer

The doors will be opened
to those who are bold enough
to knock.


It’s an honor to be allowed into a person’s world and to be invited to capture
a moment in their life. High School seniors have such incredible energy – it’s
always a pleasure to photograph them.

When I met with this beautiful girl for her pre-session consultation we discussed wardrobe choices. She casually mentioned she might like to have a photo or two with her red lipstick on. ‘Is this possible?’, she asked. ‘Of course!’, my reply.  I suggested that the red lips arrive at the end of our session & didn’t give it another thought until I arrived on location to take her photographs.

She gracefully moved into poses with a little coaching & adjusting, and a few gentle laughs. She became even more attractive as her personality had a chance to shine. A quick wardrobe change and more photographs, making sure we had at least one image for her yearbook selection. The warmth of the late autumn sun quickly fading.

‘Any more poses you’d like to have?’ ‘Oh yes! my red lipstick!’

In a moment she ran into her house and returned as a grown-up writer!
Red lipstick, eyeglasses and ready for her first book signing! We had chatted during our consultation and as our session evolved, so I knew she wanted to be a writer…and here she sat…in my camera frame…a writer.

I was honored when she saw this photo, picked up the proof and enthusiastically stated, “THIS photo is going to be on my first book cover!”

The doors will be opened to those who are bold enough to knock.



I’m so fortunate to know such strong & beautiful women.
To have the opportunity to photograph one in this field
of flowers is a dream come true.



Willsboro, New York







Four days of spring!

Each year I look forward to the arrival of spring at the Milwaukee Art Museum where flowers are the art. ‘Art In Bloom’ is the museum’s four day event that fills each room with the scent & colors of spring.

The Shepherdess, Jean-Honore Fragonard/ floral artist: LaTulipe, LLC

The Shepherdess, Jean-Honore Fragonard/
floral artist: LaTulipe, LLC

Art in Bloom pairs one piece of incredible art to a talented floral designer or group. It’s quite an honor among florists, garden centers and garden clubs to be selected as a designer for this event.

The challenge of the day: deciding which arrangement receives my “people’s choice” vote.

I found it difficult to walk away from this arrangement! It was fascinating from all sides.

Green, Red, Blue  Mark Rothko floral art: A New Leaf Floral, Inc

Green, Red, Blue Mark Rothko
floral art: A New Leaf Floral, Inc

Elegant in simplicity.

Yellow Guitar & Blue Vase, Fernand Leger floral art: Milwaukee Flower Company

Yellow Guitar & Blue Vase, Fernand Leger
 floral art: Milwaukee Flower Company

Three panels of abstract flowers – an interpretation of
Yellow Guitar and Blue Vase.

Campbell's Soup, Andy Warhol floral art: Tulipomania European Flower Market

Campbell’s Soup, Andy Warhol
floral art: Tulipomania European Flower Market

Floral humor: grilled cheese & tomato soup

Woman with Cat, Kees van Dongen floral art: Elmbrook Garden Club

Woman with Cat, Kees van Dongen
floral art: Elmbrook Garden Club

Simple, stunning, creative.


The Two Majesties, Jean-Leon Gerome floral art: Metro Market-Downtown Milwaukee

The Two Majesties, Jean-Leon Gerome
floral art: Metro Market-Downtown Milwaukee

Vision, skill, artistic creativity.

Art in Bloom – always worth the trip.

Milwaukee Art Museum, www .mam .org


I heard she thought she wasn’t pretty
I heard she thought she didn’t fit in
She thought she was different.


We went to the woods
We breathed the air
Supported by the earth under our feet

We laughed
We created


She is beautiful
She is unique
She is strong

The experience

The photographs

I showed her how perfect she is
She celebrates



My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where
the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth,
beauty & peace within you,
because it is also within me.
In sharing these things
we are united, we are the same,
we are one.

the invitation

“The beauty of a woman isn’t in the clothes she wears;
the figure that she has or the way she styles her hair.
The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes
because the eyes are the doorway to her heart,
the place where love resides.

The true beauty in a woman is reflected by her soul.
It’s the way she cares
and the passion she exudes.
The beauty of a woman
only grows throughout her life”

This photo session was wonderful!

This woman is fun, gorgeous, happy, proud, sensitive and beautiful.
She’s also a mother, a wife, and in many ways, a survivor.

During the photo session, I had to pull away from my camera a few times. I had asked her to think about something she loves very much. Her eyes changed, her connection adjusted more deeply, I squeezed the button on my camera. I was overwhelmed with the powerful beauty that I saw. I could see her strength, her courage, her laughter and her love, deep in her eyes. Her soul had opened the door behind her eyes and invited me inside.

My eyes filled with tears.

I showed her this image on the back of my camera (which I rarely do). She softly whispered in amazed discovery, ‘wow, I am beautiful’.

We cried. We laughed. We hugged.

My gift was to provide a reminder of that moment.
She has a photograph, a tangible memory.
She carries her beauty with her every day.
Her photograph is just to remind her that she is beautiful & she doesn’t have to whisper it.