Tuesday, April 12, 2016
By Katherine Seiler
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One Hundred and fifty-five years ago, the first widely photographed war began. This war was known as "The Boy's War" or more commonly, The American Civil War. 

It is estimated that 20% of all Civil War soldiers, were younger than 18 years old. Because of their young age and size, most were given uniforms too large for them.  Edward Black, eight years old, and Johnny Clem, age eleven, were prime examples.

Although these images do not specifically tell the story of Edward or Johnny Clem, "The Drummer Boy of Chickamauga",  they do tell the story of all the young boys, North and South, who took up arms during the Civil War. 

As casualties climbed during the Civil War, more soldiers were needed. Recruiters often turned the other way and allow children younger than 18 to enlist.  They became musicians, drummer boys, messangers, nurses or the like, but the time would come where most of these young boys, far from home, would need to fight for their lives. 


Imagine being eleven years old, again. 

Far from home. 

Far from everyone you love. 

Tired, hungry, cold or intolerably hot. 

The noise all around you. Cannon's firing and the smell of gun powder filling the air. 
Men shouting, some dying, but, you need to keep rattling your drum.

Imagine the fear that would come over you, the strength being mustered to hold your tears back.

You want to run,  but you can't. You are frozen in place.

And then, the moment comes. 

At age eleven, you need to make a decision.

Life or death. 

Visions of your family flood your mind. The laughter of your little siblings in the open field as you play in the fresh air that has a distinct smell of wild flowers and fresh cut hay. The sound of your father chopping wood for the warm fire. The smell of your mother's fresh baked bread. The birds singing their lullaby, and the touch of your mother's gentle kiss on your forehead as she tucks you in for the night.  

But you aren't there anymore.

The screams grow loader, the smell of gun powder and blood, stronger. Tears roll down your face. 

Placing your drum down, you grab a riffle from the hands of a dying soldier near you, and say a prayer. 

This is our American History. These are the images of innocence lost. 


Photography: Katherine Seiler, O'Seiler Photography
Makeup: Katherine Seiler
Costume: Katherine Seiler
Model: C.S.  
O'Seiler Photography

For more information in the Civil War please visit www.civilwar.com. 




Thursday, September 10, 2015
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This blog post is a little more close to the heart as it has to do with my family!

George is my cousin, who I admittedly do not see enough. We both traveled all over when we were younger, always seeming to be in different parts of the world.  Now that we are adults, living three hours away from eachother, we've both been busy with family and work. However, there is something to be said for our relationship. Not just ours, but my other three cousins (his siblings). We could go for years without seeing one another, but once we are together, there is a solid sense of family, love and loyalty. 

When Katie and George asked me if I could be their photographer, I was honored. 

Their wedding day was very much centered around family and those who have become family over the years. Katie is one out of eight children, and George is one out of four, making their wedding party crazy big, but in an incredibly beautiful way. Everyone in the party has a long history with Katie and George, creating this surrounding of sincerity and love. 

Whenever I am around my cousins, there is always a good time to be had! Katie and George's wedding did not disappoint! 

Their wedding ceremony was held at St. Catherine of Alexandria church in Oak Lawn, IL and their reception was held at The William Tell Inn in Countryside. 

I had a hard time picking which images to share from there day, so here's quite a few! 


Tuesday, September 08, 2015
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The story of Cory and John, and how I came to be their photographer, begins all the way back when John and I were a young, 17 years old. 

John and I had traveled to Australia and New Zealand together on a student ambassador program with other high school students from all over the state. I remember John being an immediate favorite of everyone on the trip, he was just a fun, easy going guy with an increibly big heart. 

The journey down to Australia and New Zeleand definetly created so many life long bonds. After returning home, a group of us from the trip would always get together, go to high school home comings together, have sleep overs and enjoy our lives as crazy, hooligan teenagers! 

After graduating high school, such as life, we slowly started to dispurse, trying our best to keep in touch, but not always having the time to allow for it. As life went on, many of us went through college, got married, had babies, and carried on with the regular day to day hustle and bustle.

That's where Facebook came in to play...

Oh yes, Facebook. The place where many have reconnected, and some have disconnected, but in our case, we reconnected! John and I caught up with each other's lives through social media and I couldn't have been happier to see this friend come back into my life, and with him, I would gain another friend in Cory, his new fiance! 

Long story short (some what...) They asked me to be their photographer! I remember saying to John "Who would have ever thought when we were 17 that I'd be photographing your wedding!?"

This neat little story of our history doesn't stop there. John and Cory had planned their wedding to be held on June 27th, 2015 in the Wisconsin State Capitol, followed by an evening of fun at the Overture Center. This date in it's self was special because it followed the Supreme Court ruling that same sex marriage would be legal in all 50 states. Without knowing it, when they planned to be wed on the 27th, John and Cory would not only be celebrating their love and commitment to one another, but the equality and love for everyone all around the U.S. 

I can honestly say that I adore these two and the love they share. They are, in every way, amazing people and a beautiful couple.  

Thank you for having me be in your lives, John and Cory, and a part of your very special day. Looking forward to watching your family grow and sharing many more years of friendship!


Here's to love, always winning...


Friday, September 04, 2015
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It has been SO long since I have gotten a moment to sit and write a blog, so I figured I'd better start way back in June with Kurt and Kara's elegant, simplistic wedding in Wisconsin Dells! 

I have loved photographing this couple and their adorable family since 2012, so I was honored to be part of one of the biggest days of their lives! 

Kara was stunning! The day represented the two of them so well, from Kurts sandals to Kara's bouquet.

The day was layed back and elegent, and one of my favorite weddings to date because of it's simplicity and sense on sincerity.  One thing I can say after working with Kurt and Kara for the past 3 years is that they are some of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life, and they love eachother unconditionally, as well as their daughters. 

I don't think any of us could have asked for a more beautiful June day to say "I do"! 

After they exchanged vows in front of family (their two daughters standing by their sides and their parents watching on), they completed the celebration of the start of their lives together with a nice family dinner at Ishnala in the Dells.

Here are a few moments from their day! 



Monday, June 08, 2015
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Because I could see all of these things in Amy and Justin when they said "I Do"... I'll let Mr. Marley take it from here... 


“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” 
― Bob Marley


Congratulations Justin and Amy!