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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oliver | Real moments

I had the best break over Thanksgiving! I got some much needed down time visiting with family who we don't get to see very often. We made a special trip out to the country to visit with my husband's grandparents and I got some great captures with Oliver and his 85 year old great grandpa. These are the kinds of moments I strive to capture for families in 2011. How many people have photos of themselves as a baby with their great grandparents?

It's so beautiful and peaceful out there. I hope to have a farmhouse out in the country someday!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Vote now! | Baking Contest

Head over to my facebook fan page. "Like" the photo of your choice and the photo with the most votes will win the free session valued at over $500. Who would you like to see me photograph?

Contestants- round up all of your friends and family and get them to vote! Voting will end Friday, December 3rd at midnight. The winner will be announced Saturday, December 4th.

Contestant 1: Christa | Alyssa, 12, Carter, 9, Anna, 8
Contestant 2: Rochelle & Adriana, 5
Contestant 3: Jenny | Jasmine, 6, Jordan, 5, & Joelle, 3

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Judds | Lakeville SuperTarget

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the Lakeville SuperTarget for my weekly grocery run only to find 3 huge tour buses parked out front. As Oliver and I sat down to lunch in the cafe, there was a buzz of conversation going on amongst the Target employees. I finally asked what was going on and they told me that Naomi Judd was there with a camera crew filming her new reality TV show (which is to air on the Oprah Winfrey Network). I'm no country music fan, but this is just something you don't see everyday. Especially in the outermost suburbs of the Twin Cities.

I just had to check it out and snap some photos. The cashier who checked them out was giving me the scoop when I checked out. He said she bought a lot of stuff including lots of make-up and fake eyelashes. As you can imagine, it caused quite the buzz around the store. Surprisingly, I was only one of the few customers who was gawking. It was mostly Target employees hanging around. I think most people feared being filmed in their "going out to get groceries" outfit.

I would have been a little more excited if they were filming Kendra. (Go Kendra!)

Cyber Monday Sale!

Book a session today for January or February 2011 and receive 25% off your session fee! No deposit required, session must be booked on Monday, November 29th by midnight CST. Gift certificates also available but must be prepaid. The session must be redeemed in the months of January or February.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Land of Nod

Love, love, love this store. If I could afford to buy every single thing they sell I would. I get their catalog in the mail and it makes my world go round. I try not to show it to my kids because if they were to tell me that they wanted something from it I'd be in trouble. I love all the wooden toys but I especially love all their playroom furniture and art displays. I want to have a house big enough to have an awesome art room for the kids. Someday...

It's a good thing I don't have a girl because I think I would buy every wooden food/kitchen play set there is. My boys aren't into those (I've tried) but I almost want to buy them and play with them myself. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Two announcements:

1. This is the last weekend to submit a photo for my holiday baking contest. For a chance to win this free session (valued at $500+ | includes custom session in your home, CD, and album), email me a photo of you and your kids in your kitchen. Photos will be posted on my facebook fan page and the photo with the most number of votes wins! Official deadline is 8 pm on Sunday, November 28th. Scroll down for the original blog post with more details...

2. Cyber Monday! Check back here on Monday- I will be posting some great deals for studio sessions booked in January and February.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bye Don Shelby!

This was from an engagement session in 2007... we were shooting by the WCCO studio and they came to the window for a photo. After 32 years, he is retiring from broadcasting tonight.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Client update

I shot my final wedding of 2011 today! I am so excited for my shooting schedule to finally come to a close. It's been nuts! I know Thanksgiving is right around the corner and just wanted to update everyone that I hope to wrap a ton of work by Thanksgiving Eve. My goal is to spend a few guiltless days off that weekend relaxing and enjoying my family. I sure deserve it! :)

If you're waiting on a gallery to be put up or a CD order I am working on them now through the holiday. Thanks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

How long have I been doing this? | This long...

Going through old photos trying to clean out drives... I came across my very first portrait session. This is 3 days after I bought my very first DSLR, a Canon 20D. The lens was a Tamron 18-200mm. The date is August 9, 2005. I met my friend and her kids at Boom Island Park for my first practice shoot. It was a hot day and we shot for about half an hour before it started down pouring.

Owen turned three that May and Aidan was 18 months old. Now they are 8 and 6! I still love these photos and wouldn't have shot them much differently (composition-wise) if I were to do it again today! I didn't edit these and I actually shot the b/w ones converted in camera. Obviously, I didn't know any better. :) I checked my settings on these... now this is a laugh and a half:

Automatic Mode
f/16 and a shutter of 1/800
ISO: 1600 (whooooops!) hahahahaha!

I still remember the sound of those first shutter clicks using a DSLR for the first time. I saw and captured instant results vs. a point and shoot lag which is what I was used to. It was such a high! I don't think I ever came down... although some days during the busy season it actually does feel like a job. :)

Blog | Throwback

I was digging through old files and found this picture of my new (at the time) iMac from 2007 when I switched over from PC. Look at my blog! That was my first header design. I spent many hours choosing all those photos and putting them in the exact place that I wanted them. I learned a lot about Photoshop during that time! That was my first external drive that was mounted on my desktop. Man, now a zillion files and 4 more hard drives later... it seems unreal that this was just 3 years ago.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Family photos don't have to equal everyone smiling and looking at the camera.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oliver | 9 months!

I can't believe my little baby is 9 months old already! He is officially as old as how long I carried him in my womb. Next month he will be in the double-digits for number of months and soon enough he will be one! I have such mixed emotions because I have loved watching him grow and develop but some days I just want time to stand still so I can enjoy him more, especially since I've been so busy.

These photos were inspired by a book called Naked Babies that I recently looked through for inspiration. I didn't quite get what I wanted but I am calling this a "first attempt" and I will continue to add to this series for Oliver. He was a little distracted by his older brothers and their cousins who were running around playing. I would love to do more of these if you want to book a baby session this winter!

Do you remember my older boys? It's been awhile since I've posted them here. They are getting harder and harder to shoot so this is what I got. I sort of love all their expressions though!

Email | outage this weekend...

My email has been down since last Friday due to a full mailbox but it's back up now. If you tried to email me it should have bounced back to you so you will need to resend now that it's back up. I didn't receive any emails during this time period so please resend! Thanks!

Friday, November 12, 2010

1st baking shoot entry!

I received my first Baking Photo Contest submission! I really was only expecting to receive photos but then I had the pleasure of reading this touching story and had to share it. Reading through this just made me realize more and more which direction I want my family photo sessions to take. I want to capture families in a way that is meaningful to them, not just dressing up in coordinating outfits and smiling at the camera. Sure those are nice but what do your kids take from those? They will remember how they had to sit still, "look at Olivia," and will probably remember how stressed mom and dad were. Going forward, my goal is to create heirloom photos for your children's children. Please read the submission below.
My children and I love to bake and they often help me cook but our absolute favorite event is making sugar cookies for Christmas. This is a tradition that was started by my mom over 30 years ago and continues to be a family favorite. It was not unusual at family gatherings to have people oogling our plate of cookies to find just the right work of art to enjoy. Many of my favorite memories around the holidays were helping my mom roll out dozens of cookies and spending hours with my parents and my brother carefully frosting and decorating each one. Everyone had their favorite cookie cutter - gingerbread men, angels, teddy bears, santas, reindeer, candy canes, Christmas trees - and would decorate each of the cookies with one or several colors of frosting and would spend hours adding sprinkles, hotsies, chocolate chips and colored sugar to our creations. Even after I left home I always came back for sugar cookie weekend to help out and have continued this tradition with my own kids. It is now a tradition that has spanned two generations and my hope is that my children will carry on the tradition to their families as well.

In spite of the fact that we have been doing this for so many years we have few pictures of this time together. My mom passed away almost 4 years ago and if you ask my kids what their favorite memories of Grandma are making sugar cookies would be at the very top of the list. It warms my heart to know that they were able to share something with their Grandma that I was also able to share with my Mother. As we continue each Christmas to make the cookies that my mother used to make I can't help wonder how much she would have enjoyed being able to look back at photos of those times together with her children and grandchildren. How wonderful would it be to have pictures for not only myself but for my children and hopefully their children of the many smiles that this tradition brings to us all. I know that these pictures would mean the world to my Dad too.

The first photo that I have included is the page from my mothers cookbook with the recipe she used and her tweaks written on the side. The actual cookbook was so worn that we had to throw it away but I was sure to save that page. Not only do we use her recipe but we still use her cookie cutters too! My children share my same excitement at the possibility of being captured doing one of their favorite things. As the one always behind the camera I have few pictures of the kids with me and would LOVE to do this.

I can't wait to make some exciting new changes with my family sessions! I am still taking submissions for the baking contest! I have received some great feedback and it seems that lots of moms are loving this idea!

Christina and Ben | St. Paul Wedding

I feel like it's been ages since I've posted a wedding here! If you were new to my blog and scrolled through you probably wouldn't think I even shoot them. I just had to post these and I had some time in between Lightroom imports and exports. :)

I have had the best time working with this couple! You may remember their engagement photos shot back in March. They have such great family and friends and I really felt the connections when I met everyone at the wedding. They truly are a gorgeous couple, inside and out.

Scott Miller Studio was the best getting ready spot I have ever photographed! I am used to church basements or the occasional hotel room. This place had so much character and awesome places to shoot details. You can see what a difference it makes in the photos!

It was sooooooo windy out! Christina's veil blew off and you can see it in Ben's hair.

Christina rocked those Jimmy's!

This is one of my favorite wedding shots of all time. It's just so classic and the wind picked up her veil at the perfect moment.

One final wedding party shot at dusk.
We used every last minute of daylight!
Apparently C&B had taken some dance lessons and surprised everyone with an awesome first dance. I wish this photo had sound because the crowd was going nuts! I loved the energy!
Congratulations Christina and Ben! It has been so great getting to know you!