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Monday, January 23, 2012

Crewcuts | 40% off sale!

What is my favorite? An additional 40% off sale items at J.Crew! A certain handsome little 7 year old of mine is going to look dapper in this Italian chino suit and bowtie for his First Communion this Spring!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our duck!

We have a new neighborhood pet! She's a muscovy duck and I have no idea where she came from, but this species originates in South America. My boys started noticing her hanging around their bus stop at the corner and she can be seen in a couple of other neighbor's yards including ours. She's not timid and the boys often "follow" her home as she walks the street like a pedestrian. I love her! I hope she sticks around!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Kayd & Abhrajeet | Eagan Wedding Photographer | Indian Wedding Ceremony

Wow, where do I begin? Kayd and Abhrajeet had an amazing wedding day. Let me preface by saying that they were high school sweethearts and have been together since the 10th grade! Their parents used to have to drive them around when they were dating because they didn't even have their drivers licenses yet, isn't that sweet? You definitely don't hear stories like that these days! Kayd and Abhrajeet celebrated their marriage with both a Catholic ceremony and an Indian ceremony. It was a whirlwind of a day! We started with the first sight and some wedding party portraits, went directly to the church for the Catholic ceremony at St. John Neumann in Eagan, and then directly after the ceremony we all traveled to the Airport Marriott so that everyone could get ready and dressed for the Indian ceremony. There literally was not a moment to spare and being that the wedding took place in November, we ran out of daylight fast. That was a bit of a bummer because I would have loved to photograph all the ladies in their Sarees in some gorgeous natural light but with weddings you can't always control everything.

This was such a big day, I couldn't tell their entire story in one blog post but here are some of my favorites:

At the hotel- there were a limited number of Indian women that could help the wedding party and guests into their Sarees so this getting ready part of the day took some time. The detail and design is so intricate, it's not a matter of putting a dress on. These rolls of fabric were draped, wrapped, and folded onto each woman ever so carefully. It was a beautiful thing to watch!
The results are breathtaking!
This was my first Indian ceremony and it was amazing to watch!
This canopy held by the bride and groom's brothers was placed between them so that they could not see each other initially. The moment it was lifted Kayd had such a great expression and the guests all cheered!
There is a lot of interactive ritual and many, many steps that they need to go through.
I love that not only did the wedding party wear traditional Indian clothing, the parents, family, and many of the guests dressed up as well.
Now this was the absolute best... Kayd and her father did their traditional father/daughter dance and as the end neared... they busted out into THRILLER! This was all planned out and a surprise for all the guests.
Kayd's family and the whole wedding party participated!

This day was such a great example that as a bride and groom- you can make your day exactly how you want it! There is no need to do what everyone else does or follow tradition for the sake of following tradition. In the end, it is your day so live it to remember it how you want it! Thanks K&A for having me!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Oliver | Twin Cities Live Cutest Baby Contest

I cannot believe I will soon be the mother of a 2 year old! Oliver turns two this Valentine's Day. He is not talking much so I still feel like he's a baby and I will probably cling to that until he goes off to college! :) But really, how does 2 years go by so quickly? I am always telling new moms (especially first-timers) to truly cherish every moment. I think we constantly wish their lives away- especially if they are going through a challenging phase. With Oliver (knowing he's our last child), I am a lot more lenient this time around because I know how quickly it goes by!

Twin Cities Live is hosting a cutest baby contest so I thought, what the heck, I will enter Oliver! The catch is, professional photographs are not allowed. What?!?! So I had to dig through my point and shoot camera and I found this photo that my 7 year old took and thought it would be funny to enter. Oliver seriously loves these red heels of mine! He digs them out and wears them all of the time. You can click here to view his entry. There will be 5 finalist chosen and then it will be opened up to voting to choose the winner. The winner ends up on the cover of Savvy Magazine in February, a guest appearance on Twin Cities Live, and a $250 Amex gift card.

Here is the original photo, taken by Aidan:

Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Maggie & Family | Jordan Family Photographer

I shot some family photos for Maggie in the fall of 2010 and I was so excited when she booked again in 2011. Typically, most families with older children don't update their photos every year so that said to me that she values photography and she enjoyed working with me! I really enjoy working with this family- they are fun, like to laugh, and are up for anything! Tori is the oldest and this year she brought along her boyfriend Ben.
There were a lot of laughs during this series!

Since we shot in the country the year before, this time Maggie wanted some "city" photos.
Do you see the resemblance?

Thanks again so much Maggie! It was an honor to work with you again!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

My Dream Shoot | Hot Air Balloon Photo Session

I never got around to blogging this last year even though it was such a big event for me last summer! In my defense, when it is busy, it is BUSY and I always feel like I'm in survival mode. Blogging seems like a luxury during those times.

So, this all started with a dream of mine. I am constantly thinking up "dream shoots" and challenging myself to think creatively. I became obsessed with the idea of shooting an engagement session during a hot air balloon launch. The more I thought about it, I loved the idea so much that I quickly turned the tables and realized I would want these hot air balloon photos for myself! I never looked into it until one day in July I had some free time and started Googling. I had to find a hot air balloon festival that had at least a dozen balloons ascending for the full impact of the concept. There were quite a few all over the country and then I ended up finding one in Indianola, IA during the week of my birthday! I remember that evening vividly... I ran downstairs to excitedly announce to my husband, "I know what I want to do for my birthday!" I told him about my concept and being the wonderful, supportive man that he is, replied, "Okay." I could NOT sleep that night. I knew I wanted to ask my friend Tasha to shoot it for me but I began to worry if I'd be able to pull it off.

The next morning, as soon as I knew I wouldn't wake her up, I called Tasha to pitch the idea. I was barely three sentences in when I asked her and her reply was, "I'm in." We began plotting and she happened to have a few days open that week in between shooting weddings. It all ended up coming together and I could not have been more excited!

This is not my first photo shoot so I completely understand what it's like to be in front of the camera. I think that as a photographer it's important to put yourself in your client's shoes from time to time. The stress of putting together coordinating outfits not confident what will photograph well, and to communicate with your photographer your vision and what you want to capture is a priceless experience! From my end as "the client," I was stressed about looking my best and hoping for the best captures knowing this is a one time shot!

August 3rd, 2010

The balloon ascension was at 6 pm and we could not get any closer to the balloons than being behind this fence. If this launch didn't work, there was another ascension at 6 am the following morning. This was our only opportunity!
I did not expect, however, for my children 10 minutes into the session to start complaining that they were hungry and that their new shoes hurt their feet. Thankfully some after session rewards did the trick!

Let your one-year-old have a sip of pop to keep him happy? Sure! Why not?! There was far too much on the line for this not to work out!

There was a night glow after sunset so we stuck around for that. This photo looks so peaceful but little do you know that Oliver was crying and we were all getting eaten by mosquitos!

With our family session wrapped, I couldn't help but feel jealous for Tasha being able to shoot those amazing balloons... I pitched the idea to her about me shooting her and her husband Tony the following morning at the 6 am ascension. They were up for it so it was my dream come true x2! I got my family photos and I got to shoot as well!

The lighting that morning was not what I envisioned. It was my first sunrise shoot but there was no sun! It was cloudy and gloomy. When we got to the launch field the following morning, there were no balloons! We asked the officials what was up and they said that the morning ascensions were competition driven and since they have to follow the wind pattern, they launched from a field far away and would float over the launch site vs. starting there.

Here we are waiting for the balloons to come...
Here they come!

Is Tasha not the cutest?!

It was such an amazing trip and my kids still talk about it to this day. I encourage all of my future clients to search your soul for your next photo shoot. What do you want to capture? There is no dream too big and I would be so excited to make your dream come true!

I once heard a great quote from Jennifer Hudson who was giving a future young singer some advice:

"If someone tries to discourage you, it's because they just don't dream as big as you."

Words to live by!

Monday, January 02, 2012

A New Year! | Olivia Wagner Photography

I have been a busy little bee over here at Olivia Wagner Photography! The new year brings new changes and investing back into the business which I love. I updated the blog with lots of new posts (more to come!) and added some extra design interest which is exciting! I had a great 2011 and over the holiday break I had some time to reflect and make the changes I want to incorporate.

My CD price has slightly increased from last year. I wanted to take a moment to educate clients about selling digital files. Digital files are a highly sought after product and nowadays I think everyone expects to receive them with custom photography. I certainly would want digital files if I were to book a photographer. Understand that as a business owner who makes a living doing photography (meaning- no other full-time job or way to make income), selling our digital files generally means a cap on a sale from a client. Once a client has digital files in hand, there is no need to purchase any additional prints or products from us because they can easily and inexpensively make their own. You can see the value in owning these files as a consumer- you own them for a lifetime and can reproduce them as often as you'd like. As a modern day photographer, they are the bread and butter of our business so you can imagine that we would need to profit off of them to be able to not only sustain a business, but earn a paycheck for ourselves. Don't forget we have to pay taxes, pricey health insurance policies, hire employees, as well as put food on the table. I'm not trying to make this sound like a pity party, but I think that since photography has become such an easy side business for creative people with regular full-time jobs, that clients take for granted that the professionals who make a living doing photography need to charge more.

There are no other price changes with the exception of a new payment schedule. As usual, the session fee is due at the time of booking but the new change is my minimum order amount will now be due the day of the session. That minimum will act as a deposit on your order and the balance of your order will be due when you actually place your order.

To help enforce my policies, I have created some informational pieces which you will receive when you book a session. I look forward to a new year, building client relationships, and forming some new ones!

Now scroll down and enjoy all of the new posts!

Corinne and Bill | Red Wing Wedding Photographer

I had the honor of shooting this wedding with Tasha Herrgott of Red Bird Hills Photography. Tasha is friend's with the couple and her husband Tony was a groomsman in the wedding. Tasha and I co-shot up until the reception, then she got to put her camera away and be a guest for the night!

What a fabulous wedding it was! Red Wing is so great and full of photo locations, I was in love! Tasha was there the night before for the rehearsal dinner she got to scout locations for me in the morning and found some great spots!

I love a good emotional first sight!

This was one of my favorite shots... it was a shot I envisioned even before we started portraits.

Tasha found this great location down on the water- it was filled with funky tin floating sheds.

Bridesmaids (the movie) inspired shot!

Corinne and Bill's dogs Tank and Nala were flower girl and ring bearer!
A quick stop a a local bar...
This was my first reception emceed by Bill Hermann, he does such a great job! I highly recommend his DJ services! This next set of photos can only be described as "The roast of Corinne" done excellently by Corinne's father. Seriously, this guy needs to start touring! The place was roaring in laughter!

I love this shot... Dad dancing with Corinne while her mom watches...
What a wonderful day! Thanks for having me C&B!