Back in September 2019, I photographed Brig and Adam's wedding at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. When they initially reached out to me and described their day as "A traditional Norse/Celtic wedding, with a hand-fasting and medieval/renaissance period garb," I knew I needed to be a part of it. I played it cool in my emails, but inside I was shouting "pick me, pick me!" Fortunately they did and I had the most lovely time traipsing through the mud on their wedding day, driven to capture every tender, hilarious, and heartfelt moment. It began with a parade, continued with royal toasts, and ended with a ceremony that had all attendees in tears. I love all of the thought and care that went into the details of the day... the shield, the hammer, the cloaks, and the words. I'll be quiet now and let the photos tell the story of the day.
It was an honor and a privilege to have been part of this beautiful day and unique celebration. I wish these fellas a lifetime of endless love, laughter, and of course, mead. Hugs from afar to you both!
I think I'm not alone in saying that January is pretty much the worst, but on the bright side, we are out of it! Also, I'm probably the best and most productive version of myself. In an attempt to distract myself from the dark days and worst weather ever, I usually try my best to fill the time with decluttering, organizing, making plans for the new year, getting our taxes taken care of, and of course, reminiscing and reviewing the year that has just passed.
Turns out 2019 was my biggest and best year yet when it comes to photography! This is far from everything (there were more than 100 family sessions alone!) but here are some of the highlights:
One of the first things I did at the beginning of 2019 was begin offering boudoir sessions. I created a separate website and Instagram account to showcase that side of my work. (All photos have been shared with client permission!)
What began as a "why not?" endeavor turned into a full on passion project and I'm thrilled to continue offering these services into 2020 and beyond.
In the spring, a couple of my clients were awesomely laid back and flexible and allowed themselves to be part of a promo video shot for my photography business! It was intimidating to have actually video footage taken of me, but I'm so glad I actually bucked up and did it and have a nice snippet of who I am/what I do to easily share!
YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyZCcNxBjng
2019 was also one for ALL THE BABIES! I shot numerous newborn and fresh 48 sessions. Newborn photography used to be my area of apprehension and I was always too relieved to recommend a different photographer to those searching for a newborn photographer. That has definitely changed as I feel I've improved technically and have developed a style for these shoots that I have confidence in.
One of my mini session offerings that is a hit every year was Mommy & Me minis. This year I held them at Lake Elmo and I'm thrilled with how each of the images turned out. Only 3 more months until we can do these again!
In the summer I also hosted a beginner's photography workshop at my house for some lovely and talented ladies. This idea had been on my heart for a long time and I'm so glad it finally got brought to life! I held a secondary workshop in October and will be planning these again in 2020!
I held two different rounds of fall mini sessions. The first was outdoors in October at Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Lake. It rained on and off that morning, but all who signed up showed up and ended up with a lot of lovely photos!
For those who preferred not to gamble with the weather, I also held indoor mini sessions at Studio 130 in November. In addition to family sessions, I also shot a couple headshot sessions there too. I'll definitely be booking time here again, so if you like the idea of a fuss-free indoor shoot, lemme know!
One of my favorite parts of this year was just connecting with other photographers. I was able to attend various social nights, skill shares, and shoot & shares (aka, headshot swaps). It's been one of the most valuable things to find support in the industry and I am kicking myself hard for waiting so long to find a network!
Above are photos from each of the seven weddings I shot this year. Every couple, every venue, every wedding was completely different (and I'll share more from all of these soon), but the common thread through all of these were that these couples were all crazy in love, just wanted their friends and family to have a great time, and they were delightfully low-key when it came to photos... a whole lot of "we trust you!" which was music to my ears!
Thanks for visiting my 2019 highlight reel. I don't have a highlight reel from 2020 yet as it's just been REAL so far with the day-to-day newborn life. But I've just been feeling the right amount of stir-crazy and inspired to start getting projects started and shoots booked for the new year. If you've been following me along, what are you interested in? A photography workshop? Family pics? A boudoir sesh? Tell me, tell me! I'd LOVE to know!
Thanks again to all my friends, family, and clients who made last year so big and special! Let's do it again!
Hi, hi, hi! I've pulled myself off the sofa, put that baby down for a nap, and am excited to dig into blogging again after a big ol' break. I knew I would be pulling back from blogging regularly this fall/winter due to the high volume of sessions and weddings followed by our baby's arrival. But I'm glad to carve out some time to start recapping life and work again!
Anyway, this was a far more fantastic year I could have dreamed of. And when fantastic things are happening, you really ought to have pictures of it. Fortunately, one of the perks of being a photographer is knowing other photographers who happen to be mighty talented. This year our family got professionally photographed various times, in very different ways, by some very exceptional photographers. Let me share! (Above headshot from this summer is by Scherer Photo Co.!)
Last winter I got bitten by the boudoir photography bug and started offering boudoir sessions. THEY WERE SO FUN! Fun enough that I was inspired by all of my beautiful clients to have my own boudoir photos taken which I did by Britt of Render Photography. I literally had the time of my life getting my hair and makeup done and then getting to roll around the dreamiest studio all scantily clad. Britt made me feel so very comfortable and dangerously confident, I have to say. Best of all, I declared this experience as "educational" because I felt that by putting myself in my clients' shoes, I would be able to better serve all my boudoir babes.
As life would have it, Joe and I found out we were expecting our fourth baby in the spring. After experiencing a miscarriage in the fall of 2018, we were thrilled. My friend Rachel ended up taking some photos for us just around our 9 year wedding anniversary and we were able to squeeze in some pregnancy announcement pics into the session too. These are probably my favorite photos of Joe and myself that we've ever had taken.
You're probably all like "Rachel, could things get more magical?" To which I respond "Hold my beer." In the summer my friend Jenessa of Scherer Photo Co. offered unicorn mini sessions with Sparky the unicorn and how could I NOT sign my family up for those? Of course it was hot outside and my kids were totally expired after having attended a birthday party earlier that day and were being rascals during the shoot. But that's how magical Jenessa is. She still managed a bunch of adorable photos even with my kids in surly moods. I bow down to your talents, girl! And of course when my kids were all done, I'm like "Outta my way! My turn for pics with Sparky!" And I regret nothing.
Can't stop, won't stop. We also obviously needed fresh photos in October for our holiday card and updated photos of our kids NOT taken by me. Enter McKenzie of KNZ Photography who managed to make us look all normal and delightful. You can't even tell that I'm alternating between yelling idle threats and also bribes in the form of McDonald's happy meals in order to get these kids to freakin' smile (and not look like lunatics). At this point I was about 30 some weeks pregnant and in the middle of my own busy season. My feet hurt, my belly was bursting, and I was not feeling like a babe most days, but I still love these preggo pics of myself and I'm so, so glad we made this session happen.
To finish off our year (and complete our family), we had our baby's birth documented by Brianna of Brianna Lane Photography. (SHE IS OUTSTANDING) Our boy's arrival was a little wild, but he was born healthy, alert, and beautiful. Archer's whole birth story and more photos is on my personal blog if you want to read about it. I will forever be grateful to Brianna for doing such a phenomenal job of capturing one of the most important days of our lives.
Yes, I know. So many photos. So many fake eyelashes. At this point you're probably glad you aren't married to me (or one of my kids) as you can see how many photo sessions I subject my loved ones to. But I think eventually they'll be glad that I was hyper vigilant about recording our lives. Because from my experience, I have to say that life goes by pretty fast and those teeny, wrinkly babies become big kids practically overnight, those first dates turn into 15 years together in a blink of an eye, and everything changes constantly whether you want it to or not.
SO. At this point I am still on leave but will be back to shooting next month. In the meantime, I'm hoping to get all my ducks in a row for 2020 and catch up on 2019 session recaps.
Thank you to for reading, for caring, for hiring me, and for supporting me this past year! So much love to you all in 2020!
Part of my mini session morning a couple of weeks ago were a couple of families from my neighborhood. Sessions with young kids are probably the thing that has become the "easiest" thing for me... mostly because I let the kids lead the shoots. I try to figure out with each family how the kids are feeling... shy, rambunctious, excited, etc. and that helps me figure out my own approach. No single method works for all family. Fortuntately, both these families of five were on the enthusiastic and high, energy side which made for some enthusiastic and high-energy photos!
So much thanks to the Buege and Swanson family for spending the morning hiking around a field with me for the sake of pictures! You guys are the best!
Last weekend I shot a few short mini sessions at Willow River State Park. My first two sessions of the day happened to be maternity shoots! It was so fun to be a part of the excitement and anticipation. The first set of pics is from Mallory's and RJ's session. They are expecting a baby girl, just about any day now! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to hear for news of her arrival. Mallory basically photographed like a goddess and I'm so thrilled I got to take these photos for their family!
I also shot photos for Kayla and Jeremy who are expecting a baby boy in just a few short weeks. They were such a fun couple to work with and a breeze to pose and prompt. Hoping for more sessions with their sweet family in the future!
So, people! Stay tuned for baby arrival news and family photos for these adorable couples in the near future!
If there is one thing I can tell you that is true about Minnesotans, it's that the State Fair is near and dear to their hearts. (It's not hard to see why... baby farm animals, amazing food on a stick, endless entertainment, people watching, cheese curds, mini donuts, butter sculptures... truly the finest things that only come around once a year!)
I was so excited when I got asked to take Solvi's one-year photos at the great Minnesota get-together. It was a gorgeous, bright morning, and little Solvi had big eyes full of wonder for all of the fair's sights and sounds.
A few interesting notes about this shoot! It was all about embracing the things I would usually try to avoid... harsh sunlight and lots of distractions (people, animals, and signs) in the background of my photos. I felt like this session required a more photojournalistic mindset rather than a portrait photography mindset which kind of brought me back to my approach when I first started shooting. I gotta say, I love how the images turned out!
Thank you Tara, Scott, and Solvi for such a fun morning and a great shoot.
(And for the mini donuts! You guys know the way to a pregnant lady's heart!)
A couple weeks ago I got an email from Emily who had just gotten married this summer. Instead of boxing up her dress, she wanted to say farewell to it in style and I was extremely flattered that she thought of me as the photographer to help pull off her vision. I've never shot a wreck-the-dress shoot before, nor have I ever shot at the falls at Willow River (though I've always wanted to!). So, at 7 am we hiked down to the falls with no one else there and I focused intently on not slipping on rocks and staying still and balanced as possible to get these shots. Every bit of the physical challenge was worth it because she and her husband absolutely killed this session.
So, if you need me, I'll just be here fanning myself from this ridiculously romantic session. I definitely think there's something to having a session with your significant other post-wedding when all of the wedding planning is behind you. Pressure's off and the shots just feel intimate and absolutely natural. So, if anyone has a wedding dress that's just shoved in the back of your closet (like, um, me), there's a lovely photographer over here who would be more than happy to have a dramatic and adventurous session with you!
In August I trekked out to Alma, Wisconsin to document Susan and Tom's wedding on her parents' farm. It was truly an intimate and beautiful celebration. There were only about 20 guests and I was the only person besides the officiant who wasn't a blood relative. I loved so many aspects of this wedding from the beautiful old farm house, to the gorgeous rolling hills, to the solemn and sweet vows, the wild flowers used throughout the ceremony, and the pure joy emanating from everyone.
Thank you again, Susan and Tom, for inviting me to be part of this incredibly special day!
As school is beginning next week, I've taken some time to look back and reflect on our summer. I'm revisiting some of our favorite moments, figuring out which ones to frame, planning what to do next year already, and researching how to keep siblings from squabbling (so far, I've got nothing on that last one).
One thing Rosie has really enjoyed the past few years is attending a summer dance camp at The Dancing House. This summer the theme for the camp Rosie attended was the Unicorns and Rainbows Camp which was just as magical as it sounds. I got to stop in during their last day of class and got to capture the activity, energy, and grace of all these young ladies!
I truly can't say enough good things about Miss Melissa and The Dancing House. Not only have my girls enjoyed taking classes, but I have too! Boogie Fit (the Monday and Thursday night adult dance class) has been one of my favorite things I've done for myself this past year. I have to admit that I don't have an actual dance background (I have years of cheerleading, figure skating, and most recently Zumba teaching under my belt, but I've never considered myself an actual dancer).
However, after taking and loving Boogie Fit so much I actually feel like I can call myself a dancer! It's an ideal class for anyone who "used" to dance (sort of like myself) or has always wanted to try. I feel very fortunate to have found The Dancing House and Miss Melissa as she has been such a wonderful source of positivity and encouragement in my life!
Whether you are interested in a class for your kids or yourself, I definitely encourage you to check out all the offerings of The Dancing House! As mentioned above there are classes for kids as well as adults including tap, ballet, hip-hop, yoga, virtual classes, and more! Speak of more, the studio will be expanding this fall to a larger location in Hudson, WI and I absolutely cannot wait to experience the new space.
Thank you again, Melissa for providing such exceptional dance experiences for both my kids and myself!
A couple weeks ago, my kiddos and I attended Addie's 5th birthday party! I've know her mama Kristina for 15 years and I've been photographing Addie since she was an infant! As you can see, the party was an absolute hit with all attendees, adults and kids alike. I am endlessly impressed by how creative and thoughtful Kristina is when it comes to hosting parties (or planning anything really. If she wasn't already doing and succeeding at literally all the things, I would tell her to start an event planning business.) Between the kid-sized ice cream truck to play in, the piñata to break, the sweet photo op, the delicious treats, the fun swing set, and the great company, there wasn't a frown in sight!
Addie, it's been an absolute privilege being able to watch you grow over the years! I hope five is your very best year yet!
Welcome to my photography blog!
Rachel again! Here's where you'll be able to find blog posts about all things photography: recent sessions, upcoming events, and just fun musings on photography in general. Can't wait to fill 'er up with content!