Julia : Senior Portraits : Mason City High School
Unique. That’s definitely the word I would use to describe the lovely and talented Julia. At first I thought she was going to move in, when she arrived with all her bags of clothes, accessories and other fun items!
I got to know quite a bit about her as we had the photo session. For example, she plays flute and piccolo, but prefers the latter. She also has an obsession with penguins and loves to collect them… and last year her prom dress was this show-stopping purple number.
Gotta love a girl with a unique personality that’s not afraid to be herself!
Kylie : Senior Portraits : Albert Lea High School
Oooo la la! Lovin’ me some Kylie! Isn’t she just the cutest? I just love her auburn hair and glasses!
She looks so smart, but you know she’s gotta be sassy!
I had a great time with her and her mom, driving around during our Scandalous Session. I just love going new places and being creative.
The ones in the orange hoodie are among my faves. She really looks great in that bright orange! Not many girls can pull that color off! LOVE IT!
And this one… I adore! (P.S. I don’t know about your monitor, but it might look a little bright. It looks much better in print, I promise!)
Colin : Senior Portraits : Albert Lea High School
I just love it when my neighbors have me take portraits for them! It’s always an honor, no matter who I work for, but I think it’s special when they are making the decision to do business locally.
This young man lives just on the other side of the border from my studio in the country outside Glenville, MN but they have some 4-H heifers they pasture just down the road from my place so it was an easy trip there to capture one of the key ways he spends his summer time.
We also took some with his football jersey since he’s on the Tiger’s football team for Albert Lea High School… and when we were at the farm with the cattle, I spotted the old Farmall that I soon found out was actually Colin’s tractor! So we had to get some fun ones with that!
But this one is my favorite. So simple.
Jaclyn : Senior Portraits : Austin High School
This young lady is simply stunning. She’s got that all-american girl look down! With her beautiful blonde hair and bright blue eyes, she’s what guys call a “10!”
I am just glad this girl was able to walk into my studio because she was involved in really bad car accident a year ago and has had several back surgeries since then, but has recovered amazingly well… as you can see by the dance pictures in the slideshow.
My favorites were in this adorable purple dress, which I will admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of when I saw it on the hanger, but it photographed really, really well! With the green grass as our background her eyes really POP! Like her mom said while we were taking this picture, it’s just such a “fresh, young” look.
She had tons of great outfits with lots of different colors and styles.
The Juhlin Family : Mason City, IA : Family Portraits
This family came to me via a referral from one of my favorite clients so I had a pretty good feeling we’d be a good fit and as soon as I arrived I was at ease. They were such a nice group of people!
I loved their home and their big, shady yard. The kiddos were just the cutest and so well behaved. It was like a dream come true! 🙂
Also, the one son just go engaged to the sister of the gal that referred me so they asked to do a little mini-engagement session at the end. Of course, I obliged!
The whole thing went so amazingly well, it made me thankful I accepted the Sunday morning session.
I can’t wait for the family to see these!
The O’Connor Family : Lake Madison, SD
This great family comes to me from my wonderful brother-in-law, Dan Houg who works in Sioux Falls, SD and was on the Make A Wish Board of Directors last year.
The O’Connors and I tried to get together this winter to do a session, but the weather got in my way and I wasn’t able to travel that weekend.
Since a family this large doesn’t have the opportunity to get everyone together all that often, I was more than happy to accommodate their request to have me travel even further to Lake Madison, SD to do their family portrait session.
It was a very sunny and hot day, which wasn’t exactly ideal for a lake portrait. But I managed to work my magic and got a few different settings with the whole big group for Karla to choose from to display over her mantle.
Next, we headed to a more comfortable shady spot in the front yard where we took lots of great shots of the individual families and their kids.
It really was a great way to spend a Saturday. Such nice people! (And good looking to boot!)
Erin : Senior Portraits : Albert Lea High School
Erin had a gorgeously sunny day to take her senior portraits. We sure have been blessed with some nice weather around here lately!
But to tell you the truth, I prefer a few clouds in the sky, it just takes away those harsh shadows that you get when you’re trying to do outdoor pictures at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Even with the bright sun, we got tons of amazing outdoor shots. Just look at these!
Naturally gorgeous girl! Love her!
Urijah : 3 Month Session : Baby Portraits
Normally, I encourage my baby plan customers to do 3 sessions during their son/daughter’s first year. Once, when the baby is a newborn (ideally less than 10 days old), again when the baby is sitting up strong (maybe wait till they start crawling) and before their first birthday (standing/walking). This allows for a good variety in the portraits as they are in three very distinct stages.
There are lots of people, photographers, baby books, etc. that encourage portraits at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months the first year. That’s a great idea, and I definitely encourage my moms to take their own personal photos at those milestone ages, but I just think it gets to be overwhelming for moms that aren’t big “picture people.” It gets to be a lot of trips to the studio with the session, ordering, and picking up the order… (at least 12). Also, you are picking up the finished prints about the time we are scheduling the next session so you don’t have as much time to just enjoy them before you are planning the next order.
That’s just me. But I definitely have moms that want lots and lots of pictures of their babies. And it doesn’t bother them to have to make the quick trip down to my studio for each appointment. (Lots of my clients say they really enjoy the relaxing drive out to the country) Many times they did the more frequent schedule of portraits with their older child and they want to keep the tradition going. (Kuddos to them! Because we all know the 2nd child often gets the shaft!… 😉 this is a comment from a 2nd child, by the way!)
Urijah’s mom falls into that category of parents that love professional portraits and had done the newborn, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 month sessions with their oldest in Florida with their past photographer. (I should write her a Thank you) LOL!
I’m happy to share this little chubber’s three-month portraits with you. They are just too cute! Christina brought the cute little blue knit sweater and hat… and I just keep thinking those pictures would make such a cute Christmas card (this one in the munchkin stocking hat looks like he just saw Santa!) But he will have changed a lot by then and have lots of new portraits to pick from.
Mark : Senior Portraits : Northwood-Kensett High School
I have just been getting the most handsome guys walking through my door this year! Mark is no exception. He was pretty pumped up for his session with his truck, his dog and his gun… oh, and his sister, along for the ride.
I took senior portraits for his older sister, Cari, a few years ago when she graduated. So it was good to see her again and catch up on everything she’s been doing.
Mark had a great time watching the two of us trying to get his dog’s attention. You can’t tell by the pictures, but he just did not want to look at us! Luckily, I didn’t have to work hard to get Mark to smile.
Well, that’s all for now, back to my to-do list that is never ending this time of year!
Kory : Senior Portraits : Mason City, IA
Kory was one of those boys who walks in my door and instantly makes me a little nervous. I have to admit. Guys like him always challenge me. I could tell just by looking through his outfits that he is creative and artsy and has a definite idea of what he thinks is cool… and it isn’t quite “main-stream cool”, if you know what I mean.
I get my fair share of these guys. They know that I can pull off the look that they want, it’s just I know how much they are interested in their pictures (they appreciate good artwork) and so I am on my toes trying to get “outside my box” of my standard “senior guy” fall back poses. (I’ll totally admit I have them! I try to be unique, but just like when you’re shopping for guy clothes versus girl stuff… there’s a much greater range with girls.)
Once Kory and I got to know each other and I gained his trust (or just won him over with my charm and grace … LOL!) he really started giving me the inspiration I needed to get the poses and the shots that were going to be unique (but at the same time, not too weird.)
He also brought his guitar, since he is in a band, and that was the highlight of the session for me. I love watching guys get into the roll of rockstar!
I also did a few funkier crops, added some grittiness to this b&w image and made some vintage color effects that I’m hoping he’ll appreciate.
Kelsea and Troy : Engagement Session : Mason City, IA
Last week I finally got to meet a bride that’s had me booked for almost a year now, but I had never met… or even talked to on the phone! (I’ll admit, I was a little nervous because you just never know! Her mom sounded nice and all, but who knows if she’s anything like her.) The last thing I need is Bridezilla! LOL!
Thank goodness we finally met and we go together like “peas and carrots” as Forrest Gump would say. (Well, probably better, because I never really liked that flavor combination myself.) 😉
Isn’t Kelsea amazingly beautiful? I know, you are probably thinking I say that about everyone by now… but look at her!? Did I mention she just had a baby??? Only 3 months ago! (Yeah, I see you have some new-found respect for her. Hehee)
Like I said, we hit it off. I just loved Troy too, he’s just like most of the grooms I deal with. Head over heels for his girl and just happy to be along for the ride when it comes to this wedding business.
I really had a hard time narrowing down my favorites because I was just on a roll that day! Some days are like that. Being creative is so easy, and other days it’s a little harder. (Imagine a visual version of writer’s block.)
Kelsea is a total natural in front of the camera too. She took directions so well, understood the weird language that I speak, and also had some cute expressions of her own that made the images sing with life.
Belly Love Session : Maternity Portraits
Today I am sharing a few images from a recent maternity portrait session… or as I like to call them, my Belly Love Sessions.
The beautiful gal in these pictures drove all the way down from Lakeville, MN to have me photograph her after comparing my work to several other photographers in and closer to the Twin Cities.
I think she might start to give me a big head! LOL! She said she loved the authentic emotion that I capture and appreciates the fact that I don’t feel the need to contort newborns into unnatural poses. I sure loved hearing that! It just validates all the choices I make to stay true to my unique, personal style and not attempt to copy other people’s work.
In return, I want to give her the praise she deserves. I am always so proud of my mamas who are brave enough to step in front of a camera in the late stages of their pregnancies. It’s not easy when you’re starting to feel like you’re the hugest pregnant lady that walked the earth (even though you know that’s not true, all rational thought has left by the start of the third trimester and “baby brain” has taken over.)
I always recommend getting your pregnancy portraits taken in the 32-36 week window. Opting more toward 32 weeks to be safe, in case your little one decides to make their appearance early… and it gives you time to order and appreciate the images before you give birth (and then all you really want to see are pictures of your newest love). LOL!
Having a professional photographer capture the end of your pregnancy is such a great idea because if you’re anything like me… you have been looking in the mirror and seeing pictures your family/friends took of you and aren’t feeling the best about your self-image… But when I take pictures of expecting mothers, it’s done with beautiful lighting and tasteful posing so that when you see the images you are thinking “WOW! I sure looked amazing, after all!”
Baby Leo : Newborn Portrait Session
Little Leo, isn’t that the most adorable name? He’s so perfect.
I was excited and surprised when I found out my past clients were expecting again. I got to know them and their family very well when I did their wedding photography back in 2005. So, I knew they didn’t have an easy time when they wanted to have their first child, Eleanor, but (SURPRISE!) little Leo came right behind… and Ellie isn’t even 2 yet!
Good for them, I say! They make a great team as mom and dad with two little ones to manage.
I think, Kirk would like to do more with Leo right now, but it looks like whenever he tries, Eleanor has a little case of jealousy! 😉 It’s okay though. He’s was only a week old so she hadn’t had all that long to adjust yet. I did get a funny shot of her crying at her dad’s feet while he held Leo that I know will be a favorite. That’s REAL LIFE for you!
Parker : Senior Session : Mason City High School
I was thrilled to have Cher and her second son, Parker, in the studio again this year. Her oldest, Tyler, came to have his senior portraits last year and so I felt totally confident knowing that they loved my work and wanted more!
It’s so nice when you really start to know your client’s personal tastes. It makes everything so much easier and I can relax knowing what they expect and that I can provide them with images they will love.
Parker is just the cutest name. And he’s just the sweetest guy with good looks to match!
I’m wondering if it’s a requirement for quarterbacks to be handsome?
Remembering back to my high school days, it seemed like it was always one of the hottest guys in the class… and then look at the guys in the pros… Mmmmm! 😉
And here is Parker! Handsome little devil!
We also had fun shooting some on-location around Northwood, IA and just taking it easy since we had such a perfect day.
I hope they love these just as much as Tyler’s session… I have a pretty good feeling they will!