Life captured beautifully.

Archive for September, 2011

Ruth : 6 Months Old : Baby Session

If you follow my blog at all, you should recognize little Ruthie by now. Her mommy and I have done four sessions already this year now. 🙂 (not just for Ruthie, but for her family and her mother’s family as well)
But back to business… Ruthie is just too, too cute! I mean it! I don’t think I can look at another picture of her smiling. It’s making me sick! I have such a hard time narrowing them down! 🙂
It’s about as bad as when I have to narrow Collin’s pictures down. LOL!

And Ruthie is the queen of making funny faces… really cute ones! I also know how much her mama adores the “bloopers” so we have quite a few to pick from and I’m thinking a collage will be necessary.

P.S. Don’t you just love the pettiromper on Ruthie??? I think they work so well for the 6-12 month baby girls. I have three of them… in pink, ivory, and aqua!!! 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Taylor : Senior Portraits : Mason City High School

If you can’t already tell by the images below, this guy eats, sleeps and breathes baseball! At least that’s what was most important to him when he came to my studio to take his senior portraits.

I gotta say, Taylor, isn’t one of those guys you had to beg to smile. But he totally ROCKED the serious look. He was very excited about and interested in what he wanted his portraits to look like.

I know his mom and him will be really happy to finally see these after waiting two weeks. I am sure the suspense has been driving them crazy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Schlaak Family : New Richland, MN

They’re baaaack! 🙂
It’s hard to believe it was just a year ago that this mama wrote me saying, “I have never taken them {my boys} to a professional because I never knew how they would act or how they would turn out.” LOL!
Well, last year we didn’t have the easiest time since it was their first full photo session and their ages were 1 1/2 and 3 years old… but we still got a couple really good family pictures and some really fun ones of the boys together.
This year was a totally different story! I couldn’t get them to take a bad picture!!!! Seriously! They were just smiles the whole time. Giggling and laughing and just plain enjoying every second of the portrait session. Craziness!

(Of course, I do my best to make every session fun so that they want to come back and do it again.) But when her little guy, who is 2 1/2, said he didn’t want to be done when I said they were finished… that took the cake!

I can’t wait to see them again. I almost feel bad for their mommy who has a TON of great images to choose from. It will be sooo hard. I already spent way, way too much time trying to narrow them down already. There are just so many great FUN shots.

I guess if I were her, I would look at it this way: It should be easy to choose because you just can’t go wrong!

I hope you feel the same way too! Let me know what you think of these portraits!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Houg Family : Garretson, SD

The next family I was honored to photograph while in Sioux Falls was actually a relative of my husband’s side of our family. They moved out to Garretson after I had begun professional photography and enjoyed my work so much they continue to book a session each year to capture new images.

In the past, we have frequented the beautiful Palisades Park near their home. This year we decided to go to keep thing really simple and easy, and drove to the city park right in town.

My brother-in-law was also along for the fun, watching Collin while I worked. (And he took the picture above) It also gave him his first opportunity to play with his cousins because every other time I went out there, I left him at home with Dad.
Everything went amazingly well and we were done within 45 mins. Next, they wanted to capture a few images of the newest member of their household, Elizabeth. She’s Kristen’s niece and a total cutie pie!
I just loved her cowboy boots! I think Kristen’s having fun shopping for a little girl again, since I’m sure her older daughter, has her own ideas of what she wants to wear.

I had better get back to work! Plenty more to do! I have a couple seniors, a 6 month old baby girl, and wedding images to finish proofing and share soon!
P.S. Collin is always in daycare or has a babysitter for my sessions so it was a treat to have him there to see me in action. He really enjoyed it and was glued to my side. Too cute! (But not something I will start doing anytime soon, the poor kid took an elbow when I turned my camera quick and didn’t realize he was right there he was being so quiet! … He didn’t realize it was a contact sport I guess!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Knutson Family Portraits : Canton, SD

When I was heading back to Sioux Falls, SD for an ordering appointment with the O’Connor family I decided to take the opportunity to offer my services to some families that were interested in having me photograph their families and I got two more takers! Yay! (Which was all I had time in my schedule for anyway! … so it was perfect!)
I got a little nervous driving out to Sioux Falls because it was pouring rain for about an hour leading up to the state line. But once I arrived in town, the weather was beautiful and I couldn’t have been happier!
I was pleased to find the Knutson family ready to have their portraits taken. (Although Dawn says it’s impossible to talk the guys into getting portraits taken, which is why she had me come right to their farm.)

I guess it didn’t hurt any that her hubby got to pose with his giant Case IH tractor! 🙂 Nothing like a lot of horsepower to get a guy to smile!

I just love their little doggie too! She had all the personality of a big, tough dog in a compact body.

P.S. The one where their son is hugging the dog makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. I know it’s a little weird, but too funny!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Miranda & Brandon : Wedding Portraits : Albert Lea, MN

I have been looking forward to Miranda & Brandon’s wedding ever since she called me to tell me she was getting married (and immediately book the date). Maybe you remember her engagement pictures? They had some really cute ones outside and on the railroad tracks by the grain elevator?
Well, I was not disappointed one bit at the wedding. She looked absolutely amazing in her dress (with cowboy boots) from Formalities of Mason City, IA. And Kristen Leonhardi worked her magic on all the girl’s hair and makeup to make her look even more stunning than she naturally is.

I loved her bouquets that were created at Flower Zone by Connie. The twisted wire with pearls around the bridesmaid’s bouquets really brought in a fun, unique element.
Formalities also outfitted the whole bridal party with amazing gowns and tuxes that pulled the whole “look” together. Check out the great shot of the wedding party walking down the road together! LOVE IT!

The wedding ceremony was at St. Theodore’s Catholic Church in Albert Lea, MN. I have shot quite a few weddings there, including both of my brother’s, but I think their pictures there have been the best yet that I’ve taken there. Usually it’s so bright and sunny that the outdoor courtyard shots don’t turn out quite like I hope, but our day had just enough clouds in the bright blue sky to diffuse the lighting. (And keep us from overheating!)

Following the ceremony the bridal party headed out in a gorgeous white limo from Dawson’s Limousine. They had to make a couple stops at their favorite hometown bars: The American Legion in Glenville, MN and Hunter’s Bar in Myrtle, MN.
Then, it was on to the “Bohemian Hall” just north of Myrtle for the reception that was part indoor/part outdoor. They had this awesome coral, peach, brown and white color scheme going on. Very vintage-y feeling. Which is a style I totally adore!
I loved all the finishing touches her and her mom pulled together for the decorations.
After a delicious dinner by Smokin’ Bros BBQ and yummy cake from Sugar Chic Cakes, both of Albert Lea, MN, it didn’t take long before they struck up the music for the dance!

DJ Dale of Star Voyageur Music was amazing, getting the little kids out on the dance floor to keep them entertained while the adults relaxed, had a drink and got to visit. Once they were worn out, he seamlessly rolled into the bride and groom’s first dance and the wedding party dance.
I must say, Miranda is one lucky girl because Brandon has some MOOOVES on the dance floor! They didn’t just do the side to side steps that you see all the time at the junior high dances… oh no, this guy can cut a rug! Of course, Miranda keeps right up with him. 🙂

I can’t wait to meet with them on Wednesday to share all the wedding images with them! I have 400 of them on a slideshow set to some great music and the custom proof box and 4×6 prints are already on their way to the studio. It’s just so much fun to present them to the bride for the first time. (Did I mention, I can’t wait?!)
Well, that’s all for now!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jacob : High School Senior : Mason City, IA

I’m excited to finally share a little sneak peek with Jacob and his mom! The last two weeks have been absolutely packed with photo sessions (the whole month of August, actually) and so I’m not turning things around in a week like I usually do for the proofs. I’ve been able to do things within two weeks, even with the holiday weekend. (Which my customers assure me is still faster than most of my competition… but still!) 🙂
I hate to make anyone wait!
So here you go! Another hunk of a guy. And he wanted to do some without his shirt on. 😉 Who am I to tell him he couldn’t?
Aren’t I just the luckiest photographer??? LOL! His mom will laugh with me because she was saying he was making his list and she was starting to wonder if he was planning on doing any shots with his shirt on!
I say, if you got it, flaunt it! (At least a little bit!)

My favorites are the ones in the gray shirt. It’s goes perfect with the location I chose and you just focus on him. Portrait harmony!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Miller’s : Belly Love : Owatonna, MN

This great couple comes to my studio from Owatonna, MN. We have a few different connections that bring them my way… besides the great photography, that is! … I took wedding photos, newborn and family photos for one of Katie’s besties from her high school days and her hubby is good friends with mine.
I’m just so happy for them because they are the sweetest couple. Always joking around and I just love their sense of humor.
They’ve been trying for a while to have a baby and had to deal with a lot of hardships along the way. So when Katie reached 30 weeks we knew it was time to celebrate by taking some maternity portraits.
I normally don’t do maternity shots until the mommy-to-be is 32-36 weeks, but this lucky couple is expecting TWINS! 🙂 And so every day now, it’s almost like we’re all holding our breath… wondering if today will be the day they decide it’s time to arrive.
Poor little Katie, is such a petite thing! Her tummy is stretched so tight she said it feels like it’s been sunburned and when I touched it, it did feel hot. (You could actually see your handprint after you took it away). Crazy!

I just love how perfectly round her tummy is!
I can’t wait for the babies to arrive. The couple found out what gender the babies are, but they aren’t telling a soul! I am personally excited for the surprise, myself!!! I just wish I knew so I could buy more matching hats, but it’s probably a good thing because I would spend way too much money. (I will admit I did buy a coordinating set of hats that are pretty gender neutral so I’m excited to try those out!)
Well, that’s enough of my rambling!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hagen Family : Happy Time Resort, Northwood IA

This fun family session started at the Hagen home with a very bashful little 5 year old… I usually can charm the socks off even the most rambunctious little boys, but this little lady had me grasping for straws to tell you the truth. None of my tricks were working for more than a second or two before she’d turn her head away. LOL!
Good thing I have a fast trigger finger! 🙂

You know, that’s the difference between a newbie photographer that you might get to take your photos for less and a true, experienced professional.
I never gave up, never gave in and didn’t let it phase me in the least because I knew I would be able to get the shots I needed.

Sure, it would be nice if I could brag that every photo session I do is a piece of cake because I’m THAT good… but this is REAL.LIFE and there’s a reason I use that as my tagline. I don’t believe in taking pictures that gloss over reality. There is such beauty in the imperfections of life.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.