Playing with Style

Anyone who knows me knows that while I love black and white and the character of vintage styling, I rarely show it in my work.  However, when wrapping up a recent collection, I fell in love with the emotion that poured through a photo of Lilli - emotion that seemed far beyond her years as an elementary age student.

Looking farther into the collection, I realized there were others that evolved when the style was applied. And so... I played!  I don't know if I will often go this route, but for today.... I love it!

L to R:  Lilli and Eleri


L to R:  Elise and Lilli

A Date with Winter

Living in Minnesota, we are blessed with some crazy weather.  Often not what one expects, but always amazing beauty and often with spontaneity for something great!

Aaron and Elizabeth have been dating for 14 months.  I had the pleasure of photographing them last summer and was equally pleased when they called me up to do a winter session.  Though we would have very little time together due to a busy day, it was truly a sweet afternoon watching them in the dance couples share when little moments reflect so much tenderness and kindness between them.

Though there are many more images to come, I couldn't finish this holiday weekend without getting at least a few sneak peaks up!

Friendship Through Every Journey in Life

With family members in the military, my life is surrounded by the processes, prestige, precision and commitment of army life.  Understanding all the dynamics of ACUs, deployments, communications (or the lack thereof) have become just par for the course.

I have been fortunate to photograph many soldiers and their families in recent years and was especially delighted to meet two girls recently who have not only committed their future to Army life, but who have done so as friends - moving through this chapter together.  Kylee (aka PFC Kirk)  is currently undergoing basic training at Fort Jackson South Carolina while Kristen (aka Thompson) is at Fort Sill Oklahoma.   While their journey may take them down separate roads, their friendship remains strong and two girls will lead amazing and exciting lives.

It's official... soldier girls ROCK!

Broadway Bound Tess

A couple years ago I was blessed to photograph a beautiful Le Sueur Senior named Katharine.  This holiday break, I was delighted to have the opportunity to photograph her younger sister, Tess, who is now also a senior.

A kindred spirit and lover of the theatrical arts, Tess is a talented soul hot off the heals of her performance of as Mrs. Lovett in St. Peter's Sweeney Todd and soon to be heading to New York for some great school auditions.  Julliard... Yes!

This girl is headed for a great future as a performer.  Stand up and cheer this girl on!

Love, Like Christmas, is Where You Choose to Seek It

This week I spent time with one of  my favorite couples capturing a perfect handmade Christmas.  From stringing popcorn and cranberries to driving around to scout the perfect tree, it was a grand experience watching this couple build upon traditions that will carry them through their lives.

Now enjoying their second Christmas together, they have already amassed a collection of beautiful hand styled ornaments, including a fox which has become their personal mascot.  Though our time together would be cut short by a busy photographer's day, it was not without a lot of beauty, love and holiday spirit.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!  While it may no longer be a white Christmas in the Twin Cities, I am positive that for John and Caroline  it will be full of many wonderful memories and a whole lot of love!

Be sure to check back in the next few days for more images from this great day!

Beauty in the Snowfall

Nothing brings my heart greater joy than spending an afternoon with someone I adore and respect, capturing the beauty I see within them everyday. I have known this glorious girl for many years and was especially happy to discover we had a perfect winter afternoon in which to play!

It isn't always easy shooting during cold winter weather and billowy snow, but, after this, I am definitely learning to love it!

PS.  Check out photos from my last session with Nakisha... a themed shoot called 'Steampunk Gothic found here!

Once Upon a Today (Reprise) :: Sleeping Beauty

Two years ago, I laid a plan to recreate several popular fairytales for a photography series.  I brought together a large team of stylists, models and another photographer and started the adventure.  It was a wonderful experience to explore new ideas, test new styles and work outside the normal realm of portrait photography.

Some stories turned out beautifully.  Others didn't quite achieve what I held in my mind. Fortunately, for me, one of those models was equally eager to see it come to life and explore it again. 

This models' series was inspired by the story of Sleeping Beauty.  Though the original had a male model incorporated, this reprise focused solely on her.  Looking at the images of our sleeping Suzie and her incredible beauty, I know it was the right choice!  One day, I will pull together an album of all the stories we have captured as part of the 'Once Upon a Today' campaign series.  But, for today, it is the beauty of Miss Suzie Juul that I leave you to enjoy.

Wanderlust Traveler

The smell of rain amidst the beauty of the sunset finding its way to the sea.... is there anything more inspiring and soul fulfilling?  Perhaps the beauty of spirit found in the eager hearts of these two young girls, who dream of life's adventures and the wonderful stories found in the pages of their favorite books.

Thank you to beautiful Grace and Valerie for their sense of adventure and inspiration to me that presses me to dream in the daylight and seek out all of my hearts greatest desires!

Finding Nature's Beauty

Working on the Wanderlust Traveler series, I find myself spending more and more time looking through the 50mm lens for macro details and the perspective of the world through small eyes.  Today, I was out seeking new images for my next chapter of Wanderlust and found myself delighting in so many wonderful and beautiful details, colors and textures.

Yes, I am a portrait photographer.  But, sometimes, you just gotta let Mother Nature's beauty shine first!

Beauty Beyond Their Years

Yesterday, I had the joy of photographing three young girls.  The day was intent on continuing the next chapter of my conceptual campaign "Wanderlust Traveler", a series inspired by miniature exploration.  However, upon seeing the beautiful work by our stylist, Latia Eittreim, the soft palate of the costume style and the wonderful vibrant colors of falls, we just had to do a few simple portraits of these amazing girls.

Looking into their eyes, I was so inspired by their amazing spirits and the beauty that lay beneath the surface.  With such wonderful intensity, there is no doubt that they will carry with them a powerful spirit, kind hearts and a gentle beauty that will bring them beautiful lives.

Soon, I will post Wanderlust imagery.  But, for now, I will leave you with the beautiful images from Elise, Eleri and Lilli.

PS.  If you are ever looking for a hair or makeup stylist, I highly recommend you seek out the amazing talents of Latia Eittreim.  Aside from her mad skills in both worlds, my models simply adored working with her.  She made the experience very relaxing for all involved and brought a lot of creative insight and skill to the event.  A rockstar performer!

To learn more about her (and hire her), simply look her up at

Alissa & Michael... Sittin' in a Tree!

Is there anything better than seeing someone amazing find that one perfect person?

I have known Alissa for many years, I have seen her laugh, cry, fight and submit.  I have known her as a blessed friend and someone that was going to build a uniquely genuine and charmed life. 

This month, I was delighted to see that this wonderful girl had found that perfect man to share her life with - Michael.  They are such a perfect match - both sincere with their hearts and a perfect compliment to each other.

I am excited to be the photographer for their wedding and to have had this past weekend to spend with them in celebration of their recent engagement.  You two will have a beautiful life together and I wish you all the very best in that journey. 

Family is all that matters.

This weekend, I had a marathon run of photography sessions.  Engagements, seniors and families.  Every single one was a delight and every single one was a lot of work.

At the end of the day, when my head hits the pillow, I pray that the images I take have meaning to those for which they are intended.  Sure, we all as photographers want to take beautiful portraits.  But, for me, it is so much more important to take pictures of relationships and interactions, moments and experiences.  I want them to look back at these pictures years down the road and not think of how they looked - young or old, small or big.  But rather, smile in that way that brings their heart to a fuller place as they think of how those people gave meaning to their life.

This world moves so very fast.  It doesn't matter how many pretty pictures you take.  it only matters whose heart your connect to and those in whom your life finds meaning.

Today, I am posting the last of my work with the Longaneckers.  This family took a long journey to build their family with adoption of three siblings.  This session marked the final step in that journey and first premiered online the day their adoption was made final and they announced their new forever home and family.  I think of you guys often and pray every day that your heart knows the love and joy I have found in my own and finds many wonderfully grand adventures!