Through the Eyes of a Lens

I love Minnesota!

I love that every season brings with it a new breathe of beauty, texture, color and details more breathtaking than the last.  Once the fire driven color of fall leaves have given way to the ground, there is a touch of sadness that life is passing.  Looking out over so many fields this time of year, it is easy to blow past the rolling hills of brown as sad remnants of summer.  I hear so many already yearning for spring.

But, as a photographer, I tend to embrace this time and encourage everyone to pause and take a closer look.

When I step to this field and lift the eye of my lens, it is this delicate texture that I see.

On this perfect fall Sunday afternoon, I don't know what was more beautiful, the delicate pale textures that remained or the elegant beauty of Inver Grove Heights senior Alicia.  Working on this girls preview will definitely be a task I look forward to!  Until then, everyone... enjoy this most perfect Minnesota fall!

Trash the Dress? No way!

I have been honored to know Alissa for many, many years.  I have loved her for her wild spirit, outspoken nature and joyful heart.  In recent years, I have seen this heart grow to include Michael and the joy between them as they married and began a life together.

Before her wedding event took place, Alissa was already planning her Trash the Dress shoot with me.  Normally, this is a day filled with water, mud, paint, even fire.  (When brides go out and simply enjoy a modeling session where anything can and will happen to her dress.  I mean, it's not like you are gonna wear it again!)

Alissa was a perfect candidate for that.  The problem?  Um, hello!  Have you seen how gorgeous that wedding dress was?!  There was absolutely NO WAY we were going to do ANYTHING that would destroy this gorgeous work of art.

So, with a gorgeous fall afternoon in tow, we simply headed out to one of my favorite parks and captured time.  Beautiful simple moments between two hearts - something that a busy wedding day left so little time for.  We didn't need to trash anything.  The beauty of what had been built between Michael and Alissa over the past 4 years was all we needed!

And, in the first 10 minutes, we had already captured all I ever hoped for. 

A Forever Family for Skye, Cayla and Preston!

After months of waiting, it is official... the adoption of Skye, Cayla and Preston by Katie and Joel Longanecker is now complete!

I have been blessed to photograph several families and children of adoption over the years.  Some I call my own, others I have come to know as family and delight in watching them grow and change over the years from session to session.

But, this one... was different.

This was the first time I was part of the process before it was finalized.  As Katie, Joel and I planned and executed the session, we were working to document their new family and have ready images for the adoption finalization announcement.  It would be the first time they could share online images of their children and we wanted it to be fun and special.

What we didn't plan, was how much the children would want to document their new family themselves.  Over the course of the 2 hour session, I would find my camera in the hands of the children nearly as much as it was in my own.  Instead of battling them to pose for me, we went with the flow and let them design the things they wanted to capture that day.  I held the camera and helped with exposure, but the poses and the captured moments were all their own as they looked through my viewfinder and found their own memories at the press of the shutter.

One day, I will post my images from the session.  But today, you will find below the images that Skye, Cayla and Preston captured.   I think it is more beautiful than anything I could have ever dreamed.  Seeing their family through their eyes and their eyes alone.

Yes!  Mommy and Daddy are purposely holding 3 flowers, picked by the kids!

Beautiful Skye - This girl has a wonderfully creative eye.  She is destined to be a photographer one day!

Spirited Cayla - this fun girl is ALL personality and spirit.  She will be a handful, but in all the good ways!

Darling Preston - still a young heart, but oh... such a darling!

Okay... I technically took this one, but the set up was the planning and idea of Skye and Cayla.  (Preston simply added to it!)

The Longanecker's took part it the fundraising campaign to help another adoptive couple - Tony and Tara Cormican.  Their session fee went towards this couple as they prepare to adopt a child from Uganda.  Want to be a part of this great campaign?  Go to 'Giving Back' and learn more!