SKOL and the Snow | Minnesota Nature Photography

This past Sunday was an exciting one in Minnesota. My beloved Minnesota Vikings moved on to the NFC Championship game this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. If you’re not a Vikings fan, you just don’t get it. And that’s ok!  

No, it wasn’t the Super Bowl, it wasn’t even a championship game. However, if you’ve been a Vikings fan for as long as I have (and many more), it felt like it!  Year after year we have had heart break. So many games that were decided AGAINST the Vikings at the last minute because of a missed field goal, interception, etc. It NEVER goes our way. Until this past weekend. The adrenaline rush and screaming in my household (there are only 2 of us) was unprecedented. Not sure if I’ve come down from the high yet!  I am hoping to get a group together to head down to Minneapolis this week to catch some evening shots of landmarks that have turned purple in honor of our Minnesota Vikings.  #SKOL #bringithome 

At any rate, while the Vikings were playing INSIDE at U.S. Bank Stadium in the warm temps, the snow was falling OUTSIDE in quite frigid temps. I wasn’t able to venture further than my own back yard (I was feeling a bit under the weather), but I grabbed a few pretties in the snow before the big game.  These will be available in my store in the next couple of days. Enjoy!

minnesota winter photography
nature pictures in minnesota

The Dead of Winter | Minnesota Portrait and Fine Art Photography

Minnesota. Gotta love it.....Or do we?  Some of us do, and there are those who don't.  I do. I love the seasons. Fall is my favorite, with winter a close second. Spring comes in at #3, and dead last is summer.  What?  Summer is last?  Yes.  Don't get me wrong, I like summer. But the heat of summer kills me. For whatever reason, I melt in the summer. The 90+ humid days, hot sun and the bugs. Oh for the bugs. I enjoy the green landscape and the beautiful sunsets, but the heat is unbearable. Give me a nice winter day in place of it and I'm a happy camper.  HOWEVER, there is a limit to what I can even bear. And that is the frigid cold temps that we have had the last couple of weeks. I love the snow, but you can have the below 0 temps.

At any rate, you can imagine how difficult it is being a portrait photographer in Minnesota without a studio. Although I personally love winter portraits, not everyone can be convinced to brave the frigid temps. So what do I do in the dead of winter?  

First of all, I do have two other jobs. HA. I have to support us somehow. But right now I am working on bettering my business.  I am in the middle of taking two online photography courses, Real Estate and Fresh 48. Not sure if either are something I want to get into, but in my "down time", I can freshen my skills up a bit. I have taken part in several webinars on business management, web presence, SEO, posing, printing, pricing and anything else you can imagine. I am playing "catch up" with my blogging and social media accounts. I am updating my website and implementing a new brand with my marketing materials.  It seems I have had a hodge podge mix of brochures, ads, etc. I want to create a uniform look. I am gearing up to start booking for this senior season and working on a new newsletter system.  And confound it, I WILL figure out this social media algorithm thingy. It sounds like Facebook does not bode well for us small business owners this year.

I finally launched my fine art print store that I have been promising for years. That has been a huge undertaking and I am so glad that it's done. As time permits, I will be adding new content often. 

I have a few senior winter shoots  coming up, along with a couple of corporate headshots. I have also had fun taking some dance competition photos of my daughter's former high school teammates and a cheerleading competition. Needless to say, just because I'm not shooting 24/7 doesn't mean that I have been lax in my duties. 

Aside from all of that, I have been trying to keep warm in the frigid temps with my daughter; playing with my two cats, Charlie and Chloe, watching my Minnesota Vikings win their division, and planning some personal projects as well.

Right now, I am working on my taxes. Oy. Need I say more?

minneapolis pet photography happy caturday
minnesota pet photography

Year in Review | Elk River, Minnesota Portrait Photographer

2017 was good to From Moments to Memories. So many awesome sessions and clients! I truly am so lucky to have worked with so many beautiful people. I have never dedicated so much time to my business as I did in 2017. At the end of 2016, I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Web and Multimedia Design to add to my bag of tricks. 

I spent endless hours editing photos, many mornings watching the sun rise. I worked almost every weekend, watched countless training videos and learned more about what I can offer my clients. I implemented a new management system and pricing structure to streamline my workflow, making things so much simpler for my clients. (And lets be honest, myself.)

Too many good things happened in 2017 I can't even list them all!  I was featured on the "Snap Society Featured Photographer" blog, made the 2017 Top Pro list from Thumbtack, and was voted Best Photographer in the Elk River Star News (my local newspaper) 2018 Reader's Choice Awards. I FINALLY started selling my nature, still life and other "non-portrait" images. This has been a goal of mine for at least five years. It has been a long time coming!  I also started offering lifestyle family and newborn sessions, which have been super fun for me!

My plan is to continue to come up with fun, creative sessions for my seniors and families, while continuing to grow and learn. I am looking forward to a great 2018! Thank you all for helping to make this happen!

Happy New Year!

Star News Reader Choice Awards 2018 | Best Photographer in Elk River, Minnesota

WOW

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted!  What? Has it really been since the end of August? I had such an incredible summer/fall season with photo sessions! I just finally finished up my senior and family editing about a week ago. I had a couple of model shoots in November, and will be finishing up those this week. After the holidays, I will be getting back into writing/blogging so I can share all of the amazing sessions I had with you!

In the mean time, I wanted to share with you some exciting news I received last night.  Every year our local newspaper, the Elk River Star Newsasks its readers to vote on their favorite service/business for the year, i.e., janitorial services, boutique, dance studio, etc. I am super excited to say that I was voted Best Photographer in Elk River by the readers!  I can't even believe it!   The support I have received from my family, friends, clients and community has been nothing short of incredible and I wish to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.

What am I working on during the "off season"? Right now I am working on a blog post telling you exactly what that may be!  My goal is to continue to give great customer service and quality to my clients, so that I can actually live up to the hype! HA!

Again, thanks so much for all of your support! I'll write more soon, but in the mean time I will leave you with this beauty I took a couple of weeks ago. It's available to purchase in my new store!  Make sure you stop by to check it out! 

Where the Elk River and Mississippi River meet, Elk River, Minnesota (available for purchase) 

Where the Elk River and Mississippi River meet, Elk River, Minnesota (available for purchase) 

Why I Shoot During "Golden Hour" | Minneapolis, Minnesota, Senior Photographer

So you want to learn about golden hour, huh? It’s a pretty popular time of day for photographers to shoot. I'll tell you what it is and why I like to shoot at that time of day!  I have heard clients ask, "Can we shoot at 1:00pm?" While I will shoot mid-day as a last resort, it is not an ideal time. Most people don't understand why, and I thought I would shed some light on it (pun intended). 

Unless there is quite a bit of cloud cover or shady areas, shooting in the middle of the day under direct sun is difficult. Harsh shadows, squinting eyes and the bright sun is not my idea of a great photo.  Yes, it can be done, and has been. I use back lighting a lot and my reflector/diffuser, along with finding hidden shade. 

Here is an old photo that I shot in direct sunlight.

jasmine harsh sun

Jasmine's face is quite orange, she's squinting and she has such an uneven skin tone. This was one of my first senior sessions. Even back then, I knew this wasn't a look I was going for. Don't get me wrong, this session has always been one of my favorites, and there were plenty of great images.  But it just wasn't the ideal time of day.

I then moved to mid-mornings, which was a bit better.  The lighting was nice, but mid-morning seemed to give off a lot of harsh shadows and dark faces. I did a lot of post-processing in Lightroom. 

But then I discovered what all photographers rave about. "The Golden Hour".  This is the time just before sunrise or sunset. You may or may not have noticed that my first availability is always 1-2 hours before sunset. During this time, the lighting is absolutely perfect!  It is also shortly after sunrise; however, not everyone wants to wake up that early, especially soon-to-be seniors in high school!  

The perks of "Golden Hour":

  • You get yummy light flares and beautiful soft light.
  • There are no soft shadows or squinty eyes from the blinding sun at high noon.
  • In the summer, it cools off in the early evening, so you’re able to relax a little better knowing there isn’t sweat running down your face or making stains on your shirt.
  • During "Golden Hour", everything is warm and pretty and gives off a magical feeling.
  • We can also get some sweet silhouette shots as the sun is going down on the horizon.

Here are some of my favorite recent sessions that I have shot during this time. I think you can agree with me that nothing compares, and that "Golden Hour" never disappoints!

otsego-park-golden-hour-sunset-senior-pictures
bailey-point-park-golden-hour-senior-pictures
albertville-golden-hour-senior-pictures
downdown-minneapolis-senior-pictures
elk-river-senior-photographer-golden-hour
country-senior-pictures-st. michael-albertville

We can't forget the boys during Golden Hour!

senior-pictures-boys-elk-river-photography

 

Here are a couple from my latest session, that was just amazing!

senior-pictures-anoka-minnesota
anoka-minnesota-golden-hour-photography