Welcome to my photo blog, were I regularly post recent work, updates, and inspirations.  You can find my full portfolio site here.

Wednesday
Mar192014

California Dreamers: Josephine and Mark's Engagement Session in Winter Wonderland

I recently had a great engagement shoot with Mark and Josephine, who flew in from San Francisco for some pre-wedding planning and celebrating in Mark's hometown.  I was so excited to meet these two; their worldly, adventurous, and creative spirits were very evident in our previous conversations, and once we met in person I immediately got a sense of their deep love for each other.  This special couple is planning an incredibly cool wedding event this summer at one of my lifelong favorite spots: Como Park in beautiful Saint Paul.  Because our March shoot day was (literally) beyond freezing, we started off our time in my cozy studio and then moved to their event site to show how it will contrast with their July wedding date, which is guaranteed to be warm and gorgeous.  Our outdoor shots only lasted a few minutes before we ran for shelter, but the craziness of it it all made for a fun time and a happy memory.

Thank you so much, Josephine and Mark, for bringing me into your world and inviting me to be a part of your big day.  It will be here before we know it, and I can't wait!  xx

 

 

Tuesday
Mar112014

Senior Portraits: Beautiful Laura

 

I am often asked if Senior Portraiture is part of my work, and my response usually starts off with "Well...."  The truth is, I do a selective few sessions each year, as my schedule is usually quite full with head shots, family portraits, weddings, etc.  But every once in a while, my path crosses with someone who is just the perfect match for me and my style, and I get so excited to collaborate with those special people - and Laura is one of those special souls with whom I was honored to work this past year.  She is just about to graduate from high school, and is currently navigating those major life crossroads where each decision holds boundless opportunities as well as incredible weight.  To her credit, Laura is not a typical American teenager who wants to fit in at any cost; rather, she is a beautiful and unique young woman who has the courage to be herself.  She is wonderfully sensitive and creative, and I have had such a great time working with her and her amazing mother to create a collection of images that represent this stage in her life.  We scheduled two different sessions for a variety of looks, and each location served as a beautiful backdrop to accentuate Laura's classic yet modern style. 

Laura, you are such a dear young woman and I have had so much fun working with you and all your images.  I hope you have been able to see more clearly how naturally gorgeous you are!  Best of luck in the months ahead, as you head off to what will no doubt be the adventure of a lifetime.  xx

Wednesday
Mar052014

The Wyldes: Winter Family Studio Session

A few years back, I reconnected with an old high school friend, Kristen, when she got in touch to have me shoot some family portraits for her adorable family of four.  We had a great time on that shoot, and when I saw Kristen last summer at our high-school reunion (which could be a blog entry on its own!), she told me that she's been wanting to book another session- her kids are growing so fast!  I was thrilled when she got in touch this winter to schedule an extended family session, a gift for her mother-in-law who would be there with all her grandchildren.  Not only was I happy to have the chance to see Kristen and her kids again, as I was rather fond of them (they're unbelievably cute, and so sweet!), but I also loved Kristen was into the idea of booking a family session at my studio.  Even on the coldest of wintry Minneapolis days, my studio building offers some wonderfully cozy, bright, and interesting spaces to play and experiment.  As you can see from the photos, everyone was feeling quite relaxed and had a wonderful time.  I am so happy for this lucky family, as they now have some beautiful memories with grandma that will forever be a reminder of this time in their lives.  It was really fun to talk to the grandma after the shoot, since she was so happy with all the little moments we captured; and just think of what these images will mean to the kids when they have grown up! 

Thank you so much, Kristen, for inviting me back to document this stage in your family's life.  I really enjoyed our fun time together, and I hope these pictures are making you smile too- I just love them!

 

 

Thursday
Feb202014

Portraits: Capturing Theresa's Colorful World

I met Theresa a couple years ago, when she called me up to hire me to take some portrait for her business website.  She'd heard about me through the yoga community, and I told her right away how much I adore working with yoga people- they're not only so nice, but they tend to be able to relax and breathe during sessions as well as easily take movement cues!  Plus, many of them are running their own businesses, and I love working with people who are bringing their vision and dreams to life.

During our first portrait session, I was pretty excited to learn about Theresa: a practicing artist and yoga teacher, she was in the middle of transitioning out of her career as a full-time art teacher and into a new art/yoga hybrid career that she would be directing herself.  I admired her light personality, thoughtful insights, passion for art, and ready laugh, and it was wonderful to collaborate with someone who also speaks the language of creativity and image-making. (Side note: After our first session, I was so impressed with Theresa and her art that I immediately commissioned her to create a painting for friend's wedding gift, which I would bring all the way across the Atlantic to deliver- and which is now proudly hanging on the happy couple's wall in the Yorkshire countryside!)

Fast forward a year and a half: Theresa's business was growing, and she contacted me again because she needed to expand the collection of images for her website and her Etsy shop.  Since we'd last worked together, her business has taken off; she's been very busy as a yoga teacher and as an artist who is consistently selling her work.  We had a great shoot on a sunny winter day in South Minneapolis, one of those sessions where I could have stayed there all day long without once considering the time- we talked, laughed, swapped stories, and listened to greally good music.  In addition to creating new portraits in her adorable, sunny art studio (a little corner of heaven on earth, as you will see!), we also shot her extensive catalog of yoga-themed greeting card products. 

Theresa continues to inspire me: not only is she by far the most prolific artist I know (I believe she produces new art every day, in addition to running her business and being a dedicated wife and mother), but she is so focused and thoughtful when it comes to the subtleties in life that are at the core of yoga philosophy and practice.  Theresa seems to always have one foot grounded in what matters, and is at the same time a modern woman living in the real world, and I respect her immensely for that. 

Take a look at thes fun, vibrant images- two words that can also describe this lovely and talented woman!  You can learn more about Theresa Hutch and her work at her website: www.TheresaHutch.com.  And here's her Etsy shop.



And just for fun, here are some shots we did for her first portrait shoot at my studio a couple of years ago.  Judging by how lovely Theresa looks in these photos, one would never guess that we took these on the hottest, sweatiest, most sweltering summer afternoon ever!

 

 

Thursday
Feb132014

Writing History

David Batcher and I met a lifetime ago, back in college.  In those days, he was the moody writer who had a charmingly tragi-romantic view of the world, sported blazers and the best self-deprecating humor, and who actually made it through (and probably loved) The Infinite Jest; I, on the other hand, was the art/sociology/literature student always dressed in black clothes and Doc Martins, and could always be found around the art department with my camera, blaring Walkman, and probably a well-worn copy of the Portable Dorothy Parker in my bag.  We were in the same circle of friends, but once we graduated we headed in separate directions and didn't stay in touch. 

Then, one afternoon back in 2007 after I'd recently moved to Minneapolis, I was walking down the street and heard an oddly familiar voice shouting  "LISA VENTICINQUE!!!!" from across the street.  And wouldn't you know, it was David Batcher, looking just the same as he did so many years before.  Over the following several years, we saw each other pretty regularly since he was working as a barista at my regular coffee shop; also during that period, we witnessed each other go through several life transitions, encompassing the good and the bad, the earth-shattering and the minor.

I've always had faith that David would make it as a writer, and I've been bugging him for years to let me take the photo that would inevitably accompany the "About the Author" section on the back of his first book.  Well, I must say that I'm not surprised that the time has come, and David has secured his first book deal; he's hard at work writing a nonfiction book about the women of the Kennedy family, and I know it's going to be fantastic.

When David asked me to take his portrait for his upcoming promotional materials, he admitted that he was pretty nervous as he does not at all like to be photographed.  I explained to him that camera-shy subjects are my specialty, that I was confident about representing him in an authentic way, and that we'd have a great time... and we certainly did!  The shots above are some of my favorites from our recent session in my studio.  I can't wait to see one of these images in print on a dustjacket.

Congratulations, David!  Thanks for a great experience. xx