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


It's back: My Valentine's Day Studio Sessions!!!

Happy 2015, everyone!  I'm kicking off the new year with my annual Valentine's Day Mini-Session event tradition, and you are invited!  Those of you who participate in this fun event every year know what a great deal it is- not only do you (and your kids, or loved one, or favorite pet) get to come into my beautiful studio, but you also get some high-quality photography AND a package of custom, ready-to-mail Valentine's Day greeting cards delivered right to your door!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 17. I'm booking half-hour sessions from 11-3, and would love to fit you in the schedule.  Make sure you get a spot while you can!

Here's the link to get more information.   And feel free to email me if you have any questions: Lisa@Lisa.com.

I hope to see you on the 17th!!

-Lisa V

Here are some samples card from last year;s event- so cute!!!





Susie & Gordy: Celebrating life with Beaumont

Susie and Gordy are one of the coolest, most unique and creative couples I know.  I was lucky to befriend them years ago, and since then I have really cherished the times we've had: the many times Gordy has been around the house, tuning the piano and telling stories from his life on the jazz scene; running into them at parties; going with Susie to see her dear friend Laurie Anderson perform at the Walker Art Center... many good times.

I was so happy when they wanted to book me to take some portraits of them, in honor of their fifteenth wedding anniversary AND to get some photos of their sweet dog, Beaumont.  I invited them over to my studio where we explored the interior and exterior spaces. It was a happy day for all.

Here are some examples of what we created that day:

Susie and I took some time to play, creating some fun images of just her.  I love how much character reads in her face and expressions.

As it happened, dear Beaumont passed away just a couple of weeks after our shoot.  He was such a special guy, a Hurricane Katrina rescue dog, and a beautiful spirit.  I'm so glad that Susie and Gordy scheduled their session right when they did; the images with Beaumont take on a special and particularly meaningful significance.  Beaumont, that handsome guy, will be forever remembered and missed.  

This last photo is, to me, a big reminder of the importance of documenting the love in our lives!  Each stage is so important.  Don't put it off for another day- these are the days you will one day want to remember and revisit!


Birth Story: Baby Cash Arrives


One year ago today, I had the honor of being invited by my dear friends Carise and Dan to photograph the birth of their first child.  While they'd said for years that I'd always be their extended family's "Major Life Event Photographer", I guess I never really realized that the coveted role could/would include photographing a birth!  As the due date approached, the anticipation was pretty wonderful.  And then, pretty much right on time, I got the text in the middle of a Saturday night: "Still rollin over here lady.  May wanna clear your schedule today!"  We stayed in touch through Sunday, and around 4:30pm they told me that it was action time.

Carise and Dan, during their very mindful pregnancy, decided to do as much laboring at home with their Doula, Angela Vincent, before transitioning to the beautiful Minnesota Birth Center in Minneapolis where they would be joined by their team of midwives. As soon as I walked into their home, I could feel the weight of what was happening; Carise was already fully into the moaning and muscle-spasm stage, while Dan and Angela soothed her and coached her to take rests as often as possible between her contractions.  I must admit it was a little disarming to hear someone I know so well make sounds as she was!  I did my best to blend in to the woodwork as I captured images, and sent silent words and looks of support to Carise.

We spent the first several hours at the family home (well, actually... I took off for a while to have a break and get something to eat, since I knew it would be a long night!), as Carise (who was opting to make her way through delivery without any drugs or other unnatural pain-relieving methods) rode the waves of pain and elation; eventually the contractions intensified and spead up, and we made the move to the birth center sometime after 10pm.  I will never forget the excitement of that drive through the quiet streets of South Minneapolis, with the moon blazing overhead.  The staff at the birth center was fully ready for and very welcoming to us, and Carise headed straight to the hot tub where she spent most of her time over the next few hours.

The rest of the time was a blur: hours spent waiting, sudden bursts of cries and moans followed by gentle whispers and then quiet, a great iPod playlist, late night pizza (I excitedly told the amused delivery guy "I'm going to shoot this baby being born and I can't believe it!!!!), highs and lows, some talk about the baby's positioning and other technicalities, trips in/out of the hot tub, the attempt to take a nap (impossible!), and on and on.  Then, in the pre-dawn hours, the action began to crescendo and at 5:25, Carise the Champion gave her last pushes and (not-so-)little Cash Michael Beard swam his way into the world: he weighed 10.3 pounds, and had a full head of hair and the most adorable cry a baby could ever have! I loved him right away, and was thrilled when his parents asked me to be his godmother- yet another honor!!

There is so much more I could say about this, but I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.  Enjoy!




Senior Portraits: Nicole

I had the joy of taking portraits for this beautiful young woman... and I want to keep photographing her again and again! Her amazing eyes and sweet smile were so fun to capture, and she makes me remember how exhilirating it was to be in the pre-20s years, when absolutely everything was possible and life's story is still in its opening chapters.

Dear Nicole, if you couldn't tell, I'm a big fan of yours- thanks for the wonderful memories from a really fun shoot! xx


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