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

Tuesday
Aug122014

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!

 

 

Wednesday
Apr232014

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

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!