Tuesday, April 23, 2013

to the guthrie again. { frost on flower }

I bet at this point you're able to predict just about where my session is being held... with the silly weather we're having this Spring we continue to be super limited when it comes to space.  Thankfully The Guthrie is always available and is always a great space to explore with younger kiddos.  As much as I enjoy my time at The Guthrie and as much as I adore these photos.... I just can't wait to get outside!  The lovely family pictured below is soon expecting baby #2... maybe I'll have the pleasure of taking a few photographs of the new family and baby in the great outdoors!


As I've mentioned before, I absolutely love lifestyle photography when it comes to family portraits.  That isn't always possible in a more confined setting like The Guthrie, however.  When possible I prefer to follow a family around and capture the kiddo(s) exploring but posing happens naturally because there just isn't too much else to do.

Lifestyle photos don't only need to be captured at home - when the weather improves setting up a simple family picnic and a few outdoor games at the park can be a great setting as well as a little family trip to the zoo.


The Amber Lounge is always one of my favorite spaces to photograph.  I love editing in this muted matte finish-like style.  And my subjects always love the windows.  :)



Sometimes I just can't decide which version of a photo I like more - the mood and emotion contained in a color vs black and white photo can be quite different and, occasionally, they're both very fitting.  So I throw them both in.  :)



Sometimes more than once.


As I've said before, The Guthrie is a popular cool/wet weather photo destination, especially on the weekends.  In the following photos you can catch glimpses of other families with their photographers.







The family brought along a goofy and very useful cousin to hold the little guy's attention and attempt to crack some smiles.  It was quite refreshing for me - as hard as I try I just can't jump around and make too many faces while also taking photos!  I do bring things like toys and stickers for encouragement but an entirely separate person willing to wiggle around and be a goof is always useful and certainly encouraged.  :)








Why ask a child to sit still, pose, and smile when you can capture moments like these?  I love to capture the true essence and experience of a family rather than trying to paint a false and "perfect" picture of a family.  Typically families aren't totally put together, sitting still, and smiling for a camera - that's a rough thing to accomplish, especially when you have a toddler.  This is one of the many reasons I love lifestyle photography.  In 20 years I want my clients to look back and remember exactly what it was like to be a family at this point in time... if that involves a pile of kids looking in various directions, noses being picked, and the occasional upset I personally don't mind.  :)  Of course I don't avoid the cute group shots that are great for holiday cards or hanging on the mantel but my true joy is found in the moments of true family joy.






As if he was working off of our schedule the little guy was ready to be done just as our session was ending.  It's best not to push it.  :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

a newborn little brother. { frost on flower }

It was a huge pleasure to photograph this little guy shortly after he was born.  I first started photographing his big sister about a year ago, for her one year photos.  She is the same age as Olive, within weeks, so they've always been really fun to check in with.  For her two year photos her mama was within weeks of giving birth so we squeezed in some cute belly related shots.

There was talk of a possible play date with Olive and big sister while we tended to the new guy's photos.. the session ended up being on a weekend morning though, so that wasn't necessary.  Olive was disappointed but enjoyed watching me edit these and was calling him by name when she would see him pop up on my screen.

It's wonderful following a family past only one session, especially for major events such as adding an entire new person into their family.  Welcome to the world little guy!  And thanks for letting me put you in bowls and baskets.  :)


His hat matched my blanket amazingly well.



I always have to capture some of the moments of mama's soothing their new littles ones during sessions.  Newborn photo sessions aren't all about perfect happy adorable squishy babies... they need some mama time in there, too.





Big sister popped in for a few photos, too.



Later we moved to the sofa where she was able to hold him for the first time - she did a really great job!  And we grabbed a few family group shots before being an older sister just became too much work and a cookie was needed.  I enjoyed a cookie also.  :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

another minnehaha engagement. { frost on flower }

Like I recently mentioned... I go to Minnehaha Falls Park A LOT.  I had hopes of this engagement session looking quite different than the last one I did, as the seasons should have been in the midst of changing at this point, but they weren't.  So these photos are full of all of the warmth and charm that winter photos bring!  But at least the weather was mild so the couple was able to brave our time together without coats.  :)  Good job guys!


This was a fun session to photograph - the bride to be is the younger sister of a friend of mine and she now works where I used to work before I became Olive's mom mom.


I'm fairly certain that I looked super goofy making this big heart.  The snow was super crunchy and I often found myself standing on it rather than stepping into it.  I stumbled a few times but retained the shape of the heart.. thankfully.  :)


I've photographed her previously as a part of large family portraits and hear about her often from my friend.  Seems like a lovely idea to have a sister!





This session was a lot of fun.  I love looking back on photos when I'm editing knowing that their smiles and expressions were completely genuine and not posed, coerced, or faked.  It's fun to have little stories and goofy moments to attach to photos that other viewers don't know about too.






I think this last one was one of their favorites.  They're pretty happy!  Which is always great to experience during an engagement session.  Congratulations!!  :)


where do you put your money?

I'll try to keep this quick.  But I just read something that bothers me immensely.

Did you know that "Nestle chairman Peter Brabeck said that water needs to be privatized"? (link)

Here's a video if you want to see for yourself.

There are plenty of things that I already detest about Nestle.  But this is just... this is absurd.

Here is some info taken from Wikipedia about the national boycott of Nestle:

Groups such as the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) and Save the Children claim that the promotion of infant formula over breastfeeding has led to health problems and deaths among infants in less economically developed countries.[2][3] There are four problems that can arise when poor mothers in developing countries switch to formula:
  • Formula must normally be mixed with water, which is often contaminated in poor countries, leading to disease in vulnerable infants.[4] Because of the low literacy rates in developing nations, many mothers are not aware of the sanitation methods needed in the preparation of bottles. Even mothers able to read in their native tongue may be unable to read the language in which sterilization directions are written.
  • Although some mothers can understand the sanitation standards required, they often do not have the means to perform them: fuel to boil water, electric (or other reliable) light to enable sterilisation at night. UNICEF estimates that a formula-fed child living in disease-ridden and unhygienic conditions is between 6 and 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child.[5]
  • Many poor mothers use less formula powder than is necessary, in order to make a container of formula last longer. As a result, some infants receive inadequate nutrition from weak solutions of formula.[6]
Advocacy groups and charities have accused Nestlé of unethical methods of promoting infant formula over breast milk to poor mothers in developing countries.[14][15] For example, IBFAN claim that Nestlé distributes free formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards; after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interfered with lactation, the family must continue to buy the formula. IBFAN also allege that Nestlé uses "humanitarian aid" to create markets, does not label its products in a language appropriate to the countries where they are sold, and offers gifts and sponsorship to influence health workers to promote its products.[16]

I really like this post at phdinparenting.com.

But overall my point is that do you know where your money goes?  Where you spend your money says A LOT about you and says a lot to the people you're giving it to.  

As best I can I spend money locally when it comes to food or I spend it on smaller companies with good ethics and good agricultural principals.  Those things are very important to me.  I also prefer local/small because I would much rather support individual people than large corporations whose top employees make a lot, low end employees don't, and most of their money is spent on absurd marketing and likely on lobbying in the federal government.  Your money speaks... but do you know what it's saying?  When possible I try to be very careful where I spend money on fuel.  Do you know how terrible most oil companies are?  Exxon sold fuel to the Nazi's.  They have pipeline spills constantly.  They really really really don't care about you or the planet or anyone... profit is the number one motivator of almost every larger company, even if they're trying to sell you something "safe", "healthy", or "green".  

If any of this stuff about Nestle bothered you but you don't buy much candy... did you know that Nestle owns: Gerber, Juicy Juice, San Pellegrino, Poland Springs, Fancy Feast, L'Oreal, and Power Bar... just to name A FEW.

Do the world a favor and do a little research and think about what your money goes.  In my opinion, these days, where you spend your money is even more important than who you vote for.  After all, the money you're spending is probably being used to influence the very politicians who promised to do things they haven't.. via lobbying.

This is kind of ranty.  So I'll stop.  Just please pay attention to what you're doing with your money.  And if you already are - thank you!!!!  :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

winter engagement at minnehaha. { frost on flower }

Minneahaha Falls Park in southeast Minneapolis is a go to spot for me for engagement and family portraits.  Most people are familiar with the location, it's usually easy to park nearby, and there are various backdrops including trees, walls, and different and weathered buildings.

This lovely couple emailed me and mentioned that they were very unfamiliar with what to do and what to wear for a portrait session.  They couldn't have been more of an ideal couple to work with - their choice of clothing matched perfectly, they tolerated the snow and chilly air beautifully, were natural and seemingly comfortable the entire time... as well as their dogs!


Whenever I'm with a family or couple that is new to me or new to photography sessions in general I like to take it slow.


We usually start out with some simple sitting posed photos, I give them some direction on where to look, and we get to know each other a little better.


After some time they're more comfortable and settling into the session and I have a better handle on their personalities, how to direct them, and what they may be willing to do.




Everyone takes direction differently so it's important to learn the personalities of the people you're working with and cater specifically to their needs and to attempt to capture them truly being themselves.  It can be a daunting task when it's your first meeting and you're only with them for 1-2 hours.






They couldn't have been more perfect.  We caught a great time of the day, when the golden hour was just beginning.  Even in the winter it's possible to get some sun kissed warmth in your photos.  Sometimes it's even a little easier since there are no leaves obstructing the sun's rays.





Congratulations guys, I had a great time working with you!  :)