Friday, December 15, 2006

I just wanted to take a moment to share a very interesting article from MSN on what my type of business is all about! Please take a look:

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Holidays!

I can't believe it's already the middle of December! Crazy! I have been busy processing holiday card orders and prints, all that fun stuff! Anyway, I wanted to share my holiday card with you this year! If you look below, you'll see 3 images. The first is the front of the card, the second is when you open the first tab, and the 3rd is when it's open all the way. It's a 3 fold card. I was testing this type of card to see if I should offer it, and I just love it! It will soon be added to the Greeting Card/Announcements that I offer. Have a happy holiday!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hi All! I just wanted to let you all in on a few things. First, if you look at my website under "rates", and scroll all the way to the bottom, you'll find my new baby milestones program! It's basically a great deal for those of you who want to document your baby's precious stages in a special way. There is also an option for a "mini session" which is basically a shorter session for a fun occasion where you don't need a full shoot, but want to capture something for a holiday card, a halloween costume, trip to the beach, whatever you want. This is available at a discounted rate, with the purchase of two full sessions in one year. Take a moment to check it out!

One other exciting thing I'm doing, is a photo contest. Submit a photo of your child that you have taken, age 0 - 17 years, and I will have a few friendly judges help me choose the favorites, one for each age category (0-12m, 1-3, 4-7, 8-12, 13-17). Photos are judged on the potential photogenic quality of the child, not your photography skills, so don't hold back because you're not a fabulous photographer. The winner from each category will recieve a free session and a $100 print credit. That's a $200 value! The photo you submitted will be posted here, and some of the photos from your session will be featured on my main site. To enter, send an email to with a recent photo of your child, along with the child's age and the city where you are located. Must be 18 and older to enter, and live in the Twin Cities Metro area. Winners will be chosen on February 1st, 2007. Last entries must be recieved by January 20th, 2007. Good luck!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Alright, so I need your opinions! What do you think of my new header? I was just tired of the gigantic picture of me on there, that I had to do something. I was going for a vintage look, but I'm not sure it really goes. Let me know what you think! This is my tricky way of getting people to make comments, since I'm starting to feel like my blog has an audience of one and I need to feel popular. Come on, help my ego out, just a little?

Well, it was a fun weekend on my end! For Thanksgiving I went to my aunt's home in Northfield where part of my mom's huge family got together. It was definitely a full house. I tried to get involved in some card games, but it was a bit tough since Nina was one of two children in the house and demanding attention! She ran in circles almost the whole time, climbing under the table and grabbing people's feet, getting tickled and bonking her head more than once. Man, when they say toddlers are a handful, they were being nice! She's my little sweetie, and it was fun watching her see the Christmas tree when I set it up last night. Poor baby though grabbed a branch and scraped herself in the face. She has such soft baby skin and it's really sad to see her scratch it up :( I'll have to take a picture and post it. Maybe a little later. I will show you some photos from yesterday morning. I went to my sister's house and took some pictures of her two boys in front of the Christmas tree. It was quite the challenge, but we got it done! Jacob, her youngest is the same age as Nina, enough said. Anyway, here are some pictures!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ok, so I finally had some time to get my product page up and running! Here's the link: I'm now offering handbags and canvas wraps, which is very exciting for me. I am loving those bags, so I'm going to have to stalk Nina again and get "THE" shot of her to use for a bag. That'll probably make for good advertising too, don't you think? I'm sure a great bag like that will stand out in the mall! Anyway, this last week was fun for sessions. I think my favorite was a little newborn boy named Blake. He was a sweet little blondie just over a week old. His hair was so soft! He had just gotten out of his first real bath, so he was freshly shampooed and so cuddely! He had a thing about his hands being in his face, so that was a little challenge, but with the help of his mommy with her finger/pacefier and Daddy's soothing voice, he fell asleep and I got to work my magic! They had an awesome dining room with contemporary black furniture with windows on both sides, so I was in heaven with that lighting! The family was great to work with and the pictures turned out great.

I had a family this weekend with two boys, 6 and 8 who had me laughing pretty much the whole time. Great personalities! I'm sure these two know how to work together and give Mom and Dad a run for their money! The younger boy took it upon himself to make everyone else smile, as he would snort like a pig right before every shot, of course making everyone bust a gut. The other, well, he had other methods, but his mom asked me not to write about that..... Hehe.

Monday, November 13, 2006

So I've been missing again, sorry about that. I have some good news though. I'm finally cured from the never ending cough! Yeah! That's very exciting news for me. Anyway, two more days until the new products are introduced. I'll give you a sneak peak. I'm going to be offering very classy leather handbags with your photo on them. They actually look very sleek and not at all cheesy. I'm going to have to get one for myself next time I get a good shot of Nina, which is increasingly difficult these days! Last weekend I did a mini shoot of her just to get some funny expressions to use in a storyboard to send to her long distance grandparents who don't see her often. Man, was she a little stinker! I didn't really plan for it, so as a spur of the moment thing, I set up the backdrop and put her in her sweater. If her hair's all messy, oh well. That's what she looks like most of the time anyway! So, here I am trying to get some pictures of her and what does she do? Well, the same thing most 16 month olds would do. RUN AWAY! Over and over again. That's ok, I have a game plan. I grabbed her stacking blocks and built a big tower right where I wanted her. What toddler can resist that? So here she comes, over to knock over my tower and there's my chance - snap, snap snap. UH OH! Did you knock over my tower? As she giggles, I get more pictures, yippy! It's amazing the things you think of when trying to get pictures of your kids. I have yet to take out the bubbles with Nina, I'll have to save that trick for a special occasion...

Ok, back on topic. New products. I just found an excellent vendor for canvas wrap prints, so now I'm proud to offer canvas prints! I will be working on designing some sample storyboards and senior collages, and will have an entire website devoted to specialty items. Watch for the link!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I went to the doctor today and they gave me steroids to ease the inflamation in my lungs. Does that mean I'm going to get big muscles? Haha, no really though, I have to take 9 pills tomorrow! Doesn't that just sound insane??? And now my throat is starting to hurt. It didn't hurt before. Will this ever go away or am I just going to have to live with this forever? I guess I should probably go to bed since Nina seems to be waking up extra early since daylight spending time last Sunday. Mama is NOT too happy about that! Anyway, I'm going to be ordering business card wallets with each order now that clients can pass out to their friends with their kid's picture on them. Here's a sample:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So I published my new price list online, and it is now in effect. For those of you who already had sessions based on the old price list, you still have until November 15th to finalize your orders and still get the old prices. Anyway, it seems like this cough isn't going anywhere, so I think I'm going to have to break down and see a doctor. I always feel like I'm wasting the doctor's time because every time I've gone in the past, it's just a virus and I'm supposed to drink lots of fluids and get rest. Well, I could have figured that out myself, but I guess it's good to have assurance from a pro. The whole rest thing isn't so easy when you have a 16 month old demanding your attention! Ok, on to some pictures, because I know that's what you read this for anyway! This one was actually a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to share some because I just loved the little hat and bootie set they had! Have I mentioned how much I love newborns?

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm Back! I still have a cough that won't quit, but I think I made it through the worst part. I'd like to share some of my new photos and update you all on what's going on in my world. First of all, I'd like to make everyone aware of some changes that are about to be made. For the first few months, I had set a price list that was very low for the services that I provide, for two reasons. One was to get as many clients as I could so I can show them what I can do. The second is basically to test what works and try and get an idea of where I should price myself in the market of photography. Well, it's been going great, and I've learned a lot about this. It looks like people are having a hard time choosing, and the CD has been a very popular item. However, since I've priced the CD so low, people tend to buy just the CD and nothing else, and when they do it's typically either just a few prints or a bunch of 4x6's. At this rate, and with the prices that I had set, there is no way I could make a living, and no guarantee that my images will be printed with the best color balance and quality. So, I've made some adjustments to my price list. The CD and everything that was available will no longer be available, and the prices will be better adjusted to match the value of the product. Yes, it will cost quite a bit more than what you'll get if you go to, say Proex. But, there is a HUGE difference between professional photography and a chain portrait studio. Let me explain: Your typical chain store books sessions every 15 minutes. You might get a half hour at a higher priced chain like Flash. These stores hire their photographers out of high school with very little or no experience. (I worked at Proex when I was 16.) Your photos at a chain studio are among hundreds, if not thousands of other orders, so they don't recieve custom care. They are also typically taken in a cramped studio with a bunch of cheesy props that scream "cheap pictures". Ok, so if you're on a tight budget, and that's all you can afford, go to a chain studio and you'll get a fairly decent picture of your kid with studio lighting and a background. If you're ok with that, power to you. But, if you want photographs that are natural, personal, professionally photographed and edited for the best quality possible and a photo session that is relaxed, not rushed, and in a comfortable environment where you are likely to relax and be yourself, resulting in pictures that represent the "real you" that's when you go to a professional. I have more than 8 years of photography experience. My sessions are typically 1-2 hours (more if needed) and I schedule no more than 1 session in a day. I travel to your home or chosen location for your photo shoot (sometimes involves up to two hours drive time). During the session, your family has plenty of time to get comfortable, take breaks for snacks, diaper changes, etc. After your session, I spend another hour or two on the computer processing your images, retouching blemishes, adjusting color, contrast, and many other things to make your photos the best they can be. Then I recrop them and send them online for your viewing gallery. I contact you to let you know they are online, and set your password. I then will burn a backup CD of all your images so that should the computer crash, your photos are safe. On average, I spend about 6 hours dedicating my time for each session. So, when you order a package of $150, after subtracting expenses, such as print costs, mileage, equiptment, I make about $100. That's about $16.67 per hour. Ok, that's not terrible, but not exactly a professional salary either. Then let's think about this a little more. I spend a lot of time updating my website, advertising, improving my skills, studying new photoshop techniques, researching new products, and a lot more, but nobody's paying me for that. If you actually calculate all the hours I put in for a week and how much I generate in orders, I'm making less than $7 an hour. That's not necessarily a professional salary, is it? Sorry for having to go through the whole explanation, but I need to make sure you know all that is going into your photos and why you pay more for custom portraits than you would for your typical portrait studio. I hope this will help you understand why my prices have to go up.

Anyway, keep checking my website in the next couple of weeks and you will see some exciting changes! I will be adding a products page, where you can view samples of the different products and see some great new specialty items that will be available soon!

Alright, now that I got the "info" out of the way, want to see some pictures? Here's a sweet little newborn I was lucky enough to photograph last week! She was so beautiful, and so little! I'm still amazed every time I see a newborn, because I just can't believe how quickly they grow! My Nina is 16 months old and it seems like eternity, but just yesterday at the same time, that she was that little. I'm sure I'll keep feeling that way as she grows.

If you want to see more of her, check my website gallery. Anyway, here are a few from a photo shoot of three kids, just having a good time in the leaves before it gets too cold! They were a fun group, and it was a bit of a challenge to wipe that CHEESE grin off those faces!

Monday, October 23, 2006

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to write here! I have been sick the past two weeks first with what I though was a cold, and seemed to be getting better when it turned into a very unpleasant flu type thing that has left me very miserable and coughing like a maniac. I am still suffering, but thought I should at least put an update in here so if anyone checks this, they know I didn't disappear. I'll be updating this a lot more as soon as I get better - which will hopefully be sooner than later. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I didn't disappear, I promise! I had a crazy week last week! Last Tuesday, I had a session with a family of four who were really cute and fun to work with. We had just gotten a few shots of the family together when it started to rain! AHH! They wanted to get some pictures of their two kids together as well as family, so we quickly took a few of just the kids. I felt really bad, because usually I spend about an hour or more on a session, getting lots of variety to choose from, but this one lasted maybe 15 minutes and we got rained out. There were still some cute shots, but I would have loved to have had the chance to work with these guys some more and get something really great for them. Oh well, who can control the weather? I told them I would be happy to take some more for them another day....we'll see. Anyway, that was the start of my insane week. Earlier that same day I went to a local preschool to do their anual class photos. This was my first year doing this for them. They were just way too stinkin cute! Little 3 and 4 year olds in their school clothes looking all cute and I got to take their pictures! Too fun! Anyway, skip ahead to the next day. I was scheduled to go back to the preschool and photograph another class, so I did that, and all was great. I had a senior session scheduled for that evening, so since my CF cards were both full, I needed to process the images from the past day in order to clear my card for the senior that evening, and for the newborn and family shoots scheduled for the next day. So, I go to turn on the computer, NOTHING. Uh Oh, as my 15 month old would say. Try again, still NOTHING! So now here I am panicking because I am out of media space and can't get on the computer to process my pictures, much less check my email or do anything else for that matter. So I call my sister in a panic begging for her to let me use her computer to at least burn the images onto CDs so I could at least clear my cards and process them later. She said ok, so I'm still freaking out, but a little relieved. Then a little knock comes from the front door. Hmmm, who could it be? My best buddy Fed Ex!!! I had ordered two 2GB CF cards the week before, and they arrived, just in time! Plus, I had just received my new Canon 5D camera. The tables were starting to turn! Yeah! So I went to my sister's house to at least check my email, and schedule appointments for a couple of people who had inquired about sessions (yeah, more sessions!). Still no computer, so still frustrating, since these people were waiting for their proofs to go online and I hate to disappoint. Anyway, I went to Stillwater and did the senior session, who was a gorgeous teenage girl who was very photogenic. I was really happy with how the session went, so that made my night. Too bad I couldn't get right on the computer to go through them and get them up right away like I would any other time I had a great shoot. GRRR..... So now it's my turn to bug my moody computer programer brother who has been working 90 hour workweeks lately and just wants to chill on the couch. No, I need computer help, John, can't you understand that! So after giving me a hard time, he finally agrees to help me out a little. Computer still doesn't work, but at least I got my files backed up. Anyway, so Thursday I head out to do a 1 week old baby's first portraits, and his two year old big brother. Oh and what cuties they were! We got some super cute pics of the big brother outside, and he decided he was done with pictures by the time we got inside. Not a big deal - he's 2, it's to be expected. Mom was a little disappointed that she wasn't going to get a sibling shot, but what can you do? When a 2 year old decides he's done, it's in the best interests of a defensless newborn to let it be! Now the baby - I must say, this was one of the most adorable, well behaved babies I've seen in a long time! I normally suggest parents start with the baby sleeping so we can get those sweet peaceful baby shots, but he wanted to be awake. Normally when a newborn is awake, there's at least one crying spell. Not a peep from this little guy! Now thinking back to when Nina was a newborn and how she kept me up all night and just wore me out, this just is not fair! But, I was ok with a great baby, as jealous as I was, because I was lucky enough to take his picture! So that session went really well. Thinking back though I should have taken advantage of his great demeaner and done some nursery shots as well, but then again, mom probably has enough trouble deciding as it is. So, after this session, I head on home to try and get my computer running. About half way there, (this was a 45 minute drive) I get a call on my cell from the father of the kids I just photographed, who tells me I forgot my CF card on his couch! So I have to drive all the way back out there and pick it up. Just my week! Next was a family session for my cousin. She has a 9 month old little boy with blue eyes and lots of hair. He's a real cutie, and he likes me, so he just smiled the whole time! She put him in a little vintage looking peacoat and newsboy cap. He looked so cute! Anyway, that was a fun session and a nice day. Friday comes, and the end of the week is near! I rebooted my computer with some software I found from my old computer (couldn't find the disk for my recent operating system - that figures) and I finally have a computer! No shoots scheduled for Friday, so it's catch up time. I got all the sessions online from that week, finally! I'll attach something from each shoot on here. So, this week I've been busy trying to get the orders for the preschool processed and ordered, as well as do a shoot and process the images for 3 kids Monday, a 6 month old ADORABLE baby, and a kitten on Tuesday. Yesterday I had some trouble with my internet, so I got about half as many orders as I wanted to processed, but it got done. I finally have time to blog, and it feels good to get it all out! I just finished a session for an old friend from high school who is engaged - so happy for her! So I'll get this published so I can work on her stuff and get it online! Thanks for hanging in there. I didn't mean to disappear. Things (crazy things) just happen. The above pictures are from last week, and the ones below are early this week.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I'm in LOVE! My little sweetie Nina captured my heart again, and this time I caught the moment! How could you not fall in love with that beautiful smile and those big brown eyes? I'm melting! So I found my secret weapon: GRANDMA! I brought my mom along for Nina's 15 month/Fall photos, and had her stand behind me and interact with Nina. Well, Nina just LOVES Grandma, so it worked like a charm! I am so excited to have captured that smile. It's the one she gives me every day when the camera is NOT out. I was so worried that she would grow up and not do it the same, never capture it and it would be a distant memory. SO, you can tell I'm super happy with these! She is just so fun to watch, and with the sunset and the great fall colors in the background, all I have to do it follow her around and get some great natural pictures of her. Anyway, I'll stop obsessing about my kid like a teenager over a crush. I just thought I'd share these with you! See, I told you I'd get her looking!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Alright, so I had my first busy weekend! That's exciting! Now if only the rest of the week could be like this! I had three shoots between Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and I think they all went very well! The first one was of a super happy 8 month old boy. I knew it would be a fun shoot when I walked through the door and got a big grin right off the bat! They had a great entryway in their house. It had a great rustic look to it, so it made a great backdrop for black and white photos. The walls were pink, and since he is a boy, it wasn't working too well for color, but that's ok! I love the look and feel of black and white.

My Sunday shoot was a bit more challenging to say the least! It was supposed to be an overcast day, but what do those weather guys know? The sun was out full blast just begging to challenge me. Well, I was up for the battle. No blazing sun was going to stop me! So, with the sun in all it's glory and two very energetic children, I went to work. I found the spot with the most shade, which had a little bit of sun on their hair, which I think added a nice accent, so it worked nicely. The kids were adorable and full of personality and energy, and I think I captured that pretty well. I managed to work with the lighting situation I was put in and ended up with results I think everyone will be happy with.

The third one is an old friend from high school, who is engaged. She HATES getting her picture taken and never likes pictures of herself, so it was an honor that she would trust me to do her photos! She says that the only pictures of herself that she likes are ones I took of her several years ago in the studio. That was a nice ego booster! Anyway, this couple was a lot of fun. The way they interacted with each other was kind of funny. They are outspoken and easy going, pretending to push each other into the water, giving each other the "look", and just cracking jokes. I just finished proofing their session and when she got a chance to see them online, she tells me, "I actually really like these!" Well, normally I would be thinking, actually? What, you didn't expect to like them? But coming from her, it really is a compliment. Like I said before, she's not too keen on having her picture taken, so to get some that she really likes is a big step, and I'm proud to be able to do that for her!