Celebrating, Capturing & Remembering Life's Special moments
I know I always wonder what  other photographers use. So in case you are curious, these are the cameras I've been using up to this point.
My main shooting camera is the Canon 40D and the newest addition to my collection (and a very happy surprise at that). Perhaps another time I will post some of the other gear I use.
My secondary camera (and very first SLR) which I have used for 5 years is the Canon Rebel XT. It has been wonderfully faithful, even if it is not my go to camera anymore. I have kept it partly for sentimental reasons, and also because I look forward to photographing more events like weddings that almost require a second camera.
I have looked forward to the day I would get to take my first wedding pictures, for a long, long time. I finally got the chance a few weeks ago *squeal!*. I've heard that wedding photography is hard, and it is. Was it worth it anyway? Oh yeah! Would I do it again? You bet!
It was so invigorating. I loved the challenge of constantly looking for the next moment, the next creative angle and not having any lack of meaningful moments being carried out by beautiful subjects all around. Not only that but all this wonderful beauty was expecting to be photographed. I learned so much from the experience and I VERY much look forward to my next opportunity(contact me!)! 
Needless to say I had beautiful models, the wedding was gorgeous and I also had a really great second shooter/assistant (Becca McBride). Becca worked just as hard as I did, didn't hesitate to make imagined concepts reality (running really fast with fire) and also managed to capture some really awesome moments with my second camera herself.
So thank you Austin and Erin for trusting me with your beautiful day, thank you Becca for being so awesome. Without you my dream/goal of photographing a wedding would not be such a wonderful reality just yet. :-)

If you are reading this and are anything like me when reading/looking at photography blogs. You don't really come to read, you come for the pictures.

The easiest way to create a website for your wedding. Create your site at Weebly.com!
I am super excited to show off these pictures. This is my first "engagement" session (besides awkwardly trying to take  my own), and everything worked together nicely to make it a very fun experience.
I must say though, going into the pictures I was a little discouraged. Just the day before the fall colors were at their peak, but it seemed to me that on this day the wind was on a mission to rob me of every last vibrant leaf. Not to mention it was also very cloudy. Now clouds are normally a photographer's friend, but I had some very specific pictures in mind where I wanted that special golden glow that only a sunny evening provides. Then to make matters worse as I stepped out of my car to go meet the couple, I was just about carried away by the wind with my reflector as a sail (that reflector ended up being the challenge of the afternoon by escaping my assistant's grip on various occasions, once hitting me square in the face).
In the end all my worries were nullified, and the wind I was so afraid of ended up being a beautiful addition to the images. The wind added a sense of energy and humor throughout the evening that I couldn't have planned for. Then, at just the right moment, exactly when I needed it, the sun peeked out to give me that yummy golden glow I was hoping for. Thanks Austin and Erin for letting me celebrate, capture and remember these special memories with you! I can't wait for your wedding in December.
By the way, this session marks the completion of one of my photography goals (read about them here). I did not know them before they asked me to take their wedding pictures. Photographing their wedding in December will complete one of the goals that I thought might have been the most far fetched, and have been looking forward to since the day I got my first digital SLR camera.
*For some reason the colors in these pictures are looking slightly muted compared to the way they look in other programs and on facebook. If you want to fully appreciate the awesome golden light you might want to check out the album on my facebook page.*
It was recently brought to my attention that if you google "Black and White Photo" one of my pictures comes up on the first page. Crazy huh? If you google "Black and White Photography tips" the same picture is second.

This photo was one of the very first taken with my then very first, brand new SLR camera. I was 17, new to photography but quite excited about it and learning a lot at the digital-photography-school.com blog. I posted the jpeg to an assignment forum for black and white photos, and was thrilled to see it later in one of their articles. Fast forward 5 years and there it is on google. I am so glad that it isn't embarrassing in any way for me or the model (she was blessed to be a stunning, rather than awkward, teen)! In fact I am still proud of that picture. :-)

All this to say, never post anything online that you might not be proud to call your own 5 or 10 years later.

(Other google searches revealed to me that Anna Silverthorn is not a common name on the internet, and almost everything on the first page has something to do with me.)

Search & Win
On Saturday I rented a photo studio for the first time to take pictures of my brother in law's family. The experience was quite fun, and came to a close far too quickly. Not only did we get to rent the studio, but also got to use the studio's lighting equipment, which was REALLY fun. Having never worked with studio strobes before I learned a lot, and looking back over the pictures learned even more and can't wait to get back to put into practice what I've learned. I love learning about photography, it is one of those inexhaustible subjects of study. Once I think I know something, I find how much more there is to learn.
The place we went was UClick studios in Chanhassen, which I plan on going back to. Not only is the concept of having a space and really nice lighting equipment available nice, but the people there were friendly and quite helpful.
So here's a few of the pictures!

Last year I decided to set some goals for my photography. I revisited them the other day and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had accomplished most of them. Perhaps I set the bar low. They were goals I knew I could accomplish if I really tried.
These are a few of those goals:
    Publish a photo on stock website and get it accepted
    Have a photo sold on a stock website
    Photograph a family this summer
    Philip's senior pictures
    Create a website
    Take pictures at a rented studio (accomplished yesterday!)
What other goals do I have? I'll include some that I know will come if I work at them, and others that are my "someday" goals. Who knows? Maybe I will be surprised again next year at how much I accomplished.
These are a few of my new goals:
    Sell enough stock photos to receive first check
    Print and distribute a price list brochure and/or business card
    Create a facebook page
    Have an exhibit someplace like a coffee shop
    Photograph a wedding
    Receive a request for my photographic services from a "stranger"(someone who isn't a direct friend or family             member)
I guess we will see where I am next year! Perhaps I will need to write new goals before then!