Celebrating, Capturing & Remembering Life's Special moments
 
That title is a mouthful isn't it? Lots going on in the story of this precious family right now. I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph last week, squeezed in the last few days before Dad deployed to Afghanistan. A baby girl, their fourth child is also on the way. I deeply admire this family for their strength, courage, love, energy, creativity and general gusto for life. I can easily say this is the most emotionally impacting photoshoot I have ever done. As I edited the photos I found myself laughing, crying and praying for this dear family with an intensity I never realized photos could inspire.
Here's a peek into their lives, perhaps they will inspire your prayers as well:
As I was taking this picture I heard a little conversation going on in the minivan behind us where the kids were warming up. It went something like this:
"Are they going to KISS?!"
"They ARE going to KISS!!!!"

This conversation wasn't held in the eewww gross tone you might expect from kids that age about kissing. It was more of a tone of sheer delight, trying to predict when Mom and Dad might kiss. An almost identical moment occurred later at the house, when we thought the kids had gone off to play. We turned around to their whispers, and there they were, all three lined up on the stairs, peeking through the balcony railings whispering the same thing. Love those kids!
It was a little chilly. If you look at the S's face you can see her adorable attempt at smiling through chattering teeth.
Little S had just gotten up from a nap when I arrived, thus this perfectly natural and precious moment as she rested in her Father's arms.
Did I mention I admire this family for their liveliness and energy? These kids are NOT afraid of the camera. Made my job especially fun. :)
"Daddy, do deedoodeedoo!" - S
Translated: "say tickle tickle!" Apparently the act of tickling her little toes was not enough without the sound effects.
"Was that smile good enough for a blizzard?" - J
"Was that the grand finale?" - T
 
Here are the pictures I promised. This particular session was quite fun because Imostly  just followed Joe and Dianne around snapping happily while they played. This is most definitely my favorite way to take pictures. Thus my whole "celebrating, capturing and remembering life's special moments" tagline. I love capturing those real little details and moments as they unfold.
The weather even decided to grant us some special effects (aka snow), which was wonderful considering that just an hour earlier we discussed postponing the outdoor pictures due to the rain and slush. Minnesota helped create a perfect shoot once again!
I am looking forward to the wedding is August! As beautiful as the snow was, I do love sunshine.
 
I had big wonderful plans for a winter wonderland sort of family session shortly before Christmas. Minnesota, however has a way of messing with any kind of outdoor plans I make and gifted us with some rain, slush and general cold ickyness on the date we had set. We improvised and ended up at the Arboretum library where some sweet family moments unfolded.
Thank you Minnesota for raining on us in December. I wouldn't have thought to take family pictures (with a toddler) at a library. Without your weather surprise I would have missed out on these warm, fuzzy memories with this sweet little family.
 
Snow day!
It is a rare day indeed when schools and workplaces shut down due to winter conditions in Minnesota, but today is one of those rare days (and a leap day as well).
As much as this kind of snow is mushy, melty, icy and just kind of yuck, it is a reason for young and old to celebrate. It is a wonderful unexpected day off. This kind of day off is the best, because you can't make plans for it. You can't be busy. You just get a chance to sit back, watch the snow fall and be. This leap day really does feel like a whole extra day added to the calendar. :-)
Since I woke up early for work anyway, I went out for a little walk to nab myself some pictures (well after waiting a few minutes for there to be enough light, since the sun is late in making it's appearance this time of year). The pictures aren't quite the most glorious like others I've taken of intricate frost formations against blue skies. This is more of a documentation of mushy, melty, icy, wet snow. The kind that gets you a snow day in Minnesota apparently.

 
It's been looking, feeling and even starting to smell like Spring. This is Minnesota, and it is only February, I should know better than to think such things.Tonight it snowed.
 
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.

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Minnesota is being crazy this year. Becky and I had some fun ideas planned for some fun Minnesota snow filled winter engagement pictures. But Minnesota decided to just sort of comply.
Instead of a foot or two on the ground (perfect for snow angels, snowball fights or snow men) it snowed while were taking these pictures. Even so, it snowed just enough for a faint dusting on the ground, which didn't even last long enough to give us a white Christmas (quite the opposite of last year).
Yet the pictures were fun, the falling snowflakes added character to the pictures and it was just cold enough to make us shiver and feel a little numb, so we had an excuse to defrost a little at a coffee shop.
 
The snow storm I posted pictures of in my last post lasted another day and night. If so much snow hadn't melted right before the storm, plowing roads and such would have gotten really interesting.
The morning after the storm everything was covered with beautiful frost that made the trees sparkle like they were covered in twinkling Christmas lights. This is the kind of beauty that is magical from a distance, and gets all the more beautiful up close. God's creation is like that. The big picture is really cool, but it takes your breath away when you see the beauty in even the intricate little details.
 
Speaking of strange weather... here are a few more pictures to document a record making Minnesotan winter. Day before yesterday we were seeing grass starting to show through after many feet of snow had melted over the course of two warm days. Now there is another snow storm blowing in and re-blanketing the ground in powdery whiteness. I braved the cold and pelting snow to see if I could snap a few good pictures. I think I prefer capturing the beauty of colorful tropical Dominican beaches than enduring a snowstorm for rather gray, flat looking shots. But here they are anyway.