Celebrating, Capturing & Remembering Life's Special moments
 
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Bubbles make me smile. They make me think of being a kid. They make me think of giggles. They make me think of summer. I love to try and count their colors.
As a kid I would chase them around trying to eat them, but was always disappointed at their taste. Even so the fun of chasing was worth even that disappointment.

 
Today I had the privilege to photograph a couple who has been married for 50 years. This month their marriage will be transitioning into a new phase as the husband enters memory care. As I edit the pictures different emotions stir in me, but one prevails, awe. Awe at the love that persists and is still evident in the midst of challenges and confusion. Awe at how a kiss, or a hand held still brings comfort even when perception is cloudy.

My slogan for photography is "celebrating, capturing and remembering life's special moments", and I felt like I was able to do exactly that today. The special moments of life aren't all thrilling, exciting and happy. Some of them are tinged with sadness and uncertainty. Even so they are worth celebrating and remembering because even the painful moments stand on the shoulders of joyous memories. There is beauty in the transitions because often the mourning is proof of what was, and is in it's own upside down sort of way a celebration of remembrances.

This week my husband and I celebrate our 3rd anniversary. As I browse through these pictures I think of us in 47 years. What will our story be? What moments will we be remembering and celebrating as we contemplate a new phase of life?
 
I can't get enough pictures of the gorgeous crab apple blossoms outside my apartment building. Today I happened to have my camera with me as the sun was setting behind them. So pretty! With time they have faded from the beautiful bright pink of a few days ago to a lovely almost white shade of pink... I can't decide which I like better.
 
The little leaves have popped on most trees and the grass is pretty much all green. Now the trees are starting to bloom. There are several trees full of these beautiful little flowers right outside our apartment building, they look so cheery even on  gloomy days. Thank you whoever planted those trees. They give me an extra reason to smile in the morning as I head off to work.
 
It is Spring. I'm not going to say the snow is gone for good, because being Minnesota it would end up snowing just because I said it. However we have had some gloriously beautiful weeks. The leaves are peeking out, the sun has been shining, and I've started some seeds on our tiny apartment porch. I've also been loving long walks outside. Somehow seeing life spring up all around and having the sun shine down on my face somehow brings life and joy to my spirits as well. Everything seems cheerier with sunshine and green.
One of my favorite things about Spring in Minnesota is beautiful intricacies of those tiny little leaves opening up, shiny with newness and the most beautiful shade of green.
 
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.
 
Sometimes I wonder how or why it is that I ended up in Minnesota after having spent my teenage years living on a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean. Minnesota is gorgeous in the summer (though I prefer sparkling blue salt water to murky green with seaweed), really any place with sunshine and green is beautiful and where I would like to be right now.
Even though this has been a wonderfully mild (some might say warm) winter, and the sun has been shining more than normal, it is still lacking that wonderful happy warmth of summer or the tropics. I can tell partly because my skin is almost transparent (if I look close enough I can almost see blue veins!), and my faded freckles are just distant memories of beach days past. Funny, I used to hate my freckles, now I love them because they mean that sunshine has warmed my face.
I took a trip down memory lane to remind myself what sunshiney summer days look like. I'm not quite sure if this little trip gave me a needed dose of sunshine, or just made me miss it all the more. Either way, let me share a few wonderful summer sunshine moments with you just in case you needed some reminding too...
 
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.

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