gemma~21

My niece, Gemma, turned 21 on Monday. Rather than mixing it up and gifting her with a bottle of wine or fun flavored vodka for this momentous occasion, I opted to stick with my time honored tradition of a lively portrait session….no hangovers here! I think this makes 8 years running now. Gemma works at Taglio (pronounced Tah’ lee oh) in Excelsior so I sort of got bumped out of the hair portion of the gift but they really have fun with her hair so we just spend more time shooting! This year, I called upon a friend and fellow photographer, Jenny Phillips out at The Country Camera in Medina, MN. She hosted a TCPPA summer picnic on her property last year and I walked around in awe. A lovely farm on 200 acres..close enough yet far enough out to give you that “wide open spaces” feel. Gemma said, “Well, I’m not really a country girl.” And when we wrapped..she was impressed! I love you, Gemma.  Here are a few of my faves….

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Kathryn turns 9….and a 1/2!

Kathryn is 9 (and a 1/2!) but don’t let that fool you…she’s wise beyond her years. A very gentle, old soul and best of all…she calls me “Aunt Sue”.  I’ve known her parents for many, many years and Kathryn was a joyful addition to the love that they already possessed. I’ve captured Kathryn each year on or around her, spring, birthday but this year after enduring the devastating loss of my mother I missed the opportunity. We gathered, just a few weeks ago, to mark her 9th birthday! She is an amazing child. I love her.

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Portraits don’t have to be stuffy, stiff or boring…are YOU? Of course not. Don’t let someone capture you when you aren’t…well….you. Portraits should be fun, relaxed and most importantly, real. I love the notion of having my portraits “speak” to people…make people grin, laugh…even evoke the occasional tear. Here’s more of Kathryn…

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Her lovely dog, Sam…Sam is a Cavachon.

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Kathryn loves to accessorize!

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emily.13

My niece, Emily, recently turned 13. My sister, now, has another teenager in the house! YIKES! She and I have something in comon…Emily and I are both middle children.  Famous for his Birth Order Book, Dr. Kevin Leman can guide you in why you are the way you are. Funny thing for me is that while I was the youngest and only girl for nearly 9 years my parents didn’t stop at 3 children…or even 4…I ended up the “youngest” of the first part of our family then the “oldest” of the 2nd half but chronologically…I ended up in the middle when Mike (the youngest and to this day refers to him self as “Mike, saved the best for last”), the 5th child, was born nearly 17 years after my oldest brother, Tim. Wheeeew…did I lose you? No matter..birth order (pecking order as some call it) is whatever you want to make of it. That said, I am happy to be safe & snug in the middle of my siblings and wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, back to Emily. As is customary, for many years, I have gifted my nieces and nephews with photo shoots for their birthdays which begins with a FABulous hair session. What started as a simple idea has grown to include (sometimes) hours of hair preparation and several outfit changes. This year, Emily kept it simple with a ton of new layers and a date with a flat iron!  I love her energy and spunk. Here are a few of my faves…

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Emily, I love you. Thanks for hangin’ with me and allowing me to capture your spirit.

Owen’s First Birthday!

Last weekend I joined a family to photograph their son, Owen, for his first birthday! This was a big day for them. This family has quickly become quite special to me. You see, nearly 2 and 1/2 years ago I had the honor of coming along side them and photographing their daughter, Aliah, who never made it into this world. I’ve been a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep for a number of years and for some families…I walk into the room and I just know that a bond will form beyond the session for which I was called in for.  This family would prove to forge one of those bonds and they have changed my life forever as well. Thank you, Kelly and Jeff, for allowing me to capture your blessed Owen all along. From womb to 1…he’s one special guy and you will all remain in my heart forever. Happy 1st Birthday, Owen!

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Destination…Mexico.

I recently returned from an 8 day trip to Mexico. First, I spent 3 reflective days, by myself, in Play del Carmen then traveled north to join my sister and her family in Cancun for a little more action. I brought along a camera that “crapped out” on me upon my arrival and was forced to shoot with my iPhone. Fortunately, I wasn’t there to shoot a wedding! Besides, when I head out to photograph a wedding be it over seas, across a boarder or in the next county I always bring along plenty of back up! Thankfully, I was able to arrange for Anne to swing by my house, grab my other camera and bring it down with her!

I have to say, and I know I’m not alone on this one, that while destination weddings are a lot of work the rewards and results are always outstanding. Gorgeous backdrops are a given but getting to spend more time with the entire group of guests, leading up to the big day, makes you feel like family and everyone seems to loosen up more!

(Destination Wedding pricing is quoted individually and available upon request)

My sister’s family and I were poolside as the staff at the Marriott was prepping for a beach wedding on Palm Sunday. I grabbed this shot before things got crazy, I couldn’t resist!

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This trip was pure pleasure and relaxation for me and an escape from the past 5 months of my mother’s illness and passing. It was so good to be there with family!

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Pete, my brother-in-law, turned and asked me if I’d like him to take my photo and I handed him my camera and he got this great shot of me. Thanks, Pete! Thank you for everything!

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Thanks, again, Bakers! I love you.

Gemma.

I feel so fortunate and blessed to have the ability to love two occupations. Photographer and Hair Dresser. Quite a lovely  marriage of vocations, really. On occasion I get to do both for the same client~that’s what I really love! Yesterday, my niece, Gemma, came by to cash in on her Christmas present…haircolor (of her choice) an a fresh cut. After a rather quick consultation we decided to do a TON of blonde highlights on the top and go dark underneath for the “peek-a-boo” color. Gemma’s been dark for a while so it was fun to see her go lighter. Before she left, I grabbed a few shots….I love her. She’s growing up fast and is even going to head out to San Francisco in March for a first ever, on her own, trip! I’m so excited for her! I pulled out all of my San Francisco albums and reminisced about all of my love for that city. She’s pretty stoked about going and I’m excited for her! Perhaps one day she and I will go on an adventure somewhere, together.

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Jessie Selects a Pic!

Last Sunday, while most of my family was gathered out at mom’s hospice home to visit and watch the Vikings cream the Sea Hawks, I asked my niece if she’s like to pop outside and grab a few birthday shots on the grounds around the home. While she didn’t come prepared to have a photo shoot I thought she looked amazing and she was braggin’ up her new top that she’d just bought so I figured we should give it a go! I think she rocked it!

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Happy Birthday Emily!

Today my niece, Emily, turns 12!
Sunday, she and I got together to do our annual thing
of hair and a fashion/photo shoot. I look forward to
this every year for every birthday for all the kids!

Now, in that most 12 year old girls don’t get their hair
colored, let’s keep in mind that this is what I do and
of course a little color is fun, right? So I get to spend some
quality time with my nieces and nephews, and then photograph
them in a way that most parents wouldn’t ordinarily think of.
I mean, what’s an Aunt to do when armed with the tools!

If you are interested in giving this sort of gift to someone you
know and love, please contact me for a personalized quote.
Let’s leave the school photos in the year books and on the fridge!
It’s time to create some timeless images of your children.
This is not your mother’s glamour shots! icon wink Happy Birthday Emily!
And as always, I keep each session age appropriate.

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Happy Birthday Emily! I love you.

Kathryn's 1st Communion

I had the distinct honor of not only attending Kathryn’s
1st Communion but photographing her that day as well.
Rather than putting a slide show together, I’ve decided
that the images would be best viewed individually.

Kathryn is a complete natural beauty, loves the camera
and, luckily, loves me too. Oh, and also pictured is their
new puppy Sam. Sam is a Cavalier King Charles/Bichon mix.

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