Confession time: These are LAST year’s Valentine’s Day photos. I never blogged them last year, because, as usual, they were done the evening before Valentine’s Day, and by the time I was ready to share them, they were no longer ‘in season.’ So, I decided to hold onto them until Valentine’s Day rolled around this year so that they wouldn’t seem so out of place. And who knows, maybe next year at this time I’ll be sharing photos from this year’s Valentine’s day session. That’s the way falling behind works. *wink, wink*

At any rate, this is my very own little cutie pie. My daughter. My little munchkin. When I was pregnant with her, she had a due date shortly after Valentine’s Day, and so I always thought of her as my own special little Valentine. Well, turns out she had other plans, and came out with a January birthday. But it’s still close enough to Valentine’s day that her yearly photo session often takes on the Valentine theme.

I have been wanting to take photos of her in her winter hat for a long time. I love the way it looks so cute on her! And often times, she wears her hats around the house long after having come in from the cold. (I guess she takes after her dad that way. Me, I NEVER wear hats. Like, ever.)

I also had this fun idea with glittery hearts I wanted to try. Throw in a few candy conversation hearts, and we had the makings of a very cute, very fun photo session.


After all was said and done, here are the Valentine’s we created to hand out to her classmates.


Aren’t these just the cutest?! We printed them wallet sized, and packaged them with some pixie stix in a clear cellophane bag, and tied it all up with ribbon. Super easy, and super cute! I just love making homemade valentines!


Working hard on my 2013 resolution to share more of my photography here on my blog. I had hopes to blog 1-2 times per week, but as you can see, it’s been over a month since my last post! No excuses; I’m just trying to make a point to share things more frequently because I have had so many wonderful clients and photo sessions over the last year or so that I’m eager to share with everyone!

This family is no exception. After trying to coordinate our schedules for a couple months and find a date that worked for the both of us, we eventually found ourselves together on a Saturday evening, late in June of last summer. I found a wonderful location just a short distance from their home, and we set out to have little Miss A’s photos taken! We even managed to get mom and dad into a few shots as well.

I love this little girl’s dress, and of course, her beautiful blue eyes! She’s quite an adorable little girl! Of course, mom and dad have passed on their wonderful genes, and they are just such a photogenic little family!

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Well, it’s 2013, and I can hardly believe another year has come and gone. I am so very grateful to all my clients who helped make 2012 be an amazing year for me and my business! As I was trying to think of ways to make 2013 be bigger and better, one very important thing stuck out: I need to blog more frequently. Honestly. When I set out with relaunching my photography business in 2010, I did so with great intentions to blog every session and to FREQUENTLY share my work online. And in 2010 and 2011 I did a pretty decent job.

2012 was another story altogether.

Somehow in the midst of all the crazy chaos of working full-time and trying to build a successful photography business on the side, I just did not make enough time to make blogging a priority. Last year, I blogged just ONE of my portrait sessions. Completely unacceptable! I WANT to share my photos and create a bigger and better web presence, and so my big and lofty goal for 2013 is to make a more dedicated effort to making blogging a priority for me and for my business.

I have had a personal blog for nearly 8 years now. (And sadly, 2011 and 2012 were not good years there either.) It was a place I shared my personal photography (including a project 365/photo a day in 2009) and some of my non-photography creative endeavors. But I think that going forward, I will be less concerned about keeping my personal photography separate from my business photography and to make a more deliberate effort into sharing my photography all in a single place.

I tallied this morning all the blog posts I *want* to do (also known as The Blog To Do List) and I came up with nearly 30 separate topics I want to share and NEED to share – and that’s just from 2012! As 2013 continues on, there will be additional topics to add to the list, so I feel it’s important for me to make a commitment to blog more of my stuff more frequently. A New Year’s Resolution, if you will.

And so, the hardest part for me is deciding where to start. I have so many wonderful client sessions I want to post and share, but I decided to kick the year off with a series of photos of my little girl. I may have mommy goggles when it comes to her, but I have so much fun photographing her and trying new things with her. During a family vacation last summer, I finally had the opportunity to try the beach session with her that I had long been thinking about. Honestly, this session took about 10 minutes, start to finish, and it was truthfully all I really needed in order to capture what I wanted with her. I haven’t really shared these before now, so I’m excited to be able to post something new here, something personal but something I am also very proud of.

What I love most about this series of photos is that it’s imperfect and honest. We didn’t do her hair, and her white dress is at least a year old and is worn and stained. And her fingernails and toenails are sporting some week-old (read: chipped) nail polish. And yet, all those things are what makes these photos so real, and it’s what makes them so special to me.

Taken along the shores of Little Bemidji Lake near Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota in August of 2012.




These adorable kids and their equally adorable parents were the fortunate recipients of a photo session gifted to them by a bunch of their closest friends. Initially, we tried to make it a surprise after a conversation with mom and a mutual friend revealed that they had never had a family portrait taken. However, coordinating schedules proved to be too big of a challenge to pull off a surprise, so we had to let them in on it. (Probably a good thing, too… it gave mom and dad some time to coach the little ones on how to practice their pretty smiles!)

So we met up at their home one HOT and buggy Friday night to capture some sweet and precious moments of them as a family. They were all troopers!

I’m seriously in love with these little faces. They were so cute and so silly, and I can only hope that they love how beautiful their family photos have turned out.




Let me explain that title a little bit! After spending some time with these kids during their mini session, they started to actually like me! Shortly after the session, mom and I spent a weekend together scrapbooking photos of our precious cuties. Well, it turns out, my car decided to fail me when it was time to return home, and dad had to come and pick us up from the car dealership to which my car was towed. When I got in their car, these two little cuties argued about who got to sit by me and even invited me to a little sleepover at their house! I have never felt so loved!!!

At any rate, this is the second time I’ve photographed these two little ones. Two years ago, when I did a portfolio call, I photographed the two of them in their backyard, being cute kids. (Some day I will go back and blog some of those sessions from the archives!)

We had so much fun being silly this day. For a brother and sister, they got along strangely well – hugging and holding hands even if I didn’t necessarily ask them to. And certainly no one saying “Ewww!” In other words, these kids were a dream to work with. Except for maybe one teeny tiny little meltdown at the very end… but when working with 3 year olds, you gotta expect it. Otherwise, they were perfect. I even convinced mom and dad to join in on a few pictures.


Seriously cute stuff happening here. I can’t wait until I can photograph them again.

Stephanie and I go way back, nearly all the way to high school. She’s a dear friend to me, and a loyal client. I’ve been photographing her daughter since she was a month old. When I announced my mini sessions, Stephanie was the first to sign up. Her children are fun, energetic, and lively. They are also great subjects in front of the camera.

What more can I saw about how incredible this session was. The kids were so much fun to be around, and so enthusiastic! I’m so very happy with how this session turned out. As usual, mom did a great job coordinating outfits for everyone. And can I let you in on a secret? I LOVE ripped jeans. I’m not into fancy, formal, perfect stuff. The fact that big sis wore flip flops for the session? Perfection.



I featured a session with these kiddos last year on this blog. You can see them here:

Look how much they have changed and grown over the last year. Such sweet kids. I look forward to next year’s session.

Every once in awhile, I remember to photograph my own child, too. At the end of my day of mini sessions, I planned to take Gianna’s portraits to use on our holiday cards. Have I ever mentioned how Gianna entered this world? When I was pregnant with her, my water broke three weeks before my due date, putting my plans for a controlled induction into a crazy tail spin. THEN, she refused to come out for another 25 hours. Yep, stubborn from the get-go this one is. Stubborn, and spunky, and determined. Yet, I can’t imagine her any other way. All this means is that when I planned to do this session with her, I knew what I was in for. Six-and-a-half years of experience with her tells me my time with her in front of the camera is limited, and I have to learn to move quickly before she’s done.

I feel lucky to have captured as much as I did that day. In fact, my biggest obstacle wasn’t a temperamental subject, it was the quickly fading sunlight. (To be fair, it wasn’t so much that she was temperamental, it was that she had very specific ideas on the types of poses she was interested in doing. We are currently in a blowing-kisses phase.) 

Here she is, my beautiful daughter, growing up far too quickly for this sentimental momma.