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.

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I have been a member of the ClickinMoms community for a few years now, and it’s been a really great resource for me. I’ve been privileged enough to have met several local ladies, and many of them I now call friends. One of the great things about this community is how they now coordinate annual photowalks – across the globe! A scheduling conflict prevented me from attending last year’s walk, but when I saw the photos the ladies took and shared, I knew there could be no excuse to miss the next walk! So when the date was announced and a Minnesota location was chosen, I made sure to to make it work. What’s even better is that this year the walk was scheduled to take place in Stillwater – a city I have always heard great things about, but have never had the fortune to visit for myself. Thus, I *had* to go.

This year’s walk was not a disappointment – even with the lengthy drive to and from. The fall colors the whole way down were absolutely brilliant! Even better, the temperature that day nearly hit 80 degrees. It was BEAUTIFUL. (Ok, so maybe the steep hills and lack of parking did have me muttering a few unsavory words, but it was totally worth it.)

I wanted to be able to share some of my personal work here. It’s especially important for me to take the time to photograph things that are not client related. It helps to feed my creative soul, and it affords me the time to try some unorthodox things that aren’t well-suited to client work. I think it’s also good to share some of the things I do for myself because it helps to present who I am as an artist and what it is that I find beautiful and interesting. So I have put together this set of images I created during that photowalk and have decided to share them here.

I present to you my take on downtown Stillwater MN.

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