One of the best parts of my job is when I get to sort of vicariously live through a someone's project that speaks to me as a creative person. Stone masonry has always interested me, for many reasons, namely that it's the perfect blend of using one's imagination and artistry with manual labor.
Pig masks, pinups and perfectly prepared donuts — it sounds like a your ordinary birthday for any three year old, right? Hardly. But I can't say I'm surprised the the items above were on the agenda for Ozkar's third birthday. Ozkar and his parents are unique to say the least. I've been working with this handsome little guy since he was only a couple of weeks old. We've had the meaningful tradition of doing photo sessions on his actual birthday for the past three years. And with this most recent being Ozkar's Golden Birthday, I knew something fantastic would be in store. What was the most special about the event, though, was simply the fact that I was along for the ride. You see, the family just went about their typical routine, as if it were any other Saturday, spending time together doing what they love. I was there to document the moments while the family did a couple of Ozkar's favorite things: shopping for records, and eating amazing donuts! It's the type of photography I enjoy the most.
We started the morning off with a trip to The Electric Fetus, a record store (yes, they still exist) that I frequented as a teenager. While I have to admit I embrace the digital age and dabble in streaming music, it was refreshing to see the concept of thumbing through albums being passed on to the next generation. Ozkar was gifted the opportunity to select his own record to bring home. He chose the latest from Minnesota's own, Trampled By Turtles. The store was peppered with Halloween décor and costumes, hence, the pig mask reference at the lede of this post (it was a stretch, I know, but I'm a sucker for alliteration).
Next we made a stop to satiate the taste buds of even the most discerning three year olds (or 30-somethings for that matter). Ozkar's parents had a delicious surprise waiting for him when they arrived at Glam Doll Donuts. The artists had prepared a wonderfully monsterous donut spread for Ozkar to dive into — and he did. Ozkar made sure all around could see just how much he enjoyed the sweet creations. I was keen on having, ahem, the Girl Next Door, an unexpected pastry featuring provolone and muenster cheese. Hello awesome!
Oh yeah, and in between bites we were able to get some tasty photos of the family, too! Thanks so much to the staff at Glam Doll Donuts and The Electric Fetus for makings all feel at home!
Happy birthday, Ozkar! I'm wishing you another year full of memories that will last a lifetime.
I'm a little biased to my own wedding, and for good reason. While I enjoy each and every event I'm fortunate to be a part of as a wedding photographer, there aren't many that make me think: A-ha, this is how I would do it if I married my wife again. Well, Jacob and Karina, with the two of you I had that a-ha moment. From the relaxed nature of the day, to the gorgeous look of every detail, to the lip-smacking food offerings — I kept saying over and over to myself: "Why didn't I think of that?" I couldn't duplicate your vision. Your wedding day was all uniquely you and that's what makes it wonderful. I'm sure some of your brilliant ideas, however, just might inspire some weddings to come.
Hair and makeup: Salon Sa Bel (www.salonsabel.com)
Hotel: The Hotel Minneapolis (www.thehotelminneapolis.com)
Wedding gown: L'Atelier Couture in Minneapolis. Designed by Elizabeth Fillmore (www.lateliercouturebridal.com)
Hairpiece: Pink Pewter (www.amazon.com)
Pocket square: Heimie's Haberdashery, St. Paul (www.heimies.com)
Rather than uniform bridesmaids dresses, Karina had all of her attendants choose their gowns from whatever source they desired. "I just requested a mix of greys, silvers, beiges and champagnes," Karina said. The results were stunning, bringing everyone together for a unified and vintage look without the ladies looking costumed or overly done. The guys were given similar instructions. These unique touches extended throughout the wedding day.
I think what struck me most about Jacob's and Karina's wedding day was just how personalized and genuine every detail came out to be. There was no pretense. Everyone came as who they are and celebrated their individuality. Even the desserts were one of a kind. Several guests were tasked to bring their own dessert bars and recipes to share with everyone — I might have snagged a lemon bar (kudos to whoever made those!). Jacob and Karina proved over and over again there's no standards you need to follow to leave a lasting impression. Who would have thought an Edwardian headpiece would play alongside perfectly with an ooey-gooey stuffed hamburger? These guys did!
And did I mention just how delicious the custom-created "I Do" Burger and foodie-fave Gatsby Burger were from The Blue Door Pub? Don't get me started! Let's just say I daydream about ground chuck stuffed with brisket braised in a red wine reduction on a daily basis (yup, meat stuffed with meat). Pat and Molly from The Blue Door Pub did a fantastic job catering to such a large crowd. I don't think a morsel was left over. When you see the eclectic mix of, well, just about everything at Architectural Antiques you'll see every facet of Jacob and Karina's wedding made perfect sense.
Flowers: Secret Garden of Rice, MN
Post-ceremony libation: Indeed Brewing Company Taproom (www.indeedbrewing.com)
Catering: Blucys from The Blue Door Pub (www.thebluedoorpubmn.com)
Venue: Architectural Antiques, Minneapolis (www.archantiques.com)
Music: Patty and the Buttons (www.pattyandthebuttons.com)
From the bride and Groom: "We met with several wedding photographers who were quite talented, but there was something special about Anthologie's photos. We were drawn to Dan's style of capturing beautiful moments in a photojournalist style. When we met with Dan, we sensed his true desire to capture the unique and special moments of our wedding, rather than the trappings of traditional wedding photography. Indeed, Dan and his partner for the day, John, made themselves invisible to us, but were always "there" at all the right moments to capture things as they were happening, knowing and sensing what mattered most. Dan was easy to work with, professional, and extremely thoughtful. We couldn't be happier with his photos from the day. They are truly stunning and we feel grateful to have stumbled upon his talents."
I'm blushing over here, guys! Wow, your kind words mean a lot and John and I couldn't have been happier to find such a great couple to work with. We were honored to be a part of your day. Cheers to you and your happiness!
There's so much more to creating the portrait of a high school senior than traditional senior pictures. Friends, jobs and activities play such an important role of shaping who students are at this age and who they will become in the future. I was fortunate enough this spring to document two lacrosse games for Alex, a senior at Farmington High School. The games were late in the season and illustrate how special (and fleeting) the moments are leading up to graduation. Within a few short weeks of making these photos commencement was underway and many of the boys were headed their separate ways. Being on hand to see some of the last huddles, introductions on the field and celebrations among friends was quite special.
The first game went into double overtime (with Farmington coming out victorious), and, as I think these pictures show, as much of the story is told off the field as in the heart of the action.
Miguel stays the course and lands the love of his life — Stacy
By Emily Zimmer | Photos by Dan Iverson | Anthologie
Location: The Gardens of Castle Rock
Miguel and Stacy met in the fall of 2006 at Winona State University. Miguel was doing homework in his dorm room when Stacy came bursting in. Stacy said friends had suggested she meet Miguel so she decided to drop in.
“I was being a good college student and studying,” Miguel said. “Stacy came back from a party and burst in my room and started bothering me.”
At Winona, Stacy worked as a resident advisor and Miguel has friends who were also RAs. Sharing a group of friends, Miguel and Stacy started to see each other often. Overtime the two found that they shared a similar sense of humor.
Over the next three years, their friendship grew and the two started spending more time together, just the two of them.
Early on, Miguel said he was interested in being more than friends but Stacy didn’t want a boyfriend.
“I was the girl who never wanted to get married,” Stacy said.
Every now and again, Miguel would suggest they start dating but Stacy kept declining.
“It was a cat-and-mouse game. I was very hard to get,” Stacy explained.
Then one night, while out at for drinks, Stacy and Miguel kissed. While talking about the night makes them both blush, that kiss would lead to the start of their romance.
The kiss occurred shortly before summer break. That summer Stacy moved back to the Twin Cities to do her student teaching and Miguel traveled to visit her.
“When he came to visit, I realized he really did like me,” Stacy said.
After the kiss and his visit, Miguel said he felt like his persistence was paying off.
So one more time, Miguel asked Stacy if she wanted to start dating. This time Stacy said “maybe.”
For Miguel that maybe was as good as a yes.
“Her maybe was an ‘OK, I’m in,’” said Miguel.
After that the two became inseparable.
“We travel well together,” Stacy said.
Specifically, Miguel and Stacy enjoy taking road trips together.
“I used to hate road trips but with Miguel it’s different. I really love taking road trips with him,” said Stacy.
They like seeing the sites, listening to music and having the chance to enjoy each other’s company, Stacy said.
Not all their travels have gone smoothly, though. A few years back, the couple took a trip to the Grand Canyon over a long holiday weekend. Specifically, the couple wanted to drive Route 66.
“It’s so iconic, we just felt like we had to see it,” said Stacy.
Not sure how far they would get, the couple decided to wing it instead of making hotel reservations. That turned out to be a bad decision.
Finding a room in Flagstaff, Ariz., the town nearest the Grand Canyon, proved to be difficult and very expensive. The couple ended up paying more than $300 for a trashy room.
“We just both sat and cried and then we got a pizza and laughed about it,” Miguel said.
While the experience was stressful, Miguel said the trip proved to be a good bonding moment for he and Stacy. Specifically, he said being able to find humor in less-than-desirable situations is what makes them work as a couple.
A life-changing trip
For the couple’s four-year anniversary, Miguel surprised Stacy with a trip to Chicago. Little did Stacy know, Miguel had also asked for her parents’ blessing to propose.
“Miguel asked for my dad’s blessing. That was a big deal for my mom and dad,” said Stacy.
On the plane ride to Chicago, Stacy said Miguel seemed out of sorts but she didn’t give it much thought because they had experienced some bad flights recently. The first night in Chicago, Stacy and Miguel did some sightseeing and called it an early night.
The next morning, Miguel gave Stacy a gift. It was a small picture book with photographs of the two throughout their relationship and little written messages.
After Stacy finished reading the book, Miguel asked her to go back to each page and read the first letter. When put together the letters spelled out ‘Marry Me.’
Miguel then got down on one knee and formally proposed. Obviously, Stacy said “yes” and the couple called their families to announce the good news.
The book itself has become a treasure for the couple. The idea for the picture book organically came to Miguel. He had been researching ways to propose and didn’t see anything he thought was fitting. Then one day, the idea to do the picture book just came to him. Down the road, Stacy said it’s something they will show to their kids.