Anthologie making headlines

Tyler sets the scene for a late-night proposal May 9, 2009, in North Mankato. In early May we were thrilled to have one of our favorite clients contact us for a very special occasion. Tyler, whose family I have been documenting for the past yer, had planned to propose. I was fortunate enough to capture the moment and sort of become part of the story. See my earlier blog post HERE.

Shortly thereafter, we were contacted by a writer from the Mankato Free Press who had read our blog and was intrigued by the story. John and I, along with Tyler and Ashley, were interviewed in late May for a feature story which highlighted the entire experience and was recently published in the Free Press "Currents" section. Click HERE to read the full story, "Picture perfect proposal" by Sara Gilbert Frederick.

Flowers, candles and a baby boy

Tyler plots the perfect proposal

Since proposing to my own wife eight years ago, I’ve relished the idea of capturing that significant moment for another couple. Today that idea became a reality.

On Thursday, Tyler contacted me to let me know he was planning to propose to Ashley on Friday night - make that Saturday morning - after her shift got off and wanted to see if I’d be available to record this event for their family. (I have been documenting their family history since July 2008. You may recognize them from our “Miracle of Life” portfolio).

I was thrilled and honored that Tyler would have the pressence of mind to contact me for such a momentous and deeply personal occassion. Of course I would be there, the challenge was how to pull this off at 3 a.m. with sparse ambient light and without Ashley noticing me as I in no way wanted to interfere with what happened and with respect to their privacy.

My first question: “How are you going to do this Tyler?”

He wanted to involve their son Logan. Tyler shared with me at the hospital shortly after Logan’s birth that he knew he wanted to marry Ashley and that life’s events simply came at them out of traditional order. Thus, he had the opportunity to allow their 8-month-old son to be a part of a milestone typically reserved for two.

Tyler had a T-shirt made for Logan saying “Will you marry my daddy?” on the front with a “yes/no” on the back. They both wore tuxedos and Tyler flooded their home with tea candles and flowers for Ashley’s arrival — sorry ladies, Tyler doesn’t have brothers.

Tyler further set the scene by creating a path that would lead Ashley to the dining room (the same dining room where I began the couple’s 9-month maternity photos) where Logan would be encircled by candles with the box for the engagement ring at his side. From there? Tyler didn’t have a plan.

It’s just something that he would figure out as it happened, he said.

All that remained was for Ashley to come home.

After much pacing and some comforting to Logan who had been up way past his bedtime, Tyler finally received word that Ashley was on her way home. I made my way out into their backyard where under the cover of darkness I would be able to peer my lens through a break in the curtains that Tyler had arranged for me.

At long last Ashley came home and discovered Tyler and Logan waiting on the dining room floor. I sensed she figured out what was going on as I could hear her cyring through the walls. Luckily, I was behind glass so that what was said between Ashley and Tyler was completely private as Tyler got down on one knee and put the ring on Ashley’s finger.

I could then hear Ashley struggle through tears to excitedly say “I can’t believe this is happening!” and “Yes!”

After a few short seconds I was gone and Ashley had no clue I was even there — until now!

Congratulations Ashley! I’m so excited for you both.

I was able to interview Tyler as he waited out the final moments before Ashley’s arrival so look forward to a complete story and more photos soon.

Big Apple taste, small town charm

Dino's New York Style Pizzaria whets our appetite for food blogging

One of the many benefits of working with clients from outside our home base is that we get to travel. And one of the best ways to get acquainted with a community is by sampling the local fare. John has very specific tastes, especially when it comes to pizza, so whenever we're heading out of town you can bet we're looking up the best pizza joint at our destination. Last Saturday was no exception.

After getting to finally meet up with Chris and Patrick in Mankato, we headed over the bridge to North Mankato and were instantly taken with Dino's New York Style Pizzaria. I had previously been to Dino's and was excited to let John take part in the experience.


Restaurateurs take note: Dino's has done everything the way it should be done. The historic charm of the building is in tact, the lighting and interior design is well thought out, the staff is friendly and the bathrooms are spotless. Oh yeah, and the food is simply amazing.

John and I are both minimalists in just about all facets of life, including pizza. We're big believers in that a pizza shouldn't have too many toppings confusing the palate. I tend to opt for a simple sausage and cheese while John's signature dish is the pepperoni with no cheese. We were both impressed with the depth of flavors in Dino's handmade sauce and the texture of perfectly crisp thin crust.

Do yourself a favor, head to North Mankato, go to Dino's, order a one-topping pizza and bask in the majesty of simplistic dining.

Their story, our story - begins now

Christine and Patrick prompt a new chapter in Anthologie's history While John and I have been working together for some time, there are always events that denote significance in the Anthologie timeline. For example, Feb. 5 is an important date to us, because it's the day our company became officially registered. March 11 will also hold weight with Anthologie, because its when we first met up with our then-potential clients Christine and Patrick.


When we traveled to Mankato last weekend to introduce ourselves to Chris and Pat, they had no idea they would become central figures in our own story. They were the first to make a check payable to Anthologie. With all the work on our website and changes to our personal websites we only recently found the time to set up our new bank accounts!

Chris and Pat are an awesome, down-to-earth couple and we can't wait to capture all the meaningful moments on their wedding day. However, we almost never had a chance to meet them. They had originally planned a destination wedding and had another photographer booked, but turbulence between resort representatives and their travel agent had Chris and Pat frustrated to say the least. They decided a wedding closer to home would be easier on everyone.

After some less-than-ideal experiences with area photographers, Chris and Pat were about ready to give up on wedding photos all together. Luckily, some of our remarkable clients dropped our name and a few e-mails later we were meeting face to face. The rest, ahem, is history.

We'll be giving Chris and Pat 110 percent for sticking with it and supporting the entire photography industry. We're excited to get to know them more and will have a lot of fun during their e-session (hopefully, in the next month or so). Of course, we'll share some of their photos and tell you more about them. Stay tuned...