Stillwater, MN engagement photographer | Kayla and Justin

photocrati gallery As a photographer I always have to have an open mind and be ready for any challenge that comes my way, whether it be equipment failure, difficult lighting or an unexpected thunderstorm. Working on location means something can pop up to test your expertise at any time. Mental challenges also have their place in the world of professional photography. If my creativity is failing or my client is having a bad day it can make all the difference in the finished pictures. Few people realize how much a stunning image relies just as much on a trusting relationship with the photographer and the model as it does technical and artistic skills behind the lens.

That's why I was a bit apprehensive when the day came for Kayla's and Justin's engagement session. Kayla had had a lot of bad experiences with photographers in the past and she was cautiously optimistic about her engagement pictures. She had done her research and was a fan of my work, but still had plenty of mild warnings for me: "These had better not suck," I believe was one of them (at least to paraphrase). To make matters worse we had not had a chance to personally meet before the photo session, so building that trusting relationship I prefer  was several steps behind.

Fortunately, all of those uneasy feelings quickly washed away once we started working. We chose beautiful downtown Stillwater, MN as the backdrop for Kayla's and Justin's engagement pictures since it's a place the couple has frequented throughout their relationship. Above and beyond that, though, was how open these two were to all of my suggestions and I to theirs. The session time flew by, I was having a blast, and I think Kayla and Justin really got caught up in their emotions. It's plain to see how much love these two have for each other in the pictures. The icing on the cake was the beautiful make up on Kayla from the talented Brooke Fleetwood and an amazing full moon that put an exclamation point on the day.

Kayla and Justin were thrilled with their finished engagement pictures and we added a lot more trust to that photographer-model relationship. I'm so looking forward to photographing their wedding celebration down the road. I'd love to hear what you think of the photos. Please feel free to comment using the link at the top of this post. Thanks for viewing!

Wayzata High School Senior Photographer | Ruth

photocrati gallery It's always such an enjoyable experience to work with someone once we've had time to plan out their photo session in advance. For high school senior portraits this may sound like perhaps a bit of over thinking it. After all, the goal is to simply to create a great picture of the subject — to preserve how they looked at this important time in their life.

I believe the best pictures are made when the photographer and the subject have a great deal of trust for one another. So, simply meeting for a cup of coffee and getting to know one another can make both parties that much more relaxed when it comes time for the actual photography session.

This was definitely the case with Wayzata Senior High School student, Ruth. As a student volunteer at a church summer camp, her time to schedule senior pictures was very limited. We made a point to get together right after her junior year ended and talk about her personality and what she hoped to achieve with her senior portraits. Faith and reading are a big part of her life so we worked to incorporate some of those themes in while at the same time simply showing who Ruth is as a young woman. The best part about planning is that I was able to explore an area I often photograph in — Minneapolis' Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins — but in a new light. I'm very pleased with the results. If you like what you see, please comment, like or share. Thanks for viewing!

Hometown Love Affair

Engagement Gallery: Erin & Charlie Erin and Charlie grew up just miles apart, and even went to the same high school. However, it wouldn't be until after the two left their hometowns that they would come together. To honor their roots, we chose the downtown and surrounding rural areas of Dundas, MN for the couple's engagement photos.





What's always fun is discovering what's hidden in plain sight. Though Erin had grown up mere blocks from where the bulk of the engagement pictures were made, she and Charlie had never explored some of the locations where we held our session.

Erin and Charlie might want to switch careers to become models. Throughout our time together it seemed as though the couple does this sort of thing on a daily basis! They were so at ease and had such wonderful expressions. That being said, capturing the emotion of their wedding day will be even more exciting and is sure to lend itself to creating even better photos. I can't wait!