Win-win photography

Katie sounded genuinely excited when I relayed to her the news that she was the winner of Anthologie's "No Foolin' Spring Photography" promotion. Truth be told, I was just as enthusiastic to make for her some great family pictures. That's because Katie is just the sort of person I love to work for — she's a  photographer.

Does that mean I relish the idea of a fellow shutterbug critiquing my creative work with a fine-tooth comb? Not exactly, though it does help to get constructive criticism. No, the reason I enjoy having photographers as the subject of my pictures is because, like me, they're never in any of their photos!

Katie and I go way back, probably 15 years or more. She was actually a classmate of mine in high school, a photo classmate to be specific, as was her husband, Stephan. I hadn't talked with the couple regularly in some time, and hadn't even seen them face to face in about a year, so it was a welcome surprise when their names were selected at random to win an Anthologie custom photo session.

We chose the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as the backdrop to their lifestyle portrait session. There, the couple's three children would be free to explore the grounds while physical space provided some meaningful context to the pictures, since the Stombergs live in the neighborhood.

It was a challenge to balance catching up with old friends while at the same time doing my best to be a fly on the wall for the kids as they did what they did best — play. What impressed me most was just how close all the siblings were despite their separation in age. When I'm working, posing for pictures is kept to an absolute minimum. All the images of the kids walking together, holding hands and enjoying each other's company was all real! And despite the ever-plummeting temperatures and bitter wind, everyone had a picture-perfect disposition.

Thank you, Stomberg family, for being such great models. This photography session was a win-win for all of us!