Congrats to Michelle & Conner!  This lovely couple was married on a rainy, fall day in Minneapolis.  Luckily the skies cleared right before their sunset ceremony in the courtyard at the Mill City Museum!  This was one of my favorite weddings of the year and I’m so excited to share all the lovely details.  Michelle looked beyond stunning in her gorgeous Vera Wang gown from l’atelier couture and Conner looked equally dapper.  The entire day was perfection thanks to Mimi DesignJust Bloomed Florals, and all the other amazing vendors.  Enjoy!


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to road trip from Vegas to Salt Lake City.   I went to Vegas to attend WPPI– the biggest wedding photography convention in the world.  This was my fourth trip to WPPI and I love going because I get to see the latest and greatest in the photography industry, meet with vendors, and network with photographer friends from around the country!  Oh, and Vegas is kinda fun too! ;)

But this time, I secretly went to WPPI because at about this time last year, I came across this blog post on a fellow Minneapolitan’s photography site and I knew I needed to visit Zion- a mere 3 hour drive from Veags.  I immediately put WPPI 2014 on the calendar.  Then I figured, hey, as long as I’m in Utah, maybe I should hit up Arches National Park too.  Oh, and let’s just throw Goblin in there too.  I mean, I can fly home from Salt Lake City and it’s on the way.

I’m going to do a separate blog post to share my images of Zion, but for now, I wanted to share my images from Arches National Park and Goblin Valley State Park, which was inspired exclusively by this image from my favorite Instagrammer of all time (this is my second trip inspired by an image on Instagram; my first was a trip to Death Valley, inspired by this image).  Some of these images were even taken out of plane and car windows- on the road.  Utah is that beautiful.  The whole state looks like a national park.  I can’t wait to go back to Utah- one could easily spends weeks/months enjoying the parks.  Sadly, we zipped right past Bryce Canyon and Canyonlands.  There are too many parks to cram into one week.

As always, when I travel personally, I travel light.  I just brought my trusty Contax, a bag full of Fuji film, and my iPhone.  There are also one or two pictures taken with my travel mate, Laura’s, digital camera.   I also want to give a shoutout and big virtual hug to Laura.  This girl is so amazing, so full of life, and such a fun travel partner.  We had a blast!  #laura2themaxx!!

blog_title_decorationWHY I LOVE SHOOTING FILM… A LOOK BACK

It’s funny how an experience that was once terrifying is now liberating.

In 2009, I made an investment in a photography workshop that, truthfully, changed my business.  It altered my vision.  Maybe I already had the spark in me and the workshop simply ignited it, but it was a really special experience.  At the time, the decision to go the workshop was a difficult one.  Of course, I wanted to, but I wasn’t sure it would be a worthwhile investment as a new business owner who had mile long lists of things to be purchased and upgraded and obtained.

But for reasons I can no longer recall, I decided to go.  To just say yes.  The workshop was hosted by one of the leaders in the photography industry, Jose Villa.  At the workshop (which took place in Italy), Jose surprised the attendees with a day trip to Florence to explore and take photos.  The catch was that we could only bring one camera and one lens.  Though I always travel utilizing this method for personal trips now, when Jose first presented this challenge, it was terrifying. Terrifying.  It was the terrifying experience I was referring to in the opening line of this blog post.  As a digital photographer, I was used to the capricious feeling of having an almost limitless ability to fire off hundreds or thousands of photos on a whim.  I had an arsenal of lenses and equipment, and wasn’t always intentional with my photography, knowing that if I messed up a shot, I could simply retake it.  Or fire off dozens of shots of the same subject at various angles.  However, I decided to embrace the challenge, and instead of playing if safe and bringing my easy and comfortable digital camera, I brought a small film camera that I received at the workshop.  A camera I had never used or operated to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments for my day in Florence.  Not to mention, I only had three rolls of film (36 images in total!) at my disposal.  But I took a chance.  And fell in love with film.  I think I subconsciously knew before the workshop that I wanted to shoot film, but the workshop sealed the deal.  As soon as I got home, I started purchasing gear, and slowly started introducing film into my client work. Interestingly, as I became more intentional with my artistry and composition through shooting film, I saw a drastic change in my digital work too.

Now I shoot primarily film, and I love it because it helps me to slow down and enjoy the process.  Instead of shooting 10 shots and deleting 9, I just take one amazing shot.  It’s simple.  I’m all about slowing down and simplifying (in all areas of my life and business), so film seems fitting.  I love the beautiful, effortless feel.  I love the colors.  I love the latitude.  Each artist has their own preferences and film just speaks to me.  To me, everything looks prettier on film.

This blog post isn’t an endorsement for film.  It’s not an argument for film vs. digital.  It’s not an endorsement for attending Jose’s workshop, or attending workshops in general (though I do endorse attending Jose’s workshop, for the record!).  It’s just about taking a chance, finding your passion.  Having fun and enjoying the process.  Here are a few of those precious 36 images I captured in Florence that day: