floral_elementZION NATIONAL PARK

National parks are pretty much my new favorite vacation destination and Zion just might be the best of them all (at least of the parks I’ve been to thus far)!  Truth be told; prior to a year ago, I didn’t know much about Zion.  I’d heard of it, but I certainly couldn’t have pinpointed it on a map and I didn’t know about it’s grandeur.  Then, I happened across a blog post on a fellow photographer’s site (ah, the magic of social media) and I fell in love.  (I mean, her pics are pretty darn stellar!!)  I think I scrolled through the photos a dozen times.  Right then and there I promised myself I would go!  Zion happens to be pretty close to Las Vegas, and luckily for me, there is an annual photography convention in Vegas!  Perfect excuse.

Fast forward to March of 2014.  I attended the conference, and had a blast with my photographer friends.  Afterwards, my travel-partner-in-crime, Laura, and I headed out for a road trip through Utah, with Zion being the highlight.  Zion is absolutely breathtaking.  Early March is quiet around the park, so you won’t see too many cars on the roads or hikers on the trails.  We enjoyed serenity, nature, and gorgeous views from every vantage point.  The highlight of Zion was definitely hiking up to Angel’s Landing.  The trail is 5 miles round trip, with a 1488 ft elevation gain, but it the last quarter mile of the trail that features the most stunning views.  It’s treacherous and requires hikers holding on to chains to avoid dropping off the 1000-1488′ cliffs.  Literally.  Some areas are so narrow two hikers can’t even pass each other and since you’re following a ridge, there are dramatic drop offs on BOTH sides.  Needless to say, my camera was safely tucked away for the majority of the hike- I only snapped pics in wider areas of the ridge and at the summit.  I didn’t create this video, but if you want a 3-min consolidated version of the hike from the safety of your home, check out this video.

I say this about every place I travel too, but I really, really want to return to Zion.  It’s such a special place.

Photos captured on a Contax 645 with Fuji 400H film, iPhone and a couple on Laura’s Canon MkIII.
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floral_elementMICHELLE & CONNER | MILL CITY WEDDING

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!
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floral_elementROAD TRIP THROUGH UTAH

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!!
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