While I was out {My Life}

About a month ago I decided I needed to take a bit of a break from doing any new sessions to catch up on some processing that needed to happen, take care of some other things I had going on at my other jobs, focus on school work, and enjoy a bit of summer fun.  That month seemed to have flown by and crawled all at once. I didn’t achieve the catching up on school-work goal, and there are still some shoots that I’m finishing up, but it was a very productive break in that I got to spend some extra time with the people in my life who make everything worthwhile. 🙂 So before getting back into the swing of shooting this week I thought I’d give you all a glimpse into my month.

Spent a lovely Birthday weekend on the St. Croix River.

Numerous visits to the Farmer’s Markets in St. Paul and Minneapolis

Celebrated my amazing mother turning 50!

Visited with family.

Watched a theater camp final performance, celebrated birthdays and got to spend lots of time with these crazy kids and their wonderful parents.

Spent Monday evenings loving on some neighborhood kids.

Spent time laughing and catching up with lots of friends from all over.  Visited new wineries and restaurants and got to see this cutie and her parents!

Completed my first 5k (walked…here’s hoping for a completed my first 5k ran post this fall).

Now. Back to it!

Rest.

For many in Saint Paul this weekend marked the first weekend of summer. For those of us who live in the collegiate world summer’s been here for about a month already.  And summer came in with a bang. May was gone in a whirlwind of graduations, confirmation and weddings.  If this weekend’s any indication, June will not sit around and play second fiddle. (Makes one a bit nervous for July and August).  In an effort to remain sane, maintain some sort of balance, and enjoy the beauty of summer myself I’ll be “closed” for the next month.  I’ll be catching up on sessions from May and June and responding to emails as they come in but won’t be doing any new shoots until after July 15th.  If you want to get in for a session in the second half of summer (or in the fall) feel free to shoot me an email at meghuff @ gmail.com and we can schedule that at any time.  So thank you to everyone who has made the first half of summer amazing, and to those of you wanting to get in yet this summer I’ll see you in July or August!

Alyssa and Taylor {Engagement Session}

I can’t think of a better way to end the weekend than at a beautiful state park with a fun couple and an eager to help mother-of-the-bride.  Alyssa and Taylor and Alyssa’s mom, Kris, met me at Minneopa State Park on Sunday evening just in time for some gorgeous evening light.  Never having been to Minneopa before I was blown away by the beauty of the falls, and slightly disappointed that the stair pathway only went down to the river, without wrapping back around to the falls.  Thankfully when asked how adventurous they were feeling everyone voted for taking the “not an official path” path that had been worn by other hikers along the creek. Now that might seem like no-big-deal to you, but when doing it in flip-flops they definitely get adventure points!  I’m looking forward to seeing these two again in August for their wedding.

Memorial Day Giveaway!

On this day when we remember and honor all the men and women who have died serving our country I’d like to offer a thank you to all of our veterans and the families who support them.  I will be giving away a 1hour family photo session package ( includes 30 edited images, DVD of all images from the session, and a 8×10 print).  This contest is open to anyone who has or is currently serving in our armed forces.  Winners must live (or be willing to travel) to either the Twin Cities (MN), Madison (WI), or Neenah (WI).

 To enter this contest simply:

1. Like the MegHuff Photography page on Facebook

2. Post a photo of your military family* (Include your name, branch and years served)

3. Encourage your friends and family to vote for your photo by liking it on the Facebook page

Voting will run through Thursday, May 21st with the winner being announced on Friday, June 1st.

*Side note: Family can be whatever you wish it to be-grandparent, aunts/uncles, group of friends, etc.  The only rule is that it must include one veteran.

Kelly & David ~ Minneapolis, Wedding

Ok, confession time. When I heard Lakewood Cemetery was the location for Kelly and David’s wedding I was a little nervous, and there may have been visions of the wedding party intermixed between headstones replaying in my head.  But let me tell you, the Lakewood Memorial Chapel and surrounding grounds are one of the most beautiful places I’ve discovered here in the Twin Cities.  However, the beauty of this chapel was nothing compared to the radiance of Kelly and David’s smiles as one of them would ask the other, “Do you know what today is?” and the other would answer “Our wedding day!”  The beauty of the day continued into the service which was a wonderful reminder of God’s plan for marriage, and that despite the beauty of the day-it was just a day.  That the colors, the make-up, the hair, the gorgeous surroundings were all just details in a day that began a life together, a life united in a God who designed each detail in loving perfection.  May God continue to bless you two on this beautiful journey! Enjoy the previews below:

Amanda & Philip {Wedding}

Amanda and Philip were married on a beautiful Sunday evening in Fargo, ND at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. It was a wonderful day spent with their family and friends as they committed their lives to each other.  Amanda and Philip’s story began about four years ago when they met and began dating during their freshman year at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN.  Anyone who has spent time with these two could attest to the fact that they belong together.  Their story is a terrific reminder of God’s design in everything.  Amanda is a Florida girl who came to the North to pursue her calling to be a Director of Christian Education.  Philip is a North Dakota boy who came to Concordia to play baseball and explore his love of Math and education.  Two different cultures, two different personalities, one  shared faith in a God who was directing their steps to one another.  Who knew that while God was growing and maturing each one separately, that He was also preparing them for each other and a life of love, joy, forgiveness and ministry?  Amanda and Phil, I know that God’s hand is at the center of your life together, that He will be guiding your marriage and ministries as you embark on this next adventure.  My prayer for you is that you find shared joys, forgive when necessary and that through the demands of life and churchwork you continue to trust God to guide you, and give you his peace and assurance.  Thank you for blessing me and everyone else who was able to be part of your day.

And a few quick shout outs:  to my awesome assistant, Kaysee, thank you for all the help with train fixing and lens changes! And to the fantastic group of groomsmen and bridesmaids! Thanks for making it a fun day!

Shavee {Charity Event}

Cancer. It’s a word that has become far too much a part of our culture’s normal conversation.  If you’re reading this there’s a good possibility that your life has been touched by this in one form or another.  Maybe you’ve lost a grandparent, or held a friend or child’s hand through treatment.   Cancer is scary, its mysterious, its ugly.  But for all the ugliness and pain that is associated with this word there is another word that goes along with it and that is Hope.  Cancer causes us to hope.  To hope that life will continue, that the battle will be won, that a cure will be found, that there is something bigger than this ugliness.  It’s the reason there are walks and organizations and head-shaving events and new research grants being created each year. It was hope that I got to photograph tonight.

St. Baldrick’s is an organization that funds childhood cancer research grants through money raised by volunteers.  Individuals or teams host Shavee events in which they collect money in return for them shaving their heads.  These events have raised over $117 million dollars to date.  To learn more about this phenomenal organization check out their website at http://www.stbaldricks.org.

Tonight I attended one of these events and got to witness hope in action as my friend Grace shaved her hair off for this cause.  But it wasn’t only Grace’s actions that spoke to this hope, but the love that surrounded her through the support of her family and friends who had donated money as pledges for this event and who bid on silent auction items.  Thank You Grace for this awesome opportunity to be part of the cause, and thank you to her friends and family who supported her in this and who gave to the cause.  And of course praise to our Heavenly Father who is the reason for any hope that we have, who’s Spirit moves in us the desire to do good, and to Jesus Christ who shows us what sacrificial love truly looks like.

Now for a few photos from tonight.

Humbled.

Every so often I have a session that reminds me why I do this, why I choose to fill my time being a witness to others’ lives, to view their laughs, smiles and precious moments from behind my lens.  It’s because there’s something so humbling about being invited in, even just for an hour or less at a time, to be witness to these lives, to be trusted with the documenting of it, and to be humbled by the story being told.

This year I’ve witnessed the love of families as they celebrate another year of growth, the excitement and anxiety surrounding senior year, the first few hours of life and the love between husbands and wives as they commit to each other.  Each session has its own story, each family has its own soundtrack, and each time I am honored to be the one to share it with the world.  But sometimes, in the chaos of my own story, in the busyness of my own life I can forget to focus on that, I get lost in the schedules and deadlines. It’s in those times that God usually gifts me with a story I can’t look over, with a session that impacts my being, that snaps me out of my routine and throws me straight into His story.

Today was one of those times.  Today I got to be witness to a different story than I ever have been before.  Most of what I capture are the joys in life, the milestones, the yearly witness to continued life together, and the beginnings of stories.  Today was different, today was celebration of a life lived together and acceptance of the path ahead.  I’m not going to share the details of this story, it is their story to share, but I am so very humbled to have been witness to it.  To be able to see the love shared between two people, not in loud vibrant ways, but in small looks, and reassuring hugs.  To be able to see the faith in a God that promises so much more than just this life.  To be witness to all this, in a few moments of time, under the last of the fall leaves, and the quiet, warmness of an empty chapel, is a blessing that I could not have imagined.

 

So to those who trust me to be a witness to your lives, to your joys, your loves, your celebrations and your stories, to you I am thankful.

Bri the Amazing.

I have this friend named Bri. She’s amazing. Seriously. Caring, loving, artistic, hilarious, smart, encouraging, faithful-all words that can be used to describe her.   She has a unique and awesome way of seeing the world that challenges injustices, inspires action and makes you question the status quo.

She’s auditioning this weekend in Chicago for The Glee Project and needed some headshots to take with her. When she asked if I’d be willing to do it I was ecstatic! Mostly because of the above mentioned Bri-awesomeness.  But also because I think she’d be amazing on Glee and I want to do whatever I can to help her get there.

Which also includes a shameless plug for you to go to her audition video and click “like,” thus voting for her to be one of this Season’s cast members on the Glee Project.

Now, without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to Bri the amazing:

So now that you’ve been introduced to the amazing Bri go vote for her!

Emily & Tyler {Maple Grove, MN Wedding}

Many words could be used to describe Emily and Tyler’s wedding…beautiful, loving, unique, thoughtful,  but none would do justice to just how amazing their day was.  It was a joy to witness the love shared between Emily and Tyler, not to mention the love their family and friends shared for and with them.  Their ceremony was a beautiful reminder of the grace-filled love given to us through the waters of holy baptism.  Their reception was a fun-filled celebration of their new lives together.

Thank you Emily and Tyler for including me in your day, and being an amazing example of a Christ-centered marriage.

Here are just a couple highlights from this beautiful day: