Families.

Dear families, I adore you. One of the things that keeps me going as a photographer is getting to experience life with you, and the chance to share your story with the world.  I feel so blessed to be invited in to your homes, to the celebrations of marriages and birthdays, graduations and milestones. I love spending time giggling with your toddlers and playing in yummy twilight light at local parks, or chatting with your seniors about life after High School.  But one of the things I love the most is getting to capture you all together, for a moment in time and see God’s gift of family lived out in so many amazing ways.  Each family has a different story and I am humbled to witness the way God paints his love into the world through each of them.  So to all of you who trust me to be there to share your story, I thank you.  I thank you and I’m asking you today to take a moment and a dollar to help share this love to another family.  Jon and Elsa are starting the adoption process.  To help make this a reality and cover fees that insurance won’t cover they’ve started an Indiegogo campaign called One Dollar, One Hope.  The idea being that instead of a few people giving in big ways, they’re just hoping to share their story and for those people who hear it to help one dollar at a time.  So my friends, before you continue on to see  some of the family highlights below click on the One Dollar, One Hope link above and help connect a family.  If you can’t give please share this or their link so that we can help spread the love. There are eleven days left in the campaign, let’s do what we can to spread their story.

And now, I give you a few of my favorite moments from the past few years (please know for each photo shared there are hundreds more that I adore of each of my families I’ve been blessed to work with):

Mason week one (135)b

avery 6 months 263a

Liv first birthday 728a

Connor Senior Photos (432)a

david newborn 658a

Jahnke Wedding 1482b

Crary Spr 2011 (849)a

Breitbarths Day One 024a

Hagens 608a_mhp

mj3

thompson crew 2012 062a

Avery | One Year Old!

I cannot believe a year has passed since I first met this little girl.

Avery newborn 066a

Avery was wonderful in her newborn and 6 month sessions, I knew her one year old session would be great.  This morning Avery was her amazing-self, full of spirit, laughter and smiles (once we got to know each other again).  We had lots of fun running around on the patio and playing in the  balloons her mom and dad blew up for the occasion.  Serious props go to Avery’s amazing mom for thinking of the balloons.  Like always it was a joy to see this little family just having fun and loving each other.  I can’t wait to see all the adventures in store for miss Avery, and her big life! Happy Birthday Avery!

Avery 1 year old 510a

Avery 1 year old 584a

Avery 1 year old 684a

Avery 1 year old 712a

Avery 1 year old 715a

Alyssa & Taylor | Wedding

It didn’t matter that Alyssa & Taylor’s wedding day was overcast and rainy because their smiles and the personalities of their wedding party surely made up for it.  Alyssa and Taylor were married Saturday afternoon in a small Lutheran church located in Mountain Lake, MN.  They celebrated with family and friends, and danced the night away at Comfrey Community Center.  From the few times I’ve met them it is safe to say their wedding was much like them, fun, unpretentious and full of laughter.   Here’s to an amazing life together!

 

(The banner and cross were not intentional, but I do love the symbolism).

 

 

And for all you fans of the movie Bridesmaids you’ll appreciate this next photo, requested by the bridesmaids themselves. Nice work ladies.

 

 

 

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!

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.

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: