Hey everyone! I can never help myself and I want to do a year in review post (even though the year in review happens to be 2020). But I think it's important to take a good look at where you've been in order to figure out where you want to go.
January and February of 2020 were mostly spent at home surviving on maternity leave. In March, when I originally planned to pick up sessions again is when the world effectively shut down (and then continued to open, close, reopen partially, etc.) This generally resulted in the majority of this year's sessions being shot outside. Here's a glimpse of some of my 2021 projects.
But fortunately in early March I did get to squeeze in a day of boudoir minis before and I photographed several BEAUTIFUL ladies at the Hive House in St. Paul.
In early May, I held Mommy and Me minis and it felt like a great way to segue back into shooting and a new season.
Speak of new things, people continued to request newborn photos from me even though I really don't specialize in newborn photography. I do think I'm continually getting better at it though! Back in April, I even made a little tutorial video about how to shoot your own newborn photos at home during the initial stay-at-home orders.
This summer I also got to photograph some newly-turned 18-year-olds in the name of senior photos!
There were a few engagement sessions in the mix too. Good thing for love, right? I feel so heartened just by looking at these photos and remembering how sweet it was to watch these couples interact with each other.
I'm so in love with so many of the sessions I had this summer. I utilized the glowy fields and long grass at Willow River whenever possible, My other go-to spot was Lake Elmo Regional Park.
My fall sessions had an array of vibes. There were some gorgeous colors to be found, especially at Homestead Parklands. My day of mini sessions at Tamrack Nature Center was nearly canceled due to blizzard conditions. And somehow, I only had perfect days when I traveled to the west metro to shoot at Burwell Park.
I ended the year with tree farm minis at Willow River Company. It was a blessedly warm day (which meant people weren't red and shivering) and I love how every session turned out!
Last, but not least, I shot 5 covers for Hudson Neighbors Magazine in 2020!
I'm approaching 2021 with cautious optimism. I'm keeping my plans and dreams big but my feet on the ground. Things to look for in 2021: a WHOLE rebrand, more boudoir, new session packages, and the same me, but I like to believe that I get better with age. And I also believe that nothing good happens without hard work and a top notch network of support. And I gotta say, I know I have both!
Happy New Year once more friends!
Moving forward, I am recommitting myself to writing featured client blog posts, yay! I absolutely love highlighting the clients that made my business what it is today by supporting me from the very beginning, before I had any idea of what I was doing.
Today I'm going to go down memory lane with the Ehrich family (parents are Alissa and Myron and kiddos Henry and Claire). I've been friends with Alissa for 11 years and our first session together was in 2013... so 7 years ago! Alissa so kindly shared feedback about what it's been like working together.
"I actually don’t LOVE having my picture taken but you have such a talent at not only making everyone feel at ease but at creating such perfect movements and expressions - I’ve yet to see one where I think “oh geez, I look SO awkward”."
(These first images are from our very first shoot together at the Minneapolis Institute of Art)
"My absolute favorite was the newborn session you did with Claire Bear. Not only did her pictures turn out so beautifully but you captured one photo of all four of us together. It was the same day that I felt...complete? I can’t totally describe it (although I’m sure other parents can relate) but I had already begun to feel like this was what our family was meant to be. And I can still vividly remember and feel my exhaustion, physical discomfort from a difficult labor & delivery, the puffiness in my face but also the intense love and bliss I had been feeling in those first few days after she was born. And now I’m choked up writing this."
I love visiting and seeing their photos up on the wall! I asked her more about her design process.
"I like to display our photos as a gallery wall. It’s currently taken down, actually, as I need to rearrange and add to it. So it’s constantly changing... just like we are as a family; always evolving! Oh, and both of the kids have a couple of framed photos in their bedrooms that they chose - they both really adore having these pictures in their rooms that, as Henry told me, make them “feel like they have the best family” Alissa says.
I asked her about the thing a lot of us mamas struggle with on picture day... HOW do you get your family on board and cooperating for a session?
"As far as kids or husband cooperating? We’ve had uncooperative weather (the MIA shoot was supposed to be all outdoors! And Willow River had snow!), very uncooperative kids (Henry wanted to sit out on the willow river session because he was mad about who-knows-what on the way there) and Myron and I were actually deep in a newish-parent spat when we showed up for our very first session with you at the MIA.
BUT. something about these sessions feels... healing? Each time, whatever the problem was at the beginning of the session seemed insignificant or, in the case of the snow and cold at Willow River, like a happy little accident. There’s just something about having to cuddle with one another, gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes to create that perfect shot, or giggle to get that awesome laughing pic that cleanses you, you know? Family Photo Therapy- it needs to be a thing. ;-)"
Above is our most recent session together taken in 2019 at Willow River. I love seeing the evolution of their family, the evolution of my shooting and editing, and the evolution of Alissa's hair. Basically, it's the coolest to have photo archives of my family and friends growing and becoming lovelier as the years go on.
Alissa, thank you for your incredibly kind words and for being a steadfast supporter of my business as well as a friend for life. Can't wait until we can reunite!
So, this year has been a ride, to put it politely. Things are no where near "normal" yet and I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to be. However, I am trying very hard to see life through the lens of gratitude.
June and July this year was the first time this year my business felt like it was, well, approaching business as usual.
Between having our new baby Archer in the beginning of this year and Covid shutting down businesses and shutting us in this spring, it felt AMAZING to meet up with clients again this summer. I shot 16 sessions the past two months (small groups, nearly all outdoors, and touching no one).
Here is ONE shot from each session this summer.
Kristen and Justin's engagement session at Willow River. SWOON!
Carl's one-year photos and cake smash session at Tamarack Nature Center.
Such a cutie!!!
Recital photos for The Dancing House students.
Note to self, must photograph MORE dancers!
Reece's one year pics and stylish, socially distanced 1st Bee Day Party.
The darling Esbjornsson family, now a party of 5!
Baby Oliver's newborn photos at Birkmose Park.
Stella, Norman, and baby Wallace. The most adorable set of siblings!
A mother-daughters session with Lacy, Abigail, and Bailey.
One of the sweetest sessions I've ever shot.
Grabbed a little golden hour magic at Willow River for Aly and Stephen's engagement session!
Met my longtime friend Marla and her family for some outdoor newborn-ish pics for their new girl Madison!
I also met up with the Horner family to get some family pics and fresh photos of their precious new arrival Claire.
Brekayla was such a good sport/fabulous model as we took her senior photos in downtown Hudson.
This is my boo Sara Capecchi and her family, also shot in downtown Hudson. Love, love, love these guys!
While my nephew Cameron was in town visiting from Texas, we managed to squeeze in senior photos for him too!
I also shot a beautiful backyard wedding ceremony for Alexandra and Tom here in Hudson, More to come!
Lastly, I shot an extended family session for one of my favorite longtime clients, the Massee/ Miller family.
Well, it's been a lovely ease back into business. I'm gearing up for the volume of sessions to more than double in the coming months which is a crazy (and good) thing!
I was thinking lately if I had to just choose only a few different outdoor spots for photo sessions, I definitely have some clear favorites. So, today I'm listing out my top three favorite places to take photos in the Twin Cities.
Depending on the season, area, and time of day, photos taken at these locations can look drastically different.
The first one is Willow River State Park in Hudson. If you've ever been, you know that it's a massive park. The waterfall area is gorgeous as you can see from the two photos above. But there are lots of other great areas to shoot!
This grassy areas and field near the campgrounds is one of my favorite spots. I love that you can see dark pines in the back and I love the grass stalks that add texture and whimsy.
This big, endless looking prairie is just yards away from the green grassy area. You'd never know that those two spots are so close together and provide two totally different looks!
Lake Elmo Park Reserve is another go-to of mine in spring or fall.
The birch trees, the vibrant fall colors and well as the gentle light greens in the spring make for gorgeous photos, no matter the season.
But also look check out how Lake Elmo photographs in late summer!
Dreamy, dreamy, dreamy. I joke about enlarging these clients' photos over my fireplace. I haven't done it... yet.
In and around The Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is one more frequently visited venue by me. Between the glossy blue building, the backdrop of the city and the ruins, it's extremely versatile and a perfect location for family photos, engagement pics, or branding and headshot photography.
Oh man, I thought I was cool when I managed a mirror selfie in this area a couple years ago.
Welcome to my photography blog!
Rachel again! Here's where you'll be able to find blog posts about all things photography: recent sessions, upcoming events, and just fun musings on photography in general. Can't wait to fill 'er up with content!