Last month I photographed Tom and Alexandra's backyard wedding in Hudson. I only covered for 1.5 hours but I feel like we captured the day, the details, and the emotion in that short amount of time. Weddings these days may be small, but the love is still so big.
Tom and Alex have been together for a long time and there's definitely a great love and ease between them. I'm so excited for their growing family and truly happy that they were able to celebrate their wedding in such a lovely and meaningful way this year.
I think I'm not alone in saying that January is pretty much the worst, but on the bright side, we are out of it! Also, I'm probably the best and most productive version of myself. In an attempt to distract myself from the dark days and worst weather ever, I usually try my best to fill the time with decluttering, organizing, making plans for the new year, getting our taxes taken care of, and of course, reminiscing and reviewing the year that has just passed.
Turns out 2019 was my biggest and best year yet when it comes to photography! This is far from everything (there were more than 100 family sessions alone!) but here are some of the highlights:
One of the first things I did at the beginning of 2019 was begin offering boudoir sessions. I created a separate website and Instagram account to showcase that side of my work. (All photos have been shared with client permission!)
What began as a "why not?" endeavor turned into a full on passion project and I'm thrilled to continue offering these services into 2020 and beyond.
In the spring, a couple of my clients were awesomely laid back and flexible and allowed themselves to be part of a promo video shot for my photography business! It was intimidating to have actually video footage taken of me, but I'm so glad I actually bucked up and did it and have a nice snippet of who I am/what I do to easily share!
YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyZCcNxBjng
2019 was also one for ALL THE BABIES! I shot numerous newborn and fresh 48 sessions. Newborn photography used to be my area of apprehension and I was always too relieved to recommend a different photographer to those searching for a newborn photographer. That has definitely changed as I feel I've improved technically and have developed a style for these shoots that I have confidence in.
One of my mini session offerings that is a hit every year was Mommy & Me minis. This year I held them at Lake Elmo and I'm thrilled with how each of the images turned out. Only 3 more months until we can do these again!
In the summer I also hosted a beginner's photography workshop at my house for some lovely and talented ladies. This idea had been on my heart for a long time and I'm so glad it finally got brought to life! I held a secondary workshop in October and will be planning these again in 2020!
I held two different rounds of fall mini sessions. The first was outdoors in October at Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Lake. It rained on and off that morning, but all who signed up showed up and ended up with a lot of lovely photos!
For those who preferred not to gamble with the weather, I also held indoor mini sessions at Studio 130 in November. In addition to family sessions, I also shot a couple headshot sessions there too. I'll definitely be booking time here again, so if you like the idea of a fuss-free indoor shoot, lemme know!
One of my favorite parts of this year was just connecting with other photographers. I was able to attend various social nights, skill shares, and shoot & shares (aka, headshot swaps). It's been one of the most valuable things to find support in the industry and I am kicking myself hard for waiting so long to find a network!
Above are photos from each of the seven weddings I shot this year. Every couple, every venue, every wedding was completely different (and I'll share more from all of these soon), but the common thread through all of these were that these couples were all crazy in love, just wanted their friends and family to have a great time, and they were delightfully low-key when it came to photos... a whole lot of "we trust you!" which was music to my ears!
Thanks for visiting my 2019 highlight reel. I don't have a highlight reel from 2020 yet as it's just been REAL so far with the day-to-day newborn life. But I've just been feeling the right amount of stir-crazy and inspired to start getting projects started and shoots booked for the new year. If you've been following me along, what are you interested in? A photography workshop? Family pics? A boudoir sesh? Tell me, tell me! I'd LOVE to know!
Thanks again to all my friends, family, and clients who made last year so big and special! Let's do it again!
A couple weeks ago I got an email from Emily who had just gotten married this summer. Instead of boxing up her dress, she wanted to say farewell to it in style and I was extremely flattered that she thought of me as the photographer to help pull off her vision. I've never shot a wreck-the-dress shoot before, nor have I ever shot at the falls at Willow River (though I've always wanted to!). So, at 7 am we hiked down to the falls with no one else there and I focused intently on not slipping on rocks and staying still and balanced as possible to get these shots. Every bit of the physical challenge was worth it because she and her husband absolutely killed this session.
So, if you need me, I'll just be here fanning myself from this ridiculously romantic session. I definitely think there's something to having a session with your significant other post-wedding when all of the wedding planning is behind you. Pressure's off and the shots just feel intimate and absolutely natural. So, if anyone has a wedding dress that's just shoved in the back of your closet (like, um, me), there's a lovely photographer over here who would be more than happy to have a dramatic and adventurous session with you!
Now that fall is almost here and I have back-to-back weddings, I'm going to throw it back to the beginning of summer when I got to capture Sarah and Mike's wedding day! They had a traditional church wedding followed by a reception at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course. It rained for most of the day, but we did get a little reprieve from the rain in the evening and were able to shoot a few outdoor photos of the two of them together. Their must-have shot list was simple (no getting ready photos, nothing over the top.) Just a simple, classy, celebration of a sweet love! Here are just a few moments from their day. I hope married life has been everything you guys hoped it would be and more.
I hope the two of you remain full of light and love for each other always.
Congrats again, Sarah and Mike!
Last month, Wil and Jess kicked of my wedding season at The Mill in Chetek, Wisconsin. When I first met them, I thought they were a kind, sweet, laidback couple and I felt like we would be a good fit for each other. I really had my fingers crossed that they would book me and then was thrilled when they did.
The thing about attending a wedding for clients that aren't a previous acquaintance is that you go in to the celebration very few preconceived ideas of them as a couple. And throughout the ceremony and the reception their whole story unfolded for me and I was brought to tears several times learning about Jess and Wil. Stories poured out from their friends and loved ones about their lives, their big generous hearts, the roads they've traveled (literally and figuratively), their adventurous yet, go-with-the-flow approach to life, their steady and unfailing love for each other and for their friends and family. Even though it was cold and rainy, it was still a perfect celebration of love and joy for some pretty awesome people.
I hope they had the most glorious honeymoon biking through New Zealand and I hope the start of their married life together is as beautiful as their wedding day was. I am honored to have been a part of this day!
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!