Musicians of the SPCO.

Right now both of our world-class orchestras here in the Twin Cities, The Minnesota Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, are facing crises.  Both orchestras are locked out after contract negotiations stalled.  It is a sad and uncertain time for classical music in Minnesota.

The musicians from these two orchestras are continuing to bring music to Twin Cities audiences, and this past week the Musicians of the SPCO gave a stunningly beautiful performance of Handel's Messiah with conductor Hugh Wolff, the Minnesota Chorale and soloists from the Minnesota Opera at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis.  What a lovely and uplifting thing to experience any time, but especially right now - for so many reasons.

It was such an honor to be there with my camera and to be able to give a small gift to this amazing group of players.  Classical music and musicians are very close to my heart.

For more information on both our orchestras and their current situations, visit:

Musicians of the SPCO

Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

"The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal shall put on immortality."  (From The Messiah; I Corinthians 15:52-53)
If you have ever attended a performance of The Messiah, then you know that during the Hallelujah Chorus it is traditional for the audience to stand... and this one did with such enthusiasm.

May the band play on.  And on and on and on.

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Sweet Sisters. {Burnsville, MN | Child and Family Photographer

A lovely pre-Christmas photo session with two adorable and sweet girls.  This was the day before the big snowstorm, so we were able to do a few outdoor shots, too.  December in Minnesota has been very kind to us this year!

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Mothers and Daughters. {Minnesota | Family Portrait Photographer}

I had the wonderful chance to drop by a mother-daughter weekend retreat with my camera and take some portraits of the beautiful ladies attending, as a wonderful way to remember their time together.  We had so much fun.  The location was picturesque South Fork Farm in Lester Prairie, Minnesota, and it was the perfect backdrop.  The temperature got to be around 50 degrees - for early December in Minnesota, that was a very welcome gift!  It made it all the more enjoyable for all of us.

I have to admit that when I arrived, the atmosphere at the retreat was very peaceful and calm and quiet. Ladies were working quietly on craft projects, reading, and baking cookies.  Two hours later when I left, it was the exact opposite - loud, wild and filled with laughter.  It was hard to leave (but it was probably a good idea that I did, so they could restore peace and order!).

Here are some lovely memories from the Soul Sisterhood weekend retreat.  Many thanks to the amazing Amanda for inviting me out!

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Turning One in Style. {Burnsville, MN | Children's Portrait Photographer}

This very stylish and happy little miss is celebrating her first birthday.  I absolutely love working with babies and toddlers, and this was so much fun.  Her little wrinkled nose is just heart-melting, isn't it?  Apparently, my version of "peek-a-boo" is pretty hilarious in the 12-month-old circles.

She thoroughly enjoyed her birthday cake, which was beautifully and lovingly made by her mama.  The beautiful quilt we used as a backdrop was also made by her mama.  That is one talented and creative lady!

Happy birthday, little sweetie!

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Simple Things.

Every month I update my blog series remembering the simpler moments in our life.  I hope you enjoy this latest story of "The Simple Things."  At the bottom of the post is a link to another photographer's story.



We have a cute little General Store and cafe very close to our house, and they serve gigantic cookies.  Naturally, my boys love it when I suggest we stop there.

They get kind of... giddy.

I'm not sure what's in those cookies, but right now I'm thinking it would be a good idea to find out.

Now visit the fabulous Amber Aileen in San Antonio, Texas for another story!

Love. Hope. Celebration. {Twin Cities, MN | Family Portrait Photographer}

A little over a year ago, I took this picture.

The boy in this photo, who was nine when this was taken, is afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  I photographed him and his whole family that day.  This particular photo was meaningful for all of us - those shafts of light reminded his mother of God's protection.  I am honored and humbled to know that this gave people hope and comfort, and really grateful to know such a family.  I don't think I've ever taken a photo that is as special and meaningful as this one. 

Well, more than one year later, this young guy is now eleven years old.  And, I'm thrilled to report, he is responding really well to treatment and still is able to spend much of his day on his own two feet.  He does use a wheelchair at times but he is not yet confined to it, and he is still able to do some of the things that every other eleven-year-old boy does.  This is a good thing for a boy afflicted with DMD, which is a very rapidly progressing form of Muscular Dystrophy.  These happy moments are important memories for them.

So, for this year's photo shoot, we really wanted to celebrate the miracle and the joy and all the good things going on.  Such a loving, positive family.  I had so much fun with them.  

Here is one of my favorite families, celebrating their blessings.  And now they've given ME a blessing, too - the chance to spend time with them.  We laughed a LOT during their photo shoot.  

To learn more about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or to help, please visit Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

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