Sunday, February 26, 2006

3 Sisters, 3 Blogs, Part III

We finished the day with the baptism of Taige Ryan Webb. I've never been to a Catholic Baptism, so I showed up early. Way too early, thinking I was going to dive right in.
Not the case.
The family or the Father has the choice to have the baptism performed privately and after the mass. So it was just friends and family, and we got to get nice and close with the cameras and not worry about holding up the ceremony. It was a very unique experience, and I'm glad I got to be there to see Taige. I feel like already I've been around for so much of her little life. :)
I'm going to let the pictures tell the story. :)

Here's an excited mom and dad getting their new little bundle into the prettiest outfit she's ever worn.

The Father, making things nice and cozy warm. :)

Blessing the water with the little ones.

The big moment, and Taige was beautiful as could be. Looking up at her mommy and daddy with big saucer eyes. Not even a peep. :)


Sisterly oodling, googling, doddling...

Can you see this proud new mom and dad, literally BEAMING! It's like looking into the sun! :)

Thanks to the entire family on both sides for letting us share your day. It was truly a blessing! We hope you all had a great time. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

3 Sisters, 3 Blogs, Part II

Meet the Pederson kids.
One phrase comes to mind every time I look at the pictures we shot of little Alexis, missing those adorable front teeth.
Have you ever heard of the term: Cutie-Patooty
It's more than just cute.
More than just adorable.
She is Cutie-Patooty.
Look at those eyes, look at those missing teeth (we had to keep asking her to get her tongue out of there, she kept filling the gap with it!)
Look at that perfect smile and that amazing poise.
This girl is going to be a heart-breaker!
Carl, Dad, I don't envy you. I'm in that same position with my little girl (I have already mandated Dad Law #1, No BOYS until age 30.)
My girl has me wrapped around her finger already, and she's 2! I didn't think it could get much worse, and now I see what I have to look forward to.
I need to find a book, something like 101 Ways to Tell Her NO!, because with this little girl, Carl, I don't know how you could ever muster the courage. :)

Now, Alivia....
Alivia, Alivia......sigh. :) This little one decided right off the bat that she didn't like me. Maybe it's the camera, maybe just my silly mug or that funny looking scruff of a goat-ee. Whatever the case, I was ousted before I even got to say hello. Ouch.
But that's okay. It really is. My little girl is her age now, and believe me, around our house we now have a new understanding of what drama really is. My girl is the Drama Queen.

We still got the shots, (no worries mom or dad), Kari still made friends, and I even turned over the camera, for the first time ever, to my apparently ever-more charming wife. To my amazement, Kari stepped right in, Mrs. Photographer, and even got a little artsy with her shots. It was actually kind of fun to see her embracing that role. Wow. Even after corporate life, I'm still easily replaceable...I guess it will never go to my head with her around.
So Alivia, I'm still glad you visited us, and I'm still happy to have met you. :)
I also hold out all hope. See, I fully believe in my mind that I will have the following picture framed and sitting by your Guest Book 20 years from now when I'm covering your wedding, just please don't tell me to talk to the hand :)

Mr. Andrew, the little man who can't sit still. He was just flat fun. Go. Go. Go. The world is up for exploration, and the task must fall to him. :)
I have a feeling he's going to be the Joker in the family, the fun-loving one. After having a piggy-back ride we found that Andrew really thinks his daddy's hair is funny, and even tasty!

Melissa and Carl (Mom and Dad) drove all the way from upstate Minnesota, and had just enough time to check into their motel room before pictures.
That is true ambition. :) Thanks to both of you for letting us capture your kids... Every single one of them. :) It was truly a pleasure.

Friday, February 24, 2006

3 Sisters, 3 Blogs

Last week I had a great opportunity to photograph three sisters and their families when they all came to town for Baby Taige's baptism. You might remember Taige from our January posting? (if you need to get up to speed.)
Since there were so many pictures and 3 separate shoots with 3 sisters and 3 very different personalities topped with oodles of kids, I thought it might be nice to also have 3 separate blogs.
So, to start us off we have the Reiland family.

Talk about some bright kids! Kari's high pitched mommy-voice had no effect, these kids just thought she was strange. Too big and too smart to fall for the little kid tricks. Silly rabbit...That's okay though, she IS strange. That's only one of the many secret reasons why I love her, :), but I guess that's not a secret anymore.
Gavin and Bailey had a great depth about them, and I got to see a very sweet side to each of them, getting their pictures taken for Mom and Dad without so much as a complaint.

Amazingly, Kari's silliness and her one-of-a-kind Flying Giraffe (patent pending) did seem to loosen the big kids up. By big kids I mean Mom and Dad. When we started, Sarah (Mom), was brimming with excitement, while Cody (Dad) had the classic I've-been-dragged-here look, walking down the stairs in much the same way I would if I were forced to watch an opera, or like last night, 2 hours or ice skating... :)

Jokes aside, by the time we got rolling, I think we really captured a breath-takingly beautiful and striking family, and managed to bring everyone's personality out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Lipizzaner Stallions

The grandparents took us out to see the Lipizzaner Stallions last night.
I brought along my camera, planning to get some pictures of the kids watching the horses, because as we've already established, my camera is Super Glued to my hand.
I got up to the entrance at the arena and they had to see inside my camera bag for what they said was a 9/11 protocol. Sure, I thought. No problem, we don't want anyone blowing up the horses, and opened it up.
When they saw the camera and lens, suddenly I'd somehow offended them.
"Oh no, no, no! We can't allow a camera THAT big in here! That's going to have to go!"
I said, "What do you mean, the sign says no Video Recording equipment, it didn't say anything about cameras?"
"Yes, but not cameras with lenses THAT big!"
I said, "Well, I have a few different lenses, I can put a smaller lens on."
"Well, we only let in the little digital cameras."
My wife said, "This is a digital camera."

Then, because apparently they thought I was causing a scene, (which if you know me, you'd know better), they called over the head security manager, who then told me to take my camera and put it back in the car, implying very clearly that I wouldn't be seeing any horses otherwise.

They were very rude.

I complied, grudgingly, and would have eventually let it go after a little grumbling, but you know what really burned me? When I finally got up to my seat, the announcer told the audience that ANY photography, and even Flash photography, was permitted!

Point and Shoot cameras were popping off during the entire show.
So in other words, I couldn't bring my camera in because it was "too big"? To me, that's just flat wrong and unfair. I've never been discriminated because of camera size before. I brought that camera to get pictures with my kids. I wanted to have a picture of my little girl's face when they first came out of the curtain, just like anyone else. I can assume that the only reason my camera wasn't allowed was because they were afraid someone might actually take a good close-up, high-res shot of the horses, and then, somehow, they wouldn't be able to sell their own merchandise....? Ridiculous.

Long story short, I didn't think it was right,
so without further adieu.... I give you... The Lipizzaner Stallions.
It seems my camera IS somehow Super Glued to my hand.... Darn thing. :P

Sunday, February 19, 2006


This is Gavin. I tried to post something on him earlier last week but for some reason the blog didn't publish. Sorry about that, Gavin's Mom and Dad :) I'm a little late on the stick now, since they've already picked up the proofbook.

To tell you a little a bit about this little guy, he was quick to smile and a very happy little boy. He loved Kari's voice. See, already since my last post, I'm demoted. :( Plus I had another little girl this weekend who didn't like my voice OR the sound my camera made,..., so my short-lived glory with Jaxson from earlier in the week is over, before it even began.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


This is Jaxson, a very happy little man that knew at all times where the camera was.
This shoot was a little different from the rest, because the one thing that this little guy thought was so cool was me and my camera. Everytime I started talking to him he would just light right up.
Usually it's more about winning their trust. Usually it's Kari and her wonderful Mommy voice, or Mr. Snuggles, the Stuffed Tiger, who recently retired his position after being savagely ripped apart by one of our young toddlers. (We still need to have his funeral) :)
But not this time. THIS time, it was ME. :)! It was so cool. It was like I was magic!
Ok, I'll quit. I just had to revel for just a bit because this is never the case.
My voice, being a Daddy's lower voice, usually makes kids remember they are getting their picture taken, and then I get the camera stare....does anyone remember in Monsters, Inc., when Mike Wazowski gets strapped into the scream chair and it's coming right at him? That's the effect I get....'What is that thing he's pointing at me?! What is that thing?', so I tend to keep my mouth shut and hang back. Just kidding, it's not that bad, usually. :)
I'm sorry that I have to reference children's movie's to make my point. You see, I've seen them all about 20,000 times, and so naturally, the only way I can define life is through Disney/Pixar rose-colored glasses.

Mom and Dad were excellent to work with. There's a great bond between father and son also and plenty of love to go around, and it was very easy to spot that Mom and Dad are very close, which is always great to see. It means this little guy has a great start in life. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Living Through My Love

Having someone to spend Valentine's with is sometimes something we take for granted. While I was preparing for the evening, I spread out the flowers in the vase on the table. I remembered the verse in Matthew 6, about the flowers of the field.
Then I thought about some of the people I've met this year, some who've had the experience, very recently, of losing someone that they cared for and loved very deeply.
I know it's never an easy step in life, but I think maybe if we look at it from another perspective, we're are 'losing' no more than the Summer loses the Spring, or the Winter the Fall. This precious time here, it's a season. And it's changing always. And what we do with this life has a meaning, a time and a purpose.
Rest assured we will all someday have this experience. But I think it's Love that truly binds us. I believe that with all my heart. And while this moment in life might be very bleak, it doesn't mean that we've ended the story. Only that we've closed one chapter, and opened another.

Remembering that made me appreciate the time I got to spend with my wife last night...

I wrote this some time ago for someone who'd lost a loved one. It has always seemed to help, and for some reason I feel like someone might need to read it.

Living Through My Love

I remember the day I didn't think
I'd have the strength to go on.
I drove to your grave and curled on the ground
then I stayed there until the dawn.

The groundskeeper came and asked my name
as he helped me to my feet.
He brushed from me the fresh laid soil
and straightened my tie neat.

I thought about your smile then.
That's when the tears began to flow.
And there I stood upon the earth,
a lost and desperate soul.

As the old man brushed my hat
and set it back upon my head,
he looked into my heart somehow
and this is what he said,

"Your world has fallen down.
I know what you're going through.
It wasn't long ago
I lost a Love, like you.

You feel you might as well
be lying there by their side.
Your life seems just a living Hell,
your reason for living has died.

But in your journey, keep in mind,
your Father has a master plan,
and though the reason's hard to find,
you must try to hard to understand.

Turn from your faith now
and you will have lost the chance
to hold her in your arms again,
to smile and Love and dance.

Hold on to what you have
and keep her Love there in your heart,
because Up There we look the same...
only Love tells us apart."

Then the sun broke through the clouds
and gave my eyes a blinding glare.
I turned to shake his hand,
but He was no longer there.

Daniel C. Elliott
Copyright 2000

"That's why I'm telling you to stop worrying about your life-what you will eat or what you will drink-or about your body-what you will wear. Life is more than food, isn't it, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky. They don't plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren't you? Can any of you add a single hour to your span of life by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Consider the lilies in the field and how they grow. They don't work or spin yarn, but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. Now if that is the way God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and thrown into an oven tomorrow, won't he clothe you much better-you who have little faith? "So don't ever worry by saying, 'What are we going to eat?' or 'What are we going to drink?' or 'What are we going to wear?' For it is the gentiles who are eager for all those things. Surely your heavenly Father knows that you need all of them! But first be concerned about God's kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well. So never worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
(Matthew 6:25-34)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Is There a Recipe for This?

This morning I told her I had not made reservations to go out. I said,
'C'mon, I've never been a candies and flowers kinda guy.'
She said,
'No, you haven't, but you know, you could try to be.'
ohhhhhhhhh.... so this is about what SHE wants and not about what I like? NOW I'm figuring this out. It's only been 11 years. :)
So, here's the game plan:

We've got 2 filet's.
2 bottles of good wine.
Baked Potatoes.
Fresh Greens with all the fixin's.
Sweet Corn.
Fresh Strawberries.
2 Mangos.

Flowers, not roses, but she'll think they smell really, really good.
(Bonus Points)
Arrangements for the kids to go see NANA!
And.....I'm fixing the toilet!
if there's time, I'll wash the car and even put together that Kitchen Island that's been sitting in the box for a few weeks....the same 100 lb. box she had to move out of the closet this morning to get to her shoes, while running late. (yes, I put it there, out of sight, out of mind. Didn't get off to a very good start this morning....but hey, this is a Valentine's Recipe if I've ever seen one.)

If anything I can still resort to reading a little more Song of Solomon...


Shapely and graceful your sandaled feet, and queenly your movement-- Your limbs are lithe and elegant, the work of a master artist. Your body is a chalice, wine-filled. Your skin is silken and tawny like a field of wheat touched by the breeze. Your breasts are like fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is carved ivory, curved and slender. Your eyes are wells of light, deep with mystery. Quintessentially feminine! Your profile turns all heads, commanding attention. The feelings I get when I see the high mountain ranges --stirrings of desire, longings for the heights-- Remind me of you, and I'm spoiled for anyone else! Your beauty, within and without, is absolute, dear lover, close companion. You are tall and supple, like the palm tree, and your full breasts are like sweet clusters of dates. I say, "I'm going to climb that palm tree! I'm going to caress its fruit!" Oh yes! Your breasts will be clusters of sweet fruit to me, Your breath clean and cool like fresh mint, your tongue and lips like the best wine.....
(Song of Solomon 7:1-8, The Message)

Can't take any credit here, this is biblical!
....who says God doesn't know anything about Love? And not just Love, PASSSIONATE love....

Bree and Eoin

Ahhhhh....Valentine's Day.
How about we start the day with two love-birds, and we'll post as we go? How's that sound?
Bree and Eoin are set to be married December 30th at First Lutheran.
I got a real kick out of that because we just shot Amy and Jimmy's wedding last December 30 at, you guessed it, First Lutheran. What a beautiful church it was to shoot at that time of year. Poinsettas and Christmas trees, lights and wreaths and greenery everywhere. So I got to show them a little sneak-preview of what their church and their pictures might look like on their wedding day. :)
Bree's got it made, her folks have been through this wedding business before, so she seems to be quite happily going with the flow.
Eoin is from Ireland, so flying all the family over isn't going to be an option. Think dollar signs, $$$$$, lots of them. But, there are talks of a separate ceremony Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
I think real wealth is not finding a pot of gold, it's really just the treasure of having someone to love, and then being loved unconditionally, even when you just flat don't deserve it....
Isn't it amazing what Love can accomplish?
Now to go figure out how to show that to our own special someone today....hmmmmm

Monday, February 13, 2006

A Few for Fun

Every now and then I actually take pictures without getting paid....
Yeah right. ;)
Who am I kidding.
Sometimes I think this camera is crazy glued to my hand.
These troublemakers don't seem to mind though. :)

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Today's Family Name Game on KNWC was for Abigail.
My wife made it through and everyone got to hear over the air waves about my little girl....
A sweetheart, a go-getter. A singer. A dancer. Strong spirited....

All very true.

But, that silly wife of mine, she left out, as Mr. Harvey would say, the Rest of the Story.
That's right. Blogging is supposed to be real and truthful, so, ahem, I must ask,

What about the girl who can't sleep past 5:30 a.m., or what about the Drama Queen? How about the tantrums? The fact that she's a rug rat, bent for trouble? A habitual chocolate-milk-spiller? A cookie and candy sugar addict, a quite-as-a-mouse Banana thief?
What about all that?!

Okay, who am I kidding.
I look in those eyes, and I melt. And it doesn't get any more simple than that.

She's a blessing.
"Paul Harvey. Good Day!" :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Stettnichs Family

This is Chris, Heather, Ellie, Megan, and the new addition, Camryn. They are a young family, full of life and excitement, especially with the new baby girl.
Poor Chris, he is surrounded, outnumbered, and completely subject to the whims of this family full of girls.
I have one girl, and oh my, the drama. I get the third-degree every time I pull on my boots to go to work in the morning. Pouty faces, bottom lips dragging....sad puppy-dog eyes...
and she's only 2!

Chris doesn't have a prayer.

I'm sure, of course, that there are benefits to such staggering odds in a household. Maybe in some strange way they take pity on you, like the under-dog or something, and then start to go easier on Dad.
But then I think, no, they are girls. They take up bathrooms, stand in front of mirrors, require hours to get ready, and they don't play fair. They give you these sad eyes and watch us melt while we bend over backwards to do anything for them.

How can that be fair?

My boy and I, we wrestle. I asked him yesterday why it is that every time he sees me we have to wrestle. He just looked back and said,
"Dad, hello. We're boys!" And amazingly, I understood that. It's in our genes, just what we're made of.
"Sure I can wrestle, have you seen this move?! Arrrrrgggh!"
At the same time, here's my little girl, hanging onto my leg with her biggest bear hug, snuggled up so tight. She wasn't going to let me out of her sight for the rest of the day....
Take that, multiply by 3, plus a mommy.

Poor, poor, poor-poor Chris.
Oh well, he doesn't look like he's too worried about it, does he?


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Down Under

This is Steph and Justin.
We got to meet Steph last year at her sister's wedding, just before Justin popped the big question. Now, a year later, in the fall, these two will follow suit by telling God and the world just how serious a bite from the Love Bug can really be. It's downright infectious. :)

Now, here's the Kicker, Justin is an Aussie.
That's right, accent and all. His hometown is over 9000 miles away from Steph's hometown. Let alone the Big Blue, the culture, the fact that we think they walk upside down over, or should I say, Under there. What I know of Australia I've learned from the movies. You know, Crocodile Dundee, Quigley Down Under, my personal favorite, Finding Nemo.... :)

9000 miles!

It begs the question, what can make a man leave everything he knows, cross oceans and hemispheres, and throw all caution to the wind?
The answer is simple when you get to look through the glass, it's this woman.

Not just her smile, not just her laugh. Not just the way her eyes brighten when she looks at him... No, from my simple point of view, it's the spark that is between them that can light any room. She is the diamond in the rough, and he is the missing peice of her puzzle, and they are both smart enough to see a good thing and then to do whatever it takes to hold onto it, even when it means dropping everything and moving half a world away.
You can tell it just by the way he stands a little taller next to her. The way she leans just a little closer in to him, a little softer when he's near. They just fit, and no amount of miles, not even nine-thousand of them, can separate that love.