Friday, January 30, 2009

What You Have Always Seen

Click the picture and please feel free to comment, tell me what this says to you...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Introducing Another New Site: Dan Elliott

Weddings make up a large investment of our time when it comes to this studio. For that reason we've decided to dedicate a site just for brides who would like to see more of our work and get a better idea of why we love what we do.
Check it out, pass it around, and please let us know what you think?
Stay warm!

Dan & Kari

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Birth of a Family...

Kari always used to say that seeing a man and a woman exchange their vows on their wedding day was like witnessing the birth of a family. To most people, that probably sounds a little corny, until you see it from our end of the camera. The bride and groom become Daddy and Mommy, and we love it when we get to photograph the new chapters as the stories unfold.

The first session we ever had with Monica and Ryan was in the Fall of 2006. They were engaged to be married and very much in love. Monica was this gentle young lady who was absolutely sure about what she wanted, and Ryan was quiet and very soft spoken. I remember it was a snowy, cold day, but Monica had her mind set on pictures at the Falls, and being full of life, she was all for the challenge. Out we went for pictures and we had a great time.

We got to shoot their wedding in the summer of 2007, and it was fun to see their personalities come out on their wedding day. Ryan was late and yet very focused on the details, and Monica was this picture of quiet strength, waiting at the window for a glimpse of her guy. I still remember how stunning she looked in the sunlight. Steady and sure, with smiles always growing at the corners of her mouth.

In the Fall of 2008 we got the call from Monica for maternity pictures, and we were very excited. Ryan came along and loved on his wife, and from the start, the two had their minds not on themselves, but on the child inside. The makings of a good mom and dad, already planning for baby.

And now here we are in 2009 and introducing Miss Danielle. And I have to tell you I have never seen a 3-month-old baby so focused and so strong.
I'll be honest. She's ruined me.

Before Danielle I could tell you I'm perfectly content with my boy and my girl. I mean, they are out of diapers and they're both at such fun ages. After Danielle...suddenly I'm not so sure. She's able to lift her head not only to study me through the lens, but to smile and giggle and make a hundred beautiful faces with a few silly ones in between. She locks onto your eyes with hers, raises her eyebrows and smiles, and she naturally commands your complete attention. She's a little bit of her mom and a little bit of her dad, with all their best qualities. Quiet, calm, strong, gentle, confident, full of life and always ready to smile.

And that's the birth of a family.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ryan & Briana

We really wanted to get some outdoor shots with Ryan and Briana, but we didn't have just any day to work with. He's home on leave from the military for just a few more days, and she had to get back to college for classes, so we took what we had and made the best of it. Inside, we had warm, cozy pictures, and then these two braved it all when they agreed to go outside into what nearly amounted to a South Dakota blizzard.
Our plan was to go straight from the warm cars right to a patch of trees for some cover, but folks, in 30-below with heavy driving snow so thick it covers anything in a matter of minutes, it just wasn't gonna happen. We made it all but half way, and nobody could take any more. They were troopers! Especially Ryan, whose stationed in Southern Texas, where an old friend of mine who lives there just told me she's thinking of putting a sweater on....because it's 70 degrees!

It was the shortest outdoor shoot ever, less than 5 minutes, closer to 3 :), but what we captured was precious. There's just something about cold snow and the need to snuggle in closer for body warmth, maybe the cold has just frozen my brain, but
I loved them so much I added them to my portfolio to show our brides.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You Know It's Cold When....

Just a little sidebar this morning for some good old-fashioned fun. When you can take a cup of boiling water outside, throw it into the air and watch it transform, instantly, into a puffy white cloud, well, better get your mittens on boys and girls. It's c-c-c-cold out there :)
Gotta love my boy bundled up and yet still in his jammies.
ahhhhhhhh the joys of living in So-Dakota...okay. back to work. :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kelly and Kenny

I first wrote about Kelly the day after I met her, when she tried to describe to me how it feels to sing at a child's funeral.

She has a passion and a tremendous flare about her that is contagious to say the least, and I'm almost positive her amazing red hair is just a byproduct of a beautiful mind.
I'm betting Kenny thinks so too, after all, this calm, reserved farmer is now forever her husband and the two are one. That alone proves he's smarter than your average bear.

There was a wintry chill in the air on the day of their wedding, but it didn't matter. Kenny sat quietly in the back pew while his bride giggled and brimmed over in the changing room. It was just beginning to set in on them.

We had the sun, arching across the sky at the exact angle to cast through the very narrow stained glass windows of the church, directly onto the altar in the middle of the rotunda. And on the altar sat our bride, soaking in the warmth of the light, beaming back at her groom.

Kelly used to be a photographer, so it was an honor for us that she chose us to be a part of her day. Still, besides the fact she's also a very talented artist and painter, did I mention she's a singer? One of my favorite moments was when she surprised Kenny during the ceremony and sang to him from her heart. What a voice! Wow! One of the only times I've sat in awe at a wedding, that is, with the camera not glued to my eye.

I recently sent her an email, thinking maybe there's another reason we've met. In the email is the latest song I've written. Yes, I used to write music before the photography took over my world. But now I've got the itch to write again, ever since the day we met. I think she reminded me of how good it feels to put emotion on paper, to pass on a feeling through the written word.

One of the most memorable compliments we've ever received from a bride, of course, came from Kelly just last night....

'We’ve had lots of positive responses to the photographs and to both of you as people. I’ve never heard so many people compliment the behavior and demeanor of photographers at a wedding. I am so happy that my guests respect both your work and you as people and that they could see the reason I wanted you both to photograph the wedding....'

Tack on gracious and encouraging to her list of gifts... Heck, may as well quit keeping a list. I think it would just go on and on. :)