Go ahead, jump.
Making the commitment to get married is no small thing. But many friends have made the leap this year. It’s already been a fun summer of wedding celebrations, with more to come. One lovely couple eloped over the winter (smack dab in the middle of the polar arctic vortex) and saved the celebration for the most perfect summer day ever, at our favorite lake. Another couple picked what should have been a lovely June day but turned out to have the craziest weather ever. Torrential downpours, wall clouds, high winds. But we had just enough of a break to shoot some fun portraits on the front steps of a mansion before the chaos kicked in again.
Other friends wanted to keep it casual. A beach party with their nearest and dearest. And the bride shotgunning Hamm’s beer in the lake. No big deal. It was an all around beautiful day and a good time.
Doctors Without Borders
My friend Luke Heiken organized a benefit show for Doctors Without Borders (donations are still being accepted here). But it wasn’t your usual sort of benefit show. It was a 28-hour long drone fest. And it happened last month at The Cedar Cultural Center. I managed to be present for about half of it. Though I may have been sleeping for a portion of that. I brought along a comfy bean bag chair from home and did some serious lounging. It was a dreamy event.
Naturally my photos are below. Conspicuously absent? Photos of my boyfriend’s “6000 SUX” project. Because he and our friend Paul went on after 2am. I was awake for most of their set but not perky enough to grab my camera. Sorry honey.
Another Breed of Cat
As demonstrated by the extreme popularity of the Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival, cats rule the internet. And my own household. I am a cat person. It comes as no surprise to those who know me that I attend the Saintly City Cat Show every year, in conjunction with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. But next year I’m thinking we should attend both days of the event instead of just the one. Part of the appeal is in the judging and not just the cats. There are some colorful characters in charge of this thing! And I just noticed that the judges listed on the schedule for the Saturday were different than the Sunday.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
I feel extra out of sorts this holiday season. Thanksgiving came late. Hanukkah came early. And my car got smashed up. Saturday morning, as my son and I were leaving for the Santopticlaus holiday sale. A neighbor intervened when she barreled out of an icy alley and collided with the front of my car, on the driver’s side. Thankfully no one was hurt.
That was a bummer, of course, but it’s not all doom and gloom around here. We’ve got our holiday decorations up – including a real tree. Our household watched Elf together and we’re baking cookies this week. We might even have time to check out some Christmas tours at historic mansions in the area. I’ve done all my shopping already and mostly online (I try to purchase useful gifts for friends and family, if I buy anything at all) and I’m ready to start wrapping! We’ve also attended one lovely holiday party so far and a few more are penciled in. And we’ve been invited to a Winter Solstice event at our neighborhood masonic temple. I’ve always wondered what it’s like on the inside. Hopefully they’ll allow me to take a few photos.
Here’s to Safe and Happy Holidays for all!
Trick or treat, trick or treat, the bitter and the sweet
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. This Fall has been so very busy, and so very warm, that it sort of snuck up on me. Initially in the form of unexpected doppelganger strangeness. I was out last Saturday night, wrapping up a wedding shoot, when some friends dropped by the venue…dressed as my boyfriend and I. The fake me was spot on! Down to my tattoos. Well, not all of my tattoos, but close enough.
Last year my son declared he is too old for trick or treating, but he still enjoys Halloween. So Sunday we hosted our annual pumpkin carving party and the weather was gorgeous! We were able to hang out on and contain our messes to the front porch.
Tuesday night we drove out to Skateville in the suburbs to be part of a music video shoot for our friends’ band, Kitten Forever. We were asked to either wear Halloween costumes or brightly colored clothing. Somehow I managed to skate around the rink as a giant squid without injuring myself, though my tentacles were dangling dangerously close to my wheels. The one and only time I wiped out? It was on CARPET. On my way to the drinking fountain. I’d forgotten just how heavy those old-school roller skates are but I’ve still got it! Sort of.
And lastly, Halloween itself. Once again my co-workers at Clockwork went with a couple of main themes for Halloween costumes. I joined the Orange is the New Black group while ten others opted to dress up as…one of our other co-workers. We also had some clever standalone costumes in the mix.
Last Day of Summer, First Day of Fall
I grew up in a weird in-between place. Not really a city kid, though I had strong ties to the city. We lived in an outer ring suburb that is remote and nearly rural but not quite. I’ve spent my adult life living in more urban areas. Not any major metropolis, just Minneapolis or St. Paul. But I find myself needing breaks from city life now and again. That’s why I find farms and orchards so charming. And I’ve always enjoyed pizza. So of course I adore pizza farms! A to Z Produce has a pizza night/picnic on the farm in Stockholm, WI that has been our go-to for years now. But it is a long drive and only open on Tuesday nights. We tried another elsewhere in Wisconsin that we didn’t much care for. But the latest? MUCH closer to home. Maybe a half hour drive out to Long Lake, MN. Apparently pizza night at Two Pony Gardens has been cranking away the last few years in relative obscurity. Then they received some media coverage and the quiet pizza nights are a thing of the past. The crowd jumped from 20-30 patrons on a Saturday night to 150-180. We had a lovely time but I wish we could have experienced the smaller scale version. In an attempt to control the chaos Two Pony’s Pizza Night is RSVP only and the size is limited. Since the press exposed them they’ve been full up each week. Thankfully I RSVPd for our group of five two months ago. And I’m glad I did. The transition from freeway to highway to tree lined dirt road was soothing. We parked in a field and walked up to the pizza tent to place our orders. We’d arrived early but there is only one brick oven and were told the wait for our food would be an hour and a half. Carriage rides are offered to pass the time and I’d packed some snacks to tide us over. And there is a gorgeous dahlia garden. Sadly I didn’t make it over to until dusk, hence the darker photos. Two Pony only has just one more pizza night this season but I look forward to returning next summer.
Yesterday was the first day of Fall, and a gorgeous one at. And it was also the first wedding anniversary for a lovely couple I know. They asked to meet up at Como Park for a photo shoot with them and their adorable three month old son. Once we got away from the crowds (it was busier than I’d seen it in ages) we had fun with that. I hope to post a few of those photos soon.
Tell Me More, Tell Me More
Relationships are hard work. I have firsthand experience with this. So I’m always overjoyed when friends, acquaintances and even strangers call upon me to help them document the happier moments in their relationships. The moments that have been worth fighting for. Celebrating engagements, weddings, wedding anniversaries, maternity photos, family portraits. All of it. The good stuff.
I don’t believe that couples who choose not to marry are any less real. Domestic partnerships are just as powerful as the marriages that come stamped with a governmental seal of approval. But still. It should be an option. A choice. There are benefits that come with taking that particular big step. And it has always saddened me that this choice and those benefits were not available to same sex couples. I’ve attended my share of same sex weddings but those weren’t legally recognized in my home state. Until now. (Well, starting tomorrow, August 1st, 2013.) This past Spring made me so proud of my city and my state, as we became the 12th in the nation to legalize marriage equality. And through legislation, no less! I know the civil rights fight isn’t over yet but this was a big step.
And yes, I would be THRILLED to photograph upcoming same sex weddings! Get in touch. Below are some examples of my past wedding work.
Always the Sun
Until last week I hadn’t flown with my son in over four years. We’ve been taking vacations separately instead. It’s just the two of us – all the time – we do need to give each other a break now and again. The last several years I’ve been flying to Los Angeles without him, to visit friends. And he’s been flying solo to his grandparents’ place. A little nugget I just learned? These last few summers when he’s been flying unaccompanied, the flight attendants have been giving him a free upgrade to first class! It’s probably easier to keep an eye on him there. And I sure feel better about it. One highlight of last week’s trip was a Sunday drive up the PCH and a visit to Malibu. Though I couldn’t help snickering when I thought about the sheriff from The Big Lebowski.
Earlier in the trip we’d engaged in a lot of touristy activities at a break-neck pace, some of which weren’t photographed. Our morning at the Fairfax Farmers Market. A day of walking around LACMA (where my son isn’t considered a child but rather “Next Gen”). But I did get some good snaps in and around Griffith. We planned to get to the observatory right as it opened, at noon, but arrived super early. My son noticed the signs for the LA Zoo. I am not a great fan of zoos. I could have said no and found something else to do. But we had a good chunk of time on our hands and it was RIGHT THERE. So we went in. And my son, in true pre-teen form, was as difficult as possible when I pointed my camera in his direction. Even so I like the shots.
Follow the Leader
It has been an exceptionally hot and generally dry summer, filled with activities. I’m pausing on this rare rainy day to look back at a subset of these outdoor activities. Marching band parades. One was a dry run along the West Bank, from the Mixed Blood Theatre to The Nomad World Pub. That was just a week before a bigger performance with the full band, for the 2012 Northern Spark festivities on the Stone Arch Bridge.
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 – for Northern Spark
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 – on the West Bank
Heliotrope Nine at The Lab Theater
I’m still in happy blissed-out mode after three days of Heliotrope – an annual experimental music festival. This year marked its 9th installment. The week before a “Players Without Instruments” interview was posted with me, where I tried to namedrop Heliotrope as much as possible as it really is my favorite live music event in the Twin Cities. A gathering for and by our “oddball music community” as Zak Sally put it in this City Pages article. This year I was in attendance for the entire thing and saw (and photographed) nearly every performance. If chronological order is your thing or you are a completist you can view all the photos here:
Otherwise my favorites are posted below. I took nearly as many candids as performance shots and have divvied them up into those two groups.
Photos of People
Photos of People Playing Music
Arp of the Covenant
International Novelty Gamelan
Rana May, on the dangers of music
Unhappy Virgin Damage
Unhappy Virgin Damage
Tips For Twat
Tips For Twat