Matt + Carly

Matt contacted me over a year ago about proposal pictures. Instantly I was impressed by this guy’s thorough planning for it and his clear determination for Carly.

Together we kept this event totally unknown to Carly, and now here we are with these two married with me having the privilege again of witnessing such an intimate and beautiful day.

I love a good guy who can cry and let his feelings show, especially for his lover. Matt was totally this and more. He was so thoughtful and intentional reading his love letter for Carly. She only returned this love and adoration for Matt, making me so happy and hopeful as I saw genuine love being stirred and grown between two beautiful souls.

Photography aside, that is what I love about my job, the deeply significant moments I get to witness between two lovers who are only starting their journey of life together. I know there are always ups and downs to marriage and life, but there is a special joy that I feel being alongside two people joining their lives together on the very first day.

Cheers to you two and your genuine love.

Remnants of a wildfire. Silverthorne, Colorado.

A recent road trip to Silverthorne, Colorado brought us to these leftover pieces of forest from a wildfire earlier this summer. 

Red slurry stained some trees. Black ash coated the others.

Wildflowers grew in the aftermath, showcasing the contrast between life and death.

Britt + Joey / An intimate wedding.

This day was really good. Britt and Joey had an intimate ceremony under the Stone Arch Bridge, surrounded by a select 25. During this time the pastor revealed the personal details of their journeys, and how they came together through the mire of life's circumstances.

I was in awe at their vulnerability and transparency, and moved to tears at the way their story unfolded. From falling in love, to a prison sentence, to waiting and visiting, to holding on to hope, growing together within the trials, and finally to tying the knot. I was reminded that we never really know how the story will go... but often the unexpected circumstances of life bring about something better than we could have imaged. The pain was worth all the joy that finally arrived. 

After sharing their story both families surrounded the couple in the power of prayer. The grandparents each offered words, followed by the parents and whoever else felt moved. To me this was a sweet picture of how couples in marriage thrive off the support and prayers of their community. Marriage can be challenging, and letting other people into the relationship, inviting in their wisdom, truth, and love, can make all the difference. Thank you so much for allowing me to witness this radical and unconditional love that the world really needs more of.

Candid in Northeast.

Sometimes I get lucky enough to shoot couples like Andy and Sarah, who let me capture entirely candid photos of them for their engagement shoot.

That's how I grew passionate about photography in the first place. It's the unposed, unfiltered, and raw moments for me. I love looking through my viewfinder and watching the [constantly changing] scene in front me, deciding when I want to stop it in time. Add in beautiful people and all the feels of love, and I'm super into it.

 

 

She said, "yes!"

Matt contacted me a few months ago asking if I photograph proposals. Yes! Right away I was impressed with his intention, efforts, and all the planning that went around this epic day for him and Carly. Good job, Matt! We scoped out a spot near Gold Medal Park and the Stone Arch Bridge. Unfortunately there aren't really any spots right there to be a super ninja photographer, but it all worked out. After dinner they made their way across the Stone Arch Bridge where I eagerly waited and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible with a giant zoom lens. The best part was that Carly didn't even notice me until afterward. It's always an honor to be a witness to these intimate moments between two people. Feeling super grateful to capture such meaningful moments. Thanks for letting me witness your love!

Renae + Stephen

Stillwater: a small picturesque and charming town nestled along the St. Croix river, only a leap across the bridge to Wisconsin.

And definitely one of my favorite spots. It's nostalgic for past birthdays, adventures with friends, and the way fall takes over the little town in all of its glorious and crisp color. Apparently a ton of other people love Stillwater too, so I find myself shooting there at least a couple times a year, and that's totally cool with me.

This particular day was for Renae and Stephen. In the morning it was definitely a joy connecting with Renae and her bridesmaids. It's sweet to find brides who jive with all of who you are and your passion, and vice versa. We connected on the little things, and seemed to relate on a deeper level as well. I'm grateful for the lovely conversations that day.

Renae and Stephen had their ceremony at Pioneer Park, which overlooks the city and the St. Croix River. This is a public park, so there were also bystanders watching their intimate wedding. I thought this idea of potential bystanders watching their wedding was actually sweet. I know some people are turned off by this idea, and I can definitely understand why. On the other hand, I love the idea of an unashamed and open wedding, inviting others to witness your love. We could all use the encouragement of witnessing an exchange of truth in vows and love to the end. 

Afterward, we walked back downtown and let the celebration begin at Loft J. The exposed brick had the same Stillwater charm, with a little bit of vintage class to go along with it. Absolutely fitting for these two.

Getting Local With Coffee.

I am a huge fan of my local coffee shops.

Being a Minnesota native could make me biased to this statement, but there's something sweet about the way Minneapolis and St. Paul in particular thrive as smaller cities & communities that just seem to connect. Perhaps it's the interwoven trails, the never-ending art, music, and theater shows daily, the other independent neighborhood/residential businesses, or maybe it's just the Minnesota nice thing going on. It's probably a mixture of all those and more. I don't really need to to talk up Minnesota, it usually speaks for itself.

The reason I am even more excited about local coffee shops lately is that I just get the opportunity to photograph them weekly! This gig is geared toward spreading the word about these local gems. As I go from shop to shop I'm learning that there's a lot of background and intentionality behind every little one. So, it's time to explore and share some stories! I will be featuring one shop every week or so, and the highlights of each one.

Before I share my first experience, I want to share a few reasons why it matters to support local businesses in general, and why supporting local coffee is important.

Simply put, when we buy local more of that money remains in the community. This also employs passionate baristas who make some killer latte art. These small business employees tend to frequent other small businesses, and you an see where I'm going with this point. Local helps local.

I love thinking about proximity and how we connect with our community by just living there. This is definitely the case when coffee shops are right down the block or a small driving distance. As we familiarize ourselves with faces and places in our neighborhoods, we can feel that sense of connectedness in our area. Let's be real, too, sometimes it's just nice to feel connected as a human to another familiar human. Seeing that familiar face who acknowledges that we exist and are seen even when we feel the negative throes of life can be reassuring. I also have to add the truth that I can't count how many spontaneous conversations I've gotten into at local coffee shops. Whether people notice I'm editing photographs and strike up a conversation, or I like someone's stylish boots, the welcoming and friendly atmosphere of most shops definitely welcomes openness. 

Good conversation goes hand in hand with good coffee. Literally. I really think good coffee is worth the price. Not only does the coffee usually taste better, but most local coffee shops roast their own or supply local roasters. A large percentage of those local roasters also offer organic and fair trade coffee, which I like to support when possible. These shops also usually offer different brewing methods vs. just auto drip, and if you've dived into the world of coffee brewing methods you may agree that it just does taste different. A warm, aromatic, delicious cup of good quality coffee is a simple and small joy. I am thankful for all the baristas out there that know how to brew coffee in 10 different ways and who take time to make it enjoyable. 


The first coffee shop I'd like to share with you is Wesley Andrews, located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. 

This shop opened in November 2016 and features their own roasted coffee, a hand-selected tea list, specialty drinks, pastries, yummy chocolate, and the purest cold brew I know of in Minneapolis. I was impressed by their botanically infused specialty latte, finished off with a sprig of mint. If you're an herbal fan, it's a must try.

Since I am in love with good lighting I need to mention that this shop has great window light. I find it hard to sit and work, read, or have a nice conversation in a dark and dim coffee shop. The atmosphere is simple yet inviting with plants and songs from their record player.

Lastly, I want to give Wesley Andrews a huge shout out for their values. These guys value quality conversation and the power of relationships. Sometimes I wonder how many people actually value these core and life-giving things. Maybe that sounds cynical, but amidst our social media crazed generation it can be hard to go back to fundamental relationships and how to have them (in person). Thank you, Wesley Andrews!

John + Michelle

The joy that these two share together is sweet.

I got to know John and Michelle last year while shooting their engagement session. I remember walking away from it with a big smile on my own face and confidence in getting meaningful photos. When two people have that much joy together it really makes my job extra fun and even easy! 

Their wedding was no different. The joy was actually increased because they got to share it with all their closest family and friends! I totally cried happy tears during the ceremony. It just happens. 

Thanks for letting me capture your wedding day, and for having a beautiful fall wedding. Fall is the best.

Cheers!

Happy New Year.

Thank you...

To each and every one of you who let me photograph some aspect of your life in 2016. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I am so grateful for the fun opportunities that I had last year, and I am a happy dreamer about 2017.

I am booking up already for this year, so if you're interested in booking please contact me :)

Wising you all a better-than-you-can-imagined 2017! 

Cheers,

Nicole

Brad + Megan

This wedding marked the beginning of what finally felt and looked like fall. It was exciting. Megan and Brad had their wedding in Crosslake, MN, where Megan's family spent many summers. The trek up north that morning felt rather adventurous, considering that it was cold, windy, and rainy. It didn't look good, to be honest. However, as the morning progressed the rain subsided and it really turned into the perfect day for a wedding. I love overcast and fall weather. It helps to have a sweet couple like these two, also!

Amanda + Eric

It was my first time at the the John P. Fuber Farm, but if you're into an intimate, rustic, and quaint wedding venue this place is perfect. Amanda and Eric definitely stayed true to themselves as they celebrated their love, which is something I enjoy seeing with all the different weddings. They had a unity beer pour during their ceremony, BBQ pulled pork and coleslaw for dinner, yard games during cocktail hour, and they played the Vikings vs. Packers football game during the later part of the reception. I never thought I'd see a football game played at a wedding, but this is America and I guess you can do whatever you want!