High Photography: Blog https://www.highphotography.com/blog en-us (C) High Photography highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:04:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:04:00 GMT https://www.highphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u436371461-o703033759-50.jpg High Photography: Blog https://www.highphotography.com/blog 120 120 April and Jordan's Wedding: Lilacs in the Snow https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2016/6/lilacs-in-the-snow  

April + Jordan

 Lilacs in the Snow

A beautiful, blustery wedding in Ellendale, ND

 

        When I got the message asking me to photograph a wedding in Ellendale, ND, I had to stop and think, ‘Where on earth is that?’  What makes that so unusual is that I spent my whole life in North Dakota, including four years of traveling the state with FFA competitions to numerous small communities.  I thought I knew where every little town was!

        Now, I knew I had heard of Ellendale, but it turns out I had never been there. I was immediately intrigued. I love seeing new places, even in my home state. On top of that, the reception would be in nearby South Dakota. Even MORE new territory to explore!

          A few months and a short three-hour drive later, I had discovered Ellendale. What’s more, I had reached what was probably one of the prettiest wedding venues I could imagine finding in the good ol’ Flickertail state and it happened to be in the bride’s parents’ backyard.

          Despite a blustery wind, overcast skies and a chilling air temperature of forty degrees, I was immediately in love with the fresh green lawn bordered by a wall of old-fashioned lilacs. (The flower I chose for my own wedding six years ago!) There in the middle of the small paradise was a beautiful white gazebo and one of the prettiest wedding sets I have ever worked in. Add to that a gorgeous bride, her smiling groom, and a wedding party ready to brave the elements, and we had a surprisingly wonderful (if not hasty) day out in the cold. Oh, and did I mention, it was May 13th and it actually snowed?! Well it did, and more than once!

Fortunately the bridal party was able to get ready on site at the bride's  parents' house, saving them one less trip out into the wind.

Getting ReadyFortunately the bridal party was able to get ready right on site at the bride's house, saving them one less trip out into the wind.

Once dressed, it was out into the cold.

Always the ones who have the least weather-worthy clothes at a wedding, the bridesmaids were game though.

The ceremony, like the setting, was beautiful.

Still, everyone was excited to get indoors and have a fun night at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen, SD.

 

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) aberdeen bride center dakota ellendale event high north photography pictures portraits wedding https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2016/6/lilacs-in-the-snow Thu, 02 Jun 2016 02:47:30 GMT
Wedding Season https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2015/12/finding-a-photographer Wedding Planning Season is Here!

     People often think of wedding season as June through October. Well, around the studio, it's January. Why? Because that's why the majority of my weddings for 2016 get booked. So many couples get engaged over the holidays and if you think about it, it's a great time for it. What says love and hope for the future more than the good spirits of Christmas? Once the rush of seeing family and giving presents is over, many brides spend January getting down to the business of picking dates, venue and photographers. (In that order :-) ) 

 

 

A few quick tips for getting down to the business of choosing your photographer:

 

     1) Match your style. Every photographer has a different style, just like every bride does.

     2) Don't go cheap. I've heard as much as a third of a budget should be spent on a photographer. Stick to what you can afford, but please keep in       mind that when the day is done, them memories, the pictures and the husband are all you have left. 

     3) Look for experience. You don't want to be directing your photographer

     4) It's worth it to hire a professional instead of having a friend. Family and friends often mean well but lack experience sometimes family drama can really hurt that relationship.

     5) Don't take the first to come along. Meet with several photographers and makes sure you explore your options before you just take the first at the top of the search engine results. Not all personalities mesh well. 

 

     If you want to know more about what to expect at a consultation or questions to ask a potetional photographer, read my blog 'Things to Ask a Wedding Photographer'  An honest look at what we photographers want you to know and ask, not what a reporter in a magazine thinks you should ask. 

http://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/2/things-to-ask-a-potential-wedding-photographer

Good luck and Happy Planning to all you Couples out there!

Jo

 

 

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) bridal bride cd disc engaged engagements fargo moorhead photography pictures portraits tips wedding https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2015/12/finding-a-photographer Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:03:58 GMT
Another Year Gone https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2015/12/Another-year-gone      It's no secret, October through December is the photographer's busiest time of year: Period. Think of it as our tax season. Right now my photographer friends and I are all breathing a collective sigh as we enjoy a well-earned break over the Holidays. I know it won't last long, at least for me, as I had a nice crop of newborns in the spring of 2015 which means a they'll be returning for One Year sessions starting in mid-January. 

     Those are the saddest sessions for me because in the first year I often see children every three months. After their first birthday, I typically only see them once a year (sometimes every 6 months if I am lucky- thank you to those mommas!) The kids grow up so fast and they change so much between sessions. Yesterday's toddler is tomorrow's preschooler. 

     So, it'll be a bittersweet spring. I'll love seeing them all cap their first year on earth, their first year giving their momma's and daddy's all the love a child can bring, but I'll also be seeing them less. All my little 'babies' as I refer to them when I'm talking about my clients, will become my 'kids'. I'm thinking of them tonight because my own little 'babies' are 4 and 6; almost 5 and 7. Their first years are long behind them. But they still cuddle pretty well, and they still let their momma take corny pictures at Christmas, so I cannot help but love them as much as 'kids' as I did when they were 'babies'. 

Merry Christmas from High PhotographyHoliday Lovin'

     I hope everyone out there is enjoying their holidays with their little ones, (or big ones!) no matter how you celebrate. Take those pictures in front of the tree; the kids with the 'BIGGEST SNOWMAN EVER, MOM'; or even just a selfie on the couch with them. Enjoy this time and know that I look forward to seeing each and every one of them in from of my camera this year.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Jo 

High Photography 

 

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) child children childrens christmas fargo moorhead photography pictures portraits https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2015/12/Another-year-gone Wed, 23 Dec 2015 09:19:21 GMT
Now Offering Prints https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/10/now-offering-prints  

Hello Everyone! I hope it's been a lovely summer and fall for you, I know it's been a wonderfully busy one for me!

I’ve finally done something I wanted to do for a very long time! I’ve now made high quality prints available to my clients. There are several reasons I haven’t, including the time it takes to set up on my end, but at the end of the day I decided I was not doing my work and your families justice by only offering you a disc and letting you go make prints at your own risk.

Now, don’t panic, you can still get discs. The prices on those will vary with the type of session. However, now if you find a picture you are just dying to put up on your wall in all it’s sharp, colorful glory, you can do that and not have the poor quality of a mass-market printer.

I’m sure a  lot of you have seen the side by side comparison photographers make where they take a photo and have it printed all over town and then by their choice of pro labs so I’m not going to waste our time with that trick. I’ll be honest, most of my ‘everyday’ printing, including a few on my wall, came from Sam’s Club. As a matter of fact, when my clients ask where to get something printed, I tell them that if it’s just snapshots and smaller photos, Sam’s Club or Costco will be fine. I have personally compared their printing to other local and online printers such as Snapfish and Sam’s Club and Costco will always beat them out on clarity and color. I do NOT recommend anyone but Sam’s or Costco.

However, I have always told my clients if you want something special, a larger print or a canvas let me know and I will order it through the pro lab (you have to be a photographer to use them). To make this even simpler I have started offering password-protected client galleries where you can purchase your prints directly. It’s not that different from online ordering used by places like Sam’s or Wal-Mart except I upload the pictures for you. And the pictures are calibrated for my monitor so they look just like I made them.  Now you can get quality prints much easier. (Or if you’re like me, it’s in the middle of the night when you finally get time to make an order)

So as you’re getting ready to start ordering prints, making special framed works for Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas and such, please give ordering through me a try. My print prices are set to an introductory rate, just for the Christmas season-just make sure you order in plenty of time to get them in!

 

Thanks and Happy Fall!

-Jo

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) bride cd child childrens christmas disc engagements fargo headshots moorhead photography pictures portraits printing prints studio wedding https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/10/now-offering-prints Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:36:27 GMT
Hannah + Adam https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/7/hannah-adam Hannah and Adam had a beautiful night out at Bonanzaville in West Fargo for their engagement photos. Very fun as well. Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam Hannah and Adam

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) bonanzaville engagements fargo moorhead photography pictures portraits wedding https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/7/hannah-adam Fri, 18 Jul 2014 03:40:50 GMT
Things to ask a Potential Wedding Photographer https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/2/things-to-ask-a-potential-wedding-photographer Things to ask a Potential Wedding Photographer...

...written by an Actual Wedding Photographer.

     I keep seeing these lists floating around, but they look like they were written by a wedding journalist. This is the stuff we wish you would ask-although a good photographer will probably go over these with you already, this is your chance to brush up on them before your consultation.

     As you read it remember, photographers are not one size fits all. Some of these questions will apply, some won’t. They are just what I think help a consultation and wedding day go along smoother. Because you don’t have to hire me, but I do want to you hire the photographer who is right for you. -Jo

     Without further ado and in no particular order….

Do you have a contract?  A good wedding photographer will present you with a contract and I consider it a big red flag if they don’t. Things like their contingency plan and processing/return times should be included. This is not just for peace of mind, this is too protect you. There has been several times I’ve gotten the, “My photographer stopped calling me back.” email from a bride or groom. Every time it’s been the same, a friend was supposed to take the pictures and backed out to due cold feet or maybe had a falling out with the couple. It happens, but finding a photographer 2 or 3 months out from your wedding is hard, (and stressful!) and some will charge a premium for short notice.

How long have you been doing this professionally? Were you a second shooter before? Just gives you a glimpse into their experience. Their portfolio will still be the best indicator. We all started somewhere. Sometimes we just don’t want to work every weekend. I cap my weddings at 12 a year because I don’t want to take time away from family and my other portrait work.

Did you take all of the pictures in your portfolio, and were they at actual weddings? Again, sounds strange, right? Some photographers have bought stock images to create a portfolio or they have attended a workshop where there are models playing part of bride and groom and a teacher telling them how to set their camera.

How comfortable are you in low light and/or working with/without a flash? Many churches do not allow flash photography during the ceremony and require us to work from the back of the sanctuary or the balcony. Make sure the photographer talks to the pastor or wedding coordinator about this. Many newbies come into it with the attitude, “I’m going to do whatever I have to for a shot.” A wedding ceremony is still a sacred service in a church and as such their rules should be respected. A lot of times the coordinator will tell the bride and groom during a planning session, so please pass that on if you’ve been told already.  This also includes the ‘natural light’ discussion. Churches are notorious for having poor natural light. Make sure you photographer knows how to run a flash during the formal non-ceremony pictures and check those samples in their portfolio.

How would you classify your style? Ours is….  It’s a good thing to get it out right away what type of pictures you want the most. I work mostly with classic style wedding portraits. There is a different studio in town that does almost exclusively photojournalistic style (think candids). Do we both do good work? Yes. Can we cross-style (I do candid and he does formal)?  Definitely. Most weddings will have some of both but you can definitely see which way we lean in our styles. Some photographers will ONLY shoot in their style and by their shot lists, make sure you know that beforehand as well.

Will you be doing any post-processing? There is something call ‘shoot and burn’ that is a growing trend. Basically, the photographer takes pictures, burns them to a disc and gives them to the couple with no editing. Do you have time to sort through 3,000 photos? 4,000 photos? Do you have the knowledge to edit them? There also tends to be a ‘spray and pray’ type. Basically they take thousands of pictures hoping one turns out right. An experienced professional will take a few of each pose because they know how to set their camera for consistency. They will then pick the best of those frames and edit them, presenting you with good, quality images from your wedding. If you want some of those fun candids, definitely ask if they can be included, but trust me, 4,000 pictures is A LOT to sort through. I’d only ask for the really good ones. FYI, ‘shoot and burn’ is not a wrong way to shoot weddings, just something you should understand as a client.

Will you be shooting the wedding yourself? You’ve look at the portfolio, you want to make sure the person whose pictures you viewed is shooting the wedding. Many larger studios sub-contract out weddings.

Do you have a back-up photographer? People get in car accidents, they get sick, and occasionally they even make a mistake a double book. Make sure your photographer has a contingency plan. (If not, make sure Great Uncle Sal has his DSLR there and ready to go-can you tell I’ve done that before too) Also a good time to ask about their backup camera.  

How long will you be there taking pictures? Ask about their time and/or travel requirements and make sure you understand it. Work out a shooting schedule as far before the wedding as you possibly can. Usually another contract point.

Can you take our engagement pictures? Engagement pictures are such an important thing for photographers and couples to do together, in my opinion. It gives you a chance to bond, to see how well you work together, and to just generally get a glimpse how great their pictures look when you are the subject.

If we opt out of engagement pictures, can we get a credit for other photos instead?  Some photographers will, some won’t. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

Do I have to give up my ‘first look’ if we see each other before the wedding? My husband and I didn’t see each other before our wedding. There was nothing sweeter than knowing the look of surprise at me in a dress (any dress) as I came down the aisle was genuine. However, time doesn’t always allow for that. The latest and greatest wedding photography trend is the ‘First Look’. We keep you separated until both of you are all ready and then kick everyone out of the church but the bride, groom and the photographer. Then I get to capture the look on his face when he sees you the first time. Romantic and I have a better chance of capturing the ‘looks’ you want when you’re not mid-aisle surrounded by people. (And he gets the chance to cry in private)

Can my Great Uncle Sal with the nice camera take some pictures too? Again, this will probably be in the contract somewhere but the reason we like to discuss this ahead of time is that it can be very distracting for a wedding party to be looking at two or three cameras. Some photographers won’t care, I do. I need your attention to keep things running on time.  I usually address the family around me during the formal stage so they know that. We get a good laugh, I get better pictures.

Do you need a meal? This seems strange to some but look at it this way, your photographer might be there 8+ hours. Usually people eat something during that time. Many photographers will have that in their contract. If you don’t see it, feel free to ask. Me? I usually live on Pepsi and candy bars those days but if a meal is offered, I do try to sit down and eat between jumping up to snap photos of you kissing, giving speeches, etc.

Talking point to touch on: Photographer’s clothing. If you are having a very formal wedding, you might want to touch on that. Some photographers will wear full business dress for formal weddings, but I have attended some where they don’t and they definitely stand out. A photographer should blend with the guests.

I will inevitably be making a Part 2 to this.

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) fargo moorhead photography pictures po portraits wedding https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/2/things-to-ask-a-potential-wedding-photographer Wed, 19 Feb 2014 19:22:05 GMT
Test Subjects https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/2/test-subjects Growing up people rarely took my picture. Seriously, it just didn't happen much. We took pictures of everything else on the planet, just not ourselves. There is no studio image of my family whatsoever. Beyond school photos, there is zero professional pictures.  Aside from my grandma, we didn't ever take pictures of each other and until I was 2, we lived across the country from Grandma. I have maybe 2 baby pictures of me. As you can imagine, it's made me incredibly camera shy-although I'm forcing myself to 'face the lens' more and more. My two boys, however, have no such issue. They see me working in the studio and they come running to get their pictures taken. This was them budging in when I was trying to set up for headshots. Needless to say, there will be no shortage of pictures of them, complete with ketchup stains. 

Notice the A&D ointment the youngest decided to use as styling gel. There is only 1 picture of him, as I was beyond eager to get him off of the Silverlake muslin backdrop...

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) childrens headshots high photography portraits studio https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/2/test-subjects Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:05:27 GMT
Fire up the Bat Signal https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/2/fire-up-the-bat-signal  

Okay, I admit it, I'm horrible at keeping up with the blog and when I do write, it tends to be about weddings. So here is a fun little snippet, a Batman photo session. His mom says he only wants to wear Batman shirts. Well, my boys just finished up with that stage so I was immediately intrigued. Why not a Batman photo shoot? I went to Pinterest looking for superhero prop ideas, but everything seemed to involve making it look like a flying superhero. Well, if you know your DC comics, you know Batman, unlike Superman, doesn't actually fly. He's just a normal, if not extremely intelligent, guy. Finally I decided to just do what I thought a kid would do on their wall. Create a Bat Signal.

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) batman child fargo fun moorhead photography pictures session superhero https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2014/2/fire-up-the-bat-signal Sun, 09 Feb 2014 14:21:31 GMT
Surviving the Blitz: How the High Photography Halloween Blitz Began https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/10/surviving-the-blitz-how-the-high-photography-halloween-blitz-began  

 

 

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls- Oh My! Well, actually it was more like puppys, piggies and raindrops this year. That’s right, just wrapped up my annual Halloween Blitz. Despite a rainy cool day we managed to make it work out. We borrowed the neighbor’s spare garage (she had better lighting than mine) and moved everything indoors for the second year in a row. From what I saw the kids didn’t mind, there were a lot of smiles and cuteness flying around.

Most people don’t know, but this Halloween Blitz is my favorite photography project all year. It’s a labor of love more than anything, as I know financially, its break-even. Trust me, you don’t want to know what the props, editing, toys, and advertising effort adds up to- actually I don’t either- I might not want to do it! Just kidding, I would never NOT want to do this, it’s a labor of love and what most don’t know…its therapy.

In 2009 my oldest son was celebrating his first Halloween and I was pregnant with his little brother. I set up the first Halloween backdrop to capture my son’s first Halloween and soon expanded the offer to my friends with new babies- after all, it was up still, why not use it?  That was in October 27th. A few days later, on Halloween night, I went into premature labor and we lost our second son, Mason at 24 weeks.

Then next year, in 2010, I was beginning to find it very hard to be excited as October approached, despite trying to stay upbeat for my older son. Halloween had been my favorite holiday; now I was dreading it. Once more though I brought out the Halloween décor and did my pictures and few friend’s pictures. When it was done, I realized I had salvaged something fun out of October after all. It was right about then that I knew, I may not be able to have a birthday party for my older son, but I could sure do something else in his honor. Hence, the Halloween Blitz was born.

For the next year or two it remained low-key, open to existing clients and friends only. Then last year, in 2012, I decided to open it up publicly to great response. This year I did the same and for the most part I’m happy with the results. I did have 3 no-shows which was very disheartening, as I had a waiting list of people. I know next year there will be a blitz but it will have to be run differently. Maybe a pre-pay requirement, maybe a deposit, I’m not sure. I don’t want to risk no-shows again. It takes a lot of the fun out of the day, with my guilt weighing down on me that I had people who had to miss out.

Still, as I edited the pictures of all the little munchkins last night, I knew again it was all worth it! I may not be taking Mason’s birthday pictures as any mother would long to do, but at least I can make lots of little kids (and their parents) happy and save some of those precious memories for them.

The First Pumpkin. My oldest in what was to become the first Halloween Blitz mini-shoot. Notice the pumpkin to the right? It says, "It's a Boy" announcing what his baby brother will be. Also, since they were likely to be born within the same calendar year they would be known as "Irish Twins", hence the Minnesota Twins logo. We called the baby, "Twinkie"

My oldest in what was to become the first Halloween Blitz mini-shoot. Notice the pumpkin to the right? It says, "It's a Boy" announcing what his baby brother will be. Also, since they were likely to be born within the same calendar year they would be known as "Irish Twins", hence the Minnesota Twins logo. We called the baby, "Twinkie"
 

 

 

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) Halloween blitz child costume loss picture portraits https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/10/surviving-the-blitz-how-the-high-photography-halloween-blitz-began Tue, 01 Oct 2013 20:07:50 GMT
Have You Hugged Your Wedding Photographer Today? https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/9/have-you-hugged-your-wedding-photographer-today
When I first started doing wedding photography I noticed an interesting trend. By the end of each wedding, I was getting farewell hugs from the couple. Now I know hugging isn’t all that unusual. My husband’s family hugs with pretty much every greeting and parting. But I’d expect that from family. I don’t necessarily expect it from people I’ve known only a few precious hours.


At first I told myself it was simply our northland manners and friendliness, after all, around here it’s a good chance you all have similar roots and childhood experiences. Then, as the weddings continued on, I realized that no, this wasn’t normal. Couples weren’t embracing caterers, videographers and assorted other vendors with any regularity, yet I always got sent out the door with a big hug.  On occasion I even found myself being chased down by a bride or groom that missed my exit and made a point of catching me to say goodbye.


When I finally sat down to think about it, I realized that it made sense, this connection. I’m there with them from beginning to end on one of the biggest days of their life. I meet them months before the wedding, usually one of the first vendors approached by a couple. Then there are engagement pictures, where I listen to all their planning woes and joys, reassure them that everything will be perfect and promise to save them from annoying bridesmaids and in-laws if I see them getting stressed on the big day.


Then the wedding comes. Many times I see the couple before anyone but the wedding party. I’m there when the bride is getting pummeled with questions, panicking because her dress doesn’t fit right and giving the groom tips on a great first kiss (for the pictures of course). I’m there the first time the couple sees each other, I record the tears, the kisses, the teasing. I listen to the best man practice his speech, I catch pictures of the flower girl spinning in her gown, I give the bride one of her first smiles as she enters the church on her dad’s arm to walk down the aisle.


So of course I’m their friend. If I wasn’t, how hollow it all would feel. The couples need to feel utterly comfortable with me and I can tell by the hugs that they do. I think that’s the best part of what I do-making those friendships. They last too. Several of the couples I have done weddings for return year after year with their children for baby and family photos. I love that part. When I get a message from a past bride announcing her pregnancy and asking me when she should schedule maternity photos I’m as excited as any friend would because now I get to capture a whole new chapter in their life and why wouldn’t I be? I’m eager to meet those little wonders and pass on the hugs their parents gave me.  
 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) bride fargo hug moorhead photo pictures wedding https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/9/have-you-hugged-your-wedding-photographer-today Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:50:36 GMT
When It Really Means Something... https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/9/when-it-really-means-something For nearly a month I've worried about how to write this blog post, but I knew I really wanted it written. Why? Because it is probably the most powerful story I have come across in my years as a wedding photographer and it's the one time I've had to admit, I just can't save the day.

Now I know, we all have a wedding story, something that we will always remember when someone mention our wedding day. Honestly, I could tell you something that went wrong about every single wedding I've photographed but for me, I don't want the bride to have that story. I want hers to be only happy memories. For instance, at one of my first  the bride's ACL tore just days before the wedding. The couple was distraught over what to do but I had a solution; I brought a cute chair and had her sit through most of the pictures. (She also used it during the ceremony). Another time two of the groomsmen didn't show until mere minutes before the ceremony so I took the decidedly annoyed bride and groom out to the park to do some solo pictures while we waited (They became their favorites pictures). Last week it was a case of rain, lots of rain, ruining any outdoors shooting, of which we had planned a lot. We improvised and went with funny pictures to cheer everyone up on the church foyer, some of the most hilarious I've ever shot. In short, every wedding has something that stands out. However, one I photographed in August will forever eclipse them all and it's the one wedding problem I didn't have a solution for.  

The couple called me in May or June to book an August wedding. That is very short notice in our industry but I happened to be free and took the consultation. When I met with them I quickly found out the hurry. The bride's mother was fighting pancreatic cancer. She wanted to get married while her mother was strong enough and time was growing valuable.

Normally, I go into every wedding thinking, "I'm going to slam dunk this day- there are no mistakes- everything MUST be perfect", after all, there are no reshoots on weddings.  I've never been very nervous, even at my first, even if the bride was a little 'anxious'. This wedding however, had me on pins and needles, not to mention the edge of tears, for days. I don't even know how many times my eyes grew misty looking through the camera at the bride and her mother so I couldn't even fathom how strong those two women had to be that day.

It drove me to new levels. Soon I found myself thinking, "If I were this bride, what pictures would really matter to me?" I started snapping random pictures of her mom chatting with people, hugging visitors, etc. During the ceremony I broke the 'Stay in the back of the church, be quiet and be silent' protocol and snuck into the pew behind her mom, snapping a picture of her looking on at the bride and groom.  Afterwards, when the bride's father was thanking everyone for coming and for their prayers over the last year, I made sure to get a picture of him standing proudly behind his wife, who had found strength surprising all of us to carry on through the day's festivities. 

But at the end of the day that's all I could do. Take pictures. After losing two uncles to Cancer in the last two years and now watching my Father in Law fighting it himself, I wanted nothing more than to be able to erase the Cancer from her mom the way I can delete a bad photo, but I can't. It drives me crazy that I don't have a solution for this problem.

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) bride cancer fargo moorhead mother wedding https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/9/when-it-really-means-something Thu, 19 Sep 2013 05:00:23 GMT
Spring Charity https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/4/spring-charity I know it's been a while but as with most people I'm sure, I simply got busy. For me, the end of December until Mid-February is usually my slow season, dedicated mostly to scheduling weddings. This year however the studio work kept coming at a regular pace and I had a couple winter weddings as well. In the midst of that I signed on for something called the Olivia Act, which was the donation of a photo session to a deserving family in honor of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims. Now, it seems, this spring is all about charity.

Starting in the beginning of March and continuing until April 13th, I had been donating $10 for every photo shoot to the March of Dimes. This is a group near and dear to our hearts, as we have had a still born, a child die in preterm labor and our youngest son was born 10 weeks early. As of right now, I have amassed $80 for the March of Dimes solely due to photo sessions, which is not bad considering my limited schedule. This was actually something I participated in last year as well.

But it doesn't end there. Starting April 14th I will be re-allocating the $10 for each session to the Relay for Life. I decided to extend my cahrity efforts to the Relay this year after my family was deeply affected by cancer the past few years, having lost my dad's two brothers and watching my father-in-law fight his own. My father-in-laws has been particularly hard because it is a type of cancer that despite now being in remission, has a high rate of reccurance and does a massive amount of damage to the body. Even now he is down at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to recieve a Stem Cell transplant only to end up discovering even more ways the cancer ravaged his bones.

So why do all this? Why donate away so much of what I make? Because this business was never about money. Actually, my husband tells me I'm a horrible business woman frequently. The business pays for itself and for a few random extra things for the family. It has never been about making buckets of money, if that was the case, I would raise my rates. The true point behind this for me was that I would get to continue do something I love, get to share that love with other people, and use the money and skills to support any cause I felt like. If anyone really sat down and figured out how much my time is worth per hour, I know most people would charge far more than I (like I said, bad businesswoman) but I just don't work that way. I'm blessed I get to do what I want (and have a very tolerant husband that allows it) so I'm goign to embrace it for as long as I am able.

 

Someone told me recently I'm a budding philanthropist. I replied, "Call it whatever you want, I just like taking pictures."

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) charity dimes fargo for life march moorhead of olivia photography pictures relay sessions weddings https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/4/spring-charity Mon, 08 Apr 2013 18:08:32 GMT
Happy New Year! A Business Goal and a Valentine's Special https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/1/happy-new-year-a-business-goal-and-a-valentines-special Hello Everyone!

 

Ever have that wonderful tool that you should be using but you are so overwhelmed by it that you avoid taking the time to learn it? Then, after you've learned the tool, you are amazed you waited this long!  I've been through this several times, actually every time I buy a new piece of photography equipment. Well, I did it again when I switched to my new website last year. Once I got it up and running, I sadly ignored it in favor of my Facebook page, which was easier to pull up. Now that I'm making an effort to learn the new site, I'm finding all sorts of useful stuff! For instance, clients can now share pictures from my site directly to Facebook or Pinterest with one click!  As a result of adding this ability, I've decided to start uploading more images to the website and linking to Facebook instead of loading to both- we'll see how it goes! I'm also working up a calendar for all of those inquiring brides. :-)

 

And now on to the part you really care about- the special!!!

Schedule a 'Sweetheat Shoot' before February 14th and get it for only $50. This means a photo shoot of just you and your honey, lasting 30 minutes and on-location. For instance, in a romantic snowy park setting! Think about it? When was the last time you took professional pictures with your spouse without the kids? Probably on your wedding day! Special only until February 14th! (Gift Certificates can be bought if you want to offer the shoot as a gift!)

 

Happy January to All-

Jo

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) fargo january moorhead pictures romantic shoot snowy special sweetheart valentines https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2013/1/happy-new-year-a-business-goal-and-a-valentines-special Sun, 13 Jan 2013 21:01:08 GMT
Happy September https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2012/9/happy-september The leaves are beginning to turn- It's officially Fall Wedding Season! It's also that time of year that people like to get family pictures done in front of all the fall colors. My weekends are pretty much booked up, but I do have a lot of weekday evenings open if you still want to get in! Also, don't forget, October 6th is the Halloween/Fall Photo Blitz- 2 spots left!

 

Jo

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2012/9/happy-september Mon, 10 Sep 2012 14:45:02 GMT
Heading into Fall https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2012/8/heading-into-fall Well, I survived my month off, although I think I worked more during that time than I do otherwise! Anyhow, I'm back at it, with lots of weddings and family shoots scheduled. I still have a few random time slots over the rest of August and the month of September if anyone wants to get some pictures while the grass is still green. And keep in mind, many times it's more cost-effective to have me do your children's annual school photos than to do it at the school. Also, I'm always looking for more high school seniors to work with-ask me about a referral special!

Watch for news of the High Photography Halloween Blitz, coming up in October!

 

Jo

 

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) fall halloween photos school seniors https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2012/8/heading-into-fall Tue, 21 Aug 2012 04:02:11 GMT
Crazy Busy Summer https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2012/7/crazy-busy-summer Well, June is gone and so are all the pictures off of my computer! I successfullly edited and sent out 4 sets of wedding photos, as well as some family and kid photos, last month. I thought July would be a lot less hectic since I have no weddings booked this month, but every weekend is packed full of family events. August is much more open though, so if you absolutely can't do your pictures during the week, we'll plan something in August. (Only August 10th and 11th are fully booked so far) For those of you with dates already booked in July-no worries- I'll still be doing all of those!

Some other news: I bought a new laptop and some more editing software in June that has really sped up all the editing as well as given me some new toys to play with creatively. Watch for some interesting proofs to pop up over the news few months.

Have a save and happy July and Congratulations to all my June brides!

 

Jo

 

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highphotography@gmail.com (High Photography) https://www.highphotography.com/blog/2012/7/crazy-busy-summer Tue, 10 Jul 2012 20:34:25 GMT