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Mija & Taylor – Grand Rapids Wedding Photographer

Time to share Mija and Taylor’s beautiful wedding with you!  They were married on the lovely grounds of Camp Hiawatha in Deer River.  It was one of the prettiest locations for a wedding!  We were surrounded by big open areas and tall, mature pines.  Not only were the grounds beautiful, but we also had a lovely view of Deer Lake.  I had fun walking around with Mija and Taylor because everywhere we turned it was so pretty.  I’m so thankful the rain that was in the forecast didn’t amount to anything.  Whew!

Mija and Taylor had so many friends and family that came out to witness the ceremony and to celebrate afterwards.  You can tell there is a deep connection and love between them all.  There were many smiles, tears and hugs being exchanged throughout the day.  Especially at the reception when Taylor and Mija brought out a special custom cake they had made just for his grandma.  Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to her and exchanged more smiles, tears and hugs.  It was so sweet!

One other thing that I should mention is how awesome Taylor did.  He was fighting a horrible virus.  He was such a trooper when it came time for pictures and the ceremony.  We made him take little breaks so he wouldn’t get too exhausted, but he kept up with everything.  I’m so glad he did, because I’m absolutely in love with all the images from their beautiful day!

Mija and Taylor, thank you for inviting me along to photograph such a memorable and special day.  I can’t wait for you to see the rest of your images!  Here is just a sneak peek to get you by for a few more days.  🙂

Photographer: Purrington Photography
Ceremony Venue: Camp Hiawatha – Deer River
Reception Venue: The Sawmill Inn – Grand Rapids
Officiant: Pastor Jay Pepin
Wedding Gown: Formalities – Bemidji
Shoes: Walmart – Mother of bride dazzled them up
Hair and Makeup: Jj Snell from Salon Brad
Bridesmaid Dresses: Formalities – Bemidji
Men’s Formalwear: Pants are from Duluth Trading Company, shirts are from JcPennys, and shoes are from Clarks.com
Stationary (invites, programs, etc): Made by Bride and Mother of the Bride
Florist: Blue Iris – Grand Rapids
Event Designer: Brides Family and the Groom
Other Rentals: Lefty’s for the tent
Catering : Sawmill Inn – Grand Rapids
Cake: How Sweet It Is Cakes – Duluth
DJ: High NRG – Grand Rapids

camp hiawatha grand rapids

bride dress and shoes with moose

earthy wedding with blush tones

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first look between bride and groom

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bridal portrait with veil blowing in wind

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bridesmaid pose poses idea ideas with blush tones

groomsmen poses

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wedding family poses portraits

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wedding cake

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Kayla and Elliot – Mahnomen Wedding Photographer

I cannot wait to share Kayla and Elliot’s special day with all of you!  This wedding was definitely a wedding full of “firsts” for me.  You never know what your day will entail at a wedding.  They are full of surprises.  So, here’s my fun list of all the new things I got to experience:

1.  First time in Mahnomen, and I was excited to see how everything came together so beautifully.  The locations were great and close to each other, and I love that the bride and groom decided to do their photos at the Mahnomen Country Club.  The wind was strong but we were able to tuck down at the bottom of a big hill.

2.  First time I have ever had a groom lose his ring.  That’s right.  Elliot was driving his lovely bride around on the golf cart during pictures when he realized his ring was no longer on his finger.  We ran back to our first location and started looking all over the grass to find it.  (I’d like to make a note here that I did not panic.)

You’ll never guess what happened next.

He found it.

He actually found his little ring in the huge expanse of a big green grassy golf course.

That made me really happy…

3.  First time I ever fell in the mud during photos.  Yup.  I totally biffed it.  I am that classy.  On the bright side though, at least it was me covered in mud instead of my camera.

4.  First time planning all the wedding photography with a bride’s mom.  Kayla’s mom, Colleen, is absolutely awesome.  You can tell she loves her girl so much.  She did such a great job!

5.  First time at a reception where the bride and groom kiss, but only after they are shown how to do it first.  That’s right.  This was such a fun and creative Kissing Game!  So the bride and groom put together a list of couples.  When the guests would clink their glasses a couple from the list would be announced.  That couple would then have to come up front and kiss.  However they kissed had to then be mimicked by Kayla and Elliot.  It was such a fun idea!

So much thought and details were put into this event.  Kayla and Elliot, your day was special, and I thank you for letting me be a part of it.  I wish you the best!

Photographer: Purrington Photography

Ceremony Venue: St. Michael’s Church, Mahnomen

Officiant: Father Dave Super

Reception Venue: Shooting Star Convention Center, Mahnomen

Consultants: Teddy Busse and Cortney Pemberton

Location for Photos: Mahnomen Country Club

Wedding Gown:  Alan Evans Bridal, Moorhead

Shoes:  Alan Evans Bridal

Hair and Makeup:  Katie Chloupek, The Source Salon and Beauty Supply

Wedding Rings: A Cutting Edge

Bridesmaid Dresses:  Alan Evans Bridal

Bridesmaid Jewelry: Francescas

Men’s Formalwear:  Affairs by Brittany, Inc

Stationary:  Designed by Colleen Kappes and printed at FM Printing

Florist: Tammy Sargent with Sun Flowers

Catering:  Shooting Star Convention Center

Cake& Cupcakes: Heather Pederson

Favors: Etsy

DJ:  Mobile NRG

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Bemidji Newborn Photographer

I combined two of my favorite things:  taking pictures of babies and taking pictures outside!  I love when the weather warms up and allows me to do this in the summer.  If you live in Bemidji, Minnesota you know how short my window is!  This blog post shows two of my favorite outdoor newborn sessions from last summer.  I just realized that I never put them up on my blog.  They’re too cute not to!  The first was a lovely little girl by the name of Norah.  I wanted to do something with flowers, but my main goal was to make images using neutrals and lace and texture.  Norah’s mother ordered birth announcements which were some of my favorites that I’ve designed.

newborn girl in field of yellow flowers baby girl neutral lace flower lace canopy on tree with baby girl birth announcement pink for girl

The next images are of a sweet little boy named Colten.  I borrowed my grandma’s little garden wagon which was the perfect size for him.  I again was trying to achieve images that were very neutral and texturized.  He was such a sweet little boy and it was so fun meeting his mother.  Such a sweet lady!

baby newborn boy in rusted old wagon baby newborn boy in wagon in field

 

Clara – A Beautiful and Strong Hero!

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I don’t normally start a post with photos, but this post is special.  Clara is special.  Under all that beauty and strength you would never guess the battle she faces every day.  Below is her story written by her parents.  Please take the time to read it.  Then go back and look through the photos again.  You’ll see what a hero she truly is!

“Nothing compares to the pain of losing a child.  We discovered this with our first child, Drew Thomas.  Our beautiful baby boy was born June 10,1999 and only survived one day.  Not long after that we had our second child, Dawson Drew who was born healthy and strong.  Then came our 3rd  child, Gracie Rae, who was born still November 21, 2001.  We will never be able to explain the heartache and pain that we suffered losing our second child.  All we could do was turn to God,  pray for strength and understanding, and take comfort knowing that both of our babies were with Him.

In 2006 we found out we were expecting our 4th child, Clara Grace.  The news was so exciting but left us nervous and anxious as well.  We were so happy and relieved when Clara was born, and everything went absolutely perfect!  She entered this world screaming and weighed a whopping  9lbs 3 oz!  She was beautiful, full of life and strong!

But things were not all as they seemed.

Soon after Clara’s homecoming we knew in our hearts something was wrong with our precious baby girl.  She cried nonstop, could not be soothed, and was not gaining weight.  We then discovered from her newborn genetic screening that she had a genetic mutation called Cystic Fibrosis. We were devastated with this news!  Her mother had a cousin who died at the young age of 10 from this disease, and the thought of losing a 3rd child was almost more then we could handle.  We prayed and researched.  Then we prayed some more.

We immediately took Clara to get further testing to confirm the genetic findings and to seek expert help in treating this condition.  Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease which causes the body to produce a thick sticky mucus that affects the lungs and digestive system.  The average life expectancy is only 37 years.

Clara’s initial treatment involved hours of respiratory therapy and dozens of pills a day.  It seemed to keep her symptoms of CF minimal for the first few years until she turned 5.  That’s when she started to develop gastrointestinal problems.  She now suffers from severe upper intestinal blockages that require numerous ER visits and hospital stays annually.  She is facing the dark side of this condition.

But she is facing it with strength.

She is the strongest person we know.

She doesn’t even bat an eye at blood draws, painful tests and tons of doctor visits.  This is all she has ever known, and she rarely complains.

Clara is now a first grader and  is already learning that she needs to take extra precautions to stay healthy.  She has helped educate her class of her condition, and as a group they came up with ideas to help keep her strong and  healthy.  She may be tiny for her age (smallest in her school at less than 40 pounds), but she is definitely mature and amazes all who know her.  We are so proud of her!  She loves dancing and singing and all girly things.  But she also has a little side of tomboy that makes her unique!  She loves her dirt bike just as much as her baby dolls!

Clara has taught us all how to love life and live it to the fullest, and to not take anything for granted.  We thank God every day for giving her to us to love and to take care of.  She even has good “healthy” days where everything seems to be working right.  We get to see her vibrant, cheerful and sweet personality shine, and we almost forget about her condition.

Even though Clara faces a lifetime of uncertain health, she daily shows us the strength and courage it takes to be an inspiration.

We pray and remain hopeful that in her lifetime CF will stand for “cure found”.”

My Art Projects – Bemidji Photographer

I love doing hair and makeup, but I normally hire it out to my amazing hair and makeup artist Kaalene for photo shoots.  That way I can focus my efforts on the photography.  But on the rare occasion that she’s unavailable,  I get to do both.  All the images below are from projects I have done the hair and makeup for.  I even sewed and designed some of the outfits.

This first image below was from a photo shoot I did for a beautiful young lady that was going into modeling.  She needed images for her portfolio and a rep card.  Modeling agencies prefer very simple makeup for rep cards so they can really see what the model looks like.  So for this shoot we kept it a little more subtle.  Isn’t she gorgeous?

crimped hair model rep card gray scarf

Here’s a fun one of my beautiful friend Emily!

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The next image came from a photo shoot I had been wanting to do for years!  Originally I wanted to do the shoot with a white horse and have my model in a white dress.  Since we were not able to find a white horse we changed the look to what you see below.  I love how they turned out!

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The next image was inspired by one of my favorite photographers, Sue Bryce.  I love how she incorporates flowers and fabrics into her photos.  I wanted to try it out with my own twist and style.  My beautiful friend Carmita was sweet enough to model with her cute pregnant belly for me.  I kept her hair and makeup more subtle to keep it earthy.

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Since winter is my “slow” season, I actually end up trying to do a lot of personal projects then.  The one below was taken on a VERY cold day.  We would go out for 5-10 minutes and then head back in to try to warm up.  My model did such a wonderful job!  KD Floral and Gardens even let us use this beautiful ornament from her shop!

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The next three images were inspired by all the flowering trees this spring in Bemidji.  I was itching to get out and take photos with them.  Raechel from KD Floral was sweet enough to donate beautiful floral arrangements to my project.  That girl is so creative and talented!  I even convinced her to model for the first image below.  Quite a beauty!

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Isn’t the head piece below amazing?!  Another creation from Raechel.  I went for a fun and dramatic look with the hair and makeup for this one.  My model had the thickest hair!  It was so fun to play with!

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Littlefork Minnesota Wedding – Ty and Brock

I first met Ty and Brock last summer for a consultation at the Cabin Coffee House in Bemidji.  After we had a chance to get to know each other a little better, we jumped into talking about all their fun wedding details.  Ty was talking about all her fun ideas when she happened to mention that she was going to wear a lace dress for her wedding.

Lace dress.

She had me at lace dress.

From that moment on I knew that I wanted to photograph their wedding.  I was so excited when she e-mailed me later that week to let me know that they wanted me to photograph their wedding too!  Woohoo!

I had to wait an entire year before seeing Ty and Brock again.  She spends time in both MN and Texas with her family throughout the year training retrievers.  They own and operate Rorem Retrievers.  You should definitely check them out if you have a chance at http://www.roremretrievers.com/  It is such a cool business, and you can tell they are awesome at it!

I was so excited when I showed up on their wedding day.  Ty was even prettier than I remembered!  The wedding took place at her parent’s house on a beautiful 350 acres.  Ty had mentioned that a river ran by their house.  I was expecting a little creek.  You can imagine my surprise when I looked around the back of the house and saw a huge river!  You’ll see how big it is in the photos.  It was so pretty!

Ty and Brock’s day was so laid back and fun.  We did get a short downpour of rain, but it stopped just in time for their ceremony.  After that the sun came out and the celebrating began!  It was a special and memorable day, and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it!  Congratulations, Ty and Brock!

Aren’t these Mr and Mrs signs adorable!  They also gave out homemade strawberry rhubarb jam as wedding favors!
Mr and Mrs signs for wedding day chairs

This was such a fun home with such fun decor!blog2 blog3 blog4 blog5 blog6 blog7 I always have to show photos from the First Look.  It always seems to be one of the most precious moments for a couple!blog8 blog9

When I saw this awesome white vintage chair in the house I knew we had to use it for some photos!
blog10 blog11 blog12 blog13blog15blog14 blog16 blog18blog17blog19 blog20blog23 blog24blog21blog-30The image below on the right was one I took as we were leaving.  Ty and Brock had a moment alone, and I just happened to capture it.  They didn’t even know I was lurking in the shadows!  😉blog22 blog25

VENDORS:

Photographer: Purrington Photography

Event Coordinator: Mary Wardas

Florist: Gearhart’s Floral

Cake: Cocoa and Fig

Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier

Bridesmaid Dress: Alfred Sung

Groo: Alfani Suit with Hugo Boss Shirt

DJ: Show Tyme

Rings: Borderland Jewelery

Stationary: NorthStar Publishing