Archive for March, 2009


Photo planning tips: alternatives to disposable cameras

I remember when my cousin had her wedding and there were little plastic disposable cameras on each table. The idea was great — most professional photographers at the time (this was 10 years ago) were more “traditional” — they left the reception right after the cake cutting, so disposable cameras were a great way to have photos of the guests.

Fast forward to today. If you have an attachment to disposable cameras, by all means go ahead and use them. Personally, I find that they produce poor quality photos and are expensive. They are certainly not a replacement for a professional photographer, but if you are looking for extra coverage of your guests, you have some options you might not have thought about.

• Talk with your photographer. A good photographer is already planning on taking photos of your guests at the reception, and many will stay for enough time to get those “candid” moments. If you have a lot of guests or want portraits of each of your guests, you can talk with you photographer about options: maybe they can bring along an additional shooter who is dedicated to shooting or even set up a small photo booth. This is often cheaper than having 20 cameras developed, and is one less thing for you to worry about.

• Polaroid camera. Yep, they still make them and they are still fun. Your guests can take photos as they have time throughout the evening and put their photos into a guest book. Even better news is that Polaroid has introduced a new digital instant printing camera called the PoGo. It still gives you the option to print instantly, but since it is digital, you can choose to not print photos that didn’t turn out, and you can save all the photos digitally for future fun! Make sure you have a lot of Polaroid film, and you should probably assign a friend or family member to check on refills from time to time.

• Bring a laptop and universal card reader. Face it, most of your guests will bring their own digital cameras and are already doing the work for you. Make an announcement during the reception for guests to download their cards onto your laptop (assign a friend to man the machine). This also saves you from tracking down all the different albums people will put on flickr, facebook, and snapfish. Best of all? It is totally free.

• The Photo booth. There are lots of photo booth companies that will install a photo booth for a few hours during the reception. It can be entertaining for the guests, you can use the photo strips as an alternative to a guest book. Many companies operate digitally, and can  upload copies online for your guests to see and purchase. The Traveling Photo Booth is great for small spaces and operates totally digitally, while still providing the great strips. Photobooth Memories produces the classic photo prints and is not digital.


Minnesota Orchestra Behind the Scenes Event

I had the opportunity to photograph a Behind-the-Scenes conducting event at the Minnesota Orchestra a few weeks ago. The event paired the young professional orchestra patrons with the assistant conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, Sarah Hicks.

After giving background on conducting in general, Sarah Hicks led the group in the basics of holding that little stick and leading a group (in this case, a lovely quartet).


republishing my tips

I admit it, I google myself. Not all the time, but it is often fun to see where my photos end up! This time, I found that a Raleigh wedding officiant has picked up my last tip on deciding whether to see each other before the wedding or not. It is always flattering to be re-posted, and she has my appreciation for using my name on the article (if not my photos).


Paired – a dining event based around art

I recently was lucky enough to go to Paired, wherein local chef Chris Olson creates a meal based around the work of a local artist. My husband wrote about it on Heavy Table, but I wanted to include a few more photos about the event that didn’t make it into the article.


Photo Planning Tips: Should we see each other before the wedding?

My new “Tips” section is meant to provide some tips and ideas for people planning their wedding. As always, I would love to hear feedback!

Quick Tips from a Photographer: Should we see each other before the wedding?

There is no simple answer, and you need to make the choice that feels right to you. In general, if you are comfortable seeing each other before the ceremony, then that makes a lot of your timing much easier. But, if it is important to you see each other for the first time when you walk down the aisle, that is exactly how you should plan your wedding! Here are a few tips for planning around your decision:

• Consider planning a “first viewing” where you and your fiance can see each other for the first time before the ceremony. By setting up a special time to see your fiance, your photographer can take photos and then you can have some time alone before starting family photos.

• If you choose to do all your formal photos after the wedding, you should know that timing is crucial: make sure family members know that they have to stay around after the ceremony.

• Consider having a receiving line at the reception instead of at the ceremony. When you take photos right after the ceremony your family won’t have to stick around so long, and your hair and clothing will be in better condition without being hugged for an hour!

• Even if you don’t have a formal receiving line, people will often want to congratulate you and it is hard to make a clean escape. If you plan on taking photos after the ceremony, the first thing you need is a “get away plan.” Many ceremony locations have a room you can hide in for several minutes as people are ushered out.

• No matter when you take your photos, make sure that you and your fiance take a few minutes of alone time together!  Consider taking a moment before starting photos or right after the ceremony to connect with the most important person at your wedding.


A fantastic baby session at the W hotel

Almost 2 years ago, I photographed Jodi and Steve’s wedding in Detroit Lakes, MN. They lived in New York at the time, and we didn’t meet until the morning of their wedding, but we really hit it off and I had a great time getting to know their family and friends during their awesome wedding!

Well, fast forward a few years, and they have a new addition to their family that is worthy of them! I mean, not only does he look like James Dean as a 6 month old, but he is really sweet natured and outgoing!

We were able to do the photos at the W Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, where Jodi and Steve were staying for work.


What do albums look like? Let me show you one!

I recently designed an album and two parent albums for a wedding I did in Milwaukee in October. I thought I would share the pages, since seeing a full designed album is always a good idea! The photos were chosen by the bride and groom, and they told me to add whatever I thought the album needed as I saw fit.