What a precious, beautiful little girl. I have SO MUCH love for this family, and now its a whole new season of life with the arrival of sweet Anna. I've know Whitney for years... I think she said this is our seventh session together!? Absolutely crazy, yet incredibly wonderful to be so close to a family. Thanks for letting me be there every step of the way!
Everyone, meet McKayla from Jamestown High! It's truly been amazing getting to photograph such incredible seniors from all over the state. McKayla has quite the fashion sense, from downtown urban vibes, to dancing in the middle of the field. We had the perfect sunset, and the night couldn't have been sweeter.
Have a great senior year, McKayla!
And of course, special thanks to best friends that come along for the session! Can't wait to take your senior photos in September, too!
For this story, I have to backup just a little...
This past January myself and a group of young adults took a mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico and on that trip I got to meet Tom for the first time. I had known Whitney from previous events, and throughout the week I started to realize how much these two really liked each other. We spent hours, yes hours, shoveling gravel under the bright Mexico sun, and even then, sweaty as can be, these two still had a good time. A couple days later, we all did an obstacle course and slack lined down, and while Whitney was a little cautious at first, Tom was so kind and helped her feel comfortable enough to go for it. Together, they jumped and held hands to the bottom.
While I only got to hang out with them for just over a week, I'm pretty sure that a couple who can work hard together like that and help each other conquer their fears, is a pretty dynamic couple.
So, when Tom surprised me with a 'photo job' a couple weeks ago, I was totally on board! Not only was he going to propose, but he was going to do it on the day he was closing on his (their) new home! Talk about a surprise. I showed up early, hid for a while, and anxiously waited for their arrival. Sure enough, they pulled up, Tom got on his knee, and Whitney couldn't stop smiling! Loved. every. moment.
Thanks for letting me capture your very first moments as fiances! SO excited to see what your future holds in your new home.
Early on in high school I knew I wanted to go to school for design, which later lead me to Northwestern in Saint Paul. My time at Northwestern was filled with an incredibly education, a creative community, and countless people with genuine hearts. Courtney was one of those people.
My sophomore year of college, Courtney was my RA and a fellow art student. We got close that year along with several other girls, and so being asked to photograph her wedding years later was an honor!
Throughout the entire day, Courtney was smiling ear-to-ear, and I wouldn't expect any less. Her smile is contagious! I'm so excited she found Dave, and I love them together. Thanks so much for letting me be apart of your wedding day!
Mallory is the first senior of my senior season! Every year its a bit nerve-wracking jumping into something that's not quite as fresh, but I'm always amazed how creative and excited I feel after getting back in it. Mallory is no doubt incredibly gorgeous, and with her mother and sister alongside to cheer her on, we had an amazing time together from beginning to end. She even climbed through head-high weeds in heels! Super proud of her, and excited for her adventure ahead!
I truly adore this family in every way. I met Laci a long time ago via church, and it was a joy watching her fall in love with this 'Ben' later when I was in college. Of course it was still from a distance and social media, but you could just tell he was the one. Fortunately, I was able to attend their gorgeous wedding that fall, and now they have sweet, sweet Brooklyn and I finally got to meet her. She has the biggest eyes, and the chubbiest cheeks. She's incredibly happy and very playful. Thanks for letting me capture those precious moments!
So much to say about these two and their incredible day... Over the past couple months I've gotten to know Shayla and Cam, and from our very first night together for their engagement session, I knew this day and this couple was special.
There's a few things you should know:
1. They absolutely LOVE their family.
2. Shayla is the best cook!
3. They're both huge advocates for downtown Fargo.
4. Their dog, Mochi, is the most loved dog ever.
5. They started dating back in early high school + crazy about each other.
All of those things and more we're apart of their big day, and it couldn't have gone better. I can't wait to see all that's in store for these two. Thanks for letting me be apart of your big day, Shayla + Cam!
Suits: Halberstad's ND
Wedding Dress: Posh Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Catering: Chefs Table Catering
Bridal Earrings: Your Day by Nicole
Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Wedding Rings: Royal Jewelers Fargo by Tacori
Venue: Sanctuary Events Center
How adorable is little Braeleigh!? I've know her mother, Keremy, since middle school and had the sweet pleasure of photographing their wedding a few summers ago. Not only have they grown as a family, but sweet Braeleigh has won Baby Miss North Dakota! All before a year old. She has a bright, fun future ahead.
How cute are these two! Their homes are completely opposite sides of the state, but they met online and its been love ever since. Our session started with a quick rain shower, but then the sun came out and made it absolutely perfect, sun glowing everywhere through the streets. Later on as the sun went down, the wind made an appearance, but that just makes cuddling even better. From a rain shower to a cold breeze, they were all smiles and I couldn't be more excited to capture their wedding in the badlands come August!
Thanks for letting me capture this amazing time of your lives!
It's no secret that I adore these two, so when they announced there would be a baby girl sevlie, I was beyond excited and almost instantly said we had to take photos. From living with Whitney, to seeing Isaac enter the picture, to capturing their wedding last May, it's been a constant joy seeing their family grow. Your baby is going to be so treasured and loved. I can't wait to meet her!
Happy National Pet Day, everyone! We absolutely LOVE when we get to meet furry friends on photo sessions. It's encouraged! So, this is for all your wonderful pets out there and to our very own. Love you, Miss Baylee!
...And for Baylee. We love you...
In March, my husband and I traveled to Las Vegas along with my family, so we wanted to venture out and capture a local couple's love story because why not! The joy of traveling can be in meeting new people, and so we were on a mission to do so. There's quite the story of how I was introduced to both Lisa + Isaac, but needless to say it was through a long list of connections that I'm incredibly grateful for.
When we arrived, Lisa greeted us with hugs and directed us to one of her favorite spots outside of Vegas—I was in heaven the entire time! The warmth and textures of the desert with nearby mountains is such a gorgeous, unique landscape that we simply aren't nearby here in North Dakota. Not to mention, how incredible Lisa and Isaac are together. They've been good friends for quite a long time, and then one day when they were both in similar seasons of life, it clicked. They were meant to be.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this shoot possible + thanks to Lisa and Isaac for being INCREDIBLE and making our trip truly one to remember.
I absolutely adore this family! There's some families that you meet once, and then see their lives at a distance, and then there's those that invite you to follow along each step of the way, and the Noricks are exactly that. From their very first season expecting a child, to celebrating their little girl, to now welcoming their little boy, I've gotten to capture all the precious, little moments. Silas is so adorable already, and Selah is the perfect, little model.
Thanks for welcoming me into your home!
What an amazing couple!
I first met Jenna the same weekend I met my future husband, so I remember the weekend quite well. We were at an incredibly cold winter retreat in the middle of February surrounded by wooden cabins and evergreen trees, but while everything else was frigid and dry, some of the very best people we're there, including Jenna.
I'm still getting to know Zane, but I've heard many a time from my husband, who attended school with Zane growing up, that he's quite the catch as well. Together, they make an incredible couple, both with Zane's constant sense of humor and Jenna's contagious smile. I am SO excited to be apart of their big day in August.
Congrats to you both!
It's somewhat crazy that I was first introduced to this amazing family just a couple months ago, as we have so many mutual family friends, but nonetheless I'm so glad we've finally met! Skyler and Brody, are two of the cutest little brothers I've ever seen. Of course, there's the classic dynamics of older brother getting used to the younger, but the playfulness and constant movement certainly bonds these two together. Whether toy trains, fruit snacks, toy shovels, or jumping in the bed, everything is an adventure and something to be explored.
Thanks for inviting me in your home to capture a morning of these two, active little brothers!
Long before my passion for photography ever came to be, I had a mission-focused heart. I grew up in a home where we were taught to serve and have compassion on others, and not only am I incredibly grateful for that, but it also lead me to some amazing opportunities to serve people all over the world. There's something so valuable in traveling somewhere new, not only seeing but sharing in their culture, and opening your worldview to something so much bigger. People need people, no matter where you go, and that's what missions is all about.
To kick off 2017, a team and I from the UG at Evangel, traveled to Tijuana to serve the RDSN, Ranchos De Sus Ninos, organization and ministry. We had roughly a week there to serve in a variety of ways from physical labor to save water costs to playing with kids and making them feel incredibly valued and loved as they are. It was absolutely amazing and unique to any other mission experience I've had, and while I wish every person on the team could share their stories with you in this moment, I'm going to try to let the images do most the talking.
Here we go!
Day 1 in Tijuana
We arrived to Tijuana on Monday right as the sun went down, after going through a very long border crossing process. We were given a warm welcome, a quick tour, and shown where we'd spend the night. They directed us to our two rooms which basically consisted of a cement room with some wooden bunks, and no heat. If we're being honest, it was a bit of surprise to the team, but we were ready to sleep and kick off day one of ministry with an open mind and fresh heart.
So, day one of ministry began!
I woke up a bit early to catch the sunrise and get a better feel for the area as the previous night's tour was mostly in the dark, and wow, was I instantly amazed and surrounded by pure peace. We were surrounded by large, blue mountains in nearly all directions, and the way the light brushed the red-orange ground was warm and comforting. Soon enough, the kids started walking to school, and the team and I were on our way to our morning devotion/worship session.
I absolutely LOVE Spanish worship, so I was in heaven! From there, we were directed to our first activity: Shoveling gravel for three hours straight. Yes, this was just as fun as you might imagine haha, BUT we later found out that the gravel we were shoveling was going to save the ministry $80k a year on water costs that could, instead, be put towards the orphanage and more buildings. Amazing! Plus, it was a good way to bond with the team.
Afterwards, we got a break to relax, freshen up, and take some time to ourselves before tackling our ministry that night. We really had no idea what to expect!
Day one was the night of trash ministry. We loaded up several buses with both groups and simply reached out to people in their homes asking if we could take their trash. This service isn't commonly offered in areas such as these, so it was a great way to bless them, but also make connections and invite the families to the event the following night. I was amazed at how the homes are laid out, and at how many dogs filled the streets!
The hand-lettered Spanish typography was very impressive to me, as a designer, so you'll see some of those, too. We ended the night was a Mexican food tradition: Corn on the cob with some sort of cream (tasted similar to sour cream). And thankfully nobody got sick!
Day two was very similar to day one in that we had our devotion and then shoveled gravel for another three hours. This time, though, it was bright and sunny so the team definitely enjoyed feeling that luscious head on their skin. AND we had an amazing sunset.
Our ministry that night was similar to a VBS or sorts here in the USA. We went back to the same community where we picked up trash, and went door to door inviting them to come as a family. I was sooo proud seeing so many of our teammates try using Spanish as they never had before! They did it boldly and confidently, and loved seeing the people understand what they had to say. My favorite moment was seeing a little girl peak through the top window of her room to see what was going on.
For our activities, we took over a local basketball court with several chairs and tables for face painting, coloring, you name it. They also had some football and other games going to keep all the kids having fun. While coloring, this is when I met the sweetest little four-year-old and her family. She was so sweet and wanted to know EVERYTHING about my family. (Although its super intimidating talking to a 4-year-old who can speak Spanish far better than you.) We connected and I was grateful.
Then, they moved into the 'show' of the night. They had everyone rush to their chairs to play several large-group games like Simon Says and Musical Chairs. They all loved it and got prizes like blankets and pillows for winning. After the games were done, the RDSN leader gave a message and you could tell the audience really connected. The little girl I bonded with found me and wanted to sit next to me, and when it came time was able to pray with her! When I was finished, I looked back and her entire family was in one big hug praying with some of the leaders. It was a moment I'll never forget.
Day 3 of ministry was our final day of shoveling! We finished the entire wall of 'rooms' of cement, and were so excited to have served in that capacity even if our bodies were incredibly sore. Most of the day was quite rainy and dark so photos were few, but that night we got to go to the different small groups the ministry has on a weekly basis.
Every group of 4-5 people went to a different community so we all had different experiences, but with ours we were just glad we made it. With all the rain and the dirt roads, it was sooo extremely muddy. We were't sure the bus would make it, but thankfully it did with some extra care.
Before the small group started, our leader and her team wanted to visit their friend, a middle-aged man who had been living with cancer. He was sick and living with his family, however he has lived past his medical expectancy and is improving in health every day! He event joked about how he could race his little nephew, he was walking so well. He loved to talk about anything and everything, and was grateful we had visited him even if we were strangers.
When small group time came, we were welcomed into their home with coffee and these delicious treats. While the room was small, the joy was abundant. One of the team members convinced a few of us to try these spicy chips and wow they were hot!! From there, we had a time of worship in both languages, read a passage of scripture, and then went around to give testimonies from the previous week. It was very special to be invited into such a small group as an outsider, really, but it was amazing for us to see their homes and to meet people who benefit from the RDSN on a daily basis.
Day four was probably the most memorable day. Instead of shoveling, we got to the ropes course! This was a fear of some members on the team, so it was incredible to see them brave their own fear of heights and to overcome that obstacle in their life. I personally LOVED it, and had so much fun. My adrenaline was rushing as we got to zip line off the top to return and complete the course. I took a big leap and just went for it—so fun!
For ministry that day, we got to do what we were all anxiously waiting for—to play with all the kids! We got to play with them during their day care portion of the school day and all the kids were just sooo excited, and we're shy at all! They instantly approaches us, grabbed us, and off we were coloring, playing soccer, running around, dancing, doing cartwheels, you name it! It was active, and it was fun.
The three girls I hung out with for a majority of the time were all 11 and best friends. They loved gymnastics so they were delighted to find out I could handwalk, and taught them how to do the same by holding their legs up for them. Then, amidst taking lots and lots of photos, they couldn't stop feeling my very thin hair, and suddenly all three we're braiding it! I was a bit concerned it'd turned into one big mess, but to my surprise they gave me a traditional Mexican braid and it was beautiful! They even gave me their hair tie and we exchanges 'te amos' (I love you's) as we left. Heart breaker!
Afterwards, the team thought it was finally time to climb the mountain that we had all been in awe of since we arrived. Sunset was quickly approaching so the entire hike was incredibly gorgeous... let's just say I was the last one because I kept stopping to take photos! Finally, we all made it to the top, and there was this simple cross that was just so appropriate. The sunset was breathe-taking, and we prayed together over that moment and the community of Tijuana. Nothing will beat that moment, as the sun fell behind the mountains and purely displayed all the promises of God. Amazing.
Then, if not everything that day wasn't great enough, we got to go out for some of the best local tacos! Im not a taco expert, but these were some pretty awesome tacos across the board. We all ate as much as we possibly could.
Our final day in Mexico was spent having fun along the ocean! We had some delicious pastries, walked the shoreline with sand in our toes, and some of us even road horseback along the ocean! It was hot out, the view was both amazing and refreshing, and we got to eat more great Spanish food.
The night closed with some time together as a team around the campfire to reflect on our experience, and to give 'shout outs' to every member of the team. It was the perfect way to end our time in Tijauana.
Thanks so much for taking part in the missions experience in Tijauna! The main thing that I learned was that beauty has a lot of appearances. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing or the best photograph to take, but the story and the person is beautiful in who they are and the life they live. I met so many astounding people who have so little, yet live so big. Big in the way of their attitude, their faith, and how they give to others. And that's a beautiful life.
If you'd like to get involved more or help the ministry we served at, please connect with them here and even consider sponsoring a child. They are seriously excellent at what they do, and I can't support them enough!
++Also, special shout out to the team for being great the entire trip. We all had ups and downs over the course of the week, but we were there for each other, and became family. We all experienced Christ in so many ways, and I can't wait to see what's in store next!
Where to begin! First off, the Reidman family is amazing, and not just for their wonderful sense of interior design (although that's true!). I first got to meet these three this past summer for a fun 6-month-old session and I loved the freedom they gave little Harvey. Boys are alllll about playing and being active, and it was just so much fun to see how they interacted together as a new family.
This session wasn't any different. The moment I walked into their beautiful home, I saw all those photos framed around the house and it made my heart so happy. First we moved into the family room to play blocks of course. Harvey also got to show me his bike! Whether blocks, the bike, his indoor slide, or just jumping on the bed, Harvey had so much fun and shared so many cute smiles. And when it was all said and done, we got a moment to capture just Erin and Tanner. The two people who met years ago, fell in love, and created this wonderful life.
Thanks so much for having me in your home!