Excellent winter weather day

I had a wonderful time this morning taking images around Northfield. I started the day by crosscountry skiing at the Arb. It was foggy and gray, without much great light. I knew images wouldn’t look too great at that time. But as I wrapped up my skiing, the sun started to break through the clouds. I could tell it was going to be awesome. I headed out on Highway 19 and took a few images of an interesting looking tree, just as the sun was peaking through the clouds. 

I then drove past the golf course and saw some gorgeous frosted trees along Spring Creek Road. I headed to downtown Northfield and spent a lot of time by the river and Bridge Square. it was stunning. The frost was being blown off the trees, and with the light behind, it was really awesome. I couldn’t believe it. What a gorgeous morning!

I headed up to St. Olaf College after spending time downtown. The scene at the college was unbelievable! I hope you can see that in some of these images. It was incredible. I haven’t seen a day like this in a long time. 

The frost stayed on the trees for a long time. In fact, I was heading home after a couple of hours of shooting and the trees still looked amazing. As I headed home, the clouds rolled in and the light went flat, but what a great time I had this morning. What you see here is a quick sampling of some of my favorites. I will work on some of the best of these and eventually upload them to my store at Fine Art America. I think they are many here that would make beautiful wall art. Thank you for looking! 

Posted in Landscape, Northfield, Scenic

Northfield senior photography

I love high school senior photography season. I enjoy making portraits of the upcoming graduating students, and this year, I have my own to photograph. (Maybe I’ll have to blog about her if she’ll let me, but not right now.) Anyway, I photographed Hannah who attends Northfield High School. 

I’m happy that Hannah trusted me with the photography for her senior pictures. We did her pictures up at St. Olaf College. Not only is it a great college, but it has many great locations. It is so beautiful and well maintained. The historic buildings can serve as some great backdrops for senior photography. Even a few of the more modern ones work well also. 

I like to start my photography about two hours before sunset. This gives me enough time to capture some great images while the light is at a lower angle in the sky, making more opportunities for gorgeous pictures. The sun was shining bright as we started our photography session, so I started with some pictures on the east side of Old Main. As it got lower in the sky, it produced some great light for backlighting Hannah.

Hannah was very relaxed, and we got some excellent photos of her. When I photograph seniors, I try to do a variety of photographs, so that I get some full length shots, mid-range and also close ups portraits. When we are done, the high school senior has a variety of images from which to choose. They should be able to select some for the wall, gifts for others, some for online as well as one appropriate for the school yearbook. 

By capturing a variety of images, I am able to produce a custom-made invitation for their open house. The open house invitations not only do the job of letting people know when the party is, they also provide a nice keepsake of a variety of images that others can enjoy. 

Anyway, my hope for Hannah – and every senior I photograph – is that she finds many excellent photos to enjoy. I hope I hear from her family, as I do from many others, “There are too many good ones. We don’t know which to pick.” That’s my goal as I photograph seniors. 🙂 

Posted in Senior Photography

Gift idea: Photobook for your graduate

I had a father from Chicago contact me about doing some photography of his daughter who was a senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield. They wanted to make a photo book with some professional pictures of her life at college. She played ultimate frisbee, and they gave me her game schedule, so I went in stealth mode and photographed her and her team playing.

It was loads of fun, even though I felt a little bit like a stalker. I captured her making some great catches and throws, and then I turned away and acted like I was photographing other frisbee players or other teams that were nearby. I don’t often get to do sports photography, but I do enjoy it a lot.

The final book contains images that the family shared with me as well as my original photography. I have also taken many stock images of St. Olaf College over the years, so I used some of those in the book.

The final hard cover fine art book turned out great. It provided a little snapshot of her time at college that she can keep for the rest of her life.

I think this is a great idea for any parents who are looking for a unique gift idea. Artistic, high quality photobooks are a great gift anytime! But of course, I’m a photographer, so I’m a bit biased.

Posted in Senior Photography

High School Senior Photography Season

I can’t believe another high school senior photography season is upon us already. They come around really fast. I love photographing high school seniors. I used to do seniors inside in a studio, with an option to photograph students outside. I always loved it when one would pay extra to have pictures taken outside. However, I have been photographing graduates outside for many years now, with no extra charge. Since photography has gotten more casual overall, I find many families are fine just photographing their seniors outside. 

If you are going to have your senior portraits taken outside, Northfield is a great community to do that in. While I photograph seniors from around the area, such as Lakeville, Apple Valley, Cannon Falls, Farmington, Faribault and more, they love the options that are presented to them for photography in Northfield. 

Usually we start out at St. Olaf, which offers many great opportunities for photography. I continue to find new locations up on the hill that offer a variety of backdrops and settings. For many of the senior photographs, we move down the hill and do photography in the downtown area also. (I don’t charge extra for multiple locations.) Again, many options abound. I love some of the alleyways we have in Northfield. They have character. Also, we can do some photography by the river and the river walk area. Sometimes we’ll do some on the sidewalk in front of a business or behind a business by the fire escape. There are many options for high school senior photography locations, and I’m also open to your suggestions. 

I like senior photography and trying to bring out the senior’s personality in the images. I work to put them at ease and help them relax while we are getting ready to take the pictures and while we take them. Overall, I think most of my clients find the process enjoyable. I often do siblings of those I have photographed years before, so that says something about how the process went and how they liked their pictures. So, if you have a senior and you are looking for a place to have his or her senior pictures done, please contact me. I’d love to talk to you about them. Thanks for looking. 

Posted in Senior Photography

Happy (belated) 100th Anniversary National Parks!

2016 was an amazing year for me regarding landscape photography. I had the opportunity to visit three of our national parks. Not just one or two, but actually three different parks, and I, of course, did landscape photography in all of them. More about that later.

First, if you ever get the opportunity to visit a national park, do it. Our parks are amazing places of scenic beauty that will help lower your blood pressure and calm your soul. There are nearly 60 national parks, so I am sure you can find one you would like to see. But, besides national parks, there are national monuments, memorials, lakeshores, parkways, preserves, reserves and many more, totaling more than 400 locations. If you are looking for an experience, visit www.findyourpark.com to search through them all. There is a lot to do and see.

The national parks were founded in 1916 as a way to preserve the scenic wilderness and historic places in our nation. I have been to many of the parks over the years, but as I said, 2016 was special in that I visited three of them on the parks 100-year anniversary. Did you know I visited two of the most visited national parks according to 2015 attendance numbers?

Grand Canyon, Glacier and Smoky Mountains

In January, my wife and I had a wonderful anniversary weekend in a historic cabin right near the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Grand Canyon was the second-most visited national park in 2015 with 5.5 million visitors. In August, our family visited Glacier National Park in Montana. Glacier saw 2.3 million visitors in 2015 making it the 10th most visited national park. And, this fall I camped in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a few days. (I visited the area about four weeks before the severe fires broke out.) The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the most visited national park in 2015 with 10.7 million visitors.

Because I am a landscape photographer, I gravitate toward the national parks that offer spectacular scenic beauty. In the future, I will write more detail about each trip and provide details about some of the images I captured. Let me just say, I am thankful that our nation protects amazing areas that people can visit and see the beauty of creation. When I visit national parks, I certainly love to shoot fine art images that will make beautiful wall prints to decorate anyone’s home or office, but I realize there are many others who just love to go and enjoy being in nature. Whatever your preference, our national parks are there for everyone to enjoy. So, I hope you do take the time to experience these beautiful treasures called National Parks.

Posted in Fine Art, Landscape, Scenic