Lost photos – the downside of today’s technology

Have you ever talked to a friend who was so bummed out because they had just lost or broken their cell phone?  Were you there when they realized that the majority of their recent pictures were on that phone?  Were you also there when they realized that they didn’t have it backed up, and those photos were lost forever?  I have, and let me tell you, it’s not a fun moment.  The pain of lost photos is definitely a downside of today’s technology!

Connection to the Past

This family was all about having a good time taking their pictures, and it showed in the photos. Thank you for being such great sports, Kappes Family!

When it comes to photography today, so many of our precious memories are living on a little card inside our phones, and since most people aren’t backing them up, they can be lost in the blink of an eye. I’ve heard from more than one parent in the past few years who lost a large chunk of their photos when their phone died or they switched carriers, lost it, or some other scenario. To me this is just tragic. Photos have always been an important part of my life’s story. They are how I was able to connect with grandparents that were gone before I was born, how I was able to see my parent’s relationship as they were dating and newly married, how I’ve relived many moments from my own childhood, and that is the kind of experience I want for absolutely everyone. In my mind, it is something that truly cannot be taken lightly – you can’t get those moments back once they’re lost forever.

A Present for the Future

That, my friends, is why I’m so extremely passionate about you taking home wall art and albums of the photos we create during your session with me. If I just hand you a digital USB device and no physical photos, the odds of them ever getting printed and put in albums or hung on your wall are slim to none, and that is a darn shame! Not to mention the fact that by the time someone realizes the true value of them (one or two generations down the road), the technology will no longer be able to “read’ those photos and they will be lost forever. That doesn’t happen with prints. Yes, they may fade and dull over time (but even that has improved greatly with technology), but they are still physically present, and future generations can hold those photos in their hands and feel a connection to someone they may never have had the opportunity to know. That is so precious and cannot be emphasized enough.

I think our society has come to a point with cameras in everyone’s hands that photography has become a bit devalued, but for those of you who still cherish the importance of it, and want to have that lasting legacy, I am here for you. I am not that photographer who will spend two hours with you and then just dump all the files on a flash drive for you and send you on your way. No, I care too much about you and your legacy to do that. I realize you’re busy and have a million other things to do, so I am going to be the one who ensures that you have physical prints that will last for generations to come.   Have you ever paid attention to the photos in the obituary section of the newspaper?  This may seem a bit morbid, but I promise there is a point… Have you noticed those photos where it is obvious that the deceased’s photo was cropped out of a snapshot with other people in it? Isn’t it sad that there wasn’t even one great picture of them solo that could have been used? Or, how about the ones where the deceased had lived a long life and died at 95, but the photo is of them at 25 years old? Perhaps their family had a reason for including the old photo, but in many cases, the reason is that the deceased hadn’t had a professional photo taken of themselves for 70 years! As one who values the printed photograph, this saddens me.  The moral of the story?  Do yourself and your family a favor and make sure you take and print photos of your family throughout your lifetime, whether you do it with a professional photographer or not.

They wouldn’t have let her fall, but for a moment she wasn’t sure!

Since I’m already on my soapbox!

And, since I’m already on my soapbox about printing photos, how about one more topic?   For those of you that whine and complain every time you’re asked to be in a photo, please do your family and friends a favor and knock it off! You may not personally care about the photo, but trust me, you have current and future loved ones who do. So next time you are tempted to complain when asked to sit for a photo, remember that you are only hurting those that love you, because we both know it’s not hurting you. Ok, rant over, but I find it so frustrating when people (usually guys) make such a fuss about having their photo taken, when in reality it is one of the best gifts they can give to their family. So relax and smile, guys! Your future grandchildren will thank you! 🙂

Until next time…


Continue Reading

Brainerd Photographer – Planning for your Photo Session

If you’ve ever talked to me about my photography or spent much time on my website, you know that providing an “experience” is very important to me. I know the idea of providing an experience has become a bit of a catch phrase in the marketing world – don’t we all like doing business with people we know, like and trust? Sure we do – it makes perfect sense, and I guess to me, that’s just common sense! With regard to my photography business, my goal is to take experience a little further. Photography is such a personal thing – it’s just me and my camera with you, in what, for most people is a pretty vulnerable position. Some people like having their picture taken, but most are a bit self conscious. I completely understand that and don’t take those fears and concerns lightly. I want to make you feel at home in front of my camera, and know that I will do everything in my power to have you feeling comfortable during the process so you walk away feeling confident and excited to see the images that I’ve captured.

I want your session to be reflection of you, so we’ll put a plan together to make that happen before I ever pick up the camera. We’ll do this during your pre-session consultation. This is when we’ll meet in my studio to get to know each other a bit and plan out your session. I am specifically referring to my process with seniors here, but other than business headshots, I prefer to meet with all clients ahead of time for a consultation. I like to know what your goals are for the session, what you’re planning to do with the photos, who you are, what you’re into, what your concerns are, what you’re excited about. I want to tell your story through images, and capture you in a way that is authentic and true to the person you are at this moment in time. If I don’t have the opportunity to meet you until a few minutes before your session, we’ll still capture some great images, but they may not really tell the story of who you are, and I want you to look back at your photos when you’re my age (which is pretty old!), and remember fondly where we went, what we did, and some funny story that happened along the way. That is the authentic experience I want for you!

When it comes to senior photos, or any photos for that matter, deciding what to wear can often be an extremely frustrating process. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could work with someone to give you honest advice and help you find the outfits that look great and help you feel “like you”? I’ve been working with Jennifer and her team at Fashion Affection Boutique in Baxter for the past year with my senior model team, and they have done a fantastic job finding clothes to match the style and personality of each model. We will be working together again this year for my model program, and Jennifer has graciously agreed to provide some wardrobe guidance to those of you who might need it when planning your sessions. If this is something you’d be interested in, just let me know when we schedule your session, and we’ll arrange a time for you to stop by Fashion Affection and get the help you need. Having clothing that makes you feel good and looks good on you is so important! Thanks to Jennifer and her team at Fashion Affection for helping us make your senior experience just a little bit better!

I recently did a photo shoot with the ladies of FAB. They are one fun loving bunch of ladies, and I promise they’ll take great care of you when you visit their store!

Until next time…stay Modern. Authentic. You.







Continue Reading

Happy Mother’s Day!

Stauffer Proofs-20

Mothers and Daughters share a special bond, and it was obvious during my session with these two.  If you spend a couple of minutes with them, you will quickly realize that they are extremely close, and share such a strong connection.  The smiles, laughter, hugs, and inside jokes were abundant and so fun to capture. Happy Mother’s Day, Jessica – you and Hailey are lucky to have each other.  And to the rest of you moms out there…Happy Mother’s Day!

Continue Reading