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…


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Brainerd Senior Photographer – Palm Springs Collective

Senior Photography experience from Deb Mitzel Photography
2018 BHS Senior, Sidney – by Brainerd Senior Photographer Deb Mitzel Photography

The Deb Mitzel Photography Senior Experience

You know I’m always looking for ways to make the senior experience with my studio even more fun than it already is.  I want you to have a ton of fun and an experience where you can create memories that will last a lifetime!  As I mentioned a while back, I am now offering the incredible opportunity to enter the Seniors Ignite National Model Competition as part of the Deb Mitzel Photography senior experience.  The national winners will participate in the Palm Springs Collective in January 2018.

What is The Palm Springs Collective?

  • A trip to Palm Springs California in the middle of winter, and
  • the opportunity to Model in a full blown fashion shoot,
  • have your Hair, Makeup and Clothing styled by professionals,
  • be featured in a national magazine, and
  • receive incredible photos and memories to take home with you.

If you enter the competition and are one of the national winners, you’ll have this amazing opportunity, referred to as “The Palm Springs Collective”.  I’m heading to Palm Springs in January, so it would be great to have you with me!

Don’t get hung up on the word “model”

So, before you start thinking, “I’m not model material” or “I don’t have a shot”, please don’t get hung up on the word model…yes, there will be hair, makeup, and trendy fashions at the photoshoot, but the competition is not all about physical appearance.  The Seniors Ignite team is looking for young people who have compelling and interesting stories to share with others, and they want to tell your story through photography, too, just as I do. We’ll work together on your entry submission, and if all goes well and you’re a national winner, we’ll jet off to sunny Palm Springs in January, right in the middle of winter in Minnesota! Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?


Take a look at this video produced by Katherine Mendieta at a recent California photoshoot with another group of winning seniors.  Look at all the fun they’re having! If you’re looking for a senior experience unlike any other, click here, and we’ll make sure your senior year is the best year yet!

Until next time!


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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.







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Meet Sam – Pequot Lakes 2017 Senior

160522_PB Model Shoot_0441.jpgFrom the first contact I had with Sam, I could tell she was an articulate, “wise beyond her years” kind of girl, and I am having so much fun getting to know her.  She’s involved in volleyball and basketball at Pequot Lakes High School, and recently earned her black belt in taekwondo!  She’s a total sweetheart, but I wouldn’t recommend messing with her, because I’m pretty sure she could take you out if she had to. 😉  Thanks for being a part of my senior model team, Sam!  I’m looking forward to the fun we’re going to have over the next year!

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Need help finding something to wear for your photo session, or just need to find a fun outfit that makes you look good?

2017 Senior Model Team, Box Car, Paul Bunyan Land, dmitzseniors
This boxcar provided a perfect backdrop that is reminiscent of a TV Series poster. Model’s clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.

What should I wear?  For many of us, it’s a daily question, but when it comes time to decide what we should wear to have photos taken, many of us go into complete panic mode, and then we head out shopping.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have someone help you who knows fashion, what works on different body types, and what will photograph well?  Someone to give you peace of mind so you can come to your photo shoot confident and feeling fabulous?  Well, I happen to know the someone who can do that for you…her name is Jennifer, and she’s the owner of Fashion Affection Boutique, located in the Fitquest Center, right across from El Tequila.  The moment you meet her, Jennifer will make you feel completely at ease, like you are having a conversation with a good friend.  Just tell her what you need an outfit for, and she’ll ask you a couple of questions, then begin to work her magic, finding you exactly what you need, even though you weren’t even sure where to start!

Jennifer, Fashion Affection Boutique owner and fashion guru
Jennifer, Fashion Affection Boutique owner and fashion guru

Earlier this year, when I was putting together plans for my Senior Model Program, I approached Jennifer about working with me on a model shoot, and quickly found that we shared a similar passion in that we love to help people feel empowered and beautiful.  We go about it in different ways – she by helping women select outfits that make them feel beautiful, and me through the lens of my camera, but we both knew that by working together, we could have an even bigger impact!

I knew Jennifer had a gift from my own experiences in her store, but it really hit home when the models and I met with her to select their clothing for the model shoot.  She had asked 3 simple questions of them ahead of time, and we arrived to find that she had selected outfits for them as a starting point based on those three questions.  She invited them to tweak their looks, and let her know what they did or didn’t like so they could change it up, but she was absolutely spot on right out of the gate!  The moms in attendance were shocked at how well Jennifer was able to do without knowing their daughters, when they likely wouldn’t have fared as well knowing them their entire lives.  To say Jennifer is good at what she does would be a gross understatement!

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So… if you’re trying to figure out what to wear for your upcoming photo shoot, or you need a fabulous outfit “just because”, stop by Fashion Affection Boutique and meet Jennifer or one of the other ladies.  They’re all fabulous by the way, and will help you find clothes you just can’t wait to wear!  And one other thing… in case you’re thinking you’ll have to drop a lot of cash to have this experience, think again – there is nothing in the store priced over $50!  That’s a pretty lofty goal, and Jennifer has done it with fashionable clothes you’ll love to wear.

Jennifer and her mom, Sue, can regularly be found in the boutique, along with recent high school graduate, Hannah, not pictured. They are all fabulous at helping you find the perfect outfit!
Jennifer and her mom, Sue, can regularly be found in the boutique, along with recent high school graduate, Hannah, not pictured. They are all fabulous at helping you find the perfect outfit!

Check out the fabulous clothes on the girls in these photos – they all came from Fashion Affection Boutique.  Tell Jennifer and the ladies I sent you when you stop by – you won’t be disappointed!

The carousel provided a fun backdrop for our model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model's clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
The carousel provided a fun backdrop for our model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model’s clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
Model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model's clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
Model shoot at Paul Bunyan Land. Model’s clothing provided and styled by Fashion Affection Boutique.
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