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30 Days of Creativity

Well friends, no the kitchen is not yet done, but I'm hell bent on doing something with this here blog to resuscitate it before it is pronounced DOA.

Enter 30 days of creativity (or if you will #30daysofcreativity). Since I'm not about to lug my d700 with me everywhere I go, and since I haven't yet been able to get my hands on a Fuji X100 I've become quite accustomed to shooting every day images with my iPhone 4.  Is it the best camera in the world?  No, but it's convenient and ALWAYS at my side. And is taking pictures every day really "creative?" Again, no because I almost do everyday anyway.  To amp up the challenge to myself I've decided to stick strictly to pictures looking downward.  This is actually one of my favorite ways of composing, and I'd like to think doing one (or 10) shots a day of looking down will help me fine tune this process, and have fun in the meantime.  I doubt I'll get around to posting a picture on the blog daily (though apparently, I CAN blog from my phone) but it's worth a shot!

Peace Coffee Shop/"Stripes"



Photography for fun

It's not often these days that I get to take pictures just because I want to.  Sure, I did that when we vacationed in Mexico, but taking the time to edit and color correct all of those pictures always seems like a daunting task when I have PLENTY of other pictures to sort though for, you know, pay.  When I was invited to a photo walk with my friend Erin and her co-worker, I decided it might be a nice time to take a handful of pictures that I could quickly and easily sort through.  Quick and easy was right, I only took around 30 pictures, and I like about half of them (amazing!). 


Since I was taking time for me, I gave each image two looks.  Some of them I like both, some only one, and a couple I did so quickly that they just look over processed, but this is for FUN so, who cares.*



Doesn't the color of the river just make you want to grab some lunch?


That's better




I seriously could not get this image to do what I wanted and what I was left with reminded me of a business card. Voila!


I couldn't really get the composition on this one the way that I wanted because of a hard sun behind me casting a shadow on the dandelion field. 



This is definitely my favorite of the day.  I like the 2nd version a tiny bit better, even though it's amost exactly the same. 


I added a layer to create a bit more softness on this one, an I think it makes the water/lines/bokeh a little more magical. <Swoon>


Oh, I do like this one a lot too.  I have to admit I blew out the sky in post and got rid of some clouds, but it was pretty close to this to begin with


I might make a print out of this one.  I love adding a light pink hue to otherwise industrial or manly things.  It adds just a touch of romance (because I'm such a gushing romantic)


I am happy to admit I totally went overboard in post on this one.  But if I spent time on making this look perfect, the blog post would never happen, and then Erin would be mad at me.



I like the B&W version of this SO much more


I was kind of sad Annie didn't have her hair in Pigtails today, but her adorable shirt and cardigan combo totally made up for it.  I would wear this outfit in a heartbeat.

Another one that feels SO different in color and B&W.  I like them both, but the B&W reminds me of my days in the dark room. 

The only reason I like this one is the vantage point.  Usually you just see the stone arch bridge with downtown in the background.  This way you see a modern boring office building!


One of my biggest challenges as a wedding photographer is taking pictures in well known Twin Cities locations and getting those pictures to look different from everyone elses.  Certainly we all have our own aesthetic, use different settings, lighting and poses, but the stone arch bridge is always going to the Stone Arch Bridge.  I tried to approach our walk with the same mentality. How'd I do? 


Many thanks to Janelle for organizing the walk!  It was great to finally meet you and be the subject of your portrait lesson :)

*Since I wanted to get all of this up on the internet, I did all of my post work on my laptop which I would NEVER do for paying clients. My apologies for muddy and inconsistent colors.


In the mean time...

In between eating out, eating frozen food and lots of yogurt while our kitchen slowly but surely becomes workable, I've kept my shutter busy taking picture of things that aren't food OR wedding related (I know, right?).  My friends Rae and Meghan have been busy setting up their amazing vintage pop-up shop, Mighty Swell in South Minneapolis. When they asked if I would shoot their promo pictures, I jumped at the chance to try something new and they turned out amazingly!  I'll soon be posting a more complete post about the shoot and some samples over on my "official" blog , but a few images were featured in the City Pages and Vita.Mn this week because the sale is going to be amaze-balls!


Mighty Swell

April 30th and May 1st

3109 East 42nd Street

Minneapolis, MN



When we started shopping for houses back in February of 2008, it was more for "fun".  I mean, it's kind of hard to take purchasing a building seriously.  The biggest factor of this purchase was for me, the kitchen.  Of course there were other parameters that I found needed to be addressed too.  Hardwood floors were a must, and plenty of space so that we wouldn't have to move out when we decided to start a family (I really hate moving) charm, of course.  But the biggest factor of our purchase was potential.  We saw an adorable 900 square foot house that was in perfect, ready to move in condition, complete with updated kitchen.  But we want kids, and we have a pretty terrible tendency of collecting stuff, not to mention it was listed at $179,000, the very top of our price range.

I have a distant memory of walking into the house we now call a home today.  Empty and carpeted, the only thing I really remember liking was the backyard, the high ceilings, and the size.  It was one of the first (if not THE first) house we visited, and the only object in the house was a dried chili pepper on the counter top, which Ephraim pointed out, suggesting we find one object or feature of a house that stands out to help us remember all of the things we'd see that day.


My memory continues to fade regarding the next few details, but I beleive we went out and looked at houses another day, but decided to look at the large carpeted farmhouse a second time that day.  on the car ride home, decided we would figure out how to get our money together and make an offer.  We ended up paying the asking price, with stipulations that certain aspects would be taken care of before we moved in, including the tune up of an inefficient furnace, venting an air vent outside (instead of into the attic, what the hell?) and the stainless steal garbage can located in the mudroom off the back entry.  We never did get that damn garbage can...






Now, back to priorities.  The kitchen was UGLY.  Drop ceiling, florescent lights, vinyl flooring and hallow vaneer doors, not to mention very little counter space, ridiculously high set cabinets and no storage to speak of.  But it was BIG.  Hovering just around 300 square feet, I could envision the possibilities that one day could be the kitchen I've always wanted. 




(we still have the tire swing)


And thanks to my booming photography business (the same thing that keeps me away from this blog) this year we actually had the money to remodel.  Three quotes and six months later, the kitchen is underway!  I cannot tell you how exciting this is to us!  Granted, it sucks not even being able to boil a pot of water, I feel so fortunate that we're finally able to do the project we envisioned since day one.  



You can see that we had already made some changes.  The drop ceiling was the first to go (along with those horrible lights) and new floors put in.  Sadly, we had a less than positive experience with our ikea click and lock bamboo floors.  I think part of the issue was installation (having learned to install them at my friend Claudia's house, I don't believe the put in the spacers that prevent the floors from separating from eachother in the dry winter months.  Not cool) but they also chipped and warped in a few places.  Not to mention EVERYTHING SHOWS UP ON DARK FLOORS!  Except maybe coffee grounds.  Otherwise, you might want to save the dark floor for a room you keep immaculately clean ALL THE TIME!  (ie, not us and definitely not our kitchen).

What? You thought I would sweep and clean the day before demo started?  Not likely my friends. 


First things first, Micah (the genious behind the kitchen remodel) ripped out the "new" floor and took off the remaining cabinet doors (Kyle had taken some off one day... to see what it looked like.  We never put them back on)  It also turns out dark colors make things seem smaller, and suddenly the room was huge again (could be because we took all   some of the junk out too)





Some more cabinets make their way out...



The framework goes in for the pocket door (!!!) This was the first real "construction"  Very exciting!

Thank god for that dishwasher.  It's currently hooked up to the sink in the bathroom


It was quite the change of scenery when we got back from vacation!Brand new floors! and Where did the radiator go?

New, reclaimed door for the pocket door in the bathroom


Gorgeous old door replacing shitty laminate door.  Win! 

Still no radiator, but those black things sticking out of the ground on the right will be the feed and return for our newly repainted (and sadly previously hidden) radiator


Stained and poly-ed floors.  I swear I do NOT try to get the cats in all of these pictures. 

The floors are a knotty pine, stained white and polyed.  The grain and knots show through, which makes the cat hair INVISIBLE!


That's pretty much where we're at today.  New drywall is up, paint selected and trim being hung.  We bought all of our appliances yesterday (aside from the range hood, which I still have to research) and they're being delivered in a week!   I'll keep you posted!





Ladies and Gents.  I know you're jonesing for some of our beautiful eggs.  Well, we're totally jonesing for a new couch in our livingroom.  And Blu Dot is totally willing to give us a couch for eggs... well maybe.  Only if you deem it worthy!  Head to our site, and click the "swap-worthy" button.  And click on some of my friends proposals too!