Megan and Jen's Wedding at Heartland Restaurant in Saint Paul was a delight to photograph. As we've gotten to know these two throughout their engagement, we've learned that they are not only well suited for each other, they bring so much joy into people's lives with their generous hearts, boundless talents and compassionate outlook on life. They have been together for a long time (they have the sweetest daughter) but it wasn't until recently they decided to make their commitment a legal union. A few highlights from their wedding included a traditional Japanese flute and drum performance featuring the brides' very own ensemble which brought a personal touch to their ceremony. Their guests shared various readings and accolades throughout the day which left few without dry eyes. And of course the phenomenal food Heartland provided for the guests brought Megan and Jen's vision for an intimate gathering with really good food to life. All in all, it was a great day and we were honored to tell Megan and Jen's wedding story. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
What a lovely little wedding this was! Lif and James were married with an audience of three guests back in April. James grew up here in the states, and Lif grew up aborad, but Minnesota brought them together. They will be celebrating with two more traditional weddings (one here and one abroad!) but wanted to make their commitment legal before they waited any longer. They had a brief ceremony at the Semple Mansion in Minneapolis and I joined them afterward for some portraits around the Mansion and since it was rainy we hit up one of our favorite Minnesota indoor spots - the Como Conservatory in Saint Paul. The lush greenhouse provided a beautiful backdrop for the newlyweds who were literally giddy with excitement at their new state as husband and wife. It made my job a piece of cake as they waltzed through the Conservatory on their cloud of wedded bliss. Lif and James, thanks for trusting us to capture this special day, we know there will be so much happiness in your future together! Congratulations!
We love this wedding and this couple for so many reasons. The one that sticks out the most though, has to be their natural ability to make each other smile. In their vows, Kate promised to keep Autumn safe, and Autumn promised to keep Kate wild. How beautiful is that? Their entire wedding day was filled with genuine love and infectious laughter. We could not wipe the smiles off our faces watching these newlyweds together and know the world will be a better place because they are together. Some highlights from the day included taking photos in front of the Bob Dylan mural downtown Minneapolis (with NO cars in front of the wall, thank-you universe!) and watching their guests (unsuccessfully) resist the impressive dessert table. And when I say impressive I mean IMPRESSIVE. Their day in one word could easily be summed up as: happiness. Congratulations Autumn and Kate! We are so happy for you both.
2015 marks our fifth year documenting weddings full time. We've always said that you can enter a career by way of education or experience - and our path has been experience. Of course we are constantly pushing ourselves to take classes and workshops to learn more, but there are no professional photography degrees behind our team of photographers. In 1993, a professor at the University of Colorado - Anders Ericsson, wrote a paper about how 10,000 hours of experience will make someone an expert in their field. After five years, we've well passed the 10,000 mark, and while I wouldn't say we are experts, I can say this business has taught us far more than we ever thought possible about entrepreneurship, hard work, setting boundaries, weddings in every shape and form and dreaming big. This year brought us documenting weddings in 13 states, photographing past (and new!) clients growing families and a true welcome as Midwest Photographers in addition to our New England base. With over 300,000 images processed (I'm not exaggerating) by Matt, myself, Chuck and Abby not to mention our crew of phenomenal second photographers - Missy, Jenny, Devin and Mike - it was a year of living and loving big. With the volume of work it might seem like we're a well oiled machine with lots of minions to keep things running. And while we have our workflow down, each and every wedding and portrait shoot is handled in our humble little studio without elaborate outsourcing. It's a labor of love, and one we are honored to call our life's work.
Thank you for joining us this year. From the highest points in Maine to the shores of the Mississippi River, we've been honored to tell these stories with our cameras. We are eternally grateful for your support and look forward to another year documenting love.
This wedding makes our hearts happy. Jess and Tom are two of the most genuine, loving folks who exemplify 'better together'. They were married in November in Minneapolis at the Polish Hall in Northeast. We love that these long-standing event venues are making a hip come back with couples getting married today. These spaces went through a phase when 'bigger and better crystal drenched hotel ballrooms' were all the rage and they were forgotten, but now that weddings are as diverse and varied as the couples who make the party, historic event halls are making a serious come back. The energy in these spaces automatically make them a great place to get married because you know there have been weddings there for 100+ years, as well as family reunions, church potlucks and anniversary parties. In short, a lot of love and laughter have passed through these halls. Jess and Tom took full advantage with their crew of loving family and friends who toasted to their vows to be together forever. After getting ready in different rooms at Tom's charming childhood home in south Minneapolis, the pair set aside a few quiet moments to see one another for the first time before the ceremony and take advantage of some pretty fall foliage. Everyone gathered at the Polish Hall for a few more photos before the ceremony as the wedding jitters set in. The ceremony was heartfelt and sweet, and when the couple was announced husband and wife, the crowd burst into happy applause. They had delicious BBQ catered in for their wedding dinner and a spread of desserts that would have made the old Polish ladies proud. The dancing was a hit for all generations and the newlyweds beamed on cloud nine. It was a very good day, and a lovely wedding to end our 2015 season on. Congratulations Jess and Tom! We are so happy for you!
If you've been following our blog for any time at all you'll know how much we love when couples infuse their wedding with their relationship and personalities. Kelsey and Rhys did this with spunk and style. They decided to keep things *really* local and got married where they live; the Schmidt Artist Lofts. Not only do they call this historic brewery in Saint Paul's up-and-coming West 7th neighborhood home, but the property also yields itself to become a lively wedding venue when treated right. The couple brought in an all you can eat Mexican fiesta of food from the neighborhood hotspot, Burrito Mercado which everyone loved (especially us). Their table settings were named after board games they love and play, so the evening of celebrating was extra fun with a few rounds of 'Cards Against Humanity' and 'Catch Phrase'. The bride's new Mother-in-Law hand made (!!) her wedding dress and nearly every other element of Kelsey and Rhys' wedding was home spun. The best part of it all was truly watching these two love on each other. They are getting married for all the right reasons and it's clear they belong together. Kelsey and Rhys, you two make us so happy. We've had such a great time working with you and feel honored to have documented your wedding. Congratulations!!
For those of you still hanging around at the end, let's start with a high-five for being able to process all those images. We are well aware that this little annual tradition of our images in a yearly review format is entirely too big. Believe it or not, this is a highly edited version of some of our favorite images for the year. I suppose that's what happens when we shoot more than 50 weddings in a year, not to mention even more portrait sessions. There is just so much LIFE and LOVE that we get to witness! It's such an honor, guys. Now you get to read our little acceptance speech of gratitude. First of all, none of these photos would be possible without the beautiful clients we get to have in our Summer Street family. Their lives and love are our constant inspiration, and without that we'd just be taking photos of pretty things with no substance. Next up, our team of dedicated photographers. Of course Matt and I started this whole crazy business, but we've picked up Chuck and Abby along the way as our sensationally talented Associate Photographers, and much of what you see above is their talented work as well. Next up we have the privilege of working with some of the finest in the industry as our second shooters and assistants for some weddings; Ashley, Katie, Deb, Bella, Dan, Olivia, Ellie, Jean and Vina - your talent behind the lens is clearly phenomenal and we're honored to call you peers. We are hybrid shooters (film and digital) so we have to thank our talented film lab, Richard Photo Lab, for their expert work in the dark room. This year we hand-trained a new talented digital editor as well. With the influx of a new market in the Midwest, Matt and I needed back-end support to help us deliver beautiful, consistent images to our clients in a timely manner, and we knew bringing an in-house editor to help us would be just the thing. Laura is now part of our team and has been an integral part of our back-end this year and helps all our images become what you see on our site. Talk about a talented group!
We have captured love in many places this year. From sandy beaches to historic estates. Ornate houses of worship and cathedrals in the woods. Childhood homes and mountain tops. All across New England and the prairies of the Midwest, we've gotten to step back and capture lives full of love. We've been able to tell their stories through photos that they will cherish for years to come. We are completely honored to call this work, and we toast to you all for supporting us along the way. Here's to 2015!
Sharon and Chris were married in Lakeville, Minnesota a few weeks back, wrapping up our 2014 season on a very high note. They were married on the same week that they celebrated 10 years together, which was one sweet element in a slew of meaningful contributions in their big day. They got ready at their venue and made their way down to a nearby state park for their first look and couple portraits - in the bitter cold of 17 degrees (without coats) - but once they saw each other their excitement and warmth pushed them through for some beautiful images together. A roaring fire welcomed guests as they shared a cozy and meaningful ceremony together. Cold temps didn't keep the crew of Minnesotan wedding attendants leery of popping outside for some photos (we are a tough breed) and afterward the party continued with witty toasts and some polka dancing. If there is anything we are sure of, it's that these two deserve one another and they will share a happily ever after together. Congratulations, Sharon and Chris!