grand forks photographer

5 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU

5 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU

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Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now comes planning your big day! There’s so much that goes into wedding planning and it can definitely start to get stressful fast! This quick blog post is going to focus on hiring your wedding photographer and how to make sure you choose the right one for you and your wedding. Let’s face it…you’ve probably already searched for wedding photographers in your area via Google or Facebook and were overwhelmed with the hundreds of choices! If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you want your wedding to be the most special day of your life and that preserving those memories is VERY important to you. If your wedding photography is something you place a high value on, then finding an experienced PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer is a must.

So how can you tell if a photographer is an experienced pro who you can trust with the most important day of your life, or an inexperienced hobbyist? Many sites online such as WeddingWire, The Knot, and Martha Stewart Weddings offer articles titled something like: 20 THINGS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BEFORE HIRING THEM…or something similar. Then you read it and it’s all generic questions that really don’t help you weed through all the photographer to find the few good ones. You’ll see basic questions like: “How many weddings have you photographed?” “How long have you been in business?” “Do you have a portfolio I can view?” “Can I see a shot list?”…etc…

Couples who haven’t gone through this process before don’t really know what to ask a professional photographer so they ask these generic questions because that’s what Martha Stewart said to ask…when in reality…those questions don’t really help you at all. Let’s face it…you should be able to look at a photographer’s website and see their portfolio, how long they’ve been in business, blah blah blah. How does that help you figure out if a photographer is right for you?

IF your wedding photography is super important to you and you want an experienced trust worthy professional… if you follow my 5 pieces of advice below, you can easily narrow down your potential photographers and save yourself tons of time and stress.

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So…without further adieu…

Here are a few key tips to help you determine if you should trust a particular photographer to photograph your wedding are:

  • Check for reviews  on places like Google Business, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook…etc… Also check the photographer’s website for reviews and testimonials. See if past clients rave about trusting their weddings to that photographer. If there are no reviews…either that photographer hasn’t shot enough weddings to accumulate any, or the ones they DO have are negative and they don’t want you to see them.



  • Ask the photographer if they have liability insurance. A photographer who has liability insurance takes their business seriously. You can be sure that they are an ACTUAL professional and that they are aware that they need to protect their clients (and themselves) from any misfortune. What happens if 2yr old Timmy trips over a lightstand and gets seriously injured?? A professional who has insurance is one that gives you piece of mind on your wedding day and that’s one less STRESS you need to deal with.



  • Have they had their work published in print or on recognized wedding blogs? You can rest assured that if recognized blogs or magazines are willing to showcase that photographer’s work on their site or magazine, that they are a choice you can trust with your big day. Most publications have strict guidelines for submissions and they get thousands to choose from each day! If your potential photographer has their work published on wedding blogs or in magazines…it’s a sure sign that they know what they are doing.



  • Ask to see examples of Full Weddings (at least 75 pics) from 3 different weddings they’ve done and ask that at least one of those is an INDOOR WEDDING. You are looking to see how a photographer’s work looks when the lighting is challenging. Shooting outdoor weddings is a bit easier due to the abundance of natural lighting (from the sun). There is a lot less for a photographer to worry about and it’s easier to produce high quality, smooth, flattering images. But what if your ceremony, or reception, is indoors?  Church lighting is never ideal and reception lighting is almost unworkable for some photographers who do not have the know-how to use their own “off camera” lighting. Look for shots from inside a church during the ceremony and some from the reception (First Dances, Cake Cutting). If these images are not crisp and clean, then ask yourself if they can handle your wedding day.



  • Meet with them in person before hiring them to see if you “CLICK”. Whoever you decide to trust with capturing your wedding day memories will be by your side more than any other person during the day (quite literally). From hair and make-up to the reception dance floor, your photographer will be attached to you the entire time. So…this may seem obvious, but you want to make sure that person is someone you get along with, have shared interests with, makes you laugh, helps you through stressful moments, and is calm/cool/professional. Set up an in person meeting with them just to chat over coffee. If distance prevents meeting in person, set up a Skype (or Zoom) call. Think of it as a blind date. You are trying to see if this person is a good fit to invite into your life on the most important day ever! If they annoy you or butt heads with your personality, it will most definitely make spending 8 hours with them on your wedding day, miserable. AND…if any wedding vendor refuses to meet with you before you hire them, it should be a HUGE red flag! Save time, money, and stress and move on to the next possible person.

There you have it! 5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Photographer For You. Finding the right photographer for your wedding day should be fun and exciting…not a stressful frustrating hassle. Use these 5 tips to instantly narrow down the mine field of photographers to the select few that can be trusted with the giant responsibility of preserving your wedding day memories!

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If you would like more info on MY wedding photography/video services, just click below to reach out and say HI!



Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer: 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must!

Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer: 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must!

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If you’re recently engaged and starting the amazing journey of planning your wedding…Congratulations!!! The engagement phase in a relationship is so exciting and you’re probably going to get sick of answering the questions that all of your friends and family members will throw at you (I.E….How did he pop the question? Have you guys set a date? Can I see the ring? etc…) Let’s be honest though…Telling the story of your proposal will probably never get old!

Now, you may be the type of person who has Engagement Photos as the first thing to do on your list…or you may be the type of person who thinks, “We don’t need engagement photos because we already have tons of pics of ourselves on our phones!” You might even be somewhere in between maybe wanting some engagement photos but having so many questions in your head. No matter which of these molds you fit into, I’m going to give you 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must so you can document this amazing time in your lives and be able to look back decades from now and relive everything with your precious family you’ve built over the years! So here we go….

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Reason Number 5: Awesome Photos

Most couples would be shocked that this isn’t the #1 reason to get engagement photos taken (more on this later)! Every couple needs amazing photos (that aren’t cell phone selfies) for save-the-dates invitations, and announcements. Most couples love their engagement photos so much that they can’t wait to show off a gorgeous piece of Wall Art or a keepsake album. Plus you can elevate your social media game with dramatic and bold PROFESSIONAL images that will set your pages apart from the pack. Hopefully, this time in your lives happens only once…so make sure you invest in a pro who will help capture your unique love!

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Reason Number 4: Being Your Best Selves

You waited your entire life to get engaged! Now that you’re finally here, it’s your time to SHINE! So be sure to make the most of it! Go a little outside of your normal everyday “look” and put your very best selves forward! Wear that stunning dress and pair of heels you’ve been wanting to try out. Get your hair and make-up professionally done. Have your partner stand out in that suit and tie you love them in. You will most likely get multiple wardrobe changes, so why not use one to look (and feel) like movie stars for a short time and live it up?

Close your eyes right now and imagine it’s 10 years in the future and you’re sitting down looking through your engagement photos. Picture one of the images in your head. Do you see yourselves in t-shirts and jeans in front of a brick wall? Or do you see yourselves in a Killer black dress and black heels with your full bodied hair blowing in the wind laughing as your fiance in his black suit and tie holds you tightly as you sit in front of the beautiful sunset? When you look back 10 years from now on this very special time, how do you want to see yourselves?

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Reason Number 3: Intimacy

During your engagement session, you will get the chance to cuddle, hold hands, hug, and even kiss your fiance. It’s such a wonderful experience and many couples leave their engagement session even closer than they were before! Use an engagement session to enjoy being intimate with your future partner and build an experience for both of you to remember as one of the many you will have together!

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Reason Number 2: Gaining Confidence

As you look though other peoples’ engagement photos online to get ideas and inspiration, you may notice that they all look like models who have been posing for photos for years. You may get thoughts in your head like, “My photos will never look like that!” or “I never take good pictures because (insert insecurity here)!” Guess what? More often than not…those couples you’re comparing yourselves to felt the exact same way! A lot of couples are either shy or insecure in front of the camera and that’s totally OK! The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day, though, is insecure. That’s why it’s important to have an engagement session…so you can get some experience in front of the camera, and working with your photographer, so when you see your photos (if the photographer did their job) your insecurities will melt away leaving you stress free for your wedding day. Picking a photographer who is easy to work with and guides you every step of the way will help you build confidence and soon, some future bride will be looking at your photos online thinking that YOU were probably some model who’s been posing for pictures for years!

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And The Number 1 Reason That An Engagement Session Is A Must: To Build Trust With Your Photographer!

You don’t want the first time you work with your photographer to be your actual wedding day! If you’re not used to your photographer’s methods or techniques, you may be distracted, or even annoyed, by them on your special day. Plus, your photographer is the one person who will be right there by your side more than any other person (even your fiance)…so it’s SUPER IMPORTANT that you feel at ease around them and even enjoy it. You don’t want to find out on your wedding day that you can’t stand your photographer’s personality…TO LATE…you’re stuck with them for at least 8 hrs now! Consider an engagement session a “Trial Run” on building trust with your photographer. If you’ve worked with them before your wedding and know WHY they do things a certain way and get to see how awesome your photos turned out…then you will be totally at ease come your wedding day because you now TRUST your photographer. That trust is how your photographer gets the best wedding day images possible!

So…as you’ve just read, an engagement session is WAY more than simply getting photos taken. It’s an experience where you get to be your best selves, gain confidence, get intimate, build trust with your photographer, and YES…get some amazing photos of one of the most special times in your lives! So find that perfect Photographer for you (click HERE for my tips On How To Find The Perfect Photographer For You) and schedule an engagement session so you can experience everything you just read and get one step closer to having that perfect wedding day! Congrats!!!!

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres

Grand Forks Wedding Venue Naastad Acres



2019 Bliss In The Barn Bridal Expo

Naastad Acres, Hatton, ND

April 14th, 2019 12pm-3pm



April 14th is less than a month away and we are working hard on making sure everything will be ready for our 2019/2020 brides who will attend the area’s newest, most unique, bridal/wedding show.

Bliss In The Barn will take place in Hatton, ND at Naastad Acres on Sunday April 14th from 12pm-3pm. If you are beginning (or in the midst of) your wedding planning journey, then this event is being brought to life JUST FOR YOU!

Come out to Naastad Acres on April 14th and from noon until 2pm, you can visit with nearly 30 specialized wedding vendors who have come together to help you find the perfect pieces to fit your wedding planning journey! Then from 2-3pm, you will become a guest at the venue for 4 different stylized weddings where you will actually get to witness some of our amazing vendors in action so you can see how certain aspects of your wedding could be handled!

There will be booth drawings unique to each vendor and a very special Grand Prize Giveaway at the end of the event that you won’t want to miss! Below is a list of participating vendors:

Naastad Acres wedding venue and HOST

Shawn Morrissey Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer/video

Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling Wedding Planning, Floral, Event Design

Brooke’s Floral/Events/Styling Floral & Event Styling/Design

Tip Top Tux Formal Wear Rental

Kristen’s Bridal Wedding Dresses & Formal Wear

Katie Aasen Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Paola’s Pastries Wedding Cakes/Desserts/Bakery

Ground Round Food/Catering

The Pedal Health/Fitness/Wellness

Rodan & Fields Skin Care/Eyelashes

Generations Salon Hair/Spa

Signature Jewelers Jewelry

Jadie Shue Hair/Make up

Point Paradise Stables Horse & Carriage Rental/Stables

Dance Man Dan DJ/M.C./Reception Entertainment

Hud Sun Wellness Health & Wellness

Abbergail Graphic Design/Stationary/Invitations/Save-The-Dates

Ramada Inn Grand Forks Evens/Receptions

An Elegant Affair   (Decor and rentals

Harmon Entertainment   (DJ and Music)

Bon Voyage Travel   (Travel Agency)

Herbie The Photobooth Camper owned by Gathered - Boutique Rentals & Events     Moorhead, MN

Deitrich Bus Service Bus Rental

Heart & Soul (Live Musicians/Band)





Don’t Miss Out On Our Awesome V.I.P. Experience!

We will be offering a unique VIP experience for the first 48 brides who register to attend Bliss In the Barn (Yes…there are still some spots available)! As a Bliss In The Barn VIP, you will get to come out to Naastad Acres an hour early (11am) get a swag bag and sip on champagne while getting a Private group tour of the beautiful Naastad Acres venue and property. Then you can meet with me (Photographer Shawn Morrissey) and get some fun photos with you and your entourage that you can share on social media and then see a small bridal photoshoot where I’ll demonstrate (and educate) how I work with real brides and you can see the final photos later in the show!

This extra experience is only for the first 48 brides how register to attend…so if you want to be one of our 1st VIP’s ever…DON’T WAIT! Sign up below NOW!



Don’t forget to like/follow our Facebook Page so you can get updates:

Bliss In the Barn Facebook Page

We hope to see you April 14th at 12pm for the very first Bliss In The Barn! Please share this post with anyone who is engaged! Thanks and we’ll see you soon!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At St. Michael's Church And Rhombus Brewing Co. With Lena & Collin Show more

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At St. Michael's Church And Rhombus Brewing Co. With Lena & Collin

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Working with Lena And Collin the past 8 months has been an awesome adventure! I met them early last March at Rhombus Guys Brewing Company with snow on the ground and again last night to deliver their final wedding photos/video at Rhombus with snow on the ground. Our journey has come full circle and It's so wonderful to see them finally married and starting their new life together! Thank you both so much for choosing ME to help tell your incredible love story!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Park River Wedding At The American Legion Coliseum With Leah And Rob

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Park River Wedding At The American Legion Coliseum With Leah And Rob.

After our initial meeting last fall, I couldn't wait to work with Leah and Rob...and after being invited out to Rob's house on a beautiful Fall morning to shoot their engagement session on his amazing property...I quickly realized that working with them moving forward towards their wedding day was going to be awesome!

When the big day finally arrived, I swung by Urban Stampede and grabbed my favorite caffeinated beverage because I knew I would need an extra boost to keep up with all the fun that was to come! I met the ladies in East Grand Forks early that morning at Salon 222 to capture the behind the scenes action of what goes into preparing for the biggest moment of your life!

Next, my journey took me to Park River where the day's festivities would take place. The sun was blazing but there was a threat of thunderstorms in the air. We had a blast taking tons of photos even though the heat was just a tad bit INSANE! Then...right in the middle of family photos, it starts downpouring! Thunder, rain, lightning, and the kitchen sink for about 45 minutes straight which, not only cut into our valuable photography time...but also had everyone worried that the soon-to-start outdoor ceremony would be a wash-out! There was a huge sigh of relief when the clouds finally parted and the sun came back out and dried everything up just in time for the ceremony to start!   

The ceremony was beautiful! Both Rob and Leah have huge connections with music which was showcased wonderfully during the ceremony with live musicians and singers sprinkled throughout. There were plenty of special moments, laughs, and tears...and soon they kissed and walked back down the isle together as husband and wife!

Their family and friends soon gathered indoors and kicked the celebration off in style! Delicious food, unique desserts (always my favorite), plenty of drinks, and of course Leah and Rob would have nothing less than a live band at their party!  

Even though we had to transition from sauna-style heat to a torrential downpour and back again...everyone was a rock-star to work with and I had a blast meeting, and chatting with, all sorts of new people. Leah and Rob are such a wonderful couple and I'm very blessed to have a job that gives me the opportunity to work closely with such awesome people! 

Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Brooks!!

VenuePark River American Legion Coliseum, 101 Sandwood Place, Park River, ND

Dress: Alen Evens Bridal

Hair: Salon 222

Make-up: Elizabeth Locke

Caterer: Howlerz BBQ, Mayville, ND

Band: Helena Handbasket

Florist: Wedding Designs - Edie Rygh

 

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Watch Leah and Rob's wedding day video below!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At Freedom Church And The Grand Forks Ramada With Katrina And Lukas

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At Freedom Church And The Grand Forks Ramada With Katrina And Lukas

I met Katrina and Lukas last Fall and quickly realized how much fun I was going to have working with them! We ran ourselves ragged during their engagement session which only ended because we each had other plans set up which we were going to be late for! 

Since their wedding day was on June 2nd, we planned for some awesome outdoor locations for photos because, let's face it, Grand Forks weather is ALWAYS perfect for outdoor activities...right??? We couldn't have been more wrong! The weather did not cooperate AT ALL! It was rainy, windy, and sorta cold. Luckily, for us, Freedom Church had a cool "commons" area and some empty office space with amazing natural light coming in so we had some non-traditional options for photos. A couple of photographer "hacks" and some moved furniture later...we were able to get some creative shots and lots of memorable moments documented...(and no one had to get wet or wind blown)!

The ceremony was filled with special moments that made some teary-eyed. There were some moments that made me laugh, and others that made the guests chuckle and smile. Katrina and Lukas exchanged vows (and rings), shared their first kiss as husband and wife, and then headed back down the isle together as a new couple to join their friends and family at the Ramada for some fun!

Once the celebration began...it didn't slow down as everyone enjoyed lots of delicious food, flowing drinks, memorable speeches and toasts, dessert, and some kickin music! A huge celebration to cap off a wonderful journey for the brand new couple! Congrats to Katrina, Lukas, and their families! Thank you for trusting me and giving me the honor of documenting your special day! I had a blast!

Venues:  Freedom Church                  Ramada Grand Forks

Dress & Tuxes:  Kristen's Bridal & Tuxedo

Florist: All Seasons

Cake: Hugo's Family Marketplace

Make-Up: Carly Irene Artistry

Hair: White Horse Salon

 

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Watch Katrina & Lukas's Video/Photo Fusion slideshow below!

Click the button below to talk to me about your special day!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A University Of North Dakota Wedding With Samantha & Trevvor At Hopper Danley And The Gorecki Alumni Center

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A University Of North Dakota Wedding With Samantha & Trevvor At Hopper Danley And The Gorecki Alumni Center.

After hearing what Trevvor and Samantha had envisioned for their wedding day way back when I first met with them...I really really wanted to be the one to photograph their big day! They told me their wedding would include elements from Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Game of Thrones, Video Gaming, etc...

Basically all of my favorite things wrapped into wedding-form! Needless to say, I was super excited when they wanted to work with me and over the next few months we worked together to make sure when summer rolled around, we would have a solid game plan for their wedding day!

When the big day finally arrived...it was soooo hot outside! I believe it was 96 degrees! That didn't really stop anyone from enjoying every second. The fun started at The Gorecki and then over to the Hopper Danley Center as we got tons of fun photos of Samantha and Trevvor! I told them that I could've stayed at the Gorecki all day photographing all of the cool little details they had set up for the upcoming reception!!

As the ceremony began, I think everyone was a bit relieved to finally be in the cool air-conditioning! As the two bathed in the warm natural light let in from the Hopper Danley's many large windows, they exchanged their vows in front of family and friends. Then with help from their awesome ringbearer, Star Wars droid BB-8 (watch video below!), they were able to exchange rings and were pronounced husband and wife! 

Then it was back to the Gorecki to start the celebration! Awesome food, games, music, and laughter began the evening as the new couple shared their first meal and dance with their friends and family. The entire day was so much fun for me and I genuinely enjoyed talking with all the guests throughout the whole experience. As the evening drew to a close for me...I snuck the couple away for a few last photos as the sun was setting. 

I was honored that Samantha and Trevvor chose to trust ME with documenting their awesome wedding day adventure and I hope that I did them justice! They (and all of the wonderful vendors) were amazing to work with and their wedding will definitely be remembered as the most unique one I've worked at so far!

Venues: The Hopper Danley Spiritual Center                      The Gorecki Alumni Center

Florist: Sadie's Couture & Event Styling

Cake: Oh For Heaven's Cakes 'N More

DJ: Backspin Productions

Catering: Hugo's Family Marketplace-Catering

 

 

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Watch Samantha & Trevvor's Video/Photo Fusion slideshow below!

To find out how to get your very own Fusin slideshow for your wedding day or to book me for your special day...click the tab below!

 

 

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Redwood Falls/Morton Minnesota Wedding At Jackpot Junction With Lindsey And Dre

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Redwood Falls/Morton Minnesota Wedding At Jackpot Junction With Lindsey And Dre

2017 was such an amazing year for me! I had so much fun working with my couples and seeing the progress of their journeys from when they first met with me to when they were finally married! When January of this year rolled around, 2018 was already shaping up to be even more fantastic...so I was really anticipating my very first wedding of the year!

It was to be for Lindsey and Dre and take place in the Morton/Redwood Falls, MN area which is a very special place for me! (My Mom and Dad were married there and I have been visiting that area most of my life). It's a beautiful area filled with history and culture! The week before the wedding, they got 14 inches of snow dumped on them which luckily melted away before the wedding day (Mostly anyways)!

The morning of the wedding, I was to meet the girls at the salon to take some photos of their preparation...so I headed out extra early so I could go get some awesome pics/video of the amazing landscapes, waterfalls, and wildlife which always seems to recharge my soul! I don't know how many deer I came across...none of which seemed to mind me passing by on foot! 

Once at the salon...the day went into full swing! The hustle and bustle of wedding days can make hours go by in what seem like minutes! The ladies were all having a blast getting ready for the ceremony and once I made it to the casino and met up with the fellas, I could tell they were enjoying themselves as well! The weather was a bit too windy and chilly to do much outdoor photography...but we all braved it for a few fun photos!

The ceremony was filled with emotion as tears of happiness were not short of supply! You could feel the love from everyone involved as Lindsey and Dre exchanged vows, shared their first kiss as husband and wife, and walked down the isle towards the giant celebration waiting for them in the ballroom next door!

The reception and dance truly showcased the fun nature of this couple! Besides the awesome food, flowing drinks, jammin' music, and fun dancing...guests also enjoyed the photo booth,  pool tables, and bean bag toss games! There was something for everyone and as the evening came to a close, Lindsey and Dre had experienced their first kiss, first meal, and first dance as a brand new husband and wife! 

It was such a fun day for me and I'm so happy I was able to be a part of it! Congrats to my very first new couple of 2018!

VENUE: Jackpot Junction Casino/Hotel

DRESS: David's Bridal (Mankato)

DESIGNER: Oleg Cassini

FLORIST: Blossom Town

CAKE: Custom Cakes By Michelle

DJ: DJ By Will

HAIR/MAKE-UP: Salon Cella - Sarah Okins

DECORATORS: Rockin Red Barn

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Please Enjoy The Video/Photo Fusion Slideshow Of Lindsey and Dre's Big Day!

(BE SURE TO TURN ON HD IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE PLAYER BY CLICKING THE SETTINGS GEAR ICON) 

If You Would Like To Meet With Me To Discuss Your 2018 or 2019 Wedding...Please Click The Button Below!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At Hope Church And Grand Forks Ramada With Crystal And David

A Grand Forks Wedding with Crystal & David at Hope Church and The Grand Forks Ramada:

Last Spring, I had to ship off one of my camera bodies to Canon to get repaired. The day it came back, I had to go out to FEDEX to pick it up. As I was driving there, I received a call. It was David calling to inquire about possibly hiring me to photograph his upcoming wedding. Being a military B.R.A.T. I have been all over the country and right away over the phone, I could tell David wasn't from ND. I told him that I could tell he was from the South and I asked where.  "New Orleans", He replied. Right away, I connected with him because I was born a mere 70 miles away in Biloxi Ms and my family's favorite place to getaway is...New Orleans! So I was super eager to meet with David and his fiance Crystal to learn more about them and hear about their big day!

After our meeting I was pretty excited that they wanted me to photograph their wedding! Once summer rolled around, we had a blast doing their engagement session (read about that HERE) and I couldn't wait to photograph their winter wedding.

November 10th finally rolled around and it looked to be pretty cold out. As usual, the wind played a huge part in that. The day started off with me meeting Crystal and the girls at Salon Seva for the preparation of her big day.  Then off to Hope Church where I hung out with David and the fellas for a short while. One of my favorite parts of the day was the guys were pretty set on having their photos taken outside. I told them that it was freezing out and they reminded me that they were "grown men" (their exact words)...so we went outside for some photos. The first few were fine...then some yelling about hurrying up....then finally screams and yelps. I was laughing pretty hard but we DID manage to get some great shots! It was fun listening to all the great folks from New Orleans trying to make sense of our weather and why we choose to live up here! 

The rest of the day was more of the same: laughter, excitement, anticipation...and so much positive energy! As the ceremony began, Crystal and David were all smiles. As they exchanged vows, rings, and literally "tied the knot"...they were pronounced husband and wife and shared their first kiss as a newlywed couple. And after my very first "broom jumping" we all headed downtown while all the guests headed to the reception.

We wanted a few outdoor photographs and with the windchill it was 0 degrees outside...so we worked super fast and then made our way into the Urban Stampede to warm up and ended up getting my favorite photo of the day! After that, it was off to the Ramada where Dance Man Dan had the party waiting for us! The rest of the night was a giant celebration of food, speeches, cake, drinks, music, dancing, and laughter. I could definitely tell there were folks from New Orleans in attendance! 

It was an amazing experience to be a part of and I wish the newlyweds all the best for a bright future together! It was my last wedding of 2017 and there's no other way to cap off such a great year than a celebration like Crystal & David's! Thanks to all the other awesome vendors who made this day so special for Crystal and David! 

VENUES:   Hope Evangelical Church, 1601 17th Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201   701-772-1884     

                  Ramada Inn, 1205 N 43rd St, Grand Forks, ND 58201    701-775-3951                          

Dress: Your Day By Nicole, 102 Broadway N, #103, Fargo, ND 58102    (701) 478-1970            

Florist:  Wy's Floral/East Grand Floral, 1521 Central Ave NW, East Grand Forks, MN 56721                         218-773-3400     eastgrandfloral.net

Bridesmaids Dresses: Kristen's Bridal & Tuxedo: 2650 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201   (701) 775-0567    www.kristensbridal.com

Tuxedos: Tip Top Tux: 2100 S. Columbia Rd #103, Grand Forks, ND 58201   (701) 775-9303

DJ:  Dance Man Dan   701-741-3343    dancemandan@hotmail.com

Hair/Makeup:  Salon Seva, salonseva@midconetwork.com   (701) 795-0156                               

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If You Are Getting Married In 2018 And Are Looking For A Photographer To Capture Your Special Day...Schedule Your FREE Consultation With Me Now to See If I'm The Right Fit For You!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Julia & Kameron's Grand Forks Wedding At The Myra Museum

July 29th was finally here! For Julia and Kameron, it meant they can finally get married! I've been getting to know Julia and Kameron since November of last year and I can honestly say that they have been super excited about their marriage the entire time!

Their engagement session in May was one of the more fun ones I've done in quite a while. From us almost getting pulled over for illegal U-turns downtown right in front of a police car (oops)...to coffee, to talking about favorite movies and some life experiences...I really got to know them and it was that day that I knew I would have a great time spending the day by their side capturing all the amazing moments of their wedding come July 29th.

Like I said earlier...July 29th was here and man...was it a hot one! It was 97 degrees and humid and lucky for us all...we would be outdoors most of the day! (Light sarcasm). As me, Kameron, and all the groomsmen took off to get some pics in front of Ralph Englestad Arena...I knew I was gonna be a sweaty mess the entire day! I quickly had to shed my button-up dress shirt and immediately felt much respect for the entire wedding party who were in tuxedos and beautiful dresses all day and didn't complain a single time!

Everyone met up at Myra Museum and as we would photograph one group, everyone else sheltered themselves inside in the air conditioning and awaited their photo-op! Time flew by and soon it was time for Julia to walk down the isle. The ceremony was perfect as family and friends watched Julia and Kameron exchange vows, I couldn't help but notice how big the smiles were on the bride and groom's faces! All of their excitement to marry each had been building for the last 8 months and now they were letting it all out!

Everyone continued the celebration at the reception and as the sun began to set and the air cooled a bit, I pulled the bride and groom outside for one last photo...and as I left for the night, I knew I was lucky to watch 2 people as their life long dreams were coming true in front of my eyes (and lens). As happy as that made me...I was MORE happy to get home, sit down, and crank up the A.C. as cold as it would go!

Congrats Julia & Kameron!! 

Venue: Myra Museum  2405 Belmont Rd, Grand Forks, ND

Florist: East Grand Floral 1521 Central Ave NW, East Grand Forks, MN 56721 218-773-3400

Cake: O For Heaven's Cakes N More 1726 S Washington St Ste 68, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201701-757-2253

DJ: Killin' It Entertainment  1234 s 14th st, Grand Forks, North Dakota, ND 58201701-317-8044

Hair: Dawn @ Ultimate Look  701-330-2574

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Kathy & Kevin A Grand Forks Wedding At St. Michael's Church and The Alerus Center

Last winter is when I met Kathy and Kevin for the first time. Right away, I could tell they were the perfect couple for me to work with and I was so excited when they chose me to photograph their special day! 

It was late morning when the hustle and bustle of the day began in St. Michael's Church. I could hear laughter filling the church basement as I arrived and I could see everyone's excitement in their body language while they prepared for the ceremony to come.

I really enjoyed chatting with members of both families, as well as, friends of Kathy and Kevin's throughout the day and the photos seemed like they were taking themselves! As the start of the ceremony neared...the church got quiet as everyone took their places. 

One of my favorite things about photographing Catholic wedding ceremonies is that I love the art and symbolism used. St. Micheal's is a beautiful historic church and every time I photograph inside...it feels different somehow. 

As Kathy and Kevin's ceremony went on, emotions ranged from tears to laughter as the couple exchanged vows, kissed, and took their literal "first steps" as husband and wife back down the isle and out the church. 

The celebration continued at the Alerus Center where family and friends met to share heart-felt speeches, drinks, great food, cake, and dancing to help the newlyweds ring in their first evening as husband and wife. By the end of the evening I realized 2 things: I ate WAY too much gourmet popcorn! More importantly, I realized how blessed I was to be a part of such a meaningful day in the lives of such great people! 

Venues: St.Michael's Church   520 N. 6th St., Grand Forks, ND 58203  701-772-2624

              Alerus Center             1200 42nd Street South Grand Forks, ND 58201  701.792.1200

Florist: All Seasons Garden Center 5101 S. Washington St, Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-746-7777

DJ: Backspin Productions   1815 Demers Ave., Grand Forks,ND 58208  701-757-4300

Dress: Affairs By Brittany   224 N. 4th St., Grand Forks, ND 58201    701-772-3022

           Designer: Maggie Sottero

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Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: Engagement Session With Crystal & David-University Park, Downtown Grand Forks, And Sunflower Silo Farms In East Grand Forks

When I first met with Crystal and David, I had so much fun talking with them that I knew they were going to be a blast to work with! Before their engagement session, we met a few times...and each time, it felt like I could've stayed and talked with them for hours. The last time we met, we set a date and a time for their engagement session and looking at the forecast a week ahead of time...it looked like it was gonna be a scorcher! (97 and humid). We were all sort of dreading that, but it was the only date we could schedule.

Luckily...when the day finally came, we couldn't have asked for a more perfect evening! I think it was 82 degrees and not humid at all. So we accepted our perfect evening and began at University Park. The mosquitoes were instantly eating us alive so we worked fast, had some great laughs, got some sweet photos, and packed up to head downtown. 

As we walked all over downtown, we were able to share some life stories in between photos and really enjoy ourselves and before we knew it...we had already been shooting for a couple of hours! But before we called it quits...we had one last stop!

Earlier this summer, I reached out online to small business owners in the local area looking to see if anyone had a unique venue, space, or business property that they would possibly let me showcase in an engagement (or Bridal) session. Ashley, from Sunflower Silo Farm in East Grand Forks, was awesome enough to give us access to their amazing property and we took full advantage! We got to the farm right as the sun was setting for some of my favorite photos ever! Thanks so much to Sunflower Silo Farm for their gracious hospitality!

As we finished up for the evening, I was covered in bug spray, sunscreen, sweat, and my feet were aching from the thousands of steps we took...but it was all worth it because I think we all had such a fun time. It was a pleasure spending time with Crystal & David (again!) and I can't wait for their wedding this fall! Thanks Guys!!

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Kitty And Scott-A University Of North Dakota Wedding. Hopper Danley Spiritual Center & Gorecki Alumni Center

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July 1st had finally rolled around! I met Kitty and Scott 9 months ago...and since then, I've had so much fun meeting with them, getting to know them, and having the chance to brave -22 degree temperatures to get some engagement photos! 

The morning of their wedding started out with a downpour of rain, which had me worried because I was hoping for a lot of outdoor photos throughout the day...after all, we would be celebrating their marriage at the Hopper Danley Spiritual Center on UND's campus which is a favorite area of mine to photograph outdoors! 

By the time we all arrived at the Hopper Danley, the rain had stopped, the sun had come out, and the whole area was pretty much dry. Kitty and Scott both looked amazing and Scott's Mom (Cindy) was such a great assistant helping us trek all around the area as we stopped at location after location to take advantage of the beautiful landscape and warm summer sun! By the time we stopped to get ready for the upcoming ceremony, the bride and I were discussing who's shoes were killing their feet more....her's or mine! 

The ceremony, though brief, was packed full of heartfelt emotions and special moments...and as the couple walked back down the isle and out of the spiritual center, they were greeted outside by family and friends as husband and wife! 

The celebration didn't end there! In fact, it continued over at The Gorecki Alumni Center. The evening ended with some awesome food, delicious cake, Chippers (I ate more than I should have...but they ARE my favorite!), meaningful speeches and toasts, and the Bride and Groom making their very first memories as a new family! 

It was such an awesome day and it's been an absolute pleasure and honor to get to know Kitty and Scott over the last 9 months and to have the privilege to capture their special day! 

Venues:

Hopper Danley Spiritual Center & Gorecki Alumni Center

Contacts: Amy Sansaver   Email: amys@thegorecki.com   Phone: (701) 777-2611

                 Keeley Gregoire  Email: keeleyg@thegorecki.com   Phone: (701) 777-2611

Dress: Kristen's Bridal, 2650 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201   Phone: (701) 775-0567

Cake: O For Heavens Cakes, 1726 S Washington St, #68, Grand Forks, ND 58201  Phone: (701) 757-2253   Email: oforheavenscakes@yahoo.com

Florist: Wy's Floral   3001 S. Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, ND 58203  Phone: (701) 775-4677

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VIDEO SLIDESHOW

(Be sure to click the HD button on the video player!!!)

There are still some 2017 dates available for your Fall wedding. I'm also booking for 2018! Contact me now to see how I can help you with your photography needs!

Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: University Of North Dakota, Downtown Grand Forks, Sertoma Park with Kitty & Scott

When I first met Kitty and Scott in the late Fall of 2016, we had discussed doing a "split" engagement session with some Winter photos AND some Spring photos. Engagement photos are one of my favorite things to shoot, so I was all for it.

The only downside is that getting photos outside in the snow in North Dakota without everyone involved freezing to death is easier said than done. So when the day we scheduled to shoot our outdoor winter engagement photos came...it was the coldest day of the year at -22 degrees (without the wind chill).

Luckily, we set up a "backup plan" and had scheduled to use Merrifield Hall on UND's campus just in case! So we had some fun AND stayed warm! 2 days later it was supposed to be 30 degrees ABOVE zero so we figured we'd try again for some evening outdoor pics.

That worked out much better, but it was still really cold out and we had to work fast! I have to admit that we captured one of my all time favorite photos that night in front of the paddle wheel in town square. 

Fast forward a few months after the snow melted, it warmed up enough, and everything was green...we met once again for our Spring session at Sertoma Park. Though, it was just a modest 64 degrees outside, it was still 85 degrees warmer than our first session together! 

All in all...I enjoyed BOTH sessions and I had such a great time getting to know Kitty and Scott. With their July wedding fast approaching, I am honored to be the one they chose to tell the story of the happiest day of their lives! I can't wait! 

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Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: Sertoma Park & Downtown Grand Forks With Julia & Kameron

With their wedding fast approaching (in July), I was eager to finally get to work with Julia & Kameron who I first met back in October 2016! With everyone's hectic schedules, the Spring Holidays, and all the cold rainy weather...finding time for an engagement shoot was quite the task. 

We set Saturday, May 20th as the day we would try for our shoot. Friday's outlook for Saturday's weather had it 50 degrees and raining from 8am-11pm...so things didn't look good which made me super nerveous! Our shoot was scheduled for 9am at Sertoma Park in Grand Forks, but I showed up around 8:15 am and other than being a bit chilly...things looked pretty promising.

Once Julia and Kameron showed up, we had the entire park to ourselves and it was a fun and peaceful start to our session! As time went on, the park started filling up, so once we got all the shots we wanted, we packed up and headed downtown where we met at The Ember to warm up and refuel with some caffeine! 

Once we were warm and recharged, we walked all around downtown and got some great shots while exchanging stories about some of life's adventures! When it was all said and done, we spent the entire morning getting some great shots, getting to know more about each other, and what was supposed to be a drab, cold, rainy morning ended up being a super fun-filled adventure! 

I had such a great time and I am anxiously awaiting Julia and Kameron's wedding in July!

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Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: Sertoma Park Engagement Session VLOG

Engagement Session season is in full swing and keeping in the spirit of that...I made a super quick video featuring Julia & Kameron and our session we captured in Sertoma Park last weekend! Can't wait for their July wedding!! 

Grand Forks Photographer: California Landscape Photography

In the summer of 2015, my wife Sherry and I combined her birthday, our 1 yr anniversary, and our honeymoon and took off for a west coast adventure. I am just now editing some photos I was lucky enough to get the chance to take so I thought I would tell you the story behind one of my favorites! 

Being married to a photographer has it's advantages and disadvantages. I'm guessing that one disadvantage (for my poor wife anyways) is that whenever we see something amazing, we MUST stop and capture it. Well...imagine being with a photographer down in Yosemite National Park! One stop in our 2015 summer adventure was Yosemite...However, while in those neck of the woods, we chose to stay in Mammoth Lakes (which is amazing!). We spent 2 days in Mammoth and one morning the locals told us to check out Horseshoe Lake...so we did. 

We pulled up, got out of the car, and immediately I was stunned. Now, 2015 was the year California had a drought and there were huge forest fires in Canada so all the smoke was blowing into California causing a weird haze. Anyways...we were way up in the mountains and there was a small lake next to this big mountain side. At the base of the mountain side was this old wooden building that looked like a school house. The trees on one side of the mountain were crushed flat and the trees down by us were all drooped over like wet flowers. It was so weird! I remarked to my wife that it looked like a volcano blast had flattened everything. (I found out later that it WAS a volcano but the flattened trees were caused by an excess of carbon dioxide in the soil seeping from the volcanic gasses in the earth underneath causing the trees to die off). 

It was mid day and the sun was way too bright for any quality landscape photos. Plus there were too many people around...so we walked around and took some pics with our phones and had a great time. I told my wife that I was definitely gonna get up before sunrise the next morning and come back to get some great shots. She said, "Good luck with that! I'm not waking up at 4 am and going to sit in the woods up in the mountains in the cold!" I couldn't blame her. 

The next morning I got up, grabbed my gear, hopped in the rental car and headed back to Horseshoe! I have to admit...I was a bit freaked out thinking I was going to be alone up there. I kept visualizing fighting off a bear like Anthony Hopkins in THE EDGE! I got there and it was just before the sun rose. PERFECT! While I was waiting for the sun to rise...it dawned on me how truly amazing this all was. Most everyone I knew was most likely at home just heading to work for another normal day. I, on the other hand, was up in the California mountains, all by myself, about to watch the sun come up! There wasn't a soul for miles...the mountain air felt great...it was the most peaceful I've ever been...and it was a very spiritual moment. That moment was all MINE! I remember thinking..."It would be the greatest thing in the world if this is what I did for work!" 

As the sun came up, I got some great shots...but the most valuable thing I took were those 10 minutes I had all to myself on an ancient volcano up in the California mountains right at sunrise one August morning in 2015! I was bummed that my wife wasn't there with me to experience it...but then I realized that every once in a while, Mother Nature/God/The Universe (whatever you choose to believe in) gives you a moment that is just for you...and only you can appreciate it! 

I told my wife about my morning but there is really no way to do it justice. We went on to have an amazing time for the rest of our journey. I just got around to opening those photos up and I had a great time editing them. The one below is one of my favorites and every time I look at it, I'll think of the story I just told you. 

And that is what photography is meant to do...evoke emotion and memories!

Cell phone pic of my wife at Horseshoe Lake mid day! Normally, she would be under some water...but it was during a drought! Harsh bright sunlight....I had to go back before sunrise!

Cell phone pic of my wife at Horseshoe Lake mid day! Normally, she would be under some water...but it was during a drought! Harsh bright sunlight....I had to go back before sunrise!

Me at Horseshoe Lake the following morning right before sunrise! The only one around for miles. The entire mountain was mine for about 30 minutes and it was awesome!

Me at Horseshoe Lake the following morning right before sunrise! The only one around for miles. The entire mountain was mine for about 30 minutes and it was awesome!

Horseshoe Lake, CA

Grand Forks Event Photography: The 701 Grand Opening

I usually don't post any non-wedding related events I may shoot...but the event this post focuses on was awesome to be a part of and it gave me the chance to meet some amazing people...all while having fun. 

A couple months ago, I got wind of a new place opening up in downtown Grand Forks and from what I heard, I was eager to find out more. I met with Collin Hanson who was kind enough to give me a tour of the work in progress and explain to me what it was going to be all about. 

It's called "The 701" and it's a co-working space by Evolve Grand Forks designed for freelancers, remote employees, and independent professionals to work together and share resources and ideas. Located in the heart of downtown Grand Forks, The 701 provides a unique environment that promotes creativity and provides a sense of community for remote and independent professionals. Building a vibrant community of professionals not only makes for a fun place to work, it allows for access to a broad range of disciplines, practices and personalities, making it possible to expand one’s professional network in diverse and exciting directions.

Sounded like an amazing concept and I thought it was something that our area definitely needs. So when Collin told me about the Grand Opening I surely wanted to show up! Then I was asked to photograph the whole event with the Mayor and both ND Senators in attendance for a literal "ribbon cutting". Heck yeah!

The grand opening was pretty cool. The place was packed and there were no shortage of speeches from supporters including Mayor Brown, U.S. Senator Hoeven, and U.S. Senator Heitkamp just to name a few!

I was honored to be asked to photograph the event and would urge anyone interested in a place like The 701 to contact Collin Hanson or Brandon Braumbach and go check it out. It's always amazing when a community supports new ideas...especially ones that promote entrepreneurship, creativity, and individual growth.  

The 701

33 S. 3rd St. Suite D | Grand Forks ND 58201 | 701.335.7638

The 701 Facebook Page

Evolve Grand Forks Facebook Page

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GRAND FORKS & FARGO WEDDING RECEPTION VENUE PHOTOGRAPHY

One of my favorite things of being a photographer is getting the chance to meet other business owners and being able to collaborate with them to create something special while helping each other in the process. As 2016 neared it's end...I was fortunate enough to be able to meet and work with some great people, businesses, and amazing venues! 

Though, almost all of my time as a photographer is spent photographing people, these collaborations focused on venue, design, and detail photography...which are all a bit out of my comfort zone. I always feel that if you continue to stay inside your comfort zone, you will never increase your skill set and you will eventually become stale and boring...therefore I usually try to push myself to try different things...even if I am uncomfortable (fake it till you make it)! 

Ann Vossekuil, from the Ramada in Grand Forks, gave me the chance to come in and shoot the reception hall for one of their last weddings of the year. I got to meet, and work with, Sadie Gardner of Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling, North Dakota who beautifully transformed the, already  beautiful, Ramada Ballroom into something truly elegant and unique! Then, a couple of weeks later, I ventured to The Avalon Events Center in Fargo, where I met Jackie Bruenjes (the social events & marketing manager), who gave me the chance to capture Sadie's talent yet again.  

Photographing both events was an awesome experience! I love being even just a small part in helping to create something great and I hope that I did Ann, Sadie, and Jackie proud. Thanks to all of them for trusting me to show off their talents and venues!! 

 

Grand Forks Ramada, 1205 43rd street Grand Forks, ND 58203

Ann Vossekuil (701) 775-3951

 

Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling, North Dakota

Sadie Gardner (701) 317-3255

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer 97
Grand Forks Wedding Photographer 98
Grand Forks Wedding Photographer 99

 

 

Avalon Events Center 2525 9th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103

Jackie Bruenjes (Social Events & Marketing Manager) 701-219-3433

 

 

Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling, North Dakota

Sadie Gardner (701) 317-3255

Fargo Wedding Photographer 2
Fargo Wedding Photographer 1
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Fargo Wedding Photographer 4
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