My Art Show.

It is finally, FINALLY time for me to announce my art show. I have been working on my master's degree for about 5 years. Not bad considering I got married, moved twice, worked full time during most of it, and had a baby. I'm just about done with my thesis project for which I've spent the last year or so documenting organic farming in my area and writing a gargantuan-sized paper. (Let me know if you want to read it, although it's so huge you probably won't be able to hold it up.)

My show consists of 20 photographs of the people and places I encountered for this project. And, although it was a lot of work, I loved putting it together. I was curious about organic farming before I started taking pictures, and have now learned the joy and dedication behind the long hours these farmers put in during the growing season. Those who are involved in organics are 100% passionate about what they do. I am thrilled that I had the chance to showcase the farms I visited through my pictures and hope that I did justice to the beauty behind the subject.

I would post the final 20 photographs here, but wouldn't you rather see the show for yourself? Here are the details:

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Rising Sun Farm

Remember my grad school project? Well, I'm still working on it. (All good things take time, right?) I'm about half way through with the gigantic paper I have to write and am starting the process of putting together all of the photos for my show. I figured now was a good time to go through the second set of photos I took at Rising Sun Farm in River Falls, WI. I took them in August which means it only took me 7 months to edit them...whoops. In my defense, I had a baby in September and this fell to the bottom of my priority list for awhile. And...isn't it nice to see pictures of lush green things while everything is brown outside right now?

Here they are:

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(I'll let you decide which option I chose.)

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The station for washing veggies:
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This is one of Roger's interns. She was so nice to let me photograph her (a.k.a stalk her) for the day.
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Here's a shot from April:
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And here's what happened by August:
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I'm planning to have my show at the River Market Co-op in Stillwater, MN. I'll keep you posted on progress!

Namesakes by Katy

Have you heard of Namesakes by Katy? Because, if you have haven't, you should. It's a business owned by my very talented sister-in-law, Katy. She paints signs. And does a really nice job. Be sure to check out her site!

Nora is very glad to have a custom designed sign for her room. It looks like this:

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And my niece, Ella, is also a talented artist. This is a painting she made for Nora that I absolutely adore:

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Thanks for adding beautiful art to Nora's nursery, Katy and Ella!

Photo Walk.

A couple weeks ago, my good friend Katie and I braved the cold, tapped into our creativity, and went for a photo walk. We met at Nina's Coffee Cafe in St. Paul and spent some time strolling in the neighborhoods nearby for some photos ops. January may not be the best time for photography, but here's what I came up with:

Lesson #1: All good photo walks start with good coffee.
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Our inspiration for the day?
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Photographer Katie:
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Minnesota's version of The Bean?
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The Herrmanns.

A little while ago I was able to take pictures of the Herrmanns. I hadn't seen my nephew Sawyer since we visited him several hours after he was born in March. Since then, my nieces Abigail and Ella have become marvelous older sisters. As always, Chad and Katy are incredible parents. Together, the five of them make a wonderful (and quite photogenic) family. I had a great time photographing them on the campus of UW PLatteville. They were all great sports despite the chilly wind. (Bribery in the form of candy may have had something to do with that, I suppose.)

Here are some shots of the beautiful family that I'm lucky enough to be related to:

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Baby Otte: 30 weeks

I am officially 10 weeks away from my due date. 10 weeks?!?! That's only 2 hands worth of time before this little girl rocks our world...and I can't wait! Some friends wanted to see the baby bump, so my very nice husband trudged through some tall grasses with me to take some photos. Of course, what could have just been one photo turned into multiple photos. I feel a little weird pasting ME all over my blog, but here are some pictures nonetheless!

Brandon's not a bad photographer, huh? Good job, hubby!

Get it? 30 weeks.
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Fun with shadows:
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Baby Otte's Nursery

I can't tell you how excited I am to have had Katie of Re:fresh Design Studio create a plan for Baby Otte's nursery. She does incredible interior design work full of style, creativity, and flair. You've got check out her website and her blog.

Here is what she came up with for little Otte's room. (I can't wait to start shopping!)

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PS - Remember the pictures of baby Eli from a few months ago? Eli is Katie's adorable little boy.

Missy

Missy is working on a website to advertise for her singing. I was lucky enough to take pictures for said website and I had a blast. Missy has a warm, friendly personality and beautiful blue eyes. Between that and her lovely singing voice, I think it's pretty clear that Missy is a great girl. Here are a few shots:

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Missy's sister, Sarah, is a close friend of mine. Sarah came along as our style consultant/photographer assistant. Or, at least that's what she became. Anyway, we had to snap a few shots of Sarah and Missy together. Aren't they a cute pair of sisters??
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Buried.

Does anyone else feel a little claustrophobic in all of this snow?

Don’t get me wrong, I love winter…cold, wet, blustery and all.

But we have no where else to pile the snow when we shovel. Our normally quite spacious street is down to one lane…if that. Our backyard fence and apple trees are halfway buried.

On the other hand, all of this snow means we will have a very white Christmas. It means I will enjoy hot chocolate, and present wrapping, and cookie baking, and Bing Crosby’s Christmas album all the more. It means I’ll get good wear and tear on my gigantic Sorel boots and I get to break out my warmest of warm winter coat and mittens. It means that I get to prove, or at least test, my hearty “Minnesotan-ness.”

So bring on the snow.

We’ll just have to find a place to put it!

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Victor

Victor is a person with lots of personality. I can safely say that I've never seen a person his age climb, jump, and hang upside down from so many things. I was exhausted just trying to keep up with him, but it certainly made for an entertaining senior picture shoot! Best of luck with your next adventures, Victor!

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Victor's mom, Audrey, joined in for a couple shots.
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Awww.....
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Future Farm Food and Fuel

I have officially started taking pictures for my grad school project.

I had the pleasure of meeting Steve from Future Farm Food and Fuel in Baldwin, WI. Future farm produces all sorts of delicious fresh veggies and herbs using a process called aquaponics.

There are two things involved in this:
1. Aquaculture: fish farming.
2. Hydroponics: plants grown in water.

The fish and the plants have a symbiotic relationship and help each other to grow and thrive. Water from the fish tanks is cleaned and poured into large baths where the vegetables and herbs grow with their root systems submerged in the water. It's completely organic and sustainable for both the fish and the veggies. It's quite in amazing process - I have enjoyed learning about it.




This is Steve who was nice enough to show me around the whole facility.
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There were several fish flying in and out of the water at this point and this is the best I could do for a picture. They are fast!
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Baby fish:::
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Baby lettuce:::
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Ready to eat!
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Future Farm has partnered with Baldwin Dairy to explore the possibilities of energy production through methane. Here are the cows that are helping them with this:
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Window Display!

About a week ago I did a little business swap with Makayla's mom who owns a business in downtown Northfield. I am now the proud producer of a window display featuring Paper Lemon Photography originals. So...when you're in the neighborhood, stop by the corner of 5th and Division and take a peek. Need an excuse to make the trek to Northfield? The Defeat of Jesse James Days is just around the corner!


It was somewhat of challenge to get a reflective-free photo of the big window...this is the best I could do for now anyway.
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My new adventure.

I have started almost started a project. I'm a graduate student at University of Wisconsin - River Falls and am finally to the point of my graduate career where I get to work on a big final studio project/research paper. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I have decided to focus on the topic of documentary photography, in particular how it relates to communities. At this risk of sounding like a complete photo nerd I am totally interested in the research I have done so far using this gigantic stack of books:

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And...don't get me wrong, by 'the research I have done so far' I literally mean the 14 pages I have read in one of these monstrous books. Regardless - I think this paper will actually be somewhat fun to write because I'm totally fascinated by the topic. (Did I really just type that?).

In addition to the research paper, I will be doing my own documentary photography project on local farming. Why the topic of local farms, you ask? Good question.

1. I am interested in all the buzz that there has been in recent years about 'buying local' and 'eating local'. I agree that it's an important concept and I want to know more about the hype.
2. I really like food. Especially fresh food. I want to know more about where my food comes from on a local level.
3. I think farming is a visually interesting topic. Let's remember that my all time favorite photographer is Dorothea Lange who took gazillions of pictures of farming for the FSA during The Great Depression. Farming has sustained our country for hundreds of years and I want to visually tell the story of what is happening currently and locally.

So...let the adventure begin. My first stop will be Future Farm Food and Fuel in Baldwin, WI where they farm using aquaponics. Check back for pictures soon!



Backpacking.

Brandon and I just got back from a 3 day backpacking adventure in Olympic National Park. To get to our campsite, we hiked 8 miles and gained 2,500 feet of altitude. Ug. The hike was strenuous for us semi-in-shape-non-mountain-climbers, but was completely worth it. We camped on the edge of beautiful Royal Lake surrounded by snow capped peaks. Here are some shots from the adventure:

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Wilderness Man.
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This is me trying to be Jim Brandenburg. I didn't even have to get out the telephoto for this little guy - he came right up to me!
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Sandals? Snow? July? None of it makes sense.
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We had to.
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Can you find our little teeny tent?
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We did it!
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Here's a model of where we hiked. We started at the little black and white dot toward the bottom of the picture and hiked to Royal Basin.
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Gleek.

It's not often that I get addicted to a TV show. In fact, I'm fairly certain the last show I religiously followed was Full House. I'll be honest - I would still tune in to see what the Tanners were up to it if they aired in reruns.

But...enough about that. I love Glee. I have officially become a Gleek and am a little bit embarrassed to say that when I saw an ad on the Fox site for a Glee photobooth I immediately took part. And...not only that, I am now posting the result on my blog. I mean really, Glee and a photobooth? Those are two of my very favorite things! How could I resist?

ps - My cat Henry is a Gleek, too.

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Florida

My goodness - I haven't posted for an embarrassingly long time. I guess I fell out of cyberspace for a couple of months. I'm not sure what my excuse is, but here's a little peek into one thing I've done since February. My husband and I went to Florida for a few days over our spring break to visit our friend Sara. Sara and I were roommates in college. She's been a girl on the go ever since we graduated, so it was great to catch up with her and be a part of her Floridian life for just a little while. She is truly thriving in her life there. I'm happy that she's so happy.

It's she gorgeous??
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The beach.
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One night we went to a Columbian restaurant that featured live Flamenco dancers. Very cool.
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I usually don't consider myself a photographer of animals, but I couldn't resist these pelicans.

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It turns out that real pelicans aren't as cute as they are in Disney movies.

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I promise to post again before 2 months go by! Watch for pictures of Jon and Christina's wedding coming soon!