Minnesota Lake Wedding | Maddie + John

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Maddie and John contacted me two weeks before their wedding. I called Maddie after receiving an email from her and as soon as we began talking, I knew I needed to photograph their wedding. She told me they currently lived in Los Angeles and were planning on having a very small ceremony with their closest friends and family at Noerenberg Memorial County Park, in Orono, MN.  Maddie is from Australia and John has family in MN but their "international love" began at the LAX airport! It wasn't accidental though - they were there to fly out to Arkansas with the rest of their production crew. They were to spend 3 months in Arkansas shooting a reality TV series. After some time John proposed in South Africa while they were on a safari ride - it was his birthday and the rest is history. 

Their wedding was short and it was sweet. Maddie's father couldn't make it due to issues with a passport, but her sister read a message he had written and was able to attend via Skype. His words were heart felt, beautiful and full of great advice that all married or those in a relationship should read:

"My wish to you both, when you make this commitment today is that your relationship will allow you to say with each passing year, I am content with my life. It is through simple acts of love such as shared routines and rituals, taking time to talk about life and the universe and remembering to play together, that you grow content day by day. Simply loving also means, you differ on some things but will want to find common ground and let go of anger. Above all when newness gets eclipsed my sameness try not to lose site of the other separate to you. Separate thoughts and feelings and dreams as important as your own. Delight in each others development, even if it takes you into unknown territory." - Maddie's dad

Ames | Fargo Birth Photography | Essential Hospital | Fargo, ND

 

Oh these dear clients turned friends. I've known Lauren & Robby for a couple years now. We first meet when Lauren wanted to put together a little film to surprise Robby with what her vows meant to her now. A short while later she contacted me again, letting me know she was pregnant and wanted to put together something to announce their pregnancy and then bam- 9 months later, we have Ames. (Bam, just like that. Easy peasy, right Lauren?) I was once again so priveledged to document such a huge moment in their life, but this time at Essentia hospital.

Watching Robby and Lauren is like watching synchronized swimming, but way more entertaining. ;) They work together like a fine tuned machine. There is humor, there is patience, there is grace.
Robby brings the calm and Lauren brings much joy. Lauren had a c section and she was the bravest momma. At one point I caught a glimpse of her being prepped through the tiny square window  that looked into the OR and she was laughing. I kid you not, laughing with nurses while being prepped for her c section. 
 

 

I did a thing-Fargo Birth Photography

I did a thing-Fargo Birth Photography

I did a thing today. You probably didn't notice it, but I added birth photography and birth films back into the world of Northern Stories. If you didn't know, I had a baby (well I had three, but who's counting?).

My first birth film- Essentia Hospital | Fargo Birth Photography

Let's revisit my first ever birth film.  My family had just moved back to Minnesota after a short stint in Iowa and I was taking a course through the Define School to reignite my creativity. Out of the blue, I got this crazy idea to post a call on my Facebook page. So I posted something along the lines of " Looking for a couple that would be willing to let me film and take photos of their birth". Within minutes I had a few people contact me, but I knew of Kara and Ryan and I was confident they would be a great fit. Little did I know that they would be such amazing people and watching them work as a team to welcome their daughter would be one of the sweetest moments of my career. Not to mention the amazing care they received from the nurses and midwives at Essentia Hospital. I won't say much else, other than Thank You to Kara and Ryan. It's because of you that I fell head over heals with birth photography and capturing those first breaths of life. 
 

Zion | Fargo Birth Photographer

Zion came into the world roaring after his strong momma's roller coaster ride of a labor! It's quite fitting that his siblings now call him Zion the lion. This is the story of Zion. Welcome to the world, little buddy. 

New Look, New Year

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Well hello 2017. I'm writing to apologize for being the worst blogger of 2016. I promise to be better this year. Well at least I promise to be sort of better this year. Because let's be real, life gets busy and this poor blog gets neglected sometimes. 

You will notice some changes around here though. 2017 is the year of authenticity for Northern Stories. I am committing to documenting your (and my own!) story authentically. Here's to real life. Here's to the moments that you love when you're lounging around in your sweatpants at home. Here's to not having to bribe your kiddo with candy for that perfect shot. Here's to spilled coffee and messy faces, dirty laundry and full sinks. To babies in diapers and tweens being tweens. Cheers to aunt Betty's sweet dance moves at your wedding and laughing when you mess up your vows because you're so dang excited. Here's to real life. 



 

Anniversary Film | Fargo Family Photographer

 

Recently I was sitting at my desk one day when a facebook message from Lauren popped up.

"Hi Penny. ....My husband and I are celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary on Tuesday and, though we couldn't get anything done before that, I was hoping we could do something together soonish (this summer). I have a big idea. In the chaos of planning a wedding, we decided to spring for the photographer (the lovely and talented Elisabeth Eden who did amazing work) and save costs by not getting a professional videographer....Sadly the only footage we have is a few clips around the reception. No ceremony. No vows. No speeches. No dances. As a major sentimentalist this broke my heart. It's a day that I'll remember forever in my own mind but I wish I had some video to show Josslyn of the promises her mommy and daddy made to each other that day. So this is my big idea... I would love I have Robby think we are doing a family film of some sort. He's obviously going to have some idea of what's going on since he will be there and whatnot but I'm hoping over parts of the film I can do a voice over with my own crafted vows. I want to tell him that I will love him and sickness and in health, richer or poorer, and even when he doesn't close the car door when he fills the car up with gas. I want him to know that out of all our adventures together, raising Josslyn is my favorite. I want the film to be my belated anniversary gift to him full of even more personal vows than we made 3 years ago and I would LOVE for you to help me make that happen."

So we met at Babb's Coffee in Fargo and we planned with our coffee's in hand. We eventually got together at their home in Moorhead for a "family session" and the magic began. If you know Lauren you know that she has a a beautiful heart and is incredible at writing. You will soon hear in the video that her heart for her family is so sweet and I was so honored to be able to help her make this surprise film for him. 

 

 

Cady & Joe | Grand Forks Wedding Photographer

Cady & Joe were married in Grand Forks with a beautiful church wedding and reception at the Allerus Center. You might remember them from their adorable engagement session this summer. These two have been together for years and decided it was time to make it official and celebrate their love with their (amazing) family and friends. I could have photographed them all day, their love is true and obvious  and the kind that makes you want to sit and soak it in for a while. 

Thank you Cady & Joe for allowing me to photograph your day. Wishing you a marriage full of love, forgiveness and kitchen dance parties.  I'm a big fan of yours.