Special Treats

Why hello lovelies. I hope that you are all enjoying your St. Patricks Day. My husband and I had quite the busy day – church, house hunting {found one we love, love, love}, and then went grocery shopping. Note, never go shopping when you are hungry – everything looks delicious.

Since yesterday evening, all we have been talking about is Peach Cobbler and my moms amazing Apple Crisp. It led me to realize that soon we will be purchasing our first house and I need to make sure I know how to some of my favorite dishes {and of course some of Kyle’s too}. I decided that I need to make myself a recipe book. So I want YOU to send me your favorite recipes that you would like to share with me. All you need to do is send me an email here: studio408info{at}gmail{dot}com. I have to make Kyle’s stomach happy – you know, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Back to this Peach Cobbler and Apple Crisp thing. Since we both wanted deserts, but couldn’t come up with a decision on which one, I made both. I couldn’t ask you for something without providing something in return, so here are the recipes. Enjoy!

Until next time!

xoxo nicole

Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:

- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cups sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches {if use canned, make sure to drain}

Topping:
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- vanilla ice cream or half and half (optional, but delicious).

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir until dry ingredients are mixed together. Slowly stir in milk just until combined. Carefully fold in peaches and pour into an 8×8 greased pan.

Combine topping ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugars are dissolved and water is slightly boiling. Then, pour ingredients over top. This may seem like too much liquid, but will thicken and settle while baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Helpful hint: may need foil below pan incase cobbler flows over your pan. Filling will be bubbly and an inserted toothpick into topping will come out clean when done. Serve with ice cream, cream or all by itself!

Tada!

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Apple Crisp (The Best Apple Crisp)

Ingredients:

- 6 large Granny Smith apples sliced, peeled, and cored)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons flour

Toppings:

- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup softened butter (room temperature)

Mix the the sugar, cinnamon, and flour together. Fold in the apple slices. Turn into 9×13 greased pan. Next, mix your topping ingredients. Sprinkle the topping mixture onto of your apple mixture. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Simple as that!

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I hope that you enjoy these – let me know if you tried either!

2013 Must Take Wedding Photography

“Take a moment to look around. The day goes by so fast.”

This is the advice my husband and I were given time and time again on our wedding day and vow renewal. There is no doubt that the day can go by in a flash. Having a prepared photographer to capture the special moments can help document your day from the application of the makeup to the outgoing dancers at the end of the night. For every bride and groom I offer a consultation where we get to know each other more and I get to learn all about your day. One of the things that I go over is a basic must take wedding photo list that is based on past wedding experiences as well as my artistic view. The list is adjusted for every couple since no wedding is the same. Here is a sneak peak at my list:

1. Bride and groom getting ready
2. The accessories and rings
3. Bride putting on dress/veil

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4. The flowers and ceremony decorations

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5. First look {if seeing one another prior to ceremony}

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6. Bride portraits
7. Groom portraits

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8. Bride and groom portraits/bridal party portraits/family portraits
9. Processional at ceremony {each set of bridesmaids/groomsmen as well as anyone else in the wedding party}.
10. Bride walking down the aisle
11. Expressions of guests during ceremony
12. Reciting vows

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13. Exchanging rings
14. Any unique addition to the ceremony {unity candle, sand ceremony, etc.}

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15. First kiss
16. Bride and groom during the recessional
17. Arrival of bride and groom at reception
18. Cake
19. Reception decorations and special touches
20. Special toasts and speeches

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21. First dance
22. Father and bride/mother and son dance
23. Garter toss
24. Bouquet toss

I would love to know what you would like to see on a must take wedding photography list! Leave me a comment, send me a facebook message, or email me.

xoxo

The Beauty of Tattoos

Hello my loves. I hope that you are enjoying the start of your weekend.

Being someone who is creative {or at least tries to be} and enjoys art, I have been thinking a lot about the art of tattoos. I’m always seeing new posts on Facebook or pins on Pinterest of people showing off their latest body art. Hardly do we ever hear the stories behind why people choose the tattoos that they do.

The one thing I like about Miami Ink and LA Ink is how they incorporate their clients stories behind the tattoo they’re getting. This foolishly led me to believe that when I had mine completed, that I would have a similar experience with the artist. The artist never in fact asked me the reason why I was getting my tattoo nor did he really speak with me about anything during the hour and a half I was bent over on a chair with my legs numb from dangling far too long.

Note of how important it is to offer great customer service.

Would I ever regret my tattoo? Not for a moment.

Are there tattoos out there that I could get that I would regret? Without a doubt, but I wouldn’t get one of those.

Here is my lovely:

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Mine is on my hip/lower back. I wanted something that represented my faith while also having a reminder that no matter what it is that I am going through in life, I’m strong enough to get through it because I have God. Things happen and although sometimes they are difficult to go through, better is always around the corner.

So here is my challenge for you:
1. Do you have or have you ever thought of getting a tattoo?
2. Tell me your story behind your tattoo {if multiple, pick your favorite}.

Leave me a comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or even email me your answer. It can be a long story or a couple words. Just tell me.

xoxo

Making Goals

It seems as though everyone is talking about their New Years resolutions. Even Caribou Coffee has a chalkboard asking what their customers New Year resolution is for 2013. It seems as though the majority of people want to lose weight or get in better shape, but I must say one of my favorites was a woman who said that she wanted to pray more. Love that!

I swear my goals for this year keep adding up, but one that I am really excited about is to read 1-2 business books a month. I recently heard that business owners who are wealthy typically read one to two business books a month. Meanwhile, small business owners read less than one business book a year. How insane is that! I don’t plan on being a millionaire by any means, but it is important to me that I run my business the very best that I can. There are actually many other photographers who are joining me in this goal. It is being held by Photography Awesomesauce and as of right now, our group is 170+ strong. Want to join us? Join here.

This month I am reading E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber as well as Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders. I will be keeping you all posted on a monthly basis in regards to my thoughts on the books. I’ve already dived into E-Myth Revisited and am really enjoying it so far.

Since you know one of my goals this year, I would love to know yours. Post your goal for 2013 in a comment below or email me it here. Let’s make this a great year!

2013 Brings Changes to Studio 408 Photography

I hope that you all enjoyed the first week of 2013! It is amazing that we are already on to another year that I’m sure will pass quickly as they seem to be doing so lately. 2012 was a year full of many changes – some high moments and some low. My husband and I made it through our longest deployment with very minimal communication, I planned our vow renewal while he was deployed, and we began the transition from Marine life to civilian life together.

Last year was really the beginning of many chapters. Soon we will be purchasing our own home along with having our first baby – a dog of course! With all of that in mind, it’s nice to know that this year we have taken the appropriate steps career-wise. My husband is completing his personal training certificate and will be starting college next week; I’m so proud of him! Me on the other hand, I am working full-time again as well as making many changes to expand my photography business {more announcements will be coming soon – good things take time!}.

One announcement that I must make now is that I am no longer doing the 365 project. I have been wanting to make the announcement for a while now, but I have had difficulty pressing the ‘send’ button and making it official. It feels like I failed. Unfortunately, when I started the project, I was not working full-time and therefore my current work hours make it very difficult to produce the images that I expect out of myself on daily basis. I am going to continue to have sessions on the weekends {which you will see posted here} while I work on branding my company and making necessary adjustments.

The other change that I am so beyond excited about is that in the coming year, I will be attending several wedding and portrait workshops. It is so important to me to offer my clients the very best product that I possibly can. That means providing not only one of a kind customer service, but also offering photography that is high-quality and timeless. Plus, I love learning.

Like I said, there is a lot of amazing things coming soon and I’m excited to share it all with you. I hope that you will be a part of this journey with me. I would love your feedback, to hear your challenges, happy moments and everything in between. Lets make 2013 one that we won’t forget.

xoxo

A Note From Your Photog, Volume 1

I apologize that I have been away. The holiday season among other things have been taking a lot of my attention lately. There has been a lot of behind the scenes work recently: updating packages {completed!}, reviewing options for branding {work in progress still}, and determine my path for the future {ongoing}.

What would I love? I would love to photograph weddings and conceptual pieces. If I could do that for a job for the rest of my life, oh would I be happy. I know that things take time, so I will continue to work hard and do what God leads me to.

 

I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy lay is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

P.S. I will be around much more often so don’t worry my dears.

 

With love,

Nicole

Portrait Session {Minneapolis, MN Photographer}

Yesterday I posted a sneak-peak of a session on my Facebook. Well, I wanted you to be able to see all of the pictures so I decided to post them here for you to see. The model was gorgeous and was a trooper as she went barefoot in the cold Minnesota weather. This was actually a session that I was shadowing. Ally from Alix Rae Photography, let me join her. It was great seeing another photographer in action. Everyone does things differently and so seeing another photog in action is a fantastic way of learning.

Thank you Ally for allowing me to come along and enjoy the photographs readers!

If you are interested in booking a portrait session or a model interested in prints for your portfolio, please contact me so we can talk about your personalized session. I would love to capture the beautiful you and offer you prints that you will enjoy for years to come!

Photographs of the Week {Twin Cities, MN Photographer}

This week has been a great one. Looking back there are a couple photographs that I am really proud of and know that I wouldn’t  have been able to photograph them if I didn’t put myself out there. Putting myself out there, now that’s a scary concept. I have realized that the more I do this though, the better my photography becomes, the more feedback that I’ve been getting and the more inspiration comes.

Here are the photographs from this weeks challenge (1-6/365):

Day One

My favorite part of this first photograph is actually what happened right before I took the picture. My husband was fishing on the Mississippi River and standing on a log that laid in the river. I tried to tell him that it wasn’t smart standing on a log especially when the Mississippi River has such a fast current. He continued to fish off this log anyways and after a couple minutes he notices the DNR coming. They had a fan boat and were going at a decent speed. Kyle mentions that the boat is cool and a few minutes later I hear him say, “Uh oh.” I look out from behind my lens and thats when I notice waves coming at him. I was basically crying {laughing so hard} as these waves go right over his feet and soak his shoes and socks. All he says is, “I hate when my feet are wet!” and gets off the log. I think I laughed for at least five more minutes and couldn’t help but wonder if the guys on the DNR boat were laughing as well. Not to mention that it was really cold that day too, poor husband!

Day Two

The light was shining perfectly on this old piano that we have. It hasn’t been played in years {completely out of tune} and sits in the basement collecting dust. I had to photograph the moment. Sometimes the moments that pass don’t always involve people.

Day Three

This photograph was taken last minute while we were waiting to head over to my husbands side for Thanksgiving. We were watching my favorite show of all time {Friends} and drinking my favorite drink {hot chocolate}. These are the simple times that I often want photographed so that when time passes, it will be documented. Who else loves Friend by the way – I say reunion :)

Day Four

Meet Poppa! This is my husbands grandfather and our chef on Thanksgiving Day; he always makes the yummiest meals. I couldn’t help take this picture of him while he was in his chef gear.

Day Five

I love candles. They smell amazing and this just happens to be one of my current favorites. It is called Sugar Cookie {perfect for the holidays if I do say so myself}.

Day Six {todays image}

I originally planned to go to a nearby park and photograph outside today, but that all changed while I was on Pinterest {who else is addicted?}. I came across an image by an artist named Alex Manco. His work is beautiful and I became inspired to take this instead. When I took this image I new exactly what I wanted… black and white with my eye color coming through. I wanted the window in my eye {yes there is one, scroll back up and look again} to be an added representation of ones soul. The skin in this photograph is not perfect {on purpose} to represent that no one is perfect. This is my favorite image so far that I believe I have completed. Progress!

I would love to know what your favorite photograph was from this week and any feedback. If you are interested in booking a session with me, I would love to be your photographer. Please contact me so we can talk!

Picture a Day For a Year (Twin Cities Photographer)

I have already made this announcement on my Facebook page, but I wanted to fill my readers in so no one is out of the loop {no worries, it was just announced yesterday!}. I have been thinking about taking a photograph everyday for a year to challenge myself. After throwing this idea around in my head, I’ve decided that I’m officially going to do this.

It’s not that I don’t have enough challenging things going on right now in my business life – because I have enough. I have learned recently that by doing new things that normally I would shy away from, it has allowed me to not only have more opportunities, but also to grow as a person and photographer.

So here it is, the plan: I’m going to post an photograph on my Facebook page once a day and then will do a review here on my blog with all of the photographs from the week as well as extra features. The features may include before and after images, a story, and possibly giveaways. The opportunities are really endless and my mind is spinning with ideas and excitement {I know yours is too!}.

I would like to encourage other photographs {and none photographers} to join in with me. I am going to be setting up a link on my weekly post {will be Sundays} for everyone to link in and post their site so we can see what you’ve photographed this last week. This will be an opportunity to learn, grow, and meet new people!

If you would like to follow me on Facebook to see my photographs right away instead of waiting until Sunday, then Like My Facebook page. This is the one I posted today:

I hope that you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving Day!

Travis + Lindsey Wedding

This summer I had the privilege of photographing the wedding of one of my closest friends. We met while our boyfriends (now husbands) were in the Marines. We instantly clicked which led to many girl nights and talking about all the crazy things that can happen when you are in a military relationship. We mostly talked about the one we missed and how exciting it would be to see him again. I learned quickly that she loved Travis with all of her heart and that they shared something really beautiful. Though they spent many years long distance, they were best friends. This bride and groom had long waited for the day they got married and it was absolutely beautiful! I started taking photographs from the time the girls started getting ready and was constantly reminded throughout the day of their amazing love. I will let the photographs speak for themselves. Thank you Travis and Lindsey for the opportunity to be your photographer!