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Category: Photography

My Adorable Little Owl Baby

My Adorable Little Owl Baby

I bought this adorable Sleepy Owl hat on Etsy before Bretton was born and even though we took a few of his professional newborn photos with it, I wanted even more!  One morning when he was about 2 weeks old and had just had a bath I did a quick mini-shoot….
This one is totally overexposed but I love that you can see that his eyes are blue here
Bretton owl hat 2
A close-up of the pic above……..  Just look at this little face!
bretton blues copy
bretton owl hat 4
Bretton owl hat 5
He was mad about something……   I guess I am a mean mommy but this photo makes me laugh!
Bretton owl hat mad
My little chunky monkey with a very serious face…..
BRETTON OWL HAT serious face

Gosh, he is too cute!!! I just love him to pieces in case you couldn’t tell! lol

Larger than Life {my photos, that is}

Larger than Life {my photos, that is}

* I started this post several weeks ago and never bothered to publish it, but since I’ve slacked on my blogging so much, I figured I might as well give you something non-baby to read about *

An interesting situation arose last month, which has since been resolved.  This little story pertains to my work with the Twin Cities Restaurant Blog but since this blog is private and I will not be naming the restaurant, I feel comfortable sharing the story here. I have told this story a few times in person so if you’ve already heard it, feel free to stop reading now, I hate being redundant 😉

Okay, so you know how I write reviews about the different restaurants I visit?? (or used to anyway)  A huge part of the process and one of the biggest appeals of the TCRB is the photos I take of the food.  I know that my photos are “out there” on the internet in a ton of places, which is why it is important to me to watermark all of my photos with “” …… it serves to both give me credit for the photos and also advertising for my site.  I get many requests from restaurants to use my photos on their websites and I am fine with it as long as they ask and give me a photo credit or link back to the TCRB.  One such restaurant discovered the review I wrote about them back in Feb 2012 and the owner nicely asked me in April 2012 if he could use my photos on their website and  if I would remove my watermark.  I agreed after he offered to send me a generous gift card to the restaurant and a link to the TCRB on their website.  It is a very nice restaurant that we really like so that sweetened the deal.

Fast forward to a night in early February this year when I am driving down the interstate and I see a GIANT BILLBOARD for this same restaurant with two of my food photos on it!! At first I was shocked, like “holy shit, my photos are on a billboard!” but then I thought, they never asked me if they could use my photo on a billboard! WTF?!  Coincidentally, later that night at dinner as I was looking through the City Pages Newspaper, I came across a full color ad for the same restaurant with another of my photos!!  No mention of the TCRB and no photo credit.  So the next morning I go to their website and see my photos all over the place but no link or photo credit (I know it was there when we made out original agreement!).  That’s when I really started to get mad about the situation, as I felt as though my photos were stolen by the restaurant as their own.  So after some quick legal advice from my SIL Amanda who is an attorney, I decided to contact the restaurant owner.  I reminded him of our original agreement, which included use of my photos on their website with a link to the TCRB.  I told him that we did not have an unlimited use agreement for those photos and that I felt like they had stolen them as their own and that I would expect compensation for the use of my photos on his billboard and in other ads.  He responded with the following

Kristi, I certainly apologize for what was apparently and clearly a mistake on my part. I certainly did not intend to abuse the use of your photos and honesty do not recall the specifics of our discussion about the link or photo credit, although I am happy to add that to my website.  Sorry for that. I do truly apologize if that was part of our discussion. Following our website update, I placed those pictures in a folder which contains hundreds of pictures of our food which I pull from for many different media outlets. I would certainly like to compensate you for the past use as well as discuss the opportunity for us to continue using them in the future as to date they are the best photos we have seen taken of our food. We are only a small restaurant with a limited marketing budget, but I hope you can accept my apology, I am only a restaurant owner/operator rather than a marketing specialist and honestly did not intend to exploit your work for my the benefit of my restaurant. I do appreciate your blog, follow it religiously and recommend it often. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing how we can work together in the future and please let me know your thoughts and if willing, a fair price for the use of these photos.

This was good enough for me.  I wasn’t trying to get rich off the deal, I just wanted a fair amount and to let him know it wasn’t okay to use photos without permission.   I asked for an amount that was comparable to what I would charge any restaurant for a professional food photo shoot with rights to all the photos.  He happily agreed and sent me the money within 24 hours.  He also told me he would hire me to take photos for him when they wanted new ones. Cool!

The billboard is still up and I literally drive by it every single day.  And that is the story of how my photos became larger than life.

The End

Maternity Shoot {Haley & Graham}

Maternity Shoot {Haley & Graham}

In early December my friend and former colleague, Haley, contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to take some maternity photos of her and her husband.  She was 34 weeks along at the time and said “anytime in the next 6 weeks” would work for her.  We finally made it work to take her photos on December 16th when she was 36 weeks along.  Good thing we did it then because her baby boy was born just four days later!!!

I am by no means a professional photographer and I have only done one other maternity shoot for my friend Becky, but I love to take photos for friends when they ask 😉 I’m cheap!

Many of these shots were recreations from others I had pinned to my maternity photo board on Pinterest.  I have no shame in doing so either!! Here are just a few….

Haley Graham sitting
Haley Graham nuzzle
haley graham lying down
Haley Silhouette

Haley Graham heart hands 1
Haley Graham face to face
Haley Belly with Bear
Haley Graham Belly Kiss bw
Haley Graham red wall bw
It was a fun shoot and got me very excited at the prospect of having my own maternity photos taken…. I better call Michelle Sauer Photography and get something in the books! lol

Making the Mamarazzi {Photography E-Book}

Making the Mamarazzi {Photography E-Book}

It has been just about three years now that I have had my Nikon DSL and I still love it.  I would not have learned how to use it, however,  if it hadn’t been for my SIL Michelle (professional photographer) and a really great online photography class that she taught for me and five other newbies when we all first got our cameras.  She has since expanded her lessons and has put it all together in a really great downloadable E-Book called Making the MamarazziFOR THIS WEEK ONLY Michelle is offering this really great book for just $15!!! That is a STEAL!!  As Michelle shares her knowledge and expertise, you will learn how to use your camera and how to get great photos of your kids….. not to mention you will see plenty of photos of my adorable nieces and nephew. Check out Making the Mamarazzi on Michelle Sauer Photography‘s blog and you can buy the book there!! This would make a great holiday gift 😉

I hope many of you appreciate this great offer and take advantage now!!!


On this date I have blogged about:

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Here are a few photos that I took this fall that have been sitting on either my camera or my computer, untouched until now!

October 2012 Sunrise

On this date I have blogged about:

What a Beautiful Morning….

What a Beautiful Morning….

There is just something so peaceful about sunrise (and sunset!)
I have been meaning to share this photo taken one morning on my way to work.
Beautiful Sunrise over WBL

I just looked at the date it was taken… March 20, 2012. Two months ago. Better late than never, right?

Beautiful Winter Sunrise over White Bear Lake

Beautiful Winter Sunrise over White Bear Lake

One thing that I love about the months of Jan-March is that the sun is usually just starting to rise as I leave my house for work each morning.  I often take a very short detour to the frozen shores of White Bear Lake on days that have a beautiful sunrise.  Here is what I captured (from my car window!) yesterday morning….


On this date I have blogged about:

Fun Services to use with Instagram Pics

Fun Services to use with Instagram Pics


Everyone with an iPhone is doing it.

Instagram is a fun App that allows you to take photos with your phone then apply filters to give it a different look.

What can you do with these Instagram pics?

  • You can post them directly to your FB, Flickr or Foursquare accts.
  • You can view all of your photos as well as your friends Instagram pics at this cool site called Ink. (My Instagram photos can be found here)
  • You can make really cool Magnets at StickyGram
  • You can publish a Photo Book with your Instagram pics at Keepsy
  • You can make 2×2 ceramic Tiles at Teeny Tile
  • You can make 4×4 stickers at Artflakes
  • You can have your photos printed ona  contact sheet at Printsgram
  • You can frame 4×4 prints with Boo Box Bamboo frames from Hatchcraft

Now you know all the cool things you can do with Instagram….. now start snapping pics with your iPhones!

Fall Portraits {Mason & Jonah}

Fall Portraits {Mason & Jonah}

A few weeks ago I met my friend Shannon and her two boys at a local park to shoot some fall portraits.  It was the most perfect, warm, sunny fall day you could ask for and the trees were gorgeous!

I am by no means a professional photographer but when my friends ask me to take photos of their kids and/or families, I generally find some time to do it.

I have known these two little guys since they were literally days old, as Shannon lived two houses down from me for nine years.  In fact, it is all Shannon’s fault that I bought the house I am in since she is the one who brought me to the model home just days after she signed her own purchase agreement.
Mason Jonah Oct 2011

Mason 2
Jonah 7

It was fun and I am glad I got to spend some time with them.  I miss having them as neighbors!

Delightful Dahlias

Delightful Dahlias

I have posted a handful of photos of my flowers from this year (Pink Tulips, Hot Pink Fancy Tulips, Yellow Tulips, Pink Asian Lilies, Star Fire Lilies), are you ready to see my Dahlias? We started these ladies from bulbs this past spring and it took months for them to finally bloom in September.

I took these first two shots shortly after a rain…

I love Dahlias, I will definitely try to winter these bulbs so I can have gorgeous blooms again next year 🙂

The Beautiful Ms. Becky {and her baby belly!}

The Beautiful Ms. Becky {and her baby belly!}

One day last week I spent some time with my friend Becky who is in the home stretch of her first pregnancy.  We thought it would be an awesome chance to get some maternity photos of Becky, who is at 37 weeks along.  Ideally we should’ve taken these photos a month ago, but Becky is still feeling pretty good and looks wonderful!  Neither one of us has had any experience with maternity photos in any regard, so we used Pinterest to get inspiration.  We were also lucky that Becky and her husband have a gorgeous yard with landscaped gardens… perfect for posing for portraits!

Here are just a few of the photos I took.  The more intimate ones are for Becky and her husband to do with as they please 🙂
Becky b&w 1
Becky red 2 copy
Becky in Black 6
Becky in Dress 7
Becky in Dress 9
Becky in Dress 2
Becky in Dress 6
Becky b&w 3

Thanks, Becky, it was a lot of fun!

Photo Shoot { In Manual Mode!}

Photo Shoot { In Manual Mode!}

Yesterday afternoon my college roomie Laura (brown) and I spent some time with my SIL Michelle so she could give us some lessons in photography.  Michelle offered a beginning photography course in the spring of last year, shortly after Laura and I both bought our first D-SLR cameras.  The class was a Godsend to both of us! It is from these lessons that I began to understand how a SLR camera works and learned how to do more than set the camera to ‘auto mode’.

My photography has improved in the past year but I still had not learned how to shoot completely in manual mode.  While still adjusting almost all the settings manually, for the past year I have shot in Aperture mode.  This all changed yesterday when Michelle spent time with us and we forever switched our cameras to Manual Mode.  There is no turning back now!!!

I was aiming at getting the proper exposure, composition wasn’t the main focus in these photos but I still got some that are pretty cute.  Of course my nieces and nephew make adorable subjects to photograph.  Michelle is a lucky lady!
Annika & Biance July 2011
Annika Bianca July 2010 2
Michelle and Bianca July 2011
Annika pose 6 july 2011
This one is totally overexposed but I still like it
Bianca July 2011 copy
Michelle and Bennett July 2011
Annika is turning six this week.  I can’t believe it.Annika July 2011 copy
This little stinker is too cute for his own good.  He has the famous “Sauer” disappearing eyes when he smiles.  Little whipper snapper 😉Bennett July 2011
Bennett July 2011 -2
Michelle is so pretty, I took a few shots when she wasn’t paying attention. lol!  I probably have more photos of her than anyone, since she is always behind her own camera
Michelle July 2011
Michelle and Annika July 2011

Thanks for the lesson, Michelle. I look forward to shooting only in manual from now on!

Cinemagraphs {Photography with Movement}

Cinemagraphs {Photography with Movement}

Have you ever seen or heard of Cinemagraphs? They are basically still photographs that have bits of movement throughout the image. I don’t know who invented these but holy smokes….

Check these out:

How cool is that?

There is an article at Web Urbanist that explains it really well and has several examples to look at, such as the images shown above.  There is also a group devoted to Cinemagraphs on Flickr, you should check out the cool images.  These images are very complicated to make and time consuming, something I would love to learn how to do.  I am mesmerized by these images, this idea is so new to me that I need to do a lot more research about it.  Super cool!

October 2010 Photo Hunt ~ My Results

October 2010 Photo Hunt ~ My Results

Here are my photos from the October 2010 Photo Hunt Challenge.  Please head over to Photo Hunt Challenges to see all of the other Participant Entries.

In Disguise-  Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime Costume


Fall Colors {Taylor’s Falls- looking into Wisconsin over St Croix River)

Autumn in Taylors Falls on the St Croix

A Jack O’lantern (found at a Halloween party)
Jack O Lantern

a Shot from the Ground (my body-less cat, Pharaoh!)
From the Ground

a Landscape (St Croix River)
Autumn in Taylors Falls on the St Croix
a Fall Tradition- Coming ASAP

Books (my stack waiting to be read!)

Books I am Reading

Dining (Inside the local Red Robin)

Inside Red Robin ~ Shoreview, MN

Child/Children (my friend’s daughters)

Faces formed in Nature (rock that looks like an animal with stick in its mouth!)

Rock in Water (looks like animal)

Tilt-Shift Photography (Taylor’s Falls Queen Ferry Boat)
Taylor's Falls Queen (Tilt shift)
B & W with selective coloring- Coming ASAP

Tiny Yellow and Red Flowers 2

Best Photo taken October 23rd (Minnehaha Creek)

Stream in the Creepy Woods

Something from the Kitchen (freshly baked banana bread)

Banana Bread

Something Vintage (Old school Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls)

Vintage Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls
Something Creepy

Something Golden (Maple Leaves)

A Self-Portrait (ran a couple of actions on this one to give it the cartoon-y feel)
self portrait with flowers