Monday, March 31, 2008

Caleb's slideshow coming soon

It's snowing snowballs, so tonight I am going to grab a seat on my couch, a cup of hot cocoa and Caleb's images and edit until they're done. I can't wait to see the final product! I am always so excited to get to my computer after a session, so I can relive the fun and see how it unfolds : ) So, come back tomorrow to see Caleb's slideshow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I think I'll just ramble

Sometimes I don't blog because I just have no idea where to begin. So, rather than not blog at all, I guess I'll just ramble. Happy Sunday everyone! Here we are, about to enter April, and the beautiful MN weather forecast says we could have 8-10 inches of snow on the ground by Tuesday morning. Most of the ground is clear now, the weather has been in the 40's. I was just telling my sister (who lives in Florida) that I wish it would just rain so that all the SNIRT would wash away. For those of your who don't know what "snirt" is, it's quite simply a snow and dirt combination most famously found at the side of the road in snowbank remnants. Mall parking lots are a common place for late-spring snirt, because the 20 to 30 foot tall piles of snirt from clearing the lots takes a long time to melt. I think the fire department should come in and spray it with their hoses and make it all go away. That really wouldn't be the best use of their resources, though. Oh well. Spring will eventually come to Minnesota.

I am sitting next to Brad, both of us catching up on our computer work, listening to Sixpence None The Richer Collage. It is a hits album, and something I haven't listened to in a long time. Great tunes.

I've had a lot of joy this week, as I've found out from several of my NILMDTS families that they are expecting new babies come fall and winter. It's always such a gift to hear that, to be included in the follow up of their lives. Every photographer does things differently, but I really like to give a free newborn session to these families as their baby gift when their new babies arrive. In each case, it was such a privilege to get to meet their babies that the world didn't get to meet, to help create memories for them so that they could share the photographs of their babies with their world. It seems to make sense to me that in the spirit of offering what is referred to in the medical world as "continuity of care," I should enable them to have a happy, healing photo experience with the babies who are the younger siblings of those whom they held for too short a time.

OK, rambling done. It's getting too late and I have to sleep. I have a really full week! One of our photographers, Erin, is getting married on Saturday! YAY Erin and Matt! So, she's not working this week and Ginger Murray is coming back to pinch-hit and I'll take a couple days as well. I have an important meeting regarding several hospital accounts this week, and have to follow up on some other pending accounts and conversations. Watch in the next week or two for our new logo and added FDP web content. By late spring, we'll be offering birth announcements, too! Such fun! Now, off to bed. Good night.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Amazing Caleb

Check out this little guy! He's 19 months old and I got to spend an hour "playing" with him with my camera this morning. We shot until he showed me the door, literally. I'll have a slideshow up in a few days. Until then, here's a taste of what's to come!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I don't believe in coincidence

Last night I was going to post a link to a great story on Perinatal Hospice that appeared on, but I got tired and thought "I'll just do it tomorrow." The story features a family who carried their baby to term and had 29 days with him, and extensively quotes a friend of mine, Amy Kuebelbeck, an author and speaker on Perinatal Hospice. Amy chronicled her journey with her son, Gabriel (who had hypoplastic left heart syndrome), in Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby's Brief Life - a wonderful, hope-filled book. Since her son's brith and death, she has become a sought-after speaker on the topic. She's also co-authoring a new book with Deborah Davis called The Gift of Time: Continuing Your Pregnancy with a Terminal Prenatal Diagnosis (to be published in 2010). Our son, Eli, will be one of many children in the new book.

Today, Amy emailed me to tell me that since I first looked at the article yesterday, the Today Show piece was placed in the article as a video-link. So - here's the link to the article and, by default, another path to the Today Show piece.

Amy's work is educating so many health care providers about how to best care for families. Great work, Amy! I am so proud to know you! You can see more of what Amy is doing at

Saturday, March 22, 2008


This morning I was interviewed by John Reger on WCCO 4 news (the local CBS affiliate) for a little over three minutes! I had a great time talking about First Day Photo, and showing off some of the work we do every day. Here's a link to the story... it's web quality, but at least you'll get the general idea.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy Snow?

Yesterday we welcomed spring, the snow had mostly melted - just the snowbanks remained. Jacob was getting so excited that he could see grass. And yet, the whole snowy winter had passed without "the perfect snowman snow." (Actually, we had one weekend of perfect snow, but the kids were sick and didn't get to play outside).

We woke up this morning intent on the task of coloring Easter Eggs, all the while talking about the true reason for Easter. Then, we built a miniature snowman! What? Yes, it began snowing in the wee hours of the morning. March snow is PERFECT for snowmen. And, better yet, it doesn't stay around long. I do have to say that this is truly my first Easter snowman.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

All eyes on me!

Newborn babies sleep all the time. Actually, about 20 hours per day. So, very often, the photos we take are of a peacefully slumbering newborn. Today, though, all the babies I photographed were wide-eyed and wonderful! Here are photos of two cuties whose parents gave me permission to use their images. Stephanie is out of town at WPPI, so I was covering one of our hospitals.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

about crying babies

I love crying babies! Ok, I should probably qualify that statement. I love photographing a good pout, scream or wail. Why? Well, mostly because it's real. Babies cry. I also like it because although a baby's look will change as she grows, the way she looks when she cries doesn't change that much because of the musculature of the face. This is a really cute little guy from today. Seriously, when else do we photograph our kids crying?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Twins! and Fox9

I started my day with a 3 + minute interview on the Sunday morning news at the local Fox affiliate, KMSP channel 9. It was a live interview about First Day Photo and also about Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Most of the interview was about FDP, which was great. Walking into the interview, I wasn't sure exactly where they were going to go with it. I walked out of the studio thinking that I hadn't exactly done what I came for in terms of sharing the First Day Photo vision, but I was pleased with how the part about NILMDTS went. When I got to work about 20 minutes later, I already had emails from all over Minneapolis/St. Paul asking about whether First Day Photo was available in their hospital, or inquiring about pricing and if we would come photograph their baby or grand baby. So, I must have gotten some of what I wanted to say out there. I did finally summon the courage to watch the piece this evening. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought ; )

In other news... I got to photograph some adorable twin boys today. We do twins with relative frequency, but they never cease to be a challenge. When the babies are close in size and weight, it is a bit easier because they usually lie in the same focal plane (if they're being reasonably still). These guys, though, were separated by a whole pound! This meant that their heads were also different sizes, and when lying on their backs one was always out of focus. The lesson here is that you have to play with your aperture and with the background of the babies (perhaps place them on pillows covered by a blanket, so that you can prop one up more than the other.) These guys broke the "simple patterns are best" rule, but look carefully - their blanket has puppies on it and the outfits have paw prints!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sarah Joy's piggies!

Since we found out that our fourth baby was a girl, Brad has talked about how cute it would be to see a litter person (or Person!) in pigtails (aka "piggies"). Yesterday, I gave it a try! They lasted about 2 minutes, but it was a fun two mintues.

Brad was not here to witness the fun, he's in Buenos Aires with Luis Palau. I was watching the webstream last night - I couldn't believe the sea of people. He said there were about 500,000 people in attendance last night, and they expected 800,000 today!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Finally catching up

Well, I don't know if catching up is really possible... It's been a really busy week. I just got some really neat news! When I started my blog, I posted about a little girl named Maddy who met Jesus before her mom and dad got to hold her for the first time. I had the privilege of photographing her. Maddy's mom emailed her friends this week to announce that someone who had followed Maddy's story was placing her baby for adoption and wanted Maddy's mom and dad to adopt her. Can you imagine? The baby is due soon and Maddy will get to be a big sister from Heaven. Wow! I am so looking forward to photographing this new little one and I am THRILLED for these wonderful people!

Our road trip to Nebraska went well. No major driving issues and I had a great time getting to know Erin better. The meeting with the hospital was good. We'll just wait and see. On the way home, I got a phone call from a really large hospital system, who said we showed up first when he Googled hospital baby photography. I can't complain about that.

So, as I sit here on a Friday evening watching TLC and not folding the laundry sitting on the opposite couch (at least it's clean), I am feeling pretty good about my week. Boy, I am tired. Maybe I'll get that laundry folded tomorrow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

new headshot, sort of

So, instead of actually taking a new photo... I cut myself out of one of our family photos. Hmmm. It sort of works.

Road Trip

I have to admit, I don't really like road trips. I am not quite sure why. I'd much rather just get in a plane - I think it's an efficiency of time thing. I can read in a plane, but not in a car. I can edit photos in a plane, but not well in a car (too much screen glare). Oh well, this road trip will be great anyway. Erin (one of my amazing First Day Photo photographers) and I are headed to Nebraska to visit with a hospital who is interested in what we can provide for their birth center. I am really excited to show them how we are different than what they currently offer their patients! It's just a whole different experience than your standard hospital baby picture. No baby "mugshots" here!

Preparing to go tomorrow makes me think of my first business trip. I was working for a small Christian newspaper, and I was sent to a movie set in Toronto to interview Mr. T! Seriously! I assumed that he would speak with more normal cadence in person than on TV or film, but he didn't. It was interesting.

No Mr. T tomorrow, but it should be a great trip. However, I will miss Jacob's art fair at school. I am really kind of bummed about that... especially since Brad will be on a plane to another exotic location, so he'll miss it too. Thank God for Grandma!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I need a headshot

In my last headshot I was VERY pregnant, and looked it. I was whining to my mom that I needed a new headshot - she laughed a me pretty hard and said "I think I know a photographer!" Hey, just because I happen to be married to an awesome photog, doesn't mean we can figure out how to parent, run our house, our business and still squeeze in a photo session of of ourselves! Ha ha ha. Since Brad has been reminding me of this need for days, we were going to do it today. Then, I got some type of food poisoning and was definately NOT photographable. Oh well. If someone really wants to see what I look like, they can look at my family photo. : )

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gunnar's slideshow is working again

A couple weeks ago I had to remove Gunnar's slideshow from my blog because it wasn't working. It's back! Look for my post of Gunnar (called Gunnar's photo shoot)and enjoy. He's so cute : )

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What a day!

It's about 11:30 pm and I am exhausted! It's that good kind of exhaustion, when something has gone well, but been emotional and taken much out of you.

I can't believe the response that NILMDTS is getting! The exposure is wonderful, and as I am reading blogs I am seeing so many photogs saying they've been contemplating joining and now they're going to.

Thank you for all the great comments here. What an encouragement!

I have to say that I was so excited to see the story posted on Gary Fong's blog and Mike Colon's blog. Mike is a NILMDTS member, which is fabulous. He even linked to my First Day PHOTO website! Thanks, Mike!

Ok, I really think I am using too many exclaimation points now. It must be time for bed.

Oh, another really wonderful thing that happened today - I hired a new photographer for First Day PHOTO. That's never and easy task. Thank God.

In case you missed it - Today Show link

In case you missed it, or want to see it again, here's the new link:

You might want to have a kleenex on hand.


I saw it! I know that it has yet to air in the mountain and pacific time zones, but wow! They did an awesome job with such difficult subject matter. I cried seeing baby Olivia again. Her family was so courageous to share their lives with the nation. Such amazing people. As with every family I serve, I am truly honored to have met their beautiful daughter.

They led the story with my work in the hospital with a normal newborn... that our business First Day PHOTO! I talk about in an earlier post, but you can see our site (and the beginnings of our new look) at

Of course, there are links to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep below too, but here it is again. If you are a professional photographer, logon and join!

Nervous... and excited

I am sitting here at the breakfast table with my kids eating waffles with jelly and yogurt on them (we're out of syrup!), and trying to ignore how nervous I am about seeing this piece. My sister and two best friends live in the eastern time zone, so they saw it already and called me in tears. They insisted that they we're the good kind of tears. : )

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Today Show

It's finally going to air! Reporter Kerry Sanders was here in Minneapolis last October to film a story on Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep for NBC's Today Show. They followed me and a family expecting a baby with Trisomy 18 (the same condition our son Eli had). Unless the story is bumped by big news, it is scheduled to air in the 8:30 half-hour.

I am really excited and really nervous. It was hours and hours of tape that turned into a few minutes of story. I know that's their job, they do it every day. It was such a privielege to meet Kerry Sanders and Vicki Collins (the producer). They were such a pleasure to work with. The Cameraman and audio person were just fabulous, we hardly noticed they were there as we worked with baby Olivia after she was born.

I guess we'll all see how it goes...