Photography Mini Sessions :: Minneapolis Area Family Photographer

This is my editing marathon weekend.  Well, I should say was…considering it’s almost over.  Yesterday, I bribed myself with a bottle of wine to get a bunch of stuff done, and today, well, today I’m exactly where I want to be.  (Amazing how that works ;) ) All I have to do it put my physical, client, packages together and get them out tomorrow, or Tuesday.  It’s such a great feeling.  I just sat down to finish a few things up and watch the Viking vs Bears game.  I made it 15 minutes into the game and turned on Netflix–Law and Order SVU is much more what I’m in the mood for today.  (Though a bit more distracting.)

Well…that was random.

ANYWAY, what do you think of these gorgeous photos?  I adore this family.  So, SO, much.  All five of these ladies have such big, and unique, personalities.  They are all so smart, educated, involved, personable and charismatic.  Every time I get to work with them I just love to see the growth that has happened since I saw them last; and, every time I work with them, I walk away feeling uplifted and excited.

If you’re still needing photos for 2014–I’m still booking into late November and early December, if you’re still looking to squeeze in a quick session for the Holiday cards.  I totally get procrastinating, and being a procrastinator (and I absolutely understand being busy)–so, I’m offering Mini-Sessions.  (I understand all of this, so well…because I, too, am busy and I also procrastinate.  Hence the need to bribe myself with wine to accomplish anything :) )

Mini Session Flyer

My Latest Project and a Little Youtube, Too! :: Anoka Area Photographer

Another blog must mean I’m at the pink Starburst part of my day!  (Or, totally just procrastinating doing other things…but, whatever.)  I wanted to get another blog ‘o random up before delving in to more client blog posts later this week.  I have a family, photography, session coming up this weekend and am waiting for a little one to be born so I can grab some gorgeous, newborn, shots–so, my upcoming plate is full.  Into December, my books are semi-open so, if, by chance, you’re still looking to get some wintry, family photos in before the Holidays, let me know and I’ll get you on my calendar.

THIS blog, like I mentioned above, is another random one though.  I know I’ve mentioned my new, contract, position in a couple blogs now, but I haven’t told you what it is, exactly.  SO…I’ve decided it’s time to explain what it is I’m doing :)  I was offered a photography position with Discover Anoka.  If you don’t know, Anoka is a fabulous little, historic, town that was founded by immigrants in 1844 and was built up, and made into a bustling community by the loggers that came to settle there.  It is right on the Rum River, which drains into the Mississippi.  Anoka’s historic, Main Street, area is where I do most of my work–and there is some awesome shopping there :)  Antique stores, bakeries, gift shoppes, floral and candy stores (where I also work), unique dining, furniture stores (re-purposed and new), art dealers, jewelers and even a plumber.  (Plus, tons more…including a smoke shop, a tea room, a law office, a dental clinic, and dog grooming studio/groomer training center.)  It’s such an eclectic town that offers a little bit of everything.  Bottom line, it’s a Main Street, in a small town, that’s loaded with small, local, businesses and I shoot ‘em.  Discover Anoka, as I mentioned above, is run by a group of business owners that have come together, as a committee, to promote the shopping district, and all it has to offer.  They are in charge of printing brochures, website updates, promotional marketing and special events.  Currently, they are working to redo all of their physical brochures and are, completely, redoing their website–those are the places are where I come in.  My job is to make it all beautiful by supplying them with the photos they need.  I was down there on Saturday to shoot FabFest–a shopping event that coincides with the deer hunting opener.  (In MN, hunting opener is huge.  Businesses play up the ‘hunting widow’ thing like crazy.)  Being forced out of my comfort zone, and onto the streets to shoot, was awesome.  I will be back down there this week–since we just got some snow and I’m excited to have some snowy photos now, too.  Here’s a few of the photos I grabbed from Saturday:

In case you’re still curious about the area, here is a recent, local, report that Dawn Stevens, one of my favorite news anchors, recently did:

Click HERE.

Other than my latest work gig, I was recently asked to be a panelist on the ‘Drink and Click Show‘.  Michael Bonocore was the guest during our episode.  He’s been an inspiration of mine for years now and, somehow, we hadn’t met in person until last night.  (I am on a mission to meet all of my inspirations–I find a new one about every couple of months, so, this is a lifelong kind of goal.  Every time I get to meet one, I walk away more inspired than ever, this time was no exception.)  Anyway, here’s the show if you’re interested in watching–or, just skipping around through it a bit.


Next up–a client blog.  I have a great, family session to share next :)

Fall, Family, Fun :: Coon Rapids Photographer

Well…I’m behind.  I just always have so much to write about–and, so little time to do it.  Though, this whole blogging thing is my favorite thing to do out of most of what I do.  I think it’s like pink Starburst, actually…I save it until the end.  Okay, that analogy was a bit weird.  I never run out of time to eat pink Starburst, but I do run out of time to blog.  Anyway, what do you think of these fall photos?  I, LOVE, them.  This family–well, I’ve been working with them for so long now.  In fact, I remember when mom was pregnant with the little boy; THAT’S how long it’s been.  They were my first session, ever, actually.  I, HAPPILY, did their photos for a twenty dollar gift card to Caribou :)  (Obviously, we’ve both come a long way since then.)  It was during this session that we started chatting about the uniqueness of how I shoot, and how every year my photos reflect their personalities–as opposed to doing yearly photos in a studio such a JC Penny or Target, or, God forbid…Walmart.  ((shivers))  Everything just looks the same in the studio shots.  (Other than your age, hair and clothes, that is–that’s the only thing folks focus on when it’s studio work, and do you REALLY want everyone only focusing on that?  Yeesh.  I don’t.)

Since this session, almost three weeks ago…I’ve realized that I really need to get moving.  There is going to be NO time to procrastinate in the upcoming future.  In those three weeks, I have booked a winter wedding in Wisconsin (love the way that sounds), a spring one in Nebraska, and a winter engagement/save-the-date session with one of my besties.  (Getting the news, at 2 am, that I would be shooting this had me smiling from ear-to-ear like a proud mom, or something.  It was weird.)  I shot another family session and had my bid accepted for that fun project I mentioned here.  (FYI: Fun project = super busy project, btw.  More details will follow in the next blog.  It’s a big change for me–but it’s all stuff I’ve done, and loved, before.  I have had so many struggles with business stuff lately it was when I broke my favorite lens, took it as the final sign, and gave up trying that all this has happened.  Go figure.)

Newsletter, Ladies Night and Even a Selfie :: Champlin Photographer Updates

I really like these blogs…my ‘random’ ones.  I do so much work client, and ‘work‘ work–and most of my blogs reflect that.  However, in my personal photography time I do a lot more.  (Like leading a Photowalk, telling a summer vacation story for fun, or breaking out the phone to document a day in the life with my baby.  Just to name a few.)  I have a few topics for this blog o’ random…my newsletter, a Ladies Night out recap and my most recent, Halloween-themed, self portrait–which contains a spider, you’ve been warned. :)

Let’s start with the kinda for fun, kinda for work one…my newsletter.  I know lots of photographers do this with varied luck–my motivation behind a newsletter is not for a sale, or to pull people in–it’s to keep in touch with folks that I wouldn’t necessarily have reason to keep in contact with.  I mean, emailing clients, and random contacts to just say hi is weird–for all of us.  Handing out my card really puts all the responsibility on the client to track me down and I know that when I get a card from someone–I typically forget all about it by the time I get home.  Unless it’s someone that is selling something I really need–right NOW, or someone I really want as a contact in my field, I don’t often track people down.  A newsletter lets me connect, seasonally, with people who would otherwise, probably forget about me.  Plus, I get to feature some of my favorite photos and put something pretty together :)  Obviously, here and Facebook are the best ways to stay current with me though.

Here is the fall edition.  Click on the photo to go read the newsletter without having to severely squint.  If you’d like to be on the mailing list, please go here and sign up.  All I need is your name, email and the then click the box that says you’d like to receive my newsletter.  It’s super easy.  And, I hate spam, so I don’t spam.

Melissa Peifer Photography Newsletter

Next on my list of random is a quick update from Ladies Night Out, over in Saint Anthony.  It was so much fun for me.  It turned into much more of a networking night for me than anything.  I met, and had such great conversation with so many incredible women.  I left feeling energized and really excited about some new connections.  Plus, it’s just so nice to chat, hear stories, discuss work, cute boots and new opportunities.  Here’s a photo of me at my table.

Ladies Night Out

And, lastly…my latest Halloween self-portrait.  I never used to do any ‘selfies’.  They were stupid and only for narcissists.  (Those were my exact, deep, thoughts on the subject.)  Then, a few years ago…when looking through photos, I realized that maybe one, out of every 20 had me in them.  Most of them had me chewing, or were just of my butt while my five year old was running around with my camera. ( sigh )  I started to think that maybe I should take matters into my own hands…someday, my kids might like them.  However, unexpectedly, through self-portraiture–my confidence with my own clients and models has exploded.  I started playing with light, posing, make-up, props and emotion.  And, I don’t feel awkward doing it–because, well, it’s just me I’m working with.  I bring what I’ve taught myself to all of my sessions now.  I know how to get the look I want without making my client waste a ton of time and think I’m an idiot as I ‘play’ with them.  I post almost all of them on Google+ and have been doing so for years.  I’ve become quite active in the self-portraiture communities over there and have helped moderate groups, as well.

Anyway…here is my Halloween-themed photo.  I’ve had that little guy for 16 years now…she’s been through a lot with me.  If you’re interested in checking out some older photos, click here.  Looking through my G+ albums will pull many more current ones, as well.




Fall Family Photos :: Minneapolis Photographer

So…uhm, I feel like I’m cheating this Fall.  The weather has been SO nice and the colors so vivid that, as a Photographer, I feel as if I could go out there and shoot with my eyes closed and still get stunning results.  I don’t ever remember a more perfect fall here in Minnesota.  Do you remember the blog I did a few blogs ago about my fall fail?   Well, as it turns out–this re-do, was totally meant to happen this way :)  The colors were breathtaking over at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis–when we were going to initially shoot, the colors hadn’t completely peaked yet.  It was a chilly morning, yet the little one was SUCH a trooper. (Cuddles from mom and dad helped out a ton with that though–instant warmth!)  We shot for about an hour and then called it a day, while playing at the playground.  Oh, and their choice or wearing that blue–genius!  The colors are just stunning.  I think these are the photos that everyone wants this time of year–but can be so hard to get.

For me, this weekend is ‘off’ and is a huge, catch-up, weekend instead.  This past week was just so busy with Ladies Night Out prep, work and with editing, that this weekend (and next week), are just time for me to catch back up, and {hopefully} get ahead–before getting busy with more family sessions.  I also wrote up, and put together a bid on another photography job this past week–I’ll have many more details if it comes together.  I have severe anxiety that I underbid myself quite badly.  That is a really difficult thing to do, btw.  Selling yourself as a ‘full package’, putting a price tag on what you do and then handing it off to someone to judge is totally nerve wracking.  Ugh.

Oh.  Also this weekend…I should probably get to raking up all of those beautiful leaves.  That’s the not-so-fun part of this time of year, isn’t it?   (I just keep telling myself that it’s a good workout–especially when it comes to all the candy I devour this time of year.  Hmmm, actually, exercise and candy are pretty much the only ways I can properly motivate myself to get anything done lately…if it were up to me, I’d be living in my bed with my blankets, a hot toddy and my laptop.  Oh, and Netflix.)