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.)


Ladies Night Out :: Saint Anthony Photographer

It’s gonna be a whirlwind sort of a week over here for me.  To which I am, absolutely, not ready for–but, that’s normal.  I work best under pressure :)  (Don’t ask anyone around me about that though.  They think I get cranky–I call it focused.)  I have to research some building history and contact a historical society for work, create and submit a bid for a photography job that I would love, edit, blog here and for work and get all ready for Thursday’s, Ladies Night Out in Saint Anthony.  I’m doin’ it this year.  I’m gonna go sell some stuff–greeting cards and mini-session, gift cards.  I always say I’m going to do stuff like that–but, I never do.  I don’t know why…just don’t.

I think I’m mostly ready for it.  I still want to make a few more cards, and the gift cards.  I found my sign and my most recent portfolio.  I have all my business cards and newsletters almost ready to go.  I have bags.  I need receipts–and, probably a calculator since my math skills are definitely not up to par with, well, anything that goes past 2nd grade math.  I should find my table and tablecloth…and, hmmm…dang, this blog has basically just turned into the most boring, to-do list, ever.  That must be pretty boring for you, my reader…

Anyway, if you’re out, and about, this Thursday evening–take a stop by.  There will be vendors with 31 bags and Scentsy and some other stuff too.  I’ll be there, of course :)


Signs, bags, and cards--oh myyyyyyy...

If you need more details, let me know!

If you need more details, let me know!








We Went Walkin’ :: Minneapolis Worldwide Photowalk

Another year, another Scott Kelby, Worldwide Photowalk, Leader notch in my belt.  snaps suspenders  This year was the first year we had light.  The last two years the Fall, October, weather was just…well, dark, cold and dreary.  Last year, I regretted not packing better rain gear.  This year though was gorgeous.  We are a bit down in a valley area so we didn’t get much actual sunset–but, the way the light danced between the trees, and through the flowers, and over the water just made it magical.  It was exciting.

The highlights of the walk, for me?

-Seeing so many new faces, and a bunch of familiars.  I remember how on the the first walk–folks didn’t know each other at all.  Now I’m watching groups of people form.  For most of them, this is the only time they see each other, so it’s becoming an annual reunion for many.  (Including myself!)  Everyone is so friendly though, it’s never clique-y–folks just want to have someone to shoot with.

-Walking slow, exploring, tracking down cool fungus, playing with light and still NOT being the last one to our destination.  I didn’t realize that I wasn’t a complete weirdo before I started participating in photowalks.  In regular groups of people, I am always the last one, the slowest, and the one who was lost because I was, well, searching out fungus.  I’m ALWAYS told to hurry up, given weird looks and ditched.  When you’re a part of a photowalk and you see someone off in an obscure location, you become immediately intrigued and want to know what they’re shooting.  It’s nice to be a part of mutual weirdo’s ;)

-Seeing other people’s shots.  (They’re here if you want to look.)  We were all in the same, general, location–yet our images couldn’t be more different.  That, to me, is my favorite part of it all.  It’s not a contest.  It’s not a gear thing.  It’s not popularity.  It’s just vision.  And it’s all so unique.  I find myself in awe of what other people come up with.  It’s really cool for me–the inspiration is just huge.

-Shooting just for fun.  I don’t get out a lot lately to shoot just for fun.  I’ve been just not in a spot, mentally, that allows me to create anything for myself.  It’s no fun–it feels forced.  I can’t do it.  I’m lacking that core inspiration.  I always tell people it’s like when you’re falling in love, or when you’re so angry you want to punch something–it’s that raw, unfiltered, deep down emotion that drives me create but, inside, I just feel…well, blank.  So, zipping out, with my camera, just to go shoot because I’m driven to do so, just ain’t happenin’.  I have an incredible circle of photographer, and artist, friends who surround me and they all know this feeling; they assure me that I will be back.  I trust them.  This weekend was great to be forced to just go shoot with other photographers.  I needed that.  Hopefully it’ll jump start something in me?  My photos, once I got them back to editing, all just felt dark.  Maybe I’m just inspired to go dark…I think I like that thought actually… :)

Anyway…I’m already looking forward to next year.  My fingers will be crossed for sun again–it was fun to flirt around in the light for a bit.  The photo below is from Saturday, and is me and two of my favorite photographers/friends.  We all met up, online, a few years ago and have been shootin’ together ever since :)  They’re two of the folks who always inspire me to keep moving.

Savanah’s Senior Portraits :: Twin Cities Area Photographer

Alright, after some crazy fall weather–including a severe thunderstorm, I was finally able to get my first, official, fall portrait session in :)  I couldn’t have kicked fall off with a better client either.  My gorgeous senior, Savanah, can go from retro doll to earthy goddess in, like, ten minutes flat.  I love her spirit, her personality, her vibe, her style and her energy.  (Seriously…this is a girl who skips just about as much as she walks :) )  I love senior sessions.  (I say that a lot, don’t I?)  They just leave me feeling uplifted and totally hopeful for our future.  We have good people comin’ up next, folks.

These are just a few of my favorite shots from our session.

I have to give a special thanks to the 50’s Grill in Brooklyn Center, MN for letting us shoot there for a little bit.  I hope I got everything put back the way they like it…I had to move a couple things around :)  (Because…that’s what us photographers do!)