Love and laughter on Lake Wabana: An end-of-summer Grand Rapids, MN family session

September 6, 2016


Merrian-Webster always provides us one definition:

beg [beg]. Verb. To ask for as a gift, as charity, or as favor.


A dictionary as written by Garrison-Kheilor, however, may provide a different definition:

beg [beg]. Noun. A container or receptacle of leather, plastic, cloth, paper, etc., capable of being closed at the mouth; pouch. SEE: bag.


When “Fargo” first his theaters, there was one sentences us Minnesotans know that was practically uttered a heavily-voweled unison: We don’t sound like that.


As certain as any Sunday brunch will contain a hot dish or two (bonus points if it is of the wild rice or tater tot variety), we most certainly do.


This because increasingly evident to me as I spent last Wednesday afternoon with the sweetest family from Texas. Aimee had contacted me earlier in the summer about joining them north of Grand Rapids on the beautiful Wabana Lake for a few family photos. It had been awhile since the crew had a full-fledged family photo session, and I was more than happy at the time to oblige.


And when the Wednesday rolled around, I couldn’t have begged for a better afternoon with a better family.


It was a cool 70, with a sun that played peek-a-boo from a few stray clouds along Wabana’s shore, the same shore that would be the perfect setting for this family to be themselves for my camera.  


As I moved my camera beg—I mean, bag—from spot to spot to follow these lovelies as we moved from location to location, their personalities became bigger than the Lone Star State they call home, which flooded my 85mm with love and laughter that was as bright as a random sun ray that filtered in. As cliché as it may sound, they weren’t just Mark, Alane, Aimee, Keith, Jon, Regan, and Shelby. They weren’t divided by their titles of mom, dad, brother, sister, in-laws. They were all together as one love, one family. The entire time they were bouncing ideas and thoughts and compliments and jokes off of one another in such perfect tandem, one that is beyond inspirational, and one that is the truest testament to an authentic, natural love.


Don’t believe me? See for yourself…don’t make me beg.

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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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