Here’s a story of Jenny who wants to have pictures taken for her first born son, Tristan, a four month old. Jenny, Dave and baby Tristan went to a studio, paid the small fee session around 30 bucks, few clicks here and there and were given 40 pictures to review. Unfortunately both Jenny and Dave were not impressed with the results and the studio even dared to ask if they would be interested in purchasing a CD of all images for a ridiculous amount of money. They ended up purchasing one single print that they thought was eh?.

So Jenny expressed her frustration to her girlfriends Laura and Alissa, who happens to know a friend who’s passionate about taking pictures and they encourage her to call…well…me.

Jenny wanted to do the shoot at either the Waker Art Center or The Rose Garden by Lake Harriet. Excellent choices! But then I got to thinking, I remember those days when getting Treyton ready at this age was such a hassle. Dressing him, ensuring the diaper bag is well stocked with diapers, wipes, toys, baby bottles, formula, oh, let’s not forget the pacifier, no, you do not want to forget the pacifier. Then buckling him on the car seat, driving and possibly fighting traffic, lugging the baby carriage and the diaper bag, and your purse. The place might be crowded. What if it rains? what if it’s too hot? I just don’t want to put her through this for a photo shoot.

I asked Jenny if she wouldn’t mind doing the shoot at her house. For her sake and for Tristan’s sake. I told her I want this experience to be fun, relaxing and comfortable. A house is such a comfort zone, especially for babies. These attributes will help tremendously on how the photos are going to turn out. I was so glad that she agreed to do the shoot at her house. Not only Dave could now be in the pictures, so is the dog Jager! I was especially glad with this decision because it was such a hot day that we only lasted for so long outdoor in the shades.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I did. I’m also glad that Jenny loved how the pictures turned out. She was so kind to forward me her mother-in-law’s kind comments about the photos. She said she was in tears watching these photos. Congratulations to both Jenny and Dave to be blessed with such a happy beautiful baby boy. Thank you for letting me capture these priceless moments with you. I’m looking forward to many photo shoots ahead and witnessing Tristan as he grows up.

I asked both Jenny and Dave if I could borrow their wedding rings for Tristan to hold on to. I had to make sure they didn’t end up in his mouth. I love how this turned out.
Here’s the handsome punk. 
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I had to snap this fast while we’re trying to pose Tristan on this vintage ceramic pot
Jenny was so worried about this shot. I think they turned out super adorable!
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Proud papa!
Don’t you just want pinch his cheeks!
My favorite

another favorite
There’s a story here. We almost didn’t want to do the blocks because we were short one letter. With a little magic trick of Photoshop we were able to spell out his name right.
Mommy loves you!
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Here are some of things that he may aspire to be. Wakeboarding?
Professional Billiards player?
or perhaps a football player?
Then we moved outside and borrowed the neighbor’s shaded yard. It was REALLY hot outside
What a gorgeous family.
I’d be smiling too if I had this much love.
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Uh-oh, someone quick, feed this hungry punk!

Another favorite of mine. Isn’t she just gorgeous?!
This is the part when you go aaaaawwwwww
Let me hear it aaaaawwwwwww
AGAIN! aaaawwwwww…
I love how sickly in love they are with each other and with Tristan. These three shots turned out so good, I felt like I just took a picture of a family of Hollywood stars.
A beautiful union.
My number one favorite. Great timing, great moment, beautiful lighting, perfect composition
yummy yummy in my tummy makes me happy hanging with daddy. Yes I rhyme, you would too if you have kids.
I think he qualifies to be a Gerber baby. 
Why do I have a bad feeling about this as he grows older and start strangling Jager?
and chewing on Jager’s ears.
No worries. They’re best buds.
I call this: “I’m complete”
By the way, this is the garden that Dave built for Jenny as a Mother’s day present. Too sweet!
It’s Jager time! Jenny:”Let’s do a shot with Jager (Yuh-Ger). Me:”What’s a Yuh-Ger”. Jenny laughing:”That’s our dog’s name. Jager means Hunter in German.” Me:”A-Ha”

CONTACT ME to schedule your next photo shoot.

Cabin Time!

year is the 2nd Annual 4th of July get together where my sister, Putri, and her many children along with my sister, Ade, and her one year old Jaka, come up to spend the weekend at the Backstrom’s cabin.

Allow me to introduce you to my nieces and nephews.
First up Jaden Jaka. I photograph Jaden when he was 6 months old and was so excited to photograph him again now that he’s walking at 1 year old. This kid has the longest curled up eyelashes I’ve ever seen.

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This is Zahara, Putri’s youngest daughter. We call her baby ZZ. The girl is so girly with many characters! She’s such a smart ass most of the time, a tattle tale but yet so sweet. She’s quite spoiled by all the girls in the family because she’s so darn adorable and she knows it and knows how to work you through her charms. This is the joke she told me over the weekend that made laugh so loud I was practically rolling over on the floor. As you can see my camera loves her. Her facial expressions and body gestures just beg to be captured.

ZZ: “Auntie Dhila, auntie Dhila, how do you wake up Lady Gaga?”
Me:”I’m sorry what? How do you even know who Lady Gaga is? Well, whatever, how do you wake her up?”
ZZ: “You poker face”

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And then we have the Twins! Zack and Ivory


Zack is so easy going, mellow, doesn’t talk much but super smart. He loves painting, and creating arts and superly duperly athletic. He’s in boyscout, chess club and basketball. Jeff introduced him to Agate hunting when we went and took the kids to Grand Marais last year for the first time. He’s loving agate hunting since and this made a very happy Jeff.
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This is Ivory. Super smart, super fun, helps out mom a lot and adores by Jaka. Loves the outdoors but the outdoors can be cruel to her.  The girl is super allergic to bugs. Her face was so swollen over the weekend by bug bites. She and Zack are very very close (go figures, being twins and stuff). She is in girls scout, chess club and basketball.
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This is Jacob, loves playing video games and can be overly competitive at times.

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And then there’s Treyton, my 5 year old. He couldn’t be anymore excited to spend time with his many cousins, next to buying toys, this is his second most favorite thing to do. Although he always claims to prefer playing with Zack over baby ZZ, Treyton and spent an awful lot of time together. Click here to see them playing together.

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As much as I am excited to not be at work and to spend some quality time with my sisters and my nieces and nephews, I was mostly excited to spend some quality time with my “nifty fifty” 50mm f/1.8 lens to shoot some fireworks for the very first time!

Allright, allright, enough with the kids, click here to see some FIREWORKS!!

Fireworks! Sparklers! Fire!

I was so ecstatic to be spending time with my sisters and my nieces and nephews. I spent practically all day the weekend before to clean up the cabin before their arrival. It was exhausting. Here are a couple of things we did. Don’t worry, the fireworks are at the very bottom if you want to skip all these exciting things we did.

We played video games
Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of kids playing Kinect. It was quite hilarious. 

We watch cartoons and movies

We played card games

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We played dominos

Jeff and Cale doing crosswords puzzles

We shoot targets
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The kids went Fishing


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Ate a lot
on the deck




Drank  A Lot


Cooling off with popsicles


Agate hunting


Smores by the fire



play in the water





And one of us take random shit loads of pictures like madness
Hey, we all have different ideas of relaxation.






And of course, play with FIRE


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This is my very first attempt to photograph fireworks. I was SO excited. I beat myself up for forgetting to bring the remote shutter and almost had a heart attack when I thought I forgot my tripod. Thank goodness for Jeff for remembering!

I had planned to set the equipment up far in advance, until we found out that the neighbors are lighting their fireworks a day earlier than we thought. Here I was scrambling to gather my camera bag and the tripod, ran my tush down the many many many stairs to the lake. I had forgotten about slathering myself with bug spray. Bugs absolutely loves me. They think I’m so delectable as either a corpse or a sweet flower. I’d like to think the latter.

So here they are. I think I did okay.

Sitting on the deck for fireworks. We wish we were on one of those boats.
Here are the other ones I took (slideshow)

Which one is your favorite?
Hope your 4th was great!