Shelley Paulson Photography Blog – Minnesota Equine, Wedding and Portrait Photographer
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  • September30th


    We’re still missing our sweet boy, Monty, but life is getting a little less sad each day as tears are turning to joy over the many good years we had with him. Thanks to all our friends and family who supported us through this transition.

    The Suttons are a great couple who hired me to come out and photograph their “Family”. I wasn’t sure we’d accomplish the above photo – but we did! I consider it one of my highest photographic accomplishments to date! :D

    The rest of the session was easy by comparison! We mixed it up with photos of just the horses, and photos of them with the horses, and even of few of just the two of them together. :)


















  • September25th


    I’m writing this a day early, because I have no idea if I’ll be able to write it on Friday, the day we actually say goodbye to Monty. By the time you read this, we’ll have said our goodbyes and many tears will have been shed in honor of our love for him.

    Monty is our Miniature Schnauzer, who has been part of our family since 1997, just months after Tracy and I got married. He’s been a great source of joy, love, and life lessons for us. We used to say our “entertainment budget” was simply to keep Monty healthy and happy. He always made us laugh and laugh.

    At 17 1/2 years old, he’s had a long, full life. He came to live with us when he was four. His original owner had died and family members had neglected him. We adopted him from the Twin Cities Miniature Schnauzer Rescue.

    I remember in the early days just holding him close to my heart, assuring him he would have a good home now and be loved. He quickly turned around and became acclimated to a loving home. On the final night of his life, I held him in a similar way, close to my chest, reassuring him that all would be okay and that my love for him would live forever in my heart.

    The most difficult part of this transition is that his body has failed him, but his mind is still so sharp and his personality so clear. We know we’re doing the right thing, as in recent days he’s begun to have small panic attacks where he has difficulty breathing. But he’s still so much himself behind those eyes…

    I had this little rule. Whenever I bought a new piece of camera equipment, the first thing I would photograph would be Monty. The result is that I have a lot of great photographs of him. These are so precious to me now.

    Here’s a pic of him the summer after he came to live with us. This was in my point-and-shoot days. :)


    Some favorite memories of Monty:

    1. His Elvis impersonation. He would lift one side of his lip. I would make him do it for everyone who came to our house and they would often laugh themselves silly.


    2. The way he chased a dust mop down our hardwood floor hallways. He wanted to destroy it. He would go bezerk trying to catch up to it on the slippery floors.

    3. The way his feet smelled like Fritos.

    4. How he would tear around the house after a haircut and then immediately beg to go on a walk so he could show himself off to the neighborhood.

    5. His many tricks. He would do just about anything for food. Sit, lay down, play dead, roll over, dance, Elvis…

    6. His enthusiasm for car rides.


    7. The way he would eat corn on the cob like a person would. Across, a few rows at a time.


    8. How he would wait at the door for us to come home.


    9. The way he would perch on the arm of our loveseat so he could see out the window better.


    10. His love for yogurt.


    11. The way he would bury his head in the snow and come up with a beard full of the white stuff.


    12. His “woo-woo” howl he would make whenever has was happy or when we clapped and howled with him.

    Rest now, my buddy. I’ll miss your sweet face and holding you close and kissing the top of your head. Thank you for being such a good dog for us. We were so blessed to have you in our lives for so long. We love you and we’ll miss you forever.

  • September23rd

    Last winter, a friend and I formed a small group to go through the book “The Artist’s Way” together. It ended up to be all women photographers, which made bonding and relating easy, but also made us go off on tangents about photography way too easy! ;) But nonetheless, it’s been a great group to be a part of.

    A few weeks ago, we got together for a group photo shoot. Throughout the evening, we would spend time photographing different “models” (read: friends who agreed to be photographed by us) at a beautiful farm in Rockford, MN, owned by some of my friends.

    Alexys is a friend from my church who recently got married. She was game for getting her dress on a getting it a little dirty. She also has a lifelong love for horses, and the farm owners agreed to let us use their white arabian mare Libby in some of the photos. The whole thing was like a fairytale.

    What I look at in my photos of Alexys is a woman with obvious outer beauty, but when I look deeper, I also see the authentic inner beauty she possesses.