Shelley Paulson Photography Blog – Minnesota Equine, Wedding and Portrait Photographer
  • February25th

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    I never know exactly what’s going to happen at a photo session. I don’t allow myself to get too many specific ideas in my head so that I can be open to be inspired by my subject, location, and the light. This night was no different, and I was inspired in a BIG way!

    This session started out like many others. I had Lyndsay: a beautiful, joyful, confident young woman to photograph, who made me smile and giggle with her the entire time. I had Teddy: a beautiful pinto gelding with impeccable manners. And I had Lyndsay’s mom Andrea, and her trainer Helen Frost: two great helpers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes.

    Before this first image happened, I was working in nice, soft light when suddenly, a car drove down a dirt road behind these trees. Slowly, rays of ethereal light formed in the late day sunlight. It took a few too many minutes to reset Lyndsay and Teddy where I wanted them, but I knew I would have another opportunity.

    Before moving back to my soft light, I chose the exact spot where I wanted them the next time a car came down that road (we were prepared to BE that car, if one didn’t present itself!). It wasn’t five minutes later and I heard one! I knew exactly where I wanted them, put them there quickly, and was able to work for several minutes in this incredible light! The result is one of my favorite photos of all time!

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    Back to Lyndsay, seriously, she epitomizes “bubbly”. She’s also very smart, soft hearted, and a great hockey player!

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    I’ve got a crush on Teddy! He’s sweet, handsome, and a perfect gentleman!

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    I can’t help but share another one with the light rays. :)

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    One of Lyndsay’s wishes for the session was that it be near the water. The interesting twist on this is that Teddy had never been in water, and horses are generally pretty terrified of it because they can’t tell how deep it’s going to be. But this wonderful horse, just trotted right in. He trusted Lyndsay and I’m pretty sure he would follow her anywhere!

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    He even thought it was nice to have a little sip!

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    And then she rode him through the water! I love her face here!

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    Good boy!

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    We ended the session with just Lyndsay. What a fun evening we had together!

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  • January31st

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    I remember sitting with Maria in a coffee shop last spring, dainty snowflakes falling outside, listening to her share about her upcoming wedding plans. When we got to the part where I asked her why she chose her location, she told the story through tears and listened with a lump in my throat. Her family home on Schultz lake near Duluth is her favorite place on earth. When her family had to move away from making this cozy lake home their primary residence when she was younger, Maria was devastated. Ed and Maria now live in the Bay Area in CA, so to be able to celebrate her marriage to Ed and share this special place with dear friends and family was deeply meaningful.

    Because Ed and Maria live out of town, I didn’t actually meet Ed until the wedding day. Once I did, instantly could see why these two are together. They are both genuine, kind, humble people who fit together beautifully.

    Here was what Maria had to say about her photos, “I’ve looked at the pictures so many times. You truly captured the moment, Shelley. My parents have received many cards talking about the wedding as enchanting and I think that’s exactly what your photos show. Thank you again for being a part of this. I could not be happier – you were exactly what I hoped for.”

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    Maria’s mother is a talented pianist and Maria asked her to play for the wedding (because of a rainy forecast, she played at the reception instead).

    Before the girls got dressed, they sat down to listen to mom rehearse. The room was filled with the most beautiful music and everyone just soaked in the moment.

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    I loved creating portraits in this boat house. The window light was lovely.

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    My talented second photographer Tiff created this great image moments before everyone walked down the aisle!

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    Maria’s parents, but especially her dad, worked all summer to make their lake home a beautiful place for Ed and Maria’s wedding. He landscaped with lots of colorful flowers and even built the arch they were married under.

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    They combined sand from the Bay Area with sand from the Schultz lake beach.

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    Real beach sand doesn’t come out of the container quite like fancy colored sand. ;)

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    When Maria gave a toast to her parents, I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the tent. It was deeply touching.

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    Maria’s mom played “The Prayer” at the start of the reception. I will say it again, she is incredibly talented!

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    During the reception, it started raining and we had “sunset” photos planned. Ed and Maria were game for “umbrella” photos too!

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    As we got out to the dock, we could hear the iconic call of a loon, Minnesota’s state bird. I got chills!

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    Before heading back to the reception, I used my flash to create a moody photo in the woods. :)

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    Dessert was the family’s “traditional” Schultz Lake strawberry pie, served on her grandmother’s china.

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    It was YUM!

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    She’s definitely a daddy’s girl!

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    Before the night came to a close, Maria’s brothers set off fireworks over the lake. The perfect ending to a beautiful day!

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  • January22nd

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    Callan was the first of several young women I photographed this summer who are budding photographers themselves! I’m always honored when another person who LOVES photography and LOVES horses chooses me as their photographer.

    These two are the best of friends — they met when Callan was 11 and Pilsbury was just 5. They have a sweet, easy friendship and gentle trust between them that was a joy for me to photograph!

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