Tag autumn

Stephanie & Geoff | Caledonia, Minnesota wedding

Once again, the autumn sun was shining for a wedding. Stephanie & Geoff returned to their hometown of Caledonia, Minnesota to be married in front of their family & friends. The first time I met them was for their engagement portraits in which we took at Beaver Creek Valley State Park on another beautiful day in southeast Minnesota.

They have that ol’ high school sweetheart relationship and for some guests it was one of those “finally… it’s about time” moments. There was even a photo of the two of them, as a young couple, from the early school days displayed near their wedding cake at the reception. After high school, they proceeded to Iowa to attend the same college. Throughout all the years, their love grew for each other. It was at college where Geoff proposed. Which brings us to their wedding day.

Upon arriving, I started with Stephanie about to get her wedding dress on with her mother and bridesmaids there to help. Meanwhile, Geoff and the groomsmen & ushers were outside playing football. There’s usually two different approaches to a wedding day between both sides. Down the hall, the dress seemed to be patiently awaiting…

wedding dress in mirror Continue reading more about their Caledonia, Minnesota wedding

Rebecca & James | Rochester, Minnesota wedding photography

It was a beautiful autumn evening last October when I first met Rebecca & James near St. Cloud, Minnesota at Saint John’s University & College of Saint Benedict for their engagement photography session. Their wedding day was very similar.

For their wedding, it was one of those beautiful autumn days in southeast Minnesota. There was a slight breeze that cooled your skin while it was warmed by the bright sun shining overhead. Inside the church, there was the common feeling of anticipation as Rebecca & James got ready in different rooms, awaiting their chance to see each other for the first before the wedding ceremony.

bride getting ready

There’s always a level of excitement around the bride & groom on a wedding day. Whether its family or friends, people are just filled with happiness & love…

bride hugs friend

After some pictures of James & the guys, Rebecca was finished getting ready and it was time for them to see other for the first time as a bride & groom. The courtyard at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church was a perfect setting. As they met, it was as if the sun was literally reaching down to them, giving them a warm blessing before their wedding…

the sun shines down on bride & groom

What is in the act of a hug?

Think of how many times you’ve hugged someone. Whether through sports or gratitude or while saying good-bye. Every hug, though so similar in action, can mean so many different things at the given time. Think of how many times a parent hugs their child. A simple moment filled with so much love. As the child grows, they start to hug back. They begin to understand the feeling of being loved.

I sometimes wonder if it would be possible to write down every thought & emotion that occurs when a parent hugs their child after walking down the aisle on a wedding day. An act so simple, but yet it means so much. I feel that if you truly watch a hug, you will see the love between parent and child…

groom hugs his mother

Speaking of hugs, after the ceremony, the beginning of a hug can be filled with so much joy…

happiness between sisters

Since the weather was absolutely wonderful, we had to take advantage of it. A stop at the History Center of Olmsted County provided the perfect autumn backdrop…

the newly married couple

A little pre-celebration drink amongst friends at Kathy’s Pub before the wedding reception…

celebratory drink at Kathy's Pub in Rochester Minnesota | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

Sometimes everyone just wants a kiss!

lots of love

Downtown settings can make for great wedding day images…

a perfect place for a kiss

walking together as husband & wife

After arriving at the DoubleTree Hotel for the wedding reception, Rebecca & James had a very amusing slideshow play during dinner. Everyone had a smile & a laugh at the expense of Rebecca & James…

laughing at themselves

Cake was served and the dance was to begin. They both looked so happy & content with each other as they danced their first dance…

their first wedding dance

James had let me know that the reception was filled with people who love to dance. He wasn’t wrong! He made sure to empty every seat and then the dancefloor fun began!

dancing with Grandma

wedding guests getting down

Y - M - C - A

Once it was time for the dollar dance, it seemed as if everyone wanted to dance with Rebecca…

nobody dancing with groom during dollar dance

…and before you knew it, there was so many that were dancing with him that he couldn’t get away!

groom getting swarmed by dancing women

I was made aware of a late night “tradition” at Saint John’s University earlier in the day. With St. John’s alumni in the crowd, it wouldn’t be the same without playing “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. While some alumni stayed true to tradition and sang the song with their pants down, family members tried to keep it rated “G” by handing out boxers & briefs to all the men in the crowd for a surprise to James…

Saint John's University tradition - "Piano Man" by Billy Joel

It really is something to witness all the happiness & joy that is involved on a wedding day. To see young & old, dancing together on the dancefloor at the end of the night to the sparkle in the eyes of the bride & groom as they look at each other during the ceremony, the love that is shared by everyone for two people – is like one big group hug. Congratulations again Rebecca & James! May you relive your wedding day forever…

kiss between bride & groom


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Lacey & Paul outdoor wedding at Stone Prairie – southeast Minnesota

Days before Lacey & Paul’s wedding, good ‘ol Minnesota started pulling its weather strings. It went from nice 50-60 degree days during the week to a forecast of 30’s and the chance of snow. They had planned on an outdoor wedding ceremony at her parent’s property outside of St. Charles, Minnesota which is a few miles outside of Rochester.

While snow would have made for some unique wedding ceremony images, I had a feeling that they and their guests wouldn’t see it the same way as I would. Especially since Lacey & Paul were coming back home from warm & sunny California, where they currently live, to be closer to their family.

I’m sure with many eyes on the weather forecasts from Friday through Saturday morning, looking out the window could have fooled you. It was bright from sunshine with picturesque clouds scattered across the sky. If your eyes made it to a thermometer, you would’ve seen that the temps were in the low 30’s.

That’s Minnesota for ya. (yes, I said “ya” – I’m from Minnesota dont’cha know…)

Needless to say, it was a beautiful October day in Minnesota. Having never been to Stone Prairie, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I did know that Lacey’s parents have taken the painstaking task to bring this portion of land back to its natural habitat after being over farmed from years past. All I could say was, “wow.” It was such a beautiful, serene location with tall prairie grasses, large old oak trees, limestone boulders and a pond which also had a labyrinth next to it. I know there’s more details I’m probably missing, but needless to say, it was beautiful. As I mentioned in my sneak peek post, there was many details to this wedding, and the location made up for some of those details. But that was just the beginning…

prairie grasses at Stone Prairie Read more about their outdoor wedding

Michelle & Brad wedding photographer | Rochester, Minnesota

October 25th, 2008 – For my last scheduled wedding of 2008, I was back in Rochester, MN for the wedding of Michelle & Brad at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. It was a cool, but beautiful autumn day and just perfect for a wedding. There had been reports of possible snowfall, but there wasn’t any sign of that on their wedding day!

Michelle & Brad decided not to see each other prior to their ceremony so I was able to get some preparation & getting ready photos of both of them prior to the ceremony. It’s always kind of fun & exciting trying to “hide” the bride & groom from each other. There are times when you think you start to hear the “Mission Impossible” theme song playing as you peek around corners & walking down hallways. Continue reading about their Rochester MN wedding

Jill & Justin engagement photographer | Taylors Falls, Minnesota

October 11th, 2008 – My second engagement shoot over the weekend took place near the Wisconsin border at the edge of the St. Croix River in Taylors Falls, MN. What a location to see some beautiful autumn colors as well as some real natural outdoor beauty! And then to be able to photograph two people in love there – even better!! Jill & Justin love the outdoors and shooting at Interstate State Park was a perfect fit for them.

I’ve never been to Taylors Falls before, but after shooting there – I hope to return! The landscape there is so much different than southeastern Minnesota. It’s amazing how within a few hours drive how much the terrain can change. Needless to say, I’m pumped to be able to show their awesome engagement photos from there! Check ’em out!!

Taylors Falls, Minnesota engagement portraits | Shannon Porter Photography

The sun came out and really warmed the morning up… needless to say, the photos warmed up too!

Taylors Falls, Minnesota engagement portraits | Shannon Porter Photography

Taylors Falls, Minnesota engagement portraits | Shannon Porter Photography

Taylors Falls, Minnesota engagement portraits | Shannon Porter Photography

Again, the rock formations at the park were awesome. Jill & Justin were even more awesome as they weren’t afraid to climb out into certain areas to make some unbelievable images…

Taylors Falls, Minnesota engagement portraits | Shannon Porter Photography

You two were great, seriously!!! I mean c’mon everyone, check out this next photo – that is love…

Taylors Falls, Minnesota engagement portraits | Shannon Porter Photography

I’m so glad our schedules worked out the way they did and that we were able to meet in Taylors Falls for your engagements, Jill & Justin! I’m so looking forward to your wedding day!!!

Taylors Falls, Minnesota engagement portraits | Shannon Porter Photography

Rebecca & James engagement photographer | St. Joseph, Minnesota

October 10th, 2008 – My first of three wedding engagement portrait sessions over this past weekend took place near St. Cloud, MN in St. Joseph, MN on the campus St. John’s University where Rebecca & James met and fell in love. I think its great to go somewhere for portraits that has a special meaning to my clients. I feel it gives photos even more meaning for my clients. These two were great and we had fun during their session. I even got a small guided tour of St. John’s campus while shooting – thanks James!

Let’s check out some of their pics from a beautiful, fall Friday evening….

St Cloud & St Joseph Minnesota engagement portrait | Shannon Porter Photography

The leaves are truly beautiful at this time of year in Minnesota…

St Cloud & St Joseph Minnesota engagement portrait | Shannon Porter Photography

They really “pop” on this digitally enhanced image…

St Cloud & St Joseph Minnesota engagement portrait | Shannon Porter Photography

St Cloud & St Joseph Minnesota engagement portrait | Shannon Porter Photography

We then traveled over to the College of St. Benedict to shoot at the library as that was where James proposed to Rebecca by strategically placing a hollowed out book on the shelf with her ring and a photo of the two of them. (take notes guys!!) We shot at the exact spot. It was pretty fun shooting in a place that you’re supposed to be quiet in. All you hear is the sound of the shutter from the camera as it echoes through the library. ; )

St Cloud & St Joseph Minnesota engagement portrait | Shannon Porter Photography

It was a pleasure to meet you both and can’t wait for your wedding next year, Rebecca & James!

St Cloud & St Joseph Minnesota engagement portrait | Shannon Porter Photography