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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Minneapolis Photographer - Maris Ehlers Photography

Introducing Kelli.

Busy wife, mother of three. Describes herself as an athlete and here's how she described being a WOW model for Maris Ehlers Photography:

When Maris mentioned the idea that she had for moms to take a break from the craziness (and sometimes insanity) of life and be pampered - I... thought "I'm in!" The experience was honestly like no other. I went from my grubby yoga pants and circles under my eyes - to this TOTALLY transformed person. It's this feeling like, oh my gosh, I look pretty good! The reason why I'm saying that is because it almost ignites this little spark inside your soul of feeling good about yourself again -- which I know so many moms (like myself) haven't felt for YEARS... and it is somehting that we want AND need to feel again.

This Stella and Dot Sophia Cluster Ring is simply fun and over the top!

Where do I START to explain how this all came about?

Many of you know that in my professional life, I work in food marketing. I have for the last fifteen plus years, and it's been a wonderful career. My sweet spot in the field is marketing to women. I have spent much time learning about and creating products for the "busy female head of household", which in everyday language is... MOM!

As my career in photography has continued to develop, one day I started to see a connection between my two worlds, and that is through moms. In reality, women book 99.9% of the family, senior and wedding sessions that I currently book today. However, it's always about someone else, and it's usually the kids. I decided I wanted to create an opportunity that was all about her. We've just started with our first session, and the response in less than 24 hours has been wonderful!

Kelly, our first model, volunteered to help me kick this off. I posted on my facebook photography fan page that I was looking for "MOM" models to help me with a unique type of session. I'll be highlighting four other models in 2010 while I kick these off formally. Kelly got right away that this was about her, and to be honest, she was a little uncomfortable with it. She was excited, too - but with three young children at home, it just felt strange focusing her attention inward towards herself.

Fast forward to yesterday, when we had our session. I had made arrangements with some amazing women to become my partners for these types of sessions, and you'll meet them all in this post.

First of all, meet Crista Hoff. Crista is an Independent Sales Director for Mary Kay, and while less than 30 years old, she has built an AMAZINGLY successful business for herself. She has a national territory, travels and has her path planned before her. She came on board to do hair and makeup for me, and she did a fabulous job. She literally took Kelly's best features and transformed her right before our very eyes! Much of the product used on Kelly was the Mary Kay Mineral Makeup line.

Here is a picture of Crista getting Kelly ready.

A good friend (and attorney), Julia O'Brien served as a stylist for the shoot. Julie has a wonderful sense of style and detail, and I've been trying to get her to style for other clients for ages, so it was great to put her to work. She did a lot of leg work in advance of the session looking for clothing and props. She came through!

Nina Kopetka, an Independent Stella & Dot Stylist, graciously provided us with jewelry to use for the shoot. They have some fun and lovely pieces. You can shop for them here.

Kelli's friend Dre, unbeknownst to us had planned to join Kelly for the day for moral support. Little did we know she brought almost an entire wardrobe with her that was exactly Kelly's size. How cool is THAT?

Here are Crista, Julie, Dre and Kelly sharing a little toast before we got started. After all, it was a special day - our first of many WOW sessions!

We started the morning with a fresh, natural look with some outdoor images.

We moved indoors from the snow and did a few more natural looking shots of Kelly. Here she is in Julie's "Indiana Jones" hat. There are a lot of wonderful images from this series.

I then became inspired by the stone underneath their countertop on their kitchen island, of all things. I thought the colors would look great with Kelly's sweater and clothing, so we let her have a little coffee break while I snapped away.

While planning this shoot I had seen an ad in a fashion magazine that showed a woman holding a martini glass with this great jewelry on. I knew Stella and Dot had some pieces that would work, and so here is our interpretation.

On a funny note, we forgot a straw for the martini (which was included in the ad we saw), and so only in a house full of mothers, Julie had a tootsie pop in her purse and removed the sucker from the stick and voila we had a straw. :)

I had brought my strobes for the indoor shots but as always, something has to go wrong and this shoot was no exception. My cable went out, so I had to rely on natural light and on-camera flash for the rest of the day. I was so pleased I don't think I'll bother bringing additional lighting next time.

Here is our interpretation of the martini pose plus a few others:

I didn't discover this image until I was editing the day after the shoot. Now it's one of my favorites from the day! I love that flirty smile!

I really wanted a headshot of her with this Stella Vintage Link Bracelet near her face. While I didn't anticipate it in black and white, it is definitely more dramatic in black and white and shows off the bracelet as well.

After the martini series I wanted to utilize the very diffused light coming through the yellowish / gold draperies in their dining room. The tones played off Kelly's hair and skin, and here is a dramatic version of what I saw. The necklace here is the La Coco Brooch Necklace in Ivory and Gold.

I love this soft and pretty look.

Here she is looking out over their beautiful (snow-covered) back yard.

These next two seem to be everyone's favorites! I don't need to say much about either of them, so I'll just say how proud of Kelly I am that she stepped outside of her busy life for a day and thankful that she let us dress her up this way and that without ever saying "Well, I'm not so sure about that!". She trusted us completely, and of the over 660 images we shot, she looked stunning in every single one!

This amazing necklace can be found at Stella and Dot. It is the Turqoise Sea Necklace.

A special thank you to Kelly, Crista, Julie, Nina and Dre. It wouldn't have been nearly as fabulous without each and every one of you!

To commission your own WOW session, please contact Maris directly at or at 763-370-4704.

1 comment:

Digital Flower Pictures said...

WOW she IS HOT, you definitely brought it out wih these shots. i'LL LOOK FORQrd o the rest of the mom series.