Blog // Shuttersmack

from the weekend

Post by Leslie

It has been a strange few days.

I haven’t had time to pick up my camera as I’ve been rushing through work and packing and making travel plans to head back home. And frankly, all of that is taking every bit of energy I have. I haven’t practiced piano (the lesson this afternoon should be interesting) and I haven’t taken photos and I haven’t read and I’ve just… worked. And sat. And cleaned. And spaced out. And cried.

Grief is so strange each time around. My lovely Mimi had been very sick for quite some time, and I knew for the last 8 months or so that she didn’t have long. But still.

Yesterday I frantically listened to all my old voicemails to see if I still had that one on the machine that she left last year (I didn’t). I just wanted to hear her voice one more time, you know?

I go from plowing through a job to staring out the window with tears on my cheeks in an instant. And the weight on my chest — the physical weight is so surprising. And I am freezing. I cannot warm up despite the hot showers, the tea or the soup.

My friends and clients have been amazing — rescheduling everything and being so understanding. I truly do appreciate that.

The photo above is from a walk we took in the sunshine last weekend, before the recent snowfall. Hopefully I’ll have the energy to pick up my camera again soon. I will say, having a toddler in the house is a wonderful distraction, and I’m happy I can share him with the family this week.

For your internet shares of the day:

+ Something happy.

+ Something sad.

+ Some inexpensive but beautiful finds for the kitchen (good job, Target).

my wonderful mimi

post by leslie

My amazing 97-year-old grandmother died yesterday.

I’m still in a little bit of shock as we finish up plans/arrangements to get back to Kansas to be with family, but I wanted to tell you guys all about her.

First, I really want to tell you how fiercely independent she was. She lived alone with no medical assistance until very recently (thanks to my amazing Aunt Nancy). Until losing her eyesight completely in later years, she loved working the daily crypto quip, watching any kind of basketball she could find on the television and reading Architectural Digests, dreaming of a home remodel.

One of the main things I’ll always remember was her extreme love and devotion to my grandfather (he died when I was seven or eight, and she never even thought about going out on a date with another man). She would wax on and on about what a wonderful husband he was and how much she missed him. She loved telling me about her taking the train to San Fransisco to marry him (he was in the service) and what an adventure that time of her life was. I am so hopeful that they are together again today.

Her other loves included college basketball (she and my grandfather would travel the midwest to see NCAA tournament games in person), wine (sherry, most importantly) and jazz music. She had a fabulous home stereo, and you could always stop by to listen to music, visit and watch a little basketball. And you better not turn her down when it came to food or beverage — I always ended up with some Dr. Pepper at the minimum (served ice cold), and usually a piece or two of chocolate.

She worked as a bank secretary before marrying my grandfather, and then later she sold real estate. She had wonderful clients who would often give her gifts after sales were completed, and she loved telling us about these families. As she aged, she lost her vision, and needed medication. She called the local pharmacy, and the person who worked there knew her because his parents had bought a house from her, and they began delivering her medication free of charge.

My grandmother was also known for her insistence of proper grammar. A visit with Mimi without a single correction of speech was a big accomplishment, let me tell you. It’s probably the only way I ever got a job as a copy editor at a newspaper.

As a child, I was perplexed at this grandmother’s lack of baking or sewing, but as an adult I have such a grand appreciation for her love of hard work, her wine and her music. Clearly, you can see how I adopted these values.

I will miss Mimi so very much, but I am truly hoping she is in no pain, can see with 20/20 vision again and is in my grandfather’s arms. As she used to tell me repeatedly, getting old like this is not for the faint of heart.

headshot happy hour

Post by Leslie

Oh hi there!

Do you wish you had a new portrait for, I dunno, Linked In? Facebook? Tinder? But posing in front of the camera is not your ideal?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Lucy and I are hosting some Headshot Happy Hours next month for those who need an internet refresh and might want a cocktail before stepping in front of the camera.

When: Lucy will be shooting on April 19 and I’ll be shooting on April 26. We’ll aim for the hours of 4 – 6:30 pm.

Where: We’ll meet at our studio near Loring Park. We’ll have the studio ready to go, but if you prefer something outdoors nearby, please let us know ahead of time and we can be prepped for that.

How much: $150

What do you get: You’ll get five final images of yourself, processed in both color and black and white (so 10 files total). They will be sized for online purposes only though, so you won’t be able to turn this into wallpaper. So sorry!

How do your sessions work? Great question! All photographers work differently, and this should explain our process.

How do I purchase? I’m so glad you asked! If you want a session with Lucy on April 19, go here. If you want a session with Leslie on April 26, go here!

adorable brothers

Post by Leslie

This photo just cracks me up. What a happy kid! And that drool! And those lashes! Oh, so adorable.

February, March and April really slow down for me with the families. I’m still super busy with product photography and corporate portraits, but I see far fewer kids. So when these jobs do pop up in early spring, I just have so much fun with them! It’s a nice breather from office spaces and grown-up small talk.

This session was to document Charlie up there who is now 7 mos. old. I have been fortunate enough to photograph this family’s dogs, then their first born and now Charlie, the latest addition to their family. I adore my visits with them, and watching a family bloom like this is pure delight. More photos below.

That last frame was when I tried to play peek-a-boo with Charlie. He’s not a fan. Ha! But I still love the image.

Right now, I’m booking family sessions for May and June, so get at me if you want to get on the books. You know what happens in May? The trees bloom! It’s lovely! And you know what else happens in May? Mother’s Day. Pretty rad gift idea, eh?

For my internet shares of the day:

+ A wonderful Trader Joe’s meal hack.

+ A gorgeous apartment that is making me contemplate painting my dining room table black.

+ Hilarious online purchasing errors.

Octo Fishbar

Post by Lucy

As you may know, I work with City Pages quite a bit, and some of my absolute favorite assignments are taking images for restaurant reviews (food photography in general is always a favorite of mine). This past week I stopped by Octo Fishbar in St. Paul – a new venture by restauranteur Tim Mckee – and let me tell you, or actually show you, how amazingly beautiful these dishes are. Each time the chef brought out a new plate, it seemed to be more beautiful than the last stunning dish. The red caviar that tops the lobster roll? Take a look at the way the light shines through creating such a gorgeous splash of red! I think I took a hundred different pictures of it.

Anyway, I will leave it to the food critic herself, Hannah Sayle, to describe the food – you can read her review here!

And you can see my full slideshow here (condensed version below).