Make it right

Friends, the official news broke last night. I got a message first thing in the morning, asking if I had seen the preview on Monday morning. Of course I did. I had been warning about Bella Rose Photography for over 2 years. Unfortunately, too many people were snowed and taken advantage of by this company. Wedding days. Newborn moments. Last days in high school. Family gatherings. It’s horrible. To me, unthinkable. (Not to mention how upset I was that they were the “Official photographers” of my favorite hometown team, the St. Cloud Rox) while balking their contracted duties.

Those are moments you can’t get back.

And they were CHEAP, as far as professional photography goes. $1000 for a whole day wedding, with prints and album. SHIT. I can’t feed my family on that! Think about it, you saw the best of the best they had. They hired out photographers, ones with openings still on their books, at ridiculously low wages. The outsourced photographers are pissed. In forums. In messages. They are enraged that the work that they were hired to do, work they put their hearts into, got gobbled up by greed and no bride or groom saw their images. OR, they were handed RAWs (you should never ask for those, trust me) and the couples were sitting there with a dud, no editing, no culling…nothing to show for their investment.

I couldn’t compete with Bella Rose Photography if I had wanted to. I’m not a networking person. I’m not a sales person. I’m an honest person who just can’t make idle small talk and false promises. I cry when I get sick and can’t deliver on deadline. I don’t submit to all the publishing places, I don’t do bridal shows. I instagram, facebook, meet people over coffee. I carve out space in my heart for every single client I photograph. I keep anniversaries and birthdays on my calendar. And still miss them by 3 days.

But I’ve NEVER not delivered a wedding.

I’ve missed Thanksgiving with my family, Christmas time prepping for feasts, to deliver client packages. I’ve been called horrible, nasty names. I’ve been groped, fallen off docks, climbed on top of rooftops, hiked, and frozen my toes.

But I’ve NEVER held clients’ memories hostage.

My heart aches for all of the special moments, lost now, to so many people. I can’t go back in time and make them happen again. But what I can do is pull together with other vendors in the St. Cloud area and have a styled wedding session for those who want one. FREE OF CHARGE. This is a HUGE undertaking, and I’m hoping some other generous souls out there want to instill some happiness and spread love where there is so much hurt. If you are willing to help, please comment or shoot me an email. Let’s stop the hurt and start the healing.

Our vendor list:
event space TBD
florals TBD
hair/makeup TBD
linens TBD
Formalwear TBD

Late April/early May


Keep on putting love out there folks. You never run out and we all could use more of the good stuff.


Being fired and how it was awesome

Being fired and how it was awesome

Failure sucks. Period. We all know that. But with failure comes resolve and experience that really form us. (Preachy, I know. Hang in there with me.)

I’ve always been an overachiever. And a rebel. I learn life lessons better “the hard way”. I was the National Honor Society/Captains and Leaders/All-State/Student Council/Prom Committee kid in high school. I joined the military and kicked ass. Serious ass, but more on that another day.

And I’ve been fired twice in my life.

Once from a now non-existent upscale wine bar and restaurant for taking a bowl of soup before the chef said to run it, and the one that hurt: a couple after their engagement sessions. That one stung for a long time. But, I am publicly thanking them today.

The anxiety. The self doubt. The “i really suck so why do i even bother” mantra kept running through my head over and over and over again. I sent the gallery to friends without context. I sought advice in photography forums.  I had a reshoot with the couple. They were still not happy and left me THE VOICEMAIL. I had my lawyer draw up a termination agreement.


My photography is personal. It’s art. But I couldn’t let my art be just all the Pinterest pins they had envisioned. I have a personality. I’m quirky and witty. That was not what they REALLY wanted. It was winter. Sessions were cold. Sorry dudes, it’s Minnesota and that’s how the cookie crumbles. It was ME. All me, that they didn’t like.

And that stung.

But out of that, the images I shared were the most liked on Facebook that I had posted that year. I still had my voice. And instead of suffocating that voice, they set me free. Free to keep growing, to find those kindred souls, to immerse myself in love stories instead of just pressing that shutter button. They were right to fire me. We weren’t a fit for each other. For that, I am grateful.

Thank you, A+M, for firing me. You helped me grow more than you will ever know. I wish you all the happiness in the world, from the bottom of my heart to the tips of my (frostnipped) toes.

I am grateful.true love scrabble forever scrabble SJU