... Julia Singer!

I'm still spotlighting one of my painting student's art work at least periodically. I'm late in getting Julia Singer's work up and meant to spotlight it weeks ago! My apologies! Anyway, Julia first and foremost is a creative writer and author, and she started painting with me a year ago and had never really painted before. Recently, I taught a class on using a palette knife, and Julia has really gone town with it! She hasn't used a brush since. I loved the graphic quality to this painting and how she really made great use of her undertoning colors (such as the turquoise color around the bull), and all of her scumbling effects! LOVE IT!!! Way to go, Julia!

Please read more below on Julia's credentials and what she submitted to me!

Julia Klatt Singer just finished writing her novel, Timothy Burning, this
fall. A fictional story set in southern Wisconsin that chronicles the lives
of the St. James family, whose mother leaves them in 1969 to be a nurse in
Vietnam. Set in two Octobers, the smell of timothy grass burning carries
with it, for Tara St. James, memories of her mother, of loss, of a world she
can no longer be a part of. The novel explores what happens, when one woman
walks away from her life, to the people who love her and the stangers she

Julia Klatt Singer writes fiction and poetry. She received a master degree
in Creative Writing from Hamline University. Ms. Singer has participated in
the Loft Mentor Series in Non-fiction and Poetry. She works as a visiting
writer to the school through COMPAS. She is one of four writers who
collaboratively wrote "12 Branches" published April 2003 by Coffee House
, which was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award. Her stories and
poems have appeared in over three dozen journals. Ms. Singer lives in
Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Check out her wonderful work!

Looking forward to January's class, Julia!


Christensen Shoot!

I was so lucky to have a photo session last week with a new client the Christensens - all of them! They came to me from a referral, so I obliged them with a photo session after my deadline for the year. I'm so thrilled that I did because like so many of my clients, they are wonderful people! The 3 children were so much fun and have great personalities and senses of humor as you will see from the images. I thought they were all so photogenic. These images are just some of the many great ones we got. Thanks, Christensens for a fun session together!!!


Happy Birthday, Carl!

Today is my older brother Carl's birthday! I shot this of him when we were in Alabama at his wonderful home sitting around the pool. I'm so proud of my brother and the man and father he is! He has such a beautiful wife and 2 beautiful daughters. He's a cyclist of recent years and enjoys photography, too! What a great big brother he is!!!




Happy Birthday, Tom!

Yesterday, was my Dad's birthday, and today is Tom's! Carole shot this of us the same day as Dad's picture below when we were sitting around my brother's pool. I'm so proud of Tom and the husband and father he is! We are so incredibly blessed with our 3 healthy, happy children and wonderful relationships in our lives. I wish for many more happy years ahead!




Happy Birthday, Dad!

Yesterday was my Dad's 73rd birthday! I always feel a bit sad because I can't be with him to celebrate in Alabama, but I celebrate with him on the phone and in spirit the rest of the day. This picture is from last summer when we were all gathered at my brother's house. We were all visiting out on the back porch - something my Dad loves to do. Me, too! I'm so proud of the man he is and the father he has been to me all my life. I couldn't have asked for a better father to me, and by anyone's standards, he is a model father! He's been a great business man the last 45 years, and in the last few years, he has pursued his passion in writing his first book a couple of years ago called "The Last Witness from a Dirt Road" and now his second one is upcoming. Check it all out here.




My Girls!

It's been a while since my girls have let me shoot them in studio. Fun! Thanks, girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrls!!!

Thanks to Matt Antonio for his great tutorial on photo framing made easy!


My twin, one of my best friends Diane (and Grace's godmother), and I this summer in Alabama being, well, our silly selves for a minute. Shot by my seven-year-old Grace!
Check it out!


I had a wonderful shoot with the parents and this beautiful little baby girl, Johnna, last night. She's one month old, and we shot all black and whites. I'll post more soon. Also, I'm trying to create some photo frames and am learning to create PS actions to be able to quickly frame pics. Stay tuned and let me know which ones you like...


My New Parka!

I just found my new parka today! I know that I'm 40 years old, but I still love Abercrombie and Fitch for some clothing items. I shot 2 cute teen-age girls last night, and they each had a down jacket that I loved. They were from Abercrombie. I love the rugged, worn look of their clothes and have been shopping there for 12 years way before they have this "sexier" image but when they were more of a rugged, work clothier. Well, I have to admit that the posters in the store are easy on the eye! ;))) Anyway, I wanted a brown down jacket that fit more snuggly than the one I've worn the last 4 years, and this was the winner. Very warm with only a t-shirt underneath. Watcha think?


Kristo Pic!

I worked on a designer card image for my clients the Kristos. I had done a shoot with Charlie and Anna in the fall, and we wanted to get an image to use for the card that included them both. We didn't find a single image that we liked, so I created this image by merging two separate ones and adding some more brush graphics and an old paper layer to make it looked aged. This is what we came up with!

The first one is one of Anna


Designer Image


Anne & Dogs!

Click here to see a cool slideshow with the beautiful Anne Thompson and her cute Border Terriors, Tu Tu and Finn. All black and whites. Fun shoot, Anne! Enjoy!



I'm always learning more and more about new software and more in Photoshop to produce cool effects to images that I call "Designer Images." There's so much you can do to produce different looks to your images. I've slowly been introducing some in my image presentations as I've been practicing using them. From aged looks, sepia with hand tinted to punched contrast and vibrancy, hi key to ones with great brush tool graphics. These effects may be applied to cards, too!

Below is the original straight out of camera...

This one shows an aged effect using a layer of old paper with some swirly brush effects.

Also, I've introduced some new photo packages that are designed around what most my clients like and what I specialize in. As always, I can further customize them for the kind of images you want. Just ask!


The Guthrie Theatre!

I'm embarrassed to say that in my 9 years here in the twin cities that yesterday was the first time a set foot in the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. What an awesome architectural structure!!! This place was built with thought put into every detail. It's very modern and expansive. It's views are awesome from almost every floor (about 10 floors). I went with my new friend Erin Kelly who I met sitting next to me on my Northwest flight to Memphis in September. What a great lady! We talked all the way to Memphis and had a blast. She's a lawyer from Edina and has worked closely with my father-in-law's firm Robbins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.

This floor of the Guthrie featured this amazing blue glass the was so expansive and gave a very dramatic way to view the gorgeous view over the Mississippi.
This floor featured yellow glass and was so blazing with this warmer tone to view the same view. It was so cool!!! Kind of eerie...
I shot this outside of the 9th floor outdoor area. This outdoor area feels like stadium seating to allow viewers to sit and take in the beauty all around. The collapsed bridge is where to 2 cranes are which is between the distant arched bridge and the smaller one in front.
The windows from inside are like boxes. They are very deep, and the top, bottom and sides have darker reflective surfaces. It adds so much dimension to every view from them. This image shows the reflected surfaces on the top and left.
I shot Erin in front of the Gold Medal Flour building. I noticed that the Guthrie with it's blue and yellow color scheme matched the signage of the it's flour neighbor. I have to think that might have been planned...

Fun day! Go experience it! The restaurant was good, too. We had lunch there.


What We REALLY Value...

This weekend has really caused me to think so much about the things that we invest so much of our emotions and time in. I cleaned out my closet and dresser drawers with the intent to really get rid of a lot of "stuff" that I've held onto for so long for whatever reason - mostly for sentimental reasons. Lately, I've really wanted my life and my surroundings to reflect what is most important to me which is my faith, the love of my family and friends, art and my clothes.

YES, my clothes! I think a lot of us women really invest much into our looks by way of our outfits, shoes, jewelry, etc. I think it's ok because that's how God made us and is a part of being feminine. I realize that there's a fine line between how many shoes, tops, pants, skirts that we should have and what's too much. Since we've lived in this old house which did NOT cater to anyone having much in the way of clothes in 1894, I've let my closet size help me learn to pare down. At times, I've over stuffed it, but I think after cleaning it and my armoire out that the amount of clothing and shoes is now completely manageable and more sensible. See? Well, it might need a little more attention in neatness, but it's a start. Most of all, I felt such a sense of relief and of letting go that was very liberating and freeing!!!!

Today, I'm not at church right now because my throat is red and sore, and I feel slightly rotten - probably have what Olivia had a few days ago. So I've been dusting and while dusting in the living room, I thought again about what I value most as I was dusting off one of the most special things in my house to me (a ceramic piece made by the head of the art dept. at Alabama A&M University where I got my Art Ed. Master's. Dr. Clifton Pearson gave this peice to Tom and me for our wedding gift. He made these awesome African figures for a show he was having around the time of our wedding. I LOVE this piece and was so honored that he gave one of these to us!)
- that if our house were to catch on fire and could only take a few things (after my children, of course) what would those things be? Pictures and art, my answer.

This painting is one by a Russian Impressionist artist. (Tom and I bought this painting on our honeymoon in Amsterdam in 1995. It is a piece that has given joy to view each time. The light changes in it throughout the day. Gorgeous, impressionistic colors!

(Painting I did of Olivia when she was 2 that hangs over our fireplace in the living room.)

I think most people value pictures so much. Just listen to people on the news when a tornado has demolished their homes. What are people most sad about losing? Pictures. I've heard it so many times. I believe it's because pictures capture moments in time, our memories of people and places we've been. We like to hold on to those memories and moments. Also, for people like me who live far from their family (my parents and siblings) and where they grew up, pictures are even more valuable.

(an image of Carole and me taken by this photographer in '92 that I treasure and dusted this morning) (My wedding picture that was on the same chest as the other picture and African figure in the living room.)
Thank goodness for the internet to be able to quickly share pictures with someone across miles and oceans. AWESOME!

OK, I've shared my rambling thoughts about what I value, what do you value most???



Enjoy the images from the last few months....! I'm so blessed to work with all these great clients. Thanks to you all!



... JULIA A.!!!

I am going to start spotlighting one of my students' paintings each week so that you can see what we're doing and see progress from week to week. Also, it gives me a chance to "toot that artist's horn" for them! Last week we had "free week" where everyone painted whatever they wanted. Julia A. painted this old blue truck, and I loved what she did with it. The original picture showed much more - people putting pumpkins into the back of it in front of an old barn. Julia decided to simplify it, and this is her portrayal below. Way to go, Julia!


PAINTING CLASSES-enrollment update!

My morning class for next fall session starting November 6th is full! I have plenty of space in my evening class, so any of you 9-5ers interested in the class could take that class. Looking forward to having my old students as well as my new ones!!!


My Dad's Storytelling Event!

I am so proud of my Dad! (Bill Hunt) He has gone to LSU Alexandria (Louisiana) this weekend to be featured in their storytelling festival. His book along with, "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Twelve Years a Slave" are ones being featured this weekend. Imagine writing a book that is grouped with those two! This is a recent photo of my Dad from his book cover.
My Dad at Storytelling Event!If you haven't ever read his book, "Last Witness From a Dirt Road," you must read it.

It is a fictionalized memoir of a time in the 40's when "Billy" was 12 years old, living as the son of an overseer of a sugar cane plantation in Louisiana. It's a perfect time to cozy up near a fire with some some coffee or cocoa and read! The book is available in many stores--Amazon, barnes and noble, so grab one at your first chance. This photo is a shot of my Dad when he was 12 years old--the age that he is in this book.



I wanted to put a spotlight on a cool website and book that's out called "What Happy Couples Do." Carol Bruess (last name rhymes with "peace") and her coauthor Anna Kudak (I've not gotten to meet her yet, but I'm sure she's just as charming as Carol...) are writing and accepting stories from couples about their personal rituals and things they do to keep their marriage happy. Check out their site and blog and enter your stories! It's such a positive thing they are doing especially in this age of divorce and marital strife, and I want to do whatever I can to support it. I'm sure you would, too.

Anyone want to share some cool things you do to make your spouse happy or keep the peace in the marriage? Share your ideas!

I do couples photo shoots and will be running a special starting this coming week! Join my newsletter for all the latest.


Sophie & Merrit

These are some of my favorites from a shoot last week with these two beautiful children. They are cousins to each other, and we had so much fun in the leaves for part of the shoot. Enjoy!