Friend & Family Give Back || Minneapolis Portrait

I don’t typically write on our blog (go figure) but this post is very near and dear to my heart so I must ramble! A few weeks ago I was sipping on a glass of cabernet and perusing my Facebook feed and realized that my “Friends” (made up primarily of family, industry folk and my amazing clients) are one hell of a group of people. An overwhelming sense of thankfulness and joy came to me that night at the thought of the many people who have left their imprint on this crazy story that is my life. I thought about how photography has blessed me with the ability to express myself creatively through storytelling and also how those stories have been filled with so much joy and love. Each time I pick up my camera I get to watch someones life, I get to see them, and I get to translate that into imagery that they will have forever. I have been given so much. La Vie has grown each year and our client’s loyalty is truly humbling. More importantly God has given me a husband and children that fill me fuller than I ever could have imagined and an extended family that has been blessed with health and time… so much time. Needless to say, whether it was the wine or the these amazing realizations I decided to translate these sentiments of thankfulness into free photos to these said friends as a way to say I LOVE YOU.

Come to find out, free photos are a hit. My late night day dreaming turned into morning executing. Due to the great response we decided we might as well go all out. We turned a free portrait session into an opportunity for these lucky recipients to give above and beyond to a local charity, Mission 21. Mission 21 is an anti-trafficking service provider committed to the complete restoration of child victims of sex trafficking. Right?!? We asked for nothing but simply provided the opportunity to give. And give they did. In one day 5 of our team mates, 2 businesses and 31 clients gave of their time and resources. We raised exactly $4190 for this cause and I couldn’t be happier.

Last night as I worked through these 31 stories I was again moved to thankfulness (doesn’t take much) looking at the faces and remembering past stories. Allow me to share a few:

Michelle – thank you so much for helping me through Noah’s first year of preschool through the friendship of your daughter, Clara.
Liz – thank you for being the most bad ass neighbor a girl could have. Please consider a move to the western suburbs in the near future.
Erin – thank you for being one of our first clients as I went from working with a studio to doing this crazy little dream called La Vie.
Courtney – I still am in love with the images from your wedding. I can not believe your ability to make the most gorgeous kids.
Ali – I need more bag pipe in my life. Can you have another wedding? To Patrick, that is!
Liz – you are my bestest sister and have taught me how a family is to care for one another… through their actions.
Sarah – Serving at the Local didn’t do much for my quality of life but praise Jesus that you were there too. What a gift and calming presence you have been to me for so many years.
Shannon – thank you for being such a supporter of La Vie. I have so loved following you all these years and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Emily – you are a joy and to think that in one year you became a Mrs. and a mom. These are the moments that fill my heart. Thank you for sharing them with me.
Charla & Elizabeth – Oh damn. I just love you two. I mean… I really really love you two. God absolutely put you in my path with a purpose. Thank you.
Emily – thank you for making me both cry and smile on your wedding day.
Julie – I love your story and have loved watching your family grow. Please continue to reproduce, you’re quite good at it.
Anna – thank you for letting us tell the story of a fellow story teller. I hope our paths intertwine more and more in the future.
Kaylie – I don’t know you but damn you make me want to have more boys. For that I kind of don’t like you. (I kid)
Nathan – We welcome you to Minnesota and thank you for letting us be the first tell your story in your future favorite city ever!
Lauren & Brad – there are no words for you two. Simply the deepest appreciation. [insert tear]
Michele – You are truly one of the kindest women I know. I am beyond happy for you and Jon as you enter into this crazy thing called parenting!
Jenna – Thank you for Napa, for Caren, for being my sexiest engagement session to date… need I go on?
Pauline – Thank you for babies and puppies. We needed a little 4 legged fix that day!
Sammy – Thanks for being the hottest 80’s dance star of all time (don’t tell Heidi) and for giving up so much to give all of you to your family. Such an inspiration to me.
Kerri & Ryan – All that you do is to give back. You two are truly living out a life of service and selflessness (and you’re cute too)!
Ashley – I love, love, love seeing you. You make me want to change and focus on the simple things in life.
Erika – The one deemed my first client to cross the friend boundary. Thank God He broke me of that silly notion that I should keep my work / personal life separate.
Ashley – Thanks for your support and yearly check ins. We love our encounters!
Heidi – Well, thanks for giving our little studio a chance! We know you lack photographer monogamy but we are truly thankful that you gave us a shot!!!

So, yep, that’s why I am blessed. Over the top? Yes. But, that’s my point. Look at the richness that is my life.

To my clients (otherwise known as my friends). I would have none of this with out you. Thank you for your referral. Thank you for your trust. And thank you for your story. I hope we can write many more chapters.