Alyssa came out with her family tonight to pick out her senior portraits with a little help from her friend Chantel.



A few images of Theresa.



School has started!

8-24-07_NDX_2545Rachel and Dacey started school this week along with Rutland senior Kie-Lyn. While it seems way too early for school to start, it’s a welcome break from days with 4 and 5 appointments a day. We can now concentrate on getting orders out as well as designing wedding and senior albums.

Our cool news of the day is that we now have very fast internet thanks to ITC. For the last couple of years we’ve been hooked up with RDC in Egan. I can’t say enough good things about Rod Clark and his service. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty for us. ITC had fiber dug in last year and today we were on the install list. It took a great deal more time and effort than I thought it would to hook everything up and make it work. We even have cable TV now…and another bit of leverage to get the kids to do their chores.

Livin’ large in Canistota SD!

8-23-07_NDX_5376You just know that some seniors are out there enjoying life full blast and not sitting on the bench. Zach is one of those guys. Whether it is hanging out with his friends at the lake or playing basketball, he does it with abandon.


8-23-07_aNDX_9973We like it when seniors bring cool props. Of course not everyone brings a Corvette, but I’m not complaining.

Not only do seniors bring cars, but we also photographed them with jet skis, horses, dogs, cats and even a 4-H heifer in addition to the “normal” props related to sports.

Not all senior pictures are smiles. We try to capture a senior’s entire personality. Grandma may have to have a smile, but can do so much more.

Madison South Dakota Senior Photography: Little black dress


When Heidi showed up for her senior session with the typical “little black dress”, we decided to have a bit of fun with it. We went places where you would not typically go: outside on the grass, in the CRP, on the playground and yes even in the corn field across the road.

Are they all this good?

8-23-07_NDX_5890We are starting to think so.

Teenagers generally get a bad rap from us cynical adults. I can truthfully say that all of our seniors are beautiful not only on the outside, but the inside as well. They are so optimistic about being a doctor, lawyer, nurse or even a mechanic.

When we photograph weddings, it makes our own marriage stronger. When we photograph seniors, it makes us look forward to tomorrow. Their attitude is contagious.

Hailey’s back!

8-23-07_NDX_2708Hailey left us this summer for a job in Sioux Falls. Now that school has started again, we are happy to have her back in the studio for a few hours a week.

Can you tell them apart?


Ok, I can tell the difference…Well, maybe I can’t. We spent yesterday editing and retouching the Melton twins’ images for their sales presentation last night.

We didn’t separate each girl’s images out, so they were all mixed together. Editing is not always easy, but this time is was very hard: Neither sister took a bad picture.

More galleries added

8-09-07_NDX_0595In addition to our featured senior, Taylor, we now have images of Marti, Chelsea and Breanne. We just added pictures of Breanne this morning. Galleries will be changing more frequently now.

When is the best time to get senior pictures done?

Almost anytime between now and the middle of October is pretty good for outdoor sessions. As it gets later in the year, the shorts and tank tops go away and are replaced with jeans and sweaters. We already have some fall color on the ground below one of our huge cottonwood trees.

Past mid-October, the percentage of great weather days goes down, but we can still do fun stuff outside. We just have to move a little quicker.

We’ve been blessed the last few weeks with light winds which makes taking pictures of girls with long hair much easier.

Marti’s art poster

8-03-07_NDX_8692lkMarti’s art poster was waiting for her tonight when she came with her parents tonight to view her images from her adventure session. Marti won her art poster at the Madison after-prom party.

Taylor: our new featured senior

8-02-07_NDX_3462specOur present featured senior on our website is softball fanatic and Lincoln High senior Taylor. Right after her sales session, she was so excited and wanted to show her friends right away. Her favorites are on the website waiting for you to see.

Adventure session!

7-31-07_NDX_5869Today we spent some time with Chantel on one of our “Adventure” sessions. We explored a few places normal people wouldn’t think to go for senior pictures.

We have been so blessed this year. We have had a great time with every senior.

So many adults look at teenagers as trouble, but this is just not the case. If you really take the time to listen to our young people, you will find them full of optimism for the future.

Is this all there is?

7-28-07_NDX_1726Is this all the work we do? Is there more?

Yes…much more.

Only a few images from a few sessions ever see the website.


In a perfect world, we would have time to blog about all of our great customers and how wonderful their images turned out (like this one of Chelsea). The problem is time. We don’t seem to have enough of it during our busy time. July through December is crunch time for photographers. It’s busy January to June, but the real craziness starts right after Independence Day.

It’s very important to us not to neglect our family time. There are times when we sneak off for a few hours during the week to spend some time with our kids, so don’t be offended or surprised if the machine picks up instead of a real person. We’ll return your call soon. We are also doing location sessions for some of our seniors. Again we have to rely on the machine for a couple of hours.

Not just computers…

7-27-07_NDX_3318_sepSo many times you’ll here the phrase, “I’ll just fix it in Photoshop later.”

While computers certainly have their place, it’s not always possible to correct errors made when exposing the image. Even though we use digital capture, we try to get the lighting and composition right at the time of exposure. We then take the RAW file (digital negative) and adjust it slightly for exposure and color balance before processing it to a JPG format – the same kind of file that comes out of your point and shoot digital camera. The difference being that ours has been fine-tuned for the best possible results.

Many will question the added steps in workflow that the RAW format requires, but it is actually far more efficient to adjust a RAW file than it is to “fix” a jpg file.

Now we take the process a step farther. We are pre-visualizing what we want the final image to look like at the time of capture and then going through a series of steps using the computer to realize our vision. We’ve done it so long that it has become second nature. The above picture of Kiley is an example of what we can do when we “see” the final image in our minds as we are doing our senior sessions.

Kelsey’s sale…

7-19-07_NDX_3159specKelsey and her family came in for their sales presentation last night.

We are sometimes surprised by what ends up being the favorites. We loved Kelsey’s serious look, but she was into the ones that were a little more fun.

The right light

7-17-07NDX_3364Many of our senior sessions are done in the late afternoon/evening. Some evenings are just perfect for pictures: beautiful golden light, a slight breeze and temps in the 70’s.

Kelsey had one of the best nights of the summer so far.


7-18-07NDX_1276sepChris lives just down the road from us. We were able to take advantage of the great light and a slough not far from his driveway.


7-18-07NDX_8925Don’t tell Mike, but ElizaBeth takes great pictures too…like this one of Marti taken at sunset at the lake..

In studio prom pictures

4-21-07We do many area proms, but today we decided to do something different: we are opening up the studio for all and any couples who want to come to Rutland.

We can do so much more when we are in our studio.

So here’s the scoop: come to Rutland (less than half an hour south of Brookings) go a block west of the school and turn north on 2nd St. We are in the old Lutheran Church. Come in the west side door. We’ll be available from 3 to 6 pm this Saturday afternoon – no appointment is necessary.


4-19-07_NDX_2287bwANNIE1Annie is a foreign exchange student from Taiwan. She lives with our good friends in DeSmet and came up with her exchange sister and friend for a day of pictures. Her Asian eyes have us enthralled and we had a blast taking pictures of her and Chelsea and Bobbi. This was Annie’s first time taking pictures with a professional, but with a little coaxing, she did awesome. Not sure we could get her to become a professional, if there was any chance she had to be out in the cold. SD weather doesn’t suit her well 🙂 Thanks for a lot of fun, girls.

One from Easter Monday

4-16-07_NDX_2217glmWe’ve been dodging snow and cold trying to get our promotional sessions done. The girls have been great this Spring braving the weather. Here’s one of many from inside last week.

It’s announcement card time!

4-12-07_NDX_29303075! The number of announcement cards that arrived today. Best of luck to all of our Seniors from 2007. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with you over the last year, and look forward to seeing you reach for your dreams over the next few years. Have fun and be safe throughout this season of parties, proms and graduations.

One more of Caitie

3-26-07_DSC_6128bwAnother image of Caitie to show her fun side. A beautiful smile considering we were outside in 30 degree temps.

Keep checking the blog – we’ll be showing a few more glimpses of what we’ve been up to lately.