By Rebecca Studios: Blog en-us (C) By Rebecca Studios (By Rebecca Studios) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT By Rebecca Studios: Blog 80 120 A Hero for us all // National Dog Day August 26 - National Dog Day! 

We're celebrating our furry friends today with a little behind the photo story about Adrien and her dog, Hero. 

Photo request // 

Back in July, my friend Jason reached out to me with a request. He asked if I took dog photos, and if I'd be interesting in photographing his girlfriend Adrien and her dog Hero. The details were a still a little fuzzy to me, but I knew that Hero was at least going to lose his leg. I didn't ask too many questions, but said "Yes! Of course I'd do the photos!" 

We waited for a few weeks to schedule so Hero could heal up and so they could both adjust to his new life as a three legged pup. In August, we got together for a photoshoot. I asked Adrien to share a little more about past few months with Hero.

April 2019 // Bone Cancer

A large bump the size of half a grapefruit appeared on Hero's shoulder. As Adrien recounted to me, it's like it showed up overnight. She immediately called the vet and went in. The roller coaster ride of emotions started. The doctor recommended x-rays and after that, less than 30 minutes later, said - "bone cancer." Chondrosarcoma. Adrien left with a packet of information, another appointment scheduled with veterinary oncology, and the knowledge that her dog would most likely lose his leg. 

Adrien was scared, sad and worried about losing her dog and really, her best friend. She didn't know if he was in pain and she didn't want for him to suffer. On top of that, she didn't know how she'd pay for it all (just one appointment already set her back hundreds of dollars and they hadn't even started treatment!) It was time to make a decision - and Adrien decided she would do whatever she needed to help Hero. 

After a discouraging oncology appointment (and another hefty bill), they found that the best option was limb removal. Can we finally get some good news? Yes! Hero's regular vet could perform the procedure and that would cut down the costs!  

May 2, 2019 // Surgery

Adrien expected to take Hero home after surgery - but the doctor recommended another overnight stay at the emergency clinic for additional monitoring. When Adrien walked in the room, Hero perked up. He even attempted to walk over to her! While he needed the support of a sling to walk, he was going home. Unfortunately in the one week after Hero's surgery - they made 5 visits to the vet clinic and the emergency clinic to manage dehydration, severe bruising, pain management issues, and suture care. He continued to improve - he was stronger and more confident in his mobility, but seemed pretty mopey and depressed. Adrien felt guilty.  

Day 10 rolled around - the stitches came out and Hero was free to move around without restriction. They went straight to the dog park. Hero ran around and smiled the entire time. 

 Post surgery update // Not out of the woods...yet.

Since the surgery, they've had to do a series of follow up x-rays. The concern is that the cancer could metastasize to the lungs. But, so far, the x-rays have been all clear - and fingers crossed, the news stays good!  

So for now, Hero continues racing around the dog park, saying hello to every dog and human in sight, all with a smile on his face.  





]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Mon, 26 Aug 2019 23:09:52 GMT
Infertility + Parenthood // The story behind the photos

Infertility + Parenthood // The story behind the photos

Often times I post the photos, with a short, happy caption "welcome to the world little one." It's vague, it's simple, it's...easy. I don't often get the chance to tell the greater story. But, because of Becky's openness in conversation over the last year, I asked if I could share their story of infertility and their journey to pregnancy and parenthood. 

Keep reading to find out more on the backstory of this photo! 

I can't recall when I first met Becky, but I do know that in 2010, she was one of my first volunteers for my senior portrait project during my last semester at St. Kate's (it also happened to be my first photography class). We had kept in touch over the years and reconnected when I took family + newborn photos for their son Luke. Here he is in one of my favorite newborn photos - ever. 

Go Wild!

There was something Becky and I had never really talked about until this year - 2019 - their road to to parenthood through PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and primary infertility. (In 'simple terms' PCOS can be characterized by a myriad of symptoms ranging from irregular menstrual cycles, abnormal hair growth, obesity, acne/oily skin and depression. And since it is believed to be a hereditary issue - Becky knew from an early age that there was a good chance she had it.)

In 2016, Becky and Jon started trying to have a second child. They knew it might not happen right away, but wanted to try. She met with her infertility doctor and they worked on the same regimen that they tried when they first got pregnant with Luke. Around that same time, we had a 2 year old photo session for Luke. They were pretty optimistic that they'd be pregnant soon - so optimistic - that we even took some "big brother" announcement photos that would be used in their Christmas cards that December. I did not know anything about their journey at this time and at that time, and as more time passed, I was asked not to share this photo. I didn't ask questions.


The costs start adding up

Becky was starting a new job with great health insurance....except that it didn't include coverage for infertility *treatment*. Most insurance plans cover the cost of diagnosing infertility, but hardly any cover the treatment itself. They were paying cash for everything - oral medications, once monthly injections and multiple follicular ultrasounds each cycle ($270 each!). September and October passed by without success. November came - and over $8000 of they stopped trying for a bit. They had decimated their savings.

Pretty heartbroken, they decided to take off most of 2017. They tried to keep the protocol from the previous year - and search for a new doctor. As the new open enrollment period started, Becky looked at new medical plans. She was shocked to see that in 2018 the medical plans would include $10,000 coverage for infertility *treatment*!!!

Both Jon and Becky had extra doctor appointments to make sure there weren't any structural issues preventing them from getting pregnant. After a few more bumps in the road - like a fall on the ice resulting in a broken wrist, a blood clot in a fallopian tube, and 'life'...they were back to trying. 

This lead to more expensive injections and the IUI procedures (IntraUterine Injection - and in less glamours terms, 'turkey basting'). 

What does $10,000 get you? 

Not very far. July came and went - and barely into the second cycle, they had blown through their insurance coverage. They started paying out of pocket again.  They found one pharmacy in the Twin Cities who offer a deep discount on fertility medication for those who are paying out of pocket - thank you Walgreens in Uptown! They had saved some money in their HSA account that got them through most of late August's cycle. But again, they were met with a negative pregnancy test. One more try in late September - and they were out of money and still not a positive test. 

One day, Becky received a text that changed their lives. Her best friend from nursing school (she was pregnant with her first child via IVF) had some medications left over that were going to expire. She wanted to give them to Becky. They all met for lunch - and she was handed a bag with $4000 worth of medications - along with the book "Wish" by Matthew Cordell

As Jon and Becky walked back to the car, they joked that if they got pregnant that month, they'd have to name their child after her. They sat in the car and realized that neither of them were actually joking. 

Two more failed IUIs. 

They adjusted the protocol for the third cycle and worked through a more 'private approach' to the IUI process. Once finished, they were told to head home, and wait two weeks and test then. 

Two weeks passed - and time to test. And the results... 


She had to get Luke on the bus to school before she could get to the store to get another test. It was the only time in her entire life where she walked out of Target with one item. A digital test. 

Finally it read "PREGNANT"

So, why share the story on your photography page?

Because we can! I have a platform of social media and a new-ish blog where I can help share stories of the real people I have the honor of working with. We often times show all the happy - but tend to hid sad, heartbreaking parts of our life stories. 

Luke is now a big brother to Kaylee Anne Kristina. Kaylee is a favorite character from the show Firefly. Anne for Becky's mother Ann (who always wanted to be "Anne with an E" like Anne of Green Gables) - and Kristina for their friend who gave them all the medications on which they got pregnant with Kaylee. 



]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Mon, 26 Aug 2019 14:39:20 GMT
Foodprenuer Success + By Rebecca Studios It's here! My first class - Food Photography for Instagram

I'm excited to team up with Foodprenuer Success on April 13, 2019 at The Lynhall to teach a very hands-on food photography class. 

Over the two hours, I will cover: photography etiquette in a restaurant setting, basic camera settings, lighting/exposure triangle, rules to follow (and to break), and a few other topics. We will all get up and move to put into practice what you learn.

Pick up your ticket here:

Special discount code - enter REBECCA for 20% off your ticket!

]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Mon, 08 Apr 2019 19:55:23 GMT
Published! Recent work you'll find online and in print Published work  - I can finally share some of the work I've done over the last few months.

Why "finally"? Why the delay? 

These images were shot for print. I didn't want to spoil the surprise by instantly posting them online! Ok, it's not that I didn't want to - it's that I couldn't (some of my very close friends might have gotten sneak peeks as I gushed over that day's shoot). 

Shooting images for a printed publication is an involved process. I'd like to share with you a rough outline for a magazine run: from first contact with the client to the glossy pages of a magazine. I also have had images published in newspaper and online articles. These timelines look different because they are on a much quicker turnaround schedule. Scroll down to see those below.

Magazine rough schedule outline

  • Initial Contact - The client emails or calls me to ask my availability. If I'm available, we confirm the time and location with all parties involved. (1-2 months out from the shoot, and sometimes 3-4 months out from the print run).
  • Pre-production meeting - this is when my client and I come together to execute the plan for the photoshoot. This usually involves a phone call and sometimes a visit to the location of the shoot. (1 week before shoot)
  • Shot list - a detailed plan of the photoshoot. It includes, the scope of the job, all parties involved, ideas for photos and what they may be used for. (1 week out, finalized 2 days before shoot) 
  • Photoshoot! 
  • Post-production - cull images 2-3 times, select finals and edit (1-2 weeks).
  • Deliver images (2 weeks after the photoshoot)
  • Client selects images and they run their print process.
  • Voilà - we get a magazine 3 months later!

Newspaper rough outline

For Spencer's event, we had the date on the calendar for 6 weeks. Pioneer Press picked up the story and that's when it became an assignment! 

  • Pre-production meeting - phone call  (1 week before event)
  • Shot list created (1 week before event, finalized 1-2 days before)
  • Photoshoot (6 hours in the kitchen and dining)
  • Post-production (24 hours after event)
  • Delivery images (24 hours after event)
  • In print and online (5 days after event)

Pioneer Press - March 23, 2019 // online and in print

Online publication rough outline

For Eater Twin Cities, I'm often contacted about 1 week to 1 day before the shoot. Restaurants and chefs have odd schedules that dictate the photoshoot and I need to be ready for action.

  • My editor emails me to ask my availability (1 day to 1 week out from shoot)
  • Shot list created (during the initial email)
  • Photoshoot 
  • Post-production (same day)
  • Delivery images (same day)
  • Published online (1-2 days after shoot)



]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Fri, 29 Mar 2019 14:52:04 GMT
February Faces // A Closer Look February Faces // Recap on a personal project through the month of February 2019

This project started off as a personal need to do something creative - for myself. I wanted a project that would run for a short time, would force me to pick up my camera every day (in the dead of winter), and had a firm end-date. At first, February looked relatively open with only a few events booked for my regular clients. It seemed like the perfect time to take on a project.  What I didn't realize was how much time and energy a personal project could take. I had a few days where I felt completely drained of any creativity. Often times, that was fixed in the first few minutes of conversation with the person of the day. I had a reason to be there - and ideas started to come to life. 

Original plan: 

  • Personal project
  • Take one person's portrait per day following my strict "5-minute-portrait" style.
  • 28 people.
  • Shoot a new portrait style out of my comfort zone. 
  • Estimate of time it would take:
    • 2.33 hours of shoot time / 5 minutes per person (140 minutes of shoot time)
    • 30 minutes per day for commute / 840 minutes travel time
    • Forgot to estimate time for the edit, caption and posts each day. 
    • 16.5 hours total project estimate (because I forgot to add in the above...ugh)

What actually happened:

  • Personal project completed
  • I missed a couple days because, I was discouraged and couldn't get myself to pick up my camera.
  • 31 total people and one dog photographed
  • Times varied from 5 minutes to hour time slots. 
  • Shot portraits out of my comfort zone (some, not all)
  • Didn't keep track of the time I spent for the edit/posting. I would say at least 30 minutes per portrait. 
  • Total time:
    • 8.33 hours of shoot time / 17 minutes average per person (500 minutes of shoot time)
    • 880 minutes travel time (pretty close to the estimated time!)
    • Approx. 14 hours of edit, writing content for social media post, and posting
    • 37 hours

In each post below, I will break down each portrait set up and give a little story behind my thoughts of the session experience. I would love to hear your thoughts and personal experience if you were one of my subjects! Share below in the comments. 

January 23rd: Lauren // my first portrait. This photo was posted on February 1, but photographed on January 23rd. It was posted to launch the project and also helped get the word out to ask for volunteers. I wanted to purchase a new light - so I went to West Photo and rented the set up. I spent about an hour in the studio with Lauren to work with the light and the idea of doing some new portraiture. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 85mm 1.4, Studio space + Profoto b10 and octobox, south facing window light

Time: 1 hour

February 2: Willy and Kacia // Chinese New Year - I was invited to their home to celebrate Chinese New Year. Willy and Kacia were cooking up a storm for their family and friends. I had the chance to steal them away for a quick photo. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, Sigma art 35mm 1.4, natural (kitchen) light

Time: 1 minute (attended the part for 30 minutes)

February 26: Anatoly (left) // We just wrapped up with CreativeMornings/MSP at the Mia. We tried to find a couple of fun spots to go - but I was also a little paranoid that we'd get in trouble for photographing in the wrong part of the museum. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm 1.4, window light

Time: 7 minutes

February 20: Sierra (middle) // Fun fact - Sierra was one of my volunteers for my senior portrait project in 2010. For this photo, we met at Lake Johanna and played in the snow. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, Sigma Art 35mm 1.4, natural light outside.

Time: 9 minutes

February 3: Kelsey (Right) // Kelsey was due to have her baby in just a few short weeks. Although it was later in the morning, it was really foggy outside - and the paths were really icy. It was hard to focus on an extra creative shot - as I was fighting my urge to penguin walk and watch Kelsey's every step so she wouldn't slip. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV,  85mm 1.4, natural outside light, foggy conditions

Time: 5 minutes (shot during their full family session)


February 4: Sheri (left) // I had quite the cold that week and had thought about cancelling plans with Sheri. I'm glad I didn't. We spent time talking, walking and photographing inside Como. Although the photos were quick, our time together left a lasting impression on me. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, Sigma art 35mm 1.4, window light from the glass conservatory, shot through the ferns

Time: 6 minutes (1 hour 20 minutes spent at Como Conservatory) 

February 5: Brittany (right) //

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm 1.4, natural window light

Time: 2 minutes (2 hour total time for business shoot) 

February 5: Tom (left) // We met at Dogwood Coffee a few minutes before our CreativeMornings/MSP organizer meeting. I had it in my original plans to bring my new profoto light, but when I walked in to see how busy it was, I ditched that plan. I was really uncomfortable with how RED Tom is in this portrait - but then I realized how many times I've seen Tom wearing color. Color fits Tom so well. However, I do enjoy the black and white edit posted on my instagram. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, Sigma art 35mm 1.4, indoor RED neon light, glass window behind added extra element of reflection

Time: 7 minutes

February 14: Jon (right) // We met inside the foyer of his office building downtown. Long story short? I was asked to not take photos inside the building. Aka...kicked out. It's ok though, I stepped outside and shot through the window into Penny's Coffee's space...bending the rules just a bit. The glass reflection showed the action/movement outside - yet you can still see Jon as well as the barista and round lights from inside. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, Sigma art 35mm 1.4, shot from the street through the window

Time: 17 minutes

February 7th:  Mary (left) and Lindsey (right) // I wasn't prepared for how powerful this photo could be. Lindsey and her mother Mary were at this American Heart Association luncheon as their heart story was highlighted. Visit this site to learn more. I asked if they could step out into the hallway where the large letters spelled out "Life is why" - we stuck by the life. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 24-70mm, there was a large window behind me

Time: 2 minutes (shot at the beginning of a 2 hour event)

February 21st:  Carol (left) // Carol was in town early preparing for her Tedx Minneapolis talk. I don't want to give away allll the secrets to this shot, but it's shot in a hotel room with natural light. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 24-70mm

Time: 28 minutes

February 15: Jahna (right) // Jahna and I had mostly interacted on Twitter...that's right, we hadn't met until the day of the shoot. She invited me to photographer her in home. We landed in this great front porch using an oversized wicker chair and one of the green plants in the foreground. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm 1.4

Time: 24 minutes

February 12: Mitch (left) // it was a snow day for us both. We worked from home and I was determined to get out and take the photo. Mitch was a good sport and we drove a quarter mile over to the neighborhood park (it was ridiculously windy and cold). We originally planned to snowshoe, but then one of each our snowshoes BROKE! The snow was quite deep and I needed an extra hand to make it up the hill where we shot this photo. I had Mitch walk back and forth a few times. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, Sigma art 35mm 1.4, natural light

Time: 10 minutes

February 10: Bryan (right) // More snow!?! I sent a message to him asking if we could change plans a bit and meet in a more central spot because of all the snow we were getting. Bryan was up for it and we walked through the snow to find this cool bridge. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 24-70mm natural light

Time: 5 minutes

February 6: Kjerstin (left) // I hadn't lined up a portrait for that day yet - and saw Kjerstin in her red coat and immediately knew how I'd create this portrait. I used this art display, created by Girl Friday Creative lived in Fourpost. It took a few times walking back and forth to catch her in right spot. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 24-70mm, indoor light

Time: 6 minutes (during a 2 hour event)

February 11 : Megan and Koopa (right) // Katie Steller had invited me in to use her studio space - Steller Connect. Secret's out - I'm not usually comfortable shooting in a studio. While excited about the offer, I was anxious. Megan brought her rescue pup Koopa along and immediately my anxiousness went away. We grabbed one of the old stylist chairs out of the back room and pulled it in front of the white seamless backdrop. Many treats were involved. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50 1.4, Bowens single light with umbrella

Time: 38 minutes

February 21: Chloe (left) // We shot inside The Coven, a co-working space designed for women and non-binary folks. Chloe is a member! There were so many sweet spots to shoot in, but the chairs we found first were my favorite. Her bright smile lights up the room and made it really easy for me to photograph her. A couple days after the shoot, Chloe sent me a couple texts that were really powerful and influenced how I thought about this project. Finally, it was coming together (and the end was in sight!) 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm 1.4

Time: 21 minutes

February 11: Ben (right) // I also photographed Ben inside of Steller Connect. I had a few favorites where he was sitting in the chairs in front of the white seamless paper, but after a few texts back and forth after the shoot (and a profile photo change he made) I looked at this portrait again. I don't think I gave it enough credit at first. I thought, "cool - another portrait with window light". But, it wasn't about the lighting, the background or how he was posed. It was about Ben. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm 1.4

Time: 16 minutes

February 16th: Mary and John - wedding day! // Mitch and I attended and celebrated John and Mary's wedding day. We were "off" of official photography duties - but I wanted to get a quick portrait of the two of them. Ideally we could have gone outside or walked away for a few minutes, but this was about their wedding day - not my project. I let go of the control I wanted to have, and took their photograph in that time and in that space. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 35mm sigma art 1.4, indoor lights and 8000 ISO

Time: 1 minute

February 20: Melinda// Snowstorm! I had to be at a photoshoot in St. Paul later that day - and couldn't reschedule it. We had gotten quite a bit of snow overnight, and it was coming down through the day. I gave Melinda an "out" - but she was all in. She grabbed her husband's truck and made the trek downtown St. Paul. She was up for anything - and yes, that meant snow angels! Her red coat and blue hat popped out in otherwise very snowy conditions. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 24-70, 

Time: 18 minutes

February 25th: Kit // Kit had done all the legwork ahead of time to make sure we had access to the top floor. When we arrived, we were told know. Although slightly deflated, we decided to take the elevator up anyways to see if the door might be open. It was! We were up on the 35th floor and had the Minneapolis skyline in the background. It. was. perfect. When I look back at how I thought this project would turn out - these images would be the example I had in my head. But, this fit Kit. It didn't fit every person I worked with. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 16-35mm, two Canon Speedlites with Magmod attachments - Magsphere. One light set behind and one light hand held triggered by remote. 

Time: 17 minutes

February 22: Kate (left) // I photographed Kate and Nadirah in the same time frame individually and together. This partnership is pretty special and I'm glad I could capture a few extra photos for the two of them.

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm - shot inside with a large window as the lightsource

Nadirah (right) // Nadirah moved naturally - changing up her posing click by click. I have a strong feeling she's done this before :D. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm - outside with natural light, mural in background

Time: 21 minutes total 

February 24: Ikram // I spoke with Ikram a few days before knowing that she might be attending the snowball fights between the two Minneapolis mayors. I thought it could be a fun spot to take a quick portrait. It was REALLY really windy and yes, it took some extra hands to hold this hood up (warmth + fashion!) This portrait made the news! Check it out here.

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 24-70mm, natural light, multiple hand warmers in pockets and gloves

Time: 2 minutes

February 13: Charles (left) // This was the portrait session I was the most nervous for. There was literally NO reason to be nervous. Charles is great - and was comfortable in front of the camera. I just really didn't want to screw it up. I didn't want to waste his time. As I got over that, I realized that this nervousness isn't a bad thing. It fully prepared me to take this session seriously and taught me how to handle this creative energy in a controlled manner. I was exhausted after this session.  

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 50mm, in office space, natural window light on a very sunny day

Time: 43 minutes

February 27: Maygen (right) // we were introduced through a mutual friend and had only met the week before the shoot. At that time, we had interacted for all of about 5 minutes. Add on a few more minutes to schedule logistics and there I was, having breakfast and photographing Maygen! She brought me to a local favorite - Bryant Lake Bowl. As soon as I walked in, I knew where I'd shoot her portrait. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 35mm, indoor window light

Time:  16 minutes (we had breakfast first :D) 

February 8: Annalee (top) // I have a lot of favorite photos from this session. Annalee seemed comfortable in front of the camera. She moved with ease and was up for whatever art direction I gave her. I moved around the most photographing her. If you look at the lens choice for this shot, it was the only time I used my 70-200. I stood up on the second floor and photographer her on the main level. I gave a lot more hand signals than verbal cues for direction. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 70-200 2.8, indoors - but some diffused natural light from the large windows.

Time: 30 Minutes

*Bonus* February 21st:  Carol (bottom) // I regretted not bringing my tripod in for this shot. It's handheld, so if you look closely, it's blurry. It was a very public setting - and I didn't want anyone else in the image to be recognizable. I asked Carol to stay as still as she could. I brought my arms close to my body, held the camera up to my eye and checked focus. I held my breath and clicked the shutter. I took 12 shots in this style and this is the one that turned out to be the best. I'd like to try a few others in this style - but with a light to help freeze the subject's movement just a bit more. 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 16-35mm, 1/5sec at f/14, ISO 2500 (no flash)

Time: 28 minutes

February 28: Rebecca (me) // Well, this was the hardest portrait to take. I saved it for last - and when I look back, I maybe should have shot it first. I was so uncomfortable and couldn't figure out how to loosen myself up. I drove around Minneapolis and finally landed at the State Fairgrounds thinking it would be quieter (there were SO many cars on-site and I interrupted a Pokemon raid...). Either way, I found a spot I liked enough and just shot. I had started out on a 10 second timer and kept missing the queue. 2 seconds ended up working out better. When I got home to edit the images and get ready for the final post of the day - all I could notice was the new lines. The curved line under my chin. The line next to my cheek...and the lines by my chin where I'm carrying extra winter weight. Admittedly - these are the only lines I tried to clean up a bit in any of the images. I think that's why I like this black and white edit. The hair covers up half my face.


But now, three weeks later - I look at these photos with some pride. I shot some pretty great self-portraits - a task that is logistically hard in the first place. Add in the winter weather, a dying cell phone (that was triggering the shot), and a tired me post workouts on top of a 28 day photography project. I don't see the lines anymore. I just see me (in my favorite Woolrich second-hand coat). 

Set up: 5d Mark IV, 24-70, natural light, 2 second timer triggered by the Canon remote app on my iphone

Time: 70 minutes


]]> (By Rebecca Studios) by rebecca studios Minnesota photographer personal project portrait portrait project portraiture Thu, 14 Mar 2019 15:23:33 GMT
Natasha + Sean // Family Tradition Round Dance & Star Quilt // Natasha and Sean incorporated a few family tradition into their wedding. I asked their family to share more about these traditions as they were first for me. 

October 18, 2018


Star Quilt // From Natasha's father (written to Natasha) - "For many Native Americans, the star is a sacred symbol, equated with honor. The belief is a respected and longstanding tradition, inherited from our ancestors. Many tribes believe the spiritual belief in the stars, they represented the direction from which spirits travel to Earth, symbolizing immortality. Star quilts are herald a new beginning, a new day dawning. Standing between darkness (ignorance) and light (knowledge), the morning star leads to understanding hence the star in the star quilt. 

Star Quilts are one of the most valued gifts of the Northern Plains Indians. They are seen as banners in schools for graduation and school functions, used as altar cloths in churches, placed on top of sweat lodges and used in powwows. They may be given to honor a special friend or family member, to a newly married couple, or to parents in celebration of a child’s birth. They are given in sympathy to a family, honoring a loved one who has died. They are even given to those whom they have never met, out of respect and admiration.

Star Quilts are still wrapped around the shoulders of the recipient as a symbolic way to honor and protect that person or persons on their journey through life. Hence your marriage Natasha to Sean."

Round Dance // "The Round dance symbolizes friendship and unity. It is used to strengthen family and community. It is in a circle to symbolize the universe and the sacredness to the Mother Earth. The beat is the rhythm of the heartbeat of our people. It is also to symbolize we all have a responsibility to each other, and for your marriage we all have a responsibility to you as a new married couple."


]]> (By Rebecca Studios) By Rebecca By Rebecca Studios community Forever bride Minnesota Bride Minnesota photographer minnesota wedding round dance Fri, 01 Feb 2019 01:02:13 GMT
Wanna brunch? Rebecca Slater, By Rebecca Studios

I'll admit, I don't brunch often - but when I do - it has to be something I can't do at home in my pjs. Icehouse does a damn good brunch. Add it to your list!  

Why? Scroll down and I'll list my reasons below.

But first, a quick intro. Executive Chef Matthew Bickford is a chef to know here in the Twin Cities. Every interaction I've had with him has been great. Personal highlight? While photographing my first wine dinner hosted by Icehouse + Solo Vino - the figs had been put on a shelf out of the way. Matt asked his kitchen crew where they were (perhaps not loud enough?) but, I was first to respond with the correct location. We had a nice little moment, maybe a fist bump(?) of sorts...and he was back at work.

Kitchens are hard to photograph in. Space can be tight - the stoves are hot -people are moving fast. But, this kitchen crew made it a really enjoyable experience. During this meal, I was mostly out in the dining area to take photos. I also have a chance to sit down at the table and enjoy the meal with friends and family. 

*Special note* I highly recommend making this a group outing so you can share items. Trust me, you'll want to try it all. While the plates are quite beautiful and 'instagrammable' don't waste too much time snapping pics - you'll want to experience these perfect eggs in real time. 

Photos by Rebecca Slater, By Rebecca Studios for Icehouse MPLS

  • The perfect Bloody Mary for any taste preference (of course, you'll need to actually like a blood mary). The bloody mix is a special recipe made in house and each drink is served with a beer chaser. 
    • Bloody Homer -bacon bloody garnished with mini-donut
    • Bloody Lisa -St. George green chili vodka vegetarian bloody w/skewer of picked fresh veggies
    • Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Gin bloody
    • Bloody Laphroaig (my fave) - laphroaig 10 year bloody mary, duck leg garnish (my husband Mitch called dibs on the duck leg, but we all got a small bite of it) 
    • Bloody Aquavit - Tattersall aquavit, shellfish garnish

  • Live music - check the schedule here, but often times there is live music during brunch. 

  • Chilaquiles - Braised chicken, roasted poblano, queso, red chile, crema sunny egg perfection. This was a personal favorite dish. 

  • Pastrami & Egg "P & E" was an overall table favorite. It has roasted chiles, fontina and aioli on a house made bun. 

  • Pastry Chef Caity Erdmann finishing the buns for breakfast. Also on her list? Biscuits, assorted pastries, english muffins and donuts that garnish the bloodies. 

  • I'm a huge fan of Eggs Benedict. If it's on the menu, I most likely will order it. While I was a little hesitant about adding salmon instead of my beloved ham - this plate was quite delicious and a nice change up to my normal order. 

  • MAKE room for the Breakfast Pastries Royale. While these pastry types will vary, you'll be guaranteed a mix of sweet and savory. If you're looking for a lighter option, you could order the Breakfast Pastries Regular, or other items individually. My little brother's favorite item was Apple Caramel Roll and just as siblings do, we fought over the last bites (he won). 

  • Chef Matt working on the final plating.

Don't forget the coffee... we started with it!  I had to include this shot because duh, the cream mixing in with the coffee view through a clear mug is just too perfect. Great job pouring Mitch. 

]]> (By Rebecca Studios) By Rebecca By Rebecca Studios icehouse minnesota restaurant Fri, 07 Dec 2018 19:08:25 GMT
Aubree + Josh // September 22, 2018

Aubree + Josh // September 22, 2018


Aubree has to have been the most organized and detail oriented bride I've worked with in my 10 years of shooting weddings. She came to our first meeting with a wedding planning binder with ideas and plans for their wedding. Aubree, Josh and I sat at Caribou with our favorite coffee drinks and chatted wedding plans. I was pretty excited when during the meeting she said they had already decided to work with me. 

Personal faves and wedding day highlights: 

  • Take a close look at the flowers and the signs. Aubree made them all! Check out her site for more decor. 
  • I'd like to highly recommend Amber from Charisma Wedding + Events. While Aubree had every detail planned, Amber really helped make it all come to life. The more weddings and events I shoot, the more I realize how important it is to have a day of coordinator. The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is to have to oversee how the tables are set up and if it matches your vision.
  • "DJ Photobomb". I need to find a better name for it, because it doesn't really match what happens. It's just the way I was introduced to it. The bride and groom goes and photobombs every single table of guests at their wedding. So, maybe we call it the Couple Photobomb? hmmm I'll work on it. It takes quite a bit of organization on the part of the DJ, guests, the couple, and the yes... the photographer. It's key to have a good photo assistant too. Take a look at the collage toward the bottom with all the guests!

Photographer: Rebecca Slater, By Rebecca Studios (lead photographer) + Mitch Slater (assistant + second photographer)
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Greenhaven Golf Course (Anoka, Minnesota)
Hair: Makeup and Hair by Heidi/Heidi Edwards
Makeup: Taylor Marie Beauty/Taylor Wald
Coordinator: Charisma Wedding + Events/Amber Nissen Klaseus
Cake/Desserts: Hyvee
DJ: InstantRequest/Rick A.
Sola Flowers/signs/decor: Rustic Everly After/Aubree Hunter 😉
Officiant: Ritual By Brigid/Brigid Galvin
Suits: Milberns
Dresses: David’s Bridal

Photo booth: KarJackers Entertainment


]]> (By Rebecca Studios) By Rebecca By Rebecca Studios Forever bride Greenhaven Golf Course Minnesota Bride Minnesota photographer minnesota wedding The Knot Mon, 03 Dec 2018 21:39:30 GMT
Restaurant & Food Photography // Red Rabbit Rebecca Slater, By Rebecca Studios

Swerving just a bit to showcase some work I've done for Eater Twin Cities. I photographed at the newly opened Red Rabbit - St. Paul. I was excited to see the transformation from what used to the be the dark and dingy Wild Onion to a more classy, open dining space. You can see Joy Summers' write up here:

My favorite parts?

  • The bar - the bar stools had comfort that matched the style. 
  • The tile work - it'll go well for my #RebeccaOnTheMove foot pics
  • Interior lighting - several different kinds of lights to match the individual dining spaces. 
  • Windows - the large windows that face Grand Ave. 
  • Round tables that seat 6. It can be awkward to sit at a rectangle table with a larger group. Someone usually gets left out of the conversation. The large rounds are more inclusive.
  • The side patio + fireplace. I'll need to come back and visit for the whole experience. 

Food - While I was originally sent by Eater Twin Cities to photograph the interior space/new design and 1-2 plates of food - the chefs sent out many more plates for me to photograph. I tried to keep up with the pace of the kitchen to capture each dish and found I was able to move around the restaurant to all the different spaces to shoot. While I was on a little time crunch before my next shoot, Ian and Chef Todd sent me out with a few plates: Raviolo (house burrata, pickled rhubarb, pine nuts, parm, poppy seed ravioli) and a Spicy Salmi Pizza. I would absolutely order these items again. I'm hoping to get back there in January for a nice meal out. 



]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Thu, 29 Nov 2018 17:54:22 GMT
Logan + Leigha // September 2, 2018
I cannot say enough about how thrilled I have been with our 2018 wedding season. We have been honored to photograph some absolutely beautiful weddings - with the most wonderful couples - throughout the Twin Cities metro. We also shot my second destination wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Mitch's first!). 

Let's just say it - September was stacked. We shot weddings September 1st, 2nd, 22nd, 29th - and I had 23 of the 30 dates with photoshoots. That's about 33,000 images shot just in September alone.  Here's a recap of Logan and Leigha's wedding day - Rebecca

Logan and Leigha's wedding day // September 2, 2018

  • Rebecca Slater (lead) + Mitchell Slater (assistant + second photographer)
  • Ceremony and Reception - Bunker Hills Golf Club (Coon Rapids, Minnesota)
  • Other vendors will be added as I receive the information! 
  • Reception photos will be added soon...come back and visit!



]]> (By Rebecca Studios) By Rebecca By Rebecca Studios Forever bride Minnesota Bride Minnesota photographer minnesota wedding Thu, 08 Nov 2018 23:00:46 GMT
Wednesday Photo Tip Senior photos

While this post might be coming a little 'late' for most of you, I want to throw out a few tips for those who have not yet taken their senior photos.  Today, I'll focus on location and what to wear. There's an added bonus tip at the end so make sure you read all the way through. 

Location -

There are a few ways to approach this.

You could choose....

  • a space that is important to you. Did you play four years of football? Let's head to the stadium - jersey and letter jacket in hand. Did you grow up in town and spend a lot of time with family and friends there? Let's photograph you there. 
  • Even better? Finding a location that has many different options in a walkable area. Look for spaces that have a variety of walls (texture), a bridge, walkways, and nature/green space. 



What to wear -

  • Bring a few different options. I allow my clients to bring unlimited outfits...but, I usually suggest 3.
  • It's ok to wear jeans! Do you wear jeans every. single. day. of. your. life?  Wear them! Same goes for those converse shoes. 
  • Wear an outfit that you feel comfortable sitting in or laying down on (on the ground, on a bench, in a window sill) 
  • Bring a 'dressier option.' 
  • Patterns are great to have as an option, but go with something that will be timeless. I want the portrait to be about you - not your outfit.  



Bonus Tips- 

  • Talk to me about adding on a family session. 
  • Add a pet! It takes a little bit more coordination - but yes, you can add your favorite family pet!
  • Time of day. It matters. I'll make sure to give you suggestions on the best time of day to shoot your photos - but that also depends on how busy your location is. 

Thank you for reading along - and as always, reach out to me if you have questions or want to get your senior photo session done before year-end. 


]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Wed, 17 Oct 2018 18:12:43 GMT
Holiday Cards // By Rebecca Studios + Sweet B Design Have One Less Thing on Your 'To-Do' List this Holiday Season!

I am thrilled to announce a new collaboration with Brittany from Sweet B Design to create beautiful, personalized cards for my clients to use this holiday season. Brittany is ridiculously talented and so much fun to work with. -- Yes, we'll be working with her for our cards too!

Here’s what you do:

1. Choose your By Rebecca Studios photos for your Holiday Greeting card.

2. Fill out the (very simple & easy) order form.

3. Brittany will create a custom design for you!

Get your order started here.

While you’re at it, check out the rest of her site for holiday gift ideas. -- My favorite? The personalized ornaments and pet art prints.  (If you order an art print, a donation will be made and a tree will be planted! It's the gift that keeps on giving.)


Happy holiday season to you!

- Rebecca 



]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:32:33 GMT
The 5-minute portrait The 5-minute portrait.

The 5-minute portrait means just that. We spend 5 minutes (or less) to get you 3 beautiful portraits. 

'Why only 5 minutes?'

Because often times, that's all the time I have. Over the last ten years, I've had many situations where I had to take a portrait of the speaker, special guest, or honoree at an event. I usually have less than 10 clicks to get the photo that is needed - and it has to be good enough to be published. 

So, what does a 5-minute portrait look like?

It has to fit you. Your style. Your personality. Your profession.

When is a 5-minute portrait appropriate? 

The 5-minute portrait is great to add-on to enhance guest experience at a luncheon, networking event, or other professional event. Depending on the budget of your event - you can either offer it as an opt-in fee - or you can cover the cost and offer it as a gift. 


Check out the portraits below of recent Creative Mornings, MSP speakers. All of these are 5-minute portraits shot before they spoke at the event. I was in charge of event coverage during the event, but also needed to provide a quick portrait for social media and website use. 

Portraits by Rebecca Slater, By Rebecca Studios



]]> (By Rebecca Studios) Tue, 25 Sep 2018 00:48:41 GMT