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  • Welcome!

    Hello! My name is Anne, and I am a custom photographer specializing in newborn, baby, child, family and senior photography. My studio is located right in the heart of downtown East Grand Forks, MN and service the greater Grand Forks area and surrounding communities.
    As I watch my own children grow, I understand how fast life can slip by. Because of this, I want to capture those little moments, and document the emotions and spirit of what is happening in your life at the present time. In doing this, I am able to give you the gift of a memory which can be cherished for a lifetime.
    I can't wait to work with you!

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The Gift

This Christmas we decided to do something different. Instead of giving gifts of toys, clothes and other physical items, we decided to give our family the gift of time together on a vacation.

For years I have stressed out over buying gifts for the kids. What’s the right amount of gifts to give? How do we keep it fair and even when our kids’ ages are all over the place? What do we buy when they can’t even tell us what they want (…..probably because they already have everything they want)? Where do we put/store all these gifts when we are already tight on space. How do I channel my anger when the kids play with their Christmas gifts for less than a day, loose interest, and then tell me they are board the day after Christmas??  (booze doesn’t even touch that anger. HA!)

Thus we decided to head out to sunny Arizona to visit my dad and step-mom for a week! We surprised the kids with the news on Christmas Eve through a fun little scavenger hunt. We were relieved when the kids seemed genuinely excited about the trip! They didn’t seem to miss all the “stuff” they wouldn’t be opening. Of course it helped that at the time, it was 80 degrees WARMER in San Tan Valley! We packed up and  flew out just three days later.

We arrived on a Wednesday and set out on our first road trip adventure the very next morning to Sedona, AZ. It’s a gorgeous city known for it’s stunning red rock formations.



Our first stop was at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It’s quite a sight to see! The chapel is built right into the side of the rocks. I really wish I could have gotten a nice shot of the chapel itself, but it was packed with other tourists and with all the traffic, we couldn’t pull over to get the shot I wanted.  But the views from the chapel were pretty amazing.






After the chapel, we really wanted to get up into those gorgeous rocks! So Carl did a little google search and found us a family friendly hike.


Claire thought the mountain in the background looked like Pride Rock from the Lion King. So she had to do a little “HAAAAAA SABENYAAAAAA” signin’!


We have done quite a few hikes in our day, but this hike was amazing. The views were incredible! And the hike was just perfect for the kids. We only heard the phrase “my legs hurt” a few times as opposed to the usual 100+ times.



We stayed the night in Flagstaff, AZ and headed out bright and early en route to the Grand Canyon. We had been talking about taking the kids there for years. Neither Carl nor I had ever been, so we were super excited to see one of the seven wonders of the world.

Two things I know for sure: 1). Nothing can prepare you for the beauty and vastness of the Grand Canyon.  2). Photos do it no justice.


We were all excited to go, but this sight was on the bucket lists of both Carl and Jocie.


Our first look out point was at the Watchtower. So cool inside the tower too!


Coming soon…Click by Claire


Another thing I wasn’t quite ready for….how wide open the canyon is. Meaning there are very few guard rails. We walked the south rim for several miles and most of the time if you weren’t paying attention and took two steps in the wrong direction, you’d be plunging to your death (….are you picking up on my mom-xiety right now?)

Speaking of no guard rails and going off the trail….the two bucket-listers needed to push the envelope a bit.



The absolute highlight of the day was the sunset. I had read about how magical it is, but again, nothing can prepare you for it.


The last few minutes before sunset



But in my opinion, the most beautiful sites happened right after sunset. Those vibrant colors and deep shadows were breathtaking!


We had a 4 hour car ride back to San Tan Valley, but thankfully the kids we so tuckered out by all of our hiking that they all slept almost the entire way back. (WINNING!)

We spent our remaining days hanging out in and around the house. Every morning (yes…..every morning) we were treated to Bapa’s famous pancakes.


The kids had fun doing chalk art in the driveway, painting rocks, and making fresh lemonade.


And of course, you know we hit up the pool multiple times!


We also did a few hikes up at San Tan Regional Park (just a few minutes from the house)



Hiking is her favorite. Haha!



We had such an incredible trip. Lots of warm weather, awesome hiking and stunning views. But of course the most precious gift of all was TIME. Time with the kids and time with my dad and Barb. Because as we all know, time is the most precious gift we are given, and it’s something you can never get back.

Thanks for the memories, Arizona!



LEAP of faith

I have always considered myself to be very blessed.  However, I wouldn’t consider myself to be very lucky.  I have never held a winning raffle ticket, never won a contest, never hit it big on the black jack tables….heck, I can count the number of times I have called out BINGO in my elementary classrooms on one hand. But in this instance – I hit the LOTTO!

Sarah Cornish from My Four Hens Photography is known world-wide for her family photography. Her raw, emotive style of photography is a special kind of beautiful. Her photos draw you in and make you FEEL what you see. Yes, her clients are often frolicking around in the gorgeous Colorado mountains styled in lovely on-trend apparel – but her photos go beyond capturing the physical beauty seen only by the eye. She has the gift of using her lens as a window into the hearts of her clients. She truly documents their love for each other.

Sarah has been mentoring other photographers for years. She has also teamed up with other amazing photographers to put on workshops. However, she wanted to take that experience a bit further. And thus, LEAP was born. She envisioned a weekend up in the mountains where a small group of photographers would gather and stay together, shoot together, eat together and learn together. An intimate experience which would push everyone past their comfort zone…you know…the zone where all the magic happens.

You could about image how many people wanted to score a seat on this amazing ride. Yeah, lots. Oh, and did I mention the fact that she has over 100K followers on Facebook alone? And no one knew exactly when she was going to make the sale live on her website…so I pretty much wrote off any chance of being able to go. I figured there was no shot I would somehow be lucky enough to log on exactly when her sale went live, and be quick enough to nab a spot before the other thousands of photographers who were waiting to pounce on this incredible opportunity.  I mean, come on. What are the chances?

Well friends, the seemingly impossible happened. We were on our way to an out-of-town basketball game and I thought, “let’s just see how fast it sold out”. So I logged onto Facebook and saw Sarah’s post about her sale being live……and then I noticed the post was less than a minute old….heart racing….click link….scroll madly down the page and click “add to cart”….ponder for 5 seconds if I should actually do this….it would be scary….intense….past my comfort zone….but hell YES I wanna do this….click checkout….and uh-oh….I read, “your item is no longer available”. Heart stopped. Pondering for 5 seconds was a bad idea. One should never second guess. And I did. And I missed out. I flipped back to the her Facebook post and commented, “did it already sell out? I had it in my cart and then I couldn’t check out”. Sarah immediately replied that it had in fact just sold out. Damn. I was THIS CLOSE. But then I thought, “I guess it wasn’t meant to be. And that’s okay. Maybe I am meant to go next year?” I started to feel better. Then…..I got a private message from Sarah, “Hey there! Someone accidentally added TWO seats into their cart. You were next in line. Do you want it?”……cue the Hallelujah chorus! YESSSS I want it! (notice I didn’t do any pondering). Turns out I WAS supposed to be there. It was meant to be. There was no question.

Sarah put the lucky winners together in a private group on Facebook so we could all start getting to know each other. The trip wouldn’t happen for another 9 months, but it was nice to start introducing ourselves so we could hit the ground running when we finally got to meet in Colorado.

Fast-forward 9 months – – it came so quickly. I had invited my mom and sisters to come out with me. That way we could have a couple of days in Denver for our annual Mother/Daughter trip as well as a couple of days up in the mountains to transform my family photography work. What could be better?!

We had all made our travel arrangements up to Estas before-hand in the Facebook group. Libby, one of the local Denver girls generously offered to give myself and two other girls a ride up in her vehicle. So they picked me up right at our hotel and we were on our way. The trip up to the cabin was like food for my soul. I had missed the mountains so much. I somewhat forgot how powerful they were in person. We gabbed about our personal and professional lives as we gasped at the jaw-dropping scenery right outside our windows. We made a pit stop in the town of Estas Park to meet up with all the other girls and grab a bite to eat.  Then we were off again; twisting and turning our way up even higher into the mountains to the cabin.

(forgive me, but these next couple images are just iphone snaps. My big camera was packed away in the back. I wanted to make sure I was taking it all in first hand and not through my lens)


(from left to right: Chloe from the UK, me, Ashley and Libby)

When we pulled into the drive and I laid my eyes on that charming little mountain home, I had to take a quick second to let it all sink in. It had come. The experience I never thought would happen….was about to happen.


After claiming our beds, we helped one another drag in all of our gear and luggage. It wasn’t long after we got all settled in that our models arrived for our first styled shoot, which was to be a mommy and me session. I adore mommy and me sessions so I was so excited to dive right in. Sarah briefed us on how she preps her clients and softly directs them through the session to create the emotional images all her clients are after.








That night our “den mother”, LuLu made us a yummy meal of home-made enchiladas along with other delicious apps and side dishes. We all stayed up way too late talking shop and sharing glasses of wine in front of the on-again-off-again wood burning fire place . We finally decided it was time to turn in due to the sunrise head shot photo shoot that was on the agenda for the following morning.

The cabin was alive long before the sun was up due to the girls getting “ready for their close ups”. I threw down some coffee, threw on my outfit, attempted to do a 10 minute hair/make up job and hustled down the dirt road.



It was an absolute stunning morning.  Our job was seemingly simple: take head shots for each other. But who knew how awkward a bunch of photographers would be in front of a camera. Ha! So we attempted to direct each other to look natural.

My roommate, Ashley from Oklahoma

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How can you wear an adorable skirt like that and not do a little twirl?


Libby from Denver



Christine from New York

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I wish I had photos of all the ladies on this trip! But of course we were taking turns with everyone and everyone was somewhat shooting at the same time, so it was pretty much impossible. But we had so many laughs and saw so much beauty that morning. Meanwhile, back at the cabin, Lulu was whipping up some thick cut french toast with home-made caramel sauce. Not to mention muffins, pastries, fresh fruit, mimosas and coffee (Yeah. We were so spoiled!) After breakfast, Sarah talked business with us. Marketing, finding our client base, pricing our product, and other odds and ends.

Soon after, our next model family came. We scooped up our cameras and watched Sarah work her magic. This session had two parts to it; the first part was a lifestyle session inside the cabin. I have done very few lifestyle sessions, so I really wanted to learn all I could.

(the session was shot in me and Ashley’s room…it was so pretty!)

The second half of this session was done outside – right in yard. Did I mention…..I so wish I could buy this place!




It was a session like no other. I felt like a fly on the wall.  My sole purpose was to just watch and document. The end. Sarah gave gentle nudges here and there, but really, we just followed this loving family around and clicked our shutters when we felt moved to do so. It was lovely.

After we said goodbye to this adorable family, we headed back in for lunch and more learning. We all had 1:1 time with Sarah sometime during the weekend. I had my time with Sarah during this time frame. It was wonderful. I think I may owe her some money for the counseling she provided. Ha!

That afternoon and into the evening was our final session. In true Colorado fashion, the clouds rolled off the mountain, the temps dropped and it started to rain. But did that stop us? Absolutely not.


None of us could decide who had the best hair in this family…hung jury



I felt so many emotions on this trip. It was a professional journey. It was a personal journey. It was an emotional journey. I learned so much and felt so fulfilled, yet left wanting more. More of these women. More from Sarah. More of the mountains. More of the cabin. How can one feel full and empty all at the same time? I am beginning to learn that this is the life of an artist.

Sarah said a lot of things that hit me, but this really stuck, (and I am paraphrasing, and probably not all that well) “the family photography experience is starting to morph like the wedding photography experience has over the last few years. It’s not all about the perfectly posed alter photos anymore. It’s about documenting the love between the bride and the groom.  A family photography session should be an experience. A documentation of the love between a family.  And especially a mother’s love for her family. It’s my muse. It’s my love language.”

Moving forward I pray to incorporate all that I learned into my family sessions. I hope to be able to slow down and catch more of the sweet little moments that happen all on their own.  I am also still focused on learning from the best-of-the-best. It’s been said that if one wants to be the best, one has to learn from the best. And having a background in education, I know this to be fact.

Bottom line: I want to be able to bring my A game to every session. My clients deserve that. If I can learn from the best in the industry, then I can be more confident in the product I am providing to my clients. I can’t wait to see where this amazing photography journey will bring me next.




(iphone snap of the whole gang – thanks for the memories, ladies!)


Libby - November 7, 2017 - 1:36 am

I am so glad I bought two seats to Leap! Loved meeting you. This was the highlight of my year. My heart is still full. Xoxo

Chloe: Picture Taker Memory Maker - November 7, 2017 - 7:57 am

Oh Anne! This post has brought everything flooding back to me (not that it’s ever been far from my thoughts really!). What beautiful images you captured. I’m so glad you got that spot at Leap and that we met each other. You and your family are welcome to come and stay here in the UK anytime – I’m sure our paths will cross again :) - November 15, 2017 - 1:34 am

I am SO GLAD you bought two seats to LEAP!! I wouldn’t have been there without you. I hope we can have a LEAP II someday!!
Anne - November 15, 2017 - 1:35 am

We were meant to meet each other!! And I would love to be able to stay with you in the UK! Traveling to the UK is def on my bucket list, so I hope our paths cross again very soon!

Holiday Mini Sessions

Back by popular demand – Holiday Minis!

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Haven’t had a chance to get a photo for your holiday card this year? Or maybe Christmas is your favorite and you just want a Christmas themed photo of your children that you can put up in your home year after year? Well then, this is for YOU!

These sessions are meant to be quick, easy and simple! 20 minute photo sessions that include 10 digital images (via digital download)  with a print release for the one time price of $299.

We will have two different set up available – one in the natural light area:



And one on the wood wall – this one specifically works well for small children/babies!



Since the session is a short one, only one outfit is recommended.   For the best “stylized look” it’s best to choose outfits that coordinate with the set up/s. If you have any questions on this please let me know! I am here to help!

Due to the nature of the session, full payment is due upon booking and is non-refundable.  Once your invoice is paid, you will be officially locked into your date and time slot.

We will be offering several days with several different time slots available! October 25th, October 27th, October 28th, and October 30th will all be dedicated to these minis!

Please email to book!

Excited for this event!




Ashley Cota - October 16, 2017 - 3:55 am

Hey Anne! How much for the minis? I would really like to book 😊

Melissa miller - October 16, 2017 - 1:59 pm

Would like to book mini holiday session

Misty Praska - October 16, 2017 - 5:04 pm

Looking for a mini session on Oct 28th. Thank you!!!

Alicia Magner - October 17, 2017 - 2:35 pm

I would love a slot for the minis!!

I get it

I know that look well. The look of a mom who is climbing out of her vehicle with the expression of fear, frustration and anxiety written all over her face. Sitting next to her is her husband, who looks as though he is marching to his death. Sitting in the back seat are her adorable children – all perfectly styled and in “coordinating yet not-too-matchy-matchy” outfits.

It’s family picture night. (Cue scary-movie music)

She has been planning for weeks….okay, months for this night. She made sure to contact the photographer 4 months in advance to make sure she can get the date she wants. She’s been Pinteresting wardrobe options. Online shopping for hours on end trying to get just the right look. She tried hard not to pre-bribe the kids, but the pressure was mounting and she caved on the drive over, “If you all behave well during pictures, then we will go to Cherry Berry!”. But it back fired. Now the kids think it’s going to be an awful experience that they need to get a reward for if they can get through it, like a dentist visit or a flu shot.  They are loosing it. She is losing it. She thinks, “How in the hell am I supposed to act like I love my family in these photos? Don’t they know how bad I want some nice family photos to put up on walls? Don’t they know how much time and energy I have put into this? And why is my husband acting like this?? He’s worse than the kids. And all he had to do was show up!” Blood boiling. And yup, she is officially sweating.

I get it. Really, I do.

It can be a lot of work. It can be stressful. It can be time consuming. It’s almost always an investment (which is another reason why your husband is crabby).

However, the reason why it can be a stressful process is because you CARE about the outcome.  You put a lot of work into it because it MEANS a lot to you. You want great photos taken of the family you love. You want to be able to look back and remember this crazy-fast journey.  Your mama-heart NEEDS to be able to freeze time for just a moment.

And I am here to tell you – even if the session is a complete gong-show, it always seems to magically turn out great! Some how, some way you view a gallery of gorgeous, emotion filled photos. And what’s this? “Do we all look….happy in these images? Did that comment about poop and farts actually get genuine smiles out of my naughty children?” Mind. Blown.

Then the fun happens. You get to pick out beautiful, hand-made art pieces to hang up in your home so that you can remember, everyday, “See! They’re not so bad.”  Ha!

Here are some helpful family photo tips for you:

  1. Don’t over-think the wardrobe. Just put your family in cute-yet-comfortable clothing. If anyone is uncomfortable, it’s going to be hard for them to look happy. If you are wondering what colors to put your family in, look at the colors in your home already and coordinate from there. Then your finished product will coordinate well on your walls.
  2. Let your hubby pre-game this event. A beer before will take the edge off, which will in turn makes it easier on you. Then if he doesn’t add to your stress before or during the session, he can have more after.
  3. Treat yourself and get your hair, nails and/or make up done. You deserve it. And let’s be honest. You want to look HOT in these photos (as you should).
  4. Realize that most people (even kids sometimes) feel awkward getting their photo taken. It’s only natural. Just go with it.

The moral of the story? Like all things important in life – It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.







Happy Summer everyone! Can you believe we are (almost) at the half way mark of the summer?! If I were still teaching, I would be bawling my eyes out as I typed that sentence (am I right fellow  teachers?) But, now that I am not teaching at the moment….I am celebrating that it’s almost time for this lovely season to be over and for my 3 oldest blessings to be back in their classrooms and out of my hair! Hahaha! Just kidding!! (….kinda) I STILL LOVE you, Summer!

One of my favorite summer past-times is going to the lake. We were lucky enough to go to the lake for several days to celebrate the 4th of July! While we were there, I spotted a field of wild daises. Well…..I can’t waste a good field-o-daises now can I?! PLUS I hadn’t had any time to take Claire’s 6 year photos….so BAM! I had myself an opportunity for a mini-lake-shoot!

For those of you that know Claire, you already know that she is more “spicy” than “sweet”. She is so spunky that she has sass oozing out of her ears.

Now, don’t get me wrong. She is an AWESOME kid! She is loyal, kind-hearted, loves animals, cuddly, smart, determined, independent, adventurous, athletic, loving, and FUNNY! Like she told me this past weekend, “mom, you’re so lucky to have me as a daughter”. Yep, you’ve got that right, Claire!

Plus, she LOVES getting her photos taken! Not many photographers can say that about their kids! She can pose like it’s her JOB.

I love you, Claire-Bear! Even though you’re usually more BEAR than Claire:)<3

I hope you’re enjoying your Summer!



*Claire’s dress is from Adley Anne’s Baby Boutique in Grand Forks, ND and her baby’s breath halo is from East Grand Floral in East Grand Forks, MN