Kern-Photo http://www.kern-photo.com Minneapolis Wedding Photographer Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Alexandra & Mike (Minneapolis Engagement Photos) http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/06/alexandra-mike-minneapolis-engagement-photos/ http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/06/alexandra-mike-minneapolis-engagement-photos/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:24:37 +0000 http://www.kern-photo.com/?p=19733 He couldn’t stop smiling that first time he talked to her. Over the months and years that followed, he realized not only she laughs at his jokes, but of their many shared interests and values as well. After dating a few months, she noticed him referring to “us” as a “team.” We have become better […]

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He couldn’t stop smiling that first time he talked to her. Over the months and years that followed, he realized not only she laughs at his jokes, but of their many shared interests and values as well.

After dating a few months, she noticed him referring to “us” as a “team.” We have become better people as a result.

When I asked Alexandra how she knew Mike was The One, she responded, “He is so good to me. I have no idea how I am this lucky the be with him.”

Walks at Lake Harriet

With just the two of them, he popped the question one December day near the quiet shores of Lake Harriet. That special place in Minneapolis remains sentimental, as memories of walking together on the frozen lake came flooding back when discussing the proposal. “It’s a memorable place we can revisit to kayak or walk,” he said.

Mike didn’t want the proposal to be overly elaborate.

She swooned: “It was realistically romantic: short and to the point.”

They celebrated with dinner at Broder’s Pasta Bar, a local favorite, then called their parents to share the news.

The Big Day

Mike can’t wait to share their wedding day with family and friends. And, of course, showing them a great view of Minneapolis from their venue, the Millennium Hotel downtown.

Alexandra sincerely can’t wait to having her mom, dad, brother, and sister at the wedding.

I agree, there’s no better gift than quality time with loved ones.alexandra-mike-minneapolis-engagement-session-lake-harriet-002-2017-06-23-14-24.jpgalexandra-mike-minneapolis-engagement-session-lake-harriet-003-2017-06-23-14-24.jpgalexandra-mike-minneapolis-engagement-session-lake-harriet-004-2017-06-23-14-24.jpg

Feet away from where he proposed, I showed Alexandra and Mike where the “Elf in the tree” lives and the secret and wonders that behold those curious to leave a note to the Elf.
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In my makeshift garage studio, we created more stylized and editorial-looking photos, showing their relaxed personality…. and perhaps fitting their their first magazine cover! The backdrop was used on my personal fine-art project, The Unchosen Ones, to be published in the November 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine.
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We will miss you, Willy http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/06/ode-to-willy/ http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/06/ode-to-willy/#comments Thu, 15 Jun 2017 05:36:07 +0000 http://www.kern-photo.com/?p=19719 Today hasn’t been easy. We had to put our 13.5 year-old goldendoodle to rest. He gifted us with more than we ever dreamed. Barking and shedding, included. He was breeded with the idea he wouldn’t bark (golden retriever genes) or shed (poodle genes). Yet, he did both. In sum, he was our perfect, “Goldendud.” Blog […]

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Today hasn’t been easy. We had to put our 13.5 year-old goldendoodle to rest. He gifted us with more than we ever dreamed. Barking and shedding, included. He was breeded with the idea he wouldn’t bark (golden retriever genes) or shed (poodle genes). Yet, he did both.

In sum, he was our perfect, “Goldendud.”

Blog readers know Willy has been frequent guest on this platform over the years, subject to countless lighting technicals and gear tests. Even pictured in a Fearless Award, too.

If you are a wedding, portrait, or fine-art client since late 2010, Willy has been about 24 inches from my editing workstation, under my desk at my feet. That’s pretty much as close as it gets to my editing heart. He has been apart of your image.

In March 2013, Willy and I enjoyed an epic guy’s trip to the Pacific Ocean. We enjoyed the experience of a lifetime, indulging in time with friends and mentors along the way. We even created #WillysTripToTheOcean. The experience cured him of seizures, as he never had another. I hired Anna Kuperberg to documented the moments. My wife and I enjoyed it with our eyes, savoring the senses and experience.

During the road trip, I brought my camera to document our experience. The old adage, “good things come to those who wait,” remained in the back of my head. If you’ve every waited four years to get a roll of film developed, you know the feeling.

I decided not to edit these few special images, knowing I would save them for a time when I would need them. That day was today.

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Willy, we will miss you. May you be in “dog heaven” along with two Fritz’s, Dash, Bella, and Traveler.

On a personal / photo geek perspective:

Seeing these images for the first time brought back the warm memories like it happened yesterday. That’s joy of the photographic medium (don’t try that with medium format film). Details recorded in precision like I remembered them, better than any rose glasses could paint. I shot everything on the Phase One, a camera I use for those really important images where important details matter. Instant gratification is just that: instant. Yet, the experience has re-affirmed to me the importance of playing the long game. Rewarding personal projects are priceless.

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Let’s Celebrate: Curly and Escapé http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/05/lets-celebrate-curly-and-escape/ http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/05/lets-celebrate-curly-and-escape/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 19:13:03 +0000 http://www.kern-photo.com/?p=19700 In the end, life matters most. Parent, child, or animal. The loss is often no different. Last weekend, I was notified of the loss of two subjects in my creative work: Curly and Escapé (pron. es cahp é), creative subjects for my personal work. These two subjects were important to me in three ways: 1. […]

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In the end, life matters most. Parent, child, or animal. The loss is often no different.

Last weekend, I was notified of the loss of two subjects in my creative work: Curly and Escapé (pron. es cahp é), creative subjects for my personal work. These two subjects were important to me in three ways: 1. They offered me an opportunity as an artist to explore how my work would become in my home state of Minnesota 2. They educated me on the process of animal husbandry and the tradition, culture, and personal significance in raising these animals, 3. They made me laugh at animal antics and relish in getting dirty.

A glimpse behind-the-scenes photos showcase the talents and energy of their owners / Moms :
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Curly in her pasture in Fergus Falls with owner, Karen (left) and Escapé (pron. es cahp é) in Sauk Rapids, MN, with her owner Tracy Scapanski (right).

Curly’s Mom lost her human child at age 24. Escape’s Mom is currently 7 months pregnant. While they both morn the loss of their own animals, connecting them reminds me that life is super fantastic!

When you hug something with hair, it’s not much different than hugging something with fur or fuzz. I feel the human compassion and warmth the same. As any animal lover knows: they are the same.

Photographing animals is not much different than people. Warmth, matters.

Divine Bovidae

When we typically think of these animals, we think of their utilitarian nature: warmth. Wool keeps us warm, even when wet.

I hope both of these creatures rest in peace knowing tears of loss won’t deter the warmth.

I am excited to preserve not only their wool, but memories, in an upcoming project… think limited edition fine-art book with artisan felted wool-sleeve.

Curly and Escape were among the bovidae, members of the goat and sheep animal family. And both played an important role in my development as an artist years ago. These two were among my earliest subjects which I still keep in touch with today.

Why is this important? Knowing our roots today helps us understand where we came from.

Art helps us remember this identity. And reminds us laugh, too.

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Curly, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, 2015, archival inkjet on rag, 37 inches x 50 inches (ed 2 of 3).

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Curly, Fergus Falls, Minnesota hangs in the North Dakota Museum of Art in May 2017 (left) and Ecce Gallery’s Newvember group show in November 2016 (right).

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Escapé (pron. es cahp é), Benton County, Minnesota, archival inkjet on rag, 20 inches x 24 inches (ed 1 of 10).

The same work on display at the Museum of Modern Art, Georgia (the country, not US state) as part of Fauna curated by Tina Schelhorn, May 2017 (see red arrows).
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My brother and me with little ones at my solo exhibition, “The Unchosen Ones… Out to Pasture”, now through May 27 at Gallery 360 in Minneapolis.

I find it ironic both Curly and Escapé share one thing in common: they are two animals that just wanted to get to the other side of the fence.

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Angela & Christian {Minneapolis Commons Hotel Wedding Reception} http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/05/angela-christian-minneapolis-commons-hotel-wedding-reception/ http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/05/angela-christian-minneapolis-commons-hotel-wedding-reception/#respond Fri, 12 May 2017 12:59:34 +0000 http://www.kern-photo.com/?p=19684 Angela and Christian’s spring wedding at St Kate’s in Saint Paul was picture perfect and welcoming all over! The bride started her day with her girls at The Commons Hotel in Minneapolis. After the ceremony, we met up with their one-year old puppy in a favorite grassy spot near Nicollet Island, an island in the […]

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Angela and Christian’s spring wedding at St Kate’s in Saint Paul was picture perfect and welcoming all over! The bride started her day with her girls at The Commons Hotel in Minneapolis. After the ceremony, we met up with their one-year old puppy in a favorite grassy spot near Nicollet Island, an island in the Mississippi River. From there, the bridal party joined guests back at the The Commons Hotel in Minneapolis where we kicked things off with some signature lighting portraits and danced the night away.

I asked Angela’s favorite part of her wedding day and she wrote, “The whole day went so perfectly and smooth that there wasn’t one moment where I wasn’t smiling ear to ear.” From an emotional perspective, among the hightlights included “walking down the aisle and Christian and I saw each other for the first time. It was such and amazing feeling of excitement and then you see all the people there to support you in this marriage and it was such an amazing feeling.”

Another highlight from Angela’s perspective: “Towards the end of the reception, the band played ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. My sister and one of my brothers are notorious for singing that song, so they were up on stage singing it. Then one by one all the siblings starting coming on stage. First I joined, then my other brother, then another brother, then my Mom made her way on stage. Then Christian made his way on the stage and that is when he officially became a part of the family.” How fun!

I’m proud of this set of images… very crisp, fresh, fun and endearing…. much like Angela and Christian’s personalities and a perfect reflection of their wedding day.

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Christian’s favorite part of the day? He shared with me:

“I don’t think I will ever forget Ang walking down the aisle. It sounds cliché, but because the doors were open in the back and there was all this light streaming in behind her, I could only make out her silhouette at first and I could finally see her about halfway down the aisle. That was very surreal.”

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Stop. Hammer time.

One of the coolest things about shooting with a 60-megapixel camera (PhaseOne 645 XF with IQ 260 medium format digital back) is the ability to print large, gallery-quality prints with great detail. Stella and I have been secretly training for this moment for the last few weeks. She nailed it! I’m sure she’s going to want this displayed in her den, just above her bed at home (wink, wink).

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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Special thanks to my friend, Matt Steaffens, for his friendship and second shooting at this wedding in St Paul.

Wedding Ceremony : Our Lady of Victory Chapel at St Kate’s, College of Saint Catherine, St Paul
Wedding Reception : The Commons Hotel, Minneapolis
Coordination : Nicole Hillman
Florals : Bethany Lewis

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Curator’s Choice {CENTER’s Choice Award Winner} http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/05/curators-choice-centers-choice-award-winner/ http://www.kern-photo.com/2017/05/curators-choice-centers-choice-award-winner/#respond Wed, 10 May 2017 15:12:36 +0000 http://www.kern-photo.com/?p=19643 Solo exhibition at Central Lakes College Art Gallery, Brainerd, Minnesota, USA, 2017. Exhibition details here. I’m honored and humbled to have been chosen as the recipient of CENTER’s Curator’s Choice Award (First Place) juried by Corey Keller, Curator of Photography, SF Museum of Modern Art for my fine-art project, The Unchosen Ones. I’d like to first […]

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Solo exhibition at Central Lakes College Art Gallery, Brainerd, Minnesota, USA, 2017. Exhibition details here.

I’m honored and humbled to have been chosen as the recipient of CENTER’s Curator’s Choice Award (First Place) juried by Corey Keller, Curator of Photography, SF Museum of Modern Art for my fine-art project, The Unchosen Ones. I’d like to first thank the juror, Corey Kelly, and the Executive Director of CENTER, Laura Pressley, and the staff at CENTER for their support of the arts. Over 500 artists submitted work for consideration, many of which “didn’t win,” but deserve equal acknowledgement.

Corey Kelly’s juror statement reads (full text here):

I chose R.J. Kern as the first place winner, a series of posed portraits of children and their non-prize-winning goats. The question of what it means to be a victor certainly had new resonance this year, but for me the issues of winning or losing were far less pressing than the sensitivity of the portraits, both of the children and of the animals (two subjects notoriously difficult to photograph) and most essentially of their relationship to one another. The simple conceit of a uniform backdrop called attention to the act of photographing and also highlighted the differences in scale, attitude, and pose among the sitters, both human and hircine. I found the project beautifully seen and surprisingly tender.

Wow! Wowza!! Yipee!!!!

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For perspective, I was never the kid that had to win. If I ran a race, I tried my best. If I didn’t cross the line first, I’d still be grinning, ear to ear. In the end, the long game always wins. In life, no different.

For people who know me, however, there is one person I am the most competitive with: myself.

When it comes to achieving goals, I am ambitious, wanting to improve, strive for more, and do my personal best in all arenas. One of those arenas has been photography. My goal is simple: make better art. Year after year, I push myself to stay on top of my game so I can do the best work I can for clients and myself. I approach weddings and portraits with the same zest and zeal as my personal fine-art. And feel fortunate to have a loving family that supports (and endures) my enthusiasm!

 

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I’d like to thank the Minnesota State Arts Board for funding this project as part of my Artist Initiative Grant awarded in 2016. Without their support, this project wouldn’t have happened. Also, I would like to send out a warm hug to Central Lakes College for agreeing to exhibit the work in their gallery sight unseen.

Thank you to Laurie and Mary at Gallery 360 for allowing me to share the work in my neighborhood in Minneapolis. The exhibition is displayed now until May 28, 2017.
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Most of all, I wish to thank the 4-H county fair participants and their families (and their four-legged friends) that trusted me in this project. Their relationship to the land, these animals, and the community that sustains their efforts continues to inspire me. Hope to see you again in a pasture soon!

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