Top 5 of 2018

Looking back at this past year, everything seems to be a bit of a blur, I feel like I was writing 2017’s post and then I blinked and now here I am writing a post for 2018! In an effort to make time slow down a bit, I’m making it a goal for 2019 to set aside time to practice mindfulness. I’m hoping this will make it seem like Hani the Intern isn’t growing up so darn fast!

Anyways, I had fun this morning going back through our photos from this past year to pick our top 5 events from 2018!

5. We Built a Giant Snow Fort in the Backyard

Remember all that snow with got back in April? As it was coming down, like everyone else, we thought that it was pretty lame. Then the next day, the sun came out and everything was so bright and sparkly and the snow was finally the perfect consistency to build the snow den that Hani and I have been trying to build pretty much since his birth!. We made Ari pile all the snow in a mound as we patted it down, dug out the inside and shouted “More snow!” to poor Ari. It only lasted a day as the weather warmed up right after that, but that made it even more glorious!

Here’s H inside the snow fort!

Here’s H inside the snow fort!

4. Visited the Eagle Center in Wabasha

Hani’s school combined conferences with MEA break this year which gave him an entire week off of school! So we took a little day trip down to Wabasha to visit the Eagle Center, where we sat just a couple of feet from one of those magnificent birds as she chowed down on a fish. We hiked in Frontenac State Park, watched the eagles at the Eagle Center and stopped for some pie on the way home. We learned some very important things about Eagles that day, did you know that a piece of lead the size of Abe Lincoln’s head on a penny is enough to end the life of an Eagle?

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3. We Visited the Boundary Waters TWICE!

We’ve been trying to make it to the BWCA at least once per year and it has quickly become my favorite place on Earth. There is no other place like it and this year we got to go in TWICE!

Our first trip this summer was with a group of friends, which was a new experience with me. I’d never been without a small child with me. I missed him of course, but you can experience the BWCA in different ways when you don’t have to worry about what a kid can physically do. This trip was also fun because my friend who had studied some of the natural resources found in the BWCA was with us so we learned a lot of new things.

Our 2nd trip was with what is becoming our “usual crew”. Ari and I, the kiddo, the nephew, and my sister. Hani was obsessed with Bowtruckles this year having just seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and we had fun collecting sticks that looked like Bowtruckles. Those who think that kids don’t know how to play with sticks anymore, haven’t met my kid…

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2. We Photographed Three Styled Shoots

And now onto some milestones for Mahonen Photography. This business is a huge part of who I am so I can’t really separate business milestones from personal milestones.

Anyways, 2018 was the year that we photographed our first styled shoots and we were able to do three of them! The Double Tree Park Place, Crooners Jazz Club, and The Broz! Styled shoots are a fun way to connect with other vendors in the industry and stretch creatively as we collaborate on a theme. Styled shoots had been on our bucket list for a while and I can’t wait to do more!

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1.We Joined Cornerstone Studios!

And finally, probably the biggest step we’ve taken in our business aside from becoming an official LLC, we’ve joined up with Cornerstone Studios! Cornerstone is a co-working space designed specifically with wedding professionals in mind. We’ve been using the space for meeting with clients, indoor photography sessions in the shooting bay, and networking. We even held our family Christmas celebration there. It’s been a great place for us to grow and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us there!

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We also did a lot of little everyday things, Hani and Ari went to their first summer camp with Cub Scouts and had an absolute blast. Hani started taking piano lessons and completely took off with his reading skills reading everything in sight.

Ari went back to school last January to finish his Bachelor’s degree. After a very long break from academics it took him a bit to get used to studying again but he has worked incredibly hard and has made the Deans list in both of the semesters he’s completed. Words cannot describe how proud we are of him! He’s studying Environmental Science at Metro State University and hoping to graduate Fall of 2019.

Me? My focus for 2018 has just been to hold down the fort at home and grow Mahonen Photography.

Thanks 2018, it’s been quite a year!

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Happy Halloween! Ramsey County Fright Farm

Every Year, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Foundation turns their old barn into a seriously scary experience known as The Fright Farm. All of the proceeds from the Fright Farm go to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Foundation which supports youth and community outreach. This year, we were invited to come out to the Fright Farm to take a few photos of the sets and the actors of the haunted house. My dad volunteers every year and had a hand in building most of the sets for the Fright Farm so I couldn’t say no! Here are a few of my favorite images from this spooky spot!

Have a safe and happy halloween!

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Home Depot Photo Session!

So, there's been this trend going around the photography forums where you take amazing portraits at Hobby Lobby. I loved the idea but we thought it was a little too girly for our boy, so we headed to one of his favorite places, The Home Depot for our photo session. I often pose people in front of neat textures, but the entire space isn't so pretty, so it was super fun to challenge myself to use Home Depot as our venue. I didn't want to disturb the peace in the store so I had the added challenge of using just one lens (my trusty 85mm) and available light only. Hani the Intern had a blast! 

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We had to take a few that showed a sense of place, since The Home Depot does reflect H's personality a lot!

We had to take a few that showed a sense of place, since The Home Depot does reflect H's personality a lot!

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Getting tired of our photo session, and wanting to go look at the hammers. 

Getting tired of our photo session, and wanting to go look at the hammers. 

He thought it would be super cool if he posed with this dowel. 

He thought it would be super cool if he posed with this dowel. 

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And here are a few behind the scenes shots to show what we were working with!

And here are a few behind the scenes shots to show what we were working with!

That's it! There ya go, just proves that you don't need big beautiful spaces to create beautiful images, they can be created anywhere!