Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jewlery Photography

I was contacted this week by a jewelry company about shooting 500 pieces for their business.

They will be using them for both their catalog and for their web-site. It has been years since I shot Jewels, the last time being when I was employed by mail order giant Fingerhut. That was a great place to work - it was a phenomenal learning ground. We shot every thing from Vacuums to entire room sets, and built the sets -with the help of the official set builders.

Well this company needed some samples of jewelry. So this is what I sent them. My difficulty is that I was approached through a site where I bid on freelance gigs, and you do not know what the companies style is or what exactly they are looking for... or who they are.
I hope they like what they see -'cause I have no idea what their photography usually looks like.

I personally like the pearls and this last shot - they just have a little more emotion to them.

Friday, May 2, 2008

It has been a Month of Technology Disasters

Well Last time that I Blogged I had just gotten my Dell Laptop. I purchased it online from an eBay Vendor CSR Technologies. I got the computer for a great price, and I was quite excited to have two computers finally. It was great whilst it lasted.

Then after about 3 weeks my laptop gave up the ghost. I was so-o-o upset. I called a neighbor who is in the Tech biz. He came over, checked it all out. That took a good part of a Saturday afternoon. His conclusion - either a corrupted file or the hard drive was shot. He suggested getting the disk to Re-load my operating system that way I'd know one way or the other.

The following Monday, I called my Warranty provider... I figured that I had purchased that Guarantee for peace of mind, so why not use it. The best part was that I could do it online, no need to deal with those ridiculous phone menus - "Please press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish, press 3 for a person on the same continent as you, press 4..." well you know exactly what I mean.

I had never had to use any warranty protection before, so I was glad to have the chance to make up for all those other wasted purchases of peace of mind. I logged on to the Square Trade site. Filled out all the information and got the message - Claim Denied. WHAT!? I'd only purchased the warranty 3 weeks ago. There musta been a mistake. I tried again - the system blocked my attempt to try again. Well, I could always call their customer support line and use the awesome phone menu.

I went through all the options, pressed a dozen numbers, listened to umpteen messages and then got put on hold. Fortunately I was able to spend some time listening to some soothing music over the phone while I waited.

Finally I got to speak to a very friendly sounding dude, who promptly told me that there was NO MISTAKE! I had purchased a used computer, those warranties don't kick in 'til after 60 days had passed. Oh, thanks for the update. I told him that no one had told me that when they so eagerly sold me the "Peace of Mind". Actually, he told me, it is stated in the agreement where you clicked the I Accept button at the time of purchase.

I love these people.

I figured that my next option was to call the company that I bought the laptop from - CRS Technologies. I did this and they put me through to a very helpful man named Paul who spent as much time as I needed trying to determine the problem. His diagnosis: likely a corrupted file.
He said that he would quickly send me a set of disks to re-install operating system. Thank you Paul - that was very nice of you. He also stated that if that didn't work, that he would do what it took to make my computer work. WOW! Customer Services lives!!

Eight days later - I was still waiting for my disks. I figured that Paul had either forgotten to mail them or was giving me the brush off. I shot him off a quick email - he responded stating that he'd get a new set in the mail - sending them Priority this time. He also said that he was surprised that the disks hadn't gotten to me yet - he had sent them.

The next day I got my disks - two sets on the same day. One took 9 days because it was sent by Media, the other less than 24 hours because it was sent by Priority.

After that long wait, I spent a whole day loading the operating system - it failed three times. So I gave up at 3:00 am, and went to bed. First, I shot off an email to CRS Technology, explained the entire scenario.

Paul responded and told me that a new hard drive was on its way to me. I received it yesterday, installed it and believe it or not, it worked. Thanks again Paul! I was very happy with the results and would recommend that anyone looking for a good Laptop or four - should definitely bid on them at CRS Technologies site. They sell great products and give customer service a good name.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Technology - Love it but...

So I have been slightly lax in my Blog postings as of late. Why you ask? Great question. It's about technology. I love it, but I am also so-o-o very dependant upon it that when there is a glitch, I'm kinda like stuck.

My computer crashed sometime with-in the last week and a half. Ouch that hurts! It just went black and never came back. I exhausted my entire personal computer knowledge base, which consists of pressing buttons, turning off the surge protector and unplugging it while slowly counting to 25 (which equals almost a minute). I did this about 30 or 40 times, a few of my kids gave it a try - but to no avail - still no start.

The first thing that I did was to call the wise guy who custom built this box for me. I called - the phone just rang... no answering machine. I called, and called, and called. It rang, and rang, and rang, My wife asked why it is that there are so many business in this town who have no answering machine... especially a very busy tech type dude. I mean he has ear rings, tattoos and other post mod trappings - why not a little box to leave a message in.

I drove to his cool little shop on Main St. The door was locked - which was understandable since it was lunch time. I also remembered that he did have a contract with a local hospital which took up a couple of days a week. The last time I was at his shop I had seen his hours and a cell phone number listed on a sign. I couldn't see them on the doors or windows. Maybe it was on his big sign above his building.

Since it is extremely cold, I got into my snazzy passanger van and drove accross the street so I could write down his cell number. After parking so that I could get a clear view of his building and sign, I noticed somthing strange. His sign that was there a few days ago was now GONE!!!! I didn't throw a fit.. cause I'm a grown up with kids. I drove to his lot and got out, empty building.

I drove around downtown to see if I could spot his new location. I asked a few local business owners - they had no idea where he vanished to Chanber of Commerce - no help either. Hmph!?

I then thought about googleing to locate another local Computer genius. That didn't work with out a computer. So I did something that I rarely ever do. I cracked open the yellow pages and searched. I called every computer guy in the book and found that most did NOT have answering machines. 2 did and only one returned my call - he was at least twice the price of another guy that I found and liked right off the bat.

I liked him because he answered his phone and talked to me. He asked me questions. He didn't jump to conclusions - so I took it to him. Jesse @ 701-320-2952. Jesse called me back at 7:30 pm and said that it would be almost as cheap to buy a new one as it would be to replace all the inferior parts that my former guru used when he built the old one. Gr-r-r.

So as I am awaiting the arrival of my new laptop - I am using the computer that is allocated for family/personal use. I will not load any photos on this unit - thus you have no images to accompany this posting. Fortunately Jesse was able to recover most of my data. I'll not be starting from scratch when I get the new one up and running.

Technology - can't live with out it... can't shoot it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Girls Ball/Dance

My four girls, Abigail, Solveig, Gwenna & Bryn decided to have a ball for the whole family last evening. It has been to-o-o-o-o cold to even consider going outside. We're talking deadly and painful cold.

We homeschool all of our kids - at least the ones from 2 (Bryn just started pre-school) to 13. Because of this they often have fairly free afternoons. This gave them time... They planned and rehearsed, made and delivered invitations for the 3 boys and Kristi and Myself.
The time was scheduled for 6:30 sharp (it actually started at 6:48). I was told by Gwenna (4 years) that I would need to wear Handsomer clothes in the evening.
It was to be a formal affair. And it was grand!
Abigail directed and choreographed the event - she even gave Bryn some areal spinning.

There was twirling and spinning and jumping. Solveig (6 years) was very graceful and fluid - as if she had years of training.

Arms were lifted in the air - and other fancy moves by Bryn (2 years).
They were truly dazzling.

Gwenna is always a real showboat, and a great preformer. Like her father she likes to be the center of attention, and is a bit of a goofballl.
I was very excited to try some new lens attachments and experiment with them.
We had a beautiful blazing fire, built by the boys. It was very much needed by all, on the coldest night in years.
Kristi baked a Banana Chiffon cake. Needless to say it was a hit both at the party and later for a bed time treat.
Thank you ladies for the FUN evening. You made this long cold winter a little bit warmer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Finally My NEW Web Site - click here

Well, after months of planning and thinking and deliberation - I have finally launched my Website. All good things come to those who wait.

I am very excited at the results. Often things look good in our minds but not so much in reality. This outcome is the opposite. I'm thrilled. Really!

If you check it out, you'll see more images of the Bride in Red, and many other images of many other people. You'll hear some funky music, which you can shut off if it drives you crazy. I love photography sites with music. My sister-in-law, Mary on the other hand hates them.

Thank God we are all different. I may post more images of Ashley in her RED wedding gown - if I get enough requests. What a cool Christmas wedding!

Check it out Baby!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Martha Stewart Knows Her Stuff

Why would a man, especially one who looks like I do in my profile photo, write about Martha Stewart? Why would I read a book entitled "The Martha Rules"?!

Why indeed? The number one reason is the sub-title:

It drew me in. As a photographer, I am both an artist and a business owner. Anyone who runs a business MUST constantly be improving, and building on their knowledge base.

I make it a habit to read, research and study. I strive to hone, both my photography skills and my understanding of business and what it takes to be the best. Success demands that we never rest on our past accomplishments.

Martha is an authority on being the best... her book convinced me! she really understands not only home- making, but the entrepreneurial spirit and offering above-average service.

This book is what I am about as a wedding photographer. It is about quality, passion, big ideas, taking risks; not chances and... "Make it Beautiful".

That's what it is all about, especially in the art of the wedding photography business. We make it beautiful. We take an already lovely bride, and through composition, lighting, unique angles, correct focus, capturing just the right mood & emotion - we make her even more Beautiful!

In all that I do as a Wedding Photographer - my goal is Beauty. Make it beautiful and offer quality finished products that are not available to the average person

I have read this book and was so inspired by it, that I'll definitely read it through a few times in this New Year!

Monday, January 28, 2008

What to look for in a Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photography - it's about the passion, it's about the emotion, it's about that special look, it's the way you touch, the way you laugh together,it's about you and only you.

No two couples have the exact same relationship - there are unique and intimate qualities that no one else will ever posess.

A good wedding photographer is able to capture some posed moments that record what you look like - but not who you really are. A truly GREAT wedding photographer is able to see beyond the surface - to transcend the standard trite poses and capture your relationship as it is.

It's about you - a newly formed couple - what makes you unique - what makes you smile, laugh, dance, sing and play? This is what a GREAT wedding photographer is able to intuitively discover and record for you - your families - your friends - your bridal party - your children.

The real, intimate, passionate, love- filled you.
Don't settle for good: expect GREAT!
Your wedding - it's your story - be very particular about who's telling it!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chicago Fun

This past week was one filled with, both fun and intense STRESS!

Our family traveled to Chicago for a little business and a lot of FUN!

The drive there was probably the absolute worst driving experience of my adult life. We left Wednesday morning, at about 8:00. Our goal had been to leave at 6:30. But winter often determines departure times for those of us in northern climates. The van was covered with solid ICE, as were all the roads and our driveway. It took about 40 minutes of the defrost set to full blast to melt the windshield enough to start our trip.

Because we travel in a 15 passenger rear-wheel-drive van, icy roads are not a nice experience.

The first 2 1/2 hours of our trip was very slippery... leading of course to very sore arms and a stiff neck, sore back, and achy legs for me: the official driver.

We made it most of the way into Wisconsin, when it started snowing very heavily. It was dark and windy. So, we stopped and got a room at a resort with a modest indoor water park. The kids loved that! As did Kristi & I. It felt good to be out of the van and playing with the kids in a big pool, eating pizza and watching Animal Planet.

The next morning after swimming 'til 10:00, we loaded up the van, checked out, and made our way east. It had snowed all night and the roads were treacherous! What should have been a 3.5 hour trip was closer to 6.5.

Never have I seen as many wrecked cars, pick-ups, SUVs, and semi's. There were rescue vehicles of every shape, size and description every few miles! WOW! It was like being in a war zone, destruction was everywhere. Stress was high. Thank God that we had 3 DVD players for the kids to stay occupied. Arriving in St. Charles, Illinois was a real relief and felt so-o-o very good.
While in the Chicago area we decided to give the kids a little tourist action. My brother-in-law Rob & I drove down to Chicago with 8 kids and spent the day at the Field Museum. What a place!

My two youngest girls that were with us were not very thrilled by all the "dead people" (mummy's) on display. In fact, they were in a hurry to just get through the Ancient Egypt display. The older kids loved it.

The little girls were fascinated by the dead animals. There were fish bigger than both of them put together.

I was amazed at the sheer size of most of the animals that I had only seen on TV or at the ZOO. They're much larger up close.

We saw SUE!

We were all exhausted by the end of the day and ready for the long drive through Chicago's heavy traffic in our 15 passenger van!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

music CD gig

Joy Israelson is a very fun and lively individual. She is a strong Christian, a natural vocalist who loves to sing, perform & minister. I was honored to photograph her for this CD. I admire
people who don't hide their gifts away in a dusty drawer; but who are also humble about their talent.

We had a blast - rolling in the grass, climbling on fences, trying different outfits and getting chiggers - very itchy. Joy is able to evoke tears at will - which worked amazingly well for a shot that never made it in to the final cover. Check out her music here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Two More Book Covers

I have had the privilege of photographing a few different book covers. The Slow Way Home - published by Harper Collins which was well received by the public. I used my son, Kristopher as the model. He was exactly what the designer was looking for. It was the easiest $50 he ever made.
I was very excited and honored to be asked to create a photograph for TV Legend Andy Griffith.
My family & I own quite a few of the "Andy Griffith show" DVDs. We've spent many a night laughing at the antics of Sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith) & his side-kick Deputy Barney Phife (Don Knotts).
Although I only photographed the center Christmas scene, I was thrilled to have my name associated with the book.
The Christmas Guest was published
by J. Countryman. They forgot to give me a photo credit, but hey... it's Andy Griffith.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

How the Heck do you pronounce Gjerme?!

What a question....and very understandable for an English speaker. The name is Norwegian.
It is our old country sir name. The closest you can come to it in American English is to say Yarma - but kind of roll your tongue while saying the R - at the same time gargle a bit. OR, you could call me Paul.

Abide With Me - Book Cover Photo

Yeah, I know! I'm a wedding photographer, so what am I doing shooting book covers?

Well, fortunately God has given me a gift, and I'll use it in various ways as opportunities arise.

This particular shoot came about through my good friend, and graphics guru: Peter Gloege of

He is one of the finest book designers in the world, and I knew him when...

The book is about 3 women friends; who are very close and meet frequently at a classic NYC diner. I'll put other book covers on as I am able. Keep checking back!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Define Yourself - Fear Not!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Wedding Photographers Dream 2

Looking very good!

Wedding Photographers Dream

EVERY Bride is Beautiful - and EVERY Groom has "Stud in the Blood"!

However, every once in a while there comes along the amazingly beautiful. Dan & Rachel are one such couple... you see the images and you yell, "Ya baby"!
Not only are they gorgeous - but they could really work for the perfect shot. She's a professional model and he keeps getting asked to become one.
Grace, very fun & elegant - what else can I say. I'll add more later.
Thanks for the Day!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Snow & Scooters

Today was a balmy Sunday afternoon. The temperature hit 40 degrees! How could we stay inside with such tropical-like conditions?
After about 40 minutes of getting bundled up for our adventure, we were off! We gathered our sheepskin- lined-wagon, a couple of scooters, and Nigel (our Beagle/Lhasa Apso).
I usually don't associate snow with scooters but, it worked. We had a blast! Snow ball fights, foot races, jumping off stone walls with Nigel and riding scooters.
I almost wiped out while riding a scooter on the ice! Everyone had fun, got cold, and enjoyed a warm fire when we returned home to mommy & baby Leif.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Couplehood - Engagement Photo Shoot

Every couple is totally unique! It's that simple. I've yet to meet a couple that is exactly like any other. That's what makes wedding photography so-o-o fun. You're never doing the same thing twice.

I really like to have the chance to do an engagement photo shoot, or a "couplehood" session as I like to call them. It is a way for me to build a relationship with the couple prior to their wedding date.
No two shoots are exactly alike; each brings in elements of the happy couples' personality.
On some occasions the couplehood session happens the day after the wedding: if it is a destination wedding. These are fun professional shoots just documenting the couple being who they are.

About Me

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St. Cloud, Mid West, United States