on love and life and stories and hope. remembering two thousand fifteen.

December 29th, 2015

2015 Best Of - Athena Pelton001

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.
Thousands of images.
Three hundred sixty five days.
Dozens of Stories.
Fifty Two weeks.
Fourteen weddings.
Twelve months.
Eight states.
One year.

Holy shit it’s been a whirlwind year. They say (whoever “they” are) that you should do something every day that scares you – so today that thing is going to be talking about my accomplishments. I’m terrible at self-promotion but I’m going to give it an honest-to-goodness go. Gulp.

In August I hosted my first workshop, Write Your Life, and am working on launching my second. Three days later I lost my corporate job and was catapulted head first into legitimate, scary-as-f*ck, self-employment, though it is a position I should have chosen for myself ages ago. This fall I was asked to hand letter a magazine cover for Minnesota Monthly and the beautiful Lucia at Utterly Engaged tasked me with writing an article on finding intimacy in portraiture which turned into an article offering advice for those booking a wedding photographer who want more than posed, perfect portraits. As the current year draws to a close and the new one breaks on the horizon, I find myself ready for whatever 2016 has to offer. What new things my camera – my heart – will gaze upon and document. I look forward to celebrating  joy and love and promise and hope on mountains and in breweries, in fields and forests and wherever else work takes me in the months to come. It’s time for me to make more images for myself – to shoot more on film and less on my iPhone. I’m ready for more editorial work and am confident that 2016 will allow me to make images for brands that look, sound, and feel precisely like life. I’m beyond excited to be expanding my travel portfolio (yay adventure!) and photographing people in places I’ve never been.

As I attempt to eloquently articulate my feelings on the past year, I find myself lost in thought. I’m swimming in the sounds of laughter and dancing, newborn baby cries and children playing in soft summer fields, rushing water and chilled beer bottles clanged together in reverie. Cicadas at sundown and music turned up to eleven, the hum of generators and plodding rhythms of dizzy feet punctuating the memorized beat of love songs and party songs and lets-dance-until-we-can’t-stand-anymore songs. I can still taste the summer breezes as they blew across the river, across Lake Superior, through tents and trees and off the sweat-shiny shoulders of brides as they turn their heads back toward me and my camera, eyes excited and mesmerized by pure joy.

Making images that matter for people who invite me so wholly, completely, irrevocably into their stories is the most rewarding, wonderful, fulfilling, every-overused-cliche-adjective-ever job. Though I absolutely work my ass off, picking up my camera has never once felt like work. It’s quite the opposite rather, and it never ceases to amaze me how fortunate I am to be able to make a living doing the very thing that makes me come alive. As such, it’s impossible to me that I can even begin to summarize my year in a handful of images (read: entirely too many because I couldn’t possibly narrow this down any further), and yet, here we are. At the end of another year, another season, another miraculous and harrowing and scary, crazy, sad, beautiful trip around the sun.

Here are a few of my favorite images from this year (in no particular order). An immeasurable amount of gratitude belongs to those of you who chose me, who trusted me, who invited me along and invited me in. 

Thank you.

2015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0022015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0032015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0052015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0062015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0072015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0092015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0082015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0102015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0112015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0122015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0132015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0142015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0152015 Best Of - Athena Pelton016unnamed-22015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0172015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0182015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0202015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0222015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0212015 Best Of - Athena Pelton023HittMustBeLove2015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0252015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0262015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0272015 Best Of - Athena Pelton028unnamed-12015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0292015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0302015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0322015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0382015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0332015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0372015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0362015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0352015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0342015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0412015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0402015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0432015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0422015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0442015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0452015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0472015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0482015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0502015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0512015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0532015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0492015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0522015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0542015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0552015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0562015 Best Of - Athena Pelton057unnamed2015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0582015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0592015 Best Of - Athena Pelton060HittMustBeLove2015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0622015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0632015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0642015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0652015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0662015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0682015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0672015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0692015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0702015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0712015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0722015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0732015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0742015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0752015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0762015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0772015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0782015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0802015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0792015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0812015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0822015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0832015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0842015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0852015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0862015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0882015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0892015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0902015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0912015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0922015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0932015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0942015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0952015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0962015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0972015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0982015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0992015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1002015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1012015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1022015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1032015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1042015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1052015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1062015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1072015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1082015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1092015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1102015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1112015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1122015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1132015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1142015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1152015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1162015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1172015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1182015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1462015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1192015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1202015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1212015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1222015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1232015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1242015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1252015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1262015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1272015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1282015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1292015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1302015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1312015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1322015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1332015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1342015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1352015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1362015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1372015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1382015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1392015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1402015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1412015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1422015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1432015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1442015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1452015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1472015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1482015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1492015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1502015 Best Of - Athena Pelton0872015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1512015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1522015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1532015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1542015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1552015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1562015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1572015 Best Of - Athena Pelton1582015 Best Of - Athena Pelton159

    

remembering a perfectly wonderful year | the best of 2014

December 19th, 2014

DSC_2180

It’s that time of year again — time for me to reflect on all that’s happened over the past twelve months. I’ve been dreading this post, actually. Which probably seems odd. But it means that this year is over. That it’s gone, folded into the pages of memory, and I’m not quite ready to let it go just yet. It was incredibly perfect. Everything I’ve been dreaming of since I launched this humble endeavor, and decided, once and for all to chase headlong into the chasm of dreaming-so-big-it’s-scary. This year has been – has meant – everything.

But much to my chagrin, and despite my resistance, the year is coming to a close. So it’s time to savor each and every moment I was able to spend with all of you. A walk down the aisle. A new baby. Friendship. Family. Joy. Your stories are my why, and every single time you step in front of my camera, with your heart full of trust and your eyes wide, I am thankful. I am humbled. I am amazed and awed and filled with overused adjectives that spill forth in a effort to express how I am so incessantly and constantly overwhelmed by how wonderful it is that I get to do this every day. That I get to stand alongside you as you etch your names onto the pages of your stories, your laugh lines and tears punctuating each paragraph, my photographs stuck in chapters, creased, but not worn. Steady. Timeless.

Thank you. Forever and always and more than these tiny words on a screen will ever be able to express. For your trust, and love, and kindness, and friendship. Most of all, thank you for extending the invitation to witness your stories unfold, and allowing me the opportunity to capture them – to document the beauty and imperfection and laughter and minutia – as authentically and honestly and beautifully as I can.

xo

BestOfBlog003WelcomeLinus095BestOfBlog004DSC_0015BestOfBlog005MarshallFamily037 BestOfBlog006 BestOfBlog007BestOfBlog001BestOfBlog008DSC_1684BestOfBlog009PerryFall2014_055 BestOfBlog010 BestOfBlog011 BestOfBlog012 BestOfBlog013 BestOfBlog014 BestOfBlog015 BestOfBlog016 BestOfBlog017MarshallFamily035 BestOfBlog018 BestOfBlog019Kristen+JasonnWedding314 BestOfBlog020WelcomeLinus013 BestOfBlog021 BestOfBlog022 BestOfBlog023 BestOfBlog024 BestOfBlog025DSC_0555 BestOfBlog027 BestOfBlog028 BestOfBlog029 BestOfBlog030ClaireKevinWedding496 BestOfBlog031DSC_0054Glynn Family076 BestOfBlog032 BestOfBlog033 BestOfBlog034 BestOfBlog035 BestOfBlog036 BestOfBlog037 BestOfBlog038 BestOfBlog039 BestOfBlog040 BestOfBlog041 BestOfBlog042 BestOfBlog043 BestOfBlog044 BestOfBlog045 BestOfBlog046 BestOfBlog047 BestOfBlog048 BestOfBlog049 BestOfBlog050 BestOfBlog051 BestOfBlog052 BestOfBlog053 BestOfBlog054 BestOfBlog055 BestOfBlog056 BestOfBlog057 BestOfBlog058 BestOfBlog059 BestOfBlog060 BestOfBlog061 BestOfBlog062 BestOfBlog063 BestOfBlog064 BestOfBlog065 BestOfBlog066 BestOfBlog067 BestOfBlog068

    

miki + kristel’s minneapolis engagement story

July 13th, 2014

Cover1Minneapolis is an integral part of their story, so Miki + Kristel + I met at Boom Island Park last Monday night for their engagement session. We found triangles and teepees and wildflowers and woods and had an absolute blast. Here are a few of my favorites from their session:

MKBlog1MKBlog2peekMKBlog4MKBlog5MKBlog6MKBlog7MKBlog8MKBlog9MKBlog10MKBlog11MKBlog12MKBlog13MKBlog14MKBlog15MKBlog16MKBlog17MKBlog18MKBlog19MKBlog20MKBlog21MKBlog22MKBlog23MKBlog24MKBlog25MKBlog26MKBlog27MKBlog28MKBlog29MKBlog30MKBlog31MKBlog32MKBlog33MKBlog34MKBlog35MKBlog36MKBlog37MKBlog38MKBlog39MKBlog40MKBlog41MKBlog42MKBlog43MKBlog44MKBlog45MKBlog46MKBlog47MKBlog48MKBlog49