NEW! The Shop

Introducing my very first Etsy Shop! Custom wood-burned signs for your home (or your friends home!) Go check them out for yourself here: The Shop! and read about my process below.

I can't tell you how nice it is to have a side job that allows me to take a break from the computer and create with my hands. I have always had a fascination for pretty typography. I remember in college I had to take a class and thought it was so pointless to hand write out words and mimic what a computer does. I whined about it through the entire semester and now here I am, so grateful for the foundational skills because there's just something about a hand crafted font that is unique and beautiful.

Another thing that helped me a TON was that recently I took an online class on on calligraphy which improved my skill even more. I began to understand letter forms and spacing a lot better. 

Wood Burning: The Early Years
It all started when my friend Hannah got engaged. We sat in front of the TV for hours watching modern family season 1 and 2 burning the names of guests into 180 little birch wood coasters. It wasn't until the final two that I specially made for her and her soon-to-be hubby that I realized I was on to something good...

Hannah's mom also encouraged me and would hire me to make a few custom signs for her shop, The Enchanted Atelier:

In the spring of 2013 my mind started imagining all of these designs and ideas. It was like a fire was lit inside of me. I love when I get a new passion for something because I know I should go after with all heart. I made a sign for my sister's wedding and a Man Cave sign for my Dad just for fun. I posted an image on instagram and orders started coming in. 

As a wedding photographer it was hard to find time to dedicate to creating signs. I had to put it off until wedding season was over. Christmas intimidated me with it's high demands and last minute gift givers that I decided to hold off on the shop announcement. I fulfilled a few last minute orders and some gifts for my own people and really love how they are turning out.

The Process:
Once an order is placed and spelling has been triple checked, I begin to sketch out ideas on paper.

After I feel good about a concept I sketch it lightly onto the wood piece.

Now it's burnin' time. This part is fun except for the fact that my pointer finger gets really hot and smoke sometimes gets in my eyes. I'm sure I could invest in some special gloves/goggles. I really love that after I am done, my hair smells like a wood burning stove for a few hours. You have to really pay attention here because one wrong move and you have to start all over on a new piece. For example; the time I wrote "JEEF" instead of Jeff.

Fun fact! When I was out buying supplies, I was shootin' the breeze with an old man who owned the wood working store. He informed me that there was an actual term for this very thing: Pyrography. What?! I was all excited to add that to my job title: Photographer, Calligrapher, Typographer, Pyrographer. Man, that sounds cool.

Once the design is burned in, I add a few coats of clear semi-gloss polyurethane. This is the part that takes the longest because it has to dry between coats.

I then screw in two small brackets with a string of twine so it is ready to hang immediately.

My workshop: I took over a spot in the living room and would like to publicly apologize to my roommates for the particles of basswood on the carpet, the mess of my supplies scattered about the room and the occasional smell of polyurethane that permeates through the entire house.

These signs are a product of encouraging friends/family and instagram fans. I am beyond grateful for the skills to create things people like. It's been humbling to see peoples excited reactions. I really feed off of it. This has been a huge blessing for my slower winters, where I get a little stir crazy, so thank you for the support. Can't wait to see where this little shop goes! If you haven't already, hop on over to the shop and dig around. If anything - I hope you get some inspiration to do what you've been itching to do.

Create things!

The Shop!

Christina + Jeremy | Wedding

Christina is my cousin's cousin, but I grew up always wishing she was my cousin too. I have always looked up to her and hoped she would find a man that truly appreciates what a gem he has found. When I met Jeremy I sighed a sigh of relief and knew right away he would take the best care of her.

Enjoy just a few of the highlights from their wedding day...


Ryan + Angie | Wedding

Capturing this wedding hardly felt like work. I showed up to the bridal suite at the gorgeous A'bulae and was immediately handed a present from the bride. Of all the things to remember that day. Inside a little box I found a camera necklace and earrings to match. It was the kindest gesture that goes to show just how thoughtful these two are. I noticed throughout the day that it felt like a celebration of appreciation of their family and friends.We did the first look on the rooftop overlooking St. Paul then headed to Mears park for more photos. The fall colors were ridiculous. At the reception they wowed us with an awesome first dance. Thank you Angie and Ryan, for letting me be apart if this magical day.