August 7th, 2012

Whether a baby is 12 days old or 6 months old, like these 2 beautiful little guys, taking pictures to commemorate these important days and milestones never ever gets old!  Such fun!!!

Beautiful Seniors!

August 7th, 2012

Busy, busy day preparing senior pictures.  What do Kyle and Christie have in common?  They are both amazing young women with great joyful spirits and wonderful-sounding laughs!  So excited to see the expressions on these girls when they see their pictures very soon!  🙂

Random Photography Tip # 2

August 1st, 2012

Tip #2 – Turn off your flash!

Flash can blow out details in your photographs.  Look at the texture in the top picture vs. the bottom picture, the one where on-camera flash was used.  Notice the detail in the bricks, the barrels & the chairs in the top photograph.    Carefully consider the impact that flash will make on your photographs – more often your pictures will benefit from turning off your flash.  (For more tips & ideas check out our Portraits by Michelle facebook page.)


July 31st, 2012

Today I had a great session with an amazing, talented young lady!  Taylor has incredible artistic ability – from the paintings that she has created, to carving, and ceramic work.  And she also has an incredible passion for baking.  This girl has an incredibly bright future in store!

60 years of marriage!

July 17th, 2012

This weekend I had the opportunity to photograph a couple who had celebrated 60 years of marriage together!  This has been the second time I’ve photographed couples with such a milestone this year.  It is such a privilege to photograph an incredible moment such as this in one’s life!

Going to a wedding!

July 14th, 2012

This is one of the first senior pictures I took for anyone – it was in 2007.   Today we are going to Amanda’s wedding!  Amanda and her sisters come from an amazing, caring family.  We were just at her sister, Rachel’s, wedding 3 weeks ago and just received her sister, Sheryl’s, save-the-date card for her wedding this fall.  These girls were our kids’ babysitters from the time we moved here.  Their mom, Kathy, was a tremendous help to our family when I went through chemo in 1996.  What a priviledge to be a part of these girls’ lives and share in special moments!  It’s going to be a fun day!


July 12th, 2012


Michaela has the most beautiful eyes and is so incredibly sweet and sincere!  We had a wonderful time capturing beautiful images the last couple of days to celebrate her senior year of high school.  Can’t wait to finish the rest of her images and show her this week!



July 8th, 2012

This week I had a surprise run-in with Brooke at K-Mart with her mom.  Such a darling little girl!  We had fun taking pictures with my Victorian set a couple of years ago.  Now, at five years old, she was sharing her new smile with me, as she had just lost her first tooth!  We had fun visiting and as we were going to our respective cars, she ran back over to me with a picture that she had colored in her hand.  These moments remind me of how much I love my job!


Time Spent Retouching

July 3rd, 2012


After a long day of running – dentist office, grocery store, and mowing the lawn – there is something very rewarding about working on images for a client.  It gives me time to slow down a bit,  and concentrate on making a beautiful image even more breath-taking.  It’s fun to “play” with my images for a bit and also reflect on how special each of my subjects is, each with their own unique qualities and beauty.  It’s usually at times like this where I will notice, “Wow!  She has her mom’s eyes!” or “His smile is exactly like his dad’s smile!”  These are qualities I sometimes miss while I’m on pace to create the best session experience that I can.  It is so much fun and such a priviledge when I am allowed to record these moments!

Welcome to My World!

June 27th, 2012

Welcome, friends, to the very first blog offered by me or by Portraits by Michelle.  I guess the closest thing that I have had to a blog in the past is my facebook account.  This is designed to be a little bit different, where you can get to know me, my family, and my personality just a tad better.


Here’s a little bit about me:  I am the forty-five (gasp) year-old mom of a son that is about to become a sophomore in high school and a daughter that will begin her seventh-grade career this fall.  They are extremely involved in both sports and music and are the true joy of our lives.


My husband, Al, and I met our junior year at Luther College in Decorah, IA,  and after a whirlwind romance 🙂 were married in August of 1989, the same year we graduated from college.  This was also 2 weeks before Al began medical school.


We seem to do very few things in our lives without a great deal of stress.  This was one of those times in our lives – Al started medical school & I  started a job teaching music in a elementary school (yes, I have a degree in vocal music education.)  I was in a less than ideal situation, to say the least, and I discovered during this time that teaching music was not my true passion.  During this time in Madison, WI, I took on a few other jobs to help put Al through medical school and food on our table.  I worked for a short time in a music store in the music lessons and sheet music departments.  Eventually, I became a receptionist at the Pella Window Store (“Good Afternoon, Ver Halen, Your Pella Window Store  ” ) and a sales person at Eddie Bauer on nights and weekends.


We moved to Mason City, IA, in 1993 and Al began his residency in family practice.  I became a receptionist at the office of Dr. Patrick Carney, DDS.  As Al was finishing his residency, we found out we were expecting our son.


Then another stressful time in our lives – I found out I had cancer when I was 30 weeks pregnant.  I had a C-section, spleenectomy, liver and lymph node biopsies all at the same time when I was 35 weeks along and then began treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma.  We moved to our current home in Algona, Iowa, Al began his family practice job, and I started to settle into our home with a collicky baby.




Well, things have settled down a bit since then.  We are still extremely busy and I have still dealt with health issues.  But enough for now.  🙂


Welcome to my little world!  I look forward to sharing more about me and what has become my passion and I feel truly one of my life’s purposes – capturing special memories through photography.


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      107 E. Overmeyer Drive - Algona - IA - 50511      515-295-6128