Minneapolis Portrait Photographer

i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful
before i’ve called them intelligent or brave
i am sorry i made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is all you have to be proud of
when you have broken mountains with your wit
from now on i will say things like
you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
not because i don’t think you’re beautiful
but because i need you to know
you are more than that


Photo & direction: Diana Albrecht
Make Up: Jen Des Lauriers
Styling: Hanna Voxland
Words: rupi kaur

2016 // A Year in Review // Minneapolis Wedding Photographer

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer // This is gonna be one long post. Feel free to read my rambles; feel free to skip to the photos.

Here we are again. A year in review. *Hello, nice to see you again*

Last year, big things happened. This year, all that kind of went to shit, and to be honest, I'm totally okay with all of it. Shit happened. I recovered from it. I learned from it. I grew from it. I'm still here. 

My boyfriend, of nearly 4 years, and I broke up. He moved out after only a year of living together, which makes it sound like I'm/we're a huge failure. Moving in together is a big deal: the next step in a relationship. I naively thought we'd end up together, but looking back, it was never going to work. Am I a failure? Fuck no. Did I make mistakes? Yes. Did he? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No.

I joked that I got the apartment in the "divorce," but to be honest, I was bat shit scared of being alone. I think I was more concerned about that than being devastated over the breakup. Being a wedding photographer, I see couples on the happiest days of their lives, and although it's the love on the happiest day of their life, it's the love that's endured through the not so glamorous things. I pride myself as a tough & independent lady, but I still want to love and be loved in the way that I see my couples love each other. Somewhere in the mix, we lost that.

I was afraid of being alone, because I am an introvert. Contrary to popular belief, I struggle with social anxiety. I struggle with getting myself out of the house, and have to congratulate myself when doing so. I am perfectly fine with being alone, and find solace with it. Thankfully, my social anxiety is not something that cripples me, however, I relied on him too much to be my crutch. And I never want to be that girl that relies on a boy. I'm better than that. We're all better than that.

There was this nagging urge to go out and be on my own and discover. I knew what I wanted, I just needed a little nudge. 

Then, finally it happened. The catalyst for that was Andria Lindquist's Oh Sh!t Workshop. I was fortunate enough to learn from the very woman who has inspired my brand, my business, and my craft since the beginning. She is something I have looked up to since I was probably 17 years old. She's fierce. She's smart. She's fucking talented. Most of all, her brand is wholeheartedly herself and she is wholeheartedly herself. No one else. 

Seven other creative ladies and I resided in the most poppin' house in Vail, ate an insane amount of delicious vegan food, and probably drank too much wine. We learned from the Kween herself and gained valuable insights into bettering ourselves and our business, but my favorite part was the lack of photography speak. We talked about life. About love. About hardships. About successes. I was the youngest in the group, per usual, and I soon realized, "Shit. I need to get out there." Let's stop making excuses for the things I want to do and just go fucking do them.

And so, I traveled to the PNW for a week, and put myself out there. I produced and shot two styled elopements with various creatives in the city, photographed a totally random couple, and got tattooed. I even went to a cat cafe and I almost cried in elation. Hey, we even got those two elopements published! Stuff like this seems so simple because all you normally see is the results, but truth, it was took a lot of me to do this, and I'm really proud of myself.

My struggles and ability to pick my self back up allowed me to shoot with a different perspective. That sounds lame. I'm pretty sure I said the same exact thing last year, but even so. If you look at my work from last year and compare it to this year, it's a lot different. Better? I'd like to think so, but it's different. It's grittier. Moodier. More intimate. I've pushed myself to shoot less, but shoot with more thought and purpose. I only took on the clients I was superbly jazzed about-the people who understood my perspective and wanted something a little less wedding-y or senior-y and a lot more depth. Dealing with the loss of a long term companion also changed my perspective on how I shoot and interact with couples and my need for independence changed the way I work with my seniors. Instead of filling them up with fluff, I hope to encourage them to be the best they can be and see the beautiful in not only themselves, but everything else around them.

A lot of things happened this year. Not only did I face a loss of a love, but also dealt with death for the first time with my oldest friend and my childhood dog. I experienced a lot of "failure" and felt a strong sense of worthlessness for quite some time. But it wasn't all that bad. I met a lot of new people, was featured in a lot more in our beautiful local community, traveled more than I ever have, and most of all, found a sense of comfort and independence with myself. Hey, I even got a kitty out of everything, and I honestly couldn't be happier with where I'm at. I've put my heart into what I do, and I hope what I do evokes something inside of you. 

These images are a result of this year. 

I am so happy right now - so damn happy.

Cheers, babes

Jenna // California Dunes

I'm not a spontaneous person, though, I do wish I was. I have to carefully analyze things before I can make a decision, and even then, I still suck at making decisions. Maybe carefully analyze is a strong choice of words, but I do like to think of possible outcomes of my decision. I'm a freak, I know. Love me anyways. 

When Ben Sasso announced his new workshop called Heck Yeah Photo Camp along with the lineup of kick ass photographer speakers, I immediately pooped my pants in excitement. Dylan and Sara. Lara Jade. Jonas Peterson. And my all time favorite, Gabe McClintock. Those are all poop your pants worthy names and some of the big names in the industry that I look up to for inspiration. In this situation, I could have mulled over whether or not I should travel thousands of miles to photo camp in which I know no one and whether or not I'd be "good enough" for it or whatever other crap I thought about for .000002 seconds. Instantly, I knew I should go. "Another graduation present for myself," I thought (I tend to forget I spent $700 on a tattoo and another $400 on a plane ticket to NYC to get said tattoo). 

My girl Jenna Mahr decided to come along 'cause she too couldn't resist the goodness that is Lara Jade, and what a surprise, she instantly becomes the muse of every single damn person at camp. Look at her. She's like real life Khaleesi.

We befriended this rad dude named Kyle and he organized this killer desert queen shoot at the dunes after camp. His rendition of the dune shoot can be found here. Yours truly even makes an appearance or two. Can I call myself the real life Asian Khaleesi? 

I would normally much rather be behind the camera, so in between shots, I took these.

Erika // Minneapolis Boudoir Photographer

Every photographer has their "word" when they shoot. Typically, mine is something like "beautiful!" or "ohmygosh, you're killing it!" While I always wholeheartedly mean everything I say, Erika in front of the camera brought on a whole other level of reaction from me.

GUUURL was my word during this shoot. Not girl, GIRL, or even GURL. GUUURL. I mean, c'mon. Look at her. No explanation necessary.

What made this shoot so successful is Erika's bold confidence. She's showcasing herself as an empowered, strong, and beautiful woman, something I truly admire her for. Not only is she confident in who she is, but her genuine joy for herself and her body is visible in every shot. It's easy to get caught up in the seriousness and drama of styled shoots, however, many models forget to have fun and show it off. Erika sure worked it. Maybe the 90s hip hop/r&b tunes we played had something to do with it, but I'd like to think it was her positive vibes that kept things groovin'.

This is how our shoot went:

Me: "Uhm, can I take a photo of your butt?"

Her: "Heck yeah!"

Her: *beautifully arches her back and sticks her butt out in the most tasteful way*

Me: "Dang guuurl."

I included this poem as the caption for the Facebook image, and I think it sums up this shoot and Erika's mantra in a nutshell: 

"It's the fire in my eyes,
And the Flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist, 
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman