If you’ve never had the pleasure of exploring the North Shore of Lake Superior, take this as your sign. As a full-time wedding and elopement photographer based out of Minnesota, the North Shore holds such a special place in my heart. To say that I jumped at the chance to photograph my virtual assistant’s anniversary photos would be an understatement! Courtney and Khris’ Palisade Head State Park adventure session filled my heart with so much joy.

As I mentioned, Courtney is actually my virtual assistant! (Check her out on Instagram @cpproductivity) 🤗 Courtney and Khris made the drive up to the Duluth area a couple days earlier to do some exploring. Even though the weather wasn’t exactly cooperative during their stay, they made the most of it. The morning of their session, we met up for some much-needed coffee before looking for the perfect spot for their photos. We started off at Tettegouche State Park; my husband and I actually got engaged there! It was much fun showing them around some of my favorite places.

Palisade Head Adventure Session

We hiked out to an overlook where Palisade Head was in the background; they instantly knew they had to have their anniversary session there! Our morning together had been spent watching the radar like a hawk. Just as we decided to make the quick drive to Palisade Head, we saw some massive storm clouds rolling in over Lake Superior. When we got to the top of the park, Courtney quickly changed and we scurried down to the cliff’s edge. Courtney and Khris were such troopers as lightning was literally flashing just behind me! We knocked out their session pretty quickly and made it back into the car before the rain started to come down.

This Palisade Head State Park Adventure Session truly was such a sweet one to capture. The North Shore brings so much peace to my heart; there’s nothing more special than sharing that with others. If you’re looking for more Northern Minnesota content, stay tuned – more coming to the blog soon! Can’t wait?! Let’s be friends on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos). 😊✨

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Palisade Head State Park Adventure Session

North Shore Minnesota Palisade State Park adventure session

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I want to let you in on a little secret.

When I first started my photography journey, my biggest pain point was figuring out how to build a portfolio. I found myself falling into a viscous cycle, honestly. When I started dedicating myself to photography, there weren’t many resources available to help me. It was a struggle to have enough content to post in the beginning; I didn’t have “enough experience” to get my name out there. *enter viscous cycle here.* If you’ve been wondering how to build your portfolio as a photographer, stick around.

Imposter syndrome can be so incredibly real, especially as a beginner photographer. I wasn’t quite sure who or what to photograph. I also wasn’t getting paid, I got down on myself, and thought about giving up. As you can guess, I am SO glad I didn’t. 🤩

If that sounds way too familiar to yourself, my friend Sarah (sarahyatesphoto.com) and I have something that will help. Sarah and I are co-founders of The Candid Community – a community created by two-full-time photographers (turned educators) to educate, empower, and inspire photographers just like you!

We are releasing a resource designed to help guide you as you learn how to build your portfolio as a photographer! 🎉CLICK HERE TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITLIST!🎉 We can’t wait to watch you kick butt and build up that portfolio!

Additional Resources:

How to Avoid Getting Ghosted
Let’s be friends on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos)! You can find sneak peeks, BTS, and more photography tips & resources on the ‘gram 🤩

For Photographers

How to Build Your Portfolio as a Photographer

Sarah Yates Photo and Morgan Elizabeth Photography
  1. […] How to Build Your Portfolio as a Photographer5 Must-Have Tools You Need as a Photographer […]

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Can I let you in on a secret? Even as a full-time wedding and couples’ photographer, my husband I struggled to find the perfect song for our first dance. 😅 If you’re like Bradyn and me, music plays such a a special part in a relationship. So if you’re at the stage in wedding planning where you’re searching for the perfect tune to slow dance to with your honey… I gotchu. I created an entire playlist of songs for your first dance, just for you!!

Before you dive into the playlist, I want to encourage you to search for a song that really reflects your relationship. Music is one of those things that has the ability to bring us right back to a moment… So make sure that the song you choose does just that. After all, in years to come, you’ll listen to your song and be brought back to your wedding day, surrounded by all of your favorite people.

Pop open a bottle of your favorite beverage, cozy up on the couch (or practice your dance moves), and turn on this FIRST DANCE PLAYLIST 🎶 full of the perfect songs for your first dance 🥂

Additional Resources:

3 Alternatives to a First Look
What to Include in Detail Photos
You already know 😉 let’s be besties over on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos) ✨

Wedding Tips

Songs for Your First Dance

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So, let me guess: you’re planning for your upcoming engagement session and have NO idea what to wear😅 I have been there. As a full-time wedding and couples photographer (and past bride), I know how overwhelming and daunting the decision can be. By the end of this blog, you’ll be feeling confident and ready to take some incredible engagement photos with your love. Alright, let’s get into my styling tips for your engagement session.

DRESS FOR COMFORT

This one might seem like a no-brainer but WOW does it make a difference. Wearing something that you feel comfortable in makes the world of difference. Even if you want to buy something new for your photos, try to “break it in” by wearing it a couple times and moving around in it. In my engagement sessions, I love for my couples to be able to move around – whether that’s running, going in for a dip, or twirling around. 

THINK NEUTRALS

When pairing outfits with your honey, keep in mind that neutrals (or earth tones!) photograph really well. Especially if you really want to compliment that location of your photos, wearing those tones will help you stand out but not clash with the environment. 

LET’S TALK PATTERNS

Fun fact: patterns are not the enemy. I love a good floral print as much as the next person. My biggest tip is to choose subtle patterns – and avoid clashing! 

LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS

I love a good layering moment. Packing or wearing layers allows you to ✨spice up✨ your photos without having to do a ton of outfit changes. 

Now that you are set with some styling tips for your engagement session, all there’s left to do is pop some bubbly and get ready for your session 🥂

Additional Resources:

Must-Know Getting Ready Tips for Brides 
Wedding Day Exit Tips
And as always, let’s be friends on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos). 🤗

Wedding Tips

Styling Tips for Your Engagement Session

emgagement photo outfit ideas
  1. […] in, what feels like “ah, this is us.” If you’re looking for outfit tips, check out my Styling Tips for Your Engagement Session blog! Searching for even more inspo?! My Pinterest board has gotcha […]

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It’s that time of year again, friends. And if you’re a photographer, you know exactly what I’m talking about. That’s right… busy-season! Doesn’t it feel like we just wrapped up busy-season!?! Anyway, here we go again. And I just want to be the first to say that you are going to CRUSH IT. My biggest piece of encouragement is to give yourself grace, and the rest will fall into place. You’ve got this! With that being said, I want to help set you up for success as we dive into these next several months. So without further ado, let’s get into it. I’d like to dub this as “The Wedding Photographer’s Busy-Season Survival Guide” 😉

Review Your Workflow

I’m talking about everything from your emails to your contracts. Ensuring that your pricing and packages are up to date will help eliminate any stress that could be looming over your head come busy-season. I also highly encourage going through your workflow and automating as much as you can. The CRM that I use (and swear by) is Honeybook. With Honeybook, I’m able to automate any tasks that I don’t necessarily need to have “hands on”. I can’t recommend them enough. Click to save 20% off your first year of Honeybook!

I also make sure all of email templates are updated. If you’re also looking to “beef up” your email game, my friend (and business partner) Sarah and I created a FREE✨ email template for YOU! With our magic email, getting ghosted will be a thing of the past. CLICK HERE🤗 to claim your freebie.

Update Your Website

Just as you update your contracts and emails with appropriate, up-to-date information, ensure that this is also reflected on your website! The last thing you want to do amidst the endless hours of editing is go in and update your website. 

Review Your Clients’ Projects

If you use Honeybook (or any other customer relationship management system), refamiliarize yourself with the information. Go through the day-of-timeline, ensure that you know where the reception takes place, etc. Even though you will reference this information a few more times before their wedding day, now is the perfect time to gather any info you might not have.

Line Up Second Shooters

Personally, I like to have my second shooters lined up within about 6 months in advance. Not only does this help me from feeling like I’m scrambling to find someone at the last minute, but this also shows my clients how much I value them and their wedding day. 

Get Your Gear Professionally Cleaned

This is 100% a necessity before diving into months of shooting. I have always used Canon Professional Services CPS. If you happen to live in California, you can actually just drop your gear up and pick it up a couple days later. I’ve always shipped my gear (for free), and it’s been returned within 3-4 business days. Everything looks sparkly and brand new! Think of it as “spring cleaning”, but for your camera 😉

Tie Up Any Loose Ends

If you’ve been working on any projects or campaigns, now is the opportune time to wrap those up. Finalize any guides you’ve been working on, get your campaigns in order, and get ready to put those aside. I just know I won’t have any extra time to dedicate to those “extras” I started during “slow-season”. 

You’ve GOT THIS. The wedding photographer’s busy-season survival guide will help set you up for success and prepare you for the next several, hectic months. As you check these things off your list, remember that you have the best job in the world (if I do say so myself). Keep that in mind, give yourself grace, and go kick some butt!!

Additional Resources:

Wedding Tips – Follow me on Instagram @morganelizabethphotos 🤩
Photographer ResourcesClick here 📸
Fresh, new prompts for couplesSnag your guide here 🙌🏻

For Photographers

The Survival Guide for Busy Season as a Photographer

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Let’s talk about first looks! If you and your honey are still up in the air about whether or not to have a first look, have no fear. I’ve put together a sweet little list of 3 Alternatives to a First Look. As a full-time wedding photographer, I have seen my fair share of first looks, traditional “first looks” in the ceremony, and everything in between. Whatever you decide, my biggest piece of advice is to do what feels right for you. Lets’ get into it!

1. Private vows

One of my favorites! If you are nervous about spilling your heart in front of hundreds of your family and friends, this can be a great, intimate option for you two. You can stand back-to-back or face each other while holding hands and speak from the heart. When it comes to the ceremony, you can say a variation of your private vows, or say traditional vows; whatever feels most comfortable!

2. First touch

I love this option! You and your spouse can stand back-to-back, or around a door/corner from each other and simply hold hands and talk. If you choose to not have a first look, you most likely won’t see or talk to your spouse until the ceremony. A first touch can help calm some nerves and give you a few moments of peace and quiet together before jumping into the rest of your day. Such a sweet alternative.

3. Private letters

If you want everyone (including your photographer) to sob on your wedding day, write letters to each other before the ceremony and read them privately. This allows you to step away from chaos the morning of your wedding day and take a deep breath with your person. This is intimate like the vow option, but often includes more inside jokes and can be a real tear-jerker.

There we have it, friend! 3 Alternatives to a First Look. Once again, do what feels right for you and your honey! If you’re also in the market for some Wedding Day Exit Tips, click here. As always, be sure to follow me over on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos) for behind-the-scenes and even more Wedding Tips

Xx,
Morgan

Wedding Tips

3 Alternatives to a First Look

  1. […] 3 Alternatives to a First LookWhat to Include in Detail PhotosYou already know 😉 let’s be besties over on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos) ✨ […]

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Coffee addict, F.R.I.E.N.D.S binger, pizza roll lover, adventure seeker (AKA your new wedding bestie!)

Morgan Elizabeth

for the adventurous & laid back