It’s been quiet around here the last few weeks. The end of the busy summer and fall season rested heavily on me and I took a few weeks to step back and catch up. I also unplugged and gave myself a breather to rest and recharge. I’m excited to start writing more, now that the quieter winter season is approaching.
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A few days after the magazine was released, I got an email from a lovely lady named Kathleen. She told me she read the article and felt like she should reach out to me.
Kathleen went on to tell me that she and her husband would celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary next month [September], but that he wouldn’t make it to another anniversary beyond that, because he was dying of terminal cancer.
She said that to her knowledge, they hadn’t had a portrait taken of just the two of them, since they were married. In her own words, “We were always going to do it but time just slipped away.”
So, Kathleen wanted to set up a time for me to come out to photograph them, in their home that they built together, savoring their last days together on this earth.
We made a plan and I went out and met Marlin and Kathleen one day at the end of August. We photographed them with their cat, in their porch. We photographed them in their back yard with their dog, and down by the river that they love. We even photographed Marlin sitting on his mower, because mowing their great big lawn was one of his favorite past times. Kathleen told me she always made fun of him and how much time he spent on the mower, so it was fitting to include it in the photos.
We talked, laughed, and I felt extremely lucky to get to see such genuine love and affection between two people after decades of being together.
Kathleen and Marlin loved the photos, and I knew I’d remember them always.
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Yesterday, I got an email from Kathleen letting me know that Marlin passed away last week.
She thanked me for the beautiful photos that are now offering her a huge source of comfort as she grieves the death of her husband.
She wanted me to know how glad she was that she didn’t put off contacting me.
[I can hardly type because my eyes are full of tears.]
Seeing these photos, now knowing that Marlin has passed away… I’m torn between extreme sadness and a deep gratitude that we were able to make this session a reality in time.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but don’t wait to be photographed. Life is too short. Photos matter. Photos sometimes make all the difference.
And if you’re battling a life threatening or even terminal disease, please consider being photographed.
Some people might find it too difficult or even too morbid to do a session, knowing what lies ahead. But those photos will serve as a lifeboat for your family as they navigate the waters of grief in your absence.
And, if you wouldn’t mind keeping Kathleen and their family in your prayers as they adjust to their new normal and mourn the loss of Marlin, I’d be very grateful.
Today is Joetta and Danny’s 1 year wedding anniversary!
On a drizzly October day one year ago, Joetta and Danny finally made permanent what they had been working toward since 8th grade. They became husband and wife in a personalized and emotional wedding ceremony, and followed that up with a fun and gorgeously decorated reception at Cragun’s Legacy.
You can see their wedding blog post here.
Joetta and Danny, I hope that this first year of marriage has held even more adventures for you than the years before. And I pray for even more incredible years together in the future. xo! Laura
Maddie is a senior at Rocori High School this year.
She loves playing basketball, softball, being on the water and spending time with her family and friends.
When I asked what her future plans were, she said one of her bucket list items is to start a charity. This girl is going to make waves and change the world!
I met up with Maddie and her mom at their cabin in Breezy Point, MN last month. We photographed on their property and at the Breezy Point Wedding Chapel; the first time I’d ever explored that hidden gem. It was the perfect day!
Maddie + Heidi – Thank you guys so much for choosing me to photograph Maddie’s senior photos!! I had SO MUCH FUN exploring, talking and laughing with you guys. Maddie, you are absolutely stunning and I know you will do huge things in this world. Enjoy you senior year and good luck on your next adventures! xoxo, Laura2 comments, leave a comment!
Happy Friday! As I type this, the sun is shining brilliantly outside my window and the sky is almost neon blue. Remy is anxious to take a walk and explore, and I’m excited to breathe in more of the crisp fall air.
This week, I’m thankful for:
It’s now officially Fall, and while I’m shocked to see September 26th when I look at the calendar, I’m loving the fall weather we’ve been having. It’s been warmer than normal and NO ONE is complaining!
2. Colorful Fall Leaves
The leaves on the trees are GORGEOUS right now! Some of them still haven’t turned yet which means we’ve still got some time to soak them in and appreciate them. We don’t have many maples on our property but we do have at least one that turns bright red. As of right now, there are only a couple of leaves that have turned red; the rest are still green.
I like to think of the colorful leaves as God’s paintings.
3. Our Annual Radniecki Camping Trip
Last week, Matt and I took Remy on a short 2-night camping trip to Crow Wing State Park. It’s less than 20 minutes from home, but neither of us had camped there before so it was a brand new experience. It was almost completely empty with only one or two other campsites full in the whole campground, since we were there mid-week.
The first night, the temps got down into the 30’s – SO COLD. The next day warmed up a lot and that night was much more comfortable. Then, we packed up quick on our last morning just in time to beat a big rain storm that moved through the area.
I intentionally left my DSLR camera at home and used my phone. I’ve got an ancient smartphone which explains the quality of all these images but I was leaving behind any pressure to take lots of pretty photos and just soak up being there with my family.
4. Library Book Sale
Yesterday, I went to the opening day of the local public library’s book sale. I got there maybe 8 minutes after the doors opened and there was a line all the way out the front door! I should have expected it, but I was surprised actually. I never go Black Friday shopping, but to me, this felt like that. Except everyone is searching for their favorite books instead of fighting over TV’s.
I’m planning to go again tomorrow for the $2 bag day – you can fill a whole bag with books for only $2! Even though I don’t typically buy fiction books and rent them from the library instead, I can’t pass up a deal like that! Plus, my sister wants to have a library in her house someday so I’ll pass my books along to her to help fulfill her dream.
5. New Ideas and Projects
I’ve developed an entrepreneurial mind in the last handful of years, so I’ve almost always got a couple ideas circling around in my mind. It’s both exciting and exhausting because often, I have trouble sleeping when I’m thinking about new ideas.
I’ve got a particular idea that’s been planted and growing lately, and I’m having fun researching it and nurturing it. What it will amount to is unclear so far, but for now, I’m appreciating the process and loving the energy that comes with working through something new.
P.S. I know it’s annoying when people are vague about ideas like that. Sorry to do that too, haha. If you’re the praying type, I’d welcome prayers for this new idea. More info if/when it continues to evolve and become more concrete.
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How are you today?
Have you been soaking up the leaves too? If so, I’d love to know – where is your favorite place to look at colorful leaves in the Brainerd area? You can leave a comment or email me at hello @ lauraradniecki.com [delete the spaces before sending the email]. I’d love to hear where your favorite spots for beautiful leaf drives are!
Have a great weekend!
LauraNo comments yet, leave a comment!
Kayla and Danny met while going to college in Mankato, MN.
They both recall talking to each other for the first time, and discovering that they were born and raised only 45 minutes apart.
From there, they began dating and became engaged in the spring of 2012 on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth. We photographed their engagement photos late last year on a beautiful fall day, along with their pup Myla.
Fast forward two years to early September 2014; they stood in the sunshine in the courtyard of Arrowwood Lodge in Brainerd, MN and vowed to love each other forever. Surrounded by their family and friends, they became husband and wife – the new Mr. and Mrs. Anderson.
Danny + Kayla: I am so thankful that you chose me as your wedding photographer. Getting to know you throughout the last year has been so much fun! It was an honor to witness you becoming husband and wife on YOUR wedding day. Kayla – I know you have followed my work online, and I’m sure each post made you think ahead to your turn. Well, now it’s your turn. Your wedding day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for including me in it.
Wedding Venue: Arrowwood Lodge in Brainerd, MN
Wedding Photography: Laura Radniecki Images
Flowers: Bridal bouquet was handcrafted by Kayla. Gerbera daisies from North Country Floral.
Cake: The cake was made by Kayla’s sister.
DJ: Pro-1 Sound and Light Show – Garrison Hunter.
If you are looking for a Brainerd, MN wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you!No comments yet, leave a comment!
Hi! I am Laura Radniecki - an entrepreneur, inspirational business blogger and Minnesota wedding + family photographer, specializing in Celebratory Story-telling.
I'm married to my high school sweetheart, Matt, obsessed with our feisty toy poodle, Remy, and I believe fiercely in helping people create businesses that bless their lives.
I also have wild dreams of traveling the country in an RV and being the youngest Snow Bird in Minnesota history.
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