Raspberry Island with Mandy & Andrew / by Jordan Nimlos

On Raspberry Island underneath the Wabasha Street bridge.

You never really know what you're going to get for weather in Minnesota, and that's especially true this time of year.  When I planned to meet Mandy and Andrew down at Raspberry Island in St. Paul the morning of March 19th for their engagement shoot, it seemed like we could count on a beautiful spring day.  There were flowers blooming in our front yard already--no joke (this came as no surprise to my wife, who clearly knew what she was doing when she planted crocuses).

How does that saying go?  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice shame on me.  I don't know who gets all the shame for the number of times I've been fooled by MN weather.  We woke up to an inch of snow on the ground and freezing temperatures.  Thankfully Mandy and Andrew are troopers and didn't mind the cold too much.  And with a beautiful, fun-loving couple like these two it could have been pouring rain or hot and sunny and it still would have been easy to get good pictures of them.

A lot of people feel uncomfortable having professional pictures taken.  They think it's like acting, that they have to try hard and put on their best smile for the camera.  But trying to smile usually ends up looking less natural than your spontaneous, genuine smile.  That's why I always try to make a shoot like this fun and capture a lot of candid moments.  Yes, there's an important place for posing a certain way and looking directly at the camera and following directions (and that can still be a lot of fun--trust me).  But there's definitely something special about seeing someone's true happiness and love shining through when they're not thinking about "acting" for the camera.

If you would describe yourself as not liking to have your picture taken, the next time someone's taking your photo, remember this: it's about relationship.  If it's a group picture or if it's just you, don't think about posing for the camera or smiling the perfect smile; think about interacting with the people around you, whether they're in the picture or they're the photographer.  That should help take the pressure off and help you reveal your unique, beautiful personality.

Oh, by the way, the early blooming flowers survived the snow.  Way to go crocuses.