Afternoon Adventure | Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

I hope you always find comfort in nature, and find ways to call it home, no matter where you are. Watching you grow has been my greatest adventure by far, and I'm so proud of you. I love you, buddy.

My son is my best friend. We play and go to movies. He helps me cook in the kitchen, and clean up when we’re done. We sing together in the car, and when we watch our favorite movies on repeat. We go on hikes, and we explore. Despite all of the tantrums, tears, and adjustments that go into the world of a two year old, he is my favorite person to spend my time with, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Newborn Lifestyle | Port Washington, Wisconsin

Parenthood is a beautiful, raw, term.

It’s full of all things new: a new reason to breathe, a new level of sleep deprivation, and a brand new appreciation for your life, your body, and your tribe.

It is my goal as a photographer to document the journey of parenthood with honesty and authenticity. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that I gently guide my clients, but then allow myself to step back and let their bond unfold naturally - that is the key of the newborn lifestyle session experience.

With Dallas and Natasha, they made my job too simple. They welcomed me into their home and we shared so many laughs. I made the usual Disney movie recommendations (they have a dog named Rafiki, talk about my ideal client ;), and everything went beautifully. It’s so important to encourage emotion and genuine conversation in a lifestyle session environment. I want the parents that I work with to remember the little toes, chubby cheeks, and the little things that so often go overlooked: the overwhelm of emotion, the way they looked at their partner, the wrinkles on their baby’s face, the way they presented their home, and all of the ordinary moments from this specific milestone of their life.

Although the days seem long, the years will fly by. This time is fleeting, and no matter how hard we try to hold on, it won’t last forever. When you capture a moment in a photograph, you’re giving yourself permission to re-live that moment for the rest of your life. You can hold on to it, display it, and turn through the pages of your life with the people you love - regardless of how much time has passed.

I love parenthood. I love photography. I love my job.

Congratulations, Dallas and Natasha. Penelope is absolutely perfect and you are both doing such a great job. Welcome to the good life. <3

Birth Photography | Adley - Rochester, Minnesota

Motherhood is HARD. From the positive pregnancy test, to the labor + delivery experience, and all the way through the journey of life.

If you’re someone who has through morning sickness, you know that it can make you feel like you’re in the midst of your last moments. You say RIP to a lot of things, like your bladder for instance. Once you carry a child, your relationship with your body (and the toilet) becomes pretty intimate. There are lots of tears, challenges, and lots and lots of coffee, but there’s something important to be said about the struggle, you’re in it, and that in itself is something to be grateful for.

I’ve learned over the past year that when we have things that we complain about, often times someone else would die to experience them. For example, the constant back aches throughout pregnancy? Sister, if you're in the midst of that, I love you and you’re doing a great job, but if you’re a woman who longs to feel that back pain, and who’s so patiently awaiting that one positive pregnancy test, I love you more. I need you to know that I see you and you’re doing a great job.

This particular birth story is near and dear to my heart for so many reasons, but the most important reason of them all is that it brings hope.

Ali + Kristen spent months, even years enduring fertility treatments in hopes of that one positive pregnancy test. Kristen has scars on her body now, not just from baby, but from the needles and the blood tests required to start their journey as parents.

Here is a glimpse into their story with their sweet girl, Adley.


If you’re still waiting for this experience, I hope you find comfort in knowing that the universe works in mysterious ways. I have hope for you no matter where you are in your journey, and I’m sending you so much love and positive energy along the way.

xo,

Meg

The Beauty of Community over Competition - Celebrating the life of Nicci Sylvester

I have always been a firm believer that when a community of people come together the world heals a little more.

This past Sunday, December 9th, 2018, I had the honor of attending an an event to celebrate the life of Nicci Sylvester. This event was so incredible, and unlike any event I’ve ever seen. Chefs from the same city, located not blocks from one another, came together and devoted their time and expertise to celebrate Nicci’s life, and support her family and loved ones.

Seeing everyone work together in harmony, regardless of competitive factors was one of the most heart-warming things I’ve seen in a while. With modern day technology, it’s so easy to get caught up in the world of finance and competition, especially in the world of business. So much so, that sometimes we forget that we wouldn’t be here without the community around us.

At this event, there wasn’t an ounce of competition in the room. Everyone was united, sharing memories and giving support to one another. I had the opportunity to document the love + kinship from this day, and I can say with 100% certainty, when this community comes together, the world heals a little more.

I want to extend a personal thank you to all of the business’ that chose to partake in this event. You have beautiful souls and were an absolute joy to work with. I’m grateful to know you.

xo,

Meg

Birth Photography | Canaan - Rochester, Minnesota

Babies are the worlds greatest blessing.

When Andrew and Brandy first contacted me about documenting their birth story, we were strangers. It didn’t take long for me to love them, whole-heartedly. They gave off this sort of energy and strength that I’d never experienced in a couple before. I knew nothing about their story, or the obstacles they’d overcome.

Infertility is a painful reality to endure. You dream of having children; you invest in a home with enough bedrooms to fill with little ones. You hope to grow throughout the holidays as a family, making endless memories within those walls you’ve worked so hard to create. With infertility, however, those rooms are a constant reminder of the dreams which resist to come true, and bring a constant ache, and longing for that one positive pregnancy test.

Canaan Joseph Allen is the beautiful little boy shown below in these photographs. Andrew and Brandy never gave up hope on their little miracle, and I’m so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to document their birth experience.

Birth Photography | Adeline + Eloise - Rochester, Minnesota

Not all mama's are blessed with the opportunity to see their baby brought into this world.

Some have to lay in anticipation behind a curtain, waiting to hear their baby's first cry. Praying under their breath that everything's going to be okay.

Those mamas are c-section mamas, and they are one of a kind.

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The images below are from one of the c-section deliveries I had the honor of documenting. This mama was a total rockstar, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to document her story. ❤️

To learn more about our birth story collection, follow the link below! xo.

www.jmegphotography.com/the-birth-story

MN Events | Cabin Fever Bean Bags

The Cabin Fever Bean Bag Tournament is a charitable event working to support the Eagles Cancer Telethon which is dedicated to improving people's lives and has been raising funds to support cancer research for over 60 years.

The event has taken place in Rochester, MN since 2010, and this year, I had the honor of documenting it. Words can't even begin to express the emotions I felt throughout this event. Each fighter came to the stage, and bravely shared their story. The story of their beautiful, ordinary life, that soon took a turn due to cancers rath. If you have a moment, I would encourage you to follow this link to read a bit more about these incredible people. 

http://www.cabinfeverbeanbags.org

To the fighters, and their loved ones, thank you so much for sharing your stories with me, and for allowing me to be a part of this incredible day. You truly are amazing.

Day in the Life | Photography Services - Rochester, Minnesota

Ever since having my son, I find myself, like so many other busy moms, behind the camera, eagerly snapping pictures of his landmarks. I capture his first smile, his first tooth, his first steps. I find myself proudly scrolling through image after image of him interacting and playing, when I stop to think, "Where are the pictures of me with my baby?" This motivated me to start offering a new type of photo session.

Storytelling Sessions

These Documentary-style sessions are designed to capture the moments that often become overlooked: morning snuggles, coffee with friends, bath time, or holiday baking. As time passes, these will be the most important moments, the memories you'll never want to lose.

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These sessions can be held in the comfort of your home or elsewhere. I can capture your baby's morning yawns and messy hair as their tired eyes struggle to open. I'll carefully document playtime on the floor with belly laughs and giggles, or I can join you for pizza and game night, a visit to the park or a trip to Target. 

Not all of these will be fancy shots, but they will be real, authentic images of your current everyday life. Because as mundane as a sink bath may seem, soon these days will be gone, but through photographs, they can be remembered and cherished forever.

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In-home Storytelling

Home is where it's at, it's where our people are, it's where life happens. It's a space that's intricately woven into the culture of family.

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Home is where our foundations are laid out for us, and our identities are solidified. As a mother, I want my kids to grow up knowing who they are, where they fit, and to know that they always have a place, no matter how far they wander.

Investing in these sessions will give you and your children something tangible to remember these moments and will reassure them that they always have a place and know where they belong..

Investment

Storytelling Sessions:

Includes a phone, email, or coffee date consultation, up to one hour of documentary-style photo coverage in the comfort or your home or elsewhere, and a gallery reveal. (No digitals are included in the session fee)

After your session, purchase only what you love from an a la carte menu of prints, products, and collections! Contact me for the details!

Book your Storytelling Session before December 31st, 2017 and you'll be gifted an 8x12 fine art print, professionally mounted and ready for framing (artist's choice).

You Were There.

WARNING: This blog post may contain images that you don't want to see. They may disgust you. They may seem unappealing to the societal eye.

But I don't care. Because they tell a story. My story.

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Veronica + Paul | MN Engagement

They have overcome obstacles that most people don't have to endure through an entire lifetime. Yet here they are, still madly and ever so deeply in love.

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Rayah & Cody | WI Engagement

Every memory created in the company of someone you love is one to be cherished forever.

I have had the opportunity to watch Rayah & Cody's relationship grow and I could not be more grateful for them. From their studies in college all the way through graduation, I have watched them transition from being able to laugh together to having to face the struggles of a long-distance relationship.

Despite everything they have endured, they have come out of their trials like kings of the world. Their friendship is the foundation of their relationship and it is apparent when you see them together that they are the perfect match. No matter what gets thrown their way, they are in it together - 100%. 

Cheers to this incredible couple on the celebration their engagement! I can't wait to see what the future has in store for you. <3 

Anna & Andrew

Marriage isn't always easy. In fact, it rarely ever is. He leaves his socks on the floor, she won't stop nagging. It's the epitome of patience at its finest.

Anna and Andrew are two amazing people. They bring out the best in each other, even during the most difficult times. Having the opportunity to capture their unconditional love in photographs was a complete honor, and they made my job all too easy. 

Happy 3 Year Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Bayliss! Here's to another year of laughs, love, and happiness!

Cheers! <3