Saturday, May 24, 2008

{oh my! over a month!} & Special Memorial Day Offer!

Oh. My. It has been over a month since I posted on this blog.
I'm truly embarrassed! I know, I know, everyone says they are busy, and me too, but this spring has been very busy in all areas of my life; photography work; including families, kids, babies, politicians and work for headshots, and also very busy volunteering at school for my kids, local politics, I'm a delegate to the state DFL convention in June and I am very excited, and projects around the house etc. blog has been abandoned. Just in case any of my previously faithful readers are still out there, I'm going to post a special Memorial Day offer below a few recent shots. :)
I shouldn't even be posting at all, as I have five sessions I should be editing, but I felt bad when I realized how long it has been, so...a few recent shots that I still have on my hardrive. 

Still there? :) Thanks!
So, my super-secret Memorial Day special for the lucky clients who still read my neglected blog and notice it:
Purchase a Gift Certificate this weekend for any dollar amount over $50, and you will get 20% more added for free!!! For example, if you purchase a $100 gift certificate this weekend, you will actually get one for $120. A $500 gift certificate would become $600! I will accept gift certificate purchases through Monday (memorial day, 5/26/08) at 7pm. Cannot be used with any other offer, and gift certificates must be used within one year of purchase. :)
To take advantage of this special offer, email me here! Include the amount you would like (not including the add'l 20%) and I will send you an invoice that you can pay by credit card @ paypal, and must be paid within 24 hours, or is void. Questions? Email at above link. 


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Advice from Real Simple...

That I love---get professional photos taken of your child.
Check out this article on the Real Simple blog. :)
Good idea, no? I know just the person for you!

On another note, just launched another new website of mine not too long ago:
Twin Cities Headshots for models, actors, authors, politicos, comedians, you name it, anyone who needs a headshot. :) Still have a little work to be done on the site, but its mostly done. Pass the word around!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Congratulations to Mikala!!

Mikala's entry won our "Share the Love" contest, voted on by our blog readers! Congratulations! Thank you everyone who voted! 

Monday, April 14, 2008

ZENN electric cars...have you heard of these?

Just wanted to share with my readers these nifty electric cars I came across: Zenn Cars, sold locally at Linden Hills co-op. If you primarily do city street driving, these might just work for you. Love the acronym: ZENN=zero emissions no noise.
Check it out here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A semi-recent session...

I keep meaning to blog about recent sessions and show some of my favorite images and life just keeps getting  in the way. My apologies to the parents of all the cute kids who I have missed. If you are feeling left out, drop me an email and I'll try to feature your little one too. :)
Here is one from last weekend, the most adorable little brother and sister. This little guy was only 2 years old and so talkative and so into his Thomas trains and airplanes, etc. Just the smartest, cutest, sweetest little boy. A true joy to photograph and meet.... 

And his little sister, 3 months old, a little camera shy, but just beautiful with her big expressive eyes..

And lastly, a couple with Mom & Dad...such a charming family. Thank you!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Share the Love Contest Entries...

Before I list the entries, I wanted to say that this has been really hard for me. I wish I had the time to provide sessions and photos for each of these wonderful entries. Also, I had this idea to do this because I realize that custom photography is a luxury that isn't in the budget of many wonderful families, it is in no way a judgement of anyone being in poverty or having a "worse story" as suggested by a few negative emails I got. I hope this contest is accepted in the kind hearted giving way I intended it to be! :)
So, here we go finally! We have four entries, and I'm just going to offer a brief summary of each, removing a few of the details provided and hoping to not invade their privacy too much. Please read through each of the four before voting.

#1: Mikala
Mikala is a beautiful, kind, intelligent girl. In her almost 14 years she has suffered much heartache. She lost her brother to leukemia six years ago, and then her father passed away unexpectedly. Through this all she has kept soldily grounded and has chosen to express her grief in wonderful writings. She is a kind and gentle daughter, cousin and committed to her friends, and has wanted to have professional pictures done but has not been able to.

#2: The "D" Family
Melanie and her husband had two children, or did until 3 years ago. They decided to open up their home, and adopted three children from Africa. Two twin girls, and their little brother. With that many mouths to feed, but still have ability to raise her children, she and a friend of hers started their own cookie shop. At first they were baking just to supply coffee shops, and theatre houses. This fall they were able to open their own store. During all of this time of change with a new growing family and a new business adventure, she and her husband decided to train and run their first marathon. They did, even with the sweeper right behind them. This is a family who is real, loving, and always striving for the best in life.

#3: Rebecca & Larry's family:
I want to give a suggestion for your contest. My dear friend Rebecca and her husband Larry have two beautiful children - Sam (3 1/2) and Tristan (9 months). Rebecca is a SAHM but also works part-time as a doula and midwife apprentice. Larry works for his local Neighborhood Association. They are very dedicated parents and so involved in the community and so giving to so many people. They are not poor by any means, but they definitely do not have room in their budget for quality photography of their children. And it's been a rather trying winter for them - (health issues mentioned and removed to respect privacy...) Yet they are always so positive and willing to help us (and others) out with childcare, bringing meals to new parents, and being involved in the community.

I KNOW they they would be so grateful if they were to be chosen to receive photography of their family.

#4: The "R: Family:
I've nominated the "R" family of the Twin Cities area. Colleen "J" (formerly R) was one of my closest friends in middle school (before we relocated to another state) and I've always thought she had an amazing family. Raised by a single mother, the youngest of 12 (and the only girl), Colleen is the most grounded human being I've ever met. And her mother, widowed when Colleen was just a toddler, did it all on her own. I think that collecting the R family for a professional portrait, in honor of their mother, would be a wonderful gift. Please consider them for your contest.

There is a poll over to the side where you can vote (may have to scroll over----->that way. )

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Voting to come soon...

I was waiting on the possibility of another entry for the contest, but haven't heard back yet. I will put the voting up later today or early tomorrow. We have four really cool entries. :)
thanks for your patience!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

We've got three entries so far!

I'm excited to say that we have three great entries for our Share-the-Love contest now, and I'm still looking for more. I can't wait to do the session for whichever family wins. I'm really excited about it! :)
Just ending Spring Break here in the Hanson Family. Started out with lots of snow on our first day last monday, and wrapped up friday with a fun visit to "Grandma & Grandpa's farm" on a lovely sunny 60 degree day friday. Minnesota can be so weather schizo sometimes. Here are a couple shots of my kids...
shorts & a down jacket...only in MN right? ;)

And then, here is a photo of the old trailer/truck in the above photo. I'm using it to show an example of something I've been having a lot of fun with lately: playing with textures and shading in photoshop to make a photo look really different. 
Here is the original, straight out of the camera: 

Then, here is the same photo with textures and some other photoshop playing done... remember you can click on a photo to see it larger. Kind of fun to play with some new things. I'll have our voting up tomorrow for the contest. 

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Please pass on our contest to those you know...

Have only had one entry so far! Two other people emailed saying they had the perfect family, but no info and no entry. Anyway, hope to get more entries, so please pass on the Share-the-love contest info below via email to people you know.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

**Share the Love Contest!!**

Announcing our first ever "Share the Love" Contest:
Its pretty easy~submit the name and a brief (short paragraph) statement and a photo about someone who deserves a complimentary package with Mary Hanson Photography!
I will accept unlimited entries and then we will have a blog vote as to who is most deserving. The winner gets a complimentary photo session plus a minimum of a $300 photo credit (thats a value of $550!) to be used for prints from the session.
(I'm a softie and might give more)

The person who submitted the winner gets a $100 photo credit, to be used towards a future session or prints.
Who can enter? Anyone can suggest a person for the contest, but the contest participant must be local to the Mpls/St. Paul metro area.
Who would be a good candidate? That's up to you: my blog readers. I had in mind someone who can't afford to have custom photos taken of their child(ren) but it could be also someone who has a special situation, or health issues or whatever. I've given a lot of pro-bono work away to needy people, but I'm putting it in YOUR hands to suggest my next project!
How to I enter someone? Simply email Mary their name, contact info, short paragraph and attach a small photo (quality doesn't matter a bit, just a snapshot or camera phone shot is fine!) and then wait for voting to begin.
If you have more questions, email Mary with them and I will answer them within this post!
Contest ends at 6pm Sun. April 6th, 2008.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Al Franken rally at the Capitol today...

I went to see one of my favorite people, Al Franken, speak at a rally today at the State Capitol. Al was announcing a whole slew of endorsements he received recently, and he gave a great speech as well. I am so excited to be a delegate to the state convention in June to help Al get the DFL endorsement. I firmly believe he is the best candidate to beat President Bush's lapdog, Norm Coleman and that Al will do all he can to fight hard to help get our country back on the right path in so many areas. I've read pretty much every book he has ever written, and I am so impressed with his understanding of the myriad of issues that he will face in Washington. If you have not read his books, I highly recommend them. And if you are also a delegate to the state DFL convention, I really hope you will help me in securing the endorsement for Al Franken! Feel free to email me if you want to know more. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five years ago today...

The war in Iraq began five years ago today.
Half a decade.
One thousand eight hundred and 27 days.
Nearly 4000 US troop casualties, and as far as Iraqi deaths--estimates put the toll at between 100,000 and one million.
No matter your political leanings or beliefs, we can all come together and agree that this war has been a tragedy.
Please take a moment of silence today to pray for all the families affected.
I also want to thank the US soldiers who have served, and are serving, in a war that I fear has no end in sight.I hope our lawmakers in the US Capitol will keep us out of Iran, and bring home the troops in Iraq as soon as humanly possible.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

spring snow...

I want spring.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Finally! Some photos

In random order, a bunch of photos that I've been saving up in my huge folder of "photos to be put on the blog"...yes, I'm a horrible procrastinator lately. My apologies... so, on to the photos:

still enjoying the underwater camera! :) (Olympus stylus 770sw)

doesn't every urban baby need an iPhone? ;)

very handsome senior guy...
teen girls: sorry to report he *does* have a girlfriend...

Our new kitty is now nearly as big as his big sister, both of whom love water...

Hope you enjoyed a small catchup of some of the photos I've been meaning to post. Check back soon, as I have a fabulous CONTEST COMING UP!