Time to blog...

I have always loved movies. Some people are more drawn to t.v., or books, or magazines, or video games, or sports. Nope...I love movies. I know this has had an influence on the type of photography I'm drawn to. I'm always looking for cinematic moments. But, I don't work with actors, I work with real people. Some don't feel comfortable in front of a camera and don't feel like they've ever taken a good picture. That's where I come in. I love people and helping them feel comfortable with me is a skill I'm always working to improve.  

slow news day...in Photography

So I wanted to share something totally fun and different from anything else I've posted recently. Totally random is fun!

Here's the recipes my neighbor forward to me today...I can't wait to try them!



This soy dipping sauce recipe is typical of sauces served with Asian dumplings, but it can be used with other foods, as well as a marinade for meats, seafood or poultry. It is delicious and nothing could be quicker or easier. The recipe can be made in any amount desired. For my Chinese pork dumplings recipe, see the links below.



  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably lower-sodium
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (can use white or red wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

~I added a handful of chopped fresh cilantro...YUMMY!!! Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve as a dip or use as a marinade for meats, poultry or seafood.

Note: If desired, hot chiles or crushed red peppers can be added for heat.

I sauteed chopped asparagus and yellow squash together in hot canola oil with a bit of toasted sesame oil (to compliment the flavors in the sauce used on the tuna)  and added a couple of minced cloves of garlic.  When I served them, I put a spoonful of this on top:
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 6 sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- handful of chopped cilantro
- olive oil
- fresh ground pepper and sea salt
I served it with the kid's favorite rice recipe: it's from Emeril Lagasse's Planet Green
I use basmati rice in the rice cooker, lite coconut milk and chicken broth, I am hooked on the herbs in the tubes, and use the ginger for all my recipes instead of chopping fresh.  I used dried lemongrass stalks tied together, although I have found the herb tube of lemongrass.  I put in a healthy squeeze of herb tube of cilantro- Also...I have to double this recipe to feed our family.  Can you believe it?  I end up with some extra, but that's better than not enough :)
Aromatic Jasmine Rice
Ingredients: 2 cups jasmine rice 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, bruised with the side of a knife and tied in a bundle 1 inch piece ginger 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water 1 cup coconut milk 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts, for garnish (only when I make this with a stir fry)

It's my birthday...I can write whatever I want to!

Wedding and Portrait PhotographyI was thinking about the interviews I've seen on E-news (mainly Jennifer Lawrence...I love her!) and how they ask pointed questions to get thoughtful answers. That's what we're going to do for today's post. What are your deep thoughts for this year?

"Whenever anyone asked my Grandma how old she was, her answer was always the same, "39 and holding." (for that reason we never really knew her exact age and she always acted younger anyway.) But, it's made me think about her a lot in the weeks leading up to my birthday, she must have loved this age to hold onto it for so many years. I think there's something special about getting all I can out of the 30's...I plan to be more brave this year and I intend to look for beauty and hold onto hope."

What are you doing differently with photography business?

"This is my second year spending my winter months ("off season") mentoring photographers and I'm realizing how much I love it. I've been teaching photography workshops for years and will continue to do that, but there's nothing like walking with someone for 6 months and seeing them achieve goals they never thought possible!" (Find out more)

"I'm not giving up my day job! I love wedding photography and portrait photography is a close second. I'm going to be doing this for a long time!"

Why are you going back to school?

"I never got my degree and for a long time I didn't think I needed it, but as my youngest will be going to kindergarten in the fall, I started to dream (again) about what I want to be when I grow up. I decided that I love photography too much to give it up, but I love investing in people as well. So, I'm getting my generals at Normandale and probably finishing my degree at University of Minnesota so that I can grow my photography business and start a new life coaching business. Of course, all this is subject to change, but I'm enjoying the ride. Going back to school has been amazingly exciting and totally scary! In each class I'm learning not only about the subject, but about myself...it's been really good. (sounds a little mid-life-crisis-y? maybe. but, I'm okay with that.)"

What does "almost 40" look like for you?

"I have grey hairs. I don't mind the change in color but no one told grey hairs are crazy, coarse, stick straight up and look ridiculous...just cause for pulling them out!"

"I feel a little older (winded after walking up stairs :) but, I also feel a little wiser. I like the trade off."

"And lastly, I would sum it up in one word...quieter. It's hard to explain. I'm still me with all my passion, extroverted-ness, and zeal, but I'm quieter on the inside. More content to just be. Happy in my skin. Does that make sense?"

Anything you want to add?

"Being brave has its risks, but life is worth living.

Life is messy.

I'm messy. I'm okay with that.

I want to learn from my first 38 years and keep learning. I want for you too!"

March 5, 1976 I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. (long story) But, I googled what was happening that day and here's what I found!




My birth story.

Today I'm 38. (for those of you who follow my blog I actually thought I was 38 last year and was so happy to get a year back!) In the past I've written about birthday traditionsposted fun shots of me in Vegas and shared some lame family photos. But, today I really am 38. nothing special about this birthday but, it's the day I was born. There's a story behind every person and how they came into the world.

I'm the cute little baby

This is my story.

My mom and dad were living in a Canada and they just had my sister Elizabeth Sunshine (pretty name right?) My sis was 6 months old when they found out they were pregnant with me. (After having 3 kids of my own…I realize how crazy it must of felt to be adding a second, when you're first is still a baby.)

My dad was from Uruguay (small country just below Brazil) and after several years in Canada, they packed up or sold everything they owned and moved to Montevideo (the Capital.) Beautiful beaches. Tons of Latin family. A fresh start. A lot of hard work and impossible transitions.

I made my first international trip at 13 weeks...I mean my mom was 13 weeks pregnant with me. My Mom's life was about to radically change and so was mine.

We landed into a new country, with a new language, a new culture, a new family…well, you get the point.

My dad went to work to support us and my mom took care of Elizabeth and learned spanish on the streets: markets, conversations, tv and living with family.

I can't imagine what it was like. Can you? In this new place I grew.

Incredible adventure mixed with scary unknowns…all the while she's caring for the baby in her arms and the baby in her belly.

I was born on March 5th, 1976, six months after they arrived in Uruguay. My mom delivered in a small hospital where none of the medical staff spoke english. Thankfully my dad was there to translate…but again, labor and delivery is hard enough let alone not being able to understand anyone trying to help you.

They named me: Noemi Isabel Albojer (what a mouthful…but I guess that's appropriate because I always have something to say! )

My name actually means: pleasant, consecrated to God. I like that.

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I was born without hair and didn't have much for the first year of my life.

Now the plot thickens...Elizabeth was 15 months and I was a newborn and we moved into the building my dad had renovated…the paint was still fresh when we came home.

My first bed? A suitcase.

Red hair and brown eyes…fair skin and a perfect nose.

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After 6 months my parents were now expecting my younger sister Cindi and decided that they would prefer Canada. So after was born, we made the long trek back and started over again.

So why the spanish name? Elizabeth was born in Canada when they thought they were staying there. I was born in Uruguay so they gave me a spanish name thinking they would be staying. By the time they had Cindi, they knew they were coming back. So, I'm the only one in the family with a spanish name. They meant well. :)

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In the midst of my dad setting up a new business and raising 3 girls…along came my brother. They had 4 kids in 5 years and moved back and forth between countries twice. They were brave. They worked hard. They did the best they could.

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I love where I came from. Latin culture explains a lot about me and my personality.

This story is messy but…that's okay...it's mine.

Noone's story is perfect.

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You know what you can give me for a birthday present? Leave a comment and tell me something unique about your birth story. 



FOCUSED Photography and Social Media Workshop

I love teaching Photography Workshops and getting to join with Cate from Wildruffle made this last workshop so special! The combination of Photography and Social Media in a Workshop was a big hit. We purposely focused on product shooting for the practical portion of the workshop…a bit of a twist! We knew the small business women coming were wanting to learn how to promote their products through photography and social media. And we had a great time getting to know them! First we featured the gorgeous scarves by Northernly and secondly, the stunning jewelry from Stella and Dot.

I've already heard from people asking about the next workshop…you will have first dibs by clicking "like" on the NoemiPhotography Facebook page. (that's the first place I post the latest news) I'm planning 3 or 4 more workshops in 2014.

AND if you're interested in One on One Mentoring contact me for details! (noemi@noemiphotography.com)

Wedding and Portrait Photography

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Crying over spilled milk...

A couple of weeks ago I went grocery shopping and in the frigid temps the milk lid cracked and a little bit of milk spilled in my trunk. The milk crystalized and I took it to be detailed the next morning thinking that would take care of it. Nope. Within a couple of days our van smelled like something had died in it. Nothing helped the smell so, I took it back to Paradise and they did 2 more 12 hour soak and clean on the carpet to get it smell out. Turns out its the carpet pad underneath and we can't get to it because the carpet is one piece. After spending $150 on detailing and cleaning it still reeks and I don't know what to do. They suggested selling it, but I can't believe that there isn't a better solution. Do you have suggestions? I would love to hear them.

My suggestions? -Design the next van with the ability to get to the pad without tearing out the whole carpet. snaps under the back seat?

While I have you I also want to encourage you to add all wheel or four wheel drive to the family van. After months of snow driving I would love the extra power and control behind the wheel.

Thanks for listening!

FOCUSED Photography and Social Media Workshop - Giveaway!

Do you have a small business and desire to take it to the next level in 2014?

Have you ever wanted to take better pictures of your kids/dog/products/vacations, etc. and need some expert guidance to get you that wow shot?

Are you a blogger who is wondering how to grow your following and connect with readers who would love what you have to say?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the many social media platforms and the time it seems to take to utilize them all?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," you're going to want to take the FOCUSED Photography and Social Media Workshop, coming up on Saturday, Feb. 8th from 1-4:30 here in the Twin Cities, where you'll receive 3 1/2 hours of hands on training from Noemi (of Noemi Photography) and Cate (of Wild Ruffle) - two women who have built their businesses from the ground up and are ready to share their tips and tricks for getting there.

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And there's good news! Because one lucky Wild Ruffle/Noemi Photography fan is going to get the opportunity to attend for free!

Wedding and Portrait Photography

Click on the Rafflecopter links below to get started!

And if you don't want to enter - no worries. Just click here to register to attend! We'd love to have you with us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest is open now until Friday, Jan 17th at 11:59 pm CST. Winner will be selected randomly and contacted via email sometime on Saturday, Jan 18th. Good luck to all who enter!

Selling Used Camera Bags…First come first serve.

First up…the fabulous bodabag! Wedding and Portrait PhotographyWedding and Portrait Photography

What is it? The Boda Bag is a lens bag. It comes in two sizes: small and large. I have the large one. So what is a lens bag? Well, it’s not a camera bag. It’s meant to hold lenses. You hold your camera and keep this bag slung around your shoulder to change lenses, filters, etc… really fast. Now, keep in mind, even though it’s not a camera bag, you can fit a camera body in it. Depending on the lens, you may have to disconnect it but I was able to fit my Canon Mark III (with battery grip) with a 70-200 lens attached. That’s all it fit in the main compartment though. But it is great for a quick trip.

Here's a video promo!

And a video review!

The bag is in excellent condition. Selling for $65.00 (plus $10.00 shipping or pick up in Prior Lake)

And second option…the classic Camera Backpack from Lowepro

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This back pack has tons of room and will carry your lenses, camera(s), and accessories. Comfortable and in excellent condition.

The backpack is $75.00 (plus $15.00 shipping or pick up in Prior Lake)

The Mini Trekker Aw didn't have it's own video but here's some other sample videos of Lowepro backpacks!



The Walker Family Portraits - Minnesota Harvest, Jordan MN

I love the fall. I love apples. (especially honey crisp)

I love color.

I love Gods creation.

I love the feeling of hope in new beginnings.

I love capturing families...and the background of Minnesota Harvest is one of my favorites!

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Family Portraits - Minneapolis, MN

Yes, here in Minneapolis, MN we are still experiencing winter like weather conditions, but last week I have my family in town and it was sunny at my house! My sweet sister and her husband and their adorable little boy...I just love them all so much! And did I mention she's about to have a little girl? I can't wait to meet her! We took advantage of us being together and did a little photo session! Why not, right?

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Don't you just love this moment? The one where you as the mom are wondering why you've brought your family out for a photo shoot because there's NO WAY the photographer is going to get any good pictures...then there's the moment later when the perfect cuddle is captured. It makes everything worth while. Plus, who doesn't love an awesome tantrum shot?

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Happy Birthday to me.

I don't mind getting older and I'm really comfortable with me. Maybe a little too comfortable...I actually thought I was turning 38 today but through many conversations on Facebook I figured out that I'm 37 today! I'm feel so young! 09_photogirls_2012

I remember my Grandma so well. She was a young spirit. You know the kind of person that had spunk and enjoyed life? Well, I remember asking her how old she was and her answer was always, "39 and holding!" I thought about that this week. My Grandma thought 39 was the perfect age. Not too old and not too young. So, I'm excited for that year. :) For now I'll enjoy 37.

When I think about the year to come these are the words that came to mind:

-rest and seek God

-love your family

-smile...a lot.

-build and rebuild relationships

-sit still and listen


-keep trying new things

-invest in friends

-forgive quickly and let things go

-be thankful

-say no and be okay

-think before you speak

-listen more

-remember that simple pampering goes a long way

-take time to breathe and enjoy!

Cause it's going to be a great year.

42_photogirls_2012 Photos taken by: Shelley Paulson

Hel-lo Blog...I feel like it's been a while since we've had a heart to heart.

Being a wedding photographer in Minnesota means one "for sure" thing July to November is VERY BUSY and September to November is PSYCHO! I have felt like I had lost my brain many times over the past couple of months. I have a really hard time saying "no" and the bottom line is I love want I do so much I really want to capture everyone. So I did...and last Saturday was my last wedding of the season (pictures will be posted soon) and I already feel like I'm breathing deeper. My "to do" list is slowly getting smaller and I'm excited to finish this race well. As the holidays approach and winter comes I'm smiling because I will hibernate. What does that look like for me? December to May...

-Spending more time with my family and less time at the computer

-Reading (ohh, I have a list of good books I want to tackle)

-Finding a hobby or two that isn't anything to do with photography.

-Praying and studying Genesis for BSF

-Spending time with friends (stress free)

-Shooting the things that inspire me...editing them when ever I want.

-Taking Photography workshops

-Redoing my logo and website (long overdue I KNOW! But all the more sweet when the new look is revealed)

-Sorting out my accounting and doing taxes.

-Meeting with brides and booking weddings for 2013

-Planning FOCUS Photography Workshops (Any new ideas you'd like me to teach on?)

It may not seem like it but December to May is restful compared to the rest of my year and I can't wait. I'm sure some of you have had similar feelings and I hope you are taking care and getting rest. What helps you breathe deep? Being with people or being alone. What makes you feel full of life? Helping people, loving family, being with friends, encouraging others, giving money away...

During this holiday season, will you do something. Sit down and have a warm cup of love...rest.

I give us permission to take care.


Hougas Family Portraits - Minneapolis, MN

I've mentioned before and I'm gonna keep saying it, " I love it when families I've captured recommend me to other families! It's the highest compliment anyone can give." Plus, I love getting to see familiar faces again and again.

This family is one of those amazing families that is a pleasure to work with and their one year old precious girl totally stole my heart!

Do you write to process things that are going on in your life?

For as long as I can remember I have kept a journal and have loved writing my thoughts on paper. As an adult, I go in and out of seasons where I still keep a journal only now my fingers hurt from writing because I type so much and don't use those muscles. The end result is the same...I have this need to get what's going on inside me out. What do I write about? I pray. I whine. I shout. I cry. I laugh (mostly at myself). I just talk only I write it all. I have been blogging for years and at different stages I have written more (and then less) from my heart. Mostly, depending on the business of life.

I'm in a great place right now. i have so much to be thankful for and today i decided to write out my thoughts on the blog instead of my journal...so here goes...brace yourself for random:

I miss my sisters. I have 2 and the live in Canada and England. Most times it's fine but, lately it's not. I miss them. I wish I could help them with their kids, let them go on date nights and sit down for a cup of tea...but I can't. I see them 1-2 times a year and it's hard.

I have incredible friends. Friends that are like sisters. I don't deserve the amazing women that surround me. I could turn to them ANYTHING! For help, prayer, guidance, hugs and support...they would help me. These relationships have not come easy but they were definitely worth the fight.

I love the stage of life I'm moving into. I'm sleeping and so are my kids. Life is systematic and I love that. I'm at home learning my kids and trust me, that's a full time job!

I feel settled in photography. I know who I am: a mentor, a visionary, a relator, and a business woman. When I went to WPPI with a couple of close photographer friends I came up with a way to describe my photography style. I am a romantic-comedy story teller. I have a little cinema drama in my images but the essence of my photography captures the love and joy of relationships. What do you think?

I love that we skipped winter this year. Can we do that again next year?

I married the most incredibly hard working man. He does well with...most things. And no matter what is thrown at him he is faithful to complete it. I'm so thankful to be his wife.

I'm so glad I bought a couple of plants this week. I love looking at green stuff in my house!

I love having a blog. A place where other women come to be encouraged and sometimes challenged. I'm not the greatest writer but I put my heart into everything I do! What are you putting your heart into right now? I'd love to hear.

Using perfect light to enhance a family portrait shoot!

So, you want to learn how to shoot family portraits better? It's no secret that the best times to capture sunlight is when the sun comes up in the morning and as the sun is going down in the evening. this sunlight is softer, warmer, and coming from a better angle then straight down. Sometimes it's hard to time it perfectly...especially when young children are involved, but the results make it worth it! Photography is not hard! Look for the right light in the right space and focus. :) Pick an open field and a pile of rocks, put the sun behind the family and expose for the faces of the family...shoot fast and do crazy things to make them laugh!

PS. The previous post I featured the youngest of this family and this was is all about their oldest! SHE IS SO FUN TO CAPTURE...the blowin' curls in the open field totally suits her personality! I love my job. ENJOY!

KONY 2012

Do you know who Joseph Kony is? You will by the end of this post. I watched this video last night and I was moved beyond words. A few weeks ago I shared how I'm starting to put the wheels in motion towards adding a second blog revolved around the issue of human trafficking. My heart for the children involved in this evil system of buying and selling growing daily.

I love this video for two reasons: 1. It does make a different when we stand up and say something! 2. People do care about the poor and broken.

We're learning together. Click here to read more.