Capture Studios

ELEVATE Workshop // Success Stories & Testimonials!

Creating the ELEVATE Workshop is a true pleasure. I'm a little nerdy and I think it's actually fun to write presentations and brand a whole bunch of goodies for our attendees. However, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that our attendees walk away inspired, changed and ready to rock their world. I think teaching and mentoring others is a true honor and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. My goal isn't to fill you with a bunch of bullshit - it's to be honest and open about my experiences and methods, so I can empower others to go forth and grow their businesses. In fact, after each ELEVATE Workshop, we survey our attendees and ask for the same honest critique and feedback to see how we can make future workshops better and stronger! While putting together this blog post, I was a little hesitant, because I don't want it to seem like I'm tooting-my-own-horn here, but I wanted to show you some of the responses we have received from past attendees! I also went to some of their blogs and I'm AMAZED by not only how the quality of their work has progressed, but also how much stronger their businesses have become!

One of my favorite success stories is Johnna Holmgren. Johnna attended ELEVATE last fall and she was really just officially embarking on the world of being a full-time wedding photographer. When Johnna and I sat down for our one-on-one's, she had mentioned that she had this little idea. You see, she had just taken part in a wedding fair and it was a smashing success. Her husband happens to be an amazing chalk-board artist, so he made their 'booth' at the wedding fair with chalk boards and amazing typography. It most definitely drew in a crowd and Johnna managed to book a TON of weddings, because her booth was so inspiring and innovative to the brides! As we chatted, Johnna mentioned how she felt like, maybe - just maybe - her husband could pursue his art of typography and maybe their chalkboard art could be a real thing? We sat, dreamed, talked and made goals for Johnna during her week with us and I'm happy to report that Johnna and Max launched their new brand, Bear Fox Chalk earlier this year!

Bear Fox Chalk Website

Johnna is just one of many success stories from our attendees at ELEVATE! Here are some quotes and feedback from others who have attended our workshops!

"I was actually really surprised at how different and variety filled your talks were. Each spoke about a different important aspect of photography. When you started, I thought "What are the rest of them going to talk about?... THIS IS IT!! THE MOST IMPORTANT!!!" Then Daniel started and I was like, "This is IT!! WOW!!" Then Collin.... and so on. So... it was GREAT! Full Day one blew me away." Johnna Holmgren from ELEVATE 2, Northern Minnesota

"Eliesa will inspire, encourage and challenge all that cross her path. she's a highly ambitious leader with a lot of wisdom to share." - Megas Daas, from ELEVATE 2, Northern Minnesota

"[The shooting challenges were] super awesome. Each challenge was different and that was fun. I liked that they weren't wedding based. It was a good chance to think about photography differently.. for those who only shoot a bunch of wedding.. a chance to step outside the box." - Jess from Elevate 1, Palm Springs

"Would you recommend Elevate to others? Why?  9/10 Yes. I recommend Elevate, because it puts shooters together with other shooters in an open, supportive, and honest environment.  And we all need that as artists." - Nate Larson of Capture Studios from ELEVATE 1 and 2.

"I loved that you (Eliesa) and the speakers weren't just "available" for questions during the presentation time but it was flowing throughout the entire time if there was anything that came up or critiques or things like that." Johnna Holmgren

"This is wedding photography workshop 3.0 and more people need to experience this type of workshop. We discovered things we just didn't want to hear, but NEEDED to hear." - RJ Kern

The registration deadline for our upcoming ELEVATE NYC Workshop is September 7th! Our seats are filling fast, but there is still room! We have an absolutely amazing group of people signed up! Join us!



Mr. and Mrs. Hunt!

Leah and Ricky have known each other for a very long time. The couple were best friends for years, when one day, things changed. Their friendship grew into a lovely relationship and before you know it, Leah and Ricky were tying the knot! One of my favorite moments of the day was with Ricky's parents, who are both deaf. Right before the ceremony, the interpreter tapped me on the shoulder and said that the mother-of-the-groom had a special request. We both went over to his parents and they said,[quote] "We want to take a photo of us giving the 'I Love You' sign in sign language. I want my new daughter to know how much I love her with my son!"[/quote] It was such a touching moment and a simple picture that means more than words for the couple! Leah and Ricky's wedding took place at the beautiful Calhoun Beach Club and had an awesome lineup of vendors for us to work with! The crew at Capture Studios was there to document their day along side us, and Le Petite Fleur wow'd us again with her amazing arrangements. Apres Party Rental put together some awesome tablescapes that transformed the venue into a beautiful reception! Gateaux did a stunning job on the couple's cake to add the perfect touch and wedding planner, DeAnna Foster, produced their beautiful wedding!

Congratulations to Leah and Ricky!


Published // The Knot Magazine

Being published is always on my list of things-to-do, and always something I strive for when photographing a wedding! Wedding magazines usually all run on the same schedule and we’ve been very lucky to be published in all of Minnesota’s wedding publications this year, including Minnesota Bride and Minneapolis/St. Paul Weddings. I’m super pumped to add The Knot to that roster and this issue features Stephen & Lisa’s AMAZING multicultural wedding! Their wedding was SO good in fact, that we had to present it in a two-part feature on our own blog (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 here!) Not only was their wedding gorgeous, but we also had the extreme pleasure of working with our friends over at Capture Studios during their wedding! I thought this was the perfect opportunity to show off their gorgeous wedding video as well!
Ceremony: Our Lady of Victory Chapel, St Paul Reception: The Depot Minneapolis Gown: Bridal Accents Couture Makeup: Smart & Chic Bride Bridesmaid Dresses: Custom made in Vietnam Flowers: Richfield Floral DJ: DJ Thise, 5000 Live Entertainment Favors: Lets Do Wine and Beer Invitations: Custom made in Vietnam Film: Capture Studios Photography: Photogen Inc.

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FOUND // The Art of Wedding

One week ago, we hosted FOUND // The Art of Wedding. It was an event to bring together our city, our industry and our clients to celebrate wedding art and it was a SMASHING success! It's always been a dream of mine to put an event like this on and it was the perfect time to do so! We're guessing anywhere from 300-350 of you stopped by throughout the night, which was an amazing turn out!8 weeks ago, I had this little idea to have an art show and lucky for me, some of the best vendors in town were on board with my little idea turning into a big event! A night like this could not have happened without the following artists and sponsors, and I want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to each and every one of you who helped me pull this off! Artists //

Photogen Inc Rivets and Roses Munster Rose Paperista Capture Studios Tara LaTour


514 Studios Minnesota Bride Style Architects BeEvents Coca & Fig Crispin Avant Decor Flow DJ

A very special thank you to Capture Studios for making this SUPER COOL video clip from the night, it's truly inspiring! I would also love to thank Leslie, Natalie and Desiree from Rivets and Roses for all of the photographs below!!


I hope everyone who came found a little bit of inspiration during the night! If so, mission accomplished!


FOUND // The Art of Wedding - You're Invited!


I am SO excited to finally announce this big event I've been working on!

For years now, I've wanted to do a fine art show, featuring work from all of the amazing weddings we've photographed over the years! Well, now is the time and this has turned into an even larger affair than I could have ever imagined! Here are all the details:

Join us for a revelatory night of cocktails and celebration as Photogen Inc. and Rivets & Roses present "FOUND // The Art of Wedding," on Friday, January 20th, 2012 at 514 Studios in the North Loop district of Minneapolis.

FOUND celebrates local talent working to elevate weddings to an art form and introduces engaged couples and Twin City art lovers alike to their work. The event will be curated by Eliesa Johnson and features fine-art installations by photographers Photogen Inc. and Rivets and Roses, fashion designer Tara LaTour, floral designers Munster Rose, filmmakers Capture Studios and stationer Paperista. MN Bride will be handing out complimentary copies of its latest issue, while Flow DJ spins some tunes, Cocoa & Fig will display and serve their tastiest confections, and the lovely crew at Crispin will pour up tastes of their refreshing cider. So whether you're a newly engaged couple or a fine art enthusiast, FOUND is sure to find you enchanted, inspired, and a little imbibed.

This event is open to the public, and it is a +21 event!

You can find out more information by checking out the official website at FOUNDEVENT.COM and follow us on twitter @FOUNDEvent! Hope to see you all there!


Lisa + Stephen by Capture Studios!

You all know that I am a big advocate for collaborating with other artists and when it comes to having video on your wedding day, there is no one better than Capture Studios! Lisa and Stephen had an AMAZING Vietnamese and American wedding earlier this summer! I fell in love with this couple and just HAD to share their fabulous video clip!Stephen + Lisa // The Depot from capture studios on Vimeo.

Have a great weekend!


Tara and Jorge: Married in Spain // Part 2

Let me start this post by saying this...I don't think I have ever worked harder while shooting a wedding as I did for Tara and Jorge's big day! Not because I felt like I needed to or prove anything to anyone, but simply because absolutely everywhere I looked, there was something even more beautiful to photograph! My mind was literally a whirlwind and it was awesome! Matt from Capture Studios came along to film the wedding and we had about a 14 hour shooting day...and every bit of it was absolutely amazing! Weddings are not-that-big-of-a-deal in this region. Normally, it is a very small and intimate time with close family and friends, so Tara and Jorge's day was a straight up Affair! Their ceremony took place in a little village, just outside of Santiago, where Jorge grew up and the reception was inside the oldest hotel in the world. heard me...THE OLDEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD! It's called the Parador de Santiago de Compostela and it was originally a hospital for all of the pilgrims who had made their journey to Santiago. It was founded in the 1499 by the infamous Isabella and know, the couple who funded Christopher Columbus on his journey to America, yeah, them! It was turned into a hotel in the 1920's and sits right at the foot of the Cathedral.

As we walked through the streets of Santiago, the people cheered, pointed and applauded the couple. Tara and Jorge were kind-of-a-big-deal on their big day, and I would have it no other way! In fact, at one point, a local asked us, "Is this a real wedding or for a magazine?" The couple was even considered straight up royalty! At the head table, during their reception, there was a gold table piece that is only brought out for the King and Queen. Tara managed to score it for her wedding...classic!

Above all the extravagance of their day, the ideas were so simple. This amazing couple, who came from two very different worlds, were joining together - and also joining together their families, friends and culture. Their wedding was a truly classic affair that I will never forget!

Make sure to check out Part 1 of Tara and Jorge's shoot here!


Congratulations to Tara and Jorge on such an amazing wedding and for being such a great couple for our 2010 Wedding Giveaway! It was a dream come true for everyone involved!


P.s..and I think, for the record, this makes me World-Wide-International...right!?!?!

Santiago de Compostela // Personal Photos!

I'm currently in the super hot, uber sticky JFK airport...for another few hours before my flight back to MPLS, and I just thought that something had to get better about this place! It did! I found a little organic cafe + free internet....perfecto! With my mind still 'speaking en Espanol', I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to blog to you all about our time in Santiago! Santiago de Compostela is the most magical and enchanting place I have ever been to. It is full of history and is most famous for the final destination of the pilgrimage of St. James. Pilgrims come from all over the world to make the great trek and see this place, which is absolutely worth the journey! It's a place of leisure and where Jesus, just might literally pass you in the street! The scenery is breath-taking and I couldn't believe we were getting the opportunity to photograph in such a gorgeous location!

Matt and Faith of Capture Studios met up with us on this portion of the trip, since Matt offered his services as well for this year's wedding giveaway! It was fantastic to spend time with them and also experience this new place together! We also met our new friend, Leslie, who use to live in Santiago and ended up being our personal tour guide / translator / life-saver! We spent much of our free time exploring the city and scouting out sweet locations for Tara and Jorge's wedding!!

Here are some personal photos I took along the way!


I promise, the next blog post will be of this amazing wedding!! I've already gone through my initial edit and I'm absolutely in love with them...they do deserve a big-screen-edit, instead of my little laptop, so it will be a couple days!

Until then, enjoy Santiago!