Nicole Mathison Photography | What Is It Wednesday

Introducing…..What is it Wednesday!!!

The last Wednesday of every month I will be posting an image on my facebook page for you to guess what it is.

All you need to do is comment on the picture with your guess. The first person to identify the object correctly will win a $5 gift certificate for a treat on me 🙂

It could be Starbucks, Caribou, Cold Stone, Subway, etc.

Anyone can play so look for an image to be posted later today!

Letters To Our Children | January 2014

I am starting another monthly project/blog circle, Letters To Our Children.  My hope is to document the lives of my kids, James and Emi,  and let them know how much they mean to me.  It will be a wonderful collection of stories, milestones and my thoughts as they grow and experience such different stages in their lives.  In addition, I will be sharing photos from our month…some from my 5D Mark III and some from my iPhone because to be honest, a majority of our events are captured on my phone 🙂  My kiddos are at two completely different ends of the spectrum.  James, 17 years old, is a junior in high school and already thinking about his plans and life after high school and as a young man.  Emi, 4 months old, is just beginning her journey, changing almost daily and growing like a weed.

To my children,

James, I am so proud to see the young man you are becoming.  It’s been a whirlwind watching you change from the chubby cheek little boy with the bright blue eyes to a 6 foot tall, lean and fit young man.  It seems like just yesterday that you would snuggle with me and give me the best bear hugs, now I am lucky if I catch you in passing as you head to school and your various activities.

I have always been of the mindset that I will put you in every activity that you would like to try and let you determine what ones interest you most.  I am so proud that you continue to create your own path in this world, choosing to participate in cross country, track, National Honor Society, youth group, band, lifeguarding and now nordic skiing.  Through these activities you have learned such wonderful values like discipline, hard work, determination, leadership, sportsmanship, teamwork, compassion and goal setting.

This month you have stepped out of your comfort zone to join the Rochester Nordic Ski Team.  It’s not easy to try something new, especially in a different town with people you don’t know, but you have embraced this opportunity.  It was so fun listening to you tell us all about your ski trip to Maplelag as we conversed over dinner at Whistle Binkies the night we picked you up.  I love seeing your excitement as you talked about learning a new sport and how great the instructors were.  You even participated in your first meet this month, braving the wind and deep snow to finish ahead of some of the veteran skiers.  I am so glad I was there to witness it…and of course, take way too many pictures 🙂

In addition, you are such a wonderful big brother to Emi.  She absolutely adores you and every time you walk into the room, you totally light up her world.  Just smiling at her and saying, “Hi Emi!” brings the biggest smile to her face and it totally melts my heart to see such adoration.

Emi, I cannot believe how much you are growing and changing daily.  You are now 4 months old and weigh 13.13 pounds and measure just under 24.5 inches long.

*Emi with daddy at her 4 month check up

You love to explore things with your hands and of course your mouth.  You drool like crazy!!!  I can’t help, but to think there will be little teeth popping through any day now.  You learned how to roll over this month from your back to your belly.  Daddy and I were so excited to witness it for the first time on New Years Day!  You looked so proud of yourself <3  The next day you were already a pro at it.

*Emi after she rolled over for the first time

You also continue to kick your legs like crazy.  Dad is hoping that you will become a runner some day.  You come from a long line of runners….Grandpa Jim, Dad and your big brother James.  You spent the first few months of your life cheering on James at his cross country races and made your first big trip to Duluth to watch him run at the Swain Invitational.

It breaks my heart that I cannot stay home with you every day, but you are loving daycare at Megan’s.  You have a whole group of helpful new friends.  They wear you out with all of their attention….and of course pass on their germs 🙂  You are just getting over your worst cold yet, with lots of congestion, coughing and even some fevers.  You missed almost a whole week of daycare, but mom and dad didn’t mind taking off work to get some extra snuggles in.  I cannot wait until you are back to your normal happy, smiling self.  Regardless, you bring so much joy to our lives and we are completely smitten with you and your sweet little face <3



Please continue reading through the blog circle to see how my other friends are documenting the lives of their children.  Next up is Jessica Castaneda

Nicole Mathison Photography | 13 from 2013

As one of my photography projects this year, I will be participating in a blog circle with an amazing group of photographers from all over the country!  We met while attending The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International University in 2011.  Sheesh, that’s a mouthful!  It’s so much easier to use the initials WPPIU 🙂  Basically, WPPIU is a 2 day photography workshop for emerging professionals.  I am all about getting my photography education on so I hopped on a plane to Atlanta, GA to attend!  Education is so important in our industry.  It is really something that sets you apart from the sea of photographers out there 🙂  WPPIU exceeded my expectations.  The information from the speakers was mind blowing, but more importantly I got to meet so many talented photographers who were in the same boat as I was.  I am proud to call them friends and it’s wonderful having other professionals to bounce ideas off.  Our goal with this blog circle is to practice our skills in different areas of photography.

This month we are starting off with our favorite images from the past year.  It’s a great way to introduce y’all to the type of imagery we create.  While I really love creating timeless images for my clients, I took a lot of time this year taking workshops to improve my photography skills and shooting for myself.  Some of my favorite images came from being pushed out of my comfort zone and trying new things, especially with lighting.    While my commissioned work tends to be bright and fun, my personal work is more dramatic and darker toned.  Without further ado, here are my 13 favorites from 2013!

Favorite Client Shots:
I love this one of Miss Ava.  She was so cooperative with her composite shots and of course I love studio lighting for newborns.

How fun is this shot?!  I love the motion captured here with my studio lighting.  This image was used by to promote their studio lighting workshop last year 🙂

Favorite Self Portraits:
Waiting For Baby

This image was taken midway through my pregnancy with natural lighting from a smallish window in our bedroom.  The evening light was streaming in.  I love the dimension and tone variation in the blankets.  It kind of reminds me of water and has a calming peaceful feel.  This image was also featured on Evoking You  as the image of the day.

Maternity Lace

This was another studio lighting image that was taken very late in my pregnancy.  I wanted to emphasize the size of my belly one last time before our baby was born.  In addition I wanted to capture the emotion of carrying a baby, contentment, protectiveness and love.

Favorite Model:

James sitting for some dramatic studio lighting practice.  I am really loving the partially desaturated edgy look for guys portraits.

James gave me 10 minutes outside for this timeless portrait.  We were emulating a classic movie feel. So fun 🙂

Favorite Pet Images:
Spotty is an important member of our family too so he gets photographed just like everyone else.  He also has his own gallery wrapped canvas in our house 🙂  When I am looking for practice and can’t find a willing model, I can always count on the dog.  For this image, I really liked how the light was illuminating him.  I used an extra gritty editing style to emphasize his age.

I love the rim lighting here from the kitchen window and the composition with his head placement framed with the cabinetry behind him.    It works perfectly with the black and white edit.

I love a good silhouette.  I was able to capture a connection between dog and owner here and the colors of the sunset were gorgeous.

Favorite Sports Image:

I capture a lot of running events since I have a runner in my house and I am one of the official photographers of the Med City Marathon.  The backlighting in this image was awesome.  This image was also featured on for member submitted favorite sports images.

Favorite Images of My Own Baby:

I had wonderful intentions on capturing my own newborn photographs.  Luckily, I booked a newborn session with another talented photographer as seen HERE because Miss Emi just did not want to cooperate.  This image is representative of almost every attempt at capturing my own baby…Miss Emi at 13 days old.

This was captured around the three week mark.  It is hands down one of my favorite images ever.  I am obsessed with her sweet little feet, especially in contrast to dad’s big rough hands 🙂

And finally, my favorite image of 2013….Miss Emi at 2 months old.  Not only did she actually cooperate, but I was able to capture her sweet happy personality!  We have two gallery wrapped canvases of this image.  One in our living room and another at Brian’s work.  This image was also selected to be part of the favorite 2013 photos on

I have said it before and I will say it again, surround yourselves with images of the people you love!

Now that you’ve seen some of my favorite images, continue to browse through the rest of the blog circle…. Kiersta is up next!