Good Ole Saint Nick is back at McDonald’s Studio Saturday December 3rd from 12:00 to 4:00 & Sunday December 4th from 12:00 to 4:00.
This year hasn’t been easy but as the most wonderful time of year approaches we here at McDonald’s Studio are looking back at 2020 with a different lens. Here, we’re taking a look at memorable and joyful events of the year through photographs we have created throughout the year.
When we had a session dedicated all to man’s best friend and got some cute shots like this.
Moments like two young brothers sitting together as the younger discovers ducklings for the first time.
When one of our editors, Chloe had way too much fun with photoshopping effects and helped to create this memorable shot.
How could we leave out when Joe was invited to the White House in pre-COVID 2020 to meet the Prime Minister of Ireland! While there, Joe created these photographs of the Supreme Court and Capitol.
This was not the end of Joe’s travels then either. Right after DC, he hoped on a plane to the Happiest Place on Earth and took part in a photoshoot at EPCOT.
And even when the pandemic came in full swing, we still managed to find merry and bright moments. Like when the cherry blossoms bloomed and filled the air with their fragrance.
Of course, Joe wasn’t just busy at the studio! As a State Representative, the Master Photographer worked hard with his colleagues to pass a relief bill to help those affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. Not only did the bill pass, but he created this photograph after adjourning the session.
We also learned how to make a few new food items and Joe captured this at home while he and his son attempted to make Disney-style churros.
And even found new beginnings to celebrate…
Then a week after that we had a snowfall in the middle of October. Can’t say it came on time but it certainly did make for a beautiful picture!
The holidays rolled around of course, and though they looked a bit different, we still managed to have some fun. A personal favorite was when Joe created this photo duo with the only and only Saint Nick!
That’s A Wrap!
Yes, 2020 hasn’t been an easy year to endure but we here at McDonald’s Studios believe there can be moments of comfort and joy if you just look for it. With the year coming to a close, here’s McDonald’s Studios wishing you a Merry Christmas and here’s to many blessings in the New Year!
Not A Typical Summer
When we think of summer here at McDonald’s Studio, images of bright blue skies, bonfires, fishing on one of Minnesota’s many great lakes and rivers, parades, State Fair and so much more. This summer though, things didn’t go according to that plan thanks to COVID-19. The State Fair halted, bonfires became smaller, parades were watched from inside homes and we even had a state-wide shutdown. And the changes of the year have only continued as we’ve gone on and as the holiday season approaches, we’re looking at having to change our traditions to fit this unique time. The ones we can observe though, we will and McDonald’s Studios is no exception. In our tradition, here’s the Top Ten Senior Portraits from 2020!
Starting our list is Mr. Derik Dreier! While this Watertown senior highlighted his love of sports during his session, he also wanted to share his love of music. Dreier, brought his guitar along and played a bit for us! It made for both a cool shoot and some great music!
Next on our list is Frank Brand; the Buffalo senior made a large jump to reach this ledge which resulted in this dramatic photo. And even more impressive than his jumping skills was this: Frank didn’t get one spot of dirt on his all-white outfit! Between these two things, Mr. Brand takes number nine on our list!
What’s more Minnesotan than fishing? The answer: tater tot hotdish but that’s not important! Our number eight winner, Delano senior Alex Aren wanted to show off his love of fly-fishing and brought in all his gear in order to do so. While we had quite a few shots of this, the intense lighting made for a unique look that earned a slot here on this list.
For the second year in a row we have a set of fraternal twins on our list of top senior photos! Sara and Kate of Hanover Minnesota took numerous photos together and apart during the course of their shared session. However, this one snagged a spot on our list due to their heartfelt embrace and big smiles!
Of course, sports aren’t for every senior that crosses our door. In the case of Howard Lake native, Audri Bakeburg her niche was found in FFA. Joe created this photograph on Audri’s family farm where we see her rocking her FFA jacket as she posed with the animals she works with most often: dairy cows! However, we have to say the most stunning part of this picture was Audri’s smile. Can someone say Brooke Sheilds lookalike?
And now to our number five slot we have Colby Kern who reminded us of one of our favorite things about summer: staying cool in the pool! Here, the Delano Senior and Swim Team Captain showed off his butterfly stroke for the camera for an action-packed photo! We’re glad to report no photographers were splashed in the making of this photo.
Coming up next, we have Miss Mikayla Neaton. This senior decided to highlight the work she does as a Watertown Ambassador. How? She grabbed her crown and rocked it! Keep your head up high Miss Ambassador and take our number four slot!
Next up, we have another animal lover: Whitney Betchold! Here, this Buffalo student posed with her two horses, (yes, two!) and had such a beautiful smile that she earned the number five slot on our list.
It’s a common fact that many people find fashion to be a creative outlet to help them express their interests and personality. Our number two entry on our top Ten List, Ms. Maggie Schaffer did just that as she brought in her Renaissance Fair outfit to her senior shoot! From the steampunk goggles, classy top hat and umbrella, she had one of the most unique outfit choices we’d seen this year and so, takes a well-earned spot on our list!
Finally, we have our number one pick: Delano senior Sam Schuler! This young man had a great many photos worthy of our list but we settled on this one. We felt it encapsulated the wonderful things about Sam that we got to see during his session including his infectious smile, sense of humor and a passion for all things Disney!
He got the ring, got down on one knee and asked you the big question; “Will you marry me?”. No matter who you are, this exciting chapter usually starts there. With my own 22 year anniversary recently passed, I’ve found myself nostalgic as I think of all the couples now who are about to embark on the same journey my wife and I started back then. I want wish all the soon-to-be-wed couples well. I hope your marriage is one full of happiness, love and plenty of shenanigan’s. Of course, that all begins with the wedding!
Having been in the photography business for three decades I have taken many a wedding portrait and in honor of all you lovebirds, I thought to share some of my most memorable pictures that I’ve taken over the years.
“A Royal Dress”
As I began McDonald’s Studios in 1988, it felt right to start this list with one of the first weddings I covered! As you can see, this young lady was a classic 80’s bride. She channeled Princess Diana with her puffy sleeves, and dramatic train. The high-necked collar though? That was all her own and boy did she rock it!
“Putting For Love”
Up next I’m jumping a few years ahead to the 90s where we see a couple with a shared interest: golf! The happy couple decided to have a bit of fun during their wedding photos and practiced their perfect hole-in-one putt on the golfing green. In all thirty years of the studio, this is a shot I have yet to see again at any wedding so I wanted to share it with you all!
“King of The Keg”
No matter what year it is, you can always count on a few shenanigans at any wedding. This shot, taken in the late 90’s is proof, as the groomsmen decided to have a bit of fun and get the party started right there in the parking lot.
“May God Bless You”
Whether it’s the mid-2000s or decades before, weddings have long held religious significance for many couples. As a result, I’ve photographed ceremonies in numerous churches, photographing couples in stained glass has always been one of my favorite wedding photos. Just at that lighting!
Though most people think the wedding is the bride’s day, the groom isn’t just a decoration. I created this photo in 2016 as this groom-to-be had a little fun with his friends. Like I said before, no wedding is complete without a little fun!
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”
Though white is traditional, not every bride opts for it on their wedding. This 2017 bride was one such example and she turned heads in a brilliant red gown on her big day. As you can see, the groom couldn’t take his eyes off her and the feeling was mutual!
“A Little Help From Mom”
In all the weddings I’ve been a part of one thing remains the same; the bride’s mother is her biggest helper. Whether it’s 1988 or 2020, it’s something I’ve come to expect and I love capture special moments like this. The smiles on their faces are truly magical as they both see long-time dreams come true.
“The Luckiest Man on Earth”
Of course, I had to save the best for last. This photo was taken on a beach in Florida back in 1998 where I pulled double-duty as a groom and a photographer. To this day, Rachel remains the most beautiful bride I’ve ever photographed and I love her more every day. Truly, I was the luckiest man on Earth that day and nothing has changed in the last few decades.
That’s A Wrap!
Of course, these aren’t all the wedding photos I’ve taken (this post would be way longer if it was!) And as you can see, many things have changed over the decades. What hasn’t changed however, is my commitment to my clients. I’m just as committed to make sure I give you the highest quality photographs possible now as I was in 1988.
Once again, to all you couples about to embark on this new journey of marriage, I wish you an abundance of love and joy. And to my beautiful wife, Rachel-thank you for an amazing twenty-two years; when I count my blessings, I count you twice. I love you.
Surescripts 2020 Gala
Beginning in 2001, Surescripts saw a need in the medical field to replace paper prescriptions so to improve communication between doctors and pharmacists. After nineteen years, the company has done just that and has become the biggest health information network in the United States. Even with such an impressive legacy though, the Surescript team has never forgotten that it’s the people who made such a legacy possible. For that reason, the company throws a party in honor of their hard-working employees each year and once again, McDonald’s Studios was there to document every moment.
Let’s Get This Party Started!
This year, the gala was held in the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel. The historical building used to be the depot that housed trains back in the day, neat right? So upon pulling up to the building, Joe and his assistant made their way inside and got a chance to admire the locations. The lack of crowds made for some excellent close up shots of the lovely décor; including ice sculptures!
Before too long, guests began to arrive, the first among them being the company CEO, Tom Skelton and his wife. As you can see, they put on their best for the event and made quiet the matched pair as they posed for a photo.
Of course, Mr. and Mrs. Skelton weren’t the only attendees who were dressed to the nines. As more and more guests began to arrive, Joe began to work his way around the room to snap photos. Some saw him coming, some didn’t and the result? Amazing photos of people having a great time and looking even better while doing it! (And these are just a few of them!)
Eventually after guests had a chance to settle in with some appetizers and drinks, Mr. Skelton took the stage and a moment to address his team. In his speech, he praised their hard work, not just in putting the party together but in the whole year prior as they continued to help build SureScripts. He promised the company would continue working towards excellence and the party kicked up as Mick Sterling and his band began to play.
Of course, no party is complete without food! Later in the evening, the buffet lines opened up. Joe managed to snag some photos of the spread before it got devoured; doesn’t it look good?
Between the food and drinks, people were still mingling and began playing Wine Toss (a.k.a the adult version of Ring Toss). And of course, cutting a rug across the dance floor.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and the clock ticked towards eleven; the official end of the party. However, the night ended on an even higher note than it began as winners were announced for various raffle prizes. Among them being a Samsung watch, Google Home and a pair of plane tickets!
That’s A Wrap!
Suffice to say, Surescripts had another successful gala and McDonald’s Studio’s certainly looks forward to seeing just how they’ll outdo themselves next year!