R&R Celebrates 10 Years!

Rivets and Roses Celebrates 10 Years of Business!

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Rivets and Roses began 10 years ago. Owner Eliesa Johnson was about 5 years into her freelance career, which was split between focusing on editorial and wedding work for Photogen Inc. In the first years of business, the client base with Photogen Inc. began to grow as well as Eliesa's price point. The assistants on the team kept getting better and better and at the time, a lot of wedding photographers were hiring 'associate' photographers underneath them. Eliesa didn't really love this approach, because it felt like those artists were then 'second best' or the cheaper option. Nothing about our team was second or cheap. Eliesa wanted to empower these photographers, teach them a part of the business and have them lead their own clients on their wedding days. Because of this, Eliesa chose to open a second brand - a wedding photography studio and Rivets and Roses was born! 

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It started small and grew over the years. The first photographer was a longtime assistant, Brandon Werth and he thrived in his role as the first lead for Rivets and Roses! Next up was Louisa Podlich who took the lead for a couple of years. Once Brandon and Louisa were ready to go out on their own and run their own businesses, Eliesa decided to expand Rivets and Roses from one photographer to a full wedding photography studio featuring the work of six photographers.

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Over the years, Rivets and Roses has been lucky enough to work with some of the most wildly talented photographers in Minneapolis / St Paul. From Leslie Plesser, Thea Volk, Mark James, Desiree Mostad, Natalie Finazzo Fox, Jackson Faith, Bryan Blumenschein, Ryan Stadler, Maggie Witter and Angela Baggett. Eliesa is so proud of the work these people created for all the Rivets clients, but even more proud of the businesses they have grown on their own!

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Where They Are Now

BRANDON WERTH: I am thankful to have had a catalyst like Rivets and Roses in my wedding photography career. It was an incredible place to start. While I was there I was given so much room to grow, not just as an individual but also as a creative and I wouldn’t say it was a linear growth that starts at the ground and follows a certain path of industry successions but rather you were given a fertile open field of possibility where you could plant in any corner you wanted, it was growth outward as well as in, moving on an astral plane of accumulation that was encompassing in every facet of business ownership.

I don’t think I knew all of this when I started nor did I embrace it as hard as I could have but I think thats because it was all new. There is nothing I wouldn’t give to do it all over again. Rivets was a moment in the wedding world when things were a lot more simple, we are talking pre-instagram here people, personal connections went incredibly far, printing your work and submitting it to local magazines was coveted and actually really cool, you felt like you really mattered amongst the other photographers in the city, the camaraderie was incredible, blog posts were 100’s of images long, and there were 5 celebrity wedding photographers who all lived in California, where the light is always golden and couples are continuously backlit. Those years were everything.

I learned so much being a lead photographer for Rivets and it is an honor to know that I was able to be a part of that beautiful creation that Eliesa made for other people to enter and feel what its like to own yourself and own a business while also having the confidence to keep working hard to be on the forefront of creativity, inclusiveness, and humbleness. It is hard to imagine where I would be without that experience, I found my perfect clients through my time there and I never really thought about how much those first years encompass who I am today and I am definitely a better person because of it.

LOUISA PODLICH: The last 10 years have flown by so quickly! I distinctly remember when Eliesa reached out to invite me, a new and untested photographer, to shoot for Rivets & Roses. Her leadership and mentorship helped me develop a sense of personal style and storytelling. Being a part of the R&R team gave me the confidence I needed to branch out and start shooting weddings on my own. Since leaving Rivets I've continued with photography, specializing in family portraits and young children, eventually leaving the wedding industry. Watching my portrait clients grow and change over the years is truly one of the best parts of my life...being "Miss Lou" behind the camera has brought so many wonderful and funny people into my life. 

In addition to photography, I've started a second business, called A MANO, where I've sold handmade goods by makers from around the country, as well as my own ceramics. I now spend my time split between photos and making pottery in my NE Minneapolis art studio. You can find my work at local art shows, retailers around the country and online at West Elm. 

LESLIE PLESSER: Since being on Rivets and Roses I've started my own company called Shuttersmack. I moved much of my focus (pun not even intended!) to documenting families as they really are. Besides my smaller, hourly sessions, I've been working hard this year on short documentary films and much longer Day in the Life photo sessions. Capturing small kids in all their glory is some of the most rewarding work I've had, whether it's documenting late night feedings with infants, the extreme love that parents of small kids show through continuous work and sacrifice, to the hilarity of potty training. I adore capturing life with small kids in general, and with film, capturing their precious voices and mispronunciations is priceless. I still keep up on all my dog work, but I've cut back on weddings to less than 5 a year. For some reason, I enjoy photographing the mess of real life more than the beauty of a wedding day. What can I say? I'm a weirdo!

DESIREE MOSTAD: Since I moved out of MPLS to live in Stavanger, Norway the biggest change in my life is Mila, my 2-year-old daughter. She's a spunky redhead with brown eyes and gets lots of attention when we travel.I'm still in love with photographing people and most of my work is families and weddings with a few small business commercial shoots sprinkled in. I have a cute little office with a natural light studio which I share with 2 other incredible women photographers. We have created a photo community to encourage photographers in the area to share and learn from each other. Community over Competition, right?!

Living in Norway has allowed me to be super flexible with work and life. I was on 1-year maternity leave and took a photo break to travel with my family (of course camera in tow!) to Indonesia, Australia and a couple visit home to the US! I'm still figuring out how to be a mom and make it through the ups and downs that life throws at me. Now I'm trying to learn how to be grounded while continuing my love of traveling and exploring with my camera. I'm SO insanely thankful for my time with Rivets, tho too short, I know I would not be the photographer I am today without R&R and Eliesa.

NATALIE FINAZZO FOX: So much has happened since I was a part of the Rivets & Roses team! While I still have a very soft spot in my heart for all things wedding photography, I found my true passion in working with businesses to help them achieve their creative and professional goals through beautiful styled stock and personal brand photography. The thing I enjoy most is understanding the client’s story and then working with them from a visual perspective to execute that vision through beautiful imagery for all of their social media platforms. Not only will I photograph that story, but for a few select clients, I’m their Social Media Manager. Outside of photography I’ve been busy as well! I’m a wife, mother to three {boy 6, girl 4, boy 2}, and I’m currently studying to be a Facebook Ad’s Manager {which I’m excited to launch as a service to my clients soon!}. When I’m not “working” you’ll find me running my kids to football, gymnastics and whatever the sport of the week is, listening to motivational-personal-development books on Audible, dabbling in artsy endeavors like painting/hand lettering and running. I’ve signed up to run a 5K at the end of August!

I just have THE BEST memories of my time spent with the Rivets & Roses team. Eliesa is legit the only person who has ever been able to teach me how to use my flash and I STILL, to this DAY, refer to her flash info when I need it! Ultimately, I really feel like each one of the team members brought a unique set of skills and creativity to the team which helped to elevate all of us in our wedding photography pursuits. For the good times had, friendships forged and the art created…I’ll be forever grateful I was a Rivets & Roses team member.

MARC JAMES: When I was first hired with R&R I was just a young buck, green in the gills some would say. I had experience in photography but the skills I learned while working with Eliesa and the R&R team I still use to this day. Fast forward almost 10 years later I am still working as a photographer with a small little brand of my own, Creek 44. I travel the US covering professional ballroom and latin dance sport competitions while also taking on a few weddings here and there. I can honestly say that in the one year I was lead photographer with R&R I learned more from Eliesa and the team than I could have anywhere else. Here's to 10 more years of success! Congratulations Rivets and Roses!!

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THEA VOLK: Thea’s work involves striking a balance between portraiture and photojournalism, taking care with composition, gently guiding the shot, yet not stepping in the way of the natural progression. It shined through in every moment she captured during her time as a lead wedding photographer on Rivets and Roses Thea has her own photography company that has a focus on weddings, families, kids, and interior spaces. She has two kids of her own and documents their every day life.

JACKSON FAITH: I don’t pick up my camera as often anymore. Daily life is now focused on the cannabis industry. My father’s passing a few years ago opened my eyes to the need for another pain relief option for those suffering.  When I do pick up my camera, it’s with family and friends, or when I’m in a new part of the world. Rivets and Roses was a fantastic part of my life. Many past clients are still good friends. 

Eliesa is one of my greatest mentors. I am honored to call her a dear friend. Her knowledge of photography and business still influences me. I’ll never forget meeting her on the rooftop on Brit’s Pub. She asked if my name was really Jackson Faith. She liked my name so much, she gave me an assistant job. I roughly knew how to work a camera then. e saw something in the few photographs I had to show at that time. 

Rivets and Roses, Photogen Inc. and the rest of the crew that Eliesa has cultivated over the years is a family. This past Christmas, at the yearly party, we traded stories and life updates. It felt like old times. It has been years since I was a lead on the Rivets team but, from the time we had no one would have guessed time had passed. Eliesa has created something very special.

BRYAN BLUMENSCHEIN: Bryan brought his technical knowledge to the team while he was a lead at Rivets and Roses. He always had all the updated gear and was dedicated to using it to create something new. Bryan is now with no surprise a Technology consultant at Target and now has a family of his own. He enjoys playing with his drones to get higher vantage points and taking his gear out into nature.

MAGGIE WITTER: Maggie joined Rivets and Roses after interning for Eliesa while she was in college. It truly was a great fit for Maggie to join the team and begin doing wedding photography with her husband Spencer who began to assist her at weddings. They became the perfect photography duo during their time at Rivets and Roses and branched out to work on other projects together. Maggie began working for Evine as a stylist on set and continues to work with their commercial photography team. Maggie and Spencer recently had a baby and their little family is absolutely perfect!

RYAN STADLER: His intent was to be an artist and began as a painter. Now he uses a camera to document couples, families, and wedding days. Ryan’s documentarian eye and touch of artistry graces all the couple’s who have the pleasure of him as their wedding photographer. Ryan is a father and husband with a big heart and balances his time between everything he loves and enjoys in life.

ANGELA SINGLETON: Angela has a connection to families and kids and takes her lifestyle approach to document the love surrounded in people’s lives. After leaving Rivets and Roses Angela married her sweetheart and has begun a new chapter in her life.

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It is more than a wedding photography studio. It is truly all about developing and growing wildly talented photographers.

- Eliesa Johnson

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The current Rivets and Roses lineup of artists features 4 photographers whose work continues to be incredible: Melissa Hesse, Jessica Ekstrand, Nicole McCoy and Andy Yelken. 

JESS EKSTRAND: A million years ago, I was studying journalism and photography at MSU in Mankato. Somehow I managed to get an internship at the now defunct Metro Magazine. I was awful. Eliesa taught a lighting “class” to a team from Metro and I was able to attend. Fast forward a couple years and I respond to a posting of Eliesa’s, she’s looking for assistants. I met with E and showed her my weird and random portfolio and she offered me a position. Now, maybe 8ish years (plus or minus a year or two perhaps) later, I’m still with the team and shooting as a lead for Rivets. Essentially everything I know about photography, I’ve learned from Eliesa and the other photographers that have spent time on the team.

Outside of Rivets, I photograph families, newborns, headshots, senior photos, you name it. I’ve done a little bit of it all. I have also helped to document Sadie Halie Projects, a Minneapolis gallery run by my twin sister and her husband. In addition to R&R, I’m a partner and production manager at Dschwen, a creative studio in Minneapolis. I do the books, I handle the client communication, I clean the fridge and I even get to flex my photo muscles from time to time. If that’s not enough, I spend a couple days a week in some clinics at HCMC sitting down with patients and filling their pillboxes. What can I say? I like variety.

Because of this team, I have met a huge number of the core people in my life. That is wild.

NICOLE MCCOY: Being a photographer for Rivets & Roses has been a blast. Before I hopped on board with the team I was in search of more creative connections and inspiration from other photographers. Then I met Eliesa through a mutual friend, and it was clear that I resonated not only with her heart as a photographer but as someone who appreciates being part of an awesome team. It’s my second year shooting with Rivets & Roses and I can definitely say that my photography skills and how I see weddings has developed into something more well-rounded. I’ve gained some new friends and have made great memories, one of my favorites being unashamedly singing our favorite 90’s songs very loudly at our annual retreat.

Besides being a wedding photographer, I have recently joined The Restaurant Project. It’s been fun shooting at my favorite places in the Twin Cities. I’m also a sign artist for Trader Joe’s and I get to make all the display and merchandising signs for the store. In my spare time, I try to soak up as much fresh air as possible and traveling. Spending time with my partner, James, is also a favorite past time (he’s an assistant for Rivets & Roses, too!)  Creative non-fiction writing is another passion and hobby of mine, so any time I travel I am inspired to write something new. I joined the Loft Literary Center this past year and will be taking a memoir class this fall to continue a personal writing project I’ve been working on for a couple of years. 

ANDY YELKEN: Andy is an adventure seeking photographer with the drive to capture the beauty in the world. He has been a photographer for 6 years and got his start photographing events like homecoming and president’s speeches for the University of Minnesota.

In fact, when he’s not out photographing, you might find him seeking adventures of his own, whether it be rock climbing, hiking or planning his next trip. And interestingly enough, even with all those adventures, Andy has never broken a bone in his life. True to his adventurous form, he was once asked to be a witness at a small courthouse wedding having just met the couple, and happily obliged!

Andy’s photography skills are self-taught—the world is his classroom. His desire to see and share all the beautiful, sometimes unnoticed, moments is what drives him to his camera.

MELISSA HESSE: My days at Rivets and Roses started six years ago when I serendipitously met Eliesa Johnson at a college lunch. The name of her luxury wedding brand, Photogen Inc. rang a bell from two customers who walked through a checkout line at the grocery store I worked at when I was a senior in high school. Those two customers happened to be Eliesa’s parents that asked me what I was planning to go to school for. When I brought up photography they dropped Eliesa’s name and encouraged me to look her up and go work for her. Little did we know, Eliesa and I would sit next to each other years later and connect about that moment and I would end up working for her.

Naturally I fell into being the studio manager at Rivets and Roses and then became a lead photographer. At the time, all of the photographers on the team handled a big portion of the studio work that I do now. There was a gap missing that I began to fill as an intern to relieve the load off the photographers so they could focus more on their work and clients. My photography work has been centered around inclusivity and serving the LGBTQ community.

Outside of the work I do for Rivets and Roses I am also a photographer and studio manager for The Restaurant Project which celebrated two years of business this past February. I work alongside Eliesa every day and help where it is needed between her five brands that all are ran out of our tiny but mighty studio in NE Minneapolis. It is such an honor to work with this incredible team and all the clients I have had the opportunity to get to know.

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The team wouldn’t be the same without all the rock star assistants who have worked for Rivets and Roses. Some have been part of it all since day one and others have served for only a season. It has been a place for new photographers to learn the ropes of wedding photography from the studio and have the opportunity to take the leap as a lead with their experience. It is often said that the support of a second shooter is the most valuable part of the day, and it is so true!

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Rivets and Roses continues to be a wedding photography studio that is based off of equality, inclusivity and love. Making that known is important and the couples who choose to work with Rivets and Roses are even more amazing to be aligned with the mission! The team is proud to have been featured in Lavender Magazine, MN Bride, and The Knot with the mission always shining through the work.

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Thank you to you all for joining us in celebrating ten years of Rivets and Roses! It's been so fun to look back at where this company began and how much it has grown. Of course, this also makes us think about what is next - where are we going in the future?

Our Clients - First a foremost, our clients and weddings are at the forefront of all we do. The couples that choose us to be their wedding photographers are also the ones that inspire us and continue to breathe new life into the studio year after year. We look forward so much to serving these couples for years to come!

Equality and Diversity - As our world continues to shift and change, it is our mission at Rivets and Roses to be rooted in equality and diversity when it comes to weddings. We believe that love is love, no matter the race, gender, or identity of a couple. We're here to support marriage in every way and celebrate those who love one another!

Our Artists - As we look forward to the years ahead, it is also our goal to support all of our photographers who give their time and talent to Rivets and Roses. We want to help our artist grow in their craft, business and client relations as long as they are with our studio!

Affordable, Sustainable Wedding Photography - The wedding industry has always seen trends come and go. For instance, we are currently seeing couples opt in for smaller, more intimate weddings. We want to make sure that our studio continues to offer affordable rates for wedding photography while also paying our artists well and delivering the highest quality of wedding photos. We're focused on being the constant - the wedding photography studio that our clients know they can rely on and afford, while also being the leader in our industry as trends shift.

Rush Creek Golf Course Wedding | Mr. + Mrs. Cummings | Post by Jess Ekstrand

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Camille and Nick got married at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove in June. Nick wore a tan suit, setting him apart from his groomsmen wearing black. And Camille’s dress! See for yourself, this dress was something else. The ceremony was held outside in front of a beautiful arch made by Camille’s mom. The reception was made extra special with a bit of a flash-mob style dance routine put on by a number of Camille’s friends. So many wonderful details! Congrats to these two!

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Longfellow Engagement Session | Maren + Jon | Post by Melissa Hesse

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Maren and Jon have made home in Longfellow after deciding to take the next step. It holds a lot of meaning to their relationship and was the perfect place to take their engagement photos. Maren surprised Jon on their annual trip to visit family in the Black Hills when she popped the question on their favorite trail, and he said yes! These two have such a profound love that I felt so refreshed with hope in the world that there is good around us. Can’t wait for their wedding in February at The American Swedish Institute!

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Minneapolis Event Center Wedding | Mrs. + Mrs. Halverson | Post by Andy Yelken

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June 8th, 2019 was a special day for Matt and Mariah Halverson. It was full of laughter, tears of joy and a special bond between the two of them. Surrounded by friends and family on a warm summer day they stepped into the next chapter of their lives together. After hair and make up was finished at the maid of honor's home the wedding party met up at the Minneapolis Event Center where both the ceremony and reception took place. I have never seen a bride dance with as much joy as Mariah after putting on her wedding dress. As the day progressed Matt stepped out onto a bridge waiting for the first look of his bride-to-be. Tension grew and emotion swelled within Matt, when the moment finally arrived he turned around and laid eye's on her for the first time that day. It was magical to see so much love happen in a moment, after a few quiet moments spent between the two of them it was time for the day to truly get started.

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Prescott WI Wedding | Mrs. + Mrs. Rand | Post by Melissa Hesse

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Carleigh and Athena’s wedding was one I anticipated from the moment I met them. A few years back I met Athena’s mother Michelle Huber (who is an amazing wedding photographer) after she hired me to document her surprise 10 year vow renewal to her husband Trent with all their children around including Carleigh and Athena. Michelle expressed her anticipation and excitement for their engagement one day and when the time would come she hoped I would be their photographer. When I got the call from these two I was beyond excited for their wedding day and knew it would be special. A new chapter in life has started for them as they finished up college at St. Olaf where we took their engagement photos this past winter. The wedding was on family property in Prescott, WI with all their close friends and family surrounding them. In every direction the property offered beautiful scenes of farm land and woods which made their wedding photos extra dreamy alongside the floral by Uy-Lennon. Congratulations to the new Mrs. and Mrs. Rand!

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Stone Arch Engagement Session | Ari + Zuzanna | Post by Jess Ekstrand

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Zuza and Ari are something else. Cool kids that don’t take themselves too seriously. They both work in the medical field and they’re both artists, Zuza a painter and Ari a ceramicist. Their engagement session started at Silverwood Park, complete with a chicken fight and a bit of tree climbing. We ended at St. Anthony Main and the Stone Arch Bridge, where Ari and Zuza had their first date. These two are getting married in August at the Bell Museum and I cannot wait!

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Minnesota Wedding Photographers | R&R Annual Retreat

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Every year our Rivets and Roses team goes on a retreat before the wedding season kicks off. This year it brought us to Round Lake in Brainerd, MN. It was the perfect opportunity for us to recharge and connect as a team. Eliesa Johnson, owner of our studio, lead the two day retreat by pushing us to think about our values/goals independently and as a team. She brought back notes from the recent 99U conference that she attended in NYC. It was filled with ways we can all little by little push ourselves to connect with our work in a bigger way. We left feeling inspired, educated, connected, and satisfied from all the amazing food Eliesa’s husband, Nick made for us. You will also see a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread made by Rivets and Roses photographer Jess Ekstrand that we ate fresh out of the oven with butter. Cheers to another amazing team retreat down in the books!

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Engagement Session Tips

You’re engaged!

It is such an exciting time for the both of you and the next step is to plan your big day. Along with that comes finding a wedding photographer and then taking your engagement photos. You may be someone who is stoked about it and has everything planned out already or you are someone who is looking for the photographer’s advice of what to do and how to prepare for your engagement session. We have heard the questions and have the answers!

Image by  Melissa Hesse

Where should we take our engagement photos?

Let’s start with you two as a couple. What is it that you enjoy doing together? Where do you spend most of your time? What kind of hobbies could be incorporated into your session that reflects your life together? It doesn’t have to be so literal either. If you spend a lot of time together in a general place, pick out a few spots that represent the area. These can be landmarks such as iconic signs, parks, or bridges that define where you live in.

Image by  Nicole McCoy

Image by Nicole McCoy

What should we wear?

We get this questions a lot. Like a lot a lot. Make sure you pick out at least two options to bring variety into your photos. Avoid any loud colors or patterns that would clash with the other. Think about the location as well and what would be appropriate. Layer up if you want to have more options . Bring a jacket, hat, or scarf that can be played with. If you just aren’t sure, bring all the options and have your photographer help you decide.

Image by  Melissa Hesse

Image by Melissa Hesse

When should we take them?

It totally depends on your timeline. If you are using the images for a save the date, you’ll want to do them in the timeline that fits best for your deadline. The time of year will also be a big factor into when you should take your engagement photos. Having all four seasons can make it hard to choose but you can’t go wrong! Use your judgement on what kind of scene you want for your photos. The season will set the mood for your and help determine the type of clothes you’ll wear.

Image by  Andy Yelken

Image by Andy Yelken

How long is the session?

Every engagement session is different and based on what you have planned will be a factor. We suggest having one to two specific locations to visit and allow 30 minutes at each location. Your photographer should be able to get a good amount of images in that amount of time. Pro tip: change your outfit for the second location.

Image by  Melissa Hesse

Image by Melissa Hesse

What if it rains?

If you are really tied to a bright sunny day, reschedule your session. If you are up for the rain, having an umbrella will add to the fun and make a great theme throughout your photos. We suggest also having an indoor location planned out so you don’t spend the entire session out in the rain.

Image by  Jess Ekstrand

Image by Jess Ekstrand

What is the best indoor location?

We so wish we had a magic answer to this question. Many indoor locations require a photo permit and have restrictions. You can rent a photo studio or get permission at the desired location before hand but there aren’t many indoor locations that allow photos without it. Restaurants or cafes can also be considered. Just make sure to get the approval first and then go in for a drink to celebrate your engagement!

Image by  Jess Ekstrand

Image by Jess Ekstrand

Can my pet be in the photos?

The answer to this question is always a big YES from us. We love when they are included!! Your pet is a big part of your life so having an in home session can be a great way to include them. If you have a dog and want to bring them along to your outdoor session, we suggest having someone along to hold onto your dog for the moments they aren’t in the picture.

St. Olaf College Engagement Session | Athena + Carleigh | Post by Melissa Hesse

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On a very snowy February day Athena and Carleigh were ready to embrace the winter storm and do their engagement session at St. Olaf where these two high school sweethearts attended college. The land that Athena works on frequently for class has been an important part of their lives on campus. It had long pathways of trees and open fields that Athena farms in the warmer months. As the two of them are leaping into the next chapter in June it was the perfect time to capture this space with the two of them before that transition. Cheers to Athena and Carleigh!

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5120 Restaurant & Onyx Bar | Mrs. + Mrs. Oak | Post by Melissa Hesse

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We live in a time where couples who meet on Tinder or Bumble are getting married but Tumblr deserves all the credit in Jessica and Sam’s case. These two met by sending Tumblr content back and forth without sharing a word at first. It was the humor and connection they had through their strand of messages that led them to like the person on the other side. After finally breaking the ice these two knew there was something special between them. Sam eventually moved from Indiana to Minnesota to be with Jessica and proposed.

Their intimate winter wedding at the 5120 Restaurant and Onyx Bar brought their families together to witness their marriage. With close friends and a group of Sam’s online pals meeting for the first time it really made for a special celebration. Congratulations to the new Mrs. and Mrs. Oak!

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The Rise of the Budget Photographer

It’s a new year and 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of Rivets and Roses! It’s a great time to reflect on a decade of business - where we’ve started (with one photographer) and how we’ve grown into a full wedding photography studio. It’s also a time to think about what’s ahead.

Rivets and Roses is a wedding photography studio that’s founded on providing affordable wedding photography while also delivering a high-quality product. All of our photographers are hand-picked by owner, Eliesa Johnson of Photogen Inc., which ensures we have the best artists out there working for our team. It also provides our clients with more creative options. Each of our artists has a different photographic style, so as couples come to our website, we invite them to look through everyone’s portfolios to find a connection with the photographer that’s perfect for their wedding day. When couples book a Rivets and Roses artist, they know they are getting the best-of-the-best in the photography business, along with the experience of being taken care of by our studio. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

Budget Wedding Photographer Minnesota | Rivets & Roses Wedding Photography

One major shift we’ve realized in the current wedding market is the rise of the “budget photographer” and why this is important to newly engaged couples. Yes, affordable wedding photography has always been an option, but our current economy is ever-changing and couples are looking at planning their weddings entirely differently. We took a deep dive into why affordable weddings and elopements are more popular than ever among the Gen Z and Millennial generations, along with reasons why choosing an affordable wedding photographer is a fantastic option.

The Millennial generation has statistically been waiting longer to get married. According to The New York Times, the average age of marriage is now late 20s to early 30s, which leads to an increase in the amount of couples who are self-funding their own weddings. Because of this, couples often opt for longer engagements and put a higher priority on how they spend their wedding budget.

Image by    Nicole McCoy

Image by Nicole McCoy

To be frank, Gen Z and Millennial couples have a lot going against them. They’re coming out of college with more school debt, health insurance is more expensive than ever, and the housing market is at its peak. Even though our economy is currently strong, cash flow is remaining fairly minimal. These are also generations that value travel highly, so when it comes to planning a wedding, they often look to invest more in a honeymoon experience. These couples are absolutely willing to invest in their wedding day and in amazing vendors, but they also want to make sure they’re working with businesses that have these common values:

  1. A Mission-Based Business: Couples are looking to work with vendors whose cultures and beliefs align with their own values. Here at Rivets and Roses, our studio has put diversity and equality at the forefront of everything we do. Additionally, we have more couples than ever mention that the reason they book Rivets & Roses for their wedding photography has to do with the fact that we are an inclusive company where everyone is welcome.

Budget Wedding Photographer Minnesota | Rivets & Roses Wedding Photography

2. Hyper-Global or Hyper-Local: Working with an affordable wedding photographer can open up other possibilities. Lots of couples today opt for destination elopements and they’re also bringing back courthouse weddings. Both options provide them with small, intimate events and more money to fly out their perfect photographer or shop local. Our photographers at Rivets & Roses serve both our local market and clients whose weddings are more global, making for really fun weddings!

Image by    Jess Ekstrand

Image by Jess Ekstrand

3. Simple and Minimal: There’s no doubt that we’re in a time of tidying up our lives. Marie Kondo’s philosophy is thriving and the minimalist lifestyle is a breath of fresh air—and this also applies to weddings. With more couples planning smaller weddings, they’re also looking to simplify their budget by working with affordable wedding photographers.

Image by    Melissa Hesse

Image by Melissa Hesse

Overall, quality is still key. Just because a couple doesn’t have (or doesn’t want) to spend money on a luxury-level wedding, doesn't meant they want to compromise the quality of their wedding day. These couples also aren’t looking for a cheap option, they are looking to be economical. These current generations are savvy, creative, and thrive on relationship-driven connections. They also value quality and heirloom products. Photographs are always the lasting product from a wedding day and one which will stand the test of time and technology.

Here at Rivets & Roses, we’ve found a way to make it all work. Quality images, an amazing experience, and an affordable price point. And to make it even better, couples get to choose a photographer that fits their style. We know your wedding—and your budget—is important and we can’t wait to work with you on your wedding day!

Chowgirls at Solar Arts Wedding | Katie + Amanda | Post by Melissa Hesse

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What a way to end the 2018 wedding season! Katie and Amanda filled my heart with their late fall wedding at Chowgirls at Solar Arts.

There was a fresh coat of snow on the ground and the sun was shining bright the morning of the big day. Katie got ready at the Lowes Hotel while Amanda got ready at the Solar Arts building. Their first look surprised them both when their wedding dresses were revealed to one another. In the first few moments of taking photos, Katie was so in awe of Amanda’s dress that she stopped posing to look at the details again. Their floral was done by their amazingly talented friend, Kyle of Ginger Root MPLS. Katie’s wedding party had bouquets and Amanda’s side had a floral ring to stand out between the two sides. It was a beautiful touch that was added into their wedding aesthetic.

The couple had roots in the Saint Anthony Main area where they first lived together. The sun went behind the clouds and a slight snow fall came through as we took photos on the Stone Arch Bridge. When everyone was back at Solar Arts in preparation for the ceremony, Katie and Amanda shared personal vows. Moments before their ceremony they played rock paper scissors. Even though Katie won that game they both were winners by the end of the ceremony. Their reception was filled with stories shared about the couple and dinner by Chowgirls. They had their first dance to Yellow by Cold Play and had their dad’s meet them on the floor for a shared father daughter dance. Everyone joined them with their best moves on the dance floor to celebrate the couple.

Cheers to Katie and Amanda and all that the future holds for them both!

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James J. Hill Center Wedding | Rebecca + Melaney | Post by Melissa Hesse

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Rebecca and Melaney met in Madison, WI while attending school at The University of Wisconsin and working on campus. After their engagement they decided to move to Minnesota where Rebecca is originally from. All in the same year they planned their wedding and began making home in Saint Paul, MN. Their wedding day began at their place with family and friends that were in the wedding party as they got ready. Their first look was down the street at the local library where they both anticipated the moment happening. After a shared breath to start the day these two locked hands and were ready for all that was ahead. Their ceremony and reception at the James J. Hill Center was the perfect touch of history and elements of Fall for their DIY October wedding. The night hit off with a roast by their friend that had everyone in tears from laughing. It continued with a big celebration of the couple and live music for the dance floor. Congrats to Rebecca and Melaney!

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Best Wedding Moments of 2018 | Team Post

Sadie and Nora stop at the light for a kiss in downtown St. Paul.  Wedding by:  Melissa Hesse

Sadie and Nora stop at the light for a kiss in downtown St. Paul.

Wedding by: Melissa Hesse

First reception of 2018. Sadie and Nora’s private wedding at W.A Frost.  Wedding by:  Melissa Hesse

First reception of 2018. Sadie and Nora’s private wedding at W.A Frost.

Wedding by: Melissa Hesse

Todd prepares to place a tie clip on Jesse as they get ready for their wedding day.  Wedding by:  Nicole McCoy

Todd prepares to place a tie clip on Jesse as they get ready for their wedding day.

Wedding by: Nicole McCoy

Todd and Jesse stand on the  Hewing Hotel  rooftop for photos with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.  Wedding by:  Nicole McCoy

Todd and Jesse stand on the Hewing Hotel rooftop for photos with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

Wedding by: Nicole McCoy

Amy and Mary take a moment with champagne before their intimate ceremony at  The New Victorian Mansion .  Wedding by:  Melissa Hesse

Amy and Mary take a moment with champagne before their intimate ceremony at The New Victorian Mansion.

Wedding by: Melissa Hesse

Laura and Domenic stand in gorgeous light at their wedding venue,  Aria .  Wedding by:  Jess Ekstrand

Laura and Domenic stand in gorgeous light at their wedding venue, Aria.

Wedding by: Jess Ekstrand

Hannah and Elliot brave the 2018 April snowstorm and ran outside for a quick photo.  Wedding by:  Melissa Hesse

Hannah and Elliot brave the 2018 April snowstorm and ran outside for a quick photo.

Wedding by: Melissa Hesse

Brandon and Michele caught in the moment in-between taking wedding party photos.  Wedding by:  Jess Ekstrand

Brandon and Michele caught in the moment in-between taking wedding party photos.

Wedding by: Jess Ekstrand

Brandon and Michele during their first dance as newlyweds.  Wedding by:  Jess Ekstrand

Brandon and Michele during their first dance as newlyweds.

Wedding by: Jess Ekstrand

Nick holds Robin’s hand as they walk out into a fairway for photos at  Theodore Wirth .  Wedding by:  Jess Ekstrand

Nick holds Robin’s hand as they walk out into a fairway for photos at Theodore Wirth.

Wedding by: Jess Ekstrand

Sophie and John share a moment as newlyweds at  The Minneapolis Club .  Wedding by:  Nicole McCoy

Sophie and John share a moment as newlyweds at The Minneapolis Club.

Wedding by: Nicole McCoy

Sophie and John kiss after a toast.  Wedding by:  Nicole McCoy

Sophie and John kiss after a toast.

Wedding by: Nicole McCoy

Can’t get enough of this sweet moment between Kara and Ryan on their wedding day.  Wedding by:  Jess Ekstrand

Can’t get enough of this sweet moment between Kara and Ryan on their wedding day.

Wedding by: Jess Ekstrand