Sarah Syhakhoun Photography » Blog

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  • Love and Marriage Photographer

    I'm Sarah and I am a Minnesotan love and marriage photographer located in the Twin Cities. Here you will find posts with recent photo sessions as well as information about me and my business. My mission is to not only make you look great in your photos, but to make you feel great as well. I am fully committed to making marriages strong and am devoted to showcasing your love and passion for years to come. I am here to strip away any insecurities you may have and ensure everyone has a great time! Getting rid of those jitters will allow me to capture you as you are when nobody is watching.

    Feel free to look around for more information. I hope to hear from you soon!

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Karen, Marvin, and Company: Family – Eagan, MN Photography

I met Karen seven (what?  How is that possible?!?) years ago during my freshman year of college.  She was my superior at my college job, and although normally the idea of a boss or manager sounds scary, Karen and I spent way too much time laughing for her to scare me!  I worked there the next four and a half years, and by then, she and her family were invited to our wedding and I was launching a crazy photography business!

When Karen’s daughter, Melissa, emailed me about surprising her parents with a session as a gift, I was thrilled!  Seriously, this family is amazing!  When Karen would tell me stories about her kids, I was always amazed by how much they all got along, how much they each valued family, and the way they would never take things too seriously.  Now that my husband and I have a baby on the way, we definitely try to picture what we want our family dynamic to be like many years down the road, and I will definitely accept any advice Karen and Marvin would be willing to give about how they achieved raising four great kids who love each other!

I had such a blast hanging out with this family and hope they love the photos as much as I do!

 

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Val - July 30, 2014 - 1:27 pm

What a beautiful and fun family!! I absolutely love the pics!!! The kids in the circle on the ground and the one in the frame with the parents are perfect!! They are all so beautiful!! Fantastic!!!

Claire & Joe: Married – St. Paul, MN Photography

I had the amazing pleasure of photographing Joe and Claire’s beautiful July wedding last weekend.  And, guess what?!?  There was no rain!  I packed umbrellas just in case because I have definitely not lucked out in the rain department this year, but it was a perfect day!  Not only that, but it was overcast for most of the day, so the shooting locations were endless and we fully took advantage of them.  The church, which I photographed Callie and Jonathan’s wedding at in June, and although we were able to shoot the first look out there last June, that was about it because the rain came pouring down shortly after that.  We still were able to get some beautiful portraits at other locations, but I was ecstatic to get to photograph around the church this time around because the landscaping, stone, and architecture are amazing!

Claire had warned me during our prior meetings that she was nervous she was going to be a crying mess throughout the entire wedding, but from the moment I stepped into the room, she was calm, gracious, and just living in the moment!  A perfect bride!  I love seeing a couple just take the day in stride, not worrying about what’s next, but only what they are doing in the moment so they can soak it all in.  And, what a beautiful day it was to soak in!

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I’m pretty sure I’ve never see a grate look so beautiful before!  These are some of my favorite detail shots I’ve ever taken – all outside the church!

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Claire, did you pay the church landscaper to plant flowers to match your wedding day?  They coordinated with the details perfectly!

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Ahhhh….this is why I love first looks!  You don’t get this moment when you walk down the aisle.  I love both ways of seeing each other first the first time, but the intimacy and those few moments in awe of each other is never something I tire of seeing!

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Claire’s veil was breathtaking!

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This was such a fun, happy group!

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Photo on the right below is one of my faves!  That would look awesome in a canvas!

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Because we did all of the bridal party portraits before the ceremony (the perk of having a first look), we were able to sneak some photos in at a few very sentimental places for Claire and Joe.  They are high school sweethearts who started dating their junior year of high school.  They had their first date overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul, so we stopped there!  They’ve come a long way!

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We also stopped at the University of St. Thomas, my alma mater as well.  I have to love my UST couples!!!  This was my fourth time shooting there on a wedding day! clairejoe_wedding-361

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The reception started on such a high note when Claire’s dad (who is hilarious) retold Claire’s life according to him, her father, complete with slideshow.  It was very sweet and funny!

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Claire and her dad added some cute and fun moves to their father-daughter dance!

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Three ladies happily dancing and then check out the little guy really getting into it on the right!

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This little boy was tearing up the dance floor with his crazy footwork!  I love the strobe lights in this photo!

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Val - July 23, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Wow these are beautiful! I love them all! Every picture is telling a story, just as they should! Beautiful, Beautiful…

Anna Severson - July 23, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Seriously BEAUTIFUL Sarah!!!!!

Erin, Scott, and Teddy (2 Years Old) – Family / Edina, MN Photography

It’s been such a joy to photograph Teddy over his lifetime of two years!  I saw him three times over the course of his first year and was back to photograph him again at two years!  This boy, who was already super adorable, gets cuter every time I see him!  Erin and Scott joked about what I would write in this blog post since Teddy is definitely an independent two year old and had better things on his agenda than taking photos (like playing in the fountain and playing with on of my many Pez dispensers), and the only thing that got him to calm down was, well, when nature called.  But, Erin and Scott, photographing your family at this stage was a joy!  I hope you can look back on these with a smile on your face and treasure the ones of you all smiling even more!

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Cutest face ever!

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Val - July 2, 2014 - 6:19 am

Boy did these picks make me smile! He has gotten so big and soooo Cute!!

Nicole - July 7, 2014 - 10:08 am

I love Arneson. It’s so pretty there. This little one is quite a cutie! I love the expression on his face of the very last photo.

Tonya, Tony, and Oliver: Family – Maple Grove, MN Photography

Today’s family session is one that really inspires me, motivates me, and melts my heart.  When Tonya emailed me a few weeks ago sharing that she and her husband had adopted their son, Oliver, from Korea around Christmas and were not only going to be celebrating six months as a family but also Oliver’s third birthday, I thanked God for the opportunity to meet this family and capture their first family photos.  It is truly such an honor.  I love family sessions anyway, but having learned how much a couple endures on the journey to adoption and how much they must have longed for their little boy to finally be in their arms makes this session truly special to me.

Every couple comes to adoption for different reasons.  I haven’t shared our own personal infertility story on my photography blog before, but if you are interested, you can read about it on our personal blog here.  We have learned that having children will be very rare for us to do on our own without any interventions, and if it happens once, there is no guarantee it will happen again.  Adoption is something my husband and I have always wanted to do far before we ever learned we had infertility issues, but over the past few months, it has become something that we are considering more and more.  To be able to photograph such a beautiful, loving family that was created through adoption is truly a dream come true.  Thank you, Tonya and Tony for making this dream a reality!  Your little Oliver brought so much joy to my day, and editing the photos has me smiling all over again!  What a spirited little guy!

What I find hilarious after every family session with young children, the parents have a look of exasperation and think that there were absolutely no usable shots because young kids are FAST, easily distracted, and very independent.  I always laugh because I always leave with TONS of amazing images that capture the child and the family at this stage in their life as well as some posed shots mixed in.  My approach to family sessions is to have fun, let the kids be kids, and to never have anything concrete set in stone because chances are, the session will not ever go exactly as planned.  During my time with Tonya, Tony, and Oliver, we moved to many small shaded areas because the sun was still pretty high at 6:30 when we started.  When Oliver was burnt out of sitting during some family posed shots, I had him run, jump, twirl, look at flowers, find cool leaves, ride on Tony’s shoulders, kiss Tonya, etc. and I just kept shooting.  After wandering and being distracted like 2-3 year-olds are, we could try another posed shot.  It is so much less stressful to go into the session without a long list of posed shots we absolutely have to have, and it makes the photos we do get authentic, joyful, and a true reflection of the family.

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I just love how curious kids are at this age.  Oliver thought everything around him was truly remarkable – and it is!  I wish as an adult, I didn’t forget how amazing each little blade of grass is.

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This boy is too much for me!  As much as he probably makes his parents tired, his little smirk must completely melt their hearts!

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Oliver thought it was hilarious to shake the leaves in faces and into my camera lens.  I love these!

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Tonya - June 24, 2014 - 12:57 pm

Sarah, your photos are amazing! I am shocked at how many terrific images you captured as Oliver was being very active and stubborn (and yes, we were both concerned and tired by the end!). You worked so well with him and with us, thank you. Your approach and focus on the family and capturing the love and emotions truly comes through in your work. I am so happy to have “stumbled” across your photography blog! Thank you also for sharing a bit about your own personal journey in this post. Our journey to parenthood was long (over five years in total) and difficult, but it has helped me to appreciate our time with Oliver that much more. I pray that your own journey takes to you a place where you are able to love and cherish a little one of your own.

Again, thank you! And if someone is reading this that is a potential new client — Sarah is amazing. :)
Tonya

Val - June 24, 2014 - 6:35 pm

Totally in love with this family! What great pictures every single one of them!! Just infectious the JOY!

Beth and Jared: Married – St. Paul, MN Photography

From the moment I meant Beth and Jared at their initial consultation, I knew we would be a good fit.  Beth has the sweetest, most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard and Jared looks at her as though she is the only one in the world he sees.  Their relationship is so sweet, pure, and full of love that it made me fall in love with photographing weddings all over again!

Their wedding day was filled with back to back thunderstorms with barely a glimpse of a break between them.  However, Beth and Jared remained calm and really did not care about the weather at all!  They just wanted to be married!  We were lucky to have about 20 minutes outside to split between two outdoor locations during a tiny break in the storms before it started downpouring again, but after that, it rained through the night.  Despite the weather, the day was gorgeous, romantic, and untouched by the gloomy weather outside.  Everyone had a smile on their face and danced the night away at the reception!  It was a perfect day for an amazing couple!

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Due to the rain and a lack of covered areas outside, we decided Beth could walk down the aisle to her groom.  It was a cool way to mix the traditional aisle walk with the modern first look.

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Let me just say that this was the most dance-savvy group I have ever seen!  They all were dancing across the floor with their partners and putting me to shame!

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Val - June 23, 2014 - 2:56 pm

So many pictures I love, they are beautiful! The one of the whole church is magnificent! I teared up seeing the father daughter..her dress was really beautiful and them praying wonderful..him twirling her on the dance floor just wonderful!

Marcene Galkin - June 24, 2014 - 6:19 pm

Magical and perfect for Beth. She is a very special person….
Stanley and I always loved talking with her when we stayed….not
surprised one little bit….right down to choosing a mate filled
with kindness and love. Enjoy forever….it only gets better!
Come see me!!!
God bless
Many hugs and much love
Aunt Marcene

Nicole - June 26, 2014 - 2:04 pm

The first look pictures gave me goose bumps. So many beautiful images! Great job!