Mendoza’s Best Friend | White Bear Lake Photographer

It was snowing. It was cold. We had walked miles and miles on the side of the road and on the ice. The wind was picking up. But despite all of this, people were smiling at Pete and Mendoza. People were doing double-takes and friendly chuckles when they saw them. And I wanted to capture them with my camera. Cool subject? Check! Fancy camera? Check! The nerve to ask cool-subject strangers if I can take their photo with that fancy camera? That part gets a little harder for me.

We were on Lake Superior, spending the day at the Apostle Island ice caves. I brought my work camera on this adventure because I was hoping to be inspired by the ice – by nature…and I was. But I am still drawn to the story of people. It has always been in my heart to tell people’s stories through photography. There is just something about people in front of my lens that gets me way more excited than shells or leaves or food (and I really like food so that is saying something).

It is one of my secret thrills to approach someone who is taking a photo of their loved ones and offer to take a photo with them in it too with their camera. It gives me such joy to to see how surprised and pleased they are to have a photo of them all together. Those photos are for them on their cameras – it is my random gift to strangers, and I was having fun doing this at the ice caves.

But then I saw Pete and Mendoza, and this time I wanted a photo of a complete stranger – for me – with my camera. All I had to do was ask them, and I was afraid.

Most people think of me as very outgoing chatty person – the life of the party kind of gal. I am the one who has no problem looking like a complete fool on my photoshoots in order to get a kid to laugh (whatever it takes, right moms?!). But deep down there is a shy girl who is terrified to approach strangers and tell them that I am a photographer. Don’t most of us have a shy side? Well, I am trying really, really hard to overcome that side of myself, and after lots of self-pep talk I approached them and asked if I could photograph Pete and Mendoza.

And you know what? Pete and Anne (his wife) could not have been nicer and more willing to let me photograph him and Mendoza (who was not nearly as interested in being photographed, but he is so cute that he can get away with that). A BIG thanks to them for not only letting me photograph them, but for also not laughing at me or yelling at me or running away from me. Yup, those are all the irrational fears that come into my mind when I get scared. Silly right? Well, I am here to tell you that pushing through those crazy fears is really the best way to go. The proof is in the images…

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Here are a few more images from the rest of the day…

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Standing under this GIGANTIC icicle actually made me very, very nervous…

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And I had to add this selfie of Luke. He cracked himself up taking selfies with (completely unaware) me in the background doing my own thing. I guess he was too distracted by his sneaky ways to notice his crooked glasses…

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