About Me

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Shakopee, MN, United States
This blog is designed for my fellow photograhers. If you are interested in my consumer blog, >click here

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't Forget! Super Monday is Nov. 12th!

I am honored to have been selected to be a Super Monday instructor for the PPA on Monday, November 12th from 9-5. Below is a description of my program

MINNESOTAShakopeeMN40Amy Zellmer OlsonTitle: Creating a Buzz about Your BusinessBlogs and MySpace accounts are so simple, yet only 25% of photographers are utilizing this incredible (and free) marketing tool. This hands-on class will go through the process of setting up your blog and/or MySpace account. Please bring your laptop.

Registration at the door is $120. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me! I hope to see you there.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!!

I am heading to Las Vegas bright and early for my in-laws 40th anniversary bash!! I will be out of the office, and not have access to email and voicemail (on purpose of course!) however, Alyssa will be in the office all week at varying times so please give her a call if you do need anything!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Downtown Shakopee's Ladies Night ROCKED the town!!

Wow, what an amazing night! We held our first ever Ladies Night in downtown Shakopee tonight and had 250 wild and crazy women walking downtown. Even the rainy nasty weather didn't keep these ladies away!!

After the success of my GNO this past February, the Shakopee Downtown Partnership put their heads together to put on a downtown wide Ladies Night and asked me to help on the committee. No one believed me that we would totally have no problem getting 250 ladies to participate, and it SOLD OUT in TWO DAYS!!

It was an incredible activity to witness! I am SO proud to say I was a part of putting this amazing event on for the ladies of Shakopee!! I hope you all had a great time! And a shout out to our wonderful committee: Lauri Glenn of the STDP, Molly Murillo of Betti Lu's, Jean Breeggemann of Ballard-Sunder Funeral Homes, Kim Baker of Brad Billing's State Farm, Kathy Klehr of Scott County Historical Society, and Crystal Quirring of Pearson Florist. You ladies ROCKED the most!!!

The punch was ready....

The cheesecakses were delich

My boys were ready....

State Representative Mike Beard greeted the ladies at the end of the night at Turtles 1890 Social Centre.

The ladies packed Turtles Social Centre, it was amazing!

A fashio show by Betti Lu's.

The Shakopee Fire Department was on hand to help escort the models on and off the stage (thanks to Fire Marshal Tom Pitschneider)

The gorgeous diamond necklace for the grand prize!!

Lauri drawing the winning ticket!!

Congratulations to Pam, the grand prize winner!!! (tom was so kind to put it on her!!)

All of the amazing prizes donated by the participating businesses!!!

Lauri thanking all of the ladies at the end of the night and telling them the shuttle back to their cars was waiting outside for them!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Why blogging is SO powerful!!!

This is what a recent bride commented on my blog the day after her wedding:
"WOW! I didn't cry the whole day, but when I got home the next afternoon and saw them on the blog, I cried like a baby! They are beautiful! Thank you so much for making our special day so amazing and memorable! I cannot wait to see them all, and if they are even half as good as the ones I saw now, I will be very happy!
Talk to you soon

What an incredible testimonial! Why wouldn't you want to blog? It's SO worth the 10 minutes!

Friday, August 31, 2007

PPA Super Monday Program!

I am honored to have been selected to be a Super Monday instructor for the PPA on Monday, November 12th from 9-5. Below is a description of my program

Amy Zellmer OlsonTitle: Creating a Buzz about Your BusinessBlogs and MySpace accounts are so simple, yet only 25% of photographers are utilizing this incredible (and free) marketing tool. This hands-on class will go through the process of setting up your blog and/or MySpace account. Please bring your laptop.

To register for the course, visit PPA's website and use course code: MN40. Cost is $99 in advance, or $120 at the door.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me! I hope to see you there.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Information on my "Girls Night Out"!

Wow! Thank you SO much for all the well-wishes and inquiries in response to my article in Studio Photography and Design! I have had a ton of emails from fellow photographers asking me how I put together my GNO, advice, swag gift bags, food, things I would do different, etc etc.

First of all, I was blown away by the response that my GNO received from the community! The Shakopee Downtown Partnership asked me to help them plan a Shakopee Ladies Night in the entire downtown area, so I am now in the process of putting that together as well! My GNO idea came directly from Vicki Taufer, I will not take any credit for the concept!!

I contacted several home based and store front businesses that I knew and asked them if they would like to participate. I invited about 30 or so and told them it was limited to the first 15. Well, I had them calling to reserve their spot the day they received their letter, they were totally excited to participate. I charged each business $40 to cover all advertising costs, food etc. They also had to supply a tangible item for the goodie bags (it couldn't be just a pen, coupon, etc.) We had candles, bracelets, spices, bath salts, boxes of chocolate, and more in the bags!! They were valued at at least $200 each!!! The first 30 ladies through the door received the goodie bags (which was advertised on everything).

Each biz received 50 postcards to mail out to their client base, and I also mailed to my clients. I posted it on my blog and website. I advertise it in the paper the week before (both in the local on Thurs. and in the county on Sat.). I had the phone ringing off the hook with other businesses wanting to participate, but had to tell them I was already full. I was really amazed at the positive response from the vendors!

Ladies started arriving an HOUR EARLY because they wanted their goodie bag. We politely told them they couldn't come in until 5:30 sharp so they lined up down the streeet and around the corner (keep in mind this was the middle of a freezing cold winter!) When the ladies came in they had to sign up to register for door prizes and then were allowed in to visit with the businesses. Each lady received my price list and information on the studio. We collected 104 pounds of food for the local foodshelf. (admission was free, they only had to bring a donation for the food shelf). The ladies were treated to wine, coffee, cheesecake, mini sandwhiches, and other finger food. They could sign up for massages, mini manicures, and hair up-dos. Every ten minutes, one of the vendors gave a mini-seminar on their services.

The thing I would do differently is charge a small admission. there were three woman who showed up for the goodie bag, turned around and walked back out. It was frustrating, but what do you do!? I only have 1500 square feet, so 100 ladies was a LOT in my space. Next time I will break it into two segments (maybe 4-6 and 6-8 p.m.) and limit it to 50 ladies at each session. They were crammed in and couldn't get to all of the businesses, and a lot of ladies didn't get a chance to sign up for a massage etc.

Overall, it was an incredible marketing tool!! I had people calling for days afterwards making sure they were on the mailing list for the following year!! All of hte businesses that participated were thrilled with the response and all want to do it again next year! I believe everyone got business or at least good solid leads from the event. I know I still have people calling because they had come to the GNO and scheduling sessions. I did hand out random 'free session' coupons to ladies as I tried to wander through the crown and have been having those coupons come back in!

One other down-side is that it was SO overwhellming for me I didn't have the opportunity to mingle with ladies as much as I would have liked. But those who wanted information sought me out and asked to speak to me, so overall it was great!!

I will definitely be doing it again this winter. If you have any further questions, please ask them in the comments secion below and I will try to address them right here for everyone to. I am sure if you are thinking it, so is someone else!

postcards were printed at Overnight Prints. (click on any image to see a larger version of it).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm Published!

It's official! August's issue of Studio Photography and Design hit the mailboxes yesterday and MY article is published!!! I was contacted a few months back about using my article in their upcoming issue, but didn't want to actually say anything until it was "official". After my exhausting 9 hours in the car and getting home at 9 p.m. from Fargo, I received an email from my friend Heather Kallhoff with the subject line "Congratulations on your article"! She told me it was a full page article and I was flying high! I was so bummed that I hadn't been around to get the mail yesterday and had to patiently wait today until the mail came!!! I have been bouncing off the walls I am SO excited!!! You can read the entire article by CLICKING HERE, it is the third article down. Today I have been receiving phone calls from friends and complete strangers congratulating me on my article! THANK YOU to all who took the time to read it and for all your kind words!!!
I have a shout-out to Krish Kiefer, Lauri Glenn, Nichelle and Jes for helping me with my GNO and again to Krish and Mark Kiefer, David Grupa, and David Jones. If it weren't for you guys I wouldn't be where I am at right now in my career!!! LOVE YA!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

For A Good Cause.

Today's Minneapolis Star Tribune "South Edition" is running a wonderful article on Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. (For those of you who aren't familiar with NILMDTS please CLICK HERE to read all about this wonderful organization of volunteer photographers who photograph demised babies at local hospitals.)

It has been found that having photographs of their deceased baby helps the family with the healing process, and makes it "real" that they actually did have a baby. I have photographed about a half dozen sessions, and it is truly rewarding when a family tells you how much the session meant to them!!! If you are not already a volunteer, I highly encourage you to do it.

The first session was a little rough for me, but after that it's been smooth sailing. I was very skeptical walking into that first session not knowing what I was really doing, not knowing what condition the baby would be (and the family for that matter). But the second I walked thru the door, the family embraced me and thanked me for being there and told me how much this meant to them. At that point I knew it was something that I needed to do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Studio's Getting A Facelift!!

I have been in my new studio since October and have been "getting around" to painting some sets for a while now! Emily eagerly volunteered to paint for me, which is a HUGE relief! I hate to paint, and i'm not very good at it!
Emily was too cute, I have never seen anyone get so much paint on themselves while painting! It sorta turned into a joke so she painted war paint on her face!
I am currently painting two sets , and plan to do a few more in the next few weeks. I really love the shade of blue the wall turned out. I was originally going to rag-roll a texture onto it, but now I am contemplating gold stars and moons. Any thoughts?? The other wall is going to be a dark and light beige rag-rolled. I am eventually going to be adding a brick wall and a barn wood wall as well. I really need to get a rail system installed too for my muslins, right now I am still using the old fashioned background stand! lol.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Looking to buy or sell equipment??

This is a great forum for photographers either looking to clean out their gearbag, or add to it! www.dgrin.com.
Check it out!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Yay Lisa!!!!

Lisa Holthaus of Elite Portrait Design started her blog right away after my presentation at Cornbelt!!! I am SO excited to see that she was motivated and inspired to get it started. Seriously, all it takes is a little bit of time and effort to get it started, and updating is a cinch!! Yay Lisa, i'm proud of you, keep up the great work!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cool Stuff!!

Check out this video of Photosynth, it is absolutely amazing!!! It's pretty crazy to think about where the world of photography is going!! In a few years there are going to be some totally amazing things out there for us to do! (and of course, learn how to use!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cornbelt Rocks!!

I survived my first speaking presentation this afternoon at Cornbelt in Mankato! What an incredible group of people!! They gave me a super warm welcome and I felt so at ease with them! It was truly the perfect group for my "trial run"!! I hope to see many of them again at future meetings!!! Thanks so much to Erin Dunn for inviting me to speak!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Mark Kiefer snapped this shot of me on the TCPPA Summer Boat Cruise. He thought I looked very peaceful, content, and happy. I would agree. When I look at this photo it has a very tranquil feeling to it, and I feel warm and fuzzy looking at that golden sun shining on me.
The Boat Cruise was an incredible day! We had about 40 people on the photo expedition which was led by Jeff Dunn. We had three models so we broke off into three different groups to photograph. Afterwards we saw Tomy O'Brien give a presentation and then it was off for dinner on the boat cruise!
I am so lucky to have such amazing, talented, photographer friends! I feel blessed every day that I get to hang around them and learn from them! My goal thru this blog is to give back to other photographers as I have so graciously received myself!

Monday, July 16, 2007

First Blogging Presentation!!

I am all set to do my first presentation on blogging at the Cornbelt affiliate association. I am slightly terrified since it is my first public speaking appearance, but at the same time I am very excited to share my knowledge on blogging with my fellow photographers! I know that Cornbelt is a great group, and they are going to welcome me with open arms, but it is still slightly terrifying! What if I trip and fall on my face? What if I forget what I was going to say? What if my computer crashes and I don't have my powerpoint presentation to follow along with?? Yikes!

Deep breathes!!!!! Ohmmmmmm......... It's all good! That brings me to Positive Thinking! Have you read "The Secret" yet??

Friday, July 6, 2007

I hope everyone had a great 4th! I am still experimenting with blogger to see if I want to make the switch, or stick with Xanga. So far Xanga is winning out by a landslide! CLICK HERE to see my "real" blog on xanga!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Welcome to my blog!

This blog is still under construction. Please view my current blog by clicking HERE.