Lakeside Summer Wedding in Minnesota


Erika & Luke were my first wedding during the age of COVID-19. In this brave new world, we find ourselves in I was a bit nervous. Turns out I had nothing to be worried about. These two pulled off a gorgeous summer wedding during a very uncertain time. Erika & Luke have been together forever and decided to plan their wedding fairly quickly and were going to let a pandemic stand in the way of their celebration. Being a midwest wedding photographer stemming from the North Shore Duluth Minnesota area a mutual friend from Duluth referred me to the bride. We hit it off with no problem as most creative and loving-minded folk from the Duluth area do and we were off to make some photo magic.

I was in need of a getaway and this little escapade didn’t disappoint. I love ALL weddings but weddings where you have some actual friends there is a special type of event. The couple chose a Lakeside wedding due to their love of the outdoors and found a great house on Lake Koronis in Paynesville, MN. They found this great house on VRBO that had everything that they wanted for a wedding venue; great outdoor space, enough indoor space for friends and family to all comfortably stay together and a gorgeous patio for reception and chilling

Luke and Erika are both artists and visionaries themselves and their main contribution to their ceremony was the creation of a very special cedar arch that made the ceremony so beautiful! It was created by the groom and their good friend and wedding witness. This archway’s craftsmanship is superb and its so great that they will be exhibiting it and enjoying it in their back yard for years to come. The day was perfect for a Minnesota outdoor wedding with a bounty of cumulus clouds to play with while making wedding photos. The tiny storm that came through and blessed us after the ceremony and before dinner is to be thanked for that post storm light and clouds. As I always tell my couples, “don’t worry, bad weather is often able to make for good photographs.”

One of my favorite parts of weddings is where I get to really flex my experience as a fine art photographer and what I call the “Steal Away Session”. When the couple is able to find a chunk of time to sneak away from the wedding scene, get some quiet time with each other and make some of what may be the best wedding photographs of the day. My idea for Erika & Luke’s Steal Away Session was easy, it just took them feeling confident and adventurous and me convincing them of my vision. We got one of their best friends who was on-site with a fishing boat and took that bad boy out on the lake for some sunset session photos. Needless to say, they nailed it. By that time we had a great report and trust going and they were not only taking posing direction with ease but they were just vibing with each other out there. When a couple is able to catch a vibe with each other during a photo session it is such a gift cause then I just get to sit back and snap away like a kid in a candy store.

As a fine art wedding photographer I am constantly on keeping one eye on what is unfolding in front of me and one eye on what could happen next. I had my wandering eye on that lake the whole day. I must have proposed a sneak away session on the lake a few times. When I have a vision of what could be at a wedding concerning photos I will do whatever I can to actualize those images. Clients love my candid work but it’s the portraits I visualize and actualize are the caliber of photographs are why couples are ultimately drawn to me.

“Andy is a true artist! He captured the magic of our day not only with his tech skill but also with his ability to work with people – encouraging interactions to get the shots! He easily understood our ideas and brought excellent ideas of his own. We loved our experience with Andy.” – Erika & Luke