Posted by: MistyMinnaPhotography

In the recent weeks, I’ve been collaborating with my mom to create and design her website. I must say she has become quite good at Photoshop. I am quite proud. Although, she’s had a great teacher 😉

We are very proud to launch her website very, very soon. Be on the lookout for it!

I will still be helping out along the way via Grand Rapids (email and a lot of used cell phone minutes). One way, is contributing to this blog, when Eileen is too busy to post.

My mom has pretty much taught me every aspect of art and life. From cooking to photography to sewing (which I’m still not very good at) to gardening and yoga…

So, let me start by talking a little about how my mom has effected my life, my love for art, all things creative. In college, I had to write my creative thesis dissertation (a daunting task I’m glad is over) and I think this excerpt describes her the best.

“I never knew nudity could be art. Standing in the echoing halls of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) I was almost face-to-face with Venus. She was naked and coming out of a clamshell. Her long hair flowed all the way down to her stomach. I didn’t get it.

“Mom, why is Rapunzel naked?” I asked loudly. The grand hall echoed and I instantly felt embarrassed. Shuttering at the sound of my own voice, I turned red and threw my hand over my mouth. Kneeling down next to me, my mom took my hands and put them against hers.

“Misty, that is the Greek goddess, Venus. She’s from and old myth. She watches over people who are in love.”

“Why doesn’t she have any clothes on?”

“Because she was just born. She’s very admired by other angels. See that lady on the right?”

“Yeah.”

“She’s going to cover her up, see?”

“Oooh, good.”

“See, when this painting was made, a person’s naked body was seen as beautiful. Nudity was ok back then because it was art.” I was eight and just learned that nudity was art. My little brother stood next to me in awe. He was six years old seeing the naked Venus. He was going to love ‘show and tell’ tomorrow.

My history with photography and art has everything to do with my mother. She refused to believe that because we were young, we couldn’t appreciate art, so she took us the DIA. She took us to all kinds of museums all over Detroit. We went to jazz clubs, art shows in the park, and even one year when I was sixteen, the hash bash in Ann Arbor. My mom didn’t lead and artist lifestyle; she wasn’t trendy or strange the way most artists get labeled and she certainly didn’t take part in the hash bash. What she did do was show us a new world. She wanted us to know that more existed beyond our tiny bubble of adolescence.

My mom majored in interior design at  Wayne State University. I went to class with her every chance I got. Painting class was my favorite. To me, it was just like the movies. I got to use a stand up easel and real oil paints. Her professors were very laid back about letting me in the class and some even let me hang up my work as part of the critique. Being considered a part of the class and accepted was the best feeling in the world to me. It made me want to create more art.

When I was fourteen, my mom took her first photo class. So, naturally, I took me first photo class. She let me use an old manual Fujica camera she had from her days at Michigan State. She taught me how to load film into it, how to wind it and how to expose. I learned about shutter speeds, F-stops and how to “read the light,” as my mom called it. I started off making still lives out of things I found in my backyard. After I got bored with that, I began making my brother and my dog pose for me for hours at a time. I would take the same shot three or four different ways to get the light right. I became obsessed with it.

In high school, I enrolled in photo class. I learned how to develop my own black and white film. I became even deeper involved with photography and felt like a really began to understand it. I began to build my skills in the darkroom as well. I learned split filtering, selective development and burning and dodging. In my senior year of high school, I enrolled in two college prep courses in photography.  At the end of my senior year, I submitted a ten-image portfolio for national and regional competition. There was a first (gold), second (silver) and third (bronze) ‘keys’ or places individual that work could place in. I won two gold keys, an honorable mention and a Chairmen’s Award for photography, which awarded me a scholarship to Grand Valley. My portfolio also went on to a national competition for judging in New York.

This project is to my mom for always being my role model. For her love, support and coaching every step of the way. For her steadfast strength and positive spirit. For teaching me to love art from a young age and for giving me my first camera. This project would not have happened without her. I’d be lost without you mom, all my love.”


So I am very blessed to have the mother that I do. And even though we’ve had our struggles like any mother and daughter do, we have been lucky enough to work together and inspire each other.

Recently, we’ve been collaborating to photograph and style weddings. For a look at our work, please click here.

Also, please check out Eileen’s Facebook Page and see her on Twitter!

And of course, I’d be remiss without a shameless plug for my photography business, www.mistyminna.com

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