Archive for ‘Photography’

November 5, 2012

For the Love of San Francisco

by Molly Mahar

A life of spontaneity goes hand in hand with dating an entrepreneur. There’s also the occasional unpremeditated trip halfway across the country. This time, I am whisked away to my favorite city, San Francisco!

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October 5, 2012

Lake Calhoun Living

by Molly Mahar

Here we are again. It’s Fall. The leaves are falling off the trees and there’s snow in the forecast. After a long Spring & Summer of silence on my blog, I am back.

The past year in a nutshell: I got my first “big girl job” (without ‘intern’ in the title), moved out of my parents house and into an amazing apartment in Uptown, I turned 24, and to top it off, my beautiful and only sister had another perfect baby girl. Parties.. weddings.. cabin trips.. the beach.. impromptu sailing rides.. the list goes on.

This was the best summer of my life, and I have never been happier. Summer in Uptown has been amazing, but I’m sure the Fall and Winter seasons in the city will be just as magical.

Here’s a glimpse of Lake Calhoun Living in the Summer:

November 6, 2011

For the Love of {Instagram} Photography

by Molly Mahar

Instagram, as you may have heard by now, is a free photo sharing app for the iPhone, but to its users it is much more than that. Instagram has become a social media network all its own, that crosses international boundaries and brings people together through a mutual love of photography.

I joined instagram approximately five months ago, and have been hooked ever since. Those who don’t use Instagram may never understand the type of environment it produces, the type of relationships that are formed, and the beautiful filters that can be used to bring photos to life, like my personal favorite: Earlybird! It is so fun to see everyone’s unique photos, and to learn and improve my own photography.

I am featuring some of my favorite users in this post: @Sunrisegirl, @Virginiablue, @Adleyy, @Luminousgrey, and @Jeroenv. They are just five of my many favorites, but great examples of the type of work you can find on the app.

@Sunrisegirl, also known as Danielle, is an Instagramer from southern California, transplanted in Wisconsin and making the best of it. She not only takes beautiful photographs, but is someone who genuinely cares about others work, even though she has over five thousand followers. She is a fellow midwesterner, so I always look forward to her photos! Here are some of my personal favorites from Danielle’s collection.


@VirginiaBlue, otherwise known as Deb, says “If I was a song, I’d be a Moonlight Sonata.” Deb’s photos are simply stunning; Consistent, colorful, & beautiful! She typically uses the Toaster filter, and it works so well with her style of photography.

@LuminousGray is Miss Heather Pauline. Her bio states “I walk here and there, seeking wide open, flat spaces against a sky up high…” Her photos are serene and beautiful, and she deserves way more followers than she currently has because her work is amazing.

@Adleyy shares her “Cozy Photo Life Story” on Instagram, including beautiful photos of nature and life. She created a competition, the #Adley_challenge, which brings users together, discussing and sharing on a specific topic; my best friend animal challenge, nature, and more. I won her nature challenge! :)

@Jeroenv Verhulst is an IG’er from Holland. “A social worker, married and father of my sweet daughter Billie Kee. Photos made with dslr camera and iPhone 4. Enjoy my feed.” Not much else to say about Jeroen other than, you will LOVE his work. Here are a few samples.

Here are a few samples of work from my instagram, @MollyElizabethMahar:

If you have an iPhone, Instagram is the place to be and I would suggest getting the app asap! If you haven’t yet converted to an iPhone, you can check out Webstagram.com to see what is going on in the IG world. Thanks for reading.

November 1, 2011

Fall Photo Series

by Molly Mahar

Winter is fast approaching, as we have seen already in the United States on the east coast. So, before the Fall weather disappears for good, I want to post my Fall Photo Series. I have had such a great time this Fall enjoying the weather and exploring new places in my area. Before this year I was never a huge fan of Fall, but getting into photography has really changed my mind.

My photos in this post were taken at a variety of places in the greater Minneapolis area. I visited many parks, but most of these trees and flowers were right in the backyard. I hope you enjoy them. Autumn, you will be missed!

(Warning! This post contains A LOT of photos!)

October 30, 2011

The Minneapolis Riverfront: Part Two

by Molly Mahar

The St. Anthony Main trails on the Minneapolis riverfront are jam packed with photo opportunities. Besides all of the beautiful landmarks that St. Anthony offers (which you can see in my previous blog post), I found so many interesting and different wildflowers to photograph. As promised, here they are! :)

October 30, 2011

The Minneapolis Riverfront: Part One

by Molly Mahar

St. Anthony Main is the place to be on the Minneapolis riverfront if you enjoy acres of trails, beautiful city and water views, trendy restaurants, and breathe-taking Minneapolis landmarks such as the Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls! As you may know, I am a fan of free entertainment, which St. Anthony Main provides with all of its trails and things to see. Although I enjoy the free aspects of the area, I am not opposed to sitting down at Vic’s or Tugg’s Tavern for a beer and some amazing food! :) We had a drink and ate cheese curds (my weakness) at Tugg’s before walking around on the scenic paths.

I have only recently started investigating great places in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as I live in the suburbs, but have truly enjoyed all they have to offer! It definitely keeps life interesting & I get some great shots, too. Here are some photos I took of a variety of things we saw at St. Anthony Main. Check back for my next blog post “The Minneapolis Riverfront: Part Two,” which will showcase all of the beautiful wildflowers I found along the way.. coming soon!

If you are in the Minneapolis area, you NEED to explore the downtown scenes, especially the riverfront at St. Anthony. Check out http://stanthonymain.com/ for information!


October 26, 2011

Saying Hello to Fall

by Molly Mahar

As the summer weather started to make way for brisk autumn days, I was desperate to get outside and find some great places to walk around, enjoy the outdoors, and of course, take some photos. One of the places I found while researching was UMore Park. It caught my eye because it’s free to the public, and conveniently located in my area, south of the Twin Cities in Rosemount, MN. The Master Gardener Education & Research Display Garden at UMore Park holds beautiful gardens and landscaping, but is just a small part of UMore Park as a whole, which has acres of beautiful fields and farmland, used for energy, wellness, educational, & agricultural research.

As we (my significant other and I) pulled up to the Gardens, I was filled with disappointment as I saw wilting, dead flowers
 we had missed the peak of the gardens. With the chilly fall weather, they stopped grooming and caring for the gardens until next year. We got out anyway, to walk around and enjoy the weather, and I was pleasantly surprised as we got a closer look that some flowers were still clinging to life. I got some great shots as we enjoyed a walk down the dirt roads, and through the gardens
 I hope you enjoy them like I do! And, if you are ever looking for something fun and free to do outdoors, research gardens in your area.

To learn more about UMore park visit http://www.umorepark.umn.edu/


October 26, 2011

Pumpkins!

by Molly Mahar

It’s almost Halloween! We finally made it out pumpkin hunting… a little late I know. Hopefully we will get around to carving them this weekend because I am craving some baked pumpkin seeds; I only get to eat them once a year! Here are some photos of our outing..  Thanks for stopping by & enjoy the beautiful Fall weather!

October 23, 2011

A Designer’s Dream: The International Market Square

by Molly Mahar

Every time I would drive down I94 South in Minneapolis, I was mesmerized by the most beautiful building, The International Market Square. I always wondered what was inside, so I did my research. I found that my mystery building is a design center that hundreds of interior designers, among many other creative businesses, call home. This breath-taking building was built as a factory in the 1900’s, vacant for years after the factory shut down, then was eventually transformed into a beautiful hub for designers to work.

Finally, on a weekend trip to the downtown farmers market with my mom, our curiosity got the best of us, and we stopped in. I fell in LOVE instantly, as I looked up at the beautiful architecture and windows, was greeted by the most friendly staff, and as I opened the directory to find hundreds of unique designers and their showrooms.

We walked around for hours looking in all the showrooms (the ones we were allowed in without a trade professional), seeing everything from accessories, decor, architecture designs, flooring, and furnishings, to fabrics/textiles, lighting, kitchen/bath/outdoor designs, wall coverings, and more! Other than the showrooms, the IMS has a lot to offer… multiple restaurants, graphic design services, event and meeting areas, as well as beautiful modern lofts. After walking around we ate at D’amicos, and enjoyed a glass of wine. I cannot wait to go back!

I got some fun photos of the outside, but if you want to see more, go to www.IMSDesignCenter.com!

October 22, 2011

4 Unique Photography Tips

by Molly Mahar

Finding my niche in photography took some time, and I am constantly perfecting it. When you jump into photography for the first time, you tend to be inspired by others, by trying similar concepts and ideas. Once you put yourself out there, practice, and gain confidence, you begin to branch out and take truly unique photos.

My style began to change as I started experimenting, and deciding what aspects I really liked. While studying Graphic Design at UND, we were always taught “Less is Best” and I have definitely attributed the minimalist look to my photography. I have also grown very fond of high contrast photos and different shades of blue, as you will notice in my photography at the end of this post. By making these key decisions about what I liked, I was able to form my personal style of photography.

You should work on perfecting your own style, but here are a few tips that have helped me with my own visions. I hope you can be inspired by my work in some way, try some different things that I try, and hopefully gain the confidence to break away and find your niche!

As a side note, I am not a professional photographer, so don’t take me too seriously. These tips and tricks are my own personal views. If you are looking for more professional advice, you should contact a professional photographer.

Enough talk, here’s my tips:

(1) Don’t be afraid to look stupid
A lot of times, you will be taking photos in public, in places where people are going to see you. I used to be so embarrassed to take photos in public that I would snap my subject really fast and move on. Well, once I got home I had a bunch of photos that were unusable. Eventually, I wanted my shots so bad that I stopped caring about who was gawking at me.

(2) Take multiple shots of your subject
When you take only a few shots, you don’t have much to work with. When I see something I want to photograph, I take TONS of shots.. I will literally take 10 shots or more. You can always delete them later, but it gives you options to work with. Hopefully you will have at least one that you love. If you are using a DSLR, take multiple shots of your subject, experimenting with different aperture and shutter speeds. Record the settings you used for each shot so you can start to learn what settings work best in different conditions, and your personal preferences. You can find charts online to assist  you with settings.

(3) Experiment with different perspectives
This goes back to my first tip, don’t be afraid of looking stupid. I like to experiment with angles, which usually leads to some unique shots that I never would have thought of without trying different perspectives. As you may have noticed, my favorite perspective is the worm’s eye view, where I literally lay on the ground and point up. My typical subjects are flowers, so I have a lot of fun laying on the ground, burying my camera into the flowers, trying to get the perfect shot with the beautiful blue sky in the background.

(4) Don’t waste a sunny day!
Sunny days are perfect for taking photos similar to the style that I shoot. This tip is especially important if you are using a camera that cannot adjust for lighting conditions, such as an iPhone, which I use a lot of the time because it’s always in my pocket and readily available. I never waste a beautiful, clear skied, sunny day. When I wake up and see the sun blazing through my window, I am outside exporing for shots. Don’t make photography harder than it needs to be… if you want a colorful, blue skied shot, then don’t miss out on the sunny days.

Thanks for reading! Come back soon.