Stephanie Sunberg Photography: Blog en-us (C) Stephanie Sunberg Photography (Stephanie Sunberg Photography) Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:16:00 GMT Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:16:00 GMT Stephanie Sunberg Photography: Blog 80 120 Nights in Montmartre, Paris “I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you.

You search for answers. You wonder what it all means.

You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.”

- Amy Thomas



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Years later and I still have thousands upon thousands of images from all over Europe to share with the world. There is something so magical about Paris. Well, France in general I suppose...

I am excited to announce that I will be back in Paris come end of March/Beginning of April. If any lovers, models, or brands want to shoot, please reach out.

There are only two places in the world I plan to live out my days as an artist - New York and Paris. I think all artists who live and die romance like I do should spend time alone here and there... you can't help but to fall in love with everything and everyone around you. You sit at a cafe and watch every person that walks by, curious about their story. Lovers unable to keep their hands and lips off each other. Falling in love with their love. Their beauty. The culture. All of it. 


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I sat outside of Sacré-Cœur around 22:00, every shop and restaurant was slowly closing down on a cold Tuesday night in December. Subjects becoming more and more scarce, so I went into the square to see who might still be lingering in hopes for something interesting. The sad woman leaving Sacré-Cœur having just said goodbye to a young man that I'm assuming might've been her son. A painter breaking down his easel, putting away his paints and brushes as the artist next to him selling portraits plays a Spanish tune on his acoustic guitar serenading the entire square. I then spotted a man about to leave a cafe. He lit a cigarette and stood out front watching everyone the same way I was. He looked at me, raised my camera, shot the photograph, and he tipped his hat to me with a slight nod giving me the permission I assumed. We then resumed watching the others around the square.


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See you soon, Paris,



(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) blog blogger boutique branding destination europe eurotrip fashion france lifestyle love lovers march midwest model montmartre paris passport people photographs photography photoshoot snapshots spring stephanie sunberg street street photography travel urban wedding Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:15:51 GMT
A Visit to Vis, Croatia Croatia: From the island of Vis to Splitko


A true escape like none other. The island banned public visitation from 1950-89 closing it off as a Yugoslavian army base, in turn preserving the island from being overtaken by tourists, and even after almost thirty years it still feels pure and untouched. Home to the astounding Fort George that has now been transformed into a beautiful restaurant and venue, we pushed our luck to sneak in for the closing party of Yacht Week Official. Insanity... as was the hangover.

We spent our days walking from one side of the island to the other following the sun, wet in our swimsuits. Riding bikes, pedaling at high gear to burn off the risotto both Caroline and I consumed on a daily basis. The abundance of fruit kept our bodies happy. Every morning along the port was a small farmers market where we'd take our pick of grapes, berries, oranges, or pears. Tying the bag of fruit I'd purchase to my bike handle, I tried to balance a beach bag on the other bike handle, luckily only losing a grape or five along each trip across the port. Found out I was a bit more coordinated than I thought. 

We'd spot out a corner to lay, Caroline and I taking turns choosing music to play. Hearing the children teasing one another, only the lightest of waves bumping into the stone ports where we'd find a corner to lay. The water felt as warm as a thermal bath. For a Summer in Croatia this was all there was to do on the island and we were more than content with it.  

About a two hour boat ride to Split, we spent a only two days exploring, taking a boat tour all day for one to a secluded island of more snorkeling and sunbathing, followed by more risotto. 

You will find that Croatia, no matter where you are, has an enchanting golden glow to everything. There was truly gold in the air, and luckily enough I think I was able to capture it.


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(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) blog blogger croatia culture destination europe explore fish fly hostel hotel lifestyle passport people photography risotto sea seafood split stephanie sunberg summer travel travel blog travel croatia travel europe travel photography vis world yacht yacht week Wed, 31 Jan 2018 18:04:42 GMT
Snapshots From Paris Bonjour,

My first rendezvous with Paris in 2011 blossomed into a lasting love affair, carving an indelible mark on my mind, body, and soul. Few cities are as fabulous as the City of Lights, but I'm still on the hunt to add more cities that might be of comparison. These snapshots are from my second go-around in this magical city, August of 2016 with an old college girlfriend, Caroline. Spending our time eating and sightseeing in Le Marais was more than a delight. In fact, I can still remember the taste of the best coffee I've ever had at that corner cafe the last morning of our stay, the perfectly fluffy yet somehow crispy croissants we ordered a basket of contemplating if we order a second round. Carb counting is nonexistent in Europe, this is the first rule you learn when you cross that border. 

Lately, I've found myself dreaming of the city again, so I plan to go back sooner than later. Come Spring, most likely April, you will find me about the City of Love again. So, that being said, if you find yourself in Paris as well and would like link up, reach out.

I would love to do another couple's shoot in Paris as well. It's just too beautiful not to.

Anyways, here are some snapshots from those Summer days in Paris...





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(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) about paris black and white blog blogger candid eiffel tower france lifestyle love midwest monochrome paris paris guide parisian people photography photoshoot snapshots stephanie sunberg street street photography things to do in paris travel traveling traveling photographer urban wedding Wed, 24 Jan 2018 14:15:00 GMT
Little Italy, Manhattan Taylor Edelle Stuart

We spent a night running around the streets of Little Italy. You'd never guess she just moved to the city.

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(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) black and white blogger bw candid canon destination fashion fashion photographer food foodie freelance freelance photographer girl instagram iowa italian lifestyle little italy love manhattan midwest minneapolis photographer minneapolis portrait photographer minnesota minnesota freelance photographer model neon new york city new york photographer night nyc pasta photography photoshoot portrait portrait session snapshots stephanie sunberg street travel tumblr urban wine Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:45:28 GMT
Hinterland Music Festival in 35mm There are very few things in the world that will make you feel forever young, musical festivals being one of them.

In August I traveled back down to Iowa to see an old friend, Elissa, whom I hadn't seen since we parted ways in Viterbo, Italy. She, in fact, being the reason I went to Viterbo in the first place. A night of gin & tonics subsided with all night reminiscing. The next morning we were up late with a slight hangover but ready to take on the first day of Hinterland Music Festival. The stage was set in a valley and the sunset was divine. So much dust in the air from the dry end of Summer gave all of my photographs this dreamy haze. 

Of course, we see Jonah, as always! We ran around all of Golden Hour snapping portraits of Festi-goers and held beers for one another when we needed to jump on a moment. As the hour dwindled down on came The Head and the Heart where we sang along the entire show and made friends with the group in front of us. They probably didn't remember us the next day, but that's alright, because I captured a couple in the group having a real moment in love. 

The lineup was superb for being in the middle of nowhere Iowa with performers like Annalibera, Foxygen, and Alt-J. If you EVER get the chance to see Alt-J perform, don't miss it. They will be back again this year at Hinterland 2018, along with Gary Clark Jr., Shakey Graves, and Ryan Adams. Sadly, my film ran out at the end of The Head and the Heart but that's alright. I took in every moment sans camera or phone to be fully present. So, here's what I captured with a 35mm roll of Kodak Gold 200...



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I'll make you mine

'Cause I need 
Healin' for a hollow wound
With room for two

I will sing as your canary bird
Take my soul and bury it in the earth
I will sing as your canary bird
Oh yes I will"

- The Head and the Heart

(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) 2018 35mm alt-j blog blogger coors light des moines festi film folk forever 21 gary clark jr. golden hour hinterland hinterland music festival iowa levis lineup midwest minolta music music festival portrait retro shakey graves stephanie sunberg summer summertime sun sunset the head and the heart travel urban outfitters vibes Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:30:00 GMT
Worker B "Early morning, sun is rising.

The coffee brews, you crave it's bitter sweetness with a few drops of honey.

It's time to start the day, little bee."




A dreamy morning shoot filled with Worker B products is how I wish I could spend every morning. Use the Coffee Raw Honey Scrub to wake up and exfoliate to their Lotion Bar for that heavy duty moisture needed during these cold and dry winter months. One of my favorites is their varietal Raw Honey that of course has multipurpose uses. I like to put it in my coffee, that Basswood having subtle hints of mint, thyme, and grass makes my morning cup of joe so earthy and delicious. But honey is a natural antibacterial so it's great for acne treatment and prevention. It's extremely moisturizing and soothing creating that glow we crave. You can add a little baking soda and you've got yourself another face scrub, or go easy on yours skin and add a little jojoba oil for added moisture. Here are some other ways to use honey for whatever your needs might be.

Worker B's Raw Honey Face Wash is so creamy you might just be tempted to eat it. I'm very conscience about using products with no soap, and no sulfates. They use only raw honey in all of their products, maintaining the beneficial enzymes and qualities from raw honey. It may also be used as a face mask, simply leave on for about a half an hour. For an extra exfoliating mask, scrub off with sugar and warm water. Mmm, lather me up! And heal that dried, winter skin with Worker B's Unscented Lotion and you'll glow for hours after. I encourage you to learn more about Worker B, their sweet and luscious products, and how to support local bees. Below I have included links to all of my favorite products.

Happy Monday 

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Product by Worker B: 

  1.  Unscented Lotion
  2. Raw Honey: Basswood
  3. Raw Honey: Buckwheat
  4. Lotion Bar
  5. Raw Honey Face Wash For Normal to Dry Skin 
  6. Dawn Serum
  7. Coffee Raw Honey Scrub
  8. Beeswax Candles



(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) acne ad advertisement bees blog collaboration face wash feature honey lifestyle lifestyle photography lotion lotion bar mall of america marketing midwest minnesota moa natural nature organic photography photoshoot product product shoot raw raw honey serum skin skin care stephanie sunberg travel treatments worker b Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:02:13 GMT
Snapshots From Nayarit, Mexico Bucerías, Nayarit, Mexico

About twenty minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport you'll find this quaint little beach town lined with amazing restaurants, street food, markets, dancing, and music. During the day the town center seems to be asleep with most shops closed and patrons most likely prepping for the night. However, those lucky enough to be experiencing the town for holiday are settled on the beach with a margarita and ceviche to tie them over before dinner. Once dinner time arrives the restaurants fill up quick as you smell sizzling, fresh caught fish, handmade tortillas, and spices radiate from the kitchens. After dinner we'd dance off our calories and then consume them again via the crepe lady. 

About twenty minutes further north is a surf town called Punta de Mita where I'd highly recommend getting surf lessons from the surfers at Tranquilo Surf. I was lucky enough to get Gordo ;) He was the cutest and got me to stand for the very first wave. After your body has taken a beating and you can't paddle the water any longer go get tacos at the mercado up the hill. Literally, if you ask anyone there what that means they will point you in the right direction. I can't wait to go back again soon. I know there is so much more to explore in Mexico. Growing up there I didn't see it the way I do now. I took it for granted, no doubt, and of course having a camera in hand makes you see the world differently. I want to get to know my beloved Mexico again from behind the lens one day soon.


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(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) america beach blog blogger bucerías cafe ceviche cities destination destination wedding photographer eat explore fish flowers fun live mercado mexican mexican food mexican photographer mexico mole nayarit ocean oysters palm palm trees passport photograph photography restaurant stephanie sunberg sun sunset surf tacos tortillas travel travel blogger travel mexico travel photography traveling photographer urban warm weather world Tue, 09 Jan 2018 15:00:00 GMT
Jenny + Jake Jenny + Jake

Finally engaged after seven years, this rad hairdressing power-couple will wed come October, 2018. Stay tuned...


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If you, or someone you know is engaged and has yet to book a wedding photographer, shoot me an email! 



(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) biker bikes blogger bride chicago chicago wedding photographer destination destination wedding photographer engaged engagement engagement shoot groom harley inked leather love midwest midwest wedding photographer minneapolis minnesota minnesota wedding photographer photography photoshoot session stephanie sunberg tattoo tattoos travel traveling wedding photographer urban wedding wisconsin Mon, 08 Jan 2018 02:28:08 GMT
Old York vs. New York Four years ago I was living in New York City as a fashion intern in the heart of the Fashion District. I worked for a couture designer by the name of Maggie Norris. Crammed in a tiny office piled high with garments, sketches, photographs, and magazines alongside three other interns on 34th and 8th Ave. We ran all over the city for fabric swatches, coffee, set up appointments, helped with client fittings, and watched how couture is created form start to finish. I roomed in a lofted studio with four other girls and slept under the staircase on a blowup mattress for $600+ a month in FiDi. It was awesome.

That first time around of being in the city made me hate it and love it all at the same time but in the end I left with a bad taste in my mouth due to my time spent in the fashion industry. The whole idea of having to climb over the next intern to make it to the top of the bottom of the food chain just to earn some sort of wage, doing work that in the end is detrimental to the environment and society as a whole was not what I wanted to do after my internship was nearing its end. I went back to University with one year left and already having made up my mind that I didn't want to pursue Textile and Apparel Management anymore. I did not want to be a buyer. I did not want to be a merchandiser. I wanted me to make something in the fashion with my own two hands that weren't garments or accessories, so what next? Art. Because in the end fashion is art.

Fast forward to November, 2017, my good friend, Jonah, finds me going through a rough patch, so he tells me to join him on a trip back to New York for a week. He knew exactly what I needed. To get me out with my camera again. We spent the week going back and forth from Brooklyn to Manhattan just about every day with our cameras in hand, always ready for the shot. Coming back to New York, something had changed for me about it. It was so much better than the last time I was there. I suddenly found myself liking the rush and crowds. The noise didn't bother me anymore. The light was spectacular at almost any hour of the day. The people more interesting. I'd sit on a street corner and shoot all of the people that would walk by, moving on once my fingers got too cold. I just couldn't get enough.

Now knowing what I want to pursue wholeheartedly, the city is where I need to be again, so just like that I made up my mind. I am moving back to New York City, as a photographer. I got the chance to meet some inspiring people, many of them being creatives succeeding in the city made me realize it was completely doable surviving in New York as an artist. There are endless amounts of opportunities there that we just can't come across in the Midwest. I hope to be out East by the end of the year resuming my life as a city girl again. 

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I hope to get back to NYC a couple more times in 2018, so if you're there and would like to book a portrait session, engagement shoot, or just meet for coffee and drinks, reach out!



(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) black and white blogger brooklyn city color digital east village film instant manhattan midtown new york nyc people photography photoshoot queens stephanie sunberg street street photography street shot subway uptown urban Sun, 07 Jan 2018 19:46:23 GMT
What Was and What Will Be  


Now is a time to reflect. Another year of a life I'm unintentionally becoming accustomed to, always being on the move, camera hanging at my hip. Falling in love with people, places, and dreamlike memories. I've learned more lessons about love and growing up than ever during twenty seventeen. I left a place that was so close to becoming a permanent home, which would have been something new for me. Two years seemed to be my residency cap before I was off to the next place. I had a good job, started my own business, the sweetest little cottage of my dreams. All was well and dandy learning how to be completely independent- 'Adulting' as we now call it. But I needed more, so much more. Within two days I made up my mind, packed my bags and left Iowa City behind. 

I traveled all over the country in a matter of weeks. From surfing in Mexico to road tripping all the way up the West Coast with my friends I was certainly off to a good start on what would be almost a year of the nomadic lifestyle. Trying to see what city felt like home to me, where I felt the most inspired. But being in the U.S. also wasn't cutting it for me. The everyday American way of life was slowly killing me inside, and after most of my year spent abroad I am more than convinced that our lack of real culture, monopoly big box stores, restaurant chains, and the need for too much space would eventually kill my creativity and then me.



I needed to be where time stood still. Where people had life left in their eyes. A place where I could be surrounded by good food and love, because naturally the two go hand-in-hand. Suddenly, I had a craving for pizza and pasta again, and that was my subconscious telling me I needed to go back to Italy.

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I left for Italy having just fallen out of love, wanting to be free for the first time in forever, to do as I pleased. I gained back the weight that I had lost from what was a year of anxiety and depression acquired from living in the Midwest. Those margarita pizzas did me more than good - and with every slice, both mind and belly satisfied, I could feel myself coming back to life. Real food. Fresh produce. Actual flavor. No work, no meetings, no more feeling the need to rush. I slowed my life down a few knots, to forget about my worries and just live for a while. I started to fall in love with myself again. 

Spending almost half of twenty seventeen in Italy taught me more lessons than I've ever learned throughout my twenty four years of living.

It had been years that I'd struggled to give myself the attention I needed and of course it was affecting my work. I spent a month living and working in Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy. At the time, this was the most beautiful place to be in my mind. Spending my mornings serving coffee and my afternoons on the beach I was living the life. A very slow one that in the end was just a little slower than anticipated. I needed a little bit more action and movement so I left to seek out my next home. I am forever grateful for my time spent in Positano, the friends I made, the crazy nights, and most importantly the time I spent with myself. Alone.

It was the best thing I've ever done for myself. Then, while on a pit stop to my next destination the unexpected happened. I fell in love. 


I went to Viterbo, a small university town within medieval walls, straight out of a fairytale. A close friend of mine had been studying there, so I spent a few nights for her last couple days in the quaint city to enjoy a little taste of what her past five months was like. The first night I arrived I met all of her closest friends. Laura, Sara, Phoebe, Cj, and Lorenzo. They became everything to me. Life there was somehow different than anywhere I had been in the world. It was as if the entire town was one giant Italian family taking in all of us foreign orphans as their own, and that's something I sadly don't think I'll ever be able to find again.

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I felt like I had a sense of purpose again. With this feeling of being surrounded by so much love and life I saw the light again, that is in photographic terms. My inspiration came back and I think I've made some of my best work in that little town. Of course, for those that kept up with my shenanigans you probably noticed I had suddenly found myself in an unexpected relationship with someone other than myself. This was not supposed to happen. I tried to fight it but the universe wanted it to happen, at least for a short while, and I'm glad it did. It was the kind of love story you fantasize about when you're twelve and watching The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Falling in love with an Italian only happens in Under the Tuscan Sun, not to me. Until I met him. Loving him was magic, it was laughter, it was exploring, magnificently good food, romantic days at the beach, and the best kisses. It was getting lost together with a camera. He brought out so much good in me that I had never seen before. Truly, no words could describe this - which is why I still find myself struggling to decipher whether it was true love or simply intense infatuation; lust. Because in the end, it was short lived. He broke my heart, which I had foreseen since the very beginning. 

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 I plan to tell the story through a photo series this year, as one of my resolutions. But if I've learned anything in the year of 2017 it's that I now know what I am willing to do for love. For both myself and others. Love can take you further than anything else in this life. Forever will I remain a hopeless romantic, but for damn good reason. This has come to show through in my work this last year as well. My work has changed for the better from my time spent abroad.

So, with that being said I'd like to make a list of my resolutions for the new year (not in any particular order)

  1. Make art with my own two hands again - Painting and Drawing
  2.  Continue on my photo series
  3. Print my work - sell prints. It makes such a difference seeing your work come to life in physical form
  4. Make a book - I've been working on a few different projects and this year I'd like to see at least one finished and printed. Any people in the midwest connected to printing companies, your help would be much appreciated.
  5. Cook more - and play with food. I've been loving creating still lives and plan to continue my work in that department 
  6. Conceptualize meaningful work 
  7. Work with more local brands and start up companies
  8. Travel the U.K. in the Spring - start another project
  9. Archive my film (because I have hundreds of rolls in boxes - declutter!)
  10. Shoot more film! Nothing makes me happier than film, although it's a pretty penny to develop and scan I don't see myself loving any other form of photography the way I love film 
  11. Buy a medium format or large format camera
  12. Shoot more monochrome
  13. Broaden my skills in Photoshop - that means lots of playtime with still lives
  14. Make the big move - finally leaving the midwest for what is hopefully forever. Hello New York City, I hope to see you in the fall!
  15. Shoot more portrait sessions
  16. Shoot more self-portraits - figure out ways to make them more meaningful and interesting
  17. Less meat and cheese. In fact, no more dairy. Ever seen "What the Health"? Terrifying. 
  18. Waste less
  19. Own less
  20. Push my second hand shop; considering also using this platform to sell my artwork as well
  21. Attend live figure studies sessions weekly while in town
  22. Learn how to surf 
  23. Meet with more creative women wherever I am. Minneapolis ladies! Let's meet once a month or more to talk art, fashion, news, whatever. The more we can do together the better.
  24. Not fall in love again
  25. Read more
  26. Write more
  27. Study more artists and styles of different mediums and techniques
  28. Critique more! Nothing helps an artist more than a real critique on their work. So please, do me the favor of leaving comments on my work to help me. Also, on that note, make sure you understand what a real critique is, it is not just saying you like or dislike a piece, you must make references to artists, styles, ideas, etc. 
  29. Showcase my work in series on a better platform than a blog or social media
  30. Have a gallery show ( !!dreams!!)
  31. Tell more stories - through photographic images, writings, or drawings/paintings
  32. Ask more questions
  33. Attend more gallery shows, museums, and exhibitions - support our local artists because I am one of them!
  34. Learn French
  35. Speak more Spanish
  36. Research more of my family and our history. I've been learning so many new things over the holidays seeing my family again. It's incredible to hear where we come from and maybe I could use that information in my art some how
  37. More water. Less coffee. This will be the hardest of them all.


"a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It's a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind"

May it be a fruitful year for us all.




(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) 2018 35mm blogger cook destination document draw film food italy love lovers midwest msp paint photograph photography photoshoot portraits read resolutions stephanie sunberg storytell travel urban write Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:24:14 GMT
Portland Kind of Love Earlier this year I met Frankie & Otto for an intimate couples session in Portland, Oregon.

We made the best of every minute on that mountain top.

It was Spring. The weather was changing. I realized how much we need love in our life from ourselves or someone else, to truly feel warm, to not feel like the cold will freeze you to your core and you'll wither away.

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(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) blog blogger bride destination destination wedding photographer engaged feature fog groom lifestyle love midwest minnesota mood moody mountain oregon photography photoshoot portland stephanie sunberg travel trees urban wedding wedding destination photographer wedding photographer Tue, 02 Jan 2018 23:23:43 GMT
The Hunger This will be the first post that is unlike anything I have ever written about. Something more of us deal with than we would maybe like to admit.

Anxiety and depression.

Two words that when spoken about you pretend you have it handled, that it doesn't interfere with your life enough to worry those around you. Usually, for many, that is the case. It's manageable and you keep yourself busy working, living, traveling, because there really is no cure for these demons. No matter the prescription or holistic practices to keep them at bay so life can continue as usual... because that's all we do in the Western World. We turn to medications to fix what is wrong. We don't talk about it these things. Our reliable outlets are limited. The moment you are finally convinced to see a psychologist, the doctor seems to barely listen before reaching for the script and writing out another generous dosage of Zoloft to "help" balance out the chemicals with hopes to get us back on track with our lives.

Now, I'm not bashing anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, but what I'm learning in dealing with my demons is that before turning to 'professionals' we should take a little bit of time to try and understand it ourselves. It, being, what are the major causes of depression and anxiety, how does this effect our emotions, reactions, partners/family/friends, and maybe most importantly our bodies. Without healthy bodies we will never escape the grasp of anxiety and depression any longer than just a few days before it comes back to take over from where it left off.

In November, I battled another round of major anxiety and severe depression after I maybe confused lust for love and was left heartbroken, flat on my ass just a month before I was supposed to return to him and what was starting to feel like home in Italy. No doubt it has changed me as a person, it has changed my work, and even my focus in life with everything I gained and lost. I've written a lot about it, and I've created even more. I promise to share more in the near future. A new year means focusing to keep my body and mind healthy as I collect the pieces of my heart that were scattered across the Mediterranean. I will rebuild my walls, and start the next chapter.

I decided to create these photographs while I was sitting in the kitchen and saw the light coming from the refrigerator. There's something that adds to the depression when you stand staring blankly into the fridge and all the good food now looks like shit. 

 I couldn't sleep, yet I wouldn't get out of bed. I would not eat. Normally, the cure-all is good food, but now I'd stare at the plate, trying to convince myself to take the first bite and couldn't. What normally tasted like heaven tasted like mud, it made my skin crawl. I'd feel sick thinking about taking the next bite. I dropped roughly 2lbs(1kg) per day back when I was 15, and now, it was all the same... My favorite Levi's that were once perfectly snug were baggy. You could see more rib than usual when I'd strip of clothes. My smallest Levi's practically falling off. By the end of the week I went from 117lbs to 108lbs. It was then that it hit me, as I stood up and fell back to my bed dizzy from exerting too much energy. I let a person that didn't care enough about my fragile heart to keep making me suffer even after the fact, after he'd done the worst of the worst.  


From the suffering came small jolts of creative energy, so at least I knew I was on the mend, but with no intension to leave my house quite yet, I started shooting the only subject I had immediate access to. Myself. Self portraits became a daily thing just to get me moving, creating, trying to understand what it was I was feeling, why, and learn from this for my future self. Maybe one day I will print these images, because I, personally, want to have that out of body experience facing the pain of  my own work.

In suffering the way I did I was also able to learn that one should suffer when, and how ever they need to. One must allow oneself to suffer. As artists I think we process pain differently, and I think we feel as though we need to create something out of that suffering, but we don't always have to, we can file it away to use later when we need it. I would hope that these images simply remind us that our emotions, the love that we make or the love that lose, and our happiness and sadness are what truly gives us life. 

“Since childhood, I’ve been faithful to monsters. I have been saved and absolved by them, because monsters, I believe, are patron saints of our blissful imperfection, and they allow and embody the possibility of failing,” - Guillermo del Toro

(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) anxiety art blo blogger chicago create depression emotions fine art gallery heartbreak iowa london midwest minnesota modern modern art new york city nyc photography photoshoot portrait self-portrait series stephanie sunberg suffering uk Mon, 18 Dec 2017 18:03:11 GMT
Mitch + Mackenzie, Cottage Grove, MN Hello+

A couple of weeks ago I made the trek out to Cottage Grove, Mn for Mitch + Mackenzie's engagement shoot. 

Mackenzie knew my style of photography from the get-go wanting her photos to be romantic and have more meaning behind them than just choosing a pretty place for a backdrop.

She suggested her grandmother's house where she spent a lot of her childhood at.

Charming, elegant, and vintage I was in the perfect place to capture the love. And

that light couldn't have inspired me more. 


Excited to see these two again a year out from now when they say their "I do's".




(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) 2018 wedding antique autumn available blog blogger booking booking 2018 bride canon classic cottage grove destination documentary dog engagement fall film france grain groom husky i do intimate iowa iowa city lifestyle love midwest minneapolis minnesota minnesota wedding photographer photographer photography photoshoot romantic stephanie sunberg stephanie sunberg photography sunlight sunset travel traveling photographer vintage wedding wedding photographer Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:34:43 GMT
Mike + Ali's Boulder, CO Wedding This wedding season started off with a bang, and all I can say is,

"Cheers to that!"

After spending almost three months living in Italy it was time to return home (I plan to post more about those days soon).

A few days later I found myself jet-setting again to my first wedding of the summer in the vivacious mountain ranges of Colorado.

Ali + Mike Tomlonovic: the goofiest, adventure seeking, most compatible duo were so much fun to photograph.

I could not thank them enough for choosing me to capture this perfect day. 

Rustic and warm, this mountain wedding was EVERYTHING an outdoor loving couple would dream of one day having.

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Here's to you, Mike + Ali,




(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) 2018 barn blogger booking boulder bride canon colorado destination destination wedding engagement groom iowa ireland wedding photographer italy wedding photographer love midwest minneapolis minnesota minnesota wedding photographer mountain photographer photography photoshoot rustic spain wedding photographer stephanie sunberg stephanie sunberg photography summer travel traveling wedding photographer uk wedding photographer wedding wedding dress wedding photographer wedding photographs Fri, 29 Sep 2017 18:57:50 GMT
Dog Days of Summer Cherries were down to $1.25 a pound, the outside air was still dense and sticky but you could feel the temperatures starting to drop day by day. Little reminders that Summer is making it's rounds to saying it's final goodbyes to leave us all again for another calendar year. So Erin and I did what two midwestern bambinis would do, poured ourselves a little Campari to cheers to the end of another an era together, being that this would probably be the last Summer day spent together in the town we called home for the last two years: Iowa City.

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Blessed by Lana Del Rey's new album the mood was set to do what we do best, turning daydreams into photographs.

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It always takes a moment to warm up to you.

I forget how much i missed you

and just like that

I fall for you, convinced it's forever.

You start to fade away

a little more each day

the breeze creeps through the window

digging for the sheets at the foot of the bed

I pray for more days to dance with you, Summer.


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"It took thirteen beaches to find one empty
But finally it's mine
With dripping peaches
I'm camera ready
Almost all the time" - 13 Beaches, Lana del Rey
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And so we say our final goodbyes to this season with a clink of the glasses, never to forget the magic that was created. 

Until next time,  Summer.




(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) blog blogger denim destination fashion france hat iowa iowa city levis lifestyle love midwest minneapolis minnesota p photographer photography photoshoot stephanie sunberg stephanie sunberg photography summer travel traveling photographer urban Tue, 05 Sep 2017 21:36:49 GMT
Pompeii in 35mm It's officially been a month since returning from what felt more like home than anywhere else, Italy. For three months I lived, I photographed, and  I fell in love.

It's time to start sharing my stories. 

I plan to make a printed zine for those of you interested in physically possessing these memories to keep on the coffee table or to adorn a perfectly cluttered bookshelf. 

I did myself the biggest favor this trip overseas and packed up a bag full of film for my few months of meandering. During the month of May I spent all month in the Amalfi Coast region, mainly Positano,. This time around I finally made it to Pompeii after bypassing it the last time was here a few years ago. I will post another blog with my digital photographs but for now I'd like to share only film to separate the two. Especially since I shoot film differently than I shoot digitally. 

I never expected to see so much life taking over the ruins that were Pompeii. The poppies were flourishing in the sun and the heat, looking like fields of fire.

We spent an entire day getting lost in the city. You can't help but to enter every building and home and try to imagine living in this place. I can only imagine it being paradise before it turned into Hell. 




(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) 35mm advertisement american blog blogger destination destination wedding europe european photographer explore feature film film camera film photography flights food hotel italian italy italy wedding photographer kodak marketing minolta passport photographer photography pompeii portra summer tourism tourist travel photography traveler traveling photographer travle trip wedding wedding photographer Mon, 07 Aug 2017 07:38:07 GMT
Emily + Jono's Wedding, West Virginia E+J-129E+J-129


My wedding season of 2017 has officially begun!

I'm already getting excited for my 2018 weddings (trying not to get too ahead of myself here, but when you have a wedding in Ireland...) and I'm still booking for August, September, and October Midwest weddings for 2018!

So, before posting about all of the new weddings, I'd like to showcase one of my favorite weddings I've photographed for my dear friends, Emily and Jono. 

Their September wedding on Emily's family farm was pure romance, through and through. Starting with the ceremony overlooking the rolling hills in the Appalachian Mountains and ending with overlooking a scenic gorge at sunset I watched these two fall in love with each other all over again.   

The love these two have for one another is so real, so honest, and I need to share it with you.



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This wedding will forever hold a place in my heart. 

Thank you,  Jono + Emily





(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) blog blogger booking bridal bride california chicago colorado destination destination wedding east coat france groom illinois iowa italy midwest minnesota new photography romantic spain stephanie stephanie sunberg stephanie sunberg photography travel traveling photographer wedding wedding dress wedding photographer west coast wedding photographer wisconsin york Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:01:20 GMT
To L.A. and Beyond  

For those of you keeping up with my journeys across the globe for the last six months or so, I'd like to rewind to about four or five months ago... 



Teetering back and forth whether I should travel to California before jetting back to Europe again, I figured, why not go on another adventure?

Here I was, back in Minneapolis after learning some tough, yet important, life lessons on my own from making [more] stupid decisions. Part of me is glad that I made those decisions, because things happen for a reason. I wouldn't have been boarding a flight to LAX if I was still stuck in Iowa City.

 The only advice I can ever give to anyone is to try not to live  life with any regrets and always do whatever it is that makes you happiest, although, that is easier said than done just try.

I thought coming back home would be good for me but I found myself longing to see the unfamiliar again. Nobody tells you how coming home could be as depressing as it was.  It becomes easier to fall into bad, old habits. Especially when you see the people that probably weren't the best for you when all you're trying to do is reconnect with what you used to know, you remember that there's a reason why you left home in the first place. Maybe one day I'll want to call this place home, but for the moment, Minnesota just isn't enough. Having no photoshoots for the week meant I had no reason not to go, so I boarded a flight to Los Angeles, CA the next morning. 

Bags packed and camera clung to my shoulder, I was ready to leave Minnesota again. 


Jonah and John had been traveling across the country documenting their time spent in Jonah's trusty Ford Taurus, Airbnb's, friend's couches, and the most scenic destinations in North America for The Great North American Tour.

We talked about me making it out to meet them along the way, which one thing people should know about me is when I say I'll travel to come visit you somewhere, I mean it.

I can't thank Jonah and John enough for the invitation, the journey, and the memories. edit-4edit-4

Landing in LAX at 9AM, groggy from only two hours of sleep, I come down the escalator to see Jonah, with his camera in hand, awaiting my arrival at the airport. I was so happy to see that bashful smile of his. Made our way to the car and headed for that LA traffic. We drove back to Beverly Glenn area where he was staying with Anna and John. Both from Iowa as well, checking out LA to make the big move in the near future. I've always thought maybe I would be happy in California. People always tell me I come off as a SoCal girl... So, this trip I decided to take note of my surroundings as to how they made me feel, especially to consider for my next home, temporary or not.

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Jonah's talents go far beyond just videography. His love for film made him someone I could easily connect with.

He has truly been an inspiration to me in pursuing work that he's passionate about and staying true to the art of film. 

The shots he snagged of me are 120mm film, I think he was happy to have a new subject to photograph on the second leg of this trip (no offense John ;)



I wish I would've flown out earlier to enjoy more time with these two lovebirds as well as Jonah. 

I don't think I've ever laughed that hard at absolutely nothing when we were slap happy, sunburnt, and exhausted waiting for our dinner at In-In-Out Burger.

But those are the moments we never forget, right?

The love and the laughter. 


California has such spirit and radiating energy for the creative souls. Instantly you feel like you're a part of a community, everyone is there chasing a similar dream. 

Here are some shots from a perfect day spent at Manhattan Beach:


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I was supposed to stay in Los Angeles for about a week but I had such a wonderful time with Jonah, John, and Anna I didn't want it to end. Jonah told me they were headed to San Fransisco the next morning after dropping Anna off at the airport and there was enough room in the back of the car as long as I didn't mind squeezing in next to the camera gear.

Leave it to me to make a spur of the moment decision to road trip over 1,000 miles up the West Coast. 

Next Stop: San Fransisco 

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We drove all day and all night not stopping until close to midnight. I reached out to my cousin, Jenna, that lives in San Fransisco and she offered me a warm bed and puppy snuggles for the night. Thank you, Jenna! Isn't that the best part of traveling, seeing familiar faces in foreign places? It proves this world is smaller than we all seem to believe. 

The next morning we were up bright and early. Jenna and I took the ferry into the city and said our goodbyes. I walk outside right as Jonah and John pull up to the curb. We were ready to start our day as tourists at the Fisherman's Wharf. Our first order of business: Coffee.

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After the Fisherman's Wharf we'd had our fix of seagulls and the smell of lobster rolls that we so badly wanted but it was still too early in the morning to have. Our check in time for the Airbnb we booked wasn't until 1pm so we had all morning to kill being it was only 9am. The Mission District was suggested by a few for some thrifting and street shooting. What used to be heavily populated by latinos still is but has it's fair share of homeless occupying almost every street corner and lots of car break ins that seemed like the norm to locals. The number of homeless people was something I had to get used to. I lived in New York City for a little while and although the homeless problem there is pretty bad, nothing compared to San Fransisco. 


Anyways, our peers were right about Mission District. If you're looking to do some wicked street shooting come here for a few hours. The colors, the people, the old cars.   edit-15edit-15 edit-68edit-68 edit-65edit-65 edit-33edit-33 edit-61edit-61 edit-17edit-17 edit-32edit-32         edit-96edit-96


It started to get closer to check in time so we went back to the car in search for what turned out to be the sweetest Airbnb right around the corner from Haight-Ashbury. Although, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into being in this area...  edit-30edit-30

This area still prides itself as the start and rise of the hippie movement of San Fransisco in the early 60s. It's now a tourist attraction for those visiting but also one of the best spots I've seen for some rad vintage shops. My little hippie soul was in heaven surrounded by retro dresses, suede jackets, and turquoise jewelry. 

The people were quite interesting, to say the least. A large number of drifters whom absolutely intrigue me. Back in Columbia, MO, during my undergrad I met a few young drifters from all over the country just hanging out, living life day to day, not sure where they would be tomorrow. I remember sitting there with them for over an hour listening to them jam out together and bullshit. They let me photograph them and I gave them a few dollars each for their time and smiles. Unfortunately, in Haight-Ashbury area I wouldn't recommend trying to photograph these travelers. They are not afraid to harass you and possibly even take your camera (something I was told by locals).

I did however try to sneak a few here and there.

edit-14edit-14 Our Airbnb was stunning. A photographer and videographer's dream flooded with natural light, white walls, and charming details.

Jonah took full advantage of this picturesque room and caught a quiet moment of me... edit-50edit-50

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The most beautiful place we wandered to were the Sutro Baths along the coast. A little history behind the Sutro Baths, in 1896 they opened as the World's largest indoor swimming establishment built by the former mayor of San Fransisco, but in 1966 it was destroyed by a fire later determined to be arson. The ruins are an urban playground for photographer's, hikers, and explorers with beaches, caves, colorful rock formations, and rough waters leaving you drenched if you're not careful.

We were blessed with rain and wind.


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Later that night we got to meet up with an old friend of mine that recently moved to San Fransisco, Bryn. Unfortunately I didn't get any good photos of us since that night consisted of too m any tequila shots mixed with remincing over Pacificos with lime. I woke up the next morning remembering why I don't take shots now that I'm 24 and had to endure a brutal hangover. Jonah suffered through it with me while we got coffee, explored more of the city, and found a film shop to develop and pick up a few more rolls of film. That night all I wanted was Thai food (like I always do when I'm hungover or feeling sick) so he hunted for the nearest spot which ended up being one of the best Thai restaurants in the area. The lights were dreamy inside. I was finally able to look at a screen at this point and brought my camera to dinner with me to make a portrait or two

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The next morning we packed up and headed towards Portland.

 This would be my last leg of the trip... but we'll pick up on that next blog posting.


Thank you for your eyes and time, my friends.



(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) blog blogger cali california canon creatives drive explore fisherman's wharf golden gate bridge la lifestyle mission passion photographer road trip san fransisco sf shoot stephanie sunberg stephanie sunberg photography street photographer sutro baths travel traveling photographer videographers west coast Thu, 27 Jul 2017 19:23:36 GMT
Amanda, Iowa City Hello +

Another fun shoot with Amanda that I thought I'd share with the world because she's damn hot... So, here's a little somethin' to get you through Monday.

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Love workin' with ya, lady




(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) Blog Boudoir Boudoir Session Fashion Fit Fitness Freelance Health Iowa Iowa City Iowa Photographer Lifestyle Lingerie Midwest Minneapolis Minnesota Minnesota Photographer Photographer Photography Photoshoot Portrait Portrait Photography Sexy Stephanie Sunberg Stephanie Sunberg Photography Style Workout blogger photoshoot Mon, 30 Jan 2017 22:43:23 GMT
First Look for Emily + Jono, West Virginia Hello +

Back in September I had the honor of shooting my first college friend's wedding out in West Virginia on her family estate. With rolling hills, fluffy cows, and the most wonderful, genuine people, it was a fairytale. Everything about this weekend was so intimate and pure and one of the most memorable moments was documenting the first look.

Emily was a STUNNING bride.

Always at ease and that smile on her face, she's the type that draws your attention the minute she walks into the room. 




Emily + Jono chose to do their first look in front of the family chapel just across the way from the farm house. Luckily it was mostly in the shade which really helped on such a hot, sunny day.   

This was my first destination wedding and I couldn't have worked with a better couple and family. They made me feel so incredibly welcome.

Unfortunately it had taken me longer to edit this wedding than I anticipated due to some personal problems that I couldn't seem to avoid no matter what I tried to do. A sick puppy with lymphoma and then going through a recent breakup was never planned. As a photographer you want to pride yourself in quick turn around time, so for that I hold myself accountable, and I thank Emily + Jono for having been so patient to see your incredible day through my photographs.

Today I decided to give you all just a glimpse inside of their love.   

The First Look says it all. 

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The love these two have for one another was something I hadn't quite seen before in a younger couple. They were so gentle, laughing all of the time, and no problems ever phased them. It's something you see in a couple after 20 years of being in love, but I think they've already got it figured out...

More blog posts to come of Emily + Jono's West Virginia Wedding.




(Stephanie Sunberg Photography) Blog Boho Boho Wedding Bride Destination Destination Wedding Engagement First Look Flower Crown Flowers Groom Hills Hug Iowa Kiss Love Midwest Mountains Photographer Photography Stephanie Sunberg Stephanie Sunberg Photography Travel Wedding Wedding Photographer West Virginia blogger lovers midwest photo photoshoot wedding Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:04:07 GMT