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BookCoverRevisedCheck out my book on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1K3Wvwu

Every 13 seconds someone in the United States suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury. That’s over 3.5 million people per year just in the U.S.

In February 2014 Amy Zellmer slipped on a patch of ice and fell, forcibly landing on the back of her skull. The impact briefly knocked her out, and when she started to get up, she immediately knew something was very wrong.

Amy had suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and was about to start a journey unlike anything she had ever experienced. Her life had changed in literally a blink of the eye.

Falls are the leading cause of TBI. Rates are highest for children aged 0 to 4 years and for adults aged 75 years and older.

This book is a collection of her short articles, most of which were originally published on The Huffington Post. Learn about what it means to have a TBI as you read about her struggles and frustrations, like the days she can’t remember how to run the microwave, or how she gets lost driving to familiar places. Understand what it’s like to suffer fatigue and exhaustion after doing a simple task that most take for granted.

Traumatic Brain Injury is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for those ages 1-44, and third overall behind cancer and heart disease.

This book is perfect for TBI survivors, their caregivers, friends and loved ones. It is a great book for survivors to give to their supporters so that they, too, can understand what those with TBI are dealing with on a daily basis.

A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.

There is no cure for TBI. Many will deal with the aftereffects for the rest of their life. It can take months, years, or decades to start feeling better again. There is no correlation between the severity of the accident that caused the TBI, and the length of recover. The most severe can recover quickly, while some of the most mild cases can take years to recover. There is no magic formula, as no two TBI’s are alike.

Motor vehicle–traffic injury is the leading cause of TBI-related death. Rates are highest for adults aged 20 to 24 years.

Survivors are continually trying to find their way back to normal, and it may take them months or years before they fully understand and accept that the “normal” they once knew no longer exists. If they aren’t surrounded by loving and supportive family and friends, it can make the process all the more challenging.

Society at large doesn’t understand that EVERY single concussion is a brain injury, to some extent.

Amy is passionate about bringing TBI awareness to the public. She has found that even medical professionals are perplexed about TBI, and often don’t know how to diagnose or treat it properly. Amy’s mission is to get the information in this book into the hands of as many people as possible to spread awareness.

“I first heard of Amy Zellmer through her Huffington Post pieces. Reading her work through the eyes of a survivor, it was clear that she was writing from the vantage point of being a brain injury survivor herself. Simply put, she was speaking my language. I immediately identified with her experiences as they paralleled my own life. In Amy’s new book, she shares many of the triumphs, frustrations, pains and joys that we face within the survivor community.” ~ David Grant, author of Metamorphosis: Surviving Brain Injury and Slices of Life after Traumatic Brain Injury. David is also a staff writer for Brainline.org–a PBS supported web presence, as well as a contributing writer to Chicken Soup for the Soul, Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries.

*statistics in bold are sourced from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

What Does Your Headshot Say About Your Brand?!

Professional headshots are critical to your brand, particularly when you are a freelancer or creative solopreneur. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression when a potential client lands on your website or LinkedIn page. If they see a selfie taken in front of the Christmas tree and cropped in tight so the resolution looks blurry, chances are they’re going to move on.

Unfortunately, the sample I stated above is far too common. I haven’t quite figured out if there is a huge fear around having one’s photo taken, or if there is simply a misunderstanding as to how affordable professional headshots are. Let’s put it this way:it’s going to be a LOT cheaper to pay more for a great photographer and get it right the first time, rather than going cheap and hating them and having to redo them.

saint paul business portraits headshots

I think a lot of creatives panic when asked for their headshot and run out to find the least expensive option. They usually end up with a photographer who doesn’t have much experience in this area. They get their images back and while they are “professional” they don’t portray a professional look. The creative has already paid for them and is on a time crunch so they use what they have. While it is technically a professional headshot, it still doesn’t portray the image of their brand.

When I work with a headshot client, I spend a few minutes asking them exactly what they do, and what they want to portray in their headshot. A Communications Executive that works for General Mills is going to have a vastly different headshot than say a Yoga Instructor and Life Coach who wants images to show calm and tranquility. It is critical that the photographer understands what you do and what you are hoping to convey in your image to the viewer.


Clothing choice is also very important. Just because that beautiful shawl you paid $200 for is your favorite piece of clothing and you wear it with all your client meetings, it does not mean it will flatter you in a photo. Bring a large selection of choices, a good photographer will be able to eye them and pick out 2 or 3 that will work best and convey the look you are going for. In general, a solid top with a flattering neckline is going to be best. Avoid bright colors and bold patterns, even if that really is *who* you are.

Background is also important to the professional look of your image. I get asked quite often to use a white background, and 80% of the time I say NO. It doesn’t look professional. It doesn’t stand out off the page. In general I use a muted blue and beige background that gets blurred out by use of aperture of my camera. I also have a cream and beige one that I will use as well. Sometimes I will use a solid black if we are going for strong, dramatic black and white imagery. I will occasionally use solid white for the right client, such as my yoga instructor who is trying to portray calm and tranquility.

saint paul business portraits

In general, a headshot should NOT be taken outside. This is not true all the time, but if you’re going for a high-end look, it is going to be better conveyed through studio lighting and backgrounds. I am not opposed to going outside for the right look, but in general, headshots are going to be taken in the studio. I will also go on-site for larger companies that want me to photograph their entire staff, but I bring my lighting and backgrounds with me and set up a “portable studio”.

I also will go on-site to a creative’s work space. Sometimes the image you are trying to convey is best done with some of your work in the background. I once worked with a Designer who makes textiles. We had a shelf in the background with her beautiful work on it. Another example is a fashion designer I worked with, she brought out bolts of fabric and a form with one of her dresses on it to use for the background. It’s really about the “look” your trying to convey. Some of this needs to be thought up by you, and some of it is at the discretion of the photographer. Between the two of you, you will come up with a fantastic plan of action!

Hair and makeup are extremely important, and I recommend hiring a professional makeup artist if your photographer isn’t able to supply one. The look you are trying to show in your images (your BRAND) is a big deal, your every day hair and makeup is great for meeting with clients, but you want to go big or go home with your portraits. Don’t skimp on this aspect of the session. You won’t be disappointed!

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I think for some, the fear of getting their photo taken stems back to their high school years. When your school photo was put in the yearbook and you had no control over it. But you DO have control over what you put out to the world now. Why on earth are you even considering putting a selfie out there?? We live in an avatar society, your image is connected to your social media, to your email, to your website, to your LinkedIn, and so much more. It is a critical part of your business, and an area that seems to be continually overlooked. Get over your fear, save your money, and do it right! Do it professionally!

Book our Full-Service Headshot $325
studio session complete with professional hair and makeup & 5 digital files
Click HERE to purchase

 Book our Basic Headshot $149
studio session and 1 digital file
Click HERE to purchase

Also, we will come on-site to photograph your team, inquire for pricing. 

Amy Zellmer is a professional photographer located in Saint Paul, MN. She lives in the Schmidt Artist Lofts with her Yorkie named Pixxie. She has been in business since 1997 and has hundreds of business portraits under her belt. She travels the country with her Yorkie in tow to teach other photographers about the business of photography. She uses the same headshot on each and every one of her social media profiles, her website, and her business cards. Consistency is key to Branding!

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HALF DAY ON-LOCATION SESSIONS $3,000
We will travel the continental US and join you for a half-day shoot! Gather up some of your sassy business lady friends, and you will all receive a discounted rate (since I only have to travel there once!)
You will receive:
– coffee/tea consultation prior to your hair and makeup
– professional hair and makeup prior to your session
Amy_Zellmer_HERLIFE_OCT2012-TwinCities_Trendsetter2– up to 3 outfits and 3 locationsAmy_Zellmer_HERLIFE_OCT2012-TwinCities_Trendsetter3
– fully retouched digital files
– lunch/dinner after the shoot
non refundable retainer of $1,000 required to book your session
balance due 2 weeks prior to your session




    

 

 

Boudoir Session SALE

It’s SUMMER!! We are celebrating with a Boudoir FLASH SALE!

Twin Cities Boudoir Sale

What You Receive For ONLY $350: ((over $700 VALUE))
*60 minute session
*hair and makeup
*up to 3 outfits
*4×5 album with 10 images
*matching 10 digital files

little black book

All you need now is $150 to lock in the  special pricing, the remaining balance will be due 24 hours before your session. Sessions must take place by Oct 15th. PERFECT WEDDING GIFT!!

ADD ON OPTIONS:

$35 add an additional outfit  to your session
$150 12 month 8×10 photo calendar
$195 16×20 wall canvas

To lock in your SALE price, simply purchase with the Paypal button below after selecting your package set to the $150 deposit.

**$150 deposit is non-refundable
**SALE sessions must be used by Oct 15th




Kara & Darrell | Walker, MN Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographer

Last weekend I had the honor of photographing Kara and Darrell’s wedding in Walker, MN. They were married at Horseshoe Bay Resort, where the bride’s parents own a lovely condo on the lake.

They had an absolutely perfectly gorgeous day, and were surrounded by about 100 of their closest friends and family, most of whom traveled from out of state to celebrate with the couple. I traveled to Des Moines, IA this past spring to photograph their engagement session and immediately fell in love with them! They are the most kind, caring, and generous couple; and once you meet their parents you totally understand where it comes from!

I had an absolute pleasure working with Kara and Darrell, along with their friends and family. Not only are the images gorgeous, but my life is more complete having these two in it!! I wish you two many, many years of love, passion, and happiness! I can’t wait to watch your family grow!

Enjoy your sneak peek

Class of 16 | Senior Portraits | Saint Paul Senior Photographer

HopeWith summer in full swing, it is my duty as a photographer to remind you that it’s time for the class of 2016 to schedule their Senior Portrait Session. senior 01

 

Standard Senior Portrait Package is $399 and includes:
90 minute session
studio and/or outdoor
fully retouched digital files
$100 print credit for printed photographs

 

A non-refundable deposit of $200 is required to book session, with balance due one week before the session. Please use the Paypal button below to secure your session!
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Pregnancy & Newborn Photography | Saint Paul Photographer

newbornAre you or someone you know expecting an addition to your family?? We have several packages catered to this exciting life event!! Upon booking (with Paypal links below) we will send you an important PDF with tips and tricks for your sessions to help you be best prepared.

We specialize in strong lighting, beautiful black & white portraiture, showing the emotions between parents and baby. (don’t worry, we take color photos as well, and have a supply of headbands, bows, and tutus!)


Pregnancy & Newborn Bundle $295
(or two payments of $160)
2 – 45 minute sessions
1 at approx. 30 weeks into your pregnancy,
1 within the first 10 weeks of your baby’s new life!
Receive finished digital files from both sessions.

Baby’s First Year Plan $450
(or two payments of $250)
4 – 45 minute sessions
one session at each milestone (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months)
Receive finished digital files from all four sessions
Plus a 10×20 framed composite featuring an image from each of the 4 sessions.


Select your payment



 

 

Boudoir Pricing & Information | Twin Cities Boudoir Photographer

Boudoir Sessions are our FAVORITES!! Amy absolutely believes that EVERY woman deserves to feel sexy, gorgeous, confident, and glamorous! It is our goal to make the world a sexier place :)

I was recently featured on WCCO News Radio 830 in an interview with host Roshini Rajkumar. You can listen to it HERE my segment starts at the 15 minute mark!

We have a private studio and all-female staff to ensure your comfort and privacy. Amy will direct you through the entire session and make you feel completely comfortable and at ease. By the end of the session we promise you will be feeling like a super model!!

All of our packages include hair and makeup, and we exclusively use professional hair and makeup artist Sarah Elizabeth. Hair and make up will do a few things for you. First of all it helps calm your nerves, secondly it makes you feel pampered and glamorous, and thirdly it will enhance your images! Our artists will listen to what you want, and will not make you look like someone you are not!

All of the images you see will have our “glamour retouching” done to them. We believe in making you look beautiful with lighting and posing and only use retouching to help enhance your look. We will NOT make you look plasticy or like somebody that you are not :)

Your boudoir session in an investment in feeling sexy and confident!!
Feeling Flirty $495
hair and makeup * 45 minute session * 1-2 outfits * 10 image 4×5 album * matching 10 digital files
Super Sassy $655
hair and makeup * 60 minute session * 2-3 outfits * 20 image 5×7 album * matching 20 digital files
The Vixen $895
hair and makeup * 90 minute session * 3-4 outfits * 10×10 custom designed album * all of your digital files

We have broken our packages down into payment installments to help make it more affordable for you!
A non-refundable retainer of $200 is due the day of booking (use paypal button below),
$200 is due 3 days before the session,
balance is due before album design begins (after you select your images, approx. 2 weeks after your session).


Boudoir Retainer



 

Watch the video below that was featured on Forever TV, television for brides, to get to know Amy a bit better!!
Note: this video was taken at our previous studio, however, all the info remains the same!

Belinda & Fred | Saint Paul Wedding | Wedding Photographer

This past weekend I had the pleasure to photograph an old high school friend’s wedding! The best part?! She married my Neuro Chiropractor who has helped me through my Traumatic Brain Injury, whiplash, and other injuries! When she heard about my fall, she called me and said “Amy! Go see Fred, NOW!” and I did! (if know Belinda, you will totally hear her tone in that quote!) They were married at Edgcumbe Presbyterian Church in Saint Paul.

These two are so happy and in love, it makes me happy!! Between them they have 5 children (Fred is surrounded by a whole lot of women) and they all get along amazingly well! I enjoy spending time with them, and will hopefully get some beach time with them soon!

Their wedding day was GORGEOUS, and their photos are fabulous! They were surrounded by about 75 of their closest friends and family (there were quite a few body builders in the room, as Belinda and Fred do a lot of strength training). The ceremony was full of laughter, and the world always needs more laughter! As they were enjoying their first kiss, the 5 kids all ran up and group-hugged them. It was positively the best moment of the day, and I moment I will never forget as a photographer! Their reception immediately followed outside, after they changed into tanks and shorts (in totally Belinda and Fred fashion). Their first dance was to a live Blues Band under a gorgeous canopy of trees in the middle of the woods. It was totally perfect and totally them!

I hope you enjoy their sneak peek! Love you two to the moon and back!!!

 

The Merk Family | Nashville, TN | Destination Photographer

The benefit of being a Destination Photographer and hopping in the car to travel the country, is seeing old friends that you don’t get see often!

I went to college with Tracy and we were roommates for a year (six girls living in an apartment with ONE small bathroom! How on earth did we survive that?!) Because my travels seem to keep taking me through the Nashville, TN area, I have gotten to see her and her beautiful family several times this past year. Last fall I had the pleasure of photographing her pregnancy, and, naturally, this spring I was able to photograph the family with a new addition!!

They are the most hospitable people I know, and staying at their home in the woods is SO relaxing…… I wish I could visit for a week (or two)!! Not to mention driving through the Smokies is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for always being so generous with your home, I appreciate it more than you know!!

Kendra & Andy | Key West Wedding | Military Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographer

Last month I hopped in the car with Pixxie (the Yorkie) and we headed to Key West, Florida. Yup, we drove 2400 miles each way to photograph a wedding!! I LOVE a good road trip, and am fortunate enough to have friends along the way to visit as well!

Kendra and Andy were married on 5.5.15 on Key West Beach, and it was absolutely PERFECT. The weather had been a bit touch-and-go throughout the day, with thunderstorms predicted right at the time of their ceremony. I assured them that if we had a back up plan (the balcony of their room) the weather would hold out. And that it did. It sprinkled in the afternoon, but the skies cleared about an hour before go-time. Honestly, overcast skies are SO much better for photos too, so it was truly prefect!!

Kendra’s dress was purchased from a women who wore it for her wedding in Hawaii….. the tradition of  “the traveling wedding dress” has begun :) Andy wore his Marine’s Uniform.

They were married in an intimate ceremony (I was the only person invited) on the beach. After the ceremony we spent some time taking photos on the beach before heading back to their hotel room where they had their first dance on the balcony, as well as their Makers Mark toast, and garter removal! Afterwards they headed off to an intimate, sunset dinner on the beach.

I have to say how touching it is to be with a Military Wedding couple and hear the “thank you’s” from so many as we passed by. It is also rumored that a good part of their dinner was paid for by fellow diners at the restaurant…. You gotta love the generosity of so many!!

Officiant and flowers by A Simple Wedding.
The bride’s hair  by Isle Style salon.
Photos by Custom Creations Photography.
Dinner: Latitudes 
Hotel: Parrot Key Resort

(at the request of the couple, the groom’s face is not shown in any social media posts)