Category Archives: daily life

Summer Vacation | New York City | Kris Kandel

For those wondering why my Facebook page has been unusually quiet the last 10 days during my busy mid summer season – well I was on a family vacation to New York City!! It’s been on my bucket list for a while to go there so I was sooooo excited when my parents asked me if I had any free weeks in July this year!! I’ll try to keep this blog to a general overview of the trip, and blog more specifically on my personal blog later when I have more time (time – hahaha what a joke right now!). But I did have a hard time keeping it short, lol!

We left last last Tuesday morning – getting up before 5am to get to the airport on time. I absolutely love flying, always have. It’s actually one of the inspirations in my logo – that love of flight and travel, adventure and exploring the world.

We arrived late that evening to a thunderstorm and downpour (what is it with downpours and travel this year? Remember my  California workshop?!) But the next day we were able to explore our neighborhood a bit more. We stayed in Brooklyn since it was cheaper than Manhattan, and rented a little brownstone apartment which included a kitchen and laundry which was awesome! About a 6 block walk to the subway it was a great location for getting around the city easily.

One afternoon we walked around and discovered that the neighborhood was part of the Bushwick Art Collective – in other words a street art museum!! It was SOOOOOO cool!! We took lots of photos because we needed some new family pics for our walls. What better place that this to play with a camera?!

The photo below with dad “photobombing” Anni was so fun!

The art itself was so varied, I loved to see the differences between each artist.

Friday was one of my favorite days! We took the subway downtown to  Bryant Park and the New York Library.

The Chrysler building is actually another building that had an influence in my logo – the art deco vibes – and a famous image taken on that building was one of the first photos that sparked my interest in photography in general! You can read more about my logo story here. 😉

We ended up at the Broadway Theater District … because we got tickets to see the Newsies!!!!

I grew up watching the Newsies on VHS until it was almost worn out. We also had the CD which we listened to over and over, probably like modern kids are listening to Frozen, lol! I’m actually listening to the soundtrack right NOW on spotify while writing this blog! So it’s always been a favorite.

Three years ago we were watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, which always features a couple of Broadway show sneak peeks before the parade arrives, and all of a sudden there was an announcement,  “Stay tuned to see the newest Broadway sensation: The Newsies” –  I remember being so excited  I yelled to my siblings to come quick, we watched the one song performance, going  giddy over how amazing the dancing was! I turned to my sister and said, “Someday we will see that in person!!! It’s going on the bucket list!”

To steal my sister’s phrase: “Three years ago we said someday, and someday was today.”

It did NOT disappoint! SOOOOOO good!! The set design was fabulous! We sat in the balcony and because of the stage use of these three story tall steel moving sets we actually were often looking eye to eye with the actors. The dancing and music was phenomenal! I know enough about dance to appreciate how hard these guys were working, and making it look easy! Wow. Anyway if you want a sneak peak you can see the Broadway show trailer here:

It was such a good thing we decided to go this summer because the show is closing and going on tour so who knows when it will be back on Broadway. But if you get a chance to see it – GO!

After the Newsies we walked a few blocks to Time Square before heading home. It was so bright from all the lights it felt like daylight – until you looked up to the black sky! Weird.

The next day we went back to Manhatten to walk the Highline, a brand new park. They took a raised Railway line and converted it into a 2 mile long park that is 2 stories above the streetline. It’s gorgeous!! Lovely views of the city, lots of greenery and space to just watch the city flow around you.

Evidently New Yorker’s stack their cars. All I can think of is how in the world do they get them down?!!

So if you are planning a trip to NYC definitely put the Highline on your list. It was another favorite of mine!!

Another day we took the Staten Island Ferry across the harbor. The views were lovely, we passed right by the Statue of Liberty, and enjoyed the fresh breezes.

Dad said the ferry was his favorite. 🙂  If you look at the photo of Anni above right you’ll see all the life vests on the ceiling. Interesting.

Then back to Manhattan where we walked towards the Brooklyn bridge, had a NYC hot dog, Bought a scarf from a street vendor, and in general loved absorbing the vibe of the city!

Walking across teh Brooklyn Bridge was crazy!! Soooooo many people, it was like being in a river of people, you just had to keep walking or get run over!

Once we crossed the bridge we  walked down to the river to watch the lights come on in the city.

My sister kind of fell in love with NYC.

Our last full day we walked through Soho, Chelsea, and little Italy.

Time to go home. Sad face. These last few photos were taken on the front steps of the building we stayed at – while waiting for the cab to take us to the airport.

All in all it was a fabulous trip! Exhausting, my feet are soooo sore, but stimulating and fascinating to see so much! A photographers dream. I feel so blessed to be able to travel and go with my family to so many interesting places. Now it’s time to get my head back in the game for work and wedding season, fall is always the busiest season so I’m ramping up!

Have you been to NYC? Or do you want to go? Tell me your favorite parts of the city!

Fargo Wedding Photography

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Fargo Frost | Kris Kandel Photographer

It has been pretty quiet the last few weeks. Not surprising since most people have their weddings in the spring, summer or fall around here. So I’ve been focusing more on behind the scenes work, networking with venues (I’m loving all the venue features that people are sending in!) and also working on a lot of boring stuff like taxes. Not very exciting, so when I got up today and saw the gorgeous frost I grabbed my sister and went out for a quick photoshoot. Just to keep my camera from getting rusty.  ; )  { Click here to see last year’s frosty day photos} It was so fun to do a very relaxed quick shoot for no other reason that I wanted to.

My sis took turns taking photos of me too… isn’t she great with a camera!

I think the one below is my favorite. But it’s hard to pick!

Too much fun! I love the frost, but it will be fantastic to see some green in the world again soon. Here’s to an early spring!!

Kris Kandel | Fargo Wedding Photographer | Facebook Page

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Fresh Guacamole | Summer Favorite

Anyone who knows me or my family knows that we love good food. Fresh, home made, deliciousness. So I don’t know why its taken me this long to discover the awesomeness that is fresh guacamole! So easy, so tasty!

All you need is a fresh avocado

Tomatoes (best picked right from your own garden!):

A pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice. That’s it.

Peal the avocado – I just use a spoon to scoop it out of the skin.

Mash it up with a fork:

Cut up your tomatoes really small – that’s key –  small pieces! I’ve discovered that for one avocado it takes about 6 grape tomatoes or 1/2 of a regular tomato. You want more avocado in the mix than tomato, since guacamole is obviously about the texture and creaminess of the avocado, not the sweetness of tomatoes.

Mix in the pinch of salt and few drops of lemon juice and there you go. Guacamole!

 I’ve eaten it on chips, crackers, even plain cold pasta. Sooooo yummy!

In fact, I think I need to go eat it right now. mmmmmmm!


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Kelly Moore Camera Bag | Fargo Wedding Photography

The last two year’s I’ve been using a make-shift camera bag for engagement sessions and during the ceremony. I found these two purses and sewed in Velcro strips, then attached some old camera bag dividers that I had laying around. It worked just fine! But there were a few problems. Mainly these purses were never meant to be really USED, so their quality went down hill rather quickly.

Three weeks ago the strap broke. It was just never meant to be used, abused, and loaded down with 5-10 pounds of lenses. Actually it’s kind of embarrassing but the strap broke in the middle of Mark and Kristen’s engagement shoot. We were out at the Rustic Oaks when it broke in the parking lot, landing on the asphalt driveway with a crash. Inwardly I cringed hoping my lenses were ok! I tried hard to not let Mark and Kristen know anything was wrong, so I quickly scooped it up and kept chatting, taking a quick peek inside –  to my relief everything was fine. Whew!!

That’s when I made the decision to buy a Kelly Moore bag – even if it was $150. At least I knew my lenses would be safe in the padding built especially for equipment. An insurance policy if you will.  I went on the Kelly Moore website and was a little disappointed that most of the bags were so big. I have a rolling Think Tank International V2 bag for all my main equipment at weddings. LOVE it. Can’t say that enough!! It keeps all that weigh off my shoulders and is so easy to roll around. Best decision I made last year.  So I really didn’t want a big Kelly More bag,  I just wanted a bag that would hold 2 lenses, a few memory cards, batteries and that’s about it. Something small to use for engagement sessions where I don’t need all my extra flashes and backups.

Then I found the Posey bag – it’s perfect!! Smaller, padded, strong straps. But the teal bag was sold out. I really wanted teal for several reasons, it’s more fun than black, but it’s not such an attention grabber as the yellow, orange or hot pink bags.  I try hard to be fairly invisible during a ceremony so I didn’t want a brilliant yellow bag flashing a “look at me” sign distracting guests! Plus I’m working on tightening up my branding this summer and will be using more teal… it would be perfect for my business (plus, I just look good wearing teal, lol!).

So I waited and checked the Kelly Moore website every day to see if it was in stock yet. Then one day I had a brilliant idea: look at and see if they had any… sure enough a teal Posey bag was available!! Soooo excited when it arrived!!! Isn’t it beautiful! I didn’t think I’d love the flaps/handle on top, but I’ve actually found them extremely useful!

It even has a zipped in pocket for my memory cards – oh the peace of mind having them secured!!


I used it at Jenna + Greg’s wedding, and it was exactly the right size, strap lenght, and comfortable too. The only thing that isn’t the greatest is my long 70-200mm lens sticks out a fair bit so I can’t zip it in, but with the flaps up it’s still protected so I’m perfectly ok with that. It’s not like I want it zipped in during a ceremony anyway, I want to be able to whip it out silently!
So yes, is it crazy that I get way more excited over a camera bag than I’ve ever cared about a purse, shoes, or any other accessory?? I’m such a geek.
Kandel Photography | Fargo + Minneapolis Wedding Photographer |Facebook Page
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The Keukenhof Flower Gardens | Day 12

You can’t visit the Netherlands in the spring without going to the Keukenhof flower gardens or at least seeing some tulip fields! We waited until we had a sunny day before heading out to Leiden via the train. At the Leiden train station we walked passed their bike parking garage, and it was amazing!! I have no idea how people get their bikes up on the second level because they would have to lift the bike above their head, but the evidence suggests it’s possible:

How you ever find your bike again is another mystery.

After catching the bus from the train station to the Keukenhof we finally walked through the gates. A perfect blue sky day!

The garden is huge, more like a theme park for flowers than just a garden. You can literally walk all day and not see every path, flowerbed or hot house. The flowerbeds feature bulbs of different varieties and colors, each one different than the next. I really liked the daffodils, especially the ones with orange centers:

The Keukenhof specializes in showing off bulb flowers so only tulips, daffodils, hyacinths.  They are well known for their unusual and unique variety of colors, petal shapes, clusters of flower heads on one stalk, different heights, and crazy textures. I liked the spiky tulips and the ruffled daffodils!

The traditional Dutch tulips made their statement by sheer numbers and the patterns they were planted in. Thousands and thousands in a row!

Being a Dutch girl of course i had to take a photo next to the orange tulips. ; )

One of the greenhouses specialized in orchids which were stunning in their detail and colors!

As the day went on clouds rolled in and by the time we rode the train back to Utrecht it started raining. The weather in the Netherlands seems to be just as fickle as it is in North Dakota! Anyway as we waited in the bus stop I played around with the rain on the plexiglass and all the car lights passing by.

A silhouette of my sister:

And one she took of me:

Almost done with our trip, just a few days left.  It’s been so fun reliving it while blogging! I hope that you’ve enjoyed coming along with me!!

So, which flower was your favorite to look at?
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