Kylie & Eric

This is my brother Eric, and my new Sister In-Law, Kylie.  And they are beautiful.  And I love them with every ounce of my being. –mb

For Kylie & Eric, my toast for you…

MY NAME IS MATTHEW BIERI. CLEARLY, I AM THE YOUNGER AND MORE HANDSOME BIERI, AND TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME TO TELL YOU ABOUT ERIC, AND MYSELF.  LET’S START WITH THE SIMILARITIES. BOTH OF US ARE THE CHILDREN OF BUD & JUDY BIERI. AND THAT’S PRETTY MUCH WHERE THE SIMILARITIES END.

FIRST OFF, ERIC IS A MARATHON RUNNER. I, ON THE OTHER HAND, LIKE TO TAKE THE CAR IF WE ARE GOING ANY DISTANCE GREATER THAN THIRTY-FIVE FEET FROM MY CURRENT LOCATION.
ERIC DOES SOMETHING HE CALLS ‘BIKRAM YOGA,’ WHEREAS I WORK UP A SWEAT TYING MY SHOES, SO I PREFER SLIP-ONS.

ERIC IS A MATHEMATICIAN – ANALYTICAL IN THIS THINKING AND THOUGHT PROCESS AS HE EVALUATES A SITUATION AND DEVELOPS HIS CONCLUSIONS.

I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER. A BIG OLD LIBERAL ARTIST TYPE THAT CANT EVEN BEGIN TO FATHOM WHAT IT IS ERIC DOES FOR JOHN HANCOCK – SO HE’S MADE IT EASY FOR ME AND JUST SAYS THAT HE FIGURES OUT WHEN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE, WHICH SEEMS KIND OF MORBID, BUT IF I THINK BACK TO HIS HIGH SCHOOL DAYS, HE WAS KIND OF A DARK AND GOTHIC PUNK ROCK KID, SO I GUESS IT ALL TIES TOGETHER SOMEHOW.

NOW, I COULD GO ON ABOUT GROWING UP TOGETHER, BUT I WANT TO FOCUS ON ERIC DURING HIS HIGH SCHOOL YEARS, WHICH IS WHEN HE TRULY CAME INTO BEING HIS OWN PERSON.  AS HARD AS IT MAY SEEM TO BELIEVE BY LOOKING AT HIM NOW – BACK THEN HE TRULY WAS PUNK ROCK.

WE GREW UP IN THE TWIN CITIES, AND DURING THIS TIME ERIC WAS PART OF A MUSICAL SCENE THAT WAS RULED BY BANDS SUCH AS THE REPLACEMENTS, HUSKER DU, THE SUBURBS – AND ERIC WAS A REGULAR AT THE LEGENDARY MUSIC VENUE ‘FIRST AVENUE’ FOR SHOWS BY ALL OF THESE BANDS AND MORE. HE WASN’T PART OF A SCENE. HE WAS A SCENE UNTO HIMSELF.

TO JUMP BACK TO MY WORLD FOR A SECOND, DURING THE PERIOD OF MUSICAL NIRVANA ERIC WAS EXPERIENCING, I WAS A DOUGHY AND DORKY KID THAT ENJOYED PLAYING PINOCHLE WITH MY AUNT AND GRANDMOTHER. I WAS THE OPPOSITE OF COOL, AND ERIC EMBODIED IT TO THE FULLEST.

BECAUSE OF HOW HE LOOKED, AND PERHAPS SLIGHTLY TO DO WITH HIS ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT ATTITUDE, ERIC WAS ALSO AN EASY TARGET FOR CLASSMATES THAT DIDN’T UNDERSTAND HIM AND FOR THE ADMINISTRATION AT OUR HIGH SCHOOL THAT WOULD OFTEN SEND HIM HOME JUST BECAUSE OF THE CLOTHES HE WAS WEARING.

IT WAS ALSO HARD FOR OUR NORTH DAKOTA BORN, CHILD OF THE DEPRESSION, VERY BLUE COLLAR, CONSTRUCTION WORKER FATHER TO UNDERSTAND HIM TOO. NOT THAT OUR DAD DIDN’T LOVE ERIC, BUT DID HE REALLY HAVE TO WEAR MASCARA? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE TELL ME THAT HE WASN’T WEARING MASCARA.

BUT THERE IS AN ENIGMATIC PART OF ERIC’S PERSONALITY THAT I HAVE ONLY RECENTLY BEGUN TO UNDERSTAND.  DURING THAT PERIOD OF HIS LIFE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASY TO WRITE HIM OFF AS SOME SORT OF A FREAK, AND THOSE THAT DID NOT UNDERSTAND HIM MOST LIKELY DID.

BUT THROUGH THE JET-BLACK MOHAWK, THROUGH THE MASCARA, UNDERNEATH THE LEATHER JACKET WAS A KID THAT WAS ALSO EXCELLING IN COLLEGE LEVEL CALCULUS WHILE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL. AS IT TURNS OUT, HE WASN’T A FREAK, HE WAS ACTUALLY A CLOSETED GEEK. HE WASN’T ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT, HE WANTED TO BE THE ESTABLISHMENT.

WE GREW UP IN AN AREA THAT WAS WELL OFF. ERIC COULD HAVE EASILY JOINED IN WITH THE REST OF THE CROWD. HE COULD HAVE RUN WITH THE LEMMINGS, BUT HE CHOSE NOT TO. HE WAS A NON- CONFORMIST, THROUGH AND THROUGH.

AND THEN ONE DAY AFTER HE GRADUATED ERIC AGAIN DID SOMETHING THAT DID NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. HE JOINED THE NAVY. SOME PEOPLE IN HIS FRIEND GROUP MAY HAVE THOUGHT HE HAD LOST HIS MIND, OR AT BARE MINIMUM SOLD OUT. BUT TRULY, HE AGAIN HAD CHOSEN TO NOT CONFORM TO THE PATHS HIS PEERS WERE FOLLOWING.

TO ME, IT FELT AS IF THE EARTH HAD SHIFTED FROM ITS AXIS. I MEAN, DID THE NAVY KNOW ABOUT THE MOHAWK AND MASCARA?  A FEW MONTHS LATER, ONE EARLY MORNING, A NAVY RECRUITER STOPPED BY THE HOUSE AND PICKED ERIC UP FOR HIS TRIP TO BASIC TRAINING.  HE SAID GOODBYE TO US. HE SHOOK MY HAND – IT WAS THE FIRST TIME HE HAD SHOOK MY HAND. AND AT THAT POINT I KNEW MY BIG BROTHER HAD BECOME SOMETHING ELSE…A MAN.  I CAN STILL REMEMBER THAT MORNING CLEAR AS THE DAY IT HAPPENED. THE CAR PULLED OUT OF OUR DRIVEWAY, I WALKED DOWN THE STAIRS TO THE BASEMENT OF OUR HOUSE AND TURNED ON MTV. THE SONG THAT CAME ON WAS BY THE BAND ‘TEARS FOR FEARS’ (ONE OF ERIC’S FAVORITES BACK IN THE DAY) – THE SONG WAS ‘WOMAN IN CHAINS.’ IT WAS A NEW SONG OF THEIR’S THAT I HADN’T CARED FOR, BUT SITTING THERE ON THE COUCH THAT MORNING, I HUNG ON EVERY NOTE OF THE SONG. AND I FELT AN EMPTINESS INSIDE THAT I DIDN’T EXPECT. MY BIG BROTHER WAS GONE.

ERIC LEFT MINNESOTA AND HE DIDN’T LOOK BACK. FLORIDA. NEW YORK. SAN DIEGO. SAN JOSE. TEXAS. AND NOW BOSTON. SINCE THAT MORNING BACK IN 1988 HE HAS CALLED ALL OF THESE PLACES HOME.

AND AS TIME HAS PASSED, OUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY HAS GROWN SMALLER AND SMALLER, UNTIL IT HAS REALLY BECOME JUST THE TWO OF US.
UNTIL TODAY.

I SAID THAT ERIC CALLED ALL OF THOSE OTHER CITIES HOME, BUT TODAY – WITH KYLIE – HE HAS CREATED A TRUE HOME.  A PLACE THAT IS NOT DEFINED BY LOCATION OR BY THE WALLS THAT SURROUND YOU – INSTEAD A PLACE THAT IS IN YOUR HEART, THAT HOLDS YOU UP WHEN YOU ARE WEAK, THAT CHEERS WHEN YOU SUCCEED AND IS THERE TO COMFORT YOU WHEN YOU FALL.

AND I THANK GOD THAT ERIC FOUND A WOMAN AS BEAUTIFUL, AS GRACIOUS, TALENTED AND SUPPORTIVE AS KYLIE.  I THANK GOD FOR THE SMITH FAMILY AND WANT TO LET THEM KNOW THAT ERIC HAS AN ODD SKILL-SET THAT COULD PROVIDE HELPFUL. FOR EXAMPLE, HE CAN MAKE YOU AN INCREDIBLE LATTE, OR IF YOU HAPPEN TO OWN A NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE, HE CAN HELP YOU KEEP IT RUNNING. HE CAN HELP YOUR ROBOT BUILD A TELEVISION, HE CAN MEASURE THE THICKNESS OF YOUR SEMICONDUCTER WAFER, AND ON TOP OF THAT HE CAN TELL YOU WHEN YOU ARE STATISTICALLY LIKELY TO DIE! HE’S THE COMPLETE PACKAGE!

BUT MORE SO THAN ALL OF THAT, HE IS A STAND UP GENTLEMAN THAT IS TRUE AND STEADFAST TO HIS BELIEFS, AND I KNOW WILL BE TRUE AND STEADFAST TO HIS WIFE.

AND TO KYLIE, I ALSO THANK GOD THAT YOU FOUND ERIC, BECAUSE HE’S BEEN MY HERO SINCE I WAS A BOY. HE’S ALWAYS BEEN COOLER THAN ME, SMARTER THAN ME, AND MOST IMPORTANT – HE HAS FAR BETTER HAIR THAN ME. HE DESERVES A WOMAN AS WONDERFUL AS YOU ARE.  NOW, LET US TOAST TO KYLIE AND ERIC, AND TO A LIFETIME OF HAPPINESS!

L’CHAIM! WE’RE JEWISH, RIGHT?  LUTHERAN?  WHATEVER.  TO LIFE!

 

Aryn & Brandon

Imma gonna tell you a little story.  It’s about a senior portrait shoot that was a long, long time ago, in a studio just down the street from our current studio.  And back in this time that was so long ago we had the goodly great pleasure of working with this lovely lady named Aryn for her Senior Portraits (now, I’m just going to tell you that if you happen to click on that link you got to remember that this was 2005.  Aryn was – and is – beautiful, it’s just that our style has…grown?  Grown.  Definitely going with grown.)

And here we are seven years later on her wedding day!  Moments like this are awesome – we get to see such momentous times in our clients lives.  Crazy.  But enough of all this mystical talk, let’s just get to the part where we give this couple MuchLove, and thank them for being so awesome (as usual) to work with!  And, to the rest of you happy peeps out there in Blogville – Enjoy!

Amanda & Kyle

I’m just going to give this to you straight up, with no chaser.  Amanda & Kyle were awesome to work with.  Not just them, but their wedding party and their families – everyone made our day together such a fun, fun, fun time!  That was three fun’s, btw.  I don’t just through those out haphazardly.

But you don’t need these words to convince you of any of these statements, instead, you just need to sit back, relax and…but wait!  I would be remiss if I didn’t send so MuchLove to this beautiful couple for being a part of the o&j family, and now you can sit back, relax and – Enjoy!

Senior Quick Teaser || With Taylor

Here we go again, like some sort of an awesome music video from the 1980’s, we’re just dancing all over the hoods of cars and stuff, you with me?  You dig?  You don’t?  Well, I’ve really not got the time to explain the inner workings of my brain (I’ll leave that to various health care professionals) but what I do have time for is bringing the goods that are known as the quick teaser of the one & only Taylor!

What can I say about him that has’t already been said.  Well, seeing as how I haven’t really said anything about him, I guess that technically the answer to that question could go on forever.  But we don’t have forever – we just have now.  And what I’m going to say, in fact, what I am saying is that Taylor came to the studio, tore the roof off the joint (not literally, otherwise it would have been really hot in here today) and we got the goods.  So there!  The man is awesome!  But we don’t need to tell you that, I’m sure you already know.  So instead, I will not give MuchLove to Taylor for being an awesome gent, and to the good peeps of Blog on an evening so fine – Enjoy!

A Wedding Quick Teaser || Andrea & Nick!

I got so excited to put these pics up that I almost forgot to put words all up in here in this spot where the words go!  PHEW!  DISASTER AVERTED!  Alright, so now that I got these words up here, I need to take a moment and thank this beautiful couple, their lovely wedding party and their families for being so good to us on their wedding day – it was a true joy to work with each and every one of you!  But enough of all this getting sappy, let’s get to the goods!  But before we do, we need to give MuchLove to this happy couple, and we need to remind you, out there in front of your computer in the happy land of blog to – Enjoy!

A Wedding Quick Tease || Callie & Mitch!

How was our day this past Saturday?  Funny you should ask.  Because I’ve got some pics for you.  They’ll tell you how the day was (and in case your head is all confused and can’t figure it out, the day was awesome – I’m here to help.)  MuchLove to this beautiful couple, and to all my good peeps out there in Land of Blog – Enjoy!

 

A Quick Teaser || Jenna & Devin!

One of the coolest things about being the otis & the james is that as time has gone by, we have had the opportunity to see be with our clients as they go through life.  Most of the time, our wedding clients eventually become family portrait clients – and it’s a true joy to see this happen!  But this wedding was special because the ever-lovely Jenna was part of our original way back group of Senior Portraits – I mean, we’re talking about seven years ago (wow) and now we were lucky enough to be there on her wedding day!

But these words need to stop, and we need to get to the part where we take a look at the quick teaser from this wonderful day, so…MuchLove to this beautiful couple, and – Enjoy!

A Quick Teaser For Thursday || Sarah & Derek!

You need something to pull you out of the middle of the day blues, and you don’t want to get all jacked up on Five Hour Energy because you can hear your heart beating in your ears after you down a bottle of it?  Well how about you take a look at this quick teaser of images from the wedding we had the goodly pleasure of shooting this past Saturday in good ol’ Crosby ND!!  It’s heart healthy!   So MuchLove for this beautiful couple – they made our day wonderful!

So, sit back, relax…pretend like you are working, and – Enjoy!