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Minnesota Winter Engagement Session

Just a day before a big snow storm in Minnesota, we were lucky enough to get some 20 degree engagement session weather in Rochester. I absolutely adore this couple, and love Brooke’s big smiles around Mitch and how sweet they are together. And they were up for pushing through the snow to get to some of the most gorgeous of spots! (and thanks to my assistant Greg for making foot paths.) Their wedding is this summer, and i’m SO excited for the big day! Congratulations again Brooke and Mitch!

just a few favorites from our session together!

beautiful winter couples session
winter snow couples portraits
couples portraits photos
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snow portraits couples
outdoor winter engaged
say I do with these engagement session ideas
couples poses
Minnesota bride magazine
beautiful Minnesota engaged MN bride
snowy engagement session
rochester minnesota engagement winter photoshoot

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Shanna Star

Panama City Beach Florida Studio Boudoir

There are so reasons I love boudoir photography. One is the amount of time spent with amazing women!- Hearing their story while they get their makeup done, and connecting with who they are while photographing them. This fabulous woman was an absolute blast. Her and a friend of hers both came in for boudoir sessions as a surprise gift to each of their husbands. Of course, the experience and feeling sexy before presenting the gift to a significant other is even better.Here’s just a few of my favorites from our Panama city beach studio session.

Calvin Klein boudoir photos
Panama city beach boudoir photographer
30a boudoir photography
beautiful studio 30a boudoir
emerald coast Florida portraits
Panama City boudoir
Panama City beach lingerie portraits
boudoir portraits
gorgeous studio boudoir portraits
Panama City beach boudoir photographer
reflection boudoir photographer

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Shanna Star

What makes you shine?

“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it because that’s what the world needs is people have come alive.”- Howard Thurman.

personal blog post Destin Florida blogger

Starting reading my next book and love that already inspired feeling. It sets me on fire for what my passions are. And more than anything, I want that feeling for you, but I stated in one of my newest blog posts how that will look vastly different for each one of us. Not every one desires the same things I do, aside from I assume sitting in Panama City Beach, bikini on, holding a girly drink and basking in the sun. No? fine switch it to wine, maybe more of you will be on board. Passions and dreams don’t have to turn your world on its side or look like a completely new life far away, ditching the one you’ve built, but it doesn’t mean your dreams are any less important or worthy to be fought for. I truly believe we all have desires that were purposely placed in us and things we should go after, it’s the things that make us come alive. If you’re not sure of any of that exists in you, it’s time to dig deep and find those little sparks! They’re in all of us, we just have to discover or rediscover them

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Do you know why one of my passions is for other women to find theirs and to feel alive? I want to see more strong women and as become stronger, it just ignites that fire!- And here’s a little reminder to all of those putting off their dreams, goals, passions, desires… “Excuses don’t make strong women.” dang and ouch. We can talk the talk for years about what we want: careers, vacations, side hustles, hobbies, but the real no BS thing is this.. excuses don’t make you strong. I know there is a time for everything and i’m immensely aware of patience and getting through some hardships, but as someone who struggled with anxiety and depression and then went through a divorce, moved across the country and started over with no friends… I don’t really want to hear excuses. sorrynotsorry. Do you know what makes you strong? I mean that girly drink and relaxation time from above IS needed, rest in general and just existing is enough some days, I get it. But what will make you strong and learn and grow is going after the things you love. Whether it’s a side hustle of a new hobby, or finally jumping into a career you’re nervous as heck about. Life is way too short to keep waiting for the right time, because if you keep waiting for the right time.. it’ll never come. We’ve got to make it happen. I’m not saying overload yourself with being “busy” i’m talking about being productive. Baby steps are inevitable, and it will take some work and maybe some frustrations, but it’s so worth it when you feel your heart racing and you know you’re shining from the inside because you’re talking about YOUR passions.You are doing the things you’ve talked about for years.

I want more strong women because I feel strong. I have weak days and insecure days don't ever think I don’t, but I know who I am, what I want, and I am taking the steps towards it. It feels amazing to know the things set in my heart.. my purpose, are things i’m doing. It builds us stronger to fail (oh and I do! but it’s not even failing, just learning) and move towards our goals. I desperately want that for every woman so the young girls will grow up knowing what strong women look like too, but you have to want it for yourself. So tell me, what’s holding you back when you can be shining brightly?


Keep Shining

Shanna Star

Panama City beach fitness beach boudoir

Panama City Beach Florida- Home to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches, and if you step foot along the emerald coast, you’ll know exactly why as the soft white sand and clear blue and green water sparkle. It’s absolutely breathtaking. But it can also be really busy! Luckily it doesn’t have to look that way with your photographer. You can’t tell but this was a busy evening on the beach (I wasn’t at my normal spot right by my house which even during the busy months stays decently quiet) I want to share just a little behind the scenes video with Pam. Although it was a busier night, we got to spend the evening chatting and catching up and really spilling the details of our lives that seem to be ever-changing. Not once did it feel crowded, it felt like a date with a friend, and some fabulous photos in between. And that’s exactly how I want your session on the beach to be. Relaxed, fun, getting sometimes hit with some waves, and a product at the end that you’ll want to print and show off what an absolutely stunning woman you are, inside and out.

Don’t forget to check out the short behind the scenes video below

Panama City beach fitness photographer
Panama City beach boudoir photographer
30a beach boudoir photographer-davista photography
30a boudoir and beach photographer
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Panama City beach photographer

Follow Pam too!: Instagram

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Shanna Star

For the Moments i feel faint

I was hurting and constantly upset I don’t mean the once in a while or caused by ever changing hormones, I mean my life was stuck in this seemingly never ending darkness and I couldn't get out. If you know me, you know i’m optimistic. I mean hell, even through immense pain I could see that I could use it in the future for good. I could always stand tall and get through whatever crap.. forget it i’m swearing ..shitstorm headed my way. and believe me, I had a lot of those the last few years. i’m pretty sure I lost very important inches in my height because of how stressed I was. I got to my lowest point.. no not depression and the lack of showers I took for months on end, and no not anxiety that would cause my to have to pull over because I couldn’t breathe. I got to the point where I said to a close friend..”I don't think it’ll ever get better.” and for me, that was the lowest I could get. Because my whole character seemed to be shifting and my beliefs. I couldn’t see my hard work and persistence paying off (even though for once I was being patient and continuing) I continued on through those words, tears daily, darkness and lack of optimism. Lack of self-confidence, and slowly getting worse. I can’t say exactly what changed it. I think it was a multitude of things working together. I kept working hard in my business, I kept reading and journaling to lift me up even for a second, I went to the gym (not as much but I went) I tried feeding my body healthy food with the occasional chips because… happiness, I talked with a few close friends and of course my mom daily who are constants in my life, and maybe it was finally getting through some of the toxic parts where I could see a bit of sunshine again.

we may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated

i’m telling you this with a very specific purpose. I write about women and self love, how to get healthy, and self care. I speak it with intention because i’ve been on the other side. More than most people even would care to hear about my entire life (movie-worthy or as a counselor once told me.. a reality show) story. As things keep coming my way, i’m finally to a place again where I think “well damn, I guess I can use this in the future too as an experience to connect with women.” I don’t mean to skip past the hard parts just to encourage you to keep going. Those hard parts in life SUCK and I know exactly how it feels to think it’s going to last forever. But I tell you to keep going because it’s the only way to see the sunshine again. It might take a few years, and I know hearing that sucks too. But you have the strength to get through it… but just don’t do it alone. I’m not going to give you the ol “it’ll get better” speech completely, because sometimes we just need to be acknowledged that sometimes things aren’t going your way. but if you can see a few peeks of the sunshine here and there, it’ll keep you going. That’s why I push to find people you trust, to seek out a counselor, to read and journal, and to exercise. Those are the things from not only my experience but that have been proven by studies to help healthy minds and bodies. There’s no reason to try on your own. Absolutely let yourself be sad, allow yourself to feel, but then reach out and slowly start your way to a path that eventually you can see some light. Maybe not today. Maybe today you eat a donut and take a bath. But the only way to recover is to act. And honestly, that sucks sometimes too. But if I know anything, it’s that after the days where you allow yourself to have a pity party, you need the rising up, strength filled, overcoming days and those have to be fought for. And you can do that, I have no doubt.

“We may encounter many defeats” that take us down and hold us back, “but we must not be defeated.”

Keep Shining

Shanna Star

***extra points to those who know my title reference to a little band called Relient K. It’s a song. and maybe it’ll encourage you too.”For the moments I feel faint.”