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With all the snow on the ground, I just had to stop by the Como Conservatory in St. Paul a week ago and take a stroll through the sunken garden. This photo is of the Winter Flower show which ends March 20th. Beginning  March 26 and through May 1, the garden will showcase the Spring Flower Show of tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and much more.


A month ago I took the family out for a cold day of Minnesota ice hockey- the US Pond Hockey Championships 2011. They are held annually on Lake Nokomis. It was about 10 degrees that day, but us Minnesotans know that is the best conditions to play pond hockey, especially if the sun it out. I know what you are thinking…we must be crazy!


Minnesota Hockey US Pond Championships

You have to be careful when watching the games, as a puck can come flying at you any moment. A task even more difficult when looking through a camera lens!

Minnesota Pond Hockey Minneapolis



Minnesota Fall in Red Wing

Autumn Reflections near Red Wing

It has been really cold here in Minnesota the last few weeks, and I find myself dreaming of some warmth and color. So I thought I would post a photo I took this past fall of a picturesque scene near Red Wing, MN. No, I did not stage the hunters in the canoe. They actually startled me with their gunshots – they were hiding in the reeds hunting geese. I literally watched them shoot a couple of geese out of the sky, paddle to the birds, and pull them out of the water. As they paddled away, I took this shot. Welcome to Minnesota!



Fall at Hidden Fall in Nerstrand State Park

Autumn at Hidden Falls

I headed down to Nerstrand State Park, near Northfield, two weeks ago to see if any of the fall colors were still around. Most of it was gone, but down by the waterfall, there were a few trees hanging onto their leaves, almost just for me.

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Lake Harriet Minneapolis MN

Lake Harriet in Early Fall

This week I was out and about Minneapolis taking some photos of the city in early fall. One great fact about living in Minneapolis is there are lakes everywhere for the public to enjoy, and Lake Harriet is always full of people taking advantage of the views – fisherman, joggers, walkers, people with dogs, bikers, and yes, even photographers.

Learn more about Lake Harriet and Search Homes for Sale


Monarch Butterfly on Joe Pye weed

For the last two years I have been working on my perennial garden, adding plants that will attract butterflies. Joe Pye Weed was the first plant I bought, and now after two years, they are nearly 7 feet tall. You can imagine how excited I was a few weeks ago when I noticed they were covered with Monarch Butterflies, plus a few Viceroy Butterflies as well.


Hope everyone has a happy 4th!  Hopefully I can catch some great photos this year.

Downtown Minneapolis Fireworks

Fireworks over Downtown Minneapolis, Copyright 2009 Jennifer Kirby


It continually amazes me how home owners don’t realize the poor quality of photos that their real estate agent is using to market their Million dollar homes here in the Twin Cities. Just today, I have been going through luxury homes stretching from Stillwater to Lake Minnetonka, and probably 90% of the homes priced over $800,000 have agent taken photos that are out of focus, tilted, angled, poor lighting….you name it, these photos stink!

In case you wonder if they really make that big of a difference, well I have to tell you that they do. If a buyer is looking at purchasing a luxury home, they want to see the home showcased at its finest. This means that quality photos must be taken by a professional photographer, and edited in the best way to show the homes highlights. Hey, I consider myself a decent photographer, but I leave the high-tech photo business to the professionals when it comes to my luxury listings. This means I spend money to get the quality I expect and the quality my clients deserve.
After all, what are they paying me for? My job is to market their luxury home to a luxury audience. Agents that bring their point-and-shoot cameras into a million dollar home should be kicked out on the spot. They don’t know what they are doing, and the people who will suffer for it are their clients.
Want to know why your home has been languishing on the market for over a year? Over two years? Take a look at the photo below. It represents the only photo for a $1.5 Million listing in Minnetonka. The description in MLS sounds great, but there are no photos to back it up. Do you think a buyer would really want to set up an appointment for this type of listing?
Or how about this home below that started out at $2.4 Million in Eden Prairie? It is has been on the market for a while, and now is reduced $500,000. Could it be that the really poor photos, and there are more, are killing any potential sale for this home? I certainly think so.

As a home owner looking to sell, you really need to question the agent you use and how they are going to professionally market your luxury home. Luxury home specialists know that money has to be spent on quality photography and marketing pieces to attract buyers. Ask your agent for marketing examples and past experience in the luxury home market before you sign a year long listing because if you don’t, the quality you could be getting could resemble the photos above.