My house is completely silent right now. Aside from the buzz of the washing machine in the basement and the 5th client disc burning in my computer, dead silence. This is the first time I’ve had this much quiet in weeks. Kevin has the day off today so he graciously took Veda to the local museum to blow off some steam and give me space to continue to work on the endless list of galleries and orders to get out the door. We’re making a big push to finish things up. Here’s why…

Do you see this picture below?

The very first one. Scroll down, take a look at it and come back to me.

Do you notice something about the visibility of the items behind that dirty old window? Well, not only are they a bit blurry due to focal length, but the film on the window is making it even more challenging to see what’s behind there.

A few weeks ago when I was spending some time in God’s word and praying, I got these two overwhelming words: “Dirty Window.” Not once, but three different times. And of course, when God speaks something, how true is it that soon after, we start to see little reminders of those words. Veda’s hand prints smeared across all the reachable windows in our house, so much dirt on our tiny upstairs window I literally crawled out another window onto the roof to wipe it off. Then a few nights ago, as I was (once again) editing the afternoon and evening away, the sun was shining straight in the double window in our back room and the hand prints, dust, raindrops…yuck. It was a sight.

2015 was a bit of an eye opener for me. First of all, I hate odd numbered years because they are just unsettling to my mind, but aside from that, my lifelong love of celebrating busyness turned into a deep hatred this year. After over a decade of giving myself high praise for packing my schedule, booking as many sessions as possible, making money, money and more money, now all I can think about is slowing down to clear my line of vision. Meet a friend in a store, and she says, “How have you been? Busy?” Like it’s some kind of joy to be running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Yeah, I’ve been busy but can’t say I want to keep this pace for much longer. I pick up my camera, and sometimes (quite literally) feel like I am looking through a dirty window. Like there’s a slight haze that is keeping me from seeing the picture clearly.

Next year, I will celebrate 10 years of Amber Sue Photography. As many other photographers can attest, I think I’ve seen just about everything in 10 years: glamorous seniors, borderline bridezillas, snotty noses, sweet newborns, wanna-be-photographer wedding guests, joy-filled mothers, missing teeth, abounding kindness, and miles of captured emotion. It’s a privileged to be invited into a hospital room when a baby is brought into the world. It shows a great deal of trust and appreciation when a couple asks you to document all the joy of their wedding day. It speaks deeply to my heart when clients call me each year and say, “We loved what you did last year for our pictures. Let’s do it again.” With any vocation, in order to be able to really appreciate what you are doing and in order to continue to do it well and get better, a break is needed. Continuing education, creative recharge, rest.

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. [John 15: 1-5 NRSV]

It seems imperative to the future of my business that I take a few month of sabbatical rest. Months away from the e-mailing, editing, countless hours of screen time. Time to be spent wiping clean the dirty windows in my home, abiding, preparing myself for a new outlook and a new future as we head into a celebration of 10 years! I realize this may mean missing some milestones in the life of my customers (yes, I’m sad to miss them), but I am certain the outcome of this intentional resting will be a benefit to us all. The pictures you are seeing here are a glimpse into a room in our house where Veda and I will be spending much of December-March. When I enter this room, I get giddy at the possibilities that await. Bins of crayons, yarn, buttons, paper, fabric, paint, stickers, flowers, glue, markers, patterns, note cards. This room will be the inspiration for my ASP rework. Cutting some things, adding others. All in an attempt to wipe clean that foggy window and start year 10 with a new set of eyes.

This post is getting long. To summarize:

1. ASP will not be taking any additional appointments for photos from December-March (aside from the lovely wedding we are shooting in December). If you are already on my books for a newborn session, we will still get you in.
2. I will be checking my ASP e-mail once a week.
3. Client galleries are up! If you’ve had your photos taken this summer/fall, you’ve been sent gallery information. Orders and payment are due no later than Dec. 1st. Please e-mail me ASAP so I can help take care of any existing orders before the first of the month.
4. Destash. I have props, chairs, backdrops, headbands, hats, and blankets galore. If you are starting a photography business and want to claim what I will be destashing, you can come and shop anytime.
5. You’ll still see notifications popping up from me regarding  my Matilda Jane business. A brand both Veda and I love wearing, that gives us the opportunity to bring people together around colorful things that make us all smile. If you miss me in these 4 months, stop by for one of my open houses and we can reconnect while you shop.
6. I like even numbers, so we have to end with #6.

Friends, 2016 will be a great year of celebration! I am excited to be able to start my 10th year of business coming off a great time of abiding. Time with my family, time with Jesus. But now, time to throw on a sweatshirt, head outside, the shrubs get pruned back today and the outside windows get cleaned. John 15 in the flesh. Pruning, abiding, bearing fruit.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day. See you around Easter,



I so rarely have/take the time to sit down and write. On this first day of fall, today seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a look around and really say, “Thank you, God!” for the goodness that surrounds me every day. The wind blowing the dry crackling leaves off the newly transplanted tree in our front yard, the entertainment of the garbage and recycling trucks as Veda watches with excitement out the window, the leftover breakfast plate with a few scraps of over-easy eggs still sitting on the table. It’s all a gift. Speaking of gifts, take a look at the four people in these photos. Adam, Shannon, Will, & Evie. This is the third time (in the three years we’ve lived here) that they’ve popped up in front of my camera, and the relationship we’ve built over the last three sessions is really evident here in these images for me. No I am not afraid to say, I am darn proud of the moments captured for this family who I really love, respect, and look forward to each and every year.

“Do you do mini-sessions?” If I had a quarter for every time someone asked me that. LOL! My response, “I used to.” Why don’t I? The truth is, so much of what I do while looking through my viewfinder is attempting to tell the story of the deep love of a family, the beauty or strength of a senior, the giddy joy and silliness of a one year old, the emotion of a vow. Something that is nearly impossible for me to do in a 15 minute mini-session. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand some people just really want “one photo to use for a Christmas card.” Yes, I totally get that. But if I am being really honest with myself, what fuels my creativity, what sets me apart, is my deep longing to show every little emotion, to have consistent images, and to connect. That’s what you are about to see with the LeFebvre Family. A beautiful Mom who proudly tells me how much her children love each other, and that they are best friends. A kind Dad who looks sweetly at his wife, and who takes one for the team by laying flat on his back in the grass. A wiggly little Boy who looks lovingly at his sister, and appreciates any excuse to tickle his Dad. And a gorgeous little Girl with a heart warming giggle and puckered little lips aimed right at her Mama. All styling credit goes to Shannon, who year after year floors me with her awesome ability to coordinate her family of four!

Please note: with the exception of adding a matte filter on these images, they have not been altered in any way. No touch ups, no photoshopped sunset, nothing. You get to see these four for who they are, and me in a sense for who I really am. A storyteller.

With joy,


Shannon LeFebvre - September 22, 2015 - 12:21 pm

Wow!! You have me in tears with your kind words and beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for capturing our family. These are photos we will cherish forever. I am so happy that you share your talent with us. I know it isn’t easy being a mom yourself to sweet Veda to be away from her on these beautiful fall nights. Please know we appreciate you and your time!

Doreen - September 22, 2015 - 1:50 pm

You have done an amazing job every year of capturing this family and this grandma thanks you! It is so fun to look back at how the kids have grown and changed. We appreciate your talents!


Friends forever. A beautiful, warm, and pattern filled collection you are sure to love! Hailey & Emily have been dancing in the same studio together for years and were the inspiration behind this “Friends Forever” stylized shoot. With the help of my Matilda Jane clothing rack, two pairs of pointe shoes, and two lovely high school seniors, this bright and early session became just as I envisioned. I’ve fallen in love with the modest cuts, tiniest details, and beautiful colors of Matilda Jane, and I’d love to show it to you. Stop by to see the collection for yourself or browse online. I have all the pieces in hand and will be happy to offer sizing suggestions and pairing options.

Build and submit your wishlist to: amberbergeson@matildajaneclothing.com (TK#1022)
I’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your list has arrived, and to collect payment info.
It’s that easy!

Live joyfully,

MJ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/amberbergesonTK1022


Allison & Tyler are married!! We dusted off the camera gear after a long winter, and were excited to document their big day as the first one of the season! AHH! Such a joyful day, loving and kind parents/attendants, darling children, and a blushing bride/handsome groom to boot! These two gave such creative freedom to me as I moved them around town photographing both urban and greenery looks. Seriously, the best gift a bride and groom can give a photographer.:) Thank you so much for asking ASP to be part of it! An honor. Our pleasure!

Gown & Dresses: Brides ‘N’ Belles | Florals: Country Classics, Redfield, SD | Videography: MKB Event Productions | Venue: Ramkota Convention Center


I recently had the chance to sit down and be interviewed by a college student (who is pursuing a career in photography/journalism). She showed up with a hearty list of questions, her laptop ready to take notes, and a bright smile on her face. It was fun! Some of her questions have really had me reflecting since our visit, and for whatever reason, I feel compelled to sit down and jot down a few of my reflections since our conversation.

At one point she asked: “How has your artistry and business changed since you started?” 

For one, I can see it it. Take a look at these images below. The top image was taken three years ago when I was charging $40 for a newborn session. In those days (because I was just starting newborn photography and really had no idea what I was doing), I’d often spend up to 5 hours in a newborn session. The  money I made in a session went straight back into headbands, hats, and other props.

The bottom image was taken a month ago. Because I’ve been in business for 9 years, and have gotten better at my craft, I charge $100 for a newborn session. Now that I have improved my newborn techniques, I spend no more than 3 hours with a newborn and know every fine detail of the tiny human will be documented. The money I make now goes less into props and more into equipment and Veda’s college fund.:)

Can you see the difference?

Another question, “What do you enjoy photographing most?”

In two words: Senior girls. Sorry guys. But for real, I never get tired of the endless outfits, accessories, fun hair, high energy high school senior gals. They are the bomb! Senior boys, I’m glad to take pictures of you as well, and honestly love the simplicity you bring to a session with your four shirts and one pair of jeans. But, being the wanna be fashion photographer I am, I just have to love on the girls. Case and point, these five:

“Goals for the year?” Great question. Ultimately, to continue to push myself to better my craft. Each day, each session is a new opportunity to take my new ‘favorite photo.’ So I’m always shooting in the anticipation of capturing something great. Today I was inspired by a pair of shoes I found in Veda’s closet. Some dear friends of ours gave us these custom “blinged” shoes as a baby gift when Veda was born, and she’s just now grown into them. So it was into the closet I went searching for the perfect little outfit to compliment them. Truth: Veda does NOT like standing on boxes unless she has climbed on them herself, so this image was literally taken sandwiched between a huge pouty lip and a complete meltdown. And a miracle photo. If you look closely in her right eye, a slight bit of tears. Bad mom, but dang, LOVE that baby! So I guess my biggest goal: to keep pouring love into my family, and into the lives of the clients who I have the invitation to work with. Grateful for each and every inquiry!

Here ends the hodge podge post! Thanks for reading!

f a c e b o o k