If you haven't had the chance to meet Phoenix Memories Associate Photographer | Videographer & Editor, Sherri Dahl, you are truly missing out. This is her 2nd year on our team of professionals, but it is definitely not her 2nd year of artistry. In fact, she has been studying film and photography for many years, so we wanted to take some time out and delve into her past, and find out what made her into the hard-working, passionate and inspiring woman she is. Let's take a deeper look.
Sherri is a Minnesota native, who grew up north of the Twin Cities in Ham Lake. She has always loved the great outdoors, and any chance she could to explore them -- whether it was fishing, hiking, archery, hunting or camping -- and it was her passion for nature, which ultimately led to her passion for photography and cinematography through a very interesting conduit called the Girl Scouts of America.
Sherri shared with me about her journey in the Girl Scouts. "I was able to do a lot of what I love through the Girl Scouts of America. I was a GS for 13 years all the way from Kindergarten to my Senior year in high school, and during my 10th grade year, my troop took a free class at our local television station. We learned how to use the camera equipment and I enjoyed every moment of it. Then, during my senior year I worked with the same television station to earn my Girl Scout Gold Award [equivalent to the Boy Scouts Eagle Award], by creating a video about why it was cool to be a Senior Girl Scout. At the end of the year the station gave me a gold trophy man for 'Rookie of the Year' at their awards ceremony. So I have my Girl Scout leader, Debbie, to thank for introducing me to my industry and guiding me through the Gold Award."
Needless to say, when the time came for Sherri to decide which major in college she wanted to pursue, she had a hard choice between following her heart or following what others wanted her to do.
Sherri shares, "When I was first deciding on my degree I was dead set on photography but a confidant kept telling me that there wasn't any money to be made in photography and that I would end up a starving artist. Their suggestion was computers. 'Get a degree in Computer Telecommunications and I'd be set for life.' So I listened, followed that counsel, hated it and failed out of many classes my first year. Then I took a semester off to figure out what it was I wanted to do. Photography, I just knew in my heart that was what I wanted to do more than anything. As I was sitting on my bedroom floor watching 'The Price is Right' I saw an ad for Minnesota School of Business. This was perfect! It included computers and a form of photography. I barely researched any further before I enrolled and began classes. After graduation I awarded myself with a DSLR because it was the trend video camera that students raved about before I graduated. It was then that I began using it for photography and further educated myself so I could do photo and video."
That one choice to truly follow her heart regarding work, also ultimately led to her finding true love as well. "I met Mitch Heil in college during the bachelor's program. Mitch and his friend and business partner were easily the most talented students at MSB at the time, (Not to mention THE BEST LOOKING), and this made me very intimidated by both of them. Then I had a class at a different campus with JUST Mitch, which made it so much easier to get to him. We actually began talking through chat in an app called 'Words with Friends' before talking like human beings in person. A little over a year of dating, getting to know one another and graduating college, we decided to buy our first home, and add our puppy (Sterling) to our family!! We also built a photography & videography studio with a white cyc wall, where we do a lot of our work together."
Mitch and Sherri have many of the same passions in life. Along with their mutual love for the great outdoors & photography and videography, they also enjoy camping, fishing and kayaking together, as well as taking Sterling to the dog park. And, because they live here in MN -- with 9 months of winter -- they also enjoy going to the gym every morning and catching up on their favorite TV shows at night.
Sherri also shares something new and exciting with our Phoenix Memories clients, "Just this last January, Mitch [finally] proposed to me!! I have a large magnetic Scrabble board that I made, and have it hanging in the dining room. He used the Scrabble letters to spell, 'Will you marry me,' on the board. It was THE perfect 360 degree connection to the beginning of our relationship -- going from being simply 'Words With Friends' to now entering marriage through 'Scrabble!"'
So now she finds herself being able to relate in a new way to her wedding clients, as a soon-to-be bride herself, who will have to be in front of the camera, instead of behind it [like she is used to] capturing others memories. She knows exactly what you are going through, especially in dealing with the myriad of vendors and wedding planning. She adds, "After we decided on our wedding date [June 24, 2017], the very first thing I wanted to do was find a venue , and book my fellow Phoenix Memories photographers,' because I knew how quickly they booked up. I felt nothing else could fall into place without those initial things being secured. Our theme is going to be outdoorsy and fishing. The colors are light blue and light beige -- for that earthy feel -- and we'll be using a lot of birch bark!
Even though she may be newer at being a Bride, Sherri is not new at taking care of her Bridal clients on their wedding day, as a photographer or videographer. She cherishes being able to take her time to really listen to the clients needs and wants. "I want to see the type of photos they love, so I can really cater to their specific needs and wants while working within my style. I have always liked creating art. Photography is more than clicking the shutter and taking an image. It's creating an image and planning every aspect from angles, colors, composition, perspective and more. But most importantly, I love the reaction people have when they see the finished work and it is such a good feeling knowing I was truly able to made them happy."
Executive Creative Director
Phoenix Memories Photography & Videography
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