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Published December 05, 2010, 12:00 AM

Student group at MSUM offers holiday photos

After a group shot, Amanda Hartmann’s four children paired off for holiday pictures.

By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM

After a group shot, Amanda Hartmann’s four children paired off for holiday pictures.

Eric and Ryan, 11 and 7, sat up straight in button-down shirts and ties, smiling together. One-year-old Nicholas and 2-year-old Clara were less cooperative. Their older brothers played peek-a-boo to get them to look at the camera.

Each child also posed in a large wrapped box, donned with a red bow. After a half-hour, Hartmann had a CD full of Christmas photos of her kids. It’s a yearly tradition for the Fargo family.

“I like it because it documents the growth of the children,” Hartmann said. “I like looking back at old photos and seeing how much they’ve grown through the year.”

Hartmann’s children had their pictures taken Saturday by members of the Minnesota State University Moorhead Photo Guild. Each year, the Photo Guild holds a Holiday Photo Shoot, including full rights to the photos. Saturday’s sessions cost $15.

The event is a service to the community, provides exposure for the guild and MSUM, and raises funds so students can take trips to see great photography, said Ashley Strazzinski, president of the Photo Guild.

It’s also good experience for the students. Some had never worked in the lighting studio before. For Sarah Poepping, it was the first time photographing customers who weren’t friends or family.

People often send photos out with, or as, their holiday greeting cards. In online photo website Shutterfly’s annual holiday card survey, 85 percent of people said they plan to send the same or more cards than they did last year, and 23 percent would use a professional photographer for their holiday greeting. Nearly half of respondents said they prefer receiving photo-personalized cards.

Holly Manning of Fargo planned to send the photos of her with her partner, Charleen Heinz, and their two terriers, Evie and Lulu. Manning said she lives about eight hours from her family.

“It’s a way to share a little of our life,” Manning said. “Our pets are our children. I want people to see them, to see what our family looks like.”

Jamie Farmen of Fargo had photos taken Saturday of her daughters, 3-year-old Katelyn and 10-month-old Annika.

“It’s the memories,” Farmen said. And photos make good presents for grandparents, she added.

Alison Hahn, assistant professor at MSUM and the guild’s adviser, agreed holiday photos are all about memories.

“It reflects the idea of family and getting together with family,” Hahn said. “It reflects us at a time of peace and happiness.”

For more information

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556