Channeling Tara Whitney on Easter Sunday

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life65 Comments


For those of you who don't know my sweet and talented friend Tara Whitney, (and if you don't already, i'd be surprised), she's a really, really, gifted photographer in ways I will never know, nor do I ever even presume to aspire to know. I like good pics and all, but I'm not Tara. Still, it doesn't stop me from shooting away.

My in-laws live on a farm in Southern Minnesota, just outside of Faribault. And as I'm sure the Pioneer Woman would tell you, living on a farm, or even just having access to one makes taking pictures ever so much fun. I always bring my camera with me, and I always seem to take a lot of the same pictures. 

At Easter, it usually involves Spring chickens.


Cole named this one Asher, and BEGGED me to let him bring one home.


Riiiiiiight. And I would say yes because everyone knows how cuddly and trainable chickens are? Next photos, please.

There's always stuff at the farm that looks good in photos. Like old farm equipment. And red barns and piles of junk.


I always wonder what photog types would do down here with all of the heartland muckyity muck.

Me? I followed One-Three outside at her insistence, to shoot a few.


Can you see the total awesomeness of red highlights in her hair?


How about now? Aw yeah. My mother is freaking out right about now. (Hey Mom!)


See, the reason I never ventured into photography is because with all the great props in the world, I never really know what to do with them. I think I'd just rather describe them than shoot them. Because I likes words so much.


Still, it's fun to get a sweet shot of a girl communing with nature.


Or just letting go of the teen-aged front for a shot or two.


I may not always be in focus or have the right exposure, but overcast days, farms and photos are a definite fit.


Cathy ZielskeChanneling Tara Whitney on Easter Sunday

65 Comments on “Channeling Tara Whitney on Easter Sunday”

  1. #3

    You have done TW proud! The pictures are awesome and One Three has grown up to be a quite a beautiful young lady – love, love, love her hair! Two pics are my FAV – the one with Aidan sitting in the chair and the first of Aidan after the barn picture.

  2. #5
    Jan Whitehill

    We live on a farm and I didn’t think our old junk looked that cute. Made me look at our tractors and combine’s in a whole new light. Thanks for the and laughs your blogs alway bring me.

  3. #6
    MNScrapbookmom - Kyra

    Love this entry for so many reasons. Maybe its the memory of the red barn that my Grandfather used to have… maybe it’s the chicks, or the JD tractor… Naw, it’s seeing Aidan’s red highlights… maybe one more red hair dye session is in order for me this year… Thanks Aidan!!! Have a great week !

  4. #7

    Great shots of Ms. One-Three. Beautiful! I love the way she’s wearing her hair these days and her style is so fresh and unique. I love it!

    Thanks for sharing,

  5. #8

    Love Tara’s work. Your photos are great too. Adain is beautiful in that totally non-commercial sort of way. You know what I’m trying to say, right? πŸ™‚

  6. #11

    I live just over the river in WI and I always say I’m going to use someone’s old barn as a prop so I too can be just like Tara. I dream of just coming CLOSE to Tara’s awesomeness. But you did a great job on these photos Cathy… I love the last one…so fun!

  7. #15

    Besides loving good photos, good stories and great scrapbook pages, I love KNITTING. (Way too many interests for the time I have available.) So I found myself admiring Aidan’s lovely face, glowing red highlights, and then … great sweater! Any chance you knit that your own self?

  8. #19
    Sharon Trumble

    Absolutely beautiful! I wish I ended up with results like this when I “shoot away”. You are waaayyy more talented than you realize! πŸ™‚ That Aidan is just as adorable as can be! (I hope I spelled her name right.)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Sharon T in WY

  9. #22
    Donna Bettencourt

    Great shots and pretty model! I’m with you with the camera in auto mode, I feel the same way about Betty Crocker, she already figured out how to make a nice cake, who am I to try to reinvent the wheel, I like to leave it to the experts! LOL fab pics!


  10. #23

    I’ve been scouting out some Tara Whitney like locations myself, I got into Karen Russells photog class and can’t wait to get started. Unfortunately your One-Three is more cooperative than mine.

  11. #27

    job very well done.
    I grew up on a farm west of Sioux Falls, SD (now live in WA-state) I needed the walk down memory lane. wow.

    Olympia, WA

  12. #30
    Just a girl

    these are amazing shots…
    your daughter is growing up to be a beautiful woman…enjoy every minute, you will turn around and she will be 22 like my Meg…
    kiss kiss
    happy hump day!

  13. #31
    Katrina Grabowski

    You need to give yourself more credit.Tara will be very proud of these shots of Aidan. I only wish I had a daughter to take such great photos of. My three boys hate having their photo taken and do what ever it takes to mess it up. UGH!!! Have a great day and keep on Snapping those photos.

  14. #32
    Kathy F

    Your pics were AWESOME for someone who says they don’t think they are the best! πŸ™‚ They look like the best to me! I really have to see Tara’s now! πŸ™‚ I was blown away, Cathy!

  15. #34
    Jess Cabrera

    Well, I try to channel Tara just about every time I pick up my camera, so you’re not the only one. I think you did great! (That last one is my favorite) πŸ™‚

  16. #35
    Bonnie Hoover

    You will so cherish these photos later. Like about 5 years from now when one-three becomes one-eight and is getting ready to leave for college! I’m there. Don’t know how you scrapbook these photos they’re all so great just themselves. You so underrate your photo skills!

  17. #36

    The pictures look amazing to me. I love all that old farm stuff and Aidan is such a natural model. So nice that she is willing/enjoys her photo taken.
    Hmmm…I wonder if there are any farms with cute red barns in Hawaii??

  18. #37

    These photos are awesome Cathy! All of them. Thanks so much for sharing, they are very inspiring. Great job!

  19. #39

    Aidan is so beautiful! Just gorgeous! And how lucky to have a super-talented Mum who can take such wonderful pictures of her …

  20. #40

    Awesome pics! I wish I could figure out how to get the background all blurry with my subject in super sharp focus like you do!!

  21. #41

    Cathy – you just gave Tara a run for her money, girl! These photos are great! I really love the one with One-Three sitting with the house in the background. Love it!


  22. #42

    love those photos. the chicken ones made me laugh. Last year our eldest went to stay with his grandparents for a few days. He came home with not one, but THREE ducklings (one for him, and one each for little brother and sister). Well, of course they were cute, and the kids were in love, but seriously, ducks? in town? Who knew how much those things could poop?!!! (A month later the duckies went back to the wide green pastures at Gran and Grandad’s house (with strict instructions to NEVER do that to us again!) We were pretty proud of the fact we lasted that long. Haven’t scrapbooked it yet. I think maybe that should be the project for the week. Thanks for reminding me about it.

    See how you inspire us?!

  23. #44
    Shannon Avard

    These are GREAT! What are you talking about when you say you aren’t a great photographer? You did an excellent job with the props. You do Tara Whitney proud! Thanks for sharing!

  24. #45
    Tina Cockburn

    My dad lived in Lonsdale, MN, on the other side of the highway from Northfield. When he died ten years ago it was the first time I’d ever been back there despite his years of relentless pressure to do so. And then when I got there I wondered why I, a silly California girl, had been refusing to go. It was lovely. His house is adjacent a large farm that at the time was growing soy beans. It was my first ever experience with a real farm, walking in a field of real live growing vegetables. Not just a garden, a huge field.

    I think I must have always been a farm girl at heart.

    Love the photos. Aidan gets lovelier each time I see her gorgeous face.

    Thanks for sharing these photos and for reminding me how lovely that area is.

  25. #46
    Deb Jones

    What fantastic shots. I think you did a really good job for someone with no cliam to being a photographer. I would be happy with them. Good for you.

  26. #47

    YOur photos are great–all I got for pictures was my family with green beans in their noses!! Gotta love older kids with a Dad to egg them on!

  27. #48

    Wow-stop-hold the presses. Before I wrote this comment and went back to check some older blogs to make sure I hadn’t missed something. When did Aidan get the lips that woman kill for? No they were not there a couple of years ago. She is turning into a knock your socks off young woman. Sorry Cathy not all of it is your artiste with the camera.Is it time to move to some remote mountain top?

  28. #49
    sherry d

    The photos are fabulous! Wish i had a farm to go to for some pics like that. And your daughter is looking more like you as she grows older!

    Thanks for sharing!

  29. #50
    Jackie in Wenatchee

    Great pictures! It’s kind of funny, because we went to my in-laws farm for Easter this weekend and I took some photos of old farm equipment. Great minds think alike!

  30. #52

    I think you are selling yourself short . . . great shots! Love the one with Aiden rocking back in her chair next to the old stove.

  31. #53

    great shots- love Aiden’s photos, particularly where she’s sitting on the chair w/her legs on the… well.. farm thing.
    And Cole is as cute as ever!

  32. #55
    Tonja Trump

    Now that’s a neat lookin’ farm photo shoot! And by my hometown none the less!! (I remember a Dan Zielske always coming into Total Mart or Bauer’s..about 15 years that THE Dan?)I knew there was a connection there! Lol..Happy Wednesday!

  33. #56
    Kris Van Allen

    Oh for Pete’s sake, those are amazing photos! Cute kids, sure, but dang, girl, nice compositions! Not sure Aidan could capture 13 any better…right there with my Gracie…between little girl and young lady. You captured both.

  34. #57

    Hey there! LOVE that bottom photo. I’m with you on words totally rocking. Love words. Just think of what awesomeness you can create with these fab pics, and your wonderful words!!

  35. #58

    Love the farm photos! My favorite is the last one of the teenager showing the exuberance that only a teen can show. It looks like she didn’t know you were there. Beautiful innocent joy.

  36. #59

    Beautiful!!! I live on a farm and take lots of the same pictures. Our barn was painted a pinkish red though (my Austrian MIL’s idea of New England barn red) so I am willing our southern sun to age it quickly, for my pictures.

  37. #60

    What great shots! Takes me back to my youth of eons ago growing up on the farm and playing in Dad’s ‘piles of junk’ (psst don’t tell him I said that)

  38. #61

    cathy im going to have to hunt you down and hide you in my basement. dont you ever try to channel me again, you hear?!

    (i dont really have a basement)

    (and thank you for your love love)

    I LOVE them all.

  39. #62
    Ann Grounds

    Lovin’ the photos Cathy…I’m jealous of the lovely farm and your beautful daughter…Mine’s at that 9 yr old stage and hard to get her to cooperate, and my boy is the 12 yr old and he just makes funny faces and hams it up! Love that last one…is it SOC or did you “enhance” it with photoshop? Aren’t you lovin’ your Canon 40D?

  40. #63

    Your daughter and my son are the same age (about a month a part) and I look at those photos and go….wow, Cathy has a 13 year old who looks 18, and I have a 13 year old who looks 11. Got to love that with teenagers LOL

    Gorgeous photos πŸ™‚

  41. #65

    Totally LOVING your daughter’s hair Cathy — especially the cut! If only I could have gotten my stylist to understand that’s what I wanted in my recent visit, then I would not look like a refugee from the I Want To Look Like Joan Jett camp. ugh!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *