Here’s the interesting story behind our stunning light painted photograph of Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors, Minnesota.
Joannie and I have been hosting our annual “North Shore Weekend” for well over twenty years now. And 2019 marks the second year in a row that we’ve created a light painted photograph up on Lake Superior.
Last year, we created a very special one for Chris and Sarah during their engagement portrait session. Theirs was created at Iona’s Beach not too far from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Other than the 10,000,000 black flies, it was really fun to create a light painting for them while we were “up north”.
Mike and Joannie, How Did You Get To Do That?
The story behind our light painting of “World Famous” Betty’s Pies started back in early May. Just days after their fabulous wedding, newlyweds Mike and Linda sent me a text while on their mini-moon up on Lake Superior. They “suggested” that we light paint a location on Lake Superior. That location was Betty’s Pies.
It turns out that Mike has known Betty’s Pies’ co-owner Carl (no, not Betty) since their days together at White Bear Lake High School. Let’s just say that’s a little more than ten years ago. 😉
So after bragging us up to Carl (thank you!), Mike and Linda, with Carl’s blessing, were kind enough to share Carl’s contact information. Then I would contact Carl to arrange a possible light painting of Betty’s Pies.
Obviously, summertime is a really busy time of the year when you’re running a restaurant in a heavy tourist area during the peak season. So it turned out that it took until just a few days before our annual “North Shore Weekend” to actually put a plan in motion with Carl.
We decided via texting that Joannie and I would stop by to talk about the light painting concept on the weekend sometime when we weren’t with our portrait clients.
The Parking Lot Says It All
So, on Saturday, we had a little time between sessions and so we stopped at Betty’s Pies to talk to Carl and his partner Marti about the possibility of creating a light painting of their famous landmark. I texted him with our plan and he replied that it sounded good to meet that afternoon.
When we pulled into Betty’s we couldn’t even find a parking spot! Once we did get parked, it was so busy inside that I was afraid to even ask for Carl! When I did, it turned out that he was out delivering pies. Go figure!
So Joannie and I enjoyed a couple of pieces of pie, and I sent Carl a text to let him know that we’d wait until later in the weekend to stop by and chat. It turned out that Sunday would be too busy for us and Sunday night it was supposed to be stormy (and it was).
So that left us with Monday, our last full day up north. Thankfully, the weather forecast was good for Monday night. All we needed was Carl and Marti’s blessing. We met with them in the morning and showed them what light painting was all about and they both agreed to give us the go-ahead for that evening.
We arrived to set up everything about at about 8:15 on Monday night. Earlier in the day, we had decided with Carl on where we would place the camera and the look that we wanted to achieve. That meant having our camera and the tethered computer near the dumpsters in the parking lot. Carl came out to chat and we shared our set-up shot for his approval. Everything was a go!
As Carl went back inside (they still had customers), he casually shared with us that we could have visitors where we were set up. Large, furry, black ones! Joannie was really thrilled to hear that! I’m very happy to say that we had no black bear encounters that night!
Past Our Bedtime
At about 10:00 pm, Carl came outside to help us out by wetting down the parking lot so it would look better in the image. It worked like a charm! Wet pavement really looks great when light painted.
Then at about 11:00 pm, he asked us if he could be in the photograph. We had mentioned that possibility earlier in the day at our meeting. We said sure and set up to make it happen. After that, Carl said goodnight, but not before going back inside and back out to give us a “to go” bag with some yummy pie!
We wrapped up just after midnight and made a slow drive back to “home” at Cove Point Lodge on full deer alert. And we did see five deer right next to the highway. Thankfully, we didn’t hit any of them. We both slept pretty soundly that night.
So that’s the story behind our beautiful light painted photograph of “World Famous” Betty’s Pies. Pretty cool isn’t it? We will be offering it for sale in the Betty’s Pies Gift Shop as well as from us. Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll get one for you. There might be some new products for sale as well. We’re looking into magnets, coffee mugs, and other items, as well as our stunning metal prints.
There’s A Movie
As I like do for our major light painting photograph projects, I’ve got a short movie on our YouTube Channel that shows many of the steps that went into our light painting of Betty’s Pies. All told, we took more than 400 images on this project, using more than 150 of them to create the final image. Oh yeah, and I made an all-new sign (in Photoshop) for Betty’s, as Carl said he didn’t care for theirs and their new one wasn’t ready yet.
Thank you for reading our post and have a great one! – M&J