A Model in Minnesota

Louise Parker, Summer Photos

As a model, Louise Parker has walked for brands like Chanel, Alexander Wang, and Calvin Klein and appeared in magazines such as W, but she is also a budding photographer. Here, she lets us tag along on a trip back to her hometown of “nowhere Northern Minnesota” this summer.

“When my dad was in twenties, he purchased an old, run down farmhouse in the middle of nowhere Northern Minnesota. He wanted a place that he knew would never change (and over the past thirty years it hasn’t!). I spent a weekend there this summer with my parents and boyfriend, hiking through the woods, canoeing, cooking, and making homemade ice cream, just as I did as a young girl with my family.”


“The red-winged blackbird is commonly found in open grasslands and wetlands in North America, and is one of my mom’s favorites.”


“My dad sitting out on the porch enjoying a cup of coffee and the sunrise.”


“My boyfriend sound asleep in my sister’s childhood bedroom that hasn’t changed a bit.”


“A big breakfast and childhood favorite to start the day.”


“My mom washing dishes.”


“Exploring the shallow waters of the Vermillion River, just a few hundred yards from our house.”


“My mom trying to spot an eagle after a canoe and kayak ride.”


“Following my dad along a ‘path’ (that only he can ever seem to find or follow) that leads to an open beaver pond in the middle of the woods.”


“My dog Parker at the beaver pond.”


“Cooking dinner.”


“The closest restaurant is a 30-minute drive to Nelson’s Resort where you can rent charming little log cabins along Crane Lake.”


“The lake.”


“Next to the farmhouse is a barn and church built in the 1920s that was originally a mile down the road from us. Last year my parents bought, moved and renovated the church, which had been abandoned for many years. They now use it to host dinner parties for locals who grew up attending the church and friends (when they are able to convince them to drive four hours from the Twin Cities to the middle of nowhere) as well as an art studio for my mom.”


“Louis looks across to the mainland from my grandmother’s dock after a swim. People say that swimming in the cool, clear and clean waters of Lake Superior is a holy experience, likening it to (metaphorically and figuratively) being touched by God. Louis, a New Yorker and an atheist, can attest to this.”


“One of my favorite parts of the Island is Big Bay State Park where you can walk along beautiful sandstone bluffs or a seemingly never-ending sand beach.”


“For groceries most people buy in bulk from the mainland but the local grocery store offers a selection of drinks, snacks, great meats, and some produce as well as used books and trinkets.”


“Homemade apple pie.”


“My almost 90-year-old grandmother teaching my boyfriend how to make a fire.”


“An old abandoned gas station and convenient store we passed on our drive.”


“Our last magical sunset on Madeline Island from my grandmother’s dock.”