Thanks for checking out the Rowan Tree Photography Photo Journal! I hope this will be a place to share my most recent work and be an inspiration to others. I’m in the beginning stages of writing posts, so check back often as I fill in stories from the past years!

My name is Trisha (Haroldson) Murphy, and I started Rowan Tree Photography in 2011. I’m located near Dell Rapids, South Dakota. Here’s the longer version of my background and how I got into photography!


I grew up on a farm near Bruce, South Dakota (north of Brookings).  From ages 8-18, I was a 4-H kid who showed cattle, pigs and sheep in livestock shows. Music was a big part of my childhood too. I took piano lessons for 14 years, played French horn for 8 years and was in all the high school musicals.

I went to college at South Dakota State University, where I got pretty far through a Music Education major before switching gears to instead graduate with double-majors in Communication Studies & Theatre and Broadcast Journalism. 

While in college I won the Miss South Dakota Pageant (singing a soprano aria), and I had the honor of being a contestant at Miss America. I spent that year as Miss SD traveling the state, performing, and speaking to kids in schools.

I met my husband, Ryan (who is also a theater major), in our first musical together at SDSU. We have been together for 22 years and married for 17 years. He helps me with set up for conceptual shoots and assists with some weddings too. 

After graduating, I worked as a news reporter and production assistant at KELO-TV in Sioux Falls. Ryan and I got married in 2001 and moved to New York City, just one month before 9/11 happened. After some time living in NYC, we moved to the Twin Cities.

My career before photography included ten years in marketing and advertising. I worked for a real estate agency, an advertising agency and an architecture firm.

After coming back to SD and living in Sioux Falls for a few years, we moved to a small acreage outside of Dell Rapids in 2009. Now we have four kids ages 6, 9, 11 & 13. I really became a photographer because of the desire to capture moments in their lives. I think they must believe that a camera is one of my limbs, as I always have one attached to me! 

Besides one film photography class in college, I am completely self-taught in both photography and editing. I poured myself into learning everything I could for a couple years before starting Rowan Tree Photography. Today I teach photography classes to beginners, and I consider myself nearly at an expert level in editing.

From 2012 until the end of 2018, I also worked as the host, producer and writer on a television show called Home Ideas. I had the opportunity to see many beautiful homes and interview businesses involved in the local home-building industry. I’ve also been in a handful of local theater productions, TV commercials and singing gigs in the last several years.

Despite all of the very extroverted roles I’ve held, I am actually a rather quiet and introspective person who is happiest at a home with my family. I excel at being focused, organized, great under pressure, dependable, accommodating and really easy to work with. 

And now in 2019 for the first time, I am finally able to concentrate full-time on my photography business. Photography gives me that feeling that I am doing what I am meant to do. I love getting to know people, bringing ideas from imagination to life, and using creativity in so many things I do. The storytelling through visual art aspect of being a photographer is what I am drawn to every day. 

If you made it all the way through this long post, thank you. I’d very much love to hear from you if you are looking for a photographer!

**Below are some of my favorite candid images of my own family. Hope you enjoy getting to know us!


My kids and their pile of animals, having a party in the trampoline
The other kids were riding their bikes and scooters, but Rowan was dancing
Our backyard chickens and ducks are our entertainment
Parents, my children don’t always cooperate during photo shoots either ~ here my youngest fluffball on the right is in full meltdown mode
With my husband, Ryan, at my own family’s late-November shoot ~ shot by daughter Rowan
My two littlest waving bye-bye to the big kids as they get on the bus
Coloring by candlelight at their grandparent’s cabin
Daddy’s little girl
My other job from 2012 to the end of 2018 was as the Host (and later Producer/Writer) of the Home Ideas television show that airs locally in our area
Having some fun after raking all those leaves
Cocoa with Daddy on the dock while on vacation in northern MN
Picking all the pretty yellow flowers for Mommy
Having coffee with Mom on an early morning in our vacation cabin
Everything that’s important to me in one picture, including the man behind the camera taking the photo