Only weeks ago, Pine River-Backus High School celebrated its annual homecoming coronation. While many of those in the royal court were new faces, the person behind the camera was not.

Most years since 2010, photographer Alicia Borman has been there for the annual homecoming or Sno Daze coronation, equipped with her camera and cases of photography equipment. Her familiarity with that school, that gym and the annual events goes back way further, however, as Borman is as local as they come.

She grew up on a dairy farm outside of Pine River as the oldest of Steve and Julie Sherman's four children.


" Being able to take photos of certain students each year and watch them grow has been fun. I've been doing it a while. The ones that are seniors now, I got to take photos of them for each of their sports every year. It's really fun seeing them change and evolve into young adults. "

— Alicia Borman.


"I loved growing up on a farm," Borman said. "We always had fun things to do and adventures. We did road trips. We spent a lot of time in the summers out on Whitefish boating and tubing and kneeboarding, four wheeling and mudding around the area. Even on the farm. We did everything together as a family. We also did a lot of horseback riding."

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Though a professional photographer now, Borman nearly wound up down another path.

"I did a careers class in high school," she said. "I wanted to do something with computers so I went on a computer programming job shadow. When I got done that day I decided I didn't want to stay in an office building. I decided to go the photography route as I could be outside enjoying the outdoors and I'm still doing fun computer aspects with Photoshop and combining both and getting a good balance."

The photography route was the next obvious option for Borman, who had been toying with digital photography even in the early ages of the technology.

Alicia Borman is often the face that people see when it comes to Pine River-Backus' big moments, including SnoDaze, Homecoming and the senior photo.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
Alicia Borman is often the face that people see when it comes to Pine River-Backus' big moments, including SnoDaze, Homecoming and the senior photo. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

"When I was younger, one of my great-aunts gave me her old digital camera," Borman said. "It was the big new thing, being digital. I used it a lot and played around with it. I did little fashion shows with my sisters and always took pictures of them and whatnot."

She pursued the photography field after graduating from high school.


" When I was younger, one of my great-aunts gave me her old digital camera. It was the big new thing, being digital. I used it a lot and played around with it. I did little fashion shows with my sisters and always took pictures of them and whatnot. "

— Alicia Borman.


"I went to Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie for the photography program," she said. "It was a two-year program. I graduated in 2007 and started my business right after that."

Borman and a high school friend, Lacey Stiller, rented studio space in Pine River.

Somewhere around this time, Borman also met her husband, Ross Borman.

"We got introduced at his cousin's wedding," she said. "He was a groomsman and we had just started visiting and had our first date. We went ice fishing on our first date, and the rest is history."

The Bormans bonded over a mutual love of the outdoors and grew a family together. Today they have two boys, ages 6 and almost 7.

In 2013, Borman bought a new studio space just on the north end of Jenkins, where she worked until 2020, when her children transitioned to homeschool. They are a very close family that still loves the outdoors.

"In the summer we do a lot of playing in the water, going to the beach and a lot of outdoorsy stuff," Borman said.

Marrying Ross, her family became instantly larger. Her husband's family is extensive and not only that, he's been a part of the Backus Fire Department family since he was a young child. His father, Pat, was a longtime and influential member. Borman has since been a part of that same tightknit group.

"I feel like we've been a part of the fire department for so long," she said. "The kids have grown up with all the other kids and their families. We have a really great, tightknit group. A lot of times with events like the summer picnic our kids just pick right up where they left off."

Of course, being a professional photographer, Borman is also present for the big moments in other families as well.

"I like a variety of everything," she said. "I like weddings. I love family portraits. I like doing things that are different and fun and not doing the same thing all the time."

Since she's been doing photos with PR-B School, she also gets the chance to follow and get to know a lot of the students through the years.

"Being able to take photos of certain students each year and watch them grow has been fun," she said. "I've been doing it a while. The ones that are seniors now, I got to take photos of them for each of their sports every year. It's really fun seeing them change and evolve into young adults."

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com.