Archive for 'Photography'

Mother’s Day weekend I got to capture a beautiful family in a beautiful place. It made for a beautiful morning! Well, it was beautiful once the Doolans were there. Before that I was scouting the place and not one, not even two, but three garter snakes came out to visit me on the path. I was not excited about that and was somewhat frozen but managed to snap a picture with my phone.  I’m not even sure why I took the picture because just looking at it gives me shivers.

Anyway, back to this beautiful family. I have been lucky enough to have Isis in my preschool classroom this year. She is stinkin’ adorable and so funny. I learned a bit about Isis’ family during their home visit and at conferences. Isis and her older brother, Rowan, both have special needs. Rowan was diagnosed at 2 years old on the Autism Spectrum with a diagnosis of PDD-NOS; Pervasive Developmental Delay-not otherwise specified, and ADHD.  Isis has Sensory Processing Disorder as well as behavioral problems due to pre-birth trauma.

Why does that bit of info matter? Well, I happened to be talking to a dear (out of state) friend who has a child with autism. She talked about the fact that she was afraid to hire a photographer to photograph her son. She was concerned about how the photographer would react if he started to tic, or perseverate, or be his quirky self. She didn’t want to make a photographer uncomfortable, she didn’t want someone who would press her son to be posed or push him over the edge into a puddle of a meltdown.  It Seriously, I know how much I treasure the photographs that we have taken each year. They are of who our family is at that moment and I love them, even if my kids are being goofy—it’s who they are and I want to remember that. So, when Shannon came in to drop Isis off at school a couple days later, I asked to photograph them. It started with, “Um…I hope this isn’t weird….” I went on to explain about my friend and that every family should have photos of themselves just being a family. She agreed! Phew! I was a little nervous; I mean it is a little random.

I met the family at Wood Lake Nature Center, a place where they visit a lot (read: the kids are in their element). Isis didn’t even flinch when she saw me out of the school context. For the first part of the walk, I really only saw the back of Isis since she was running so far ahead of us and enjoying the gorgeous day. The photos I took of her surprised me and her parents. She is stunning. I mean, of course you can see she is a cute kid, there is no denying that. However, on film (okay, technically not film but you know what I mean), she is simply stunning. I believe they could pad that college fund with some modeling gigs if they so desired.

When we got the nature center, Rowan instantly started telling and showing me all about prehistoric men, how they sounded, how they moved and pounded their chest. He even acted out how an animal might sound after it was speared. He was so excited and having so much fun with it.  I felt so good that he trusted me enough to teach me about his favorite things. During our time together he also sang opera and rocked out. I told him not to forget me when he’s famous.

I noticed, at the very beginning of Rowan’s show and tell, that his mom nervously laughed and I let Peter and Shannon know that nothing fazed me. All I could think of in that moment was my friend and showing them that any behavior the kiddos threw at me, I could roll with. With that said, the kiddos were great. They played and ran and fought (hey, they’re siblings right?) and when I sensed they were “done”, we were done. Well, except one last family photo that turned out to be my favorite. It’s hard for me to explain how I worked with the kids because, quite frankly, it’s second nature to me so I’ll let Peter and Shannon give their opinion:

“At first we couldn’t believe that Jennifer had offered to do a photo session for us. We only knew her as Isis’ pre-school teacher. We were cautiously optimistic about doing it, and a little nervous after previous encounters with the “studio experience.” Jennifer put us at ease right away with a warm greeting and she immediately connected with our children. Her calm and loving demeanor let the kids know they were safe with her. Jennifer’s ability to allow herself to become part of the event, and not just a bystander, made everyone feel relaxed. We think it shows in the work. For us this turned out to be a truly enjoyable experience, and we feel blessed that we have these beautiful pictures to remind us of that day, and of that moment in our lives.”

Let me say, this photo session was as much for me as it was for this sweet family. Every family should have photos of themselves just being who they are…just being a family. My hope with this session, this post, is that if there is anyone reading who may be having the same fears as my friend, that they realize that there are photographers out there who are experienced with children outside of the photography setting; children with special needs or children who think outside the box.

When I asked Peter and Shannon if I could mention the special needs topic in this post, Peter responded, “Loud and proud.” I couldn’t help but smile about that response the whole way home. THAT is what I want families to believe when they are thinking of getting photos taken. That statement said to me, “This is who we are. We are an amazing family. We have awesome kids and we are blessed.”

Be You. Loud and Proud.


April 23, 2012 in babies, families

Maybe you’ve heard (you know on the blog, on my personal Facebook, on my business Facebook, on Twitter) that there is a new man in my life. He is sweet and gorgeous and most impressively, did not pee or poop on any of my blankets. After photographing Joseph’s entrance into the world (have I mentioned it was amazing?), I got the pleasure of seeing him again a week-ish later to get my snuggle on take his newborn photos. It was an adventure! I didn’t mention it in his birth story but this little pea does NOT like to be on his back…or his stomach. At the hospital, the director of nursing was taking his vitals and he just kept rolling from one side to another. When Dad asked if it was normal, she said she had never seen it before.  At his newborn session it was quite apparent that he still preferred his side to any other position and let me know he was not happy as soon as I tried any way else.  Lucky for him (and mom and dad! ) I used some of my tricks and managed to get him comfy for enough time to snap a few shots of him on his back and tummy. Newborn sessions can last 3 (or more hours) and I always take the lead from the baby. If babe needs to be fed, babe gets fed. If babe is tired of being swaddled, we unswaddle. Alternately, if babe is sick of being in the buff, we cover and swaddle. Babe’s needs comes first.

Now, enjoy some baby goodness! And, why yes, that is a rooster on the deck checking in on baby..

I got to document a birth. Truth? I loved every moment of it. I’m not sure if it was because it was my sweet nephew being born or if it was just the whole experience but I am in love. It was amazing. My sister called at 3:45am to tell me she was admitted earlier in the night and that she was dilated to 5cm. I drove the hour and a half to get to Albert Lea after throwing on some clothes and grabbing my already-packed bag. When I got there she was at 8cm and moving quickly! Baby came in a few pushes and Joseph Carl was born at 7:57am on April 6. Momma was amazing through the whole thing and Dad was so sweet. It was awe-some. I feel so blessed to have been allowed to witness such a very personal experience. I’m not going to lie, when I talked with Becky about it a few months back, Ben was not so sure of the process. He took a little convincing but after I sent him some other birth photography to look at he realized what I was (and more importantly WASN’T) going to be taking pictures of and he agreed. I’m happy to report they both adored the photos and there were tears all around. Ben and Becky, I know you are going to be amazing parents and I can’t WAIT to watch Joseph grow up!

While this experience was amazing, I would like to document a few more births before deciding if it’s something I want to pursue on a more regular basis. Since I’m just testing the water in this area of photography, promotional pricing will apply. If you are considering having a birth photographer document your birth and would like to talk about details, shoot me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you.

And, the best part of this post….welcome to the world Joseph!

March 1, 2012 in families, kids

I love this family. Nicole and I met our freshman year of college within a few days of moving in to the dorm. I’m lucky to have met her so early in my college days so that I always had a partner in crime someone to share in the newness, the craziness, the triumphs and the mishaps that come during the college years. We definitely had some adventures. Mike was a friend of Nicole’s roommate and while Mike (plus his entourage) and I became friends, Nicole and Mike became much more. I was lucky enough to watch them fall in love and continue to count them as some of my dearest friends.

Mike and Nicole are now the creators of this amazing little family! I had so much fun photographing them on this beautiful February day. Gabby was a little spitfire and, as 18 months old do, was exerting her independence to the fullest. Evan is a total model at heart. Every time I brought my camera to my eyes, he turned and grinned.

Here are some of the photos from our afternoon! Enjoy!



February 12, 2012 in kids

It’s cold in Minnesota. I mean, I shouldn’t be complaining because really we have been having amazing weather this year. My boys would disagree given the Christmas sled still sits unopened, but I am loving it. I had an idea for a Valentine’s Day photo session and it did NOT include coats and sweaters and it’s not quite that warm out. I also have been wanting to try out a local studio with my own kiddos before I booked it to use with clients so this whole session just kind of fell in to place. Well, if you don’t count the 3 hours of punching and hand-sewing paper hearts together.

P.S. I had to include the photo of my husband and the boys. I think he was focusing on NOT dropping the 70 pounds of precious cargo he was holding but he looks like he’s posing for his upcoming rap album. Gosh, I love that man. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Valentine’s week full of snuggles, smooches, and love!

minneapolis childrens photographer




February 4, 2012 in families, kids

I joined this family while they painted their plates (and dogs, and cups, and dog dishes) at Paint Your Plate in Edina. After getting artsy, they headed over to Edina Creamery. I have to admit, it was a little disheartening to walk in to the smell of fresh waffle cones and know I couldn’t have one. However, seeing the pictures that I took during that time made it totally worth it. The light, the interaction, all if it….it was perfection. These three have such an amazing dynamic about them. Sisters, mom, daughter, auntie, and niece all rolled in to a sarcastic, hilarious, intelligent ball of love. I hope you enjoy the photos. I, for one, could not stop swooning over them. Also, I’m trying a new format for posting pictures. Tell me, do you like it or prefer the full size images? I’ve included full size versions of, what I believe, are the most swoone-worthy photos for comparison. Enjoy!

edina childrens photographyminneapolis kid photography


adorable childrens photographer minneapolis


January 16, 2012 in kids, senior

As most of you know, I took this fall off. We had some things happen in our lives that made me realize I needed to spend my weekends with my family. I loved spending all my free time with my this amazing little family I’ve built and it was so refreshing. However, I’m so ready to dive back in to photographing all of you! Here are some photos that I didn’t get around to sharing while on hiatus; some are from sessions and some are examples of how I spent my downtime. Enjoy!


st anthony and main photographer

bloomington kids photographer

miller park photographer

July 24, 2011 in senior

Hello world! I know, I know, it’s been slow around here. I’ve been enjoying being a stay at home mom for the summer with my boys and the boys just got over croup which was in our house for a whole 15 days. It has been kind of crazy. I hope this session will make up for the fact that you haven’t heard from me for a while. Before I get to that, though, just a reminder that my past clients should have received info about my new referral program in their e-mail.

My littlest sister is going to be graduating this year. I can’t believe it. She was born when I was 12 and, while at the time I was totally disgusted that my parents let that happen, now I can’t imagine my life without her. I don’t target the senior market, but how could I not do Janelle’s. We did a session in Iowa which I dubbed the “country” session and then a session here in Minneapolis which was our “urban” session. Of course, since it’s my sister I have a million pics that I love and can’t choose between so you get a big ol’ preview. Plus, her boyfriend, Wyatt came along both times so that just added to the number of pictures to choose from. Here are some of the pictures from our our day in the country. Enjoy!

May 31, 2011 in kids

I know. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy finishing up my school year and hanging out with my family. I’ve had a real affinity towards black and white photos lately so I thought I’d put some of them up. Of course, as you can see from the last picture, some photos just scream to have their colors shown!

I have started booking for this summer and spring! It was nice to have a break after a busy fall, but I am ready to see all my wonderful past clients and look forward to meeting new ones! When you have a date in mind, send me an email, even if it’s not totally nailed down yet. We can at least pencil you in and go from there.

And now, some uber-cute eye candy for you to enjoy!

April 9, 2011 in kids

I seem to have a new favorite photo every other week-at least. Of course they are not always of my kiddos, but during the dull-who-wants-to-shoot-outside-in-this-weather that is a Minnesota winter, my kiddos see the lens of my camera more than they would like. We had a string of warm days and then, all of a sudden, it was cold again. Suck. But alas, this momma was on spring break and wanted to get outside every day that we could. Plus, the warmer weather we experienced the days before had me all jacked up on vitamin D and even though we froze our tushes off (thanks to the wind coming off the still frozen lake), we enjoyed an hour at the park. Okay, maybe not quite an hour. I wasn’t exactly dressed for the weather. The photo was taken while my recently turned 3 year old was climbing. In golashes. In mittens. That’s quite the feat if you ask me. I love the texture, I love the black and white, but mostly I just love the moment. This quick moment when he looked up at me and said, “Momma, I’m coming up. Watch out. Please.” Touching, isn’t it? My first born, my Mr. Sensitive, my momma’s boy telling me to move out of his way because he’s doing his thing and I’m, apparently, in the way. My heart was torn between two realizations. First, that my baby was growing up and needed me less and less. Second, that we have, thus far, raised a smart, self-assured, confident little boy. One who only needs us less because we have made him feel safe in taking risks and in being independent. Okay, so honestly, the second realization was really just my brain trying to make my heart get a grip on itself, but it did help the sting a bit. So here’s to babies becoming kiddos and to hoping that their demands are always followed with a please!

eden prairie toddler photographer