Archive for 'families'

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..

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 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


I was kind of sad to do my last photo session of the season. It’s been good to look back through the posts of the families that I’ve been lucky enough to do sessions with. You all made my first “real” photo season awesome. I was thrilled that my last session was with a dear friend. She was hearing about jennifer witt photography before it even was. She (along with the awesome momma from this post) is part of my Friday retreat. Well, kind of. I mean as much as having a playdate with four children – two and under – running/screaming can be a retreat. Hey, every momma knows time with other mommas is pretty sacred, even if the soundtrack to the playdate is two year olds arguing over a toy broom. But, I digress…

This family was so fun and laid back. Laura left her purse just about everywhere you can imagine and it’s a miracle it didn’t get lost at some point. Here are my favorite shots from the day. Enjoy B family and thanks for letting me end on a fabulous note!

minneapolis st paul kid photography

mill ruins park photographer

eden prairie family photographer

hennepin blooper

I had to include this last photo. I cracked up as I was editing. It’s as if Chase is saying, “You have got to be kidding me. We are sitting on old wood, what is there to smile about?”

November 7, 2010 in babies, families, kids

I had never been to Bandana Square before but this family heads there often. Their boys love the train museum. It was an awesome location with loads of character. We ended up getting shots in and around the outside of the building. Grayson wasn’t so sure of me at first, but my super duper preschool teacher powers won him over and he told me all about his ball themed birthday party. Xander was down for anything and pretty much stayed put wherever we decided to put him. Thanks for a fun morning D Family! It was great to work with you.

St Paul baby photographer

Bandana square

urban st paul photograher

October 30, 2010 in couples, families, kids

This is one of my dearest friends. One of my dearest friends who is also beautiful, inside and out, and uber-creative. I can’t forget to give a shout out to Mike, who was totally a trooper. One of Amy’s friends said to her “How did you get Mike to wear that hat?” Her response? “Constant nagging.” If he was reluctant, he didn’t show it. I think now that he has seen the photos he realizes they wouldn’t be the same without that hat. I love when clients get creative. Does it mean you have to? Of course not, but it makes for some pretty stellar photos. We headed to the Mill District in Minneapolis and had a fun, albeit cold, session. They are such a gorgeous family and the love they have for each other is so evident. Their daughter Natalie has curls just like I had when I was little and I’m so jealous that my boys did not inherit them. Look at those tight little ringlets! Thanks for choosing me to capture your vision and your love for each other J family!

I got a little carried away with this sneak peek but once you see all the images you’ll see why it was so hard to choose.

Remember that uber-creative thing I was talking about?:
funky photography Minneapolis

Amy rocked her heels:
minneapolis fresh photography

Most of the time anyway!:
Minneapolis blooper

Mike and Amy were changing their outfits and I was hanging with Natalie who had yet to put on her fancy clothes. I loved this photo so much, I couldn’t resist including it:
blaine childrens photographer

More love:
minneapolis family photographer

This is my FAVORITE photo. I love it. Amy was laughing (and pointing even!) at Mike’s pose. I thought he looked quite distinguished. Amy had other ideas:
mill ruins park family session

Thanks for choosing me to capture your vision and your love for each other J family!

October 24, 2010 in babies, couples, families, kids

I love this family. The girls and I are intertwined through the friendship that our parents share. I started off with the plan of just doing one of the family’s photos and then I got an e-mail that they wanted pictures of all the kids and grandkids. I was so excited to be able to get images of ALL of them! A family tree session typically consists of mini sessions (10-15 photos instead of the usual 20-30) for all the families plus a mini session for the large group shots. In the middle of the shoot John and Julie let me know that we were at the same location that they got married! They then went on to say that their photographer didn’t get any photos of just the two of them on that day. I felt honored to go back to the spot where the wedding family photos were taken and to give them some photos of just the two of them. I found out later they both cried as they looked through the slideshow. I know it is not always fun to get photos taken but what an amazing gift to give your family! It was an awesome experience and it was a beautiful day so the kids had a blast. Thanks for letting me capture your connections R family!

algona family tree

October 22, 2010 in babies, families, kids

I had the pleasure of photographing 3 sweet girls and their parents this past weekend. I traveled to my hometown of Algona, IA to do this shoot as well as a large “family tree” type session (stay tuned for that blog!). These girls were fantastic. They were totally diva-licious. Not in an I-only-want-red-m&m’s-in-my-dressing-room way but in an I’m-gonna-rock-this-shoot sorta way! I had to QUICK take shots of anything that could even be considered a posed shot because one or two shots in the arms would start flaring out and the hands went on the hips and these girls totally rocked the camera. It made for a fabulously fun session. I LOVE the first photo below, B was snuggling her sisters. ADORABLE! Even though Baby P wasn’t so thrilled about her sisters holding her today (diva in-training?), she held her own when she saw the camera coming. Thanks R Family for letting me photograph your beautiful and vivacious family!

Eden Prairie family photographer

Chanhassen family photographer

Wow, I can’t believe fall is upon us already! Around here the weather got so fall-ish last week and then this weekend it was back into the 80’s. I am not complaining, but it did make the N family have to tough it out in sweaters for a bit while we took the pictures. Nevermind that, however, because this family knows how to get their pictures taken. The girls were so natural in front of the camera and they all just fell in to place for each picture. They made my part of the afternoon super easy! Here are a few pictures from the afternoon:


The rest of my fall is completely booked. Thank you to my wonderful clients! Keep checking back to see what else jennifer witt photography is up to in this crazy pre-holiday season!