How to Pick the Perfect Professional Photographer | Twin Cities Minnesota Photographer

What you need to consider before you pay that photography deposit.

If you’ve started the search for a photographer then you’ll know just how many options there are. Before you go ahead and book a professional photographer for a shoot though, there are a couple important things to consider.

What style are you looking for?

Photographers have different styles so you need to decide on someone who can help you achieve the end result you are looking for. This applies to everything from wedding and maternity shoots to family and corporate shoots. Ask the photographer for some examples of their latest work to evaluate whether they can cater to your needs.

Research and review.

Before you invest in a professional photographer you need to do your homework. Get online to find a few customer reviews, browse around their website to view their latest work and have a look around their social media pages to find out what others are saying about them. These platforms will also give you a good idea of their personality and style. Some other important points to consider when researching photographers are:

  1. Do their services fall within your price range?
  2. Are they experienced enough to give you the results you are looking for?
  3. Are they based in your area and are they willing to travel to a specific location if need be?
  4. Is the quality of their photos good enough? Look at aspects such as sharpness, exposure and saturation.

Create a short list.

Once you have done your research, create a short list of professional photographers that stand out for you. Get in touch with each of them to discuss your needs and to ask any questions that you might have. If you are searching for a wedding photographer it’s important that you chat with the photographer over the phone if not in person as this is the best way to get to know them and find out whether you’ll be able to work with them. Feeling uncomfortable or stressed out around your photographer makes for bad photos.

It’s important that you pick a photographer that you have confidence in. Your photos are there to last you a lifetime so while there is nothing wrong with helping out your photographer friend who has just started out, it’s best to choose an experienced photographer for important events and occasions that you can’t relive.


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She photographs children and their families on location and in her studio located in the northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis.  To schedule your next session with Michele e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com or visit mQn Photography | North Oaks, Minnesota Photographer

Choosing the Right Camera for Your Child | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer


Before I get started I want to mention that this blog post has been edited to be included in a a blog circle.  At the end of this post click the link to see a beautiful Alabama wedding!


If your child has recently started showing an interest in photography and you are thinking about buying them their first camera, there are a few things you need to consider. As a parent you probably know that a kid’s interests can change tomorrow, next week or even next year but the good news is that you can still support their new hobby without breaking the bank.

Here are my top 7 tips for choosing a camera for your kid.

  1. Choose a camera that will enable your child to learn the basics quite quickly. Make sure that the controls and buttons are manageable and that the size of the camera is suited to the size of their hands. The menus should also be logical, easy to read and have intuitive icons that are easy to understand.

We have an OLYMPUS Underwater DIGITAL CAMERA that the kids love to use.

  1. Children love to experiment and tend to learn faster when they can do so. An entry-level DSLR camera will allow them to adjust exposure settings such as ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Interchangeable lenses are also a great learning tool but definitely not essential as a beginner.

  1. When deciding on a camera for your child, take a look at the screen. It should be large, bright and have great color reproduction. It should also be easy to use both indoors and outdoors as there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to see your images clearly on the screen due to bright sunlight.

  1. Ensure that the sensor resolution is good enough and meets your specific requirements, especially if you want to print larger size images. In most cases a 10-14 mega pixel camera is a sufficient for an entry level photographer.

And if you don’t want to go digital you can always go film (you can usually find an SLR cheaper than a DSLR)

  1. As a first time photographer, your child will want to keep practicing so it’s important that you are able to extend the camera’s memory using a SD/SDHC memory card.

  1. Next come the accessories. Your child will want to download their images from the camera onto a computer for editing so a USB cable will be an essential accessory (most camera’s should come with one).

If you aren’t sure that a brand new camera is the best route to go as your child pursues their interest in photography you can also look at buying a secondhand camera instead. Ask around because many photographers may be willing to sell an older model camera. Be sure to find out about all the camera’s features and any extras that it might come with before making the purchase to ensure that it meets your specific requirements.

As promised I want to introduce you to Hillary Gamble  Visit her site to see the most beautiful Alabama Wedding: Wedding Photographers in Alabama | Rucker Place Weddings and then follow around the circle to see what photographers in Atlanta and North Carolina are up to as well.


Michele is a lifestyle photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota; she has a studio located in the northeast neighborhoods of Minneapolis so she can offer both on-location and in studio sessions.  To book your next session with Michele please visit mQn Photography | Twin Cities, Minnesota Photographer  or e-mail Michele at michele@mqnphotography.com

Top Tips for a Sensational Senior Photo Session | Moundsview School District Senior Photographer

It’s completely normal to feel a little awkward when taking senior portraits. Many seniors tend to feel self-conscious about their appearance because they feel uncomfortable taking photos on their own.

Below are our top five tips for taking on your senior portrait with grace and confidence and leaving with photos that you will love for years to come.

Use your eyes.

Use your eyes to express emotion. When you smile naturally your whole face lights up and your eyes look bright and awake. Before the photo session practice smiling in the mirror and use different expressions to see what looks best.

Relax.

Great photos happen when the subject is relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of you photo session show through the lens as you take a moment and breathe, relax and just have fun. You may feel silly during this process but I will do everything we can to help you feel more comfortable.

Breathe.

This may sound obvious but breathing is key to capturing a natural look. Take time to  practice taking a deep breath while smiling in front of the mirror.  Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. Allow your eyes to “smile” by focusing on the apples of your cheeks pressing upwards. When in doubt, just breathe.

Move.

Staying stationary can sometimes produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are sitting or standing still doesn’t mean you can’t change the angle of your body to create a look that is fresh and inspired. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shift your weight from left to right, or simply move your chin slightly up and down for different shots as this gives us a variety of facial expressions to work with.

Beautify.

This goes for everyone. Ladies, spend some extra time getting your hair blown out, get your makeup done and choose an outfit that makes you look and feel your best. As for the men, take a shower and shave. When you look your best, you feel your best and when you feel your best, you are naturally more confident. Go the extra mile to walk into your senior session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.


Michele is a lifestyle photographer in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.  She specializes in children and their families but takes on the occasional seniors in the Mounds View school district.  To schedule your next session with Michele email michele@mqnphotography.com or visit mQn Photography | North Oaks, Minnesota

Mommy and Me in the Studio | Northeast Minneapolis Studio Photographer

Had a fun and highly energetic session at the studio the other day.  The last time I photographed these beauties was when the youngest was newly born and now she’s 3! Seriously how does that happen?  Not only do my kids grow faster than I ever imagined but so do other peoples.  Anyway I was so happy to get the chance to photograph them again because these girls are so much fun!  And the oldest has grown into such a fine young lady and she’s only 6.  Anyway I could go on and on but let me show you some sneak peeks, I’ll be posting more favorites up on Facebook once I complete the session. Enjoy!

To schedule your Mommy and Me session in the studio please visit mQn Photography | Northeast Minneapolis Studio Photographer


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She photographs children and their families either on location or in her studio in Northeast Minneapolis.  To book your next session with Michele please e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com or visit mQn Photography | North Oaks, Minnesota Photographer

Posing and Your Newborn Session | North Oaks, Minnesota Newborn Photographer

Posing is one of the most critical aspects of newborn photography.  Posing an infant requires extra care and handling. I know that your baby’s neck and body are not fully developed. Your precious baby’s comfort and security are first and foremost, so I will be very patient and dedicate enough time to capture images based on your baby’s mood. Whether an in home lifestyle, studio or fresh 48; I take every precaution to ensure a very comfortable setting, both for the parents and newborn.

With twins or multiple newborns, I take many of the same measures with the exception of adding more time to the session. It can be challenging enough to get one baby to cooperate, and with two it does require extra posing and handling. It helps if you have an extra set of hands to accompany you on the photo shoot when multiple babies are present.

Ultimately these are your most lasting images to preserve the moments in time that can never be replaced. These timeless images will become a family treasure and one that your child will also love to see when he or she becomes an adult.

Life is all about special moments. What more important moment can you think of than the birth of the very life that you created? We look forward to being part of your family’s important newborn photo session as your professional photographer.


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota where she works on location.  She also has a studio in the northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis.  If you would like to schedule a session with Michele please visit: mQn Photography | Minnesota Newborn Photographer or e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com