Playful Prop Ideas for Your Next Family Photo Session | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

If you’re not too keen on the idea of a traditional, posed family photoshoot, adding props into the mix adds an element of fun to the shoot. Props allow you to be playful during the photoshoot as the photographer captures genuine moments between you and your loved ones.

Below are some prop ideas for your next family photo session.

  • Get your noses in some books. Love reading? Have each of your family members bring along their favorite book that can be incorporated into some of the shots. Lay on a blanket reading or have each one of your family members peep over the edge of their book. 
  • Use the holidays. Christmas is a great time for your next photoshoot and there are so many options when it comes to choosing props. Have each family member wear a Christmas hat or wrap yourselves in Christmas lights for a warm and bright effect. 
  • Bring out the chalkboards. Write a date or message on chalkboards of various sizes to incorporate something personalized into the shoot.
  • Get cozy. If your children are still quite young, bring a few blankets along so that you can cuddle together as a family, share a few laughs and get some great pictures. 
  • Print out props. If you want to add some fun to the shoot and get your kids laughing, why not print out a few props such as mustaches, glasses, speech bubbles and hats that you can glue onto wooden sticks and use in the shoot. There are tons of free printables online so it’s a very affordable option too. 
  • Frame your faces. Get a few frames of different sizes and colors together that can be used to pose for your next family shoot. 
  • Keep it natural. If your family photos will be shot outdoors, remember that nature gives you so much to work with. Flowers, trees, grass and water all make for beautiful backdrops and add something extra special to your photos. 

Remember to always have fun at your photo session so your photographer can really capture the spirit of your family.


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

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How to Build a Beautiful Photo Gallery Wall | North Oaks, Minnesota Family Photographer

Even though we store all of our photos digitally, nothing quite beats displaying beautiful photos of your family and friends around your home. A gallery wall can be a great focal point in your home but in order to get the perfect end result, your photo wall will need some planning.

Choosing Your Wall

The wall that you see when you first walk into a room is often the perfect spot for a photo wall if you’re looking to make it the main focus of the room. If you would prefer a more subtle option then look for an area that doesn’t have any décor or a space where regular artwork might not work, such as the area next to a stairway or the narrow part of a wall that divides two rooms.

Choosing a Layout

There are countless photo wall layouts that you can use to build your gallery.  Pinterest offer tons of inspiration. The best thing to do once you have your heart set on a specific layout is to cut out the shapes of your frames and use masking tape to create a mock layout on your wall. You might find that you need to switch a few of the frames around or relook at the design completely.

Choosing Your Frames & Photos

Most designers would suggest that neutral colors work the best when designing your photo gallery but sometimes adding a pop of color in-between the frames also looks amazing. You might prefer to choose frames in one color then opt for different sizes and styles to change things up a bit. Placing an antique frame in-between your more modern frames gives the wall a unique touch. If you decide to use different colors and styles of frames then try printing your photos in black and white. Remember, your photos should always be the focal point.

A photo gallery in your home is a great alternative to traditional décor and wall art so take the time to make it special.


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

On the Trail with the Arnold’s Sneak Peeks | North Oaks, Minnesota Family Photographer

With cloudy skies on this day we had to race through our session to keep any remaining light we had.  The trails can get dark fast especially when there really is no sun shinning.  But we made it work and this family is full of pros.  We were lucky that the trails still had leaves and many were still changing.  Usually this time of year we lose a bunch of leaves by now.  But the color was lovely making our session perfect.  Cannot wait to go through all the images but until then, enjoy this little sneak peek . . .


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

Mini Sessions Explained | North Oaks, Minnesota Family Photographer

Mini sessions are a scaled down version of my regular photo sessions.  They last approx. 15-20 minutes and do not include outfit changes.  Around this time a year I get a lot of requests for family mini sessions.  I do not offer these for fall foliage sessions.  Believe it or not mini sessions take me the same amount of time to process than a full session and fall is just too busy of a time to fit them in the schedule.

I do offer mini sessions year round for 1-2 children ONLY on location.  This mean no adults.  This is a kid only session and only focused on the child or siblings.

Family sessions in the STUDIO can also be booked year round.  These make great heirloom portraits.

Snow Sessions.  Enough said, right there.  It’s too cold to stay out any longer.

Themed sessions.  These are the fun sessions like Halloween, back to school or lemonade stands.  These are great 30 minute play date specials and will be announced on facebook or instagram if they are taking place.

The exception to the above rules is when I host a day of mini sessions.  These discounted mini sessions are set-up by you.  We pick a day and a place that works and you invite your friends.  There is a non-refundable fee for booking but this is the time to get discounted mini sessions for the whole family.  I do these once or twice a year with a Matilda Jane Trunk Keeper.  She invites her clients and I photograph children, seniors, families and we do what we can in 20 minutes.  If you have a few friends that would be interested in something like this let me know and we can set up a day.

If you’d like to be notified when sign ups begin for any upcoming mini session event, please let me know and I will add you to my waitlist.

And just added is this year’s last minute holiday sessions!  Sessions will be held in the studio on November 5th & 12th 2017.   Backdrops will include fall and Christmas styled as well as heirloom (think grey and white walls only)  These are being scheduled now and times are still available.  If you are interested e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com


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

Hill Farm Fun Family Sneak Peeks | North Oaks, Minnesota Family Photographer

You would never guess by looking at these images that just 2 hours before, it was storming!  I thought we were going to have to call it a re-schedule or at the very least a very gloomy session.  But by the time we met up the skies cleared and the ground was only a bit wet.

These twins had me on my toes the whole session.  I think 3, well ok & 2 year old’s too, are the hardest to photograph.  They don’t necessarily want to pose they want to keep busy and play.  Which is what I love about lifestyle sessions, they get to do that.  It’s definitely all about the family bonds and that’s ok because they are only this little once.  Enjoy their enthusiasm!


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