Tips for Beautiful Fall or Winter Photos | North Oaks, Minnesota Family Photographer

There is a special kind of magic that comes with outdoor, winter photo sessions. The snow lightly falling and icicles hanging from the branches create a lovely backdrop for any photo session. Here are some tips to make your winter or fall photo sessions go smoothly.

  1. Dress warmly. You will be surprised at how often this is overlooked. Since you’ll be standing outside for a long period of time, short sleeves, thin fabrics, and open toe shoes will not be comfortable for very long. Shivering makes it hard to look happy and pose properly. 
  2. Wear sunscreen. Protecting your skin should be a priority throughout the year, not just in summer. Use a good moisturizer to protect your skin from chilly winds.
  3. Watch the weather. Warmer days may seem more pleasant but melting snow can change the entire look of your backdrop. If you are looking for light snow flurries, try and keep an eye on the weather forecast to make sure that you don’t end up with melting or heavy snow. 
  4. Be flexible. If the weather isn’t exactly what you had hoped for, see if you can still make the photo session work. If you are however scheduling this session in advance, you may just have to work with the weather on that particular day. 
  5. Incorporate color. Even though fall and winter have some amazing colors to work with, why not wear a splash of color to really stand out in your photos? For example, vibrant shades of blues and greens look amazing amongst crunchy brown leaves.
  6. Plan your day. Taking your photos just after the sun rises or just before it sets will provide you with amazing lighting so try and plan your session around those times.

Take some hot tea or coffee along to make your photo session even more enjoyable and get ready for some beautiful results.


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

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Tips on Preparing for your Maternity Photo Session | North Oaks, Minnesota Maternity & Newborn Photographer

Bringing a baby into the world is a wonderful life event that should be captured. It’s a time you are going to want to remember and share with your little one once they are a bit older. If you are thinking about or have recently booked a maternity photo session then the below tips should come in handy as your prepare for your session.

1. Schedule your session between 31 and 36 weeks as your tummy should have popped and have a beautiful shape. By booking your maternity session during this time you are also past the discomfort and bloating that happens earlier in the pregnancy.

2. We know how important it is to moisturize those knees, elbows and belly but we recommend you do so 1 – 2 hours before the session to avoid any shininess or sticky clothes. You should also avoid wearing any tight fitting watches or bracelets that might leave marks on your skin.

3. Treat yourself to a neutral or light colored manicure 1 – 2 days prior to your maternity session so that you can take some beautiful shots with your hands on your tummy.

4. If you already have some cute baby items such as shoes, hats, toys, blankets or onesies, bring them along as they make for adorable props. The same applies to family heirlooms. If you have a special locket or photo that you would like to use, bring it along too.

5. More and more moms are using their ultrasound photos in their photo sessions. If you aren’t too sure whether you want to use it or not, bring it to the shoot anyway and decide on the day.

 

6. Take the time to pick the right outfit for the maternity shoot. You should of course be comfortable but make sure that your clothing doesn’t detract from your tummy’s shape and your natural glow. Avoid large, bold patterns or clothing that is too loose. Empire waists, drawstrings, flowing tops and wrap dresses are perfect for enhancing your shape.

6 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Photographer | North Oaks, Minnesota Photographer

How long have you been a photographer?

The longer a photographer has been in business, the more likely it is that it’s not just a hobby for them. I’ve been photographing children and their families since 2009; that’s going on 8 years!

This image was captured at one of my first sessions ever in July 2009

Which types of photography do you specialize in?

It’s uncommon for a photographer to specialize in several different types of photography as they often only specialize in one or sometimes two genres. For example, I specialize in children and families and while I do dabble in newborns and seniors I might not be the best candidate to shoot weddings but I do second shoot weddings so I do have a wonderful photographer who I will refer you to.

mQn Photography specializes in children and families

Do you have many repeat clients?

This is a great litmus test of not only the quality of a photographer’s work but of their customer service too. I pride myself on having so many repeat clients, I also believe many of my clients have become my friends over the years and I feel blessed because of it.

I have been photographing this beautiful family since I moved to Minnesota in 2013. I have actually photographed them 10 times in the last 4 years!

What is your policy on rescheduling a session?

An experienced photographer will definitely have a policy in place when it comes to a customer cancelling or rescheduling a photography session. A photographer with policies indicates that they have experience with different types of customers and situations and have created policies accordingly. I have many policies that I have to be strict on to keep it fair but I am very flexible when it comes to rescheduling or cancelling a session.  I certainly don’t want to go through a session if it’s not the right time for you.

Have you had any experience with (name your specific concern)?

If you have any specific concerns regarding your photo session such as the photographer’s ability to work with a special needs child for example, find out if they have ever handled that type of situation before. Do not dismiss a photographer and their abilities based on their answers to your concerns. If given adequate notice, an experienced photographer should be able to deal with any situation you present them. This is the hallmark of a true pro.

I’m honored to a participating photographer for The Tiny Footprints Project. I photograph babies and their families living in the NICU free of charge. Many times these rooms are dark and we are not allowed to pose or use flash but the images always turn out beautiful. Sometimes these are the only professional images families get of their newborns.

Silent Question:

Use your gut to judge their personality and rapport. A photographer’s main job is to capture emotions and moments. If your photographer doesn’t mesh well with you on the phone or in person, chances are you and your family will not mesh well with them at your session and this will show in your photos.


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

Should You Have a Themed Photo Session | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

You have probably seen many photos that were taken at a themed photo session. Your friends’ kids got their latest pictures taken in matching Western outfits. Your aunt had a movie theme for her wedding pictures. There are countless theme ideas you can use to make your photos interesting, unique, and a reflection of your personality.

If you are considering a themed photo session, answer the following questions discover your ideal theme:

Is this photo session indoors or outdoors? If it’s outdoors you’ll probably want to consider a theme that suits the current weather.

What season is it? If you are looking to use a specific backdrop or seasonal prop, use Mother Nature’s current display as your theme.

Do you love a specific historical era, such as the 50’s? Or a particular TV series like Star Trek? There are so many eras and movies that you can draw inspiration from. Make a list of shows, movies & eras that you and your family love.

Do you have specific hobbies? Perhaps you are an animal lover, a sports fan or have a passion for fashion. Make a list of your interests and your theme might just jump out at you.

Is this a major life event? Use your pregnancy announcement or your wedding as the perfect excuse for a fun photo session.  Is your baby turning one?  Use a setting and props that speak to both you and family’s interests. There is also tons of inspiration on websites such as Pinterest that you can turn to for ideas

Whatever theme you decide to choose, make sure that it speaks to your personalities so that you genuinely enjoy the process. Themed photo sessions are also usually a great way to encourage children to be involved and to get them excited.


Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota who also enjoys putting together fun themed sessions for kids and their families (and friends).  To book your next session with Michele or to inquire about a day of themed mini sessions with your friends e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com or visit mQn Photography | Twin Cities Photographer

Top 5 Tips for Making a Photo Session with Kids Easier | Minnesota Family Photographer

Top 5 Tips for Making a photo session with kids easier

If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Children aren’t always easy to deal with, which is why the below tips will definitely come in handy before your upcoming photo session.

  1. Don’t make a huge deal out of it. If you’re stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter’s hair stay straight instead of curling it because she won’t sit still. Focus on the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff. 

  2. Make it fun. Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins. If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm.

  3. Be prepared. If you’re going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea.  If you happen to be shooting in a remote location, you never know when you might need something like bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.
  4. Be patient. Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Work with your photographer and your photos will look fantastic.

  5. Have a chat. Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.

Michele is a lifestyle portrait photographer in the twin cities area of Minnesota.  She photographs both on location and in studio sessions.  To book your next session with Michele please visit mQn Photography | North Oaks & Minneapolis Family Photographer