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

How to Find the Perfect Photo Shoot Location | North Oaks, Minnesota Child & Family Photographer

How to Find the Perfect Photo Shoot Location

Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn’t have to be difficult. A location usually drives some of the other decisions you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a location:

  1. What kind of theme do I want? If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. If you don’t know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It’s easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or me for ideas too.

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  1. Are you allowed to take pictures there? Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it’s not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first.

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  1. Is it accessible? Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look neat but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way.

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  1. How do you get to your location? Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it.

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  1. Will the photo session be in a public place? If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others. If not, you might want to rethink your choice in location

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Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot.

For more information on locations for your session with mQn Photography.  Inquire about my Location Guide!

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Michele is a lifestyle photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota where she photographs children and their families on location.  She also serves the twin cities of Minnesota in her studio in Northeast Minneapolis.  To book your next session with Michele please e-mail her at michele@mqnphotography.com or visit her contact us page at mQn Photography | Twin Cities Photographer

 

Generations | North Oaks, Minnesota Client Magazine Winter 2016-17 Edition

The winter edition of our client magazine, Generations, has been published. Click the magazine to read the full thing.  This is a great place to start if you are considering a photo session this winter with mQn Photography.

This month I’m participating in a blog circle with a few photographer friends from all over the globe!  At the end of this post, be sure to click my friend Johanna’s link to follow the circle around.  Johanna is from Berkshire over in the U.K.   You’ll get a glimpse of a newborn baby boy on her blog; I wonder if there is any royalty in his blood?

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I’m now booking winter (and Spring) sessions for 2017.  If you’re interested in a session head over to the investment page on my website which shows sessions and pricing.  Be sure to contact me as soon as possible, as I only take a limited number of sessions per month.  I would love to talk with you!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to follow the blog circle around to Johanna’s post here: Newborn and Family Photography Reading, Berkshire

There are four of us in the circle this month, I hope you enjoy traveling along from Minnesota to the UK, back over to Denver and then down under to Australia.


Michele is a lifestyle photographer in North Oaks, Minnesota.  She schedules clients sessions all year long.  If you’d like to schedule your next session with Michele please e-mail michele@mqnphotography.com or visit www.mqnphotography.com to view more of her work.