Minneapolis baby photographer | Linnea Turns One

photocrati gallery A whole new definition of "time flies ..."

As a parent myself, I know how important it is to capture each little change in your child's early development. It seems one day they're smiling with a big gummy grin, and the next they're boasting molars and speaking in sentences. I try to take this into account whenever I'm working with clients documenting the first year in their child's life. When baby Linnea's first birthday came around her parents knew they wanted to remember all the little faces she was making at the time.

Since we had had the opportunity to work on more documentary style photos in the months past, including a visit to Linnea's neighborhood park and a pumpkin patch, we all decided doing some more traditional portraiture might be a nice change of pace. I suggested we keep things as simple as possible, right down to Linnea's white dress and a white background so that the pictures would focus more on each little expression she makes. We also chose to have a few of her favorite toys along to help remind mom and dad later of just who Linnea was as she marked her first year.

What's crazy is how some times we don't even notices the subtle changes to our little ones when they're right in front of us. It can take slowing down and seeing these slices of time — mere fractions of a second — to realize a family resemblance or a personality trait that's been passed down from one generation to the next.

These photos represent a departure from what you're used to seeing with Anthologie. I'd love to know what you think, so please comment or share using the handy links below. Thank you so much for viewing!

Related: See pictures from Lisa's maternity session, just days before Linnea arrived to this world.

Do you know someone expecting a baby? Anthologie specializes in documenting the first year through photojournalism and archival books. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you to remember this amazing time always!

Elko New Market, MN newborn photographer | Maeva

One Month: Part Two in a Four-Part Series

A lot of times people ask what they can expect from a newborn photo session with Anthologie. Or better yet, they wonder how creating photo sessions on a monthly basis with the same child can yield photos compelling enough to merit doing them with such frequency. Some of my favorite clients have answered these questions time and time again.

As for what to expect, we work on building a relationship with you so that you're most comfortable simply being a family. Sure, we talk about different ideas for your session, but it's more about how your child is developing and showcasing those special changes in her personality rather than where the session will take place.

For a one-month-old like Maeva, that can be a challenge. There's only so much such an infant is interesting in doing other than eating, sleeping and exploring the world with her eyes. At this stage of development I like to work in the family's home. It's nice to have a record of where you were living at this important time, plus, it makes the whole family feel more at ease. There's plenty of time for a baby like Maeva to simply bond with her mom and dad.

Maeva also has her big sister, Stella, around to keep her entertained. This is been the most noticeable shift since working the first time around to document the first year of Stella's life. Now, when I work with the family to see and preserve what's new with Maeva each month, I also have an energetic toddler adding to the family dynamic.

This works perfectly, though, with our approach to family photography. Since Anthologie doesn't focus on bringing props a session, or what set-up poses to work through, we're free to simply let the family interact and create a lasting memory that, hopefully, tells more about who the family was at a given time rather than just what they looked like.

These are some of my absolute favorite pictures from Maeva's one-month photo session. I think you can tell just how honest these moments are between mom and dad and their babies.

I don't know what a photo session would be like with this family without Stella hamming it up for the camera just a little bit! Frequenters of our homepage may notice a similar image of Stella when she was 12 months old and making her parents laugh tears of joy. It's featured on our "relax" tab.

If you'd like to create some wonderful memories for your family and get stunning photos in the process, contact us today to reserve your photo session, and start telling your own story today.

Elko New Market, MN Newborn Photographer | Maeva

Welcome to the world, Meava: Part One in a Four-Part Series

I was enjoying my day off, staining my deck 10 feet up in the air on a ladder when my phone rang. On the other end a familiar voice responded to my hello. It was one of my favorite clients, whose family I've closely worked with for more than four years. In a very calm and collected tone she said: "We just had the baby. Can you come up to the hospital right away? We'd like to get some photos of Stella seeing her for the first time."

After getting over my initial shock of just how nonchalant Cari was about the whole scenario (after all, she had just given birth), I excitedly said I'd be there as soon as I could and proceeded to get down on the ground and get my paint brushes in water. I don't think I had time to change clothes before I jumped in the car and rushed up to beat two-year-old Stella who was en route to meet her baby sister.

As a former news photographer, I was eager to start photographing. Opportunities such as the one I then just been presented with don't happen often. In my newspaper days I'd do what so many photographers do and compare my work to others in the industry. I'd see stunning work from other shooters and think to myself: "I could do something like that if I only had the time." Some of my most favorite work comes from long-term projects and when working in a small market, enterprising projects you'd like to do for yourself often get trumped by annual used book sales and the prized russet potato someone harvested that bore a striking resemblance to Abraham Lincoln (OK, in fairness, there really were some well-done, hard news stories, too).

One of my biggest takeaways from newspapers was what I deemed the three Ps of photojournalism: prepare, prepare and prepare. When you ethically cannot recreate a moment, the only thing you can do is do as much homework as you can to ensure you're in the right place at the right time so you can capture the essence of a story as it actually happens. So, with being invited to a birth, this means developing a trusting relationship with the family well in advance of when you're needed to actually to photograph the life-changing event.

All of this actually only added to my anxiety as I approached the hospital. I've photographed the events surrounding births before (I'm not much interested in photographing the live birth itself), but when you're given such an opportunity you don't want to screw it up. I also had a brand new camera in tow that I hadn't yet had a chance to put through its paces, so that had me sweating, too.

I barely arrived in time to congratulate Cari and her husband, Eric, before Stella hurriedly walked into the room with a gift. I put the camera up to my eye and ...

... was able to get this photo of Stella as she turned to see the newest member of her family.

... 2.5 seconds later ...

... and finally, as she got to see her then-unnamed sister up close.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur as I worked to capture these moments while being respectful of how significant this time was for the family — and figure out the technical aspects of my new camera in the process.

I was, and am, so grateful to Cari, Eric and Stella for allowing me to be on hand for such personal moments.

There are so many more pictures I am proud of from this day, but I want to save many of these moments for the family to enjoy by themselves.

After a day in the hospital, Cari and Eric called to let me know they had decided on a name for their little girl: Maeva. More of her pictures and story will be coming soon.

Contact us today if you'd like to document your own special life story.

Related: Click here to view photos of the cake party when Cari and Eric learned they would be welcoming their second daughter to the world.

Minneapolis Maternity Photographer | Jason and Lisa

A wintry (mostly) maternity session

As much of Minnesota enjoys record highs today, it seemed like a perfect time to look back at one of my favorite winter photo sessions from this year. I like to photograph outdoors in all seasons. It's fun to get out and work in all sorts of environments, even when it's freezing cold outside. It just so happened that the 2011-2012 winter here was pretty darn mild, though. So much, in fact, that Jason's and Lisa's maternity photo session ended up happening very close to the birth of their daughter. The reason? They wanted snow.

I like to schedule maternity photo sessions at about 35 weeks. That way, the mama has the curvy belly she likes for dramatic compositions, without the session being so close to the due date that we all end up in the delivery room.

With Lisa estimating her delivery to be in late-January or early-February, we decided to play on the winter theme. With five weeks out, we figured there would be plenty of snow on the ground and frigid temperatures to boot. We were wrong.

Instead, Minnesota was covered in a brown, desolate landscape due to the sissy winter we were having. Finally, as Lisa approached 38 weeks, the snow finally fell - hurray! Jason, Lisa and I made plans to immediately get together for their outdoor maternity session.

We chose the trails and bandshell surrounding Lake Harriet near the couple's new Minneapolis home. Despite the (finally) dipping mercury and our numb fingers we were able to create some beautiful images.

You can see just how much Jason and Lisa love their little baby girl even before she was born. I loved the pictures so much that I decided this blog post needed a classic layout. I think the images were too timeless to squeeze into a modern, magazine-type layout. But I want to know what you think.

Let me know what works, what doesn't work, what you like and what could be improved upon with these maternity pictures. Feel free to comment below. And if you like what you see here, please use those cute little sharing icons at the foot of this post (You know, where you see the neon-green "+" sign and the word "MORE.") That would be awesome. Thanks for viewing!

New Market, MN Family Photographer | cake reveal celebration

A baby sister: How Sweet it is

Cari came before the crowd of friends and family gathered in her home and made her way to the kitchen counter. Only a layer of bright-red fondant separated her from her future. Cari, her husband, Eric; daughter, Stella; and the rest of the giddy audience were about to find out if that adorable bump on Cari's belly was sheltering a baby boy or girl. The news was just the frosting on the cake.

This New Market, MN family is part of a growing trend of couples hosting gender reveal parties to add to the exhilaration for parents-to-be that are too excited to find out the sex of their child in the delivery room. To do so, couples have an ultrasound tech simply jot down "boy" or "girl" on a note and place it in a sealed envelope. The results are then passed on to a baker that creates a confection with layers of either blue or pink frosting to indicate boy or girl, respectively.

The contents of the cake are then shrouded in layer of decorative icing so that the mama and papa can cut into the cake and simultaneously discover their sweet, sweet news with all those in attendance. The event makes for an emotional display, and just the sort of true life I love to capture with my camera.

Through a conversational poll of those gathered, it seemed most believed two-year-old Stella would soon be welcoming a baby brother to her home. But as Cari passed her knife through the layers of marble cake and frosting, everyone soon learned Stella will be passing down her wardrobe, doll collection, and almost certainly, her spunky personality. A baby girl is expected in May. Thanks to Eric, Cari and Stella for allowing me to document this special day for their family!