Lakeville MN Family Photographer | Holiday Mini Sessions

Holiday Mini Portrait Sessions extended through Christmas!

Good morning, everyone! I'm excited to let you know there's reason to be even more jolly at this time of year! Due to a great response to my holiday mini session event during Christmas at The Gardens, I've decided to extend my two special holiday portrait collections through Christmas!

You're welcome to explore the beautifully decorated grounds of The Gardens of Castle Rock while I create gorgeous photos of your family that you're sure to enjoy for years to come. What would you like to do for your session? Build a snow man? Have a snowball fight, or simply warm up by a roaring fire? Reserve your session today and let me know. Contact 952-232-5830 or info (at)

Anthologie Holiday Mini Portrait Collections

When: by appointment only, through Dec. 25, 2014

Where: The Gardens of Castle Rock, 26601 Chippendale Ave., Northfield, MN

Price: Holiday Cheer Collection $175  |  Seasons Greetings Collection $215

What’s included: The Holiday Cheer Collection features a 20-minute outdoor photography session for up to 5 individuals; online proofing gallery; creative post-processing treatments of your pictures, including black-and-white and color; high-resolution digital files with the copyrights to print your own pictures up to 8×10 inches; and no minimum print order requirements.

The Seasons Greetings Collection includes everything listed above, plus 25 custom greeting cards. These designs are printed double sided in full color on 5×7 matte card stock. See our original post to view the designs. Thanks for viewing!

What you should really ask before hiring a wedding photographer

Long after the cake has been eaten and your bridal bouquet has withered your photographs are one of the few aspects of your wedding day that will last long into the future. It's important you find a trustworthy photographer so that you can remember always the bliss you felt on your wedding day.

You're engaged. You're on an emotional high from the excitement of what's to come. You've just shared the blissful news with all of your friends and social media connections when it hits you: there's a lot of work to do!

Finding the perfect match of venue and vendors for your wedding day is daunting for sure. If you dare ask for advice from your Facebook friends you're certain to be bombarded with personal anecdotes of who's the best (they can't all be right, right?). And when it comes to photography nowadays it seems everyone and their mother is a wedding photographer. I'm not being cynical, just honest. And another truth is there's a lot of talented, professional wedding photographers out there. But, there's also a lot of poor, inexperienced ones, too. So, how can you tell the difference? Unfortunately there's no licensing or master test photographers need to pass to declare themselves "pro" photographers, but you make an educated choice if you simply ask potential photographers these questions below.

1. What type of equipment do they have? It may sound sort of invasive but any wedding photographer worth their salt shouldn't bristle when asked what's in their camera bag. Professional photographers should have at least two camera bodies (you know the nice ones with interchangeable lenses) and a variety of lenses and flashes. Why is this important? For one thing, image quality does sometimes come down to optics. I'll be the first to say the most essential piece of equipment is the photographer's mind and creativity. I think I can do a pretty decent job with an iPhone when it comes to composition of a photograph. That being said, I would never pass on such a photo for commissioned work. If you want quality photographs you can display in your home your wedding photographer better have top-notch camera gear.

2. Do they have back-up camera equipment? On top of everything outlined above back-up cameras and lenses are a must because (gasp!) equipment fails. It's sort of a dirty little secret among wedding photographers that technology isn't perfect, especially when it comes to digital photography. Our pro cameras run on computer software and it's easy for something to go haywire. Lenses stop focusing, flashes get dropped. Plus, there's the never-ending array of technical glitches we've never seen before that usually pop up at the most critical moments of the day. Scared yet? You should be. If your wedding photographer doesn't carry back-up equipment they might be running off to a camera store while they should instead be capturing that precious moment as your mother fastens a set of pearls around your neck that has been worn by every bride in your family for five generations.

3. How experienced are they — really? It can be easy to get up in the energy of someone who's super excited about every detail of your wedding day, but how far will that passion take you when the scenario outlined above comes to fruition? I've been doing photography as my full-time occupation for more than 10 years and I can tell you equipment failures do happen, and probably much more often than you can imagine. It's the photographer's job to make things run as smoothly as possible so that you're none the wiser. When your centerpieces haven't arrived on time and your brother forgot to pick up uncle Bill for the ceremony do you really need to worry about the error code your wedding photographer just received on his viewfinder? I don't think so. A true pro will simply start using her back-up camera and figure out what the heck went wrong while commuting from the church to the reception site. Yes, this really happens.

4. What does a real wedding look like? Many wedding photographers can fool you with an impressive portfolio. Most decent photographers can look spectacular when they're showing you the best 12 images they've ever made. What's worse, many photographers, especially the up-and-comers, set up or even PAY to have style shoots. What's that you say? They recruit make-up artists, hairstylists, décor divas, florists, tailors, you name it to set up a faux wedding simply for beautiful pictures to put in their portfolio. So, when you see a gorgeously adorned rustic table replete with gold-leaf place settings nestled under a willow tree chances are it's not a real wedding. Who seats a full guest list of 8, am I right? Pictures like these are fine and they can show the photographer's artistic talents. However, it's not a real wedding. You should ask to see examples of what the photographer's full day of photography looks like. You might discover she's really great at those table-setting photos, but terrible when it comes to posing the photos of you with your family. Figure out what's most important to you and find the photographer who fits those needs.

5. Are they insured? Professional photographers treat their work as a business, and protect it as such. Don't be afraid to ask potential wedding photographers if they carry equipment and liability insurance. If your photographer is caught up in the moment, backs up into a lighting truss and sends it tumbling down on the children carousing around on the dance floor you don't want to be held accountable, do you?

6. Who owns the pictures after the wedding? This is a big one, and often controversial. Pro photographers know that the pictures made from your wedding day are in fact their own intellectual property. Ask your photographer if your wedding photography package includes the rights to print photos on your own. You may be able to negotiate printing photos on your own at a certain size, but in the end the photographer technically owns the images. A photographer who hands off the pictures to you — no questions asked — is most likely a weekend warrior, or a full-timer soon to go out of business. Photography is an art and what you're paying for is the skill of the artist, the years of experience that went into creating the wedding day photos of your dreams, not the actual time it took to press the shutter release on the camera.

7. What does their dream wedding day look like? That's right, the photographer. It sounds like sort of a funny question, but this is a quick and easy way to determine if you and a potential photographer are on the same page. You may realize you have a completely different vision and expectation for what the experience and finished product may look like. It may be that the photographer doesn't really like to do candid photos, or they want to do everything outdoors because they're not really comfortable using artificial lighting in a church. Conversely, you may discover they put a huge emphasis on family groupings and that's the most important to you, too.

Do you have great or insightful questions you've asked a wedding photographer? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks for viewing!

Is the wedding dance important to you? If so, just think how upset you'd be if the photographer left before this talented groom serenaded his bride on the dance floor. Be sure your expectations and those of the photographer are a match. Photo by Dan Iverson/

Lakeville MN Documentary Photographer: Little Adventure Photos

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50 little adventures all children should experience before they grow up

Do you remember dancing in the rain, building forts in the woods, swimming with your clothes on or catching snowflakes on your tongue with your best friend? Do you remember waking up and running to your best friend’s house to discuss what you want to do that day ... almost like checking items off your childhood bucket list? Our childhood memories may fade as we get older, but they never leave us! When reflecting on these memories it often brings a smile to our face and a wistful feeling in our hearts.

Click here to view our list

Now you can remember these simple joys always with Anthologie’s Childhood Bucket List photography collections. These collections are created to chronicle a year in the life of your little ones at a fantastic value.

So, how does it work? Simple. We want to capture all of the simple joys of childhood for you and your family. We've even made this handy list (at right) that you can use as inspiration. Think about 4 times of the year you'd love to have professional photos of your kids, and (gasp!) not have to worry about taking the photos yourself.

That right. Finally, you, the busy parent trying to wield a camera while feeding a newborn and disciplining a toddler with boundless energy can finally be in the pictures, too! We specialize in letting you naturally interact with a fun activity while we create stunning pictures of those meaningful moments together.

That’s it! We’ll do the work while you have the fun! Call us today at 952-232-5830 and simply let us know what four little adventures you’d like to capture over the next year so you can always remember this special time for your family.

Included in  your Childhood Bucket List Photography Collection:

• (4) 1-hour documentary style photography sessions on location • A creative post processing of all of your best pictures • Password-protected proofing website for photo sharing and convenient online ordering • 5x7 copyright release to all photos from the year

Session: $175 each

Elko New Market Photographer | Springtime Giveaway

Share your favorite photo for a chance to win $150 to spend at Anthologie today 

Don't be fooled by today's date — we're doling out big prizes on Anthologie's Facebook page this week.

Our website officially went live on April 1, 2009, and each year we like to do something special for you, our fans, for all of the support and generosity you've shown us in another successful year. This year, we have a special giveaway just for our Facebook fans! Not a fan yet? Don't worry. There's still time to join in on the fun by liking Anthologie on Facebook right now! Plus, there's two different ways you can win.

How to enter:

1. Before April 8, upload your favorite photo made for you by Anthologie as your new Facebook profile page cover photo

2. Comment on your photo and "tag" Anthologie's Facebook page in your comments

3. Email us info(at) or direct message us on Facebook to let us know it's complete

4. That's it!

You'll automatically be entered to win $150 to spend on an Anthologie photo session or credit in our boutique to purchase prints, canvases, wall portraits and even books!

Remember, the Facebook cover photo is big — 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall — so the photos will show up best on your page if you use the ones that are saved in your "print" folder from Anthologie. Feel free to contact us if you're totally lost and need some technical help.

Two ways to win

But what if I haven't worked with Anthologie before?

Those who become Anthologie Facebook fans before April 8 will automatically be entered to win a $50 to spend with us on your first session. And, existing fans that simply share our giveaway post on their own pages will also be entered to win the $50 prize! Winners will be announced on our Facebook page April 9.

What are you waiting for? Start showing us your favorite photos today!

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Northfield, MN Engagement Photographer | Rachel and Philip

You have to hand it to Rachel and Philip — they're definitely troopers. I was somewhat surprised to see the couple dressed in such formal attire when they arrived for their engagement photo session in Northfield, MN back in March - especially since it was quite chilly (it's difficult to tell in the pictures) and Rachel was in a sleeveless dress.

Despite photographing outdoors for nearly three hours with no breaks from the blustery Minnesota air, Rachel and Philip had no complaints for me — part of that may be that they had each other to snuggle up with and keep each other warm.

It turns out the couple's attire served a more meaningful purpose then just having fun with their engagement pictures. Rachel and Philip were hoping to help set the tone for their September wedding at The Grand Event Center in Northfield. With a live band and an evening of dancing on the agenda, they wanted to let their guests know their wedding would be a formal affair. They ended up using some of the images we created for a cool save-the-date card.

In fact, we ended up using The Grand as the backdrop to many of the photos. The locations served a dual purpose as Northfield is Rachel's hometown, and since moving out of state, the photos will always remind her of where she grew up. And though Rachel spent years hanging out in the city's charming downtown, I'm proud to say I still found some vignette's for photos that the couple had never seen before.

I, too, know the downtown area well as I worked as a news photographer in Northfield for four years before opening Anthologie in Bridge Square in 2009. It makes the idea of photographing the couple's Northfield wedding even more exciting. But most importantly, Rachel and Philip have the perfect combination of being easygoing and adventurous that are certain to make for some more stunning images coming soon. I can't wait to see what we come up with on their wedding day!

If you like what you're viewing, please comment, like or share using the handy tools at the foot of this post. And to see even more photos from this engagement session, visit Anthologie's Facbook page.

Contact us to reserve your own engagement photo session and start sharing your own story today!