These adorable kids and their equally adorable parents were the fortunate recipients of a photo session gifted to them by a bunch of their closest friends. Initially, we tried to make it a surprise after a conversation with mom and a mutual friend revealed that they had never had a family portrait taken. However, coordinating schedules proved to be too big of a challenge to pull off a surprise, so we had to let them in on it. (Probably a good thing, too… it gave mom and dad some time to coach the little ones on how to practice their pretty smiles!)

So we met up at their home one HOT and buggy Friday night to capture some sweet and precious moments of them as a family. They were all troopers!

I’m seriously in love with these little faces. They were so cute and so silly, and I can only hope that they love how beautiful their family photos have turned out.

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This family came to me by way of referral from a friend. I do actually know mom – but she didn’t know that I’m a photographer. She wanted to hire a photographer to do her family photos because last year she attempted to corral the family for photos herself and decided that this year she’d bring in hired help. I’m grateful my friend Tami suggested she contact me – I was able to come in and direct the group, leaving mom to relax and the rest of the family to have to listen to me instead. She had a very specific vision for this session, with wanting to incorporate the college sweatshirts into the session. They are a sports family, and this is their thing. Those who know me know bold and bright isn’t me – but these worked SO WELL that I think I may just be coming around and embracing bright colors.

We spent a windy (and cold!) October afternoon around their hobby farm, walking through the woods, and taking photos. I think the boys may have been a teeny tiny bit reluctant, but I think I coaxed a few natural smiles out of them. It really was the perfect setting – the family nice and cozy in their college fleece with the autumn leaves and vivid October sun providing a backdrop for the session. I, of course, in my black leggings, was covered in all sorts of burs and sticky forest vegetation – but it was definitely worth it to get these shots.

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While I was mostly there to capture them as a family, can I just say that the photos I took of mom and dad alone are my FAVORITES from the session!

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Thanks K family for a great session! I know we were all pretty chilly at the end of the afternoon, but I think we captured some great family moments together. Thanks so much for trusting me to capture your family and your love!

Let me explain that title a little bit! After spending some time with these kids during their mini session, they started to actually like me! Shortly after the session, mom and I spent a weekend together scrapbooking photos of our precious cuties. Well, it turns out, my car decided to fail me when it was time to return home, and dad had to come and pick us up from the car dealership to which my car was towed. When I got in their car, these two little cuties argued about who got to sit by me and even invited me to a little sleepover at their house! I have never felt so loved!!!

At any rate, this is the second time I’ve photographed these two little ones. Two years ago, when I did a portfolio call, I photographed the two of them in their backyard, being cute kids. (Some day I will go back and blog some of those sessions from the archives!)

We had so much fun being silly this day. For a brother and sister, they got along strangely well – hugging and holding hands even if I didn’t necessarily ask them to. And certainly no one saying “Ewww!” In other words, these kids were a dream to work with. Except for maybe one teeny tiny little meltdown at the very end… but when working with 3 year olds, you gotta expect it. Otherwise, they were perfect. I even convinced mom and dad to join in on a few pictures.

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Seriously cute stuff happening here. I can’t wait until I can photograph them again.

Stephanie and I go way back, nearly all the way to high school. She’s a dear friend to me, and a loyal client. I’ve been photographing her daughter since she was a month old. When I announced my mini sessions, Stephanie was the first to sign up. Her children are fun, energetic, and lively. They are also great subjects in front of the camera.

What more can I saw about how incredible this session was. The kids were so much fun to be around, and so enthusiastic! I’m so very happy with how this session turned out. As usual, mom did a great job coordinating outfits for everyone. And can I let you in on a secret? I LOVE ripped jeans. I’m not into fancy, formal, perfect stuff. The fact that big sis wore flip flops for the session? Perfection.

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I featured a session with these kiddos last year on this blog. You can see them here:

https://winkelmanphoto.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/the-a-family-central-minnesota-family-photographer/

Look how much they have changed and grown over the last year. Such sweet kids. I look forward to next year’s session.

I recently offered a day of mini sessions for my clients – a shorter session, a smaller gallery, and for me, a whole bunch of sessions at a single location in one day. Win, win. And then they showed up in this amazingly coordinated wardrobe, full of texture and contrast – it was like a bonus win for me.

In addition to photos of the family as a whole, mom requested photos of the girls as well as some fun shots of her and her husband. Like engagement photos, just for people who have been married awhile. I accomplished all three goals in our short half hour together, and am so happy with the results I got. Everyone was happy and cooperative. (Though I think the girls were snickering a bit when mom and dad had to kiss for the camera.) I have picked a few favorites to share with you all here.

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Technically, I’ve repeated the mom-and-dad-kissing photo in this third set, but it works SO WELL with this series, I just had to. Plus, I love how dramatic these photos are when done in black and white.

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I am so happy with how easily this session came together and how wonderful the results were. Thanks so much for trusting me to capture this fun day with your family!

As 2011 winds to a close, I reflect back on how grateful I am for all my wonderful clients this past year. I’m taking this time, now that the crazy fall and holiday season has passed to finally get caught up on my blog posts, and I am so grateful that everyone has been so very patient with me! Losing my computer to a hardware issue smack dab in the middle of my busiest streak was an unfortunate setback this year, and I spent long hours getting caught up once I had a new computer in hand. Unfortunately, blogging came last on the list of things to do, and so I’m attempting to catch up now! This session is the first in a big series of blog posts you’ll see over the coming week or so.

This gorgeous family came to me by way of referral from a dear friend of mine. (I love referrals!) We set out to meet at a local park for an afternoon of family-style fun. The sun was gorgeous that day, and the weather was unseasonably warm for October in Minnesota! We captured a lot of fun stuff with the family, with the kids, and with mom and dad – even convincing them all to discard their shoes and wade into the chilly waters of the Mississippi River.

I had a great time, and am so pleased with how this session turned out. I am especially fond of the sunflare-style photos we achieved. I love when we can incorporate some hazy sunshine into our session photos!

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I feel truly grateful to have had the opportunity to photograph such a warm and caring family. And look at how photogenic they all are! Such a photographer’s dream to work with such nice people. Thanks so much for a wonderful autumn session!

Here’s the second set of photos from the amazing sister/maternity/family portrait session I blogged recently. I love how these photos turned out! One of my biggest regrets is that I never had maternity portraits done of myself when I was pregnant, so I’m always eager and excited when a client decides to do a maternity session with me. It’s such a special and magical period of anticipation before the baby arrives – especially when we get the opportunity to photograph the entire family along with momma!

When we shot this session, we had two big hurdles to overcome. 1. It was an insanely busy biking/hiking path, and we had to move around a few bikes/strollers/scooters as well as pedestrians. It wasn’t really a problem, except that I’m not used to having an audience! 2. The mosquitoes that night were ferocious. And it wasn’t even dark yet! But the best part about the evening was when a sweet older lady (in her scooter!) commented that momma-to-be swelled up exceptionally large from her mosquito bite!

I hope that Carrie and family love their portraits as much as I do. It really was an enjoyable evening, and I’m so grateful to them for trusting me to capture these precious moments in time for them.