I was thinking lately if I had to just choose only a few different outdoor spots for photo sessions, I definitely have some clear favorites. So, today I'm listing out my top three favorite places to take photos in the Twin Cities.
Depending on the season, area, and time of day, photos taken at these locations can look drastically different.
The first one is Willow River State Park in Hudson. If you've ever been, you know that it's a massive park. The waterfall area is gorgeous as you can see from the two photos above. But there are lots of other great areas to shoot!
This grassy areas and field near the campgrounds is one of my favorite spots. I love that you can see dark pines in the back and I love the grass stalks that add texture and whimsy.
This big, endless looking prairie is just yards away from the green grassy area. You'd never know that those two spots are so close together and provide two totally different looks!
Lake Elmo Park Reserve is another go-to of mine in spring or fall.
The birch trees, the vibrant fall colors and well as the gentle light greens in the spring make for gorgeous photos, no matter the season.
But also look check out how Lake Elmo photographs in late summer!
Dreamy, dreamy, dreamy. I joke about enlarging these clients' photos over my fireplace. I haven't done it... yet.
In and around The Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is one more frequently visited venue by me. Between the glossy blue building, the backdrop of the city and the ruins, it's extremely versatile and a perfect location for family photos, engagement pics, or branding and headshot photography.
Oh man, I thought I was cool when I managed a mirror selfie in this area a couple years ago.
This spring I met with James and Sessahly to take their engagement photos in Osceola, Wi at Cascade Falls. I had previously met Sessahly a couple of years ago at one of my Mommy & Me mini sessions. I was so thrilled when she reached out to let me know she was engaged and wanted me to take photos for her and James.
The morning we shot at the falls was COLD, but I asked them to move and hug a lot which I think (I hope?) helped!
I absolutely love how their session turned out! All the little details, like the glimpses of tattoos, the way Sessahly's hair perfectly swooshes around, the glimmer of her engagement ring, and how adoringly these two gaze at each other, give me goosebumps!
Congrats again, you guys, on your engagement! I foresee a beautiful wedding and a life full of love and happiness ahead of you two!
Due to the stay-at-home orders in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I wasn't able to get out and shoot much as I would have liked this spring. However, outdoor photography in Wisconsin has been allowed for the past couple weeks and I was able to announce and book a few Mommy and Me mini sessions before Mother's Day this year. I offered less spots than normal and allowed for a 10 minute time window between clients, touched no one, withheld hugs, but still managed to get a lot of shots for each family.
My first session of the day was for Melissa and her five kids. Melissa is my friend, business coach, and dance teacher who also owns and runs a studio in Hudson. I'm always happy to take any kind of photos for her... be it for family or for business purposes. She shines from the inside out and has made it her life's work to help other's shine their light too. Really, I could do a blog post someday on just Melissa!
Speak of people who will probably get their own future blog post... my friend Kristina! My next session was for her and her daughter Addie and son Reece. It warmed my heart to be able to see each other and I loved documenting all the thoughtful details they brought to the table, everything from Addie's elegant hair, to Reece's little suspenders, Most importantly, I loved catching all of the love an affection between this bunch. Truly, my heart swells just looking at these pictures.
Katie and her kids Amelia and Everett were next! The last time I had taken photos for their family, Amelia was much tinier and Katie was pregnant with Everett. It was so cool to see how their family had grown and how much these kids adored their mama.
Camille and her incredibly photogenic bunch was next. I'm still not quite over how sweet her kids were or how perfectly styled everyone was too! Just from looking at these photos, I feel like their family vehicle probably has the aroma of peonies and no one yells or complains...
(My car on the other hand smells like McDonald's and everyone is deliberately poking each other and whining after we've been in the car for five minutes.)
Next up was Lindsay and her beautiful daughter Elsa. This was their first photo shoot and not something I took lightly! They were absolutely delightful and Elsa is basically a real-life doll. I definitely hope to do more photos for them in the future.
Lastly, I took photos of Kayla and her boys. (We also took full family photos too with dad, but for the sake of consistency, he's not in this blog post. Sorry, Jeremy!) I took maternity photos for Kayla in the fall and it was so cool to now see little Vinnie on the outside and to also finally meet big bro Liam.
So there you have Mommy and Me 2020! It was a little smaller, a little quieter, but still absolutely special. Happy Mother's Day to all these beautiful mamas and EVERY mama out there!
Welcome to my photography blog!
Rachel again! Here's where you'll be able to find blog posts about all things photography: recent sessions, upcoming events, and just fun musings on photography in general. Can't wait to fill 'er up with content!