• Vibrant Lifestyle Wedding Photographer for Fun and Stylish Couples in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Mazin: {5 weeks new}

January 25th, 2019

Meet sweet Mr. Mazin! This little guy is the little one of a women I attended high school with, whom I later in life reconnected with when I photographed her wedding and now have had the honor of photographing her son. Mazin entered this world several weeks early, causing him to spend some much needed […]

 

Meet sweet Mr. Mazin! This little guy is the little one of a women I attended high school with, whom I later in life reconnected with when I photographed her wedding and now have had the honor of photographing her son. Mazin entered this world several weeks early, causing him to spend some much needed time at the hospital. 5 weeks later, when he was ready for his photo debut, he had grown to the perfect size and weight to fit into all my cute stuff!  Many photographers request newborn photos to be taken at under 2 weeks old. The reason is that their little bodies still feel natural being contorted into super cute and often unnatural looking poses. Following those two weeks, it quickly becomes more difficult and sometimes even impossible to achieve these poses. Mazin was a trooper. This was only the second time I’ve been able to get a babe of this age to achieve some of these poses. We didn’t quite get 100% there in some of these poses, his back no longer twisted enough to have his feet and elbows touch but it still turned out awful cute.

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

Want to schedule a newborn or milestone session? Contact me today!  Kristen@herber.com

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Arlie: {3 weeks new}

November 20th, 2018

A few months back, I attended a newborn training session (because even after 16 years of shooting and even teaching others, there is still always more to learn) where I learned a new stylized workflow that promotes getting a larger variety of bean bag posing in a short amount of time. It’s a bit simpler […]

 

A few months back, I attended a newborn training session (because even after 16 years of shooting and even teaching others, there is still always more to learn) where I learned a new stylized workflow that promotes getting a larger variety of bean bag posing in a short amount of time. It’s a bit simpler than my usual style but the results are phenomenal. A few days ago, I got married. Yup! I scheduled a newborn shoot a few days after the largest event of my entire life. My brain still felt fried and Miss Arlie waited a few weeks for me to be free for her photos. Normally, 3-week olds can be a little tougher to photograph but thanks to Miss A’s calm personality and the training session, I think we nailed it!

 

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I also love when parents give me full rein to choose what colors and props I want to use for their session. Nearly always, I have super cute outfits and props on standby just waiting for the right request or ability to choose what I want to break them out. I got to do this for Arlie and put together a super cute teal set that was all based around the adorable teal outfit I have been dying to use!

 

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Here is today’s tip: Start baby wrapped up in a very tight burrito posed on a beanbag and then work towards naked and prop photos. When I say tights, I mean, use two wraps and make sure to pull it as tight as you can with each wrap around. Why? Because this nearly ensures you’ll always get at least a few framers no matter how unhappy baby may be that day. This also helps calm them down and feel safe which often naturally puts them to sleep!

 

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Aundraya: {2 weeks new}

October 28th, 2018

Look at the hair and gorgeous skin tone on this little sweet pea! I rarely get the opportunity to photograph babies or people of other ethnicities or mixed races, which saddens me because I think they are utterly beautiful! More recently I was attending a newborn photography class where they discussed why white photographers rarely […]

 

Look at the hair and gorgeous skin tone on this little sweet pea! I rarely get the opportunity to photograph babies or people of other ethnicities or mixed races, which saddens me because I think they are utterly beautiful! More recently I was attending a newborn photography class where they discussed why white photographers rarely get requests from other races (but there are acceptions) and it was very eye-opening. Two things were mentioned.

Kristen Herber Photography

1. There are too many photographers out there that rely on the back of their screen for exposure versus using a handheld meter to ensure accuracy. When you rely on your in camera meter, all the meter understands is how dark the subject is so for someone who is used to photographing pale skin in auto modes, the auto mode will produce blown out and over exposed skin tones. Due to this, so many darker skin clients have experience very poor blown-out images. So, then why wouldn’t you naturally gravitate to a photographer who either has a portfolio filled with similar skin tones to your own or who is personally of a similar skin tone? Which is reason #2

2. Many potential clients won’t even look into hiring a photographer who doesn’t have a portfolio showcasing similar skin tones and ethnicities to their own. So this begs the question; how does one begin building their portfolio then?

Kristen Herber Photography

With that in mind, let me take this opportunty to address a sensitive subject and tell you why I’m the perfect photographer for you, no matter your skin tone and ethnicity. First off, I totally understand these clients fears – I’ve seen it first hand. I’ve photographed two black couple’s weddings and each time prior to hiring they asked me my experience with photographing darker skin and wanted to know how I could assure them I’d produce accurate skin tones for them. The reason both couples inquired my services was based off recommendation. I haven’t ever had a darker skin toned couple approach me organically. The first time I was asked this, I was taken back. It was a time when digital SLR’s had just recently become popular and we were starting to see an increase in amature photographers taking on what was usually left to high-end professionals. Fast forward 10 or more years and interestingly enough, I now rarely meet a photographer who understands the fundamentals of metered lighting, let alone aperture, shutter speed, and film speed. As a highly educated professional – here is my secret. I NEVER guess my exposure! I never let the camera guess my exposure! Crazy right? I use this handy little handheld device that meters the light hitting my subject and then manually plug in the recommended settings to my camera. This assures me that no matter what, my client’s skin tones will be nearly 100% accurate every time. Is sounds like more work but the extra few seconds it takes can save several hours of editing in post process – which also is unable to produce as good of a result as an image that was taken correctly the first time.

Kristen Herber Photography

Matter-of-fact, something that surprises a lot of people is that my in-camera images versus my edited images don’t look very different. Most of my time is spent removing baby acne and peeling skin and correcting their commonly blotchy red or purple skin. Exposure and coloring rarely need any adjustment since I also use a device called an ExpoDisc to measure the exact color temperture.

Kristen Herber Photography

Kristen Herber Photography

The motivating factor behind this post is my desire to photograph more babies of other ethnicities. If you made it to the end of my post and that describes your little one, 1-year or under, mention this post prior to booking your appointment with me and I’ll take 50% off your sitting fee – through July 2019!  Contact me today to book your session!  kristen@herber.com

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Greene Family: {fall family photos}

October 12th, 2018

Fall is one of my favorite times to photograph outdoors. This year in Minnesota, the weather has been a bit weird. Fall came late and fast, the cold came early, and ideal fall color shooting time was greatly shortened. That’s ok! Green leaves (because it has been too cold for the leaves to change) mixed […]

 

Fall is one of my favorite times to photograph outdoors. This year in Minnesota, the weather has been a bit weird. Fall came late and fast, the cold came early, and ideal fall color shooting time was greatly shortened. That’s ok! Green leaves (because it has been too cold for the leaves to change) mixed with cute fall outfits still looks amazing! I love when my client’s show up all cute and stylish – I mean, what photographer wouldn’t? That’s promo material right there! The Greene family nailed it.

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I know that most of my sessions come off looking like everything must have gone amazingly well, the kiddos had fun and were full of smiles, and the parents had a great time. Don’t let the photos fool you – THIS RARELY happens! Like… once a year? So what’s the trick? Patience. Lots of patience. And as I tell all my clients, my patience will always out match theirs. I walk into a session expecting to have to sweet talk, buddy up, dance like a chicken, jump up and down, sing silly songs, and remain chipper for the next two hours no matter how the children act. Sound exhausting? Well yes, I often don’t need to go to the gym after a session with children. But the reality is that anyone can put up with anything when you know that in two hours time, it will all be over. So why not make the very best of those two hours you can. That’s my perspective. And after we work our butt off for two hours as the children do everything in their power to let us know how much they don’t want to take photos, we still manage to capture some amazing smiles and the session is always a success.

 

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Why am I going off on this tangent on this post? lol, I’ll leave that to your imagination but sometimes I have sessions where the parents are convinced there is no way we got any good photos after the two hours of zero cooperation from their children to then receive their photos and be blown away. That’s my job, that’s what I do, and I LOVE IT!

 

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So, TODAY’S TIP IS: Pull out all the stops, act like an idiot in public, come prepared with ticklers (what I call my long duster on a stick that I use to tickle the kids), move quickly, change positions often, go with the flow… go over the top because you can put up with anything for two hours – and the end results will be amazing.

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Buche’s: {family photos}

September 20th, 2018

I am so blessed. Through the years, my friends have been some of my biggest supporters. I started doing photos for Jodi 12 years ago! I have photographed personal portraits for her, engagement photos, wedding (the ones I could capture when I wasn’t too busy being a bridesmaid), newborn, milestone, and family. As the kids […]

 

I am so blessed. Through the years, my friends have been some of my biggest supporters. I started doing photos for Jodi 12 years ago! I have photographed personal portraits for her, engagement photos, wedding (the ones I could capture when I wasn’t too busy being a bridesmaid), newborn, milestone, and family. As the kids have gotten older, things have become a bit more chaotic lol, but even so, the session’s with the Buche’s is one of my favorite sessions of every year.

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This year Jocelyn was a bit less enthusiastic about taking photos and gave me a run for my money (no need to go to the gym and lift weights for a few days after this session) but we still managed to get some super cute ones! Maddox had a pretty good time with the car – in out, in out. Mom and Dad got pretty darn tired and were ready for a nap after.

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Funny thing is that so often, it’s mom and dad’s faces that run the family photos! Their faces scream – oh my gosh, if you don’t sit still and smile for 5 freaking seconds I’m going to… haha! Yet they are the ones not smiling. I often have to head swap parents faces more than children. At every family session, I have to remind the parents that they need to act like they are having a great time. Family photos are like social media… It always looks like everyone else’s professional photos are perfect and you wonder why yours were a nightmare. Fact – almost everyone ones are a nightmare.

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Pro Photographer Tip: This one goes out to the parents. When your kids are aking like jerks, threatening to take away or throw away everything they love and that they no longer are going to get the treat promised to them for taking photos NEVER works to get the kids to behave. Weird, I know haha! I hear these statements at pretty much every single child session I shoot and every time it makes things worse. Instead, wait until after the photo shoot is over to tell them you are throwing away all their precious toys haha! 🙂

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Reese: {2 weeks new}

June 20th, 2018

Today, let’s talk about the importance of editing on a high-end graphic design monitor that is calibrated, as well as running test prints. Recently, I did a newborn photo session for a good friend of mine’s daughter, Sweet Ms. Reese. Prior to this session, my trusty monitor went out. We’d had a good run, over […]

 

Today, let’s talk about the importance of editing on a high-end graphic design monitor that is calibrated, as well as running test prints. Recently, I did a newborn photo session for a good friend of mine’s daughter, Sweet Ms. Reese. Prior to this session, my trusty monitor went out. We’d had a good run, over 10 years in the making. But then one day the screen went black, never to be turned on again. When it comes to electronics and spending money, I spend a great deal of time researching the best possible option for the lowest possible price. You could probably call researching a pastime of mine because I’m so obsessed with making perfect choices. So, my monitor went out and I knew it was going to take me some time to research, order, receive, and set up a new monitor but I had this current session due in a week. I turned to my little brother in desperation who was about to be deployed for a year. He’s a bit of a gamer and when hanging out at his place, I had taken note that his monitors looked really nice. So I set one up, ran my calibrator, and went to work. All the images I looked at on my computer looked pretty great so I figured I was good to go.

Fast forward two weeks and my friend/client has received her edited photos in time, I’ve put an example up on social media and I’m super excited about how pretty they are. Win! Right? Well, I thought so until I navigated to my facebook business page from my phone to respond to a message and saw the most horrific image staring at me. My heart sank! The photo that looked so beautiful on my computer monitor was over contrasted and blown out on my phone. Everything else on my phone looked normal so I wondered if I had saved the image in the wrong format. Checked that and no, it was standard web RGB. Darn. So then I ran a test print on my pro printer: the Canon PRO9000 (which I highly recommend if you want to print large format at home. It’s kind of old but that means you can pick it up for real cheap!). Sure enough, the photo looked just like it did on my phone. Next, I contacted friends to look and take a screenshot on their phones. Same problem, which one friend stating she thought the photo looked funny but she didn’t want to insult me by saying anything. Finally, it popped into my head that I was working on a new monitor. Even though I had thought I had done my diligence by calibrating, maybe that wasn’t enough. So I borrowed a friends pro monitor and re-edited my photo and sure enough, the newly edited photo looked amazing. I ended up buying my dream monitor, the BenQ SW271 pro graphic design monitor because I mentally just couldn’t chance picking something cheaper that ended up not performing well. It’s a real beaut! But that isn’t enough. During my education, while working in the camera industry, I learned that monitors are often calibrated to be extra contrasty which makes images pop and videos look amazing but is not ideal for editing accurate photos. For several years I’ve been relying on the x-rite i1 display pro monitor calibrator. It’s so easy to use and the different it makes is unreal.

Moral of my story is that it truly is essential to invest in a pro monitor. The cost bites but your images will look a million times more professional. Second, always check your images by a secondary source before delivering to a client. Whether it’s making a cheap test print at home or loading the photos to your photo to check them on another screen, it’s always best to double check. For many years, I worked where there was a pro photo lab. After editing nearly every shoot I’d run off a test print in the lab just to check for accuracy. Sometimes when our profession becomes second nature, we forgot to step back to the basics and for me, it was also losing that convenience factor – no longer working where I had lab access and so many years of successful outcomes, I got too comfortable. So here is the before and after. Crazy, right?

Why you should buy a pro editing monitor and calebrate it

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Sawyer: {10 days new}

January 5th, 2018

HAIR! Look at all that gorgeous hair! And those beautiful skin tones, too. Miss Sawyer was such a doll to photograph. Mom requested bright colors and they turned out so amazing against her skin tone.  I’m fairly certain I have more props and backdrops than the stuff I own in my entire house. I have […]

 

HAIR! Look at all that gorgeous hair! And those beautiful skin tones, too. Miss Sawyer was such a doll to photograph. Mom requested bright colors and they turned out so amazing against her skin tone.  I’m fairly certain I have more props and backdrops than the stuff I own in my entire house. I have an addiction! #propaholic When it comes to backdrops, almost every drop I own is from Intuition Backdrops. I just love her stuff.

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If you are looking at my work and loving it but looking at my pricing and feel like it’s awfully high for photos – remember that I am a stylized newborn photographer. I provide the drops, clothes, wraps, props, headbands, outfits, layers… on top of the camera gear, lights, and studio. For the average newborn session, the props used often retail a total of $500+. On top of that, I only use props a few times so that everyone’s photos are unique to them. I often say that I’m not sure if I make money off of newborns because I’m always buying new props! So, when you compare pricing between photographers, remember the extra value in my sessions, on top of the over 15 years of experience, years of teaching others, studio costs, and business costs. Anyone can take photos but it takes a lot of experience, training, and equipment to achieve this type of work.

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This has nothing to do with Miss Sawyers session except for the fact that I love all the props used for her session. They were expensive but oh so gorgeous! Sawyer was such a sweet pea today. She slept so well. Also, please note that I specialize in babies of all skin colors! Please bring me your Hispanic, black, native, Asian, mixed and everything in between, beauties!

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Pro Tip: Always heat your studio to be at least 80 degrees. Crazy, right? It’s like a sauna but the babies LOVE it. I have had so many parents leave their session to then go buy their baby a mini heater and report back how much longer baby slept. Win! In all my year, I have only ever met one newborn who didn’t like the heat.

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Maverick: {10 Days New}

August 31st, 2017

There is something about photographing little boys in neutral colors; it is just so sweet and innocent. This handsome little man was so much fun to hang out with. Sometimes, little ones show up for their session wide awake with no desire to take a nap for me. When this happens, we improvise. Posing awake […]

 

There is something about photographing little boys in neutral colors; it is just so sweet and innocent. This handsome little man was so much fun to hang out with. Sometimes, little ones show up for their session wide awake with no desire to take a nap for me. When this happens, we improvise. Posing awake babies on their stomach can be both dangerous and counter productive. When this happens, we switch to back poses. We were able to capture some super cute photos of Mr Mavericks eyes and his little personality. The basket in this first photo was purchased from Intuition Backgrounds – a favorite shop of mine. The brown basket fluff was purchased from Oh So Fleeting – their products are sooo soft and beautiful, I can’t recommend enough!

 

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Dolores: {newborn}

May 24th, 2017

Meet sweet Ms. Dolores. Because I love her name so much, I have to add in here that Dolores was named after her grandmothers on each family side. That right, both her Mom and Dad had grandmothers named Dolores. So neat! Ms Dolores is the daughter of a good friend of mine, as well an […]

 

Meet sweet Ms. Dolores. Because I love her name so much, I have to add in here that Dolores was named after her grandmothers on each family side. That right, both her Mom and Dad had grandmothers named Dolores. So neat! Ms Dolores is the daughter of a good friend of mine, as well an entire family I’m rather fond of, the Hecklingers. For Ms D’s session, I asked her Mom if she had any requests for the setup. Purples, greens, all natural / nature. The two green fluffs are from one of my favorite vendors Oh So Fleeting. They really are as soft as they look. The round basket is one that I’ve had several people contact me wanting to know where I got it. It came from Pier One probably 10 years ago, so sorry on that one. They are tough to find! The twig bed can be purchased several places, I went with Intuition Backdrops, who if you don’t know, also sell an awesome variety of props.

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Do note that the photo above is a composite. Mom was holding the baby in the background. Due to safety reasons, I highly recommend never letting young siblings hold babies on their own.

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That’s me and my new friend! Ms D was a perfect angel for her session… but as soon as we were done and I want to snap a quick photo with her she was like… no way lady, get me out of here! Hehe!

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Dana & Mike {wedding}

May 18th, 2017

When a bride as beautiful and sweet as Dana inquires about having their wedding photographed – I seriously jump up and down. It’s wedding couples like these two that make me truly love my job. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had getting to spend the day photographing this intimate wedding. […]

 

When a bride as beautiful and sweet as Dana inquires about having their wedding photographed – I seriously jump up and down. It’s wedding couples like these two that make me truly love my job. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had getting to spend the day photographing this intimate wedding.

hotel and formal photos: Hewing Hotel – Minneapolis

flowers: Lake Harriet Florist

reception: Angelina’s Kitchen – Woodbury

If you haven’t been to one of Minneapolis’ hottest new hotels “Hewing Hotel”, I can not recommend it enough – especially if you’re a bride who wants gorgeous getting ready photos on your wedding day. Their elite suites are picturesque.

In 15 years, this was the first wedding where the couple requested their formal photos be taken in the lobby of a hotel. As a photographer who’s been in hundreds of hotels, this immediately made me cringe but the results were absolutely stunning!!! Thank you Hewing Hotel for designing your lobby with photographers in mind.

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If you are an engaged couple who loves to have fun – contact me soon about booking your wedding. I can customize a package to work within just about any budget – just ask! Don’t want to spend your wedding day stuck in front of a camera or wishing you could have your pictures taken somewhere other than your venue? No problem! Let’s do an after wedding portrait session at the location of your choice. These are SO much fun!!!