Posts Tagged ‘affordable family photographers in st paul’

Riley: {2 weeks old}

June 5th, 2019

In the past, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for pink sets for little girls but it feels like it’s been forever now since my last one! I’ve said this before but nearly every time I photograph a newborn, I change my mind as to what my favorite sets are. Simple versus neutral versus bright […]

 

In the past, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for pink sets for little girls but it feels like it’s been forever now since my last one! I’ve said this before but nearly every time I photograph a newborn, I change my mind as to what my favorite sets are. Simple versus neutral versus bright colors versus elaborate… I love them all. This mom requested pink and purple for this little girls session and I think that the pink perfectly matched her beautiful skin tones.

When I do newborn sets, I always try to shoot for three different looks. One routine of simple sweet poses on the beanbag, one set in a basket or bucked posed on a backdrop or wood floor, and then the third being either family or sibling photos or a more elaborate backdrop set. To be honest, maybe only 50% of newborns let me get this much variety before they’ve had enough – but we always try. In order to attempt to have the best session, I always send out a list (very long list) of recommendations to help prepare baby for their session. Some of these things include:

  • Keeping baby awake in the AM so they are extra sleepy when they arrive
  • Choosing an AM session time
  • Allowing baby a bottle and nuk for use during the session even if you’ve never given one and don’t plan to. Allowing me to care for baby instead of letting baby smell mom nearly always leads to getting a lot more photos
  • Letting baby feed until they get milk drunk
  • Letting me know a few days ahead of time what they want for their session or plan to bring so that EVERYTHING is set up and ready to go before they arrive and they don’t have to give up shooting time waiting for me to set up

beautiful newborn baby girl in pink wearing mia joybeautiful baby girl posed on pink bean bag drop wearing mia joy studio dress
At this point, I have photographed over 100 newborns (I’ve officially lost track) yet I continue to learn new tips and tricks for sessions. I swear that even after all this time, I learn something new or learn from a new mistake or a client asks me a question about their session that has never been asked before. A great business owner is always adapting and learning. Some days I feel like I nailed it! While others I feel like I’ve totally dropped the ball – all based around client questions and reactions. But always always always everything is done with the best intensions and love – which is why I do what I do, I LOVE IT! So bring me your newborns!

Purple backdrop and wood floor by Intuition Backgrounds
Pink floral headband by Polka Dot Poppy
Pink outfit by Mia Joy Studio
Cream basket by Luneberry

Beautiful baby girl in purple on intuition backgrounds backdrop

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Reese: {one year old}

May 30th, 2019

What are the most fun sessions to do??? Sitter sessions! Sitter is defined as between 6 months to 1 year – once they can sit up on their own but before they start walking. Sitters are the best because they are so interested in everything! Sitting up is a new skill they are proud of […]

 

What are the most fun sessions to do??? Sitter sessions! Sitter is defined as between 6 months to 1 year – once they can sit up on their own but before they start walking. Sitters are the best because they are so interested in everything! Sitting up is a new skill they are proud of so they are generally really happy and they can’t run away from me yet! Miss Reese is the babe of a very good friend of mine. A friend who always loves any photo I take of her children so she gave me free rein to put together any sets and outfits I wanted – that’s like giving a gift to a photographer! I felt so gitty! I put together sets I’d want to do if it was my own child, and I had so much fun. I had too many ideas!

One-year-old sessions generally start out really happy during their session but then like only 10 minutes later, they are over it. LOL! So we have to move fast! This kind of sessions rarely lasts longer than an hour so I always tell parents to prepare themselves to be over the top silly and sweaty. I NEVER have to go to the gym after doing a session this age and I often lose my voice. Lots of monkey sounds, dog calling (don’t judge me), singing, and jumping up and down just so we can get one smile. Miss Reese was no different! By the time we got to the cake smash session, we had 5 of us trying to entertain her like a bunch of monkeys but she was so focused on her cake that we didn’t even get one smile! The girl knows what she likes.

 

one year old girl in pink on antique doll bed

But even after all that monkey business, we got GREAT photos! I’m super excited with how they turned out. A lot of variety and outfits, and several different facial expressions. So if you bring your little one for a sitter session (which you should) bring their favorite toys, download their favorite songs, bring bubbles, treats (as long as they aren’t messy or are in the photos), and maybe a few extra people. 🙂 And I guarantee you we’ll get some super fun photos!

All backdrops and wood floors by Intuition Backgrounds
Ouftits by Cora and Violet
Wings and cream bucket by JD Vintage Props

best affordable One year old milestone studio photographer near me Woodbury Mnone year old baby girl in studio for her cake smash photo session

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Aiden: {2 weeks new}

May 27th, 2019

Nothing makes me feel more warm-hearted than when a client comes back for repeat newborn photos with their next baby. There are literally thousands of photographers in my state that photograph newborns and who are very talented. It’s an honor for any client to choose me but to continue using me for future sessions is […]

 

Nothing makes me feel more warm-hearted than when a client comes back for repeat newborn photos with their next baby. There are literally thousands of photographers in my state that photograph newborns and who are very talented. It’s an honor for any client to choose me but to continue using me for future sessions is so great. This is the second baby I’ve photographed for this family, as well as doing a maternity session and a whole family session for their grandparents. Not only that, but these clients moved 40 minutes away from me (on a good day) and continue to make the drive. With that being said, they now feel more like friends – which is also the best!

2 week old baby boy photographers near me

Mom requested navy and cream from Mr. Aiden’s session to match his nautical themed nursery. How cute, right? However, photographing dark colored backdrops can be significantly more tricky. I’ve never photographed a navy colored drop so I did some google and pinteresting and loved many photos I saw so I had to give it a try. The first issue I ran into was that the back of my camera was not displaying the color correctly. It’s hard to describe but it basically made the dark blue look overly saturated and bright. Photography 101 is to never trust the back of your screen. It can be very hard not to when things look wrong! But I have learned my lesson that my hand meter and manual color temperature are never wrong but my canon LCD screen always is – especially when photographing deep blue, reds, and hot pinks. Sure enough, when I downloaded the images to my computer, they looked spot on.

Baby boy  in navy blue and cream on bean bag backdrop in st paul studio

Another thing to watch for is that certain colors reflect onto newborn skin more which requires additional correcting in photoshop. These are often dark colors or rich colors such as dark blue, red, hot pink, and bright green. Even though I try to spend as little time as possible in photoshop, I still spend a significant amount of time editing newborn photos. My exposure, lighting, and coloring are generally spot on so it isn’t my image quality I’m correcting – it’s the baby’s skin! Newborn skin is THE WORST. Seriously! I spend on average of 20 minutes per photo editing out (what I call) cottage cheese skin, peeling skin, scratches, red blotches from birth, fur (sometimes), jaundice or skin that is unnaturally too red or purple, and then color reflections from backdrops. It’s quite the process. I get asked a lot how I get my newborn skin to look so creamy and perfect. The answer is that I use an amazing set of newborn photoshop actions purchased from Greater than Gatsby – both versions I and II. The upfront cost isn’t cheap but it’s truly a game changer for newborn photographers.

Affordable baby boy newborn photos in navy blue and cream

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Stella: {10 Days New}

April 29th, 2019

May seems to be the month for babies this year… I think it’s because I’m going on my honeymoon to Egypt in May and that is just how things always go! lol, I can not remember the last time I had so many requests for the same month, so many so that I heartbreakingly had […]

 

May seems to be the month for babies this year… I think it’s because I’m going on my honeymoon to Egypt in May and that is just how things always go! lol, I can not remember the last time I had so many requests for the same month, so many so that I heartbreakingly had to turn clients away! Even ones that contacted me 2 months ahead of time. Sweet Ms. Stella was scheduled to make her debut while I was in Egypt but this beautiful girl couldn’t wait to meet her Mom and Dad and perfectly timed an early arrival so that I could capture her photos before leaving for my trip.

I generally try to make everything in a session coordinate so that when parents hang collages on the wall everything flows. I made an exception this time since Mom’s favorite color is purple but Dad specially requested a hot pink and gray backdrop. How can I say no to that? It really isn’t that often I hear an opinion from Dads. I’m not trying to stereotype here, it’s just fact. So when I do, it seems just so much extra sweet. And, I think the set turned out adorable so great job Dad!

So on this post, let’s talk a bit about session colors! This can often be a difficult decision for parents. I always offer my clients the option to choose a color theme, request a prop or backdrop of mine they love that I’ll match the rest of the session too, OR let me put together a set for them… the ladder being my favorite, of course! Funny thing that most people don’t notice is that in the newborn photography industry there are mega prop trends and they change very quickly. I spend a significant amount of time keeping on top of what those trends are (which also gets quite expensive). Here are a few popular trends of 2019:

  • Use the same exact color wrap and bonnet as the bean bag drop color (which does allow baby’s skin to stand out)
  • Burlap and jute mesh layers
  • Faux and real flowers, especially cotton stems and peonies
  • Natural and cream barn wood backdrops
  • Natural and cream wood dough bowls
  • Less traditional colors such as sage, mustard yellow, blue for girls, burgundy, navy blue
  • Fabric bean bag drops and wraps that have floral patterns
  • Potato sack pose on fur
  • Hand knit wraps and bonnets
  • Elaborate digital backdrops (I haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet)
  • To name a few!


Baby girl in mauve wearing Mia Joy Studio Dress taken in Woodbury, MN

Quite often I question whether or not I actually turn a profit from newborn photos since each session uses roughly $1000 of props that I rarely use more than once or twice. So, when you’re looking at newborn photographers and notice that newborn photographers that provide props charge a higher cost for photos, this is one of the reasons why!  It’s crazy expensive to do so! So if you aren’t sure what colors you want your session to be – I highly recommend letting me put something together for you! I guarantee you it’s going to be on trend and different than all your friend’s photos. Otherwise, I often ask what the nursery colors are and recommend using those and then hanging baby photos in the nursery. Many parent’s spend a lot of time thinking about what color or theme they want their baby’s nursery to be so chances are you’re going to love the same colors for your photos!

The outfit in these photos is from Mia Joy Studio
Hot pink and gray backdrop is from Intuition Backgrounds

Affordable newborn photographers near me Top newborn photographers in St Paul MN baby girl wearing purple

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Katie: {Maternity Photos}

April 28th, 2019

I love all my clients but every once in a while I have clients that leave a very special mark on my heart. The McGuire family would be such a client. A little over 3 years ago, this family reached out to me with a very special request. They had recently relocated to MN and […]

 

I love all my clients but every once in a while I have clients that leave a very special mark on my heart. The McGuire family would be such a client. A little over 3 years ago, this family reached out to me with a very special request. They had recently relocated to MN and living with family and their baby girl had had a rough but miracle start to life – spending the first few months in the hospital. They really wanted beautiful newborn photos but this sweet pea was still on O2 and her system was still fragile. So, I offered to pack up the studio and transport it to them. I don’t generally do this. It is very time consuming and exhausting but something in my heart told me I should this time. I transformed the living room into a makeshift studio, studio lights and all. We got adorable photos and from then on I often thought about this sweet little girl.

Fast forward a few years and I get an email from Mom asking if I’d be interested in Maternity photos and a newborn session for baby #2. Heck yes! And I was tickled pink – they are now living clear across the Twin Cities but were still wanting to work with me! They requested we take the maternity photos at their home. I never know what I’m going to get when I get a request like this. I can make just about anything work but often the location is just so-so. This time, I pulled up to their home and my mouth dropped. Breathtaking. Beautiful airy home up on a hill/semi cliff overlooking a gorgeous lake with the Minneapolis skyline in the background and woods surrounding one side of the home. Yes! This I can work with. Upon booking the time, I wanted to make sure the sun would be located in the background and not blaring in the client’s eyes so we booked an AM session. Well, the sun rises quite early in April. Even though I arrived around 9, the sun was already very high and direct. A lot of photographers struggle to shoot this type of light. It isn’t ideal but a well trained photographer still knows how to handle it. Two very important tools are:

  1. A handheld meter – a lot of photographers these days use the back of their screen to gauge exposure. Well, when the sun is blaring bright, you can’t accurately see your screen. A handheld meter will never lead you wrong!
  2. A 5 in 1 reflector – you want to make sure the clients are facing away from the sun so that they don’t squint but then you want to make sure you reflect natural light back in so that coloring is accurate and even, eyes are bright, and they don’t appear to have circles under their eyes. I LOVE using reflectors. If I had had an assistant, I would have also used a large diffuser to block the hot spots hitting their hair. I do have a reflector holder but it was much too windy to make it work.


Maternity photography in blue dress with family taken at medicine Lake in Plymouth MN

Using these tools lead to very little to no editing being done on the exposure and background. I never understand why photographers spend more time trying to correct these issues in photoshop versus learning these techniques and getting the exposure spot on in the camera. I’m a photographer first, photoshopper second and I almost never need to do a drastic before and after photoshop edit. I have been a photography instructor for over 10 years now so if you are local and would like to schedule a one on one class with me, please shoot me an email! Kristen@herber.com

 

Maternity photography in blue dress with family taken at medicine Lake in Plymouth MN Maternity photography in blue dress with family taken at medicine Lake in Plymouth MN

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Ricci {Maternity Photos}

March 28th, 2019

First-time newborn photo clients often start with a maternity session, which is a really great way to get to know my clients. Roughly a third of all my newborn parents choose to do a maternity session and almost every mom asks me prior to scheduling if I think maternity sessions are a good idea. My […]

 

First-time newborn photo clients often start with a maternity session, which is a really great way to get to know my clients. Roughly a third of all my newborn parents choose to do a maternity session and almost every mom asks me prior to scheduling if I think maternity sessions are a good idea. My answer is always the same – I’ve never heard a mom regret having newborn photos, only regret not doing them. If you’re kind of on the fence or are apprehensive about the way you look pregnant, I recommend scheduling a mini session for your maternity session. This session below was a mini session that took place right at sunset. The weather was still very brisk and the ground muddy so these parents were troopers. Mama’s dress was perfect for this setting and really stood out in the photos. This session was taken at the Oakdale Nature Preserve. This park so large that I’m certain I’ve still only explored about 10% of it. Going for a leisure walk at this location is on my summer bucket list.

Another common question is: when should I schedule my maternity photos? Each woman is different but as a general recommendation, I suggest roughly one month prior to your due date. Those last few weeks of pregnancy often cause a lot of face swelling which makes some moms dislike how they look in photos. Photoshop is forgiving but face swelling is a different kind of beast that isn’t exactly removable.  Not sure what to wear in your photos? Check out Sew Trendy. These designers are the go-to in maternity photo session fashion and do keep in mind that most of their dresses fit a variety of women’s bodies making them very easy to resell after your session.

 

Affordable mini session maternity photography in St Paul Minnesota taken at sunset at the oakdale nature preserve. Mom wearing blue flowered maternity dress.

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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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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.

adorable family photos at the oakdale nature preserve

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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