Keeping it Real | Minneapolis Family Photographer

Photos that actually look like your family are always the best ones.

A friend just gave me this amazing children’s book called Simple Pictures are Best. The couple in the book keep adding different things into their portrait that they think represent who they TRULY are- things like a prized vegetable from the garden, or a special hat, or a treasured instrument. But by the time they are finally set, the couple looks absolutely nothing like themselves because they are covered in all kinds of crazy stuff. The photographer just keeps sighing with each new addition to the photo, saying “Simple pictures are best!”.


  • Love ‘em right where they are at!

  • Home is the place.

  • Just breath!

I couldn’t agree more! Do you want to know my favorite additions to photo? A home with toys on the floor and books off the shelves! Or a kindergartener’s pigtails that got a little messy after a big bearhug from her mama. Or a chocolate milk mustache on a toddler that perfectly matches the dribbles of the same on his shirt. That’s real life, and I think we spend altogether too much time trying to make it look too cleaned up for family photos.

  1. Let’s embrace your family’s now.

Is your little one in a costume stage? The one where they only want to wear the same Spiderman cape for days and days? Let’s roll with it! Next year’s photos will likely be missing the cape, so let’s photograph the real stuff happening in your family now- chances are, those will be the details that you will LOVE about your photos when you look back on them down the road!

2. Photograph your family in your space.

Even though I love open fields and cool brick walls as much as the next person, there is nothing like a photo session with your family in their element. Shoes off, toys out, music on. Taking pictures in your own home brings out a comfort level with kids (and grownups, too) that allows photos to be authentic in a way unlike anything else.

3. Deep breaths, coffee, wine, whatever!

This one is for me, too. Whenever I have my family’s photos taken by another photographer, it’s so hard not to end up sweating and stressed out. I know exactly what I want the photos to look like, and I want to control all the pieces of the puzzle to make sure that the session is worth the time and $$$ I have invested in it. But here’s the thing- those puzzle pieces? They are our children. And our partners. And our pets. None of which I have found are very easy to control. When we are able to let go of our expectations and embrace the moment, you enjoy the session more, which always leads to enjoying the finished product more as well!


My job is to put on display the beauty in your real life moments, and your job is to show up in all your family’s real life glory. We can be an awesome team together to capture photos that will truly become heirlooms, not because the pictures flawless in every way, but because they are honest and candid and authentic. And that, my friend, is what that makes your family the most beautiful of all.