The Christenson Family – Apple Valley extend family portrait photographer

I have to say right off the bat, one of my favorite things about being a family portrait photographer is really getting to know my clients.   Terri originally contacted me when she was looking for a an Apple Valley extended family portrait photographer.  We met at my St. Paul studio for a pre-session consultation and she told me all about her family, and why she wanted to schedule this session.  It had been a while since they had a family photo taken.  Her children now had families of their own, and she thought this would be a perfect time to capture her growing extended family.

At the consultation, she mentioned that the main thing she wanted was a photo of everyone together in a vertical orientation – she already had the perfect spot in mind.  This helped me a great deal with planning for the session, because I knew ahead of time that this was one image we absolutely had to get.

The day came and family all arrived at my St. Paul studio for their session.  I picked up some donuts and fruit on my way to the studio in case anyone came hungry.  We chatted for a bit, made some coffee and got out a few coloring books and crayons for the older girls so they had something to do while waiting for their turn to be photographed.  Then we got down to business.  I photographed each family individually, individual portraits of the kids, all the kids together, and the big family portrait at the end.

After the photos were ready for viewing, the family came back to my studio for their viewing appointment.  This is the part everyone loves.  You get to sit back, relax, and view your images for the first time.  We started off with a slideshow set to music, and then viewed all the photos individually.  I bring printed proofs to view, and clients sort through their favorites.  Most clients come into their ordering session with an idea of what they want, whether it be a single framed portrait, a wall gallery of their favorite images, or an album, so all they need to do at their viewing appointment is choose which photos are going where.

Terri had decided on a framed and matted cotton print for her wall.  She sent me a photo of her wall ahead of time so I could show her exactly what the finished piece would look like at different sizes.  After her print came in, we met with my framer to build her art piece.  We were able to put together different mats and frames to see what complimented the photo (and her room decor) best.  We ended up going with a double Larson Juhl frame with a mat that had some very small gold flecks in it, and a small fillet to accentuate the photo even more.  It was a fun process, and the end result was absolutely beautiful!

Once the framed print was ready, I delivered it to my client’s home.  She showed me where it was to be hung, and since she already had a photo there we were able to swap them out and hang the new one right away.  I can’t tell you how much I love being able to see a session come full circle like this.  Terri also showed me the other framed portraits she had around her home – some dating back to the 1800’s!   A true, professional print is worth it’s weight in gold over time.

I left Terri’s home with a full heart, and I can’t wait to see them all again in a few years.


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I am a custom portrait photographer in Lino Lakes, Minnesota specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, and family photography. Serving the general Twin Cities area, including (but not limited to) Minneapolis, St. Paul, Anoka, Andover, Apple Valley, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Edina, Forest Lake, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, New Brighton, North Oaks, Richfield, Roseville, Shoreview, Stillwater, Vadnais Heights, Wayzata, White Bear Lake, and more.


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