Wow, oh wow, oh wow. As I sit here and have a chance to look back at every wedding day, engagement session, family portraits, anniversary photos, mini sessions, maternity portraits, lifestyle sessions, newborn portraits, senior portraits, and more, all I can say is wow. 2018 was such a blessing. You blessed us! So many special announcements, new steps and chapters in life, and stopping to document life are seen below. You trusted us and invited us to walk alongside of you in these precious moments -- allowing us to live vicariously through you and celebrate the best parts of life with you. So below, you'll find some of our favorite photos as wedding and portrait photographers that highlight many more photos and moments not shown, each freezing memories to be looked back on for a lifetime.
I had the huge pleasure of dropping by this fun Cottage Grove household on Black Friday to do a family portrait session! In our family, it's a rare occassion when all of the adult kids are able to be home together so I bet that's the same for Shelley & Dan's household. Being invited to document the preciousness of all of these relationships is always a huge honor and lots of fun!
Mark hadn't been wrong with our first two and he was insistent that this baby was also a baby boy, so insistent that even though I had thought at first baby was a girl, he had me convinced that we were going into the realm of three boys. I love being a boy mom, so I was totally game for our third little one being a boy. After all, my pregnancies were all so similar, so according to almost everyone we talked with, that had to mean baby was a boy just like the big brothers.
Okay how cute is little Miss Evelyn? I told her mom and dad that I would be expecting a PDF from her explaining to other future newborns how she prepped for her session because she was the perfect little peanut! It was such an honor to meet her and her amazing parents, Heidi and Bilal, for their lifestyle newborn portrait session at their home in Hastings, MN.
Meet the Hood Family! This amazing family of four just moved to Cottage Grove from Wisconsin. As you can see they have two adorable little kiddos that made it quite an exciting in-home lifestyle portrait session. I always love family portraits at home and a lifestyle session that includes playing with Christmas lights? Count me in!
Samrica & Joerica // Indoor Christmas Mini Portrait Session, Hope Community Church // Cottage Grove, MN
When Samrica reached out desiring a portrait session so that she could send photos back to her hubby in Africa for their anniversary, my heart melted and I was absolutely for it and promptly squeezed them in to a busy Thanksgiving week. Then, when she requested to take their mini portrait session photos at our church, I was at first a bit nervous, but excited when I walked in the doors and saw the amazing volunteers decorating for Christmas. We moved some items around and had ourselves a very Merry Christmas mini shoot!
Talk about #TransformationTuesday! Say hello again to the Ogren Family! I've had the privilege of documenting this amazing family the past few years (here's a link to last years'). This past year, Bethany decided to change some things in her family's diet and you can see the difference! Way to go! It was so great to get to hang out with the Ogren's for their family portraits this year on our mini session evening. We spent our time hanging out at The Old Mill Park in Hastings -- super close to Vermillion Falls, but a hidden gem in terms of how many people drop by!
When Jim & Michele pulled into the parking lot, there was a very sleepy child in the backseat, so we walked a few steps away to capture a few photos of just the two (well, three) of them before pulling Austin out from his sleepy slumber! Austin definitely was having a hard time waking up and was pretty straight faced at first -- that was until I said the magic word: "ninja." He instantly lit up and smiled at me. Ninja? Yup! Austin loves this word and is always wanting to show our oldest how to be a ninja and teach him some ninja moves.
Is this family not the cutest? We met up at Hasting’s beautiful Lake Rebecca Park for their September family portrait mini session. I love how fall creates so many fun opportunities to work with amazing families like this! Little Everly and Henry were so cute and did amazingly well with all of the fun distractions like water, geese, and sticks around. In fact, we “rewarded” Henry with sticks to throw into the water from time to time with how well he was doing – oh the simple pleasures of little boys! Everly definitely was a bit ounsure of me and my large camera at the beginning but soon warmed up and even let her parents parents, Levi and Jenna, take a few photos by themselves before the end of our time together.
I’m not sure where to begin with Trav and Samantha’s in-home lifestyle portrait session in Newport, MN. How about the minute we got back in the car, Mark said, “I could see ourselves hanging out with them often -- they’re so cool”? He wasn’t just talking about Trav and Samantha’s adorable dogs, Hunter & Lilly, either (who we definitely spent most of the time playing with).
We love to get together with the Griffiths! We had set aside a time for them to come hang out recently at our new home and then take their photos, but the day of was gloomy and very rainy so instead we had all our boys nap and enjoyed some adult conversations from the comfort of our couches – setting aside a new day to shoot their family portraits at the beautiful Mount Normandale Lake in Bloomington (a good halfway point for each of us).
We didn’t realize we’d fall in love with so many aspects about being a photographer and one of the best parts is how you get to walk alongside someone in life. We love people, so the opportunity to serve and love on people is a huge honor. But, the opportunity to come alongside a family and watch the family grow from year-to-year is an even bigger honor!
What do you get when you mix busy boys and photos? A fun-loving adventure of picking crab apples, licking lollypops, and just being kids. Getting to hang out again with the Hobbs family and their two precious boys is such a privilege! We visited Hastings’ Leduc Historic Estates and even though the main building was under construction, we still found plenty of spots to keep us occupied.
It’s not every day that you get to hang out with a family outdoors to take their photos… but it’s even rarer when that family all are amazing musicians! We love whenever we get a chance to spend time with the Alzen Family Band. We first met them almost ____ years ago and our first session was in the middle of winter and about 90 degrees colder (we’re talking in the negatives here). We still remember seeing them get out of the vehicles with their instruments and being like, “Lord, help nothing to get affected by these cold temps!” Thankfully since then, we’ve chosen warmer weather!
It was hot, like really hot. All three of us adults were sweating and slightly uncomfortable, but it was oh-so-worth-it as we stood around an adorable little newborn. The little guy was a week old and to help him keep warm, we laughed at the fact that the Rock’s household was probably the only house in Woodbury in mid-July with the heat on – the things you do for a newborn portrait session!
Mark told his mom that we haven’t crawled into bed before 11:30 pm in the past two weeks and he’s right. We’ve been pushing really hard. In fact, Lindsay totally got an email this week about the 25 Tips for Avoiding Mom Burnout with the subtitle of “a list for those who – like me – struggle with overcommitting and overworking.” Did she read it? No… Lindsay quickly skimmed the first few and then acknowledging that she need to spend more time thinking through them (and chatting with Mark), she printed them off to be completed and comprehended as homework at another date. What does this have to do with the Taylor family? We’re glad you asked!
It's not every day you get an email in your inbox of a wife asking to do a portrait session with her hubby because he is turning 80 years old the next month (a month and a day away, John!). In fact, when we received an email from Shirley asking this very thing Lindsay’s initial thought was, “Spam.” Yes, photographers receive spam too. In fact, tons of it. Not the Algerian princes handing out millions of dollars spam or the IRS is going to sue you spam but spam none the least. So, thankfully, when Lindsay received this email and initially thought it might be spam, she showed it to Mark who told her to reply what we’d normally share with all of our awesome family photo clients. Thankfully this led to Lindsay spending time with John and Shirley at a fun new spot, LeDuc Historic Estates in Hastings, Minnesota.
We regularly work with some of the coolest people, hands down. Getting to travel to Upper Landing Park in downtown St. Paul, the location where Brian first proposed, the location where Katie and Brian took their wedding photos, and now, the location where we would get to take their maternity photos was so much fun and such a huge honor! The catch? Mother Nature. Mark and I remarked on the way to the portrait session that we should become weathermen, because they get to be totally wrong so often.
We love getting to hang out with amazing couples and capture photos that will share the exciting news of a new baby! What makes it even better? When it’s Mark’s little sister and her hubby that are the ones making the pregnancy announcement!
Hey everyone! We’re starting our first ever mini sessions this year! I know, you’re like it’s APRIL! But here us out, the holiday season will be here before you know it! Get your Christmas card photos done in the beautiful fall colors, capture those growing kiddos in the freshness of spring, or celebrate an anniversary with your sweetheart on a summer night. In fact, why not book more than one? ;) This is perfect for major milestone moments, so join us as we capture some memories of your family, your children, or grab great sweetheart or even maternity images. If you’re not into the Christmas card thing, no worries! This is also a very affordable way to capture great lifelong memories of your current everyday family life.
Last week we talked through the hard side of getting photos taken and two of our tips to help rock your mini sessions. Tonight, Mark and I are sharing our final two tips to help everyone enjoy the process!
We know how overwhelming portraits can be. We’ve been on your side of the camera. That’s why we’re taking a few moments to tell you how to get the most out of your mini portrait session. See if any of these resonate with you:
A week ago, we were out without coats on enjoying the 46 degrees and today we're "enjoying" a lovely "feels like" -5 degrees. That's Minnesota for you! Thankfully, Brian and Jessica wisely chose last week to explore Saint Paul’s historical Union Depot for their maternity session and the bonus was being able to step outside its front doors to snap a few photos without completely freezing!
This post has taken a long time in coming. Lindsay has had the privilege of looking back on countless sessions from last year and struggled to pick only a handful of photos from each session which is why this is getting posted mid-January instead of end of December 2017. We just love you all too much!
You know what else we love? Traditions. Especially ones that help us to reflect on the past year, those we love, and how we've grown. This is definitely a tradition that we will continue on (we did do a reflection on 2016 – but this year we can’t narrow it to 50 photos).
2017 was quite the year. We traveled to Georgia to visit Mark’s grandma and introduce her to our firstborn son. We welcomed our second-born son in April. We jam-packed our summer – some of our favorite moments were getting to take the boys to Wisconsin Dells’ Kalahari with our church’s youth group, hanging out for a week at Big Sandy Camp as a family, and then ending summer with a trip with Lindsay’s family getting to explore the always gorgeous Duluth and further up north. We traveled to Michigan for Thanksgiving to visit Lindsay’s grandparents and then to Montana for Christmas to visit Mark’s parents. But this post really isn’t about us. (We will have a coming post of our personal favorite photos of 2017 soon!) It’s about you – our awesome clients.
Getting to walk along with other families and amazing couples through their precious additions, new beginnings, and documenting family life always leaves us so grateful. You kept us busy. You kept us creative. You kept us alive and excited to share life as we experienced one joyful moment after another. You walked alongside us as we tweaked our business practices. You laughed at Mark’s dad jokes. You celebrated us as we welcomed our second son.
All this to say, we love you guys. We appreciate you. We can’t wait to serve you this year! Happy 2018!
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Hey! We're Mark & Lindsay Wiggins, husband and wife Minnesota photographers. Click here to find out more about us.