We love this dear family! We met the Wongs a little over two years ago when we just had Ethan and they had little Abigail. Ethan and Abigail immediately hit it off when we met them at our church, Hope Community Church, and then Ethan and I bumped into Lori and Abigail at the Cottage Grove library's storytime in the next few weeks. Since then we've added more kiddos to the families and stopping right now to look back at how we've all grown since we first met is definitely something to be grateful for.
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!
It was breathtakingly beautiful. I had never seen so many Monarch butterflies in one spot and they all took to the air from the branches in a matter of seconds. We had stumbled upon them by chance as we walked the grounds of Hasting’s Leduc Historic Estates and were totally unaware of them until it happened. I was hanging out with Park High School senior, Mallory, and her mom for her senior portraits. She had stepped back into the woods and all of a sudden found herself surrounded by them.
Danielle Olson // Park High School Senior Portraits // Little Log House Pioneer Village // Cottage Grove Portrait Photographers
Meet Danielle, a Park High School senior, gymnast, and all-around-inside-and-out, beautiful girl! Danielle, her mom, and I got to spend some time together a few weeks ago walking around the amazing grounds of the Little Log House Pioneer Village in Hastings, Minnesota for her senior portraits.
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 wasn’t the typical first look. Instead of being a private affair between just the bride and groom, the entire bridal party huddled from above in one small doorway and a few windows of the barn at Goodtree Farmstead in Northfield, Minnesota. The excitement and anticipation was visible over Keaton’s entire face while Sam calmly stood behind him waiting for further directions. As she walked towards him, the bridesmaids couldn’t help but giggle with pure delight! These two and their journey had finally brought them to their wedding day. Finally, it was the moment, Keaton turned to see his bride and his anticipation turned into joy. His beautiful bride was standing in front of him and for a moment, he forgot about the husband and wife wedding photographers, the bridal party, and the busyness of the day and stepped forward to kiss his bride, take in her beauty, and then pick up her hand to his lips, giving her a soft kiss.
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!
Taking wedding photos at a beautiful Minnesotan rustic barn is one thing. Taking wedding photos at the place where your grandparents met – the place where your grandpa went to work on a farm and met the love of his life – is another. This was the case for Jordan and Emily’s gorgeous wedding day in Monticello, Minnesota. While the wedding was at Elk River United Methodist Church and the reception in the Mississippi Room of the Monticello Community Center, they wanted their portraits done at a place that held precious past family memories and would create special new ones.
We remember preparing for our wedding like it was yesterday. Whether that is from the sheer excitement of getting married or the overwhelming feelings of all that we had to then accomplish, we’re not sure. So, if we could go back and tell ourselves a thing or two differently one of those wound be the following. Find a site like basicinvite.com.
As I look over at you from the passenger’s seat of the van on our latest adventure, I can’t help but wonder where has the time gone. It brings me back to preparing for my first road trip with you. My parents had sat me down and asked me if I was interested in going to LIFE 2007 with the Wiggins. Your parents had offered to drive me from Toledo, Ohio to Orlando, Florida with you and your sister. The five-day youth event would take us two weeks, because we’d be stopping to visit with your extended family in Georgia both ways where I’d get to meet your grandpa and grandma as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins. I definitely had liked you; we had exchanged emails and even seen each other at youth events from time-to-time, but two weeks? I wrote in my journal to God that if I still liked you and wasn’t annoyed with you after two weeks of constant contact with you, then you must be the one. Classic 15-year-old girl, yes, but here we are! It's 11 years later, two boys in the back seat and you jamming out to the latest Hillsong Young and Free album.
Ethan has been praying for baby and baby's millk for weeks. We’re not really sure where his obsession with baby's milk came from. Was it the fact that he never figured out nursing and knew how much of an extra step it was for me to pump for his first year of life or is it him acknowledging the time that it took away from daily schedules in nursing Deacon? Who knows! All Mark and I know is that every time we pray for Megan and Timon, we cannot forget to pray for "baby in the belly and baby's milk." Anyways, it's not every day that your younger sister is pregnant with her first baby -- and a baby boy too! So when, your sister casually asks if you'd take their maternity photos, the answer is ABSOLUTELY. We decided to try out a new location and it served us well because exploring and walking along the path of Lebanon Hills for their photos was a beautiful setting!
It was finally the long awaited moment. We had arrived at Purgatory Park and the irony of the name struck us as we walked the path to where Nick was. As Stephani took steps closer to her groom, the reality of the wedding day sunk in all the more. He held his eyes tightly closed, struggling with wanting to peek and see his beautiful bride but also not wanting to look until the exact moment. It wasn’t your typical first look. This one was different. Both Nick and Stephani had chosen to save their first kiss until their wedding day and since it was finally that day, there we stood at Purgatory Park anticipating the long awaited first kiss.
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.
The Grand at Mulligans banquet room was full, each wedding guest with their eyes locked on the bride and groom as the best man stood up to give his speech. “Matt, you’ve found the person who is perfect for you… the person who completes you… your best friend. That person was born 19 years ago... It’s me,” said Ben. Everyone burst into laughter as Matt and Laura exchanged a loving glance with one another and smirked at Matt’s younger brother.
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!
Friends! We are so excited to share this Grand Event Center Wedding with you today! It’s hard for us to believe that Kari and Michael’s wedding day has already passed by. We remember shivering together with them in downtown Stillwater for their engagement photos like it was yesterday, but, alas, here we are! A Cinco de Mayo wedding? Yes, they happened to choose that awesome date and the case of the traveling sombrero did happen a bit behind the scenes. We couldn’t have picked a more perfect day for their day! The sun was shining but not too hot, the earth was finally turning green thanks to all of our late snow, and Michael and Kari were surrounded by friends and family who so evidently were excited about the new step these two were taking.
Class of 2018, you're almost there! In a few weeks, you'll be zipping up your gowns, fixing on those caps, and getting ready for that all-night senior party. You are a class of amazingly talented, good looking, fun-loving individuals who will be stretching out those legs and walking out in the world. Our job of hanging out with you to capture your senior photos? Absolutely amazing, we love it! All it took was one question to know Anders is totally legit and we would hit it off great during his shoot. The question: "What's your favorite place to eat?" The answer? "Chipotle." Mind-blown. That's our favorite place to eat. But then, Anders followed it up with pizza places, Panera Bread, and he's also game for Panda Express if he is wanting some Chinese food. (Okay, we're beginning to think you watch where we eat, Anders.)
They stood only steps away from each other. His back to her. Beautiful, fresh spring-time flowers grasped within the palms of her hands. He stood still. Hands clasped one over the other, holding back the wedding day nerves and sheer excitement to see his beautiful bride. It was cold for an April wedding. They didn’t expect the snow for their day, but it was a beautiful white covering over the world. Showing the freshness and newness of the final moments of being fiancés and the starting moments of a married couple. KayLee walked slowly towards Eno.
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:
Connect with us!
Hey! We're Mark & Lindsay Wiggins, husband and wife Minnesota photographers. Click here to find out more about us.