Andrea Mae Photography: Blog en-us (C) Andrea Mae Photography (Andrea Mae Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:20:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:20:00 GMT Andrea Mae Photography: Blog 80 120 The Sweetest Sound Owen came into the studio at 11 days old. He snuggled right in and was the perfect little gentleman for his entire session. My favorite part though was the sweet sounds he made throughout the session. I couldn't help but smile at every little sigh and grunt he gave. And if that wasn't enough to make me swoon, he decided to throw in a couple of smiles and smirks too! Oh, Owen you are going to break so many hearts!

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Sat, 28 Jul 2018 22:21:36 GMT
Jai's Mini Session Sweet baby Jai, at just 9 days old, came to visit me at the studio for his newborn mini session. Yep, that's right, Andrea Mae Photography is now offering petite newborn sessions! Jai was such a little peanut weighing only about 5 pounds the day of his session! It's been a while since I had such a tiny baby in my arms! He was a big sweetie though and I enjoyed every minute with him! Congratulations S Family on your little piece of perfection!

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Fri, 13 Apr 2018 19:59:37 GMT
Jacob's Journey Jacob's Journey

It was a cloudy Tuesday in November, but our day couldn't have been brighter as Jacob Francis Griep greeted us for the first time with a hearty cry. He had 10 perfect fingers & toes and the creamiest skin I'd ever seen! He was incredibly beautiful (if I do say so myself)! Not only was I thrilled to finally meet our baby boy (who was a week overdue), but I was equally ecstatic to no longer be pregnant! (I will openly admit that pregnancy does not become me - insert apology to my husband and family for my erratic behavior the past 9 months). Thankfully labor and delivery went quickly and smoothly giving me nothing more to complain about once the little 8 pound bundle was set into my arms.

Jake (10)Jake (10) Jake (11)Jake (11) Jake (3)Jake (3) From day one Jake has been very aware of his surroundings. He is constantly looking around with his big brown eyes absorbing everything that is taking place around him. He also likes to eat often and then cat nap afterwards, so we've been calling him a 'snack and napper'. Jake (2)Jake (2) Jake (4)Jake (4) Jake (7)Jake (7) One of my favorite moments from the day Jake was born was watching my husband, Andy, hold Jake for the first time. He was beaming from ear to ear! I enjoyed watching him handle Jake like an old pro now that he is a seasoned dad. Jake (8)Jake (8) Jake (6)Jake (6) Jake (5)Jake (5) Jake (9)Jake (9)

I was a tad nervous about how big brother, Will, was going to handle our newest addition. But my fears were immediately dashed the moment Will climbed right up next to Jake and gave him a kiss. He was fascinated with his new baby brother! The entire first visit he kept walking over and peeking at Jake, it was so sweet! And since then he has been a fantastic big brother and excellent helper to his mama. Jake (12)Jake (12) Jake (13)Jake (13)

Jake's middle name, Francis, has extra special meaning to me. He shares the same middle name with his Grandpa Brian and Great-Grandpa Ivan. My dad, Brian (pictured below), is well known in our family for his kindness and love for animals. Not only do animals seem to gravitate toward him, but he has also been know to (on several occasions) stop his motor grader in the middle of a road to move a little salamander out of harms way. Thus gaining him the nickname St. Francis (patron saint of animals) and therefore sealing the deal on Jacob's middle name.

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After a good rest at the hospital we were happy to head home and settle back into life. In the short amount of time that he's been here, we've already learned so much about Jake. He loves bath time, but hates getting dressed afterwards. He is very strong and holds his head up to look around constantly (looking out the window is his favorite). He enjoys tummy time and tons of snuggles. And he gives the most smiles to his big brother, Will (I have a feeling they are going to be good buds). I can't help but feel incredibly lucky to be the Mama of yet another handsome and sweet baby boy.

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Fresh 48 Photography by the ever talented Angela Archer Photography

Newborn Photography and baby announcement design by yours truly

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Wed, 07 Feb 2018 18:27:15 GMT
Vivian Vivian was a proper little lady through her entire session! Not only did she sleep soundly, but she posed like an angel. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed spending time with her and her parents. 2017-10-27_00012017-10-27_0001 2017-10-27_00142017-10-27_0014 2017-10-27_00082017-10-27_0008 2017-10-27_00112017-10-27_0011 2017-10-27_00102017-10-27_0010 2017-10-27_00092017-10-27_0009 2017-10-27_00132017-10-27_0013 2017-10-27_00042017-10-27_0004

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Fri, 27 Oct 2017 20:15:09 GMT
Mommy & Me It was a hot & humid, summer evening for this Mommy & Me session, but the lighting was perfection which made it worth every single bead of sweat. Tiffany and daughter, Veda, arrived dressed in adorable matching dresses which made my heart jump for joy! These two were full of so much life, love, and happiness (and a touch of goofiness - you should see the outtakes!). It was an absolute pleasure capturing every moment of their relationship. Thank you, Tiffany and Veda for including me in your journey. It is an honor to call you my dear friends!

Love and Light, Andrea

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:05:41 GMT
Madison I'm excited to welcome Miss Madison! She is so beautiful and she is so very loved. She did make us work a bit for these images, but it was all worth it in the end when she gave the sweetest little heart melts.


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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Thu, 11 May 2017 21:16:37 GMT
Teddy Teddy's newborn session is extra special to me and I have been dying to share his images. Not only is his mama my old college friend whose wedding I photographed this past summer, but Teddy's session is a step in a new direction for me. As you may know, I love pre-planning sets and coordinating colors and props prior to a session. Before Teddy arrived I spent a good amount of time with his mama discussing a theme and color schemes to match their personality, style, as well as their home décor. Planning and preparing everything before the session gave me time to really perfect every color, outfit and prop that was used. It also gave me time to purchase and borrow a few items to really make these photos spectacular. Not only did all of this pre-planning make the day of the session run more smoothly, but all of these images coordinate together beautifully making designing a baby announcement or book a piece of cake! Newborn (7)Newborn (7) Newborn (8)Newborn (8) Newborn (15)Newborn (15) Newborn (14)Newborn (14) Newborn (9)Newborn (9) Newborn (1)Newborn (1) Newborn (12)Newborn (12) Newborn (13)Newborn (13) Newborn (11)Newborn (11) Newborn (10)Newborn (10) Newborn (2)Newborn (2) Newborn (5)Newborn (5) Newborn (3)Newborn (3) Newborn (4)Newborn (4)  Thank you to my dear friends, The Beeck's, for including me in all of life's precious moments. Xo, Andrea

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 21 Mar 2017 20:53:12 GMT
Fresh 48 Fresh 48 sessions are another favorite of mine. For those of you who aren't familiar, this is a session done at the place of birth, within the first 48 hours of baby's life. I find myself enjoying these sessions being they are laid back and take more of a lifestyle and candid approach to photography. I also love that all I need is my camera and a fresh little baby! This little guy in particular I am super excited to share.

So with out further ado I welcome, Teddy! Fresh48 (10)Fresh48 (10) Fresh48 (11)Fresh48 (11) Fresh48 (1)Fresh48 (1) Fresh48 (2)Fresh48 (2) Fresh48 (3)Fresh48 (3) Fresh48 (7)Fresh48 (7) Fresh48 (8)Fresh48 (8) Fresh48 (4)Fresh48 (4) Fresh48 (5)Fresh48 (5) Fresh48 (6)Fresh48 (6)

Stay tuned for Teddy's newborn session, next up on the blog!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:23:22 GMT
Darling Anja Darling is the perfect description for Anja's two year session. It seems I have been doing more in home, lifestyle sessions as of late. But I definitely can't complain when the lighting is beautiful, the décor is to die for and our model is beyond adorable. I honestly felt like a kid in a candy store the moment I walked into Anja's room. There were so many lovely details for me to capture! Every piece that was carefully placed had a story of sentiment behind it making these images extra special. Her Mama (whom you all know best as my assistant, Kara) did such a wonderful job decorating her youngest daughter's room. It's no wonder that I call on her design expertise for my own sets!   Andrea Mae Photography (2)Andrea Mae Photography (2) Andrea Mae Photography (3)Andrea Mae Photography (3) Andrea Mae Photography (12)Andrea Mae Photography (12) Andrea Mae Photography (5)Andrea Mae Photography (5) Andrea Mae Photography (10)Andrea Mae Photography (10) Andrea Mae Photography (7)Andrea Mae Photography (7) Andrea Mae Photography (8)Andrea Mae Photography (8) Andrea Mae Photography (9)Andrea Mae Photography (9) Andrea Mae Photography (11)Andrea Mae Photography (11) Andrea Mae Photography (6)Andrea Mae Photography (6)

Happy Belated Birthday Darling Anja! It was a lovely tea party with you and your bunnies!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:00:34 GMT
Bump & Bedrest It's not often that I travel to a client's home for their maternity session, but when Mama-to-be is very pregnant and on bed rest I pack up my cameras and hit the road. You might remember this gorgeous red head as a bride I photographed this past summer. I was thrilled to hear that Arielle and Adam wasted no time in starting their family. With plenty of window light, and a lovely lady with the cutest bump, we were able to capture some beautiful lifestyle photographs to document this phase of their life. Before packing up my equipment, Arielle and I chatted at length about their upcoming newborn session. We were able to narrow down a color pallet and theme that will coordinate perfectly with their style as well as baby's nursery. Needless to say, I am super excited for this little guy to arrive, which should be any day now! The suspense is killing me! Come on baby!

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:30:00 GMT
Pretty Puppy It's no secret that I love photographing newborns, but did I mention that this love extends to more than just the human kind? ;)

Introducing Harley, the newest member of the Stocker Family.

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Thu, 16 Feb 2017 23:30:00 GMT
Little Lila I had so much fun with Little Lila during her session last week. She gave me several raspberries (which cracked me up to no end) and then continued to entertain me with a variety of awesome expressions (as you'll see below). We got in plenty of snuggles and talked at length about her beauty. It was a lovely morning to say the least! I particularly enjoyed preparing for Lila's session being we coordinated all of her sets with her nursery, which consists of creams and golds. Not only will these images look great in Lila's new room, but when we design her announcement card and baby book, all of her photographs will work together perfectly! I can't tell you how much that makes my heart happy!

Happy Valentine's Day Little Lila!

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 14 Feb 2017 20:13:10 GMT
Aloha Wedding I wrapped up the 2016 wedding season on the beautiful island of Kauai. It was a warm, humid day filled with vibrant colors, tears of joy, bursts of laughter, and lots of love. We started the day off at a 1920's plantation managers home that had plenty of space, beautiful light, and tons of character. I couldn't have picked a better spot for my bride, Laura, to get ready. After photographing all the lovely details outside, I headed back indoors to a stunning bride that was ready and excited to start her special day. As the dressing process proceeded I made sure to document every moment and detail as I knew Laura had carefully handpicked every item to coordinate perfectly with her dress. After her dress was laced, jewelry placed, and shoes slipped on, there was a moment of pause as Laura look at her reflection in the mirror. In this moment I could see that everything Laura had dreamed of, everything she had planned for, had all became a reality (making this one of my favorite moments of the day). With the finishing touches in place the anticipation grew as Laura walked up behind her groom and tapped him on the shoulder for their first look. There was almost an audible sigh of relief as nerves faded away with their first hug and kiss of the day. It was after the calm settled in that I stepped in to work my magic! As we made our way down the shot list, I felt like a bit of a crazy person bouncing around, cracking jokes while posing and perfecting every shot. Laura and Andy's family and friends were not only easy to work with but a ton of fun (they got bonus points for laughing at all of my jokes)! With the majority of the shot list complete we shifted gears towards the nuptials. Andy and Laura's ceremony was unlike any other I had ever seen, it was beyond beautiful. As the ritual began the couple paused to soak in the moment as they looked around at their surrounding loved ones, you could feel the love and excitement in the air. The ceremony continued with words of wisdom from parents and grandparents, followed by drinking out of a freshly cracked coconut, the ring exchange, vows, with it all finalized by a kiss. After a quick group photo, the first dance took place under a flower adorned tree (it was like watching a scene out of a movie)! As the sun began to set we headed down to the beach for one last photograph (because every wedding in Hawaii should include photos with sand and palm trees). It was truly a fantastic day in every possible way (even despite the fact that at dinner I bumped a waitress and a glass went crashing to the floor causing everyone to stop and look my way - oopsies. Did I mention that I'm not always the most graceful?). But seriously, I could not have been more honored by Laura and Andy's invitation to their Hawaii wedding. Congratulations and thank you, Mr. & Mrs. McGuire! To say it was a pleasure would be an understatement!

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Thu, 09 Feb 2017 19:54:38 GMT
Tea with Alyssa Mae Alyssa Mae joined me for a lovely cup of tea last week to celebrate her 2nd birthday. Her Mama is one of my very best friends, so needless to say this little lady means an awful lot to me. We also share the same middle name which made my melt when her mama said it was not a coincidence (tear). Alyssa is one of the sweetest and cutest two year olds I know. She loves horses, serving never ending cups of tea to her grandparents, drawing, and eating pizza & cookies.

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Happy Birthday Alyssa Mae!

Xoxo, Andrea Mae

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:55:57 GMT
Aleda. 9 days new. Meet Aleda. AK-25AK-25 She's 9 days new, and a beauty to say the least. To be honest I have been waiting to meet this little lady for quite some time, three years to be exact. I photographed her parent's (Casie & Eric) wedding back in 2013, when they were one of my first clients after the official opening of Andrea Mae Photography. This being just one of the many reasons why this couple holds a special place in my heart. It's no secret that photographing newborns is my absolute favorite, so after every wedding I am secretly waiting (ok, dying) to hear from a happy couple that they are expecting a little bundle of joy. I was beyond delighted when Casie & Eric (finally) shared their good news with me. I always find it as a great compliment when a client returns to me to document another one of life's special moments. This time was no exception.

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Thank you, Casie & Eric for including me in your journey! It has been an honor and a pleasure!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Fri, 27 Jan 2017 19:56:56 GMT
Little Lumberjack When my old college bud, Jacki, booked her son’s cake smash session with me, I just knew we were going to create something special! Being Jacki is a fellow graphic designer, as well as a professional cake decorator, I knew I had to pull out all the stops for her and her kiddos.
Blog3Blog3 Blog4Blog4 Jacki did a fantastic job of coordinating outfits. As she was out and about shopping she sent me photos of a few clothing options so I could help her with selecting outfits that would photograph the best. I typically recommend soft colors and muted tones for most of my clients, but when Jacki mentioned that she wanted a lumberjack theme I knew we had to go with colors that were a bit more bold. I would say these colors and patterns worked perfectly with our theme. To complete the look, we headed out back to my woodpile for their family photos. Blog5Blog5 Blog6Blog6 My favorite thing about these boys is their laughter. Big brother, Coltin, has a deep jolly laugh that I can’t help but love. When Bennett joins in I can’t help but giggle right along. Blog7Blog7 To finish up the session we headed back into the studio for Bennett's cake smash. We always save this for last being we create quite the mess. Bennett did not disappoint me, he dove right into his cake and made a grand effort to polish it off before heading off to the bath tub for clean up.


A big thank you to Jacki and her kiddos for the entertainment and awesome session!

Xoxo, Andrea

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:29:49 GMT
Aloha I had an incredible opportunity present itself this past year. A bride inquired with me about me photographing her wedding in Hawaii! How could I say 'no'?! I couldn't! Particularly since it had been several years since we've taken a trip that far from home. I was a bit nervous as I am not the best traveler (thankfully Andy, my husband, is), but my excitement far outweighed my nerves. So we booked our flights, packed our bags and headed to the islands! A quick selfie at the airport in between flights and we were well on our way!


We started our trip in Honolulu, O'hau on Waikiki Beach. I wanted to experience the tourist lifestyle there, and I wasn't disappointed! It was full of hustle and bustle with unique shopping malls at every turn complete with restaurants galore (with Tiki's being our favorite). I was immediately in awe of the views, every direction I turned there was a sight to appreciate. Below is the view from our hotel room.


Our first morning in paradise started with a lovely walk along the beach to get a better grasp of our surroundings, we found the perfect spot for our first Hawaii selfie.


We spent our share of time on the beach soaking up the sun knowing that back home they were experiencing sub-zero temperatures (at one point I heard Antarctica was warmer). I'd say we picked the perfect time to leave Minnesota!


After resting up we rented a scooter and took off for the day to see the sights outside of Waikiki Beach. (The scooter rental places guys were awesome - hence the epic photo bomb in the photo below)


Our first stop was Hanauma Bay to snorkel. Andy was a natural and loved this part of our journey. I, on the other hand, took a while to get the hang of it. Once I did though, I was able to enjoy the sights of all the bright and colorful (and some very large) fish.





After snorkeling we hopped back on our scooter and cruised along the shoreline. This was my favorite part! It was like being in a post card! The views were ah-mazing and colors to die for! Photos truly don't do these photos justice.

Blog4Blog4 We pulled over at a one of the overlooks to absorb the beauty and ask a complete stranger to take our photo.


Hawaii-35Hawaii-35 Next stop was a wicked hiking trail that was less traveled (one of the locals told us about it). It was a little more of a challenge with steep hills, mud, rocks, fallen trees and streams to cross. This kind of hike I knew would appeal to Andy's adventurous side and I must say I was pretty proud of myself for completing such a long hike without twisting an ankle or breaking my camera.




We stopped for a jumping picture for one of our friends who is notorious for such photos. Blog5Blog5


Hawaii-30-EditHawaii-30-Edit The reward at the end of the hike was the Maunawili Waterfall.


Day Three consisted of a trip to the Pearl Harbor Memorial to pay our respects. Andy is a history fan, so this was a 'must see' on his list.




To finish our Pearl Harbor tour we jumped over to the USS Missouri to tour as well. Andy thoroughly enjoyed going below and looking in each room on the ship. I thoroughly enjoyed my dip and dots ice cream.



At the end of our tour we knew we had to get on 'Dis Bus' which our driver, Cousin John, had cleverly labeled.


For lunch the next day we dined at Lu Lu's, we found this exceptionally entertaining as my mom's name is Lu Anne (Lu for short). So of course we had to take a photo for my mama.


Attending a Luau was another item on our bucket list. And Chief's Luau was the best! Chief Sielu Avea is indeed a real Chief with a real sense of humor.




Here I had my first Mai Tai, but the Lava Flows were my personal favorite. They are like a Pina Colada with a strawberry twist. Yum!


The party concluded with Polynesian dancers and a fire show.



After another day of rest on the beach, the sun had set (quite literally) on our time in O'ahu.


We jumped on another plane to Kuai where we photographed the most beautiful wedding.


We started the day in a beautiful and historic house where the bride got ready.


As usual Andy was super excited to be my test shot subject.


And how incredible is this location?! The bride and groom had their first dance in the garden that was complete with a pond full of lilies, a waterfall and flowers hanging from the trees. How can I not love this wedding?! M-2402M-2402

Blog15Blog15 After nearly two weeks away from home, we missed our little guy like crazy (we left our 2 year old, Will, behind in the very capable hands of my sister and niece)! So we were ready to head home in time to enjoy the holidays with him.


Hawaii was everything I had dreamed it could be and more! I saw so many beautiful sights and had an abundance of new & fun experiences that I will never forget. I can only hope that there will be more wonderful trips such as this one in our future.

M-1774M-1774 Until we meet again my friends. Aloha!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:43:06 GMT
O Christmas Tree For as long as I can remember my family has ventured to the Brewery Hill Christmas Tree Farm to cut down the perfect tree to display for the holiday season. I have many fond memories of debating over which tree was the best and gaining bragging rights when your tree was chosen. To complete the experience, we'd head over to the tree shaker to visit with Santa, followed by hot cider and cookies. Now with a family of my own, the tradition continues.





The temperature was perfect and we were all in good spirits as we ventured up and down the rows in search of our piece of perfection. I love that Will made sure to oversee Andy as he took the saw to our tree. Collage1Collage1

And of course, we ALL had to haul it in (Will is such a helper!).


Watching the crew hard at work! Black Friday was a particulary busy day for them!


T-97T-97 Brewery Hill Tree Farm also offers wreaths, as well as many other goodies within their shop!


Andy was excited to haul the tree home this year now that we have a trailer of our own.


After taking a little break (or better known as nap time), we finally got to the best part...decorating! T-120T-120

This is one of my all time favorite ornaments that I look forward to reminiscing about each and every year. Andy gave it to me for our very first Christmas together. It's been 10 years now since he gave this to me.


The final product.



Thanks to the Brewery Hill Christmas Tree Farm and the Wilson Family for not just the beautiful trees but all the beautiful memories.

Another big thank you goes out to Alexandria Gemma Guertin for her photography skills (#proudauntie).

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Fri, 09 Dec 2016 03:23:56 GMT
Traveling Family This fantastic family is another favorite of mine. I have been working with them for several years now and always love when they come to see me. I was so sad when I heard they were moving to a different state, with the travel time and schedule differences, I was afraid I wasn't going to see them this year. To my surprise (and delight), they contacted me and traveled all the way from Iowa for their session this year!


The weather was perfect and the kids were as cute as they come! I couldn't ask for anything more!


Miss Rhielle is growing up to be such a little lady!


Collin and I are buds, we have WAY to much fun when we are together! Though his serious face gets me every time!


Maren has grown so much since I last saw her! Such a sweetie!


We may have goofed around just a bit...


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WE-233WE-233 WE-199WE-199 WE-138-EditWE-138-Edit Thank you Westbrook Family for another amazing year!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 22 Nov 2016 13:00:00 GMT
Holicky Wedding Chelsey & Pat were married on the most perfect day this past August.


The day started off at Traxler's Hunting Preserve where the wedding party got ready.  


Capturing the preparation and anticipation of the day.   Collage2Collage2

Taking a moment after the bride is dressed to photograph her beauty is always a priority for me. She is often nervous, excited, and always stunning! G-199-EditG-199-Edit

Next, we hunted down the groom; having mom pin on his boutineer is always a highlight of the day. Collage3Collage3 G-135G-135

The first meeting is one of the most exciting parts of the day! The moment a couple sees each other for the first time on their special day is very joyful! We always make a point to set up the meeting and capture the reactions of both Bride and Groom.  Collage4Collage4

Adding the final touch.





I couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous wedding party! Collage7Collage7

I love when they bring a bit of flare, in this case everyone sported sunglasses to show off a little sass. Collage8Collage8 Collage9Collage9


The first time dad sees his daughter on her wedding day is always a touching and emotional moment. Collage10Collage10

Family formals were just lovely in this quaint little country church.


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Instead of the traditional bar hop, this couple opted for a tractor-drawn hayride with their dads as their chauffeurs.    G-1145-2G-1145-2


This truly perfect day concluded with an outdoor reception, clear skies and lots of love.


Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Holicky!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 08 Nov 2016 19:40:09 GMT
Wallace & Gromit I have had the pleasure of working with Wallace & Gromit (aka Shane & Kari Wallace) for the past two years. They booked me as their wedding photographer and have been faithful clients (and friends) ever since!


In 2015 they welcomed William Wallace into the world. I was beyond excited that they returned for me to document William's milestones and have really enjoyed watching baby Wallace grow over the past year! William has come into the studio as a newborn, 3-month-old, 6-month-old, 9-month-old, and, most recently, for his first birthday. 


During his one year session, we included a family photo to document Williams relationship with his parents.  Although 1-year sessions are specifically geared towards the child, it's always nice to include mom and dad in at least a few shots! The Wallace's requested that family photos be a part of the session and I was more than happy to oblige! 

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William is one of the happiest little guys I have ever met! He smiled the ENTIRE session! 


This tractor loving boy had a John Deere themed birthday party and we created a custom set to match the decor! 


Again, his joyful smile says it all! This boy loves his tractors! 



Thank you, Wallace and Gromit for including me in your special moments these past two years! It's been so fun to watch your love multiply! 

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 01 Nov 2016 19:22:22 GMT
Meet Tiff & Robert Tiffany & Robert booked me for their wedding and have decided on a package that includes their engagement session. Tiffany was a bridesmaid in a wedding that I photographed this past November.  I always find it very flattering when a wedding party member decides to book me for their own wedding. H-181H-181 Collage2Collage2

These guys did a wonderful job coordinating their clothing.  I love the neutrals and that pop of burgundy.  Tiff even had a matching manicure to show off that ring! 

H-43-EditH-43-Edit Animals can be very important part of a relationship and are always welcome to join their people for a session, however, they may not always cooperate and smile for the camera. If possible, it's handy to have an extra person available to help manage the 4 legged friends during the session.  In this case, Tiff's mom joined us and managed the pups while we were busy shooting.

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Just down the road was a lovely field of flowers for us to take advantage of.  Early fall can be a challenging time of year because most of the summer color has gone and the leaves haven't started changing yet. Luckily, I have a few scouts that keep an eye out for fields like this one and let me know! It was certainly worth the trip!   Collage5Collage5

Check out this nifty white truck! Couldn't miss the opportunity to have it in a few photos! 

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The golden hour was upon us and the light was beautiful! I love the different expressions I captured here! Smiles, laughter, happiness and most of all love!  Collage6Collage6


H-288H-288 After a stellar engagement session, I can't wait to photograph their wedding!

Peace Out!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:07:32 GMT
Mia's First Year Mia's 1 Year Old


As many of you know, newborn sessions are my favorite to photograph, but next on the list is one year sessions that include a themed cake smash.  Mia and her family came into the studio recently to document her birthday and we had a blast! This cute little girl has a bright bubbly personality and was a breeze to work with.

CollageCollage Mia's mom did a wonderful job preparing for the shoot.  She purchased a bunch of items off Etsy to be incorporated into Mia's session and sent me photos so I could coordinate the sets accordingly.  Because mom communicated with me in advance the sets were designed and ready before the family even walked in the door.  This allowed us to work quickly and keep little Mia's attention - making for a very smooth session!   M-60M-60 Mom and dad didn't plan to be in any photos but I'm a sucker for Converse so I made them jump in for a quick shot!   Collage2Collage2

Capturing the essence of being ONE in this photo! A cozy blanket, some special stuffed friends, her silky little lovie and a few books.  All things that are important to Mia and make her smile!  


A baby and her balloons. Love the pastels mixed with gold!


A quick switch of the backdrop allowed me to capture more of the special outfit mom purchased! Check out those cute gold shoes!  Collag4Collag4

Mom said she wanted pinks and golds for Mia's cake smash photos. A few days before the session Kara and I spent some time designing this set and I am super excited to say that this is my all time favorite cake smash set and I am pretty sure Mia liked it too!


Typically by the end of the cake smash session little ones can be a bit cranky and are ready to be done with photos, but Mia was still all smiles; so instead of the bathtub we took her outside to get cleaned up.  So glad it was still warm enough to be outside because the resulting photo is adorable! Happy Birthday little Mia, it was so fun having you and your family in the studio!


]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:42:55 GMT
Kicking Off the Senior Season Luke was our first senior in to kick off the senior portrait season! I met Luke last year when his family hired me for an extended family session and was pleased when they decided to return for Luke's senior session.  Building relationships through my business has opened the doors to many meaningful connections in the community and the loyalty of returning clients always means a lot to me.


We started at the studio for a few traditional indoor shots; these always make for classic keepsakes and wonderful gifts for grandparents. 

Collage1Collage1 Luke's serious face was killer! W-69-EditW-69-Edit

We typically spend minimal time the studio with just one or two outfits being outdoor photographs are more often the favored. In this case, Luke quickly changed his top for a different look and then we proceeded to some nifty outdoor locations he had in mind.



Dressing in layers helps add dimension to an outfit and another benefit is that removal of a layer offers a completely different look with little effort.


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Again, the quick swap of a shirt and adding the leather jacket gave us a completely different look. 



Luke's family owns and operates a local tree farm and it was important to him to capture that family history in some of his portraits.  


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Lastly, we stopped at the high school gym to show off his wrestling and weightlifting skills.  

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As you can see, Luke is an avid wrestler!   W-249-EditW-249-Edit W-256W-256

Given that all the locations Luke requested were in close proximity and he had many quick and easy outfit changes his session went smoothly (with the exception of being eaten alive by mosquitoes); we were able to capture many of the things that were important to him.  Congrats to Luke on his final year of high school!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Fri, 14 Oct 2016 18:35:17 GMT
On Location with Nathan N-118N-118

This handsome little guy recently turned four! Nathan and his parents invited me to their property to document the milestone and we had a lot of fun getting some great images! 



Although I have a studio and property of my own and use it often for sessions, I really do enjoy going to new and different locations! It's especially fun when clients invite me to a unique location that the general public doesn't have access to.  In this case, Nathan and his family don't live very far from me and it was well worth the trip to their house!  


Collage2Collage2 Nathan has a monkey that is very special to him, it's always wonderful to include those special items in a child's portraits.  It captures who they are in that moment and documents the history of what is important to the individual. 



I have  been taking Nathan's milestone portraits since he was a newborn.  He is a very sweet and charming little guy, however, he has always been a bit shy in the studio as he is out of his element.  As you can see, he is perfectly comfortable on his family property!  This is another very good reason to consider choosing a familiar location, especially if the child is quiet or shy.         Collage3Collage3 Collage1Collage1

You can just feel the love and joy! Look at that smile! 


We ended the session with a few photos by the tractor and I can say with certainty that was Nathans favorite part! 


]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 04 Oct 2016 19:26:11 GMT
Health Comes First I have debated for quite a while about whether I wanted to share my personal health story on the blog but it is an important part of my life story.  For those of you who don't know, I have had my share of medical battles. When I was 7 years old I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease). For the most part, as a youngster, this condition didn't affect me and I had a considerably normal childhood. However, once I hit my teen years this disease took over my life. I struggled for years with pain, ridiculous amounts of time spent in the restroom, extremely unpleasant procedures, and one medication failure after another (some with some nasty side effects). I missed out on a lot during my high school years, so much in fact, that I was dis-enrolled from school. After transferring to a Charter School, I was able to get back on track and graduate on time. My struggle with this disease continued as I took a break from school and worked at a local low key job. I was about 20 years old and was incredibly tired of being sick and missing out on life events. I was willing to try anything to get better. It was at this time that I transferred doctors and found a medical team that would help me get my health and my life back to being my own.   


At that point in my life I was prescribed a new medication, which was an IV infusion (I had been on pills up to this point).  I-25-EditI-25-Edit With nothing left to lose I started what I now refer to as my 'miracle meds'. With the assistance of this medication I was able to achieve remission and get back to living a 'normal' life. I-21-EditI-21-Edit

I am now considered a 'regular' at the infusion center and receive an infusion every 7 weeks. The process takes about 3 hours and I have come to look forward to it. It seems to be the only time I get to sneak in a nap and catch up on my TV shows! Collage 1Collage 1 With my recurring visits I have developed a meaningful friendship with my nurses. Nurse Kerry takes particularly good care of me! I just love her! I-19-EditI-19-Edit All hooked up and ready to roll Collage 2Collage 2 Time for the Pre-medications


The pre-meds (that help ward off any potential allergic reactions) make me sleepy and I often end up dozing off.


To this day I don't take a single day that I am healthy for granted! I've learned that my health has to come first in order to keep my family and business running smoothly.

Lastly, I can't say enough good things about my nurses! Past and present, they have always been the ones to offer comfort or reassurance when I have needed it.  They are the ones working tirelessly to provide care for the ill and injured.  I am one of the lucky ones at the infusion center, many are battling much bigger illnesses than myself.  I have witnessed the true value of a nurse many times over my years of receiving infusions.  They really do put the care in healthcare. Thank you to all these lovely ladies for taking care of me!  I owe a lot of my success to my health care team as I wouldn't be where I am today without getting my health back on track! 


Photo credit goes out to Kara Olson

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:47:06 GMT
Arielle & Adam B-92B-92 Arielle & Adam celebrated their big day this past June.  Collage1Collage1



The first look...a beautiful and intimate moment!  Need I say more?! collage 7collage 7


A stunning Bride and her Groom

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There were lots of siblings in this wedding party!  The flowers looked lovely against the wedding parties attire in an ombre color pallet.  B-371B-371 Collage 3Collage 3 B-2713B-2713 A few sweet moments with the little ones!  Collage 4Collage 4

Black and whites are always classic!

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Here comes the bride....

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The Kiss! 


Off to celebrate....


and a fabulous celebration it was!  collage 12collage 12

Adam's smile says it all! 


We had to revisit the bridge that we took some of their engagement photos on. This spot has special meaning to Arielle because her dad built it. Collage2Collage2

and the happy couple rode off into the beautiful sunset! 

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 20 Sep 2016 22:31:29 GMT
Baby Steps Baby Steps - documenting a year of firsts with baby Liam and his family! 


I consider it an honor when a family contacts me with news of a new baby on the horizon to schedule a newborn session.  Newborn photography is my passion and I am flattered each and every time a family entrusts me with the responsibility of documenting their new bundle of joy.     

H-84-EditH-84-Edit  Capturing the purity and innocence of a brand new itty-bitty is best accomplished when the baby is under 14 days old.  Typically new babies, like Liam, are very sleepy in those first days, which is key to a highly successful session.  True newborns are most content and relaxed when asleep, which in turn allows me time to pose and perfect each photograph.  A typical newborn session runs much longer than your standard portrait session and provides time for baby to be comforted, rocked, changed and even fed.  We pull out all the stops to try and keep baby as content as possible while in the studio for that first session.  Although I have many tried and true tricks to keep those eyes closed and baby sleeping soundly sometimes they just don't cooperate and instead we get to see their big bright eyes!  As you can see, when this happens, it's just as cute!


Documenting the tiny details and the smallness of a newborn is just as precious as a full portrait.  The little fingers and toes only stay that way for a short while and it's especially nice to preserve those initial features for eternity.      Collage6Collage6

Whether it's baby number one or baby number four that first family photo speaks volumes! Capturing joy and love like this can't be underestimated!  A treasured moment for everyone.  


Birth announcements are a very typical way to share the news of a new baby but during a newborn session we will end up with way too many to fit on the announcement! Another great display option and keepsake is a custom designed album.  Albums provide a wonderful way to have all the favorite photos from a session displayed in one place and there will always be space on a bookshelf or coffee table to keep your memories close - even many years into the future! 


Liam had his second portrait session at 6-months of age.  Typically at about 6 months babies are sitting with little to no assistance, making it fun to capture them from a different angle.      HA-18HA-18

In Liam's session, it was particularly fun to highlight the special mother/son relationship these two have and capture their interactions.  Mom was thrilled we took these photos and now displays this series of images on lovely gallery wrapped canvas.  There is great value in including a mother in any portrait session with her children, far too often mom is the one taking the photos and doesn't have photos of herself with her children.


For Liam's 6 month session we made custom designed mini books for his grandparents.  This provides another great and more cost effective option to share a series of photos in a unique and fun way without taking up a lot of space!  Mini books are truly a hit!


Liam recently celebrated his first birthday! Look at that handsome smile! 


Anyone with a one-year-old knows you have to move quickly, and with a portrait session that is no exception.  Running shoes are a wardrobe staple!  With new found skills like walking and vast amounts of curiosity, we get a HUGE variety of poses and expressions within a very short amount of time! Sometimes it goes from laughter and smiles to tears and tantrums within 30 seconds! Babies on the verge of toddlerhood change in the blink of an eye; from sitting to standing to walking (and sometimes running) so we are thoughtful with our choice of props and sets to accommodate and intrigue just long enough to hopefully capture a big smile!   


Liam's parents were great at incorporating special items that were important to them.  Liam has a special duck and loves to read so they brought items from home and we used them as part of a set.  This is a great way to showcase a special item and document a little's personality and what they enjoy!


A big part of the one-year session is the cake smash set! Liam loves the movie Cars and his mom was already planning a Cars themed birthday party. So naturally, we went with that theme!  A cake smash set can be as simple or elaborate as a family would like it to be.  With Kara on my team, we have been able to create some very fun sets and custom banners!  Cake smash sessions do require some planning and assembly prior to the session, and after chatting with Liam's mom we decided to incorporate some of his birthday party decor into the set.


From birth to one year there are many firsts to document! I am always pleased to be involved in preserving those special memories and helping my clients find fun and unique ways to display and gift their photographs! Liam's parents choose a portrait package that included his sessions and a few of the products they decided to order. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know each and every child that comes through the studio doors and it's especially fun when I get to document all of those special moments! Many thanks to Liam and his family for sharing their year of firsts!

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 13 Sep 2016 18:28:23 GMT
Sophie S-117S-117

Sophie is another lovely young lady that has been an important part of my life and photography journey. Not only is she my cousin, she was the flower girl in my wedding and we have a long history together. 

Blog9Blog9 Sophie was one of my first models as I started my photography career and has returned annually for a portrait session.  Our yearly sessions have provided her family with a way to document and capture her growth and budding personality over the past several years.  


Sophie is so full of life! She is a bright, energetic and joyful girl, that is a natural in front of the camera (if you couldn't tell by the pictures).  She is easy to pose and is very expressive.  During our sessions I have been able to capture many years of of those beautiful smiles, fun outfits and a huge variety expressions.  All things that are going to be fun to look back on someday!

Blog8Blog8     I always look forward to our sessions together and enjoy working with this well mannered young lady.  Sophie's passion for dance and gymnastics is a common interest we share.  I have no doubt that her years of practice in these sports has helped to make her a natural in front of the camera.


With a good balance of positivity, light heartedness and just the right amount of goofiness, Sophie has a fabulous outlook on life.  I know Sophie will excel in whatever she puts her mind to.


A lot goes into getting great portraits like Sophie's.  Starting with the client's specific needs and desires for a session greatly determines the location and setting for a photoshoot.  In this case Sophie's mom requested a summertime session and with lots of floral elements.  Many of her past shoots have been in the fall or wintertime. 

S-225S-225   Blog3Blog3   The next consideration on my list is a client's style and the vibe they want their photos to project.  A client's clothing and outfit selection guide the direction of a session.  Documenting each client or family's personal style is very important to me and to best prepare for a session I like to have a sense of what the clients vision is for their photos a head of time.  In order to best capture my client's desired style it is very important that we chat about these things before the scheduled session date.  Before Sophie's most recent session we had a phone consult and discussed her outfit selection and what she and her mom were hoping to capture.  Because I had a sense of what she would be wearing I was able to bring props (like the chair pictured below) that coordinated well and fit the vision they had for the session.    Blog7Blog7

Time is also a large factor in setting the tone for a session.  There are many considerations taken into place when thinking about time in regards to a session; the two most important are the time of year (or season), and the time of day.  It is very common for people in Minnesota to inquire and request fall photo sessions given the beauty of the changing seasons and  fall colors, however, what most don't realize is that wedding season runs from April through October.  That means most of my summer and fall weekends are booked solid long before the seasons even begin.  Booking sessions on weekdays (or weeknights) offer more flexibility with scheduling and coordinating during the busy summer and fall seasons.     


Time of day is the second most important consideration when discussing the time of a session.  If possible and when scheduling permits I prefer to schedule sessions in the few hours before sunset.  On my end, shooting in the evening hours offers beautiful even light because the sun is low in the sky.  On the clients end it allows for beautiful sunsets in the backgrounds of their photos and a glow that they wouldn't otherwise have in the harsh light of day when the sun is high in the sky.  The above photo provides a wonderful example of that glowing sunset just behind Sophie, which illuminates her hair to give the effect of a halo. The photo below is also a great example of that low sunlight peaking through the trees.

S-156S-156    As mentioned Fall is the most requested time of year for portraits, however, as you can see in the photo below, capturing beautiful colors or evoking the feeling of a season can be dictated by more than the season itself. Here Sophie is wearing a brightly colored top that shows off her arms giving the photo a bright summery feel.  Had she been wearing a long sleeve top in a warm fall-ish color the same photograph would evoke an entirely different feeling.  Meaning we can take those Christmas card photos most anytime of year - just gear your wardrobe choices towards the feelings you'd like to portray in your photos and inform me of your desires!     Blog1Blog1

S-150S-150 S-149-EditS-149-Edit  Many thanks to Sophie for being a great example and helping me showcase the considerations that go into each and every photo session!  

Blog2Blog2 With a little bit of prep, taking the time to chat with me about your style, wardrobe choices and the vibe you want to portray; your session can turn out just as wonderfully as Sophie's did! 


]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 06 Sep 2016 19:36:07 GMT
Learning my craft with Alex Becoming a seasoned portrait photographer is not a skill that is developed overnight, it has taken me many years of practice to learn my craft and train my eye to recognize all the elements that exist in a good photograph. Having a consistent subject has made it easier to see those improvements. Today I would like to introduce everyone to my one and only niece, Alexandria Gemma Guertin (Hallie to her closest family members), who also happens to be my first model and someone I have been lucky enough to watch grow into a beautiful and incredibly smart young lady.

Collage7Collage7 Alex was born in 2001 when I was 14 years old. For the first two years of her life we were basically inseparable, I even brought her along with me when I visited my friends. I often think of Alex as my own child and am extraordinarily proud of her. I've had the privilege to not only watch her grow up and take part in her life but also to document her growth through the years, subsequently making her my first model. It's extremely hard for me to believe that she will be turning 15 at the end of September and will be getting her driving permit! Although this is a very exciting thing for everyone (especially Alex!), it sure does make me realize how quickly the years have flown by and makes me feel a bit older than I'd like to admit. A-1A-1 Let me rewind back to 2003 when Alex was just two years old (I was 16), at the time I had met some new friends who were dabbling in photography. My friend was selling a camera that I decided to buy. This, I believe, is where my photography obsession began. With my new Canon film camera in hand I dolled up little Alex and headed outside. She was a perfect model for her first 'photoshoot'! Though she posed beautifully, I had absolutely no clue on how to use this new camera and stuck to using the automatic settings (we all have to start somewhere, right?!). CollageCollage After that first photoshoot I made it an annual event to put my camera to good use and document Alex's growth spurts. I carried my camera with me most everywhere I went and have boxes and boxes of prints to show for it.


In 2007, I invested in my first digital camera. I spent the next couple of years learning the basics of digital media (memory card data and how to transfer images to the computer) and would often bounce back and forth between using my film and digital camera depending upon what I was shooting. I also started toying with colored filters, shooting different angles, as well as messing around with the pre-programmed settings on the camera. Collage 1-1Collage 1-1  Incorporating different outfits and hair styles into one photo shoot was yet another progression of my work.  Collage 1-2Collage 1-2 In 2008, I invested in my first Fujifilm digital camera that had a few more bells and whistles than my first digital camera(and not to mention way more megapixels). During this year I connected with my now husband and I decided it was time to figure out what I was going to do with my life. So with a ball of anxiety in my stomach, I found enough courage to go back to school. I enrolled in South Central Collage for a degree in Graphic Design. To finish my degree I secured an internship at a professional photography studio as a graphic designer where I was constantly exposed to beautiful images. Being surrounded by these images all day motivated me to continue shooting and stepping up my game by moving indoors to using natural window light in my kitchen.  Collage1Collage1 Being that shoot went so well, I went ahead bought a basic lighting kit. I set up a 'studio' in my basement with my newly purchased lights with a white sheet for a backdrop. Still being a green grasshopper in the professional photography world I made a valiant effort at this set but didn't quite grasp the concept of using flash units with my camera. The color balance and grain was so bad in all of these images that all I could do to salvage them was to turn them black and white. Yikes! After that attempt at 'studio lighting' in my basement we headed to a park to capture some much better images.  Collage2Collage2 In 2010, I graduated college and was thrilled to have been offered a job from the same studio I interned at! I was hired as a Graphic Designer, though my job consisted of much more than just graphic design work. At this studio, under one of Minnesota's best photographers, I learned everything from lighting, posing, software programs, editing techniques, interaction with clients, and back end paperwork. It was at this time that I invested in my first Nikon (enthusiast level) camera; it was the perfect camera for me to learn how to shoot on manual mode. My work jumped leaps and bounds forward over the next few years as I worked in this environment. I happily absorbed all this new knowledge and applied it to my own camera and images in my spare time. As I shared my photographs with family and friends I started receiving requests to take pictures for them. Slowly photographing family members turned into photographing friends, who turned into neighbors, who turned into friends of neighbors and before I knew it I was a busy woman! Collage4Collage4 In 2013, I was offered a position as a Photographer. This was HUGE for me! I was flattered beyond belief, and very ready to make the leap from Graphic Designer to Photographer. However, after MUCH MUCH thought, I made a life changing decision to open my own photography studio. Alex, now a pre-teen, was becoming interested in photography herself. On several occasions I would hand her one of my cameras so she could go outside and explore her own talents. I was pleased as pie to see that she had an eye for my craft! Alex would often hang out with me in the studio while I would edit and even assisted me during some of my client sessions. Here you can see her helping me prep for my first styled session in my very own studio. Collage5Collage5 The Final Product E-193-EditE-193-Edit Now in 2016, Alex is a textbook millennial teenager with her cell phone glued to her hand. I often pick on her about her selfie obsession, but it's all in good fun! Alex has a sweet and caring nature. She is mature beyond her years and is very well spoken for someone her age.  All of these attributes make her an incredibly easy person to get along with.  


Family is an integral part of Alex's life and upbringing. She shows her love for family by always staying involved and taking part in things like our Friday night gatherings, all without the notion of that typical teenage attitude when it comes to family events. F-98F-98 (Family photo by Angela Archer Photography) 

Alex is especially great with young children. When my son, Will, was born I was amazed at what a fantastic helper this young lady was! She's spent many of her precious teenage hours being my "Will Watcher" snuggling with him for hours on end, while I was working on my new business.     Collage 1-3Collage 1-3 (Photo on the right goes out to Angela Archer photography)

Now these two are always romping around being goofy together. I have a feeling Will has taken on the role in Alex's life that she has held all these years in mine. The difference is they will have all her selfies to document the fun times they share together.  Collage 1-4Collage 1-4 Not only has Alex been an essential part of Will's early years she has been a huge help around the house and studio. From doing my dishes to assisting in a photo session, she is always there when I need her. I honestly don't know what I would do without my Alex! She is not only my niece but I am proud to say she has grown into one of my best friends. F-261F-261

Watching this tiny person grow into an independent teenager has been an adventure I wouldn't change for the world. Although it was not a planned part of the adventure I am beyond happy to have Alex in my life. Through the years Alex has been my favorite model, always willing to let me dress her up, drive to a new location, or try a new pose on her(one time I even had her lay her in the middle of a side walk on a grate - which she did without even hesitating).  A-98-EditA-98-Edit Every photo shoot I have with Alex I learn more about both her and my craft which is a win-win! As I talk about the progression of my work and honing my craft I have realized that not only is Alex an important person in my personal life, but my business as well! Alex has become the epitome of growth - both because she has grown into a lovely young woman and also because she has given me a way to measure my professional growth as a photographer. I wouldn't be where I am today without her! And for that I am forever grateful to her! 

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Wed, 31 Aug 2016 18:51:32 GMT
Introducing Kara K-256-EditK-256-Edit

So there's this girl that I spend a lot of my time with and I'm super excited to introduce her to everyone. Kara(pronounced Car-a)! Some of you may have already been lucky enough to meet her while she's had her hands full carrying equipment and assisting me at a wedding or portrait session, but there's a lot more this girl can and does do to help keep Andrea Mae Photography running smoothly.     Collage3Collage3 I met Kara in 2013 at the Amour Affair in Henderson.  She was very pregnant and searching for a newborn photographer.  I had just ventured out on my own and happened to be promoting my new business at the event.  We exchanged information and she booked a session pending the arrival of her first child.  The studio wasn't up and running yet so when little Eliza made her appearance I made a house call and set up shop in the family living room.  Kara and I had an instant rapport, she was easy and fun to work with, and I think it's safe to say we enjoyed each other's company.  Our relationship has gone through quite an evolution since that first meeting back in February of 2013.  She has been a fabulous client, a dear friend, caretaker to my son Will, consultant to my business, and now I am very pleased to announce Kara Olson as my assistant.

OL-244-EditOL-244-Edit The year of 2015 was a challenging one for me.  Being a small business owner with a growing client base kept me extremely busy, this was definitely not a negative issue - it was exactly what I wanted! However, throw in the role of being a fairly new mom and I was struggling.  Both roles are hard enough in their own rights but pair the two and the stress of trying to manage both successfully hardly seemed worth the effort.  For a moment I seriously considered putting my dream job on hold to raise our son.  Queue: Kara!


Kara has a large and dynamic extended family that is very important to her.  Her home reflects the importance of family as well as her love of photography and design.  Capturing and displaying family portraits is very important to Kara, making her my ideal client, and she also recognizes it as a fabulous way to document her families growth and changes through the years.  In the few short years I have known Kara, she and her husband Nate have had 2 girls, Eliza and Anja, and I have had the pleasure of documenting that growth.  During photo sessions for her own family, she would scheme up beautiful sets which morphed into set design for other upcoming shoots I had.  I would consult her for design ideas regarding a mini session or a customized theme that was specially requested by a client.  In true Kara fashion, she would often say to me "don't spend the money on that prop, banner, or accessory, I can make it."  She is unbelievably creative and resourceful which is very beneficial to a small business owner like myself.  To our husbands' dismay, we have spent more hours than we can count at Hobby Lobby, returning home with bags of stuff that fill the kitchen table and the craft projects that follow.  We have certainly become an unstoppable team when it comes to customized set design and themed sets.  If you can dream it, we can create and design it!

O-26 (11x14)O-26 (11x14) Beyond set design, Kara has helped me take Andrea Mae Photography to the next level.  We've spent many hours refining my business processes, creating goals for future growth of my business, and revamping/refining my brand.  I've mentioned before that being a decision maker is not my strong suit; with Kara in my back pocket, I have been able to push my business towards new heights because of her encouragement and logic to fall back on when doubts or difficult decisions arise.  She has been an invaluable part of the growth and changes you may have noticed in the past year.  

K-162-Edit-2K-162-Edit-2 Kara's number one job and passion is being a stay at home mom.  She is a remarkable mother and caretaker that always puts her family first.  Before she was a stay at home mother she had a career in the healthcare field as a medical technician working with critically ill patients in a large hospital.  I've had the pleasure of seeing Kara in this light on just one occasion and was blown away at her attentiveness and ability to accommodate someone who was struggling.  She is clearly a people person and helper whenever possible.  These qualities serve as a benefit to being a wonderful assistant when working with clients as she can easily interact and assist with everyone, young and old.      

Collage1Collage1 When we are in the studio you might catch Kara drinking coffee (a lot of coffee), something she attributes to her Scandinavian heritage and her lack of sleep from having young children.  She might be working on a new set design or preparing orders to be finalized and sent out, helping me with editing a session, or assisting with writing a blog post.  She's obviously great with littles, so I often ask her to assist in family sessions and her job is to occupy the kids while I get the adults posed. She is often just over my shoulder coaxing smiles and laughter out of people with her silly antics or making sure those pesky stray hairs are out of people's eyes and straightening a client's clothing so it looks flawless.  Her eye for detail is very helpful and although it may be a bit nit-picky it helps to create wonderful images.  Beyond those tasks, she also carries a camera or two and is becoming a talented photographer in her own right.  She has assisted me with quite a few weddings and other shoots and has the creative vision and potential to be an exceptional photographer.   She is starting accept portrait sessions of her own, through my business, if I am unavailable for a specific date that has been requested by a client.    

Collage2Collage2 I am proud and excited to announce our partnership, it has allowed me to thrive and progress both as a mother and a photographer, which is exactly what I was in need of.  I have become a better business owner and have also had lots more time with my family since bringing her on board.  I catch myself saying to people "you need a Kara" but you can't have this one because she is all mine!"


]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:42:38 GMT
The Property L-229L-229 Providing my clients with a unique and versatile setting to have their portraits taken is something I take a lot of pride in!  In one of my recent blog posts I shared the story of how the studio came to be.  Having a studio to call my own and use as I please is a wonderful resource in this profession, especially because my favorite subjects to photograph are newborns!  You can't exactly special order perfectly warm and non-buggy weather in Minnesota every time an itty-bitty decides to make their appearance.  Although the studio offers a controlled environment with precise lighting and is very convenient to utilize in case of inclement weather, there are definitely some limits to its use.  That's when we step outside and the sky is literally the limit to what we can capture during a portrait session! Outside places collageOutside places collage Extended family sessions are typically held outdoors because of the space factor but whenever possible I prefer to take my clients outdoors for at least part of their session.  I find that what draws a lot of my clientele to book a session (or to keep coming back) is the fact the that I am able to offer an extremely large selection of distinct and scenic backdrops when taking their portraits.  Having our farm property at my disposal has been key to many of those eye catching portraits with alluring backdrops and enchanting natural light! Our 6 little acres offer endless opportunities to provide charm that is ever changing with the seasons and is as unique and different as each client or family that I have the pleasure of working with.  I am always surprised at how versatile our property actually is.  I can also say that I'm almost certain that there are very few (if any) other photographers in the area that can offer as many outdoor settings all in one place.    

Outside places collage -2Outside places collage -2 The barn itself is captivating and provides a very rustic natural look.  There are actually not that many old barns like this one left anymore.  Just as I had big dreams to have a studio, I have big dreams for this property.  Someday Andy and I would love to return this beauty to its former glory!  For now I use it mostly as is, but an interesting fact is that every side of the barn is completely different which is what offers me such great flexibility in my work, all with in a few steps from the studio door!

Outside places collage 3Outside places collage 3 So whether you are interested having an extended family session, getting senior portraits taken, or any other type of session that I offer, know that there are plenty of options when it comes to being outdoors and luckily I can say they are all in my backyard. Grab the kids and grandma and grandpa too, we can hop in the golf cart, take a little tour, and capture some fabulous images together leaving the stress of choosing a picturesque location behind.

I've got that part covered!  





]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 16 Aug 2016 16:52:09 GMT
Family My Family Unit


Family is a huge part of my life. Not only in my personal life but in my profession. It’s what makes my world go round and gives meaning to a life well lived.  I’m one of the lucky ones that can say I’ve got a pretty darn good family.  Our little farmhouse kitchen is full most every Friday evening and if you were to peek in the windows you’d see all sorts of family and friends playing games, telling jokes and maybe having an adult beverage or two as we sit around the table enjoying each others company.  The people I spend many a Friday evenings laughing with are all very special to me, however I’d love to share a bit more about the two people that have my heart forever.  My husband, Andy, and our own little piece of perfection, Will, (who just celebrated his 2nd birthday) are my world.





Although toddlerhood comes with its fair share of challenges Will is the biggest loveable goof around! His heart is full of light and life, he is the epitome of pure joy and moves at about a thousand miles an hour.  He is my instant sunshine on a cloudy day and his laughter is infectious to everyone within earshot.  I can guarantee you that it is his daily mission to try and get people to laugh.  This little guy is ALL boy! With his daddy, grandpas, and uncles all in the mechanic, trucking, and farming business, I believe Will's destiny will be a similar one.  His first word was “tractor” and these days we can’t hardly get down the road without hearing the word “memi” (semi) at least 10 times.  Upon a visit to the studio you may catch a glimpse of him romping in the garden with daddy or waving out the front picture window. He can be a bit unsure of all the other littles that come to visit, and steal his mama’s undivided attention, but rest assured a little wave and a quick mention of a tractor or Papa's pigs and you will have a new little buddy! Our Will Bear, he's just the best!

Family2Family2 Andy is my jack of all trades, behind the scenes, knight in shining armor. Without his unending support and willingness to push (and sometimes pull) me towards my dreams, I can truly say Andrea Mae Photography would still be just that, a dream.  You may be surprised to know that Andy can pick up one of my cameras and use it with ease, he has a trained eye too. Beyond knowing how to use a fancy camera and take a photo that meets my standards, he knows my equipment better than I do - ALL OF IT!  From computers to cameras and every tiny piece of equipment in between, Andy is my 24/7 on call tech support specialist, he has put many hours into researching, learning and making sure the studio and all the gear I use works to it’s best potential.  The garage would still be a garage if it weren't for Andy and all his tireless hours of turning it into what you see today. I couldn’t have asked for a smarter, funnier, or more supportive husband (and handsome I might add too).  I swear his goal in life is to make me smile, he’s always leaving me silly notes to start my day off or hiding stuff in random spots (like a toy spider in my shoe).  In serious times he is my rock, the logical thought I didn’t have that brings me back to reality. Calm and steady, just like his hands when he’s working. So next time you think Andrea Mae Photography is a one woman show remember that I am fortunate enough to have a guy behind that studio door who has helped me every step of the way!    

A-6-EditA-6-Edit These days when we aren’t busy working we are basking in the glow of young family life. We love watching movies, especially kids movies (Pixar is a hit in our household).  We like to bowl, take trips to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater or when things are slow we may sneak away to a quaint little town for a weekend getaway.  Our summers are filled with gardening and nightly golf cart rides around the property with Will as our navigator. We dance and play tag constantly.  The walls of this little house are filled with the sounds of our happy little family. And as evening comes and it's time for Will to rest, Andy picks out a few books, snuggles up with our little guy, and settles into the most perfect version of fatherhood.  


And last but not least I have to introduce my fur-babies. Addy, Bella and Mr. McGruff who mean just as much to me as the people in my life. I talk about my kitties just about as much as I talk about Andy and Will, thus deeming me the crazy cat lady in the neighborhood, a title that I carry proudly!

CatsCats And with that I hope I’ve given you a glimpse into the extraordinary ordinary life I live, the ones I love, and the moments I know I will cherish for a thousand lifetimes.


Family Photos credit goes out to the fantabulous Angela Archer Photography   

]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Wed, 03 Aug 2016 16:42:13 GMT
Studio From dream to reality


So, about that leap of faith I spoke about in my previous entry, turning a dingy garage into a studio worthy of portrait work is no small feat.  Back in 2012 I would return home from a day of work, open the garage door, pull the car in and sit there imagining how much prettier the garage would be as a studio space.  A space that I could call my own and use to expand my talent.  It took many conversations, lots of planning, and maybe even a few bribes to convince my husband, Andy, to take on the project and give up his parking spot in the cozy garage.  The Minnesota winters can be brutal and scraping vehicles is no fun, but thankfully those nice dinners paid off and Andy got to work.       

Studio3Studio3 From finishing the walls to painting and sealing the old dingy garage floor of all the winter muck my dream was coming true before my eyes and it was mostly possible because I am lucky enough to have a talented and endlessly supportive husband who was willing to put the work in and help me chase my dreams!    


Over the past few years my studio has come a long way! It started as a simple space with a few beautiful vintage furniture pieces, my lighting system, and a few props.  As my clients consistently see in the images I produce, props and set design are near and dear to my heart!  Especially in my favorite type of session focusing on newborn photography!  In growing my client base, I have also acquired a vast variety of props and new equipment.  When out and about doing my normal household errands I find myself thinking, can a newborn baby fit in this _________ (you fill in the blank; basket, bucket, bin, or I’ve even been known to use an oil pan).  Needless to say my little cozy 2 car garage has started to burst at the seams with all the goodies I have acquired, thus prompting the most recent changes at the Andrea Mae Photography.  

Studio6Studio6 A better, more open layout with a designated packaging station for all those print and product orders. A cozy sitting area with a TV for clients to relax while watching me work with their itty-bitty and it duals as a great spot for those all important viewing and ordering appointments.  

S-131S-131 Being that I spend ample amounts of time in the studio it’s been especially important to me that it reflects my personal style and showcases my love of all things vintage and displays some special images that I have taken and find stunningly beautiful.  Lots of trial and error, many hours of thought, and lots of antique shopping have gone into the current layout of the studio in hopes of providing my clients with a comfortable, relaxed and fun environment to come have their portraits taken.  

And with that… My dream has become a fabulous reality!




]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 26 Jul 2016 18:40:10 GMT
Introduction An introduction to the girl behind the lens and the face of 

Andrea Mae Photography


Andrea Mae.... that's me! Creativity, art and design run in my blood and have always been a passion of mine.  I thrive on putting the skills I've been blessed with to good use, although I have always enjoyed photography as a hobby it wasn't my "big plan."  Over the years I have tried my hand at many different medians of art; drawing, painting, stained glass, metal work (and the list keeps going), however dance was my first true love.  My original goal in life was to be a ballerina, can you believe it? I know!  After some serious consideration and soul searching I came to realize that a girl with southern Minnesota roots and no intention of moving far from home would have a tough time making it as a ballerina in a small town and would need a more lucrative career to get by in life.  Upon graduation from high school pursuing a degree in graphic design seemed a much more practical decision and came in at a close second to my dream of being a dancer.  Although my parents were my first and biggest fans when it came to my dancing skills they were pleased as pie that I didn't dance off into the sunset in a pink tutu.  I am very thankful for the path I've traveled thus far in life.  I would not be here writing my very first blog post as owner and operator of a photography studio, I couldn't have even imagined in my dreams, had I not taken this route.  That being said there are still days that I dream of being a ballerina!  I have, however, come to accept the fact that I can just pretend to be one when I am dancing like crazy in my cozy clothes with my amazingly supportive husband, Andy and my two year old son, William, in our farmhouse kitchen. Or when playing dress up for a fabulous portrait session by a dear friend who also happens to be a photographer, Angela Archer Bruns. 


My journey from college to present day has been a whirlwind of excitement and joy.  Marrying my husband and becoming a mother are two of my greatest endeavors and have shaped me in ways that make me appreciate my chosen profession more each day.  During my college years Andy and I got engaged, so the hunt for a wedding photographer was on.  At the time I was also looking for an internship to complete my degree.  As luck would have it I found both at the studio of one of southern Minnesota's finest photographers. Upon graduation, Daniel Dinsmore Photography, with whom I completed my internship under, offered me a position as a graphic designer and studio assistant.  When I accepted the position my intentions were never to become a photographer.  I was there to put my degree to good use designing and creating anything and everything that goes along with photographic display and archiving.  I was his behind the scenes: album,  graduation or birth announcement, wall display creating, you name it and I create it, design guru.  

Collage2Collage2 Spending my days as an assistant in a photography studio my creative brain couldn't help but pay attention and soak in all the information I was learning or overhearing by just being present.  The process of going from graphic designer/studio assistant to full fledged photographer was so gradual I hardly noticed.  I would learn a new tip or trick by just being exposed to the environment.  All these little bits of information would sit patiently waiting in my brain until a time came when I would pull out my simple camera and casually goof around with a family member or friend taking photos.  It was those times that got me day dreaming about being a professional in the business.  My creativity would take over and it was easy for me to implement the things I had learned and capture a nice photograph. As I gained the skills and knowledge on what it takes to be a professional in the business the desire to focus all this creative energy I have into my own business became harder to ignore.  So, with a leap of faith and unwavering support from my husband and family I ventured out on my own and created...


If you would have told me the day I graduated from high school that I was going to end up being a photographer, I would have thought the idea was super cool but I'm not so sure I would have actually believed you.  Now, three years into my journey as an entrepreneur in the portrait world, I can not imagine life any other way.  The lucky thing about running your own business is that your are the boss, sometimes that part gets me stuck as making decisions isn't my strong suit, maybe it's because I just think things through way too much. But do you want to know the best thing about being in the drivers seat? I get complete and total creative control!  My work consistently reflects my personal classic vintage style, with just a touch of that southern Minnesota small town country girl (or if there is a tutu involved, ballerina) charm.  Using my creative vision to design a set that evokes the feelings of yesteryear, or being given the opportunity to interact and capture a sweet itty-bitty newborn baby in their first days of life and turn it into not only a special photo but a beautiful piece of art for a family to cherish is an amazingly awesome gift.  It's also what makes me thrive!  


I have been lucky enough to discover my talent and develop a skill that is truly meaningful, focusing my attention and creative spirit on something that will leave a legacy for many generations to come.  Family,  people, love - it's truly is the essence of humanity.   Freezing a moment in time, as if the world has stopped for just a split second, to capture a person just as they are, and cherish them forever.  Being given that opportunity is a blessing each and every client entrusts me with and I am forever grateful to be a part of so many of life's special moments.  My clients, their unique stories, and these special moments inspire and encourage me to keep pursuing my dream, and for that I am eternally grateful.  Given the past 6 years and the crazy cool journey I've been on of becoming a photographer and business owner, I can not fathom where the next 5 or 10 years will take me, but know that I will have my camera (a few lenses and maybe even a back up camera) with me along the way! 

BlogLogoBlogLogo I hope to give you a behind the scenes look at all the fun I get to have interacting with my clients to document, capture, and share in their special and unique stories.  A girl (that's me!) armed with a camera and a whole lot of creativity, mixed with some:  pleasant, entertaining, funny, enjoyable, and sometimes just a touch crazy, but always wonderful clients should give me a lot to write about.  The least of a photographers job is actually looking through the lens and taking the picture, the rest of the job is spent preparing to capture that one split second.  The essence of my profession.

A perfect photograph of a perfect moment.

A pearl.

Classic, distinguished, and timeless!

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]]> (Andrea Mae Photography) Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:54:48 GMT