Congratulations to the Class of 2017! | Senior Pictures in Elk River, MN

I was so blessed to have almost 40 seniors as clients for the Class of 2017!  Softball, football, tennis, basketball, hockey and lacrosse players, dancers, band and orchestra members, gymnasts and many more. Elk River, Anoka, Andover, Zimmerman, Princeton, Rogers, Buffalo, Champlin Park High Schools.  Too many I'm sure I'm missing someone!  We had so much fun traveling the Twin Cities in search of the best locations.    

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you all and to thank you for entrusting me with your senior photos!  

For more information on how to book your Class of 2018 senior photos, please contact me!

Why Hire a Professional Photographer? | Minneapolis, MN Senior Portraits

"Thanks for the info, but we found someone with a good camera who will do it for free."  

"Susie said she would take my senior photos, and put all 150 of them on a CD for me."

Would you trust your husband to cut your hair? After all, he's got a great pair of shears. How about your teenage son doing your landscaping? He mows exceptionally well!  And why not have your best friend's cousin's sister's aunt do professional senior photos? I mean, she has a great fancy camera, right?

Wrong!  

Just because someone has the right camera, does not mean you should entrust an amateur to capture the milestones in your life. Even if it's a nice, expensive one. 

As a student, you’re busy with school, sports, college visits, etc., and if you’re a parent of a student, you’re equally as busy. I take the hassle out of process to make your senior  photography session enjoyable and stress free.
 
I have several years of experience specializing in senior photography. I know how to capture these moments in ways that are special and memorable. "A picture is worth a thousand words" has subtle nuances. To capture them, it is essential to have a trained eye and perfect timing. Having hundreds of photos under my belt doesn’t hurt either.  

I have the camera and technical skills to capture your best you!  It is NOT the camera that takes the picture. It is the photographer! To consistently take beautiful portraits, you need more than fancy gear. You need to know how and when to work with that fancy gear on whatever lighting circumstance you’re in. It’s much more than pointing and shooting. Even on the most perfect days at the perfect locations, lighting can be tricky. I have seen many senior portraits online that make me cringe at the lighting.  The hottest, brightest, sunniest time is NOT the best time for pictures. Shadows on faces and eyes squinting does not make a perfect portrait.

Want a fun, hip, urban Downtown Minneapolis location?  Or would you prefer a beautiful park in Elk River? I have many location options in the Twin Cities area for your senior photo session, taking the stress of finding the perfect spot off your shoulders!  With that being said, I'm also open to a session at your choice location if you've happened upon the perfect place!  Another part of my job as an experienced senior photographer is to pose you in ways that are flattering, put you in the best light (literally) and make you feel at ease.

Plus, there’s much more that goes into making your senior photography session so much fun and worthwhile!

The quality of your photos should be the number one factor you consider before even thinking about price. My photos speak for themselves. My portfolio is the purest reflection of me, and how I capture your fondest memories. 

TRUST ME!


Jordan's Senior Session | Elk River, MN Senior Photos

As we wind down to the last few weeks of the school year, I'd like you to meet Jordan!  Jordan is a member of the Class of 2017 at Spectrum High School. He is on the Spectrum Baseball team, and enjoys fishing, camping, hockey, football, video games and hanging out with friends.  He describes himself as fun, creative and disciplined.  After spending the morning with him, I would have to agree!

We kept Jordan's session simple and stayed in Elk River and Otsego for his shoot. He wanted some at Handke Pit. Fun fact, Jordan works at Handke Pit during the winter :) Jordan brought his baseball jersey and equipment with to get some baseball images on the field.  My favorite part of the session is to capture seniors in their element.  He was very photogenic and a natural in front of the camera.  

Jordan was looking to incorporate baseball and nature into his photoshoot, and I think we took care of that. The outfits he chose were easy and casual. When I asked him what was one piece of advice to give upcoming seniors to help with their photo shoot, he said, "Have an idea of what you want it to look like and what to wear".

After high school, Jordan plans to attend Anoka Ramsey Community College and major in sports-related business.

Good luck in the future, Jordan!  Thank you for choosing me to capture your senior pictures!

Elk River Senior Photographer

If you would like more information on my portrait photography, please contact me!

Senior Pictures in Elk River, MN | Madeleine's Senior Portrait Session

Introducing Madeleine!  This beautiful senior attends Elk River High School and is a member of the Class of 2017! Just a few short weeks left of school!  I had so much fun with this young lady and her mom last summer!  Madeleine is involved in the ISD 728 Cadets and the River Valley Winter Guard, River Valley Sound, Band and Pit Orchestra, and the Yellow Ribbon Club. She is a member of the National Honor Society and also plays piano! Whew! She's busy!

Madeleine didn't really have a preference to location, so I picked Downtown Anoka, Minnesota.  I love taking my seniors to Anoka, it is such a versatile place. Old brick buildings, a park on the river and a vintage feed mill all within blocks of each other.  I loved that she brought her french horn, flag and rifle from her color guard. It was a blast capturing her in her element! Color guard and music has been such a huge part of her high school years.

Madeleine was looking for a classic senior shoot with a little edge. And I think we captured that well! She chose outfits that fit her style and looked great on her! Her advice to others getting ready for their senior photos? "Relax and have fun!" And so we did!

Madeleine's overall senior photo experience? “It was great!” She stresses to find a photographer you feel comfortable with ;)  

After high school, Madeleine will be attending the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, majoring in social work or speech therapy. She will be involved with their marching band and hopefully be involved in their music scene! I have no doubt that you will, Maddie!

Congratulations, Madeleine! I'm so excited for your future endeavors and I know you will do great things with your life!

For information on my senior sessions, you can click on the photo.

Announcing! Senior Cap & Gown Mini-Sessions! | Elk River, Minneapolis Senior Photographer

I am so excited to announce that I will be having Cap and Gown mini-sessions this year for the Class of 2017 graduates! These will only be offered two days, June 4-5, starting roughly around 3:00-4:00pm (depending how many takers I get). These will be taken at Otsego Park and there will be limited times available.

This is the perfect opportunity to have your senior’s photos done professionally in their cap and gown at such a low cost!

Let me know if you would be interested in this session as soon as possible, it will be on a first-come, first-served basis!

Thanks so much to all of you! I hope you all had a great senior year, and good luck with the rest of the year!

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Preston's Senior Session - Buffalo | Elk River | Senior Photography

Welcome back, everyone! Today I want you to meet Preston. He describes himself as chill, fun and an all-around nice guy.

Preston is a member of the Class of 2017 at Buffalo High School. He enjoys wrestling, drumming, and is in the concert and jazz band.

I enjoyed Preston's session, it was so much fun! I picked Downtown Anoka for his shoot. There is so much versatility with Downtown Anoka. It's really one of my favorite places to shoot seniors. It was so much fun because he brought his drum set to the shoot. He set it up right on the sidewalk and it was a blast. Drumming is his passion and I was so excited to capture him doing what he loves!  He was very photogenic and a natural in front of the camera.  Him and his mom were game to try anything. My ideal clients!  

Preston was looking for a relaxed and casual photo shoot. The outfits he chose were perfect for that look. In fact, I was calling him James Dean the whole time :)

When I asked him what was one piece of advice to give upcoming seniors to help with their photo shoot, he said, "Have fun!"  And we did!

After high school, Preston plans to work full time, drum and possibly join the Marine Corps. 

Good luck in all your adventures, Preston! I am sure you will do well with whatever life brings you!

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Lisa and Jill's Senior Session - Elk River Senior Photography

Lisa and Jill were my first set of twins to shoot for the Class of 2017. I had two sets of twins this year.  I've known these girls since early middle school, and again, it floors me how fast and beautiful they grew up!  I can't believe they are graduating in less than two months!  They both are members of the Class of 2017 at Elk River High School. They both are happy, hard-working girls who like to have fun and love adventure!

Lisa and Jill didn't have a preference of location so we decided on downtown Anoka, and another day we checked out downtown Elk River. Both days did not disappoint. They both picked classy outfits with their favorite colors that looked great with their eyes. They were also worried that they wouldn't take great pictures. They couldn't have been further from the truth! They did a great job and both days were super fun! 

I asked both of them if they had any advice to give future seniors before their shoot. Jill said, "Don't be too picky, you look great!" And Lisa said, 

Their overall senior photo experience? Jill: "Awesome! Sheila is very talented." Awww, thanks! Lisa said she had a ton of fun.  It WAS a ton of fun!

After graduation, Jill will be attending Winona State University where she plans to major in Business. Lisa plans to continue her education as well. I know both will do well in whatever they choose to do and have a blast doing so!

Congratulations, Lisa and Jill!

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Emily's Senior Session - Elk River Senior Photography

What a beautiful soul this young lady has on top of her beauty on the outside! I first met Emily back when my daughter and her were in Brownies together.  I can't believe they are graduating in two short months! Emily is a member of the Class of 2017 at Elk River High School.  This passionate, artistic introvert loves swimming, scuba diving, singing, art and playing her oboe and ukulele.

It was so much fun catching up with her and her mom!  And I cannot believe how much they look alike!  Emily didn't have a preference for location and was looking for a classy, hippy, bohemian kind of photo shoot.  I thought the perfect backdrop would be an old abandoned farm I discovered one day in Albertville, Minnesota.  We also headed over to Otsego Park for an evening shoot.  Emily chose simple outfits that she could see herself wearing on a day to day basis to really show off her personality. She was definitely a natural in front of the camera and very photogenic!

I asked Emily if she had any advice to give other seniors preparing for their shoot. She had this to say, "Go with a less-is-more look, be yourself and show off your personality. Also drink lots of water for clear skin, remember shoes for walking, and bring a jacket if it's cold!"  She is wise beyond her years, this one!  

Emily's overall senior photo experience? “Amazing, Sheila is the best!” Awww, thanks! Back atcha, Emily!

After graduation, Emily plans to attend Anoka Ramsey Community College. I know she will do well in whatever she does. She definitely has a bright future ahead of her!

Congratulations, Emily!

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Kristen's Senior Session - Elk River Senior Photography

This girl has spunk!  I went to high school with Kristen's parents, Loralyn and Chris, and was super excited when she contacted me to do Kristen's senior photos! Kristen is a member of the Class of 2017 at St. Cloud Cathedral High School in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  This fun, hard-working, understanding beauty enjoys playing softball in all four seasons, and loves anything having to do with the outdoors.

It was so much fun catching up with her mom and meeting Kristen!  They look so much alike, they could be twins!  They didn't really have a preference to location, so I picked our old "stomping grounds", Downtown Anoka, Minnesota.  I love taking my seniors to Anoka, it is such a versatile place. Old brick buildings, a park on the river and a vintage feed mill all within blocks of each other.  We also headed over to the softball fields to capture her in her element, playing softball.  Kristen chose to wear both bright and neutral colors to bring out her beautiful eyes and gorgeous smile. She was definitely a natural in front of the camera and very photogenic!

I asked Kristen whether she had any advice to offer others who are preparing for their upcoming senior photos. She had this to say, "Take time to look for poses that interest you so that you can get what you really want".  And that she did! She was very prepared!  Her dad is a fire fighter, so she brought one of his helmets, along with her softball equipment for props.

Kristen's overall senior photo experience? “Excellent. Sheila really took the time to take the photos I wanted. I was worried about looking awkward in certain poses, and she was really easy to work with and showed me what to do.” Thanks so much for your kind words, Kristen!

After high school, Kristen plans to get her AAS degree at St. Cloud Technical Community College, then enter the Sonography program to become an Ultrasound Technician. 

Congratulations, Kristen! I'm so excited for your future endeavors and I know you will do great things with your life!

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Levesque Family - Elk River Family Portrait Photography

Good afternoon everyone, and happy Friday!

Oh how I just adore the family I'm blogging about today. I'm lucky enough to say I've had the opportunity to photograph this family before, which was so much fun! I truly can't believe how much the children have grown and changed since I first met them back in 2015. 

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This beautiful family consists of Mom (Kay), Dad (Sean), Conner, Renae and Caden.

Caden is 8 and full of energy and charisma! He has a tender heart for Jesus and prays like a warrior!  Renae is 11 and is an awesome combination of spunk and princess. She is creative and crafty, and is always coming up with fun ideas. Conner is 13 and is a teenage boy. Therefore, he loves anything technology related! He is athletic and currently enjoys basketball and soccer.

And, it goes without saying, that Kay and Sean are amazing people as well. Kay is a former Miss North Dakota and has traveled throughout the Midwest speaking and singing to a variety of groups. She is a former high school teacher and a home school mom. Sean is an outgoing and eternal optimist. Shawn has spent his career motivating and inspiring others through his roles as a teacher, personal coach, trainer, instructor and presenter. 

I was so excited when Kay called me to take their photos again. I don't think I could have scheduled them fast enough! I was so excited for our session! 

What's so amazing about this family you ask? Well, everything! But what makes this family extra special is that they are on a mission. A mission against the horrors of modern-day slavery. Human trafficking. A mission to raise awareness about social injustice and mobilize individuals and communities to bring hope to their neighbors in tangible ways. This summer they will be hitting the road and traveling the country in an RV to do just that.  They will be headed to roughly 20 cities, and spending 5-6 weeks per city. Can you imagine such a selfless act? Me neither!

As for the day of the shoot, we had so much fun! You wouldn't know it was only 12 degrees and FREEZING!  I chose Downtown Anoka for something different. I bring my seniors down there all the time, but the Levesque's were my first family at this location. Kay was looking for a more urban look which aligned more with where they will be doing much of their ministry.

They chose to wear their ministry t-shirts and ministry colors. Kay found almost everything at second hand stores. Shopping second hand is one way they choose to approach not directly supporting labor trafficking. 

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Kay says the favorite part of their session was "telling my kids about how models have to work in uncomfortable weather conditions and can't let it show--so it was our turn. Sheila can edit out red noses and red cheeks - but not bad attitudes. The kids were rock stars. We loved the creative places and poses Sheila could find."

Words of wisdom for other families preparing for a family session? "Have fun! Let Sheila pick where to go - she has good ideas. Laugh together, and enjoy the moment!"

I wish the Levesque's much success, and my prayers are with them every step of the way!  For more information about their mission, and how you can  help, please visit their website at www.love2hope.com.