Elk River Portrait Photography

{Palmieri Family} Fun Family Winter-Fall Photo Session | Family Pictures in Elk River | Minneapolis Family Photographer

family pictures at woodland trails park in the snow

Hi again, everyone!

Let me begin by saying that I am seriously the luckiest photographer in the world. My clients are always so wonderful to work with. That's true of my session with the Palmieri family, too!

The Palmieri family consists of Joe and Kristin, with Ashley, Ava and Joseph. They love to travel and camp together and always enjoy fun family time!

We set up the session for the last Sunday in October. Who would’ve thought that we would get some snow on Saturday night!  We talked in the morning and I asked Kristin if she wanted to cancel. It was chilly, in the 20’s, but no too bad for Minnesota standards. Since all of our upcoming schedules were difficult, not to mention the fact we were heading into November, we decided to go for it.

We were so happy we did!  Location, Location, Location!  I have to say it was pretty amazing! Along with the snow, and of course the wonderful family, this all made for some beautiful photos!

winter family pictures after the snowfall at woodland trails park in elk river, minnesota

I met up with the Palmieri's at a southern corner of Woodland Trails Park in Elk River, the entrance being down the block from their neighborhood. I absolutely love this park for winter sessions.

The outfits Kristin chose for the session were casual, and she tried to make them coordinate colors and patterns so they didnt distract. She also was going for a warm, cozy feeling.  She did a great job!

children at a park in the snow in elk river, minnesota
children winter portraits against trees, woodland trails park, elk river

When I asked Kristin to tell me their favorite parts of their session and why they enjoyed it so much, she responded with, "We enjoyed our session because it was near our house and we love Woodland Trails, so it was nice to capture the trail we use so often as a background for our shoot, plus the snow added a beautiful backdrop!"

married couple holding hands at woodland trails park in elk river, minnesota in the snow

While the location and snow were great, it was the Palmieri family that made this shoot such a treat!  

mother and children, father and children winter portraits in the snow

I could only hope that there is a snow storm before all of my family sessions!  One can dream, can't they?

family winter pictures in elk river minnesota 2.jpg

{Emily} Country Boho Senior Session | St. Michael Albertville Senior Pictures

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!

elk river senior photography

{Levesque Family} | Minneapolis Family Portraits

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. 


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. 


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.



{Kate} Super Fun Winter Senior Photo Session | Elk River Senior Photography

When Kate's mom contacted me about a winter senior photo session, I was so excited! Kate is a fun, energetic and beautiful girl. I haven't done a winter session since....well....last winter!  We have had a pretty mild winter, and just enough snow at Woodland Trails in Elk River, to pull off the session.  


Kate's outfits were perfect for the shoot. I loved the color coordination and accessories. Her winter coat with the fur trim really made her eyes pop! It was a beautiful day, although the temperature at the time of the shoot was about 12 degrees, she was a trooper and you would never know by looking at the photos. Typical Minnesota winter!

Kate is a member of the Class of 2017. She loves to dance, travel and anything to do with the outdoors. She is also a member of DECA and recently traveled to New York with the senior group. I am so glad she was up to having fun walking the trails and trekking in the snow for some wonderful senior photos!  Kate plans to attend the University of North Dakota after graduation. 

Kate and her mom loved her senior session, and her advice to others getting ready for their senior shoot?  Just be yourself!

Thanks, Kate, for your awesomeness!  I hope you continue to have a great senior year!



{Kennedi} Hockey-Sports Senior Photo Session | Senior Pictures in Edina, MN


I had the pleasure of taking Kennedi's older sister's senior photos a couple of years ago. So when her mom called this year for Kennedi, I jumped at the chance. This was the first time I had the opportunity to photograph a female hockey player!  I hung out with Kennedi, her mom and her sister in and around Elk River and Otsego.

My job is so easy with such a gorgeous subject!  Congratulations, Kennedi!  Thank you so much for letting me take your senior photos!