Masthead header
Glimpses of Soul Photography bio picture

    My name is Mandy and I am a photographer in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I do birth, newborn, children and family photography as well as provide casual headshots for personal or professional use. I am primarily a natural light, on-location photographer but have a small St. Paul studio for newborn and headshot sessions.

    I also provide fun, casual school portraits for preschools and daycare centers. If your school is ready for something different, let's get in touch!

Spring School Photos

It’s time for Spring photos! I’m looking forward to seeing friends old and new. I wanted to share a few tips for getting ready and ideas for what to wear.

Some general clothing tips:

  • Make sure the outfit fits well. Gappy, droopy clothing isn’t flattering, looks messy and will “swallow up” babies.
  • Try to skip the hairspray. I know that sounds odd – you’ve styled their hair perfectly and want it to stay that way. I am here to tell you, there is no amount of hairspray that can counteract preschool. And unfortunately, the hairspray just makes it more difficult to try and comb their playground hair when it’s photo time.
  • Simple headbands are great to keep hair tidy and add interest but like clothing, don’t look great if they’re too big or constantly falling forward. Likewise, a simple headband with a small flower or two can add a touch of “girly” to the little baldies who don’t quite have hair yet but giant flowers can detract from their adorable faces. A hat can look great on boys or girls when sized right and the brim doesn’t obscure their face.
  • Summer dresses are pretty but it can be chilly outdoors. Adding a sweater or shrug helps prevent goosebumps.
  • Baby oil is great for removing temporary tattoos. In case you don’t want Angry Birds in your photos.
  • A few other notes:

  • It’s great to mention that photo day is coming up and that maybe let kids know that they get to wear a special outfit but that’s really all the preparation they need. Make it sound fun and avoid pressuring them to “make sure you smile!!” I’ll do my best to make them laugh and get a genuine look.
  • I can seem a bit ruthless when it comes to kicking parents out of the shooting area. It’s not personal! In 99.9% of the cases, it’s much easier to work with a child when the parent isn’t watching. They may be teary when you bring them in but you’d be surprised at what happens when you’re not there. :)
  • Outdoor Photos

    (If it’s raining on your picture day, we’ll be inside so see the section below!)

    The great thing about being outdoors is that the background tends to go well with so many options.

    With the greenish backdrop of outdoors, anything from light and pastel to bold and bright colors work great. Layers and textures add interest to any photo. Generally, kids who can sit in a chair are photographed from the waist up so you don’t have to worry too much about pants and shoes. Little ones who don’t sit at all or aren’t quite steady enough to be sitting in a chair will be photographed against a blanket and may have more of their outfit in view so cute pants or tights can be fun.

    View previous “what to wear” idea boards.

    Indoor Photos

    Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 3.49.14 PM
    We’ll be thinking Spring this year with indoor photos and using this polka dot backdrop which has a great mix of gray with bursts of fun Spring colors that makes it perfect for boys or girls. Bright, bold colors will go great with this drop, especially in the colors of the dots. Even patterns can work well with it. Here’s a few ideas below to get you thinking about what to wear.

    (Click through to see item details.)

    Preschool Spring Backdrop

    For littles who can’t sit, they’ll be photographed on a neutral or Spring colored blanket so pretty much anything will work!


    Of course, these are all just ideas if you need them. Let the kids dress themselves if you’d like, put them in the dress Grandma made, whatever works for you! Kids tend to be pretty darn cute, no matter what they’re wearing.

    View other school photo posts.

    Stories | St. Paul Photography

    Sometimes, especially when I’m shooting bigger events with less time or preschools where we don’t get into too much conversation, the people I photograph have stories that I don’t know about. And sometimes, they contact me later about using one of my photographs and I get to learn a little bit more about their lives which I love. Here are a few recent ones that have come my way.

  • How one man with type 1 uses diabetes devices in his daily life – Diabetes Forecast
    By Scott K. Johnson
  • My Gillette Story by Megan Hoelzel, Elaina’s Mom – Inside Gillette Blog
  • And this group, I got to photograph them because of their stories. This is an incredible upcoming event featuring the live reading of pieces written by local authors on motherhood. I will write more about it soon but in the meantime, check it out and grab some tickets.

  • More Than a Rehearsal – Listen To Your Mother

    Made Me Smile Friday

    I got called out for skipping last week’s Made Me Smile Friday. I know. I did it twice and then I skipped. I am admittedly bad at keeping up with repetitive type things (I can maybe last 6 days into a photo-a-day bit) and to be honest, blog posts often feel like shouting into a big black hole. While Facebook is making it more complicated to get views, the instant gratification of likes and comments is still nice.

    But I did have an especially smiley week, so…

    - Hulu Plus & Google Chromecast: We recently mostly cut our cable. Our intention was to do it completely but I was able to finagle a deal for internet, basic channels and HBO so we’re doing that. And saving about $130 a month, too. I know that a good portion of the world was already on the Hulu bandwagon but I’m a late adopter.

    - Making my own cleaning products. After reading about it for awhile, I’ve finally started the move towards using all homemade cleaning products. With various combinations of vinegar, water, castille soap, baking soda and essential oils, my house is smelling amazing and the lack of chemicals makes it seem more comfortable as well.

    - Tongue in Cheek restaurant opening on St. Paul’s East Side. As an east side resident, I am quite into this “restaurant renaissance” and any new restaurant that isn’t White Castle.

    - Jubilant Dog Dives In And Out of the Tall Grass While His Owner Captures Everything on Camera – If ever there was unbridled joy…

    What made you smile this week?

    A Fun Alternative to Traditional School Photos

    Over the years, the preschool photography sector of Glimpses of Soul Photography has really grown. I love that the idea of fun, candid photos is becoming more popular for school pictures. Unfortunately, there are only so many schools I can photograph in a season and I’m also not always the right fit for every school.

    But now you don’t have to miss out on fun-style school photos! AND! This year the school mini-sessions will be expanded to include any school-age child. If I won’t be at your school this year (or maybe you homeschool), you can sign up for a school mini-session where we’ll replicate a Glimpses of Soul-style school shoot. These tiny sessions will be one setup only (a chair if they’re sitters, a blanket for those who aren’t) and straight-on, look-at-me-and-smile types – but with great expressions and a natural, outdoor backdrop. (Unless it’s raining – then we’ll pop indoors and use a fun backdrop there.)

    minnesota spring school photos

    Each child will receive 3-5 proofs to select from. Sibling groups are allowed and will receive 2-3 proofs. If there are more than 2 kiddos, I’ll ask that you book 2 timeslots. Sorry, no parents included in this one! (In fact, we might even make you wait out of sight.)

    These sessions will run every 15 minutes so you must, must be on time! They’ll be held in east St. Paul. The price to reserve a school mini-session is $50 but that money may be applied towards the purchase of prints.

    Currently available:







    Need photos of the whole family? Book a family session any time!

    Questions? Ask away.

    Minnetonka Twins

    This session was a little different for me – not because of the twins (which I may have mentioned a whole bunch of times that I love!) but because they were looking for all black & white images. Not my usual thing but a challenge but I was excited to undertake. Mixing it up keeps it interesting and keeps me on my toes and while a complete session of black & white images isn’t generally my style, it’s definitely something I enjoy doing.

    These three-year-old twins were full of non-stop energy and packed with the sillies. We started outside with some photos (this was back in December when the ground wasn’t yet buried under piles of snow) and then moved inside to their amazing mid-century modern home which was full of great light.

    twins laughing

    boy playing outside in bw

    boy wearing hood

    black and white little girl looking away

    three year old boy

    twins laying in grass

    kid feet

    girl inside midcentury modern home

    twin boy

    twin girl

    twin brother and sister

    twin sister and brother

    These are some of my favorite photos from the session – just some basic lifestyle type images of reading books and coloring. I love these little bits of life.

    twins coloring

    minneapolis twins

    twins in midcentury modern home

    boy coloring

    little girl playing piano

    • April 3, 2014 - 6:42 pm

      Lianne Kaul - I hope their parents love these – I sure do!!ReplyCancel

    S u b s c r i b e