Glimpses of Soul Photography »

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  • WELCOME!

    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!

I’m looking to work with a family who have wanted professional photos but not had them because they have a child with special behavioral or physical needs that have made them feel like a photo shoot just wouldn’t work. Not just that your kids are especially shy or rambunctious, but maybe they fall somewhere on the Autism spectrum and you were afraid a photographer wouldn’t connect with them or maybe they have a physical disability that would make a visit to the studio or a typical photo session an impossibility.

If this is you, would you contact me and share your story?

I am, above all, interested in hearing about your experiences and concerns. For right now, I will only be selecting one family to work with for this project (at no expense to them) but you don’t need to be willing to commit to that if you’d just like to share your perspective and I’d love to hear from as many people as possible.

If this isn’t you, will you share this post and help me find families that might fit this description?

This is Noah, who now ties with Connor for cutest baby of all time…the two of them, of course, being my nephews. Just before Christmas, Grandma and I colluded so that I could do some surprise gift photos of him for my sister and brother-in-law. He is the happiest of little guys and was pretty much perfect for the shoot. This was also practically his first day of sitting so he did pretty well.

blue eyed baby

smiling baby

baby with christmas lights

santa baby

sitting baby

seven month old

baby in chicago bears hat

grinning baby

baby in cap

baby wearing newsboy cap

black and white baby in newsboy

happy baby

baby smiling

baby on his back

  • January 16, 2014 - 3:50 am

    Alan Gocken - Awesome as always :)ReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2014 - 4:11 am

    Sue Beaver - These are so great~~I’m sorry he & Sara couldn’t come down for our ChristmasReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2014 - 4:43 am

    Lianne Kaul - I want all of them!!
    ReplyCancel

Aaaand…we’re back! The “out of office” notice has been turned off, the preschool galleries are back up for anyone who still needs to order and I’ll be spending today replying to emails and working on orders.

My break went really well. It felt quite long and yet super short at the same time. I managed to have get all of my gifts wrapped before the wee hours of Christmas Eve (which already feels like eons ago), make and eat a ton of cookies and spend time with my two best nephew buddies. My two year old nephew has discovered the power of commands so the several days I spent with him were full of “Nana (his nickname for Mandy, not Grandma!), SIT HERE,” “Nana, COME EAT,” and my favorite for whenever I was off doing something else, “Nana, GET DONE.” So, fun time with them but not exactly restful. :)

My time since then has been divided between business prep (new welcome packets! new info packet! new client management system for me! etc.) and organizing the heck out of my house. We’ve been on a several months-long project (which I have titled #projectdehoard) to get rid of STUFF and organize the stuff that remains. We are far from done but have also done so much that it’s making it easier to want to keep on going and also making it much nicer to be working from home.

And during the past three weeks, I’ve only picked up the camera twice. Once to sneak in a newborn shoot and once for the photos below which I felt compelled to do after seeing other examples online. These are soap and water bubbles which, of course, freeze in the lovely -20 degree temperatures we’ve been having lately. My patience for blowing bubbles that didn’t pop when they hit a surface wasn’t very lengthy, I admit, but I was able to grab a few shots that were kind of fun.

frozen bubbles

But now I’m ready and excited to be officially back at it. I’m feeling refreshed and eager to shoot and looking forward to providing a year of great photos and awesome customer experiences!

Looking back, it seems funny how cold it seemed during this shoot, considering that it was probably 50 some degrees warmer than it has been in Minneapolis for the past couple of days, but after a relatively warm Fall (and for a little peanut), it was pretty darn brisk.

This cute little family was preparing to make their way to Georgia where a new job and new life was awaiting them and wanted to capture a few last memories in Minneapolis before they left. We changed our Stone Arch Bridge plans at the last minute because of the cold and instead stuck around their home and neighborhood, got to capture this little gal’s FIRST time on the swings, and made a quick trip over to the Mississippi River where the foliage was looking pretty amazing.

minneapolis family in front of their house

baby on swings

baby on the swing at park

fall family portrait with dog

family in fall leaves

mom kissing baby

dog portrait in leaves

family portrait in the fall

smiling baby in snowsuit

All of that excitement was such hard work. Sometimes naps just happen right in the middle of the session.

baby asleep on mom

dad kissing sleeping baby

But that gave us a chance to sneak in some photos of just mom and dad.

husband and wife portraits

couple portraits

And once the power nap was over, we got to re-enact one of their favorite family activities – piling in bed together.

family in bed

snuggling in bed

family in bed together

cuddling in bed with dog

family cuddling in bed

bed cuddles

family portrait in bed

newborns children families headshots

Man, this has been an amazing year.

2013 started without the typical “slow season” in January, which was instead filled with headshots galore, a theme that continued throughout the year. I attended and provided headshots at a celebration for image consultant Sasha Westin of Fabuliss and at an event for the Twin Cities Human Resource Association. I worked with several people to arrange headshot mini-sessions parties, hosted a few of my own, provided corporate/executive headshots for several companies and got to work with countless individuals on both corporate and more casual headshots (like Emily of Macaroni Kid, who puts together a great newsletter of tips and events for families in the Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Oakdale & Stillwater areas). Headshots were never an area that I intended to work but I love how naturally it has worked its way into the business. I’ve found that I especially enjoy working with people who aren’t particularly confident in front of the camera and showing them that it can be a painless experience with great results.

During the rest of the early part of 2013, I spent several days in Atlanta at a photography conference, learning from a variety of speakers and, of course, hanging out with other Minnesota photographers. I gave a presentation on taking better photos of your children at a session of Baby Boot Camp – Maplewood & Woodbury MM and hosted a f(un)booth at the Minnesota Mothers of Multiples State Workshop. I also photographed the Woodbury Business Expo which was especially fun because it was such a great opportunity to be reminded of how many wonderful Woodbury businesses and individuals I’ve been lucky enough to work with as well as meet some new ones.

Spring and Fall, as usual, brought preschool photo time. I returned to Lexington Kids, Primrose School of West Plymouth,Primrose School of Woodbury and Cathedral Hill Montessori School, as well as adding The Goddard School of Plymouth, Primrose School of Edina, Little Sprouts and Seeds to Seedlings to the preschool family. This Fall, we also incorporated preschool mini-sessions – an opportunity to get Glimpses of Soul Photography preschool photos even if we aren’t at your school. (Look for those again!)

Filling in the rest of the year, I got to capture several amazing births, meet lots of snuggly, squishy newborns and photograph so many terrific families. My base of repeat clients continues to grow and feel like family – they are so supportive and I love to see how their kids have grown over the years. With their help spreading the word and through my work at preschool, I also got to meet many new families (who I hope will also become repeat clients, of course!).

One significant milestone that I failed to mention early this year – Glimpses of Soul Photography turned FIVE over the summer! It seems like forever and only a mere instant at the same time. November brought my 5 year “quitaversary,” when I turned in my resignation from my day job to pursue photography full time. I haven’t regretted it once! (Okay, not entirely true. One time this year, when I was quite ill and had several days of shooting that couldn’t be postponed, I wished I had a desk job where I could just call in sick. But one time in five years isn’t bad.)

I am so thankful for all of this. For everyone who has entrusted me to capture their families, their fun, their unmissable moments; for everyone who has told a friend or a Twitter follower or a forum reader about me; for my tireless assistant; for the faithful clickers of the Facebook “like” button who reassure me that I’m not posting into a dark void; for the clients who have become friends; for the friends who have become clients; for having a job that I am so eager to work on instead of Sunday evenings that I dread.

I’d like 2014 to be twice as amazing – for me and for my clients. I’ll be spending the next couple weeks figuring out how to make that happen. In the meantime, having a fantastic sayonara to the old year and a refreshing, hopeful start to the new one.

S u b s c r i b e