Ideas for a Christmas Photo Shoot – Christmas Mini Sessions Album

Are creative Christmas cards a part of your family holiday tradition? Annual Christmas photo sessions are a great way to practice a fun tradition with your little ones, document your family’s growth over the years, and send good-looking greetings to your relatives for the holidays! 

There are countless ways to do a Christmas photo session. The sky is the limit, truly. You can’t run out of ideas for a family Christmas photo, for better or worse LOL. 

Here are a few tips and ideas to help you get the best photos of your family every year. Ready to get inspired?

1. Wear red, green, and/or a neutral color

When you think of Christmas, what colors come to mind? That’s right! Red and green. They are classic Christmas colors. A Christmas outfit, party, photo, card, or anything must have some red and green.

Neutral colors like white, black, or gray are great complimentary colors because they go with anything.

2. Go to a Christmas tree farm

It’s hard to not take a Christmas-themed photo at a tree farm, you know? You can’t go wrong with doing your Christmas photo shoot at a tree farm. 

3. Wear matching red pajamas

Moms and grandmas think this is the cutest thing. Some kids may beg to disagree, their face blushing and all. They’ll come to appreciate it one day when they have their own kids, don’t worry 😉

4. Play with Christmas decorations

The magic of Christmas is having fun with everything, isn’t it? Christmas decorations are really just toys for children and adults. Have fun with ornaments, wreaths, garlands, mistletoe, snow, you name it. Fun always make a great photo.

5. Share a blanket with someone you love

Christmas is about sharing and staying warm with loved ones. Bonus if the blanket is red. 

6. More ideas to inspire you

You really can’t go wrong with a Christmas photo shoot as long you’re having fun (and wearing red). Merry Christmas!

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Colors of Fall – Family Photo Album

Fall is a great season for family photos, both because of the beautiful colors and the perfect timing to make Christmas cards. We did this photo session at the Capitol Lawn in Saint Paul. The leaves here are gorgeous for about a week every year. Ari and Remi arrived on site early in their color-coordinated fall outfits and it only got better from there. They were hilarious to work with! And need I say super cute?


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2018.10.21 Fall colors


To inquire, fill out the Contact Form or email me at I’m happy to learn more about what you’re looking for and answer questions you may have.

3 Tips for Fun Mommy-and-Me Photos – Family Photo Album

Children grow up so quickly! A mommy-and-me session is a good way to memorialize the precious bond you share with your child at one point in their development. You will treasure these pictures years later when your children think they’re too cool to pose for another mommy-and-me photo session.  My goal is to capture the authentic relationship and favorite activities that you share with your child. This type of session is basically playtime with a camera clicking away – it’s fun! Here are three tips to ensure you have the best mommy-and-me session possible and great pictures to show for it.


Coordinate Outfits

You want to coordinate your outfit with your child’s outfit. It’s best to start with one person’s favorite outfit, whether it’s yours or your child’s, and coordinate based on that. If the favorite outfit is a warm color, then other outfit(s) should feature a warm color as well, such as orange, red, yellow, or brown. If the favorite outfit is a cool color, then the other outfits should be a cool color, whether that’s blue, purple, teal, or another color in the same neighborhood on the color wheel. Make sure all outfits are well-fitted and comfortable. You’ll want to look at these photos many years later, so I advise staying away from fads, neon colors, and hyper-patterns. It’s best to go for a classic, timeless, and neutral look.


Meet Basic Needs

Make sure everyone’s basic needs are met before your photo session. This includes nap time, meal time, play time, and your child’s other needs are checked off. Happy kids make happy photo sessions! Don’t forget to meet your own needs as well, including a nap for yourself, caffeine, rest, and anything else that make you happy. You want everyone to show up happy for their photo session since their expressions will be captured in pictures that will last for a long time.


Bring Favorite Toys

You know what your child likes best. Whatever activity your child loves to play with you is what we want to capture in a mommy-and-me photo shoot. Our goal is capture your authentic mother-child relationship, so go ahead and live out your favorite mom moments. A favorite activity can be reading a book, dancing, playing tag, singing, tickling, whatever gets you and your child smiling and laughing would make for great photos!


Being a mom is the hard part, doing a mommy-and-me photo shoot is the easy part! As always, I’m here to help with you capture authentic photos that you can treasure for a long time.


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3 tips for fun mommy and me photos


To inquire, fill out the Contact Form or email me at I’m happy to learn more about what you’re looking for and answer questions you may have.


What You Need to Know for a Maternity Photoshoot – Maternity Photo Album

Becoming an expecting mother and father – for the first time, second time, third time, or Nth time – is one of the most special life experiences. Ever.

A maternity photo shoot is a great way to document your family story. Maternity photos are a must-have in every family album. If you’re pregnant (congratulations!) and are thinking about doing a maternity photo shoot, here’s what you need to know to prepare.


When to do a maternity photo shoot

The best time to do a maternity photo shoot is when your belly is nice and round, around week 30. Timing is a balancing act because you want your belly to be round enough for maternity photos but not so developed that it’s onerous for you to hold a pose or risk missing your photo shoot because your baby decides to come early.  Most expecting mothers do their maternity photo shoot between week 26 and week 34.


What to wear for a maternity photo shoot

This is a matter of taste. Since the point is to show your belly, you can wear something tight and stretchy, or go bare belly, or use lace or sheer fabric to enhance your belly. It’s also a matter of taste whether to rock a dress or pants and a top. The only “rule” is to go with neutral, timeless colors rather than fleeing trends.

You’re only pregnant with this baby once and it’s worth it to look fabulous in your maternity photos. (You’ll want to show your child these photos many years later!) But since nice maternity dresses can be expensive and you only wear it for a short time, I recommend renting a gorgeous maternity dress that you love. It’s an affordable way to look memorable in your maternity photos. If you live in Australia, Mama Rentals has a wide selection of beautiful gowns for many sizes and budgets that ship right to your door. I appreciate them for being environmentally conscious as a zero-waste business. Check them out!

For more inspiration, my Pinterest board suggests many elegant maternity outfits to get your creative juice going.


What your partner should wear

His outfit can be simple since you are the star of the shoot. He should wear something fitted and comfortable, such as a stretch cotton shirt or button-down dress shirt and jeans or pants with a belt. It’s important that his outfit colors match or complement yours. I write about color coordination to my exclusive email subscribers (subscribe here). Just remember, you can’t go wrong with simple and timeless.


How much time you need for a maternity photoshoot

You’re pregnant with this baby only once in your lifetime, so you want to make sure the photo session is long enough to capture all the poses and angles you want. A photo shoot lasting at least an hour and a half is appropriate. Some poses may take time for you to get into and get out of, so you don’t want to rush. If your partner will be in the shoot as well (he should be!), then you definitely need about 2 hours to strike good poses with him.


Maternity photo shoot ideas

Below are my favorite shots from a recent maternity shoot. It was still winter when we did this maternity session in March (it’s always winter in Minnesota). We shot in a private interior space with an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows – let there be light! She wore a graceful, custom-made white lace maternity gown and he matched with dark jeans and a white long-sleeve cotton shirt.


As a final note, your session setting should have good lighting. Like outfits, choose a setting that is classic and timeless. Good options are your nursery, a natural scene, or your home.

Another suggestion to enhance your maternity photo shoot is to use props. They open up so many possibilities! Cute props are baby clothes, shoes, toys, letters that spell out your baby’s name, a sonogram, or an heirloom.


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Maternity photo shoot


To inquire, fill out the Contact Form or email me at I’m happy to learn more about what you’re looking for and answer questions you may have.

Why You Should Do an Anniversary Photoshoot – Anniversary Photo Album

You invest in professional photos for important life events such as your engagement and wedding day. I totally agree with that. However, your anniversary is an often overlooked major life milestone that’s arguably more beautiful and precious than your wedding day. It must be captured and included in your family album. Why?

Because it’s the most romantic, meaningful, sweet, and long-lasting anniversary gift you can give to your sweetheart! Bonus if the photo shoot is at a romantic getaway destination where you’re celebrating your anniversary.

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Have you ever looked at pictures of a couple on their wedding day and then compare it to their portrait taken 8 years later, then one taken 15 years later, then 27 years later, and finally compare it to a picture of them taken just last month? Do you notice the changes in their physique, their relationship, and their love for each other?


Like wine, love gets better with time. Studies found that couples share habits and mannerisms as their relationship matures, and more surprisingly, their physical features become more alike as well. Many happy couples report they are even more in love after 20, 30, or 40 years together than they were when they first got married. Anniversaries are the real love stories, you guys. Anniversary photos add a sweet chapter to a long love story that gets richer and better over time.


I recently had the honor of photographing a couple for their anniversary. They’ve been married for 32 years and have quite a story. When they had to leave their war-torn Vietnam & resettled in Minnesota, they had no idea what arctic icebox they were getting into. Despite war, starting over, and too many stories to list, they’re together & happy in a winter wonderland.


We had so much fun with this shoot at Como Conservatory in Saint Paul, which a great place for  a photo session in the middle of winter. They were spontaneous and giggly in front of the camera – the best expressions I could ask for!

That’s why I take pictures – to capture moments like these, to tell stories like this one.


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Anniversary photo shoot


To inquire, fill out the Contact Form or email me at I’m happy to learn more about what you’re looking for and answer questions you may have.


Lunar New Year: Preserving Culture with Photography – Family Photo Album

It was an honor to photograph my Vietnamese community celebrating Tet, our lunar new year, especially one hosted by our very own Minnesota Vietnamese Language School!

Tet was my favorite holiday as a child in Vietnam. I remember anticipating and rejoicing for weeks leading up to it, cleaning our house and sending our kitchen God to heaven, plugging my ears to the sound of firecrackers lit on the eve and first day of Tet, dressing up in new clothes, singing along with happy Tet music, collecting li xi (lucky money), eating my heart out, visiting extended family and friends, and celebrating for an entire month. I truly missed Tet festivities when my family resettled in America.

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As younger generations of the Vietnamese diaspora grow up outside of Vietnam, Tet is a big opportunity to learn and practice Vietnamese culture and language. I was more than happy to serve as the event and family photographer for my local Vietnamese Language School in Minnesota. My heart melted when I was greeted by little kids in their traditional ao dai exclaiming, “Chuc mung nam moi!”

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Photography and stories are tools to help us pass on our family history across generations. That is why I do what I do. Many years from now, I hope the grandchildren of the Vietnamese diaspora and their children will look at these pictures taken at Tet 2018 and connect to their ancestors, culture, history, and stories. I firmly believe in the importance of preserving our tradition and language and passing them on to the next generation.

Chuc mung nam moi no3

I’m sharing a sneak peek of cute faces and bright smiles here. To view or download your family’s photos in high resolution, please visit my online gallery.

May 2018 bring you and your family many more smiles, good times, and good news. Happy new year!

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2018.2.10 Lunar new year


To inquire, fill out the Contact Form or email me at I’m happy to learn more about what you’re looking for and answer questions you may have.