Molly | Class of 2018 | Armstrong High School

Molly. There must be something with the name…. every Molly I’ve ever met has been so nice and sweet. This girl is no exception! I have photographed two of Molly’s four older siblings for their senior portraits. I’ve also photographed her family on a couple of occasions. Through the years, with every encounter we’ve had, she’s always been the sweet younger sister, quiet and smiling.
What I learned was that Molly has another side to her as well. She’s a strong soccer player playing defense for the Armstrong Falcons varsity team. Molly is also a giver. She has been raised in a family who values serving others. She frequently volunteers her time on mission trips and in local feed kitchens, such as Feed My Starving Children, just to name a few.

For Molly’s session we stayed with in Minneapolis. Molly wanted a mix of urban and greenery. Like many of my other seniors this year, she loved the Stone Arch Bridge as well. For me it was important to give Molly a session she wanted but still have it be her own and not like every other senior I’ve photographed at this same location.

I enjoyed watching Molly’s confidence boost as the session evolved. It usually takes about 30 minutes for my clients to relax and let their shoulders down. I try to show the back of the camera a few times to say “see, you’re gorgeous!” (I love the smiles that come from this.) Once they see this the rest of the session usually rocks on. The last shot I took of the night is in the bottom right of the collage of images. It took me a few minutes to get the settings perfected on my flash (ocf), but once I captured it, I showed it to Molly. Amazing! I think she finally understood what I was trying to accomplish. Hopefully she also thought it was worth waiting while I ran back to my car to get my battery pack that I had forgot.
I did spare her a hug after her session since I was sweaty and stinky from running around.

After high school Molly plans to pursue business and is considering St. Thomas University.

A heartfelt thank you to both Molly and her mom for trusting me again to document such an important time in your family’s life.
It has been an honor to be a part of so many milestones.

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Bramlee | Class of 2018 | Rogers High School

I can’t say enough about Bramlee and what a good time she was! I have known this girl since the day she was born. Her mom and I became quick friends the day they moved next door, just weeks before “smart and sassy” was born. I always feel a little added pressure when I’m photographing someone close to me. I want to deliver beautiful images to every client, but I always hold the bar a little higher for myself when it’s personal.

Bram is a HUGE fan of America’s Top Model. This made my job easy since she loosened up in front of the camera instantly. She changed her expression and movements every so slightly all on her own. I can’t help but hear the song “All the Pretty GIrls” playing in the back of my head when I think of this. Teenage girls love the mirror and will spend hours in front of it. I know this because I too was a teenage girl 100 years ago. So Bram and all the pretty (teenage) girls are “talking to the mirror in their underwear!”
Ha! I laugh at this because, since before time, this is what teenage girls do. Yes, even us old parents would practice different facial expressions in the mirror.
Thank you Kenny Chesney for such a true and awesome song!

Outside of being a HS senior and mirror loving fashionista, she dances competitively at Jete Dance Centre.
She also recently started working (insert mom jumping for joy) at a local restaurant.

After graduation, Bramlee plans to attend college for business/marketing at Bethel University.

Congratulations on your senior year Bram!
It has been a joy to watch you grow up into a beautiful, kind, and fun young woman.

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Serving Champlin Park, Maple Grove, Rogers, St. Michael Albertville, Totino Grace, Buffalo, Elk River, Monticello, Armstrong, De la Salle, Mounds View, Hill Murray, and Providence High Schools.

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Carter | Totino-Grace High School | Senior Boy

There is no denying high school seniors are my favorite to photograph. It’s an important milestone for them and an honor for me to document it. Once the session is done, the images have been edited, I bring the senior and their parents back to the studio to view a slideshow of their gallery.

Watching the seniors face light up when they see themselves on screen gives me all sorts of feel goods inside. Sometimes it boosts their confidence. Sometimes it gives them a confidence that has been missing. Watching mom’s eyes swell with tears, pride; it makes my heart so full.

Sure, I could post their images on a website and have them pick out their favorite 8×10’s and 5×7’s, but then I would miss the experience of the excitement and emotion. This is the reason I love high school seniors so much. This is my reason, my purpose.

This is Carter. Carter is a Senior at Totino-Grace High School. He is super funny and witty. He is also the son of my uncle; so I guess we’re cousins. My uncle being similar in age to me, is more of a brother, and Carter more like a nephew. Anyway, enough of the family dynamics. My point is, I felt a little added pressure to deliver a gallery I hoped they would love.

Another reason: I know right away if they love them or not. Their faces tell me everything I need to know and I’m not left keeping myself up at night wondering if they love them or hate them.

After graduation, Carter plans to pursue studies in the engineering field. Congratulations Carter on finally reaching your senior year! It’s a momentous year of lasts; last football games, last prom, last high school level/club swim meets, last year of khaki and navy uniforms…. But next year brings a world of firsts, embrace them all. Have a great year Carter and thank you for letting me be a part of it. I really enjoyed spending this time with you. ~Babe

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Alex | St. Michael Albertville High School | Senior Boy

We have an avid Lacrosse athlete on the blog today. Meet Senior Alex from STMA Class of 2018. He’s #26 for STMA Knights Boys Varsity Lacrosse team. Don’t let his competitiveness fool you. He is also very kind, smart, and one of the most respectful young men I’ve met!

Alex’s brought his parents and grandma to the studio for his session. This gave me an opportunity to capture a few portraits of him with each of them and hopefully will be cherished for their lifetime. I loved grandma’s expression as he gave her a quick smooch on the cheek -priceless.

Alex really wanted to move outdoors and we had a perfect day to do so. We had a lot of natural light and later I brought out my strobe flash to create a few I knew Alex would like with his lacrosse gear.

After graduation, Alex hopes to pursue a degree in criminal justice.
Alex, congratulations on making it to senior year and your upcoming graduation!

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Rogers Elk River maple grove plymouth brooklyn park minneapolis NE photographer ocf

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Big Box vs. Boutique Portrait Studio | Maple Grove Family Photographer

A photographer, is a photographer, is not a photographer…

A few weeks ago while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came upon a post from a high school classmate. She posted a handful of images from a big box portrait company asking for help because she couldn’t decide which images to order. I was really taken back when I saw them. There are two super cute boys in each image, but the images have no life. Young boys are lively, full of personality, and are fun. I didn’t have any sense of mischief or laughter you would expect to see of two brothers. Portraits of your children should make you FEEL something.
I reached out to fellow photography friend and classmate, Mike Hamerlind of Michael Hamerlind Photography. Mike and I have worked on many projects together. We didn’t want to hurt any feelings, but we both wanted to offer Kristi the opportunity to show her a side-by-side comparison of big box, in this case JCPenney vs. boutique. We offered her a complimentary half-pint (mini) session in hopes she would share her experience and Mike and I could educate others on the difference in quality. Kristi was excited about our offer and two weeks ago we met for a quick lifestyle session outside of my NE Minneapolis studio. Mike and I each focused on one of the boys and at the end, added parents Jim and Kristi. I don’t think Kristi and Jim were expecting that, but they were good troopers. It’s so important for mom and dad to be included in these memories for their family history.  I hope both mom and dad got all the heartwarming “good feels” after seeing these images of their kids!
I realize professional portraits are an investment; yes I said investment. It sounds a bit stuffy and formal, but you are investing in your family’s memories. These are portraits your children and grandchildren will cherish for their generation.
If you are interested in learning more about a portrait session with Babe Reynolds Photography please email me @babesphotography@yahoo.com

These are the images I captured during our session.  To see Mike’s images visit his FB page.

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