NP Design Photography – Twin Cities Photographer of the Year

Our Creative and Fashion Blog is a great source for Senior Picture Ideas, Family Photo Ideas, Headshots, Modeling, Pet Photography and Fashion Photography. 2014 Twin Cities Photographer of the Year.

Get to Know Us - Meet Sally

You see us but do you really know us?  Today we take a look at NPDP staff member and High Point Framing & Art Gallery frame designer Sally Varner.

I’ve been framing for 20 years. I help clients find the best mat and frame option to make there piece stand out. I love the creative side of framing, especially shadow boxing-taking keepsakes from present or past and putting together.

I have been married 36 years and have 2 grown sons. I love working in my perennial flower beds, which I have way too many of!  Next, I would like to try my hands at doing stained glass.

Any of the trips we took when the boys were young have special memories for me.  I would love to travel to Australia!  I have always been intrigued with that country.

When I'm not in my garden, I like to watch Hallmark movies. They are so uplifting!  I also like to listen to classical music .

Stop in sometime!  I'd love to meet you!

Get to know us - Meet Teresa

You see us but do you really know us?  Today we take a look at NPDP staff member Teresa Peterson!

Hello Everyone!  I'm Teresa, Event Coordinator at NP Design & Photography!  I created that title because I feel like every time we have a client in, it's like an event!  I answer phones, book appointments, take care of office functions and try to keep up with everyone's busy schedules!  I am very 'Type A' and like to make sure everything is in it's place!  I absolutely LOVE my job!  The people that we meet are the absolute BEST!

Prior to this, I worked at Andersen Windows for 18 years in several roles from factory, Human Resources and finally Customer Service.  I learned a lot about products, services and projects.  I think that really prepared me for my current role.  In addition, I have three years of collage from UW-River Falls before transferring to University of St. Thomas.  My one regret is that I never finished my degree.

Two people who have been huge influences in my life are my mom and my husband.  My mom taught me so much about living a healthy life-mind, body and soul.  And Nate has taught me the power of patience!  :-)

I love to golf, shop and play card & board games with friends!  I like all kinds of music except heavy metal.  I also love to travel!  I used to love to read Stephen King novels but haven't picked up a book in years!  Maybe someday I'll get the itch again!

It took several years for our business to finally be in a position to bring me on board full time and I can honestly say it was worth the wait!  I feel that I am truly doing the job I was meant to do and consider myself blessed to be able to work with so many great clients, a top-notch staff and my best friend & husband, Nate!

Skin Protection

It's summer and everyone wants to be outside enjoying the sunshine but the sun can have some long lasting damaging affects so protect yourself.  Here are some tips for all skin types!

The Red Lip

The Red Lip.  It's a classic on everyone from Kendall Jenner to Taylor Swift.  Getting that perfect look is easier than you might think!

1.  Start with liner.  Fill in the lips with a red color pencil and outline with a darker shade.  This may seem like a hassle but your finished look will have amazing dimension.

2.  Apply a matte lip color.  Pick a true red shade to stain the mouth and create a nice, even base of color.  Our favorite shades are Ruby Woo and Russian Red by MAC.  Make sure you stay inside the lip line. 

3.  The big finish!  You have two options.  Take a tissue and put it over your lips and dust matte power to set your lipstick.  Or, add a little glitter balm to the middle of your lip to add dimension and glamour!

Now you are all set!  Time to go show it off!

Your Story. Your Album.

So it's your Senior year!  You want this year to be big.  Epic!  These will be the "glory days" you look back at in 20 years and think, Remember when...  You need to make this awesome and your Senior pictures are going to document everything unique about YOU!

The NPDP Senior Album tells the sort of you.  Who you are now.  How do you want to be remembered in high school?  Every page says something important about you.  Twenty pages telling your story; the chapters of your Senior year bound into the ultimate keepsake.

Our signature album is custom designed by our full time graphic designer to include all your favorite images, favorite colors and show your lifestyle!  No two albums are ever the same!

At NPDP, we believe in the importance of the Senior Album so thoroughly, we include the album with every session!  You no longer have to 'choose your favorite.'  You get to keep them all in an album designed just for you!    

Choosing the Right Size and Right Height for Portrait Artwork

It's an age old question and one that couples often struggle with!  So I thought I would share a couple of general 'rules' interior designers use to figure out the correct sizes for hanging portrait artwork and well as how to place art as it relates to the furniture in the room.

RULE ONE: PHOTOGRAPHS ARE OFTEN TOO SMALL-THIINK BIGGER.  Here are some general rules for how big the photographs should be.  Typically, you want to try to fill as much space on the wall as you can while allowing space around the pieces so they aren't crammed towards the furniture, wall or moulding.  Remember, too big is better than too small and if you love something enough, you will find a place for it!  The best way to determine the correct size of a portrait for a particular space is to take a photo of your wall and send it to our studio so that we can virtually show you what your images will look like in your home and see how it fits with the size of your space and furniture.  Look at what a difference two 8x10's look compared to the better fitting pair of 20x24 images.

RULE TWO: PHOTOGRAPHS HUNG TOO HIGH.  You don't want the portraits so high that you cannot see them "eye to eye."  Ceiling heights do come into play if they are either very low or very high so you need to adjust both size and heights accordingly.  Most people hang artwork too high or too far apart and as a result, it looks lonely on the walls.  Looking at the diagram below, we suggest our clients display their portraits at the approximate heights above their furniture.

Let's not forget wall groupings which are a hot trend right now!  Smaller photos when grouped can have the same impact as a single large piece of artwork.  They can also showcase each of your families personalities!  Start with the largest piece in the middle of the wall and surround it with the next largest piece.  Hang the smallest ones on the outer edges.  Position the pieces no more than five to six inches apart so they don't look disconnected.  

And finally, don't be afraid to display your portraits!  It's so important to have your family on your walls so that when guests visit your home, they will know what matters most to you!

Hot Jewelry Trends for Seniors!

covet is located on main street in downtown New Richmond, WI.

covet is located on main street in downtown New Richmond, WI.

“covet?” “I love covet” “what's in there?” “such a cute store” “I have to get in there!” “Have you seen the socks?” “On main street?” “I love her dog!” Do any of these sound familiar? Yes! covet is a contemporary jewelry boutique downtown New Richmond!

Owner Devon Driscoll gives us insight on the hot new trends in jewelry for high school seniors!  

"We're pushing the boundaries with new designers this season with a focus on geometric shapes and larger statement pieces!"  

Black and 14 kt gold concrete jewelry made in Minneapolis

Raw stone and mixed metal long pendants. Perfect for any season, any outfit and especially for high school seniors. Two besties make these in Minneapolis and are a customer favorite.

covet's focus is to highlight and support independent designers. "We have personal relationships with each of our 40 jewelry designers and makers of our fun giftware. Why is that important? We are able to offer fresh concepts with the highest quality at amazingly affordable prices."  We buy directly from the designers and with Devon being a metalsmith the perfection in quality is a must.

Many pieces are made just for covet and you won't see anywhere else. We don't follow trends but rather offer pairings to highlight your own personal style. From classics with a contemporary twist to innovative uses of materials, covet is your go to for unique jewelry!

"We love helping seniors pick out the best jewelry pieces for their outfits for their photo session!"  And as an NPDP exclusive-Mention this blog post and receive 20% off one item when you visit!

Devon Driscoll-My background is in architecture and jewelry design...I spent years selling my own jewelry to museum shops, art galleries, boutiques and traveled to high end art shows. Moving back to the area after 15 years I thought New Richmond needs a cool place to shop! I decided to hone in on my skills and offer a carefully curated boutique that was an exciting place to visit.  Our concept blossomed into an excitement from both the designers and customers. 

How to Plan Your Perfect Graduation Party

Nowadays, you practically need to hire an event planner for a Graduation party!  They certainlyhave become ‘events’ rather than a social get-together in the garage!  As a high school senior, this big bash is all about you and your accomplishments so let’s celebrate

Location!  Location!  Location!

You have two choices on where to have your party- home or at a restaurant.  There are reasons and advantages to both.  If you are looking for a cozy gathering for family & friends, then having your party at home is your best bet!  This is the perfect chance for you to serve your mom’s favorite mac and cheese or your aunt’s favorite carrot cake!  If you are looking for something a little different, then a restaurant might be the perfect change!  With a list of possible food choices, several local restaurants that can accommodate large gatherings!  And mom and dad don’t have to stress out with all the ‘home projects!’


Choose a theme or color scheme.  This doesn’t necessarily have to be your school colors.  I love this ‘Kate Spade’ inspired combo.  Your graduation party would not be complete without all those embarrassing photos of you!  But there are creative ways of showing your photos that also make great centerpieces!  Ikea lanterns are a bargain at $7.99 and easily fit a 4x6 photo.  Insert a flameless candle and watch your images glow and dusk!  Don’t forget to include a sign in board or sign.  It’s always great for guests to give you ‘life lessons!’  You never know when you are going to need it!  Be sure to show your graduation images!  Your album, wall art and gift prints are a great way to show everyone your ‘senior look!’

Invite Etiquette

Finally, but probably most important…your invitations!  Your invitations say a lot about who you are so make sure they reflect your personality and show off lots of images!  Also, be sure to mail your invites six weeks prior to your event.  (eight weeks are recommended if your event falls on a holiday such as Memorial Day or 4th of July)  This will give family and friends plenty of time to plan ahead!  And remember, for every invitation you mail out, people will send you a check so don’t be stingy on the invites!  After all, collage is expensive!  Happy Celebrating!


Beauty Prep for your Senior Photoshoot

When having your portrait taken, there are five areas where a little advanced preparation can make a huge difference. Neglect them, and an otherwise perfect photo could end up with distracting elements which take the focus away from where it should be. (*Ahem* Your beautiful eyes, of course.) The four areas are: Face, Hair, Hands, and Skin.

Three weeks before your shoot is a time for planning. Decide on outfits, choose which beautification steps you will take, and schedule the appointments.  Remember-professionals book out weeks in advance to call soon to make sure you get your favorite stylist, etc.

NPDP Senior Molly Riermann, Somerset, WI

NPDP Senior Molly Riermann, Somerset, WI

NPDP Senior Hannah Germain, Osceola, WI

NPDP Senior Hannah Germain, Osceola, WI

NPDP Senior Tessa Rayne, River Falls, WI

NPDP Senior Tessa Rayne, River Falls, WI

NPDP Senior Brie Larkowski, Somerset, WI

NPDP Senior Brie Larkowski, Somerset, WI

Whiten Teeth. Crest sells white-strips that whiten in a week or less for a quick whiteness boost. I hear dentists can whiten teeth, too. Many even do it for free for new clients. If you’re due for a cleaning, you might consider going all out

See a Dermatologist. If you have problem skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist.  Yes, a blemish can be photoshopped but don't you want to have beautiful skin for your senior year and for all the years to come?  This small investment will boost your confidence and let you put your best face first...literally!

Wax Eyebrows. If you decide to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded, be sure to schedule the appointment for at least a few days before your photoshoot. Otherwise, an eyebrow trim/touch up at home could be done a day or two before the shoot.

Touch Up Your Roots. If you dye your hair, touching up your regrowth three days before your photoshoot is ideal. Take my advice: this is not the time for drastic changes. Trust me.

Get a Trim. Neat, healthy hair is youthful and vibrant. If it’s been a while since your last haircut, even a subtle trim can make a world of difference.

Deep Condition. Your salon can do a professional conditioning treatment, or you can use your favorite deep conditioner or protein pack at home. Toss it on with the gooey facial masque. Wrap your head, turban-style. Wear harem pants and pretend you’re a genie while you’re marinating. Or read a book. Your call.

Get a Manicure. While you’re at it, toss in the pedicure. If you’re hard on your manicures, book the mani/pedi for the day before your shoot.  Minimalists can stick with neatly shaped, clear nails. Soft, neutral colors work well for fingertips. Toes can get away with any color. (Think about the outfits you’re bringing and be sure to choose a color that will compliment your choices.)

NPDP Senior Katie Aytay, Hudson, WI

NPDP Senior Katie Aytay, Hudson, WI