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.

NPDP Senior - Max Nelson

Today we turn the spotlight on Hudson High School Senior Max Nelson.  Hear all about his experience and see some amazing images from his custom designed senior album!


Max is an extraordinary lacrosse player so it was important that Master Photographer Nate capture Max's love for the game!  "I like how Nate was able to include the lacrosse jerseys from all the different teams I played on."  - Senior Max stated.


Max does not like getting his pictures taken and any smiles always look forced.  Whether it was an edgy look, serious, game-face, Nate was able to pull the look from Max and make him appear relaxed and natural!" said Celeste, Max's mom.


"The album and wall art are phenomenal!  My favorite is the large canvas collage.  I know I wanted something that showcased Max's lacrosse experiences.  The collage did that and is a piece of artwork we will definitely treasure for years to come!" - commented Celeste, Max's mom.


Thank you so much for letting us tell your story, Max!  We know you will treasure your custom designed album for years to come!

NPDP Senior - Duane Stine

Today we turn the spotlight on Amery High School Senior Duane Stine.  Hear all about his experience and see some amazing images from his custom designed senior album!


We actually met Duane last year when we photographed his older brother Andrew.  (I'm sure you remember seeing Andrew's images!  After's not everyday that we get to photograph Batman!)  According to Amy, Duane's mom, "Duane started the process thinking that his pictures couldn't be as cool as Andrew's.  However, after the first meeting with Nate, Duane really started to enjoy himself!"


Even though we had just photographed older brother Andrew just a year before, Duane had his own interests and hobbies.  We love telling each senior's story!


Duane's images turned out awesome!  His love for video games, music and 'Deadpool' ensured that this session was sure to be one for the record books!


Amy, who now resides in sunny Florida said "The big reveal was the highlight of my trip back to Wisconsin!  We were blown away by the images!"


"Thank you all for such a (another) wonderful experience!  I'd give an 11 out of 10 if I could rate this experience!" - Amy.  

Thank you so much for letting us tell your story, Duane!  We know you will treasure your custom designed album for years to come!

NPDP Senior - Lance Siggens

Today we turn the spotlight on Woodbury High School Senior Lance Siggens.  Hear all about his experience and see some amazing images from his custom designed senior album!


We met Lance two years ago on the football field of Woodbury High School.  He is the quintessential 'All American!'  Lance is a star football player who also helps coach 3rd grade football.


"I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lance's pictures!" says Desiree Siggens, Lance's mom.  


We love working with athletes and creating dramatic lighting that defines muscle tone like what you'd find in 'Sports Illustrated' or 'ESPN' magazine.


"I have literally been carrying the album around with me everywhere!  Everyone MUST see them!  THANK YOU!" - Desiree

Thank you so much for letting us tell your story, Lance!  We know you will treasure your custom designed album for years to come!

4 Clever Ways to Decorate Your Hallway

The hallway is way too often ignored when decorating… it is a space that is passed through so often, it deserves to have some attention! Since hallways tend to be small spaces, you don’t want to clutter or close it in, but you do want to add interest. It doesn’t have to be a boring, utilitarian space! Make sure you and your loved ones enjoy passing through… After all, isn’t life the journey, not the destination?  Here are 4 ideas to make your hallway shine!

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This is great idea for making the most of a small pass through space… Add storage! This could easily be DIY’ed by installing pre made bookcase style cabinets, headboard and coat hooks. Finish with some trim to create a built in look.

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Photos and white frames to tie the space together, yet not close it in. Professional photographed family portraits mixed in with candids shots of your kids as vacation pics gives an artsy feel to the space, and the grey walls warm it up. Using wide white picture frame mats helps keep a bright look as well.  NP Design & Photography will actually do a 'pre consultation' in your home to discuss your family photography session so that we can plan coordinating outfits as well as where your images will be displayed. 

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This may be my answer to my lifelong dream of having a library all for myself! Since it’s unlikely in today’s small home you can devote an entire room to books… how about using the least usable room for what should be the most usable things!

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Children's art work is a great way to boost self esteem and add color and creativity to your walls!  A calming, pale grey to keep the space looking open and light. Gallery style frames along the walls in light colors draw the eye down. Don't forget to add art at the end of the hallway so it will make the space seem less like a bowling alley, and more like a room. Pretty, but never overdone!  High Point Framing & Art Gallery will have the perfect frame for your child's art!  With over 2000 moulding options, they have the right frame for any budget!

NPDP Senior - Elise Kolbeck

Today we turn the spotlight on New Richmond Senior Elise Kolbeck.  Hear all about her experience and see some amazing images from her custom designed senior album!


"The senior picture experience was seriously indescribable and such fun!"  - Paula, Elise's mom.


Elise's session wouldn't be complete without the beloved family dog, Summer!  She had a way of stealing the show!


The streets of New Richmond became the catwalk at Elise' strutted her stuff!  "Thank you for your energy, enthusiasm and simply awesomeness that you showed with our family!"


"There are no words to share with you for how great we felt and how grateful we are for NPDP!  We are forever indebted!"  We feel the same way, Paula!  We heart our clients!

The Top 10 Secrets of Stylish Women

Between career, family, finding time for ourselves and all of the things, stepping out the door with style every day can seem impossible. But, trust us, there are a few attainable things that fashionable women do to look painlessly put-together.



You can’t plan for everything, but don’t let your Monday mornings catch you off-guard. Just like you’d plan a week’s worth of meals on a Sunday if you’re trying to stay trim, plan your outfits in advance for stress-free mornings and outfit-regret-free days.


Browse internet trendsetters in your free time. Find a few fashionistas whose style you admire, then use their photos as inspiration to create daily looks. A good place to start? Check out our Instagram and Pinterest boards for endless style inspo.



If you’re ever on the fence about what to wear, consider where you’re going and who you’ll see. When in doubt, always err on the side of being too dressy—it’s a big no-no to be the only person in jeans.



A well-known fashion “it-girl” hack: swipe on a touch of bright, cherry-red lipstick in a tone that best suits your skin. It’s an instant face brightener that screams “I took time for myself”—even if you didn’t.


Try to have at least one accessory on, whether it’s a statement necklace, a pop-color scarf or an great pair of earrings. And remember: sometimes less is more. You don’t need to get crazy at an arm party—minimal can also be memorable.



Basics really aren’t basic—they can be the foundation of extremely fashionable (and simple!) choices. Ever wonder why a woman looks great in a white button-up, skinny jeans and heels? It took a minute to think of the look, but it took planning to ensure her pieces fit perfectly.


When it comes to footwear, color packs a huge style punch—and they don’t have to be sky-high heels, either (flats can make the same statement and your feet will thank you). Next time you’re in jeans and a tee, throw on cobalt or fuschia flats to make your outfit go from 0 to 100 instantly.



Every once in a while, you need that pure “wow” factor. Whether it’s an amazing pair of over-the-knee boots, a vintage dress that you borrowed from you mom’s closet or an enviable handbag, keep something in your arsenal for the days you need to really show up stylish.


The most stylish women are always prepared. Whether it’s a snag, stain or sandal-induced blister, be on your toes with a 911 carryall chock-full of band-aids, sewing kit and other essentials to (stylishly) save the day.


Stylish women know the foundation (hehe, literally) of a great look is appropriate underwear. Besides, nothing instantly throws off a look like VPL (visible panty lines). Be strategic about what you slip on and why—then do a quick mirror scan in natural light before you leave the house.

There's our Top 10 secrets!  How'd you do?

NPDP Senior - McKenna Johnson

Today we turn the spotlight on St. Croix Central Senior McKenna Johnson.  Hear all about her experience and see some amazing images from her custom designed senior album!


"Nate really captured how dedicated I am to my sports and working out.  My favorite part of the session was being out on the track!" - McKenna


"I love my senior picture album!  It ties together everything about me!  It shows my athletic side and my formal side, while telling the story of how my shoot went!"


"I really enjoyed my experience and I LOVE my photos!  I loved how Nate captured everything about me and helped me open up and look natural in my photos."


Don't be fooled by McKenna's beauty!  This girl is tough!


Thank you so much for letting us tell your story, McKenna!  We know you will treasure your custom designed album for years to come!

Nate earns Silver & Bronze Medals at International Photographic Competition

Nate Peterson photographed by friend and colleague Ben Shirk.

Nate Peterson photographed by friend and colleague Ben Shirk.

Nate Peterson, M.Photog, CPP, owner of NP Design & Photography Studio, was named a Silver & Bronze Medalist during Professional Photographers of America’s 2017 International Photographic Competition.  He will be honored at PPA’s annual convention, Imaging USA, this coming January in Nashville, TN.

A panel of 33 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,800 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia.  Judged against a standard of excellence, just over 2,550 images were selected for the General Collection and 644 (roughly 11 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection-the best of the best.

Nate Peterson was named a Silver & Bronze Medalist, meaning that one of his four merited images entered the PAA Loan Collection.  He was one of only 108 Silver Medalists and one of 152 Bronze Medalists.  This is the first year Peterson entered two cases - one in the International Photographic Open Competition and one in the new Master Artist Competition, where digital artistic skills (photoshop/design) are the competitive measure.  Across the two competitions, Nate’s entries went 8 for 8, a rare accomplishment.  It’s been another strong year for NPDP Studio.  Earlier this year, Nate was also awarded Twin Cities High School Senior Photographer of the year for the third time, by the local PPA affiliate, Twin Cities Professional Photographers Association.

“Being awarded by your peers and the masters of the industry is a high honor,” states Peterson, “but to me, image competition is a way of pushing myself to be better skilled and improving everyday work to a master level.  In the end, the awards I want to win are those of my clients’ ultimate satisfaction.  However, I can’t say enough about how beneficial it is to be a part of the professional associations in the industry, in both education and competition.  Those memberships have truly separated our studio from the pack.”

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers.  PPA has roots back to 1869 and continues to look for new ways to assist is members through education and resources for their continued success in the industry.


Styling Your Clothing to Your Home Decor for Family Portraits

You found the perfect photographer to capture your family, now deciding what to wear can be challenging.  These photos are going to be displayed on your walls and cherished for years to come!  Deciding what to wear can seem overwhelming but when you work with professionals, they will guide you through every step of the way!

Coordinate Colors - Gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and matching.  Instead, pick a couple of colors and chose solids and small prints that fit the color scheme.

Look at Your Home Decor - Is your living room decorated with bright colors?  Maybe the family room has a more neutral feel.  Make sure your photo day wardrobe has those colors so that your wall portraits will be a custom fit!

Accessorize - Small accessories are perfect to make outfits pop!  Especially if a piece has sentimental meaning, like Grandma's locket or Granddad's pocket watch!  Necklaces and hats are also great for kids to play with and let's the photographer capture their personalities!

Textures are your Friend - Just like accessories, textures add depth and dimension to photographs.  Leather boots, silk scarf and knitted sweater not only look great as layers, they also have different textures that play well together.

Classic - These portraits will be on your walls so be sure to not get too trendy.  Cartoon characters are fun but can be distracting and date your images.  Keep clothing logos small as you want to show your family off, not advertise for the clothing company.

Hair & Make Up - This can be overlooked with mom getting everything ready for her family!  Take an hour before the session and let someone spoil you! Let a professional do your hair and make up.  You will be amazed and how great you will feel and it will show in your photos!

Pinterest is Your Friend - Pinterest makes it so easy for you to plan your family's wardrobe!  Pre-existing boards often link to stores where you can even purchase your items!  NP Design & Photography not only has a Pinterest board for families but also has a color palettes guide to make it easy!  

NPDP Family - The Tillys

Every once in a while a session comes along that is so fantastic that it's magical!  This is that session!  Donna & Jim Tilly have been pillars in the New Richmond community for years so it was an honor to capture their smiles, goofiness and their love!


"Nate & Teresa went out of their way to make sure that my parents were comfortable and relaxed for their session."  said Linda Aton, daughter to Donna & Jim.


"The pictures of us emotes tears!" commented Jim Tilly.


"It's hard to explain what this experience meant to our family.  To see my parents being so full of  love and tenderness towards each other and to have that captured forever in pictures is such a beautiful gift and keepsake!" stated Linda.  "This was not just a photo shoot.  This was a day that all of us will remember forever! Every step of this experience was unique and special!"


"Mom and Dad love their wall art but I think the album is their favorite!  I'm sure everyone at The Deerfield has had to take a moment to look through their book!"  - Linda


"My favorite part was when Nate said 'Dance your wife around the garden' and my dad started singing 'I'm In The Mood For Love' while Nate got some amazing shots!" - Linda

Capturing moments like this are priceless!  We are so happy we got to be a part of it!