NP Design Photography – 3x 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. 3x Twin Cities Photographer of the Year.

Why Hire a Certified Professional Photographer?

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These days, anyone can buy a camera or even a cell phone and take some pictures, but a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) shows clients that they are a true professional in the field of photography.

Would you use a first-year resident doctor to save a few dollars on an operation? Of course not!  When things matter, you've only got one shot. And there's no substitute for experience.  Certification shows that your photographer took the time to learn how you perform to a higher standard. Certification makes it a critical difference!  

Getting certified isn’t an easy process, either. With a failure rate of over 70%, a CPP candidate has to pass a rigorous exam and portfolio review of compulsory and client work. The process is designed to ensure that the photographer has a working knowledge of the technical and creative aspects of photography including posing, studio lighting, composition, and post-production. It takes most photographers several years of hard work to obtain this certification and many never complete it.

Here are just a few benefit from choosing a Certified Professional Photographer:


Consistency. CPPs know how to achieve great results—every time. You get a strong collection of images that tell your story, not a few lucky snapshots, and you will work with someone who knows how to produce a quality image under any circumstances. 
 
Technical Skills. CPPs are more than picture takers. They are students of art, lighting, posing, fashion and even interior design. They combine these elements to create images that fit your unique style and become works of art you will treasure for generations. 
 
Unique Artistry. CPPs have the skills to create unique, customized works of art—not cookie-cutter pictures. They follow an artistic vision. It’s your story captured as a collection of art.
 
Professionalism. When you hire a CPP, you know you're getting someone who is willing to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible images. They are business owners who thrive on customer service and satisfaction, and they continuously aim to produce products that exceed your—and their—best expectations. These images are keepsakes whose stories you'll tell time and time again and treasure forever. 
 
Just about anyone can take a good picture every now and then. But when life's biggest moments are unfolding and there's just one chance to capture that perfect memory, don't risk it. Entrust your photography needs to a Certified Professional Photographer and see the difference for yourself.

Looking for a Certified Professional Photographer in your area?  Go to Professional Photographers of America and make sure you click on the 'Show only Certified Professional Photographers (CPP).'

I Performed at the Super Bowl Half Time Show!

Not everyone gets their 15 minutes of Fame' but in the case of Class of 2017 Senior Model Gabbie Vogel...she got to dance with Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl half time show!  

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About two months ago she received a message from one of the captains on her University of St. Thomas dance team saying that the team had been chosen to perform in the halftime for the Super Bowl!  "Watching previous shows, I figured I'd be holding a light and walking around." said Gabbie.  Then she learned that she would be part of a choreographed dance and be on the actual field!  "Being so close to JT and able to seen on TV was definitely a shock!"  After signing confidentially agreements, the team got started with a strict rehearsal schedule that included 5+ hour long practices that were held almost every other day from the end of January until the Friday before the show.  "For me, it was a no brainer, I would miss any class necessary for this once in a lifetime opportunity!" said Gabbie.  

Ariel shot during the half time performance.

Ariel shot during the half time performance.

Gabbie and the University of St. Thomas Dance team were joined by other high school teams from the area including the University of Minnesota’s Premier team and marching band and many more.

The University of St. Thomas Dance Team.

The University of St. Thomas Dance Team.

"Practices were long and a lot of stopping and going.  We were given headsets for the week leading up to the show where KP, one of the main people who ran the show, would speak in our ears telling us when we could take a break or when we were needed to be down on the floor practicing.  We had practice at the Kennedy High School, the state fairgrounds, and at the stadium multiple times.  In all, Gabbie guesses she spent over 50 hours practicing for the big day.  The week leading up to the show we had Justin Timberlake, along with his choreographer, producer and director of the show present."  Gabbie said that one of the first things that Justin said to the group was how honored we was to be able to perform on the field with them.  He ended his pep talk with 'Let's go kick some ass!'  "The last few practices, his back up dancers also showed up and on his birthday his family came including his adorable son. The practices the week of the show (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) were full dress rehearsals, meaning I got to experience the halftime show about 10 times before the real thing!  Those were the best practices because JT is obviously talented, but his dancers are also incredible and as a dancer myself, I tended to 'fangirl' over them almost more than I did over Justin!"  

"Stepping out onto that field on game day was INSANE!  Looking around I could see the packed stadium of people, and if that wasn’t enough KP saying in our ears that we had 115 million viewers really sent thrills of adrenaline and excitement through us all."

Gabbie stated that is was incredible to see how humble JT and his dancers were.  "He is funny and truly a genuine person...asking up how we were doing and even buying us hot chocolate and s'mores after practice!"  She also said that his dancers were amazing!  Many had worked with Brittney Spears or Nicki Minaj.

Gabbie, in yellow, just steps away from half time superstar Justin Timberlake.

Gabbie, in yellow, just steps away from half time superstar Justin Timberlake.

"Overall it was an amazing experience I wish I could have every year, I even got to keep my yellow jean jacket they gave me. I will never forget being a part of something so huge and my team and I still feel so honored to be able to be a part of it!"

Gabbie - NPDP Senior Model - Class of 2016

Gabbie - NPDP Senior Model - Class of 2016

Wow!  What an amazing experience!  Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Gabbie!  We are so happy you got to be a part of this amazing event! 

Fashion Trend - West Dressed

I don't know if I am noticing this trend more since I came back from Nashville or if it's been happening for a while but this wild Southwest mixed with Boho look is really hot right now!

Don't worry if you don't own a pair of cowboy boots.  This look isn't about being a 'Country Girl!'  Bootie shoes, lace up boots, 'peek a toe' shoes are all part of this collection.  Flow-y fabrics, lace and layered jewelry and scarves are also a great way to get this look.  And don't forget the hat!  

I think what I love most about this trend is that it's perfect for all body types and ages!  And, you can take this look to a more urban fashion look by adding fur!

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So where do you find some of these fun looks?  Forever 21 has a great selection of jewelry at prices that make it easy to layer, layer, layer!  Francesca's also has great little booties and fun dresses to help you create these looks.  And don't forget The Gap - the original home of denim!

Now you've got the knowledge to be up to date on this fashion trend so take this look by the reins and make it your own! 

Collage Wall Art - An NPDP Must!

Master Photographer Nate Peterson is known for taking dramatic, quality portraits which often makes it difficult when choosing wall art.  Our custom collage creations are the perfect solution!

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We love to take several images and layer them together to create a unique art piece that showcases different poses and expressions.

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Our custom collages are a big hit with seniors!  Most of our seniors get at least one collage sometimes more depending on their hobbies, sports or musical talents.

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NPDP Graphic Designer, Allie Wrich takes Nate's images and adds just that special touch of graphics, overlays and text to make the final collage a work of art!

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Collages from NPDP come as framed portraits, gallery wrapped canvas and even metal prints.  All of these products come ready to for you to take home and instantly hang on your walls.  After all, why wait to start enjoying your custom artwork!

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Winter Vacation Hotspots!

Wondering where to take that family vacation?  Let the Travel Agent Jessi Mishler at Travel Leaders share her top picks for sun & surf! 

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Travel agents at Travel Leaders Travel Now have signed on as Ambassadors for the “One Caribbean Family” Campaign. Our intention is to share accurate information and updates about the Caribbean and help travelers make decisions about their fall and winter travel plans.  

Approximately 70 percent of the Caribbean was not impacted by the recent hurricanes. The Caribbean is extremely popular among our travelers, as it offers a warm, sunny escape to our cold winters. In addition to an opportunity to enjoy fun in the sun, visiting the unaffected areas in the Caribbean also helps to boost the economy of the entire region; which is a mutually beneficial way to support the tourism industry that the Caribbean depends on.  Travel Leaders is participating in this education and awareness campaign in conjunction with the Caribbean tourism industry to spread the word that most of the Caribbean is open for business and waiting to welcome visitors with open arms.

The hurricane season officially wrapped up November 30, 2017 after an active season of 17 named storms and 6 major hurricanes.  It was an unusual year, with triple the average amount of hurricanes, but most of the damaged hotels and cruise ports have been quick to recover.  Travelers that planned to visit the Caribbean were especially interested in following the storms paths, and may have even learned about some islands that they hadn’t heard of before to add to their travel wish list. Some people used to confuse the island of Dominica with the Dominican Republic, and also Antigua for Anguilla.  But if you studied the storms, you can probably now name several more islands than before.  Maybe you also learned about the “ABC Islands” of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, that are below the hurricane belt.

We are booking all of our usual winter hotspots; Jamaica, the Dominican, Aruba, St. Lucia, Barbados, Caribbean Cruises and of course, all over Mexico as well. There is plenty of warm sun and sand for everyone. Our expert agents look forward to advising you on the best Caribbean vacation to fit your travel expectations!


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Jessi Mishler is an 'All Inclusive Travel and Gluten Free Specialist.'  Her destination specialties include the Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Punta Cana and the rest of the Caribbean.  To learn more about vacations with Travel Leaders contact Jessi here.

NPDP Senior - Mikah Kier

Today we turn the spotlight on New Richmond High School Senior Mikah Kier.  Hear all about his experience and see some amazing images from his custom designed senior album!

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We've known Kaleb for quite some time, having photographed his two older brothers.  "I very much appreciate all your work and really appreciate the latest pictures of Mikah so I have professional pictures of all three boys!" commented Greg Kier, proud father.  

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Mikah-a three sport athlete, also wanted to include his beloved pup Buddy as well as his sweet ride!

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"Thank you so much for your understanding and graciousness!  We are lucky to have your in our community!" - said Greg.

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We love getting to know the families of our seniors and the Kier family was no exception!

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

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Stuck on what to get the beauty obsessed lady in your life? Jenna Lundell, hair & make up artist did all the work for you!  And read to the end to learn how to win some of these awesome gift items!  

Here are her holiday picks for 2017:

Quick Picks

I personally have this weird problem where I prefer to give a few small gifts instead of one larger one, so here is an example of what I would run into Target and buy for a friend last minute that satisfies my weird safety-in-numbers tick but also makes for a happy friend!  The nice thing is that you can go into just about anywhere and find items similar to these, spend however much you want, and make a bomb.com gift for someone in one Target run! Something like this is great for a large group holiday party where you have a set budget and don’t know who will end up getting your gift,too! 

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Your Favorite Beauty Product

Try to avoid anything where you’d have to guess their shade, but you could toss in any lipstick, blush, or nail polish you think would look great on them! My current favorite product is L’Oréal Lash Paradise Mascara, and it’s only a few bucks! Lengthens and thickens lashes, amazing, long-wear formula, and is still soft to the touch! It’s on my lashes every day. 

 

 

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Something Soothing

Everyone needs a little stress relief this time of year, so I like to throw in something they can use to pamper themselves. These bath bombs are adorable, but you could do a mini hand cream, a sheet face mask, or a hair mask, too!

 

 

 

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Something Stylish

Wisconsin winters are brutal, and it’s easy to fall into the drab routine of coats-hat-and-gloves. Adding in a cute beanie or knitted headband is a useful seasonal item they’ll want and need! I prefer to go the more glam route however, so I would choose to do a beaded headband or some fun hairpins!  

 

 

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Something Scented

I always grab a few mini scented candles from the dollar section at target for myself, so I usually have a few laying around that are seasonally scented! Nothing cozies up a room faster than a little candle action. 

 

 Something to hold it all together

To avoid wrapping your gift, just get a cute mug if you have all small items or toiletry bag from the dollar section to hold everything in! I usually just grab a sheet of tissue paper for some added fluff, a little paper tag, and it’s ready to go! If you’re looking for something bigger, you can grab a stocking from the Christmas section or just toss everything into a gift bag, whatever is easiest! 

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Women’s Forest Animal 12 Days of Sock Set $15

When I saw this, I screamed and ordered it for myself immediately. Give this to a friend and fellow sock lover as an early Christmas gift that they can enjoy for the days leading up to Christmas, or to anyone who just has chilly toes.  You can order them from Target.com and they have sets for men, women, and kids with all kinds of prints too! It’s such a fun take on an advent calendar while still being useful. 

 

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A New Day Jewelry Roll Organizer $15

GAME CHANGER! This is AMAZING for anyone who travels and loves their accessories. It has a ton of different pouches for separating your necklaces and bracelets, and even has little holes for your earring to stick thru! No more losing your fave pair of studs in transit! 

 

 

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ELF 10 piece Brush Set $20

ELF is a super inexpensive drugstore makeup brand and they always come out with holiday kits this time of year! This brush set is awesome, it has a good assortment of brushes for only $20! These are from ELF pro, which is their higher quality line than the white handled ones you can buy year round, and they’re typically only sold online. This is there perfect time to snatch up some inexpensive, good quality brushes without the shipping and handling!

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Ouai-To-Go Kit $25

I included this kit because it has a travel size bottle of the Ouai (Pronounced WAY) Dry Shampoo Foam. This product is AMAZING and anyone who is a dry shampoo junkie will LOVE this! It absorbs oil without the powdery cast or gritty feel and really gives second and third day hair the boost it needs! The set also comes with the Wave Spray which is one the products I use in my hair every day! It does have a very strong floral scent, which I personally like, but if you’re sensitive to scent you might want to skip this. This is a great little on the go kit for anyone to just toss into their bag and I love this collection of products!

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Too Faced Under the Kissletoe Liquid Lipstick Set $25

This is such a cute little set of lip products in a variety of shades and finishes, and it has my all-time favorite lip formula in it: Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick. It stays put ALL DAY, feels comfortable, and has tons of color pay-off! Because they’re mini, you can separate them and give them out individually as little stocking stuffers, too!

 

 

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Kristen Ess Travel Size Sets $10-$14

I rave about this brand constantly and I was so excited when I saw they released these minis! Minis are awesome to try out different products before investing in the full size, and this set comes with an adorable hair pin too! They have a variety of other options depending on your hair needs and make for a charming addition to your vanity!

 

 

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Sephora Perfume Sampler $65

I stumbled across this gift set while browsing online one day, and while it’s the priciest item on this list, it’s SUCH a great idea! This has a collection of 17 perfumes you can test out and then redeem the included certificate for a full size bottle of your favorite one! This is an awesome gift for someone who has a hard time finding a scent that they love, or someone who wants to add a more sophisticated perfume to their collection. 

Thanks so much to everyone who has followed the NPDP Blog this year! As a thank you, we are doing a giveaway on this post!!! To enter, please like this post on Instagram and comment on this post on our Facebook page for your chance to win some of Jenna’s Holiday Picks!!!


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Jenna Lundell is a licensed cosmetologist and hair professional.  Formally trained at the Aveda Institute, she now works at Spalon Montage in Woodbury, MN.  To learn more about Jenna, you can follow her on Facebook at Jenna Lundell Hair

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!

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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.

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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.

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"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.

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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!

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We actually met Duane last year when we photographed his older brother Andrew.  (I'm sure you remember seeing Andrew's images!  After all...it'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!"

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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!

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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!

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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!"

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"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!

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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.

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

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

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"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!