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.

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.

tsangtastic-2.jpg

1. BE A PLANNER

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.

2. FOLLOW STYLISH WOMEN

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.

fashioned-chic-1-1.jpg

3. (OVER)DRESS FOR THE OCCASION

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.

lex-what-wear-4.jpg

4. ROCK RED LIPSTICK

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.

5. ALWAYS ACCESSORIZE

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.

fashion-jackson-9.jpg

6. INVEST IN BASICS THAT FIT

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.

7. WEAR COLORFUL SHOES

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.

blake-von-d-5.jpg

8. OWN ONE CONVERSATION PIECE

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.

9. CARRY A FASHION EMERGENCY KIT

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.

10. SELECT THE RIGHT UNDERGARMENTS

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?

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!

TillyFamily_10X20_Spread003_1080p.jpg

"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.

DS2A4743.jpg

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

DS2A4781-Edit.jpg

"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!"

DS2A4770.jpg

"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

TillyFamily_10X20_Spread010_1080p.jpg

"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!

What's in my Summer Makeup Bag?

What are the 'must haves' we should have with us during the hot summer months?  We asked NPDP Hair & Make Up Artist Jenna Cagle from Spalon Montage-Woodbury to give us the run down!

HAIR 

Oribe Impermeable

This lightweight, low-hold spray is your key to frizz-free hair. The name is Spanish for raincoat, and it does exactly that! Spray this over smoothed out styles to lock out humidity or on damp curls to keep texture condensed while air drying. 

Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil

This stuff is amazing and super under-rated! If you have colored hair, this spray acts as a shield to stop color fading and UV damage.  No one really realizes the sun can damage your hair along with your skin. This spray works kind of like sunscreen for your hair!

Morrocanoil Treatment

Everyone has heard of Morrocanoil. It was the first argan oil haircare product and is still one of the best. It infuses hair with moisture, shine, and strength, making it the perfect thing to layer over your parched strands. They make a light version now too, which is great for fine or blonde hair that still needs moisture. 

Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash

Detox shampoo is a MUST if you do a lot of swimming this time of year. Whether you are in the lake, the ocean, or the pool, your hair absorbs minerals and chemicals that cause damage. Maxi wash gently exfoliates the hair to get rid of harmful deposits and can even remove the grimy green glow you get from being in the pool! I love this if my part line gets sunburned too, it has a slightly cooling effect and can speed up the healing/peeling process! 

Wet Brush 

I use a wet brush on myself every day. I have super fine, tangley, blonde hair, and this brush makes it so much easier to work through knots without breakage. I keep a mini one of these in the bag, it’s perfect for post-pool comb outs because on wet hair, and I use it dry all the time, too!

SKIN

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

This stuff is my most recent obsession! It’s so refreshing and dewy to set your makeup with, but works great as a mid-day pick me up to add extra hydration to your skin! I’ve also been using it after long days in the sun to cool myself off and the aloe in it helps soothe sunburn!

Benadryl Gel

I’ve gone thru about a million bottles of this stuff. Bugs LOVE me and I get super bad reactions to mosquito bites. This magical potion has saved me! Just a little bit on each bug bite stops the itch and reduces the swelling. It’s a histamine blocker so it targets the irritants caused by bug bites, poison ivy, and sunburn, so it’s handy to have around!

Babyganics Sunscreen Stick SPF 50

Being a Wisconsinite, I have super fair skin and burn easily. I’ve used this brand of sunscreen for a few years and love it! This is the most natural sunscreen I’ve found that has the best ingredients and is still affordable. The sunscreen stick is great for small areas like face and ears, and now they make a spray version that applies so easily and rubs in quickly. 

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

This balm is amazing. It’s so moisturizing and has just a slight rosy hue, so it’s easy to wear! For a long time I struggled in the summer with all of my favorite lip products melting! I love anything in a tube or a tin that, even if it heats up, in still useable. I am a chapstick addict, so this is always in my bag!

MAKE UP

Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer 

This tinted moisturizer is so easy to put on and gives you just enough protection. I love this because it evens out my skin, works as a sunscreen, and moisturizes all in one! The formula is super dewy and fresh, and the coverage is light. Beautycounter is an amazing brand if you like natural products, they formulate with the safest ingredients in the industry! 

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara

Brows are something I never used to think about, but recently I’ve been loving filling them in a bit! This product adds a little pigment to each strand and tames brows into place in one step. It’s super effective but super easy.

Benefit Bene-tint

I am a sunscreen junkie and I try my best to stay out of the sun, but sometime when I’m surrounded by tan goddesses I want to fake it and give myself a little color. I add a few dots of this to my cheeks, blend out with my fingers and instantly gives a rosy flush. When you’re as pale as I am, any color is good color, and this is an easy way to add some life back into your skin without getting an actual sunburn!  

Tarte Tartlette Tease Mini Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette

I found this baby in the checkout at Ulta one day and was OBSESSED. It has 6 shades, they are super pigmented and so easy to apply with your fingers! I also included this because it’s an inexpensive, great quality palette for someone who is maybe just getting into eyeshadow. I use this constantly, touchups, intensifying the eye, I’ve even countered with the dark brown shade! 

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

HOLY GRAIL PRODUCT. I will never not use this. It is the prettiest champagne color, super pigmented but blends easily, and it is really buildable if you like a more blinding highlight. I use this every day on the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them up and swipe just a bit on my cheekbone to add a soft, natural glow.

Jenna Cagle 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 at Spalon Montage Woodbury.

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!

White Ash Lake Family Session | Wisconsin Photographer of the Year

Photographing our amazing client and friend, Kristina's family last summer at White Ash Lake was a great way to kick off the summer. Perfect weather, beautiful setting, great company and the images turned out incredible. Below are a few words from Kristina about her NPDP experience. Enjoy!

Kristina's family at their cabin on White Ash Lake in Northern Wisconsin.

"Every photo of our family turned out awesome. Nate captured the best smile of each of my kids, as well as each parent."

"We are so grateful to have these treasures in a wall art collage. Every time I walk into my living room, I get to enjoy all the smiles on all of my family's faces!"


Fall Portrait Pickups | Twin Cities Photographer of the Year

Just a few of the Senior and Family portrait pickups we've managed to capture over the last couple of weeks. So much fun to be had in the NPDP Studio Lobby. #feelslikeChristmaseveryday

Anna with her album and custom-framed wall art!

Anna's Wall Portrait


New Richmond Senior, Madison. Love her collage!

Madison's Custom Collage


Libby's album is full of reading, music, summer and fun. 

Libby's Custom Collage


The day the Peterson family and Ellsworth Senior, Blake, took over the lobby!

Blake's Album Cover Image

The Peterson Family's main wall image (they got a cluster of images from their summer session by the lake!)


Happy Deliveries for NPDP - so many pieces of wall art!

Breck Turns THREE! | 2013 Wisconsin Photographer of the Year

Breck and his mom Lindsey have been incredible friends and clients for years. Every time we get to hang out with the little man, it is sure to be a great time. From his newborn session (images at the very bottom of this post) to his latest session, Breck is awesome!

So when Mr. Breck showed up for his three-year session (which was a surprise for his mom organized by his grandmother and Breck), we were ready for fun, smiles and plenty of high-fives. Breck had such a fantastic time on his photo shoot, he wrote into us with a few comments and thoughts about his experience. :)

Breck's 3-Year Canvas

From Breck's mom, Lindsey: "Nate captured all of Breck's expressions and personality."

From Breck: "Love my canvas! Also the Mini-Accordion is awesome!"

"We enjoy your work so much and love our friendship! Thank you!"


Breck's Newborn Session. So Cute!

Breck's Newborn Canvas

The Hexum Family | NP Design Photography Studio Sessions

This past December, we had the HONOR of photographing the extended Hexum family. What a joyful, kind and engaging group of individuals! We had a blast with the session which took place right here at the studio in early December. Below are a few of their favorite images and a few words from Kirk and his family. Thanks Hexums!!

From Kirk, when asked what his favorite part of the experience was: "Seeing Mom and Dad glow! Nate brought out the best in everyone!"

{Referring to the wall art and family heirloom album the family received} "They are very nice quality and will last a lifetime and more!"

"It was truly a FUN experience. Thank you!"

The McNamee Family | Family Portrait Photographer Twin Cities

Loved working with the McNamee family this past holiday season! Such a fun bunch and we absolutely LOVE the image they chose for their family wall portrait. BEAUTIFUL!

The McNamee Family's Classic Wall Canvas Image

From the McNamee Family! "Fabulous Experience. Nate made it fun and we will be back for business photos soon!"