MJCollins Photography: Blog https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog en-us (C) MJCollins Photography, LLC | North Branch, MN | 2024 [email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Sat, 01 Jul 2023 19:27:00 GMT Sat, 01 Jul 2023 19:27:00 GMT https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u271883283-o812691778-50.jpg MJCollins Photography: Blog https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog 80 120 MNbeautyboudoirphotographer https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2023/6/mnbeautyboudoirphotographer Miss A's Boudoir Story

This one right here….THIS ONE had me crying and goosebumping and rejoicing in this path of work I’ve chosen for myself. She is nothing but kind and sweet and trusting….but I knew that she was going to be a hard sell on loving photos of herself. The woman standing in front of me was beautiful and funny and INCREDIBLE. However, my intuitive nature, along with all the words she wasn’t saying, told me that she perhaps was going to have a very difficult time seeing what I see. She’d been through SO much, but I am so honored that she trusted me every step of the way. 

Boudoir by MJCollins Photography North Branch, MNBoudoir by MJCollins Photography North Branch, MN

This is what she has to say about her experience:

LADIES!! Listen up. If you have ever wanted to do a boudoir shoot, but have the excuses that EVERYONE has..... DO IT! You are not too fat, thin, old, saggy, scarred, or anything else. Someone sees you as freaking gorgeous! and in the right light, with the right angles- you can look 🔥🔥🔥🔥.

I was down for 8 months with multiple surgeries scarring my body, unable to care for my kids or even walk. Not even a year later I got pregnant, and had a C-section adding more scars and downtime.

3 years older, 80# heavier, a shit ton of new scars both visible and not my self confidence which was never good to begin with hit rock bottom. All my spare time went to breastfeeding and not into self-care. Not going on dates and dressing up.

I had a chance to go and take pictures, because no way in hell was I going to set this up for myself at this point. I was going to wait until I "got my body back".

I'll be forever greatful for Boudoir by MJCollins Photography for showing me that even at my worst, I can look like this. For showing me what her and my man see, and for giving me my confidence and happiness back. Reminding me what strong and empowered looks like. It's been a month, and I still see myself in a totally different light.

Sometimes doing this "at our worst" is the best thing we can do for ourselves mentally. If you're "shy" bring some champagne and HAVE.A.BLAST. she'll make sure of it!

And notice, it's gorgeous even though I'd have more skin visible in a swimsuit. It doesn't have to be a let's not leave anything to the imagination type thing to be amazing.

Boudoir by MJCollins Photography North Branch, MNBoudoir by MJCollins Photography North Branch, MN

Melissa Collins Boudoir StudioMelissa Collins Boudoir Studio


And with that, I’m covered with goosebumps. This is what it’s all about. It’s about opening eyes, gaining self-love, shifting perspectives, and recognizing how incredible YOU are. Thank you SO much, A, for your kindness, your beautiful words, and most importantly for trusting me to give you this experience and these finished products, even when you were unsure, you’d be able to cherish them. I’m over-the-moon that you have the most exquisite collection of images to treasure forever.

MN beauty and boudoir photographerMN beauty and boudoir photographer

She had seen what I saw, and she was art.



[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) branch mjcollins MN north personal photography story studio https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2023/6/mnbeautyboudoirphotographer Thu, 22 Jun 2023 16:17:52 GMT
Cell Phone VS Pro Photo https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2022/3/cell-phone-vs-pro-photo Sometimes you can't tell the difference between a cell phone photo and one done by a photographer.

Sometimes, it is very obvious.

My beloved grandmother passed away last year and this is my last photo of us together. I tried to get a selfie in a dark, crowded, noisy bar & grill. I look at this photo and think about why we were there, (my parents 50th anniversary) and what this little stinker did (start an epic wadded paper straw wrapper fight across several tables of family. Sorry Scot Taylor!).

A photo can bring back all kinds of memories. *Sigh* I miss her so.

But as you can see, it is blurry and grandma isn't looking into the camera. Often times the lighting is terrible and there is weird stuff in the background popping out of your head and it is a very UNFLATTERING angle of yourself. Ew.

However, a year before that - we went together (us 4 generations of girls) to have our portraits taken. Again, I can look at the photos and a flood of fun memories come back.

While I cherish the cell phone photo for so many reasons, I look at our professional photo of us together and have since enlarged it and keep it in my living room. I've used it as my profile picture. I admire the well-produced photo and think my li'l 92 year old grandma is simply beautiful. I can see her face clearly and sharply and the twinkle that was always present in her eyes. And I don't look half bad 😉

Cell phone cameras are so awesome and handy to capture the everyday...but a portrait done by a professional is apples to oranges.

Can I produce something beautiful for you this year?

📸 Artography by Bethany




[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Personal Photography Prints Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2022/3/cell-phone-vs-pro-photo Fri, 11 Mar 2022 04:15:56 GMT
Edit vs. Retouch - what is the difference? https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2021/4/edit-vs-retouch---what-is-the-difference Edited vs. A Retouched Photo - What is the Difference?

"One photographer says they will edit my photos and another one says retouch - what is the difference, I am confused!"


Let me try and help.


The difference is just a few minutes of time - or way more than you could ever imagine. 


You see, a professional photographer will take pictures using a RAW format. RAW means, in simple terms, all the data was captured by the camera sensor when you take a photo, giving you the highest of highest quality images. If you shoot in jpeg format, like on most cell phones and smaller point and shoots, the information gets squashed and lost. Think of a slice of bread - you can make an awesome and big sandwich with the slice all in tact, just how it was designed to be. If your toddler squishes part of the slice of bread...you can tell it's still bread AND you can make a sandwich with the same savory flavor...but it isn't the same. It's smaller and you cannot recover the smashed parts. 

Editing your photos is the flare and spin you put on the slice of bread to make it your own. Do you use butter? Add a little cinnamon & sugar to it? Jelly? Mayonnaise? You get the concept. You can even take it a step further by saying you spread HOMEMADE butter or jelly on the bread.


Your photographer has to take the flour and water that is a RAW file and create the most delicious bread and finish with a custom sandwich you can't get anywhere else. (Are you hungry yet? 🥪 🤤) Or in essence, the image needs to be developed like in the film days.



In a perfect world with perfect lighting conditions and perfect weather and perfect...well, everything - photographers can create a fabulous and perfect photograph. 

But. We don't live in a perfect world. Think - an old beautiful, but dark church that doesn't let you use a flash at a wedding. Your human eye can see just fine, but a camera cannot. Your photographer has to make several decisions on how they are going to capture the image, take the shot they best they can and makes a mental note on how they are going to correct it with some editing later. 


When your photographer is editing a photograph, they are making adjustments to it like brightness, color correcting, cropping and straightening, etc. They are optimizing the picture for the conditions it was taken in...especially if it was less than perfect conditions. A professional photographer will understand and work with the conditions presented and have knowledge, skill and the equipment to still take a solid photograph and not have to rely on "fixing it in post" in the Photoshop Darkroom. 

Edit vs retouch blog post The photo on the left is unedited, straight out of the camera. The photo on the right was lightened, color corrected and exposure corrected. Edited, not retouched



As you are looking through your gallery with your photographer...you have the. best. picture. ever! and you want to hang it in a prominent place in your home - LARGE! (bigger IS better!) so you can gaze at it lovingly every day. 


You could take the edited photograph and print that. Sometimes it's fine, especially if it is small like a 5x7. Retouching an image involves much more editing and requires more work such as:

  • Brightening the eyes of the subject.
  • Fixing discolored or damaged teeth in a smile if the client wishes
  • Minimizing acne or scars.
  • Softening the bags under eyes and wrinkles - especially if the subject was photographed in harder lighting conditions
  • Removing a shirt wrinkle, a bra strap, stray hairs, darkening eye lashes, smoothing out skin coloring, removing a sunburn...etc.
  • Removing distractions, such as the gum wrapper you didn't see at the session or that power line in the background.

In all honesty, if you were made up beautifully for picture day and then there was heat and humidity or wind or suddenly got an acne flareup -- your foundation could be cakey, you would have perspiration shine, your skin would be blotchy red...etc. If you are going to hang your photo up on the wall, whether it be your living room or Facebook's Wall...you will want your photographer to take the extra time to retouch it for you. 


Plus when you enlarge a photograph -- a pill on your sweater is not noticeable on a smaller picture...but blown up to couch size it will be as noticeable as a wolf in sheep's clothing. And believe me, you will see it every time you look at the picture. 

Comparison photo portrait of retouching a photo mjcollins photography * The purpose of retouching isn't to change your appearance. My policy is: if it wasn't there 2 weeks ago and it won't be there 2 weeks from now, we will remove it. Retouching also is like applying foundation, and other make-up techniques intended to bring out your best features. Like all things, retouching can be very light handed, or can go full-on, high end / fashion retouch. Talk to your photographer for what meets your retouching needs!



It can take me up to 20 hours to create a piece like this:

Ephesians 6:16 - custom family art portrait


No, and frankly it shouldn't. We've all seen horribly executed skin smoothing and body shaping or forgetting to remove a phantom hand or arm. It is important to have good communication with your photographer on how much Photoshop will be used. For me, I want to get it right in camera the best I can - unless we are creating a complex art piece. Myself and other photographers consider ourselves artists, but should also provide excellent customer service as well. 


Please know, as photographers, we do more than smash a shutter button. 

You see, behind every image are hours of practice, expensive gear and software, attending conferences, long conversations with our colleagues, membership in professional guilds, etc.  For me, I put a lot of myself in the pictures I take - why wouldn't I want them to look their best for the people that will see them?

Got a question?  It costs nothing to ask - send me an email and I will be glad to answer it.

Shine on, friends 🌟




[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) edit MJCollins Photography portrait print retouch studio https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2021/4/edit-vs-retouch---what-is-the-difference Fri, 16 Apr 2021 18:14:01 GMT
How to Curate a Gallery Wall https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2021/1/how-to-curate-a-gallery-wall
Curate A Gallery Wall

Curating a gallery wall for your home is like the assembly of the Beatles. Yup - with my love for the Beatles I went there. 

But really, creating a gallery wall for your art or photographs allows you to express yourself and showcase who or what you truly love in your favorite space. 

Originally published in the REDFIN Blog, find out how you can curate your own wall and and assemble it like the Beatles (written by yours truly ♥)

By:  For REDFIN and other contributing writers


Gallery walls are a timeless way to bring new life to a space without breaking the bank.
However, assembling a gallery wall on your own may seem like a daunting task. Without any
form of guidance things like choosing the right photos, framing, colors, lighting, etc. can take a
longer time than you’d think. But here at Redfin, we wanted to help simplify the process by
reaching out to the experts in photography and aesthetics from Sacramento to Miami to help you
on your journey to create the gallery of your dreams. So sit back and learn how you can curate a
gallery wall that friends and family will admire for years to come.

Plan it out
Photo galleries are a beautiful addition to any home. In order for them to remain a beautiful
addition as opposed to a mess on the wall, it's important to decide on a style for your photo
gallery before committing to it. There are many factors that you should figure out before diving
into the project. Questions you should ask yourself include what type of house do you have?
What room will it be in? What style is the decor? What's the existing color of the room? It's
important that your photo gallery complements the existing style of the room. Once you identify
the existing style, pick a color scheme that complements it. If you aren't sure, I recommend going
with natural tones/earth tones as they will go with almost any existing styles. - Orange County

You can now create your own unique and favorite photo gallery in your home, for yourself,
family and visitors to your home that they can enjoy and admire. First and foremost, choose your
genre e.g. family portraits, travel adventures, black and white, or a portfolio of your best
photography works. You can also do it via color themes such as your favorite color is yellow,
start curating your photographs that have a strong yellow presence in them. After a careful
curation, you can choose to bring it to your local printer or you can print it from your home
photo printer. Your printed photographs can be displayed in a wooden frame or they can be
mounted on hard boards before you mount them on your wall. - TanGengHui Photography

Coordinate photos to compliment your home’s style
When adding a photo gallery to your home, the BEST plan is to do your planning before your
portrait session. Wear colors that compliment the color scheme of your home. Opt for locations
that reflect the style of your home, or choose a studio session. For example, if your decor is
coastal, do a portrait session at the beach. If your home is modern, do a session downtown. - Wet

As a professional photographer, my best advice to create a beautiful photo gallery in your home,
try and match your photo background to the color scheme of your home! This way, all of your
photos match your already existing decor. For example, a modern home with cool deep tones
would match a more city-style background for your photos. Is your home warmer toned and
neutral? Try a field or pasture. Perhaps your home is more earthy, choosing a park could work
best to showcase your family in your home. Already have photos? Convert them to black and
white and create a more timeless look that goes with any home! - Jackie Lamas Photography

Assemble your photos like members of a band
Curating a gallery wall for your home is like the assembly of the Beatles. The right grouping
takes time & intent because some photos (bandmates) work, others do not or you have to try
something different (a la Pete Best versus Ringo). Find your anchor pieces or great stand-alone
(Lennon-McCartney), then curate other photos using balance, symmetry, uniform and similar
themes, size and color to tell the story on your wall like the 1964 Beatles polished look.
However, you can use, instead,  a mix of the psychedelic Beatles style
of styles, colors, frames, and abstract geometrical shapes
for added visual drama, interest and uniqueness to the space you are decorating. Either way, with
a little thought or With A Little Help From Your Friends, on mood or story the wall represents,
you can create a space that showcases your style/aesthetics and can be enjoyed for years to come
and add to as life evolves. (Or Let it Be as it is ;) - Melissa J Collins Photography

Minimize negative space
To create a stunning photo wall in your home, choose images that coordinate and make them as
large as your budget and space allow.  Quite often photos are printed in smaller sizes and don't
fill up the space making them look lonely and leaving too much negative space leftover on the
wall.  Large prints fill up space beautifully and always look more put together and high
end....making every photo wall just about perfect! - Hetler Photography

Be bold
Nothing makes an impact like size, so I recommend creating extra-large prints! With today’s
modern printers and high-resolution cameras, digital cameras can produce amazing quality in
sizes that can be 3 to 6 feet long. Whether you have a large wall space in the living room,
hallway, or up a grand staircase, having a large print hanging means your family and guests do
not have to be up close to see details in your art. This can work for landscape images or family
portraits. - Timeline Media

Capture emotion
Pick photos that capture emotion. Try to think beyond a perfect smile or outfit and chose images
that convey to the viewer a particular thought, or feeling about the subject such as love, laughter,
admiration, etc. Most photo walls are centered around family. I like to have a nice image of the
entire family in the center and work out and around from there. Uniform framing and matting
help to keep the look clean and not cluttered. - A.G. Johnson Photography

Create something that can grow with you
As a family portrait photographer, I encourage clients to create a gallery wall that can grow with
the family.  This means an organic layout that is intentionally imprecise and eclectic with
different sizes, colors, frames, media, and textures.  Over the years tastes change, and families
update their family photos and acquire new art.  An organic layout makes it easy to add newpieces to the wall without stressing about everything matching or aligning perfectly. - Jennifer
Young Photography

Tell a story
I think the best gallery walls are ones that tell a story. A story of the places you have been and
the people you love. Framed ticket stubs from an important event in your life, family portraits,
art collected from places you have traveled to, or quirky original prints that share insight into
your personality. These elements mixed with texture and color can really bring a gallery wall to
life. - The One With Wanderlust

As a photographer, I like to grab a shot of my client's kids showing their age with their fingers.
Its a cute way to timestamp their age with a photo as they grow and it adds some fun candid
moments to the gallery. Another tip: request close up black and white shots of the kids from your
photographer. This creates a more documentary feel to a gallery wall, especially when you add to
it each year. - Kelli Avila Photography

Help potential buyers visualize themselves in the home
It's one of the important things to have a photo gallery wall inside your home when selling one.
People mostly buy homes to move in with their families. When they see how fun and blessed
moments can be made inside one home, it brings out positive emotions. One of the ways to
curate a photo wall is to set the photos chronologically. From the earliest moments to the latest,
also paint the wall in a "soft" color. - I Sold My House

Curate something the family can admire for generations to come
Your goal is to not only build a gallery that your family can admire every day, but also one that
can be passed down for generations. Talk to your photographer to ensure that your prints are
archival, so that you can, in fact, pass them on. And don't fret about your attire being precisely
matchy-matchy, work around a color family, instead. - Shayna Image

Develop a sense of timelessness
There’s nothing as timelessly elegant as a series of black & white portraits, matted and framed,
and hung in a custom wall display. One favorite is a collection of mismatched, but
complimentary frames (an assortment of rustic woods, gold, silver, black) in different shapes &
sizes, laid out sporadically on a wall and added to over time. Another popular layout is to place
assorted sized frames on shelves, one on top of the other, or staggered on a wall (perfect for
smaller spaces). I also love the look of a collection of images in identical frames, either
symmetrically matted or “top-heavy”, with a horizontal photo matted towards the top of a
vertical frame. These look great anywhere but are really striking along a hallway. - Stephanie
Neal Photography

To create a classic and timeless photo gallery wall that will never go out of style, use the same
color frames for every photo.  If some of the photos are matted in the frame, just make sure all
the mats are the same color. Then, mix it up; use all different sizes, vertical and portrait
orientations, and both color and black and white prints. Finally, to add a bit of fun, try framing
concert tickets, a playbill or even a t-shirt - the possibilities are endless! - Lisa Villella

Establish a midline
One great way to start a unique gallery wall is to hang three frames either centered on the same
midline or lined up level on the same top or bottom line. Then as you want to add to the gallery
wall you just maintain that line and build it out horizontally. This can be done with artwork or
family photos, works well with matching or non-matching frame sizes/colors, and in a location
where you have a long area to work with like over a couch, behind a dining room table, or in a
hallway. - Hunnicutt Photography

Try incorporating a focal point
I find it most aesthetically pleasing when a photo gallery consists of either a focal point with
complimentary images arranged around it, or evenly distributed images with straight lines and
exact sizes. I incorporate both of these strategies in my own home in the same manner that many
would display their art pieces since my family’s beautifully captured moments are the art pieces
that I value most. - Tara Lee Photography

Involve different textures and materials
Turn your images into art with the right paper. If you are looking for an extraordinary way to
make your photos stand out, pick a high-quality FineArt inkjet paper. Hahnemühle and the
Hahnemühle Certified Studios offer various luxurious and unique options that highlight the best
in your photographs and guarantee a lasting gallery for generations. One can't look away from a
striking print on the wall. - Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH

Things to consider when framing
Two tips for ensuring your photo gallery is always fresh with great photos: #1: when you go to
frame a photo, make another couple of prints of other photos, and place them behind the print
you intend to display. Then set an alarm for 3 months from now, and when that day comes,
simply swap the displayed photo for the one behind it, and repeat the process! #2: Invest in a
good digital photo frame - we reviewed the best ones, but suffice to say, you get what you pay
for! - Shotkit

Keep it cohesive

When creating a photo gallery wall, the only rule you really need to follow is to keep things
cohesive within a theme. So if you choose to use all white frames, you can vary the sizes and
styles to create interest. Or you can pull together all different types of framing but then create
cohesion by showcasing black and white photography in all of them. This will allow you to add
on to your gallery over time without it being obvious. And remember, the most important thing is
that your gallery reflects your personal style, not the most recent trends. - N. Lalor Photography


Can I help you curate photos for your space? Contact me HERE

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[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) gallery Home MJCollins Photography Prints wall https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2021/1/how-to-curate-a-gallery-wall Tue, 12 Jan 2021 20:00:10 GMT
The Lies We Tell Ourselves https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2021/1/the-lies-we-tell-ourselves MJCollins Photography copyright Bethany Johs "I'm not photogenic"
"I'm not sexy."
"I need to lose 10 pounds"
"I'm too old for a shoot."

I am living proof to tell you - I feel that way 100%. At (almost) 45, I often feel like my bloom is off the rose. I also know how damaging it can be to see a terrible composed photo of yourself. I am so hyper critical of every photo I am in and rarely let anyone post one of me with out my consent or approval first.

I just don't have that "natural & effortless beauty," ya know?

And I am still trying to lose my baby weight.
...ehm...from 16 years ago.... 🙃

But I swallowed my insecurities two Summers ago and trusted the photographer to do her thang...and now I have photos that I really love of myself and with a few lady-super stars in my life. (My mom, grandma and daughter.)

I got out of my own way and allowed another photographer last week to shoot a few images for her upcoming projects.

And I am considering doing a boudoir shoot this summer.

This is really outside my comfort zone -- being in front of the camera. Like, at all.

But because I know EXACTLY how you feel about having pictures taken...please know: I've got you. And you will actually love the whole experience of it and BONUS: pics that you will love of yourself or of yourself with a loved one.

Will you join me in documenting yourself exactly who you are at this very moment? Be fearless? Embrace your perfect imperfections?

#walkthewalk #agelessbeautyandfemininity #standinyourpower #standinyourbeauty #fearless 


Contact me HERE to schedule your session.

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[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) MJCollins Personal Photography Portrait session Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2021/1/the-lies-we-tell-ourselves Fri, 08 Jan 2021 23:46:41 GMT
Boudoir Photography is for Everyone https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/12/boudoir-photography-is-for-everyone
Boudoir feminine beauty photography Hey beautiful. What do you think of when you hear the words "Boudoir Photography?" There are many reactions to be sure. 


Yes, the photos are sexy. But I don't shoot for the male gaze. Working together, we create an experience that centers around you and your beautiful, feminine curves, your sensuality and and your sense of self. I focus the lens (figuratively and literally!) to help you embrace, get in touch with and access the timeless, ageless parts of you that make you a stunning woman. 


It's about giving you the power, allowing you to radiate sexiness, and fill your cup with confidence that lasts well beyond the actual session. Whether you take daily walks or put on your favorite lipstick, boudoir photography can be an element that fosters your inner health and beauty. 


Sexiness is a mindset rather than having a predisposed way of thinking, being or looking. It isn't limited to a particular age, shape, size, ethnicity or race. The transformation experience is a gift to you, but can deepen the intimate connection when photos are shared with a partner. 


You can be fully clothed or completely in the nude - because to me, boudoir isn't only about underwear. It can be implied nude, it can be white sheets, it can be romantic lingerie, it can a beautiful robe -- it can be anything that makes you feel strong, romantic, beautiful and feminine. It can be the curvy details that bring emotion to the viewer. It can be what ever it takes to pump you up, feel the moment, discover (or reinforce) what is sexy and individual about you. 


It's fun and it's playful and it is more than getting into your underwear for the camera - it is an experience every woman should have. While these sessions can seem intimidating, I can totally assure you, you will feel so dang comfortable and confident by the end - because, I've got you every step of the way!


Want to learn more? 

[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Boudoir MJCollins Photography https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/12/boudoir-photography-is-for-everyone Thu, 17 Dec 2020 20:23:06 GMT
What 'taking a picture' means to me https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/12/what-taking-a-picture-means-to-me 8 years ago, when I picked up my camera, I thought I was going to click the shutter and take some nice pictures for people.

What I didn't realize was how much emotion and the connection that attaches itself to each family or person I meet. Fast forward to today: I can't just pick up the camera and 'take a picture.' It doesn't mean that to me - it means so much more and I believe my heart has expanded to make room for each lovely person I have had the honor to spend time with.

Jill bought my birthday special a year ago and saved it for just the right time. She used it to have a Mother/daughter session with Nancy, a woman whom I met once before. I had worked with Jill several years ago. The half day we spent together was so fun and so energetic and so amazing - it was a real intimate connection that made me feel I was spending the day with a sister and my mom. It was supposed to be their day together but they wrapped me up in their glow and shared their relationship with me. I know people have known and loved Jill and Nancy for much longer than I have - but the snippet of time I was honored enough to have been a part of left an impact. My heart has been so heavy since I learned of Nancy's passing earlier this week. I have read the comments from those who knew her and confirmed what I gained in a few hours: that she was a beautiful, kind influence to many. And she left a spot on my heart that I will always carry with me.

My words are inadequate, but I am so sorry for your loss Jill. And thank you for letting me have a day with your mom.

Beautiful mother daughter session

Family women mom and daughter


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Home MJCollins Personal Photography Prints https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/12/what-taking-a-picture-means-to-me Thu, 10 Dec 2020 16:52:46 GMT
Teaser | Mother-Daughter Session https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/9/teaser-mother-daughter-session A morning full of giggles and laughter, make-up and dresses, eighties music and messed up song lyrics is what made up this GORGEOUS mother-daughter session.

Want your own day of fun? My team and I want to whoop it up with you too ♥ Give me a call to schedule your complimentary session and start planning YOUR fun day! 




[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) daughter mother session story teaser video https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/9/teaser-mother-daughter-session Thu, 24 Sep 2020 14:32:01 GMT
8 style tips for your next photo shoot https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/8/8-style-tips-for-your-next-photo-shoot Fall family wearing denim and what to wear for your photo session

Deciding what to wear for your photo session shouldn't stress you out, though it can be enough to make anyone crazy. Finding a perfect outfit for yourself or your family can be simplified down to a few easy steps. I can help you select your wardrobe so you look and feel confident and photo-ready! 


Pick 3-4 colors as a starting point. Once you have a chosen palette, you or your family can begin to express their sense of style and coordinate beautifully. If you are not sure where to begin with choosing your color theme and aesthetics try this blog post: Your Color Aesthetics


Fall family photos and what to wear color mixing


Analogous Colors sit next to each other on a color wheel and share a common hue. Find a color that feels safe to you - say for example light blue. It falls between teal and blue-violet. This gives you a subtle 3 color palette scheme. 

Complimentary Colors sit opposite of each other on the wheel. When you want to make bolder choices and stand out - this is a great way to do it! Think blue and orange! Burgundy or forest green! Purple and yellow! When choosing complimentary colors, consider the location or backdrop - it will make not only the photo visually pleasing but it will separate the subject from the background.

Maternity couple in the spring by crab apple blossoms with a beautiful pink pallete

Triad of colors are compromised of three evenly spaced colors on the wheel - most notably the primary colors blue, yellow and red. But these are not the only possible triads. Using triadic color schemes can give you strong & bold contrast. 
By choosing subtle shades or secondary colors, you can tone down color drama at more manageable levels. 

The triad of blue, yellow and red look great as a coastal theme - but also looks fantastic against Fall foliage.

Senior Boy photos in the Fall Senior boy photos in the fall


Looking for a retro vibe? Pumpkin Orange, Sage Green and Plum Purple is a muted, sophisticated look.

 Neutrals are your friends! Color mixing isn't always about bold colors. Black, white, gray, brown, & navy blue always pair nicely together. Don't be afraid to wear black pants with brown shoes or boots. 
Consider denim a neutral color - you can mix it with any other color and it will look awesome. This means you can also mix denims together! 

Accessories are a great way to use the color wheel to experiment and do not need to match your outfit, unless you are going full-on monochromatic. Give your style a pop of color on your belt, scarf or handbag!

Color wheel to assist you in what to wear for your photo session


When you just don't have any idea what to wear or how to pair colors together, wear a combination of grays, creams and tans. It is pretty difficult to go wrong and what you get is a super soft, monochromatic look that will go with any setting. It is timeless, easy to pull together and brings all of the focus to the people in the photo as it doesn't compete for attention. 

Winter maternity couple with dog and neutral colors


A pop of cheery color is exciting! If dad is wearing plaid, draw one of the colors out of it and have a child wear that. Then other family members can wear neutral colors to tame the drama a bit. 

Family in colorful coordinating outfits

I've written a BLOG POST about using patterns but basically once you have chosen your colors, incorporate textures, patterns and layers with your solids. They should be subtle and not take over the photograph, but denim, lace, knits, fur, plaid, & polka-dots all add interest to a photo and causes the eye to scan the picture and draw you in. Layers add a level of interest as well giving you an opportunity to use color and style.

Family session in the summer with color, patterns and textures in their outfits


Sometimes the perfect piece is in your closet already. It is the one you always grab when you go out with friends, the one that fits you the best & you feel comfortable & fabulous in and the one that tends to attract compliments when you wear it. Let that be your statement piece and work off of that with your accessories or for the rest of the family. 

The perfect out fit is probably in your closet already when you are figuring out what to wear for your photo session


Perhaps you have a reason to celebrate. Maybe it is a special occasion. Professional photographs is a special occasion in and of itself - so go all out! Dress to the nines!! (pssssst, I have a studio closet and a hair and make-up artist to spoil, pamper and make sure you are camera ready and confident!) It's fun and different and you don't do it every day.

But you love your old favorite jeans - super ♥ look no further. Not only is it photogenic, but you are comfortable and only need to find cute tops now. ** BONUS ** Dad's, husbands, sons and boyfriends will thank you for not having to dress up! 

Black on black color scheme for your 3 generation family photos


I also wrote a blog post HERE addressing how to flatter your body shape. It gives your confidence a boost that shows up in all your photos.


Fashion and style and dressing for the camera to let your confidence glow on camera at your session


Being photogenic doesn't mean you have features that are attractive on camera - it is the inner light and beauty that shines through when you feel confident and naturally comfortable in front of the camera. Having comfy or stylish clothes you feel great in or are excited to wear is one of many steps in loving your photographs! I can help you every step of the way! 



Be conscious of your undergarments! They may or may not show through your clothes or play peak-a-boo under them.
Be mindful of your socks and shoe choices. Black pants -> white socks -> and black shoes will draw too much attention away from the face. Likewise, you don't want to have a terrific pulled-together outfit and wear your garden tennis shoes! 
Your fingernails will be presented on camera, so don't forget to have them cleaned, trimmed and freshly polished (or take the old, chipped polish off).
Neon & super bright colors WILL reflect up into your face causing a crazy looking color reflection on your skin under your chin and cheeks. 


You'll be glad you paid attention and avoided shirts that have large logo's or a busy graphic T - unless it is for a specific reason, it tends to be distracting and draws the eye away from the face.


Black is one of my favorite colors to wear, but often on 2D photos, without careful posing/lighting, can make your body look wider than it actually is because there is no light and shadows to define where your arms are --- you just look like a body-blob. 3/4 length sleeves, color blocking, accessories or a pattern like lace will help define your body and extremities. 

 Schedule a no-obligation consultation for your session! 



[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) for guide MJCollins Photography sessions style to wear what https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/8/8-style-tips-for-your-next-photo-shoot Fri, 21 Aug 2020 05:27:54 GMT
A Look Inside My Thought Process https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/8/a-look-inside-my-thought-process Grandma and granddaughter photo

                                                Photo © Artography by Bethany 


I forget often that grandma is one month shy of 93. She is the matriarch of her whole (gigantic) family being the eldest of all. She is also at the heart of much of my happy childhood memories. To me, she is immortal and never ages. My entire being needs her long hugs and her twinkling eyes (usually with mischief in them) in my life. Her leading the pack of 4 generations that is my mom, me and my daughter is an endless anecdote of amusing stories and tales of laughter and a little naughty mixed in. 

Then on December 28, 2019 I called my mom as I do often during the week. Something was wrong and she told me "Grandma had a stroke this morning." 

It was one of those moments, you know...the ones where you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. My mind raced to figure out how I was going to get to the hospital despite the terrible ice storm we were in the midst of in Minnesota. 

I was not prepared to face the reality that I might have to say good-bye - that I might not be able to say it in person and whisper in her ear just one more time how much I loved her. 

I remember glancing at a beautiful framed portrait of the 4 of us on the wall in which we are all cuddled in on each other with grandma in the middle laughing. That was an amazing weekend we spent together having our pictures taken just a few months prior. 

Then I gasped. I realized when we purchased our pictures from that session, I was being very money conscious - like most people are. My mom bought a picture of her and grandma. My daughter bought a picture of her and grandma. I did not buy a picture of myself and grandma. In reality, I am the one always taking the pictures and there are rarely any photos of me WITH people, and at this particular time with my grandma. Just her and I. 

Realizing the roads were in no condition to travel on I waited for my mom to call me back with news - quite impatiently. Her stroke only affected her speech - cognitively and physically she was doing very well. In fact, she made a full recovery with some physical & speech therapy and today you'd never know she had a stroke. 

Know what I did though? Not long after I called my photographer and yes, she still had our photos and I purchased the one I glazed over previously.

My quick snap shots and cell phone pictures are awesome for triggering memories of a time or place - but there is something about a clear, sharp portrait of the person you love smiling at you everyday in its place of honor in your home that pours a lifetime of joy into your soul. COVID robs me of seeing her as often as I want - but her presence is in the room all the time with that photo of us in the frame. 

And you know what - it is absolutely priceless and so valuable. She is full of life and it is just her. ♥ 

I am so lucky and blessed to still be able to call her and tell her how much I love her. Right now, in fact is a good time to call her...


For your portraits or family/generations session

[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Home MJCollins Personal Photography Prints Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/8/a-look-inside-my-thought-process Sun, 09 Aug 2020 22:03:14 GMT
TEASER | Mother-daughter & personal brand session https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/6/teaser-mother-daughter-personal-brand-session Teaser video involving Amy Gavit of CONFIDENCE CLOTHES in North Branch, MN and her personal branding session. She is wanting to build her website to include the LuLaRoe clothing line, Plunder jewelry and Ruby Ribbon Shape Wear that she currently sells in her boutique shop along Main Street in North Branch. She also wants to be more engaging and post with intention on her social media pages so we went out and about to create images that reflect her brand, personality and are conversation starters! 

What made it even more fun and special is her daughter came along! Amy got to have a wonderful day with her daughter, but also to show case her products are for different body shapes & ages. 

Do you want to learn more about Personal Brand Photography? Have a look --->HERE or contact me at 651-238-0652 to chat about what your business needs to up-level! 



Shop owner wearing undergarments that she sells in her store for her website Mother daughter loving pose together


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Brand Business MJCollins Personal Photography Portrait Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/6/teaser-mother-daughter-personal-brand-session Mon, 22 Jun 2020 19:15:46 GMT
Your Folio Keep Sake Box https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/5/your-folio-keep-sake-box You will really enjoy being able to interact with the images in the folio box with your whole family, like the Habdas ladies did when I delivered their keepsake box to their home after their 3 generation photo session. 

Watch the video and let it fill your cheer tank straight up ♥

Contact me ---->HERE for your complimentary consultation about the session you have always wanted!


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) MJCollins Personal Photography Prints products Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/5/your-folio-keep-sake-box Sun, 17 May 2020 20:23:48 GMT
Feeling Awkward https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/4/feeling-awkward "I feel awkward in front of the camera."


"I don't know what to do or how to smile."


"I just don't like having my picture taken."


In nearly every kind testimonial I have received, the feeling of ease and comfort is right at the top. Even the guys tell me it was easy and way more fun then they thought. I love that ♥


My team and I will help you look and feel your very best. The result: beautiful photographs & an extraordinary experience. Being uncomfortable is no longer your story!


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Branch comfortable MJCollins MN North Photography pictures Portrait studio video https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2020/4/feeling-awkward Thu, 09 Apr 2020 22:56:05 GMT
45 Ways You Can Use Personal Brand Photography https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/6/45-ways-you-can-use-personal-brand-photography Personal Brand Photography with Melissa Collins of MJCollins Photography

Not sure how to use your personal brand photos either once you have them or at all?

While, you don't need to roll out your photos all at once...there are effective ways to use them to their full potential to create a consistent, professional and a brand personality. 

Here we go:

1. Facebook Profile Picture

2. Instagram Profile Picture

3. Twitter Profile Picture

4. LinkedIn Profile Picture

5. Youtube Profile Picture

6. Pintrest Profile Picture

7. Website Home Banner Page

8. Facebook Cover Photo

9. Landing Page

10. Logo

11. Email Signature

12. Email Newsletter Banner

13. Online Course Pages

14. PDF Proposals for new clients

15. Slide shows

16. Product/Packages for Catalog 

17. Lead Magnet PDFs

18. Printed Brochures

19. Book Covers

20. Facebook Ads

21. Instagram Ads

22. IGTV Covers

23. Blog Posts

24. Price Lists

25. Personalized Christmas Cards

26. Press Release

27. Story/Article Submissions

28. Client Testimonials

29. Instagram Stories

30. Pull Up Banner

31. Youtube Video Cover

32. Business Cards

33. Podcast Cover Photo

34. Personalized Post Cards

35. Facebook Posts

36. Instagram Posts

37. LinkedIn Posts

38. Pintrest Posts

39. Gif's

40. Online Store

41. Thank You Cards for Clients

42. Gift Certificates

43. Lead Box/Pop up Box on Website

44. Personalize FAQ's on your Website

45. Illustrate a New Launch


Phew! There we have it - 45 ways that you can use your own steady stream of images, though I am betting you can think of even more ways to use the images to their full potential to level-up your business. 

If it is time to freshen up your images or get started communicating your personal brand, please get in touch.

Call me at 651-238-0652 or CLICK HERE to email me and see if a session is right for you right now!

[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Brand Business Entrepreneur MJCollins Personal Photography Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/6/45-ways-you-can-use-personal-brand-photography Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:50:07 GMT
Our Customers Are In Fact, Human! https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/5/our-customers-are-in-fact-human Research Shows That 92.3% Of Our Audiences Are Human!

I read this quote and chuckled to myself, because it's true! On social media, there is a very good and likely chance some of our followers are bots or ghost followers. 

But that still gives you 92.3% of your followers to reach out to, connect with and tell stories to! If you are a go-getter like me, you know that using social media as part of your marketing plan is important! But perhaps you don't know where to begin. You may be even wondering if it is a waste of your time or even worth it. 

I THINK: it is time to stop hiding behind your work, the aimless scroll and start engaging in conversations! If you want to reach the next level entrepreneurship - you need to be where the people are. And they are on social media.

Many of you are in my generation. We weren't born with mobile devices in our hands, but we are still young enough to have a long and flourishing business that will extend into the future. So we have to keep up with the times. That includes igniting conversation on social media, story-telling to make human connections and giving your stories and dreams visuals to captivate your audience. 

Modern smart mobile phone with on line shopping store graphic an open sign personal brand photography with MJCollins

Your social media is the new "store-front." Back in the day, people would drive or walk up and down the main street and the perfect sign or a beautiful window dressing might stop people in their tracks and with-in a split second of processing the visual, would decide if they wanted to enter the shop or come back later. 

THAT, my friends, is what you are doing on social media. Your posts, images and personality is causing people to keep scrolling, stop and pause or to like your page to see what else you have for them. 

Don't be worried, insecure or overwhelmed by learning social media! It is a marketing tool you really shouldn't be over looking and I can help you with resources and guidance while providing you with beautiful window dressings (images and visuals!) so your customers want to stop, look and buy ♥

Your voice can be heard, I got you every step of the way. --> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION!

Cheers to your level-up! 🥂






[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Brand Business Entrepreneur MJCollins Personal Photography Small Story Telling https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/5/our-customers-are-in-fact-human Sat, 18 May 2019 21:35:26 GMT
Personal Branding https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/4/personal-branding What is personal brand photography?

I like to call it a story in photos helping you to attract your dream client as a small business owner, creative, entrepreneur, or social influencer through lifestyle photographs.

They are more than just head shots with a nice backdrop. It is your storefront, so to speak, on line. It is a way to captivate your audience and increase your influence by showing your personality, what you do (your expertise) and how you can make your clients lives better with your product or service. Like chatting with an old friend.

Of course there is more to your brand than just photos, but it is definitely a strong and useful tool in your marketing tool box. It is the difference between being on social media and using social media. 

Using photos online, 67% of your audience is going to make a snap decision on whether or not they want to interact with your content or even purchase from you. You don't want unprofessional images to hold you back! 


📈 In fact: since using personal branding photographs, one online "storefront" has seen a 16% increase in new members to their private Facebook group and a 22% increase to their engagements, comments and reactions within 28 days according to their insight information. Um...that is HUGE! 

Don't feel like you are missing out on your own real growth and start utilizing and leveraging the social media marketing tool to move your needle forward! 

Woman Office Worker on Facebook 3.1

Join my Private Facebook group to learn more on how to craft your story 

Or cartwheel on over 🤸‍♀️ to learn more about giving your stories visuals, contact me and watch a complimentary video to see if you are in a good spot in your business to get started! 


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) business entrepreneurs lifestyle MJCollins Personal Brand Photography Photography https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/4/personal-branding Mon, 22 Apr 2019 17:48:46 GMT
Crack The Code of Dressing For Your Body Type https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/4/crack-the-code-of-dressing-for-your-body-type What to wear to an MJCollins Photography photo session

Not sure what to wear for your photo session that looks flattering for your body type? Fashion is about feeling great in looks we love. I got you covered with this quick guide to help you out! Remember, these are guidelines, not rules ♥

First: What body shape category do you most likely fall into, generally speaking?

PEAR SHAPE - or triangle shape 
About 20% of women identify in this shape

• Your waist is wider than your bust

• You have fuller hips

• Your shoulders are narrower than your hips

• You have a fuller rear


Balance your top with your bottom. Draw the eyes upwards while highlighting the waist and neckline with bright colors and bold patterns. V-necks, cowl necks, bell sleeves, or a scoop neck are awesome choices! Think about bras that enhance your bust! Jewelry like necklaces and earrings can be bigger and better for you! And wide brimmed hats? Go wild, dear pear. 

A-line styles of dresses are super flattering and hems that hit right below the knee elongates your frame and slenderize your hips and thighs.

While you are busy dressing up your top, subtle should be your thoughts on the bottom. Dark colors, boot cut, classic trouser cuts and slight flared bottoms are excellent go-to's. Avoid tight pants that really hug your legs. 

HOUR GLASS - or "curves in all the right places" Shape
This is actually the least common shape in women as only 8% fall into this category

• You have a well defined waist

•Your bust and hip measurements are about even

• Your bust and hips are fuller


Celebrate what your mama gave ya! Define your waist and flaunt those curves! You can wear fitted and tailored pieces like: jersey knits, wrap tops, or anything v-neck, round neck or boat neck. Elbow length sleeves will bring attention to your waist but you can also rock cap sleeves, tanks and flutter sleeves. Wear a bra that make your breasts look perky and not saggy and avoid flowing dresses as they will look boxy. Easy fix though - belt it! 

Empire waists or wrap dresses will play up your proportioned curves and you can have your choice of hemlines too! Stretchy skinny jeans or leggings show off all the right curves while tapering down towards the ankle. Flare pants paired with a tight or fitted top looks simply amazing. 

How to dress for your body type and rock your session when Melissa Collins takes your picture


APPLE SHAPE - or inverted triangle

About 14% of women can clearly see this shape in the mirror

• Being generally well-proportioned, your shoulders will be broader than your hips

• You are not as curvy through the hips

• Your waistline is not defined


Congratulations! You get to wear the most comfortable options out there on top! Your power tops are: breezy A-lines, flowy tunics, relaxed button-up boyfriend cuts, or v-neck anything. Fabrics like silk, linen, tweed, and thicker cotton will fit you incredibly! Thin cotton and jersey knits are too thin and will accentuate unflattering curves. But, you get to wear any sleeve you want! But if you want to cover up, a tighter fit sleeve will balance out your bust and midsection. Want to elongate that neck? Plunging or shallow v-necks will do the trick! Need a higher neckline? Dark colors on top have slimming effects. 

You can wear a mini skirt all day long! Or if you aren't in a daring mood, a knee length hem line looks fantastic. Maxi style dresses and wrap dress can be your secret weapon for sure! When in doubt dark colors and diagonal prints are super slimming, my sweet apple.

Skinny jeans and leggings are the bomb-diggity, especially paired with a breezy top, over-sized sweater or generous button-down. Classic trouser fit works well too - actually, you get to wear any style pant, as long as you are balancing the top and the bottom. Your bottoms should be more structured or skinnier that what you are wearing on top! 

Jewelry should be longer to elongate your shape! Long necklaces, long earrings, bracelets or statement rings will look so attractive!

RECTANGLE SHAPE - or athletic build

Surprisingly, 46% of women are this shape where your waist is the same size as your hips and bust

• Weight is distributed evenly

• Your waist is not defined and only about an inch or two smaller than your hips and shoulders

• Your rib cage is what provides you with shape

• Despite being rectangular, you can still have a wide chest and a fuller rear, because you are measuring shoulders and hips.


Here you want to create curves and a little unbalance. If you want a more fitted top, choose over sized, breezy bottoms OR if you want an easy, breezy top, structured or skinny bottoms will do quite nicely. Your power tops are: halter styles, racerbacks, scoop or round necklines or strapless anything! 

Lean towards styles that play up your bust (like halters) or embellish your femininity with ruffles, lace, frills, texture and volume. Belts will give your waist a cinch and undergarment shape wear will give you shape and add a cup size to give you fullness in your bust. Sleeves, strapless or tanks - it is all yours to choose from. 

Most dresses will work on your frame. Love your legs? Hike up that hemline. Love jumpers? Grab a halter style. Need to minimize somewhere? Grab a dark color. Need a waistline? Pull out a belt. 

Make sure you are balancing out your frame. If you are wearing a wider pant like cargo's, make sure the top is more fitted. Want to appear taller? Floor grazing flare or boot cuts with heals are slimming and elongating. 

Jewelry can be worn to draw attention to your top or take the attention off. To make your arms appear longer, avoid bracelets and opt for rings. If your arms are longer...layer up on bracelets or go chunky!

Everybody and every body is different. We are also not defined as one classification or another, but I hope this quick guide can be used as a starting point for you! 

For color pallette assistance, you can check out this other blog post ---> "Your Color Aesthetics"

Hey! Don't forget to drop a comment below and let me know what your thoughts are!



[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Dress Your Best MJCollins Photography What to Wear https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/4/crack-the-code-of-dressing-for-your-body-type Fri, 05 Apr 2019 20:57:26 GMT
Indoor or Outdoor Session https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/1/indoor-or-outdoor-session INDOOR OR OUTDOORS? WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Good lighting is essential if you want your photos to look great. "Photography" literally means 'drawing with light' in Greek. In fact, lighting is everything in photography - the presence of it, the direction of it or even the lack of it - it is vital whether you are indoors or outdoors.



When you say indoor photography, you are referring to sessions that take place within a building or structure...though most people often think of a studio. But you can be anywhere: inside a coffee shop, an old hotel, a museum, warehouse, a dilapidated structure, or even a storage room. All of which can make some incredible backdrops! Some of these locations may need additional lighting or execute the kind of look the client or photographer envisions. 


• There is no need to worry about weather! Cold, hot, windy, rainy - there isn't any stress about what the sky will bring on the day your photo session has been scheduled. 

• You have more control over the light for a creative vision and effects.

• Indoor locations are comfortable, heated in the winter, cool in the summer (hopefully!), perhaps there is a dressing room or restrooms, and other amenities that make your session more relaxing.

• Indoor photography offers privacy. You don't have to worry about crowded locations, people watching your session, waiting your turn for a shot in just the right place, loiterers, noise and other distractions that might make you uncomfortable during your shoot. Your feeling of being awkward and uncomfortable can be easily picked up on camera, so the private session inside can eliminate the anxiousness.


• Space and time limits. The space chosen might be limited to a time restraint because it is being rented or borrowed. You may not have the luxury of choosing which time works best for the subject (s) involved in the session. Also, space might be small or cramped depending on what kind of session it is. 

• Lighting may not be ideal if proper artificial lights are not available.

• Some locations may be strict on where you can or cannot shoot and may interfere with how you want to carry out your vision.

Young man inside an old structure Inside an old hotel in the city

Young woman looking over her shoulder smiling inside a studio with natural light and studio lightInside under a large window

Beautiful bride framed by a doorway inside an architectural vintage buildingBride inside a doorway High school senior boy having some quiet time after working out in the gymInside a gym


Outdoor photography provides unlimited possibilities to capture your vision, from woods to fields, to interesting textures of outdoor buildings, bridges, water and endless ways to light the subjects. The backdrops of seasons and landscapes excites every photographer!


• As mentioned above, your backdrop are limitless only to your vision. Elements such as the sky, water, architecture and landscape offers a plethora of options.

• Natural light and ambient light is in abundance. Sunny days, cloudy days, it doesn't matter. Stormy days offer their own unique and moody lighting that experienced photographers can tap into. 

• There are no space restrictions or time limits. 

• Outdoor photography offers the beauty of nature. The same place can look completely different depending on the season and time of day. The colors you get to work with ranges in lush greens, warm Fall colors, Spring pastels, golden hour light, blue hour light, - it is endless! Read this BLOG POST for info on how to choose the right season for your session.


• Safety and privacy can be an issue. Your location may be wide open and in public so anyone can stop and watch and or be filled with people and you have to wait for it to clear before you can shoot.

• It can be inconvenient. You may have to walk or hike to your location with no restrooms in sight! This may make for uncomfortable situations and not always convenient.

• The weather will always be unpredictable. Always! You will need to be prepared for all weather conditions. And bugs. Especially in Minnesota during the summer. There WILL be mosquitoes! 

Happy family roasting marshmallows by a fire during blue hourOutdoors after the sun went down

Mother and daughter having a tender moment at sunset by the waterBeautiful Golden Hour Senior high boy having his session in the city at sunsetIn the city

Smiling, happy girl having her senior photos taken in the woodsSenior girl in the woods

So there you have it. We explored indoor and outdoor photography! Which do you prefer? You are welcomed to get in touch with me HERE for a complimentary consultation so we can get more in depth and create a session that is perfect for YOU!



[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) indoor outdoor portrait session https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/1/indoor-or-outdoor-session Tue, 15 Jan 2019 21:43:16 GMT
Winter Portrait Session Fashion https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/1/winter-portrait-session-fasion YOUR WINTER PORTRAIT SESSION STYLE GUIDE!


Let's talk about winter wear-ables - like cozy coats, adorable scarves, furry boots, fuzzy hoods and cute knit hats, all begging to be worn during your winter portrait session. I have put together a few no-fail combinations that you can draw inspiration from that works well with families, children or seniors. 

Look One:

Winter whites! Don't let the old fashion faux pas of not wearing white after Labor Day get you down. In fact, it looks classical and stunning even if there is no snow. Combine different shades of white like: winter white (which is a warmer white tone), crisp white and various shades of cream and ivory to get a clean and fresh look. Pair it with pops of colors in your layers and add red to your lips and you are on your way to a very chic and cozy look. 

Family generation of girls smiling in the winter wearing whiteMJCollins photography, winter photo session

MJCollins Photography, what to wear, style guide, winter fashion, winter session

Look Two:

Patterns, layers, textures, plaid & tartan and Celtic cable sweaters are equally chic while also being cozy and completely appropriate for winter sessions while keeping you warm. Also, they photograph beautifully adding interest to your image. Stay cautious when putting together pattern ensembles, because things can get very busy pretty quickly taking the focus away from the face. Patterns should be in small doses and mixed within a group. 

High school senior girl having a winter photo shoot wearing flannelMJCollins Photography, winter portrait session

MJCollins Photography, what to wear, style guide, winter fashion, winter portrait session

Look Three:

Berry beautiful! Raspberry, cranberry, red's, blackberry - all make gorgeous wardrobe pieces and accessories. Rich jewel tones and bold shades of berry liven up a barren landscape and make incredible contrasts. Bonus: you can create a TON of combination and layers as most shades compliment the jewel tones beautifully!  Maternity mama wearing red in the winter during a photo sessionMJCollins Photography, winter portrait session Maternity couple await the coming of their baby in the snowy winter photo wearing beautiful jewel tones and neutral colorsMJCollins Photography, winter portrait session Adorable little girl outside in the winter in an artful composite with a fox in the snowMJCollins Photography, winter portrait session MJCollins Photography, what to wear, style guide, winter fashion, winter portrait session Also, check out this BLOG POST for more ideas on a winter color pallet and accessories that fit well with the aesthetics of your home so you get the most out of your winter session! 

I can't wait to see what you've pulled together for your portraits! Feel free to post your favorite winter wardrobe staple, or contact me for a complimentary consultation so we can customize your look!



[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) fashion photo photographer shoot style winter https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2019/1/winter-portrait-session-fasion Tue, 08 Jan 2019 01:01:07 GMT
Pros and Cons of a Winter Session https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/pros-and-cons-of-a-winter-session Have you thought about doing a winter session? What? You haven't? Is that because you are a bit like me? Minnesota Winters can (and almost are) long and cold and honestly, I'd rather stay inside, curled up by a fire drinking a hot cup of something then venture out into the vast frozen tundra. 

But I am here to tell you why you maybe should entertain the idea of a family, senior or couples session ♥


MJCollins Photography, Winter photos, winter portrait session, pictures You get to utilize some beautiful backdrops! White, gray, evergreens, snow, hoar frost - the possibilities are great for clean, breath-taking winter artistry. Winter sessions create some beautiful black and white photos too!

Your photos will be unique! Many people wait until it is Summer or Fall. Yours will have a magical and cozy feeling to them!

Speaking of cozy: this is a great opportunity to incorporate a warm blanket, a cute scarf, adorable mittens, a fun hat, hot cocoa and lots of layers and textures. If it is a couples or family session, we can get nice and close and cuddle up. 

You have your pick of days. Because of less demand, there are more time slots available. Summers are short in Minnesota so nearly every weekend is scheduled to the gills with BBQ's, cabin and camping get-a-ways, fishing and just staying home doing yard work! Also, Once the summers have winded down, October will typically bring nice temps with golden sun and warm leaf color...but the calendar fills up very quickly. Basically, scheduling in the winter means you get a fast pass to the front of the line.

Winter art fits your home aesthetics. You can click here to read about choosing the right season according to the color pallet of your home or decor preferences. 

MJCollins Photography, Winter photos, winter portrait session, pictures But - if you're telling me I am out of my gourd for suggesting such a thing, you could be right. It is pretty cold, although, sometimes a 15° day feels pretty darn good! Cancelling or postponing due to wretched cold or inclement weather is a very real possibility. I mean...honestly...sometimes I don't even want to walk to the mailbox! Also, a Winter session in Minnesota might not allow you to rock that cute dress - but stay tuned because next up is prepping for your session and ideas on what to wear so you can rock it! ----> You find your fashion guide HERE <----

Sound like something you'd like to talk to me about? Contact me here for a complementary consultation to design your unique Winter session!



[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Art Minnesota Unique Winter https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/pros-and-cons-of-a-winter-session Mon, 31 Dec 2018 17:05:00 GMT
Memories That Make Your Tree Sparkle https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/memories-that-make-your-tree-sparkle Every year, we open a big box of cheer. I love looking through the Christmas stash...however, less and less is coming out of the box and into the corners and on the tables. Although, I love to decorate the tree! And after 3 kids and 21 years of marriage, it's amazing the tree has not come tumbling down yet or at least start looking like the tower of Pisa. 

The ornaments each represent a story for each child and what they loved. Each year dated, you can journey down a path that begins with Winnie the Pooh, chill with Scooby-Doo, meet up with Luke Skywalker and hang out with Thor or Captain America. For my daughter, it's the glittery collection of holiday Barbie and her friend Hannah Montana. 

Mr. MJCP and I have our first ornament from our first tree and memories of vacations hanging from the evergreen boughs. Also, now that the kids are older, I am not so afraid to hang up older ornaments from my parents first tree and my grandparents tree. 

I'm a sentimental fool. I love traditions and memories and stories. Typically my personality would be to have our tree adorned with simple, orderly and color-coordinating baubles, with monochromatic strands of light, garland (maybe!) and an angel. But our tree of sorts represents us and hosts a hodgepodge of color and shapes and gifts that were handmade by kindergarten fingers out of red and green macaroni.  Oh and the kids with Santa every year. ♥ 

Wall-E ornament circa the 1920'sFrom my great-grandparents tree circa the 1920's

I can see my tree from the kitchen and when I relax in front of the fireplace and it makes me smile. The craziness of it all, but it always puts me in a good mood - even after a long day of shopping. 

What's on your tree? Any thing unusual or of sentimental value? Please share!

Merry Christmas,


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Christmas Home Life Personal Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/memories-that-make-your-tree-sparkle Tue, 18 Dec 2018 06:21:57 GMT
The Gift of a Memory https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/the-gift-of-a-memory Christmas

Last year, this happened by accident. Christmas is the most joyous time of year...but also so over scheduled! My brother and his family, together with mine and our parents were squeezing in an evening to celebrate each other since we were going in opposite directions on Christmas. My mom made a delicious meal which was served on her fancy china that comes out during the holidays  everyday dishes so they could be tossed into the dishwasher to get to the packages under the tree a little bit faster. You see, my nieces and nephew are young and have been staring at the beautifully wrapped packages, all tied up with bows, for about 2 hours now while the grown ups talked and we ate. 

When the dinner chores were mostly done, the flurry of excitement swirled around the gift opening production. Smiles and hugs and a chorus of 'thank yous!' were abundant. Then, every one let out a sigh as the kids began to get busy looking at toys, flipping through new books and trying on an outfit. 

I don't know how it happened or what led to the next event. I walked into my parent's den and there on the floor was my mom and 2 nieces cuddled around her wedding album from 46 years ago. They were slowly turning pages, my mom pointing out very young grandparents and great-grandparents and aunts and uncles. It was so incredibly adorable that I pulled out my phone (which I never keep in my pocket or near me to the sometimes aggravated Mr. MJCP) to begin recording just a few snippets of the scene unfolding in front of me. Mostly for my memory and documentation. 

When they closed the album, my mom asked the girls if they wanted to see her wedding dress that she had sewn herself all those years ago. Boy, did they! I quietly followed them in the other room. My mom brought out her gown...the one I played dress up in on occasion when I was little and had always hung in my closet. Yellowed with age, she allowed the girls to touch it. I kept recording, not realizing how important this video is, was, or going to be in the future. 

Someday, when the toys have been played with and donated, the books read until the pages curl and the clothing outgrown, I am certain the best gift the girls received from that Christmas will be the time with Munga (as we call my mom) and the photo album experience.  I know it is something my mom truly loves to share and something I didn't intend to record, but did. I am so glad I did! We didn't have that kind of technology when my own children were little, but I know it was a similar moment my kids had with grandma when they were younger.

I'd like to share that video with you and wish with all my might that you have a great Christmas with lots of presents. And somewhere in the frenzy of the holidays to come, you are filled to the brim with gifts. The gift of family and memories and stories. Maybe take out grandma's photo album and walk down your own memory lane or better yet, ask your family questions and learn a little family history. ♥

Love and light,



[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Albums Christmas Family Home Life Personal Prints Story https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/the-gift-of-a-memory Tue, 11 Dec 2018 17:20:37 GMT
Your Color Aesthetics Helps Decide Your Session Season https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/your-color-aesthetics So. You want to decorate your home with art that is YOU or of your family and loved ones ♥ This fills my cheer tank so much! There are a few things to think about when you are choosing your location, outfits and time of year for outdoor sessions.

Tone is incredibly powerful. It is a large part of what sets the mood of the final image. To get the right tone in your portraits, lighting, color temperature, material and fabrics, and how the images are post-processed are all things to consider. 

Do me a favor. Look around your home at your color palette and aesthetics, because knowing your style will help your portraits to blend beautifully on the wall and coordinate with your decor.

Let's break down the seasons in terms of your home interior preferences: 

1. Winter

This is a Winter color palette, as you can see the tones have cool undertones. You like colors that are sharp and crisp, like, pure white, navy, blue, red, green or black. Light colors are more "icy" rather than pastel. You are drawn to or decorate with metals like silver, platinum, or titanium. You have a "less is more" attitude. You like clean and minimal. 


2. Spring

 color palette spring type

This Spring pallet is all about lightness! You like light colors like, camel, peach, golden-yellow, or golden brown. You also like bright colors like lime, lemon yellow and corals. Your whites are more ivory rather than pure white. You metal go-to's are light gold, light bronze and rose gold. You love big & bold accessories and in abundant amounts! 


3. Summer

color palette summer type
These are soft neutral colors with with pink and blue undertones. Pastels are not as sharp of a color as in the winter colors, so they fall in this category. Lavender, taupe, powder pink and powder blues are some of your favorites. These colors send a relaxing and friendly vibe. Colors have a cool undertone but remain soft and gentle. Metals that go well with a Summer palette are silver and platinum. Monochromatic color schemes and combinations are often part of your decor. Your accessories tend to be more delicate, not bold. 


4. Autumn

color palette autumn type

Fall types are in love with golden undertones like camel, beige, orange, gold and dark brown. "They" (who ever 'they' are) say to avoid all blue colors especially navy...but I might have to disagree here. I love how mustard yellow looks with navy...and I like to mix brown and blues together too...I guess I like to break rules sometimes! Ha! But, back to business: unlike summer monochromatic shades...autumn people tend to mix colors to show creativity that work well together. These warm tones have you thinking spicy and comfortable. Metals that go great with these colors are copper, gold and bronze/brushed bronze. Accessories will tend to be daring, using many colors and varieties and can be experimental (not quite the 'norm'). 

Now, go and analyze your personal style and have a bit of fun analyzing your friends as well! Winter. Spring, Summer. Fall

[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Art Decorating Home Portrait https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/12/your-color-aesthetics Tue, 04 Dec 2018 04:06:13 GMT
The Santa Experience https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/the-santa-experience People are asking about my limited holiday edition sessions with Santa...and YES! He is coming to town again!  MJCollins Photography

If you want to make sure you get the first opportunity to choose your time with him, you can join my VIP Insiders group and get a jump on it before reservations are open to the public. 
Due to the popularity of last years Santa Experience, I have every reason to believe the spots will sell out fast.

-----> Click here to join the VIP group: https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/vip-insider <-----

And don't forget to save November 17th! I am so excited to share more information soon!!!




[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Santa Experience https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/the-santa-experience Fri, 31 Aug 2018 18:27:49 GMT
Beginning Photography Retreat https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/beginning-photography-retreat Luther Point Bible Camp and I are excited to bring to you Fall Beginning Photography held at the retreat center in Grantsburg, WI. We had so much fun during the Spring weekend and October 13-14 should not be disappointing as far as Fall colors go. 

Saturday, October 13th - We will spend time inside getting to know the fundamentals of taking your pictures from a simple snapshot to something more preconceived and creative. We will talk about composition and how to find the best light and then get out and practice it on the grounds of the camp. This portion is perfect for all kind of cameras from the one on your mobile device to Full Frame cameras. We keep it in Auto mode because we had students who knew their way around a camera and others who were just opening theirs up for the first time. 

After the class, early evening, you have time to go out and continue practicing, go back to your hotel style room, hang out in the multi-purpose room and talk photographic 'shop' with the others, use the camp's amenities like the boats or walk the trails and explore, go into town, etc.

And the meals provided - were - AMAZING!

Sunday, October 14th - Today is the day that we take your camera off Auto mode and learn about what the buttons and do-hickies do. This is where it get's really fun. We build on what we learned the day before and begin to control how we want the image to look. I find that cell phones have the option of "professional" mode - but the settings are more generic and not true manual settings and there are some smaller cameras or point and shoot cameras that do not offer manual mode settings either...so check to be sure your camera can!

We usually wrap up about 3:00pm. I am strongly considering having an optional add-on for those interested in providing a model to go on a mini-shoot with me. Together we will scout locations from what we learned, you can watch me pose them and using the same settings as I do, you will take similar images with me. This shoot-out will be based on interest from the students and will cost extra. 

Oh. And the meals provided - were - AMAZING!

------> You can visit Luther Point  for more information and to register! You can also email me at [email protected] with questions or if you are interested in participating in the shoot-out. <------

Here are some quick snaps from the Spring retreat of people outside practicing ♥

Practicing lighting, composition and manual settings Practicing lighting, composition and manual settings Practicing lighting, composition and manual settings Practicing lighting, composition and manual settings Practicing lighting, composition and manual settings
I hope you can join us for a unique experience in learning your camera and how to make a better photograph every time and not just once and a while in this cozy and picturesque camp. At the end of the weekend you are invited to join a private Facebook group where the learning continues and you are able to be challenged with photo prompts to encourage more photography practice on your own time and get constructive opinions on your shot and positive suggestions for improvement.

See ya'll soon!

[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Fall Photography Retreat https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/beginning-photography-retreat Fri, 24 Aug 2018 16:59:07 GMT
Why Putting In Your Order Is Destroying My Windows https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/why-putting-in-your-order-is-destroying-my-windows Ok. You got me. My windows are not being destroyed so much as I just have to keep wiping that little greasy forehead mark off the glass from pressing up against it peering out. Because, you see, when I check my tracking information on the order I put in for you...and it says "in transit"... 

Now, I live on a cul-de-sac of maaaaaybe 14 houses and I get really irritated when the UPS or Fed-ex guy comes into the neighborhood and then EXITS it on "Expected Delivery Day" with out stopping at my place. Oh well, Buddy. It says I have a package out for delivery so you're the one who's just gonna have to come back. 

Like he heard me.

Or cares.

I just get so darn excited to receive your items like this glass folio box and 20 mounted 5x7 gift prints from your session:


And package it all up to look like this: 

These just came today. I have to go find the Windex now. 


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) prints products https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/why-putting-in-your-order-is-destroying-my-windows Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:51:51 GMT
The Great Camera Faceoff https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/the-great-camera-faceoff

DSLR's, Point and shoots, cell phones...Oh My!

What's the big deal anyway? My cell phone takes truly amazing pictures and I can add super cool filters if I want. My daughter has the cutest little 2x3 instant Canon printer and has her and her friends hanging up all over her room from the pictures she has taken with her iPhone. 

But here's the rub.

There actually is a sizable difference between the pictures you get from your cell phone or point and shoot and a DSLR. Let's break it down:

First: DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. This means there is a mirror inside that allows you to see the image through the viewfinder and when the shutter is released, the mirror flips up allowing the sensor to record the image. Back in the day, it recorded it to film, now it records to your SD Card. Your image gets recorded instantly. 

Cell phones and PNS (Point'N'Shoots) - are mirrorless, meaning that the image is taken and transferred from one spot to another...causing a few precious hundredths of a second in lag time. That is the difference of missing a smile or capturing an eye blink. 

DSLR's have a larger sensor for improved low light or night time photography. 

Megapixels: This word is tossed around often. What is a megapixel? Digital images are captured in thousands of tiny-like elements (squares) known as a pixel. A "Mega-pixel" is equal to 1 million pixels. The higher the pixel count, the more high resolution your image is, bringing increased quality. When viewed on a digital device, you may not recognize the difference, but if you are printing, a low resolution image will look fuzzy and pixilated. 

Do you remember playing with silly putty? You could press it against a newspaper comic and make an imprint on the silly putty. Looked cool, right? But then you stretched it out and the image wasn't the same or recognizable any more. That is what it is like taking a 4x6 low resolution digital image and try to blow it up to a 16x24. There is not enough image or information in those few pixels to stretch it. 

That said: Digitally speaking the images between an iPhone and a DSLR look comparable, but if you want to print it: an iPhone 8 has 12 megapixels whereas a Canon professional grade DSLR has 20-24 megapixels. 

Uploading any of these images to Facebook? Please don't print them after uploading them!! While Facebook is arguably a popular place to share photos, it was not initially intended for this. In their own words, they "automatically resize and reformat your photos" so they display properly on their platform. I call it pixel crunching and will never look objectively great. Printing them from Facebook makes me cringe like nails on a chalkboard. 

Anyway. There are many more pros and cons as to which camera works well for you and for me but I wanted to do a quick study on image quality. Choosing a photographer that cares about your end result after the session is over and preserving those images to last over 100 years is an important question to ask them. Don't forget to decorate your home with your beautiful loved ones ♥

Image from Digital School of Photography: shows the dark blue sensor size of an iPhone 6. The green rectangle represents the professional grade camera. Sensor size controls many aspects of photography and how creative you can be, but for this post it illustrates how many megapixels it holds and light sensitivity. A full frame camera can handle low light or dark cloudy days really well!















[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) megapixels Prints https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/8/the-great-camera-faceoff Fri, 10 Aug 2018 16:44:27 GMT
Raise Your Hand If This Has Happened To You... https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/7/prints-matter Photography. It has become common place and very accessible to virtually everyone. Most people love to take pictures and do a pretty decent job. Our mobile devices are increasingly able to take very good, clear photos. 

There are times though, you want to commission a professional because you want to decorate your house with the art that is your family. You want to capture a moment in time, then display a stunning framed piece over your fireplace, create a gorgeous gallery in your enteryway...maybe you have a vision of keeping an heirloom quality photo album on your end table. 

"Wait!", you say. "I forgot about all those things!" There are several photographers in your area that can capture a moment unique to your family..but somewhere along the line we've gotten accustomed to having those images handed over on a CD or USB, being told to "go ahead and print these yourselves. It will be cheaper!"

This scenario is pretty standard in the photography market today. Somehow, we have been lead to believe that having just the digital files on a USB or as a digital download is better and the best option. I fear most people do not realize that these files were only meant to be a temporary method of storage or at best, a way to easily share on social media. 

Raise your hand if this has happened to you: You get your images back from your photographer on a USB and you put it in a drawer for safe keeping, because you are going to print them soon. "Soon"  becomes 6 months, 1 year...maybe 2 years. You unearth the USB a few years later and utter, "I totally meant to print some of these..." 

or how about this: You downloaded your images to your phone...and it fell in the lake (Ahem...Mr. MJCP!), it got lost, it shattered, or any numerous unforeseen tragedies happen. Maybe you pull out that CD of pictures of your child when they were 5 (now they are 13!) and decide to look at them or you are doing something special for their birthday party, and the CD is BLANK! Or corrupt. Or your tired old computer just can't read the CD anymore. All you know is your pictures are gone

Sound implausible? How many of your computers still use floppy discs? How many of your computers even have a CD drive anymore? Digital files are transient - lasts only a short time - impermanent. No electronic storage system is fool proof or trustworthy 100% of the time. Can YOU guarantee you can view your images 10 years from now?

If you are interviewing photographers, ask them or try to find out if they care about their work and how they end up. A true professional is giving your their name and the quality that represents them. A true professional wants you to hold a print of someone special 100 years from now. ** I have a baby picture of my grandmother from 91 years ago!!!! My husband has an infant photo of his grandma in an old carriage from 1906! **

Instead of having a day or two of WOW's from your friends and family on social media only to have those photos buried under future posts to be forgotten, wouldn't it be awesome to display them in your home? Where you can see them everyday? Show them to all company? Smile at the beauty of your family captured in the best light, location with professional skill and reproduced on ARCHIVAL, professional quality paper to be kept and handed down for generations? 

You've paid a photographer to capture your beauty and character, or someone you love. Now what? 


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) before digital discs Files Home Prints https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2018/7/prints-matter Fri, 27 Jul 2018 18:54:57 GMT
Never Put Your Camera Away https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2013/3/never-put-your-camera-away Or else you will miss candid shots like this:

Yes he loves to read. No this was taken a different day than the earlier post of him reading the Bible. Yes he loves wearing his Scooby-doo jammies. No, he never wears a shirt. Ever.

How is this comfortable?


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) At Home Life Reading https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2013/3/never-put-your-camera-away Fri, 22 Mar 2013 03:45:15 GMT
Waiting for Spring https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2013/3/waiting-for-spring So, it is Saint Patrick's Day and we have a foot of snow and ice still on the ground and more on the way tonight! I am aching to get outside and shoot the kids and people outside!!! So I just make do with what happens at my house in the house. My daughter and I went shopping yesterday and she bought (another) hat. She has a few but she looks so cute in them. I had to snap a shot:

Then there was my 9 year old, Ben...searching searching for something when he finally asked "Where is my Grandpa Howard Bible?" I told him it was very old so I keep it in a drawer. He insisted on reading it. So I got it for him. He actually sat and read it for a while! I had to snap him because usually he is in this position only with his tablet in hand instead of a Bible. Not sure how often I would see this one again :) 

And so, as he reads his Great-Grandpa's Bible from 1934, we are all sitting and waiting for Mother Nature to unleash more March snow tonight. That's right. We are under a Winter!Storm!Advisory! Another 3-5 inches possible. So tantalizing close to Spring. And yet so far away....

[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) at home Life Snow Spring https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2013/3/waiting-for-spring Sun, 17 Mar 2013 19:10:00 GMT
What should I wear? https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2013/3/what-should-i-wear Right now I have Jim Carrey's voice in my head from the Grinch "But what would I wear?" 

It all depends on the look you are going for. Personally I like layers, textures, ruffles and patterns. It makes for an interesting photo once you look away from the eyes. Other people like plain and simple so you are only drawn to the face.

Wearing white can be tricky because it can get washed out easily, especially under bright lights like the sun. It also tends to be easier to find the "center stage" pieces in girls or women's clothing, so a good starting point is with the females then pull colors from their outfits to create a look for the boys and dads.

Other things to remember when choosing your outfits:

* Choose the style and color of your clothing with your location in mind

* Adding layers to your outfit not only adds texture to your picture, but allows you to shed the layers later on for a different look

* You may not want everyone to wear a bold color or pattern but don't be afraid to add a pop of color or design to add interest to your image

* Narrow stripes are hard to pick up on the camera

* Animal prints can get a little too busy

* Bold metal jewelry can create a glare that you don't want in your images

* Glasses are difficult to photograph because of the glare factor too - However, if your glasses are a big part of who you are, by all means wear them!!

* Unless you are going for a specific look, bare arms can also detract from the face.


The key is to be comfortable and feel like yourself in your chosen outfits! For color combo's and ideas, visit my  

Pinterest Page


[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) Color combinations What to wear https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2013/3/what-should-i-wear Mon, 04 Mar 2013 22:04:28 GMT
Welcome! https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2012/9/welcome Welcome to my website! I am excited you came by. Check back often because I get bored easy and love changing things up all the time :)

[email protected] (MJCollins Photography) https://www.mjcollinsphotography.com/blog/2012/9/welcome Sun, 30 Sep 2012 14:58:30 GMT