Baby Josie - Newborn Studio Session - Medina, MN

Baby portraits are everything. That short time when babies are teeny and sleep a lot is fleeting, which is why we schedule newborn photo sessions as soon after the birth as possible. Krissy is one of my favorite local photographers, and I was so honored when she asked me to photograph her with her brand new baby, Josie. Krissy’s dress from House of Flynn made this session absolutely god-like, as Krissy loved up her little babe.

Baby Newborn Medina Minnesota Photo Portrait Session
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Senior Portraits - Class of 2019 - Medina, Minnesota

Gabby's only request was a grassy field, and it was the perfect time of summer to catch both the tall grass and the late summer blooms. We had so much fun running around Hamel, getting some gorgeous sunset photos, and ending by letting Gabby run and spin in the grass. What an awesome way to celebrate summer and growing up!

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Lifestyle Newborn Photo Session - Medina, Minnesota

I feel so privileged to have photographed this family twice in the same year. I met them in the winter to take a family snapshot for the holidays, and got to help welcome Baby H with his very first photo session in July. Big brother was more interested in being silly than posing for photos, but we did manage to get a few smiles on camera. I just love home newborn sessions; everyone can relax and enjoy the portraits, there's no packing up kids in the car, and we can take snack and nap breaks if we need to.

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Minnesota Family Portrait Session - Maple Grove Arboretum

I met these girls last winter when they visited my studio to meet Santa, and their mom entered to win a portrait session. I am so glad they were the winners of my drawing because we had so much fun running around the park and chasing the sunset for their sweet family pictures. I just love the colors they chose and how perfectly the family was coordinated. And, if you know me at all, you know that my heart is happy when the furry family members join us.

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What to Wear for Your Portrait Session

Probably the most common question I am asked is, "What should we wear?". It seems like a big question. There's a ton of advice on blogs and Pinterest. What looks or feels good might not always photograph well. With fifteen years of experience behind me, here's my tips on how to choose the right clothes for your photo session. 

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Colors: When choosing your clothes, you want to coordinate your colors, not only with each other, but with the setting. Callista and Kevin's engagement session under the blossoming tree and blue sky is perfectly accented by her soft blue dress.The colors you choose can have a deeper meaning than you realize. The tone and mood can be set just by your color choices. Warm shades are passionate, exciting, lively, and they draw attention. Yellow signifies happiness, friendship and kindness. Want drama? Wear a red dress. Want calm and sweet? Pick cool shades. I usually tell my clients to choose light, neutral tones, accented by more vibrant earth tones. Think foods - cream, mustard, eggplant, cranberry. I am personally a fan of teal and navy. Below, Emily and Tom welcomed their sweet little baby Miles, and chose their living room as the backdrop for the family photos. Their gray and blue clothing are a wonderful reflection of their home.

Texture: Be bold! We love accessories! When chosen well, daring accessories can really make a session pop. Wear statement jewelry and scarves, cardigans and hats. I literally raided Kelsey's closet (thanks, Kelsey!) to put this outfit together, in celebration of their anniversary and a beautiful summer day. The bright colors are happy and eye-catching, and they really stand out from the natural background, yet still coordinate with the hues surrounding them.

Comfort: Above all, I want you to feel like yourself. After you think about colors and texture, coordinating and accessorizing, be sure to remember to keep it comfy. You won't enjoy your session if you don't feel fabulous in what you're wearing. Since Minnesota photos are often taken in the summer and fall, I love flowy dresses and shirts, linen and khaki. Wear clothes that breathe and let you move (after all, you want to be cuddly if you're going to be cuddling , right?

Styling Help: Did you know that Gianna's Photography offers free wardrobe styling? I do, and I really love helping clients sort through their closets to pick the perfect outfits. You can send me photos of your ideas before your session, bring a few options to sort through, or do a video chat through your closet so I can help you choose. I will suggest a specific color pallete, send shopping links if you'd like to buy something new, and can even put together a Pinterest board just for your session. Just ask! 

Megan Pearson - Senior Portraits - Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

I've been taking pictures of Megan since before she could crawl, first as her cousin and babysitter, and then as her cousin and a photography college student. We have many of the same nerdy interests, and since our family is mostly boy cousins, us girls tend to stick together. We had a great time hanging out at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and capturing Megan's silly personality. Watch out, World, the class of 2019 is coming for ya :)

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2018 Mini Portrait Sessions - Medina, Minnesota

I am so excited to announce this year's Mini Sessions! We are having a super fun Picnic Theme, complete with flowers, vintage touches, and snacks to share. Reserve your spot today - these sessions sell out quickly every year. Email to book your appointment - your paid session fee holds your spot. http://www.giannasphotography.com/contact

Minis will take place on October 13th in the morning, in the backyard of my studio, weather permitting. In the case of poor weather, we will move sessions indoors. These little snippets of a session are perfect for couples with small children, families with pets, engaged couples, and/or just anyone wanting a quick snapshot for their holiday cards. Can't wait to see you!

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Why in the heck should I have my portrait taken?!?

Look, I know how hard it is to be in front of a camera. Why do you think I’ve made my career out of being behind it? I HATE having my picture taken. Like turn around, run away, or make a goofy face in desperation to avoid being photographed. Awkward AF and super weird, that’s me. I mean, love my bizzare self, but don’t really think that anyone else needs to see this mug.

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Really, look at that. Is that inspiring? Heartwarming? No. Is that me? 100%

When I approach people to take their photo, the reaction is usually,”Oh…no. Why me? I don’t like being photographed.” Well, listen here, neither does anyone else. I’ve said this a few times, but in my experience, even models don’t like being photographed, their just better at it than we are. Annie Leibowitz is one of the most famous portrait photographers in the world and she thinks that is isn’t a photographer’s responsibility to make their subject comfortable. I’m going to go out on a limb and disagree here. I do this every day. My clients don’t. If I were trying something new or out of my comfort zone, I’d trust a professional to guide me through it. I’ll hold your hand. I’ll make this easy. We’re in this together, okay? Now tilt your chin this way and think about ice cream. Bam! Great portrait. That’s how I roll.

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What is your visual history? Your media legacy? When you’re much older, what will you show people to brag about your good looks or how much fun you used to be? Is it going to be a grainy, out of focus photo from dinner at Applebee’s. I hope not. Maybe it will be as awesome as me and Darth here.

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This is my latest professional photo session. Headshots for my website. Taken by an extremely talented photographer, in a carefully chosen orchard, a new dress, hair and makeup did. And this is my face. The face I make when I’m uncomfortable. There are much better photos from this session, but this is me. My point....well, what is my point? It's that I want you to enjoy having your photo taken. To enjoy looking through your photos. All of your photos. Be proud to show the goofy ones, the out of focus ones, and book your next portrait session to show off the artsy ones. I mean, as much as I want Darth Vader in my obituary, I hope that my visual legacy includes good lighting and a genuine expression (but maybe that’s just me).

Shelby & Justin's Summer Wedding - South Isle Campground - Isle, MN

Where do I start? I met Shelby at her mom's wedding ten years ago and have since photographed her and her sister's senior portraits, hung out with mutual friends, and now had the opportunity to photograph Shelby's wedding to Justin. This family is always silly and fun, laid back, and pure Minnesotan.

I loved the speeches from the best man and maid of honor (siblings of the bride and groom, respectively), with their heartfelt words and a challenge to a bowling match thrown in. Because they are more like family than clients, I stayed late and loved hanging out at the campfire, making s'more's and toasting a drink with the bride's personal attendants. All in all a delightful day, gorgeous weather, and no mosquito bites! Congratulations, Shelby & Justin!

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Lifestyle Family Newborn Session - St. Paul, Minnesota

Monica and Luke are dear friends of ours, so it was only natural for me to force a photo session on them as a shower gift. I'm always one of the first "aunties" at the door when our family and friends have babies, and being their built-in photographer gives me a good excuse to see the little babes in their first weeks. Benjamin was almost a month old by the time I got to meet him, but that didn't slow down our portrait session one bit. Their cozy home is filled with love and I hope to see these photos hanging on their wall very soon. Love you, Monica, Luke, and Benjamin!

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