Mankato Newborn, Children & Family Photographer: It’s supposed to be fun!

Hey Moms,

I get it. Photo sessions are a lot of work. Trying to find clothes that everyone will wear that doesn’t have some sort of Disney character on it is a nightmare! And heaven forbid you suggest pants with a button! You think, I’ll get it scheduled once I drop a few pounds. Or maybe after get my hair colored. Or when I get enough sleep so I finally don’t look tired. Once I can be sure that my youngest isn’t going to have an epic meltdown the second we get out of the car, we can get some pictures taken. Trust me, I get it.

I understand that your time is precious and there never seems to be enough of it. I’m right there in the trenches with you…zipping coats and shoving mittens on sticky fingers while you yell “get in the car” for the 15th time, knowing you’re going to be late yet again. Later, collapsing into a chair to read stories at night with little heads on your chest. You’ve got a “to-do” list a mile long running through your brain that you know you’re going to push off just “one more” day. I get it.

I get that evenings and weekends are special. They are for family. You get to relax in your sweats with no bra and just watch your kids play. You get to see him make his first goal. You get to see her dance in her first recital. Those weekends are for hanging out with your husband and having a few beers while you catch up on the latest Netflix show.  The thought of parading in front of stranger with a camera is the last thing you want to do. I get it.

Photo sessions are supposed to be fun, seriously!  It should be a time where you come together with family with no distractions. You make each other laugh, you hug and play. And you take time to remember why you love these people. I promise to capture the connection and love you share. I see the way your daughter hides her face in your leg when she’s nervous. I see the way your husband looks at you as you smile at your kids. I see the smile you hide when your son gets mischievous. I promise to capture it all. I’ll tell your story, and then I’ll put it all in a book so you don’t have to add one more thing to your “to-do” list.

I get it. We will never be perfect, but our kids love us anyway. They remember your hugs, and the way your hair tickles them when you smooch their necks. They remember the crazy giggles they get when you scoop them up and tickle them. They remember how secure they feel when you take care of their owies. We’ve read it, we’ve heard it, we know it. It doesn’t make it any easier, but it should.

I get it, and I feel you. But, your kids won’t remember your insecurities, they’ll just remember that you’re their mom, and they wouldn’t trade you for the world. Be there.

Want to know more? Contact me here, and learn about session options here.

Mankato Family Photographer: Rehder Family

Some family sessions are just fun. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t think of a session that I didn’t have a good time. That’s the best thing about my job, I always enjoy it! But some just have a little something extra. Enter the Rehder family with their adorable girls and their 100 year old farm house. And their dog, cats and chickens… We will get to the animals in a minute.

If you don’t know Nick and Ashley, you’re missing out. They took a huge risk, and set off on an adventure to renovate their farm house and create their dream business in the Ruby Ranch Barn.  The stories I heard about the renovation projects they have tackled would have sent me running, but not these guys! They are adventurous, compassionate, and totally have meltdowns sometimes just like the rest of us. 😉

We were really hoping to get a snowy day session in before Christmas, but the MN winter didn’t cooperate and we were down to the wire if we were going to get pictures done in time for Christmas cards. So, we decided (out of necessity) to do an evening session and with the girls snuggled into their pajamas, we documented their bedtime routine that they’ve been doing for years. It was one of the sweetest sessions I’ve shot. I know they will cherish the images because it’s the little moments that you experience daily, and sometimes take for granted, that you end up missing later.

                                            Remember when I said I’d get to the animals? And remember me saying that this family was adventurous? We ended the evening with a family of four, a Bernadoodle, 2 cats and 4 chickens. Yep, chickens. In the dining room. Epic. 

Mankato Photographer: Thedens Family

This holiday mini session was “mini-er” than most. While there was still a little green left in the grass, it was one of the first truly frigid days in Mankato this winter. Holy moly, we were FREEZING!  I had to keep reminding everyone to take a deep breath and shake out the tension in their shoulders because the shivers were turning them into statues! But, tell me that they aren’t adorable in their perfectly coordinated outfits. I’m telling you, some moms just get it! Even though it was terribly cold, we had fun. With a list of quick games up my sleeve, we giggled, hugged and played through about 12 minutes of pictures before this sweet family was frozen and my shutter finger was about to fall off. The Minnesota weather didn’t get the best of us, as you will see. The Thedens family rocked their holiday photos and sent out some adorable cards to boot. Thanks for braving the cold you guys, it was a pleasure spending time with you, no matter how brief!


Baby Huxton: Mankato Newborn Session

I was able to photograph Huck while he was tucked safely in Mama’s belly. I was there to capture his first breath in this world. And then, I was lucky enough for him to visit me in my studio to take his first portraits. This auntie is smitten.

Huxton arrived sleeping peacefully, he nursed easily, and only peed twice! Big win in my book. It’s funny, most babies LOVE to be swaddled up. That tight wrap makes them feel secure and safe. Huck quickly told me that I could take my swaddle and shove it. He was much more content to stretch his legs out very straight and lock his knees so there was no tucking them up. Clearly he has inherited a stubborn gene, but I won’t say who from. Never the less, I won him over with my magic baby skills and captured some beautiful memories. Just wait until you see his bright eyes. He is such a handsome boy! Congratulations Jeff and Dana, and welcome to the world baby Huxton! dsc_8386-edit dsc_8526-edit dsc_8520 dsc_8511-edit dsc_8499-edit dsc_8490-edit dsc_8486-edit dsc_8483-edit dsc_8478-edit dsc_8474-edit dsc_8465-edit dsc_8454-edit dsc_8449-edit dsc_8428-edit dsc_8398-edit

Little details, cherished memories. Contact me here. dsc_8719-edit

Maternity, Child and Family Session, Mankato MN: The K Family

When I get to see kids grow up through family sessions, it’s a blessing. Kenna brought little Kael to see me as a newborn and I watched him grow his whole first year.  Each session brought out new quirks and silly looks. He is such a funny little boy!  And then time flew, the way it always does, and Kael is two years old and they are expecting their second little buddy in a month!

I love to photograph adventure, but this session took a twist that I wouldn’t recommend. The first thing that happened upon arrival was the quick realization that the car doors were locked, and the keys were inside. Along with Kael’s birthday session outfit. Whoops! Thankfully, we were able to set out and get started while my helpful hubby got AAA on their way. All was well. As we set out into the mosquito den beautiful prairie grass, everyone was relaxed and happy. Two year olds are not usually well versed in sitting still, but luckily I know ALL the words to the Paw Patrol song and won some cool points! I got my aerobic work out playing chase and being overly silly. I’ll do almost anything for a real smile.

One of the things I love the most about this couple is their obvious affection for one another. Let me tell you, Mom & Dad still have it! The quick glances at each other, and the connection when they have the time to lock eyes is the stuff of romance novels. The in between moments, when they are all interacting as a family without worrying where the camera is, create images that make my heart skip a beat. Chasing a toddler with swollen ankles while the keys are locked in the car is real life right now, and it’s going to be a blessing to look back and cherish just how wonderful life was in that moment.

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Little details, cherished memories. Contact me here.

Mankato Maternity Session: Dana

Eager, anxious, and excited is how Dana walked in the door with an arm load of clothes for her and Jeff for their Mankato maternity session. When you are related to the photographer, you are allowed to bring pizza and hang out all night eating, drinking, and taking awesome pictures. Jeff was, well let’s just say, less excited. He watched Dana and I get giddy over maternity gowns, and all he could say was that we were weird. Maybe we are, but we roll with it. The night was pretty much perfect, and I tried to keep it more or less painless for the less excited party. Despite his lack of enthusiasm, he rose to the occasion beautifully. (I think he secretly loved it.)

Dana was only a month away from delivering their sweet baby, and she was feeling great. Like most women who are 8 months pregnant, she had moments of doubt about being in front of the camera, but I promised that she looked beautiful.  And well, I was right. 😉 We ended the session with a gorgeous sunset kiss that was made possible only by what I can describe as tolerance true love.

All kidding aside, they will treasure these images. When Huck is grown, and they are through this season of life, they will be able to look back on their memories and remember the anticipation of meeting their first born. And Huck will see just how strong and beautiful his mother really was as she carried him.

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Each season of life passes so quickly, and all we can do is hold on for the ride. How will you remember your little details?

Birth of baby Huxton: Mankato, MN Photographer

Giving birth and being born is no easy feat. This particular birth story is about my newest nephew, Huxton. Dana asked me to be in the delivery room to capture his birth months before she was due. I was so excited, and nervous, because photographing births is new to me and Lord knows I didn’t want to screw this up. There was no way I could have prepared for how amazing the experience would truly be. I woke up to a text early Saturday morning. It couldn’t have been more well timed, as I could leave J & O with dad and dash out the door because I had an hour drive. The sunrise in my rear view window was gorgeous and I just knew it was going to be a great day!

When I arrived at the hospital, Dana had been up all night with contractions and had just received her epidural. While she was waiting for the full effect, you could see that pain on her face, but she was powering through. Luckily, she was able to catch a short nap to gather her strength for the task at hand. There was so much anticipation in the room, with bets being thrown out on whether baby was a boy or a girl. And Dana, being the wonderful, fun loving woman that she is, was laughing and making jokes between contractions and pushes. Jeff never left her side. Seeming to know when to encourage and when to just be present. He was her rock. You could see their love for one another as they got closer to meeting their sweet baby. Through pure strength and determination, Dana gave birth to an incredible, 7 pound 4 ounce baby at 12:44 PM on Saturday, August 13, 2016. Another Scholl BOY! There is nothing more powerful or emotional that I have witnessed than the birth of a baby. It was a wonder witnessing Huxton Douglas Scholl take his firsts breath and create a happy family of three.

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Styled Photoshoot: Kelly Scholl Photography, Mankato MN

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. -Henry Ford

Nailed it, Henry! In the past few months I have experienced that very idea. Jenna and I came together first as mothers, then as friends, and finally as business owners. She approached me with the idea of a styled photoshoot incorporating her newly launched Bumbelou clothing brand alongside other local vendors, showcased in a beautiful location through gorgeously lit images.

I didn’t even hesitate. I’m a boy mom, surrounded by dirt and potty humor. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. But, the chance to embrace my whimsical, ruffled, covered in sparkle side?? Heck yes! We dug in, securing a location and models, as well as an impressive list of vendors who trusted us to pull the shoot off without a hitch. Minus one weather related reschedule, we did just that! Along the way, I made connections with women I otherwise wouldn’t know. Working together with other women who are juggling the same things I am is empowering. What a blessing to be able to build each other up!

Let me set the scene. Imagine, if you would, five little girls in the most adorable hand-made clothing you have ever seen. Add in hand crafted bracelets, necklaces, flower crowns, shoes, and fur hats. Picture their mama’s next to them clothed by a fashionable boutique with exquisitely styled hair. Envision some of Minnesota’s most beautiful scenery topped off by perfect glowing light. Now, watch that group settle down to have the most adorable tea party that ever was, complete with china and organic scented play dough biscuits. Do you feel like you are in a dream? I did too. You guys, it was magical.

The best part? The girls didn’t even realize we were “taking pictures”. They were so content to play and laugh with their mothers, chase kittens, and explore nature that I hardly existed in their minds. And you know what happens when I disappear? Amazing things, that’s what. Natural interaction and authentic moments are captured, and that’s where the real memories lie.

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Thank you to all of the incredible women who helped bring this vision to life!

Bumbelou: hand-made dresses and bows

Finch Designs: necklaces

Happy Little Fin: hair ties for moms

Heat: hair styles

Gallery 512: women’s clothing

Wisebirds Co.: children’s clothing

Minted Lane: necklaces

HarperAugust: necklaces and bracelets

Hide & Cotton: fur hats

Zdough: scented playdough

Honey & Hide: shoes

Little Design Co.: shoes

Supayana: children’s clothing

Gipsy & the Yarn: felt floral crowns

Gemma & Filo: bib necklaces

Bloom Theory: gold camera


Photographing adventure.

Once again, I find that my children are leading me to new adventures. It is not uncommon to hear a photographer say that they got started when they had their own kids. I’m by no means the first “mom with a camera”. My fierce love for my babies made me pick up my camera and document moments that I will never get back. Back in November, I started a 365 project.  I shoot, edit, and post a picture daily. It was a way to hone my skill as a photographer, to get to know the ins and outs of my camera better, and to try out new techniques. Naturally, my children became almost the sole subjects for the project. I knew that it would be fun to have the images, but I had not idea how much I would cherish these every day memories. And through all of the months that I have been shooting, I’ve found my style. I have found where my heart lies in images.

Lately, I’ve found myself noticing that my client work and my personal work don’t match. And from there came a new way of thinking. A posed portrait is nice, but I want more. I want the jumping, and running, and laughing. I want the stomping, and crying and quiet stares. I want all of the silly and all of the spirit and spunk. I want to remember all of the child. Because each season flies by, and the little things are easily forgotten as we move on to the next adventure. So, I will capture all of the little details, for you and for me.

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Each of these images were taken while playing. There were no tears, and no fighting. There was no “say cheese”. It was the most fun I’ve had capturing other people’s children ever. We played together, and their huge personalities shone brightly from their little bodies. We found Mars rocks, and chased bunnies. We climbed mountains and jumped off boulders “all by myself”. It’s amazing what you see when you just let them be little.

If you are interested in your own session with Kelly Scholl Photography, and would like to be the first to know about upcoming specials and mini sessions, please opt in for my newsletter by using the following link! Click here to subscribe!

Mini Session Mankato: Cousins make the best friends!

Mini sessions can be chaotic for photographers. You have to be on the top of your game, ready to nail the shots in a short period of time! Throw in four kids under the age of 3 and that photographer is bound to break a sweat. (I was a sweaty mess after this one!)  But, these kids kept it together, and with a great big ice cream and sprinkles bribe, they put up with some crazy adults redirecting their movements and jumping around like maniacs to keep their attention.

Do you remember playing with your cousins as a kid? I swear it was some of the best fun and the worst torture of my childhood! I remember being over the moon to play games with my older cousins, Kick the Can and HORSE were favorites when we all gathered at Grandma’s. But if you were one of the younger kids, you had to toughen up or you were going to catch a whole lot of crap. The older cousins pretty much had a club who’s motto was “make it look like we’re playing nice to fool the parents but really just patronize the little kids”.  Being cousins is a lot like being siblings. You would just dream of the day when you were old enough to be considered one of the “big kids” and get to join the club. Even with all of that, my cousins were some of my best friends growing up. It was exciting to get together with them and if we were lucky enough to have a sleep over, it was the highlight of our month.

You can already see that dynamic with these four. Ollie is ready to push Adair off the box. Stella thinks Adair is the coolest, but Adair thinks Stella is an annoying little kid. And Pecos, well he is still too little to do anything but smile. But, amidst all of those rivalries, you hear the stories about how they repeat each other’s names the whole week before they see each other. And how they share clothes and play games and follow each other around. What a blessing it is that they get to grow up together! DSC_1944-Edit DSC_2141-Edit DSC_2123-Edit DSC_2119-Edit DSC_2094-Edit DSC_2090-Edit DSC_2089-Edit DSC_2081-Edit DSC_2064-Edit DSC_2061-Edit DSC_2034-Edit DSC_2017-Edit DSC_2009-Edit DSC_1994-Edit DSC_1990-Edit If you are interested in your own session with Kelly Scholl Photography, and would like to be the first to know about upcoming specials and mini sessions, please opt in for my newsletter by using the following link! Click here to subscribe!