Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis
Minnehaha Falls is always a great spot to visit and capture beautiful portraits. There's lots of spaces that are in the park that are fun to photograph besides the falls themselves. As the leaves change color this is a captivating and inspirational location. Be sure to save some time for lunch and stop by the Cafe. Parking is just .75 per hour unless you have a yearly parks permit. There is also a walking trail to get lost in, be sure to explore as much as you can!
The photo below is of one of the areas of the park with benches to sit or photograph. The "fountain" is a really fun backdrop with either trees or skyline to choose depending on the direction you're shooting. I like to hit up this spot as the sun is setting for maximum impact.
Jim's Apple Orchard, Jordan
Irvine Park, St. Paul
Sunday fun day is something I do with a couple of friends each week. We have a relaxed no pressure adventure where we seek out and enjoy places and things we've never been to or seen before. This week we landed in the Homecroft neighborhood in Saint Paul enjoying the offerings of West 7th Street... and we were not disappointed!
Orley was my partner in crime this week and we started out our day at Sophie Joe's Emporium where the are so many cool vintage and new items to discover. I found an incredible glass heart shaped box that most likely dates to 1910. While Orley picked up an ornate music box as a gift. We could have dug in here for 3 days and not even noticed the time slipping by. Furniture, purses, vintage clothing, and art. Just about every turn we cooed at the different items and surprises. And the ladies told us a joke I'm going to laugh about for the next few days!
Next we wandered down the street to The Bearded Mermaid where of course there was a giant taxidermy giraffe (which I stared at for about 20 minutes while I tried to decide whether or not it was gross or cool.) and some kind of petrified mermaid. I recommend checking out this shop just to see the graffiti murals and oddities. The woman working was so kind and told us that her son owned the shop and she was "babysitting" for the day, while letting us know that since the shop has been open - nothing really shocks her anymore. You won't regret a stop by the Bearded Mermaid.
We then stopped for lunch at the only place I ever really eat in Saint Paul.... Mickey's. But not the dining car, the location on West 7th by the Famous Dave's. This is my favorite spot and I always get.... Breakfast. 2 eggs scrambled, bacon and wheat toast that I smother in ketchup. Delish. Then I introduced Orley to the evil that is Tinder and we giggled for the next hour.
Our last stop for the day was Your Turn Vintage Retro Antiques on East 7th Street. Give them a like here,
Where we found some amazing items that will be used for the Spring Saint Paul Art Crawl event that I'll be throwing with the rest of Studio 501 at the Jax details here https://www.facebook.com/pages/501-at-the-Jax I hope to see you there! The live photo shoot starts at 7pm sharp. Join the event page on Facebook for updates and more info plus teaser photos.
Orley was ecstatic when I brought her into Your Turn. There is so much to look at and explore. We had a blast. The dresses, furniture and everything else in between including racks of records you could dig in here for days. Worth planning a long stay cause you'll kill an hour before heading into the a joining room. The ladies here are super fun too! Can't wait to stay next time for a glass of wine!
One of my favorite places to take photos in the winter time is in the ice caves at Minnehaha Falls. You're not really supposed to be in the ice cave - which is the falls fully frozen... but I'm not afraid of a little trespassing in the name of Art. If you aren't either I'm game to capture you in this incredible if not other worldly spot. Just be prepared, there is quite a hike prior to getting to the cave and it's going to be muddy. Boots that are waterproof are best for this adventure. I learned this the hard way! http://www.minneapolisparks.org/?PageID=4&parkid=252
A classic and nostalgic spot for outdoor winter portraits is The Landing formerly Murphy's Landing in Shakopee just past ValleyFair on Highway 101 which is part of the Three Rivers Park District. Most Twin Cities natives will have taken a field trip here at some point in Elementary School to discover how the pioneers spent their lives. If so you'll be surprised if you haven't visited in awhile. This true to life pioneer settlement is complete with log cabins, school house, and town. The view over the Minnesota River Valley is incredible. The Landing admission is FREE! I recommend visiting during one of the Holiday events. You'll really enjoy it, and of course lunch in downtown Shakopee just a few minutes away. http://www.threeriversparks.org/parks/the-landing.aspx
The minnesota landscape arboretum
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers several different outdoor spaces and gardens, even in the dead of winter to capture some beautiful images. My favorite engagement shoot was shot here in the Spring and the photos turned out amazing. There is a fee to enter, $12 per person ages 13 and up. However every Thursday is FREE until March! The Arboretum closes during the winter at 4:30 pm. With trails and even snowshoeing available during the winter this is a great spot to be photographed or spend a snowy afternoon in the outdoors. http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/directions.aspx
The Minneapolis institute of arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts or the MIA allows anyone to photograph in the galleries. In fact, they encourage it! The bonus of shooting in the gallery is that it is perfectly lit. No flash is allowed, but you don't really need it anyway. There are lots of different areas to get some great photos, and you can spend the day - FREE of charge viewing some really beautiful artwork. There is a little cafe, and a gift shop with loads of unusual items. The MIA is located in the heart of South Minneapolis, with a park located right outside its doors. This way you can get some great indoor shots, and some great outdoor shots too! I really love this gallery. You can't beat the price, and its a great way to spend an afternoon. The gallery is closed on Mondays, and I recommend if you would like to be photographed here doing so during the week either Tuesday or Wednesday. http://new.artsmia.org/
The Como conservatory
The Como Conservatory is another wonderful location for photography. With free admission (recommended donation of $5) it fits the budget and is an oasis in the dead of winter. They are welcoming to people taking pictures as long as we do not take up walkways or hinder the mobility of others enjoying the botanical gardens. Tri-pod photography isn't allowed and with low lighting this is going to be an early daytime location. This location is best for photographing only one or two people. Modeling editorial style shots or an engagement session would be perfect here. http://www.comozooconservatory.org/
Studio C7, Saint Paul
Studio C7 is an hourly photo rental studio with wonderful Northern light. I run my own business out of the studio and have made it available to anyone looking to create indoors. There is a changing room, sink, fridge, and other amenities in the studio.
Check out the website here for additional hourly rental information.
I hope you found these locations inspiring, and will give you the confidence to take on a winter photo shoot! They can be really quite whimsical and romantic!
Please feel free to email me any questions at NouvelleDesignStudio@gmail.com
Yarn bombing. During my trip to Fargo this past weekend I noticed something weird on the light posts... Elaborately knit flowers lazily dripping down over the parking signs. This is yarn bombing, but not the bombing I'm used to seeing the Twin Cities - this is far more decorative and sophisticated in form and presentation.
This is part of an art installation by Mara Morken. A local artist who started doing citywide installations in 2012 which are fully supported by the city of Fargo. Here is the odd part however - she doesn't actually knit herself. The work is subcontracted, and then installed.
While the work is cute and charming, lets call it like it is - this is a safe way of creating "street art". In fact due to its nondestructive and decorative nature I wouldn't classify it as street art at all. It has no message and well, is placed so high up that if you weren't paying attention you'd miss it all together.
What do you think? Is this street art? Or is this public decoration?
Saint Paul based photographer offering Headshot and creative portraiture focusing on Commercial needs.
Nouvelle Design Studio
Elle Halls is a member of the American Photographic Artists
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