Pictures Pictures Pictures…

I recently read a study that suggests we each see about 15,000 images a day (photographic).

Think about how different that is compared to the pre-internet days that at least some of us remember.

I try and start every portrait session I do with a few questions about what they might be expecting, or looking for in terms of poses, settings, looks… I find it interesting that more often than not, no one can tell me what they want.  That’s fine with me, I have developed great intuition over the years to make everyone look their best.  As I think about it though, it makes me wonder if we don’t all take what we see for granted at the dizzying pace we now look at pictures.

Did you know that photographers have (at least they used to) benefitted from studying the great master painters.  Keep in mind these painters had to themselves study and observe natural light, and how different lighting patterns flatter different subjects in different ways.  Painters used to setup painting studios with north facing exposure/windows as the light from the north created much better light.

The biggest advantage we offer is our ability to create stunning indoor portraits where the studio lighting can be precisely placed to shape the light to create the best possible portrait.  I find it really interesting that these classical painters envisioned shallow depth of field in their portraits.  This image is an example of effective (shallow) depth of field and perfectly executed studio lighting which results in a  “Wow” image.

I enjoy making every picture I take look the best it can be.  From a studio session, to a wedding, to when I’m attending a sporting event.  Don’t settle for just another average boring picture!  Call Picture Place at 651-426-0232 to schedule a session and expect amazing.  We love finding new ways to excite and satisfy our customers with classic, traditional, contemporary and downright fun portraits!  Add our exclusive Velvet Touch Retouching and the results will blow you away!

We’re working on setting up some photo classes to help you learn how to take better pictures to help you record the memories and milestones of your life too!


Fall Colors are getting perfect!

The fall colors are starting to emerge into one of the best falls in years for outdoor portraits!  Session times are filling up, so don’t miss your chance to have your fall portraits scheduled before the color is gone.

Clothing options are many, but for outdoor portraits, it’s hard to beat casual, simple outfits.  Neutral colors work great, especially earth tones and blue jeans.  Consider adding a hat, a scarf, a jean jacket, or any number of fun props to make your session extra special!

Family portraits in the fall are the best.  Standing, walking, sitting, playing in the leaves all make for great family portraits.  A well posed, well grouped family portrait though is still the gold standard of what you likely will want to hang on your wall.

Canvas Wall Portraits are all the rage, and for good reason!   There is something really special about a 24″ or even 30″ canvas portrait of your family.  Many canvas portraits are able to hang without framing, and look fantastic!  Add our exclusive “Velvet Touch” retouching and enhancement service and the results are stunning.

Call Picture Place at 651-426-0232 to schedule your outdoor family, senior, engagement or children’s portraits, before the colors are gone!

A wedding reflection

I have personally photographed hundreds of weddings spanning 30 years. Wedding photography has changed more than any other category for studio/portrait photographers.

I love shooting weddings, and know my creativity and work is among the best around.  The challenge brides and grooms face today is finding the RIGHT photographer.  From the moment a couple goes “facebook official” with their engagement, they find out just how many “wedding photographers” exist in and near their own social circle.  Suddenly, the raves and recommendations for photographers pour in at an overwhelming pace for several weeks after the engagement announcement.

There was an excellent panel of former brides at a recent vendor/venue conference I attended.  Interestingly, while photography was “the most important decision” as identified by all 6 brides, only 2 were thrilled with their choice of photographers.

It was fantastic for me to hear at a recent wedding just how impressed everyone was with my conduct, appearance and professionalism.  From the couple, to the parents, to the 3 wedding coordinators, it was nothing but megalove coming my way.  Interesting that none had viewed one image yet, but their appreciation was heartfelt and great to hear.

The stories the wedding coordinators shared about horrible photographers was sickening.  Lack of experience, organization and complete technical competence spells wedding day disaster.  I am not writing this to trash and disparage new wedding photographers.  I am here to beg prospective brides and grooms to make a smart choice when selecting a photographer.

Take a peek at the following link of a short video we produced from a recent wedding.  This will give you an idea of the look and feel of how we approach wedding photography:

After watching this video, you’ll understand how the right combination of experience and creativity equals an awesome wedding day photography experience with Picture Place!



Why hire a professional photographer?

Guess what?  I just bought a new pair of scissors so I am now a barber!  Want a haircut?

Hey, I just bought some neat tools at Home Depot, want me to build a deck for you?

So why are so many people letting anyone with a camera take their _____________ (wedding pictures, senior portraits, family portraits, business, commercial, event, team pictures…)?

It is a great question.  I can’t stop the rate at which new cameras hit the market, nor can I ever convince these want to be photographers that it is reckless to be charging people money to snap pictures for them.

Keep in mind that photography used to be a fairly expensive business to get in to at a semi or professional level.  The cost of equipment was sizable, and it was expensive to practice with the cost of film, processing and printing.  Most of us that entered the business, did so with purpose, and a commitment to learn how to do it right.

Experience and deep knowledge of photography pays huge dividends for our clients. I photographed 3 Seniors yesterday afternoon/evening.  The outdoor portion of each session provided lighting conditions that changed by the minute.  If I did not know how to manually control the exposure, flash, proper use of reflectors… the outdoor portraits would have been a disaster.

Hiring a true professional photographer assures you that your portraits will be something you can be very proud of, for years to come.  Anyone can get lucky and snap a great shot now and then, but a trained professional photographer takes pride in doing it everytime, for every client, that’s just what we do.

Life is short, savor every moment, and find a photographer who captures the amazing Milestones and Memories of your lives!

Check out our website at  Call us at 651-426-0232.  We’ll make the experience memorable.

9/11 and the power of photography

As we all watched the various recaps, reflections and tributes during the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, I was reminded just how powerful photography is in our lives.

There are those moments captured from 9/11 that we will never forget seeing.  My favorite image is the famous shot of the firefighters erecting the American flag in the midst of the chaos and the rubble testifying to the backbone and strength of our nation.

Our work as portrait photographers plays an even deeper emotional role as witnessed during and following such tragedies.  I was brought to tears watching so many families clutching portraits of their lost family member(s) as they attended various ceremonies.

The significance and value of portraits of our family members, and families is truly a priceless treasure.  Even as a photographer, I must admit I have not created nearly enough portraits over the years of my own family.  As hard as it is to coordinate, schedule and do, we all owe it to ourselves, and our loved ones to capture the Milestones and Memories of the lives of our family.  Don’t just wait for the next wedding in the family to get a new family portrait.

Call Picture Place to setup your family portrait (the fall colors this year are said to be the best in years) at 651-426-0232.

God Bless America, and God Bless our families.

Picture Place

Happy Anniversary! To us…

Well it’s hard to believe but we are in our 30th year in business!  Picture Place was established in 1981 on the corner of 3rd and Banning, and has been photographing area High School Seniors, Weddings, Families, Teams and School functions ever since.

We moved September 1 to a wonderful office suite in Vadnais Heights.  This allows us to serve our customers better than ever, and we are conveniently located directly south of Culvers off Centerville Road (1056 Centerville Circle).

Photography has changed, and we look forward to our 4th decade in this exciting line of work.  While digital cameras have changed how images are captured, there is no substitute for the years of training and experience we offer to our customers in every session we shoot.  We meet “new” photographers all the time that just bought a “good” camera.  The camera is only a tool, and no camera can make someone instantly a photographer, no matter what their pictures look like on facebook.

As we reflect on 30 years in this industry, we are thankful for the customers we have served that have recognized the Picture Place difference, and continue to support us.

To our past customers, we say “THANK YOU! ” To our future customers we say “Welcome, and we look forward to serving you!”

Call us at 651-426-0232 to discuss any possible future projects.

Thank you for your patronage, and we deeply appreciate the support within our community, and beyond!

Sunflower Fun!

It was a gorgeous sunny morning in Minnesota and we had some fun in a sunflower field.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Call us at 651-426-0232 to plan your Senior Portrait adventure!

Overwhelming response to the State of the Industry Post

Wow!  It has been really fun to watch the blog stats soar with my recent post on the state of the industry.  I am extending the reach of the article to some of my customers and am curious to gather and share what my customers have to say about professional photography.

It is essential for the survival of professional photography that we perform services, and create images that our customers love, and that they are willing to pay for.  I am surrounded by numerous highly talented photographers, who just seem work for free, far too much of the time.  It’s not that their photography lacks at all, but that the market in some cases no longer exhibits demand for their services, or people just aren’t willing to spend any money for their work.

The photographers whom I respect deeply in the industry are working harder than ever to constantly improve everything they offer and do for their clients. Top eschelon photographers are sharing like never before as we try to band together to reclaim professional photography.

Have an opinion?  Chime in!  The discussion is invaluable to both photographers and our photography clients to gain a better understanding of how we can all help each other.  True professionals are ready willing and ABLE to deliver breathtaking results–just give us the chance to do so.

Well off to do an awesome location shoot of a senior in a sunflower field.  I might just have to post a shot from the session later on.


Barry-Picture Place Photography