saint cloud, MN lifestyle family photographer

Outdoor Family Photographer

emotive and playful family pictures


Families that book with me are not just looking for a perfect picture of everyone looking at the camera. They want photos that tell a story by capturing personality, emotion, and fun!


parents with toddlers walking through Minnesota field during session with family photographer

"Susannah listened to our concerns and made sure we felt heard! "

"We’ve had bad experiences in the past with family pictures, Susannah listened to our concerns and made sure we felt heard! We just received our sneak peak of the session from last night and are in love with every one! We cannot wait to see the rest of the gallery. She was wonderful and kind to our babies as well as engaging in the session giving us prompts and helping us to pose. We will definitely be using her services for future family photos!"

Courtney C.

"We love the natural candid look, but we aren't very photogenic..."

Do you want to know the secret behind candid and emotive images?

I am intentionally directing and posing your family from behind my camera!

Most families don't naturally dance around in a field wearing beautifully coordinated outfits. It looks natural because someone was providing intentional guidance to tell the story and draw out genuine emotions that you can feel when you look back on those photos.

I will be giving your family plenty of guidance, encouragement, and posing direction during the whole process.

Once we get to our session location, I put your family in incredible light and set up a flattering pose. Then I give little games to promote connection and fun then I capture photos in the midst of it. Half the time, your kids won't even realize they are "posing"!

What if my child doesn't like having their picture taken?

(every mom's biggest fear when booking a photo session)

I feel like this is maybe the most stressful aspect of deciding to book a family session, and I completely get it - I've felt this way too when booking sessions for my family, it is totally natural when we are investing in photos to want everyone to be happy and cooperative.

I've worked with children for 15 years and have two little ones of my own.

Every child is a little different and responds to the concept of having their picture taken differently - Some will be excited, some will get goofy, some will be shy. That is totally fine (and even normal!) I roll with it very easily and adapt to how your child is responding.

In your session questionnaire, I'll ask a bit about your children, their personalities, and what they enjoy. I don't force them too look at the camera and "cheese" (because when is that ever a really accurate depiction of their personality?) instead, I use my experience with kids and any information you've provided in your questionnaire to give fun prompts and games to help engage your children in the session so that we can really capture their personality and who they are at this stage in life.

I have written a whole blog post discussing this topic in more detail and giving practical tips to make your family session a success.

If you have specific concerns for your child, feel free to contact me and we can figure out a plan to fit your child's needs.

Let your kids explore and have fun during the session (better yet, join them!)

I enjoy getting to know your children and provide them with little prompts and games to keep them engaged in the session and having a fun time, I don't force them too look at the camera and "cheese" (because when is that ever a really accurate depiction of their personality?)

Imagine this, your little girl is running around trying to catch a butterfly, instead of immediately trying to make her stand still and smile, try crouching down with her and enter into her world, or hold her hand and let her bring you along to catch the butterfly.

It tells a powerful story, keeps your child happy and engaged, and creates incredible photo opportunities.

family of five playing and having fun during fun family pictures

Lean into physical touch to create connection during your session

Connection is a huge piece of what makes for an incredible and natural family picture experience, and it is what I believe gives purpose and meaning to photographs!

Always be touching someone. Hold someone's hand, play with your little one's curls, rub your child's back, trace your husband's jawline, etc.,

What should we wear for outdoor family pictures?

Styling assistance for your session is included with your session for free.

As we plan your session, I will send you a guide that offers some specific guidance on colors and textures that are recommended for your family's photos, but I also help provide specific suggestions to help coordinate your entire family as well.

I love long flowy dresses, they are so flattering for mom and they add a poetic vibe to your photos. Flowy dusters, and pretty textured lace tops are also high on my list of favorites!

family laughs together during fun family photographer session central minnesota lifestyle photographer

Where to take family photos near Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Natural outdoor settings are my favorite for photo sessions!

As we plan for your session, I will send you some suggestions from some of my favorite locations in the Saint Cloud area based on your preferences and the season. Some locations are absolutely stunning in spring or autumn but would not work as well in summer or winter.

I am constantly exploring to find beautiful new photoshoot locations that are filled with excellent lighting, pretty scenery, and unique characteristics like beaches, rocks, interesting tree trunks, etc., I make sure to choose locations that are safely away from dangers like busy roads so that parents with young kids and can feel comfortable letting the kids explore a little during the session.

little boy runs through a field on a path Rockville, Minnesota family photographers

Should I get my hair and make up done for family pictures?

That is completely up to you and your preference!

I'd recommend opting for a natural look in whatever you have done. I love when hair is left long and flowy (as opposed to formal up-dos) so that there is plenty of movement and texture.

Taylor Miley Make Up is a local wedding make up artist. I absolutely love her work! She offers make up for events like family pictures. If you are just looking for make up, I'd definitely recommend her.

Pretty By Paige & Piepho are a local wedding hair and make up artist team. If you're looking to get both your make up and your hair done, these ladies would be a great option! Their work is lovely and they have a few different options in terms of their packages.

*I would avoid getting colorful manicures done, they don't tend to photograph very well - Clean nails, or a natural manicure like a French manicure, are the best and most timeless looks.

Family Photoshoot Pricing

$100 non-refundable retainer due at booking


- Sessions typically begin an hour before sunset for optimal golden hour lighting
- All of the best images (minimum of 40)
- Personalized styling + location selection assistance

More Details

How do I book my session?

I can't wait to be your photographer! You can select your session date and booking request using the link below, view my pricing, or submit an inquiry.

family of four plays together in a field
mom lays on a blanket in a field and cuddles her daughter close and kisses her head
family of four stand in a field while mom kisses daughter during family pictures
Parents lay on a blanket while dad lifts baby girl in the air during fun photoshoot
family of four walks through a field at Bend in the River Regional Park in Rice, MN
mom and daughter cuddling in a field at Quarry Park and Nature Preserve in Waite Park MN
Family of four cuddles together in a field for a summer photo shoot
Five children run through a field playing tag during their outdoor family pictures at Quarry Park and Nature Preserve
Toddler in a yellow dress smiles at her mom as they stand on a bridge
Family of five plays joyfully together in a field in sauk rapids minnesota
Brother and sister embrace each other while standing on a bridge in st cloud mn
Family sits on a blanket while mom cuddles daughter and dad tosses one year old up in the air
mom in flowy green dress embraces toddler and looks up to the sky dramatically
Family of four plays follow the leader through a green field during their summer family photoshoot
Family cuddles together and looks at one year old son
Dad holds little boy's hand to help him walk through field
Family of five plays a game during a candid photo session
Children run under a blanket that parents are holding in the air with fall foliage in the background
little girl spinning in a field in Rice Minnesota during family pictures
Family of 5 walks through a field at golden hour