Family portraits at the Minnesota State Fair

You love candids, right? But so often photo sessions turn into a bunch of “plan-dids” that are sweet, but without story.

The thing is, the story is your heart. It’s the kind of session that makes you actually feel something big.

I asked this client to tell me what they thought of this session now that it’s been ten years. She said:

“Our family hired Natalie for a documentary session at the MN State Fair. It has been a tradition for our family to go to the Great Minnesota Get-together since my daughter was 5 days old. So it only felt natural to have our session there. What I didn’t know was how 10 years later, this session would become priceless.

Having a documentary session is different from a family portrait session in that it was so unique to our family experience. It felt truly authentic. It tells our story without the pressure of performing for a camera. When we relax and let go, real magic happens. Natalie is a true artist and this gift to us is irreplaceable.”  -Lisa Q., 2022

You may have heard me say a few things about my portrait sessions before. That I emphasize the fleeting, candid moments that are rare inside of a studio space or at the park.

There is something so special about being a fly on the wall and letting the moment unfold. Natural expressions and emotions really manifest themselves and come to life in front of the camera. There’s nothing wrong with a posed portrait here or there, there are a few in this collection.

But the kind of photographs you’ll walk away with after an afternoon at the Great Minnesota Get Together compared to a studio or the perfect park setting are unique in a way that only candid moments can be. There’s nothing wrong with “just a nice one of all of us,” but for me, it doesn’t really tell a story.

And at the end of the day, that’s what a great series of photographs has the power to do: tell your story.

I hope you enjoy viewing this family portrait session as much as I enjoyed shooting it.


For more information on Story Sessions, send me a note.

Ticket booth at the MN State FairSkyrider at the Minnesota State Fairgroundsferris wheel ride at the mighty kidwaySwing ride at the State FairOld Tilt a whirl ride heritageOld train MN state fairKieran on benchice cream standCheese curdsRed kid cowboy boot outfitMinnesota State Fair the Mighty Kidway RidesToy stand at the fair with SpidermanHot Dog Stand at the fairgound footlongsfarm hands for kidstractor driving at the fairgrounds John DeerePink shoe and tractorinstructions for tractor route for farm handstractor and dressgathering eggs from the chickenspointing to Little Farm Hands apron at the Minnesota State Fairgardening at the fairplanting seeds and gardening at the fairplanting seeds at the fairportrait at the state fair childrenbrother and sister at the state fair farm hands exhibit walking out by Kemps sign and corncotton candy and pickle standstrawberries and whipped cream at the MN state fairgroundsfamily at the fair and pointing at somethingfun children's portrait with lollipops and colorful background at the MN state fairgroundsName letters on a bench at the mighty kidway Minnesotakid portraits at the fair funDad and Kieran look at the rides at the fairsleepy girl in strollerpirate ridefamily portraitsDad and Kieran watch ridetickets for rides at the fairKieran gets excited to go on rides at the fairspongebob toys for sale at the Minnesota state fairdancing in the street at the fairfood tasting tacosLarge crowd at the MN state fairfarm animalstemporary tattoo fairgroundssuperman jumps off benchorange benchbag of mini donutsdonutPaul Bunyan map Vote No Boothtilt a whirl portraitpink blanket and cowboy hatflyingFun kid portrait ideas with letter initialsupside down at the fairshoulder rideferris wheelpink and red lollipopMinnesota State FairFamily portrait sessionColorful fun children's portrait at donut stand at the Minnesota State Fairfamily at the fair great Minnesota get together Natalie Champa Jennings photography

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