A few months ago I received an inquiry from another photographer — she was moving across the country at the end of the month, time was running out, and she was hoping I could document her children in their beloved Minnesota family home before heading to the Utah mountain side. I had free reign: my first step was to sit on the floor to play with the kids and explore the light, which I think helped to capture something a little more natural, emotional, and genuine for the family. I made sure to include a little hair pulling from brother to big sister.

I’m grateful for this collaboration, it makes me hungry for more creative family sessions this summer. My wish list for future sessions:

  1. Photograph a family picnic by or near Lake Nokomis or near any one of Minnesota’s beautiful lakes.
  2. I want to be invited to someone’s family cabin and spend 24 hours documenting “cabin life”. Imagine photos of the kids splashing in the lake, jumping off the dock, picking strawberries, climbing trees, climbing bunkbeds, sunset family dinners on the porch…TAKE ME WITH YOU! Summer bliss.
  3. I want to photograph more farm families. Farmers have such influence on creating healthy change by improving the quality of soil, preventing chemical run-off into our fresh waters, and growing nourishing food. Many of the farmers I have met educate people on eating and growing food that is sustainable for our bodies, the economy, and the environment. I’m inspired, so many photogenic opportunities. You don’t have to have baby goats or piglets, or even human children, I would love to photograph any type of farm family.  Not all farmers are movers and shakers, but the many revolutionary farmers I have met need to get in touch with me now to set up a photo session.:)
  4. Adventure! Let’s go on a bike ride, go sailing, paddle a canoe, or walk the grounds of an art museum, explore sculptures.
  5. Take me into your garden, let me photograph your kids planting or simply playing among all the fresh growth.
  6. Fly a kite, make a sand castle, sip lemonade on the porch.
  7. Playing around your house, making pancakes, building a fort, etc.

My point is that this summer I really want to encourage/attract photographic opportunities centering around activities that bring families together. It’s good to put your goals out in to the world, right?!

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My mantra when photographing families: follow the light, take the child’s lead, simple is best, talk directly to the kids, subtly let the parents know the session is going well and that they should relax :), make art, think about what will be most valued by the family twenty years from now. 

Grateful for all the families who let me into their lives in 2015. Looking forward to getting to know more families in the year to come.


  • Sarah Schaleger - I love your sense of color, Crystal.ReplyCancel


Cathy and Chris planned a laid back wedding set at Cedar Ridge, a scenic Iowa vineyard. The day included Casey’s pizza (the best gas station pizza ever), a tea ceremony, guests roaming romantically at sunset through the vineyard, wild dancing, and much appreciated humor. This wedding was a joy to photograph, so much laughter and love.


  • Molly McGhee Blasko - Great photos!ReplyCancel

  • Roger Johanson - what a good-looking celebration. warm wishes and congratulationsReplyCancel

  • Carol Dillard - And a good time was had by all. Kathy was a beautiful bride and her mother looked pretty good, toolReplyCancel

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