Hints For a Good Session

Choosing/Scheduling Your Session

Choosing a studio

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When selecting a studio to photograph your child or family, it is essential to find one that understands children and is willing to spend the time it takes to capture your child's personality. At Party Crashers Photography, we set aside plenty of time to insure that our staff will be able to make your experience one that is memorable and fun for you and your child. We find most children, no matter what their ages, have their own quirks, cute behaviors, talents and character traits that make them the wonderful little individuals you cherish. Our job is to seize those moments when they're just being themselves.

Scheduling a session

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Scheduling a session is easy. Simply call us (952-368-1941) and we will answer all your questions and set up the perfect session for you and your family. Our goal is to make your experience as fun and effortless as possible.

Best time of day for your session

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Bright little faces and cooperative attitudes usually occur most often in the morning. You, of course know your child's personality and nap schedule best so it is helpful to schedule accordingly.
Things to keep in mind:

  • Does your child sleep through the night?
  • What time does she wake-up in the morning?
  • Does she take a nap?

Try to schedule your session as early in the day as possible. Also, it is best not to schedule a session within two days after a doctor or dental appointments. Sessions after 5:00pm are not recommended for children. They are usually tired and not at their best. The only exception to this is outdoor location sessions where the child's full cooperation is usually not necessary. We will gladly help you in selecting a time and day that works best for you and your child.

Times of your child's life

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One commonly asked question is “when is a good time to have a portrait created?”. Some parents want to capture children at certain times in their lives. Typically, these are:

  • Newborn
  • Three-month
  • Six-month
  • Nine-month
  • One year
  • 18 months
  • Two-years
  • Three years...

This schedule documents your child's changes as he or she grows. A newborn portrait shows how small and delicate your baby is within the first two weeks of life. (Many times this session is done at the client's home.) From the stage of crawling to walking and all those milestones in between, time is relatively short. Those brief and precious days when changes occur are so important to document.

Studio hours

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We try to staff the studio during these times.

Tuesday through Friday 8:00am-3:00pm
Saturday 8:00am-noon
Closed Sunday and Monday

We post our studio hours on our main page of this website daily. View We always suggest that you call the studio before stopping by without an appointment, we may be out of the studio on location.
We do photograph all day and offer evening appointments, just call the studio.

Session Types

Type of session

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We have many special sessions available, one or more of which may suit your child' interests perfectly. If he love animals, a bunny  session would bring natural smiles and marvelous interactions. For children who love nature, Murphy’s Landing, Wayzata Beach, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or a winter outdoor session is highly recommended. For more great ideas and suggestions, see our Portfolio galleries or Session page.

Studio sessions

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Our studio is located in Chaska Minnesota in the Historic Chaska Mill Building. See our Maps link at the top of the page for directions.

Studio sessions provide a wonderful option for more formal portraits or fun and casual portraits with simple backgrounds. Some clients prefer a studio sessions for the timeless backgrounds and the peace of mind regarding the weather. (It is always sunny in the studio!)

Location sessions

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We love to go out of the studio on location! We have many locations we go to a a regularly. Some of the locations we go to are:

  • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
  • City Lakes
  • Mississippi Trail
  • Murphy’s Landing
  • Wayzata Beach

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We also have locations at special times of the year. Some of there are:

  • Fall Colors
  • Spring Flowers
  • Apple Blossoms
  • Winter (Snow)

We can also go to your location anytime of the year. Check our Sessions page for more information on our location sessions. You may also want to view our Portfolio page for samples.

Large groups

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If you have Grandpa and Grandma coming to town or you have a family reunion coming up, we can help you with portraits. We can handle large groups in our studio or on location.

During this type of session, each family will have the opportunity to have a family portrait, portrait of the kids and individuals of each child.

Who should be included

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There are several factors to consider when deciding whom to include in your session. Most of the time when your children's portraits are created, the session will be comprised of both group and individual shots. Sometimes it makes each child feel special to do a session with them alone - brothers or sisters not allowed. Other times, a group portrait can include your immediate family, or add grandmas and grandpas for added fun and special memories. Photographing extended family groups can be a meaningful way to document the way families grow in size and happiness. As you add people, the focus of your session will change so you must consider the "dynamics". Contemplate your "list" of photos and then consider whether or not certain family members will be able to last through all the different groupings you think you would like. Children particularly may not have the staying power necessary to complete the session on a happy note. Good planning between you and the studio on a large group achieves the best results.

Preparation for your Session

Getting ready for your session

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O.K. you've booked your session time and date. You have decided who is going to be there. Now what? Obviously, you want everyone to look his or her best. The following hints will be helpful to consider.

Selecting clothing

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Clothing can make or break a session. Select clothing that you like. Choose colors that go in your home. Solid colors or clothing with simple patterns usually work best. Avoid clothing that has large logos or do not fit properly. We like bare feet, especially with children. However, if you prefer to have your child wearing shoes, make sure they are new and unscuffed. Most children's sessions almost always allow time for a change of clothing during the session. Feel free to discuss your ideas with us. When doing several children, colors and patterns should coordinate. As a reminder, if the clothes look old and ratty or wrinkled, they will look like that on your finished photos.


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If hair needs trimming, it is best to have it done one week before the session. Experimenting with new hairstyles just before your session is not recommended.


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Sometimes make-up may be desired to hide a small scratch on a face, or light bruise that may show. Because children's complexions usually do not require touching up, the rule of thumb is use make-up sparingly. The natural look is best. If a child does have a scratch or bug bite, we can digitally remove it for you.

Props from home

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A favorite stuffed toy, grandma's heirloom quilt, a little rocking chair handcrafted by great-grandpa, or even your little one grinning gleefully wearing dad¹s old basketball jersey are among the items you could bring from home that add a more meaningful dimension to your session.

What/Who to bring to the session

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We suggest that you bring an extra outfit just in case. Also, grooming items such as brushes, combs, hair spray, and make-up will come in handy. Snacks, (bottles for the little ones) and anything that may make your child happy such as a favorite toy or doll help keep a good attitude going.

If you are bringing several children, you may find that it is beneficial to bring a helper or two who can assist with clothing and hair. In most cases, we will supervise the children once the session starts. If a child is apprehensive around strangers, bring a person who works well with the child that the child will not cling to. Introducing extra people into a session can sometimes distract children, so select accordingly.

Talking to your child about the session

Everyone is usually filled with anticipation prior to being photographed. If a child is old enough to understand what is going to take place, one of two things may occur: excitement at the possibility of a new place and a fun thing to do, or a nervousness due to not knowing what to expect.

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Talking about what will occur and answering your child's questions will help to encourage participation and allay fears. An upbeat attitude when imparting information about the photo session will infuse a child with a very positive feeling that this is something she will enjoy and can look forward to. Bribes of food or toys to encourage a child to come to a session are not recommended Likewise "putting your foot down" will not yield good results if a child feels he is being dragged against his will to a place or activity.

The day before your session

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Ensure that everyone gets a proper nights sleep. When a child or parent has slept poorly, it will usually show in the photographs.

Lay out all your clothing for your session. Make sure everything is freshly pressed and on hangers. Remember, the camera will see wrinkles. Pack everything else you will need for the session including any props you may want included in the session. Waiting until the last minute usually causes stress on the parents and often important items are forgotten at home.



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We know that things come up and you need to change your schedule. Maybe you are just having a very bad day. Please contact the studio as soon as possible and we will be happy to reschedule your session time. Please be aware, you will be charged a rescheduling fee of $25.

Rain days

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If we could control the weather, we would be rich. Unfortunately we can’t and neither can you. Even though it may be raining where you are, it may not be raining at the session location. The studio will try to contact you whenever a session needs to be rescheduled due to weather. If in doubt, call the studio two hours before your session to check. Weather related rescheduling will not be charged a fee.


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If your child is ill, please notify the studio as soon as you can. A sick child will not enjoy herself and it will show in your photographs. We prefer that the experience be a happy, healthy one for all concerned. Rescheduling your session is not a problem. There is $25.00 rescheduling fee.

Day of your session

When should we arrive?

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The recommended time of arrival is at the time your session was scheduled. It is not usually necessary to arrive early because we allow enough time between sessions not only to take the photographs, but also to get "settled in" before the session starts and gather up everything after your session is completed. Our primary concern is that the experience be as relaxed, comfortable and fun for everyone as possible. However, if you know that there is a problem of some type that will cause you to be late, a phone call to the studio to indicate your approximate time of arrival is requested.

How much time should I plan for?

We will spend as much time as is needed to create a variety of images that you select from. We allow time for everyone to come into the studio and relax, talk to the photographer, and change clothing before beginning your session. Once the photographer feels your children are comfortable and ready to be photographed, our staff works very quickly moving from one shot to the next. Children can become tired and bored if the session takes too long. Studio sessions generally last under 30 minutes, but plan on spending one hour from the time you arrive until the time you leave.

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Meeting with your photographer

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As everyone is preparing for the session, your photographer will sit down with you and discuss what you are looking for, look at the type of clothing you brought and make a recommendation if necessary, confirm the type of session, get to know your children and other family members who will be participating and answer any questions you may have regarding your session.


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Your proofs will be posted to our website by 9:00am the following business day. A complementary proof book will be mailed to your home at the same time. Proofs are printed with a color laser printer on standard paper. They DO NOT represent the quality of the final product. Paper Proofs are intended for reference purposes only. We highly encourage you to make an appointment to see your proofs on our computer screens at the studio.

Minimum Print Order

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Most sessions require a minimum order of $200.00. If additional families were added to your session, or it was a large group family session, your minimum order will be higher. You will have received this information prior to your session, but if you are unsure of what your minimum order is, check the last few lines at the bottom of your session confirmation form for the correct amount. Your minimum will be charged to your card on the day of your session. It will be on account for you and taken off of your order when it is placed. You must place your order within 2 weeks of your session.

Ordering Your Photos

Ordering Prints On-Line

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An easy and fast way to order is on our secure web site. You will be able to view, sort and order your prints in the comfort of your own home. This is a great way to share your photos with family and friends. We will supply you with a password for your session. Use the “Client Log-in” button that is located at the top right corner of each page.

Please note: If you would like to invite family and friends to view your session, please use the “Create Guest Accounts” button after you log into your session.

Placing your order at the studio

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When you are ready to place your order, simply call the studio to make an appointment. We can aid you in your decisions regarding size of prints, explain the different print options or help you order prints to be framed, among other things. It is also helpful to see framed examples that we display on the walls in our studio, to give you ideas of which size to order for wall portraits and what your finished product might look like.

Placing your order by mail or e-mail

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If you do not require any help or do not have any questions regarding how your proofs will be cropped, you may mail or e-mail your order.

Mailing address PO Box 163 | Carver | MN | 55315
E-mail use the Contact Us button at the top of the page.

Please provide your credit card information or a check.

Payment types

We are happy to accept payments with:
Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Finished Prints

Retouching of finished prints

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Basic retouching is included on all prints. We will soften smile lines, blend skin tones and remove blemishes.  There will be additional charges for removing scars, moles, excessive acne, softening glass shadows and removing braces. Direct any concerns about blemishes, scratches, scars or other types of retouching when you place your order. We will be happy to give you a price for any additional retouching services.

Cropping of prints

Cropping is the process of removing unwanted portions of a photograph. Cropping is done to create the best possible composition of the final print. A wallet print will need to be cropped differently than an 16"x20" print. When we photograph your session we will leave room around your body to allow for as much flexibility for the final prints. When you order your prints, we will crop your photos to produce the best possible composition. If you have any special request, please let us know.

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The fine print

Minimum Print Order

Most sessions require a minimum order of $200.00. If additional families were added to your session, or it was a large group family session, your minimum order will be higher. You will have received this information prior to your session, but if you are unsure of what your minimum order is, check the last few lines at the bottom of your session confirmation form for the correct amount. Your minimum will be charged to your card on the day of your session. It will be on account for you and taken off of your order when it is placed. You must place your order within 2 weeks of your session.


Party Crashers Photography retains the reproduction rights to all photographs produced. Client may not reproduce or allow others to reproduce photographs in any medium, including, and not limited to scanning into electronic medium or photocopying without the express written consent of Party Crashers Photography. Copyright violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


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