Excelsior family photographer

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Well hey there! Guess who just got family photos done? The Butlers! For the first time in years we actually got our yearly family session captured ahead of time. Even more amazing… it was AWESOME! Thinking back on years past we have waited until the end of summer, battled with sports schedules and school year prep. We’ve sweated our way through 100 degree sessions. We’ve cried our way through outfit woes. Literally, the family photo session was a thing of dread for us. Until now….

Family Photos Excelsior
Historic Water Street, Excelsior

To commemorate our recent move of the studio to Excelsior we wanted to highlight the city in the photos. We got to work with Jamie from Studio 220 who totally nailed it! She achieved rockstar status when Tim turned to me said “I’m actually enjoying this”. More surprising yet, the kids were angels. That just doesn’t happen during the yearly family portrait session for us!

Family Photos Excelsior
Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail

One of our favorite things to do on a Saturday is to bike the trail. Sometime’s it’s to Olive’s for Pizza and other weekends we venture west to Victoria. It’s an easy ride for the kids and the scenery can’t be beat.

Family Photos Excelsior

We will have the honor of being featured in an upcoming issue of SouthLake Neighbors Magazine and they wanted a few shots in our home. Shooting here was comfortable for the kids and a natural environment for us to capture the family!

Family Photos Excelsior

Meet The Butlers

Tim and I met at a photography studio way back when! There was a mutual intrigue as we quickly found that we couldn’t possibly be more opposite! We became best friends while working together and I’m blessed to say that has never changed. Tim moved on from the company to pursue a career in Sales and now is a Regional Sales Director for Catalant out of Boston. Sally launched La Vie Photography in 2005 and together the founded Studio 220 Photography in 2007. The new company was lovingly named after the birthday of our oldest son, Noah, born on February 20th, 2008.

The Crew

I don’t think Tim and I every would have thought we would end up with 4 babes but our large, chaotic family is EVERYTHING! As mentioned, Noah is our first. He turned 11 in February and is a 5th grader at Minnewashta Elementary. He is a 2nd year violinist, loves reading, football and anything that can be found behind his iPad screen. Cooper (9), is obsessed with sports, football being at the top of his list. He plans on being drafted by the Packers at age 14! Dream big, little guy! Quinn (5) is the angel of the family. He’s loyal, wise as hell, and the glue the holds the family together. He attends preschool at Westwood. And then there’s Liv (almost 3). She is strong, independent, hilarious… everything we didn’t know our family needed.

Family Photos Excelsior

We are settled in at the new studio location and are beyond excited to plant our professional roots in this community. Come and visit us at our new studio at 332 3rd Street, Excelsior. We hope to get to work with you this year!


As a neighbor, mom of 3 boys, and female entrepreneur my girl Jenny Shawgo holds a special place in my heart. She’s been on the friend list for years but since moving to her neck of the woods she’s become one of my favorite go to’s for a good laugh, a much needed cry and ever for a glass of rosé!

Each year at ice out this crazy clan subjects themselves to their very own polar plunge on their Lake Minnewashta beach. However, 2019 will go down in the record books… all FIVE Shawgos took the plunge (even mom who is usually on cheer and towel duty)!

Before we got suited up we spent a few minutes capturing family photos and I absolutely love how these photos capture the spirit of this family. This tribe is all about family, fun and friends. Can’t you see why?

Jenny is a managing director for Beauty Counter. She’s my go-to skincare dealer and is ever working to educate me on health and wellness. I’ll be honest, I’m quite the project! Like my husband, Tim, Tom work in sales for Salesforce as a Strategic Account Manager . Needless to say we adore everything about this family and have way too much in common with them.

The Shawgo Family

Meet the boys: Tucker (12), Tyler (10), and Beckett (7). You can find them in one of two places at all times; the hockey rink or the lake depending on the month! Despite their unique personalities and individual strengths you can see their tight brother bond. There’s always lots of love shared amongst theses three.

Now on to the fun stuff! If you haven’t ever dived into a recently thawed lake just for the fun of it I don’t recommend it!!! I kid. Actually, no… it’s actually really unenjoyable!!! But if you’re brave, love yourself a great tradition and don’t care about personal comfort this is for you.

Picnic in the snow? Why not!
Can you find Tom in the last photo?

My giant thanks to the Shawgos for letting me play with you your clan. I love these photos and LOVE you!

Have you booked your family session yet? We would love to work with your family. Visit our WEBSITE for information and samples of our work.


Come for a session, stay for the day!

Admittedly, we are a little obsessed with the charming streets and small town feel that Excelsior offers it’s visitors. Naturally, it makes for a perfect setting for your portrait session but while your here stay experience all that historic Water Street has to offer.

We’ve put together a list of our family’s favorite outings to help you craft the perfect itinerary for a memorable day in Excelsior!

Studio 220’s Favorite Shopping Destinations

Let’s start with the adults, shall we? If you’re looking for the perfect gift or sentimental trinket you will have endless options at Capers. This adorable shop is brimming with gifts for just about everyone (including your four legged friends)! I usually pick up my candles and small thank you gifts here.

My all time favorite destination for a little self love is Gray Home + Lifestyle. To start, you are likely to be greeted by two of the cutest pugs in the world! This dog friendly store is like walking into a magazine. They offer everything from handmade jewelry to dish-ware, throws, clothing, and more. I want all the things! I especially love that it’s a mother / daughter owned store. These powerhouse women have an eye for clean, simple design that makes a big impact. I intend on convincing them to create a registry for those of us that want one of everything #searchnomorehubby!

Other favorites worth visiting: Golden Rule, Primp, Ooh La La, Sweet Nautical Boutique, and any of the antique shops sprinkled through out Water Street.

Studio 220’s Favorite Eats

Obsessed doesn’t quite describe my feelings towards Olive’s Fresh Pizza Bar. Inside diner tip: their wine pour is reason enough to pop in! Favorite pizza: The Sicilian, you’re welcome! On the other hand, we have a permanent table for 6 reserved for us at The Suburban where we have our order memorized (1 Burger of the month, 1 pork sandwich, 2 Mac&Cheese, and 2 orders of sliders). The best tater tots in the whole world can be devoured here, just sayin’!

Olive’s & Suburban | Fave Family Dining

Our favorite go to’s for a much needed date night include: Red Sauce Rebellion (check out the Rebel Room for a killer cocktail and lounge vibe), Coalition for delightful fine-dining, and Maynards on the lake for the best patio.

Studio 220’s Favorite Things To Do With Kids

Best Toy Store: Something Safari (seriously we can not enter Excelsior with out a visit)!

Best Activity: Tommy’s Tonka Trolley, paddle board and kayak rental right on the bay.

Best Ice Cream: Sorry, this one is a tie. We are a house divided and usually split up! It’s a win win with Licks Unlimited and Tommy’s Tonka Trolley!

Best Rainy Day Getaway: Excelsior Dock Cinema

In addition to this there is the sprawling Excelsior Commons Park where you can find 2 beaches, ample room to run and play and a park for the little ones. We also love taking a trip on the Trolley and Minnehaha Steamboat each summer.

So there you have it! Hours of entertainment for everyone! If you’re planning a session in Excelsior take a few extra minutes to create some lasting memories while you are here. We have no doubt you will return to these local gems time and time again!

Kind of makes you want to book your session, doesn’t it? Click HERE and we’ll send you information!