Studio 220 Photography

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Senior Sessions aren’t what they used to be, and we love it!

I never remember my high school senior photos being as fun as they are now! I feel old even admitting that while high school felt like yesterday, it will be nearly 20 years here soon….ya…don’t grow up kids, before you know it you will be mid 30’s and wondering WTH happened to time! Anyways….these senior sessions with Ava & Liam were pure perfection and we couldn’t not share!!


We chose the arboretum as our backdrop and it did not disappoint! We love all the texture and amazing colors in the fall that just really pop. Just keep scrolling, you will see!!! 🙂

Also, if you haven’t been to the Landscape Arboretum, GO you won’t be disappointed!

Such a fun senior session and Ava was a natural in front of the camera! Enjoy your senior year girl!!


Liam was also a natural in front of the camera! We loved his shooting his senior session in and around Excelsior. As the oldest of 3 boys, Liam really set the bar for his little brothers to rock their sessions in the near future!

Liam, who mainly lives in athletic gear playing Baseball & Hockey, chose to show off another side of himself, and we loved it, of course his Momma too! 🙂

Here’s to wishing for warmer weather and lot’s of Senior Sessions in our future!!


Studio 220 Photography | The Landscape Arboretum | Excelsior

The #1 Question Couples Forget To Ask Their Photographer

Before we jump right into that question, it’s better to demonstrate WHY it’s so important through an example of what can happen if you don’t ask… 

Imagine this scenario for a moment… It’s your wedding day, and you’re on your way to the church or hotel to get ready, you’re with your closest friends and family, and you’re experiencing “all the feels” you’ve been anticipating for months (or even years) on one of the biggest and happiest days of your life. You’ve got all your girls (or guys) with you, your dress (or suit) is a perfect fit, you’re right on schedule, spirits are high, everything is going perfectly… so far. 

You’re having so much fun with your crew that you almost forget what time your photographer is supposed to show up. But eventually it enters your mind that something is off, or maybe your personal attendant or maid of honor or event planner are the ones that mention it to you… “Isn’t the photographer supposed to be here by now?” 

It’s only a few minutes past the agreed upon arrival time, so you try not to stress too much and assume they are just running a bit late. A few minutes go by, they still haven’t arrived. Feeling a little anxiety about the situation now, you decide to call the photographer… no answer. So you text, and wait a few minutes… no response. Now, you’ve still got “all the feels”, but not the right ones. Worry turns to anxiety, anxiety turns to stress, stress turns to panic, and now you’re so completely overwhelmed with furiously calling and texting and emailing your photographer, and getting no response, that the situation has completely consumed this part of your wedding day. With the photographer completely unresponsive and ridiculously late, you’re all out of sorts… your hair isn’t right, the dress doesn’t feel right, you’re feeling nauseous… but you can’t delay the wedding. And there’s no time to find a replacement photographer. It’s an icky feeling. 

Well, the wedding goes on, but it’s not like you expected. All the happy feelings you thought you’d have are drowned out by the awful feelings of stress and anxiety. You’re day isn’t ruined, but at the time it feels that way. The person you trusted to capture the images and memories of your biggest day, has unfortunately ruined your day… and there are no do-overs. 

So what happened? It might have been a number of things, perhaps your photographers fault, or perhaps not. Maybe they got so sick they couldn’t even communicate, maybe their child-care fell through, maybe they got in a car accident, or maybe they just plain forgot… Regardless of the cause, it doesn’t change the fact that they never showed up, and you didn’t have a professional photographer to capture your wedding. And even if the situation didn’t put you in a funky mood all day, you’ll never have those precious memories captured in imagery, so you can relive the day through the professional images you expected and paid for. 

The point of this story is not to scare you with the “doomsday scenario”, but rather to illuminate that this scenario, while rare, is possible. And it unfortunately does happen to couples from time to time (you can google it and find many real life actual stories of this happening). And when it does happen, it’s devastating. So while it’s extremely unlikely, the question you have to ask yourself is, how comfortable are you with some level of risk that if an emergency happens, the photographer that you’ve hired may not be able to show up and shoot your wedding? Assuming that your answer is that you’re “not very comfortable with the risk”, that leads us to the point of the entire email, and it may surprise not surprise you at this point, given the rather long lead-in… What is the #1 Question Couples Forget to Ask Their Wedding Photographer? 

What happens in the case of an emergency and you aren’t able to shoot our wedding (or you don’t show up to the wedding and we can’t reach you)? 

If you’re still looking for a photographer, and you haven’t asked this question, you might want to consider asking all of the photographers that you’re talking to. And while I can’t tell you what answer should make you sufficiently comfortable, and give you confidence that your photographer has you covered with a great emergency back-up plan… I can offer a perspective on some of what you may encounter as you search for that answer, and tell you what Studio 220 has in place for our clients. 

The challenge that most couples face in getting a sufficiently comforting answer to this question, is that the vast majority of wedding photographers are single operators, meaning they are the only photographer in their business, and they work with an assistant or a couple of assistants that don’t have their level of skill or experience. That in itself is not a bad thing. But the issue is risk. The risk of that photographer you hired to shoot your wedding getting sick, or getting in an accident on the way to the wedding, or having one of their kids get sick, or having their childcare fall through last minute. There’s dozens of things that could potentially go wrong on your wedding day that could result in your photographer not being able to shoot your wedding. And while we’ve heard that some photographers claim to have a network of equally talented backups, it’s really not feasible when you consider how that would actually work in a real life scenario. Would they commit that someone of equal talent is going to be available in an emergency? Would they give you access to the contact information of the person or people they have secured to be on-call? What happens if something happens to your hired photographer, like an accident on the way to the wedding, and they aren’t actually able to notify their back-up that there is even a problem? There’s just no realistic way that a sole proprietor can commit to having a guaranteed back up, of equal talent, with access to all of the information and details of your wedding, who can seamlessly step-in and shoot your wedding in any potential worst case scenario. So in our opinion, there really is no suitable answer to this question that a sole proprietor can give you. 

That said, you do have an option to work with a photographer that does have a great answer… At Studio 220, we have always been committed to having one of our Lead photographers (not assistant photographer) scheduled to be on-call whenever we have a wedding event booked, and that back-up photographer is paid to be on-call. This gives our clients total peace-of-mind that even if disaster strikes, they will have a Lead photographer from our studio that will be available to shoot their wedding, and that the photographer will have the skills and experience the clients paid for and expect. Additionally, because of all the systems and process investments we have made, all the relevant client information such as schedule, shot lists, notes and other information, is stored online and is easily accessible to the on-call photographer so they have everything they need to shoot the wedding event. This means that with Studio 220 our wedding clients can rest assured that even in an emergency, we have a Lead photographer on call and available to step in and seamlessly deliver the service they expect, and that peace-of-mind is priceless… because you don’t get to reschedule your wedding if your photographer doesn’t show up.

studio 220 photography, minnesota photography studio, rachel and bryant 2016

PS – Are you wondering about other questions to ask a wedding photographer? Check out our FAQ for a list of some of the most common questions to discuss with your wedding photographer –

What is a “Professional” Wedding Photographer?

With hundreds of people in this area claiming to be “professional” photographers, how do you know who actually is?

Planning a wedding and hiring a wedding photographer for many couple’s is both fun and somewhat stress-inducing. Most couples planning a wedding have never done it before, so the process can create some anxiety, in particular making big decisions about which vendors to work with. And while it’s great to rely on friends that have already been married for advice… we all know that doing something ONCE doesn’t make you an expert. So unless you’re working with a really experienced local wedding planner, it can be pretty overwhelming to consider all the options for venues, music, food, and especially… photography. 

As of the time this email was written, there were more than 1500 Wedding Photographers with profiles on theknot representing themselves as “professional” photographers in Minnesota. There are so many photographers making this self-assertion that it almost kind of dilutes the meaning of “professional”. 

So, what does it mean to actually be a professional photographer, and what do we mean at Studio 220 when we say that we are truly a Professional Studio… 

Well… it’s about more than just taking good pictures. There is a decent number of technically skilled photographers in the market, but that doesn’t mean there are a lot of great wedding and lifestyle photographers in the market that are running their business well professionally and consistently. In our opinion, a professional photographer or photography studio should do more than just deliver great images, they should deliver a great experience, and that means running a professional business. From our perspective, that means having a physical studio location with regular office hours, just like you’d expect from any other real business or company you’re working with. Most wedding couples would not be comfortable meeting a caterer at a coffee shop or their florist at a bar. And most of our family and lifestyle clients wouldn’t be comfortable buying “discounted” iPhones out of the back of a van or “discounted” steaks from a guy on the street (even if the guy was dressed like a chef). WHY? Because of trust. 

They want to trust that the people they are doing business are legitimate and reliable, and that the services or products they are getting are going to be good, and worth what they are paying. Having a physical business location for any business is in a way legitimizing that business or vendor, it validates that they have delivered a good service or good product, and done so enough to provide their customers with a physical business location that clients can actually walk into, and it gives clients peace of mind that they aren’t dealing with a fly-by-night-side-hustle operation that could be here today and gone tomorrow. Customers and clients want to have confidence and trust in the vendors and companies they buy from and work with, and in the photography business, having an actual physical studio location with regular business hours is one of the most important factors that contributes to that trust and confidence. 

We love our Studio home!

There’s more to it than just having a great studio, it also means operating in a professional way that customers and clients would expect any other business to run. Regular office hours and responsive communication are critical. Having a business and operating systems and processes in place to ensure that clients needs are met, deadlines and schedules are kept, communication and products/services are delivered accurately and on time, is exceptionally important. Why? Again, because of trust and confidence. Poor responsiveness, chaotic communication, missed deadlines, mismanagement of client information or data, can all destroy a client’s confidence and trust in their photographer, and that creates worry and anxiety for the client. Those are not feelings you typically want associated with your wedding or family photos. 

Unfortunately, many “professional” photographers have not put the appropriate amount of attention to these areas. And this is one of those areas of working with a photographer that is often overlooked by clients… until a problem occurs. It’s only at that point when a client becomes exposed to their photographers lack of investment in these areas, when they find out they are essentially managing their client relationships and events with a hodgepodge combination of outlook calendars, word and excel documents, and their own memory. 

At Studio 220 we do things quite differently. We believe that the trust and confidence of our clients is paramount. Our commitment is to leverage the best available technologies for business systems such as client management software, workflow management, product and order management, collaboration and communications tools to best serve our clients. We have invested substantial time and money into ensuring we have excellent processes in place, and we regularly re-evaluate our systems and processes to make sure we are always delivering a great experience. We have made significant investments in our physical studio, to provide a warm and welcoming environment for our clients and our staff. And we operate just like you should expect any real business to operate, with regular office hours, to ensure our clients can always reach us, or just stop in and say hello!

Are you planning a visit to the studio? Make some time to do a little exploring in our historic lakeside town of Excelsior and check out some of our favorite spots HERE!


Hi!! Some of you may know me only by my email signature and flooding your inbox with all things 220 weddings, but I was just like you 3 months ago ( wow time flies!!) as I said I DO to my forever. We planned our wedding in 40 day’s notice! YUP! 4-0!!! Also, we were out of the country for 10 of those days, so to say things needed to happen and be booked quickly was an understatement!

So believe me when I tell you, I know what your going through! YOU GOT THIS!!!

I knew that dress shopping was going to be a little tough with such a short timeline and while I went to a few shops, I didn’t find what I was envisioning. I wanted something simple, comfortable and while scrolling the good old internet I found Katie May, the bridal gowns were stunning so after a little digging I found her sample site, and saw her Intrigue Gown. Ladies, it was $75.00!!!! YUP, my frugal self was SOLD! With some slight alterations by the wonderful ladies at A Stitch above the Rest, it was perfect!

We chose the Hewing as our getting ready location, we took our fist stay-cation after Nico was born and fell in love with it the moment we walked through the doors and we just knew it would be perfect! Also, their bloody mary’s are amazing come morning 😉 just saying!

If your looking for a great shop for your groom, check out Ace General Store
they have a ton of amazing products!

Michael & I met almost 2 years ago through mutual friends, to say things progressed quickly would be another understatement! ( getting the theme here?!?) From the moment we were introduced we were hooked, we got engaged on December 30th 2017 while on a ski trip with friends in Oregon. Fast forward a month or so, and instead of planning a wedding…..we were planning for a baby! Wedding planning and having a newborn was just a bit overwhelming, so we held off a little while.

The first look is something I always encourage couples to do if they are on the fence about it. I always think the anticipation and reactions of both the Bride and Groom are so raw, and genuine in this moment. As you walk up to your soon to be spouse, you feel giddy, like the first time you were about to go on a date, those emotions come flooding over you and the moment they turn around it’s pure joy! Then that moment when you are about to walk down the aisle I feel like the nerves disappear and it is pure excitement and this radiates through both you and your spouse.

Nico clearly is stealing the show!

Having our little guy along for the ride on our day was perfect, he was such a little ham and was quite the little poser! Another piece of advice that I would extend to couples with kids, make sure to get some fun moments as a family, but the true focus should still be you are your spouse. This is a day that you are taking your commitment to a new level and please do not get me wrong these moments with Nico are something that make my heart melt, and we are both completely obsessed with. However, it was important to us that we made the focus on Michael and I as a couple because it is so easy to loose focus on this, especially with kids, they tend to take top priority.

I was SO nervous to be behind the camera! I feel like I get so awkward the moment the camera comes out, like all of the sudden my face forgets what to do and I either look like an overly animated cartoon character, or I have a resting (you know what) face!! SO….. Murphy & Andrew were warned from the get go, and they were AMAZING at making this SO fun!!! While I obviously knew they were there, it felt like we were all just hanging out joking around and I am so in love with the moments they captured!

If you are still looking for a venue and haven’t checked out Watson Block, do it! Bria was absolutely incredible to work with, she helped us execute our vision with our limited timeline, she dealt with my indecisiveness, and believe me, I tend to be a go with the flow kinda gal but when you are planning a wedding, decisions have to be made and quickly! That is defiantly one of the reasons we did this with 40 days notice, I knew I wouldn’t have time to put it off and procrastinate, or change my mind 50 million times! This venue is located in the warehouse district and from the moment you walk in the doors you just feel the history and we loved the modern flair & just the overall vibe of the space as a whole. Bonus, this venue itself is so pretty by itself that not much needs to be added! All the furniture and decor that you see is ALL included!! UM, YES PLEASE!! We just added some floral & greenery to the tables along with gold accents and candles to just add a some added ambiance.

I was most nervous about the vows, Michael and I decided to write our own so for me not only was the pressure on to find the perfect words but to say them in front of 100 people, made me sweat just thinking about it! I am a very outgoing person, but speaking in public is NOT something I am comfortable with! Needless to say, I began to read the words on the page, then about 3 sentences in, threw the paper and went off the cuff! I may have snorted, swore & maybe said the word snot bubble…YUP you read that right, s-n-o-t b-u-b-b-l-e!!! But, it was real, raw and completely us!

I am sure you hear it all the time, your wedding day will fly by, make sure to live in the moment. The reason you hear this….is because IT’S TRUE!! All the time you spend planning, talking with vendors, researching, pinning, all of what feels like a full time job is over in an instant. So to all the couples out there planning their big days, no matter where you are in the process, my one piece of advice…..DO YOU!

Michael & I are never shy when it comes to whipping out some sweet dance moves and let me tell you Harmony DJ Entertainment killed it!!! Josh was absolutely amazing to work with and kept the party going all night! If you are looking for a DJ, look no further as they are an amazing company to work with and Josh’s love for weddings and his clients is something that is so rare and is truly reflected in all they do!

Did I mention how FUN the 220 Family is!?!?!

I love weddings and all they represent, but I also know the stress, emotions, and time that goes into planning, just make sure that at the end of the day it truly is a reflection of you and your soon to be spouse. It is a day that should be filled with laughs, tears ( happy of course!) and lot’s & LOT’S of FUN!!

This day was truly one that I will cherish and relive a million times over!!

Vendors || Studio 220 Photographer: Murphy & Andrew | Venue: Watson Block |DJ: Harmony DJ Entertainment| Hair & Make-up: La Grande Salon| Wedding Gown: Katie May


The forecast was calling for rain(and possibly SNOW gotta love MN right), for Kate & Liam’s spring wedding ceremony held at The Basilica of St. Mary’s with reception at Semple Mansion. Luckily the day turned out to be nothing as the forecast called for, the sun came out and the day was simply perfect! With the combination of white, green, and gold, accents throughout in their decor it highlighted the beauty of their venues Semple Mansion for reception and Basilica of Saint Mary for ceremony. Kate also designed and made the seating chart along with the welcome sign and the signature drinks chalk board herself!

We of course always love hearing about every brides planning process and what made them say YES to the dress 🙂 We asked Kate how did you choose your wedding day look?

Kate: I always envisioned a long sleeve dress with a lot of lace, but when I tried on the dress that I ended up saying Yes to, it was short sleeved, no lace and very simple, clean A-line skirt. Although it wasn’t anything I first imagined, I fell in love with the dress. It was actually the very first one I tried on. I tried on several after it, but ended up going back to the very first one.

You can just see the love and joy that was filling this room as Kate was getting ready at The Semple Mansion.

We asked Kate & Liam what was your most anticipated or special moment of the wedding day you were most looking forward to?

Kate: our most anticipated moment was seeing each other for the first time that day as the church doors opened.

Were your emotions during that moment what you were expecting?!

Kate: I didn’t really know how I would react at that moment because so many emotions are running through you. As soon as the doors opened though and I saw Liam down the aisle, I relaxed and just tried to be present in the moment.

Now that the day has come and gone what advice do you have for couples planning their weddings? (maybe something you wish you would have done, or not done!?)

Kate: Spreadsheets are your friends! Make a budget and get as detailed as possible. In the end, it’s all the random small costs that add up to a lot, so make sure you build in enough room for those extra costs. Also, do as much as you can early on so that you’re not stressing yourself out the month before the wedding and can actually enjoy the last few weeks of that engaged life!

Congratulations Kate & Liam, we wish you both a lifetime of happiness!!

Vendors || Studio 220 Photographer: Bree & Nicole | Ceremony Venue: The Basilica of Saint Mary | Reception Venue: Semple Mansion |Florist: Aneta’s European Florala | Hair & Make-up: Spa Beauty Agency| Wedding Gown: Bridal Accents Couture


With their fun atmosphere, delicious beer, and dog friendly atmosphere Lakes and Legends was a no brainer for Katie, Gil & of course show stealer Buzz. With Loring park around the corner it was an absolutely perfect spot for this spring evening engagement shoot!


Gil proposed on our 4 year anniversary while walking into Fair State Coop Brewery. He had hidden the ring in our dog Buzz’s collar and asked me to fix it. When I stopped down to fix Buzz’s collar that’s when Gil proposed and showed me the ring!

Katie & Gil are in the midst of planning their wedding at The Graduate hotel this coming fall. So of course we wanted to know some details and see how things were going!

How is Wedding Planning going!? What causes the most stress?

Katie: Wedding planning is going smoothly. The most stressful portion so far have been all the questions from friends and family about the plans and how they can help! (I’m terrible at delegating because I would rather do it all myself)

We can totally relate right!! I have a feeling this is how a lot of brides feel!!!! 🙂

How did you hear about Studio 220 and choose Lynsey as your specific photographer?

Katie: Studio 220 was recommended to us by friends and family! I was drawn to Lynsey for her photography style and how her personality and zest for life comes through her clients and her work!

Of course, we know finding and deciding on a venue can be difficult, what made you choose The Graduate Hotel?

Katie: We loved the location of Graduate Minneapolis, the all inclusive feel, and the decor of the whole place! We are able to create a destination wedding vibe by having many of our events happening at the hotel and many of our friends and family are staying there as well.

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?

Katie: Being with friends and family who love us both! As well as partying all night with my husband!

What are you are you looking forward to after the wedding?

Katie: Starting the next phase of our lives together! We plan to continue doing a lot of renovations to our house and hopefully growing our family with kids!

Any advice, or words of wisdom for other couples planning their wedding?

Katie: Just stay focused on the real reason for the stress: your happily ever after with the person you love the most!

We couldn’t be more excited for their wedding and of course to share their wedding photos!!