Why Choose Studio 220

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Aimee & Jim’s Wayzata Country Club Wedding this past October was full of so much love and we were honored to work this amazing couple!


Aimee : “short answer- my best friend Kara (also my Maid of Honor). They both lived in Wisconsin and she used to ump his work softball league. They both happen to move to Minnesota around the same time and would hang out because neither knew many people. Jim would hosted a fun Derby Party at his house and invited Kara, who asked if I could tag along. Jim had a girlfriend at the time, so it was very platonic. Fast forward about 4 years Kara and Jim met for happy hour- Kara asked again if I could tag along- Newly single Jim, and new home owner Aimee. Kara slyly asked Jim about dating me… “nah, too high maintenance” and asked me about Jim… “Nah…too enginerdy” was my reply. As we were drinking, I suggested we move the party to my new house. I had a bad HDMI cable and asked if he knew how to fix it… he did. I hugged him. Something felt really nice about that hug, (we both recall that moment) Kara left my house early because she said we were being weird and freaking her out. Jim asked me on a proper date for that week- came with hot pink roses (important detail later!) and took me to a lovely meal to show me he was serious about this date. We have been inseparable since.


Aimee: “This is one for the books. Most of my married friends have said… “glad I am married first to not have to live up to that” it was a true fairy tale. Jim has been buying me these silly Disney figurines since we started dating. They generally fit what we have going on (beach mickey and Minnie around our vacation etc) However, being not much of a “collector” I had asked him a few times to maybe reduce the amount of figurines. RE: Please stop buying them for me. We had a “staycation” planned and he picked me up on a Friday to go to a near by hotel (or so I thought) A single bud vase with a hot pink rose and a Disney Figurine were my “staycation” gift. Slightly confused I noticed the picture on the side of the box. It was Mickey-kneeling-Proposing to Minnie. I starred at him and he simply said “sit down, this is happening” He had that figurine for ever and waited to give it to me. He then tells me we are going to a private dinner at his house- as we drive- I realize we are not going to his house… Surprise number 2. He rented a lake house to have a private chef cater a meal for us. As we pull up, he exchanged my bud vase for a large empty vase, and said ” you will need this” as I walk in there is my mom and dad, and his mom from Arizona- all holding single pink roses. queue ugly crying. Wait… there is more. I am led downstairs where a small group of our closest family and friends from Wisconsin, Denver and Minneapolis gathered- each holding a pink rose for me. We all stayed at the lake home- had a beautiful private chef prepared dinner. Oh! and he had a surprise engagement party there the next day too where all our friends and family come to celebrate our engagement. He literally thought of everything.

How are your eye’s? A little watery!?!? Reading that one made me tear up and it still does!

When we asked Aimee what her most anticipated moments of the day she was looking for, her answer like many other couples was the first look with Jim & her Dad! ( you may still want your tissue for these shots!)

Aimee: “My first look both with my groom and my dad. The pictures (especially with my dad) are unbelievable and captured every emotion. They are so wonderful, I literally look at them daily. It was exactly how I would have loved them to be. Katrina suggested we do a first look with my girls too- that was one of the most fun surprises for special moments being greeted by my closest friends- those photos are also fabulous.”

Aimee: “We had a saying leading up to the wedding- welcome to our wedding- here is your Kleenex and your Xanex. I was expecting to sob and be elated and full of love. I actually didn’t know how I was going to not ruin my make up.”

Of course, now we want to know…..what made her say YES to the Dress!

Aimee: “I walked out and my “crew” burst into tears. It was a classic A-Line gown very unique with lace and a blush underlay. sparkly (of course) and literally nothing like what I thought I would get for my day. I could dance in it, it was princess like, without being a million layers of tulle.”

Aimee: “Old School Hollywood Glamour. Fur shawls, elegance timeless. We wanted it to be beautiful, elegant, romantic and meaningful. We wanted everyone there to feel our love, share in it and have literally the best time too. We went with the most fabulous sparkly rose gold table clothes- lots and lots of candles, white roses and eucalyptus garlands. Rose Gold, Black and Ivory were our colors.”

As for the rest of the decor, Wayzata Country Club is such a great venue and we love seeing how our couples choose to enhance it with there personality and their own style.

Aimee : “Rose gold Sparkly table clothes was unique touch. We alternated tables with full sparkly table clothes and black floor length with rose gold runners. Lots of Candles- we had hurricanes on each table with Eucalyptus Garland and white roses. Uplighting was key for ambiance. Lovely sweet table displayed our cutting cake with Mickey and Minnie Figurine and Macaroons- and other sweets. We also had many sweet Disney touches, very subtle… such as our gift card box, welcome sign, Table numbers were Lucite with a tiny Mickey and Minnie on the bottom. Just a enough to be special everywhere but not ‘themed” DIY- I spray painted the bottom of the wood table numbers, cut the Eucalyptus. We had a heritage table with wedding photos of our parents, grandparents and other gems. That was DYI.”

I always love seeing what the couples have to say after the wedding is over and planning is done, so I always ask, what advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding? Aimee, I think you and I are two pea’s in a pod after reading your response!!

Aimee: “Best advice I heard, and I am so glad I heeded. We had a lovely dinner Thursday. It was quiet, nothing too fancy, but was my close friend who traveled from London, my maid of honor from Denver, my parents, and my mother in law in town from AZ. We gave small and meaningful gifts to our parents, and it was a perfect and relaxing way to kick off the weekend. It was then I resolved to chill the $&*@ out. Planning did get the best of me, many times. there were tears and hives and screaming. I had to trust that I planned and planned and what was going to go wrong would be fixed or laughed about later, and I was not going to miss my wedding because I was stressed. I resolved to be 100% present and enjoy every moment. Truly let it all go and just be there. It was the time of my life, and I am so glad I let everything else go. Do this. Also If you are reading this blog trying to decide on a photographer… literally look no further.

Aimee & Jim, we truly loved working with you and being chosen to capture your beautiful wedding story! We wish you a lifetime of happiness and while you may have to purchase a curio cabinet for all those figurines Jim buys you, it is about the memories that they create and remind you of the moments of your love story! CHEERS TO YOU BOTH!


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!


The struggle is real! The photographer search begins. You need to do a family session because it’s been 3 years. You know a co-worker from work knows a girl. And your best friend from high school has a photography business. Yelp gave you a handful of highly rated professionals… With endless choices, why choose Studio 220 for your family portraits?

We Capture Genuine Moments & True Emotions

We believe that a single photograph can capture all of the emotion you feel when you look at your daughter as you tuck her into bed. Or what if looking at a photo of your son at the age of 7 (with that awful haircut and mischievous grin) could take you back to an entire season of his childhood?  Of all the things you invest in when it comes to your family, is there anything more valuable than capturing this moment in time for you to forever remember all that it meant to you?  We think not!

We Help You Find Your Why

Family Portrait

Let’s start here. Why do you want to hire a photographer? Are you looking to get your holiday card out to 200 swooning friends and family?  Or perhaps you’re looking to capture all of you; the smiles, the tears, the holiday card and the epic outtakes. Maybe you want to capture what your everyday life looks like through a lifestyle focused session (LOVE these)!  Whether more traditional or no holds barred is your thing, we are crazy about story-telling and would love to capture your family’s life.  Whatever story you want told we will capture and bring these images to life, which leads us into our next why…

Family Portraits
View Our Portrait Gallery HERE

Your Family. Your Story.

One more reason to choose Studio 220 is that we are committed to building lifelong relationships with our clients. As a result we are passionate about getting to know you and capturing that in imagery. To do this we simply ask questions. In addition to providing you endless resources to plan and prepare for your session, we will also ask for you to engage in the process. What makes your family sing? What do you do with a day off together. And perhaps our favorite, what does every day look like?

We Are Fun!

Need we say more! We are a team of artists who love kids, story-telling and photography!  Because of this you will have no other choice then to have fun right along with us! In addition, we have a few tricks up our sleeve to make the whole group as excited as they would be for the tilt-a-whirl, cotton candy and unicorns!


We Offer Fail Proof Planning Resources To Each of Our Clients

We know that preparing for your portraits can be flat out painful. Styling, scheduling, shopping, and all that goes into a session. Even knowing the end result would make it worth it, you collectively mourn the coming of your yearly portraits (are we right?). That is why we have everything covered from day 1!

Pre-Session Planning Consultation:  Our portrait team is crazy about setting you up for success.  We offer a complimentary planning consultation in studio or over the phone to discuss everything from outfits to timelines.  In order for this to be a connected experience that results in genuine moments during your shoot we want to get to know your family’s unique story so we can best capture it.  We’ve crafted a pre-session workflow that includes a planning guide, clothing tips and tricks, questionnaires to hear your wishes and hopes.  All-in-all you will be totally set up for a successful shoot!

The Guided Artwork Experience: We invite each our clients to the studio for a same day (or same week) viewing party. That’s right, it’s a party! The juice boxes will be flowing, the music playing and Kleenex waiting. Rather than viewing your images for the first time on your smart phone we want you to take in the emotion of your images. Let’s be clear: This is NOT a sales session. This is us bringing your portrait experience full circle.  Using our professional skills and services to guide you through the “what now”. 

Stress Free Sessions:  Let’s be honest, the stress levels skyrocket to all new levels the day of your yearly session! Your family portraits can be a downright near root canal experience. Who wants to sign up for that?  A huge part of our training and innate skill set is loving and working with families in the best and worst of conditions.  Tantrums, runny noses, the kid you can’t actually get a photo of with his feet planted on the ground… yeah, we’ve seen it all.  No matter how your family performs we will make sure you are enjoying the session and everyone leaves happy.  Can you imagine?!?  

It Gets Real sometimes. We will laugh right along with you! #outtake #boyswillbeboys

No Session Fees: We really just said that! You’re not paying to hang out with a photographer for an hour, why should we charge you for that? Instead, you’re investing in capturing memories of this moment in time and documenting it through heirloom pieces of art.

We offer pricing to meet all budgets AND Your Entire Pacakge price is one big studio credit

Endless Product Options:  You’ve had an incredible experience with your photographer, now let’s make it last by creating heirloom pieces of art that are customized to meet your specific needs.  Nothing you don’t want, everything you must have! We have searched high and low for the latest, greatest in product offerings. To name a few, we offer: Canvas, Metal Prints, Albums, Framed and Mounted Prints, gifts, and of course, Digital Files. So there you have it! You want it, we got it!

We will help create a beautiful gallery wall or curate a collection of timeless digitals.

100% Satisfaction Guarantee: Our number one goal is building lasting relationships with each of our clients.  We want to see you this year and for years to come.  If your experience is anything less than excellent we will offer a complimentary re-shoot.  We know photography is an investment and we want it to be one that you consider “worth every single penny”.  It really comes down to caring about our clients and taking care of them.  It’s as simple as that!

From Our Family To Yours

Founders Tim & Sally Butler with the clan: Liv (3), Noah (11), Cooper (9), Quinn (5)

Let’s be real.  There is no “us” with out “you”!  We are beyond thankful for our clients and value the trust they place in us.  Planning for a portrait session is work… we get it!  We have created a process that is meant to be fun and effortless.  A refreshingly easy and exceedingly enjoyable experience is our mission.  You are sure to have a blast, enjoy the time spent together as a family and walk away with high fives and heck-yeah’s!   Taking care of you is kind of our thing.  Building lifelong relationships with clients and our community are goal number one around here. 

Contact us today and get to know us a little better.  We would LOVE to work with you this summer! 

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