Monday, August 15, 2016

A Sneak Peek at What's Coming! The New Feather Blue Studios | Commercial Photography, Creative, & Marketing for Small Businesses & Solopreneurs {with Style}

If you're keeping up (& it's ok if you're not) you'll know that big changes are underway here at Feather Blue Studios.

Taking the studio from primarily a portrait photography business and transforming it into a boutique-style creative firm (including photography, branding, design, writing, & marketing) -- specifically for small businesses and solopreneurs -- is no small task! (Don't worry, the portrait options will still be available as a delectable dish on the side).

For instance, the Feather Blue Studios brand is undergoing some tweaks of it it's own (a process we're excited to start offering to clients!), none of which are quite final.  Rather than wait to show you the big unveiling when everything looks shiny and new, I think a peek at the "process" is a more authentic approach.  Right now the new branding board looks something like this:

The new website is far from done, and the visuals here will likely change a tad, but at least you get a sense of the mood to come!


What's really exciting is the new Visual Marketing Partnership (VMP).  This will allow us to come along side small businesses or solopreneurs who might not otherwise be able to afford high-end branding and photography. How? By offering them a monthly membership that includes any 3 or more creative / photography services they may need, and turning it into a customized package.

Here's just a peek at some of what's going on with the VMP program...

Are you a small business or entrepreneur?
Does your brand need a visual boost?

Branding . Photography . Social Media Imagery . Marketing
Feather Blue Studios
is excited to introduce our new
Visual Marketing Partnership 

YOU: You know that visuals matter.  You’re not ready to hire a full time marketing team, but you’re ready to partner with a creative professional — someone who will get to know your small business as well as you do — to create photos or visual imagery that your clients will fall in love with (& open their pocketbook for).  Big or small.  Long-term or temporary. 

US: We get to know you.  We fall in love with your brand first (or help you create a crazy-lovable brand from the start).  Then we strategize what visual solutions are going to help the crowds follow.  New lifestyle shots that will make you the center of your brand?  A batch of stylized visuals for your social media site(s)?  From photography to graphic design to copywriting… creative options galore.

HOW IT WORKS: We bundle the three or more creative services and/or photo shoots you need into an exclusive, customized package.  Select a 6 or 12 month membership and keep your investment streamlined by making payments each month instead of all at once.


We can't wait to share more!  Thanks for taking a moment to peek!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

FRESH. NEW. FROM MY HEART. A Summertime Note from Shannon | Feather Blue Studios, Modern Photography & More

Hi Friends!

It's Summertime!  That means I've been busy.  You know, sitting outside with the kids, going to the lake, watching ice cream drip down my leg.  That kind of busy.

What else have I been up to?  Our house is on the market (not a stress-free process).  I am studio-less (I have been shooting outdoors and renting a la carte space as needed peeps - it's really quite a nice place!).  And... I've been re-thinking my entire existence as a photographer and small business owner.

After 11+ years of running the studio, it's time for a change.  Something fresh, new, something that suits me and my family where we're at right now.

Wait!  Don't panic.  I'm not going out of business.  (If you've been reading this far, I'm assuming you're a loyal follower.  The assumption that you're panicking however may be a bit of a leap, haha.)

But... after creatively serving the child-family-baby and senior picture crowds (both of which I have adored) I am switching my focus.  Kids. Families. Seniors. -- they will all still be offerings -- but I'm going to transition them to a minor role.

And it's not just that I'm switching my focus.  But that I'm introducing something brand new.

*Cue music that transitions you to my childhood.*  
(Yes, I know I'm stalling with the "what's new" announcement).

Did you know that I ran a small business out of my home when I was a kid?  Yep.  The Heart to Heart Gift Shop.  For several summers I set up shop in my bedroom and neighborhood kids flocked to my floral-covered-candy-and-gift-clad bedspread to see what was in stock.

Combine that with the Snoopy snowcone stand I would run, my backyard carnivals, the bike washes, the magazine I attempted to create and find tween subscribers for, and all of the garage sales and lemonade stands that I was sure were going to make me some serious summer cash, and it's not a stretch to say that I became a so-called "start-up junkie" pretty young.  (That's the short list folks).

All to say... I love small businesses.  I adore being a business owner.  I strike ideas for new businesses on a daily basis (it's a bit of a curse; I mean a girl can only handle so much mental-activity).

Being a photographer?  It's pretty great.  It's beautiful even.  I am so blessed to have called myself that all these years.  But confession: it doesn't truly define me -- from a job perspective, at least.  And it's always felt just a tad bit incomplete when I tell people I'm a photographer.  My background is also in communications, graphic design, and marketing after all.

A "creative" is more like it.  An idea person.  An entrepreneur.

It's what God made me to be.  Even when I sometimes wish He'd wired me to be a missionary (I have a big, compassionate heart friends).  Or just a mom who wants nothing more than to pour into my kids all day long (something I value super highly, and have loved having the flexibility to do).  But while these are passions, they never quite light me up the way running a small business does.  Being drawn to businesses, marketing, creativity?  It's in my blood.

So it's time.  It's time to transition my photography business to something bigger.  Something fresh and new.

To a full-blown creative firm.

I cannot wait to pour my creativity into other small businesses.  To bring together a team.  To use our visual talents to help others thrive.  We're going to create and support brands people want to fall in love with.

And with that said, the transition to Feather Blue Studios 2.0 is underway.   It's a beautiful concept, that brings photography and creative work (graphic design, marketing, more) under one roof (with loads of style).  What makes it even more special?  Our exclusive "Visual Marketing Partnership" that uses bundles and monthly memberships to bring big-style branding within reach for small businesses.

I'd love to say it's all ready to reveal.  (I like when things are picture-perfect that way).  But while we have info we can send out (finally! yipee! ask and it's yours!), the new website is still a little ways out.  That's ok.  We're plowing forward head-first anyway, and meeting with new clients already.

In the meantime, a stellar (& exclusive) portrait special is underway, as a way to thank my loyal portrait clients (many of you who have become like friends).  And then portrait prices will go up September 1st, as we bring the new business plan into focus.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart if you have been part of my business at any time over the past 11+ years.  I hope to see more of you!  But as I transition into this new focus, I know a few faces will fade away.  If that's the case, feel free to still drop a hello here and there.  You will ALWAYS be appreciated and welcomed!

Blessings & Joy & Summertime Love,

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sending Summer Beauty Your Way | St Paul Como Park MN Twin Cities Photographer

Enjoying summer?

Us too.  The light is long and low and gorgeous.

Let's shoot!


Como Park St Paul Photographer

HS Senior Pictures, Families, Models/Fashion, Headshots

Friday, June 10, 2016

Headshot Features from Special Event! | Headshot Photography St Paul MN

Here are just a few of the amazing faces we got to work with during our Headshot Special Event in May.  Beautiful, inside & out!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Shannon & Char’s Top 3 Tips for Bringing PERSONALITY to Your Brand | Small Business Branding Tips | Twin Cities MN

Small business owners & entrepreneurs -- Shannon has teamed up with Char Dobbs (of Char Style & Image) to bring you some seriously amazing business tips.  Read on!

Small Business Peeps: we tooootally get it...  Sometimes you want to hide behind your brand, and keep your real self at bay.  But we’re here to tell you that adding some personality to your brand (YOUR personality that is!) might be just what makes the money start rolling in.  

Here are our top 3 tips…

1) Give In To Other People’s Curiosity —  Let’s face it, we’re all curious. And when you give in to other people’s curiosity (on your webpage & online profiles), you let them see the real you, at least a glimpse of it.  And guess what?  Good things follow.  They spend more time on your webpage, they start to feel a connection to you, they want to hear more from you.  Hmm… sounds like the perfect marketing snag to us, no?  So we know it can be scary to put yourself out there (flaws & all!), but choose a few authentic things about yourself and make sure they’re a part of your bio (that all-knowing “about page”) and let them shine through your imagery too!  Give people enough real-you to fulfill their curiosity and keep them coming back for more.

2) Be Curious & Note Why — Lately I (Shannon) have been sharing this story a lot — about that crazy moment not so long ago when I spent $100 on a gal’s website just because I liked her pictures.  Don’t get me wrong — what she was selling was helpful for my business.  But I could have bought it anywhere, and probably for a whole lot less, and it was absolutely not urgent, nor was I even in the market for it at that time.  But I just couldn’t get enough of her imagery -- I was hooked.  It was pulled-together, glamorous, yet real.  She was well-styled, well poised, and still totally authentic and genuine-looking.  A month later?  I still subscribe to her site, while I’ve un-subscribed from several others that I found at the same time.  

The point?  Start noting what makes YOU curious, what draws you in, and then emulate it!  If you find yourself browsing a site for an hour… instead of beating yourself up for being inefficient (you would never do that, right?)turn it into market-research time well spent!  Think about the WHY?  Why were you so drawn in?  What were you feeling?  And then pull that element into your own business.  Whether it’s amazing photography, super-catchy copy, cute graphics, or anything else.  Grab that wow-factor and watch it do its [money-making] thing for YOUR business!

3) Go for Gold — You’re not in this small business thing to inch your way along.  We know all too well friend, this small business gig is hard core work.  If you want big results, you’ve got to have a powerful message and brand, but it absolutely has to be custom and tailored (full of personality!) or you’re going to lose steam on being too generic.  If you want to go for gold, and get there fast, you can’t be afraid to ask for help.  Investing in your business is what’s going to ultimately make it profitable.  Not sure how to dress to see clients?  Need powerful graphics for your website?  Want amazing photographs that showcase the authentic, stylish you?  Need a streamlined marketing system?  There are people for that.  Experts in fact.  They’re ready to be the you, behind you.  Their expertise is what will help make your brand gleam  giving it just the right amount of personality that will take your brand from blah to the “I can’t get off this site, I’m hooked!” kinda gold.

Go for it!  Get your curiosity in full gear and then take action today to add that much-needed PERSONALITY to your website and marketing!  We believe in you!


Get to Know Shannon & Char...

Shannon has run Feather Blue Studios {modern photography} for 11+ years in the Twin Cities, MN.  She is an entrepreneur at heart, and works with small business owners, models / actors, high school seniors, and families.  Her background in marketing, copywriting, and fashion bring a unique perspective to her photography, and watching small businesses grow gets her more excited than even fireworks (and you guessed it, she loves fireworks — not to mention skinny jeans, dark chocolate, and chai tea).

Char is a down-to-earth wardrobe consultant who loves helping others feel confident, no matter their size or style.  She combines her passion for fashion with her background in engineering to create a professional experience that helps her clients look and feel their best while they journey through life's ups and downs — with style — and has a whole lot of fun doing it!


Want to add some serious “gold” to your brand?  Shannon & Char are hosting a Special-Edition Headshot Event, allowing you to update your headshot at an amazing rate, with amazing bonus gifts!

Offering 3 special event days in May!!  

With three fresh backdrops to choose from, these sessions are tailored to YOUR business!  Not sure what to wear?  Bring everything you’ve got and Char will help you find the perfect look for you.  Not sure how to make the shoot more custom?  Bring relevant props and we’ll get you imagery that will rock your small business website!  (Not sure what props to bring?  Let us know in your intake form when you book and we’ll send ideas galore!)  

We want your business to be all the buzz, and will do whatever we can to help make that happen, for an investment that cannot be beat — don’t miss out!  (Check out all of the amazing bonuses that come with your session as well!)  Can’t wait to see you soon!  Grab all the info (with the option to register directly online) HERE!


PS - Want to hear about future business-branding and professional headshot opportunities?  Add yourself to the list right HERE and select "Business Photography."  No spam, and communication in small doses, we promise. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Exclusive Headshot Event: May 2016 | Business Professionals + Models & Actors | Twin Cities Headshot Photographer Minneapolis St Paul


An Exclusive Headshot Event -- May 10th, 13th, & 24th 2016

  • Whether you're a Twin Cities business person or a local model / actor, your image is directly related to your success.   An outdated or uninspiring headshot can turn a potential client or casting director away.  While an eye-catching headshot is truly a money-magnet.
  • Let your approachability, creativity, talent, or expertise shine.  You invest in your marketing, equipment, and even the clothes you wear -- now invest in your image, be the face of your brand, and watch the return follow!
  • We want your business or talent career to be all the buzz, and will do whatever we can to help make that happen.  Using our combined backgrounds in marketing, fashion, communication, and business, we can custom style your shoot to get you exactly what you need!  
  • This is way more than a headshot -- it's a branding investment.  We believe in you! 

So how does this headshot event work?

  • You book your session online HERE
  • Each session includes one outfit, on one backdrop  (you can add a second outfit / backdrop for a $40 upgrade; just select "two outfits" you book)
  • Each session includes approximately 10-15 minutes of prep-time (with Char's wardrobe advice as necessary) and approximately 30 minutes of shooting time
  • $10 from every session will go to Charity:Water to help raise funds for clean water in developing countries!
Learn more about Charity:Water & why we love what they do here:

How will you know what kind of headshot I need?

  • Each session will be shot with your industry / brand in mind.
  • A mini consult questionnaire is included on your booking form so we can get to know you!

Can I get multiple images from the session?  What if I want to add some styled branding or product shots too?

  • These sessions are short & sweet, but we promise they won't feel rushed! We will take the time to get to know you and talk through your vision.  We can do amazing things in our time range!  
  • One final, fully retouched image, comes with each session -- but you can affordably add more after the fact.  Want to try some fun ideas?  Let's do it!
  • Char will help with wardrobe decisions as necessary -- feel free to bring multiple options. We'll help you look amazing!
  • Want to tell the story of your business or interact with your product?  Bring relevant props along and we'll make it happen!  If you like them in the end, you can add them on; if not, no biggie!  Let's make the most of this opportunity for you.

What is the headshot rate?

  • These SPECIAL-EVENT SESSIONS are being offered at the affordable rate of just $129 (instead of the regular rate of $235)
  • BONUSES: you'll receive a $30 Gift Certificate to Feather Blue Studios for a future photography session, and perks and freebies from our Event Sponsors (see below)
  • $10 from each session goes directly to making a real difference in the world via our fundraising partner Charity:Water!

Whoa, you have sponsors?

Yep, and they rock!  Check out each one below.  Book a slot for the headshot event, and you'll receive free gifts, gift certificates, and samples from many of them too!

What will the headshot setting be?

  • These are head and shoulder-focused studio shoots.
  • Want to bring a little life into your brand?  Bring some props along - we'll fit them in.
  • We are excited to let you choose from one of our three special-edition wood-look backdrops (white wash, dark wood, or aqua) -- a look that is professional, but current and fresh, and versatile across all industries.  
  • A fresh setting for both men or women, casual, high-fashion, or business-formal.

When do I need to register by?

First come, first serve!  Limited number of slots.
Book early to get you preferred time slot.


I'm ready.  How do I book a headshot slot?

  • Click on the event calendar HERE
  • Select the day and time-slot of your choice.
  • Fill in the info required and then follow the link to pay your $50 deposit.
  • You will get a follow-up email confirming your registration; it will include additional event-day notes.
  • Along with the help of our wardrobe guides, start thinking about what you'd like to wear... but don't stress over it - Char will help you finalize if need-be before your big shoot!

Wait, I have more questions...

  • And we've got answers!  Scroll down to the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) area at the bottom of this page!  But don't forget to check out our sponsors first...


Keep an eye-out for the "Freebie Alerts" which are included when you book a session! 

CLICK on any of the business names to learn more...

Amanda Beilke Life Coaching - Amanda is a life-design coach for ambitious women who are passionate about living their best life! She coaches women in identifying what their desired core values are in order to align them with a career of meaningful work. The result?  They feel authentic, confident, empowered, and full of joy in how they are living their lives!  Create A Life Worth Falling In Love With.
Freebie Alert: Headshot Attendees will receive a FREE 30 Minute Coaching Session Certificate from Amanda Beilke.  Details upon booking.

David Olson, Remax Results - David is a Twin Cities Real Estate Broker and team leader of the Twin Cities Property Finder group. With a focus on getting you assertive results in your home selling or buying process, David and team put an emphasis on creativity, integrity, and dependability.

Mynt Skin, Mindy SmithMynt Skin is a spa located in Roseville, MN that focuses on customized clinical and organic detox facials. We also offer waxing, make-up and customized airbrush tanning!
Freebie Alert: Headshot Attendees will receive a FREE $10 Gift Certificate for services at Mynt Skin.  Details upon booking.

22-Red Design Studio - Alison Webb of 22-Red Design Studio specializes in home staging, interior design, remodeling, and construction management.  From staging to whole home remodels, each project is custom and hands-on!

Andrew Leone, Leone Legal, PAAndrew Leone is an expert Minnesota defense attorney.  He focuses on protecting people's rights and assuring justice within the legal system.

Rodan + Fields, Lori Johnston —  Rodan + Fields is dermatology-quality skincare from the doctors who created Proactiv. There is something for every skin concern, including: aging, fine lines, dark spots, sensitivity / irritation, acne and post-acne marks. All products have a 60 day money back guarantee, and are clinically-tested and proven to be highly effective
Freebie Alert: Headshot Attendees will receive a FREE Micro-Dermabrasion Paste Sample from Rodan + Fields. Details upon booking.

Create More Give More - Barb Shock-LeMire of Create More Give More is committed to helping you bring more health and vitality to your life, home, and business. She helps you, your family, or business delegate and manage time and resources by encouraging you to capitalize on your strengths by using time wisely and products that match your values.
Freebie Alert: Headshot Attendees will receive a FREE 30 minute Healthy Home Evaluation from Create More Give More.  Details upon booking.

Nerium, Doreen Runquist  — Hey beautiful. I'd like to introduce you to Nerium. Our select line of medical-grade skincare products are multi-functional and offer exceptional results for people of all ages. Let's reveal the best version of you.
Freebie Alert: Headshot Attendees will receive a FREE 5 day Sample of NeriumAD night treatment from Doreen Runquist.  Details upon booking.

Leone Health & Fitness, Shari Leone  — Shari is a Health and Fitness Success Coach. Her goal is to inspire, motivate and empower you to become your BEST, happiest and healthiest self through nutrition and fitness! Check out her motivational page today!

Juice Plus, Heather Hampton  — Finding it difficult to eat the recommended 7-13 servings of fruits & veggies everyday? Me too!  With Juice Plus, I love that my whole family gets the nutrients of 30 different fruits, vegetables, and berries in simple & convenient form (capsules or chewables) every day. This is not a vitamin, but WHOLE FOOD nutrition -- think of it as a juicing program without the expense, mess, and clean up!
Freebie Alert: Headshot Attendees will receive a FREE Juice Plus Chewable Sample Pack from Heather Hampton.  Details upon booking.


What if I don't know what to wear?

We've got you covered.  In addition to offering several pinterest boards for guidance (provided with your confirmation email), we welcome you to bring multiple outfits / accessories along, and the amazing Char of Char Style and Image will help you finalize your outfit!  Each session will allow 10 minutes of prep time before we start your shoot (so allow about 45 minutes total).  Still worried?  Book a wardrobe-consult with Char ahead of time and let her help you select clothing that will be perfect for your session.

What if I'm not looking my best yet, or want to lose a little weight first, or just hate getting my picture taken?

  • We're sensitive to the fact that you're not always feeling like the best-you, and keep that in mind as we work to get the most flattering poses and use lighting custom to each individual.  
  • We walk you through each pose, so there's nothing intimidating about it. Come and relax.
  • Sure, you can always wait until you're feeling more up for it, but in the meantime, what are your clients or agents seeing?  Why not put your best first-impression out there right now.
  • Your final selection is skillfully retouched (in a natural way) to assure you look your very best!  
  • And... your session comes with a bonus gift of a $30 certificate toward a future shoot, so you will have already started saving toward your next session if you want to update your headshot options.

I'd like to do a headshot session, but I just can't afford it right now...

Do you invest in marketing tools, occasional advertising, or even a new wardrobe item here and there to meet a client or go on a new audition?  Sure you do.  Because your visual impressions matter.  The questions isn't whether you can afford a new headshot right now, it's "How much money are you NOT making because you don't have an eye-catching headshot?"  Visuals make the world go round.  Visuals are why you started reading this in the first place.  How many new clients would it take to cover the investment of your headshot... 1, 2, 3?  Add eye-catching imagery to your website or marketing pieces, and you'll draw like-minded clients your way!  Watch your opportunities expand...

Where is this headshot event taking place again?

Feather Blue Studios is located in the beautiful Como Park Area of St Paul, MN -- directions and details will be included once you book.  These sessions are shot in-studio.  Parking is easy.  Shannon has been shooting out of her cozy studio space for 11+ years.


Space is Limited!

Read to pick your day & time slot?

Schedule your headshot session now - invest in yourself or your business!  Click here to choose the day & time that work for you.


About Shannon....

Shannon has been photographing things & people for 15+ years and has run Feather Blue Studios for 11+ years.  She loves helping business professionals, plus those in the talent industry, take their business to the next level with a headshot that sells.  Shannon also has a background in marketing, modeling, and milkshake-making plus a whole lot of other things that don't start with "m."  She's approachable and always happy to help.  She looks forward to creating a stunning headshot that compliments your brand.

About Char....

Char is a down-to-earth wardrobe consultant who loves helping others feel confident, no matter their size or style.  She combines her passion for fashion with her background in engineering to create a professional experience that helps her clients look and feel their best while they journey through life's ups and downs -- and has a whole lot of fun doing it.  She looks forward to helping you finalize your wardrobe selections at our event!

PS -- Having technical problems with booking?  Want info on a custom photo shoot or branding session?  Have a group of 3+ team members that you'd like a custom rate for?  
Shoot Shannon an email at or call us at 651.489.8281 and we'll get things worked out for you ASAP!

Book Your Slot HERE.