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images that reflect the heart of your family | tina vega photography

My favorite images of young children are the real ones that capture the heart of WHO they are at any given age. Being the mother of a soon-to-be 13- and 16-year old, I know firsthand how quickly these phases and moments pass.

changing table

And how much they are missed!

Part of enjoying everyday life is not letting ONE SECOND slip by unnoticed.  What if you struggle simply spotting these moments?  Perhaps you see them all of the time but capturing life while you are living it seems virtually impossible.  If you are looking for images that reflect the heart of your family, schedule an Everyday Family Session.

What is an Everyday Family Session? An Everyday Family Session centers around an activity that engages the entire family.  Some ideas include:

– a Saturday morning pancake-making ritual
– hanging out at the zoo
– going to a parade
– having a Wii marathon
– bath time for infants or small children
– flying a kite or hanging out at the beach
– a typical Saturday, whatever that means for your family
– a picnic and hike at a nearby park
– baking cookies
– a trip to the Farmer’s Market
– family day at the waterpark
– hanging out in and around your home
– camping out in the backyard
– biking around the lake with a stop for ice cream

While I may still orchestrate a few shots, most of my time will be spent observing and capturing natural moments as they unfold.

You make memories, I capture them.

Tina - June 16, 2012 - 2:26 pm

As an FYI, beginning tomorrow I will be devoting the week to my family and “unplugging” from work until next Friday. If you’d like one of the spots, just leave a message by phone or email and I’ll hold them on a first-come, first-served basis! BTW, I’ve scheduled a bunch of posts ahead of time so while it may look like I am working, I am indeed not. 🙂

Leslie Schiltgen - June 18, 2012 - 10:14 pm

Hey Tina do you have any of the Everyday sessions left for discount in August? Would love to schedule one.

Tina - June 22, 2012 - 9:01 am

Hi Leslie – I’ve been on vacation the last several days but will check to see what I have open and let you know!

Tina - June 22, 2012 - 12:20 pm

FYI – I’ll be in the St. Cloud area later this summer if anyone in the area is interested!

Jennifer Freund - June 27, 2012 - 11:12 am

Would you be able to do an “everyday session” on July 29th? We are celebrating Clara’s first b-day. Just having immediate family over. Hoping its nice so we can have it in the backyard. The girls have so many Aunts & Uncles. It would be nice to have pics taken that aren’t staged that I might actually be in for once.

Tina - June 27, 2012 - 11:47 am

I am open that day and would love to capture Clara’s special day. I’ll send you a note on FB…

Tina - June 27, 2012 - 12:35 pm

Down to only TWO remaining spots – both in August. If interested, let me know!

Tina - July 2, 2012 - 10:45 am

…down to only ONE spot left in August!

Tina - July 16, 2012 - 3:14 pm

While I am still scheduling Everyday Sessions, all of the discounted spots have been taken!

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she turned two | minnesota milestone session

shebig smiles collagetushie

This little sweetie is a longtime client of mine.  Several months have passed since our last session and MY OH MY has she grown!!!  She talks now and even followed directions when I asked her to stand in a particular spot.

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Granted, she preferred to sit/stand with her back towards me!  ADORABLE.  🙂

show-me-your-shirt collage

She’s a mover and a shaker now…

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Always on the go, looking to play and explore.

little helper collagepuuuupppyyyyy

It’s hard to believe that this little pumpkin below:

creature comforts

Was this itty bitty pumpkin here:

itty bitty pumpkin

I love repeat clients because it is SO MUCH FUN watching them grow!  (Getting to know their mommas is sorta fun as well.)  Thank you, thank you for the visit, Heidi!!!

StaceyD - June 15, 2012 - 10:37 am

OMG, she is so cute! and curly:)

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to pose or not to pose | tina vega photography

Over the years I have had several opportunities to share my story with groups of women. And after hearing about my experience, many have shared stories with me. What I learned is it’s the little things matter most after losing someone you love. After enduring multiple pregnancy losses, complications, and ultimately my dream for more children – embracing life in the moment helped heal my broken heart.

Photos and scrapbooks became the vehicle for that healing as I began to document life from a new perspective. I saw things differently, realizing for the first time that life was fragile, our time here brief. I was determined to embrace it fully – the good and bad. I had taken so much for granted and realized those were the very things I treasured and missed most.

For example, once I knew I would never carry a child again I really wished I would have paid more attention to the experiences with my two boys. Really wished I had pictures of my belly full term. Knowing I would never have another child made me wish I had taken more pictures of them as newborns. So many precious details.

I longed terribly to hold onto what was gone. This is from where my desire for the non-posed stems because I also realized that someday I come to miss these moments as well:

© Tina Vega Photography

The images above reflect the varied personalities of the people in them. They evoke emotion which helps me remember what life was like back then, both sweet and painful at the same time. Posed images on the other hand, trigger very little.


Looking at the two images above, I remember nothing! The images that matter most to me are those that are reminders of life. Especially now that my boys are adults. REMINDERS of who they once were, what they were like, and how we lived.

little goofball

Because every season in their lives has been just that – a season.

Day 215/365: homework woes

A precious, passing season. And it is happening in your life as well! Simply spotting meaningful moments can be challenging – capturing them on camera… virtually impossible! That’s why I am introducing this new session format for families. The EVERYDAY FAMILY SESSION will provide clients with a series of images that evoke feelings and memories.

What is exactly is an Everyday Family Session? I can tell you easily what it is NOT. It is not about children behaving perfectly. Or everyone looking at me, the photographer. This type of session is centered around an activity that involves the entire family.  As you engage it and each other, I watch and capture moments as they unfold.

Your life. Your story. Captured.

Crystal Satnik - June 14, 2012 - 3:54 pm

So glad you are focusing part of your business on this… it’s one of the reasons I love your style so much. This post has reminded me that I need to get into more pics with my kiddo. I am pretty good at picking up the camera and catching ‘life.’ Now I am going to challenge myself to capture more of those moments with myself in them. My fav pic from this post is you and your youngest with the funny glasses! I love being silly with Olivia. Might have to set up the tripod and remote to capture some of our silly moments!

Tina - June 14, 2012 - 4:12 pm

You MUST pull out the tripod!!! (You can even prop your camera up on a chair while you play together on the floor.) As much as I hate the way I look in that picture with the silly glasses, Crystal, it is one of my favorites as well!! It is SO Lorenzo. We were “posing” with our new works-of-art when he started doing all of this goofy stuff… including the shot pictured here when he shoved his face into the camera. It was a fun, fun day – it reminds me of the days where it was just the two of us (his brother was in school). 🙂 You being in pics is so very important. Someday when you are gone, Olivia will look to her albums for pictures of YOU… memories with YOU. (You, momma, are a very important part of her story.) I’m so glad you’re challenging yourself in that way. Awesome!

April E. - June 14, 2012 - 8:49 pm

Tina, you do such a great job capturing these types of moments! I love the photos you got of our family a few weeks ago, and you really captured a ton of Isaac being himself (a crazy, 3 year old boy)! I know we will cherish these photos for a lifetime. I’ll have to share our story with you sometime…I definitely relate to the stories you’ve shared at faithbooking!

Thanks again for the session!

StaceyD - June 15, 2012 - 10:39 am

They were sooooo cute when they were little!

Tina - June 15, 2012 - 3:52 pm

Thank you, April!

I would *love* to hear your story… I’ll be asking about it next time I see you. 🙂

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saying goodbye is never easy | minnesota event photographer

I was attending a leader meeting for our Wednesday morning bible study a few weeks ago when a dear friend asked us to pray for her mom’s transition into retirement. Upon hearing the news, I realized my friend’s mom owned the very salon my husband and boys had been going to for haircuts over the years. It’s location is nowhere near our home so I was rather suprised to hear about the connection. As you know, I do not subscribe to the idea of “coincidence”; when things like that happen, they catch my attention because I know God is at work – the first thing I do, is pray.


Just a day or two later, I received an email from my friend. Her mom had mentioned wanting to hang onto every moment of her last day at the salon and my friend was hoping I would be available to capture it – as a surprise, of course. 🙂

When I first arrived, I tried my best to sit unnoticed in the waiting area until my friend made it there to unveil the “surprise” with her sisters. Unfortunately, my husband’s stylist recognized me and couldn’t help but wonder why in the world I was there – it sparked a bit of hushed conversation as I let them in on the secret.

It was a huge privilege being part of such a special day.


It was clear this was much more than a career for Barb. Not only has she created a legacy for her daughters and grandchildren, she has touched the lives of a countless number of women. First and foremost, the lovely ladies who worked with and for her.

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Life was shared within these walls.  Many memories and friends were made.

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So much history.

tinavegaphotography16collage last washtinavegaphotography3tinavegaphotography18collage grandkidstinavegaphotography24tinavegaphotography4

Here are several more favorites from the day:

tinavegaphotography11collage everyday donuttinavegaphotography7tinavegaphotography5the girlstinavegaphotography9collage bye kissestinavegaphotography21

Things that grabbed me:

      • one of Barb’s grandsons, hugging her as he said goodbye… “I am SOOOOO happy you’re done working, SOOOOO happy!”
      • the ladies writing notes on their workstations, marking their spot in time
      • one employee stopping by with her husband and newborn son right after being released from the hospital
      • hearing the stories – how it began, how long some of them have been together, routines and rituals
      • the hugs and tears… ripped my heart out every time!
      • Barb’s smile
      • Barb’s daughters – watching them watch their mom, the tears, the laughter


May your days be richly blessed in retirement, Barb!
Barb - June 9, 2012 - 9:37 am

OMG TINA!!! I am still in tears.
Thank you thank you thank you. You did an amazing job of capturing this moment for me. How can I ever thank you.

Tina - June 9, 2012 - 5:13 pm

You just did!! I *love* hearing how the images touched you… totally makes my day. 🙂

Kati - June 9, 2012 - 8:37 pm

WOW Tina- God gave you an amazing talent!!!! Thank you for capturing the true RAW emotions!!!!

Timi - June 9, 2012 - 9:49 pm

I am so glad that you were able to record Barbs special day! It was very difficult not being able to be there for the entire event but, as you know I was experiencing my own life changing event! However; with these photographs I am able to “be there” where the action is.
Thank you,

Tina - June 9, 2012 - 11:14 pm

Thank you, Kati!!

Tina - June 9, 2012 - 11:23 pm

I loved how you guys made a special appearance with your son, Timi, it was so sweet watching everyone meet him for the first time. I’m so glad these images round out your memories of the day as well!

Sue Stark - June 9, 2012 - 11:29 pm

As Barbs younger sister, i also grew up in her salon. I have many, wonderful memories there. So happy for you sis.

Bonnie Featherstone - June 14, 2012 - 9:52 am

I really miss having that little haven of friendliness in my neighborhood. The pictures made me cry.

Lori Hawthorne - June 26, 2012 - 10:43 pm

Awww that was soo sweet!

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