Kendra & Andy | Key West Wedding | Military Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographer

Last month I hopped in the car with Pixxie (the Yorkie) and we headed to Key West, Florida. Yup, we drove 2400 miles each way to photograph a wedding!! I LOVE a good road trip, and am fortunate enough to have friends along the way to visit as well!

Kendra and Andy were married on 5.5.15 on Key West Beach, and it was absolutely PERFECT. The weather had been a bit touch-and-go throughout the day, with thunderstorms predicted right at the time of their ceremony. I assured them that if we had a back up plan (the balcony of their room) the weather would hold out. And that it did. It sprinkled in the afternoon, but the skies cleared about an hour before go-time. Honestly, overcast skies are SO much better for photos too, so it was truly prefect!!

Kendra’s dress was purchased from a women who wore it for her wedding in Hawaii….. the tradition of  “the traveling wedding dress” has begun :) Andy wore his Marine’s Uniform.

They were married in an intimate ceremony (I was the only person invited) on the beach. After the ceremony we spent some time taking photos on the beach before heading back to their hotel room where they had their first dance on the balcony, as well as their Makers Mark toast, and garter removal! Afterwards they headed off to an intimate, sunset dinner on the beach.

I have to say how touching it is to be with a Military Wedding couple and hear the “thank you’s” from so many as we passed by. It is also rumored that a good part of their dinner was paid for by fellow diners at the restaurant…. You gotta love the generosity of so many!!

Officiant and flowers by A Simple Wedding.
The bride’s hair  by Isle Style salon.
Photos by Custom Creations Photography.
Dinner: Latitudes 
Hotel: Parrot Key Resort

(at the request of the couple, the groom’s face is not shown in any social media posts)

Summer Portrait Session Sale

Summer has officially sprung here in the Twin Cities, and it’s a perfect time to schedule your Session for July-Sept.

What you get for only $199:
– 45 minute session at local park (or in the studio ~ you choose!)
– 10 digital files
– perfect for families, children, pets, couples, and more!

These are for sessions booked in July-Sept.
Must be purchased by July 1st
Purchase your session below (*session fee is non refundable)

Marriage Equality Celebration | Wedding Photography

In honor of the Supreme Court’s ruling for Marriage Equality, I am introducing a special. limited time, wedding package for ALL WEDDING COUPLES!! This pricing is good for ALL new weddings booked in 2015 (including if the wedding is next year).

MARRIAGE EQUALITY SPECIAL:LGBT twin cities wedding photographer
for just $995 you receive:
3 hours of coverage
up to 200 digital files
(add additional hours of coverage for $195/hour)

A deposit of half-down is required with contract. Balance is due at least 2 weeks prior to the wedding date.

This package is perfect for a smaller wedding, or those not needing reception coverage. It will cover bride and groom formals, with some wedding party and family photo time, and the ceremony.

Planning a destination wedding?? We will travel with you, inquire about pricing and logistics!
“Have passport & camera, will travel!”


Kara & Darrell | Engagement | Des Moines, IA | Destination Photographer

Forgive me for being so far behind on blogging, it’s been a whirlwind of adventures for me with a lot of exciting travel and events going on!!

Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to Des Moines, IA to photograph Kara & Darrell’s engagement session. I will be photographing their wedding this summer in Walker, MN and I couldn’t be more excited!

I hadn’t actually met with the couple yet since they live out of state, we had only Facetime chatted with each other, so this was a great opportunity to get to know them before their wedding day! I couldn’t have had a more enjoyable couple and session! They brought their two adorable dogs along for a few shots and we traveled to a few spots throughout the city, including the bar where they met and also got engaged at!!

They are such an amazingly wonderful and kind couple! I can not wait for their wedding day, I just know it’s going to be absolutely perfect!!

After the session we enjoyed a beer and pizza together at the bar and chatted briefly about their wedding. Such a wonderful way to kick off my road trip to Key West, Florida for a wedding (more on that later….)!

Couple’s Intimate Portrait Sessions

I have been getting asked a lot lately if I do couple’s intimate portraits (similar to boudoir, but with a couple). The answer is YES. I came to realize that I really haven’t promoted it much, so thought it would be a good idea to write a post about it!

Couple’s Intimate portrait sessions can be playful, romantic, or downright sexy. Some fun ideas are shown in the images below but can include:
– Men’s pajama set, him wearing bottoms her wearing top
– Both with jeans and no top (or bra)
– Both wearing workout gear
– Her wearing negligee, him wearing boxers
– Both with “fun” pajamas

The opportunities are endless. I will allow full nudity, but only if it is discussed prior to the session. Everything I create is tasteful and romantic/sexy, I do not create anything that borders on pornography ~ (if that is what you’re looking for I am simply not the photographer for you!).

I want to ensure that you both feel completely comfortable and at ease during your session. I have been photographing Boudoir and Couple’s for almost 10 years and have a knack for making everyone feel totally comfortable :)

Couple’s Sessions are $395 and include:
* 45 minute session
* 2-3 outfit changes
* 10 image 4×5 photo album OR 2 matching mini photo albums
* Matching 10 digital files
* a non-refundable deposit 0f $175 is required to secure your session. Balance is due 1 week prior to session.
Professional hair and makeup can be added on for $150. This is mainly for her, but also includes a touch-up on him to cover up shine or any blemishes.

GUYS ~ if you really want to impress your lady, buy the session as a surprise for her birthday, anniversary, or just because!!! You’ll score major bonus points!!

Secure your session NOW (you have 6 months to book and use your session)

Headshots Week ONLY $75 May 26-29th

professional business portraits headshots twin cities saint paulI am passionate about making sure you have a fantastic looking headshot for your social media profiles as well as your website and business marketing materials.

I am offering mini headshot sessions the week of May 26-29th for ONLY $75!
This includes one outfit, 20 minute session, and one fully retouched digital file of your choice.

Purchase your session below, and then email me to schedule an exact time. I will have daytime as well as evening appointment times available for this event!!

Take advantage of this amazing price and UPDATE your HEADSHOT!

Boudoir Session SALE

It’s SUMMER!! We are celebrating with a Boudoir FLASH SALE!

Twin Cities Boudoir Sale

What You Receive For ONLY $350: ((over $700 VALUE))
*60 minute session
*hair and makeup
*up to 3 outfits
*4×5 album with 10 images
*matching 10 digital files

little black book

All you need now is $150 to lock in the  special pricing, the remaining balance will be due 24 hours before your session. Sessions must take place by Oct 15th. PERFECT WEDDING GIFT!!


$35 add an additional outfit  to your session
$150 12 month 8×10 photo calendar
$195 16×20 wall canvas

To lock in your SALE price, simply purchase with the Paypal button below after selecting your package set to the $150 deposit.

**$150 deposit is non-refundable
**SALE sessions must be used by Oct 15th

Twin Cities Pride Juried Art Exhibit | Best in Show

I received very exciting news earlier this week. Not only was my entry accepted into the Pride Juried Art Exhibit, it was also awarded “Best in Show” AND “Chairman’s Choice” awards!! I am blown away! This is a HUGE honor and I am thrilled beyond words!

I will receive my official awards at the Pride Grand Marshal Reception on May 21st; and the image won “Best in Show” it will be displayed in the summer exhibit of Made Here MN which is yet another HUGE honor!

Below are the images of my entry, “Miss Labeled“. I was hoping it would stir emotions and help tell a story, and apparently that is indeed what happened! The framed triptych is what is on exhibit, the other images are close-ups so you can enjoy the beauty of them individually.

A huge thank you to Jolien, my beautiful subject, for taking the time to allow me to photograph you. Thank you for sharing your story with me!

Twin cities pride, best in show, pride, transgender


What Does Your Headshot Say About Your Brand?!

Professional headshots are critical to your brand, particularly when you are a freelancer or creative solopreneur. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression when a potential client lands on your website or LinkedIn page. If they see a selfie taken in front of the Christmas tree and cropped in tight so the resolution looks blurry, chances are they’re going to move on.

Unfortunately, the sample I stated above is far too common. I haven’t quite figured out if there is a huge fear around having one’s photo taken, or if there is simply a misunderstanding as to how affordable professional headshots are. Let’s put it this way:it’s going to be a LOT cheaper to pay more for a great photographer and get it right the first time, rather than going cheap and hating them and having to redo them.

saint paul business portraits headshots

I think a lot of creatives panic when asked for their headshot and run out to find the least expensive option. They usually end up with a photographer who doesn’t have much experience in this area. They get their images back and while they are “professional” they don’t portray a professional look. The creative has already paid for them and is on a time crunch so they use what they have. While it is technically a professional headshot, it still doesn’t portray the image of their brand.

When I work with a headshot client, I spend a few minutes asking them exactly what they do, and what they want to portray in their headshot. A Communications Executive that works for General Mills is going to have a vastly different headshot than say a Yoga Instructor and Life Coach who wants images to show calm and tranquility. It is critical that the photographer understands what you do and what you are hoping to convey in your image to the viewer.

Clothing choice is also very important. Just because that beautiful shawl you paid $200 for is your favorite piece of clothing and you wear it with all your client meetings, it does not mean it will flatter you in a photo. Bring a large selection of choices, a good photographer will be able to eye them and pick out 2 or 3 that will work best and convey the look you are going for. In general, a solid top with a flattering neckline is going to be best. Avoid bright colors and bold patterns, even if that really is *who* you are.

Background is also important to the professional look of your image. I get asked quite often to use a white background, and 80% of the time I say NO. It doesn’t look professional. It doesn’t stand out off the page. In general I use a muted blue and beige background that gets blurred out by use of aperture of my camera. I also have a cream and beige one that I will use as well. Sometimes I will use a solid black if we are going for strong, dramatic black and white imagery. I will occasionally use solid white for the right client, such as my yoga instructor who is trying to portray calm and tranquility.

saint paul business portraits

In general, a headshot should NOT be taken outside. This is not true all the time, but if you’re going for a high-end look, it is going to be better conveyed through studio lighting and backgrounds. I am not opposed to going outside for the right look, but in general, headshots are going to be taken in the studio. I will also go on-site for larger companies that want me to photograph their entire staff, but I bring my lighting and backgrounds with me and set up a “portable studio”.

I also will go on-site to a creative’s work space. Sometimes the image you are trying to convey is best done with some of your work in the background. I once worked with a Designer who makes textiles. We had a shelf in the background with her beautiful work on it. Another example is a fashion designer I worked with, she brought out bolts of fabric and a form with one of her dresses on it to use for the background. It’s really about the “look” your trying to convey. Some of this needs to be thought up by you, and some of it is at the discretion of the photographer. Between the two of you, you will come up with a fantastic plan of action!

Hair and makeup are extremely important, and I recommend hiring a professional makeup artist if your photographer isn’t able to supply one. The look you are trying to show in your images (your BRAND) is a big deal, your every day hair and makeup is great for meeting with clients, but you want to go big or go home with your portraits. Don’t skimp on this aspect of the session. You won’t be disappointed!

I think for some, the fear of getting their photo taken stems back to their high school years. When your school photo was put in the yearbook and you had no control over it. But you DO have control over what you put out to the world now. Why on earth are you even considering putting a selfie out there?? We live in an avatar society, your image is connected to your social media, to your email, to your website, to your LinkedIn, and so much more. It is a critical part of your business, and an area that seems to be continually overlooked. Get over your fear, save your money, and do it right! Do it professionally!

Book our Full-Service Headshot $325
studio session complete with professional hair and makeup & 5 digital files
Click HERE to purchase

 Book our Basic Headshot $149
studio session and 1 digital file
Click HERE to purchase

Also, we will come on-site to photograph your team, inquire for pricing. 

Amy Zellmer is a professional photographer located in Saint Paul, MN. She lives in the Schmidt Artist Lofts with her Yorkie named Pixxie. She has been in business since 1997 and has hundreds of business portraits under her belt. She travels the country with her Yorkie in tow to teach other photographers about the business of photography. She uses the same headshot on each and every one of her social media profiles, her website, and her business cards. Consistency is key to Branding!

Half Price {Essentially You} Professional Headshot Sessions | Your Image Is Your Brand

I am looking for THREE outstanding solopreneurs who would like to take advantage of my HALF PRICE “Essentially You” session!! Yes, you read that right, HALF PRICE!

In exchange for this amazing deal, I ask that you give me honest feedback on the program and allow me to use your image as inspiration to other fabulous individuals who are looking to update their image!

I recently held a virtual summit in which I brought together 20 amazing presenters over the course of 5 days. I was surprised by their headshots…. many of them weren’t professional at all…. and several that were “professional” were still less than worthy. YOUR IMAGE IS YOUR BRAND and is critical to your success!!!

I am offering you this amazing value for only $397.50!!! (over a $1500 value!!)

CLICK HERE to get in on this incredible value!!

Essentially You!
45 days to a transformational photo

Combining the power of Essential Oils & private one-on-one coaching to help unleash your true essence during your Transformational Portrait Session!

This package is designed for the “Creative Entrepreneur” who likes to think outside the box, but needs a little extra cheerleading and encouragement to take the next step towards a professional photo session!

We will spend 45 days (six weeks) working one-on-one during six weekly private coaching calls, integrating the power of Young Living Essential Oils into your daily practice. These oils will help you in many ways, including: flawless skin, brighter and more energetic, calming anxiety and stress, and so much more!

During these 45 days I will help you prepare for the most  empowering photo session of your life!! This photo session will truly be transformational, and I will work with you to help uncover what has been holding you back from revealing your true essence to the world!!

At the end of our 45 day coaching  journey, my professional hair and makeup artist will pamper and primp you for your transformational photo session, while continuing to integrate Essential Oils during the primping and the session itself! After you complete hair and makeup, we will then take your new and AMAZING headshots to take your image/brand to the next level!

This is a truly unique experience that you will never forget!!

All of this for ONLY $795 (over a $1500 value!):starterkitnoprice1
Young Living Essential Oils “Every Day Living” Starter Kit ($170 value)
+ A Six-Week Workbook/Journal ($50 value)
+ 6 Weekly Private Coaching Sessions ($600 value)
+ Transformational Photo Session ($195 value)
+ Professional Hair and Makeup ($150 value)
+ Fully Retouched Digital Files ($400 value)

Choose a one-time payment of $795
3 payments of $295

BUT WAIT! I am offering you this amazing value for only $397.50!!!

CLICK HERE to get in on this incredible value!! You seriously can’t beat this price, and it will be gone FAST! After the first three ladies claim their spot, this link will no longer work…. so ACT FAST!
(I can also split it into 2 payments of $200 at your request).