This past January I entered a photo contest for the 2nd year in a row. This contest is called the Shoot & Share Photo Contest. It is 100% free to enter and you can submit up to 50 images into 25 different categories.  This year approximately 413,000 images were submitted from all over the world!! During the month of February, when voting was open, over 81 million votes were cast!!

When you enter this contest it is SO easy to be completely consumed by voting as you try to catch a glimpse of your own images and images from photographers you know. I may or may not have spent a ridiculous amount of hours on my phone or computer voting ;) Sooo, needless to say, my January and February went by SUPER DUPER FAST ;)



  • I had #1 image win 14th Place out of 14,733 images in the People Portraits Category! Woop!!

  • #1 image made it as a Finalist (placing at 423 out of 14,733 images in People Portraits Category)

  • #14 made it in the Top 10%

  • #14 in the Top 20%

A few photographer friends and I have have joined up to form a blog loop! What is a blog loop? It is where after you read my post and see my images then you click on the link I will provide after my image gallery that will lead you to the next blog post to see her post :)

Thank you for reading my results blog!

A BIG THANK YOU to all of my clients! I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings :) Next up is Courtney Fairchild from Utah! I have known Courtney for a few years now and it was actually exactly a year ago that we met for the 1st time in person in New Orleans!!  She will share with you her results and experience with the Shoot & Share Contest too! Go check her out and continue to follow the loop until you end up back to mine :)




Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
The Prism Effect


The Prism Effect


by: Shannon Kathleen Photography

I haven't always been a rule breaker in the way of photography; not when I first started out anyways.  Once I discovered there was a whole slew of photographers out there that didn't worry about what others thought of there work and were considered "the rule breakers"... I knew in my soul this was what I was destined to create: Art. I love adding new dimensions to my craft of photography.

Created using the Fractal Filter Prisms by Nikk Wong of Get Fractals

Yes, eventually we all need to learn the rules ... but the nice thing about all the rules of photography is they can often be broken with great results ;) I love breaking rules. It is so much more fun and less stressful not having to worry about all of the rules all of the time.

For me, I am bound to photography by feel.  Realizing this early on helped me figure out my why, why I love what I do ... to create from the heart, to practice different photography techniques and experiment with new things all so I can unearth and discover the depths of myself so I can express myself and how I see our breathtaking world and enhance its beauty with the aid of fun photography tools.

As a hopeless romantic, I am really drawn to the dreamy, enchanting, mysterious, and whimsical form of art.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have
— Maya Angelou

Created using the Fractal Filter Prisms by Nikk Wong of Get Fractals

Just before Christmas, I was showing my 13 year old son an image that was taken using a prism that inspired me ... he said, "It would be cool if prisms had a handle so you could hold it easier in front of your lens." I was SUPER impressed with his statement and told him, "There are!! Check these out!! I neeeeed to have them!!" I showed him the Get Fractals website.  Well, he shared this information with my dad and next thing I knew I was opening up this amazing gift on Christmas.


I found out about these outstandingly creative tools through a photography group on Facebook earlier this winter. I had been using a regular prism for some time, but when I saw these, I JUST HAD TO HAVE THEM!

These Fractal Filter Prisms "augment your photo subjects with brilliant kaliedscopic reflections. Fractals are the perfect camera filters for portraits, weddings, and more!"

The set comes with 3 different prisms that each provide their own unique effect. What surprised me was the high quality carrying case they come in! This case has 3 slots of soft fabric to house each individual prism and has a strap to throw over your shoulder! It even has a slot on the back of the case to strap onto a belt! SO cool, right?!

How to use the Fractal Filter Prisms:

  1. You simply place your fingers in the finger holes of the handle attached to each prism. 
  2. Then place the prism in front of your lens and move it around until you see what you want to capture. I tend to place directly in front of my lens and shoot through the center of the prism. You can also hold the prism of to the side of your lens to get the effect on only 1/2 or a portion of your image.
  3. Create from your heart. Create what speaks to YOUR soul and how you interpret "beautiful".
  4. Experiment and have fun!
  5. Practice! Practice! Practice!
  6. Lastly, but most importantly be kind and gentle with yourself as you learn and experiment :)

When I was getting together with my friend, Mary, in Arizona this past February I used my Fractal set for a majority of the session and was extremely satisfied with the results!! See the results below!  I am obsessed with these prisms and want to use them on everything I photograph!

All images edited using SMAL Rose Presets




Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Is Your Headshot Up To Date?


Is Your Headshot Up To Date?

It's astonishing, and unfortunately it's a reality more often than not, that professional men and women have a waaaaaay outdated headshot or have a hazy iPhone selfie appearing on websites. Or none at all for that matter.

Even though our iPhones take high-res images, the quality is still not good enough to satisfy the professional headshot need.  What does an old iPhone snap or using a plain headshot you had taken 6 years ago say about your personal brand???

By investing in contemporary, professional images that reflect who you truly are, you are setting the tone for your personal brand from the moment your connections lay eyes on you.



What is a Professional Branding Portrait? It is a portrait of yourself that represents YOU. The most prominent business owners understand the importance of branding their business effectively. Your personal brand is individual: it's how people think of you as a person - who you are, how you act, your own capabilities and how you are perceived in the marketplace.

Personal branding images should reflect you, your ethos, your values and your personality. After all, your headshot is your handshake in today's digital world. People are effectively choosing you when they choose your company so personal branding is absolutely critical to effective leadership and success. They define you as a leader and gives you a chance to tell your story.

Do you, as a professional working woman or man, have a color headshot that has been taken professionally in the last 2 or 3 years? Ones in which you hold the rights to use as you see fit and have the high-resolution files to??

If you were to be selected to speak at an event, be featured in a magazine, or chosen to receive an award, would you have an image of yourself that you could provide to the organization or media? One that is up to date? The washed-out color, more than a decade old clothes or hairstyles, fewer wrinkles, or poor quality may give you away of having outdated and/or unprofessional appearing headshots ;)

When you have up to date headshots (branding portraits) of yourself you are showing those in your profession or those that are seeking your skills that YOU make yourself a PRIORITY to show yourself in the best light and will therefore in turn make those who want your services a priority as well.


Most of us are self-conscious about having our photo taken. This is NORMAL! I like to have fun with my clients. Yes, FUN!  All of my on-location sessions are spontaneous and unplanned.  We'll glide through your session naturally and have a good time doing it! Self-conscious or not, we must make this (us) a priority in our busy worlds.

Keep reading to see how to hire me ;)


  1. Guideline regarding what is high-resolution: jpeg formt about 1MB in size and 300 dpi, roughly a 5 x7 image.
  2. It's invaluable to have a long and short bio of yourself living on your computer -- short being about 5 sentences and long being about 20 sentences. Write like you are talking to a friend about who you are. (If you are offered that award or featured in a magazine or website you'll be grateful to have this bio handy!) Have one on your website too.
  3. Personal branding is about creating content: images, videos, podcasts, articles, interviews, social media updates, comments on other people's media, and the all important blog.
  4. Remember to keep you brand image and message consistent across all platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, ect.), so that your followers can identify your personal voice.
  5. Personal branding is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. You should keep reinvigorating your brand to ensure it's relevant in the current marketplace.


When you hire me you get an ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING package.

I never want you to have to choose your favorite images and I never want to restrict the images I edit and place in your gallery.  My style of photography results in a collection of beautiful and creative images that speak to you and represent YOU.

Your session fee with Shannon Kathleen Photography will include:

  1. Your amazing outdoor or indoor (with great lighting) photography session.
  2. The time it takes to professionally and artfully edit your images.
  3. All the final high resolution beautifully edited images to keep for life to print and use as you see fit.
  4. A gorgeous online gallery where you can view, share, have unlimited downloads, and order prints.
  5. Print release.

To learn more about cost go visit my Investments Page and see PROFESSIONAL BRANDING PORTRAITS.

To book your session visit my ONLINE BOOKING.



Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Mom & Me


Mom & Me

Mother's Day is approaching!!

Perfect time to get some photos with your kids! OR get the grandparents with the kids!

How about a Mother's day/Mom & Me photo session at Glam Doll Donuts?!?!

I recently visited Glam Doll Donuts in NE Minneapolis and that place is AMAZING! Perfect place to take the kids to get the best deliciously decked out donuts!! And Moms and Grandmoms they also sell alcohol!! ;) Maybe a mimosa or bloody mary to go along with your coffee and donut? ;) Vegan? They also have Vegan options!

$175 for 30 Minutes and you get:

  1. All final edited images
  2. Print Release
  3. Beautiful online gallery

**Session is limited to 4 or less people. This will be a Lifestyle Session--I will capture moments along the way.

Visit my Investments page for more information

THEN visit my Online Booking Page to book your session!!--pick the 30min outdoor lifestyle session. Can't wait!!

Shannon Kathleen Photography on Instagram


Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Shoot for the Moon


Shoot for the Moon

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars
— Norman Vincent Peale

Bella Grace Magazine Publication #2!!

I am delighted to announce that I have been published in Bella Grace Magazine for a second time!! This time in their Spring 2018 Issue #15. You can find it and purchase your own HERE!!

{image by Shannon Kathleen Photography}

The amazing staff over at Bella Grace Magazine caught wind that my son was a young teenager taking photographs and asked if I could put together a 400-500 word article talking about how we share this joy together. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity!! 

For the issue I wrote all about teaching my son, Camden, the art of photography and how we experience this jubilation side by side. The images along with the article really showcase him as a budding artistic photographer and how I aid in cultivating his creative soul.

To see the images he has been taking you MUST go check out his Instagram page:


As his parent I am hoping that with me following my passion as well as teaching him to unleash his creativity is providing him with the drive to shoot for the moon. We just don't ever know what might happen if we are not aiming high. I want the best for my son and I want him to always know and think that things ARE possible.

If you are passionate about life or art or music or photography or anything creative and beautiful than THIS MAGAZINE is for you!! It's luxurious pages and deliciously angelic images will dazzle and captivate you. Bella Grace Magazine is utterly enchanting. With this specific Issue #15 I was 35 pages into reading it and had already teared up twice because of the beautiful, uplifting, and inspiring things I had read.

What Else You Will Find Inside This Issue:

  • Learn how to make your own “happiness box” to add some light to your bad days
  • Femke Tewari lists her spring rituals
  • Our readers share their favorite ways to spread kindness
  • Shell Royster shares powerfully simple lessons from a boat trip off the coast of Ireland
  • Discover how Shannon O’Malley and her son cultivate a creative life together
  • How to meet your personal reading goals for 2018
  • Stephanie Horning shares her French living inspired tips for maximizing life’s joys


 {image by Shannon Kathleen Photography} This image contains an affiliated link

{image by Shannon Kathleen Photography} This image contains an affiliated link

If you missed my first publication in Bella Grace Magazine you can find it here:

Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live

Follow Me over at Instagram to see my latest work!

Grab some coffee or tea and have a look see at my Gallery/Portfolio!!


Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Now booking homeschool portraits


Now booking homeschool portraits



I have decided to open up my creative photography business to fellow Homeschoolers!

There isn't anything I LOVE more than to capture an individual's personality and soul through an image.  Capturing these yearly portraits marks the growth of our children ... something to proudly display in the home as year goes by :)

Click the image below to see more details, information and to register for your child's yearly homeschool portrait.

And PLEASE, spread the word! Thank you! :)

There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Check out my Instagram!


Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live




You might be asking yourself,

"What on Earth does QUERENCIA mean???"

QUERENCIA defined means:
(n) a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.
— pronunciation /ke rensia

What's with this word??  Well, this year a group of photography friends and I each decided to pick one word to focus on for 2018, whether it had to do with life in general or photography or both. 

Picking one word for the year is designed to move us beyond the cycle of the litany of imperfections to be perfected in the "New Year".  This experiment is to challenge us to lose the long list of changes we want to make and to instead make this the year we pick ONE WORD to focus on.

When I stumbled upon the word Querencia, it truly resonated with me!  I had been telling myself for a few months that I really need to continue to work on remaining true and authentic to myself in my personal life and especially in my photography business life ... as weird, wacky, and out of the box that may be ;) 

I literally woke up on New Years Day with this vision in mind ... I crawled right out of bed, set up my camera next to my bedroom window, put a dark sheet on my wall, then got loose, wacky, and weird!  I even did a "I'm a little tea pot" motion ... hahaha! (See the images below)

Cheers to a New Year!! A year filled with you being YOU!

So you’re a little weird? WORK it! A little different? OWN it! Better to be a nerd than one of the herd!
— Mandy Hale


I have joined up with a few of the most amazingly talented women to start a 10 on 10 Blog -- We will each be writing and posting a blog showcasing 10 images on the 10th of every month.  This is designed this so you can loop through all the group members to see their AWESOME work too!!   NOW if you would like to see what these marvelous women have been up to, start by heading over to the incredible Emilee of Emilee Rose Films!!! OHMYGOODNESS her lifestyle work is outstanding!! And maybe you should also follow her on Facebook ;)



Your Self: A Meaningful Guide to Self-Portraits

What You Get.

(1) A 22 page PDF that includes: My Why, The How with real working tips and advice, 4 complete image breakdowns showing SOOC/Final and giving you an understanding of my thought process--how I created them as well as my philosophy behind each, my gear and editing, the images and breakdown of them on how I edited each self-portrait session from the videos, and finally a list of suggested inspiration to help you create your own!

(2) A bundle of 5 videos: 3 editing videos of me going through and editing 2 different Self-Portrait sessions while talking you through my process.  2 videos of pull back images with me talking you through the philosophy behind my choices, the location, mood, and lighting.

Add To Cart


Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Cultivating A Creative Soul

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Cultivating A Creative Soul

Let The Kids Find Their Creativity

There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.
— Mahatma Gandhi

As some of you may know, my parents and I are homeschooling my son (13yrs old).  Fridays are Art days in our household and my son has picked photography for his first unit. I am teaching him to shoot from his sweet little heart... to dig deep and create something that lights up his soul... to set out on an adventure and  pay attention to all of his surroundings so he can capture what makes him feel good.

In this blog post I cover at topic near and dear to my heart. You will also get an update on what my boy is learning in his photography journey :)

I am a firm believer in discovering or unleashing the creative soul we all have within.

I read a lot... and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT ;)  In the last 3-4 months I have read and listened to a total of 13 books. Ha!  Two that stick out as I write this blog post are 2 audio books I have been listening to:

  1. One by author Richard Louv, titled "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder". 
  2. The other by my new favorite person in the whole wide world (seriously I love listening to her!!), Brene Brown ,titled "The Power of Vulnerability; Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, & Courage".

I have been listening to these through  I have a membership and this allows me to get FREE books ALL the time ;)

Anyways, in "Last Child in the Woods" the author discusses "the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, he links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression."

The discussion on children not getting outside and developing certain disorders is obviously a whole other topic, but what it really got me thinking about is that we tend to begin to develop some of our lifelong habits (good or bad) in our childhood.... whether it is something learned along the way or something we learned in our home environments, from our parents.

In Brene Brown's talk about Vulnerability she speaks about developing a pattern in her research on Wholehearted Individuals and some things they all have in common; which turned into her developing 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.  One of those guideposts is Cultivating Creativity and Letting Go of Comparison.  She states that we ALL have this ability within us... whether it's photography, painting, piano or other instrument, writing, telling stories, speaking, drawing, designing, fashion, creating picture collages, creating videos or movies, scrap booking, blogging, Lego building, etc.

Don't worry, there will be more pictures to look at; keep reading ;)

As I am reading the two books, they both resonated with me on the importance of not only getting children outside to play, but also the great need for us parents to allow them them the time and help them discover and cultivate their creativity. 

One way we can help them is to cultivate our OWN creativity... monkey see, monkey do... right??! ;)

Some kids are too busy going from one sport to the next, then onto homework, then bed, then repeat!  They aren't allowed the space or time to cultivate their creativity.  What would be better time spent then taking an photography class together, or a painting class, or visiting a museum together to take in some art?? 

Let's lead by example and get out to create and get creative with our children! :)

Art has a huge presence in our home.  For awhile I encouraged my son to do something creative for at least an hour each day... this eventually became a habit for him and he now seeks out something to do creatively most every day. 

With him learning photography we can cultivate this creativeness together.  And super lucky for us our backyard is absolutely gorgeous and there never seems to be a dull moment to be had out there! ;)

Here is the picture Camden took in the moment I captured of him above:

Image by Camden

An inside into what we've been covering the last few weeks in his creative photography time:

For the past 2 weeks we have been working on capturing images using different angles and points of view.  Some examples of different angles and POV (points of view):

  1. Getting down low
  2. Shooting from above and looking down
  3. Shooting from below and looking up
  4. Continue to work on the Rule of Thirds in frame

We have also been watching our backgrounds and making sure we pay attention to the picture as a whole.

  1. Checking for extraneous objects
  2. Make sure there is not another object or color fighting for the main attention over your subject
  3. Shooting for some negative space

Most importantly, we continue to shoot what grabs at our soul...I allow him to roam free and photograph what he wants, how he wants... to cultivate his own craft. :)

A few Fridays ago it SNOWED!! Very heavily too!!  We set out and prepared ourselves for that cold morning into the ginormous flying fluffy flakes. We grabbed our lens hoods and our clear bubble umbrellas to help shield our cameras from getting too wet.  Camden didn't want to have to hold onto his umbrella, so he stuffed the handle down the back of his jacket to keep in place over his head; quite brilliant if you ask me ;)

Winter came on REAL quick here in Minnesota!!  Check out the image below for photographic proof!!!  We walked down the path and then BAM there was SNOW!!

I absolutely LOVE following him around and watching him create!  Below are some images of Camden in action:

Creations by Camden that day:

The Following Week:

The snow has melted and everything is back to brown.  Camden grabbed some Legos and we ventured outside again to feed our souls.

Below is the image that he captured above:

Image by Camden.  I love how he chose to include so much negative space!

Then he thought it would be fun to put the Joker on his side to make it look like he was laughing ;)

You will find us photographers in all sorts of different contortions to get "the shot" ;) Below Cam is gettin' down and creative!!

And the shot he took in that moment ... Robin climbing a tree :)

Image by Camden

Camden asked me, "Mom, does photography ever get boring?"  I answered him by saying, "Not if you continue to photograph what makes you happy. There will be times you may feel like you are in a rut, but your creativeness will always be there and will always return."  He smiled and said, "Good, because I really enjoy it." :) 

Here are the rest of his creations from that day:

Now, kudos to you if you made it this far in my blog post!! Ha! ;) Thank you!!

Cultivating Creativity is important because it allows us all time to simply play... to do something that we love and enjoy... to feed our souls. Teaching our children this at a young age could do wonders for them as they grow and mature.






And if you did make it this far and would like your child(ren) photographed while they are learning something new or to have photographic documentation of them doing something they love then let's dot it!! Click below for online booking. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
MN Discovery


MN Discovery


This past August I found out that an image of mine that I took of my boy won the Make it Minnesota Instagram photo contest sponsored by The Works Museum in Bloomington, MN!! :)  As part of my win I not only received a family membership to the Museum, my image also landed the COVER of the August Discovery issue magazine!!

The Instagram contest was all about discovering curiosity through imaginative photography. In this contest, they encouraged Minnesota photographers to challenge their creative boundaries by capturing moments that celebrate learning, exemplify curiosity, and explore the depths of imagination.

This was my winning image!

Thank you SO MUCH Make it Minnesota and The Works Museum!!

For this photograph, I held a fern leaf over him as he had his face to the sun. As usual, he was a willing participant ;)


"Make It Minnesota is bi-quarterly magazine featuring Minnesota Creatives across our northern state. Our goal is to promote a vibrant, localized Minnesota economy."

What they are saying about this Discovery issue: 

"Every story is a rare glimpse into the beautiful diversity of curiosity that exists right here in Minnesota! Dive in to learn more about Franconia Sculpture Park, Seed Sages, June Wunrow, WAAM Industries, Arlee Park, and Beatty Stone Farms. Also featured is a curated list of local favorites by Hayley Matthews-Jones, founder of MPLS Craft Market - this list includes 112 Eatery, Tbsp. liège waffles, Ginger Bean Clothing, Cuchara Chick, Lawless Distilling, Minnesota Children’s Museum, and the Minnehaha Mile! From there, we are also proud to feature recipes from Betsy Nelson, AKA That Food Girl and the winners of the 'Capturing Curiosity' Instagram Contest sponsored by The Works Museum."

Order your very own copy of the Discover Issue! "In each issue of Make It Minnesota, we aim to be a different kind of publication. One that feels like a collective effort created by members of our own communities. One that engages us and connects us with our local makers and artists. One that celebrates ideas, innovation, and authenticity. We invite you to join us!"

if you would like to subscribe to this amazing local magazine or to order a copy for yourself


Yesterday we set out to relish in the beautiful MN fall day and read through the magazine.  Here are some images I captured of my son enjoying his 5 minutes of fame ;)


Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live
Photography Lesson: Day 2


Photography Lesson: Day 2

Photography Lesson: Day 2 with my Son

by: Shannon Kathleen Photography


Today marked the 2nd day of Art Class, Homeschooling Style.  This student of mine is incredibly eager to learn!!  This eagerness of his is more soul filling than I could ever imagine!

We hopped in the car with our cameras and drove down to Keller Lake Park in Maplewood, MN.  Our lesson today was more about noticing the little things... searching for and finding beauty. 

What we focused on:

  1. Walking around and looking for beauty.
  2. I instructed him again on watching his Shutter Speed and Aperture for taking in and taking out light in his images (keeping it very basic for him).
  3. He also learned how to turn his lens off auto focus and switch to manual focus... he has become a lover of manual focus!!!
  4. Working on different angles: from above, low to the ground, and shooting through objects.
  5. Different lighting situations: dappled light, full sun with the sun behind the subject, and full sun with the sun facing the subject. Then adjusting Shutter Speed and/or Aperture for each situation.
  6. Shooting on Blurpose -- taking a blurry image on purpose.
  7. Having fun. This is the most important element ;)

All images shot by Camden using a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens; all in Manual Mode.

The following image my son took of me in some dappled light. Prior to taking the image we talked about including part of the bridge railing to use as a leading line to me, his subject. 

In this next Diptych image, the one on the left I took of him and the one on the right he took at that exact moment! :) I love how he kept in mind our lesson about shooting through objects.. he purposefully included some of the flowers in the foreground to create layering in the image.

Here are a few more shots he took as we walked along. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him find a little flower, dandelion, and whatever he deemed beautiful to photograph :)

For these last few images he worked in harsh full sun light behind his subjects and how it creates a haze as well as taking images on Blurpose ;)

Thank you for following along! :)  When I asked him what he learned today he said, "shooting in different light and learning to shoot in different angles".

At his dental appointment today the dentist asked him what his favorite subject is thus far in Home School .... he said, "Photography" :) :) :) My life is complete ;)

Follow Shannon Kathleen Photography on Instagram! :)


Bella Grace Magazine - Love the Life You Live