The 11 Best Portrait Photographers in Minneapolis

The Twin Cities — Minneapolis and St. Paul — serve as an artistic hub bisected by the historic Mississippi River. Its Warehouse and Lowertown Districts are home to studio and gallery artists, as well as the urban parks and green spaces that offer plenty of gorgeous backdrops for local photographers. If you’re looking for a local artist to capture your best side on camera, here are the most noteworthy Minneapolis portrait photographers!

1. Dann Kasallis

When Dann goes to a photo session, he brings over 20 years of portraiture experience, as well as a mind open and eagerness to learn. On location, in studio, outdoor, indoors — the venue makes no difference to Dann! As a specialist portrait photographer, he knows exactly how to coax out the natural character of his subjects using the best lighting, poses, props, color selection, and much more. In Dann’s own words: “My shooting style is based off the “Golden Rule,” if I were in your shoes, how would I want to be treated. I believe this is key in portraiture, if you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable.”

2. Alex Carroll

Based in St. Paul and operating throughout the Twin Cities, Alex obtained his bachelor’s degree in photography at Brown College of Minnesota. He focuses primarily on portraits, corporate events, and food photography. His business images are especially strong, capturing the feel and energy of each event, as well as the subject as if you were there as a viewer. Working with a creative narrative established beforehand with his partners, Alex ensures his work meets every expectation of his clients.

3. Brittany & Christianna Dengerud of Beautiful Era Photography

Beautiful Era Photo’s sister duo captures weddings, engagements, families, seniors, events, and design projects across Minneapolis. If supporting charities is as important to you as finding local artists, know that Brittany and Christianna have pledged to donate 10% of all their monthly session fees and portrait orders to charity.

4. Mark Basel

Mark is a specialist portrait and headshot photographer in the Northeast District of Minneapolis. His service is tailored for models, corporate professionals, actors, editorial magazines, and more. Mark’s style is a mixture of formulaic studio headshot work, as well as both outdoor and in-studio portraiture. The props, backdrop, and lighting all vary according to the collaborative vision he creates with his clients. He also partners with industry-leading artists, granting clients easy access to a full salon next door to his studio. 

5. Brett Dorrian

As an expert on business, branding, and artistry, Brett brings more than just a camera to each photoshoot. Her certifications include a MAOL certificate in strategic management, as well as a bachelor’s degree in theater and studio art from St. Catherine University. Brett’s portfolio focuses on lifestyle images (e.g. family, maternity, children, senior portraits, and more) and business photos, including headshots and full-day marketing shoots. Her photography has a soft, flattering quality. She also specializes in portraying a classic Hollywood style, with backgrounds, hairstyles, clothing choices, makeup, and even vignettes perfectly characterizing the era.

6. Kirsten Solberg

Kirsten is a wedding and environmental portrait photographer based in the Twin Cities. Looking through her images, we see the storytelling element and intimacy that a strong background can provide. Instead of a simple park or studio backdrop, we see the client’s home or another intimate setting. Kirsten’s most important attribute is that she works to engage her clients in feeling comfortable and eager to express themselves in her art. In her words, “Bringing out people’s confidence and personality is one of my talents and drives everything I do.” If you’re looking for documentary-style images, Kirsten is one of the best Minneapolis portrait photographers for that!

7. James Gross of JG Studios

James brings 25 years of commercial and food photography experience to every shoot he’s a part of. His work reflects that, with the perfect lighting, poses, and color one expects from a creative who has done work for major brands like Heinz, GM, and Target. His portrait style is especially diverse, with settings ranging from the urban outdoors to tailored studio shoots. 

8. Jacqueline Blake

Jacqueline focuses on newborns, high school senior portraits, and family photography. Her work consistently uses soft, even lighting for flattering skin tones and a sense of warmth. Photos of children use bold colors in studio, while newborns feature pure white and adorable studio props. Jacqueline’s focus on youth and family comes out in the warmth we see in the expressions of her subjects. From newborn to high school senior, Jacqueline is the best choice for capturing your children’s moments.

9. Elizabeth Hauck

As a headshot and documentary photographer, Elizabeth has shot all over the world, including Japan, Russia, Korea, the Dominican Republic, and across the United States. Eventually, she discovered a passion for studio and fashion photography, and is based in the Twin Cities continuing to shoot. We love how each image of her portfolio begs us to wonder what the subject is feeling and expressing. Expressions range from laughter to tight-eyed concentration, while clothes vary from traditional to whimsical. Image crops vary from traditional to off-center. In short, her style is documentary and artistic at the same time, following rules and flaunting others with the boldness of a true master.

10. Jonathan Conklin

Focusing on business headshots, portraits, and fashion photos, Jonathan brings 12 years of experience with nearly 24,000 happy clients and counting. After 10 years as a chef, he finds photography to be far more relaxing. In his own words, “I’ve learned to see and capture the positive aspects in all people, and that has truly changed my outlook on life.” His work focuses on closely cropped portraits with gentle studio lighting and smiles that make you grin just looking at the images. Jonathan also does fashion and model work that brings unique poses and diversity to his portfolio.

11. Emily Charais

Emily is a photographer specializing in family, teen, engagements, dancers, and high school senior portraiture. As a leading boutique photographer, she’s adept at helping clients find their best expression with a sharp eye, light poses, and a state-of-the-art natural light studio in North Loop, MN. Her work uses pure, bright white light in a style that invokes a sense of freedom and delight. Poses are a mixture of candid style and classic posed portraits with subdued colors or even monochromatic tones.

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