Maya K. Photography is owned and operated by me, Katie Nees.  Photography is my life: my job and my hobby, my passion and my therapy, my gift to you.  

My first love in photography was fine art, but eventually I came to realize that I would rather spend my life making images that would be really priceless to even a few people, than ones that would be seen by many, but truly cherished by no one. So although I am still a sucker for a great tree or an old building, now I focus on portraiture, bringing with me the same artful eye I would use for a gallery show.

 I love to make photos that you can't wait to show off to your friends, surround yourself with at home, and pass on to your children as a piece of family history. Can't wait to meet you and see what I can capture for you!
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A photograph is never rushed.
You can see things in that motionless frame that you don't have the opportunity to notice at life-speed.
No matter what the moment was like, with the captured frame in front of you the frantic pace falls away,
and you're left at rest in the moment.  
The frantic need to force in everything I want to see or say is gone.  I don't have to have the right words, because the image says it for me,
and I can take as much time as I want to figure it out.
It allows me to escape my self-conscious self,
and live through the person at the other end of my lens.

That is why I take pictures: to capture the atmosphere of right now in a way that will last for ages,
to chase after the exact feeling of a person, place, and time, and to hold onto a singular moment--
unique, and therefore priceless.
I am based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, where I photograph children and their families, senior portraits, weddings--whatever you want to capture in photos.  I also make it back home to the Iowa/Illinois Quad-Cities from time to time, so if you are in that area and interested, contact me and we'll work something out!

A great photo of someone records more than just what they look like.  Really it's about their personality, attitudes, and emotions--the things we love so much about them.  Whether through photojournalism, lifestyle photography, or a more structured portrait session, this is what I aim to capture every time I click the shutter. Click on the tabs below to read about my approach to each situation.
WEDDINGS

What people and moments at your wedding will be most important to you? What style of photographs will have the power to bring you back to those moments someday when it seems like another lifetime? What do you want to capture?

For purely practical reasons, being a young woman makes it a little easier for me to understand and anticipate some of your hopes and concerns, and what kinds of things you will most want to remember when it's all over--not to mention it's a little less weird to have me taking pictures of you getting dressed than some guy you just met!

But seriously, I want to know who you are and what my focus should be to create images that you will absolutely love. I include an engagement session with every package so you can get comfortable in front if my camera and I can find your best side before the wedding-day frenzy begins.    

SENIOR PORTRAITS

A senior portrait session is all about personality--your unique personality--and about creating gorgeous, fun, distinctive images that express your style.

That's why I encourage my seniors to call or email me yourself before your photo shoot--so we can get to know each other and talk about what kind of outfits and locations you will really be into. I don't have a studio, because I believe that shooting on location makes it easier for you to be yourself, and instantly adds mood, interest, and personality to your photos. We'll do a variety of posed and candid shots, so that you end up with a kind of editorial fashion shoot showcasing your interests and personal style.

A few weeks after the shoot, you can view and order your images online, and post a link so your friends and family can look too. Besides individual prints, we can also use your photos to create digital storyboards, professional books, custom invites or thank-you cards for your graduation party, and much more.    

WEDDINGS

On that day, you have me for as long as you need me. I include unlimited coverage with all of my packages so that I don't miss any opportunities, and you don't have to worry about what to fit in before I leave. Every wedding is different, but in general, I prefer the posed pictures with family and wedding party to be an important but very small portion of the day, and to shoot the majority as it happens naturally, only making suggestions when you need and want them.

If this sounds good to you, get in touch with me! I can't wait to hear all about your love story and your wedding plans.
CHILDREN'S PORTRAITS

More than just a record of their features, you want to capture the heart and soul of being a kid, the little joys that your children share with you every day. With lifestyle photography--a flexible, artistic style that's part photojournalism and part portraiture--you can have exactly that!

At your home, or a favorite park or other familiar place, where your child will be relaxed and have fun, I approach kids on their turf and their schedule. For an hour or two, (or more if necessary) I capture a mixture of simply posed portraits and artful candid shots, so that you end up not only with great individual images, but a sort of photo-essay, telling the story of that time in your kids' lives. These images are great material for cards, fine art storyboards, and gorgeous coffee table-worthy books and albums featuring your favorite little people. After the shoot, we'll meet to view your images, starting with a beautiful DVD slideshow that is yours to keep as a souvenir of the day. I'll also post them in your own online gallery for you and your loved ones to see, share, and shop for three months.