Our family rarely has professional photos done.  There is a reason for that and I'll explain it below.  But, I did pony up some cash for a professional photographer a few years ago to take pictures of my kids.  Honestly, they are some of my favorite photos but I just learned that we broke the law at one of the locations where the photos were taken at in Rochester, Minnesota.  Yes, my kids (and I) broke the law!

Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams
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We Now Know That Taking Photos on Railroad Tracks is Illegal in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin

Yes, those are my kids in the photo above.  And yes, they are sitting on railroad tracks. This was quite a few years ago and when this photo was taken, I had no idea that there was a rule about staying off of railroad tracks.

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Railroad tracks have become popular locations to shoot wedding photos, graduation pictures and selfies. However, taking pictures on railroad tracks is illegal and highly dangerous. Operation Lifesaver, Inc., one of FRA's partner organizations, warns photographers and social media users of the dangers of this activity. For everyone's safety, keep subjects off the tracks. - Railroads.dot.gov

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Best Places for Selfies in the Rochester, Minnesota Area

I know taking selfies is fun but now we all know that it is illegal to make those happen on railroad tracks.  So, here's another spot that I recommend instead - the wings!

I'm obsessed with angel wing murals! And I'm extremely excited because Rochester, Minnesota is starting to get out of the white, sterile environment that we've been looking at for years and finally adding a bit more color with murals. There are a few angel murals that I absolutely love, including the one in my Instagram picture above.  

Here's The Reason Why It Was Hard For Our Family to Get Professional Photos Taken

I know a lot of families make it a tradition to get family photos done every year.  I tried that but I found out two things.

  1. It is expensive.
  2. One of my kids hated getting his pictures taken.  In fact, he hated the camera so much, we were asked to leave the studio where his 2-year-old photos were being taken because of the massive tantrum he threw for 45 minutes.  And by massive, I mean that all of Rochester probably knew my family was at the Target studio because his screams were deafening throughout the store.

After that horrific experience, we were asked to come and try again another day.  As a mom who was just trying to do her best every day, I felt like I was a horrible mom.  Every other mom had cute photos of their kids and had enough cash for the milestone pictures that were taken professionally.  I didn't have that type of cash AND I had a kid who decides to scream bloody murder rather than smile when a camera shows up.

I told myself after that, family photos and professional photos were not going to be a big deal for our family.  It was too stressful and too expensive for the outcome.  If anyone wanted photos of my kids, they could take them and pay for it themselves.  I was done making them get their pictures taken by a photographer.

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Rochester Restaurants from A to Z (Almost)

Next time you are trying to figure out where to eat in Rochester, just pick a letter from A to Z and scroll a little bit to see what restaurant you will be eating at tonight. It is the easiest way to make a decision! DISCLAIMER: If you pick "x" or "y" you will need to pick again.

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