We feature a local kid on the cover of Minnesota Parent every month — our Cover Kid (or kids). 

We use photos by local professional family photographers for our covers.

Professional photographers provide the photos free of charge in exchange for the exposure it provides their photography business. On our Table of Contents page in the magazine, we provide the photographer's name, business name and website plus details about the child and his or her family. We promote our issue cover image — and the photographer — on social media,too.

Send professional photographer images to editor@mnparent.com and skarnas@mnpubs.com (our Creative Director, Sarah Karnas). If you have snapshots to share, we always love to see those, too, for our From Our Readers page in the back of the magazine. 

To get a sense of what we’re looking for, check out all the covers from our past few years on our archive page. Also, keep the following suggestions in mind when submitting images:

Local: Children must live in Minnesota or very close to it. Eventually, we’ll need parents’ full names, the kids’ names and ages and fun facts about them, too! (If your photo is selected, we’ll send you a short questionnaire.)

Age: Our covers typically feature younger kids — infant through elementary school age with a heavy focus on ages 7 and younger. Maternity, sibling and family photo submissions are welcome too, though we publish them infrequently. We love maternity photos that are fun, silly or whimsical (versus contemplative and solemn). 

Timely: Recent images — taken less than 1 year ago — are preferred, though we do make some exceptions (especially for highly seasonal images).

Permission: Parents, if you’re sending us images from a professional photographer or a friend, we’ll need the person’s name, contact info (email and phone) so we can ask permission to use the photo. Photographers: We’re asking for one-time print rights for the cover only — though an image of the cover will be used on our website and social media channels.

Themes: We sometimes try to tie cover image to the theme of the issue. Check out our editorial calendar for our issue themes.

Seasons: Keep in mind, with outdoor photos especially, that we try to align a bit with the seasons. Though many family photos are taken in the fall, we only have a couple months in which those photos will make suitable/timely covers. We are especially in need of winter photos since that's kind of our thing for quite a few months here in Minnesota!

Avoid props: Floral crowns, gowns, bowties and other commonly used formal studio props are so cute! But they often don't work very well in Cover Kid photos because the images seem too formal or staged. We're OK with casual! 

Vertical: High-resolution, vertical images work best for our covers — and we espeially appreciate a little room (white space or negative space) above the kids' heads and around the sides. That gives us a place to put the name of the magazine as well as story teasers.

Many thanks: Thank you for sharing your kids with Minnesota Parent! We feel so lucky to share the joy of your children on our covers and in the magazine!