Happy Half Year Kate and Jason!

When I first met with Kate I knew immediately that I wanted to be there to photograph her wedding. So I crossed my fingers extra tight hoping she felt the same way! She was down-to-earth, kind, intelligent, and completely in love with her best friend. I could see it in her eyes how excited she was and how positively sure she was that she wanted to marry Jason. This is what I love about being a wedding photographer. It's the people who are so genuinely excited for their wedding to come, not for the party, but for the actual marriage that follows. Kate and Jason chose a time of year they loved at a little place they loved with the people they loved most in the world, and of course, each other. One of the most memorable details of the day was Kate's wedding dress. She combined her mother's wedding dress with her grandmother's dress to create her very own. It turned out absolutely perfect! The whole day was intimate, beautiful, sentimental and the start of a very long and happy marriage. 

Summer Nights Family Mini Sessions

I posted a poll on my Facebook page to gauge interest in mini sessions this Summer...and it was a 100% YES! So here we go!! 

I have decided to spread the mini sessions out and chose 3 different locations for 3 different dates, in the hopes that this will allow clients from several areas to take advantage of this special! 

These will be on Friday nights in July and August, between 6:00-8:30PM. I picked locations in Morrison, Illinois, Clinton and Davenport, Iowa. Only 4 sessions are available per night so these will definitely go FAST! 

You will get your choice of five digital downloads from a full gallery of edited pictures. You will be able to purchase additional images at that time if you wish. 

Read the rest of the details below and then Contact Me to claim your spot! 

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When Snow is Magic

Being born and raised in Iowa, I'm never super excited about the snow. Especially this year when it lasted through the middle of April! But for a couple of little girls who were visiting from overseas, it was a much different story! Unfortunately it was WAY too cold to drag this family outside the day they were in Clinton for their session. But that didn't stop their little ones from enjoying the beauty of a white covered world through the sliding glass door.

I'll share just a few favorites from their little indoor lifestyle shoot!   

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Megan and Aaron at the Six Month Mark

Today marks 6 months before these two love birds tie the knot! I love love love a good October wedding! And not just because I had my own wedding in October...although that may make me a tad  bias. I just all around think Fall is the most perfect time of the year. That probably means I'm living in the wrong part of the country! 

Speaking of parts of the country, Megan and Aaron are heading here all the way from Texas for their wedding day! They are so excited to celebrate with friends and family on the Pladna family farm. I got to get a little sneak peek of the location because they let me check it out when I did a quick engagement mini shoot while they were visiting. It's going to be beautiful! And it's happening in six short months! 

In the meantime...here are some of my favorites from their engagement shoot! 

Grayson turned ONE!

Grayson celebrated his first birthday this Winter! After a year of capturing his milestones, he finally warmed up to me! He even wanted to cuddle and give me the sweetest little hugs. It was melting my heart into a giant puddle on the floor. 

I love doing these bump to baby to big boy sessions because I really get to know these little sweeties and it makes capturing them that much more special. Check out a few of my favorites from Grayson's one year shoot!

Shout Out to Jenny for Being Amazing!

Sure, this blog is about a client whose family I photographed a few months ago, but it's also about a friend, fitness trainer, and most of all, an incredibly strong and compassionate woman that I am so thankful to know. 

It's kind of crazy to me that I haven't even known Jenny a whole year, but this lady doesn't take long to leave a mark on you. She will tell you exactly what's on her mind 100% of the time. She is strong in mind and body and will always have the back of the people (and animals) she cares about. I joined her bootcamp class last Summer as a step to better myself. I didn't know it at the time, but I really needed someone to push me outside my comfort zone and give me some tough love. Jenny did both of those things. She helped me workout, she helped me eat better food, and she somehow helped me find my own confidence to keep pushing forward. This bootcamp class is about SO much more than a place to workout. The little community of women that come together is the most supportive group I have ever been a part of. Every single woman in that class is strong, independent, and beautiful inside and out. Jenny is building something very special with her bootcamp class and this is only the beginning! Her husband, Zach, is going to school for chiropractics and together I know they will do amazing things for the community. 

Speaking of amazing things for the community, this husband and wife duo also volunteer to foster dogs. And right now, they are planning a HUGE benefit for some dogs that were rescued from horrifying circumstances last month. Jenny deserves the absolute loudest shout-out for doing so much work for this fundraiser, because she's doing it all while enduring Hyperemesis gravidarum during her pregnancy. If you don't know what that is, it's really, really tough and she's a freaking rockstar for even getting out of bed right now! 

They have gathered more than 100 incredible donations to be auctioned and raffled off, organized a dinner of spaghetti and sloppy joes, and have some really great, exciting plans for the benefit. It will be an awesome time! I'll post the flyer below the highlights from their December session!

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Why do you need family pictures every year?

One of the very last nice days before Winter, I met up with the Fowler family to do some outdoor photos. Now it's warming up again and I'm ready to get back out there! Woo hoo! 

I have really come to love taking family portraits. I love the bonds between family members and discovering those special relationships. The families who have come to me year after year are so close to my heart. Just because the kids are older and don't appear to change as much...they really do! Think of how much a kid changes in just 10 years... picture a 5 year old. Now picture a 15 year old. Yeah, it happens fast! Before you know it, those little baby faces will be all thinned out and their baby teeth will be replaced with holes and then big kid teeth and maybe braces and their big beautiful curious eyes will start wearing makeup or needing glasses... and their smooth skin will start to have pimples and their hair could change color and they may even become taller than you. I promise you will want to capture every. single. part of their childhood. Because in no time at all, your baby will be a grown up.

...and then getting everyone together for family pictures is a massive headache! Just ask any of my extended family clients!   

Seriously though, send me a message, get a family session on the books. You won't regret it! 

50th Anniversary Wish

The Groff family is one of the nicest families I've had the pleasure of working with. Celia contacted me to set up a photo shoot for her parent's 50th wedding anniversary. The catch was, everyone would be coming in from different states. So we had fingers crossed, toes crossed, arms and legs crossed, hoping for good weather! It was a little cold but thankfully no rain! 

The happy couple talked about the years they've spent together and that ups and downs are a part of the process. You have to love each other through it all (even if you don't like each other!) Celia told me that she and her siblings were excited to do something special for their parents and asked them what they'd like to do - a trip, a gift, anything at all. She said all they really wanted was to have dinner with her whole family. This tugged at my hearstrings for sure, thinking about how someday my children will be grown and could live far away with families of their own...I imagine that time with them would make me the happiest as well. 

Congratulations again on 50 years!