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!

clinton humane benefit.jpg

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! 

The Lippy Life

A year and a month ago I made the decision to join SeneGence International because I fell IN LOVE with their products. I never ever imagined I would join a direct sales company, but here I am! My main passion and career is obviously photography, but I'll tell ya, this makeup side gig has been a blast. I've met some incredible women (some of whom I did photos for and will be showing up here in a few minutes). I've built a massive collection of SeneGence awesmeness, especially the LipSense. Ladies, if you haven't tried LipSense, get on it! I've never had a lipstick that I could put on and not worry about again. It comes in especially handy when I shoot weddings. The last person on a wedding day who should be touching up makeup is the photographer! Not only that, but what I really didn't expect, is the extra cash. I know, it sounds funny not to expect a business to make money, but I was most excited about the discount on products and connections with friends. Somehow, I, a self proclaimed introvert and totally un-salesy person, has managed to sell a crap ton of makeup and have a team of almost 30 people under me. It's hard to believe, but I am so grateful for this fun opportunity! 

And to mix these two loves was so much fun! Here are just 4 of the beautiful ladies on my team and along for this fun ride with me! 

Happy Birthday Avery!

So I know this session is Christmas themed...and this is March, but I chose to share this today because little Avery just celebrated his third birthday! 

I am the worst blog-procrastinator. I always rush to get the pictures edited for my clients because I'm always so excited to share them, send them off, and then neglect my poor blog. Thank you so much for those of you who stick around and check out my recent work! It's definitely my goal this year to blog more consistently and share lots more tips and photography knowledge as well as some behind the scenes fun! Let me know in the comments if there are any subjects you'd like me to cover or questions you'd love an answer to, blog style!

But before you do, take a peak at Avery and Amy's Christmas session! 

My Best Friend's Family

Liz was one of the first people I practiced taking pictures with... way back in our adolescent high school years. When I started Artsmith Photography in 2009, she was practically the face of my business! Oh and to top it off, she's one of my very best friends. So when she asked me to do engagement pictures a couple years ago obviously I was thrilled. But you know what's even better? Getting to capture moments of them now, married, and with their kids: Liz with her son Landon, and Patrick with his kids Owen and Evelyn make a beautiful whole family of five. It warmed my heart to see them interact with one another and to know how incredibly happy my friend is. I love them together and can't wait to watch them navigate through life as a team! Now for a few of my favorite pictures we got on what was probably the windiest day of the year!    

I Married a Ghostbuster...


Something you may not know about me... I'm married to a Ghostbuster! My husband Andrew is co-founder of the local Iowa group of avid Ghostbusters fans who go around in costume, to comic conventions, parades, screenings, special events, charities, and even kids' birthday parties, to have a blast and make people happy. There are certainly worse ways to spend your time! 

One of their favorite adventures started with a little boy named Braden. His mom Michelle contacted the Iowa Ghostbusters after seeing them at an event to let them know she was raising a super fan and wanted to surprise him for his birthday. Little did we know what would come of this. I went along to be paparazzi and capture the surprise. It was an amazing feeling for everyone involved to see the shock and awe on his face. This is what it's all about. Andrew and fellow buster, Matthew, agreed that it was one of their favorite moments in costume. Their love for the film goes back to their childhood and it was surreal to be playing the heroes they looked up to as kids, now, for another kid who felt just as they had. We hadn't known beforehand, but were soon filled in that Braden has a respiratory disease and has spent too much of his childhood sick and in a hospital bed. With mom's permission, we told his story along with the photos I shared from the party.

And it didn't stop there, the story soon went viral. We started seeing it retold by bloggers, news media, and magazines all over the internet! The family was contacted by the local paper where they also reported on Braden the junior Ghostbuster. And then the craziest thing happened... Braden was asked to fly out to California, star in his own little Ghostbuster trailer and get a movie poster made. A GoFundMe was created, funds were raised, and this little guy experienced what dreams are made of! 

There was a special screening of him film at Clinton's own Clinton 8 Theater, where he was also presented with his movie poster. It was a wonderful event and I was honored to be a part of it! 


The For the Win Project is an incredible non profit organization that gives children in special circumstances the chance to be their favorite heroes. Visit their website to see more about what they do and some of the awesome posters they've made for other children -

But first...check out Braden's video! 

Jared's Senior Portraits

I had an awesome time taking Jared's senior pictures. I love getting a variety of looks for a senior shoot. We went to riverfront, an alleyway and then over to Eagle Point park for a nice, natural setting. For each location, Jared had an outfit to change into and also didn't mind showing some skin. He even got a chance to show off his favorite sport for a few shots. It all made for a great finished gallery! Here are just a few of my favorites.