Just Grandma and Me {Donna + Lillian}

I got to meet sweet Lillian last Fall at a photo shoot with her mom and dad. Lucky for me, her Grandma Donna contacted me shortly after to set up her own session with me!

Donna recently moved to Iowa from the western side of the country to be closer to her sweet granddaughter and of course her son and daughter in law too. She was able to bring work with her and set up an office in her beautiful new home. It was important for Donna to capture this stage of life and I took my job as her storyteller seriously. We photographed some of the things that make her who she is. Her craftiness, kitchen skills, love of reading, Christianity and the love she has for Lillian.

I loved walking into her world for an hour on a sunny Winter afternoon to get to know her and her family a bit better and photograph what I hope will be meaningful images they always hold dear. I’m already looking forward to working with them again someday!

A Day in the Life of the Tieso Family

I’ve been loving these lifestyle sessions so much over the Winter! For Melanie’s sixth birthday photos, we did a bit extra this time. We did a full day-in-the-life session capturing fun moments of her, mom Steph and dad Kris spending time doing things they love. Games, nails and makeup, cooking in the kitchen and of course jumping on the bed were all part of the fun!

Every kid is pretty excited to get the “go-ahead” to jump on the bed and Mel was no exception. She seemed like a pro though…so I’m guessing she’s done this before! She was also a big fan of showing me all the pretty things in her room. She’s had the giraffe in the corner since her newborn pictures and I’m thinking she’s about as tall as him now. *sniff sniff*

They also got comfy on what has really become the “family bed.” I know how that goes! If you’re lucky you’ll be able to keep your whole body on the very edge without falling out while kids and dogs sprawl out in the middle. Right?! I don’t think I’m alone in this!

And while game-time was super fun, it’s not always an easy task keeping kids (…and maybe mom…) from cheating a little bit. Haha! I’m pretty sure bumping into people during their turn in operation is grounds for disqualification, but we allowed it because it was hilarious! Anything for smiles and laughs!

After game-time Kris started boiling potatoes since Mel’s favorite food (at least for now) is mashed potatoes. They would finish cooking them together, but in the meantime we decided to do some fingernail painting. Melanie already had purple nails and Steph informed me that they couldn’t locate any remover at the moment. So lucky mom got to have her nails painted…for work tomorrow…with no remover in site (sorry Steph)! Actually, Mel did a pretty good job! Better than I was expecting anyway. She even knew to wipe the brush off first before painting. She also forgot to do that a few times. Hehe!

Our starving little almost six year old was anxious to finish up those potatoes so she mashed like she’s never mashed before! There were potatoes flying and happy dogs ready and willing to help clean up the mess! I knew kitchen time with dad was an important part of the day to capture because they love cooking together. In fact, Melanie’s birthday party will be baking themed. I’m thinking she’s going to be one amazing cook someday! Maybe it’s not the norm, but we ended this session with spoonfuls of mashed potatoes and it was just perfect!

Melanie’s smile says it all!

Leo's Newborn Lifestyle Session

I had the pleasure of photographing Leo’s big brother Grayson’s first year and now I am over the moon to do the same for this baby boy number two!

Mom and Dad joined me in the 2 boys under 2 club! It’s a fun club to be in, but also pretty exhausting. I’ve had people ask me if it gets easier as they get older, and I have to say it really depends on your kids. For me it’s totally gone up and down over the past 3 1/2 years. I’m sure that trend will continue! We have good phases and challenging phases (to put it nicely). But there are wonderful moments every single day (amidst the chaos). The best way to make it through the tough times is to really savor and appreciate those minuscule incredible moments that make you smile.

I can’t wait to follow Leo and Grayson through the next year of life and capture not only Leo’s milestones, but the brotherhood relationship they are building. And of course mom and dad in this beautiful season of life!