Ellery Grace's Summer in Iowa {4th Birthday Portraits}

I was so excited to take Ellery’s photos because I actually got to know her more than I usually get to know my clients! It’s a funny story actually…

Around the end of May I took my son, Bennett, to try out a Tae Kwon Do class. He had been curious about it and wanted to learn how to “kick good.” He’s 4 so I’ll excuse the grammar lol! Anyway, we showed up, a little unsure of what to do. He’s pretty skeptical of new experiences and was relieved to find another little girl who was also trying it out for the first time. I sat in the parents’ area to watch and had a nice conversation with the new girl’s parents. I learned they were here for the Summer from Texas and their 3 year old daughter’s name was Ellery. I never did get mom and dad’s names and actually kicked myself for forgetting to ask because I really enjoyed our chat.

The next class time came around and Bennett threw the fit of all fits about not wanting to go. I really have no idea why because he had so much fun! Kids, you just never know. Instead of forcing him to go we decided just to give it a couple months before trying again. No big deal!

A month passed by and I got an inquiry from Lauren for a 4th birthday session for a little girl named Ellery who was living in Iowa for the Summer. Now this may seem obvious to every reading this (because it totally should have been!) but I did not make the connection that this was the same Ellery from Tae Kwon Do! So we chatted through email and got the photo shoot all set up. You guys, I even knew they were from Texas!! I tell ya…

The following week, I was sitting at my kids Gymnastics class and in walks little Ellery and her mommy. It was in that moment that it all connected in my exhausted mom-brain! I quickly asked mom her name this time and confirmed it was Lauren! “I think I’m taking your pictures in a couple days!” I told her and we both laughed about the coincidence! She said I was the only person she’s really met in Iowa and we now crossed paths on 3 occasions. It seems it was meant to be!

Lauren started telling me about this thing called Tinkergarten in Bettendorf that she was planning to take Ellery to. It sounded like a lot of fun! After getting all the details from her I decided to sign my own kids up to go as well. We ended up carpooling a few days and I’ve gotten to know both of them while exploring the great outdoors and finding nature treasures at Tinkergarten. It’s really an awesome program and if you have kids 18 months to 8 years old, definitely look into it! www.tinkergarten.com

Anyway, now I was even more excited to take this sweet girl’s portraits. Our first date got rained out but we finally found the most beautiful Friday evening to get them taken. Dad even got to come along this time and we all explored Eagle Point Park. It’s always fun to have people from out of the area see the beauty of that park. When you’re from Clinton it’s just an everyday thing and often gets taken for granted. But we really are very fortunate to have such a beautiful area in our own backyards!

Anyway let’s get to the pictures! Happy 4th Birthday Ellery Grace; I hope we get to join you on lots more adventures this Summer!

Clinton Showboat Theatre Presents: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

I have the great honor again this year of documenting the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's summer line-up of productions here in Clinton, Iowa. 2018 was my first year to ever try my hand at production photography. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into, but it ended up being one of my most fun photo projects to date! I was thrilled to be asked again this year, especially because of the British theme…(ie. The Who’s Tommy will be here!) And so many other awesome musicals will be performed over the next couple of months and I can’t wait to see and photograph every one of them!

The season kicked off with “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” I really hope you had a chance to see it because it was phenomenal! Honestly one of the best I’ve seen so far. It was FULL of action…my trigger finger was literally sore the next day haha! I also caught myself laughing on several occasions. I’m sure that’s not a problem…I’m just used to being discrete as a photographer, but I couldn’t help myself!

Next up will be Blithe Spirit, premiering on June 20th. The description from their website reads, “Chaos ensues when the dead wife of novelist Charles Condomime, Elvira, is accidentally summoned during a seance and begins to haunt him and his new wife, Ruth. In classic Noel Coward style, this uproarious comedy is sure to delight.”

If you haven’t already gotten your tickets, be sure to stop in at the showboat asap to claim your seat! It sounds like a riot; you will not be disappointed!

And now, a few of my favorite shots from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”

A Rainy Day at the Park with Baby Michael

Grandma and Grandpa got to have the pleasure of bringing Michael to his photo shoot this time, and it seemed to work wonderfully! I mean, what kid isn’t all smiles for the grandparents?! I got to meet this little guy when he was just 2 days old! It doesn’t seem possible that it was a whole year ago already.

We had a fun time just playing on the playground and throwing in a few traditional portraits when the mood was right. Even when it started raining, Michael was all about exploring and he kept a happy face on the entire time! He seriously made my job so easy. However, Grandma and Grandpa DID work really hard for some belly laughs that turned out so adorable, so huge kudos to them! :)