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!

A Bond Like No Other is Mother and Son {Kristin & Leium}

I met Kristin last year when we both discovered Senegence (best. makeup. ever). She was one of the gorgeous women I got to do headshots for. And now I had the pleasure of photographing her and her handsome son Leium over Easter weekend!

We were a little worried about the weather because Thursday night it was so cold I had to put gloves on my kiddos. But this is Spring in Iowa…so of course three days later we hit 80 degrees! We really had a perfectly beautiful afternoon at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton, Iowa. While there are still a lot of “naked” branches, we found a beautiful field of blooming daffodils and of course the gorgeous cherry blossoms.

As soon as I met Leium I knew the shoot would be fun one. He is not shy in the least and quite literally danced through the arboretum. He is such a happy kid and always has a huge smile on his face. I can tell he really enjoys being goofy and having fun. I gave him the opportunity to make up a silly story to make mom laugh and I’m pretty sure he didn’t disappoint. This talented little dude is already a writer and animator, which is super cool. Leium is one of a kind and I know his mama is very proud of him. It definitely shows in their photos!

I can definitely say, this session got me very excited for the busy photography season ahead!

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!