Medenblik Family | An extended family session at the Arboretum in Clinton, Iowa

I first met Selena and Chad when they were expecting baby Leighton. It was cold and wintery at the time so they were all in for indoor maternity, and later, newborn photos. Now here we are, a little over a year later, and the weather was far from wintery! I think we picked the hottest day of the year so far for their extended family session, but luckily it was still pretty nice out first thing in the morning.

Looking back, one of my favorite moments was when baby Jude finally smiled! He was Mister Model-face most of the time, but when dad put him on his shoulders, the cheesin’ could no longer be contained. And what a beautiful smile he has!

And something I learned this day… the Medenblik family is incredibly photogenic! Several family members were unsure about this whole professional photo shoot thing, but you would never know that they don’t do this ALL the time! For real, I was super impressed. They all knocked it out of the park and I had a blast capturing these family memories for them!

Everett's Newborn Lifestyle Session

Everett was lucky to be born into a loving family with parents Ashley and Peter, and big brother Charles. As soon as I walked into their home I got the sense that this family was welcoming, kind and creative. Their home was painted beautifully inside and I loved seeing some of their DIY projects around, like a sensory type bored for their 2 year old (great idea!)

We started in mom and dad’s room and had a little family time on their vibrantly colored bed, which fit their style well. Charles actually warmed up to me right away! That was certainly a pleasant surprise! Sometimes my big ol’ camera is intimidating to little eyes but he was all about pushing the buttons! When you scroll through the sneak peek in a minute, keep an eye out for the picture of their cat - Charles took that one!

He’s still adapting to life with a new baby. I mean, it’s a pretty big change after all! Mom and dad are doing a great job of letting him know he’s just as loved as he was before. He even got some story time while I photographed Everett on his own. And let me tell you about baby Everett! He is just such a darling little boy, mommy’s little lamb. Already sleeping long stretches at a week old, perfectly calm and cuddly. I could’ve taken his pictures all day long!

It truly was a wonderful experience spending a couple hours with this new family of four. They are gentle and loving with open hearts and minds. I thank them for letting me capture a little glimpse of their lives and I hope I do their story justice!

Meeting in the Middle | {Hoover Family Sneak Peek}

First of all, the Hoover family is pretty awesome! Jessica got in touch with me a few weeks ago to set up a session for her family since they would all be together. A rarity now that the kids are all grown up! In fact, the baby of the family graduates high school today, he’s the reason for the special occasion. They literally came from both sides of the country - California to Florida and a couple places in-between to meet in the midwest and see their brother graduate. Isn’t that awesome?! I just love that!

I’ve always been kind of envious of big families with lots of siblings and they are exactly why! All the different personalities and relationships make for some entertaining times, always a shoulder to lean on and lots of love to go around. I’d be willing to bet mom and dad would say there’s never been a dull moment raising 5 kids! And now they’ve happily welcomed 4 more people into their family with open arms.

We fought the bugs and dodged the impending thunderstorms at the BIckelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton, IA and I’d say we won! However, this was a huge reminder to stock my mom van with an array of bug spray! Thankfully, the Hoover family is full of troopers who took it on like champs and didn’t let it get in the way of capturing some wonderful memories together. I really loved pulling each couple and the graduate aside for their own little mini session. It’s fun to get to know everyone and it helps me immensely to remember names when I have a few minutes to talk to everyone! They also had some fantastic ideas of their own and I’m glad we got to incorporate them into the session! All in all, it was a great family session, but even more importantly, I hope they truly enjoy every moment all being together again this weekend!