Shelby and Preston's wedding day at Riverside Bible Camp was an absolute dream! Shelby wanted things to keep with a simple, springtime feel, and I have to say that I'm slightly obsessed with ev.ery.thing. The girls and guys began their day getting ready at a hotel in Story City, making it easy for everyone to sleep in a little before the big day.
Chicago happens to be the 3rd largest city in the United States. Did you know that?! I didn't.... until last year. even though I've been to the Windy City quite a few times in my life. The first time our family visited, I was 10 and obsessed with seeing the new American Girl Place. We visited the classic museums and the Navy Pier (of course!), and I'm sure rode the Loop and ate some deep-dish pizza along the way. However, not too much of that vacation stuck with me though the years.
Jillian and Anthony met in college, but they didn't feel immediate sparks. However, after months together on the road for a traveling class, their friendship slowly grew into more. They bought matching bear hats together (you'll see them later!) and share a love for the outdoors, family, and simplicity. All of that was evident in this gorgeous outdoor spring wedding at Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Illinois!
It's wild to hear that 2018 is almost here, isn't it?! Being a 90's kid, I can't imagine that we are almost in the 2020's!!! But, crazy as it is, I'm also so excited. 2017 was such a growing, stretching year for me...and I have no doubt that 2018 will be even bigger and better.
So, what are my goals and dreams for this year?
I’ve know Rich for about five years now. Last fall, when I saw on Facebook that he had a girlfriend, and they kept posting photos…and new profile photos… and another one…I had a feeling that she was a keeper! ;) So, much to my surprise and delight, I got a text message from Rich a few weeks back, asking about my availability to photograph his proposal of marriage to Julia!!! Of course, I had to say yes. Not to mention his plan was to propose at the famous High Trestle Trail Bridge (just outside of Madrid, Iowa). I’d driven past it many times with friends, but never had made my way over to the actual bridge. It was so fun for me to go out there for my first time, just days before the proposal, to scout out the area.
I got to hang out with David & Ashley last Friday morning (way earlier than I am normally up, honestly!). But the light was gorgeous--especially after days of clouds and rain--and we were on a mission... to snag some 6 month photos of Lily before she crashed and took a nap. I love hanging with these friends on a pretty regular basis, and sneak baby snuggles any chance I get, but this was the first time I'd photographed Lily since she was born!
Lauren emailed me a few months ago about photographing her wedding (at a local winery just outside Ames!) and I jumped at the chance! I've actually photographed there--but nothing was green yet. :) I'm anxiously awaiting this coming September!!!
It has been such a sweet thing to watch these two become friends, date, fall in love, and plan to get married (in less than a month!). Preston's older brother was in my grade, so I knew who Preston was... even before he moved into the dorm where we all lived. However, I didn't see much of him, because he opted to be part of the infamous Iowa State University Cyclone Football 'Varsity' Marching Band. Which, as it happens, is what Shelby also did. ;)
Miranda brings so much life into this world. She's one of the most caring people I know, and is such a brilliant artist! Miranda also love reading, so we made sure to include some gorgeous volumes of her favorite books. We decided to take her photos in this sweet little flower nursery I've admired for years, so I drove up from Des Moines to Cedar Falls one fall weekend. It was such a wonderful evening, and I can't believe that it's taken me so long to blog them!
One of the key things I learned about prayer growing up is that God always answers. It may just be that answer isn't the one you were hoping for. (The three options are no, wait, and yes. Just in case you wondered.) However, in all the Sunday School wisdom passed on to me, the one thing that never really stuck was that regardless of the answer, it is all God's grace for my life, and His absolute best answer for me. "No" isn't a secondhand, answer-for-the-sake-of-answering from God. A "wait" or "no" just may mean a better "yes".
I am all for spontaneity (with a little planning, of course!). So when Erin texted me the day of their engagement session & suggested that we shoot their photos on Cole's parents' land... I was all for it! When I showed up, I knew that decision was the perfect one. Rolling hills, a pond (lake?!) and long tall grass, hanging on from the fall. Plus we got the full gambit of weather--a little spring rain, and then a full sunset at the end! My kinda night. :)
Jenny and Jeremiah's story began back in the summer of 2012. They both attended a summer program in Florida for two months; however, Jenny was a staff member and Jeremiah attended as a student! (I also participated and met them both, however, since I was from a different university, didn't interact much with either one.) The next summer, Jenny led a missions trip overseas, and Jeremiah was one of the (again) students on the trip. That summer created a strong friendship between the whole team.
Living in landlocked Iowa, it isn't often that I get to photograph a portrait session on the beach. Photographing Serene for her forthcoming EP release, on a beach, in NOVEMBER no less, was magical! The wind gave us a hard time, but we managed to make do. ;) Click to see a few of my favorite images. :)
Last May, I had the privilege to try my hand at wedding videography. It was honestly the most gorgeous rainy wedding day I'd seen in Iowa, moody and woodland magical! Dirk and Emily care genuinely for each person they meet. Likewise, the people they surround themselves with are also kind and SO FUNNY! Clink the link to read more after the jump, and watch their wedding video!
In this grand year of 2018, I was bound & determined to host a Galentine's Party of my own. Below, you'll find some photos, tips, and thoughts on hosting your own heart's day fête!
"I'm so busy."
This simple phrase appears in almost every conversation I have these days. Every person I encounter seems to be overwhelmed by their every-growing "to do" list, running around from work to errands to events with hardly a glance to their bank teller or grocery clerk. And when we do have a free minute (or hour), they are quickly swallowed up by scrolling through social media, playing mindless games on a smartphone, or watching another episode of the latest TV show.
We began photos at Walnut Ridge Baptist Church, where Danae and her ladies were snacking on bagels, drinking sparkling cider, and getting made up. Knowing some of those women made the morning extra fun for me! Danae had chosen a gorgeous deep purple for her bridesmaids to wear, and I just have to say--this may be one of my favorite color palettes! Not to mention her ring...heavenly. I'm so thankful to have had the time for detail photos, especially the sweet heirloom handkerchief Danae carried!
The Des Moines Christkindlmarket is a German/European inspired Christmas Market! I grew up in Germany, and have distant memories of the real deal. This winter, I finally made the time to hit up this winter extravaganza. Although smaller than the market I've visited in Chicago, Des Moines' Christmas Market warmed my soul and stomach.