I met Kyle & Nicole last fall, just after my move to the Des Moines area. They were looking for a wedding photographer, and so we met up at Smokey Row to chat. It went great, they booked me, and we had a wonderful evening taking their engagement photos in Ankeny by the lake. Both Nicole and Kyle are super fun yet relaxed types, so I knew their wedding day would be wonderful.
Summertime: the season when love seems never too far out of reach, nature’s twinkle lights roam the midwestern skies (love ya, little fireflies!) and when a good cold drink (lemonade, sweet tea, or Sonic limeade!) is always on your mind. Summer happens to be my favorite season, and the BEST time of year to take those senior photos you’ve dreamed about for the past 3 years at the local high school!
Just imagine planning the perfect session, snagging mom’s credit card (with permission!) to buy that perfect summer dress to wear, having a blast with your favorite photography (hopefully me!) and then getting to pick out your favorites to post on Instagram (duh!) and submit to the yearbook. But first… you have to decide all those details! Like location, outfits, themes, and just what exactly you want to do for this illustrious evening.
It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside. — Maud Hart Lovelace
Summer in Iowa, ‘tis the sweetest pinnacle of midwestern joy. From fresh Farmer’s Markets to late spring rains to iced coffee on the porch while neighborhood kids catch lightning bugs, this is my favorite time of year. Born in winter, I live for the heat of summer sweat and the vibrant sunsets. This summer marks my first full year in Des Moines, and for once, I plan to stay put for a while. I’ve planted garden flowers and carved out a space in my refrigerator for sun tea. Slowly, as the days fly by and the calendar pages flip one to the next, I settle in to this metro, this wild and wonderful city I’m honored to call, for now, home.
Two years overseas, loads of coffees, bike rides, and lots of event planning later, Joel and Libby realized they both liked each other… a lot. So they started dating. It was serious from the start, and didn’t take long for talk of wedding bells and marriage. While out in Washington State, Joel took Libby for a picnic at a very scenic spot by a mountain lake. They left engaged, ready to take on the world (literally!). And they’ll be back out west, this time in Colorado, for a late August wedding. How about that!
Jenna and Treye’s wedding took place on one of the most popular days in June! And what a day it was. A few rainstorms hit Pella right before their first look was going to take place, but Jenna took it in stride. Sure enough, after waiting it out, the rains passed and the sun came out (bringing humidity right along with it!). Classic Iowa summers.
Heather and Clinton’s wedding day also took place in Sioux City, Iowa and Nebraska this past weekend. June is such a wild card month, with torrential rain storms and hot sunny days. Thankfully, their wedding day was the latter and honestly, just gorgeous for an early summer wedding! The sun rose early and stuck around through the reception, shining down love on the newlyweds.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Watching one of your best friends walk through a whirlwind romance almost feels like watching a play unfold. You don’t know where the story is going, there are great laughs, little “bloops”, tears shed and although you have a feeling that the new guy introduced is going to be the one who she says yes to… it’s all unseen until it happens.
When people ask what my favorite session to photograph is, with joy and quickness I respond, “Seniors!” I remember being in the final stretch of high school, with the seniority and responsibility that comes along with more freedom and, often, fear. High school was a sweet time for me. I never thought I could love anything more. (Turns out, college is actually just as fun!)
I knew from the first minute of sitting down with Melanie for coffee that we’d be friends. It doesn’t hurt that one of my best friends, Jess, referred Mel to me as soon as they got engaged. ;) Referrals make my heart SING and they’re truly the best. I’d be honored to have you refer friends or family to me for wedding, senior, or family photos!
Spring in Iowa can be unpredictable as a toddler. 2019 has been no exception! Even though Savannah & Harrison got married just about an hour outside of Des Moines, and halfway through May, I actually wore a sweater to their wedding. Crazy! Regardless, a little cloud cover had nothing on the bright ball of energy these two bring to the table. They’re going to take this world by storm and I just can’t wait to watch what they do together!
Let’s revisit the past. My personal history, if you will. These are photos that made me…while I was making them.
This sweet family was the very first to hire me for family photos way back when I first arrived in Ames for college! Erin found me on Google, and the rest was history. Ben was a newborn (literally like 3 months old!) and I did a mini-session the next fall, when he was about 1. But other than a random grocery store run in, I don’t think we’d crossed paths since then!
You never know what the weather will do in Iowa during spring. I’m thankful that we’ve had some really lovely, sunny days! However, Katie & Eric’s engagement photo evening threatened rain, so we had to work fast. Thankfully, these two are super adorable together and we got plenty of photos in the 40 or so minutes we had together. (And yes. If they look familiar to you, I took a few photos in November of them with Odin, their pup!)
Spring is the perfect time to catch up on family photos. Not only are the kiddos thrilled to be able to run & play outside after a long winter, but the weather feels warm and the green tones refresh the soul! I had the pleasure of photographing some of the most energetic and excited children in Des Moines last week. These siblings love each other, obsess over their newest baby brother, and made a quick friend of me!
Sophia and I met two & a half years ago at Iowa State. She was a freshman, walking through so many life changes and adventures! We met up a few times to talk, but our paths didn’t cross as much the following year. Now that I’m running my photography business in Des Moines, instead of Ames, our paths never cross. Until last week! Sophia decided to take me up on my mentoring sessions, and the Lord gave us a perfectly beautiful day!
THE most frequent question I’m asked (after, “Is photography really your full time job?” …which it really is!) usually is, “So, how much time do you spend editing/do you like editing?” And while so many photographers dislike editing, I really really enjoy it.
Not only is Elizabeth one of the most naturally gorgeous women I know, but her interior beauty shines more than her physical! She actually modeled for my in my fledging photographer days, at least once, maybe more. I had some silly ideas, but she put up with them in typical Liz style— encouraging, laughing, and having fun! We also shared some memories detasseling, if I recall correctly. Good ol’ Iowa summers!
When people I know have a new baby, I find a way to go catch some newborn snuggles. FAST! ;) Little lady Abigail was no exception! Her mom grew up in my home church but was enough older than I that we were never friends, just acquaintances. Fast forward a while and with Facebook, we’re now “friends”.. haha! Anyhow, Alison and I connected when she was looking for someone to watch her baby this summer. I met her & her husband, all three of us hit it off (this is gonna be a long friendship, y’all) and everyone was just eager for baby to come.
Gabby and David share a passion for life. They met in college, dated for two years, and got engaged in the fall of 2018! This year has been full for the two of them, working towards graduation and planning a wedding together. We have met up multiple times to talk about wedding timelines and photography, but we finally made it to spring when we could shoot their engagement photos! It was the perfect spring evening, and these two did a wonderful job getting each other to laugh and smile. :)