Lizzy and I met through a church small group about 3 years ago. I didn’t know her very well for a while, except that she was an agronomy student at Iowa State University, had a bubbly personality, and loved to travel through school! The next year, we ended up being roommates (which means I got to know her a lot more!) and found out that she bakes when she’s stressed, enjoys watching One Tree Hill, and was falling in love with a guy named Nate. I’ve been able to watch their relationship progress and grow from (almost) the start. It’s been full of trials and excitement, and I’m so excited to see these two finally get married in December!
I know it’s only October, but looking back on this past year, I’m just so thankful and amazed that such incredible couples have chosen me to capture their wedding day on film. (Ok, it’s digital, but it’s more fun to say film! And who knows? Maybe someday I’ll add in some fine art film elements to my wedding photography packages!) These are just a few of my favorite outdoor and indoor photos from my weddings over the past year. I’ll do a more comprehensive blog post at the end of the year, but for now, it’s just fun to reminisce on these sweet days! From proposals to engagement photos to weddings… these are my people. Brides & grooms who are kind, joyful, adventurous, romantic, and who have hearts of gold. I couldn’t do this without them!
This is Paige. Not only is she gorgeous, but she is sweet and funny and full of spunk! I love getting to photograph senior girls in Des Moines, and Paige was no exception! Click the title to see more of her senior photos.
If you could have your senior portraits taken someplace exotic and exciting, what city or country would you choose? Of course, there are too many wonderful places in the world. Maybe you’d have your senior photos taken on Maui with lush green forest and mountainscapes behind you (and some surfing/beach photos, too!). Or maybe you’d choose an international trip to the cozy Black Forest of Germany, or perhaps the white beaches & homes of Santorini, Greece! I think that one of my very top choices would be Paris. It’s historic, classy, full of spots from both literature and film, and just stunning in every way. (My American “destination senior photos” bucket list include New York City, Seattle, LA, Magnolia Market in Waco, and Washington DC!)
What all would be included in a destination senior photo session in Paris!? Let us dream together, my friends! First off, some killer outfits. I have a whole Pinterest “mood” board with ideas— and I pulled some to share here with you all! The first outfit below is a favorite— tulle skirt, black heels, and a sweet beret. The second one literally encompasses how I felt when I toured the Castle of Haute Koenigsberg, in Alsace! Just like Belle, I think. ;)
Of course, if you travel to France for senior photos… you’d have to take some dreamy early morning photos in front of the Tour Eiffel! Especially if you’re wearing a dreamy pink skirt or lacy white dress. (I’ve seen photos holding a bunch of balloons, or bouquets of flowers—the perfect Parisian props!)
Gardens of gorgeous French roses & historical romantic architecture in Paris is everywhere. The perfect backdrop for fashion inspired senior photos! Reminds me of my time in Versailles with my French host family… I wouldn’t mind another trip there, either!
Of course, half of the allure of Paris is the FOOD. And the coffee! (And champagne… but not for senior photos! ;) So, of course, we’d breakfast at a local cafe after an early shoot. And probably take more pictures while dining on good coffee and “pain au chocolat” aka chocolate stuffed pastries. This Vogue article has some fun suggestions on restaurants & other fancy breakfast ideas! Maybeeee we’d even sneak a few macarons. ;)
Anyone with me!? Honestly, if anyone hired me for destination senior photos —national or international— I would just about melt of happiness. It would be a real dream come true! Ok, now it’s your turn. Leave me a note with your dream senior picture or wedding destinations in the comments! I’d love to hear what places are on your bucket travel list! Who knows? Maybe we could even coordinate trips someday and check something off both our lists! ;)
Nick and Kenzie’s day was full of details, family, and friends that mean much to them. It was intimate and incredibly sweet! Even though our Iowa Fall has felt more like Spring, and poured for a few hours straight during the afternoon of their wedding, the rain couldn’t stop this love one bit. :)
Heather and Clinton have been together for years now, and are finally getting married next summer in her hometown of Sioux City! Although they live near Iowa City, where Clinton is still in school, Heather really wanted to do their engagement pictures in her hometown. SO, this past weekend, I drove up to meet the two of them, their adorable dogs, and spend an evening on the lake!
Ester modeled an authentic African-print top for me… and I’ll never be the same. ;) I’m totally all about this girl, and the incredible images we created together! Click the title to see more of the outfits Ester pulled together & her gorgeous model face. #slay
Sara attends Ames High School, where she is a senior this fall! As well as dance, Sara is involved in band… and takes dance lessons at a local studio. She loves the Beatles, purple, and traveling with her family. (This summer they took an Alaskan cruise! I’m totally jealous.) We also bonded over the fact that we both wear chacos, and agree they’re some of the best shoes ever designed.
Here's to the past, for all that you've learned,
Here's to the present, for all that you share,
Here's to the future, for all that you look forward to together
Last night, I met up with Jenna and Treye in the downtown Des Moines area. A month ago, I photographed their proposal in West Des Moines. The next day they bought a house, and the following week, these two asked me to photograph their wedding. (I am sooo thrilled!) They’ll get married in Pella next June, and celebrate at Central College… and it’s going to be gorgeous!
Kelly is friends with Aimee through their classes at Cedar Falls High School. Kelly andI met up for coffee earlier this summer, and bonded over our mutual love of the local Cup of Joe and UNI Suzuki’s violin program! It was even more fun getting to know her last weekend, when we wandered around CF for her senior pictures. :)
Happy September! With my fall mini-sessions coming up in just a month, I've had lots of questions on what to wear for family photos! Picking outfits can be a challenge, so I decided to create a few free resources for families who want to look "on point" for their pictures! (Does anyone even say that anymore?!) One great resource is Pinterest. I've created a Pinterest Board specifically for families & family photo outfits!
Casey and Alycia won my summer giveaway last year— which meant that we got to hang out one evening in late October, and take some beautiful fall pictures! I met Alycia through a mutual friend back when she was in undergrad school at UNI, and when I was at Hawkeye for photography. They were looking for an engagement photographer, and I just happened to be available. ;)
One of the most common questions I get asked by my seniors is, "What should I wear!?". Such a great questions (of course!) but also sometimes, it makes me laugh. Ultimately, I want you to display who you are during your session--including in how you dress! That could mean you rely heavily on converse, ripped jeans & Marvel graphic t-shirts... or that you wear your prom dress and play an upright piano out in a field at sunset. BE YOU!
A year ago this weekend, I photographed a sweet wedding at the Celebration Barns in Eastern Iowa for Katie and Jackson. At the wedding, during family photos, they told me Jackson's sister (Mariah) and her fiancé (Will) were getting married the next year. I ran up to them at the end of the day, handed them my business card, and the spent about a week in bed recovering from the worst cold I'd ever had. Possibly because I'd been sick, I didn't remember that interaction until I received an email in the winter from Mariah-- asking if I'd be interested in photographing their destination wedding in Colorado!!!!
The answer to Colorado (or any destination wedding photography) is always yes in my book. ;)
Des Moines is a happenin' city. People continue to ask me (as happens when you move!) "Why Des Moines?". And I'll tell you why: because it's a fun place to live! It has the perks of a large city (lots of amazing restaurants, parks, social events, and shopping of course) with the advantage of a midwest town. Seriously-- I bump into people I know at the store or downtown. What are the odds!?
I'm so excited to announce my Fall Mini-Session dates! This is the first year that I've been able to really do this (hooray for full time photography!) and I'm just so excited to see what families sign up for a session.
Treye and I met back in our early college days. We both took classes at Hawkeye Community College (photography for me, and I'm honestly not remembering what he studied!). We had some mutual friends, so out paths crossed pretty often at local concerts, old school neon dance parties, and over lunch on HCC campus. Eventually, I transferred to Iowa State and we lost touch, aside from the occasional Facebook like here and there.
If you live in Iowa and haven't been to the Iowa State Fair, you're just about crazy. ;) It's one of my favorite August activities--and one of my earliest memories of living in Iowa! The first time my family attended the festivities, we rode the sky glider & it made a pretty big impression on this little girl. 20 years later, and I'm still obsessed with this big country-themed annual celebration!
Cole and Erin heard of me through a friend. We photographed their engagement photos at a pond near Cole's childhood home... so it was only fitting that we took some photos at the pond next to Cornerstone Church, where they got married! This day was such a sweet one. Erin's bridesmaids were all so much fun, helping her with her dress and laughing with each other. I want to be friends with all of them!