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Engagements

Sweet Iowa Wedding Anniversary Photos

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Sweet Iowa Wedding Anniversary Photos

It's been two years since these two got married, and they will be leaving Ames and moving to St. Louis this month for Brennan's job. To commemorate their time in Ames, they asked me to photograph some anniversary photos! And we had the perfect evening to shoot...

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Karly + Byron's Harman Reserve Engagement Photos

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Karly + Byron's Harman Reserve Engagement Photos

Karly and Byron met a few years back through work. Byron is older than Karly, so he never really considered that she might be a great fit for him—but Karly’s mom (hi Chris!) had an idea. She dropped a few hints to her daughter, and after getting to know Byron a bit more, Karly asked him out! He said yes, and they went on their first date at Harman Reserve in Cedar Falls.

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Rich + Julia // A High Trestle Bridge Proposal

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Rich + Julia // A High Trestle Bridge Proposal

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.

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Lauren + Justin // Iowa Engagement Photos

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Lauren + Justin // Iowa Engagement Photos

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!!!

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Shelby + Preston: Ames Engagement Photos

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Shelby + Preston: Ames Engagement Photos

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. ;) 

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Spring Engagement Photos in Ames

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Spring Engagement Photos in Ames

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. :) 

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Jan & Grant: Colorado Springs Engagement Photos

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Jan & Grant: Colorado Springs Engagement Photos

...However, like some dating relationships in college go, their ended. Tears were shed, dreams lost. Both moved on, and both moved. Moved to Colorado, actually. It took a while; months and months went by, until Grand and Jan took a step towards friendship and then dating again! They took their time, and even managed dating "long distance" while living in separate cities in Colorado. 

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Lizy & Kyle | Cedar Rapids Photographer

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Lizy & Kyle | Cedar Rapids Photographer

Lizy and I met just a few weeks into her freshman year at Iowa State, and I remember just how bubbly and sweet she was! (And still is, ha!) Memories were made that year, including dorm room karaoke, which is something I *highly* recommend.

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Dan & Danae's Engagement Session!

A few years back, I got a request from my friend Ben...he was getting ready to propose to Joria, his girlfriend, and one of my childhood friends. We set up a plan, headed out to Big Woods Lake one sunny afternoon, and the rest is history.

Now, just a few short years later, Joria's younger sister, Danae is engaged! She mentioned that her wedding will be "woodland" themed and wanted some of their engagement photos to fit that. Without thinking, I suggested Big Woods in Cedar Falls. It wasn't until we were out there that I remembered the connection to Joria's own engagement! I love when life intersects like that. :)

Dan and Danae are so sweet together. They were constantly affirming each other, holding hands, and saying sweet things! I'm excited to be part of their wedding--my first 2018 wedding, not even a week into the new year! It's going to be a fun day, I have a feeling. ;)

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Iowa wedding photographer: JP & Miranda

Better than I was
More than I am
And all of this happened
By taking your hand
— Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

Miranda & JP are just too cute together! The evening of their session was full of slow wanderings around their rural Iowa town and countryside. We started off in a park, then moved to downtown Atlantic, and finally ended up out on JP's family's land! These two met on Valentine's Day (isn't that just adorable?!) and although sparks didn't fly that first night, over time, they became interested in each other and have been together ever since! Not literally—Miranda has been studying at Iowa State University, while JP has been working on the farm. He's a legit cowboy! That means there's a real good chance these two could be the Pioneer Woman & Marlboro Man of the midwest. ;) I'm excited to explore more of Atlantic with them when they get married in March!

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Love Always,

Amelia Renee

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Downtown Des Moines Engagement Photos

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Downtown Des Moines Engagement Photos

Can’t say how the days will unfold...
Can’t change what the future may hold...
But I want you in it,
Every hour, every minute.
— Grant Gustin

Megan and Kelly met up in Minneapolis in early 2015—in a bar, hit it off, and have been together ever since! I love that! How fun that they could totally star in a television show…they've already got the meet cute! ;) What I really love is what Megan told me in one of her first emails to me. "Kelly proposed to me on December 1, 2016 in New York City in Central Park during a carriage ride at night. Yep, pretty magical!" They will get married this December 1…an exact year from when Kelly proposed! Isn't that gorgeous!?

Since Kelly had to relocated to Des Moines for his job, we decided to shoot their engagement photos there. Megan will be moving down after their winter wedding in Ankeny, and then the distance part of their relationship will be over. I'm betting they are excited about that! Megan and Kelly really balance each other out in personality and interests. They enjoy vastly different music, for example…which I said means they just get to keep learning new things from each other! We started off at Grey's Lake in Des Moines, and then moved up to the Iowa Capitol building (and even found a rooftop to catch those last rays of sunlight!).

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That Des Moines skyline will forever have my heart! It's been a dream of mine to shoot engagement or wedding photos here at sunset—so glad these two were accomadting of that!

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Danggggggg girl—work it!

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Check back in December to see Megan & Kelly's wedding photos! I can't wait:)

Love always,
Amelia Renee

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Mason City Engagement Photos: Lindsey & Matt

Matt and Lindsey met last summer out in Colorado at Eagle Lake Camps. Lindsey wasn't interested in a relationship right away, but Matt was definitely smitten with her! It took some pursuit and prayer before they decided to move forward…but when Matt finally asked Lindsey to be his girlfriend in August on the top of her favorite hike at Glen Eyrie, she said yes with a kiss. ;) And, just 7 months later, Matt asked Lindsey a different question in that same spot…to which she said yes again!

This summer, Matt and Lindsey are again working for Eagle Lake, and so we made time to meet up in Mason City to photograph their engagement session. The evening was perfect, and they seemed to have fun! ;) After seeing how their images turned out, I'm even more excited to photograph these two as they marry in beautiful Silverthorne, Colorado this October! 

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Outfit change….I loved Lindsey's long dress, and simple but gorgeous jewelry!

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Ames Engagement Photography: Joelle + Kyle

Hey pretty lady won’t you come my way
We got nothing going on today
I got two arms and you belong in the middle
I’ll be the big spoon if you’ll be the little
— Grover Anderson, "Little Spoon"

Joelle and Kyle bring out the best in each other. Kyle is the tall and steady to Joelle's shorter & spicier self. (I'm short too…so I think I can say that! ;) I've known Kyle since we spent a summer in Florida with 150 other college students from the midwest, and I met Joelle when I transferred to Iowa State. It was so much fun to hang out with them in May on the perfect summery evening and photograph their engagement photos in Ames! I can't wait for their wedding this September. Joelle told me they want it to be fun, yet relaxing and homey. If anyone can pull that off, these two can!

I love growing and experimenting as an artist…so I asked Kyle & Joelle to humor me. I love the rich look of these next few photos!

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Finally, we headed downtown Ames to finish up their engagement photos in a more urban setting!

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Scenic Route Bakery + Asian Fusion= love

Des Moines Engagement Photography:
Naomi + James 

Naomi and James met in college at Northwestern in Orange City. Together, they make a kind and quirky pair! After graduation, these two packed up their dorm rooms and met me in Des Moines for their engagement session. We started out at Scenic Route Bakery, wandered around downtown, took a few photos in front of the Iowa State Capital, and even teased the rainclouds a bit with an umbrella! Naomi and James were so much fun—I don't think we stopped laughing and talking their entire session…so much so, that I drank two tumblers of water at dinner! (Check out Tacopocalypse for the best Asian-Mexican fusion I've ever had.)

Naomi and James will be moving to Omaha after they get married—and have dreams of loving on low-income families, youth in the community, and probably every person they run into. ;) I have no doubt they will do just that!
They get married in Omaha in September and I. Can't. Wait!!!

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Des Moines Engagement Photographer \\ Elizabeth & Chris

It's always fun to find out someone you know is engaged. It's even more fun when you find out…and had no idea they'd been dating someone! Haha! That's exactly what happened here. I've known Elizabeth and her family since childhood. Her younger brother is getting married in August, and I'm photographing his wedding (so excited!). One evening, I was at Wal-Mart, on a late night grocery run, and out of the blue got a text from Elizabeth asking if I was free this fall for her wedding. I was shocked, but thrilled! Fun to find out she'd been seeing Chris, and they'd gotten engaged early this winter. Now they're getting closer to their September wedding, and I can't wait to photograph it in Des Moines!

Since Chris lives in Omaha, we coordinated their engagement photography session for a weekend that he was already visiting Elizabeth in Des Moines. Her one request was that we do their engagement photos at the Des Moines Farmer's Market! I was pumped—it'd been on my bucket list to go, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. We figured out the May 6 was the opening morning…and so we put it on the calendar and prayed against rain. ;) Sure enough, it was bright and sunny! 

We started out their session at the gorgeous Iowa State Capital building…and then moved downtown to the Farmer's Market. There are loads of fresh flowers and bouquets, so Elizabeth convinced Chris to buy her some. Plus, they work great for photos and brightening up an apartment, right?! ;) So…totally worth it!

These two are planning to show off their favorite photos at the reception (I can't wait to see how they use them for decor!) so I'm blogging just a few favorites. Hope you enjoy them!

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Clear Lake Engagement Photography | Anna & Jordan

Jordan and Anna met in college at North Dakota State University (Go Bison!). Jordan remembers seeing Anna at the first meeting for a ministry group, but they didn't actually begin to get to know each other until they both joined leadership the next year. They've been dating for a few years now, and last fall, Jordan proposed to Anna over Thanksgiving break—it was just them, sweet, simple and perfect, if you know either of them! 

Anna and I became friends through our jobs in college ministry. She's been the best person to be honest with…or weird with! Anna brings out my quirky side (I recently "meow-ed" at her for no apparent reason…even to myself!). It's just so easy to be comfortable with her! Since she's such a dear friend to me, it was a joy to have her ask me to be her wedding photographer. Anna and Jordan live up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, so we compromised and met halfway in Clear Lake, Iowa for their engagement photography session! It was pretty chilly, but that just gave them more reason to snuggle close. ;) (We even got a few photos outside the classic Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake!) Enjoy their engagement photos! And look forward to this fall...I can't wait to photograph their beautiful garden wedding this September in Minneapolis!

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Rachel & Geoff | Des Moines Anniversary Photos

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Des Moines is such a gorgeous city, and springtime might just be the peak of that beauty. If you've ever been to WaterWorks Park in Des Moines, you'll agree with me! The cherry blossoms on the trees make it seem as if you're living out a fairytale. (Or, maybe walking through a perfume factory?!) I love shooting weddings and engagements in Des Moines, which will be definitley happening this summer. However, this was an anniversary session!

 

My time with these two was short and sweet—but full of fun and sass! If you're married and don't have kids yet (or do!), an anniversary session is the perfect way to have a memorable date night. Get dressed up, and kiss a lot…what else could be better?! ;) Plus, you'll cherish photos that document your love as it grows and deepens. If you're looking for something fun to celebrate around your anniversary (or any other time), consider this for your next date night!

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Rachel wanted a few new headshots, so we snuck those in on the end—opting for the bright pink trees! I love how they turned out. :) Here are two of my favorites!

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Dress for the Sesh: Engagement Photos!

Are you planning your engagement photos and wondering what to wear? Sometimes it can be overwhelming when trying to come up with 2 or 3 outfits for not just you, but your fiancé as well! Today, I'm going to share some tips about dressing for your engagement photos—with some examples from my past couples! (And I might just throw in a few things I'd love to see on my brides and grooms this summer during engagement portraits! I love styling, and most likely your photographer does as well, so always feel free to ask for advice or feedback before a session!)

1. Do dress up! This is one time where you can get as fancy as you want, and have good photos to prove it! ;) Go big or go home, right? Plus, most of my couples have at least two outfits (sometimes three!) to wear for their engagement session. Bring a formal outfit, and then something a little more casual or even everyday—I can guarantee it'll add some confidence to be dressed up and looking good! Ladies, consider a longer (formal or not!) dress for one of your outfits. They're classy, elegant, and look good on anyone. Plus for us shorter gals, they make us look a little taller. ;) Pair them with an awesome pair of heels or wedges & bam! You'll look amazing!

 BONUS! I'd  LOVE  to see one of my brides wear this for an epic engagement shoot this summer! Click on the image—it's from Lulu's and would be a stunning buy!

BONUS! I'd LOVE to see one of my brides wear this for an epic engagement shoot this summer! Click on the image—it's from Lulu's and would be a stunning buy!

 

2. Do accessorize! I love when gals incorporate a favorite scarf, hat, blazer, or statement necklace! It just adds a fun "pop" of color & fun! For guys, watches, ties, suspenders, hats, or even vests or blazers (we'll get to that in a minute!) are some great ideas. 

 (Above, Brittney did a great job of wearing bright sandals, a complementary cardigan, & simple but standout necklace! You could modify this even more, and the guy could wear a patterned shirt to add even more style.)

(Above, Brittney did a great job of wearing bright sandals, a complementary cardigan, & simple but standout necklace! You could modify this even more, and the guy could wear a patterned shirt to add even more style.)

 BONUS IDEA: incorporate a blanket, or other fun prop! This neutral-toned blanket was perfect for warm snuggles. 

BONUS IDEA: incorporate a blanket, or other fun prop! This neutral-toned blanket was perfect for warm snuggles. 

3. Don't try to match…but do complement with your outfits! You can tie in the same colors with various prints and accessories…or you can choose complementing colors and prints. Also, neutral colors are "in" right now (minimal and all that) which I personally like wearing (espeically in the winter)—but if you pick neutral/dark colors for one outfit, maybe pick something with fun color for your second!

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 (Above, Rachel and Nick's outfits are some of my favorites—and this was a few years ago! The vibrant colors and mixed patterns they chose were so fun and played well off of each other.)

(Above, Rachel and Nick's outfits are some of my favorites—and this was a few years ago! The vibrant colors and mixed patterns they chose were so fun and played well off of each other.)

  Note:  Be careful with really thin stripes or checks. They sometimes photograph weird! Lauren's shirt was just fine, and I also highly suggest pairing patterns (like plaid, floral, or polka-dots) with solids or other prints for added texture (instead of just wearing plain t-shirts)!

Note: Be careful with really thin stripes or checks. They sometimes photograph weird! Lauren's shirt was just fine, and I also highly suggest pairing patterns (like plaid, floral, or polka-dots) with solids or other prints for added texture (instead of just wearing plain t-shirts)!

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4. Utilize layers! Especially if you're shooting in the early morning (when it can be cool), a jacket, blazer, vest, or even a flannel can be just the thing. I've yet to have one of my grooms wearing a blazer, but I've seen it done & it can bring a whole new level of class! (Maybe that will change this summer...)

5. Be YOU! Pull in pieces that photograph well, but also reflect your personality, fashion sense, and interests! Make sure to wear clothing that makes you feel confident. So, don't wear a strapless dress if they make you feel uncomfortable! Also, know what flatters your body type and coloring. If you're a redhead, probably don't wear pink. If you're like me, I know that my skin tone is more yellow than pink & bright yellow is just a weird color for me. Also, in general, more fitted clothing is more flattering! 

That's it for now! What did you find helpful? What questions do you still have?! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts/questions in the comments—leave one below! And for you families and seniors, I'll be posting a similar blog post in the near future!

With love,
Amelia
 

 

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