Kurt and Kristen are a POWER COUPLE. They build friendships to last, which was so evident by their bridal party (14 friends, plus ushers and personal attendants)! It is also true for the two of them… they were friends for a long time before dating came into the picture, and then they dated long-distance when Kristen lived overseas for a year. After a whirlwind five-month-engagement, March finally rolled around!!!
Even before I moved to Des Moines in 2018, I knew Des Moines held some of the best coffee shops in the Midwest. I just didn’t know where they all were! But I wanted to find out. After all, cafes are the best places to get your morning caffeine fix, work on your laptop, read a book, or drop by with a visiting out-of-town friend. You’ll find below my top 5 coffee stops in Des Moines, as well as a few bonus cafes!
Savannah and Harrison met through Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Both of them are students there, and involved in the military and ministry. They both value leadership, faith, and fun! I’d known Savannah for a few years (as acquaintances) and although I hadn’t met Harrison until the day we took their engagement photos, we got along great. Both of us are NEEDTOBREATHE fans, so really, what else is there to know!? #immediatefriends
Back when I started photographing seniors (when I was an itty-bitty-baby-photogapher myself!) I did a Senior Model Team. Like any beginner, I had noooo idea what I was doing… but it was fun! When I transferred schools to Iowa State in Ames, I didn’t shoot as many senior portraits due to time constraints with homework and not knowing many high schoolers in the area.
From Leslie Knope and me… to you. I’m always down for a celebration with waffles (see example A from last year’s Galentine’s Party).
Of course, we will start it off with this…
Indeed it is. Galentine’s is the best day because it’s about celebrating other ladies! And valentine’s is about celebrating love (sacrificial love, if you know the history).
Ok. I’mma be real. I’m just here because Parks and Rec is the greatest sitcom ever created…and I wanted to share lots of gifs. The following gif applies to you if you happen to disagree.
Last year’s party was pretty great…
And this year was very chill. No party, just a normal day and evening. But! Cupcakes from Little Blackbird Bakery.
Anyway, just wanted to leave you all a little love note on this internet corner. With lots of Leslie Knope enthusiasm and hugs!
Cody and Jaclyn found me through a google search for wedding photographers in the West Des Moines area. They’ll be getting married at the Des Moines Embassy Club West location in an intimate ceremony this fall. When we initially met up, they gave me the tour and friends… it’s going to be a gorgeous day!
Recently, I wrote this blog post with some tips for new bride-to-be’s on budgeting for your wedding. As a wedding photographer, I thought I’d continue the series— focusing on, of course, photography. But before you can pick a wedding photographer, there are some basics to learn about the artistic side. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you sit down with me and learn how to sketch or anything!) Part Two here will share some insight into the various styles of photography you may encounter on your search for the perfect wedding photographer. Of course, your budget largely may influence who you can pick from to hire. Hopefully, this post will serve as an educational tool for brides!
It’s hard to describe the emotions that you feel when your best friends fall in love and get married. Morganne is my 3rd “super close” friend to get engaged and (almost!) married. It’s been a whirlwind year but, as they say, “when you know, you know.” And aint that the truth!!! Bobby and Morganne met through church just over a year ago or so. They went through the whole awkward dance of talking/not talking. Finally, in May, they had their first date. Now, a year later that same month, they’ll walk down the aisle as husband and wife. And I’ll be bawling my eyes out behind my camera so don’t mind me. ;)
Kicking off 2019 with a trip to Seattle was definitely a move in the right direction. Not only did one of my Instagram photos get the most likes ever, but I had a BLAST unplugging from work and normal life for a week! Seattle and the PNW has been on my bucket list to visit for about 10 years (!!!) and y’all bet your coffee addictions I’ll be back soon! There are so many incredible spots to visit, and next time I’ll be packing my REAL camera and some hiking gear to explore the PNW outdoors. (You can see more about our trip here.)
It was a joy to get to visit my sweet friends Dan & Danae, just 5 days after their newest member arrived. Little Brezlin has completely stolen their hearts! I always consider it an honor when my past couples let me continue to photograph their lives. This chance was no exception. Click the blog title to see more of my photos (practice makes perfect!) of this sweet little one.
2018 has been a wild ride. Tumultuous emotionally, in many ways, but also such a year of sweet moments. Isn’t that just normal life?! Perhaps I’m just adjusting to life as an adult. I believe that reflecting on the past, planning for the future, and living in the present can add such insight for wise living. With that, this is my Personal post on 2018! Mainly for my processing, but you’re welcome to join me. ;)
I’m sitting here, emotionally bursting with quiet joy, as snow falls quietly outside. It’s the perfect storm— a January weekend in Des Moines, as Friday evening traffic moves hesitantly down the interstate just blocks from where I sit. A mug of mostly-drunk chamomile tea sits next to me on the warm, black radiator. I’m curled up on it, my seat warm and my back cool against the attic windows. In-between sentences in my new library book, I watch the snow accumulate and my neighbor back his car off the street and on to his lawn. The city will go into snow ordinance mode, something I’ve never had to learn about until this winter.
I adore these two humans! I met Kurt long before Kristen was in the picture. He’s always been a solid man of God, serving those around him with humble strength. I can’t even remember meeting Kristen, but I do remember her senior year, we just “clicked” and I decided that this girl was one that I wanted to keep up with after college. Not that we’re best friends, but I have a fond place in my heart for this girl! She and Kurt started dating that year, and it just made sense.
I think a dream job for me would be “travel blogger.” Because who wouldn’t love to get paid to travel and share adventure stories!? Ok, probably not everyone…but since I grew up overseas and have been traveling literally since before birth, packing a bag and hopping on an airplane is literally ingrained in my soul!
What words can you use when your best friend marries her love? It’s an incredible thing! And to be there for most of the moments, capturing them on camera—wow. so wild. The amount of happy tears shed during this day were enough to fill a small teacup, but they’re the kind of tears you treasure. Usually because words of love and tenderness were being spoken at the same time. :)
Kaysia sent me an email about shooting senior photos… just a few weeks back. She’s friends with another one of my senior gals, and I was so excited to hear from her! Since yearbook photos are due in just a few short weeks, we decided to take a few senior pictures downtown in Des Moines. We’ll finish up her session later in the spring- when it hopefully warms up!
Photography started out in monochrome, and although I’m thankful for color—sometimes it just makes sense to freeze the moment in the most classic of ways… Black and White! Here are some of my favorite moments from this past year’s weddings sans color. I can’t believe that I’ve photographed weddings everywhere from Cedar Falls and Des Moines to Vail, Colorado and small town Kansas! What a year 2018 has been. By the way, I’m still booking for 2019 weddings, so please feel free to send me an inquiry.
It doesn’t matter when their first kiss was— each time my couples were pronounced married at the alter, the next kiss they shared was first as husband & wife. Each one was sweet, and tender, and often full of smiles! It's such a joy to be somewhat of a "fly on the wall" during these intimate moments. Nothing like kissing in front of someone holding a camera to show how unabashedly in love you are. ;) It’s going to be a sweet thing to watch these love stories continue to grow & mature with time!
This year has been full of so many incredible sessions. From engagement sessions all over the state, to some of the best senior girls ever, I’m in awe when I look back on this past year! To every family who has hired me for photos, every senior girl who trusted me with her session, and friends who have hired me for anniversary shoots— thank you. THANK YOU! It is such a joy to watch your lives develop, your families grow, and love get sweeter through the years.
Ready for “the best Christmas playlist ever”?? Here you go!