Life captured beautifully.

Archive for February, 2012

Stacie and Casey : Engagement Session

This attractive young lady is someone I am really excited to see get engaged! I used to babysit Stacie back when I was in high school. I was honored when she told me I was the first person she thought of for pictures. (And she actually emailed me the same day he proposed I think!) LOL!

I had a great time getting to know her fiancee, Casey. He seems like a responsible guy that has a lot of the same interests as Stacie. Namely farming.
When asked what he first noticed/liked about Stacie, he replied, “I liked that she liked tractors.” Awwww! And Stacie has been actively farming with her parents for a while now, taking after her mom, I guess. (I remember seeing her mom in the tractor about as much as her dad.)
To add a more personal touch to their portraits, they brought some red/green tractor brand sweatshirts and some toy tractors to create some more fun images. I was racking my brain trying to come up with something cool. So I had them lay on their stomachs, facing each other, playing with the tractors… can’t you just hear them making the “Vrroom, vroom” sounds?

Love it!
And, I had this idea to make the heart shape with their tractors and some sidewalk chalk to help pull it all together. Any of these would be really fun for save-the-dates!

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P.S. The song “John Deere Green” by Joe Diffie kept playing over and over in my head as I was proofing this session. If you don’t know the song, look it up. 🙂
“On a hot summer night, He wrote Billy Bob loves Charlene, In letters 3 foot high, And the whole town said that he should have used red, But it looked good to Charlene, In John Deere green…”

Little Miracles : Newborn Portraits

Look at this little honey! Isn’t he a little piece of heaven? I almost love newborn portraits of little boys the best because we aren’t so tempted to put a headband or some other additional element in every shot.

This session’s “sets” were even simpler than normal because it was photographed on-location at the client’s home and we incorporated family portraits with their 2 1/2 year old son.
Although I did bring quite a bit of gear for our portrait set-up, I was able to do these with just the natural light from their patio doors which is always easier for the set-up/take-down, but I needed to be diligent about watching my settings as they needed to be adjusted as the light changed (clouds passed over, etc.)
I photographed their older son when he was a newborn as well (and his mommy’s maternity portraits) so she knew the drill and I think she really enjoyed relaxing and watching me work this time, completely trusting that I’d get some great images for her to cherish.

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Happy Valentines Day!

I’ve got a cute little photo to share with you for Valentine’s Day! Look at this little stud-muffin bare-chested with just a bowtie on! 😉 LOL! Love how he gave me this smile!

I had the brainstorm to make the bowtie when I was looking at some hairclips for little girls, and I thought, wouldn’t that be cute on a baby boy! And of course, I had some burgundy fleece and it took me like a minute to make this cute little bowtie. I just set it under his chin and all of a sudden he gave me this HUGE grin! It must have felt nice and soft, maybe it tickled his chin a little. Who knows, but he liked it! 🙂
And of course, I had to create some cute, one-of-a-kind Valentines for my little guy to hand out at Pre-school and daycare. Collin had fun adding glue dots to the side and sticking a roll of smarties along the edge.

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Little Miss Evie : One Year Portrait Session

Little Miss Evelyn has been proving over and over what a little miracle she is. It makes sense that I named my baby plan “Little Miracles” because you just don’t always realize how miraculous some babies are. It was simply an act of God that this little lady made it through her first month of life, and over and over she’s managed to fight off illnesses and medical complications. I am totally smitten with this little girlie and her mommy is among my very favorite people. I have so much admiration and respect for her.
Our session started with this sweet little set I dreamed up. The crafting bug bit me the morning of her session and I had this urge to create a pennant banner out of fabric… mind you, I hadn’t been hit with this inspiration until about 4 hours before our session… but I found some leftover chenille that I had from a baby quilt I made, so I whipped something up with length of ribbon I had from packaging on a blanket I bought a while back. Took about an hour but it was totally worth it. LOL!
Then when I was creating my different “sets” for Evie’s shoot, I remembered that I had helium left in the balloon tank I bought for Collin’s birthday party and I found I had one pink balloon left! Perfect!

Next, we had to do something more colorful and I had this rainbow lollipop that I bought a long time ago and keep forgetting to try to use. So I set that out and coordinated it with my colorful blue wall, a hot pink rug, and Evie’s own cute headband. I love the look! And the expressions she gave me while trying the lollipop were awesome!
I also pulled out a prop I’d bought a couple years ago, with the intention of using it when I took pictures of Evie’s older brother, Easton, but I forgot I had it. So when I realized Evelyn could use it, I made sure I didn’t forget this time. Doesn’t she make a fetching cowgirl? 🙂
Next we did a pretty purple number, a aqua petti-romper that really brought out her eyes, and last but not least, the sweet angel wings that we used when she was a newborn. She gave me the biggest grin of all when we took those.
I feel so fortunate to be blessed with the gift of photography and having been chosen by this family to document their memories in portraits that will become cherished heirlooms.

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Belly Love Session : Maternity Portraits

It seems like everywhere I go lately, I see someone who is either pregnant, just had a baby, or is announcing they are expecting! Seriously!
Let’s just hope my business can land some new and return customers with all this baby magic! *wink*
I’ve gotta say, I do love photographing newborns and expectant mothers. The whole process is such a miracle and I enjoy being there for the journey with them and maintaining that relationship through the baby’s first year in professional portraits.
This blog post is featuring a maternity session I just photographed last weekend. I like to call these “Belly Love Sessions”… it’s just my little spin on it.
I loved pregnancy. I had a great experience being pregnant with Collin so it makes me happy to just being around women who are in the later stages of their pregnancy. They are usually very calm and yet full of anticipation and excitement to finally meet their little one.
Michelle and Dan are no exception. They are just the sweetest couple and will make fantastic parents. I captured their engagement portraits for them back in 2007 and they were just so cute back then!
Michelle has been a huge fan of my work and I’m pretty sure she would have had me photograph her wedding, but they decided to be married in Jamaica where they booked an all-inclusive package for their wedding. (Bummer for me! As I love to travel!) 😉
Luckily, even though Michelle and Dan moved further away from my studio (to Nebraska) they have still stayed in touch through facebook and continue to tell me they love me and my work the best! (Awwwww! I’m blushing!) So we scheduled this maternity session for the same weekend they would already be traveling back to Mason City for a baby shower with Michelle’s family.

Michelle and Dan have decided to wait to find out the gender of their baby and I am thrilled for them because my husband convinced me to wait and I was sure glad we did. In the end it was so exciting!
I hope they love these portraits. We did some classic images and a few more modern, fun shots as well.

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New Orleans : Combining Work and Play

It’s not good when you feel like you need to apologize each time you start a blog post because it’s been way too long since you posted last… but this time it was for a pretty good reason.
I attended the Professional Photographer’s of America’s national convention called Imaging USA down in New Orleans, Louisiana this month! It was my first time going to this convention although I’ve been drooling over the ads in the Professional Photographer magazine for years now.
In the past I’ve invested my education dollars in conferences that were closer to home, saving me time and money… and honestly, it was just hard knowing I’d be away from my little guy very long. I am responsible for running him up to daycare and preschool, so I didn’t know how Andy would make it all work into his schedule.
But this year, after seeing Imaging would be held in NOLA I decided to finally take the plunge and go. I’m so thankful that my fellow photographer and good friend, Jean Black of Dear Charlie Photography said she’d like to go with. We were able to split the cost of the hotel room and some taxi fares and spend good old quality time together!
New Orleans wouldn’t have been the same without her!

As for the conference… I definitely enjoyed the speakers they chose for the lineup. One of my favorite photographers since I started my business has been Vicki Taufer of V Gallery and she was there speaking. Her program was about simplifying your business and the lessons she learned this past year as her life was changed dramatically.
While in the process of adopting a little girl from Nepal, Vicki and her husband weren’t able to get a visa right away like previously thought. So Vicki ended up living in Nepal for 6 months with their daughter while Jed held down the fort back home. Along with the help of fellow photographer friends they were able to keep the business afloat. But after realizing the pressure of the overhead their business had taken on, they decided they needed to scale back.
I just love that when I listen to Vicki talk, I feel like she’s being genuine. That she’s not sugar-coating her experiences.
Another speaker I enjoyed was Joey L. He is an amazing photographer, younger than I am, who has made a name for himself photographing the cast of shows like Deadliest Roads and Pawn Stars for the History Channel’s promotional items. He seems so adventurous and I admire his tenaciousness and entrepreneurial spirit.
And lastly, I enjoyed the Imaging USA’s trade show. It’s HUGE! Anything you could ever imagine you would want for photography, you can find here!
Tons of great new products and ideas, gorgeous booths displaying it all extremely professionally, and other fun gimmicks to pull you in… like posing for your picture with a python! 🙂
Definitely a great time, had by all.

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