Life captured beautifully.


Little Keira : Newborn Portraits

You know that feeling that you get, when a kid you used to babysit is graduating from high school, or worse yet, college? For me it’s like this sinking realization that I really am aging, even though most of the time I don’t feel like I am. Do you know what I mean?

I felt that way when the mommy to this baby girl came into my studio for their newborn session. I did Senior portraits for her when she graduated from highschool, she’s done with college, been working for a while, got married, and now has a little baby!

I know the answer, but it always makes me want to ask the question, “How did this happen?!”

But enough about me… back to this little blessing.

Little Keira was already a month old so I wasn’t going to hold my breath and wait for her to go to sleep, but I knew if I worked carefully, I could still get some of those really cute artsy type of portraits with my favorite props. Lucky for me, she decided to play along and I got some of these beautiful images for her parents (and grandparents!) to treasure for years to come.
Let it be said again, because as much as we get annoyed hearing it, the phrase bears repeating… “They really do change so fast.”

I know, I’m in the midst of it right now with my little guy, Henry. He’s almost 8 1/2 months and he’s pulling himself up on things all the time and loves it when you help him stand on his own two feet! It really was only a few months ago I was cheering him on as he made his first attempts to crawl.

It’s crazy, but we need to do our best as parents to relish every joyful minute of it. And capturing it with beautiful, professional portraits is definitely a great place to start. Kudos to Keira’s parents for investing in her memories!











Little Reese : Newborn Boy Portrait Session

A lot of people seem to think I must have the most ideal life, being self-employed. Especially when I announced we’d be having another son and they all seemed to think I would be taking as much time off as I wanted… to just snuggle at home with my new bundle of joy.
Reality is a much different thing. LOL!
Reality is that I was working on paperwork and tax reports the week I got home from the hospital. And reality is that although my dear, dear customers who totally respect my time and honor me by asking who I would recommend they have take their portraits while I enjoy some much deserved maternity leave…well, I just can’t have someone else taking their portraits, now, can I??? 🙂
I just love them too much, and I want both of their son’s first year of portraits to be taken by yours truly so when they hang on their wall in the family gallery they look totally cohesive.
To tell the truth, I was a bit nervous. It had only been two weeks since our son, Henry, was born and so I had some legit concerns about this little newborn thinking I was his lunch ticket. (If you know what I mean!)
Luckily, he must like his own mama’s scent more than mine, so after battling his hunger cravings for an hour or so he FINALLY submitted to those heavy, heavy eyelids!
Needless to say, I also love these first images we caught with mom and dad when he was still awake.
P.S. I’m pretty sure you all know I wouldn’t be photographing right now if I didn’t absolutely love doing this. I just want to make sure it didn’t sound like I was complaining because I was very thankful I had scheduled the session. It was actually a relief to have a couple hours away from Henry and feel like a regular person and not a mombie (mom/zombie) LOL!





Parker Thomas : A Newborn Boy Session

Oh goodness. Isn’t Parker Thomas just the sweetest? I adored him from the moment I met him. I took his mom and dad’s wedding portraits and newborn and 6 month portraits of his older sister!
This little honey makes me want to have another baby just so I could stay home and snuggle with him. 🙂 I’m not sure what Andy would have to say about that though! … Well, actually I do know. 😉
So we had to get some family portraits with everyone, and then some of just Parker and his big sister, Gabriella. She’s only two, so it was a bit of a challenge to get them both just the way we liked… Try negotiating with a two year old, it’s not easy. But after trying different methods I resorted to bribery… Oh yeah. I haven’t met a kid yet that doesn’t want a sucker. (Those dum-dums are so small, and they only suck on it a little while before they ask you to take it so they get into something with both hands!) LOL!
I love the sock monkey hats their mommy brought… and matching dolls too! So adorable.
Then we had to incorporate John Deere at Grandma’s request… so in went Parker, in the back of a John Deere dump truck.
I also did a few of my classic “baby with a hat in the basket” image because it’s so simple and timeless.

















Renner Cole : Newborn Portrait Session

This adorable little bundle of joy is the newest addition to Megan and Ryan’s family… a couple that I photographed their wedding in 2010.

This picture makes me laugh because Renner looks like he’s thinking “God, you gave me THESE two for my parents???” LOL!
Teasing, teasing!!!
I was very excited when she told me they wanted to come back for Renner’s newborn session. I just loved working with both of them in the past.
Renner was 13 days old when we took these and he fell asleep like an angel!

I still love seeing the newborns in these cute little hats with the long stocking tail… so sweet! And in my little bed, it’s perfection!


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Camellia : 3 weeks old : Little Miracles Baby Plan

Good morning everyone! I had a great birthday yesterday. Thanks to all my amazing friends and customers for the wonderful birthday wishes on facebook! Love you all so much!
I’m excited to share some images today of a very beautiful, precious baby girl. One of the most perfect babies I’ve ever photographed… LOL! 🙂
Okay, okay. … So I may be slightly prejudiced, since she is – in fact – my first niece. 🙂
I’m proud to introduce Camellia Lynne.

Isn’t she just the sweetest? I love the family portraits. And the ones of just her and her big brother, JP, are priceless. He is such a wonderful, protective, big brother. I must say, at only 3 years old, he really seems to be very accepting of the newest addition to the family. I didn’t sense any jealously which I’m sure makes my brother and sister-in-law very happy indeed!

I used an old wicker rocking chair that was a family heirloom, my dad had in the attic that I’ve never used before, and this old hand-sewn quilt I purchased a long time ago at an auction, that I’d also, never used before. I must say, I’m pleased with the result, but my favorites are the simple, close-up images. There is just such power in the fine features of a child’s face.
I also captured some really fun images of JP and daddy… my brother, Chris. These are pretty near and dear to my heart, since I know what a great dad Chris is and it’s evident in these portraits that JP clearly adores him.
My sister-in-law, Mariah, also got a great “Madonna” shot (as in the Mary and Jesus, not the singer) 😉 of her and Camellia together.

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Brielle : Newborn Portrait Session

I was so blessed to have my dear customers, Ryan and Christine, (who honored me with the opportunity to photograph their wedding last year) ask me to photograph their new baby girl!
Like usual, I’m always excited to photograph a newborn. They are a bit of a challenge and can be pretty time-consuming the day of the session… but they are sooooo worth it!
Every single one of them is a little miracle and I always hope and wish for the continued opportunity to photograph all their first year portraits. I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting to do all of Brielle’s since her parents have been so thrilled with the work I’ve done in the past.
(And it blows my mind a little bit because they live like an hour away… I still don’t realize that I’m worth it most days.) 🙂
So this little angel was a little hard to get to sleep at first. Mainly because she got a nice long nap on the drive up. Luckily, my experience with newborns serves me well… and with some patience and a nice bottle of milk, it was back to dreamland for Brielle. Heheehee.
It was Friday before Easter when I photographed these, so I just had to take a couple with this sweet bunny ears hat my mother-in-law crocheted for me. And just for kicks at the end, when I sensed she was ready to wake up, I posed her with this pink alarm clock I’ve got… and she did the perfect expressions.
Although, my favorites are still the more simple images.


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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!

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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Ruth : 6 Months Old : Baby Session

If you follow my blog at all, you should recognize little Ruthie by now. Her mommy and I have done four sessions already this year now. 🙂 (not just for Ruthie, but for her family and her mother’s family as well)
But back to business… Ruthie is just too, too cute! I mean it! I don’t think I can look at another picture of her smiling. It’s making me sick! I have such a hard time narrowing them down! 🙂
It’s about as bad as when I have to narrow Collin’s pictures down. LOL!

And Ruthie is the queen of making funny faces… really cute ones! I also know how much her mama adores the “bloopers” so we have quite a few to pick from and I’m thinking a collage will be necessary.

P.S. Don’t you just love the pettiromper on Ruthie??? I think they work so well for the 6-12 month baby girls. I have three of them… in pink, ivory, and aqua!!! 🙂

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Urijah : 3 Month Session : Baby Portraits

Normally, I encourage my baby plan customers to do 3 sessions during their son/daughter’s first year. Once, when the baby is a newborn (ideally less than 10 days old), again when the baby is sitting up strong (maybe wait till they start crawling) and before their first birthday (standing/walking). This allows for a good variety in the portraits as they are in three very distinct stages.
There are lots of people, photographers, baby books, etc. that encourage portraits at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months the first year. That’s a great idea, and I definitely encourage my moms to take their own personal photos at those milestone ages, but I just think it gets to be overwhelming for moms that aren’t big “picture people.” It gets to be a lot of trips to the studio with the session, ordering, and picking up the order… (at least 12). Also, you are picking up the finished prints about the time we are scheduling the next session so you don’t have as much time to just enjoy them before you are planning the next order.
That’s just me. But I definitely have moms that want lots and lots of pictures of their babies. And it doesn’t bother them to have to make the quick trip down to my studio for each appointment. (Lots of my clients say they really enjoy the relaxing drive out to the country) Many times they did the more frequent schedule of portraits with their older child and they want to keep the tradition going. (Kuddos to them! Because we all know the 2nd child often gets the shaft!… 😉 this is a comment from a 2nd child, by the way!)
Urijah’s mom falls into that category of parents that love professional portraits and had done the newborn, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 month sessions with their oldest in Florida with their past photographer. (I should write her a Thank you) LOL!

I’m happy to share this little chubber’s three-month portraits with you. They are just too cute! Christina brought the cute little blue knit sweater and hat… and I just keep thinking those pictures would make such a cute Christmas card (this one in the munchkin stocking hat looks like he just saw Santa!) But he will have changed a lot by then and have lots of new portraits to pick from.

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Baby Leo : Newborn Portrait Session

Little Leo, isn’t that the most adorable name? He’s so perfect.

I was excited and surprised when I found out my past clients were expecting again. I got to know them and their family very well when I did their wedding photography back in 2005. So, I knew they didn’t have an easy time when they wanted to have their first child, Eleanor, but (SURPRISE!) little Leo came right behind… and Ellie isn’t even 2 yet!
Good for them, I say! They make a great team as mom and dad with two little ones to manage.
I think, Kirk would like to do more with Leo right now, but it looks like whenever he tries, Eleanor has a little case of jealousy! 😉 It’s okay though. He’s was only a week old so she hadn’t had all that long to adjust yet. I did get a funny shot of her crying at her dad’s feet while he held Leo that I know will be a favorite. That’s REAL LIFE for you!

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