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Engagement

Brad + Megan : Engaged

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Brad + Megan : Engaged

There were so many surreal moments during this session that I had to stop and say it outloud, “I am photographing Brad’s engagement session. WHAT?!” and we’d all laugh. God put Megan in Brad’s life via church and we are all so thankful for her presence in his life and our’s! Now, having edited these images, I found myself saying, “I’ve never seen Brad happier, grinning from ear to ear!” Megan, welcome to the group!!

We started their session at Principal Park, which if you’re not from Des Moines, is where the ICubs (the Chicago Cubs feeder team) play when they’re at home. We headed to the dugout first, then the pitcher’s mound & home plate (even though both were covered for protection from the weather). I am so excited with how these turned out!! Enjoy. :)

We also added in Brad’s dog, Max to the party and he did great! I’m pretty sure he was living out his ultimate dream of being on a minor league ball field. Fun fact: the jersey that Megan is wearing has 83 on the back from their wedding day: August 3rd and Cook as they’re last name. Super cute! When I asked Brad why he didn’t have the same, I was met with a snarky scowl and was informed his was the Cubs’ World Series jersey. Clearly, I’m too big an Angels & Reds fan and haven’t followed the Cubs closely enough!

Quick outfit change and we headed to Drake where part of their wedding day will be. But today, since we weren’t in a huge crunch for time, we enjoyed catching up with each other and scoping out spots to use for their big day as well as nabbing some engagement shots along the way.

Megan + Brad: It is an honor and a joy to know I get to be a small part of your wedding day in a few short weeks!! Thank you so much for having me and I hope these images capture your joy in starting a life together. I am so glad that Brad has found the woman God made for him and that he can’t wipe a smile off his face if you paid him. Megan, thank you for being that woman for Brad!
Blessings,

Carrie

PS You can view more of their engagement photos HERE.

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Behind the Scenes : 2018

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Behind the Scenes : 2018

At this time last year, we had no idea what 2018 had in store for us. We had vague ideas of possibilities, but New Year’s Day threw us for a loop and the first quarter of the year was absolutely nuts. Our capacities were stretched in ways we never would’ve imagined and my photography business was a routine that I really appreciated in the midst of the potential unknowns. This business has allowed me to invest in my retirement, our children’s college education, their Christian preschool education, and purchase airfare to see family. While at times, it seemed that I was spending time away from my family in order to save up to see my family, this business helped us squeak by on a tight budget to help me stay in the field of education with a long-standing hope that I’d be in a certified teaching position someday.

That hope has now been realized and I am so thankful for how my clients have supported me, been my cheerleaders and referred business to me to keep me going. They’ve been such an encouragement through challenging seasons and been so understanding when I’ve needed to take a step back for various reasons (maternity leave, this year’s teaching position being full time, to name a few). Our family would not be where we are today without you!!

As I look ahead to 2019 and all its possibilities, this past school year semester has shown me that the boundaries I’m placing on my business are the right course for our family. I dearly love my clients-turned-friends and friends-who-are-clients, so in order to best serve them and meet the needs of our family, I’m going to maintain the boundaries of shooting during the summer months and ease up during the school year. Next fall’s teaching position hasn’t been nailed down yet, but as that becomes more clear to us, I’ll know more if I can take on a limited number of sessions in the fall season.

Phew! All that being said, here’s a look back at 2018 behind the scenes!!!

The year started with a senior winter session on her farm with her horses and a few indoor sessions in our new home in March. This particular January morning with Katie’s horses required multiple layers in sub-zero temps, but Katie took them off for photos to show the outfit she wanted. We so appreciated her dad’s help with the horses so she could ride bareback! Dads are the best and made so many of my sessions this year happen! The next photo below is another Katie friend of mine and her sweet daughter turning one-Lorelei. Gotta love outtakes at baby sessions!

After taking an online course from the amazing Katelyn James on lighting, location and layout, I felt poised and ready to take on an otherwise gloomy April wedding for Jen & Jacob. With the help of my wonderful assistant, Sarah, a reflector and a beautiful bride & groom, we delivered photos that I was super proud of and didn’t at all reveal the cloudy/rainy day that it was!

A friend recommended this new spot for her summer session and I used it multiple times for other seniors and families-it worked out beautifully Leah, Thanks!!! Also, a game we can play as we look through these Behind the Scenes: how many times can you find my wind-up froggie bath toy in kids’ hands? I use it to get their attention to look at the camera, but many times, it ends up in their hands to keep them smiling!

We also used familiar places in new ways and again, Dads ruled the day to entertain and uplift spirits during the shoot, while the Moms prepped and wrangled logistics beforehand. :)

I also love how parents’ arms made quite a show during sessions this past summer. Whether it was to prop up a 6 month old and spot her or to offer a treat in between takes, or threaten a tickle to garner a smile, arms got a bunch of photos all their own! (PS Find the froggie?)

For Allie and her horse, Shady, hair-ography made an appearance and Shady made it a close competition for who is more difficult to wrangle: toddlers or a horse? lol :) Allie was a great sport throughout it all and she definitely earned a full spot on this Behind the Scenes post:

And anytime that a family of 16 arrives to their session ready to go and EARLY(!) they deserve a full spot on this post as well: (PS Can you spot the Arm of Comfort? See? Arms really made sessions happen this season!)

And, again, Moms for the win! Jenna’s mom snapped a shot of me climbed up on her car to get an elevated angle of Jenna in a gorgeous sunflower field. This was a new spot for me and we maximized our time there until the sun went down. And Ricci, Nick’s mom, was so helpful with a reflector as the sun went down on his session too. :) I’ve always had the tradition of the senior having a photo with the parent who attends their session with them…Nick’s session made me want to instate the tradition that I get a photo with the senior too!

I had to include this one because of Ella’s face! It’s such a great shot of her personality as she differentiates herself from her three older brothers. And, we were about 75% of the way done with their session at this point. . . oh, sweet, sweet children! :) Kelsey also caught a sweet moment of me with her two oldest—I have photographed her babies since they were in utero and to hold their hands while we’re walking during our session was such a special moment for me. Knowing that I’m their Family Photographer and that I’ve photographed their family from the beginning…..what a blessing!! The Hol’s session below those photos was done in freezing temps and their girls were such troopers. We wrapped their session in all of 15 minutes in the midst of breezy, chilly conditions. Way to go families!!

Lastly, some Behind the Scenes from the last wedding of the season: Christen & Chase’s day was probably the most beautiful day of October and I love helping a bride get ready for her day so much that Sarah, my trusty assistant, had to remind me to get out of the shot so I could take the shots! ;)

What a year 2018 has been! Every month, every session, every client and friend that made this season possible: THANK YOU! Thank you for being so understanding with the schedule and boundaries I needed to place in my life for my sanity and family. Thank you for your flexibility, compassion and camaraderie to make this year happen. You truly are the best a woman could ask for and you make me look forward to 2019 with such optimism and excitement for what our summer season has in store!

Now taking bookings for 2019 (that means YOU, Class of 2020!!!),

Happiest of New Years!!
Carrie

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2017 Favorites

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2017 Favorites

What a year! We pushed the limits of light: in-house light, bright light without shade, ice hockey rink light, auditorium and jazz club light with off-camera flash, bouncing light off reflectors, the list goes on and on... We challenged locations too: bedrooms, living rooms, studios, jazz clubs, inside the capitol, in water, in a RIVER. We celebrated new jobs, new babies, new homes, answers to health issues and healthy marriages. 

These sessions represent victories in getting a stubborn child to smile (finally!), a child relaxing on her Mama's shoulder for comfort after a tough day, scheduling snafus, forgetting of camera gear to a session (that was me! ugh), getting off-camera flash to work, getting huge props borrowed and lined up for a session, getting a newborn to lay "just so" for the right shot, working the sunlight so that it was "just right". Challenges answered by victories that made me a better photographer, businesswoman and person. 

I truly have the best clients on earth and I'm so thankful for the year that 2017 was for my business! This one's for you!!

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Christen + Chase : Engaged

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Christen + Chase : Engaged

Referred to me by my often-right-hand-man on wedding days, Christen emailed me and I knew from that instant we'd be a great fit for their wedding next fall. After our initial consultation over FaceTime, it further confirmed my suspicions that whoever grabbed Christen's attention on Tinder that particular day must be quite a man. Chase is soft spoken, but clearly knows what he wants and is confident in the direction they are headed. We started our session downtown in front of the capitol, stopped briefly at Grey's Lake and then headed to Christen's parent's house in West Des Moines. 

We got some cheers, "atta way!"'s and "congrats!" as we took these photos at Grey's Lake and joggers, walkers and the occasional pups meandered by. This happy couple just lapped it up and Christen couldn't help but bend to pet almost every pup that came our way. 

After seeing how Christen loved on strangers' pooches, I couldn't wait to meet Axel at her folks' place: 

The only time I was slightly nervous for Axel's presence was when deer came into our shot! Would he run after them? Christen hung on to his leash just in time to keep Axel from launching. The first photo with the red tree in it? You can see the profile of the deer on the right side! 

Christen + Chase: Thank you so much for having me be a part of this time in your lives! I'm so excited to see how your wedding day comes together (and how Axel plays a role!). Enjoy this time and cherish the memories made!
Blessings on the process, 

Carrie

PS You can view more of our time together HERE. 

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Melissa + Ryan

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Melissa + Ryan

I have watched this family evolve over the course of 5 years or so now and I love the smiles we caught on their morning. And by "caught", I mean quite literally "caught". Ms. Amelia is an apple that doesn't fall far from her brother's tree and when he was her current age, he was on. the. run! Amelia is also in a stage that she loves being within her Mama's shadow, so with some Grandma and Grandpa Help, we snuck in some engagement photos of Melissa & Ryan for their New Year's Eve wedding!! So, every smile we caught was an incredible victory in my photographic "Win" Book! 

After their quick trip around the green with Grandma and Grandpa, Jaxon and Amelia joined us again with Ava, their adorable schnauzer! A quick outfit change and the kiddos really let loose and showed me they were super comfortable with where we were. And I was super thankful! 

Ms. Amelia-you are a gorgeous little lady! With spunk and vivacity that will carry you far in life! Jaxon, you are such a wonderful older brother and a bonefide little gentleman!

Melissa + Ryan: I'm so excited to see how your day comes together for New Year's Eve! I know you've jumped through a lot of hurdles and have faced some challenges along the way, but I now you know that it's worth every minute when you find the One your heart desires. Thank you so much for having me be a part of the adventure. 

Blessings, 
Carrie

PS You can view more of our time together HERE. 

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