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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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Christen + Chase

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Christen + Chase

What a beautiful day these two had! In the midst of an incredibly wet and dreary fall season, Christen & Chase’s day landed on a gorgeous, partly sunny, 50-degree day where all the trees’ leaves were rich fall hues and perfect for photos. But among the most beautiful of colors: Christen’s bouquet that was so beautiful, she even teared up at first sight of it!

Christen opted not only for a First Look with Chase, but we worked one out with her Dad, Ken, as well! He then assisted her to her First Look with her groom. The beauty of Christen & Chase’s first look was the perfection that is having a second shooter. You’ll see an angle from Sarah, my assistant for the day, and Christen is in the background and then you’ll see Christen from my angle. It’s such a joy to give my clients so many images from all spots of an event so they don’t miss a moment! What was even sweeter though? Christen & Chase both teared up and wiped their eyes at the same time! Take a look:

We moved into portraits of just the two of them while the bridal party gathered and the trees and weather continued to be wonderful for us:

From the moment I met Chase’s sister and her darling twins, I knew there was a special story there. Chase’s sister had some severe health issues this past spring and we are lucky to have her still with us. Today was a true celebration for Christen & Chase, yes, for the start of their lives together, but also that their family remained together too. And are their Ring Bearer and Flower Girl not the cutest!?! (Also, their dog, Axel, joined the party too! Complete with bow tie-collar!)

Their ceremony had so many special moments tied in to express exactly who they are. Christen had both of her parents give her away while she wore her mother’s veil and they had all four of their parents surround them for the opening prayer to their ceremony. So sweet!!

After their ceremony, we jetted downtown to capture some Party Bus photos of their wedding party with their significant others. We started at the Women of Achievement Bridge (which Christen really appreciated) and then hit the open commons area by the Civic Center.

Their reception was probably the best dancing photos I’ve captured in quite some time. During Christen & Chase’s first dance, Chase’s nephew wanted in on the fun. So the three of them had a lovely dance together. :) Their friends are awesome dancers and the floor was never void of fun, laughter and smooth moves!

We grabbed some sunset photos at the perfect time. As we were wrapping up our five minute jaunt outside, we watched the sun settle behind a set of clouds and the glow was gone. It couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. Their time at Country Lane Lodge (from getting ready to Reception) was breathtakingly beautiful and I’m so proud of what we were able to capture for them, the venue and the vendors that worked their big day!

Christen & Chase (& family): I am so thankful to have met you all and thank you for welcoming me into your families for this special day! I SO appreciate your trust in my skill set and abilities and I hope these photo meet and exceed your expectations! I wish you nothing but the best that Life has to offer and I love how Ken worded it in his toast to you both: Let’s live and love others so that we make Heaven more crowded.

Blessings to you both and your families! You are amazing people!
Carrie

PS You can view their wedding gallery HERE.

Vendors of Note:
Wedding Coordinator: Mostly Becky

Ceremony Venue: Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines

Getting Ready & Reception Venue: Country Lane Lodge

Florals: The English Rose

DJ: A Special Event DJ

Party Bus: Wedding Lux Limo

Rentals: Elegant Affairs

Cupcakes: Scratch Cupcakery, West Des Moines

Shuttle Service to and from Hotel & Reception: Majestic Shuttle Service

Photography: Carrie Krupke Photography, LLC

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Jen + Jacob : Married

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Jen + Jacob : Married

I still can't believe this day happened! Jen and Jacob's engagement session was an adventurous one and I didn't realize this until I was driving home after the reception, but they were in a river bed for their engagement photos AND their wedding photos! :) I'm so thankful for their trust and willing spirits! The night before their wedding day, the wind howled outside with hail/rain/sleet. I fell asleep so worried about giving them outdoor photos but God had us covered! There was a break in the precipitation right when we needed it for their First Look and bridal party photos and we could handle the mist that fell during their "sunset portraits". You wouldn't know that it was in the 30's and windy-Jen, Jacob and their crew of closest friends were such great sports and they ran the whole day on time like clock work. 

I have the best brides ever, guys. They're just amazing. Check out Jen & Jacob's day!

It struck me as Jen was getting ready that she had a different person help her with each step of the way. Her step-Mom and mother-in-law helped with her dress buttons, her matrons of honor helped with her jewelry, her step-mom with her earrings. Jen was very intentional about having a moment with each of the special ladies in her life and requested an image with quite possibly the most important lady in her life who is no longer physically with us: her mom. Jen has a framed portrait of her mom on her wedding day and wanted a picture of her holding the frame. It reinforced to me the importance of what we do as photographers-what a legacy and memory to hold on to on such a pivotal day of Jen's life. 

It pays to scout out a location before you start shooting with anybody. We were originally slated to do their First Look at Waterworks Park, but as I drove by it, with the extended winter we've been having, not a single tree was in bloom yet. So, I scouted out our spot for the portraits we wanted to do prior to the reception. Bingo! We could make it work and it was closer to our ceremony venue anyway. Win-win!

Jen & Jacob have some very close friends in their lives who have adorable children that could serve as ring bearers (or rather, sign-bearers) and flower girls. These munchkins did so well! Additionally, Jen & Jacob used the Bible verse about it being difficult to break a rope of three cords and braided a rope in the shape of a cross in lieu of their unity candle. After their ceremony was complete and they were officially hitched, we headed right back to Colby Park and despite the mist that was coming down pretty heavily, we nailed some great portraits in less than 5 minutes that don't portray any of that precipitation! I'm so pleased with how well that spot worked in our favor! 

On to the reception! A little backstory from a business perspective: I have been longing for a light set up that was easy to carry in and out of the venue, easy to manipulate from my camera and get great shots in low light receptions. Finally, FINALLY(!) Sarah and I figured it out in the week leading up to Jen's wedding and I couldn't be more proud of our results from this evening! (And I had to include a photo of Jen's Dad and step-Mom dancing, aren't they a hoot?!)

Jen + Jacob: Thank you so much for having me (& Sarah) out to document your beautiful day! You wouldn't know it by your images that it was drizzly, cold and damp. The love you share gave me warm fuzzies while we were dodging the misty raindrops. I love how you did different things to honor your mom, Jen, and that even after photographing 45+ weddings, there are still different ways to tie the knot-all uniquely your own. 

Blessings as you start your lives together, 

Carrie

PS You can view more of their day HERE and their wedding video slideshow HERE

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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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Melissa + Ryan

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Melissa + Ryan

I remember the first family session he joined us. Ryan's job was to help corral Amelia who loved to run at the time and he voluntarily carried my bag for me if we moved spots. The way he worked with Jax and Amelia at that session in 2015 showed me he was a keep and Mel had found a good one. Fast forward to 2016, I was 8 months pregnant with Lochlyn and again, Ryan helped corral kids but their demeanor with him had shifted to one of ease, love and comfortability. I knew some good things were on the horizon for Melissa and thankfully, they became engaged in 2017, planning a New Year's Eve wedding! 

I am beyond grateful for them both welcoming me into their special day, braving the frigid temps for the best shots ever and just how they treat me like family every time I see them. I've watched Jax grow from a 2 year old to a little man now at the ripe old age of 7 and I've photographed Amelia since she was a newborn. What a joy to capture these sweet interactions with them and their Mama on her wedding day. 

Welcome to the family, Ryan! 

I'm so thankful that Mel & Ryan trust me and my second shooter, Sarah, so implicitly. We knew we'd get the best shots outside as the sun was softening in the sky, the only drawback? It was -10, not counting windchill! Quite literally, the coldest day of 2017! Melissa had a fur wrap and blanket, we mapped out what we'd do first, middle and last and made a run for it. We grabbed this in the span of 5 minutes! Just enough time to no longer feel my trigger finger that had gloves on! 

Amelia stole the show during the ceremony! As I've watched her adjust to having Ryan in their lives, it warmed my heart to see her grab both of their hands and clutch them closely as a sort of security blanket. What a perfect picture of them all becoming a complete family!

There were such special moments during their dances that I had to make it a separate "chunk" of this post. After Mel & Ryan had their first dance, they did their parent dances jointly and then brought Amelia and Jaxon onto the dance floor with their additional grandparents. The moments with Amelia and Jaxon dancing together was incredibly sweet and I love the moments we captured between Jax and Melissa. Maybe it's because I have a son now that I know these images will be SO important to his wedding some day....

Melissa & Ryan: I can't describe how special your day was to me. I'm so thankful for playing a part in it and getting to document the incredibly poignant moments between you, Amelia and Jaxon. I know you enjoyed your honeymoon thoroughly-welcome back to the cold Iowa winter!! Hopefully, these images have warmed your hearts even if your toes are chilly! 

Blessings on everything, 

Carrie

PS You can view their wedding day slideshow HERE. You can view the entire day HERE. 

Vendors of Note: 

Tuxes: Men's Warehouse of Ankeny

Hair: Pure Salon

Cake & Floral: Hy-Vee of Ankeny

Wedding Dress: Stacey's in Urbandale

Shoes: Bagdley Mishka

Catering: The Radish in Grimes, IA

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Stoney Creek Inn, Johnston IA

 

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