John + Bath/Bedtime + Lifestyle / Quad City Photographer

I wrote in the last blog how much has changed since we grew our family of 2 to 3 this past year. I look at families in a whole new beautiful light. Especially families with little boys - and the McDonnell family was no exception. :)

Spending time with little John and his parents during his night time routine was so special to me. John stays in the tub til the water is cool and loves playing with his numerous bath toys and even a basketball hoop suctioned to the shower. He is so rambunctious and full of life - jumping through the hallway and wanting to start the dryer in the middle of his routine (I hope he still wants to do that as a teenager!).

I loved all his "all boy" moments but my favorite was watching him with his mommy + daddy (Camille and Ryan). The way he looks at them just melts your heart and I started to tear up a bit with seeing his little hands and lips plant love on his parents as I edited the photos. I even got an 'I love you' and 'tanks for takin pichures' with a big hug at the end (I melted into a big pile of mush). Which comes as no surprise since his parents are equally as sweet and generous and have become such dear friends to us. 

Thank you McDonnell family for letting me get a sneak peek on a bit of John's rambunctious, sweet, little world. <3

Kelly + Portraits / Quad City Photographer

Some friendships come full circle. <3

Kelly and I have been friends since, oh, I don't know - first grade? Kindergarten? It's weird how the years all mush together and it feels like there was never a time we weren't friends - even if it has been 20+ years. 

We are the type of friends who at times would go for months without talking due to busy lives. College, dating, traveling, clinicals - just life in general gets in the way - but it was never a big deal. Just pick up right where we left off. 

I have been so lucky to have friendships that last years. "They say" (whoever "they" is) that a friendship that lasts 7 years will last a lifetime and I believe it. 

Choosing to stay at home and raise Abe has brought upon so many opportunities in my life. My favorite of course is experiencing everything through my little boy's eyes. Trying foods for the first time, meeting new physical milestones (time slow down!), and being there for almost every giggle and tear. Being home has also brought out a whole new creative side with my business. I see families different now that mine has grown.

And lastly - but so important and often overlooked - is how much my relationships have changed for the better. I have had more time with my husband, family, and close friends. Kelly being one of them.  Kelly jumps right in her car and zips the 45 minute drive to Davenport every few weeks - even if just for a few hours. We really do a whole lot of nothing and it is perfect. Play with Abe, gab about old memories, and drink plenty of coffee. 

I've loved the new found time we've spent together and she is such a beautiful and amazing friend. Always making me laugh and making me feel comfortable to talk about anything. (Plus she lets me pretty much be in oversized sweatpants and no makeup every time she's here) She really has become an extension of our family and I know my husband appreciates me having some company when he's gone for days at at time. Kelly - you're a gem!

So  Kelly - here's to you. Thank you for being a stunning model and a life-long friend.

Sara + Erik Maternity / Quad Cities Photographer

There is so much anticipation in the last month - even trimester - before your baby is born. Every morning waking up thinking it could be the day you meet your little one. Then one day they arrive and you can't imagine life before they came into the world.

Sara + Erik have been friends of ours since we had met Sara around 5 years ago. Sara has an amazing laugh and is always having fun - and just a joy to be around. Erik fits with her perfectly - they were goofing around the whole session - flirting and talking about all the changes that Baby Jones would bring into their lives. You could feel their excitement in the air. That excitement has just grown and grown since the day I remember Sara telling me in a hushed voice she was pregnant! She could barely contain herself. :) 

They are honestly going to be such amazing parents to their little boy. They are such at ease with each other and make love look so effortless. Shooting these portraits for them was such an honor and I can't wait to share the images with you all. 

Congratulations to both of you and can't wait to meet your little man! 

Hank + Cassandra / Quad Cities Photographer

Ugh. These two though. :).

My husband first met Hank 4 years ago while we were living downtown at The Hotel Blackhawk and Hank cut his hair... and now swears by having Hank cut his hair! (Trust us - we pretty much send everyone there - best fade evverrrrrr - The Dapper Lyfe - check him out!).

Anyway - when Hank mentioned I take photos of him and his girlfriend of one year - Cassandra - I was thrilled! Besides these two being gorgeous together (his dimples, her smile - puhhh leasseee) - they were so sweet and flirted pretty much the entire session. Two peas in a pod. 

It was only fitting we had the session Downtown Davenport and with a high sun at noon it was actually warm for an Iowa March day. With my trusty assistants (husband and my 6 month old) and reflector in hand I had a great time meeting Cassandra and catching up with Hank. 

Hope you two had a great time introducing Cassandra to the Quad Cities (and Iowa!) Thanks for spending part of it with me and my clan! 

Ford + Family - Quad Cities Photographer

A chilly winter day was the perfect day to lounge on the couch with some popcorn and a movie. 

Upon arriving mom and dad (Amy and Brian) were so welcoming - but couldn't top how welcoming their two youngest were upon arriving! Anna (3) and Brendan (5) were definitely not shy as my legs became a tunnel to crawl under as I chatted to get to know Amy better in their living room. 

Once Benjamin (8) joined the mix they couldn't wait to make silly faces and check out the photos on the back of my camera. I loved all the energy of the three kids together and watching this family laugh and hug during photos was so sweet and brought back memories of growing up with two older brothers myself. 

Once we did a few family photos it was time for popcorn and a movie! The family all gathered in the kitchen and all 3 kids smothered the island and helped pour popcorn into the air popper. The three littles plopped happily on the couch with their tub of popcorn in hand. 

Thank you to the Ford family for welcoming into their home and letting me be a part of their popcorn tradition! 

Cory + Jess / Quad Cities Photographer

We loved with a love that was more than love.
— Edgar Allen Poe

I L.O.V.E. couples. Dating. Married. Best buds. Prom dates. Partners in crime. Friends since kindergarten. I love hearing how you met, how goofy you are together when no one is around, how you embarrass each other, how you can have the most awesome time simply grocery shopping - love it all.

One of my favvvvvorite couples is Cory + Jess. Jess is spunky and sweet. Cory is silent and strong. They are so alike but definitely ying and yang! And they are also so kindly agreeable for my random requests to photograph them! (And seriously - watching them interact is swooooon worthy for any photographer) So of course they are my go-to couple! 

A cloudy day, and it begins to lightly snow before we start. I told them to be comfy, casual, effortless. Minimal posing, a no-rush session, and asking these two to act as if I'm not there. These types of sessions make my heart sing!

Thanks Cory + Jess for spending the morning with me (and my husband and Abe) and letting me capture your spark together on camera. What you two have together is rare and I feel thankful that I have had the opportunity to capture it more than once. 

Courtney + Austin / Engagement - Quad Cities Photographer

“and i know you are the last thought, breath, and wish, i will ever have, take, or make... because you are the daydream i am supposed to have for the rest of my life.”

-tyler kent white

These two though.

Even after being together for ten years (and meeting through a friend in the 5th grade) these two were just oozing with affection for each other. All the warm fuzzies during their engagement session. What started out as a planned snowy session (hello - midwest winters), we ended up having a 50 degree day and a beautifully moody overcast sky. I met with Courtney and Austin a couple hours before sunset on a peaceful Friday night and loved capturing their playful interaction and excitement to become husband and wife. 

You two seem to have both young and old love nailed down. Thanks for letting me be a part of such a special time in your lives. 

Erika + Hank - Quad Cities Photographer

What a way to start blogging! Could a session get any more unique than a Christmas card idea involving sombreros, tequila, and a mini pig named Handsome Hank?

Erika came to me for the second year in a row to bring her holiday card idea to life and I couldn't be happier to help! I learned more than I ever thought I'd know about mini pigs (did you know they love cheerios and Hank's case tortilla chips? - but ya gotta watch the salt intake). He also loves being tickled with a fork! He was nothing but a gentleman except when he dug into my hoodie pocket to steal the remaining bribes. 

Thanks again to Erika for trusting me with her infamous holiday cards! Can't wait to see what you come up with for next year...