Show 'em some love! (your fav photog that is!) / Quad City Lifestyle Photographer / Iron + Lace

There are few things I don’t love about owning my own business / being a photog. Occasional weird hours or over-working myself are pretty much the summation of the toughest parts. I like being my own boss, making all the decisions (yup I’m THAT person - ask my husband), meeting new people, creating art and capturing connections. BUT REALLY - one of the BEST PARTS - (if not the best best best) is when my clients gush over their photos + experience. When you are a one-man show and you don’t have a boss or colleague telling you that you ROCK - client testimonials are everything. SO this post is for the wonderful clients who L O V E their photogs and FIVE ways you can show ‘em some love. :)

1. Spread the love on facebook! Most photographers depend on word-of-mouth and social media to market. The facebook algorithm loves personal posts so if you share your sneaks/images from our business page it attracts the most attention! Make those images your profile pic or cover photo and tag us and put it in the caption so all your friends + fam can follow the trail back to our site. Heck - make a whole album of your favs - just tag us so we can watch all the love roll in <3

2. INSTA! The current largest social media platform! (woot woot!). Share your photogs story featuring you on YOUR story + post them to your personal insta. (Just don’t add a filter! See #4) PC (photo credit) your photog in the captions - we tend to get lost if you tag us on the photo only. :)

3. Send them a message!!! Text, message, mail a thank you! I love when clients message me minutes after we parted saying how they had such a good experience and can’t wait for the images. If you’re not a blast-it-all-over social media type person - this is a nice personal little way to say “you’re the”

4. Keep the images in their true form. Photographers spend years perfecting their style of editing/composition/brand and hours editing your session. Its heartbreaking if you insta filter / re-edit / alter composition (and also is copyright infringement) - we love seeing what images you like best but what to see them as we created them JUST for you! I personally adore my clients and put my heart into creating something special for them. Just choose a photog who you jive with editing-wise to begin with! There’s plenty of us to go around :)

5. Purchase products through your gallery’s online store! Most photogs hand-pick high quality / pro printers for products, albums, prints etc and we get a portion of the sale! I’m always happy to recommend certain products and plan to do a blog post for design ideas of your images for in your home. (stay tuned)

5. Old fashioned money tip. While not expected it’s always a little treat if that’s your way to say an extra thanks. :)

Jones In-Home Lifestyle Session / Quad Cities Lifestyle Photographer


I havn’t blogged since January 2018. I didn’t know if it was because I didn’t have time (we have a toddler and one on the way) or because I really don’t know if anyone takes the time to click off Instagram or Facebook. Either way - I knew there would be an “ah-ha” moment of “this needs to be heard.”

Well it happened. The “ah-ha” moment.

I heard about Callie + Brent’s news via a mutual friend. Soon after I had emails from Callie planning ahead for an in-home lifestyle session… when they were ready.

Despite everything they had been through these two were so filled with hope + faith + new beginnings. I could try to write out something to describe their situation but I’ll leave that to Callie. (who thankfully is an excellent and eloquent writer - who wrote about her experience as an outlet soon after). So here it is.

But, here we are.

May 21, 2018 : Callie Anne :

Well, I’m back.

Kind of.

This is really a I-need-to-write-to-feel-better blog and not a commitment to really being back. Although, it probably should be.

Anyway, most of you know what’s happened.

Most of you know that our lives are forever changed and our memories forever categorized by ‘before and after the fire.’

I hate that word. Fire.

We weren’t supposed to be people who ever had to deal with a fire. That’s something you hear about on the news. But it’s never supposed to happen to you.

We weren’t supposed to lose Baker after only a year and a half. That wasn’t long enough.

We weren’t supposed to feel the guilt of leaving her home alone. Everyone leaves their dog home alone.

We surely weren’t supposed to start our marriage in a rental home with our dog’s ashes on a shelf.

But, here we are.

In a recent episode of Real Housewives of New York City (I know, okay, hear me out…), one of the ladies said something that actually really stuck with me. It was something along the lines of…

“For all those people who say ‘I could never’…yeah, you could. You’d be surprised what you could handle if you had to.”


It’s so true.

If someone had told me we would have a house fire that would ruin most of our possessions AND take Baker from us, I most CERTAINLY would have uttered the words ‘I could never.’

But again, here we are.

And guess what? We’re handling it. It’s not easy. It’s really hard, actually. But we’re handling it.

Want to know why?

Because we’re not handling it alone.

And I’m not talking about our ROCKSTAR families and friends who have extended a million helping hands.

I’m talking about faith.

You could never convince me that anything besides FAITH could get us through a situation like this. Don’t even try. I wouldn’t listen.

We’re not supposed to understand why anything happens. Ever. But we’re supposed to trust that whatever does happen is something we’re capable of surviving. And is something capable of producing good. That’s faith. That’s hope.

So again, here we are.


Hopeful that we’ll recognize any good in this situation. Even if it’s finding a rental home close to our home that we’re comfortable in. Even if it’s realizing that together we can get through anything. Even if it’s just a reminder to never ever ever take anything – even a whiny dog who’s pretty sure she needs to eat breakfast at 4am – for granted.

We’ve got a ways to go on this journey but we’re figuring it out one day at a time.

Life didn’t stop and wait for us to decide that we’re okay again. It kept going.

But because of faith, and because of hope, and because of love, so did we.

So here is the Jones’ lifestyle session. Almost smoke free house, the sweetest couple, and a new furry friend (Parker).

Follow Callie’s writing and their journey as they move back into their home with a new puppy at

Chelsea + Joey / Quad Cities Lifestyle + Portrait Photographer

I'm about 100 sessions behind blogging. No joke. Probably 100+. BUT I just decided to blog what feels right at the time!

This session with Chelsea and her son Joey was a good starting point. I sent out a model call and they were a perfect fit. I was moving towards lifestyle portrait sessions and had been doing education on education in making this transition as well as the flow of shooting sessions this way. 

Now almost a year later and I'm head-over-heels for lifestyle sessions, not pushing a fake smile, playing games with your kids, and making photo sessions fun (woo hoo let go of the stress!) Thanks Chelsea + Joey for being my guinea pigs (and being totally uh-mazing in front of the camera)

I'm officially an adult... I think. / Quad City Lifestyle Photographer

Well there you have it. I'm 30! Does that make me an adult yet? When you're young you always think being an adult means you have it all figured out (ha!) Or does it mean you can convince others you have it all figured out? Well. I definitely don't have it all figured out. Here's the scoop.

Current situation. Our adorable blonde son Abe was sleeping like a champ for pretty much the first 8 months of life (except a small 4 month sleep regression). He went down easy, went back to sleep quickly after being nursed in the night - and mommy and baby were happy and well rested. Enter teething. Seperation anxiety. The ability to stand at the edge of the crib and give the exact cry to pull on mommy + daddy's heart strings. AND we took a big step back. BUT my husband and I always try to find the half full side of everything. My husband, Alex, is LOVING the fact that Abe will cuddle up on him and pass out in minutes. Yes minutes. On me? Nope. Probably an hour of struggling to get him to sleep. I love the win for daddy though and must admit Abe getting the giggles at 3am and putting his paci in my mouth is pretty. darn. cute. 

Hm. What else do I NOT have figured out. Running a business. I LOVE it. Being your own boss, setting your schedule, having big dreams for my business - is the best. job. ever. But every time I figure ONE thing out - guess what?! There is something else to figure out! OH I got a website - woot! I have a workflow pre+post session - woot - but wait - SEO, blogging, instagram scheduling,  pinterest board, marketing - what?! But honestly - that's half the fun. I'd be super bored if I had everything figured out on the business side of things (heck - I'm still learning stuff about my camera - like back button focusing). I am beyond blessed to love what I do. There was actually a day I came home from a session and said to my husband "I love EVERYTHING about running a photography business." Amazing.

And now for the random list of other things I don't have figured out

(and possible never will - not heart broken about it). 

  1. Parallel parking. Barely passed it in drivers ed. I don't even like backing out of our driveway with my husband's truck sitting clearly out of the way. I make him crawl out of bed from naps to back out my vehicle (bless his heart.)
  2. Taking care of plants, flowers, anything requiring a green thumb. I envy all of you and your vegetable gardens, your ever beautiful tulips, even your perfect turf-like green grass. Every spring I get a full tutorial from my mom on how to take care of the flowers and they still need some serious TLC.
  3. Why people are so grumpy in the grocery store. Honestly. I think 75% of the time people are grumpy and grumbling! The workers are happier and they are WORKING. Just pick out a snack or something if you're hungry or grumpy and just smile back at me or respond when I say 'excuse us'. Geez. I even have a cute baby flirting with you for goodness sakes.
  4. How to keep our gas stove top clean. Is there a trick?! Constant battle. 

But anyway. Back to me being 30. I enjoyed a super relaxing day with my two guys traveling to Iowa CIty to enjoy a little shopping and of course some donuts. I also was pumped to use my new little mirrorless Fuji camera. Here are some snippets from the day on my new camera and cheers to not needing to ever have it all figured out. :) 





Maggie is an Iowa native specializing in lifestyle + storytelling photography both in your home and outdoors as well as small business artistry in the Quad City area. She can't turn down craft beer, live music, or local adventures. 





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!


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.


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



focusing on what i love / Iron + Lace Rebrand / Quad City Lifestyle Photographer

Wow. What a whirlwind this year has been so far! From quitting my previously full-time job to stay at home with our son + diving into almost full-time photographer in the Quad Cities - where has the time gone? Between packing in sessions on all of my husband's days off and trying to get our little man on a schedule - it was time for a business + marketing + rebrand overhaul. Plus how is Abe almost a year old?! (It's been making me a bittttt emotional) Anywho - read on for the details...

quad city family photographer

My side gig quickly transitioned to full time and by mid-February I was ready to stop shooting everything thrown my way and start focusing on what pulled at my heart strings and inner artist - couples, families, and small businesses (woo hoo! shop local!). While I do occassionally give in to other sessions (lifestyle newborn, seniors, small weddings, real estate, freelance) I felt I couldn't advance at everything and give my clients the full attention with my head in so many places. 

Quad City Engagement Photographer, Quad City Family Photographer, Lifestyle Photographer

So this year I'm planning to do a LOT of what I love - and less of what I just like. More blogging. Keeping up on my 365 days of photo project. Creating my own personal family memoir so I remember every detail of Abe + my family of three and our QC adventures. To me the new year starts at each birthday - and this month I turn the wonderful T-H-I-R-T-Y. (man - I don't feel that age!) I plan to get more personal on my blog and put my whole heart into my work. 

Storytelling through photography makes my heart sing - especially with a newly engaged couple or a family. I'm honored to get to be part of a family for just a little bit of the day and play with your kids and hear how you two met. I'd love to find a creative spot you've never done photos at before - whether it be an open corn field or the grocery store (I have a shoot wish-list that I'm dying for you to choose from!) Be warned - I don't have a bubble. I'll fix your hair so the wind blows it just right, remove the teething drool with a bare hand, and probably hug your whole family by the time we're done - but I promise to deliver photos in your gallery that make your heart sing and give you a glimpse at all the feelings you have for your honey or tribe right now. 


So stay a while - check out the new site - and let me be your storyteller. 







Maggie is an Iowa native specializing in lifestyle + storytelling photography both in your home and outdoors as well as small business artistry in the Quad City area. She can't turn down craft beer, live music, or local adventures.