Months later, I am still swooning over Matt and Mary's Dia de los Muertos themed wedding that took place last fall at Next Chapter Winery in New Prague. They had actually been officially married over the summer but chose to have a bigger celebration later in the year. There were so many unique and downright wonderful things elements at this reception. First of all, their three dogs were in attendance, but those weren't the only furry friends. They had invited Second Hand Hounds to make an appearance to give exposure to the organization. What did that mean? There were PUPPIES AT THE WEDDING for the cuddling! So let me just recap, puppies, endless tacos, wine, dancing and love overflowing throughout. Is it weird to want to go back and relive someone else's wedding day? Because I would do it in a heartbeat!
I wish so much love and happiness for these two. This celebration was perfection and I hope they have joy like this always.
Due to reasons you can probably figure out, I had to cancel my indoor mini sessions at the beginning of April. I was bummed out because I was excited to reunite with clients and it was also going to be one of my bigger shoots as I emerged from maternity leave.
However, I know that better days are (eventually) ahead and I'll be shooting up a storm someday again. In the meantime, I'd love to share my indoor mini sessions I held last November at Studio 130. The studio is a beautiful, versatile blank canvas and proved perfect for a variety of family sessions as well as a couple headshot/branding sessions too! Here are just a few shots from each family I worked with. Above are the Warners. I'm sad that they've moved away from Hudson, but thankful that I had one last shoot with them.
My friend Kristina is one of the most wonderful, inspiring people I've ever met and I've deeply treasured our 14 year friendship. Not to mention I've LOVED photographing her growing and beautiful family over the years!
One-year old Blakely is any photographer's dream subject to photograph. I also took newborn photos as well as family photos for the Lewis family this year and I honestly believe I could build an outstanding website and portfolio on those sessions alone! Gah, thank you for asking me to be your photographer this year!
Amy, my friend, client, and Beautycounter consultant also took advantage of this fantastic studio space and we got some great headshot and branding photos for her. So glad you were part of this day, Amy!
Photos for the Mueller family were a breeze, no surprise there. I met them last fall and was delighted that they signed up for these mini sessions once again. I'm lucky to have you guys as my clients!
The Woodruffs are an easy and energetic bunch and they are a blast to have in front of the camera. Let's do this again soon, ok??
Kathy was my second headshot/branding session of the day. She is a mom, tap-dancer, Prince lover, and marketing extraordinaire. I'm so glad I was able to take these photos for her!
This was my first time meeting the Theobalds and I have to say, I need to figure out whom to contact to get their photos in a magazine or an album cover. They just photograph beautifully!
The Engbrecht boys never stayed still for a second, but I didn't mind one bit. It was a sweet glimpse into boyhood and brother life. What I loved even more was how relaxed and chill their parents Melissa and Tyler were. Their relaxed demeanor made all of the photos looked natural and easy!
The Conways were holiday card perfection. They are another family whom I've had several sessions with over the years and they are a joy to meet up with every time!
My last session of the day was the Schmidt family. You might think this family could not possibly get any cuter EXCEPT hey recently just welcomed a baby boy! I'm over the moon happy for this wonderful family. I hope to see you all again this year to document life as a family of five!
Thanks for reading and checking out what a day of mini sessions look like! Also, a huge thanks to my friend Jess who was my assistant for the day. I was about 37 weeks pregnant when I took these photos and I couldn't have facilitated this day without her!
I've been thinking of different ways, both big and little, that I can say THANK YOU to my rockstar clients, especially the ones who have embraced me from the very beginning and encouraged me to go for my dreams when I was shyly asking to photograph new babies and family portraits.
Something I have decided on is to do a monthly feature on said clients and share some images from their sessions over the years along with some Q & A!
One of the very first families that came to mind was the Andersons. I met Kristina FIFTEEN years ago at the U of M when she encouraged me to try out to be a Gopher Hockey Cheerleader (which ended up being a life-changing experience for me in numerous ways!)
You'll get a good feel for who the Andersons are as you scroll through the post, but I asked Kristina to sum up her family life for me anyway!
"We are a hardworking, silly, fun-loving family of 4 (6 if you include the pups). We are usually busy doing some sort of DIY/house project or outside working on the yard. We have a 1300 sq ft vegetable garden, so that takes up a good chunk of time too. We are a family focused on health and fitness (which also includes sporadic family dance parties - thanks to Alexa)." says Kristina
I recently photographed their son Reece's first BEE Day party which was creatively planned by Kristina with social distancing in mind. It small outdoor party with virtual guests, but plenty of cheer and charming bee-themed party elements.
But let's grab some snacks and go and strolling down memory lane and visit some past shoots!
Above are a few of my very first shoots with Kristina and Tony's daughter Addie. I was honored to photograph their pregnancy announcement while I was portfolio building in 2013. I also took a few portrait sessions for Addie when she was a baby and toddler. Addie is easily any photographers dream at any age!
(Above, Addies' third birthday.)
(Addies's 4th birthtday)
(Addies' 5th birthday)
As you can see, Kristina is a party planning extraordinaire and photographing and attending Addie's birthday parties has been an absolute delight for all the senses and way better than anything you could ever find on Pinterest because it is, like, real.
I've brought my own kids a long and they couldn't stop raving about how much fun they had!
These shoots are a win-win for me and Kristina because if I'm the one with the camera, then it's one less thing for her to worry about during the event and she can be present to party!
"I'm always so busy running around hosting the event that I don't always get to SEE and enjoy everything that came together. You always do such an amazing job of capturing the day, the details that I spend so much time on, and the guests/friends/family. It allows me to go through the albums and EXPERIENCE the event as our friends and family did. I frequently go back to old birthday parties in my phone albums and just scroll through, looking at the party that took months to plan, looking at everyone's faces - it's so fun, I love it!" says Kristina
I've held holiday mini sessions for the past three years and the Andersons came to every one! Her family is so consistent about bringing good attitudes and big smiles, I had to ask what her secret, bribe, or strategy was.
"I try to make sure to pick a time of day when the kids aren't whining/cranky (aka nap time), and we usually make the photo shoot a "fun thing" for the day. We all get ready together in the morning and we usually plan something fun afterwards (like going out for lunch/dinner, these days it would probably be picking up some ice cream and heading home for a nice treat as a family) - that makes it an anticipated and fun thing for the kids and hubby too!" says Kristina.
Kristina has also been able to jump in for some of my Mother's Day sessions (again, something I started in 2018). It makes my heart happy that she has been able to attend because all mamas deserve some great photos with their kids and it's so dang hard during day-to-day life to hand off your phone or camera to someone else to snap a photo, be it posed or candid.
One of the most special shoots I've ever done in my life was Reece's fresh 48 session last summer. It could have been called a "Fresh 2" because he was only two hours old when Kristina and Tony asked me to come up to the hospital to take pictures. There is something so sacred and magical about being in the presence of a newly born baby and I will never forget it.
A couple months later I attended and photographed Reece's baptism. At this point in the post, I'm going to share Kristina's method in dressing her family they are easily one of the most stylish families!
"I start, like, 2 months out because I don't want to spend an arm-and-a-leg, I look for good deals on Poshmark for Tony and myself, and for the kids, I usually buy from a handmade shop (on Instagram). To be honest, the whole family coordination is usually based on a dress that I first find for Addie - haha!
Once I find the token piece (whoever it ends up being for), I build the rest of the outfits around it/to compliment it." she says.
Lastly, these are photos from a fitness photo shoot Kristina and I did a couple years ago. We got her a ton of photos she was able to use for marketing content. Kristina incredibly passionate about fitness and is currently a Beach Body coach! She is inspiring, real, consistent, and truly cares about helping others.
Give my girl a follow on her Instagram if ya can! I guarantee she'll inspire you.
I'm going to wrap this post up now because I have an unruly daycare (I mean, my family) to take care of. But I currently have all the feels from going through all of these past shoots. Kristina, I love seeing the growth of the Anderson family as well as the evolution of my shooting and editing. I am also certain I wouldn't be where I am today without your support, and encouragement over the years, and I don't just mean in my photography business! You have been a wind-beneath-my-wings girl ever since we met! (See below folks... we go way back!)
The only thing I DON'T have is a recent photo of me and Kristina together! Let's make sure we grab one next time we shoot!
Welcome to my photography blog!
Rachel again! Here's where you'll be able to find blog posts about all things photography: recent sessions, upcoming events, and just fun musings on photography in general. Can't wait to fill 'er up with content!