The Details Before

The recent wedding of Sarah and Philip began in the morning hours at the Something Blueberry Farm with so many perfect details, smiles and plenty of sunshine.

The beautiful lace covered dress was waiting in the dressing room, carefully ready for Sarah.

The shoes were perfect for the outdoor, country wedding.

And the rings sparkled in the bright and welcome sunlight.

The flowers were ready to be held.

And so many perfect things were waiting…

…Waiting for the day to begin, including a beautiful bride.

I love sharing these quiet moments before the crowds arrive and the music begins. These minutes of excited calm before the vows and the food are so special. Images from the rest of the day will be here soon.

Time Together

When a beautiful (inside and out) mother of three amazing young women contacts me to help capture their brief time together as a family, I am very honored.

Home from college.  All together.  Sharing laughter.

It is hard not to laugh when this beauty is running around sharing her happiness with all.

It is always the little moments within the time spent together that will linger on through the years.

Hanging ornaments.

Talking.  Listening. And laughing, of course.

It was such an honor to be able to capture some of your moments together for you. Please find the rest of your online album here.

Moments Make the Day Magic

At the wedding of Lexi and Rex, there was plenty to celebrate.

It was the most perfectly beautiful fall day.

Lexi’s dress was amazing.

Her flowers were so lovely.

The ladies were wonderful.

Rex and the gentlemen.  Handsome as they waited for the day to unfold.

The most special parts of the day were found in quick moments that would leave lasting memories.

The quiet moments before…

The significant moments during the ceremony at St. Mark

A final word to her father.

…and this moment right after. This one was very special.

What an amazing day!

An oh there were plenty of moments at the reception at Riverside as well. This on makes me smile. The ladies! Here’s the bouquet toss –

As the ladies went for the catch.

Congratulations Lexi and Rex!

Thank you so much for letting me share your beautiful day with you. Please find the rest of your online album here.

Senior in the Sun

I’m always honored when one of the young people in my world wants me to photograph a senior picture session.

In thinking back, I’m pretty sure I met this beautiful and extremely talented young lady while she was holding a chicken.

I have seen her teach young people anatomy and I have seen her win trophies for her knowledge and her skills. She’s able to soothe an upset turkey to the point of falling asleep in her arms.  Her pup adores her and sits as well as stays when asked for as long as asked.

She is a teen leader and an inspiration to many young people who look up to her for guidance.

She has a way with animals for certain and she can bend the strings of a cello to fill the air with the most beautiful sounds.

Talented – that is no doubt. Beautiful, no question.

Congratulations, Lacey, on your senior year.  Your talents have helped me out many times!  Please find the rest of your online album here.

Senior Year Already!

I remember seeing her at gatherings as a little girl.

Her mother and I have known each other for years, but I don’t see either often any more.

So, it was a bit of a surprise when I did see her again after several years to realize she had grown into such a gorgeous young lady!

She always struck me as being very pretty, but I can say now she is quite beautiful and also so very nice.

Thank you so much for inviting me to capture your senior year memories! I am truly honored. Please find the rest of your online album here. I hope your senior year is wonderful.

All things Blooming

I’ve been busy booking things for the future and am all sorts of excited about the weddings coming up for the season! I will be in barns and beautiful halls and fabulous train depots and out in fields with some of the most beautiful people I have met.

I have also been busy enjoying the fresh spring air and daydreaming about all of the beautiful flowers that will soon be blooming…

So, with brides, weddings and flowers on my mind, I thought I would post a small sample of some pictures of past wedding bouquets in hopes of sharing spring and maybe inspiring a bride or two with these artistic creations. Enjoy!

Watching a Family Become

Through this journey as a photographer, I have many times been the quiet one in the corners of the rooms and the small spaces with my lens ready to silently preserve a special moment meant for just those people involved. This particular hour was one of those occasions which the people involved have allowed me to share.

I was there when they said their vows and I am happy to now be able to say I was there when they became a family.

This beautiful little one became their son.

He is surrounded by love and it is plain to see.

This little man is so handsome it’s hard to not fall for him.

His happiness in contagious.

He is now part of a whole.

I could not be happier for these wonderful people and am very thankful to have been the person they trusted to sit in on their moments.

Theresa and Jacob

I sometimes can’t believe when a whole year has passed between the booking of a wedding and the actual wedding day, and this was one of those weddings where I woke up that morning and thought, “Wow! I can’t believe it’s already Theresa and Jacob’s wedding day.” But, it was here. The sun was shining brightly. And the day was every bit as beautiful as I had imagined when I first spoke with them around a year ago.

So, we started out in a lovely home nearby where the dress was waiting and the ladies were busy getting ready with proud relatives looking on with love and pride on their faces.

It wasn’t long before the dress was on and we headed out to Kindleberger Park for some pre-wedding pictures.

I met the gentlemen there first. Jacob and his groomsmen were wonderful and really enjoying the morning.

It wasn’t long before Theresa arrived looking stunning and so very happy.

The ladies were close at hand with the sun shining brightly overhead.

Theresa and Jacob were happy to have some quiet, intimate moments before all of the excitement began. –and the sun was beautiful and extra shiny!

We combined the ladies and the gentlemen for some wonderful moments in the sun before heading off to the church.

Off to St. Joseph Catholic Church we went with the flowers…

…the rings…

…and a very happy couple.

This little sweetie was interested in watching Theresa and Jacob.

A few more pictures of the wedding party.

Then, the beautiful ceremony began.

After, we headed off to the fun at The Fountains with some celebrating

and some dancing.

Thank you Theresa and Jacob for sharing your perfect day with me. I can’t wait to work with you to provide you with the wedding book of your dreams very soon! Please find the rest of your online album here.

The Nose Prints on Our Door

There are nose prints on the window of our back door that we cannot bear to clean off. A collar hangs on a peg nearby. An empty porcelain bowl sits on a woven dog-bone shaped rug.

It has been almost a week since I watched her take her last breath. Just like all of the dogs before her that we have loved and have touched our lives in unspeakable ways, she has passed like the years that roll away whenever I blink my saddened eyes.

It is difficult to think of the energy that came with PJ, our beloved little lab, without a lump somewhere deep for our loss.

The first time I met her, she was not quite a year in age. She was in the front seat of a small red truck of a man I wanted to get to know. I could not see the man. All I could see was her golden fur-covered head popping out the window, tail wagging enthusiastically, and a big pink tongue lolling off to one side…. and drool everywhere. The door opened and out she sprang into my life. I gradually began dating the man, but she moved in to my house very quickly to live with my dog and I. In dog years, it was a lifetime ago, but really just more than a decade.

I remember sharing my twin bed with PJ and my dog many nights. I was huddled in the corner with no blankets while the two of them sprawled out in comfort.

She was an escape artist. She could climb an 8-foot chain link fence in under a minute. Once free, she would run just out of reach and smile and make me crazy. She was always motivated by pushing the envelope just a little.

She was a swimmer. We always had a small kiddie pool for her wherever we called home. She would run and leap into it, water flying everywhere. Immediately after a leap into the pool, she ran over to shake off as close to us as possible as if to share in her fun (no matter how dry we wanted to be). She did this any time and every time we went outside.

I remember the day she blew out her first knee (ACL to be precise). She was running across the yard, cut it sharp and rolled into a ball with a squeal of pain. I was scared because she never acted hurt – and this time she did. I rushed her to the vet right away with more tears in my eyes than I can explain. Surgery #1 was not even a choice. It was quickly done.

My son shared a memory that I had forgotten, but one that was significant in explaining her heroism. A bat somehow got into our house one night. Rather than trying to chase the bat which was her instinct for sure, she immediately ran into his bedroom and jumped into the bed with him to protect him. Protecting our children was her job no matter what and she was very stubborn about that.

She was a stinker for sure. She was brave. Strong. And beautiful. She had a heart of gold, like the color of her fur.

The man she came with… I married him one day a little more than a decade ago. He taught her to bark whenever someone called her fat. She was smart. As I sit here writing this, I feel like a part of my husband is missing. They are connected in my mind — my man and his dog.

So, there are nose prints on our door. I will not clean them off for a long time and I will not apologize for their existence. They are small gifts. I wish they were on my cheek or hand instead.

This is the last picture I took of her. It is the night before she started to leave us — before I really knew what was happening in her sweet, warm body.

Sweet dreams, beautiful PJ. I will love you forever, friend.

Melissa and Charles

Prior to the wedding day of Melissa and Charles, I had been working solely with Charles’ mother. She is a wonderful lady with a huge heart and a houseful of children that radiate the feeling of being loved. So, I was excited to meet the lovely Melissa whom she spoke so highly of as well as her son Charles whom she adores.

Not long after I got to the church, the dress and a glorious bouquet of flowers were awaiting their bride.

They were followed moments later by a very happy bride.

Then, a groom in white.

There was rain during the ceremony – for luck, so they say.

It must have worked because all of the planning and details came together for a picture perfect ceremony.

The rings were exchanged and Melissa and Charles said “I do” with a kiss.

We headed out and made a quick stop in the rain.

Then off to Niko’s Landing we went for the fun… Just in time for the weather to clear up.

So, we took pictures of Melissa and Charles…

…and pictures of the flowers.

They were happy for sure!

Very much in love.

Thank you for the fun times and for working with me. Your friends and family were fun and wonderful to work with. Please find the rest of your online album here while your huge shipment of pictures is uploaded, printed and organized for you. Thanks for everything!