Chris • Alex | engagements | Iowa City IA


What a perfect session!  Chris {the groom} is James best friend AND the Godfather of our pipsqueak.  The wedding will be enjoyed the same weekend as our 8th wedding anniversary – ah!  We have quite the honor (and responsibility) of best man (James), bridesmaid (Missy) and flower girl (Reese).

Lets talk about Chris.  He already declared himself the Godfather of our kid(s) long before James + I were married.  So, it was a long time coming.  I was showered with support + encouraging words even before Reese was born.  So when the little gal arrived, it was lots of toys (were talking bounce houses, a basketball hoop, Frozen teeshirts and inconveniently for me, the largest holiday-themed stuffed animals he somehow always finds).  Reese receives so many cards for so many holidays (always with a two dollar bill, sometimes a twenty and/or a packet of Mickey Mouse stickers) that I seriously forgot it was Saint Patricks Day last year until an oversized, sparkly green envelope landed in our mailbox.

You get the idea.  He has always spoiled me (Missy) + Reese above and beyond, now imagine what an awesome hubby he will be.  I still remember last year when we visited him {we live in different states} and he stocked the fridge with my favorite foods + vacuumed prior to my arrival.  He is a total catch!

Alex has taken Reese under her wing by treating her to sparkly sunglasses, letting Reese brush (tangle is the correct term) her long hair + allowing her to be the only other chick to wear white at her wedding.

I could rave all day about them (separately and as a couple).  I love that she always has a witty remark if he needs to be put in his place.  I love that they share a bond + understanding over loss (God knew the appropriate timing for Alex and Chris to meet) and that she can wear a Packers jersey and drink beer, but also rock a dress + curls.  I love that she has accomplished so much in her career + schooling already, but can also kick back with Reese in sweatpants and eat a box of donuts.  I am so lucky they are in my life.


After the session, we were hungry for some mezcel mules + a long overdue hangout, so we grabbed some quick pics of the bride + groom with their beloved God-babe too!  They are not perfectly backdropped pics…but us chilling casually on our deck, I love to be just as meaningful + pretty.

Love you guys.

xo MD


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ashley and jordan • chicago il • (fall) engagement session


Ashley + Jordan!

Ashley and I clicked right away.  Somehow in the small world it is, Ashley knew someone…who knew James sister…who knew James!  Ha.  And in the meantime (down the road from booking + finalizing up details for our trip to IL) + becoming Facebook friends + seeing each others pics – we ALL went to Coe together!  Not exactly all at the same time.  But we did.  I had not met Ashley until our session, but I did share a beer (or two) in college + a class (or two) in college with Jordan!  Dang its a happy little world.

If someone had told us in our introductory art classes that someday: we would be all grown up with you know, like kids + pets + bills to pay + spouses + responsibilities, then Jordan and I would have probably belly laughed.  But, here we were!

James + I headed into the city {toddler free} and ate fish tacos + deep dish pizza + visited CB2 and Container Store and pretty much utilized every inch of Chicago.  The weather was unbelievable and we could not stop shooting.  Literally.  We were forced to stop because the sun went down + it was black.  So yes, literally, shut down by mother nature.  They were so so fun to photograph.

James used to attend SAIC (School of Art Institute of Chicago) + leave it up to him to remember this random underground parking garage + the exact elevator that would get us to the best location the easiest.  The Chicago Marathon was the next morning, so you would think we were setting ourselves up for disaster, but between Jordan + James, they killed it on the directions/logistics.  Props, guys.

When Ashley asked if they could bring Boomer, I nearly died.  Because I knew I would want to take him home.  Ask me whats cuter: a bulldog or newborn baby, I seriously toss it up.  I have no idea.  Bulldogs are my weakness.  So here comes Boomer just waddling up the streets of Chicago, after Ashley + Jordan were gone maybe two hours shooting with us, and he greeted them with slobbery kisses as if its been weeks.  Then, his jersey went on.  And the best part is, it may have been mistaken for spandex.

Can Boomer please attend the wedding?

The wedding (to be at Celebration Farm) is going to be a blast.  I am anxious to see more surprise familiar faces!  Once a Kohawk, always a Kohawk.

And – thanks again, huge thank you – Jordan, for driving the entire time.  He made it so smooth + easy for James + I to just focus on shots + lighting without the worries of traffic and parking.  For that, I am so so grateful and I feel like I did not thank you guys enough!

XO until the big day, next year! -Missy


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{valerie and danny} hotel vetro | iowa city iowa


Danny and Val.  I still remember shooting their engagement session: Valerie was wearing this black leather jacket, which made her hair practically glow, I remember just feeling this admiration for how effortlessly cool she was.  Every pose she just melted into; I could not help but feel jealous of how she just owned red lipstick.  When I try to pull off red lipstick, people typically ask if its Halloween yet.  Valerie is one cool chick.

Danny is so kind and easy going.  His family!  Wow, so sweet.  I could not help but notice when we did group pics, his mom was up with her 3 boys (Danny the first to get hitched) – like how neat to have a daughter now, right?  I think that quite often during formals (vise versa for all daughters, or all sons), maybe I am babbling, but how special that will be someday, that content feeling, when your kiddo has found the one, and you have this celebratory day symbolizing you, kind of handing them off {obviously James + I have had about 200+ ceremonies contemplating this (Reese told him she wants their dad/daughter dance to be Mickey Mouse Hot Dog Dance, so we have some time)}.

James + I had two goose bump moments on this particular day:

One, when Valerie was putting on her dress, she was flipping through a sparkly clutch (reserved for special occasions) and found the ring, that became hers when her father passed away/was hospitalized.  Valerie had searched up and down (forever) for this ring, and chalked it up as a loss when it never appeared anywhere.  Here, standing in front of the mirror with her earrings sparkling, she was completely dressed head to toe, snapped open this clutch only to find THE ring!  We all sort of stood with our jaws to the ground.  I believe he picked the absolutely perfect moment to show his presence, love + support.  It was truly beautiful.

Goose bumps #2 was during the reception, when Danny asked all his fellow troops to stand up.  That was incredible.  I have never felt so proud, honored and grateful to be in such a room!  All these guys deserved to be displayed as we gave them a hearty round of applause.  They deserved more than that.  It was truly, genuinely an honor to be in the company of these great men that served our country!  Not to mention the two who attended the reception (and ceremony!) in Dumb + Dumber tuxedos (its on Facebook, so hop and there and experience their charm for yourself).

xoxo to Danny + Valerie!


Thank you Danny + Valerie for a beautiful + sweet day! -MD

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