meet as a bride … reunited as a mommy :)


Coincidentally we had, a couple weeks ago, a handful of sessions all in the same week that were all former brides … as mommies!  So funny and cute and totally not planned … it just sort of happened that way!

We shot Jess and Shaun, who are expecting a little lady – upon working with them again, I was reliving the pink + gold wedding (girlfriend has amazing style) so come to think of it, it would have felt really out of place if they were to be expecting as boy because we are used to pink/pink/pink with them!

I still can remember all the fun we had at their wedding: the rain poured (and poured and poured) which turned their beautiful backyard wedding into an even more personalized and heartwarming ceremony in the living room (which was just as stunning and inviting as if we has stuck to the original plan) and dancing + food (good Lord, the food that night, delicious!) at Kinnick with gold and peach/pink and glitter and hilarious speeches.  Good thing the old saying goes: if it rains on your wedding day, you will be rich.  In that case, looks like baby already has her college paid off!


Oh my goodness.  Then, not just a bump but a BABY!  What a fun session and Alice (such a cute name) was an angel during the session.  Not one peep whatsoever (swear!) and she was fun of coos and smirks and twinkly blue eyes.  Kristin and Derek were thrilled to shoot in Iowa City and return to her college roots where they ended at her favorite restaurant after they worked up an appetite at the session!  Kristin has been not just a client, but a sweet friend.  We met through a mutual friend (in which we were both bridesmaids for) then, when Kristin was married, we all were together again!  So it seems like every time we are together, its fancy and dressed up.  This was nice to chill and roll around in the grass with the cutest baby in the world!


More PINK!  Alyson and Jason did NOT know what they were expecting (intuitions told them probably a boy) so, good thing we shot this session when we did because as we were editing these photos, baby Patience Rose (girl!) was born a little early!  They told me something way too cute: apparently Jason really wanted to find out the sex of the baby but Alyson insisted to keep it a surprise (although it was tempting at times) so, since Jason agreed to not find out, Alyson wanted him to get to name her!  How cute!  And, awesome testament to their trust {because if that were us, I would get stuck with a kid with a middle name (or probably first) of a prime lens, or camera body … like Canon Drescher, or Movi Drescher} but back to my point:

Jason and Alyson were married at Bella Sala a couple years back, and everything was decorated so girly + dainty, it was lovely.  They took a pit stop to the Wig and Pen before the reception, and the sweetest most precious flower girl sang for the entire room of guests!  I remember having goosebumps up and down my arms, it was like the equivalence to a basket of kitties.

This weekend – we are headed to Chicago to shoot yet another maternity session, of a former bride + groom!  Have I mentioned how special my job is?!

Congrats to all these new mommies {and hope it was an incredible first Mothers Day this weekend} xo – MD

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Erin • Brandon {Des Moines IA}


Erin and Brandon have a demanding schedule.  He being a Cyclone football player (calm down, Iowa City, he is an awesome guy AND Erin played softball, too at ISU) now Erin is studying here in Hawkeye Nation at the dental program (following in the footsteps of her two older bros AND pops, so that explains all the sparkling teeth you are about to see) … James actually knew the Johnson clan well before me … in fact he babysat (uh-hem, yes babysat we are OLD) for them and all of them grew up together at church as well.

You know whats really rewarding about our job?  We see the circle of life coming around all.the.time.  Like the times we shoot senior portraits of our friends kids, knowing we met them while those same kids were in kindergarden (OMG).  We photographed Mike + Jennifer (the older brother of Erin) so it was only expected at this wedding she would have the cutest little basketball belly…and the other brother with an infant!  Thats so cool to see.  Scary, I best be getting myself some wrinkle cream…but a good scary I guess?

Erin-dress-shoesYep – thats the first look {behind the cowboy/cowgirl hats!}


Let me quickly introduce the wedding party (or shall I just say groomsmen?)  You know that filter that most commonly we all try to have in front of new people?  Well none of the guys brought theirs along to the wedding.  And I liked that.  It was pretty contagious actually.  It was an absolute blast.  Some of the bridesmaids went sledding (like with snow, in their dresses, yes) and when I handed one of the groomsmen my camera to hold while I took my mittens off to get my keys, I knew what I was getting myself into but thought he could handle.  I got quite a bunch of his candids, but I liked their enthusiasm!

The guys overheard me telling the girls about this cute bobsled pose (thats the term James and I call it: its the very first pic of their engagements up top – you know, where they sit like they are on a bobsled) so challenge accepted.  They went for an all groomsmen bobsled (on their own, I coached none of this) and just squashed the term for me, for forever.


There were so many aspects to this day that were SO up my alley.  I am currently, like beyond obsessed with mint green and I LOVE pastel colors with snow…not to mention I love the laid back attitude of Erin + Brandon, and really miss them already!

Thanks Jensen/Johnson crew for the privilege of a perfect first wedding of 2015!


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Terra • Pete {and baby makes three}


Oh my loves.  Terra and Pete.

I truly could not decide between the above (one is so classic…but I can only assume James did something nerdy + humiliating in the second, and in return, we get those sparkly laughs).

I am posting today in honor of … Terra had a birthday yesterday! AND, I was hoping that baby would share a birthday with mama, but looks like baby is still too cozy to come out and debut.  So, in honor of celebrating a fantastic being…and new life on its way any day now, meet Terra + Pete (and baby H).

I cannot really even remember when Terra + I officially met, truthfully.  I just know I have always known her.  I associate her as part of my Iowa City family.  She has been cleaning us up (cutting our hair) from the days of James long curls to his dad-buzz-cut.

She knows everything about me.  Probably too much.  Anytime we are together, its like we are finishing each others sentences and diving right into the gritty goods.  Many life lessons have been passed onto me from Terra {everything from how to preserve screen printing emulsion, to the easiest credit card gadgets for small businesses, to using up soured milk to make biscuits…and most importantly how to curl your hair with a straightener}, its quite obvious the two of us simply cannot function in todays world without one another.

And now they are having a little peanut (gender is a surprise!) and James got to grab some pics. of them this fall:


The plan was to do a fall mini-session {here} and then a snowy session now with baby due any day! but Iowa is such a drama queen.  We got our fluffy snow but along with it, the freezing cold temps that are so dangerous, schools are cancelled.  So, we are going to cross our fingers for a tad of warming up, then is it too much to ask for a couple pretty fluffy fresh flurries?

Terra-Pete-brick Unpredictable is a double-edged sword.  While I know many of our other clients this year were so patient and understanding with the weather this season (we wanted fluffy snow in December too guys!) thanks for going with the flow with us.  Baby H could be born tonight (or today), or three weeks from now.  Some higher power is testing us, each day, on our patience, right?

Happy vibes your way this week, and month, Terra + Pete!

xo – MD


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