jackie and justin | galena il | video/photo


You guys.  Jackie and Justin.  We were part of the family/wedding party/crew (not sure what our title really was) but literally – we lodged in Galena for three days chilling + hanging + yeah – documenting everything…everything!  So many wonderful things happened, to tell you in just a blog post is impossible.  Since we did have several days with them (and several sangrias, and several cups of Whiteys ice cream shipped in from Iowa City, and several bags of cheddar/ranch/chocolate popcorn…and more than several laughs and inside jokes and probably stories we should not have heard) so dang, I tried to keep the photos equivalent to that of a, I guess, traditional wedding (singular) day, I realized I pulled 80 photos for the blog, then laughed at myself come time to shrink them down in Photoshop.  So, here is a mini recap of the wedding day in photos…and see the VIDEO for more such as golf, mens prayer, shopping/deliciousness (oh dang we were fed well that weekend) and just to feel the energy and spice that Jackie has (its so contagious)!


How did our worlds collide?  Jackie and I worked together at the cutest scrapbooking store in the world, Reminisce, in Iowa City, while we were still broke college kids.  Yes, we spent every dollar we earned right back in the store.  We lusted over stickers, paper, ribbon, stamps/ink, you get the idea.  I had no doubt in my mind that the wedding day decor + details would exceed my expectations but whoa:

A sweet + charming popcorn station fed guests during their short walk from the outdoor vows to the outdoor reception (all at the same location/venue).  If one chose to forgo popcorn, you could grab a Czechoslovakian traditional tart (of course made by the grandmother).  Is this not perfect?  Oh you just wait – theres more.

So make your way nearly to the reception (already flabbergasted by the lovely details) and graze through an adorable little schoolhouse that showcased wedding dresses (nope not photos, like legit the dresses of generations) and be greeting by lanterns softly bouncing in the wind (a breeze that felt delightful following a sunny ceremony) then into this tented bash, where guests were fed like kings, pampered their tootsies to complementary flip flops (who needs heels anyways) and were entertained by live music (not just anyone – musicians were family/friends and they were GOOD stuff)…our salads were so delicious that Chad embarrassed us all by asking the chef directly for the recipe (we all love and hate Chads blunt approach to life).  And no, unfortunately, no recipe (total secret).

It was a weekend we will never forget.  Literally – you do not want to know the amount of memory card space we exceeded (wink).  Thanks J + J for everything.  How come this only gets to happen once?!  Miss you guys + the families already.

Enjoy the video:

Jackie + Justin – wedding from DPD Productions on Vimeo.

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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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