Archive | Families

Hildebrandt Family Session | Central Iowa Photography

Most families are gearing up for Back-to-School, and this family is no exception! In fact, the juggling of their schedules makes my head spin…I so admire these wonderful parents, and their wise and gracious parenting. I met them when I photographer them this past winter, and was so pleased they chose me to document this time in the life of their family. I know sometimes in family photos, it can appear that family members love each other and enjoy being with one another, when in fact there might be quite a lot of strife or frustration behind the scenes. I assure you, every bit of these images IS true, and was such a delight to work with. They genuinely love each other and enjoy bonding over their many various activities. Mom and dad stay quite busy in their respective professions, and they are so joyful as they balance work and family life. The oldest is in college, and is passionate about travel and other cultures. She has big dreams to work in human aide, and also may enter the world of politics eventually. I have no doubt she will make a true difference in her community and our nation at large. The middle daughter is just as ambitious, and is a senior in high school. When she’s not scouting out her future college home, she’s also busy on her swim team. She recently earned qualifications at the state level, and is active in speech and debate. Not to be forgotten, their youngest is just adorable, and as smart as the older two! The family describes the baby of the family as “a ray of sunshine and very easy-going, and they love to read”.  I know their schedules often take them in different directions, but it’s clear that they’re close-knit and ready for anything life might send their way!

Why should you shell out money for family photos? I get asked this question quite routinely. If the images of this beautiful family didn’t quite convince you, hear me out: Family photos capture a moment in time you’ll never get back. Time does fly, and I can’t stress enough how important images are when you get together and look backwards over the years. I heard a friend say the other day how, at a family member’s memorial service, they pulled out photo albums and tearfully remembered all the happy years and memories! I don’t say that to be morbid, but rather to show how truly important family sessions are! Please let me know if you are ready to book your family shoot!

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Amy and Family | Central Iowa Family Photos

I met Amy previously when she brought her darling brood in for Trick or Treat. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to photograph them many times. Each time, I marvel at how much the kids have grown, and also what a wonderful mom they have been blessed with. They have come to me for our mini sessions, regular family shoots, and for our special holiday events! I look forward to it every time! These four sweet children are incredibly well behaved, and they really love their mom. The way they interact with her is very meaningful, and really speaks volumes about the hard work Amy puts in as a dedicated single mom. I really admire her, and also love that she invests in family photos even though they might be considered “just another expense” or a burden. Amy knows although the days may be long, the years are short, and these images are ones her children will treasure and thank her for in years to come. Their stylish session looked great against a simple and flattering grey backdrop.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to document your family, but aren’t sure about the expense, or whether a professional photographer is worth it. Don’t these sweet days with your little ones (who are growing fast) deserve more than just a few, ‘good-enough’ iPhone snapshots or Instagram filters? I love seeing parents get to turn these milestone images into real, tangible prints to frame, display, and pass down to their children. Family photos really don’t have to be a chore; they can be a fun family memory that children actually look forward to! I’d love to share with you what sets me apart as a family portrait photographer, and you can contact me with any questions HERE!

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Children’s Memory Photography | Central Iowa Photographer

There is something very magical about photographing a child who is doing what they love. Children often find their passions in life early on, and I really love watching them fall in love with activities or sports. Aria has fallen in love with riding horses, and actually has loved it since she was very small. She inherited this love of horses from her mom, and the two of them share the activity together. Aria is a very active little girl, and she really keeps her parents busy!

I love doing candid photography of children in their elements, because it is something parents will love to look back on in the future. Aria’s sweet little blonde curls and miniature cowboy boots are adorable, and I know her mom will cherish these moments as she watches her daughter grow up. Does your child have a sport or activity that they really enjoy participating in? I can photograph them for you, and help you preserve those special memories for years to come.

Please contact me today to schedule the perfect time!

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The Hansen Family | Central Iowa Senior and Family Photos

I bet every photographer says that they have the best clients ever, but I think I am the only one who is telling the truth! 🙂 This family first hired me to do senior photos for their daughter, and they returned to me for family photos recently. They are the sweetest bunch, and they even brought me coffee (anyone who brings me coffee also knows it’s the way to my heart!). We gathered on a really pretty day, and the light was just perfect.

This quintet all wore coordinating denim/burgundy outfits, which I loved. They photographed beautifully and looked very polished. The Hansen’s are big fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes and bond over their favorite sporting events. They love spending time at the lake together, and they all enjoy cheering one another on at their various activities. The siblings are all very closely-knit, and I loved seeing that. Another thing they all share is a great sense of humor, and mom an daughter share such a sweet relationship as well.  You can see from their family images what fun we had, and why I truly enjoyed capturing them.

CONTACT ME today to book a session for your own family, especially if you have a senior getting ready to leave the nest for college. You’ll really love having professional portraits before your children begin leaving home.

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Mommy and Me | Des Moines Iowa Photographer

The bond between a mother and her children is something truly wonderful to behold, and was the driving force behind my recent “mommy and me” session. As a mom myself, I understand the love, loyalty, trust, and great weight of being a mother, and the strength it takes to be a parent. Some days it is exhausting, but I sure wouldn’t trade those “little years” for anything. That’s probably why I am so passionate about documenting growing kids, and why I encourage families to please, please, please invest in the photos you will desperately want in the years to come. I treasure the photos from the younger years in the lives of my kids, and wish I had in fact, taken even more.

This sweet family is one of my legacy clients, who I have done family photos for several times. This time, mom and her kiddos got center stage, and I love how they capture what a loving and engaged mom she is. Lindsey is truly diving right into these little years, and is a hard-working mom and farm wife. She is highly devoted to her two kids, Riley and Maverick, and enjoys spending time with them at their many activities. Riley is involved in gymnastics, and is a talented student! Maverick just started T-Ball, and is his dad’s little shadow. They both are going to be attending some fun summer camps soon, and are looking forward to showing their prized animals at the fair. “I love being a mom, and watching them grow”, says Lindsey, “I get to watch them achieve their goals and celebrate their milestones each year!”

Do you need to capture this season of life as a mom? Or maybe you’re a dad or grandparent who want to give an amazing gift to a deserving mama? Please reach out to me today!

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Happy Memorial Day | The Lee Family

In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to highlight this amazing family. Jeff, the dad, has been serving our country in the National Guard for thirty-two years.  He deserves recognition not only for his dedicated service, but also for being an involved husband and dad! Of course, military families sacrifice in their own way, and I know this one has quietly and faithfully played their own role as well. Meet the Lee family, and their four beautiful children: Trevn, Allie, Abbie, and Noah.

They reached out to me because they hadn’t had photos of their family done recently, and wanted to document this time in their lives  (we added some patriotic flair). Mom says, “My husband and I met in Boone, Iowa. He was friends my brother, and I worked with his brother. Jeff saved me from an awful date, and danced with me!” When you’ve been a family for as long as they have, you certainly endure plenty of ups and downs, and mom adds, “I really love the way Jeff is goofy and makes me laugh. We love each other through thick and thin.” When she says this, her words carry extra weight because both her and Jeff have weathered cancer together. “It was hard on our families”, she explains, “but cancer has made us stronger as a family, and we had to just rely on our faith in God, and belief that we will be cured.” Together, these six love to travel to National Parks, go to the beach, and go camping. Thank you, Lee family, for allowing me to be your photographer, and for your service and sacrifice in honor of our country.

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The Wessling Family | Central Iowa Photographer

I am delighted to have the Wessling Family on the blog today; they are some of my favorite and best clients, and dear friends. Jenny and Bruce are parents to two of the most wonderful young ladies (though they are nearly adults, now), Jolee and Taylor Rae. Jenny and Bruce met way back in school, and I mean way back! The pair attended preschool together, and were classmates until they graduated, which makes for a pretty great story. “I love the strong sense of self that Bruce has,” states Jenny, “He knows exactly who he is, and what he wants from life.  Bruce isn’t afraid to venture out of the box. The fact that he tells me never to be ashamed to tell him how I feel, I have confidence in my decisions knowing that his honest support is there for me.”

In their parenting, I admire the values these two are instilling…it is powerful to see two people committed to investing in their children. “Our profession is sometimes an obstacle for our family. Farming and raising pigs is a controversial issue,” explains mom,  “I have told my girls to never be ashamed of our livelihood, because they know what responsible and caring producers we are.  They have helped firsthand in everything we do.  Respect for our family, environment, livestock and community have always been a priority.” As a foursome, they all enjoy working on their farm together, dining out, and going to ice cream.

Jenny chose me as a photographer because she felt I could truly capture characteristics like silliness or seriousness, and she says, “Twyla is someone that makes me feel as though she truly knows my family. I feel comfortable because I feel like I am with a friend!” Lastly, I loved her wise advice for other moms: “Tell your kids you love them and hug them every chance you get.  I learned that kids learn from what they see and hear.  Our responsibility as parents is to raise functional, loving human beings, and that doesn’t happen if parents are not caring and responsible adults that set limits and have consequences.” Enjoy these beautiful images of an equally beautiful family! Thank you, Wessling Family, for allowing me to share your wonderful life as your photographer.


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The Westberg Family Session | Central Iowa Portrait Photographer

I first met Jeff and Annette when their beautiful children were graduating from high school. They hired me to do senior photos at that time in their lives, and then returned for a family portrait afterwards! I was delighted to have them back in front of my lens, and their children (Wyatt and Kylie) have only gotten more polite and sweet. Jeff and Annette actually knew each other during high school, and participated in 4-H together during their teen years. Later on, they reconnected at Iowa State University,  and here they are years later, with two gorgeous kids and a legacy of a longtime love!

These days, the foursome loves playing golf, running, golfing, and hunting as a family. They also love working out, and even purchased a Kosama Gym in Ames. The Kosama program is awesome (I actually work out at their gym), and focuses on personal fitness, health, and training, and on working out while reducing injuries. “For our session, since we love being outdoors, we wanted to capture that with our family photos”, explains Annette, “We knew Twyla had done our kids’ senior portraits, and we were very happy with them!” I also loved the way their coordinating outfits and on-location, outdoor session came out, and the images that show their family bond.

For more on my family session experience, please click here. I’d love to share with you why my family photos evoke true emotion and show off a family’s core values. I am passionate about memorable and real images!
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The Hoile Family | Central Iowa Family Photos

I met Michelle Hoile when we were both teachers at the same school, and have been so happy to watch her beautiful family grow over the years. Now, she is the mama of a family of six, as she puts it, “Four humans, and two rescue dogs!” Michelle is a part-time art teacher, and spends her free time as a dog trainer. She is passionate about teaching modern, positive, and humane dog training, and her passion inspires me! She is married to Bob, and their two sons are Eric and Logan. Bob and Michelle met at ISU when they were students, and have been happily married for twenty five years. “I love Bob’s intelligence, his sense of responsibility, and his sense of humor. He makes me laugh”, adds Michelle, “We enjoy spending time together with our children; dining out, playing games, going to the movies, and going on vacation.

“As a mom, I’ve learned that the days are long, but the years are short”, continues Michelle, “I have learned to enjoy the journey and the stages your children go through, because it truly does go so fast.”  The vision we had for this session was to capture the love they share for one another, which I was more than happy to do. I also had the privilege of doing their sons’ graduation photos before this beautiful holiday portrait. Their boys are kind, handsome, and all four shared lots of laughs and fun (as you can see by the mustache photo) during our shoot.

If your children are getting ready to leave the nest, this is a great time to book family photos. Why not capture one more sweet photo? Contact me today!

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The Graeve Family | Central Iowa Family Portraits

“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful.
It means you will love
and be loved for the rest of your life.
It means you will always have a hand to hold, and

a place to call home. It means they will always be there for you,
and you will always be there
for them” -L. Wheeden

Seeing a family that loves one another, and truly enjoys being together, is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. I get the privilege of documenting precious moments and memories that will be shared for generations to come! I hope that’s the case for this beautiful foursome: Reggie, Emily, Bella and Mia. They try to do a session every two years, and they decided it was time for a new set of family images. As a family, they love to camp, travel, dine out, ride their bikes, and attend basketball/football games at ISU. In fact, we were able to incorporate their school spirit with a few of these images below; it was a fun and personal way to add some fun into their shoot!

Both Reggie and Emily juggle busy work schedules, but it is clear their priority is their beautiful girls. “I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff”, explains Emily, “I want to be sure our little girls grow into kind, loving, respectful individuals who know they are capable of doing anything their hearts desire. Reggie and I have to consciously leave our work stress at the door when we get home, so that the girls have our full attention, and know they are important!” Emily really sought some “real-life” family portraits, and I tried to make sure their personalities and sweet spirits were infused into our locations and poses. “I chose Twyla first because I had received a gift certificate, but then chose her because of the quality of the photos”, adds Emily. I loved every minute of this session, and can’t wait until they return for their next family shoot!

To book your own, click HERE!

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