Megan & Mitch [Iowa City, IA Engagement]

Josh and I met up with Megan and Mitch for their engagement photos this past Saturday, and although it was a perfect day for outdoor photos in the winter (not too cold, no wind, sunny day), we were missing the one thing they really wanted = snow. Megan even brought a sled to use in the photos, but sadly we had such a pathetic amount of the white stuff that we weren't able to use it at all. Regardless, I think we got some beautiful photos of this incredibly fun couple.

Megan and Mitch have known each other since elementary school, and they both went to college at Iowa State, so they've been in each other's lives for a long time. You can tell these two have a long history, as they seem not only very much in love, but also best friends. It was such a fun session with them joking around and laughing, I really love seeing such a great connection between two people who are about to start their lives together as husband and wife.

These two got engaged in September 2011, and Mitch played a bit of a prank on her at first - handing her a ring box with a folded up picture of a t-shirt he had bought her. Secretly Megan was thinking "please don't let him propose this way" when he just handed her a ring box, but awhile later (after Mitch had a good laugh) the real proposal happened. They had been out on the land they hope to build a house on someday when Mitch asked Megan what she thought of when she looked around the properly. She answered him by saying she could envision their house someday, and he agreed, getting down on one knee and asking her to marry him. As it turns out, Mitch is quite the romantic, he had her parents, his parents, and Megan's best friend (now maid of honor) hiding nearby and they all came out to congratulate the newly engaged couple.

Now, onto the photos - I hope you guys like the sneak preview. It was so much fun getting to know you during the session and we can't wait for your wedding in September!

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Above photo taken by Josh

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Above photo taken by Josh

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For the Bride [& Groom]: Madera Custom Albums

Over the holidays I finally had time to sit down and put together a sample album, featuring images from Shannon & Kam's October wedding. I just recently started offering these Madera albums to my brides & grooms, after finally making a wedding album of my own after 4 years. Take it from a former bride, the disc of images is WONDERFUL to have, but even my disc got thrown in our (fire proof) safe until dust collected on it! An album is a great way to showcase the images you spent so much money on, and it will last for generations.

Truly, these Madera albums are a work of art - I love the thick lay flat pages (with very little gutter, giving you the option of doing a full bleed photo across two pages if you so choose!) and the luxurious leather covers (and the imprinting just makes it even better!). The covers come in several color options, I chose navy for this particular wedding since their colors were blue and orange.

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Feel free to email me at if you're interested in pricing for a Madera custom album as part of your wedding photography package!

Goals for 2012

I can't believe it's already January 10th! I've been thinking about this post for several days now, and although we're already 10 days into the new year, it's never too late to write down some goals. Here are some of mine...

1. Let go.
I have a very difficult time letting go of things, and I don't mean material things - I mean worries and fears...stress and frustration. The things that eat you up inside and make you lose sight of your goals and what's important in life. A goal of mine this year is to learn to let go. To try and focus on my dreams and not let that little voice inside distract me anymore.

2. Say yes when it matters.
Work is an extremely large part of my life (between nannying, photography, and The Look 4 Less blog - I have about 3 jobs), and often that means saying yes to work related obligations and saying no to my family and friends. This year I want to say yes more often, to the people that matter most. This also extends to saying yes to myself, taking a little time each day to do something for me (and not feel guilty about it - that's the key!) - exercise, read a chapter of a great book, or watch one of my favorite shows on tv. Finding a balance between work and everything else has been a bit of a struggle for me in the past, but hopefully this year I will succeed (or at least improve!).

3. Learn to listen to my body.
As I near the two year mark of being diagnosed with lupus, I am still working on listening to my body. Often I fight against it, working extra hard when I feel good, only to crash and burn days later (sometimes for weeks on end) and end up a worthless lump on the couch. This year I resolve to pay attention to my body...which might mean going to bed at 7:30 pm if I'm feeling tired (and not beating myself up for going to bed at the same time as a 90 year old woman), or taking a leisurely walk with Einstein if more intense exercise has been aggravating my joints (note to self: not moving at all never seems to help!). I'm also trying to reduce the amount of gluten I eat, and it seems to be helping some, but I'd also like to cut back on dairy (which I eat at nearly every meal). My goal is to get (and stay) healthier, and finally get my disease under better control in 2012.

What are some of your goals this year?