[Featured] Darla at Lotus Salon

I admit it, I used to tan and I definitely tanned outside and in the bed before my wedding 5 years ago. However, I have since learned the error of my ways and haven't set foot in a tanning bad in several years. Since my lupus diagnosis 2 years ago, I now take medications that prevent me from enjoying the sun outdoors as well without SPF 5000 (I kid you not, I got burned in the shade last week). So, I couldn't get through the summer and all of the special events that come along during the warmer (or cooler) months without Darla from Lotus Salon.

Normally my skin is pretty pale, and I do embrace it most of the time, but there are certain times when I just feel more confident with a bit of a tan. I love going to Darla because she has the BEST airbrush tanning that I've found in the area. I was terrified the first time I got a spray tan, worried I would be blotchy or orange, but this tan always looks incredibly natural (I recommend getting it a day or two before your event as it's pretty dark over the first 8 hours of it developing). Darla's airbrush tanning is $20 and you can book an appointment with her by calling (319) 631-9100 or email her at darlamurrey@gmail.com. You can also visit her website HERE.
For all of you brides, Darla also does makeup for the bride and/or bridal party. For the bride she does a trial for color matching, and if several people in the bridal party want to get makeup done she can come to you for an additional charge (contact Darla for details on this), or you can come to the salon for makeup at the price listed on her menu HERE. (Random note: I'm also very curious about the eyelash tinting she lists on her menu - might have to try that sometime!!)

I can't say enough good things about Darla, not only is she wonderful at what she does - she's such a kind, beautiful person. I hope you guys give her a call! :)

Here's some various photos of me with my spray tans from Darla. The one in the black dress was in the winter so I asked for her to use a lighter formula, the other two were from last summer. If you've met me, you know this is not my normal skin color! 281448_701925773679_4135981_n

Katie [Iowa City, IA Headshots]

I was so excited when Katie contacted me because at the first of the year I had set a goal of a specific # of sessions I wanted to book. Well, Katie was that magic #, allowing me to reach my goal! So many, many thanks to Katie!! :) Katie needed some headshots because she is a theater student at the University and wants to begin trying out for some productions, so we spent the evening last Sunday taking some photos for her.

I honestly had the absolute BEST time hanging out with Katie. She's beautiful, funny, charismatic, and tells some great stories. We had quite a bit in common, and she even loved my puppies (despite the fact that they were being a extra wild and crazy that evening!). I wish Katie all of the best, and I know she's going to go far with her career.

Katie, I hope you love these preview images - I had a very hard time picking which ones to show here on the blog. Thank you again for choosing me to take these photos for you, it was such a pleasure.

This girl has some seriously gorgeous eyes, smile, and I'd really like skin like hers - so pretty!! I think this first photo is my favorite - these yellow flowers at the Harvest Preserve were a perfect background to complement Katie.
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Jessica + Eric [Fort Dodge, IA Engagement]

Over Memorial Day weekend I spent Sunday evening with my cousin Eric and his fiancee Jessica near the Fort Dodge library. The location was chosen by Jessica because that area was where they spent the majority of their first date, sitting and talking near the gazebo (so sweet!!). This session meant a lot to me, not only because it was family, but also because Jessica had told me prior that they had no photos together and that she in particular had never had a professional photo session other than school photos. I obviously believe that preserving memories like this are incredibly important, so I was thrilled that Jessica wanted to document this important time in their lives together.

It was a beautiful but super windy evening, however we were lucky to get the wind working in our favor for some images, especially the first one, which I love. Eric and Jessica, thank you so much for choosing me to take your engagement photos, good luck with the rest of your planning, and I hope you love your preview.

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I love that Jessica brought a couple of books as props for this shot, it definitely shows their silly side (notice the book Eric is holding) and makes me smile everytime I look at it. JessicaEric-8689 copy**

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