Jessica and Nate: Portraits

Last weekend I met up with Jess and Nate (plus Sami) at the Rolling Hills Golf Course in Norwalk, Iowa. The fall color was amazing! And I'm glad we braved the clouds and sprinkles because a couple days later the winds got up to 60 mph. Pretty sure all of the leaves from here blew to Oklahoma.

Nate works at the golf course, and I have a feeling this is how the three of them spend much of their time.

Full post to come soon!


The Hasbrouck's: Family photos

If I didn't already have my own awesome family, I'd want the Hasbrouck's to adopt me. Becca and Jason are such great parents. They make their kids laugh, and laugh at their kids. They take time to listen to their dreams. I mean, it's not very often you hear parents encourage their kids to become an artist that paints or draws nature scenes when they show interest in both areas. They find ways to make a quick walk through the Story County Christensen Forest Preserve educational.

As a result, their kids are great! I had a very detailed conversation with Lilli about social studies and her favorite subjects. Logan, the oldest, is mature beyond her years, and even said she didn't want to venture too far ahead so she was close in case I needed her for photos. And Caden is ALL boy! He loves making faces, playing in the dirt, and throwing rocks.

Jason, Becca, Logan, Lilli, and Caden - I had a FANTASTIC time trapsing around the forest with you. Can't wait to hang out with you again! Enjoy...

I LOVE this photo. Some day, when these three are adults, I hope they love it too.

It's completely organic moments like this that make me love my job.

Hee... hee... walking through the tall grass seemed like a good idea, until Caden came out covered in seeds and leaves. :-) Like I said - all boy!

A little play time and you get photos like this...

(My apologies to Lilli and Caden for spelling their names wrong the first time I posted!)


The Hasbrouck's: Sneak peek

I'm so in love with this photo. Becca's gorgeous smile. The way she leans into her kids, the way her kids are leaning on her. I love the grins on the kids faces. This - right here - is the definition of motherhood.

Sorry for leaving you out this time, Jason. You'll be in the full post - promise!


Making friends

I don’t like the word “client”. It’s so… impersonal. Too stuffy and all business. In my world a business that has clients swoops in with their product or service only to vanish and never be seen again. Lawyers have clients. Auditors have clients. But I do not. They are so much more than that!

I’ve seen brides put on their wedding dress. I’ve held men’s sweat rags. I’ve wiped away boogers (I'm talking about kids here). I've carried cell phones, keys, and lip gloss. And I love it.

Most people would probably say being a photographer is about taking pretty pictures. In my opinion that's about 60 percent of my job. The other 40 is getting to know the people I'm shooting. As a matter of fact, if the people I photograph feel like a 'client' I've failed. Myself if nothing else.

So far I have left every wedding feeling like a guest rather than a vendor. I want my seniors to think of me as a cool – and only slightly older – friend. I hope the families I photograph want to adopt me.

I want to go WAY beyond having ‘clients’.

Why? Mostly, because it’s just who I am. I enjoy meeting new friends. I love the interaction between people. The stories. And you can’t tell adequately depict the passion of a story without getting to know people. But there are other reasons.

It makes for much better photographs. Putting things on a personal level rather than a strictly professional one puts people at ease. As a result the photographs are much more natural and far less contrived. The laughs are bigger. The love is more passionate. Who doesn't want that?
Sure, it's also a good business strategy. If my [insert word other than 'clients' here] feel connected to me personally, they are more likely to recommend me to others. They’re more likely to knock on my door when they need photos in the future. They're more likely to become a big fan of Tracy Anne Photography.

That's all fine and dandy. But honestly, I just like making friends.

So that being said, I've had a hard time finding a word that adequately reflects my *cringe* clients. "Friend" is wayyy over used thanks to Facebook. I'll have to to think about that one for awhile. Feel free to comment with suggestions!

Posts are more fun with photos, and I got a request to post more photos of Owen. This was taken October 6.


The O'Connors: Family photos

This family laughs. A lot. They joke around and tease each other. I mean, there may or may not have been a couple piggy back rides in the parking lot - and it wasn't the kids! But it's all in good fun. Because behind the joking and teasing is love. A lot of love. The laughs come easy and their love is strong which pretty much makes the O'Connors unstoppable. I had the pleasure of meeting them last weekend in Huxley for family photos.

We had such an amazing day! Doesn't get any better than sunny and 68 degrees.

There's nothing like having a sister. I'd say these ladies are pretty lucky.

Having cousins is pretty awesome too! :-)

And to think... it all started with Patrick and Gail.

Right after that last photo was taken one of the little girls fell on the path pretty hard. After few tears and some kisses from mommy, she reluctantly agreed to take a few more photos. Such a trooper!

Patrick, Gail, and the whole family - thanks so much for the opportunity. I had such a great time meeting all of you! The world is always brighter with a little laughter and a whole lotta love.


Allison and Terry: Part II

I love... love. I love weddings. I love the look on a bride's face seconds before she walks down the isle. I love the way (some) grooms pretend to be tough even though you can tell they're melting on the inside when they see their bride for the first time.

During Allison and Terry's ceremony, the priest said something that really stuck with me.

"Love is not simple... but it is possible."

Everyone says all things are possible with love. But love is a very complex thing. It helps a lot if you are fortunate enough to have faith, a good example, a strong support system, and respect for each other as well.

That said, love will make all things possible for Allison and Terry. You can see it on their faces.

Have I ever mentioned before that I adore fall in Iowa?

Grandpa and father of the bride in the get away car.

Walking down the isle...

Okay, so I was a little selfish. I took this next photo for myself. Allison is my cousin. So her grandparents are my grandparents. And I was sitting right behind them during the ceremony. When the congregation recited the Lords Prayer I couldn't resist the sight of my grandparents holding hands.

Terry and ALLISON McGraw!

Allison and Terry, it warms my heart to not only be there when you guys started your new life together, but I am honored to have been able to help you remember it for years to come. Because in 50 years you'll look back at these and know that love truly is possible.

Allison and Terry: Part I

She was running late. But she breezed into the hotel room where her girls were getting ready, a smile plastered across her face. Allison was glowing. Because Allison was getting married. She sipped code red Mountain Dew and laughed with the girls. She was relaxed. Because Allison was marrying her best friend. The man of her dreams.

Here are the details from the day Allison and Terry started their grand adventure.

The pearls are the ones Allison's mom wore on her wedding day.

I shouldn't leave out the handsome groom's details!