Saturday, April 26, 2008

Our birthday girl...

...chose spaghetti for her birthday supper. Eric remembered to pull out the "you are special today" plate. Can you tell Elsie enjoys being the official center of attention?

We had dance pictures that night, so after returning home I snapped a couple of Elsie in her costume.

I thought this note from Isaac was so sweet! He loves her "sooooooooooo mutch" and is going to give her something "pirpel" (purple and pink are her favorite colors) for her birthday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


It's birthday time at the Bartels house-Elsie is turning five! I've always had fun making cakes for the kids' birthdays, and was looking for last minute ideas for Elsie when a friend told me about a really fun cupcake blog to check out. I think I may be starting a cupcake interest/obsession!

I made these (thanks for the idea, Mary!) this morning for Elsie to take to preschool for a birthday treat. I thought they turned out so cute! However, the cotton candy was mostly melted onto the frosting by the time we made it to school! Maybe I will have to try a different type of frosting next time!

Friday, April 18, 2008

One from last fall...

I never blogged this session with Ava from last fall...but I decided to show you these anyway-they're too fun not to! This session is a great example of how beautiful and personal portraits can be when taken in your own room or home. Definitely something to consider!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm back to work...

...after being gone for a few days to Council Bluffs, IA for the Heartland of America PPA Convention.

It was sooo interesting! I went to some classes-one on wedding shooting and one on the business side of being a photographer. Also one taught by fellow Dordt alumna Jen Hillinga of Momento Images in Minnesota. She is a Photoshop whiz and I learned lots of tricks and tips from her.

There were several highlights for me. One, I got to meet David Jay, a wedding photographer from California who started an online forum for photographers where they can ask questions, share ideas and learn from each other. It's great-I've learned so much there. David has a unique philosophy and business model that was interesting to hear all about in his seminar. A bunch of other photographers and I also got to join him for lunch after his class!

Three years ago when I was considering starting photography as a business, I contacted a photographer from Winterset, Iowa whose work I had seen online and loved-Lori Nordstrom-to ask her a few questions about how to get started in the business. She responded so kindly-sharing some great advice and recommendations. We emailed back and forth a couple of times and over the last few years I have often thought about how generous she was-taking time to help someone she doesn't even know! Well, I got to meet her at a PPI dessert reception on Monday evening!! It was great meeting her and being able to tell her in person how much I appreciated her kindness to me.

I also got to meet and interact with lots of photographers, which was lots of fun! Sometimes I think I am the only one in my crazy little photography world so it was great to feel somewhat normal! :-) I especially want to give a shout out to Samantha Bender who didn't mind me tagging along to the awards banquet with her and her husband Stephen!! Samantha just got voted Eastern Iowa's best photographer by a local news station! She and Steven are building a new studio soon-exciting times for them! Here is a photo Stephen took of Sam and me at the David Jay seminar...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beautiful day, beautiful family!

A few days ago I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph Kim and Jay and their family again. They have a precious new addition to the family-Easton who is only four weeks old and just perfect!

We planned to shoot in studio, as it has been cold and windy here, but it turned out to be quiet and warm-ish so we shot outside. It was so great to be outside! I love the texture of the dead grass.

Just wanted to share a bunch of favorites from the session-I had a lot of them!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's!

I think God has a sense of humor! Although I know more than to expect tulips and blossoms on April 1, I don't think I ever remember a total white-out this time of year!