Iowa City Family and Children Photographer | Graham Turns One!February 25, 2014

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I had the absolute privilege of attending this little guy’s first birthday party. Let me tell you, his parents truly know how to throw a bash. Great food, fun people, and the CUTEST cake smash set up I’ve ever seen! I suppose it helps when your mom is a graphic designer.

First, I snapped a few pics of the great party decor. Then, mom & dad woke the little guy up for the festivities :)

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Love those photos up there playing around with dad!

Now onto entertaining and party time!

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Some major cuteness coming your way!!!

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Graham & Fam,

Thanks for the fabulous Saturday afternoon :)

xo,
Carolyn Ann Photography

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Iowa Wedding Photographer | A Conversation with Harper Hadley EventsFebruary 14, 2014

I am pretty excited about some new things I am working on for my business this year- including a great relationship with Harper Hadley Events.  Jenn and I have spent TONS of time chatting, pinning, emailing, texting, and gushing about ideas we have for the couples we serve.  One (rather cold) afternoon, we got together and chatted over a few cups of coffee and brunch. Then we moseyed around town snapping a few headshots for her business.  Here are a few Q&As with Harper Hadley Events!

Harper Hadley Events

Tell us a bit about you!

I love to travel, organize, and surround myself with pretty things and beautiful people (from the inside out). I’ve been known to have a bit of OCD when it comes to details and cleanliness. I can’t wait for the day we have our own home and I can garden- think big veggie plants on one side and a big meadow of flowers on the other!

I’m in love with the musical stylings of Frank Sinatra, Adele, Lana Del Ray, Beyoncé, Duffy, Kings of Leon, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Harry Connick Jr. (just to name a few). Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are the epitome of a lady to me. I adore getting dressed to the nines for a night on the town, but also feel beautiful in leggings and a sweater curled up with some popcorn and a movie.

A conversation with Harper Hadley Events

Where do you get inspiration from?

I get my creative inspiration from beautiful places, tradition, Kate Spade, Lily Pulitzer, Michael Kors, magazines, books, nature, movies, music, and shorelines– pretty much anything and everything around me.

When I speak with clients, though, I get my inspiration from their love story. How they met, their proposal story, what is important to them. From there, I’m able to dip into my other ideas, add in personal details, do some research and really pull together a cohesive and meaningful design for each couple. That’s part of what I love about my job- designing custom events so perfectly you, that when guests arrive, they say, “That’s so Molly and Jim!” Your wedding should be YOURS, no one else’s!

((See Harper Hadley’s styled shoot featured in Love & Lavender!))

Photo by Carolyn Ann Photography www.carolynannphoto.com

What advice would you give to newly engaged couples?

The most common advice given, and honestly the most true, is to focus on the fact that your relationship, marriage and future are what are important. A wedding is one day in the journey you have embarked on. Though it is my job and passion to make it beautiful and everything you’ve dreamed of, the most important thing to focus on is the two of you.

Also, trust your vendors. You’ve chosen them for a reason, among which I imagine, is that you love their work and connect with them on a personal level. When you trust vendors to do their jobs, the results are always better than when you micro-manage (considering you’ve taken the time to select the right fit for you).

Jenn of Harper Hadley Events

Why did you start your business?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved parties and holiday get-togethers. My parents always threw the best and oh-so-elegant parties, even it if was a backyard barbeque. It wasn’t even that people got super fancy, but it was always put together, thought out and everything was “just so”. I always felt like I was part of the club and so grown up attending their gatherings. Not to mention, my mom always put on the best and most creative birthday parties!

Once I was old enough to help my mom plan, it was over. I’d fallen head over heels for this creative party thing. As I entered Middle School, I remember thinking that it would be the coolest thing ever to be a wedding planner. Sadly, I quickly dismissed being a “silly” party planner and thought about being a Corporate Event Planner, which didn’t happen either. Long story short, my professional life took some different turns.

My “aha” moment came as I was planning our wedding. I was doing online research for ideas and came across so many blogs and magazines that proved there was a market for the “un-trained” people who had a fire, talent and passion for this Love centered Wedding industry. To be sure I wasn’t just in bride mode, I waited until January to really think through everything and make sure this is what I truly wanted to do. Ever since, I’ve had this fire in my heart and yearning for this business to materialize and become my reality.

I truly believe that a wedding is the beginning of a marriage, not just a party, and that the marriage is the important part that requires continual work and love poured into it. My mission is to pour my heart and soul into the seed that a wedding is for the future of their family, to foster loving and family centered, humble beginnings. Of course, in a beautiful setting and with style!

Photo by Carolyn Ann Photography www.carolynannphoto.com

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

Hands down, my favorite part of the wedding day is the ceremony. After all, that’s why we are all there- to see the bride and groom get married! Seeing them get lost in each other’s eyes and commit to each other is so amazing to witness. The love is so abundant in those moments (and yes, I always tear up). A close second is seeing my clients’ reactions when they see the space ready to enjoy. To know that all of our hard work resulted in the wedding of their dreams is just so awesome.

Photo by Carolyn Ann Photography www.carolynannphoto.com

What advice would you give to newly engaged couples?

The most common advice given, and honestly the most true, is to focus on the fact that your relationship, marriage and future are what are important. A wedding is one day in the journey you have embarked on. Though it is my job and passion to make it beautiful and everything you’ve dreamed of, the most important thing to focus on is the two of you.

Also, trust your vendors. You’ve chosen them for a reason, among which I imagine, is that you love their work and connect with them on a personal level. When you trust vendors to do their jobs, the results are always better than when you micro-manage (considering you’ve taken the time to select the right fit for you).

Harper Hadley Events

I’m obsessed with traveling- what’s your dream vacation?

My dream vacation- that is a hard one! My husband and I have a list 10 miles long of places we’d like to go, so narrowing it down to one is very challenging. I love Europe, but I’d really like to go to New Zealand and Australia. The landscapes and history there are fascinating to me. To experience the modern and rural regions in the same trip would be so amazing. New Zealand was actually on our honeymoon shortlist, but didn’t make the budget cut. Maybe for our anniversary some year.

I hope you all enjoyed meeting my lovely friend Jenn! Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments or pop on over to say hello to her:

Harper Hadley Website | Harper Hadley Blog | Harper Hadley Facebook | Harper Hadley Pinterest | Harper Hadley Instagram

xo,

Carolyn

Filmy folks:

Portra 800 // Scanned & Dev: RPL

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Iowa City Maternity Photographer, Cedar Rapids Family Photographer | Linsey & Jon’s Maternity SessionFebruary 12, 2014

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First, I know what you’re thinking- How can such good-looking people exist in real life? Ha! I’m wondering that myself.  This mom & dad -to-be are fun, goofy, and so down to earth.  We started our session by reading some books at Coralville Library.  Then we wandered around the park with perfect, fluffy snow and they’re darling (first baby) dog Diesel. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do.

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The D Family,

Thank you so much for the lovely day of books and snow! I can’t wait to see your lovely family grow :)

xo,

Carolyn

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Iowa City Wedding, Family, and Portrait Photographer | New Website & Branding!February 3, 2014

I’ve been waiting to post this for quite some time!! I am so excited to share my shiny, new blog & website. Not to mention my gorgeous new logo & color palette!

I was very fortunate to work with an awesome, Iowa City-based graphic designer, Sarah Lenger, on my logo and branding.

Without any further ado!

Carolyn Ann Photography logo

This logo is special to me for a few reasons, but mostly because it incorporates a mandala.  As a school counselor in training, I have learned about art therapy techniques and truly love how art and mental health/wellness can be combined into such a lovely and organic shape.  I truly wanted my logo to reflect me as a person, artist, and educator- as I do not wish to parse those identities apart.  Another aspect that I love about this logo is its use of color! I find myself drawn to blues and greens (or seaglass colors, as I described to Sarah).  I feel that they add a pop of fun and also reflect my personal aesthetics.

Please take your time to explore my new blog and website! I have an updated about me section as well as some other fun pages to see :)

 

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