Cedar Rapids Wedding Photographer | A conversation with AC DesignApril 25, 2014

I’m a people person. I think most people who meet me catch onto that pretty quickly. So being the extrovert I am, I love the aspect of this industry that I can email or message random strangers and we end up becoming friends! A few weeks ago, Andrea let me into her amazing office and I photographed some of her amazing design work. We chatted over some coffee and I’d love to catch you all up on AC Design.

Be prepared to have some major workspace envy!

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Tell us a bit about you

My name is Andrea Nicole Castek and I went to school at Iowa State University and graduated with a B.F.A. in graphic design. After joining Minted.com my sophomore year of college, I realized how much I loved designing stationery (I was staying up till 3 a.m. just so I could get a last minute design entry into the challenge). My senior year of college I started looking hard for jobs after graduation, and I thought long and hard about what I really loved to do. I’ve always had a huge passion for paper, designing, and helping others. I then decided to combine all 3 and make it a business. I started my own company, AC Design, a custom stationery boutique.

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Why did you start your business?

AC Design is my biggest passion. Making people happy with my designs is what I love to do. I strongly believe that custom stationery is the only way to go – no wedding nor birthday party nor baby shower is the same! Your stationery should be unique because you are too.

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What advice would you give to newly engaged couples?

Relationships are hard work, so focus on that first and foremost – try not to worry about silly little wedding details! Having mutual respect, love, and understanding for one another is so important. Love your partner for who they are and they will do the same.

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Where do you get inspiration from?

I try to get off the computer as much as possible. Of course that is where the designing happens, but the inspiration comes from being outside and having a calm head. I love to sketch, paint, and run, and those are all times where I am able to look around me and think. My best designs come from my own inspiration, and not from something I saw on the internet.

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What sets you apart from other graphic designers?

I think what sets me apart from everyone else is my passion to be constantly learning. I’m always looking to better myself and learn new things. Whether it be taking web design classes at a community college, practicing calligraphy to YouTube videos, taking customer service classes, etc. I’m always looking to improve as a person and as a designer.

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I’m obsessed with traveling. What’s your dream vacation?

My senior year of college I lived in NYC for an internship and then went to Rome to study aboard – I love traveling too. I don’t think I could ever permanently live in a big city (I enjoy the quiet too much) but I wish I could travel to a new place every weekend! I love trying new things. My dream vacation would be to hop from state to state and try the best restaurants, check out the best local shops, etc. It would be fun to just go with the flow and not have a plan for once. :)

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“You know all those things you wanted to do? You should go DO THEM.”

Gosh I just love that quote!!

Leave some love for Andrea in the comments, or say hello to her yourself :)

AC Design Email | AC Design Facebook | AC Design Pinterest | AC Design Instagram

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Iowa Baby Photographer | My Best Friend is Having Twins!April 25, 2014

Twinkle Twinkle Subway Art

My best friend, Marissa, also known as “my friend who lives in Spain” is having TWINS! Last weekend we gathered in Ohio to show her and the babes some love! PLUS we found out the sexes. Talk about an emotional moment, but more on that below :) Enjoy the lovelies from this Twinkle Twinkle themed Twin Shower.Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0008

All the tasty desserts were homemade :)Twinkle Twinkle little Star Dessert Table Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0002

We had guests vote- did they think it would be 2 boys, 2 girls, or 1 of each!Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0010 Baby Shower Food

For favors, we wrapped up two tiny tea lights with star tags that said “gracias” (as a nod to the twins future home and dual language!).  These tea lights are to be lit when the twins make their appearance for positive energy and prayers for safe passage.  This is especially fitting considering the theme and that twins can need a little extra love when they’re born.Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0007 Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0009

AHHHHH time for the gender reveal! Marissa sat on a sealed envelope from the doctor’s that stated the sex of baby a and baby b (she didn’t peek!). We took that envelope along with decorated boxes to a party supply store to be filled with coordinating balloons- so this was a surprise for everyone in the room, including the expecting parents!Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0003 Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0014

Needless to say, I sorta started crying and shaking at this point! I forgot to turn the camera vertical to get some shots of the balloons, oops! Too much emotion!Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0015

Both Marissa and Josep had voted for “one of each”! Marissa had 2 dreams that she was having a boy and a girl, so her instincts were correct.Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0016 Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0004

Here the Six Pack is with the glowing parents (minus Jess whose studying in Georgia)Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0005

I can’t wait to snuggle on these sweet babies :*Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0006

Of course, I couldn’t let them get away without a few more, full box/full balloon shots!Coralville Iowa Baby Photographer_0001

For planners in the NE Ohio area, this was held at Matchworks Tavern in Mentor, Ohio.

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Coralville Baby Photography | Iowa City Family Photos | Happy Arthur!April 16, 2014

Natural Baby Photography Iowa

I’m so happy to share this little guy’s 6 month family session :) Hanging out with him and his cool mom and dad was the perfect way to pass a Saturday afternoon. Its hard to describe how genuinely nice it is to see such a happy and content little family.  And while Kelly and Stephanie probably think I’m crazy, I really love their front porch for photos!!

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hehe- check out that tongue!

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Arthur, Stephanie, & Kelly,

Thanks again for the lovely afternoon- I can’t wait to see Arthur grow more!

xo,

Carolyn Ann Photography

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Iowa Newborn Photographer | Iowa City Photographer| Oliver’s Newborn PhotosApril 11, 2014

Natural Family Newborn Photography

I am so happy for this beautiful family to finally welcome their baby boy, Oliver. After leaving their home, I was overwhelmed with the amount of love and tenderness I witnessed. Oliver is one special little guy- oh and he’s pretty cute too! Enjoy his adorable yellow and gray nursery (they didn’t know the sex until Oliver was born!) and be aware that you’ll be aching for some baby snuggles by the end of this blog post!Iowa City Natural Family Photography Iowa City Natural Family Photography Iowa City Natural Family Photography Iowa City Natural Family Photography Iowa City Natural Family Photography Yellow and Gray Nursery Yellow and Gray Nursery Intimate Mother and Baby Newborn Photography Intimate Mother and Baby Newborn Photography Intimate Mother and Baby Newborn Photography

All of Oliver’s adorable accessories were HAND crocheted by his lovely mama! She is so crazy talented and even added to them AFTER they got home from the hospital!Iowa City Newborn and Baby Photography Iowa City Newborn and Baby Photography Eastern Iowa Photographer Eastern Iowa Photographer Father and Newborn Son Father and Newborn Son Father and Newborn Son Natural Family Newborn Photography

Baby (and dog!) yawns are the BEST!Baby and dog photo Yellow and Gray Nursery Sweet Newborn Photos Crocheted Owl Hat Iowa City Newborn and Baby Photography Sweet Newborn Photos Crocheted Owl Hat Eastern Iowa Photographer Iowa City Newborn and Baby Photography Natural Family Newborn Photography

Linsey, John & Oliver-

Thank you so much for letting me get in on this 10-day-old goodness! I can’t wait to see how Oliver grows (and gets chubby :) )

xo,

Carolyn Ann Photography

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