welcome to the

emily crall blog

June 23, 2020

Annette reached out to me a few weeks ago, wondering if I could photograph their family when her daughter and son-in-law would be back in town. We had planned for a Saturday morning, but the forecast was looking terrible for Saturday so we made a quick call to reschedule to a Thursday evening and it ended up being absolutely perfect.

The Fulton family welcomed me onto their farm and it was so beautiful! Perfect summery light filtering through the trees, a beautiful front porch, classic red barn, and a sandy beach and stocked pond that they put in years ago.

It was so much fun to meet this family! Rick and Annette are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and Taylor & David are celebrating their 5th anniversary so it was especially great to get photos of the couples together, as well as, of course, variations of all other pairings.

farm_iowa_family_emilycrall_photo_2281.jpg
farm_iowa_family_emilycrall_photo_2282.jpg
farm_iowa_family_emilycrall_photo_2283.jpg
farm_iowa_family_emilycrall_photo_2284.jpg
farm_iowa_family_emilycrall_photo_2285.jpg

(more…)

June 18, 2020

Many years ago, I met Becky at a styled shoot I did (she modeled for us) and now, years later, we got to reconnect! She’s married now and has a daughter who is just a few months older than mine. She and her husband are building a house so we started their session there which was so fun and will hopefully be so special once it is done being built to remember this time of waiting and anticipation. (This first shot is through where the fireplace will be!)

(more…)

June 17, 2020

I have a lot of couples ask if they can bring their dog(s) along to their engagement session for a few photos. I end up photographing a lot of pups and yet, ironically, I don’t have any pets of my own! When it comes to photographing dogs, while I don’t have any experience as a pet owner, I do have a lot of experience as a photographer and I rely heavily on that to get the best reactions from both the animal(s) and the humans.

Here are 5 tips if you plan on having your dog in your engagement photos:

1. Be realistic. What I mean is that animals are similar to children; they have short attention spans and are usually really excited to be in a new place (grass! trees! water! new smells! adventure!) with new people (me…with an exciting “toy” that I’m looking through that makes clicking noises). Expect that the first few minutes will simply be letting your dog explore a bit and get used to what is happening. Your dog may not look at the camera. Your dog may not want anything to do with your beautiful family photo. And that’s okay! Those happen to be my favorite photos! Play with your pup and let me capture real life for you. The imperfect is what makes it perfect.

dog_engagement_emilycrall_photo_2191.jpg

(more…)

June 16, 2020

FILED IN: Engaged, Photography

Their first date was in December of 2017 and it was also the first time they met in person. He recalls being a little nervous at first, but mostly because he was afraid there would be awkward silence. As it turned out, the date went really well. They talked about their families, what they wanted in a partner, if they wanted kids, and a lot of other topics that, for some, might seem too deep for a first date, but for them, was just the confirmation they needed that they were a perfect match.

That first date led to many more dates and just a few months into their relationship, they were madly in love. Samantha describes realizing that what she felt for Zach was so genuine and deep. “[This wasn’t] the puppy love that everyone has growing up when you are dating someone and you think you are in love, but the love that is true and honest and so real that it almost knocks you off your feet.” Zach says that for him, it happened over time. “I started to know once we went from seeing each other every few days to every day. When, when we would spend a day of two apart, I would start to miss her and I knew I wanted to be with her and spend more time with her. Shortly after, we moved in together and it felt natural, like I was home.”
lake_macbride_engagement_emilycrall_photo_2133.jpg

He proposed a year ago, May 14, 2019. “It was a Tuesday. Sam was working from 2-10 that night so I made plans to meet up with her dad and ask him for his blessing to marry his daughter. After he said yes, I had planned on waiting a day or two before asking her. However, on my way back to Cedar Rapids, I decided to do it that night. I stopped at the store and bought a bunch of candles, champagne, and some other supplies. Once I got home, I set up with candles all over our bedroom. I made a little sign for our dog, Max, to wear that said, ‘Will you marry my dad?'”

“When I got home,” Sam says, “I walked in through the garage and all the lights were on in the living room and kitchen, but I couldn’t see Zach. So I said, ‘Hello?’ and Zach yelled from the bedroom, ‘I’m upstairs!’ The door to our bedroom was closed almost all the way and when I opened the door, there Zach was, down on his knee with a ring box in his hand with hundreds of candles all over the room and our sitting on the bed with the sign around his neck. Zach started talking and I honestly don’t know what he said because I said, ‘Yes!!’ and hugged him before he could actually ask me to marry him! It was everything and more than I could have dreamed of. It was so simple and so perfect and intimate.”
lake_macbride_engagement_emilycrall_photo_2134.jpg
lake_macbride_engagement_emilycrall_photo_2135.jpg
lake_macbride_engagement_emilycrall_photo_2136.jpg

Sam describes Zach as being kind and loving and easy going and Zach says that Sam is outgoing, loving, caring, and confident. They are both looking forward to seeing all of their loved ones and enjoying the food at their wedding, but most of all, “finally being able to be married to Sam” and “getting married to the love of my life.” They are a sweet couple who trusted me with complete confidence even when we had to make some last minute changes to our locations due to the crowds at the lake. I am so, so excited to get to celebrate with them this October as they finally become husband and wife!!!
lake_macbride_engagement_emilycrall_photo_2137.jpg

(more…)

June 12, 2020

One year ago, we celebrated their wedding on a beautiful, summery Friday afternoon. As they approached their first anniversary, Kristin reached out to me to see about doing an anniversary shoot and it worked out so perfectly in our schedules that we ended up being able to do it on their actual anniversary. I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be able to not only celebrate a couple’s marriage with them, but then to get to celebrate their first anniversary as well? It was such a joy.

We threw around a few ideas, including going back to Rapid Creek Cidery, where they got married, or having them put on their wedding clothes again, but ultimately, this ended up being perfect: a summery shoot in the Fossil Gorge, giving them an entirely unique gallery of images.

Happy first anniversary, Kristin & Bryce! I am so happy for you guys and the love you have within your own new family unit. It was so much getting to do this all over again with you and I am so honored to be part of so many milestones in your life together.

fossil_gorge_anniversary_emilycrall_photo_2096.jpg
fossil_gorge_anniversary_emilycrall_photo_2097.jpg
fossil_gorge_anniversary_emilycrall_photo_2098.jpg
fossil_gorge_anniversary_emilycrall_photo_2099.jpg
fossil_gorge_anniversary_emilycrall_photo_2100.jpg

(more…)

May 13, 2020

May 9th was their original wedding date. Because of COVID-19, they were forced to reschedule so they sent out mailings for everyone to save their new date. Early last week, they were notified by their venue that they were going to be forced to cancel the second, rescheduled date. Now anyone who has planned a wedding in regular circumstances may remember how stressful that was. Imagine planning a wedding in the midst of the ever-shifting unknowns of a worldwide pandemic. When Olivia and Malachi were notified about the cancellation and thus having to reschedule to a third date and a new venue, they decided to go back to the beginning and get married on their original wedding date, May 9, 2020.

With the help of Brenda (Town or Country Event Design) and some other wonderful helpers behind the scenes, they were able to pull off a stunning spring wedding on the outdoor lawn at the very place they met and later got engaged, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. They were in the same class (and just graduated last week!) and were randomly assigned to be partners. Being paired up meant they were each other’s first patient. Malachi says “the rest is history”, but I doubt it’s as easy as doing a dental cleaning and then falling in love. They started dating the summer following that first year of dental school and Malachi proposed last May.

“It was literally the most perfect, planned out day. I had no idea,” Olivia said. “A year ago, the College did a story on Malachi and he told me they were doing a follow up story. The school even emailed me asking to be his mock patient for the interview as a photographer would be there. They added that we could pick any unit, and so we, of course, picked the unit 10 where we first met. We met the photographer, had the unit all set up, and then after a few staged pictures, he sat me up in the chair and was holding the most beautiful engagement ring, telling me, ‘You know how I told that the first person I say “I love you” to, I am going to marry?’ And (that is when I knew) he looked at me and said, ‘Liv, I love you. Will you marry me?’”

Malachi had been planning the proposal for 4 months. No one knew and he designed the ring himself and wanted it to be a complete surprise. “I just kept telling her we would wait until May of our 4th year.” (Which is now when they actually got getting married!) Olivia laughed, “Honestly, I couldn’t pay Malachi any amount of money to use a planner, or even follow a weekly schedule, but he outdid himself planning the engagement.”

intimate_iowa_city_wedding_emilycrall_photo_2022.jpg

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they had to scale back their guest list. They ended up with less than 10 people in attendance and kept it a complete surprise from the rest of their family and friends. They actually announced it later that night using a few of these photos, like, hey, you’ll never guess what we did today!

Being part of such an intimate wedding was, in short, magical. I love that my job is to preserve the moments for generations to come, but it’s an added level of magic when my job isn’t just to preserve memories, but to provide a way for the many, many friends and family who weren’t there to experience it with them.
intimate_iowa_city_wedding_emilycrall_photo_2023.jpg
intimate_iowa_city_wedding_emilycrall_photo_2024.jpg
intimate_iowa_city_wedding_emilycrall_photo_2025.jpg

(more…)

FOLLOW ALONG @emilycrall

Follow along
@EMILYCRALL

on the daily

Emily Crall Instagram