welcome to the

emily crall blog

March 14, 2019

This family, oh, how I love them. Let me just show you the wonderful times we’ve had together so far: their wedding on the family farm was so much fun to photograph and was one of the first weddings I ever photographed (here and here), then, after years of infertility, I got to photograph them while Lisa was pregnant with their daughter, and again shortly after Vaida was born. Last fall, right after Vaida’s first birthday, I got to see them all again for some family photos and, oh, what a joy to celebrate with them their little family!

After a few months of thinking she had a sinus infection, Lisa has very recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, specifically glioblastoma. She is one of the most positive people I know and is overflowing with peace and determination, even facing this mountain of a battle. In February, she had a craniotomy surgery and the surgeons were able to remove 90-95% of the tumor. She just finished her second week of radiation and told me, “The staff and doctors are so great. I’m feeling good and am surrounded by blessings everyday!”

There are several fundraisers set up to help Lisa & Andrew with Lisa’s medical expenses as well as to donate to brain cancer research. If you know Lisa or you want to help this family, you can click through here.



March 13, 2019

Out of all the families I got to photograph last fall, at least 1/3 of them were former wedding couples of mine and those are some of my favorite sessions! It’s such a fun reunion to get to see these people again, now post-wedding with little kids of their own! I said this in another one of the blog posts, but it needs to be repeated: From witnessing first hand their love during their engagement session and their anticipation for their wedding day to then celebrating their wedding day with them, with all the joy that comes along with it, meeting their families and seeing their support system, and witnessing their vows. As much as I love weddings, there is something especially sweet about the aftermath of the weddings when I get to meet their child(ren) and see how their love for each other, however flourishing it was before, overflow now into a brand new human. It is truly one of the sweetest of life’s cherry-on-top moments.

Stephanie & Matt are just the most fun couple! I have gotten to see them several times since their wedding and watching them become parents to little Silas is just, well, even better than watching them fall in love with each other. They are both lovers of nature and exercise (one of the reasons we shot their engagement session at Sugar Bottom!) and I love how much Silas also loves being outside, clearly a place he’s comfortable!


I cannot handle how happy he is!!


March 12, 2019

I was so excited to get to photograph the Duerksen kids two days in a row! (I got to photograph them the day before with their dad and stepmom!) As I told Jenny, I so highly admire the co-parenting philosophy that her and Patrick and Vanessa have taken on. It’s such a beautiful thing to witness parents working so well together and truly, genuinely loving each other and getting along! I’ll never forget something Vanessa told me once: “We just decided that we would never, ever speak badly about anyone else.” And while that seems so simple, relationships are hard and sharing is hard and life is hard. So, to be able to make that decision and stick to it is something that is truly admirable. I have so much respect for this whole family and how they work.

This session was easy because, hey, grown kids can listen to directions so well! But we did run into misting rain and it was getting really cold! They were so flexible and were able to come a little early to avoid most of the rain.



March 11, 2019

The Ohloffs are another family dear to my heart as I got to photograph Elizabeth and Seth’s wedding last fall, perfectly complete with their adorable daughters as flower girls. In the fall of 2017, I had taken their engagement photos on one of the coldest days I could remember (I have since beaten that record this past winter) and they brought their daughters along then for just a few family photos so it was fun to be able to photograph these gorgeous little girls three times now in one year!

I also love Beth’s style (remember that houndstooth coat and yellow pants from their engagement session???) so I was taking rapid notes on the girls’ outfits here. Look at those navy striped leggings and that fun floral print and those little cardigans? Like, everyone is so perfectly paired without even hinting at being “matchy.”



March 8, 2019

Of all the family sessions I shot last fall, I’m perhaps most proud of this one. It was my last one and the forecast was looking bad. Like, really bad. It was really cold and getting colder and rain started to move in. I happened to have a slot open up at the very last minute so I asked the Johnsons if they could come early, even while knowing myself how difficult it is to move your photos up at the last minute like that. Maybe they weren’t ready? Maybe their son was taking a nap? Or needed a snack? Or 20 other things. All in all, I very well know when getting ready for our own family photos how everything, including getting ready, is timed out to make sure we all get out the door on time. So moving things up at the last minute isn’t the easiest thing. But they completely rolled with it and were like, “Sure! We’ll come right now!”

So first of all, you can probably guess from that background that they were really easy going and fun to work with, but here’s the other part to the story: it did start to rain. Misting rain and so so so cold. Because of the rain, I couldn’t shoot in the open field where I had been doing other family sessions that weekend. So I told them to warm up in their car while I figured something out. And there, right behind us, was an overhang of a tree that was big enough to block some of the rain and, strangely, provided a much brighter fall look. (It was truly the dreariest, gray, cold rainy day.) So we used this little patch of grass between the road and the parking lot and it was perfect. And that’s how it happened that the most weather-challenging session became the one I’m most proud of.



March 7, 2019

I photographed the Hoeper family years ago, when I first really figuring out what my style of photography was, and I’ll never forget the one image of the kids that I took that day. They were holding hands and walking away from me so it was a shot from behind them. The lighting was perfect and their sweet little walking was so cute and I remember shooting that whole session and thinking, “This is how I want my photos to feel. Real. And beautiful. And full of love.”

And now, 7 years later, I got to photograph them again and, good grief, look at how much the kids have grown!! Flipping between this post and their previous family photo post gives me all the feelings because I know this will happen with my own kids too. This feeling of “where did the years go??”

Stephanie recently wrote a post called “Finding Significance in the Insignificant” and as a mama “in the trenches” so to speak with young children, it resonated so much with me. She talks about being a stay-at-home mom for 15 years and now being “in the process of pulling my resume together to return to the realm of full-time employment, I’ve struggled to assign significance to this period of my life. Having spent the 30 years before it earning a master’s degree and working at a variety of jobs, often more than one at once, this new period felt decidedly unremarkable. While it’s not quantifiable on a resume, I learned many lessons at home that make me a much better teacher, coach, and leader outside of it.” So just jump right on over there and read it because it’s really so good!



FOLLOW ALONG @emilycrall

Follow along

on the daily

Emily Crall Instagram