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emily crall blog

November 25, 2020

Kourtney had first contacted me back in the late summer about doing newborn photos for their family when she gave birth to their second child sometime in November. I offered her a few referrals for traditional newborn photos, but she was looking for more of a lifestyle type session, which I was happy to offer!

She gave birth to baby Tripp earlier this month and he is just the sweetest, most relaxed little bundle with the best head of hair. His older brother, up from a brief nap, was full of energy and we tried a lot of bribery without much success, hah. But I do love that these photos capture personalities as they are in this stage of life. The best smile that I got all day from Crew was the moment when he held his little brother for the first time ever and I love how 1) proud he is in that moment and 2) that we got it on camera.

Welcome to the world, baby Tripp! You lucked out with the best family and I am sure you and your brother will be fast friends before long.


November 20, 2020

My sweet boy, 

I thought it would be during this past year that I would cry as I dropped you off at your first day of Kindergarten. As it turns out, we have spent more time together than I ever imagined and we are now nearly an entire trimester into virtual Kindergarten from home with at least another one ahead of us.  

When the coronavirus shut everything down in March, we hunkered down (as we still are, 8 months later). Those first couple of weeks, when we thought quarantining and masks and business closures would only last two weeks (which is really funny now looking back at how naive we were), we got antsy. With the weather warming up, we started hiking outside. We hiked and hiked and hiked. It was nearly every day that we went outside, either to explore a new trail or to revisit an old one. When our quarantining continued, we just kept going outside, getting fresh air and moving our bodies. More than once, I had to bribe you and Perrin both with things like binoculars, bird calls, a GoPro, and compasses as both of you started getting tired of our “adventures.”  

We found a little creek near our house with the most perfect sand bar that we would go to during the hot summer months, especially when moods were exaggeratedly horrible. The water was shallow enough to walk through, not even coming up to your knees and both you and Perrin could play for hours there. (Which was great because pools were closed and our swim choices were very limited.) 


Your interests continue to grow, now reaching for the moon. Literally. You are fascinated with space and watching every launch that occurs, most recently the SpaceX/NASA launch last Sunday where we watched hours of live lead-up coverage to the launch as well as the astronauts’ arrival at the International Space Station over 24 hours later. You requested a space rocket cake for your birthday and I’m hoping it turns out as good as what you’re dreaming of.

While space holds your attention, you continue to love farming, construction trucks, and trains. Some books we’ve read this year have also piqued your interest in things like solar panels and wind turbines and how they work. We turn to Google and YouTube a lot to get answers to all your questions. Our local library has 15-minute browsing appointments now so we’ve also been able to take advantage of the one-on-one time with our children’s librarians for their help to gather books for us figure out the how’s and why’s.


November 13, 2020

We’ve got a brand new venue in town and I could not be more thrilled about it! Welcome to The HarMac. It’s beautiful, with exposed bricks and concrete floors, original window metalwork (with updated glass for heating/cooling efficiency), white walls, strategically thought-out women’s and men’s getting ready/lounging rooms, grand pillars throughout, natural light, and all of this in a historic warehouse building in downtown Cedar Rapids. I feel so lucky to live in an area that has so many amazing wedding venues, and even luckier now that we can add a much-needed industrial venue to the list!

It was such an honor to be part of this styled collaboration shoot yesterday! I had been itching to see the space and this was a huge bonus to seeing it: shooting  in it! The best part of styled shoots is that everyone truly gets to provide their own talents in the best way possible and the sky is the limit as far as creativity goes. On a wedding day, we are working within necessary time constraints and logical budgets and our clients come absolutely first above everything else. It is, as it should be, our client’s day. Conversely, for a styled shoot, where no client is involved, it becomes a matter of what each vendor can bring to the table, a true collaboration of time, talents, efforts, space, and design elements, to create something for no one else but ourselves. For no other purpose than the joy of creating and documenting and sharing.


We had such a fun team yesterday and I’m thankful first to The HarMac for opening the space to us to use. Unique Events did all the design and floral work. They have never disappointed me in my 10+ years of working with them! Makeup was provided by Banes Beauty and hair was done by Hair by Tiffany Terzo. The vintage rentals were provided by Borrow My Vintage, another company with an amazing inventory of design elements, decor, and furniture! The cake, oh, man, that cake!!! was created by Classic Cakes by Design and the stunning paper suite was hand-crafted by Painting For Cheese. A special thank you to Erin for modeling for us and to Hope’s Bridal for providing the most perfectly-fitting gown for her to wear. And lastly, thank you to Joel and Jess and TKM Productions for working so effortlessly and smoothly with me and each other, sharing spaces and a model and never once getting into each other’s way. It was a true pleasure to see how we each approached the shots differently in our own unique ways while simultaneously respecting the need for collaboratively working.



November 12, 2020

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon out at Kent Park for the Bullock family’s photos. It was so fun to meet them and probably my favorite set of photos were at the very end when I had the boys go tackle their parents and lots of tickles ensued. It’s been so much fun this year getting to meet and photograph so many families!



November 10, 2020

We had the most beautiful weekend for photos this past weekend and Kent Park continues to provide really great colors right now, despite the wind that keeps pulling leaves off of the trees. With temperatures in the 70s (in November!), it was especially great for sweet Kennedy, who is just the cutest little 6 month old. It was so fun meeting the Kern family, but let’s be honest: Kennedy really stole the show.



November 5, 2020

If there’s one key character trait that 2020 brides have had to embrace, it’s adaptability. Changing plans, being flexible, letting go of the idea of what a wedding “should” look like and instead focusing on what you can realistically achieve. In the days leading up to Samantha and Zach’s wedding, COVID-19 forced several changes in bridal party members, guests, and vendors. Vendor changes were made, even in the last 24 hours, and COVID tests were taken and the wedding itself moved ahead. And what a glorious day it was!

We all know that Iowa weather can be fickle. The Saturday before, it was in the 30s. Then we got hit with a warm spurt of 60s and 70s! As for their wedding day, Sam and Zach got a breezy, sunny, warm fall day in the 60s and the combination of sun and warmth made everyone so happy. You know what made me happy?: buckets of extra florals to use in the detail shots resulting in this image below that took over 10 minutes to put together, but was 100% worth the time. (When I was done with this shot, I was like, “Okay, so now…I just take it all apart?”)

Enjoy some of my favorite photos from Samantha & Zach’s wedding day!