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September 24, 2020

FILED IN: Engaged, Photography

There’s a bit of discrepancy as to when they first met. Amanda says it was in Indianapolis when the Iowa Hawkeyes were playing in the Big 10 Championship, but Tyler says it was in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. Tyler was friends with Amanda’s older brother, who lived in Santa Monica at the time, so a group went out there for a long weekend. “I had been friends with Amanda’s brother, Mike, for several years prior to this, and the rule always was that no one was allowed to talk to her because he didn’t want his friends dating his sister. Fast forward to the game where he had the tickets and he sat us next to each other. We spent the game chatting and the hung out for a couple days after. We were both living in Iowa City at the time so she messages me after we got back and we went on our first date…without telling Mike we were seeing each other.” (Mike is going to be a part of the bridal party so one could say he’s on board now!)


“We had been talking about marriage for a little while (I even had the ring already) so I felt like I was ready to propose, but I had no idea how to do it. We were living in Salt Lake City and I worked up in the mountains. One morning when driving to work I saw a hot air balloon and knew that would be an awesome way to propose. I contacted a company and scheduled a sunrise flight on Labor Day weekend and told Amanda I would like to get up early and drive up into the mountains. (Hilarious side note, she knew I was up to something, but assumed I wanted to watch the sunrise in the mountains. Our balloon ride was scheduled for 45 minutes after the sun was up, so she was grumpy that I wanted her to get up early and we had already missed sunrise.) We got up to Park City and pulled into the parking lot and she saw the vehicle with the balloon on the back and started crying! (We had talked about how fun it would be to do a hot air balloon ride.) I had the ring with me the whole time, but the basket was kind of cramped and I was nervous I would drop the ring. So we had a fantastic balloon ride, and after they landed it in the field, I asked the other passengers if they could get a picture of us in front of the balloon before it got deflated, and I proposed.” (Amanda says she thought he was going to propose during the balloon ride so really, the surprise was in the suspense!)


I had so much fun with these two during their session! We hit it off immediately and, with just a few more weeks left before their wedding day, I know we are going to have so much fun all over again in October! They are funny and genuine and caring and watching the love between them is such a treat.


September 22, 2020

It’s mid-September and the weather has been absolutely perfect; crispy in the mornings and evenings and comfortably warm during the days. This past Saturday was just that, a dream of weather cooperation. We got to the church prior to the bridal party so we were able to scope it all out before things really got busy, which is always the best way to start a wedding day. It was just cool enough that I remember briefly thinking that I should’ve packed a sweater. (I forgot about it once things started rolling!)

When Sara and her friends arrived, we quickly shifted into details mode and, as wedding days go, once the gears start moving, time flies! Sara and Josh were married in this beautiful brick church on a gravel road in the country, a church that Sara attended as a child and that other family members have been married in. And though 2020 hasn’t brought about much in the “easy” department for wedding planning, Sara and Josh tackled every curve in the road, including actually, moving their ceremony to this church, with grace and determination. Sara’s dad joked later in the evening in his toast that they had a long engagement and could’ve gotten married last year, but, no, Sara wanted to wait until 2020 and, well, look at how that turned out. But really, it did turn out perfect. Maybe not in every way they had dreamed of–one of Sara’s bridesmaids couldn’t attend due to a positive COVID-19 exposure and it was heartbreaking–but in many of the ways that matter, it was perfect.


When Sara and Josh first began talking, she was going to grad school in Lincoln, Nebraska and he was working in Columbus, Nebraska. “I remember him saying he was from Iowa and I couldn’t believe our home towns in Iowa were an hour apart!” Sara was really busy in grad school so they continued talking, but didn’t go on their first date for another two months. They ate at Applebee’s–both say it was the best restaurant option Columbus had–and then went back to his place to watch a movie because “my home theater system was better than the Columbus Theater,” Josh said. They discovered early on that they both love watching movies and still, six years later, say they do a lot of dinner-and-a-movie dates, which probably works out well with social distancing, I suppose. Dinner to go and a home theatre? Winning!


September 21, 2020

FILED IN: Photography, Senior

Brendan’s mom, Becky, is one of my good friends and when she asked if I would consider shooting his senior photos, I was so honored!

Brendan is a senior at West High and plays both soccer and golf (and likes to play basketball just for fun). We lucked out with the most beautiful afternoon after 6 days of constant rain. As far as senior sessions go, this was the most relaxed one I could imagine. Neither Brendan nor Becky had any particular preferences when it came to Brendan’s senior photos so I was given full creative control, which was really fun. I had a ton of nooks and crannies in mind around downtown Iowa City and so it was fun to just walk around and explore and be able to to stop every time inspiration struck.



September 18, 2020

September and October are packed with family sessions and this beautiful family of 8 is just one of the many! This family is new to me, although we have several connections (as it usually happens), including that I have done family photos for Leah’s brother’s family!

With a family of this size and age range (3-17!), it took some coordination to make sure everyone was available and also dressed and ready. The forecast had called for rain and we were hoping we wouldn’t have to reschedule because it was going to have to be a ways out, but thankfully, the rain cleared up and we had overcast skies, which was perfect for this location at The Barn (originally The Celebration Barn)!

Thank you, Leah and Patrick, for allowing me to document this last hurrah of family photos before you enter a new stage of having a college kid!

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September 17, 2020

If you ever need a little dose of sunshine, you just need a squishy little Boyd in your life. It was such a pleasure meeting the Stoner family! We had been eyeing the weather as it was super gloomy a few hours before their session and I was debating rescheduling (which is always tricky to do this time of year when coordinating several busy calendars both for clients and me!), but it suddenly brightened up outside and the sun even peeked out a few times during their shoot! Enjoy some of my favorites from this Sunday session! iowa_city_family_emilycrall_photo_3331.jpg


September 16, 2020

I cannot believe it’s been almost 5 years since their gorgeous wedding at Glen Oaks! Their sunset photos that day had to be some of the best and that was due, in part to the location and in part to the perfection of Iowa fall colors. I’ll always remember their wedding day with a smile on my face. (The extra fun part was that we also shot their engagement session at Glen Oaks and used some of those same spots for their day, the lovely juxtaposition of engaged vs married in the same spot!)

It was so much fun to see them again and catch up on life. Lucas has the same dry humor and Kristal has the same gorgeous laugh. It was such fun to reminisce and laugh and find beautiful spots for their photos now, 5 years later.