Walnut Woods Wedding | Kristy & Rogan Roosa

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Kristy & Rogan are married!! 

Leading up to Saturday, we were checking the weather ever hour on the hour. There was a 60% chance of rain from 12pm-6pm, the exact time that Kristy & Rogan had me booked for their wedding day. Needless to say we were a bit nervous because the wedding was all outdoors. Well guess what..?? It didn't rain :) Well okay, it rained a little bit, but just enough to use our cute umbrellas for a few photos. 

Kristy and Rogan are emotional beings, and knowing that, they didn't want to say their vows in front of everyone at their ceremony, because well.. they wouldn't have been able to get their sweet words out. So they decided to say their vows after their first look on a small private beach in Walnut Woods State Park in Des Moines, Iowa.

Now, me also being an emotional being, it was hard for even me to keep it together for their vows!! Everything about it was so beautiful and intimate. It was exactly what they wanted it to be! Their whole wedding day was full of love, family and friends, and a laid back vibe that made everyone feel comfortable and full of love.

Kristy had asked her dad to make a wine box for their unity ceremony. What he delivered blew away everyone! He made this detailed and exquisite "box" equipped with wine glasses, a bottle of wine, shooters, a photo album that showed the making of their wine box, AND secret locking pins to lock the drawer they will keep their letters they wrote to each other in. It was the most careful creating of love I have ever seen, and Kristy's reaction says it all :) 

Their ceremony was performed by their friend Tina, who did an absolute amazing job!!! There were laughs and there were tears, but in the end there was nothing but love. 

We ended the night with a casual Champagne shower, which was absolutely epic!!! This must turn into a thing at every wedding :)

 

Kristy and Rogan are the sweetest people and were so much fun to work with. I know I say this every wedding or engagement shoot, but I really mean it: I have the best clients and I am so pumped that I got the chance to capture their special moments. I get such a rush shooting couples and capturing their love and telling their stories. :)

 

Until next time,

Hannah!

Des Moines, Iowa | Summer Wedding | Emily & Jacob

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Emily & Jacob are married!! I had such an amazing time shooting their wedding and hanging out with their awesome family and wedding party!! 

Sweet words about Emily and Jacob's love story 

from the bride | 

When I first met Jacob I knew he was a good one. He was kind and thoughtful and really listened to everything I had to say. Our first meeting was at a bar in Pella. He came up and started talking to me and then we danced the night away. Honestly with alcohol involved there isn’t much we remember. Jacob texted me the next day asking me on a date. We set it up and decided on going to a movie. We went to ‘The Intern’. It was a great movie but the conversation Jacob and I had for 5 hours afterward was even better. We stood in that movie parking lot and got to know one another. This conversation affirmed my opinion. Jacob was perfect. From then on our relationship moved fast, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We moved in together about 6 months in and this allowed us to know 100% that we could make it together forever. After 1.5 years together Jacob and I decided it was time to buy a house. We picked one and we were ready to move in, but first we had some painting to do. Jacob woke up early one morning and told me he was going for a run, but he actually headed over to our new house and painted some words on the wall. I had no clue this was going on. We arrived to the house before our families, who were coming to help us paint. Jacob told me he had something to show me upstairs. I opened the door to our soon to be bedroom and saw the words “I love you” .. so cute!! But then I turn around and see Jacob on one knee and the words “will you marry me” on the wall behind him... freaking adorbale! My heart melted and I managed to say yes and then we celebrated when our families arrived. It was perfect!!

I love his thoughtfulness and kindness. He truely and deeply cares about every person in his life. He is an amazing listener. He is also super weird and hilarious.

from the groom | 

Emily and I went to the same small college for three years together but it wasn't until after college that we met.  We were both back in Pella for Homecoming the year after Emily graduated.  Some friends and I were hanging out at the bar when Emily and her friends walked in.  Emily caught my eye right away due to how beautiful she is.  I was super nervous to go talk to her but I did and not too long after, we were on the dance floor for the rest of the night.  I'm sure it was an absolutely wonderful night but it was kind of a blur due to too much liquid courage. I could feel that she was special the first night I met her.  Our first official date was going to a movie ("The Intern") but it was what happened after the movie that made the night so memorable. We talked in the parking lot until 3:00 am getting to know each other.  I couldn't get enough of her and so we went on multiple dates soon after and took a couple trips to Chicago and Kansas City together.  Next thing we know, we were moving in together after 6 months of dating. It felt so good to live with my best friend and the person that I was in love with! We decided to buy a house after a year of living in our apartment.  Emily and I coordinated a paint day with our family members.  What Emily didn't know is that I had a little something extra up my sleeve (or in my back pocket) and a very important question for her.  I had painted a few words on our future bedroom walls that morning (I told her I was going on a 9 mile run for our half-marathon training). Right before our family got to our place, I told Emily I wanted to show her something upstairs. We walked into our bedroom and she saw the words, "I love you", on one wall.  When she turned around, I was down on one knee and the words, "Will you marry me?", were on the wall behind me.  I nervously said how much I loved her and asked her to be my wife and...... SHE SAID YES!

I love how caring and hard-working she is.  I love how outrageously beautiful she is.  I love how she always makes me smile and laugh.  I love how smart and thoughtful she is.  I love that she has such a passion to teach her first grade students.

 

 

If that doesn't melt your heart, I hope these photos do :) 

Enjoy!

Photographer |  Hannah Ampe Photography

Videographer | Grafted Film and Images

Florals | HyVee

Cake | Katie Kooienga 

DJ | MandM

Venue | West Des Moines Marriott

Hair & Makeup | Salon Vici

Dress | Bridal Boutique

 

 

Summer Iowa Wedding | McKenzie & Clayton

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Clayton and McKenzie's wedding was perfect :) They got married at the Rose Garden in State Center, IA and had their reception at the lovely Gatherings in Nevada, IA. I could say so much about these people and this day, but I will let the photos speak for themselves on this one!

 

California Couples Session | Rosie & Joe

When in Malibu, hang out with super fun people and take their photos :)

Everything about this shoot was perfect! Rosie and Joe, the lighting, the FREAKIN' BEAUTIFUL landscape, there were dolphins. I mean come on!!! How can it get better than this???

 

I took these gorgeous photos on our US Road trip this Spring. I knew I would be traveling through California and wanted to shoot while I was there. So I asked my friend, Karlee if she knew anyone that could be my "models" for a photo shoot. So she introduced me to Rosie and Joe.

Sidebar | There are moments in life that you can look back and think how a small gesture, statement, good deed, or introduction can change everything. | It may seem dramatic for me to say that this shoot changed me, but it did. Everything was perfect. I was in my element. There was no pressure, no timeframe, and no worries. I was just shooting for the fun of it, and it brought me back to why I started this small little Minnesota photography business in the first place. I love it. I love capturing sweet moments and deep emotional connections between my couples. 

Rosie and Joe hadn't seen each other for a week before this shoot. So it gave them time to be intimate and for me to capture their longing love. 

I was nervous coming into this shoot because I had been shooting mainly landscapes for the past 6 months on my travels. I thought I would be rusty, and I was for the first few shots, but not long after my first shutter clicked, I was in the zone. I experimented with new poses, laughed with Rosie and Joe, and enjoyed a night at Point Dume in Malibu, California with Peter. 

It was a little treacherous getting down to the beach, and only like 5 parking spots, but once you crept down the 100+ steps, you were in another world. Full of dolphins, seals, a few questionable pot smokers, and the smell of sea water and sand. 

I will never forget or stop reliving this shoot. I hope to have millions more shoots like this in the future and will never again forget the feeling I get when I capture these special moments.

 

+ Here are a few of my favorites from Rosie and Joe's Malibu Photo Shoot

Why travel engagement sessions are the best

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A D V E N T U R E ;

the exploration of unknown territory 

Why should you travel for your engagement session?

Well --

+ 1 It is a great excuse to explore a new place

            You are probably stuck at your fulltime job, with not a lot of time to travel, why not use a photography session as an excuse to explore a new place with your fiancé??

+ 2 Amazing & unique views

            A lot of couples go to the Stone Arch Bridge, or someplace like that, and don’t get me wrong, I love the Stone Arch Bridge!!  But there are a lot of the same photo with different people. Why not go somewhere different, where no one has taken photos before?? With beautiful views and amazing landscapes?

+ 3 It forces you to make your session more of a mini-vacay for a weekend instead of another check off the to-do list.

            Again, just take the time to enjoy life and make your photography session a little vacation. Even if it is just for a few days! Go to the Boundry Waters, or the North Shore, or the mountains, or the beach (please take me to the beach in winter!!)

+ 4 Use it as a de-stresser

            Everyone needs less stress in their lives. Have some fun and play hookie for a bit. Stop thinking about deadlines and to-do lists and have a great time with your fiancé and get it documented through photos :)

No?

 

ideas for locations for travel sessions:

+ Madeline Island, WI

+ Palisade Head, MN

+ Split Rock, MN

+ Duluth, MN

+ Chicago, IL

 

For the extra adventurous:

+ Hamptons

+ Napa Valley

+ Banff, Alberta 

+ Cannon Beach, OR

+ Yosemite Valley

+ Washington lavender fields in spring 

 

What to wear to an engagement shoot

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“What the heck should I wear to our engagement shoot???” 

 

This is one of the questions I get the most. 

I got you girl—

A good rule of thumb is to have two outfits. One fun/cute/comfy outfit and another formal or different. If you have like 5 outfit changes, you are taking time away from photos for you to change.


For the ladies. 

+ long flowy dresses. I am a sucker for long flow dresses!!

+ short summer dress/white dresses are always great!

+ jeans and a cute top with a chunky necklace

+ gown & heels

+ jean jacket & hat

 

For the gents.

+ jeans & button up

+ neutral colored Polo & shorts

+ suit & tie

+ jean jacket and hat?? Lol

 

Accessories.

+ hats

+ flowers

+ jewelry

+ signs

+ blankets

+ layers (shirt, cardigan, jacket, scarf) There is so much potential without actually changing outfits.

+ super cool old couch in a field. I’ve thought about this a lot lol.

 

Make sure that you and your fiancé’s outfits go well together, colors are cohesive, etc. Neutral colors are a great baseline to use. Light blues, greys, whites, creams, blushes, etc. Bright colors can clash or distract from the photo. That being said, pops of red can be super fun!! The biggest thing is to be comfortable and feel confident in what you are wearing! Wear something that is you and your photos will turn out great!