Open House – Fri., July 16th- 5-7 pm

TruYou is so excited to be in this new location at 1308 8th Avenue in Marion, and I can’t wait for you to see it!

All three of us “lady-bosses” will be giving tours of our spaces! We are also offering a giveaway (a combo of services from each of us) and I will be offering some other specials and giveaways.

Light refreshments available. We hope to see you!

Nicole Keegan has been at this 8th Avenue location for five years and has been in the industry for 20 years. She offers salon services including cuts, color specialty styles and makeup. You can visit her website at:

Jill Cihla moved to 8th Avenue in January of this year. She has been in her industry for a little over 10 years, providing energy work through Reiki & Reflexology for almost three years. She also offers Numerology, Chakra balancing, guided meditation and custom blend essential oils. Her goal is to provide a place of relaxation and hold space to achieve inner peace. Her website is:

Mariellen Youngdahl (that’s me!) has operated TruYou Photography for over 10 years. She offers photography for ages newborn-99+ years. She specializes in Senior Portraits, as well as TruBeauty Contemporary Glamour and TruBeauty Boudoir Portraits. She moved into the Pucker Street Studio space in May of this year. Check out her website at:

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Senior Season – Class of 2022 – It’s Your Time To Shine!

What type of senior session are you looking for? It should be something that helps showcase the “True” You!

TruYou offers several types of sessions:
Option A – Easy Breezy – for the senior who wants fast and simple!
Option B – Casual Country – for the easy-going senior who is looking for a casual photo session in a park-like setting.
Option C – Outdoor Urban – for the senior who is looking for a casual and upscale photo session in a downtown urban setting.
Option D – Casual/Urban Combo – This is the most popular session and is a combination of Casual Country and Outdoor Urban.
Option E – Studio/Location Combo – Also a popular choice! A combination of studio and one other location (can be country, urban, your school, a favorite place you hang out at, your home, etc.)
Option F – Four Seasons Combo – These are four separate 2-hour outdoor sessions that take place in Oct., Jan., May, and June or July.
Option G – All Inclusive. This session includes professional hair and makeup and the sky is the limit! 5-6 hours of photography, unlimited locations and wardrobe changes, casual, urban, etc. Includes an album, canvas or metal print and eight gift prints.

Lots of choices!!!

Here are a few throwback images from sessions last year.

Are you ready to book? If you have any questions just email or call 319.210.5183.

Thanks for stopping by,


TruYou Photography has moved!

2021 has been an exciting year for TruYou Photography – and I’m thrilled to announce that I am no longer photographing in my in-home studio (it worked for many years, but it was small and had some limitations) and have moved into a beautiful location in Marion.

Since May TruYou Photography has been located at 1308 8th Avenue in a beautiful historic home. I can’t even describe how wonderful it feels to offer this incredible space to my clients.

Some of the benefits:

  • MORE space for photographing (this means more creativity with sets, specialty sessions, etc.)!
  • MORE space for props (I’m not going to lie – I love props – I have a few racks full of dresses, gowns, etc. and tons of newborn and baby props)!
  • MORE space for meeting for your in-person consult (I love the opportunity to meet with you BEFORE you book your session to discover if we are a good fit and listen to what you are looking for and explain what I can offer). I also will continue to offer pre-session phone consultations if that works better for you.
  • MORE space for your in-person ordering appointment (this has been a favorite – no more chasing my husband and dog out of the house, no more worrying about what we are cooking for dinner before you come (icky smells), no more ushering the cats downstairs, etc., etc.).
  • EASY to locate! – Just one block off the main drag in Marion.
  • A GORGEOUS Victorian home that just makes you want to hang out and breathe it all in (one of my recent little clients told her Mom she’d love to have a sleepover at the studio!).
  • TWO INCREDIBLE “house-mates” who are super sweet and have wonderful businesses at the same location – Onyx Salon and Feather Moon Healing. You may find yourself checking them out and finding out about their availability!

And so many more things I can’t even think of right now!

Pucker Street Studio – Home of TruYou Photography

In the future there may be one or two other creatives (with their own businesses) joining TruYou Photography at the studio, so I decided the studio part of the space would be named Pucker Street Studio. For a little insight on the name click here!

If you’ve read this far you will also want to know that all three of us at this beautiful historic Victorian home are planning an OPEN HOUSE for JULY 16th – from 5-7 pm.

I hope you can join us! We will all be giving tours of our spaces and answering any questions you may have.

TruYou will also be offering some incredible booking specials and a few giveaways may be offered as well!

Thanks for stopping by. Hoping to see you in July!

Job Loss, Coronavirus, Derecho

Wow. Things got a little crazy the last few years!!

Dec. 31st, 2019 was my last day working at my regular full-time job. I had been there 16+ years and they no longer needed me, so time to move on to bigger and better things.

It was now time to delve into photography full-time! (I’ve been working at it part-time since 2011).

I was marketing, planning, photographing, calling past clients, etc. – and then the Coronavirus snuck it’s way into our lives and wreaked havoc!

What a change from our regular lives; and for so many — serious heartbreak and loss. I’ve suffered some devastating loss in the last few years and understand how losing someone who means so much to you can feel like your heart has literally been ripped apart. Not being able to be with them at the hospital, hold their hands and grieve properly with family and friends, has got to be almost unbearable for so many this past year. I am so sad about the pain this virus has caused.

From March until the end of June — I was photographing zero clients (although my dog and cats got some extra time in front of the camera) and hanging out at my house with nowhere to go and nothing to do. But we were healthy and happy and we counted our blessings every day.

To combat the boredom and to keep my business in the minds of my clients I started posting to Instagram every day. I posted images from long ago past sessions and that was actually a blast. Digging through old archives and discovering images I had forgotten about or hadn’t shared before was very nostalgic and quite healing for me. But of course it made me miss photographing my clients even more. But it also made me appreciate photography even more. And ESPECIALLY appreciate my clients!

I started photographing again when restrictions were lifted (end of June I believe) and oh how I had missed it!!!

I’m so appreciative to past clients who found me again – and who also sent new clients my way. I had more referrals last year than any past year and I want to thank you all!!!

I was back in the full swing of things when in August we were hit with a Derecho (a term I had NEVER heard before). We were much luckier than many of our neighbors (who ended up with holes in their roofs!). We had a few broken windows, some serious dings and discoloration in our siding, and lots of damage to our trees (this made me so sad). The city even decided to chop down our beloved Maple tree in our front yard (deemed too damaged to recover).

Most of all though, we were grateful. Grateful to have had some amazing neighbors who helped with cleanup, grateful to have family and friends volunteer to help, grateful that our family was safe. We were without electricity for 10 days and as long as I can remember being alive I had never been without electricity for that long before, but we were safe and secure.

Our internet was down for two months. It’s a little crazy how much being without internet can be so upsetting!

During all of the turmoil of last year I continued to have people call/email/message me to set up session times and I just want to say how incredibly thankful I am that amidst all of the chaos of last year so many of you understood how important portraits are, and chose me to be the one to deliver those portraits to you.

Here are just a few images taken in 2020. Thank you all!