A Little Bit of Magic – Marion, IA kids photography

It takes a little bit of imagination to pretend there is a dinosaur (or two) hanging out in the forest with you but these kids pulled it off magically (you’ve probably already figured out the dinosaurs aren’t real, correct?).

First up I’m going to share some of Aaron – he was fantastic at playing pretend! He had SO much fun and was thrilled when he saw the images and he was walking next to a dinosaur in the forest!



This image was his favorite and he now has a poster of it for his room!TRU_6346
This little guy had quite a lot of fun too. He’s only three – but he still knows how to use his imagination. Carter enjoyed his day with the dinosaurs. These are friendly dinosaurs – so he wasn’t in any danger (in case you were worried!). His birthday this year was Dinosaur-themed so he had several posters framed to display!



And how fun are the following images of Josh and his sister Ashlyn. There was a lot of laughter that day and they were impressive with their acting skills!




I’ll be offering these fantasy sessions again in 2020: Dinosaurs, Woodland Fairies, Princesses. Maybe even Mermaids? And also – Dragons? What do you think? Good idea?

Make sure to watch the TruYou Facebook page and Instagram for more information in the spring! These are limited edition (only offered a certain month) and you do NOT want to miss out!

Be sure to check out TruYou on the website, facebook and instagram.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jenna – Class of 2020 – Liberty High School

Jenna’s senior session was in June and we had PERFECT weather! First we started at the Cedar Rapids Library. There are a ton of nooks and crannies in the library, with beautiful window light. So it is fun to photograph in there!

And you know – there are also a ton of BOOKS (if you’re into that kind of thing). Check it out soon. It is beautiful!

These are two of my favorite images. Sometimes – black and white just says it best!

Jenna_Starr_009 copyJenna_Starr_011 copy

Here are a few more taken outside the library. Love the red sculpture!

Then we headed down the alley and found some perfect locations!

Because Jenna had opted for the Urban/Country combo session she was able to have an entire new look the next evening for her country portion (notice the cute curls!)

These were taken in Squaw Creek Park – one of my favorite parks to photograph in! You can find so many unique locations.


I mean C’MON – she is gorgeous!

Wow! – more images at Squaw Creek Park. Love this color on her!

Jenna is also on my TruYou Teen Team this year and we have had a lot of fun! I recently talked her into posing for an “Ice Queen” shoot and she killed it! I’ll be entering that image in competition so I won’t be able to share it for a LONG time! But trust me – the wait will be worth it.

If you are interested in joining the TruYou Teen Team next year ask her all about it! And keep a look out for information sometime in January 2020.

Jenna has big plans for her future and I can’t wait to see her succeed! I have no doubt she is going to do great things!

If you are still looking for a senior photographer for this year – I’d love for you to give me a call! There are still some openings in September, October and November. If you know Jenna she can give you a special discount. Just ask!

Be sure to check out TruYou on the website, facebook and instagram.

Thanks for stopping by!

Frustrated – That’s How I Feel Sometimes!

No – I’m not frustrated with my life. I’m not frustrated that it had been raining non-stop in Iowa for I-can’t-even-count-how-many days! I’m not frustrated that after the rain finally stop the giant gnats and mosquitoes started swarming! I’m not frustrated with my inability to cook a good meal most days or even my inability to keep the weeds out of my garden. I’m not even frustrated with the mess I have in my office (although I should be!)

What frustrates me more than anything — people who don’t understand the importance of family photos. Good quality family photos. We have no idea what life is going to bring us. No idea if we will still be standing tomorrow. No idea if someone we love will be gone before we expected it.

So gosh darn it – get some family photos taken. And family means all kinds of things – Mom and Baby, Husband and Wife, Mom and Kids, etc. — You don’t even have to hire me! But you really should hire a professional. The images you create on your phone are pretty wonderful — but they aren’t good enough for the importance of documenting the love of your family.

I’m challenging you – 2019 is the year you prioritize your spending – skip an extra few restaurant meals, skip a few shopping trips, skip a few margaritas (ha!) — and spend that extra $$ on family photos. Photos that you – the MOM – are in!

And then get them printed BIG so you can hang them on your wall, walk by them every day, and think about all of the love you share.

You won’t regret it.




And just in case you don’t think I take this seriously for MY family – here are a few of us (I’m the short one!). These were taken by my very good friend Alley Tish of Marie Grace Photography. If you live in the Sigourney area – you should probably go check out her website!

Thanks for listening. I hope someone out there takes this seriously and schedules your family session soon (with ANY photographer – it doesn’t have to be me!).

Be sure to check out TruYou on the website, facebook and instagram.

Thanks for stopping by!


Cabin Fever or Spring Fever?

I think I can help with either one!

My husband and I recently stayed at a wonderful bed & breakfast in Galena, IL and I couldn’t help but take a few photos. We were celebrating a milestone birthday for him and we have decided to go back every January for his birthday — we just loved this place!

We had never been to a bed and breakfast before and I actually chose this place based solely on the fact that the name of the guest house resonated with me. We hadn’t heard of it before so it was a shot in the dark. We were NOT disappointed!

We also strolled downtown Galena and checked out several shops, as well as ate a few too many meals and snacks (worth it). And one of our highlights (besides sleeping in!) was attending a very fun and interesting magic show. If you like magic, tell your hosts so they can reserve some tickets for you!

If you are looking for two amazing hosts, a wonderful beautiful place to stay, fantastic breakfast and a character-filled town to visit, you need to make reservations here now!

Instead of posting a lot of images of the rooms, etc. I decided to take mostly shots of some of the details. That way guess what? You’ll have to visit their website to see more (link at the end of this blog post!)

Welcome to the Aldrich Guest House.  Isn’t it gorgeous? I guess there is a beautiful backyard/garden also but it was covered in snow when we were there. Maybe you should reserve a room this summer so you can see it!


Breakfast. Yum! I wonder if I buy Chuck an apron like Robert is wearing if he’d be so kind as to serve me breakfast in the formal dining room at home. Yeah – probably not – we don’t even have a formal dining room. Oh and he doesn’t really cook that much. He can make a mean waffle though. We sure felt special and the meal was delicious!

The people who we shared breakfast with were so wonderful also. Lots of interesting conversation and laughs. Oh and don’t forget the homemade cookies. The were superb – and made with lots of skill and love by our hosts (I tried to save some for the rest of the guests).

Some detail shots:

These guys are fantastic at decorating. And I think Douglas is a wiz at sewing too? I loved every little detail.

When we first arrived I asked Robert if he and Douglas just got a “wild hare” to move to Galena and buy a bed and breakfast. He assured me there was a lot of thought put into it and their business plan was 60+ pages. Believe me when I say it shows. They have their individual specialties down to a science!

And don’t forget to visit the town and the magic show. There are several museums, a ghost walk, a trolley tour, a distillery and skiing. And fantastic restaurants too!

Thank you so much to our hosts – Douglas and Robert. They were the best!


Gosh – now that I’ve written this blog post and re-visited how much we enjoyed ourselves we may need to reserve a room this summer!

I know you’re curious to see more – click here to visit their website. There are wonderful photos of the rooms and lots of information.

Now booking Class of 2020 Seniors. I can’t wait to hear from you! Hey – wouldn’t Galena be a fantastic place to go for a destination shoot? I’m game!

Be sure to check out TruYou on the website, facebook and instagram.

Thanks for stopping by!