david + marcy ENGAGED!! Black Hills engagement photographer
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Whenever a couple agrees to a sunrise session, I always get really excited to photograph an ‘old’ location in a ‘new’ way. And then I get really nervous that I’m going to sleep through my alarm.

That fear of sleeping in had me awake before my alarm went off, and I was out the door with my camera and hand warmers with plenty of time to spare. When David + Marcy pulled up, I couldn’t wait to show them the location I had scouted just a few days before. Since they had traded a leisurely morning of their weekend getaway to get up super early for pictures, I wanted to treat them to the best overlook I could find.

As we walked, I got plenty of time to chat with them and hear their story, and bond over our mutual awkwardness and freezing fingers. :-)


When Marcy told me before their session that David was ‘a whole foot taller’ than her, I immediately knew I wanted this next photo. How many girls can snuggle up right to their guy’s heart like this?! :-)


chris + kelsey MARRIED!! Black Hills elopement photographer
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Elopements and small, intimate weddings have really been on my heart lately. Probably because of Chris + Kelsey’s ceremony + picnic near Keystone this summer. They met at the Sturgis motorcycle rally over seven years ago, and they came back every year as an anniversary getaway. One of their favorite stops on their drive through the Hills is along Iron Mountain Road, so when they decided it was time for them get married they knew it would be around Rally Week at their favorite stop.

I was lucky enough that their favorite stop was *so* beautiful, and that the rocks formed a natural ‘aisle’ for Kelsey to walk up!

As Kelsey was getting into her dress, Chris was standing on this rock, looking very calm and statuesque. I shouted up to him to remember exactly where he was standing so that I could get this image of him with his bride. I LOOOOVE photos of people surrounded by big trees!! 

Kelsey’s dad met her at the end of the aisle (since it was so narrow, only one person at a time could walk comfortably) to give her hand in marriage. Their families and close friends soaked up the ceremony (and morning sun) on the surrounding rocks.

After they were pronounced husband and wife, Chris + Kelsey walked down the path towards their picnic reception, and as I watched them walk away, I could almost see the bubble they were in. You know, that ‘I’m so in love with you, can you believe we just got married’ bubble. :-)

And so I coaxed them back up to the overlook for a few ‘just married’ portraits as their guests set up the picnic.

Chris + Kelsey – Thanks again for making my dreams come true by getting married here. ;-) And thanks for making a ‘rally wedding’ so beautiful. The love and excitement in all of your family and friends’ faces as they cheered for and congratulated you was so heartwarming! What a perfect day, to have had the people closest to your heart surrounding you as you promised the rest of your lives to each other.

matt + ashley MARRIED!! Black Hills wedding photographer
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After almost seven years of being together, Matt + Ashley are now officially husband and wife! I first met Ashley at her best friend Meghan’s wedding four years ago – she was her bridesmaid and roommate and I immediately got the feeling that these are some pretty great girls to know.

Fast-forward to nearly two years ago, Matt proposed on New Years Eve, and he and Ashley met with me in February to talk wedding details. Sitting across the table from these two, talking about their life and their love, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. The conversation came so easily (I’m not sure how much we even talked about their wedding), and the way they looked at each other had me wishing their wedding was in two months, not two years! I couldn’t wait to photograph this lovely couple!

Their engagement session last fall was a blast, and their wedding is now (finally) at the top of my ‘favorites’ list (as I knew it would be).

The day started out foggy, and a crisp winter-like breeze whisked everyone inside the church for their short, sweet, and super-personal ceremony. Matt’s grandfather let them drive his classic Plymouth from the ceremony to their reception at Prairie Berry. As we got out of town and into the hills, the biggest snowflakes fell almost in slow-motion – it was like living inside of a snow globe!

Ashley’s gown was STUNNING (wait until you see Matt’s reaction!) and his ring was made with meteorite – how cool is that?!

I love love LOVE brides putting on their earrings, but a new favorite ‘getting ready photo’ of mine is the bride’s mom helping with her shoes. Probably because as a mom, I know these days of helping my kids put on their shoes will be over before I know it, and soon they’ll be all grown up and getting married. Seeing moms help their daughters into their shoes one last time really pulls at my heartstrings!!

Letter-writing feels like such a thing of the past. Physically sitting down and pouring out your heart and thoughts to your soon-to-be spouse is such a beautiful act of love. I think we should all write love notes more often!

Check out that reaction!!! This very moment was worth all those years waiting for this day to come! :-)

Could these two BE any more stunning?!

Yes, yes they could. And here they are proving it. (And yes, I did do a happy dance after taking this photo – I couldn’t contain my excitement!!)

Insert Matt + Ashley’s wedding party, and these guys are half the reason this day was so amazing and fun. I love seeing how bridesmaids and groomsmen act towards the bride + groom + each other on a wedding day, because they really set the tone for how the day will go. Judging by this photo (and many more that will be in their personal gallery), there were many laughs and shenanigans. :-)

Girrrrls, you look goooood keeping each other warm!!!

…and the guys were so excited to pose for their photos, I just *had* to share their ‘boy band’ look. Let me know when your first single comes out, would you? :-)

Doesn’t this car just scream ‘classic cool?!’ As Matt + Ashley drove off, I couldn’t help but think of how romantic it was that they were spending this time together. Alone, minutes after saying their vows, taking their first drive of many, letting the reality of what just happened wash over them.

And then THE SNOWFLAKES started!! We had already planned to stop for some ‘just married’ photos, but what we hadn’t planned on was this snow-globe effect!

Their reception was a perfect fall-meets-winter feel, with plated meals and a hot cocoa station. 

Matt + Ashley’s first dance was to ‘The Luckiest’ and I felt like not only were Matt + Ashley the luckiest to be married, but all of us watching were the luckiest to be able to witness the beginning of their happily ever after!!

And then Ashley danced with her father and we were all the luckiest all over again, seeing how Ashley has two wonderful men who love her with all their hearts… I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Whew! Matt + Ashley, your day was beyond perfect and I’m so thankful to have you in my life – both as clients and as friends. I loved every moment and every detail of your day, and I can’t wait to share all the rest of your pictures with you! Thanks for allowing so much time for photos – we created some great images, and I hope you enjoyed all the time to yourselves (with me there telling you where to walk and stand). ;-)

Meghan + Ashley – You girls are the absolute sweetest!! Thanks for being my ideal brides – fun, relaxed, beautiful inside and out, and level-headed. At both of your weddings I felt so comfortable and creatively energized. Maybe it’s your nurse vibes (you handle stressful situations really well, while making others feel at ease) or maybe it’s just how you were raised (your parents are all role models), but you were both destined to have great husbands and great marriages and I’m so so lucky to have been invited to share in this part of each of your stories!

laura loves… october edition
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Nice, warm weather days are slipping away, and we are already spending most of our time in front of the fireplace, scrambling to keep the kids entertained during those non-daylight hours before bedtime. If Elodie sees that it’s dark outside, she’ll say, “oh, no, night night” and I’m all “do you want to go to bed?” At 6:30. Because apparently the ‘shorter’ the days get, the ‘longer’ the days feel.

But enough whining about losing sunlight and the warmth it brings!

Elodie and Milo are entertaining each other more and more. After his last well child checkup, she found this small piece of internet cable and proceeded to give him at-home checkups. I knew right away that it would be a perfect Halloween costume for them with all that Milo has been through this year. :-)

Milo is still army crawling all over, and he loves to sneak away to Elodie’s room to find the fan that’s plugged in, or to the kitchen to find crumbs. It feels like he has been teething for *forever.* He now has four bottom teeth and one on the top, with at least one more on the way (although it’s impossible to tell until they’ve officially poked through.)

His favorite activity is scooting around the recliner and playing peek-a-boo from behind it. He is also very interested in the tiny chips of wood that falls off between carrying in wood and putting it in the fireplace. I’ve dug out a few pieces of bark as well as a fly. Uck. I’m very much ready for the whole ‘put everything in the mouth’ phase to be over.

Elodie’s new most-used phrase is ‘thank you’ and it’s probably my favorite. Although ‘luff you, ma’ still melts my heart!!