Faisal & Farzana {University of Notre Dame}

I met these two beautiful people last year, after Faisal earned his PhD from the University of Notre Dame! His beautiful wife contacted us to photograph them both on campus, to commemorate their time here. 

It was a beautiful day on campus and this wonderful pair were so lovely! Not to mention, incredibly kind - and brilliant too! :)

A huge congratulations to them both!!

Knesek Family {Notre Dame}

Ok, so this family. They are WONDERFUL! And I've had such a wonderful time getting to know all of them over the past 3+ years! We get together at least once a year for some quality time and family photos! And this year, we ventured back to Notre Dame, where we first met when sweet little dude Paxton was just 7 months, and sweet little lady Avalynn was 2! They've grown so much and what a joy it's been to watch them grow up!

The weather was quite the up and down roller coaster, as most fall days are in good ole' South Bend, Indiana! The great thing about the campus of Notre Dame is, you can find little corners and beautiful architecture to hide from the elements, and sometimes, if you're lucky, the sun decides to come out for a brief moment! 

Always love my time with this family!!!

Justin Appel, Conductor {Notre Dame Concordia and Ritornello Ensemble}

Last year, I was seriously so honored to photograph the incredible talent of Justin Appel, a conductor, composer and pianist! The Notre Dame Concordia and Ritornello ensemble, which consists of 21 singers and 11 instrumentalists performed in the Reyes Organ and Choral Hall, at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. These brilliant vocalists and musicians performed some of the most beautiful music my ears have ever heard, and my only wish was to have bottled it up, to hear it over and over again.

The beautiful backdrop of the choral hall, with such amazing music to fill it, was an absolute honor, and I'm incredibly grateful for such an opportunity!

If you'd like to hear some of Justin's musical genius, you can check out his website here: http://www.justinappel.com/ (I highly recommend checking out the videos and listening to Long Road - Ēriks Ešenvalds - it's breathtakingly beautiful.)

Family Time: What to Wear

The most common question we are asked before a family photo shoot, is what should we wear? We have come up with a few tips so everyone feels comfortable and confident! 

Here are some general guidelines that will help you choose the perfect clothing for your family’s next photo session!

It’s a lot easier to coordinate everyone's outfits once you know what one piece looks like! Try starting with mom or daughter, since women’s clothing tend to have more colors and prints.

Everyone in white shirts and blue jeans are a thing of the past! Everyone does NOT need to match! Choose colors that complement each other: for example; soft colors (light blue, gray, blush) or warm colors (brown, orange, burgundy). 

Once you’ve nailed down your location, you can think about color options for the whole family! If you’re taking pictures outdoors, solid colors are your friend with a few patterns mixed in. Using a combination of deep and neutral undertones, set in lush green woods or on sandy beaches will look the best. If you’re indoors, think about your surroundings. Don’t pick colors that clash with colors in the room. Or colors that will blend in. We also recommend to use more muted colors. No bright red, oranges, blue, etc.

Shoes can make or break your outfit!  If you can’t find shoes you love, consider going barefoot (just bring walking shoes to get from point A to point B). Stay away from athletic shoes and bright white sneakers.

Check your outfits from all possible angles in the mirror, not just the one you like best. Try sitting, squatting, leaning forward, etc. The kids’ clothes should work well in motion so that we can play during your session (think flying, tickling, and hanging upside down). Check clothing for wrinkles, animal hair & stains. 

Quickest way to take your outfits from average to amazing! Think scarves, blazers, cardigans, belts, jewelry, fun socks, and hats.

You don't want your clothing to be too baggy or too tight. Properly fitted clothing will not only make you feel comfortable, but will show your shape. For women, your upper half and lower half should be balanced: for example; blousy shirt + skinny pants, or tight shirt + flowing skirt.

Even if you’re planning to use these images for your holiday cards, steer away from holiday-colored clothing and let your card design incorporate those instead. That way you’ll be able to enjoy your images year-round!

Button-down or structured shirts generally look better in photos. If you have your heart set on a t-shirt, try layering a blazer on top.

These don’t always translate well in-camera.

Most important, comfort is key! 

Manrique Family {University of Notre Dame} South Bend, IN

Last year, I had such a wonderful time photographing this incredibly joyful, gorgeous family, to commemorate an amazing accomplishment! Michelle, the gorgeous lady in blue, contacted me about documenting her family, while they were all together to celebrate her brother Patrick's (the handsome dude in the gray suit!) graduation from the University of Notre Dame!

We walked around campus, laughing and chatting and simply enjoying the gorgeous day! This family was so much fun to adventure with, and it was such a wonderful honor photographing such a wonderful moment.