Lana + Ross | Champaign Country Club wedding

Lana is the woman of many faces — some of them made it into this blog post, but many more of them will make it into their full gallery. She is so exuberant, full of life, and her energy is contagious!! And then Ross is a talented gift-giver. He showered Lana with gifts all day long, including the pièce de résistance, a box listing “the first day”, “the yes day,” and “the best day.” The box contained photos of all 3 of those days INCLUDING the wedding day! He had someone snap a photo while we were out at Guido’s and had them run and pick it up at Walgreen’s. She was floored! We also made a quick visit to Fat City, the site of the couple’s first meeting, which we re-created.

Those of you who know I love color, will quickly see how much I loved this wedding! There were colorful details galore, with hot pink and navy as the recurring themes. Loads of personal touches were included throughout as well, including Lego table numbers that Ross + Lana built themselves (I wonder how much time that took!), and the elaborate and detailed Harry Potter cake. They even traveled out of state to get a keg and some cases of Yuengling after securing a special liquor license to serve it.

The ceremony was very warm, but lovely, and as the couple walked back down the aisle as husband and wife, some guests shot off wedding cannons. I had never seen these before, but they looked super cool in photos!! Highly recommend for outdoor weddings! Following the ceremony it was time for cocktail hour and then into the ballroom, which was bathed in purple/hot pink uplights. The couple had hired the Green Fourteen band from Chicago to keep the dance floor going. They had hype dancers, the singers sometimes went out into the crowd, and they played for a solid 3 hours with no breaks. And they sounded phenomenal! The dance floor was definitely jumping.

I loved spending the day with Lana + Ross, and wish them congratulations on their new life together. It was an epic day, and I was honored to be a part of it! #runningawayfromholm

To book your own wedding or photo session, email Holly.

Vendors

Venue: Champaign Country Club

Cake: Cakes by Lori

Florist: Rick Orr

Band: Green Fourteen Band of Chicago, IL

Officiant: Peter Bannon

Bride's Dress: Elite Bridal - Martina Liana

Tuxes: Jos. Banks

Instrumentalist: Green Fourteen Band of Chicago, IL

Transportation: Starr Limousine

Linens: BBJ Linens

Invitations + Programs: Fabulous Affairs of Bloomington IL

Jeweler: Reed Diamonds of Champaign IL

Mirror Me photo booth: Epic Entertainment

Videographer: Tori Beach

Hair: Kane & Co. - Lauren Kesler

Makeup: Mallory Herges of Chicago IL

Stage Setup and Lighting: Brian Knox

Camp Climb | Summer Camp for Creative Entrepreneurs

In August, I spent an amazing, unplugged weekend in New Liberty, Iowa at a Girl Scout Campgrounds for the inaugural Camp Climb retreat. It was exactly what my mind and soul needed after a busy summer wedding season, before heading into an even busier fall season. I went into the camp only knowing a couple of people attending, including speaker Dannie Fountain (aka my Google/Squarespace/marketing guru) and fellow Champaign-area resident Leah Longueville who I met with for coffee before the camp once we both realized we were from the same place. People travelled from all over the country to attend this camp, and I met a ton of new, awesome & inspiring women.

The campers were split into 3 groups - base, tent, and peak campers. As an established business, I chose the peak camp group and I was so inspired by the women in my group!

Friday evening started out with a meet-and-greet and social activities — sangria, leather luggage tag stamping, and flower crown designing. We then had dinner and the evening speaker, Carrie Anton from Wonder: An Idea Studio who talked about brainstorming. We then enjoyed s’mores by the fire outside before turning in for the night into our super uncomfortable camp beds! LOL A short thunderstorm

Saturday morning was up early for yoga in the fog (my first time ever doing yoga!), breakfast, canoeing in the lake, casual chats lakeside with Jenna Kutcher, and chair massages! After some great conversations, time for relaxing and lunch, it was time for the afternoon speaker series.

First up, Dannie Fountain who talked about 20% projects — essentially saying that you should commit a certain amount of time each week to work on a personal or passion project. At the time of camp, my new podcast was just a solid idea in my head with no real guidelines and one interview lined up. Camp was kind of the catapult that made me push to make it my passion project. I have been loving doing the interviews, editing, and getting the episodes ready to roll… stay tuned for my projected Oct. 1 launch!!

Then Amber Krzys encouraged us to stop pleasing people and start serving them instead. “You cannot give from your depletion,” she said. “Serve yourself first.”

Camp Climb founder Emma Hicks then did a panel discussion with Michelle Calloway who was one of my fellow peak campers. They talked about business and family, being from the midwest, and took questions from the audience.

The final afternoon speaker was Jenna Kutcher, host of the Goal Digger podcast, photographer, educator, and blogger. Jenna also did a Q&A from the audience and was truly an open book which was so nice to hear. She was super down-to-earth and personable. She gave me 3 great takeaways that I have been implementing into my business and hope to keep using.

Saturday evening was the pool party and food truck pizza — so fun and so delicious! There was also wine and Summer Shandy! Some people went down to the lake again then to release paper lanterns after dark, but many of the peak campers chose to go back to our cabin and organize our own mastermind session. It was a super time of bonding, inspiration, snacks, and camaraderie. It was great getting to know a fantastic group of boss babes on a slightly deeper level. A few of them also have podcasts or have been on each other’s podcasts, so I’ve been enjoying listening to them since camp!

Sunday morning was time for breakfast, a long walk, a cold shower, meditation/reflection time, and then closing ceremonies. Then it was back to Illinois and home!

I already have the dates for the 2019 Camp Climb on my calendar (Aug. 16-18), and am anxious to hear who the speakers will be when they are announced soon (edit: one was announced just after I wrote this post!)

Photos in this post by me (cell phone shots), Iron & Lace Photography, and Sweet Little You Photography. Part of the unplugged weekend was letting other people take the photos, and let me tell you — it was SO nice!

Carlee | Illini Central High School senior

Carlee did two concept shoots with me before her own "official" senior session (plus a family session a couple years ago), so she is no stranger to my camera!  She modeled for me in her prom dress, in my "make small town life beautiful" shoot, and my county fair carnival-themed shoot with her friend Lexi.

This girl LOVES her volleyball, and so we knew we'd be starting in the gym with some off-camera flash, because let's face it -- gym lighting is horrible. I played around a bit with adding some yellow lighting to play off the school's gold and black colors (go Cougars!). Did I mention that Illini Central High School is also my alma mater?  I won't tell you how many years ago I graduated, but it will be a nice round number this coming year. 😳 I also added some flames to a couple of the volleyballs for some fun!

We then headed out to some private property of some mutual friends to use their land for some field photos, some photos down by the creek, and some chickens. haha!!  For the tail end of the session, we headed to Carlee's own front porch to snap a couple photos with her sweet (but hyper!) pup Ivy.

I'm sad that I may be done photographing Carlee for a while, but am looking forward to following along as she gets into the swing of her senior year and starts prepping for college! Best of luck, Carlee!!