Johnson Family | Columbus, Mississippi Family Photography

"Getting to witness a family that is filled with joy and friendship is such an honor - and the Johnson family is just that. Upon meeting this family, a few short months ago, I was immediately drawn to Andie and Dan's kindness and just pure fun that makes you want to surround yourself with them. And their daughter Lily has a sassy nature and sweet stare that draws a crowd. I was thrilled when they asked me to capture this all and tell the story of their sweet family. 

So, on a dusky Saturday night in Mississippi, I captured the authentic love wrapped in these three. With only one slight setback of a snake on the Johnson's porch (a serious problem in MS), the night really was perfect. Lily ate tootsie rolls in between shots as we all enjoyed the golden hour of the humid south. With Lily just turning two and new adventures in Mississippi to remember, these photo serve as a sweet reminder of the seasons that come. Enjoy."  -Katie Rae 

Jess + Jeff | Laveen, AZ Wedding Photographer

I GUSH for these three.... soon to be four. Oh my! If you took a peek at their engagement session a several posts back you're familiar with my affinity for them. 

I was so honored to document their day. I've looked forward to this wedding (secretly) for years. I only hoped that they'd ask me to and when they did? LEAPS for joy! And it didn't disappoint. Their day was filled with calm and readiness. Every detail was so intentional and every person that attended was overflowing with love, support and goodness for this couple.  I hope these images spark all of romantic feels in you. 

Jess, Jeff and Colton... I hope that when you dig through these images you're reminded of the sweet moments that filled the day.. I hope you're reminded that it was all worth waiting for and I hope that Colton looks back and thinks about how wonderful his parent's sweet wedding day was. That it was as much about him as it was the two of you. The love the three of you share is unique and will be increased so beautifully by that baby girl you're growing. Love to you! xx- karen

 

 

Justin + Erin | Colorado Springs Maternity Photography

How sweet is it to make new friends? How much sweeter is it to become fast friends that just fall on to the same page in so many regards? That's Erin for me. I adore this woman. I've posted about her business before in other fashions of social media and respected her mission from afar but since messaging her massage therapy studio for some prenatal attention, we've really clicked. I didn't know she was pregnant and we hadn't announced to many so it was super low key but I really wanted in for a massage sooooooo... she texted me and shared her news as well. Since then. Yes! Praise for girlfriends. Enough about us though...

Meet Erin and her hubs, Justin. We laugh because both of our Justin's are often behaving in the same way... They're funny and sometimes serious with hints of urgency about some things and not so much urgency about other things. BUT the good news is, that they're both really excited to become dad's ... to meet their little loves and guide them through their lives. Erin and Justin are being blessed with a little girl just ten days after us... According to the "due date." I think they'll get to meet their girl first though... And if they do, you better believe I'm documenting that babe's first moments. I can only imagine the ways she be oodled over, loved and doted upon. She is SO blessed and doesn't even know it. Erin and Justin are going to be incredible parents. They've already done so much to ensure her sweet arrival is as smooth and healthy as it can be. Ugh! Can't wait... This maternity photo shoot was a dream and this baby's life is going to be so much dreamier.  PST... aren't they so cute?!

Amanda Leann | Colorado Springs , CO Head Shots

B E A U T Y pours from her soul and I swear it's a glowing ambiance that proceeds her, surrounds her and follows her. Her hair? Yes.. But no.. Just that sweet soul that God placed inside of her. What a joy. I was laughing just about as much as she was during this shoot..so good.

Meet Amanda! She's one of those little gifts that God set up just for me to have (I'm sure that it was clearly just for me) before I moved here. I'm so so thankful to call her a friend. She's the super hard working beautiful face of Peaks Place Coffee and in the midst of her busy life of loving people well and working hard for her fave company evah, she's decided to pursue her passion in event planning. This girlie has already booked so many weddings for day of and full service wedding coordination- I am SO proud of her. It's like she was talking about the dream of it one day and had a booking up fast calendar a week later. I cannot wait to see where her wedding planning + day of event coordinating business soars to over the months and years to come. Before long, she'll just be at ALL of the weddings. And no one will be sad about it.  Her website isn't up just yet, but it's coming soon. In the mean time, if you need someone.. seriously reach out. I'm so happy to send along her contact info! xx - karen

Leah Behr | Colorado Springs Fashion Blogger

Photographing woman and photographing people in the midst of what gets them excited about life is where photography really came to life for me. I LOVE shooting boudoir because it's closest to fashion without being in LA or NYC.. I LOVED shooting Leah because she's a highlight of fashion in our sweet little city and makes me feel like we have a bit of that here in the Springs. More clothing than a boudoir session but just as much intention behind the outfitting and the inspirations for our time together. 

Spring in COS ... Spring anywhere but Phoenix is AH-mazing! It's so full of all of these beautiful blossoms, rich pinks and purples, whites and fresh greens, in every shade. Letting my eyes feast on Spring always means that I survived another Winter and I can start digging out my suntan oil for the Summer ahead of us. I SAVOR every day from the break of Spring's warmth to the very last drop of heat in the Summer. However, I don't often have someone to drag around downtown and take photos of in the midst of all of the blooming. Enter Leah. This GEM of a human arranged the cutest outfits that scream Spring, Summer and all of the goodness. Leah is bubbly and full of life. An encourager, lover and fashionista, if I do say so myself. I like following her trendy feed on IG (@leah_behr - formerly @eatpraywearlove) because she's always trying new things.. The feed she's curated is full of staples as well as funky, spunky items that I need to see on instead of on the hangar. Everything is easy to buy through @liketoknow.it and obvi I always love someone who is killing it in their space. Get it, Leah. You're just too cute! xx -karen

Click to see her whole blog: HERE

Danielle | Colorado Springs, CO Maternity Photography

Hi Friends.. We'd love to introduce our newest addition to the team with this stunning blog post. You may have seen her engagement photos or her wedding photos on the blog previously but now you get to hear from her frequently as she's helping us expand in to maternity and birthing photography! We're super excited about it and can't wait to show you so much family goodness. -karen

"In 2012, I began the process of becoming a Doula. As a human development major in college at the University of Georgia and having spent time in Africa for the last three years, I developed a love and fascination for femininity and especially, for mothers. In that time as a Doula, I assisted several families during deliveries, and saw the miracle that comes from birthing a child. 

That love developed further into a short time working as a nurse's aid at a NICU in Sarasota, Florida and it then developed into a merger of my love for stories as well. I realized how I could take the power of photography and capture that same miracle that comes in the form of motherhood. I realized how taking a camera and showing a women the beauty of carrying a baby in maternity photography can transform the way she views herself as a mother and a woman. Or how using a beautiful boudoir shoot can affirm a previous mother to see her body and the changes that came with motherhood with a beautiful pride rather than with shame. 

It is through the desires and passions to evoke self-confidence and radiance from every women out there no matter what their story, mother or not, that led me to Elan Photographie and further to my first maternity session with Danielle Obenchain. Capturing Danielle in most ways felt easy. She carries such a joy in the pregnancy of her third child and also, in the way she loves on her two other children. It was a dream bringing Danielle's desire of a whimsical, forest maternity session to life and she was a dream herself to work with. 

I am so thankful for this session and hope that these photos of Danielle and her family bless you as much as they have blessed me." - Katie Rae (Click this Katie Rae...)

Brecken + Justin | Phoenix, AZ Maternity Photography

I mean. I don't even have to say anything, just dig in. Brecken is stunning in every way... She literally spends more time giggling around Justin than not. To validate, Justin actually is funny and in that unexpected dry way that really gets you. He is such a protector of his sweet family- and this little man in Brecken's belly, Finley, is going to be such a prince. I cannot wait to adventure through some of this parenting life with the Blades.  Salt of the earth... 

Aaron + Brianne | Phoenix, AZ Family Photographer

All five of these breathtaking humans have a special little piece of my heart. I've known them for ages; Brianne was in my wedding, Aaron's ability to make me laugh for the last 15 years is just stupid and I love each of their babes. As I mentioned in the teaser the other day on Facebook, I've been around this crew for a minute or two and was at the table when Aaron and Brianne announced their exciting pregnancy news about Skyler. Overjoyed! I held Beckham for hours while in the hospital shortly after he was born. Love this kid. And sweet + sassy Zoe, I literally had dreams prior to her birth. Her facial expressions in this shoot have to be my favorite, (make sure you look at the littlest little in each photo for a little chuckle).

This family is a testament of the fruit that sticking out the ups and downs of a high school love can produce. They function fluidly, their love runs incredibly deep and their loyalties for one another are second to none. I'm lucky to get to call them friends and thankful that they let me keep taking their family photos, session after session. xx- karen
 

Travel Snippets | San Francisco, CA Photography

Let's take a little pause from "work" photos and a play with a personal post about travel + how much my eyes love feasting on the city of San Francisco...

A few weeks ago on my way to photograph the Bode + Spell Wedding in Portland I made a pitstop in San Francisco. My sweetest sister of a friend, Linda and her handsome husband Colson, are lucky enough to call this place home and I'm always overdue for a visit to the city, so I couldn't resist. A quick stop in Polkers for breakfast, a glance at the Golden Gate Bridge, a well made hot latte on a drizzly day, a pop over to Oakland to visit some of the guys at VSCO and lots of beautiful homes to imagine the lives that dwell inside of them gets my mind dreaming and my inspiration refreshed a bit. This time I was lucky enough to have one of my fav girls, Rachel Long, around... Not only to second shoot in Portland but to chat with and walk with and take pics along side of. That's all for now. xo -karen

Mike + Jennifer | Phoenix, AZ Family Photography

I met this more than precious family, oh three or four years ago! Time flies, I can't be sure... but I know that I adore every-single-member of this family. They're kind hearted, tender spirited and full of joy. 

I was Mike and Jennifer's wedding photographer at their residence just a few blocks from where I grew up and I left feeling like I was part of the family. They've added one little guy on and man, is he just so adorable! I love seeing post updates and getting to hear about what's new when I see them. So thankful for the people that I am lucky enough to meet in this photography journey and even more so when I get to tag along, documenting pieces of their stories. xx- karen

Katie Rae + Nick | Portland, OR Elysian Room Wedding Photographer

Meet the Bode's. These love birds decided to have a destination wedding at the Elysian Room in Portland and took me along with them as their wedding photographer! It also happened to be just after Portland's crazy winter storm and let me tell you, everything about downtown was beautiful. The snow was packed on the streets, sidewalks and trees and made everything feel magical. 

Nestled inside of the venue were some of the southern vibes that represent the bride, Katie Rae, and some of the more traditional feels that honor Nick's family so well. It didn't take long for every room to be filled up with an overwhelming amount of love, the sound of laughter and smiles everywhere. In every nook and cranny there were sweet details and thoughtful decor. The day zoomed by so fast. I was thrilled to have not only been there as a friend cheering them on but as their photographer documenting such a milestone in their lives.

While I'm soaking up the last two weeks of living in the same city as the Bode's, all of you can relish in their wedding photos. Congrats, dear friends. xx. 

Primary Photographer: Karen Mitchell
Second Photographer: Rachel Long
Venue: Elysian Ballroom
Hair Stylist: Paige Ashcroft
Makeup Artist: Renee Bruhn
Wedding Dress Designer: Casablanca
Groom + Groomsmen Shirts: Party Shirts by Jill
Florist: Tribes & Pines

Mel + Josh | Phoenix Maternity Photography

When your bae is having a babe, you pick up the ol' maternity tricks and take some photos. I actually couldn't be happier about these two meeting their sweet little girl, Piper Rae, in the next days. Lis is due on the 8th and while her body is wrapping up the final details on their newest addition, Joshua is HUSTLING to wrap up the reconstruction on their beautiful home, (note his hands below).  Mel and J's personalities are the perfect match up, their love runs so deep and the joy they find in one another is so apparent. I'm overjoyed thinking about the future that this little one has before her, that she obviously cannot grasp yet. Her life will be filled with impromptu trips, a zillion photos, delicious food, snickers, a set of quality aunties that are eager to love on her and a warm home that overflows with love and stability for her. As much as a gift that Piper is to Mel and Josh, they are to her.

Watching these two go through life together fills me up with joy and hope in so many areas of my own life. This baby growing business has been no different, their spirit and excitement about it all encouraged me jump in on the fun and try to pregnant too... and it worked!! ++ Having our pregnancies overlap has been so much fun and such a blessing. PRAISE for girlfriends who push me forward in life. Cheers sweet friends.. Mel, I cannot wait to have a beer with you again soon. #fourpeaks

Nick + Katie Rae Engaged | Colorado Springs, CO Engagement Photographer

How good is it when dear friends get engaged?  Their whole world lights up and they get to dig in to the nitty gritty of all things wedding!  Here they are entering an entirely new start to life with their favorite human and they get to throw the largest party of their lives with all of their favorites.  No wonder people want to do it all over again once it's finished!

Katie Rae and Nick are signing up for a life full of adventure and movement.  Nick is in the Airforce and already getting stationed out of town in the Spring.  Katie Rae is a mover - she's been all over this beautiful country of ours and marrying someone in Nick's field only makes sense.  She's incredible at plugging in to community and with her sweet spirit and inviting smile, she captures peoples attention immediately.

As a friend of Katie Rae's, I so look forward to participating as much as I can in their story... To listening to their experiences all over the globe and walking through life with them.  Near or far, she's one of those that will stick.  Cannot wait to see their beaming joy in January! xx- karen

Justin + Brecken | Paradise Valley, AZ Wedding Photographer

Every one has met someone who just leaves an impression on them.  There is no surprise to me, that with these two, Brecken and Justin, their meeting in high school left an impression that's lasted not for years but almost decades.  They are amazing...

I met Brecken sometime around 2000, maybe?  I knew her through mutual friends, but we just crossed paths. At my first job out of high school a few years later, she came back to the store as a seasonal position since she'd worked there previous to college.  When I saw her.. It just took me a few and I connected the dots. Brecken was kind spirited, radiated kindness and had a laugh that actually brought joy in to conversations.  So sweet. 

I've just met Justin in the last year and I don't know him well, however when I met him I walked away thinking, "wow, he is so kind. very intentional." Justin paused in the middle of a big event, where I was working and he was attending as a guest and he really had no reason to pause with me but he did.  It spoke volumes of his character and the sweetness of his spirit.   

This said, these two have a story... texture... they have history and they're passionate as individuals.  Their care for one another is evident. Who doesn't love when a high school crush leaves a lingering feeling that actually comes to fruition down the road?!  I cannot wait for the updates for years to come of what's happening and how their lives are forming together in all the ways that marriage bonds us.... 

Cheers you sweet two.  I'm so thankful that I was able to pause some of these moments for you to savor. xx, karen
 

Jeff + Jeff | Phoenix, AZ Engagement Photographer

I'm in love.

+ mildly obsessed.  I've known this crew for, gosh, maybe eight or nine years.  Jess is stunning, Jeff is kind hearted and sweet Colt... This kid gets cuter every year... He's tender hearted and full of love for his amazing parents.  I actually don't know Jess and Jeff's whole story... But I they've been together for about eleven years and every time I see them, it's like they've fallen more in love with one another.  They're giggly, affectionate, and their love is deep.  I think I may have given them instructions five times over the course of an hour.. they just can't wait to smile, kiss, whisper, share a laugh.  And guess what?!  They're tying the knot, come May, and I'm the lucky one documenting it for them.  I CANNOT wait.  Jess - You'll be breathtaking and Jeff, you are one lucky guy!  You two are doing an incredible job of showing your son how love others well, that's the best kind of parenting there is. xx - karen

Amanda + Jeff + Millie | Paradise Valley, AZ Newborn Photographer

I have known this stunning Mama, Amanda,  for years!  We met at a family member's baby shower, I'm pretty sure. It was about eight years ago, when I still lived in Phoenix.  She and I clicked into hours of conversation, easy.  We go long lengths of time without seeing one another but it's always so good to catch up and exchange the bullets of one another's lives when we get the opportunity to see one another again.

During my short visit back to Phoenix a few weeks ago she asked me to photograph their family and YES.  I knew they would show up camera ready and oh man, did they?!  Feast your eyes on these precious pauses.. Lots of love to go around. Sweet Milly captivates their hearts... She is not short on love, at all!

Merry Christmas, Shaws. xx - Karen Mitchell

Ethan + Julianna | Woodland Park, CO Engagement Photographer

Well friends... If you've known me for any length of time or read any blog posts that I've (karen) have written you know I am a SUCKER for young love!  Not the young love like the fleeting, can't be held on to love but the kind that makes sense from a young age and sticks.  

Meet Ethan and Julianna.  Sweet - sweet souls!  Julianna has a tender heart and a precious spirit about her.  Joy radiates from her, Julianna's very demeanor is welcoming.  Ethan is a sweetheart through and through and loves his woman and his pup.  All smiles from this guy!  Julianna and Ethan don't even stop smiling when they kiss!  It's the best!  There is something so rich about finding out how to do life with someone when you're young and how to adjust to life together... The future Follon's are the type of couple that make a difference and keep the sweetness of love contagious in a world where that culture feels like it's changing in the opposite direction so rapidly. 

I super enjoyed exploring some new areas to photograph these lovebirds in and our conversation felt authentic.  There is so much life left to explore together and there is no doubt in my mind that when their 50th wedding anniversary rolls around they'll have stacks of photo albums that are filled with loving + cherished memories. 

Congratulations sweet ones.  I'm wishing you all of the best!
xx, karen

Justin + Brecken | Paradise Valley, AZ, Wedding Photographer

I think I'm in love with their day as much as they're in love with one another.  It was quaint, intentional, full of meaningful conversation, smiles and kindness.  I am delighted to share a snippet of their beautiful day here for you... just to keep you curious. 

Cheers, sweet friends.

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