Wedding Ideas: Unity Tree

For an alternative to the ceremony's unity candle, try a unity tree. Perfect for an outdoor ceremony. The bride and groom each fill a vase with dirt and a bottle with water from their childhood home. The tree symbolizes the roots of their relationship and the continued growth of their love. Plant the tree at your first house as a married couple. To see more from Whitney & David's vineyard wedding, click here!

Ode to a Beard, Part 1

This past Winter Dan gave his first attempt at growing a full beard. Alex sacrificed 5 long weeks of bristly kisses while the impressive manfuzz filled out to a thickness reminiscent of a young Abraham Lincoln. When spring rolled around we decided it would be best for Dan to not look homeless during our upcoming wedding season, so the beard had to go. We couldn't bring ourselves to say goodbye without paying our respects the best way we know how: commemoration in an epic photograph. The resulting images will make beards all around the world envious of the luxurious sendoff Dan's received. And before you ask, we will preface by telling you that the sandwich is real! Complete with 2 pounds of bacon (it was a delicious week). The taxidermy was borrowed from Dan's 10-year-old cousin Abby (her first buck). Enjoy:

Here's a BTS pullback shot so you can see how we lit the image to give it a utopian "movie poster" look:

Lastly, we gotta give a loving shout out to our good friends Eric and Marty for helping us with the setup on this shot! Two of the coolest dudes in Iowa right here:

 

Feature: Professional Photographer Magazine

We just received our July issue of Professional Photographer Magazine and we're excited to share that our engagement imagery is featured as the cover story! The mag called us a couple months ago for an interview so we know we would be published in some capacity, but we didn't know that we would be getting the cover until recently. You can download a pdf of the story here. We must give a giant thanks to our engagement couples for letting us into your lives to create imagery!

Laura & James (married)

This post has been a long time coming, but it's better late than never! These are some of our favorite portraits from Laura & James' December wedding. Don't let the lack of snow fool you – it was pretty darn chilly, but the couple let us take them outside anyway! Laura is Dan's cousin, thus making James our new cousin–in–law, thus making this image series an extra special one for us. It's been a joy to watch Laura grow from little girl into beautiful woman and find a man worthy of becoming her husband. James has a sweet Mustang and he's disproved the "White Men Can't Jump" myth (see below), so he's doing a great job increasing our family's street cred! the following images were photographed at Brookside Park and our studio in downtown Ames. Enjoy!

Jocelyn Part 1

It's no secret that working with musicians is one of our favorite things to do. There isn't much of a scene in central Iowa, so when an Iowa band comes along that's kicking butt and taking names – it's pretty darn exciting. Jocelyn is headquartered in Iowa City and is on the verge of releasing their first EP. You can hear their first single on their Facebook page. We got a sneak preview of the EP and it's gonna be good! It's We photographed promo images for the band in 2 parts, the second of which will be released down the road. Enjoy part 1 and make sure you check out their tunes and share the love!

2012 Brides Choice Award

Whoohoo! We just received this press release from Wedding Wire:

{Ames,IA} – January 26, 2012 – WeddingWire, the nation's leading wedding Marketplace, is excited to announce McClanahan Studio has been selected to receive the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Photography!

The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, McClanahan Studio was selected based on its stellar reviews from past newlywed clients.

McClanahan Studio is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The Bride’s Choice Award recognizes the best local wedding vendors across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of the Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme service and dedication to the wedding industry. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate McClanahan Studio for their continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”

We are happy to announce that McClanahan Studio is one of the very best Photographers within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee.

We would like to thank our brides for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. Your positive feedback made it possible for us to receive this recognition and we absolutely wouldn't be able to do what we do without you! Check out our WeddingWire page here: http://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/mcclanahan-studio-ames/a48c1e1dc2f99dc2.html

-Dan and Alex