Wedding Ideas: Bridesmaid Dress Color Spectrum

Choose a color spectrum and have every bridesmaid pick out any dress they love in that palette. Either make a mood board by cutting out shades from magazines, or drop by a paint store to grab some swatches. Then copy and mail it to each of the girls and let them go shopping! Make sure to have everyone text you a photo of their winner before cutting off the tags – just in case two girls choose the same dress. We loved how the flowers pulled all the colors together perfectly. To see more from Elizabeth & Marc's rustic wedding, click here!

Rock The Dress: Bridal Portraits on the Farm

Back in December we spent an evening creating some rural-themed images of wedding dresses for Pure Bridal, a wonderful bridal boutique in Ames (check them out)! The winter light was fleeting (and it was quite chilly), but our farm location was very inspiring and we created some cool images that Pure Bridal is using in their marketing materials. Dresses, jewelry and accessories by Pure Bridal and hair and makeup by Studio 7 Salon and Spa. Enjoy!

Meg & Chad

We had the pleasure of photographing portraits for our friends Meg & Chad on their farm in Audubon, IA. Below is a compilation of some of our favorite images from the evening. Meg was a classmate of Alex's in the Design program at Iowa State, and now she owns and operates Moglea, an insanely awesome boutique letterpress stationery design studio. It was a treat to get to hang out on the farm and get a glimpse into the lives of these two! Enjoy:

 

2013 Iowa Photographer of the Year

Gratitude is the feeling that has been on our hearts this week. Gratitude for the family and friends that have supported and endured with us through the hardest working year of our lives in 2012. Also, gratitude for our wonderful clients (friends) that have let us in to their lives and allowed us to tell their stories and capture their memories. You are why we love what we do! It is with gratitude that we're excited share some good news with you:

Last week we both competed in the annual Professional Photographer's of Iowa print competition. The best professional photographers in the state each submit 4 prints that are judged by a national panel according to the 12 elements of a merit image.

This was Alex's first year competing and she ended up with the highest average score between her four prints, winning the coveted "PPI Photographer of the Year" trophy! She had one print earn a rarely attained "Perfect 100" score. That print also earned her the Masterpiece Award from Fujifilm and first place in the "Portrait of a Child" category. Lastly, she won first place with her wedding album and earned the trophy for "Best Wedding Image." Not bad for a first–timer! Dan is one proud hubby!

Dan ended up 3rd place in the Top 10 with all four of his images earning a merit (scoring 80 or above) and earning Distinguished Print awards (those funny looking purple ribbons in the photo). He also earned a coveted Judges Choice ribbon.

We need to keep the images under the radar until the final round of judging takes place later this year (International Print Competition), but we have posted the images for you to view on a private page here. If you are a PPA judge - don't click the link! The rest of you, please refrain from sharing the link publicly for the time being. Also you are cordially invited to stop by our studio and we will gladly show you the prints in person (which is better anyways because then we get to hang out).

Thank you for reading this! As you have surely noticed, our blog has fallen onto the back–burner in recent months but we have big plans to bring it new life in the coming weeks. Check back soon!

xoxo,

Dalex

McClanahan Stadium

We're excited to support Cyclone Nation as the Official Photographer of ISU Basketball! You may have already seen it, but here's our jumbotron animation that's airing at every Cyclone home basketball game this season. It was created by the insane Johnny Likens. We're excited to see it in person for the first time at this weekend's game. Go Clones! Make sure you blow this up to full screen when you watch it! http://vimeo.com/53744158  

Kelly & Koda: 1st Place Album

Apologies for not posting in a while... it's been a busy month with travels to Alaska for a destination wedding and overseeing construction on our new location back home. If you don't yet follow us on Facebook, updates and a plethora of images are being posted regularly here. I meant to post this a while ago, but better late than never! I entered this album from my engagement session with Kelly & Koda in the annual Professional Photographers of Iowa competition and it won first place! It's a humbling honor considering the number of outstanding photographers we have in our state. The album also went on to receive merit at the Professional Photographers of America International Print Competition. Our albums are the finished product we take the most pride and joy in as photographers because they're an amazing storytelling vessel. The power of the finished piece is greater than the sum of its parts. We will have a printed copy of this album on display in our new studio once we get moved in! Back to the subject: Kelly & Koda are not only best friends, they're very active together. They love biking, swing dancing and just straight–up adventuring together. We themed their engagement session around these attributes of their relationship and had an insane amount of fun adventuring and creating with them! Their wedding is right around the corner and we can't wait to capture it! Without further ado, here's the album:

 

 

McStudio declares permanent residency in Ames!!!

We're sorry for being kind of quiet lately... We've been preoccupied with a huge project that we haven't been able to say anything about until now! Yesterday we purchased 208 5th St, the building we've been renting our current studio from for the last 2 years. Over the course of the next few months we will be renovating the street–level facade and constructing a new headquarters for McClanahan Studio. We will be removing the existing glass block/maroon wood sections (in the first image below) and replacing them with glass storefront reminiscent of the original design of the building (2nd image below, courtesy the Ames Historical Society). We're excited to be recipients of a City of Ames Facade Grant that will help fund the historical restoration. The new facade will drastically improve the attractiveness of the building and will give us a permanent physical venue for sharing our work with the community. This endeavor will give the studio potential for expansion in a number of ways, some of which you will hear about soon ;) We will also be cosmetically enhancing the building's interior to embrace the existing rustic appeal. There will be some sweet commercial office spaces available for renting soon (feel welcome to spread the word, and contact us if interested). We love downtown Ames for its charming array of small businesses and we're excited to play our part in restoring and growing this wonderful community!

Kelly & Nick (married)

Kelly & Nick did an outstanding job incorporating their favorite places and things into their wedding day. The couple has deep roots at Iowa State University. (If you recall their engagement session, we photographed around campus town and inside the bar where they first met.) Being Cyclone alumni and fans ourselves, we were very excited to receive access to photograph some portraits inside Jack Trice Stadium! It's safe to say the experience was a dream come true for everybody involved and we learned that girls rock at football (see below). Kelly & Nick tied the knot right next to the stadium inside the conservatory at the always beautiful Reiman Gardens. A favorite moment was when Kelly's adorable niece decided to take a nap in her daddy's arms prior her moment to shine as flower girl. After the ceremony the ISU theme was continued when we boarded a CyRide bus for a romantic cruise before the couple's introduction to their reception at the Knapp Storm Dinning Complex. The reception was decorated like a night club with moody purple and blue lights and Kelly & Nick put on a show cutting their zombie wedding cake , which read "Til death do us part..."

Megan & Kyle (married)

Megan & Kyle's wedding took place on a crisp autumn day in Atlantic, IA. We can't remember a moment when Megan didn't have a smile on her face and it was such a joy to document her relationship with Kyle! We loved Megan's peacock feather theme and the bright touches of teal and purple carried throughout the garments and decor. Their ceremony took place at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church with reception following at the Cass County Memorial Building. Megan & Kyle's engagement session was also quite memorable and you can see highlights from it here. Please enjoy a few of our favorite moments from the day:

2011 Platinum Photographer of the Year

This is pretty wild, but after double checking to verify that the judges didn't confuse me for somebody else named Dan I'm excited to share the news with you! If you're a regular on the blog, you might remember that back in February my entries in the Professional Photographers of Iowa print competition won every category that was submitted. After the state competition I sent my prints on to a regional competition, and then onto the Professional Photographer's of America's International Photographic Competition where my images competed against the best work from 22,000 photographers in 54 countries.  I'm very shocked (and a little giddy) to find out that I did rather well...I was named a 2011 Platinum Photographer of the Year. What the heck does that mean? Here's part of the press release from PPA: The level of the award is determined by how many of the photographer's four entries receive the highest possible honor: acceptance into the PPA Loan Collection, which is displayed at photographic exhibitions, conventions and other photography events. McClanahan was named a Platinum Medalist, meaning that three of his four merited images entered the PPA Loan Collection. In 2011 he was one of only 32 Platinum Medalists worldwide.

"These photographers have reached a prestigious achievement," states Dennis Craft, PPA's Photographic Exhibition Committee Chairman. 'The consistent quality required to earn the title of Platinum Medalist in one of the world's most celebrated photography competitions certainly bodes well for their clients, too!"

I must give a HUGE thanks to our clients and our friends that put up with our craziness and allow us to create images like these. What we do wouldn't be possible with out you and you truly are the reason we love our job!   My winning entries were as follows:

"Never Trust A Woman"- This image is a top 10 finisher and will duke it out for a 1st place Grand Imaging Award at Imaging USA in February. This print is also nominated for a Kodak Gallery Elite Award, which will also be announced at Imaging USA.

"Heidi & Neal" - engagement album selected for the Loan Collection. Here's one spread from the album:

"Jill& John" - wedding album selected for the Loan Collection. Here's one spread from the album:

"All American Slam" - merited image:   (GO STATE!)

-Dan