Behind the Scenes : 2018


Behind the Scenes : 2018

At this time last year, we had no idea what 2018 had in store for us. We had vague ideas of possibilities, but New Year’s Day threw us for a loop and the first quarter of the year was absolutely nuts. Our capacities were stretched in ways we never would’ve imagined and my photography business was a routine that I really appreciated in the midst of the potential unknowns. This business has allowed me to invest in my retirement, our children’s college education, their Christian preschool education, and purchase airfare to see family. While at times, it seemed that I was spending time away from my family in order to save up to see my family, this business helped us squeak by on a tight budget to help me stay in the field of education with a long-standing hope that I’d be in a certified teaching position someday.

That hope has now been realized and I am so thankful for how my clients have supported me, been my cheerleaders and referred business to me to keep me going. They’ve been such an encouragement through challenging seasons and been so understanding when I’ve needed to take a step back for various reasons (maternity leave, this year’s teaching position being full time, to name a few). Our family would not be where we are today without you!!

As I look ahead to 2019 and all its possibilities, this past school year semester has shown me that the boundaries I’m placing on my business are the right course for our family. I dearly love my clients-turned-friends and friends-who-are-clients, so in order to best serve them and meet the needs of our family, I’m going to maintain the boundaries of shooting during the summer months and ease up during the school year. Next fall’s teaching position hasn’t been nailed down yet, but as that becomes more clear to us, I’ll know more if I can take on a limited number of sessions in the fall season.

Phew! All that being said, here’s a look back at 2018 behind the scenes!!!

The year started with a senior winter session on her farm with her horses and a few indoor sessions in our new home in March. This particular January morning with Katie’s horses required multiple layers in sub-zero temps, but Katie took them off for photos to show the outfit she wanted. We so appreciated her dad’s help with the horses so she could ride bareback! Dads are the best and made so many of my sessions this year happen! The next photo below is another Katie friend of mine and her sweet daughter turning one-Lorelei. Gotta love outtakes at baby sessions!

After taking an online course from the amazing Katelyn James on lighting, location and layout, I felt poised and ready to take on an otherwise gloomy April wedding for Jen & Jacob. With the help of my wonderful assistant, Sarah, a reflector and a beautiful bride & groom, we delivered photos that I was super proud of and didn’t at all reveal the cloudy/rainy day that it was!

A friend recommended this new spot for her summer session and I used it multiple times for other seniors and families-it worked out beautifully Leah, Thanks!!! Also, a game we can play as we look through these Behind the Scenes: how many times can you find my wind-up froggie bath toy in kids’ hands? I use it to get their attention to look at the camera, but many times, it ends up in their hands to keep them smiling!

We also used familiar places in new ways and again, Dads ruled the day to entertain and uplift spirits during the shoot, while the Moms prepped and wrangled logistics beforehand. :)

I also love how parents’ arms made quite a show during sessions this past summer. Whether it was to prop up a 6 month old and spot her or to offer a treat in between takes, or threaten a tickle to garner a smile, arms got a bunch of photos all their own! (PS Find the froggie?)

For Allie and her horse, Shady, hair-ography made an appearance and Shady made it a close competition for who is more difficult to wrangle: toddlers or a horse? lol :) Allie was a great sport throughout it all and she definitely earned a full spot on this Behind the Scenes post:

And anytime that a family of 16 arrives to their session ready to go and EARLY(!) they deserve a full spot on this post as well: (PS Can you spot the Arm of Comfort? See? Arms really made sessions happen this season!)

And, again, Moms for the win! Jenna’s mom snapped a shot of me climbed up on her car to get an elevated angle of Jenna in a gorgeous sunflower field. This was a new spot for me and we maximized our time there until the sun went down. And Ricci, Nick’s mom, was so helpful with a reflector as the sun went down on his session too. :) I’ve always had the tradition of the senior having a photo with the parent who attends their session with them…Nick’s session made me want to instate the tradition that I get a photo with the senior too!

I had to include this one because of Ella’s face! It’s such a great shot of her personality as she differentiates herself from her three older brothers. And, we were about 75% of the way done with their session at this point. . . oh, sweet, sweet children! :) Kelsey also caught a sweet moment of me with her two oldest—I have photographed her babies since they were in utero and to hold their hands while we’re walking during our session was such a special moment for me. Knowing that I’m their Family Photographer and that I’ve photographed their family from the beginning…..what a blessing!! The Hol’s session below those photos was done in freezing temps and their girls were such troopers. We wrapped their session in all of 15 minutes in the midst of breezy, chilly conditions. Way to go families!!

Lastly, some Behind the Scenes from the last wedding of the season: Christen & Chase’s day was probably the most beautiful day of October and I love helping a bride get ready for her day so much that Sarah, my trusty assistant, had to remind me to get out of the shot so I could take the shots! ;)

What a year 2018 has been! Every month, every session, every client and friend that made this season possible: THANK YOU! Thank you for being so understanding with the schedule and boundaries I needed to place in my life for my sanity and family. Thank you for your flexibility, compassion and camaraderie to make this year happen. You truly are the best a woman could ask for and you make me look forward to 2019 with such optimism and excitement for what our summer season has in store!

Now taking bookings for 2019 (that means YOU, Class of 2020!!!),

Happiest of New Years!!


Merry Christmas from the Krupkes : 2018


Merry Christmas from the Krupkes : 2018

2018 was definitely not what we expected it to be, nor was it calm! On New Year’s Day 2018 we discovered that we were unexpectedly expecting another child! To say we were in shock is an understatement as we’ve never conceived without fertility drug assistance. Gerard’s sister, Mimi, popped the question that got us searching Zillow, “So, are you going to move?”

In summary, what followed was anything but calm: prepping our house for sale while battling respiratory flu, 17 showings in a 20 day span, having one house fall through at the inspection phase, receiving two offers on our home & nailing down a contract on the home we wanted to move into. All in the midst of show choir/solo contest season, hospitalizing Ella for the gastrointestinal stress & eventually miscarrying for a 3rd time. I’ve heard that moving can bring about mixed emotions & packing up our home of 10 years was very mixed. Throughout the past 9 months, we’ve done a few cosmetic projects & 1219 Parkhill Dr. is steadily feeling more like our’s.

12 hours after we signed for our home, Gerard left for Florida with ~100 choir students to Disney World while I unpacked boxes for the kids to play in. We could not have gotten through this season of our lives without the help of a 30-person moving crew from our church in addition to more friends who continued helping me while Gerard was away. Aside from Facebook posts, this is the best way I can publicly say “Thank You!” February through April was one of those times in our life where we had to “faith” our way through. If not for the Gospel and our friends & counselors pointing us to it, I’m not sure where we’d be. It still surprised me (Carrie), even having experienced two losses before, that pain & joy can coexist & be true in the same moment. Our good God is sovereign in both the pain & the joy. What a gracious God we have who gives us sources of joy to soften the pain! Joy is proof that He doesn’t withdraw from us in  difficult times.

The spring season found us pushing through the dark, applying the Gospel to our lives in new & fresh ways while enjoying soccer (Laidy) for the first time Lochlyn running the field to cheer her on. We also became part of the ICubs “Knothole Gang” season ticket holders for their Sunday home games which built in a Daddy-Daughter or Mommy-Daughter Date with Laidy while the other parent napped with Loch at home. May was a month of celebrations as Laidy turned 5 & “graduated” from pre-school. We combined our Annual Krupke Memorial BarBQ with a birthday party for Laidy. We were blessed to have all 4 grandparents in attendance (thanks Moms and Dads!) and it felt like our new home was  more our’s. The shadow of loss bringing us to this home was a little lighter.

The summer season was full of photo shoots (Carrie), home projects (Gerard & Laidy) & a consistent routine at pre-school (Loch) whenever we weren’t traveling. We took our first ever Krupke Family RoadTrip: 12 days included Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, time in Salt Lake with Carrie’s sister’s family, Moab & Arches Nat’l Park, Denver, & the Omaha Zoo. Thanks be to God for Moana, Charlotte’s Web, & Cars 1. I’m fairly certain we can attribute Lochlyn’s rapid vocabulary growth to being able to quote from these movies & sing along to their soundtracks. Laidy is, for now, following in her parents’ footsteps in the teaching department. Holy smokes, can the girl teach Lochlyn well and read to him for a long stretch of time!

The bulk of summer was spent with family, be it the Brogla Bash in Nashville with Gerard’s family, or time with my parents in New Providence. We also had the joy of celebrating our 11th anniversary by attending Hamilton when it came to Des Moines! It seemed as though July was the month of the Hamilton musical because I (Carrie) had the fun of conducting ‘My Shot’ at Norwalk Middle School’s annual summer band camp (complete with students rapping while the band accompanied them). It was a wonderful feeling to be on the podium with my parents in the audience & hear Lochlyn saying, “Mommy’s up ‘dere!”. Lochlyn also learned how to cheer for Daddy while on the frisbee field. Gerard definitely noticed signs of aging, but as he put it, “Play smarter, not harder”! He ran his way through the season as a “senior” player with a side order of ice packs & Ibuprofen.

We braced ourselves for Kindergarten in August by adjusting to life without an afternoon nap, writing various Bible verses in our devotional journal, & reading anything Laidy could get her hands on. Because our calendar year had started the way it did, & our 2017-2018 school year had been one of the most difficult of our careers (Gerard has entered his 14th year and I my 12th year teaching), I found myself bracing for the unexpected for this school year. We mapped out our fall season with scheduling, meal & lesson planning (Carrie’s now teaching a digital photography course at NHS in addition to band lessons at NMS), and fall soccer (Laidy). I decided to go on what I call a “School Year Sabbatical” from Carrie Krupke Photography, knowing I’d be building the NHS photography course curriculum from the ground, up. The creative freedom was all at once daunting & invigorating to build lesson plans & brainstorm with mentor teachers (another public “Thank You!”!). If last school year was the roughest of our careers & I was only part time, then what could we expect being full time?

Thankfully, it’s looked really good!! As difficult as it was to place my photography business on hold until summer 2019, we know it was the right decision for the sake of health & family as we knew that this fall would be very busy for Gerard. We would need our weekends (& evenings) free from photo work so Carrie could be the Parent-On-Duty(POD). Gerard was asked to conduct the Opus 9th Grade Honor Choir: for those of you reading this not from Iowa, this choir is made up of the top 180 ninth graders in the state. It’s such a high-falutin’ event that Gerard rented a tux with tails!! This was quite an honor & a career highlight for him being his 20th conducting of an honor choir event. The night of the concert went really well as Laidy sat with me & Grandpa (Gerard’s Dad) through the 2 hour concert knowing that Daddy would be conducting at the end of it (9th grade was the last to perform). In addition to the honor of conducting Opus, this was a Madrigal year at NHS for Gerard amidst the regular show choir rehearsals. The free weekends we had afforded us opportunities to watch the Williams Century Farm be harvested from the front seat of a combine (Loch was in silent awe the entire time!), visit with Carrie’s parents in New Providence & Gerard’s high school best friends in Kansas City as simple “get-aways” & enjoy watching Laidy walk down the aisle as a flower girl for Colby (former NHS student) & Jenny (a Webeler cousin of Carrie’s). In the midst of Gerard’s busy season, Lochlyn learned the sentence, “Daddy’s at work.” quite well & Laidy took it in stride while we started her in a tap/ballet class that she is enjoying. She has also tested into her school’s Gifted & Talented program for reading.

Our 2018 calendar year is wrapping up well, save one trip to the ER for Loch to get 5 stitches in his forehead. This kind of event revealed his character even more to us: brave yet silly, kind and gentle. He freely gives kisses, hugs & his dimpled smile charms. Not needing a haircut until well after his second birthday, Loch not only shares his Daddy’s “toe head” status as a child, but also enjoys just about anything that has wheels or flies. We’ve greatly enjoyed how he analyzes the way things work (future engineer?) & that he is initiating conversations about Jesus & prayer. Laidy has initiated conversations in the last week regarding divorce & how God puts babies in a mommy’s tummy--we are open to advice on how to answer these insightful questions!

There were many very challenging parts of 2018, but there were also immense joys & successes. No matter what 2019 brings, we know that God is with us, for us and is a good, good, God. We hope your expectations & hopes for 2019 involve a relationship with Him as we celebrate the birth of His Son in this season.

Merry Christmas & Happiest of New Years,

The Krupkes

PS Below, please enjoy the different drafts of our official hard-copy-Christmas card options:

Photo cred: Austin Day


Christen + Chase


Christen + Chase

What a beautiful day these two had! In the midst of an incredibly wet and dreary fall season, Christen & Chase’s day landed on a gorgeous, partly sunny, 50-degree day where all the trees’ leaves were rich fall hues and perfect for photos. But among the most beautiful of colors: Christen’s bouquet that was so beautiful, she even teared up at first sight of it!

Christen opted not only for a First Look with Chase, but we worked one out with her Dad, Ken, as well! He then assisted her to her First Look with her groom. The beauty of Christen & Chase’s first look was the perfection that is having a second shooter. You’ll see an angle from Sarah, my assistant for the day, and Christen is in the background and then you’ll see Christen from my angle. It’s such a joy to give my clients so many images from all spots of an event so they don’t miss a moment! What was even sweeter though? Christen & Chase both teared up and wiped their eyes at the same time! Take a look:

We moved into portraits of just the two of them while the bridal party gathered and the trees and weather continued to be wonderful for us:

From the moment I met Chase’s sister and her darling twins, I knew there was a special story there. Chase’s sister had some severe health issues this past spring and we are lucky to have her still with us. Today was a true celebration for Christen & Chase, yes, for the start of their lives together, but also that their family remained together too. And are their Ring Bearer and Flower Girl not the cutest!?! (Also, their dog, Axel, joined the party too! Complete with bow tie-collar!)

Their ceremony had so many special moments tied in to express exactly who they are. Christen had both of her parents give her away while she wore her mother’s veil and they had all four of their parents surround them for the opening prayer to their ceremony. So sweet!!

After their ceremony, we jetted downtown to capture some Party Bus photos of their wedding party with their significant others. We started at the Women of Achievement Bridge (which Christen really appreciated) and then hit the open commons area by the Civic Center.

Their reception was probably the best dancing photos I’ve captured in quite some time. During Christen & Chase’s first dance, Chase’s nephew wanted in on the fun. So the three of them had a lovely dance together. :) Their friends are awesome dancers and the floor was never void of fun, laughter and smooth moves!

We grabbed some sunset photos at the perfect time. As we were wrapping up our five minute jaunt outside, we watched the sun settle behind a set of clouds and the glow was gone. It couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. Their time at Country Lane Lodge (from getting ready to Reception) was breathtakingly beautiful and I’m so proud of what we were able to capture for them, the venue and the vendors that worked their big day!

Christen & Chase (& family): I am so thankful to have met you all and thank you for welcoming me into your families for this special day! I SO appreciate your trust in my skill set and abilities and I hope these photo meet and exceed your expectations! I wish you nothing but the best that Life has to offer and I love how Ken worded it in his toast to you both: Let’s live and love others so that we make Heaven more crowded.

Blessings to you both and your families! You are amazing people!

PS You can view their wedding gallery HERE.

Vendors of Note:
Wedding Coordinator: Mostly Becky

Ceremony Venue: Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines

Getting Ready & Reception Venue: Country Lane Lodge

Florals: The English Rose

DJ: A Special Event DJ

Party Bus: Wedding Lux Limo

Rentals: Elegant Affairs

Cupcakes: Scratch Cupcakery, West Des Moines

Shuttle Service to and from Hotel & Reception: Majestic Shuttle Service

Photography: Carrie Krupke Photography, LLC


Nick : Class of 2019


Nick : Class of 2019

It is impossible to turn members of the Class of 2019 away. Especially this fellow. Nick has been one of my staunchist (is that a word?) supporters ever since attending the middle school band camp I recruited him to when he was done with 6th grade. Honestly, I think I gained a fan in him because I conducted a piece that I allowed the french horn players to go "bell up", meaning blast full throttle (with good quality tone of course) and angle their bells up for it to be even louder. Nothing more majestic to me than that. I attended a conference last spring where the keynote speaker talked about just how important the Band is to humanity and one of his references was Joshua and the Battle of Jericho. Do you really think the walls would've come tumbling down if they'd been playing violins? 

But I digress. I've now photographed the whole group that Nick started hanging out with in the band room before school every morning (Jaden, Ana, Allie, Gina) and I'm so saddened that my time with these young lives is nearing an end! 

Check out Nick's socks! This image below is his: "I'm ready for a gig" image: 

On the way to our last location, we paused here to give him a wide shot of downtown Des Moines:

While I'm a little jealous that the band department now has to share Nick because he's decided to not only join choir and (gasp!) auditioned into show choir, I'm super excited that Mr. Krupke gets to experience Nick's leadership prowess. Nick can gather/organize his peers unlike few before him. His Pied Piper-ness rivals Mr. Krupke's in all honesty and I'm so glad the choir department gets a dose of what we've now dubbed the Serck Smirk:

Outside of music and leadership roles in school, Nick has competed in 4-wheeling since he was 6 years old. His mom, Ricci, brought the license plate from his 4-wheeler and this reminded me of why I love senior sessions: I get to learn about new hobbies and activities every. single. time! 


Oh how I will miss seeing your smiling, confidence-inducing grin during Band Camp rehearsals! Knowing I had at least one enthusiastic supporter in the ensemble gave me energy and empowerment to keep going on more occasions than I can count. Come for one last hurrah next summer and I promise, I'll give you a "bells up" opportunity, even if the music doesn't officially call for it. And always, always, with quality tone. ;) You are going to take the world by storm and I can't wait to hear the wide-reach of your influence. 

You are awesome, 

Mrs. Krupke

PS You can view more of our time together HERE


Jenna : Class of 2019


Jenna : Class of 2019

What an adventure we had for Jenna's session! In our first location, we had no short of FOUR emergency vehicles with their sirens racing past and we could barely hear each other talk! lol! I absolutely loved every outfit Jenna had for our time together-what a fun fashionista!

At our second location, a marriage proposal happened a few yards away from us and then even more excitement ensued when the couple announced to their parents that they were expecting as well! Poor Jenna was posing like a rock star-you would never know that we were surrounded by crowds of people and she took it all in great stride. I knew when she contacted me that I would absolutely LOVE working with her and she and her mom, Julie, definitely didn't disappoint! 

I was so thankful that we had planned for her last location to be away from the crowds and in the middle of nowhere-a sunflower field with no one else around. If Jenna could pose and work with me as well as she did in the past locations, I knew we'd get amazing shots now that we were both in our comfort zones. The only thing that worried us was the weather-the skies were teasing us with rain as we drove to our field and then, the sun blessed us with the best glowy light as it made its final descent. We were ecstatic to be given such a reward for our efforts: 


Because the sun was about to be done for the day, we did a quick outfit change to show off Jenna's non-academic pursuits throughout her high school career. As we were finishing this series off, the sun gave us a spectacular last showing and we had to go back into her blue dress to take advantage. Oh silly sun, how you tease! To switch things up, I got up on Julie's beloved Honda Pilot's roof and got Jenna from a different angle altogether. What fun!!

Jenna + Julie: It was so wonderful working with both of you to make this shoot happen! Thank you so much for having me be a small part of Jenna's senior year. It's my pleasure and my privilege that I deeply appreciate! Jenna-I know that no matter what you choose to do beyond high school, you're going to do an outstanding job of it. We're here rootin' for you!

Blessings on your senior year!


PS You can view the rest of our time together HERE.