Valentine Mini Sessions ~ Kokomo Indiana Portrait Studio

I looooooove love. We celebrate it in our house any chance we get. I think that’s why Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays because really, no one needs an excuse to celebrate it! Whether it’s a family love or a romantic love, it’s a reason to throw a party. We threw our own little V-day celebration last year at home for our kids because of our love for them and it was a huge hit.

Speaking of which, Valentine Minis! I’m so excited to have our *first* valentine minis at the new photography studio space on Buckeye Street. We’ve changed our setup just a tad this year to include a mix of metallic heart balloons and of course our classic mini pink couch. The sessions will be 10-20 minutes in length and will focus on kids just being their adorable selves in some cute valentine wardrobes.

2020. A year of thanks.

Not the title you were expecting? Me either.

This year has been hard. My goodness who knew! What a crazy life this is and what a miracle that another year has passed. From the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, to meeting the Tiger King himself, to the murder hornets, to the incident of Twisted Tea, we’ve been through some things this year. But despite all the crazy, all the worry, all the hurt, we’ve watched each other come out fighting.

We could focus on the *truly* crazy from this year and write a book. But I think we’d all rather focus on the little bits of heaven we saw throughout the year because rainbows are so much stronger when it’s raining. So here are some new things we learned and some favorite moments that we celebrated in the great year of 2020, both personally and as a business.

January 2020

We spent the first day of the new year 2020 in a cozy Seiverville TN cabin with our extended family. It was so great in fact that I have only 3 pictures of it and a video of my husband and brother in law ripping their nose hairs out. I literally teared up when we left because it felt so complete. It was a great start to the new year and in hindsight, it helped us get through the harder parts of 2020 since we had just had a long visit with our family members before the pandemic actually hit. (bonus footage of nose hair ripping below)

Still laughing a year later.

February 2020.

We had our first ever wedding at The Kokomo Hobson and it did not disappoint. The Hobson is just down the street from our Downtown Kokomo photography studio and we had just seen Kura & Bo(the magical duo behind the Hobson) for their very own newborn session the month prior. It was good to see them again and even better to celebrate Chelsea & Evan’s wedding(you can see it on the blog here).

March 2020

I learned a new skill. When quarantine started I was in the trenches. My business was gone, a killer virus was on the loose, and none of us knew what to do with our time. The only thing I felt like I could do to “help” was to make masks for our medical community since there was a shortage. I found this lovely vintage camera fabric on Etsy and got to work. They turned out pretty well! I’d never made a pleat before and certainly never made a face mask, it was really cool to learn something new and to help out local hospitals like St. Vincent Kokomo and many home health care nurses.

April 2020

We made lots of memories and messes at home. Peep the dining room table above with the crooked tapper candles, sippy cups, play dough and paint brushes and you’ll see that we *lived* in our home those long weeks of quarantine. It was messy to say the least with the learning curve of e-learning and the strange schedule of “is it nap time or second breakfast time or work time or bed time?”. We got a lot of yard work done and made a ton of crafts.

May 2020

We met our new niece and nephew Bebe & Birch. Their long anticipated arrival was a welcome one after being cooped up during the initial lockdown. Thankfully things were starting to open back up once more so we traveled down to Louisville. I had the honor of not only meeting them for the first time but also taking their newborn photos in the process.

June 2020.

We went camping. With summer fun needed just as much as social distancing, we spent a weekend at Mississinewa Reservoir out in Peru Indiana. We ate more s’mores than I’d like to admit, Oliver learned how to flint start a fire, and we learned to appreciate the comfort of our own beds even more.

July 2020.

The yearly Haynes Apperson Festival may have been cancelled but we still celebrated Independence Day all the same. We’ve never shot off so many fireworks of our own and the boys seemed to enjoy it just as much as the festival. Though we are certainly looking forward to its hopeful return this year because we miss those funnel cakes and cheesy carnival games.

August 2020.

I learned how to make a killer charcuterie board. It was a fun way to change up our dinner routine(the kids LOVED it) but also a great avenue to practice a new design skill indoors. I was able to youtube a few tutorials and most of these ingredients came via grocery delivery. If you want to make your own, I recommend the board we chose to plate this creation which came from Chase Vintage.

September 2020.

Probably the thing I’m most thankful for in 2020. Our boys found a new love for the outdoors eventually spent more time outside than inside. By September they had *almost* learned to ride their bikes/scooters. Benji(who is only 3) was able to balance his bike at the new skatepark in Foster Park.

October 2020.

We got married. Again. Jon and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a vow renewal and it was everything we dreamed it would be. We spent a week together in Tennessee having fun, read some new vows, ate some more food(ahem, charcuterie), and ended our vow renewal at a surprise waterfall. We also got to meet Koltin & Kell who documented our day and took the amazing photo above.

November 2020.

We moved to a new studio space! Probably the most unexpected joy of 2020. We found a more permanent home on Buckeye Street in Downtown Kokomo for our creative space and couldn’t be happier. And not only are we now ADA accessible, we are steps away from many of our small business friends like Fade Salon and Oscars Pizza.

December 2020.

We gave back. We grabbed our ugly Christmas sweaters and hosted our first ever “Deck Their Halls” Charity Event. With a 70s styled edit, we had so much fun goofing around and creating some fun Christmas card images while celebrating a cause. All of the proceeds from these sessions were donated to sponsor a family for Christmas and we were able to raise just over $1250 for the “T” family.

This year despite covid we celebrated our business year ever as a small business with 215 sessions/weddings in total. We could not be more thankful for each and every one of you for supporting our business and family through this year, as well as the City of Kokomo for keeping us on our feet through the pandemic with their ongoing guidance. I’d never in my wildest dreams have wished for covid or a pandemic or the world of hurt that it has caused, but we made the best of it all. Thank you thank you thank you to each of you.

P.S. See you next year and remember that hindsight is now literally 2020 😉

Casey & Bryce ~ Kokomo Indiana Wedding Photographer

Remember the ADORABLE couple that had their engagement photography session this past summer at their family farm with the grain bins?

They got married last month! On November 7th, Casey & Bryce tied the knot in Converse Indiana at Converse Church of Christ. They had a gorgeous classic church wedding on, ahem, a blue sky 70 degree day in November. How lucky is that?!

Casey’s dress was incredible. A find from Gretchen’s Bridal in Lafayette, it had the most beautiful lace details with a drop v back and beaded shoulders.

In addition to their traditional wedding ceremony vows, C&B decided to exchange hand written vows privately before the ceremony. Something we highly recommend. Not only does this allow couples to have a private “first look” to start their day and kick start their wedding photography, but it lets brides and grooms share their feelings without a crowd. The tears, the smiles, and sweet words are only shared with each other and not with an audience, which can help ease nerve and create some very special memories.

Casey chose a wine/burgundy color for her brides maids dresses, which was a great choice for the season and the color looked great on everyone. Her gorgeous florals were created by The Jefferson House of Flowers here in Kokomo (talk to Kayla if you are looking for a florist, they are seriously the best) And the guys sported classic navy suits with wine/burgundy ties and a splash of fun with American flag print socks.

After spending some time in converse, we headed over to Bryce’s uncles farm. They had just celebrated the last of their harvesting the week prior in the fields, so they set up some empty combines to mark the end of one season and the beginning of another. I’ve never worked in farm equipment for a wedding, it was a fun change and super unique!

Converse Church of Christ had some lovely stain glass windows which added to classic church ceremony feel. And Jefferson House did a fantastic job on the arch with full blooms and lots of greenery. The entire church was PACKED.

They celebrated their reception at Bel Air Event Center here in Kokomo Indiana. I loved the photobook they designed from their engagement session as a “guest book” for friends to sign as they entered.

Can you peep the matron of honor and best man with their outfit swap in the photos above? The crowd lost it when they came down the grand staircase, one of the best reception moments we’ve seen to date.

The night ended with the most packed dance floor I’ve ever seen, which I can’t say I’m surprised by. Casey & Bryce make friends everywhere they go and are dearly loved by their large family and even larger group of friends. We walked away feeling like family and enjoyed the day just as much as the guests.

Congratulations Casey & Bryce! We hope you had a great honeymoon and wish you all the best and more on this new journey together!

Wedding Vendors:

Photography: Jessica Newton Photography
Videographer: Current Productions by Kori Henry
Church: Converse Church of Christ
Reception Venue: The Bel Air Event Center
Cake: Indulgence Bakery
Bridal Store: Gretchen’s Bridal
Suits: Generation Tux
Florals: Jefferson House of Flowers
Stationary: Zazzle
Hair: Revive Salon
Makeup: Kathleen Trimble
Guest Book: Mixbook
Aisle Runner: Designing The Aisle

Christmas Mini Sessions ~ Kokomo Indiana Photography Studio

This has been our biggest Christmas season yet and my goodness it has not disappointed! From the VW Bus to the Tree Farm to our new boutique studio space in Downtown Kokomo, it has been an incredible month.

I wanted to touch base with everyone and let you know what is open and what is closed as far as mini sessions go! We’ve seen a lot of excitement over these sessions and they aren’t over yet <3 Here’s what’s open and what will be back in time for those Christmas cards.

1.) Christmas PJ Mini sessions are still open for booking.

These are studio mini sessions using our milky white lifestyle bedding setup at the new studio space on Buckeye Street in Downtown Kokomo Indiana. I highly recommend these sessions for little ones because 1) it’s indoors so we are nice and toasty 2) everyone loves being in their jammie jams and 3) we are right next to Oscars Pizza and 3 Amigos which means family fun plus an easy dinner. Win win win.

2. Christmas Couch Studio mini sessions are still open for booking.

This is our second holiday photography studio option with our festive Christmas couch and Charlie Brown styled tree. This session is full of muted tones, a little splash of color, wood elements, and is bound to get you into the mood for Christmas. Also great for kids due to the indoor environment and psssst. If they get bored, they can sneak over to the play area or help themselves to our mini snack bar.

3.) Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions are (kind of) open, (kind of) closed.

I LOVE Christmas Tree Farms. Love them. There are few more picturesque spaces for Christmas photography sessions than a tree farm. Each year we use Dulls Tree Farm out in Thorntown Indiana for our sessions and they always sell out in record time.

These sessions were hosted on November 21st and are technically over. Dulls Tree Farm closes to photographers once they start their tree cutting season the day after Thanksgiving.

However, we are allowed to follow families to Dulls Tree Farm to preserve memories of them cutting down their actual tree(known as a lifestyle session). There are also a few local tree farms that are still open to photographers for “posed” portrait sessions and I am still offering full size sessions for booking at these locations.

4.) Christmas VW Bus Mini Sessions are closed.

So sad right? We got to meet “Helen” this year, a gorgeous mint condition red and white VW Bus that we special rented just for our Clients. We rent a bus each year for Christmas minis and hope to see Helen again in 2021.

5.) Ode to the 70s Ugly Christmas Minis are open.

The actual worst and best thing I’ve ever created, hands down. This was started for some light hearted fun and ended up turning into our first ever photography charity event “Deck Their Halls”. We opened up these session to raise funds to sponsor a family for Christmas and to literally “Deck Their Halls” with Christmas decor, dinner, and gifts. We maxed out our session load within 6 hours and booked 24 session time slots, from which the proceeds will be 100% donated to a family in need for Christmas. These are actually taking place this coming weekend, so excited!

The charity event is full, however, these are still open upon special request and are available for booking throughout the month of December. You’ll definitely be on top of your Christmas card game with these bad boys.

And there you have it! What’s opened and what’s closed. If you’d like to book one of the open sessions, let’s talk! You can email me directly at jessicabnewton@gmail.com or fill out the contact form here. Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Christmas PJ Mini Sessions ~ Kokomo Indiana Photography Studio

We are FINALLY moved into our new studio! We relocated to Buckeye Street on November 1st, right next to Oscars Pizza and man has it been a good change. It took us a while to get things sorted, but we are officially feeling at home, which means…it’s mini session time!

I knew I wanted to do studio Christmas minis but I wasn’t sure if I’d do jammy jam sessions. But each year we buy our own little ones matching Christmas PJs, so I thought we would test them out.

I am soooo in love with the results, so we are, for sure, doing Christmas PJ Mini Sessions this year at the new studio location!

Sign up is for Saturday December 5th and you can choose your own time slot. Sessions are $275 and include use of the studio lifestyle bed with Christmas decor. Parents are welcome to participate and every age is welcome, even the itty bitty babies! I recommend shopping for matching PJs at Old Navy, Carters, or Children’s Place.

Also, make a night of it! Our new location is surrounded by family fun. You can get hair cuts/makeup done next door at Fade Salon, hop over to the studio for your portraits, and walk next door to Oscars Pizza or just down the street to 3 Amigos for dinner. Seriously the best.

Email me at jessicabnewton@gmail.com to book! See you all soon!

The Brinkleys & Family – Kokomo Indiana Photographer

You guys, how grown up is Saylor!? You may remember her sweet face(and beautiful red hair) gracing my Facebook and Instagram more than once, I can’t seem to get enough of her. Her parents(the gorgeous couple above) decided to document her first year of life by choosing one of our Grow With Me Plans and we’ve been watching her bloom ever since.

This was our first outdoor session together and my goodness it didn’t disappoint. It was technically the day before the “first” day of Fall but we managed to find some beautiful fall colors anyway to celebrate the coming change.

David & Carly were as beautiful as ever and easily cuddled into poses for their session(because loooooove). They matched up outfits perfectly for their session and Carly chose a gorgeous cotton rust dress which is a very “in” color and fabric for fall sessions this year.

They brought along their extended family this time, including Grandma Rita who I feel like I’ve become BFFs with via social media over the last year. Of course she ADORES Saylor just like I do so she frequently comments on my work whenever S pops up. It was so nice to finally meet her in person.

And oh my goodness, don’t get me started on the sweet couple to the right, Casey & Jacob who are Saylor’s Aunt & Uncle. Just as playful as they are sweet, I’d ask them to hug or kiss and I’d usually be met with funny faces, flirty jokes, and wrestling moves.

I adored getting to know this family and little more and watching them have so much fun together during their session. See my favorite below <3 Thanks for coming out you guys!

Kura & Eleanora’s Breastfeeding Story

Breastfeeding is a memory that I’ll just never want to forget.

The challenge. The frustration. The overwhelming need for food. The exhaustion. The weighted feeds. The literal blood sweat and tears. The lactation consultations. The pumping. The weeks of hard work. And the eventual routine(whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding) that became as easy as breathing.

Nursing little ones is something very near and dear to my heart. With three babies of my own and having experienced the *many* struggles of motherhood( breastfeeding being just one of them), I was so excited when Kura contacted me requesting a breastfeeding session!

She wanted to celebrate 6 incredible months of feeding Eleanora and we did just that.

6 months is one of my favorite ages to photograph, they are so curious! Eleanora was definitely hungry but her curiosity won over her hunger many times. She stretched this way and that way to look at the stranger with the camera making all the clicking noises while she was trying to enjoy her dinner.

Happy 6 months Eleanora & Kura!