Home Coming: The Top 5 Reasons I LOVE DSM.

Hello all! 

First of all, I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone involved in my big life transition. There are so many people in Rochester, NY, Des Moines, IA, and cities far and wide who supported me in making this relocation dream come true. 

I've been back in DSM for a little over a month and I have to say, I'm astounded. The support I received upon my arrival was more then I ever could have anticipated. I'm so grateful and I feel compelled to gush. So here it is - my top five reasons I'm ecstatic to be back in DSM! 

4. Open and inclusive attitude: I am overwhelmed by the resounding "YES" I've received when inviting people for coffee. Community leaders are thrilled to take time out of their day to enjoy a conversation with this young entrepreneur. Wedding vendors with well established creditability and awesome work ethic have instantly accepted me into their inner circles. Countless strong and impressive young women in the community have taken me under their wing as friends and confidants.  I am truly honored and thrilled to be part of these ever growing and inclusive circles of strength. 

3. Gorgeous places to shoot, be entertained and be enthralled: The change in Des Moines from when I was a high schooler to now is beyond comprehension. I am so proud of my town, even though I can't take any credit for this transformation. I look forward to being a positive influence in this community in the years to come. 



2. Impressive female leaders making a difference in Des Moines: Now this might truly be one of the most engaging points this community offers me. Everywhere I turn, I see women making real, measurable changes in our local and global community. I see these women reaching out and offering a supportive hand, getting down and dirty for conservation issues and stepping up to the capital to speak their mind. I am honored to join your ranks. Thank you for leading the way.

1. Family: I lived in Rochester, NY for seven years. That was seven years of texting, FaceTime, extended weekend visits and treasured Christmas vacations with the people I love most. I have to be honest, I forgot what it was like to have my family around. I forgot what it meant to be able to call on them ANYTIME, for ANYTHING. Being here, surround by these people is the best thing about Des Moines. 


Capturing Your Always: The Lovely Langs

One of the greatest honors as a photographer is being able to watch families come together and grow. Nick and Allie have created a beautiful family that exudes happiness and gratitude. It has been a pleasure to get to know them individually and as a unit. Below, Allie share's a few words on her journey as a wife and mother. Thank you both for allowing me into your home and hearts.

"I feel as though when I became a mother, the world began spinning faster. Days, weeks, and months fly by so much more quickly than they did before. This new fast-paced way of life has not been easy on me with my slow and steady, sentimental nature. I find myself grasping at all of these new, little moments, trying to commit them to memory. Having a family photographer in Whitney has allowed me to freeze and capture the most important moments in the lives of my ever-changing family. 

When we decided to get married, Nick and I did not want a big, complicated event. We chose a more intimate setting and only invited our closest family members to witness our vows. It was important to us that our wedding photos be able to capture not only the actual event, but also the emotion and beauty of each moment and that is exactly what we found in the work that Whitney did for us. She was able to make us and our family members comfortable in front of the camera with her encouragement and simple direction and was in turn able to obtain some very beautiful and meaningful photographs. Not only have our family and friends complimented our photos, but I feel that they have been able to experience our wedding through them as well."


"Not long after our wedding, we welcomed Miles into our family. Those first few weeks home were spent learning about him, as well as discovering who we were now as parents. That time in my memory is a blur of feeding, rocking, swaddling, and catching sleep while we could. It was in the middle of all this that Whitney was able to capture another set of photographs for us. The morning she arrived at our house, we felt tired and disorganized and I was still having trouble finding clothes that fit correctly. I know I wondered to myself once or twice while Miles cried and we needed to take nursing breaks if maybe we should’ve done this a different time. Whitney was once again a positive and encouraging presence. Viewing those photos now, I am so grateful for them. They depict our little family at a time that we could never recreate. I look back at them in awe of how tiny and new Miles was. And even as we were overwhelmed by our new responsibilities, those photos allow me to tangibly remember how overwhelmed by love we were as well."


"Miles managed to grow from that tiny newborn to a smiling, babbling, crawling baby overnight. I can and have tried to document his amazing growth through taking a million and one cell phone pictures. However, not only do these do little justice to the fullness of his personality, but my husband and I are more often than not absent from them. And in truth, as much as our baby has changed each month, so have we grown and evolved right along with him. We had another set of photos done just after Miles turned six months old. It was a brisk Fall morning when we got to the park, but Whitney was ready to go and quickly found a great area to use as our backdrop. I can’t imagine that it’s easy to pull together two adults, a distractible baby, and an anxious dog to form a cohesive image, but Whitney managed it easily and we were out of the cold and back in the warm car faster than I would have ever expected. As I have now come to expect, we loved these photographs as well. With a family photographer, we have gained the unique perspective of documenting how our family has grown together."


"The images we have received from Whitney have been beautiful. They are something I know that we will treasure for many years. Not only do they document the important moments of our lives, but they have also been displayed as art in our home. I love that I can walk into our bedroom and be reminded of the promises and anticipation of our wedding day or look up at the living room wall to see the family we have become. Thanks Whitney!"


Always: Every time, for every occasion - without exception.

The word always conjures certain nostalgia in my life. I am guilty of using this large and powerful word without proper distinction. Growing up, my mother would frequently retort, “Always? Your brother always starts the fight?” This happened so frequently that when I turned 18 and left home for college, the thought of tattooing the word always on my body crossed my mind more than once. The medium seemed poetically fitting. 

This idea of always propelled my return home to start Ivory House Photography in Des Moines, IA. I want to grow my life and business near the people who I know will always support me. It is with this commitment to my own legacy of always and passion for my clients' version of always that I open the proverbial doors of Ivory House Photography and welcome you with open arms. I can’t wait to meet you, your spouse and your family members. Together we are going to capture memories that will last for your lifetime and beyond.

In honor of the importance photos play in my own life, I thought it was only fitting to share a few of my favorite images. Over the past few years I've had the opportunity to work with the best photographers in Rochester. Thanks to Natalie Sinisgalli and Rachel Liz for capturing the people I love most in such a beautiful and honest way.