ava & charlie | bismarck, nd family photographer

You might recognize this adorable little boy who has been popping up on here every few months for almost a year now.  He has changed quite a bit in the last few months, and here he is at 9 months old!  And this time, I was able to spend extra time photographing his older sister, too!  These two are so incredibly sweet, just like their parents.  Neither of them were going to just give up the smiles, they made me work for them, but once we got rolling, it was all worth it!  Ava is an energetic little girl and we had fun playing peek-a-boo in the long branches of the willow tree.  I can say on the record that she makes and amazing flower girl, too!  Charlie is much more reserved and cautious, but that tiny-toothed smile and his dark curls melts my heart.  I am excited to see the final photo that will make up his first year collage, but also sad to know that the year is almost over and I won’t get to see him every three months anymore!

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sharmain ziegler - They are all so precious!

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maggie on day 8 | bismarck, nd newborn photographers

Another due date on my calendar that I was anticipating was that of Maggie!  I just love having those dates pop up on my phone the day of.  No matter how your day is going, you can’t help but smile at the thought of a new life entering into this world.  This was such a fun session because Maggie has two older siblings.  Her older brother was so well-spoken for a five year old and he was very curious about all of the neat things I set up in their dining room for the session.  He was also very protective of his new baby sister, and seemed to know just how to hold her and take care of her.  Maggie’s older sister was a spunky two year old with the biggest blue eyes, and it was obvious how much she loved Maggie, even though how she showed it was not in the most gentle of ways.  I love watching two year olds with newborn babies.  They love them so much and don’t even realize how tight they’re really squeezing them when they want to give them a little kiss!  At only eight days old, Maggie was already so loved by her brother and sister.

And look at this sweet little bracelet that her mom had for her!  Every girl needs the perfect accessory, and I’d say for someone so tiny, this was definitely just perfect.

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sharmain ziegler - The bracelet is so perfect for her pictures. I could get lost in those big blue eyes of her siblings.

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madison | bismarck senior photographer

This was one session that I was looking forward to all summer!  Way back in the year 2000, I attended my first year of college at Dickinson State University.  This family lived in Dickinson, and they were kind enough to take me under their wing for that first year that I spent away from home.  Jay helped me find my first job working for the Parks and Rec, where I started out coaching 5th grade flag football, which was probably one of my top 5 memorable moments from my college years.  I had the opportunity to babysit Madison and Zane on several occasions, but more often Madison while her mom and brother attended swimming lessons, and Sandra always repaid me with home baked cookies and an offer to stop over to their house anytime.  It was so comforting knowing that they were there if I needed anything, and I am not sure I even told them how appreciative I was of that, but I’m telling them now!  Thank you!  If my math is correct, Madison would have been about 4 years old at the time, and she always had a way of talking me into whatever she wanted!  It makes me laugh thinking about some of the things she talked me into, always ending her argument with, “my dad alllllways lets me do {fill in the blank}.”  Now that I have a 4 year old myself, well, I think I need to have a long talk with our babysitter the next time she’s over!  I have a really embarassing story I could tell about Zane, but I think I’ll save that for a few years down the road when he’s a senior!

So, it was very exciting for me to connect with this family again, and have the opportunity to photograph them before Madison started her senior  year.  She has turned out to be such a beautiful girl, inside and out.  I had a great time chatting with her about her interests, and it is obvious why her parents are so proud of her.  She loves spending time with little kids and she even spent part of her summer vacation on a mission trip.  I’d say she has a bright future ahead of her!

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sharmain ziegler - I look foward to reading your posts. It makes me feel as though I know the families. You seem to make a connection with your families you photograph.

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mya on day six | bismarck newborn baby photography

Little Mya was my first real session in my new newborn studio! She was the first and one of my most favorite newborn sesssions to date.  I had the opportunity to photograph the rest of her family last fall, and when I heard they were expecting another baby girl, I was thrilled!  This family is so easy-going and laid back.  Their older girls are polite and out-going, and I know they are going to be such great older sisters for Mya to look up to.

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sharmain ziegler - How sweet!

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the butcher-piehl-mack families | mandan family photographer

Who knew one sweltering hot, humid and sweaty day could be so much fun?  I don’t normally take on large, extended family sessions, but for some reason my gut told me I had to do this one and I’m so glad I did.  This session took place back in July, and thankfully the timing was just right because, due to the miles between them, this family doesn’t get everyone together all that often.  I traveled all the way southwest of Mandan (hey for a northeast Bismarck resident, that’s a long way!) and was so pleasantly surprised when I came down the hill and rounded the corner to find the most beautiful and unique little farm that one-third of this group calls home.  Whoever said that North Dakota is only a lot of flat, ugly, and frozen nothing was dead wrong!

I very much enjoyed spending a few hours getting to know this family.  I had a private tour of their home and their amazing collection of local artwork, visited the horses, learned a lot about a train station in Essex, Montana, and laughed at (and a couple times worried about) the adventures of young boys.  Not bad for a day’s work!

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sharmain ziegler - What a cute family! Grandma and grandpa look so blessed.

Marnie Piehl - We are so grateful that you made that trek Megan! These photos mean the world and who knew we were so good looking? Thank you again for your wonderful work!

Michelle Farnsworth - Love these photos! Everyone looks so natural, beautiful and happy. Great family! Love you guys!

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