Archive for category Things I Love


How sad it is that I have not blogged SINCE APRIL!? For real!? Blogging is my favorite past-time next to shopping, matchmaking (I’m super successful at matchmaking…trust me on this one)…and going to sweet photo retreats.

Hope everyone had a great summer! I am sooo sad it’s over! Having a bambino, I haven’t spent much time on the deck this year of record temps. Suckkkyyy. I am all about the 100 degree days with 100% humidity, however. Hence, the reason I need a pool post-haste.

Let’s kick this baby off with a little throwback to my old blog by sharing some LOVESSSS AND HATTTTESSSS:


#1: Speaking of the pool, I have Kurt whittled down from, “You’re out of your #*&^ing mind if you think I’m buying you a pool…” to an annoyed “Yeah, a pool would be nice but…[insert excuses I’m not trying to hear].” I think this is MUY BUENO progress! Yay for pool parties!


#2: Skinny jeans. Horrifyingly, I’m like three years (or four?) behind this trend but I jumped on the bandwagon this spring and became obsessed. I hear boot cut is back in style, which is probably for the best. Holla!

#3: Reba (the show) and also Ebay. OMG, it’s soooo hilarious. I know this sounds insane. Lifetime decided to cancel it in the a.m., so I promptly went on Ebay and ordered all 6 seasons. Now, it’s non-stop Reba whenever you want around here.


#1: Fitnessless on the Farm. Hello, with three kids, I don’t even have time to put ice in my Diet Coke. And we all know how much I love the Diet Coke. I’ve been slacking on my gym time for like four months due to these kids asking me for something every .35 seconds. This needs to change because I really miss chatting with my peeps at the gym (amongst other reasons). ha!

#2: WHY is every single road I take under construction? I mean, seriously!?! I am not a great driver anyway so weaving in and out of barricades is not my insurance company’s idea of a good time.

#3: Late summer => Box Elder Bugs! GROSS!!!!! I don’t mind the japanese beetles ladybugs but the box elders need to have a little visit from Babe’s Pest Control. I do feel badly about this but those things creep me out majora!! *shudders*

Much love to you all! xo!
Ann :)

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Hot Scoop

It’s true, y’all. Ann Steward Photography now has a REAL studio. *Sigh* And it’s so beautiful.

Thank you times ONE MILLION to my awesome husband (who has worked his tail off on this project), in-laws, several amazing friends and some rockin’ companies Kurt hired, it’s almost done. I wanted to take some photos before we put all of the furniture in and it gets filled with all of my backdrops, props, soft boxes and stands.

OMG so in love…

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Sorry about the bathroom photo. I just love the purple so much I couldn’t resist. And many apologies about the no editing and bad text layers and writing. I HATE vignettes but then lens I used has a natural vignetting and like I mentioned, I didn’t edit these so it’s still in there (argh!).

You might be thinking, “OMG, Ann, you have the greatest taste EVER in paint, lighting and rugs. Everything matches so great.” All of the credit for that goes to the super-creative and rockstar decorator, Mrs. Stephanie Rudd. She helped us immensely and I can’t thank her enough. I’ll be posting ALL of the vendor information just as soon as the studio is decorated and done. :) Everyone did such a fabulous job so I want to give them props on the blog!! :)

Looking forward to seeing Miss Chloe and Miss Teagan for my first two studio shoots in the new studio NEXT WEEKEND!

In the meantime, much love to all. Have a great weekend!



Let’s Just Roll With It, Shall We?

I’m not really that great at melancholy-lovey posts and what not.  I mean I AM that type of romantic-y tra-la-la person but not sure people want to read it on the blog.  BUT somehow my Pandora hopped from Lady Gaga radio to Norah Jones radio, so it makes me all Norah-esque.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE NORAH SOOOO MUCH.  Seriously, though, I just can’t listen to it very often or for very long.  It makes me in a weird mood.  For like a month.  So, let’s just roll with it…shallll weeee? 

One of my rockin’ fall wedding couples stopped by on Sunday to discuss their wedding details of FABULOUSNESS (Congrats, Charlotte and Doug!!).  Talks of first looks, first dances and arctic blue ’57 Corvettes occurred.  I saw her super-SPARKLY brand new engagement ring and it immediately put me in the mood to take ring pics.  Yah, yah, we all know I’m wedding-obsessed and I LOVVVVE ring pics.  Conveniently (::bats eyelashes::), I had brought all of my lenses over from the studio to clean them so they were all sitting around just waiting to be suspended over some metal rings in a low-light situation on an antique trunk.  [Srsly, my back hurts now, omg.]

Anyway, so tonight I took off my ring to practice and realized that I haven’t had my ring cleaned and polished since Will was born.  Ewwww.  My bubbas is 15 months old, okay.  I used to stop in Expressions Jewelers ALL THE TIME for cleanings.  Now, they may even not recognize me or my rings!  Yikes!  So, I go into our room to retrieve Kurt’s ring from him. 

We literally NEVER have our rings off.  NEVVVVERRRR.  But, tonight they were off, so I looked at them.  Like reallllly looked at them.  That’s when I realized how beautiful wedding rings are when they’re old.  

And it made me all blissful and “Come Away With Me…{in the night}ish”…  Norah.  Ugh.

Kurt’s big ring (the one he agonized over picking out…maybe way longer than he agonized over mine – haha – love this boy) has definitely worked on lots of tractors, seen it’s share of tools and hello, pushed a lot of brooms across our kitchen floor. 

But my 3 1/2 still looks super-cute next to his 12.

The platinum is scratchedish and dullish but still just as heavy.  They have more soul that way, I say.  

My engagement diamond is covered with layers and layers and layers (and layers) of Johnson’s baby wash and baby lotion from the daily bathings of a baby I never knew I couldn’t breathe without. 

Our rings have literally been through every single thing with us since the day we were married.  And I’m loving it. 

So, I was taking pics, I was inspecting them.  The outsides need some work but the insides are just as bright as the day they left Expressions.  Isn’t that sooo crazy!?  The insides actually seem to shine brighter now that the outsides don’t.

“AMS to KDS  7-12-08” says his…

 “KDS to AMS  7-12-08” says mine…

Did I mention how much I love ring pics.  Did I mention I called my grandma and grandpa to take pics of their rings.  Did I mention I am going get my grandma Bernice’s (R.I.P. <3) rings out of storage to take pics of them.  Did I mention how much I love my rings.   Did I mention how excited I am about this idea. 

I really do have the greatest husband in the world.  I heart him to the max.  THERE IS NO WAYYY I could be the wedding photographer I am without him.  I can totally relate to all of the little hopes, joys and excitements of my brides have because I STILLLLL have it with this cat:


So I know what I’m looking for.  Still love him dessssparately.  Even with his OCD cleaning tendencies.  =)

I’m just sooooo thrilled for my 2011 brides to get married, have such wonderful, happy lives and then, in a couple years, have their rings turn old, scratchedish and filled with baby bubbles.  Then, they’re all totally going to look back at their wedding albums on their anniversaries and say, “Oh hell yeah, Kurt and Ann rocked it out.” 

XOXO Brides, Grooms, Wives and Husbands!  Hug your loved one extra tight tonight and for the love of God, please take your diamond to the jeweler more often than I do.

Mucho love to everyone!



Plans Have Changed :)

What can I say, I change my mind a lot.  :)  After re-thinking the bunnies and the chicks, something just wasn’t right.  I try to avoid props of the norm.  I realize it’s interesting weird unique to pick rusty stuff and old tires but it’s just part of my charm and style, I say…it’s completely safe!  Baby chicks don’t really fit in with my barbed wire and almost-falling-down barn pics I love so much.  I was sensing chick injury, which means I’d have to permanently adopt it.  Since the husband has cut me off any more dog adoptions, I am going to guess that baby chicks are a noooo-gooooo.  I also have a hard time with over-theme-ing anything.  I kind of wanted to offer something that is more relevant to the whole year than Easter, or at least a combination of the two.

Therefore, HENCE!  Spring Mini Sessions have been formally planned and announced!  Thank you to everyone who has already booked based on my last blog, Facebook posts and email!  :)  They will be awwwwessssommmme!  There are still some spots available, so please book soon.  :)

For those of you that didn’t get the scoop via email (message me if you want to be on the mailing list), here it is: 

By popular request, to say thanks, to introduce products, to attract new clients, because I miss you and your little ones, and mostly since I think it would be SOOO ADORABLE, I’m announcing a very limited line of Ann Steward Spring Mini-Sessions for ONE WEEKEND ONLY!  Mini-sessions will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis, so PLEASE call, text, email or Facebook me your preferred time, if interested, as soon as possible.

The spring theme is “Colour Pop: The Enchanted Forest!”  Location is Belle’s favorite tree-cluster (named “The Enchanted Forest”) at our farm.  Photoshop artwork after the session will be color-infused.  THINK SPRING!!!  At client request, traditional artwork will be performed in lieu of colour pop.  Color infusion works great for boys, too, as it’s also perfect for blues, greens, reds and denim.  Please see below for an example of “Colour Pop: Enchanted Forest!”  Belle and her best friend, Francesca, were SO EXCITED to brave the cold this weekend for the Enchanted Forest ad campaign.  I love them!

Wind-pending, an additional area will be set up in The Enchanted Forest with hanging dyed Easter eggs.  Easter eggs will be on-hand to incorporate into photos, at mom and dad’s discretion, even if the wind won’t allow for hanging eggs. 

The ‘Skinny’ on the Mini:

  • Saturday, April 2nd and Sunday, April 3rd 
  • Twenty minutes, on the half-hour, every hour from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Cram all the outfits, people, pets, props into your 20 minutes that you desire (but be mindful of the information below)
  • Ann’s THREE favorite session images will be edited with signature artwork, color-infused
  • Ann’s THREE favorite session images will be edited with signature artwork, in also (::swoon::) black & white
  • Small online gallery of these six images for viewing and sharing
  • Cost is $100.00 (plus tax) includes session, artwork, 1 8×10, 1 5×7 and 8 wallets of exceptional print quality from your one favorite image
  • Additional purchases can be made after the session

Here’s one example of Belle and Francesca being Colour Popped in Belle’s Enchanted Forest, in both color and BW:

I will take a combination of close-ups and farther-backs.  There is a cute little area with weeds for the little ones to sit or be propped up.  What about Will!?  His didn’t turn out so great considering he was trying to climb up my leg the entire time.  Ha!  Will post soon.  :)

It would also be so cute to do a mini-session for maternity photos!! 

Due to the limited number of appointments, session fees must be paid in advance (PayPal or check).  I will hold your place for three days after booking your appointment time.  After three days, I will have to release the time to other clients if payment is not received (so sorry!!).  Session fees are non-refundable, but if you are not able to attend the mini-session due to bambino illness (I know how that goes) I will let you roll it as a credit for a future session.  Let’s just all hope all the kiddos stay healthy that weekend so we can get some cute spring pics!  

Peace & love, love & peace!!!

Ann :)

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Joke of the Day

The other day, my super awesome (for real) husband says, “Do you think I should sell my bike?”

Me:  “No.”

Him:  “Why not?”

Me:  “Just no.”

Him:  “Why not?  We could use the money toward your studio.”   He knows I have expensive taste in photography stuffs.

Me (heart bursting into a million zillion pieces):  “No!  You are so sweet!  But I just don’t want you to sell it.” 

I thought, OMG, I am seriously MORE IN LOVE with this guy than ever!  Granted, neither “we” or “he” take the stupid bike anywhere EVER…but I just don’t really want him to be without it (it’s pretty cute).  I have never heard him say anything about selling it, so I was still dying over it…!!!!!

Him:  “Yeahhh…I wouldn’t sell it.”

Men!  Grrr!  ;)  I don’t care what he says – he really did think about it…for a second.  ;)




Go “Here”

I thought I’d use some of my Photoshop skills to make a map of fabulousness: 

LOL!  Nice.  I should also mention that I have a bad sense of direction so that is likely not right.  I know it’s 30 mins-ish from West Des Moines.

We are here for a Farm Bureau meeting at the most AWESOME hotel EVER.  Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.  OMG, I love it so much.  I am so sad to leave!!  See here and please visit SOON so it never shuts down.  We’re in the King’s Daughter’s room.  I loved it, of course, but Kurt thought it was girly.  :) 

We also stayed here for The Shearer Wedding of 2006 (I think that’s the year and it makes me feel OLD) in the Italian Room. 

I’m sad Belle isn’t here because she would LOVVVVVE IT.  A trip here for her bday is needed.  She would love the bowling alley and huge hot tub! 

I miss my lil’ guy but thanks to the most comfortable bed on Earth, a couple glasses of Chardonnay at dinner and the steam heating system, I had the best sleep in the past one year, one month and 5 days. 

Dang.  Kurt’s class is almost over…I guess I have to leeeeeavvvvvve.  SADDNESSSSSSSS!

Happy Saturday and love to all~~~~~~~~


Ann  :)

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