Year In Review: 2015

How can it possibly be the end of 2015 already?  I know we say it every single year, but oh boy did this year fly by!! From start to finish, 2015 was completely and utterly amazing.

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Jen & Jeremy's engagement session kicked the year off to an amazing start, and we captured truly adorable moments in their brisk morning session in January!

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Next came adorable little Emma's cake smash! She was full of such energy and a touch of sassy. Her mama has her hands full with this adorable charmer.

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Emmett was the most adorable little guy ever, and the son of a past bride :) I was so excited when Andrea asked me to capture some images for her of their little bundle of joy.

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The next session I got the absolute privilege of shooting was Emily and Zach's engagement session in Yankton. We had all gone to college together, so it was so fun to be able to explore our old stompin' grounds to capture the picture perfect snowy engagement session :)

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Cade was next! I have been taking photos of Cade for the past 2 years and just love watching him grow into a handsome little guy! Cade's parents always have such fun ideas that they want to try and sometimes the best photos just come from the in-between moments, like a mama tickling her little boy.

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Then WEDDING SEASON!!! :) Andrea + Russell kicked off 2015 wedding season with a brisk March wedding in Iowa. We stopped by a family farm to take a few moments to have some fun and get some amazing images by an awesome red barn, and now they will soon be welcoming their first child into the world. Time flies, and I couldn't be happier for them!

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Next up was Ashley + Josh. They had a beautiful spring wedding at the most amazing golf course in the Twin Cities. I was so excited to shoot this wedding as this was the 3rd time I had the privilege of shooting among this group of friends. It is so much fun when you know the entire bridal party already! :)

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Blake + Sara allowed me to capture their memories in my hometown of Marshall! They are the sweetest couple and don't even get me started on their adorable little boy, Beckett. Their day was filled with a ton of laughter, and I'm so glad I got to be apart of it.

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Next, I got to see Jen + Jeremy again for their laid back, intimate wedding at Camp Lakodia. It was so awesome to see all the had work they had put into the day, with even the cupcake stands being carved by one of the groomsmen!

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Zach + Cassie got married next! They had people from all over the US at their wedding in the heart of Sioux Falls and there was such amazing energy! They were definitely one of the most energetic groups of the year :)

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Then I got the pleasure of being there to capture Miranda + Nolan's wedding in Brookings. These two were the sweetest couple ever, and it is so apparent how in love they are. I was so excited to be a part in their day!

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Garrett's senior session reminded me how old I am getting. I used to watch Garrett for a few summers and take him and his sister to activities, and now he is a senior? Oh boy. He's still the same high energy Garrett, just taller than me now... as he points out whenever he can ;)

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Liz + Troy's wedding brought me back to Marshall once again, and they had this wedding thing on point. So many amazing details, locations and personal touches; one of my favorites being the vintage car they used to make their grand exit from the church. Troy's amazing grandfather drove them off and it was just perfect. 

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Katie + Cody's wedding was an adventure up to Fargo! Amazing people, amazing memories, just all around amazing. I cannot tell you how much I love the both these families! I am so excited to be able to capture more memories in the future for them as Katie and her sisters bought her parents a family session for a Christmas gift! (They already opened their gift, I checked ;) No spoilers here!)

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Rebecca + Joel are the sweetest people ever. Period. End of statement. Their at-home wedding was simply perfect and such a great reflection on them and their values. There were a ton of amazing details and I never stopped smiling the whole day. 

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Next up was Emily + Zach! I was very excited for this wedding because it was in Yankton, at the amazing church that is on the Mount Marty campus (my alma mater!).  I was welcomed with open arms and we had such a great time making special memories and creating some pretty awesome photos for them to look back on!

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I might get a little choked up, but I don't typically cry during first looks. Ashley + Brett got me so caught up in the moment that I couldn't help it. They are SO in love! The way they look at each other and just glow when they are around each other is SO amazing. I'm lucky that I got to capture this wedding, so very lucky. 

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Elayne + Mike won the annual Love Is In The Air contest, so I got to revisit them for a 1 year anniversary session! Their pup Franklin joined us and in the tradition of sessions with them, it rained. It rained during their engagement session, their wedding (check the blog for more details on that!), and so of course it would rain for their 1 year session! We braved the mist and did an awesome cake smash session, then that afternoon met up again and got some glorious sunshine!

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Little man Croix was my first newborn to transition over to offering lifestyle newborn sessions! He is the son of a past couple from when I first started wedding photography. I think we can all agree that this is an adorable little family :)

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I got to meet up with Jayme + Brett for some early engagement photos on a cool fall morning! They were troopers as we took about a mile walk each way to get to this awesome location, and were even willing to lay down in the wet grass! Plus, they are super adorable. :) See more of their session here!

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The start of fall was arriving so family photos started to fill up! I started off the fall family season with the Johnson family! They were some of the most well-behaved kids for photos, even though there was so much going on and we got some great shots for this family, who hadn't had family photos done all together in a long, long time!

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My last wedding of 2015 was with Liz + Mike back in Yankton! We had awesome locations, great people, and a gorgeous sunset to end the day. It was the perfect way to end a great 2015 wedding season :)

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Next was an early morning engagement session with Jon + Katie! Katie is Emily's sister (bride from above!), and I am so excited to be able to work with their family again. We went all over for their photos, including the baseball field, for some fun themed photos!

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Next to rock out in front of the camera was Kristin, a 2016 senior from Mitchell! She killed it in front of the camera, and was seriously a huge sweetheart. I had a great time with her and her mom, and got to shoot some amazing images in the process!

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Fall family mini sessions got in full swing, starting up with the Gentrup family! Their girls had so much energy, but were so sweet and we got some great shots!

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My dear friend Maddie was expecting her little boy any day, so we took some maternity photos with her husband, Jeff, on a day where there was an AMAZING sunset.

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The next family session was one from my dear friends, the Millers! This is the 2nd year I have taken their fall family photos, and we've got 2016 already scheduled in the books. I can't wait to see them again!

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Next up for fall family mini sessions was the Johnson family! I was so glad that Shayla contacted me to capture this stylish family. They were so great so work with :)

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The Andel family was my next session for fall minis and I couldn't get over how adorable Dawn had dressed her kids! I mean, the fur vest is just so cute!

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This was the 2nd year I got to take photos of Jennifer + Adam and their adorable dogs, but this year I got to help them announce amazing news! They will be welcoming a little one in 2016! I was overjoyed to be able to help them come up with a few ways to announce it :)

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Lindsey and Hunter's mini session was over the top adorable. Hunter was a great listener and him and his mom have an obvious special bond. I was more than happy to portray that in a few photos for them.

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Tess was up to do an impromptu bridal session so we headed out and got some great shots. Who doesn't love a little lipstick and birdcage veil action?

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I can't say enough about Kim + Chad's engagement session at Strawbale Winery. We used up every little bit of light we could and explored every inch of the winery to get some one-of-a-kind shots. It helps that they don't mind making googly eyes at each other because they are SO in love :)

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I was so excited to do some more lifestyle shooting with Patty + Kyle and their adorable little boy :) We got so many amazing pictures, I don't know how Patty will ever decide what to print.

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My friend Maddie had her baby! So of course we had to follow up her maternity session with some lifestyle newborn photos. Little Simon is quite loved, and I can't wait to watch him grow!

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My last lifestyle session of 2015 was with the Hunt family and it was an amazing way to end the year, in front of the Christmas tree with some amazing people.

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My last session of the year was with the amazing Hoogendorn family. Cal is the pastor at my church and I was so very honored when he asked me to take some photos of his family!

2015 was unbelievable and I am so very blessed to be able to do what I love.  2016 is already filling up fast, and I can't imagine what is going to happen, the people I will meet and the amazing love I am going to capture. Stay tuned, amazing things are about to happen!

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It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com