This week I traveled to Florida to photograph the engagement of Abby and Devin, who marry next summer at the beautiful Blue Dress Barn back home in Michigan. They’re recent transplants to the Sunshine State and I couldn’t have been happier to follow them down for a little while.

2015-12-23_0038.jpg2015-12-23_0037.jpg2015-12-23_0035.jpg2015-12-23_0026.jpg2015-12-23_0040.jpgThese may be my favorite.  Such the perfect mix of sun, clouds, and the lovely flora of Florida.2015-12-23_00312015-12-23_0025.jpgThis next one is my favorite, favorite.2015-12-23_0032.jpg2015-12-23_0027.jpg2015-12-23_0030.jpg2015-12-23_0034.jpg2015-12-23_0033.jpg

View and share Abby and Devin’s complete engagement gallery HERE. Book your own wedding or portrait photography with Amy Straka, in a gorgeous orange grove or anywhere you please. Click CONTACT up there and introduce yourself.  This session’s location was The Showcase of Citrus– a big, adorable citrus u-pick and roadside shop– just outside of Orlando in Clermont, Florida. They’re super kind, they have a sweet little cat hanging around, and they’ll let you taste like twenty fruit wines. They might even let you borrow their tandem bike for a spin around the grove.

As the season winds down, I’m finishing the last odds and ends of 2015.  With freezing winds whirring against my icy windows, I’m snuggled up on the couch with my laptop.  Every year, eventually every task is checked, and these harsh midwest winters bring me a bit of quiet leisure.  It’s just my husband, my little friends, and I.


This personal blog entry is part of the Ten on Ten Collaborative Blog Project.  On the tenth of each month, noted photographers from around the United States share ten personal images in their blog, along with links to all of the participant photographers who have done the same.  Here are the photographers who have chosen to share a little personal vignette this month:


What the hell is a Lifestyle Newborn Session?  Do newborns have lifestyles?  Their chic, gorgeous parents carefully design perfect spaces to lay their tiny feet and smushy faces, wearing all the finest in newborn fashions.  No, it’s so much less pretentious than that.  Really.  Artful lifestyle photography, a little vignette of your days together, with a few classic portraits thrown in for good measure.  And best of all for your brand new bundle of joy, I come to your home.  It’s the tiny space in the world just for your family, and you finally has that missing piece.  You decked the nursery walls with trinkets, equal parts meaningful and pretty.


You spend your nights shushing and snuggling and nursing and rocking and singing every song you know until your little one, your arms, but probably not you fall slowly asleep.  Your beloved dog guarding the crib.  Your wedding photography, displaying along the walls, with a little extra space for the newborn and three month and holiday pictures you plan to sit for.  The couch where you binge-watched like three seasons of X-Files when you were sick with pneumonia.  It’s real life, but it isn’t real enough for that basement couch, the last vestige of begin a kid yourself.  Moved from your mom’s don’t-go-in-their living room to your tv room, to your first apartment, and straight into the basement of your first home.  Lifestyle Family Photography is you at your almost most comfortable.  It’s like the Sunday Best of your comfortable, your home.  Don’t worry, I have a visual aid.  Or two.


Here’s newly born Baby William, when his parents Jenna and Michael welcomed him home to their cozy home in Beverly.

For more adorable cuddles and some midcentury modern flare, view The Coyle’s lifestyle family session, a lovely welcome home to Chicago.  Here they are, featured in my blog.  While you’re at it, look back a few years and you’ll see their cleverly colorful beachside wedding at the Boulevard Inn and Silver Beach Carousel in St. Joseph, Michigan.



Every LIFESTYLE session, at home or about town, includes…

  • Sixty to ninety minutes of simple, narrative photography for your family
  • Enough time for multiple locations, wardrobe changes, and clever ideas
  • Perfect for your household, maybe a grandparent or two, just for fun
  • Preview of select images shared through social media the following day
  • Complete online proofing gallery with simple, a-la-carte ordering
  • Print-resolution, unwatermarked files privately available for download
  • Option to schedule a ordering consultation, in your home or my studio

Now Meet Asher.

I’ve been photographing his parents,  Carrie and Seth, since their Indianapolis Engagement Session like a hundred thousand years ago, followed by their super glamorous wedding at The Allure in LaPorte, Indiana. With the Beginnings Collection, I began photographing Asher when he was snuggling up in Carrie’s belly, and I’ll be seeing The Weingartz Family quite a lot for his first year.  And honestly, probably forever after that.  So much has happened in these fives years, and once you book me, I tend to hang around for a decade or two.


Last, but definitely not least, my frequent flyers Nick and Carly Pagels, and their two adorables.  I’ve found myself a frequent visitor to the Pagels Homestead, nestled into middle of their family farm in Westville, Indiana.  Here are some delicate moments upon Newborn Remy’s arrival, with guest appearances of Mom, Dad, and obviously newly-ordained big sister Matilda.

You might just recognize Nick, Carly, Matilda, and Remy from about a million photographs– beginning with Nick and Carly’s wedding, with every milestone between.  Enjoy their bright, ecclectic little wedding at Willowhaven Nature Center, in the prairies of The Whispering Willows Park, along the Kankakee.



Wrap your Lifestyle Newborn Session into an Amy Straka Photography Collection to mark sweet moments throughout your baby’s first year.  Keep If you’d like to catch a little vignette of babyhood with a few short sessions, and it’s called the Milemarker Collection.  If you want me on retainer throughout your baby’s first year, with milestone sessions all along the way, it’s called the Beginnings Collection, and it goes a little something like this.


Your brand new little baby, less little each day.  From belly to birthday, catch those fleeting little moments, all year long.  Your partner’s hands, entwined in yours, feeling each subtle movement of the life you made together.  Nursery walls adorned with trinkets. Your sweet newborn baby, asleep in your arms.  Tiny eyes and ears, on the quilt your grandmother made you when you were just that small, sensing our world more with each day.  Those first awkward steps through fresh cut grass.  Puppy kisses on chubby little cheeks.  Taking your hand as they wobble baby steps, unsure, into the cool waters of Lake Michigan for the first time.  That hesitant, curious finger running across the sweet, colorful icing of their little birthday cake.  Including maternity and newborn portraiture, a big gorgeous first birthday lifestyle session, and a few little milestones along the way, this is the way to remember and share the joy of that very first year together.  It passes so quickly, but when it’s over, a lovely hardwood keepsake flash drive and a gorgeous, custom designed photograph book of the journey await.  Select previews within hours and one beautiful online gallery are updated with each session with prints, canvas, and other lovely compliments available a-la-carte along the way.


A sweetly intimate Lifestyle Newborn Session in your home and nursery, and any family members or pets that wander in front of the camera.  Once your little darling is sitting up well, a short session outdoors or in the studio marks the halfway point in that very first year.  Finish your Milemarker Collection by celebrating your babe’s birthday outdoors or in the studio, a happy celebration of their very first year as a person.  A very tiny person.  Select previews within hours and one beautiful online gallery are updated with each session with prints, canvas, and other lovely compliments available a-la-carte along the way.


Click contact up there in the right corner to book yours.  And of course, like me and follow me on all the things.  That link’s up there too.

For a bit of inspiration, follow my Lifestyle Newborn & Family Photography Board on Pinterest.

       Follow Amy’s board Lifestyle Newborn & Family Photography Inspiration on Pinterest.

Not sure how you’d like to put your family’s journey on stylish display? Stop by the studio, or invite me to your home, to look over some gorgeous wall art and brainstorm alongside me– OR explore a curated collection of pins to make your DIY home gallery endeavors just a little bit simpler. Follow my Display Your Photography Board on Pinterest. Follow Amy’s board Display Your Photography on Pinterest.

Or maybe just call me and I’ll do all the above work FOR you.

Thank you for another year of amazing weddings.

7398_10156361477850534_6286464710396993535_nFriday, May 1 Melissa & Zach at Millcreek Barns in Watervliet, Michigan

Saturday, May 9 Jessica & Ryan at 12 Corners Vineyard in Benton Harbor, Michigan


Friday, May 29 Rebecca & Mike at Blue Dress Barn in Benton Harbor, Michigan

11027455_10155742820165534_6428375856249357365_nFriday, June 5 Edit & Istvan at South Bend Country Club in South Bend, Indiana

11031083_10155709319670534_3327689473886216961_nSaturday, June 6 Liz & Bobby in St. John, Indiana

11666071_10155785080185534_2309587226110312523_nFriday, June 12 Megan & Derek at Hidden Vineyard Wedding Barn in Berrien Springs, Michigan

11694091_10155767091945534_378437377525097493_nSaturday, June 13 Beth & Rob in Lemont, Illinois

11050750_10155840520125534_4224324116384718577_nSaturday, June 20 Karen & Mike Michigan City, Indiana


Friday, July 24-Sunday, July 26 Emily & Jonny Valparaiso, Indiana

12273535_10156222393335534_3588728582173902947_oSaturday, July 31 Jenny & Kevin at The Allure in LaPorte, Indiana

12052499_10156082758625534_851833544506977392_oSaturday, August 1 Ashley & Jimmy New Carlisle, Indiana

2015-08-01-Homestead-1835-KORTHALS-Portraits--2022Saturday, August 23 Sean & Joseph at The Aquatorium in Gary, Indiana

12049193_10156161627360534_130522577500023524_nFriday, September 4 Adrienne & Paul at Blue Dress Barn in Benton Harbor, Michigan

12240453_10156224855915534_8942224037827335680_oFriday, October 2 Katelynn & Jon Watervliet, Michigan


Saturday, October 3 Amity & Gary Watervliet, Michigan

Sunday, October 4 Jill & Matt Berrien Springs, Michigan

12273806_10156244671145534_8144299104514884868_oSaturday, October 11 Andrea & Joe Watervliet, Michigan

12314295_10156247491115534_2487360214232091703_oSaturday, October 17 Krista & Shawn Watervliet, Michigan

11049505_10156283248790534_3730163144292871621_oSunday, October 18 Kristina & Michigan City, Indiana