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  • Welcome to my page!

    Hi! My name is Nonna and I am a freelance photographer specializing in portrait, family, lifestyle, event, engagement, and wedding photography using natural light. I have love and passion for photography since childhood influenced by my dad who was an avid photographer. I have a very down to earth and informal approach. I like to make my sessions fun and easy for everyone to just be themselves!

    I am based in Des Moines, IA and I am a wife to a wonderfully loving and very supportive husband, John who also happens to be my assistant when his time permits!

    I love capturing candid shots of real emotions so let me capture your moment and help you preserve those memories that would last a lifetime! I always have something for any budget and need so don't hesitate to ask! Send me an email at 105,110,102,111,64,110,111,110,110,97,97,46,99,111,109moc.aannon@ofni or call 515-573-0150 or 515-309-2247 for inquiries.

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Summer Ends

Hubby, Justice, and I took a short trip to the lakehouse this past weekend to spend the day with hubby’s dad and also to mark the end of the summer season as the weather gets colder each day!  Of course me and my shutterbug self snapped a few shots of nature with a couple of hubby’s (unbeknownst to him).  My highlight of the day – dad’s homemade Apple Crisp with apples fresh off the tree!!

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Travel | Puerto Rico

The past year has been super crazy for me and I am way overdue for a vacation!  For those who do not know I do love to travel, eventhough I don’t do a whole lot while traveling.  I just like being in a different “world”.  I’ve been to 14 countries so far.  Well…I did have a mini vacation on Labor Day weekend in which I spent 5 days with my husband and a couple of friends in the beautiful island of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It was my second time in the island and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time especially because this time I was there for play and not for work!  We stayed at the La Concha Renaissance Resort and Casino in the Condado district and this hotel was the perfect choice for our trip.  We have the ocean, pool, restaurants, pharmacy, souvenir shops, supermarket, nightlife, you name it, right at our fingertips let alone easy access to taxi cabs with the assistance of SUPER friendly hotel employees!  The Condado area is a great place to be in.  Definitely check out Cafe Orozco adjacent to the hotel for the best hot sauce in the world (in my opinion) and a really strong but really good locally made Puerto Rican coffee!  The cafe does not commercially sell their hot sauce and coffee but it was THAT good that we had to ask if they sell it!  It turns out, they would sell it at your request!

I visited the Fort El Morro, Bacardi Distillery, and went to the old San Juan, for the second time around, tried my favorite island foods “Mofongo” and “Chuletas de Kan Kan” as well as my favorite local dessert called “Quesito” where the best tasting ones are from the sandwich chain El Meson.  A new landmark I’ve visited this time was the Museo de Arte (Museum of Art), where my husband took me to and which I enjoyed a lot.  I LOVE art and Humanities was my favorite subject in college!  I do not collect art pieces but I love the stories and the “why’s” behind every painting, sculpture, and architecture.  I enjoy it because I’m one of those people who don’t see things at face value.  I carry a question mark in my head and I’m always waiting for the catch!  The “La Plena” mural by Rafael Tufiño at the museum was simply amazing with legends and myths behind the story of the island and its origins.

The Aquatica Jet Ski tour was an experience of a lifetime!  I don’t think one shall leave the island without taking this tour.  It’s a $150 for two people in one jetski to be taken into a 90+ min tour of the island via 29,000 feet of Atlantic Ocean waters led by Captain Ivan!  I’ve never been on a jetski before because I am not very adventurous but I truly ENJOYED this experience and would definitely go again!  Of course, one can’t leave the island without shopping at the biggest mall in the Carribbean – Plaza Las Americas!

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Aimee + Curtis

This beautiful couple were such a good sport when it came to their engagement session.  Let’s just say that day was not my lucky day weather-wise.  It was around early evening when we pulled up at the Waterworks Park and just as we were about to start the session, the rain started pouring on us so heavily that we all had to go back in the car and sit there for a while to let it calm down!!  We all braved it though and in the end we were drenched during the session but they were very easy to work with.  The bad weather gave me the perfect opportunity to take a few dramatic shots “The Notebook” style!

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CANON Gear

They say if you don’t know your purpose, know your passion because it will lead you right to your purpose.  I have definitely found my passion and that is of course – photography!  Perhaps it’s kinda lame for some but how I know it truly is my passion is 1) I am obsessed with it – for those who do not know I have been shooting for many years since I was 8 years old toying with my dad’s film SLR but I am a self-taught photographer.  Every technical and creative knowledge I have of the art was acquired via reading and practicing.  When I love something, learning comes as second nature so it never feels like I am trying too hard because not only do I have a knack for understanding the material quickly but I also possess that constant drive to learn.  It always motivates me (I don’t like to read but I read optics!).  Anyway, the key word is “constant” because I never lose interest.  Sometimes I pick up a new hobby and I put it down after a week and never pick it up again, right off the bat I know my passion isn’t there.  We all have to find what we as an individual LOVE to do and just do it!  However this should happen naturally.  We can’t try to pick up something just because everybody is doing it or because we want to be someone else.  That’s a surefire way to failure.  It has to be you and yours! 2) How I know this is my passion is because I feel elated each time I finish a job or a short session.  Even if it takes all of my energy shooting for many hours with all the heavy gear, at the end of the day, I feel a sense of accomplishment; and that is very important to me.  Then the thought of having thousands of images to cull and edit just makes me really excited!  I don’t dread it at all!  I am proud I’ve gone this far.  I am in disbelief how I go from being just the girl with the camera to taking big risks and making major decisions to pursue what makes me happy but I will never get to where I am at now without the love and support of my mom and dad, my husband John, my BFF Matt, and my group of friends.  I know my skill has always been in the field of art and I find this has made me happier more than any other job in the world; and it’s only a matter of time when I find out where my path is going but so far so good hence the purchase of some new gear!!!

I have always been a Canon girl not by choice but because that’s what I started shooting with when I was a kid and my dad loved the brand.  Since then I have always stuck with Canon when I bought my point-and-shoot’s over the years.  I am very meticulous when buying any type of equipment.  I read about it for months and do my research to make sure it will serve my needs.  It is not a secret that photography is a very expensive hobby or perhaps profession if you are working for yourself.  Investing in professional-grade equipment like a camera body means everything else that goes with has to be pro-grade as well!  In my own humble opinion, you cannot exploit a pro-grade camera body’s full potential with a cheaper $300 lens for example.  So investing in good high-quality glass (lenses) is highly recommended.  It is not a secret either that these babies cost thousands of dollars alone but they are so worth it and you get what you pay for.  After careful deliberation I recently obtained the Canon 50mm f/1.2 L and Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS.  I haven’t had enough free time to fully test both as of yet but I will have that opportunity coming up this weekend!  Like most photographers, I am also finding the 50mm as a more effective focal length for me than 85mm, so luckily I wouldn’t be buying the latter for a while!

All shots below were shot using the Canon 50mm f/1.2 L | wide open at f/1.2.

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