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Best Days Photography

Welcome to Best Days Photography!  Our studio specializes in Weddings, Engagements, High School Seniors and Events throughout the Midwest (and beyond).  Our images showcase the beauty, joy and individuality of each of our clients!  We want you to have images that are not only beautiful but also stand the test of time - I would call it classic if that didn't make it sound so boring!  We are anything but boring - portrait sessions and weddings alike - we are always looking to put a fresh spin on things and give life to your photos - these are after all, your best days, and we want to capture them as so!

Please call to arrange a consultation if you are interested in a shoot or wedding photography. We like to get to know all of our clients and their needs so that we can best represent what you are all about!  


2014 Look Back

My 2015 wedding season kicks into high gear this weekend!  I am so excited about my 2015 couples and look forward to sharing their images with you.  Before I start this year’s images – I was feeling a little  nostalgic and thought I would do a look back at 2014.

It was such a great year and  I can’t wait to share with you what 2015 has to offer!

Capturing Joy

Today I’m writing to share an article with you – the article linked below written by a college friend of mine.  I hadn’t seen him in several years but he contacted me a month or two ago asking if I would mind if he could use a photo I took at another friends wedding some 7 years ago in a piece he was writing on the topic of ‘joy’.  To say I was honored is an understatement.

It was just a snap shot I took of some friends doing what my friends did best – be their crazy fun selves. I’ve certainly taken better photos, technically speaking, then the one he spoke of, but the point is that this image mattered to him and those friends.  It’s a link to a memory, of a time when things were good, when friends who don’t always see each other that often were together, a time joy was felt.

I love my job, I say it almost daily, and while I love all the different parts of a wedding day – moments of joy, quiet moments, unscripted real life moments are the ones I look forward to the most.  Those images are always the ones I hope keep alive those moments of joy for my clients, my friends, and my family.  So thanks to Adam Lorenz and his article over on Reclaiming Life – feel free to check out his words.

I would love to hear about or see the images that represent a time in your life of pure joy, feel free to share and post if you would like!  A little happy for your Friday!

The photo that stands as a reminder of joy for my friend

Wedding Joy

Reception Joy

Wedding Joy

Is it possible to not feel joy in a bounce house?

Wedding Joy

Celebrating the new union of husband and wife

Amy’s Wedding Day | Bridal Preparations

So I went to make a blog post about Amy and Jeff’s wedding day.  I started grabbing a few photos and discovered that I had already pulled something like 20 images just from the bridal preparations!  So I decided to switch gears and focus solely on those images.  I often get asked how long I spend photographing a wedding, and minds about explode when I tell them that some days I am there 10, 12, 14 hours or more…yes, for one wedding.  Not everyone is fond of the pre-wedding preparations. Some are super self conscious of being photographed without makeup or hair done.  Some feel its just not necessary and I can absolutely understand and respect that.  However, for those on the fence or if you can’t fathom what type of images are captured long before the actual ceremony, I’m hoping the images in this post will help.   Amy is fantastically beautiful, but also so incredibly happy and zen like on her wedding day.  She surrounded herself with her friends and family who all dearly love her, they scheduled plenty of time so there was no rushing about, and she really just absorbed and enjoyed each minute leading up to her ceremony.

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Amy started off her day at John Taylor Salon with all of her bridesmaids and the mothers. I loved this one here of Amy on the right and her sister on the left.

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

I love the little details that support the story unfolding!

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

A quick spray to hold it all in place!

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

The finishing touch before heading to makeup

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Starting on the makeup

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Amy's sister looking on.

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Amy's Groom, Jeff, had sent over a gift for Amy to open that morning.

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Her hands were trembling and I think she was fighting off the tears before she even opened it!

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Reading Jeff's love note.

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

It's great to have your friend's there to help break the tension! And you can see Jeff's mom in yellow fighting off her own tears!

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Amy reveals the beautiful pearl necklace from Tiffanys.

john taylor salon moline illinois wedding photography bride

Amy's mom helps her get the necklace on.

moline illinois wedding photography bride gown

On to a few details back at Amy's parents home before getting dressed.

moline illinois wedding photography bride

I believe the story was that these animals belonged to Amy and her sister, and the two had dressed them up in their wedding attire for the day. :-)

moline illinois wedding photography bride

Amy's beautiful Justin Alexander gown.

moline illinois wedding photography bride

The ladies enjoying lunch and a toast to the bride!

moline illinois wedding photography bride

You can see the nerves start to come into play here as Amy's mom and sister get the dress. Everything becomes real when that gown goes on!

moline illinois wedding photography bride

I love the classic button up dress.

moline illinois wedding photography bride

My favorite image from all of the getting ready photos.

moline illinois wedding photography bride

And then the smile on Amy's Dad's face just can't be beat!

I couldn't leave without getting a few images of Amy first. The window light at the house was just perfect.

sacred heart moline illinois wedding photography bride

And to finish up the preparations, we end with Amy at the church peaking out of the bride's room into the church.

I will add more of Amy and Jeff’s wedding (actually including Jeff!) over on the Facebook page for BDP in the coming days!

Bette & Rich | An Elegant Bettendorf Wedding

Whoa hey! Here’s something you haven’t seen in a long time, a blog post!  I’m only a few months overdue here!

But what better way to break my blogging silence than with a post on a fantastic day of love celebrating Bette and Rich.  I love their story and they were just the nicest of couples to work with.  When Bette first contacted me she seemed a little timid and almost apologetic in telling me she was a ‘mature’ bride.  But when I got to meet with her and Rich it was easy to see her excitement and the joy the two shared.  That same excitement, joy and love has the same look whether you are 22 or 102 and anywhere in between.  They stressed how the day would be very much centered around their families and the two of them in a simple elegance.  But enough of me blabbing away about it, you can take a look for yourself.

The very handsome groom
Bette and her daughter-in-law get ready to put on the dress!
I adored the fact that Bette had her granddaughter and bridesmaid help her put her on makeup that day.

Just a stunning bride!
Bette’s two sons walk her down the aisle

The ceremony, like everything else that day, was just beautiful. The Deacon at St. John Vianney spent a good deal of time talking to Bette and Rich asking for their visions not only for their marriage but also on their faith. It was so personal and beautifully done!

Exchanging vows
Exchanging rings
Lighting of the individual unity candles by Rich’s children

See this is what I was talking about earlier – this look is universal. Just a couple of kids in love!
Officially Mr & Mrs!

Bette gets to see the new artwork on their car!
A beautiful reception was held following the ceremony at Biaggi’s Restaurant in Davenport. This beautiful cake was created by Cakes by Kay

One of Bette’s son’s giving a toast.
Listening to friend Cindy’s toast.
Cindy is the wonderful woman who introduced Rich and Bette to each other.
A friend gives a lighthearted toast to Rich and Bette

Congratulations Rich and Bette. Thank you for letting me be a part of your wonderful day. It was everything a wedding truly should be.

Black Friday Deals 2012

Alright time for Black Friday deals!  However, you don’t even need to leave home to get your big savings!

Black Friday Deals for Best Days Wedding Clients

  • 1/2 price for additional album page (2 sides)
  • 1/2 price for reception photo station

** Wedding enhancement credit can NOT be used toward Black Friday Deals. They must be paid for in full at the time of purchase.

Black Friday Portrait Deal

$25 Session Fee (45 min session for up to 5 people – Must be used between January 2013-March 2013)

** Session fee must be paid for at the time of purchase and will expire April 1, 2013.  Prints and products are NOT included in the session fee.

Black Friday deals are for products and services not already purchased or provided. There are no refunds.

To purchase your black Friday deal from Best Days Photography

1. Go to

2. Click on the Black Friday image in the gallery

3. You will see the Black Friday deals on the right, choose your deal(s)

4. Click on Checkout to review your order

5. Once you review your order select Checkout Now to enter payment details

Be Sure under shipping options to select Black Friday Deal Click Here

6. You will receive a confirmation of your order and I will be personally following up with all orders on Monday November 26.

The Black Friday Deal will begin at 12:01 on Friday, November 23 and remain available until 11:59pm Sunday, November 25 so no trampling involved! :-)

Wedding Movie Posters

Something I haven’t promoted much on my blog but I love love love, the custom move posters we do for couples.  I always show off a few to those who visit me in studio but we have done many great posters over the last couple of years and I just wanted to give a little time for them to shine so you can love them too!

If you haven’t seen these before, they are the perfect addition to any home that has a movie enthusiast in the house.  And with so many home theaters in houses today, why not make your own personal wedding movie poster front and center of it all!  We used the play on words of “How Sweet it is” to make up Mr + Mrs. Howe’s movie poster.  Their family and friends from the wedding party make up the credits of the poster.

We have done these these with engagement sessions as well and can be customized for events or even family or senior photos!

Scott + Becky’s May Wedding

Scott + Becky had their wedding on a perfect May day. It was a beautiful day that officially united two wonderful families.  The ceremony was held out at Olde St. Ann’s Church in Long Grove, Iowa.  After the ceremony we were able to utilize the fun pioneer village for some images with the bridal party before heading out to the reception at the Rock Island Holiday Inn.

Becky places Scott’s ring on his finger in front of the beautiful altar at Olde St. Ann’s Church.

Making their way back to the church, I caught Becky + Scott sharing a quick glance and a kiss before heading to the reception.

Be sure to Like us on Facebook to see more images from their wedding and others!

Suzanne + Jeff’s long awaited nuptials

Jeff and Suzanne met each other when they were just kids in school.  Their lives ended up taking different directions for many years, but found their way back to each other forever!  They planned a very beautiful and personal ceremony with close family and friends on Arsenal Island at the Club House with an elegant cocktail and dessert reception following.

Suzanne’s step-mother made her this beautiful shawl to wear for her April wedding.  The wedding took place on the beautiful Arsenal Island, Rock Island but we did a pre-wedding photo shoot at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA the day before.

We also made use of the Marquette Street boat ramp in Davenport, IA to capture some images of Jeff and Suzanne by the river.  There was a lot of wind that day, but it played nicely with Suzanne’s veil!

Be sure to Like BDP on Facebook to see more images from their wedding and others!

Last Minute Holiday Mini Sessions!

Forgot to schedule your holiday photos?! It’s not too late, we are holding our first Holiday Mini Session!  Perfect for holiday cards or just updating your family photo!  Limited spots available – call to reserve yours!

2011 & 2012 Dates

We are booking lots of weddings for 2012 already but I have two dates available now for 2011 that weren’t previously available.  For any brides and grooms still working on a photographer – we now have September 17th and October 22nd of THIS year open!  I’m going to offer a 15% discount on any Wedding Collection Package for those two dates and any remaining dates in November / December 2011 & January / February 2012.  This could save you hundreds off of a wedding collection!

As always check out our Facebook page for more samples of work we have done this year –  and also keep a look out for our next Mini Sessions being offered in October for couples and families!

It’s a beautiful day out there – enjoy it!

- Melanie