Go Gray in May

Today I want to share a little about a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Most of you know about my love for my incredible, lifelong friend, Melissa Broz. She fought a courageous battle against brain cancer and is now in heaven peacefully watching over all of us. (http://www.melissasmission.typepad.com) I could talk for hours on end about Melissa. She was the sister I’d always wanted, and the friend that every woman in the world deserves.

There are stories upon stories about her that I could share. If you see me out and about I am happy to share them. I always feel closer to her when I am recounting one of her stories. Here is just one short one: I was always thankful for Melissa’s protective nature. She was constantly a little leery of my driving. Melissa was a much calmer driver than I am. Even though, she still sometimes had to employ the “mom seatbelt”. You know what I mean right? The act of instinctively placing your arm over someone in the passenger seat while slamming on the breaks in the car. She’d do it and we’d both just laugh remembering when our own moms did the same thing when we were young. My heart always felt full at those times. I knew just how much she loved me if she “mom seat belted” me.

Melissa’s friendship over the years has changed me in so many ways. She showed up for her friends whenever she was asked. She guided in times of need with her honest opinions. Melissa would rally behind you without prompting when you needed a few words of encouragement and stood by you when you made a life-changing decision. Melissa was serious when needed, loved extensively, and always forgave. I miss her dearly but I’d also like to continue her legacy of kindness.

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness month. “Go Gray in May” is a way to show your support and encourage brain cancer research. The easiest way to Go Gray is to wear gray clothing throughout the month and be sure to let people know what you are doing. You can also make signs, stickers or buttons to draw attention to your efforts, and explain to your friends, family and coworkers why you are doing it. Be creative and encourage others to join you! If you want to join us in remembering our sweet friend and way too many others that are battling brain cancer – wear your Gray in May and share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. #grayinmay #melissasmission

One of Melissa’s friends (and I’m thankful to say she is now becoming my friend!) contacted me  because she wanted to do something more, something to honor Melissa. Together, Catherine and I talked and we came up with the idea of donating a photo session to a family that is battling cancer. We believe that Melissa would have loved this idea. Having her family photographed was important to Melissa.  She lovingly created scrapbooks for her kids that retold the stories of their lives. She decorated the walls of their home with images of her children. I am so thankful that we were able to capture these memories for her family.

Please be sure to check back here and we will showcase the sessions for some very deserving families. Also, if you are a professional photographer that wants to join us we’d love to have your help! Join in and donate a session to a family dealing with the unfortunate battle of cancer. Highlight the love and compassion between the family members! Show them how beautiful they are, laughing and loving together! Give them an incredible gift that showcases what is most important in life . . . a family’s love.

Lastly, here is the slideshow of Melissa’s family session from last June, almost a year ago. You can see and feel the love these four people have for each other. The way Melissa gently brushes her daughter’s hair out of her face, the way she tightly grasps her son’s hand and the strong embrace she shares with her husband . . . that was her, that was our Melissa. These images, these emotions, that is what Catherine and I strive to do. We want to capture and highlight these traits so that they can be enjoyed by family and friends for years to come. On days that I miss Melissa extra strong I pull up this slideshow to see that incredibly bright smile and remember what it felt like to be on the receiving end of one of her hugs.

May 6, 2014 - 1:20 am

Amanda Votruba - Not sure where to nominate someone but I have two friends who are battling cancer. One breast cancer and the other a rare pediatric cancer.

May 6, 2014 - 4:57 am

Ashley Crawford - So, so beautiful. I’ve offered my services to Catherine and hope to contribute. Prayers for this sweet family.

May 6, 2014 - 1:31 pm

Kris Perry - I would like to nominate Danielle Pint and her family for this photo session. You can see her journey on caring bridge. Danielle is your age and a friend of Heidi’s.
Thanks for doing this Cara , it will mean the world to this family someday. 🙂

May 6, 2014 - 7:15 pm

Mandy - You captured Melissa exactly how I remember her, always smiling! Is there a way to nominate a family that we feel is deserving? Thanks for carrying on Melissa’s memories!

Engaged: Kristen & Joe

Kristen and Joe’s engagement session took place last fall when the foliage was just turning that warm, autumn hue. We met at one of my favorite locations to photograph. I’m so glad they had the idea to hike back to this remote suspension bridge. Joe knew right where it was since he had visited a time or two before with his dog. The weather was just right, their smiles were perfect and the laughter was flowing! Made for such a great evening.

These two are ridiculously cute and madly in love. Looking forward to their August wedding!


Bella Terra Vineyard Wedding: Valerie + Pat

Valerie and Pat’s Wedding day at Bella Terre Vineyard was a joyous one! What a treat it was to photograph at such an incredible location. I am so happy for this sweet, kind couple. Thank you for inviting me to document your day! A big hug and “thank you” go out to my second shooter Angela Gottsch.

I asked Valerie and Pat to share their answers to a couple quick questions about their day:

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day?
We both agreed that our first glance was pretty memorable, along with our first dance!
Best marriage advice you received from a guest/family member?
Dance in the Kitchen every friday night even if you’re mad.
How do you hope to celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary?
By reliving our honeymoon… or some awesome trip!


This image was taken right after their “first glance”. Valerie and Patrick, you look stunning!

This was a quick moment captured between the family formal photographs. It wasn’t posed or coerced. These are the type of images I love to capture!

Valerie and Pat’s wedding cake was incredible! Straight out of Martha Stewart magazine.

Valerie and Patrick slipped away from the reception for a few photographs outside. We had to utilize this incredible backdrop.

Can you feel the closeness in this first dance image? Love it!

To see more of Valerie & Pat’s wedding pictures at Bella Terre Vineyard, you can view their slideshow here:


Preferred Vendor Spotlight: Gretna Town & Country Floral


In my little hometown of Gretna, Nebraska, we have a wonderful floral shop called Town & Country Floral that I’ve been dying to showcase on the blog. I always enjoy the chance to stop in and see the incredible designs they’re working on. The owner, Linda, is always eager to help with a warm smile on her face. She graciously allowed me the chance to watch them work one Friday afternoon as they prepared arrangements for an upcoming wedding.

Flowers can make such a big difference in the decor of your wedding and  a good florist knows what will look spectacular in photos. I talked with Linda at great length about her process and her client’s happiness was of highest priority. Linda said it all starts with an initial consultation to discuss the theme and color palette of the wedding day. “Knowing what you like is just as important as knowing what you don’t like,” Linda said. “Bring lots of pictures – it is the best way to help convey what you do and do not want your floral designs to look like she continued. 

She discusses options with her clients based on budget and also what types of flowers are in season for their selected wedding date. Her clients bring inspiration for her to work from while she is designing. Items such as bridesmaid dress swatches, magazine clippings, a copy of the invitation and a photo of the wedding gown help Linda to customize floral designs for the wedding day. Pinterest has also been especially helpful in communicating ideas with her brides.

On the day I visited Town & Country Floral there was lots of activity going on. As you can see in the images, they were finishing up a wedding party order. Linda meticulously reviewed all the notes and inspiration photographs that she and the bride discussed. The flowers turned out flawless and I know those wedding photographs did too.

I am always pleased to photograph a wedding when I know Linda will be designing the flowers. There will be quite a few weddings this summer that we’ll be working on together and I’m anxious to see the incredible designs she’ll deliver.

If you’re looking for a creative florist in the Omaha metro area, be sure to check out Town & Country Floral in Gretna. You’ll be charmed the moment you walk through their incredible storefront. Linda cares for her clients as if they are family. She’ll give you a smile and a hug and send you on your way with a handful of beautiful flowers.


Town & Country Floral








Town & Country Floral




April 2, 2013 - 4:52 pm

Jamie - Two of the things I miss most about Gretna! Cara and Town and Country Floral! 😀 Just add Sunrise Doughnuts apple fritters to the list and you’d have all my favorite things.

Lincoln Nebraska Wedding : Ali + Scott

As I drove to Lincoln last June to photograph Ali and Scott’s wedding I couldn’t help but smile knowing the day would be incredible. These two people, Ali and Scott, are kind and generous souls. Can’t you see it in the image below? Being around these two, their family and all their outrageous friends made my time documenting their wedding an absolute blast. They all worked so hard to have the day come together flawlessly with incredible details.

The Grand Manse and St. Paul Methodist Church provided beautiful backdrops to showcase the beauty of Ali and Scott’s relationship.
© cb Yates Photography

Scott designed and lovingly printed all the save-the-dates, invites and reply cards. I am flattered when my clients include me on the invite list. There’s nothing better than getting awesome snail mail like this!

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ring photography

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© cb Yates Photography

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Ali looked absolutely exquisite!© cb Yates Photography

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The look of peace and inward excitement on Scott’s face was so cool to witness while he waited for his bride.
© cb Yates Photography
© cb Yates Photography© cb Yates Photography

© cb Yates Photography© cb Yates Photography© cb Yates Photography© cb Yates PhotographyWe all walked from the church to The Grand Manse for the reception. Along the way we found some incredible light in an alley. The wedding party must have thought I was crazy when I told them to “stop right there!”© cb Yates Photography© cb Yates Photography© cb Yates Photography© cb Yates PhotographyAli and Scott’s moms surprised them with a choreographed dance number during the reception.
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© cb Yates Photography

Ali and Scott, Thank you for making Lincoln feel like home and including me on your wedding day…I can’t express how appreciative I am to have been there to document it for you! I wish you both  so much happiness!

To see more of Ali and Scott’s wedding please CLICK HERE for a slideshow.