Tulip Time in Pella, Iowa

       I had begun the morning of May 4th walking in Cedar Rapids for Walk MS in NewBo, which was great as always. I suppose in the spirit of making up for all the walking I don’t do at my office job, I decided to go to Pella, as I heard Tulip Time was going on. The office needed something colorful to put on the walls, because I guess not everyone appreciates half-naked women on the walls of a dental office – weird, I know – so, why not flowers?


       Driving there, I found it funny seeing all the traffic to and from this typically quiet town. I quickly realized that this must be something amazing, because I had to park several blocks away from the main block. I parked and wasn’t sure of where to go. Not because I couldn’t see where everyone else was headed, but because of the fact that even where I parked there were an abundance of tulips. They were EVERYWHERE! The entire town was saturated with colorful tulips of all varieties. Did you know there were different types of Tulips? Me neither! Smooth, rough, some with pokey looking petals, and they came in all sizes, colors, and patterns. Oh, and photographers. As you can imagine, there were LOTS of us.

      I did my best to capture a variety of shots, while also trying to just enjoy the festivities. And of course, dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodging the cameras – hahaha! I shot by the lake with the fountain in the center, then made my way down Main Street, paying attention to the little details. Things like the way light passed through certain petals and the street crew with an already prepared truck on standby for cleanup.  The things that get forgotten or missed in big crowds.


      In my self-guided tour (running around like a mad woman wielding a Nikon), I happened upon a sweet couple. They were sitting on a bench behind a statue, with a small field of red tulips behind them, in a sea of people. They looked happy; just enjoying the moment and relaxing in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. I couldn’t help myself, of course, and approached them, because that’s just what I do!

      “Have you two gotten a photo of yourselves today?” I asked. The woman excitedly answered, “No, we haven’t!’ I had to fix that!

      Now, I didn’t care that I was holding a couple people up by taking a few pictures and standing there talking with these people. These are memories for myself and my subjects! I found out their names, Kim and Dan, and Kim showed me her shoes. She’d carved them herself out of a pre-made form, and customized it with a tulip, her name, and some other meaningful carvings, but my favorite thing was that she has had them so long that some of her carvings have warn off on the bottom. So much character! That’s the stuff I love!


      I then walked through some buildings that contained the charm that only a small heritage-filled town in Iowa can. I found a lamp with delicate details, beautiful centerpieces, and proud Pella citizens happy to share their knowledge. I finally made my way back to my car, snapping pictures all along the way.

      Let me preface this next sentence with this: I am not a flower person.  I usually don’t care a whole lot about flowers. That being said, I think this trip has changed my mind! I would absolutely recommend anyone go see this event at least once. It is a sight to behold!

Please feel free to view and share the full gallery of my Tulip Time trip here: https://annamae.photography/2019/05/08/tulip-time-2019/

***Copyrighted by Anna Mae Photography. Please contact me for permission to use or to purchase images.


I am so excited to share with you all that my work has been accepted into a boudie mag, Iowa Boudoir Magazine! This was the first time I submitted my work anywhere. I am honored to be featured alongside my very talented peers. My model, Anna F., was a rock star at our session!

Photo of Anna F. in the Black and White Edition, Volume 1 in April 2019

“So, you shoot porn?”


One of my absolute favorite questions is, “So……you shoot porn?”

      No. No, I do not. I do shoot sexy photos, but there is SO MUCH meaning and emotion behind them. My clients come to my studio, get all dolled up, tell their stories and we bond. We hang out, share jokes and advice, and we usually shed a tear or two.

my post (12)      I am a teacher. I teach my clients to reform the way they view beauty, which changes the way they see themselves. I remind them that nobody will EVER critique them as much as they will. They see every wrinkle, bulge, stretch mark, and blemish on their body. You know what I and their S/O sees? A F****** HOTTIE!!! We see a bangin’ body, a sincere smile, and an aura of confidence, and by the time we get through the first couple of shots, MY GIRLS SEE IT TOO. It’s the most amazing thing. I also teach women that it is absolutely okay to own their own sexuality!!! It’s not wrong or self-centered. It’s NECESSARY!! Flaunt it, babe! 

      I am a goofball. I make sure my ladies feel comfortable around me. No one wants some broad barking orders at them while they pose in underwear. I mean…unless you’re into that…Just kidding!! I SHOW you exactly how I want you to pose and make sure you’re having a blast while doing it. I get along with everyone, and by the end of our session, you’ll feel like you’ve just been hanging out with a friend. If you’re considering booking a boudie session with me (which you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD), this is your heads-up: There will likely be a mini dance break at some point.

      I am insecure. I have struggled with my own body image, just like everyone else. You know what’s funny to me? When we’re asked what we like about ourselves, we always talk about our personality, right? “I am a creative problem-solver. I’m witty and funny. I am caring and sincere,” da da da da da. When we’re asked what we don’t like about ourselves, IT’S ALWAYS THE PHYSICAL STUFF!!! “I have glasses, I’m not skinny, I don’t like my skin, my hair has a mind of it’s own, I have a scar from back surgery,” etc. BUT (get ready, because I’m about to blow your mind) YOU CAN TRAIN YOURSELF TO THINK DIFFERENTLY. I freaking LOVE my little almost-dimple on my left cheek and I really like my nose because it’s unique. My collar bone is defined. I have pretty, strong nails, and I have runner’s legs. I could have chosen to let all of my insecurities control my self-worth, and believe me, I did for a long time. Instead, I focus on my strengths and what I like about myself. I absolutely love teaching others learn how to truly love themselves. We don’t have to be perfect, we just gotta work with what we have!

      I am a believer. I believe that society is changing. Slower than a snail trudging through peanut butter…but surely. You don’t have to be a skinny, tall, blonde woman to be considered “beautiful” anymore. We, as a society, have begun to acknowledge that beauty comes in ALL shapes, sizes, colors, cultures, genders, ages and abilities. I also believe that if everyone had more confidence in themselves, the world would be a better place. Imagine a world where people celebrated differences and knew without a shadow of a doubt that they’re a BADASS.  That’s what fuels my passion.

      So, no. I’m not a pornographer. I’m just a woman with a passion, a camera, and so much damn love to give, that I just had to do something about it. I am 100% actively changing my community by empowering women. And it’s so easy; I just make them believe in what’s already there. So, if you’re thinking of booking a boudoir shoot, DO IT NOW!!! Quick! Before you let those terrible thoughts in and let nerves prevent you from experiencing something truly amazing. I promise you won’t regret it.


Author – Anna Mae of Anna Mae Photography Welcome!

Anna Mae Photography – Promoting self-love and capturing raw emotion.

      Hello, and thank you for visiting my website! I’m Anna, a creative to my very core. I love spending time with my Fiance and our friends, and playing with our dog, Bo! I’m a full-time Dental Assistant and use to work my behind off as a CNA. I currently photograph part-time, though I’m working toward the goal of going full-time! I enjoy maternity, newborn, senior, family, headshots, parties, and even real estate photography, but my one true love is boudoir photography.

      I’d like to tell you a bit about my background. I have loved art since I can remember. Everything from calligraphy to throwing pots to taking photos  and in high school I specialized in drawing portraits.. There, I focused on painting and drawing; just dabbling in photography with being on the yearbook committee every year. To keep a creative outlet, I worked a combined total of 4 years between Micheal’s and Hobby Lobby, where I learned a ton. I particularly loved working in custom framing for both stores, which is where I developed my appreciation for photographs, and enjoyed my time as the Home Accents Department Manager at Hobby Lobby – have you seen all the cute stuff there? Dangerous!!

      Fast forward to 2018. I was growing tired of just working – all work and no play!  I felt as though something was missing. I had focused all my energy into work and forgot about the thing I’m most passionate about – ART. So, there I was, looking to find a hobby and reignite my creativity. I got my hands on a camera and did a photo shoot for my new baby brother and a boudoir session for my best friend in a weekend, and BAM! That was it. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! From that moment on, I’ve run full speed ahead!

      And there you have it, that’s my story! Though I’m always cracking jokes, I’m also the type of gal who sees the beauty in every day life. I love capturing the moments you want to remember forever, but so quickly forget. Delicate eyelashes and other teeny tiny details of your newborn baby. The funny faces and belly laughs that you share with your family. The look of pride and determination in the eyes of your senior who has their whole life ahead of them. The fire in a woman’s eyes that grows when she remembers just how strong and beautiful she truly is, in the middle of her boudoir shoot. It’s not about simply taking pictures. It’s the experience you have with me. It’s about capturing emotion and raw beauty. It’s about encouraging my clients to be PROUD of who they are and making sure they feel great about themselves when they leave a session with me. It’s about capturing the moments that you want to reflect on when your own memory is fading. It’s your life – precious.

      Thank you for reading all about me! I am always looking for fun ideas for photo sessions, so if you have a creative idea, let me know! Also, please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

You can follow me on Facebook @BoudieParlor, on Instagram at AnnaMaeArt12, and on here! AnnaMae.Photography.

  • “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”
    — Paul Caponigro
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