Ania & Levi go to prom!

I have known Ania for almost two years. I work with her mother at a medical office and see her come in a few times. She has such a bubbly personality and is always smiling. I have used her on a styled session before so she knew what I would deliver.

When she first approached me about doing prom photos, I immediately said yes. I knew it would be a wonderful experience and that she could take direction very well. Her mom and I decided on Oliver Winery in Bloomington as it was really pretty and easy to walk around for many photo opportunities. As the day got closer, the rain forecast was getting more accurate to showering right in the middle of our session time.

I made sure to have some open time before hand so if Ania got her hair and makeup done early, I could run over there and try to get them in before the rain. We were able to get over there 4 hours early from the original time. There was still some slight forecast of rain, so I prayed to the rain gods and requested them to wait until we were done. They must like me because the rain held off.

Ania and Levi DELIVERED! They were amazing to work with and were up to my crazy ideas, and Levi might have got an arm workout in at the same time since I requested lifts. They also knew the possibility of rain and were totally up to using a clear umbrella to add to the photos if needed. (Luckily we didn’t, but were up for it).

I am very excited to share with you the sneak peeks of Ania & Levi’s prom session. Thank you both so much for trusting me to capture this amazing moment in your lives. I hope you enjoy them!

Mini Session at Art of Chocolate

Hey all!

I am so excited to announce that I will be doing a mini session at the Art of Chocolate in Bloomington, Indiana as a part of Week of Chocolate. Why is this so exciting? Because the mini session fees will be donated to Life Designs, Inc., a non-profit located here in Bloomington. 

Let me answer some questions to start!

What is Life Designs, Inc.? 

LIFEDesigns is a comprehensive resource for people with disabilities and their families in south-central Indiana. They offer services for every stage of life. They aim to facilitate active citizenship, fulfilling relationships, and rewarding employment through inclusive communities that foster dignity and respect.

What is Week of Chocolate?

Bloomington has been celebrating the Week of Chocolate for over 20 years, each year and each event unique. Local businesses host chocolate-themed events that celebrate a love of chocolate that goes back to ancient times! Each year, there are over 10 events, each with a different theme. Not only does this festival taste amazing, but it also offers an opportunity to raise funds to support various causes in the community. 

What is Art of Chocolate?

This Mardi Gras themed event treats you to New Orleans themed hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and cocktails! Entertainment includes live music and features an artist painting live models in chocolate! Throughout the evening, a Mardi Gras theme will be featured in the art, food, music, and auction items, wearing masks is encouraged!   

Date: February 10th
Time: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: IMU Alumni Hall & Solarium, 900 E. 7th St, Bloomington, IN 47405
Tickets: $75/ea. or $500/table of 8
Benefits: LIFEDesigns

How do I get in on this mini session?

First, you need a ticket to attend the Art of Chocolate. You can do that by clicking this link! Once you get to the event, find me and my mini session booth, and get your photo taken! I will have some Mardi Gras themed props for you!

What else is part of Week of Chocolate?

Glad you asked! The full list of events is located on their webpage, which you can easily access by clicking this link! I will also be at all of these events taking some photographs as well. 

I hope to see you there! Let me know if you got your tickets by commenting below!

Out & About Photos

I love to take my camera on my "adventures." These photographs I am sharing is all about the Bloomington, Indiana Farmer's Market and my purchases from there. Check them out in this blog post!

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Featured Business Blog: The Toy Chest

Hilary & Danny Key - Owners of The Toy Chest

Hilary & Danny Key - Owners of The Toy Chest

"[The Toy Chest] is a specialty toy store where you'll find quality toys that you can't find in big box stores like Walmart. You can come in and have an expert staff recommend toys: toys for special needs, toys for any ages, toys for a kid you don't know. You can try things out and have an experience more than just going shopping," The Toy Chest owner Hilary Key states. 

Hilary and Danny Key, of Nashville, Indiana, own The Toy Chest in both Bloomington and Nashville, Indiana. They became the third owners of the 46 year old Nashville location in July 2014 after Hilary decided she wanted to be in the toy industry instead of pursuing a career in the field she was in her PhD program for. She moved to Nashville to learn from the Toy Chest. As she was looking for a place to live, she met Danny, who owns a real estate business in Nashville. "The rest just took off," says Danny. 

The opened the Bloomington location in November of 2015. 

One of the unique things about the store is that it is set up to allow children to play and test out the toys before buying them. There are toys out for them to explore and demo tables set up for the children to come and play with them. "We try to set up the store so that there are play places in each section so you don't just have to look at a game and guess if you're going to like it based off the box." says Hilary. "Sales people can teach you the game and you can play it in the store and make that decision."

Walking through the store, you will find many toys out for kids to come up to and get their hands on. Anywhere from games to books and puzzles, kids are able to explore. "We are really demo heavy because ultimately it is an experience that the kids, the families are getting when they come here," says Danny. 

Creating the experience and the atmosphere for the customers is why they wanted to become the owners of The Toy Chest. "We really wanted a place where families and kids can come and play and not forget anymore that play is how kids learn and so they can come here and experience that," says Hilary. "[The toy industry] is a fun industry to be in. And for me it has more purpose than probably another. I can feel like I am helping someone find the right thing and really believe in what they are buying and that it is going to improve sometimes the quality of life for the kid."

My most favorite moment was when we opened this store, the first Saturday morning that families were playing everywhere. A lady actually thanked us on the way out. She said, ‘You know, I don’t remember the last time I sat on the floor with my kids and played.’ I got chills. That is exactly why we do this. For them.
— Danny Key

An interesting part of the business is the social enterprise that Hilary has incorporated. She wanted to get toys to kids who don't have any. So they implemented a giving program, Unplug and Play Toys. They are able to give toys and books to these children through charitable partnerships. The Toy Chest is able to give children quality age-appropriate toys to learn through playing. 

The Toy Chest is located in the College Mall across the hall from Charlotte Russe. Many of their popular items, as well as more, are shown below in the gallery. 

Kaytee Lorentzen
Owner & Photographer | Kaytee Lorentzen Photography