Sarah Crail: Blog en-us (C) Sarah Crail (Sarah Crail) Fri, 05 Jan 2018 04:33:00 GMT Fri, 05 Jan 2018 04:33:00 GMT Sarah Crail: Blog 120 80 2017 Highlights As I reflect on 2017, I smile at the thought of some of my greatest wins. At first, I was thinking in terms of the "best of" or favorite images shot this year. And there is certainly a place for that. But the more I thought about it, my bigger "win" this year is the opportunity to increase my giving and to partner with my clients to make a difference in our community. Being a small business, my numbers aren't huge....but they are bigger than last year. I am pleased to report that well over $3,500 was given to charity. The most popular charity with my clients is by far Sheltering Wings. Together, we were able to donate $650.00 to that ministry. We also gave $790.00 to homeless shelters and men's ministries (Wheeler Mission and Saul to Paul). We also gave to support the hungry through Midwest Food Bank as well as to Animal Shelters, Hurricane Relief, Christian missions abroad, and to our own local Hendricks County Community Foundation. So I must thank each of my 2017 clients for choosing Photography by Sarah Crail and for being a part of #givingback. I couldn't do it without you! With that as the backdrop, please enjoy some of these favorites of my beautiful 2017 partners and clients! 


]]> (Sarah Crail) event photography hendricks county photography by sarah crail portrait session real estate photography senior pictures Fri, 05 Jan 2018 04:33:18 GMT
Paola's Quinceañera wQuincePaola-2wQuincePaola-2 wQuincePaola-3wQuincePaola-3 wQuincePaola-14wQuincePaola-14 wQuincePaola-22wQuincePaola-22 wQuincePaola-24wQuincePaola-24 wQuincePaola-25wQuincePaola-25 wQuincePaola-28wQuincePaola-28 wQuincePaola-32wQuincePaola-32 wQuincePaola-52wQuincePaola-52 wQuincePaola-55wQuincePaola-55 wQuincePaola-57wQuincePaola-57 wQuincePaola-60wQuincePaola-60 wQuincePaola-67wQuincePaola-67 wQuincePaola-68wQuincePaola-68 wQuincePaola-88wQuincePaola-88 wQuincePaola-73wQuincePaola-73 wQuincePaola-92wQuincePaola-92 wQuincePaola-124wQuincePaola-124 wQuincePaola-110wQuincePaola-110 wQuincePaola-116wQuincePaola-116 wQuincePaola-306wQuincePaola-306 wQuincePaola-133wQuincePaola-133 wQuincePaola-135wQuincePaola-135 wQuincePaola-149wQuincePaola-149 wQuincePaola-141wQuincePaola-141 wQuincePaola-152wQuincePaola-152 wQuincePaola-165wQuincePaola-165 wQuincePaola-164bwQuincePaola-164b wQuincePaola-167wQuincePaola-167 wQuincePaola-168wQuincePaola-168 wQuincePaola-169wQuincePaola-169 wQuincePaola-172wQuincePaola-172 wQuincePaola-175wQuincePaola-175 wQuincePaola-182wQuincePaola-182 wQuincePaola-184wQuincePaola-184 wQuincePaola-186wQuincePaola-186 wQuincePaola-191wQuincePaola-191 wQuincePaola-188wQuincePaola-188 wQuincePaola-207wQuincePaola-207 wQuincePaola-210wQuincePaola-210 wQuincePaola-218wQuincePaola-218 wQuincePaola-222wQuincePaola-222 wQuincePaola-226wQuincePaola-226 wQuincePaola-228wQuincePaola-228 wQuincePaola-231wQuincePaola-231 wQuincePaola-248wQuincePaola-248 wQuincePaola-251wQuincePaola-251 wQuincePaola-255wQuincePaola-255 wQuincePaola-257wQuincePaola-257 wQuincePaola-260wQuincePaola-260 wQuincePaola-262wQuincePaola-262 wQuincePaola-263wQuincePaola-263 wQuincePaola-267wQuincePaola-267 wQuincePaola-268wQuincePaola-268 wQuincePaola-270wQuincePaola-270 wQuincePaola-272wQuincePaola-272 wQuincePaola-273wQuincePaola-273 wQuincePaola-274wQuincePaola-274 wQuincePaola-275wQuincePaola-275 wQuincePaola-276wQuincePaola-276 wQuincePaola-277wQuincePaola-277 wQuincePaola-279wQuincePaola-279 wQuincePaola-296wQuincePaola-296 On April 2nd I had the privilege to photograph Paola's Quinceañera alongside JE Cinema Works. This was my first experience with a quince, and I absolutely LOVED it! My day began at 8:30am at Paola's home on the west side of Indianapolis. When I arrived she was having her makeup done in the kitchen, her sister Carolina was getting her hair done upstairs, and her mom and dad were preparing her dress, shoes, and other details to be photographed in their bedroom.




Paola's eight escorts or "Chambelanes" were passing the time playing Jenga and occasionally raiding the girls with Nerf guns.











After photographing some storytelling candids, I then took some of the details shots (Paola's dress and accessories, her Bible, her doll, and the several pairs of shoes she would wear throughout the day). 






















Afterwards I photographed Paola getting into her dress. Getting the corset laced up turned out to be trickier than planned and her father, Valente eventually came to the rescue! Before long, the limo arrived to take the young people to the church. 

The mass was held at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, and the ceremony began with the "Damas" and "Chambelanes" entering in the same fashion as a wedding processional.



The priest interpreted himself, giving the mass in both Spanish and English. Paola was presented with some special jewelry and everyone took communion.































After the mass, we spent a good bit of time photographing friends and family groupings with Paola. The boys passed the time playing with a Rubic's cube and Snapchatting.


































Once the pictures at the church were finished, we went to the War Memorial to take portraits of Paola and her court. That day was quite cold and very gusty so outdoor pictures were rather challenging. We had lots of laughs as the wind whipped everyone's dresses and hair all over. At one point we were photographing in front of a fountain when a gust of wind suddenly sprayed the kids with icy water. 




Cameron found the globe of a street lamp that had fallen over and decided to try it on for size. We then went up the steps of the War Memorial hoping to get some nice shots in front of the gold doors. The wind was so strong, that it was work to stand upright! Paola's dress blew up over her head a couple of times resulting in a few hilarious captures!







Thankfully, the War Memorial staff took pity on us and let us inside for a few pictures. The shots we took in the upper room of the War Memorial were the most stunning shots of the day!




After portraits, I headed over to Sleep Inn & Suites where the party was to take place, and the party bus took Paola, her friends, and their chaperon (Carolina) for a quick Taco Bell run before arriving at the hotel. During a little bit of down time I photographed Paola's ring, her tiara, and shoes again, along with her doll, the cake, and some of the reception decor. To kick off the party, the students were announced and entered the reception hall (again, similar to wedding fashion). The dinner was served buffet style and the hotel staff provided excellent service headed up by Caterin Banegas the Events Manager.












































Some of the traditional elements of the party included Paola giving her doll to a younger girl in her family. She also recieved her tiara from her sister, and her father Valente changed her shoes from her flats to heels.





















After the changing of the shoes, Paola danced her first waltz with her dad. Her Chambelan of honor then waltzed with her.






































Afterwards Paola and her court presented a couple of choreographed dances and then Paola's parents recognized and toasted those who had contributed to the success of the celebration. Once all the formalities were over, the open dancing began. There were the typical dances that are popular at weddings and also the salsa, merengue, and bachata. (I personally loved to hear the latin music!)








































































About an hour or so in, a live band arrived and kicked the party up a few notches (and a bunch of decibals!) La Banda Real Conkistadora put on a tremendous show (note to self, take ear plugs to next quinceanera)! The dance floor filled up and everyone had a great time! 































It seemed to be another tradition to wear out the quinceanera by dancing with all the men now that she is "of age." A couple of times the band started into a fast dance and Paola was passed from fellow to fellow who delighted to twirl her into dizziness while the band played a song that seemed to get faster and faster and never come to an end. Everyone cheered, laughed, and whooped while her dad, brothers, and the other guys kept the marathon dance going. She finally got a little break, but before long, they repeated the whole thing all over again! Whew! And Paola was such a good sport about it! I enjoyed the day immensely and look forward to the next opportunity to photograph a quinceanera. Kudos to Valente and Elizabeth for a tremendous day and for allowing me to participate through photography! My very best wishes to the lovely Quinceañera! Paola, you are a star!

]]> (Sarah Crail) Indianapolis Indianapolis Quinceanera Photography La Banda Real Conkistadora Photography by Sarah Crail Quince Quinceañera Sleep Inn & Suites St. Anthony's Catholic Church Wed, 20 Apr 2016 23:46:56 GMT
Christmas pictures with Santa at Stonycreek Tree Farm When the Ralston family scheduled Christmas pictures with me, I had no idea what a fun adventure was about to develop! We scheduled our session through the office at Stonycreek Tree Farm in Noblesville and planned for a Monday when we would not interfere with their busy weekend sales. And it just happened to be little Will's birthday! The Ralstons must have been very good this year because they were able to convince Santa to come spend an hour with us too! (Kudos to Ken Knowles for an excellent interaction!) We all met up and took a hayride together while Will opened a little gift. When we reached the field we jumped off the wagon and took some family pictures with Santa, and then Will helped Santa decorate a tiny tree with candy canes. Will's little friends joined us for a few minutes at the end, and then we all rode the wagon back while the kiddos got a kick out of throwing the hay at the grownups! Check out the video! 

]]> (Sarah Crail) Family Pictures Family photography Noblesville Santa Santa Pictures Stonycreek Tree Farm portrait session Wed, 23 Dec 2015 03:40:06 GMT
Daniels family portraits at Butler Universty Had a great time photographing the Daniels family at Butler University last week. We started the session on a little bridge near the fountain. The daughter was a little slow to warm up and couldn't seem to find her smile so I tried to make it fun and help her relax by having her twirl around in her dress and then strike a pose. That seemed to help her find her smile! Next we moved to the steps of the bell tower and got a couple of mother/daughter and daddy/daughter pics. Since it was pretty hot and sticky, we opted to drive (instead of walk) down to Holcomb Gardens for some shots around the flowers. J really let loose there, trying on her daddy's glasses and giving me all kinds of faces and antics. What a hoot! Finally we took a few pictures on the larger bridge over the river. Had to wait for another photog finishing up a senior session and dodge a few bikers, but got some great pics there too. Again, got some fun personality from J, and some nice individuals of mom and dad. One of my favorite shots of the day happened there. I was photographing mom's individual shots and looked over to see dad and daughter just hanging out together. I snapped a quick shot of them before dad saw that I had turned the camera on them, and then he broke into a grin. He was about to straighten up for a more formal look, so I quickly shouted "stay right there!" and was able to capture a truly natural moment. What a pleasure to spend an hour or so with this classy family and capture some special moments for them!

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]]> (Sarah Crail) Butler University Family photography Holcomb Gardens bridge fountain portrait session Mon, 10 Aug 2015 05:44:09 GMT
Addison's Birthday In June I had the privilege to photograph Addison for her birthday at her family's property beside a small lake. We got some fun action shots in addition to her portraits and were even able to capture a few shots of the entire family along with their dog Elsa. Addison's favorite color is yellow, and her outfits highlighted that along with some other bright and cheerful colors. The neighbors were so kind as to allow us to photograph on their property as well, where we got some shots with a vintage Shell sign and gas pump. Addison also wanted some pictures by the neighbors' outhouse but clearly stated that she did NOT want to go inside or even touch it. So we did some fun poses and jumps in front of it. One of mama's wishes was to explore a Pinterest idea that she had seen of a little girl wearing her mother's wedding gown for a "when I grow up" theme. Addison seemed to have fun trying on the gown and pretending to be like her mom. I think we all had fun and laughed a lot. This video collection of our photo shoot portrays Addison's personality to a T! Enjoy! 

]]> (Sarah Crail) birthday girls hendricks county mother's wedding dress wedding dress Sat, 11 Jul 2015 03:59:41 GMT
FCA Banquet On April 16th I had the privilege to photograph central Indiana's FCA Night of Champions fundraiser banquet at Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University. FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) was an important organization for me as a teenager, so it was great to be part of this event and learn more about the impact this group is having with today's young people. The area director Todd Townsend has a heart for the Lord and for teenagers, and it is evident in the accounts he gives of his interactions with teens all across the state. Some of the speakers at this event were Clyde Christensen (Quarterback Coach of the Indianapolis Colts), Warren Wallace (Asst Coach at Lawrence North High School), Wayland Thompson (FCA parent with Carmel High School), and Chris Holtmann (Basketball Coach of Bulter University). My role for the evening was to photograph a "step and repeat" of guests with Butler Blue III as well as the program and candids of the guests. 

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]]> (Sarah Crail) Butler Universtiy FCA Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hinkle Fieldhouse Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:07:12 GMT
Impressions of Bill's Life and Passing2 Picture 1042Picture 1042 This is most of what I read at Bill's memorial on June 23rd...........

Because of Bill's incarceration and limited contact with family and friends, I’m sure there are questions about his diagnosis and passing. I hope to clarify that for you and then share some tidbits of his life in the last couple of years.

On May 19th while Roger and I were having lunch, I got a call from a doctor here in Indy. He said Bill had been diagnosed with Leukemia and needed permission to do a bone marrow biopsy. I immediately started contacting family, and Eva and I went down to the hospital to see him.

He had been at Westville Correctional Center and had been feeling sick. He had passed out and fallen, gashing his head. I believe he had also ruptured his spleen. When the doctors realized his condition, he was transferred to Indy for treatment. Apparently, my having been contacted by the doctor a breach in protocol, and the guards who were with him were not expecting us. This threw them into a bit of a bind and they were having to figure out how to handle the situation. They allowed us a brief visit with Bill, but we were told that he would otherwise not be allowed visitors and that we would not hear any news of his condition until or unless the medical staff advised the Department of Correction to call in the family. Unsatisfied with that, I contacted the commissioner’s office to request special arrangements. I was given a point of contact for daily medical updates but he was still not allowed visitors. The news was about the same each day, that he was in serious condition, but otherwise not much change to report. In the first week of June, it was determined that he would have an extended stay in the hospital and the DOC decided to allow 2 visits per week. All of the potential visitors’ names had to be submitted to the DOC for background checks. That week Jessica visited, John and Eva visited, and a special arrangement was made for a 3rd visit so that Dad and Mom could see him Saturday the 7th.  I began lining up the visitors for the following week. Roger and I went to see him on Tuesday the When we arrived, Bill was discussing with the doctors his wishes to quit treatment and transition to hospice. He had had a very rough go with the chemo and had contracted an infection. He had complications in his lungs, spleen, kidneys. He was tired, beaten down, and in a lot of pain. The doctors preferred that he give it a few more days but said his decision was very reasonable. Roger and I sat with him for a short time and he told me “They want me to wait, but I’m not going to.”

The hospital staff began making arrangements to transfer him back to prison for hospice.  I started making phone calls and scheduling visitors to see him at the prison over the next couple of days, but those visits never happened. Due to the prison not having the needed IV meds to manage his pain, he was delayed in returning to the prison and passed away in the hospital about 26 hours later on June 11th. Some of the last conversations we had were about his concern over taking pain meds, expressing concern for both of his children and their mothers, and expressions of love to the family. He also looked at me and referring to Christ, said, “He suffered more than this.”

Reflecting on his time in prison, I know that Bill did a good bit of soul searching. He spent a lot of time reading and listening to K-LOVE on his little radio. He told me anecdotes of daily life behind bars like how to slip into the chow hall lines to get served lunch twice, how he mouthed off to a guard and got sent to discipline committee, and how a group of guys had given a unsuspecting inmate a shake made with a laxative. We discussed questions like should a Christian fight back when he was attacked and robbed and if Christians should take anti-depressants. He called me for prayer when he was having a particularly difficult days resisting the urge to do drugs, when he was put into protective custody over an incident, and when a guard found contraband outside of his window ledge. *(Apparently, he had recently been moved to a new cell and was sitting on his bunk reading when a guard came in and went straight to the window. He opened it and found a shank on the outside. Bill had called me asking me to pray about that situation. He had said, "Aside from actually using it, being caught in possession was one of the most serious offenses." He said he thought that the guard believed him that it wasn't his because it looked weathered, like it had been there a long time, and the guard did not haul him off for questioning.)

*These details were omitted during my reading at the memorial.


I’d like to read some selections from Bill’s letters so that his voice be heard today as well.

9/1/12 From Wayne County Jail: “I have taken the steps to get right with God again. I know it seems like the only time I ever care about what God wants in my life is AFTER I get in trouble. Almost as if God is saying, ‘Have a seat for awhile, I have things to teach you.’ …..I have asked God to forgive me, acknowledged to him that I am weak, and that all I am is a sinner, unworthy of his grace. He is teaching me many things, I am reading the Word for long lengths of time, asking to be taught, asking for the wisdom to understand....I get discouraged a lot in here when I think of how many times I have let God down, how many times He has had to punish me, and how many times I have done what I wanted, and not what he wanted me to do. I feel that I have let him down, and disappointed him, but then I read where it says, ‘I’ve known you since before you were born…’ I’ve realized that He has known all along that this was going to happen to me. He knew I would be here right now, and from that I can know with certainty that he has plans for my life. That was a big problem that I had before I came in here; I didn’t know who I was. I know that despite being a sinner, and an addict, and a thief, I am, above all else, more than a conqueror, because he has given me strength. I rely on that every single day because I know for a fact that if you knock on the Devil’s door long enough sooner or later someone’s going to answer it. Thankfully, either I was knocking at the wrong address, or God answered the door that day…..Please pray that I can continue to fight against temptations and my addictions. I really don’t care who you tell about any of this stuff, because I need the prayer, and if my testimony and my problems can discourage or keep someone else off those drugs, then please share my story.”

10/14 /12 From Wayne County Jail: “I’m learning a lot about my life, mainly that it really isn’t mine, but God’s, and I need to be open, and willing to let Him take it and make it what he wants it to be. I’m learning, finally lol. Please keep me in your prayers…Can you send me some more songs? I’d like that Kutlass song I told you about, and a couple more song lyrics if you can.

‘I Can Only Imagine’ and that Michael Card song ‘El Shaddai.’ For some reason those songs have been running through my mind and I can’t remember hardly any of the words.”

*For those who are not familiar with the song El Shaddai, the title refers to a Hebrew name for God which means the “all sufficient one” and is often translated in English as “God Almighty” or the “Almighty God.” The song is a worshipful song that also utilizes other Hebrew names for God which identify Him as “sovereign” or “ruler over all,” and as one’s personal Lord. You will be invited to join us in singing this song near the close of the service. 

6/27/13 From Plainfield Correctional Center: “I had been caught up in my own self and my own views…and had this combative ‘them against me’ attitude that I didn’t show much interest in the family. I realize now that besides Jesus, my family is really all that I have. I want to repair the damage that I’ve caused and rebuild the bridges that I’ve burned. I know that to rebuild any amount of trust will take not only a lot of time, but also a lot of proof that my life has been changed and I really am a different person…To be honest, if I were released tomorrow, I can’t really say what would happen to me. I’d like to say I wouldn’t go back to how I was before, but I’m scared that I’m not strong enough yet. I pray every day, more than once actually, for God to give me the strength to stay clean, to take the urge of my addiction away from me….I don’t want to be the disappointment or the embarrassment of the family. I want to and need to be a better Christian, a better son, a better father, and a better brother. I don’t want to go back to my old way of thinking, I am a New Creation…”

4/2/14 From Westville Correctional Center: “They transferred me out of Plainfield last Thursday and brought me all the way up here. This place is about 3 times as big as Plainfield and has a lot more people here too. Lots and lots of gang members of all colors and races. I’m not going to pretend and say that it doesn’t unnerve me a bit, but I really think that this is what God means when He says to trust in Him and to completely rely on Him for everything. Pray for God’s protection though please. It’s amazing how He can send His messages to me when I continue and keep reading my Bible. I just got done reading the book of John right before I got moved, and after reading through the book and the other Gospels and what they say about the pain and suffering and the mental abuse and humiliation that He went through for me even though He didn’t do anything wrong and didn’t deserve any of what He went through. I do deserve to be where I am and anything that happens to me while I’m in here still couldn’t compare to what He went through just for me. It puts that whole “I can do all things through Christ” in a whole new light I think. I can do this through His grace and mercy. I am standing on that promise. As I sit here writing this it’s very sunny, breezy, and I can see and hear the seagulls from Lake Michigan outside. If I close my eyes I can almost pretend that I’m on the beach out there, almost. lol. I’ll write more about my impressions later as they come to me. Can you remember to ask Roger to change my address for the Hot Rod? Thank you, I love that magazine. I’m sure that you’ve told the family where I am, send my love to them as well, and let them know that I’ll write them as soon as I can get some more stamps and envelopes...Oh yeah, can you find and send the lyrics to that song Alive by Natalie Grant? I really like that song. Thanks. P.S. I think I’m going to use the next few years and learn some Spanish. I think I could use it here and when I get out. Something useful to know I think.”

]]> (Sarah Crail) Tue, 01 Jul 2014 19:19:55 GMT
Impressions of Bill's Life and Passing1 On May 19th I received word that my brother Bill had been diagnosed with Leukemia. He had been incarcerated for 22 months and still had 2-3 years yet to serve. I had been his connection to the outside world and to family, and we had spent hours in visitation, phone conversations, and had exchanged about 30 letters. Obviously, Bill had made some bad choices, but he was a believer in Jesus Christ and had made steps to get back on track. He passed away on June 11 after a very short battle with Leukemia, but I am confident that he is now enjoying full life and health in the presence of Lord. He loved to read, so over the course of time I had sent him several books that I enjoyed and thought he might like. Some were Christian living, some Christian fiction. He especially enjoyed Crazy Love by Francis Chan. He called me one day to talk about how much that book meant to him and how it had opened his eye to God's love for him. My One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen was a book we both started to read about the same time. I chose the word "contend" to be my word this year. My goal has been to contend for my faith, my personal goals, and for my family. And it has been a true joy to contend for Bill, for his life, and his faith during his incarceration. Bill chose the word "promise." He often mentioned verses of promise that he held onto as reminders of God's presence with him and provision for his needs. Interestingly, on the day he passed (but before I got the call), I saw a double rainbow. Roger and I were on the way to Beef and Boards dinner theater with my sister Eva and her husband John. I saw the rainbows over Indianapolis as we headed north on I-465 and wondered if maybe Bill had passed. (We had seen him at the hospital the day before when he had decided to quit treatments and transition to hospice back at the prison. I had lined up visitors for the next day knowing he may only have a few days left.) I debated taking my phone into the theater once we arrived as I was eager to unplug and de-stress from the emotion of it all, but I decided I had better take it in just in case since I was the only point of contact. We were seated, then went through the buffet line. I noticed I had a missed call at 7:09. I didn't mention it to the others but kept a watch on my phone. We ate dinner and took a picture of the 4 of us which I posted to Facebook. That picture was taken at 7:51pm. The call came in again at 7:54 just minutes before curtain. Bill had passed at 6:42pm. I made some calls to family as the show started. Afterwards, the four of us closed the place down talking in the parking lot until late. It was good to be with family at that time, and it was good to be out for some diversion. The next day and the following days were spent notifying the rest of the family and working on arrangements. It was several days later when I saw another double rainbow that the connection between the biblical symbol of the rainbow and Bill's one word "promise" finally hit me. I doubt I'll ever forget it now. 



]]> (Sarah Crail) Fri, 27 Jun 2014 04:34:55 GMT