The Storyhouse Bookpub "Mini" Photo Session

The moment I thought about creating a "Mini" Branding Photography Session for local Small Business owners, I thought of Storyhouse Bookpub and how Abbey Paxton is the type of busy entrepreneur that would benefit from a short session format right in her store. She's a new mom with limited time that's been giving it her all...and always with a welcoming smile. I love that she has created such a wonderful independent bookstore and community space for Des Moines readers of all ages and identities. And I was thrilled when she agreed to testing out this new brand session format for me. I was even more thrilled that she played her ukulele for me during the shoot! We had a wonderful (short) time together before she opened her shop for the day. I loved creating some personal branding photos that showcase how warm and welcoming she is as a Des Moines small business owner.

Abbey Paxton holding the door open to her bookstore with a welcoming smile on her face.
The signature green wall inside Storyhouse Bookpub with the words Read Together Des Moines in gold above a cozy bench
Abbey standing in the doorway of Storyhouse Bookpub smiling at the camera as she leans against the door frame.

"Bringing Books and People Together in Des Moines"

Storyhouse Bookpub owner Abbey Paxton

Abbey posing for story time with children's books surrounding her for a branding photoshoot at Storyhouse Bookpub
Abby Paxton holding a stack of children's books on her lap for story time at Storyhouse Bookpub

From a Backyard Garage to an East Village Bookstore

I first met Abbey in December of 2020 when Storyhouse Bookpub was a popup market located in the garage of her Windsor Heights home. It was a cold morning and she welcomed me with a hot cup of coffee and a warm smile before suggesting the perfect books for my son and my mom, per my request. I felt an instant connection with Abbey as we shared our love for children's books and swapped stories about recently moving back to Iowa. Abbey is just one of those people who genuinely loves connecting with her customers and community.

In June of 2021, Storyhouse Bookpub opened a storefront in the East Village which is just as warm and welcoming as the garage where it all started. Not only does it offer books for all readers, Abbey routinely hosts author events and storytimes. She truly loves "bringing books and people together in Des Moines."

Abbey reaching up to a bookshelf at Storyhouse Bookpub
Abbey kneeling down to shelve children's books in her East Village book store.

A Mini Photo Shoot With Big Variety

Just because you're limited on time, doesn't mean you'll be limited on the variety of photos I can capture. Mini branding sessions work best when your location is photo-ready and we have planned what we want to capture in advance. That way I basically just show up and shoot multiple angles of you in a few different spots, as well as capturing some details and the overall environment. (And the outside of your storefront as well, so first time visitors know what to look for!)

Abbey Paxton sitting in her book store surrounded by children's books, holding her ukulele and smiling at the camera.
Detail photo of Abbey's hands strumming her ukulele.

Abbey's Mini Branding Session Shot List:

  • Lifestyle headshots (smiling at the camera)
  • Action shots (shelving books, prepping shop)
  • Enjoying a cup of coffee (a daily ritual)
  • Working on her laptop
  • Stack of current favorite books
  • Storytime setup + ukulele
  • Storyhouse Bookpub exterior
  • Storyhouse Bookpub interior
  • Welcoming shot with shop door open
Abbey sitting on a bench in her book shop with a cup of coffee against the wall that says "Read Together Des Moines"
Storyhouse Bookpub interior photo of book shelves filled with books.
Storyhouse Bookpub owner Abbey Paxton laughing while she relaxes with a cup of coffee.
Detail photo of Abbey's hand's holding a stack of her favorite books.

Storyhouse Bookpub - A Gem of a Bookstore in Des Moines' East Village

Storyhouse Bookpub is open daily and located at 505 East Grand Ave, Suite 102 (right around the corner from Raygun.) Find more information at

Exterior photo of the Storyhouse Bookpub windows in East Village Des Moines.
Abbey working on her laptop by the large front windows of Storyhouse Bookpub in East Village Des Moines.
Abbey working on her laptop by the large front windows of her small book store in East Village Des Moines.

Is a Mini Branding Session Right for Your Des Moines Small Business?

Short on time? Only need a small number of photos? Or want to test out a mini brand session before booking a full one? Read more about my Personal Branding Photography Sessions and contact me to schedule a discovery call where we can chat all about your brand photography needs.