S-Squared Photography

About S-Squared Photography

Hi, I am Sara Sawtelle. I am a self-taught photographer that started by just taking pictures every chance I could and learning about things like f-stop and apertures.

Magnificent Day in Michigan

On a day that looked like Paige & Tim's backyard wedding was going to be hindered by rain, we ended up

The Joy of Finishing Nursing School

It is a joy for me to be able to capture special moments. This particular one is even more special that most. This wonderful woman is one of my best friends, Nurse Becky. We met really through her work and my thyroid but our friendship developed through spending time with each other scrap booking, laughing, eating, drinking, texting, facebooking -- ultimately bonding. This is the woman who held my hand and patted my leg as my fantastic endocrinologist poked holes in my neck to do my biopsy. 

Smartphones meet Star Trek

I read a news release this morning that put a smile on this Trekker fan!  The "Tricorder" may become something not of science fiction. 

Pastor Portraits Provide Plenty of Purpose

A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from the Chair of our Church Pastoral Staff and Relations Team asking if I would want to take the "official" portrait of our new Pastor. Our church has a celebration coming up in June, and we need to update the photos of our pastors in the Narthex.  I told him I would be honored.

Think BEFORE you click

In this day of smartphones that have pretty amazing camera and video qualities, we all tend to snap pictures whenever we want to without a second thought. This can be dangerous in a number of ways so it might be good to think about where you are and what else might be going on around you.  

New Beginnings

I am so thankful that I get to be part of the beginnings of a couples marriage by capturing those special moments. I would not have this opportunity if it were not for two couples who were willing to take a risk on those memories, allowing me to be their wedding photographer. They were special moments with each of them. We shared new beginnings of their marriage and my photography business. They definitely took a risk, and there are things that I learned from each.

Organ Dedication Concert

When I think back through life, I am so grateful for the encouragement and support from family and friends. As I was talking with my closest friends about taking the risk and starting my business of event photography, Janice asked what I would charge to edit the video of the Dedication of the New Organ Concert in April. Eventually it expanded to also recording the organ while the church camera recorded the speakers that were introducing the pieces.So, once again, I borrowed a recording device (and purchased one that arrived shortly after the concert).


An Anniversary to Remember

I believe when I look back on this first year, I will have lots of memories of these days.  I was honored to be asked to take family photos and some candid group shots on July 4th for a family that was celebrating their parents 60th wedding anniversary.  With our 27th coming up later in the same month, it was quite a joy to participate by being the fly on the tent wall, snapping the expressions as people who had not seen each other in many years reconnected. 

Wedding Reception on a Hot Stormy Day

On a hot, humid Saturday just over a week ago, I was taking photographs at the Wedding Reception of Kathy and Jeff in Union Pier Michigan.  Kathy and Jeff had gotten married a couple of weeks earlier and were now celebrating in a backyard party at a farmhouse complete with cornfields and a red barn. The week prior was stormy almost every day, with severe weather whipping all around. And this day was no different, although the weatherman assured everyone that there was no chance of rain (he lied).

Engagement Photos at Japanese Garden in Indiana

Engagement Photos, like wedding photos, can be a lot of fun to take, especially when you have a couple who feed off each others looks as well as Michelle and David.  We had not met personally until the moment we met in the parking lot of Shiojiri Gardens in Mishawaka, Indiana. This Japanese garden has so many great places to get different views for photographs, that we were finding ourselves walking around and just stopping to take some shots.  

Beautiful Sunny Day for a Promotion Ceremony

On a absolutely beautiful August day in South Bend, I had the pure honor to be the photographer for the promotion of U.S. Air Force Captain John Paek to Major! They had contingency plans for rain or bad weather, as that has been the norm this year. But this day it was not necessary, and the lawn in front of the reflection pool at the Hesburgh Library on Notre Dame University Campus was the absolute perfect setting.


Beautiful wedding in Fort Wayne

Ashley and Nick. A wonderful couple that connected with us through Thumbtack.com. In fact, Ashley and I talked the first time on my 27th wedding anniversary, so I was feeling a little nostalgic. I asked her about her wedding plans and learned that she was marrying a friend from school, they had reconnected during a particularly rough time in Ashley's life and the deep caring for each other, just bloomed!

Fabulous Fun in Osceola

In mid-august I had the honor of capturing video of the wedding of Jessica and Todd.  These two were made for each other, friends forever until one day... the spark flares. It is funny to me how in my first year of this business, the story of friends getting married is a repeat event for me, especially since I married my best male friend from high school. Jessica and Todd definitely have that friend competition vibe in their relationship. You can see it in facial expressions and reactions to things.  However you can also see the love that they have for each other. 

Pleasant Fall Day Along Tippecanoe River

In mid-September, we traveled to Monticello Indiana from Granger, to be the videographer at an intimate, river-side wedding at Taylor's parents' home.  The drive there, as seems to become our usual on trips through Indiana, was adventurous.  It all started when I was packing to leave and realized instead of turning off the power on my boom mike for my video-camera, I had turned it to on and it was drained! Of course it was early morning on a Saturday before anything was open in the area.  I tried a couple of grocery stores in town and did not find the battery I needed, no, I was not surprised.

Family Fun Photos at the Park

Put together a cloudy autumn day at a park with trees, family size swings, people to watch, bridges over the river, and a playground with a family of six that clearly has true affection for each other and you get a slew of photos that bring out the personalities of all. Of course there is the third part of my husband making faces, etc., behind me making the kids respond the way the kids do! 

Beautiful Fall Day in the PA Mountains

The week before Halloween we had the opportunity to drive to PA and see something we have not seen in years, the beautiful rich fall colors in the Allegheny Mountains. We were lucky enough to be chosen photographers for the wedding of Joe Riel to Danielle Steber. Danielle and Joe had been together for years and were finally getting to tie the knot. This wonderful, friendly family includes son Hunter and daughter Rylen.

A Halloween Wedding

Becky and Steve are committed to family and friends. They decided earlier this year to move their wedding up for reasons related to family attendance, so went small and simple as they planned their wonderful day. Already committed to each other and to such an extent that you would think they were already married.

Finally After 23 Years

As a wedding photographer, you get to see the joy of the wedding day and also the stress.  If you are there long enough and perceptive enough you can get an idea of how strong the relationship really seems.  Maybe it is just me, coming from a background that requires observation and a 27 year marriage. A marriage where others say to us "I wish I had what you have". Either way, the relationship of Terry and Dwight stands the test of time, before they even were able to get a marriage license.  To say, I was impressed with these two would be an understatement.

Engagement at Tippecanoe Place

 On Valentines Day, I met with Paige and Tim for a photoshoot at the iconic Tippecanoe Restaurant to take photos commemorating their engagement. This is a gorgeous historic landmark building in South Bend that is a beautiful setting for photos, even without being able to get around the grounds, due to snow. Tim did propose to Paige here, but not on this particular day; it really makes the photos more meaningful and let us do a couple reenactments!  They even agreed on the specific location that they were when he proposed!

A small intimate ceremony in Snowy April

It never surprises me anymore, the weather in Indiana, or anywhere for that matter. Charlene and Charles planned their wedding for Spring Break so that her son, Gabriel,  could be part of the ceremony. They did not plan on snow. Gabriel was the best man. An adorable one at that. This understated, down-to-earth couple, was not looking for the frills of a big wedding. It was not the first for them but it was one that was long in coming so it was very meaningful to both of them. And their friends and family. I am sure they would have preferred spring to have already sprung!

Beautiful Day for a Stroll in Downtown Goshen, IN

One of the things I love the most about using Thumbtack as a way for clients to find me, is the amazing way we connect. Nothing could be more true about our meeting, followed by our Wedding Invitation Photo shoot on April 23rd with Kimmie and Bryan. It did not take long for us to get into a rhythm, bounce ideas off each other and then just have a blast. It was a beautiful spring day,  a nice breeze and trees in bloom. Kimmie works 3rd shift, so we wondered how much sleep she had gotten and if we could get the photos to really show who she was.   We did not have to worry. 

Rainy Resort Will Not Ruin This Wedding

On April 30, 2016, I drove from my home to Syracuse, Indiana to the Oakwood Resort on Lake Wawasee.  I really did not know what to expect. I have lived in the area for over 20 years and had not heard of this resport.  It was a rainy spring day. As I drove on the grounds, I was impressed. This is resort is a little gem under my own nose!  After I parked, I went into the Inn and found my bride for the day -- Valerie. This was the first in person meeting. We had really connected on several phone calls and texts.

Cold Spring Day to Party Like It Is 1225!

I got the opportunity on May 15 to celebrate a Graduate School Graduation with a dear friend of mine and her family. I volunteered to take graduation photos for her, since I knew, having been in that same situation 24 years earlier, that she would not have a proper way to commemorate the day. It gave me a way to give her a gift of a memory! Much of grad school will be forgotten (okay some really, but I do not want to scare anyone) and having a memory of the feeling of the day you put on that hood and a sigh of relief! Here is she is pictured with her grad school robes and all things that matter companion, Charlie!

Star Weds A Glorious Wedding in Goshen Indiana

A Glorious Wedding". This wedding was unique. All the weddings we have  done, have had their own style and fun. This one was the first themed wedding that carried all the way through. We were impressed with the planning. From the sign at the door to the tickets that were signed as the guest book and the opening movie with their own story weaved in with true Star Wars fan fashion!  Very fun atmosphere with tables and popcorn, chips, drinks, the opening with the death star, the attendants walking down the aisle to The Imperial March  the bride coming down the aisle with her two dads to the Leia and Hans Love Song and the bride and groom on the stage, front and center. This truly suited Ashley and Daniel.

Beautiful June Day at Bonneyville Mill in Bristol, IN

On a beautiful morning in June, we met with Taylor and Tyler to take some photos of them at Bonneyville Mill. They are getting married in September, and want some photos for the reception. They started out very reserved so we did the usual prompts to make it all feel more natural to them. The setting is inspiring on its own, which made our jobs of pulling out their personalities even easier. The colors were very vibrant that day and there are so many good backdrops. We walked all over. laughing, exploring and took 100 pictures or so.

She Said Yes! on a Pier of Lake Wawasee in Indiana.

People say wedding photography is hard, because there are no second takes. In fact, I have been known to say that myself. However, I think that what is really challenging, and fun to be part of, is a surprise proposal. In this case, Matt has been planning this proposal for over 5 months with his mother, sister-in-law and I believe others, as the days progressed. He had it all planned, hired us to be "paparazz1" to capture the event without being noticed. To do this, you have to be pretty sure she is going to say yes or have an escape plan. I joked with Matt about that and he said "if she says no I am jumping in the lake." I replied "I would get that shot" [if that was the end result].  It wasn't; and he knew that it would not be, or thought so.

...'Bout Damn Time in New Carlisle, IN

Earlier this year, we met with Kendy and Maranda and agreed to be their wedding photographers for their June 2017 wedding, but first they had to get "officially" engaged. Well in the end of July we got the message, the proposal was finally delivered and thankful accepted, so it was time to get the engagement photos done. Off we went to the location they will be getting "hitched", a beautiful location called The Homestead 1835. I honestly fell in love! with the location and our clients!

Beautiful July day in Goshen Indiana

We had the pleasure on July 2nd of this year of being part of Kimmy and Bryan's wedding. We did their engagement photos in April and really hit it off during that time together. They would just go with our ideas and we would end up with even more ideas. That was also true of their wedding. During one of our meetings,  Kimmy talked about being able to "see" each other to connect but she did not want to physically see each other -- thus the idea of blindfold's came.

Car Trouble Will Not Stop This Couple


On a day that had a threat of rain, that was not what caused a delay in this wedding. Ironically, it was car problems!  After all, they first met because of car needs!  Well, dead batteries did not stop this day! While not without drama, Stan and Donna did get married and enjoy their special day with many memories that will not be forgotten.

Spring Wedding at The Depot in Norman Oklahoma.

This wedding was beautiful. I love weddings in unique locations! After all, almost 29 years ago, Gary and I got married in the mezzanine of The Warner Theatre.  This one was small, and set in a train depot that is in the process of becoming a popular event center. It was April in Norman, Oklahoma. And it was family! 

Two of my favorite Cops wed in New Carlisle at The Homestead 1835

Last year, we shared about the engagement photos for Maranda and Kendy. We were excited for their wedding day. Finally on June 3rd, the day arrived. The location was The Homestead 1835 in New Carlisle, Indiana. Any of you reading this that live in the area, if you are looking for a place to do a wedding or event. Check it out! It is an amazing location!  It was also perfect for these two area cops who are as funny, connected, loved and amazing as the smiles in this picture!