Bella Vista, Arkansas Family Photos | The Gunters

This Colorado girl is having a hard time believing how easy it is to do photo sessions in December in the Midwest. It's the very end of November and I was comfortable outside for this session without a coat in Northwest Arkansas (where my in-laws live)! I love photographing many of the same families each year because it gives me a chance to catch up with them and help tell their long-term story, but there is also something so special about the first time I get to know them and share my passion with them like I did for this session!

It was my absolute pleasure to capture the Gunters on this gorgeous, 60 degree day at Tanyard Creek Nature Trails, one of my favorite spots to shoot in Northwest Arkansas. Have other location ideas for me? Let me know in the comments below! I'm always looking for new spots :)

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Buena Vista, Colorado and Mount Princeton Hot Springs | Girls' Trip

I am beyond blessed to be so close to my mom, sisters and mother-in-law. How unusual (and awesome) is it that we went on a girls' weekend trip together and everyone had a blast! Here's how it happened... my husband had some vacation time that he was going to lose if he didn't use it so he planned a backpacking trip to Colorado with his dad, brother and my dad. Us girls decided we would tag along for at least the first couple days until we had to get back for work and it spiraled into heading to the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort (which just so happens to be one of my favorite places) for the weekend so we didn't totally miss out on the adventure part of the trip! Needless to say, I did not have my camera out all weekend because I was busy enjoying family time... but I couldn't resist snapping a few photos at the end of the trip :)

Three out of four of us happened to be doing Whole 30 while we were there so we had to get pretty creative with our food options, but we made it work! Here are the places we went; I would definitely recommend all three and they are all within walking distance! 

  • House Rock Kitchen - Hands-down my favorite restaurant in the town (just be prepared to pay close to $20 per person after tip)
  • Simple Eatery & Spoon it Up - Another amazing option. You can also get baked goods and/or outdoor gear and clothing items here as well! 
  • Buena Vista Roastery Cafe - Definitely my favorite coffee shop in the area - the coconut milk latte is out-of-this-world good in the rare case you are on Whole 30 too

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Bentonville, Arkansas Family of 6 | The Harris Family

I always enjoy family photo sessions, but sometimes there are certain ones that stand out in my mind as really having gone well and knowing before I even leave the session that I am happy with the images I was able to capture. This is one of those sessions! We shot at the beautiful Tanyard Creek trail, which is one of my favorites because it has variety in the background instead of just trees (bridges, rock and even a waterfall). 

This family is the absolute sweetest; the kids treat each other so well and the older ones (from what I can tell) really help their mom and dad out with the younger two. I had the privilege of photographing Hatcher as a newborn and when he turned one as well as Hayes (their adopted son) when he turned one. It's such a joy to watch them grow up and help capture those seasons - it's one of my favorite things about photography!!

If you enjoy the look and colors in these photos, just know that these champs met me at 7:30am so the sun wouldn't be as harsh as it is in the afternoon. It worked out perfectly not only for light but to avoid the majority of the Arkansas heat as well (plus the kiddos were well-rested!). Definitely something to consider - I'm always up for early morning sessions! 

Loose Park, Kansas City Family Session | The Longs

It's no surprise we weren't the only people at Loose Park for a fall photo session last week. It was one of the first cooler weeks outside in Kansas City and people were quick to go enjoy the weather. So much so that we had a hard time finding a parking spot in the main lot of the park! The only other time that has happened to me was when I accidentally scheduled a photo shoot the day that most high schools in the area had prom.......... I quickly learned that Loose Park is where they all go for photos before the dance, a mistake to avoid next year (although we still managed to get some great photos - see them here!).

This was the first time I met the Long family and we had a blast. Nicholas did wonderfully as long as we kept moving so he didn't get bored (I can relate, little man). Ana and Matt were so nice and easy to get along with - something so appreciated as a photographer. Sometimes I still can't believe I get to meet new people and capture their lives for my job... how special is that?!?

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North Kansas City Newborn and Lifestyle Session | Troy & Brittany Link

I finally got to meet the long awaited River! He is beautiful and perfect and everything Troy and Brittany could have hoped for. If you've seen my other posts about this sweet couple, you'll know that it was a long journey for them getting to this point. THIS was the first time I met these two... when we took some stunning photos at the KC Liberty Memorial.  THESE were Brittany's maternity photos where she let me share some of her infertility story in the hopes of encouraging someone else going through similar struggles (thanks to Loose Park for the gorgeous backdrop).

So you can see why this session was so special for me! Journeying with people through the different seasons of their lives is one of the greatest joys of photography for me. Not to mention getting to tell their stories through it all! CONGRATULATIONS again Troy and Brittany, I couldn't be happier for you and I can't wait to see the amazing young man that River will become.

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More family love:

Duncan Family | NW Arkansas

Duncan Family | NW Arkansas

VanDalsam Family | Olathe, Kansas

VanDalsam Family | Olathe, Kansas

Antioch Park, Merriam Kansas Family Photos | VanDalsems

I'm so happy it's FINALLY fall photo season in Kansas City. The weather just seems to lift everyone's spirits as we enjoy being outside and the excitement for the holidays begins to bubble up. This sweet family of six is a part of our church in Olathe, KS and we've had the privilege of getting to know them over the past few months as my husband started working there. I can't believe how cute these kiddos are and we had a blast during photos! Give me another year and maybe I can keep all their names straight....... working on it :)

When people ask me advice for what to wear for family photos, I usually suggest choosing a couple patterned pieces (often for the kids) and then selecting everyone else's outfits based on the colors in those patterns. Traci did that perfectly without any help from me - I love their color palette! 

Loose Park, Kansas City Family Session | Barron

I cannot begin to describe how happy I am that it is finally starting to cool down and feel like Fall in Kansas City! It was so pleasant outside for the Barron family photo session. I finally got to meet Janette's kids and it was such a blast to see how elated she is to be a new grandma!! Jax is such an adorable baby, I certainly can't blame her.

Loose Park is such a great spot for family photos because it is spread out enough that you can get some good variety in your backgrounds. As long as you don't hit it on prom weekend, you usually don't have too much trouble with overloads of people either.

Brittany and Troy's Miracle Baby | Kansas City

This is personal. This is real.

We post online about all the ways life goes right, I've heard it described best as a "highlight reel." But let's talk about true life... the kind that is messy and tough and sometimes feels like a roller coaster, because we connect better with each other when we share our struggles alongside our blessings and successes. This is not my own struggle, but a client-turned-friend who has been open about her infertility journey in the hopes that her and her husband can inspire or encourage those who are going through something similar. This story isn't over so it doesn't have an ending, but the good news is that it sure has a happy middle! 

Brittany reached out to me almost a year and a half ago to plan a maternity session. After the tragedy of losing a first... and then a second baby and still not being pregnant, her and her husband, Troy, decided to just do some photos of the two of them last August (check those out here!). 

They went through plethora of negative diagnoses, two losses, many months of medical treatment (uterus surgery, injections and IUIs) and switching Fertility Clinics. After all of this, doctors told the couple that it would be impossible for them to conceive on their own without the use of IVF (Invitro Fertilization).  Their desire for a child was strong and they decided to move forward with doing IVF, but wanted to wait another month to give her body more time to prepare. 

In that month, Brittany said that God did the impossible and created their miracle baby! She told me that the pregnancy hasn't been smooth sailing, with four weeks of bed rest in the first trimester for the risk of potential miscarriage, but they are now at 30 weeks and happy to report no issues and a healthy little guy!! 

It has been such a blessing to get to know Troy and Brittany a little through this process and I can't wait to see the rich future their family has in store :)

Colorado Family Session | Gonyeas

This family is special to my heart. We have known each other for what seems like forever and I wouldn't change it for the world! Photos are a good excuse to get to watch Zoey grow up... and it sure is happening fast! It's a good thing we didn't find out how much she liked taking photos of her mom and dad with my camera until late in the shoot, I see some potential there ;)