Ironwoods Park, Kansas Family Photos | Augusta and Creighton Moes

When I first moved to Kansas City three and a half years ago, I ran a Groupon for only a few days. I wasn't sure that it was going to reach my ideal client and didn't want to cheapen the photography industry in any way so I was hesitant to do it at all, but since I hardly knew anyone in the area, I was desperate to meet people. I had four people buy the Groupon during that time including this family, but they have since continued to book sessions with me over the years and I couldn't be more grateful! I love that they are so consistent in getting photos taken of their kids all the way through high school. I think it's fantastic that they care about capturing these seasons that are often overlooked in the busyness of teenagers' lives because they will have so much to help them look back on, remember and share the journey with generations to come.

Ironwoods Park in Leawood, Kansas was a new location for me, but definitely one I'd be up for using again as it is convenient for anyone who lives South of the downtown area.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:

Liberty Memorial, Kansas City Fall Family Photos | Curtis Family

Wow. This fall has brought me in touch with so many incredible families in Kansas City, Northwest Arkansas and Colorado. This KC fam met me at the Liberty Memorial near Crown Center for their session, which happens to be one of my favorite places to shoot! The variety between trees, structure and the city as a backdrop never disappoints. Their kiddos are also at an age where they still think I'm cool, so I had that going for me ;) Lidia (the youngest) kept asking if my husband, Preston, and I could go to dinner with them sometime haha - so sweet! Meet the Curtis family:

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:

Gardner, KS Sibling Photos | Aaron, Zach & Maya

What a perfect, cloudy day we had in Gardner, Kansas this past weekend. I got to meet Aaron, Zach and Maya who were a bit shy but we had a great time shooting around their parents' property! It was refreshing to see siblings treat each other this well, even in the short time I had with them. They seemed to just know what the others were thinking or feeling and had a strangely wonderful connection with each other. I hope that never changes for them! The two boys are 16 years old and Maya is only 13.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:

Downtown KC Night Lights and Kauffman Center Sunset Photo session | Katie & Beau Weissend

WOW. What else could you say about the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts in Kansas City? This architecture and aesthetic of this building is absolutely immaculate. It certainly served us well for some interesting images during this session with Katie Rose and Beau. This evening's session was the third in a series of photos I've been working on for a class at the Kansas City Art Institute. I wanted to have one consistent element (this couple) throughout a diverse array of settings. The first incorporated a lifestyle environment when I went to their house and didn't let them wear anything other than what they would lounge around in on a normal basis. The second was an afternoon downtown and at a coffee shop because they are both coffee enthusiasts. I like each setting in it's own way and am so excited to share them with you :) Scroll down for directions to a parking garage with the beautiful view of the city lights! 

I obviously had to share that last image above because it was just too perfect ;))

This view of the city lights can be found from the parking garage directly across the street from the Webster House restaurant. The address to navigate to is 1643 Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO 64108.  You can park on the street for free and it's never been very busy during the evenings that I have gone. Just take the elevator or stairs to the top and enjoy the view!! 

Engagement session in the Kansas City West Bottoms & Downtown

Kristie and Nick are one of those couples photographers dream of booking. They are super sweet, flexible and up for anything, not to mention they look so good together and have great clothing and location style! The first day we tried to do photos it was the worst weather possible. It was so dark it practically looked like like the sun had already set at 5:30 pm, there was a tornado warning in the surrounding areas (to the point they even evacuated the airport), and there was a concurrent flood warning. Maybe we should have known better, but we decided to give it a go anyway... we figured if nothing else we would have a good story. Luckily we ended up with more that that and I'm glad we went for it because it was dark enough for a few businesses to turn their outside lights on for a bit of a different look than usual!  Shout out to one of my favorites, Quay Coffee for being the perfect backdrop.

We met again a couple days later to take a few more and, as always, the KC West Bottoms was the perfect spot. And this time the weather was perfect!! Congratulations to this fun couple, I can't wait for their wedding in September here in downtown Kansas City :D Be sure to check out her gorgeous ring at the end, it's so elegant!

Loose Park, Kansas City Family Session | The Caputos

Meet the Caputo family! I work with Cherish and have had the pleasure of meeting her beautiful kiddos once before. They are so full of personality and, as you will see, I purposely included some of the silly photos because they're real and I'm all about that :) It was my pleasure to introduce them to one of the prettiest parks in Kansas City: Loose Park. From the 1.3 mile running/walking trail around the outside to the playground, picnic tables, bridges and pond, pavilions, rose garden and grill-out areas, this park has so much to offer. We did, however, make the mistake of shooting in the early evening of prom night. I've never seen it so busy, much less that full of teenagers walking around in dresses and tuxes! The girls loved looking at all the pretty dresses though and we were able to avoid most of them in the background so it still turned out alright. 

Cherish and Tony, thank you for letting me capture your sweet family and I can't wait for some of these photos to be on the walls of your new house!! 


Did you miss my fun video experiment from last time? See it here!

Kansas City 2016 Senior Representative: Shelby Brand

I'll admit it...I am INCREDIBLY late in the game to be taking senior representative photos...but I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to make a new connection so I'm glad I still went for it! Meet the beautiful Shelby. She goes to high school in Olathe but was kind enough to meet me downtown for some photos at the Liberty Memorial/Crown Center area of Kansas City.

Shelby was such a trooper, finding random restrooms to change in and hiking up the massive hill in her high heels... I couldn't have asked for an easier person to work with :) Shelby loves music, pours herself into her two jobs and says she is known to be a crazy cat lady (although I thought she was very normal haha). She'll be attending Kansas University in the fall and I'm so excited for all the opportunities she will run into in this next stage of life. My younger sister is graduating high school this year as well so I have a special place in my heart for all those making the plunge into college or jobs or whatever dreams they have for their lives. It's such a time of adventure and change and I love seeing them be bold, take risks and enter into the first stage of adulthood! Congratulations to the high school class of 2016 - you've almost made it! 

Oh and I forgot to mention, we certainly weren't the only ones out taking senior photos that evening...it was too beautiful not to. How adorable was this scene we ran into?!? Unfortunately this was moments before the 0 balloon floated away......

Katie Rose | Spring in Kansas City

There is something about Springtime that just puts people in a good mood. The sun comes out and everyone comes out of hibernation, renewed and ready to take on the year. If you have followed me on my personal social media at all, you’d know that I have been running a lot in training for my first half marathon in 3 weeks (EEK!). It’s amazing what you discover when you walk or run outside instead of driving…this gorgeous tree in full bloom, for example. For about a week I kept running by it and every time I couldn’t help but think about how BADLY I wanted to photograph someone with it. I imagined a blonde fitting the scene perfectly and my new friend Katie was kind enough to help me make it happen. 

Growing up in Colorado was incredible (obviously, it’s Colorado), but we certainly didn’t have trees like this there so I’m still in awe of them every year. And yet, I always seem to miss them since they are only in full bloom like this for a couple weeks! I couldn’t be happier that I can’t say that anymore :) If you’re a photographer, don’t forget to shoot for YOU between sessions..let’s fight burnout together to continue to Create, Connect and Captivate.

Know someone who is looking for photos this Spring? Share this post and tag them! Or just let them know I exist....it's all appreciated :)

Post Coffee | Lees Summit, MO

If you haven't noticed the theme here recently....we really like coffee! I mean, yes we love roasting and hand brew methods and our espresso machine and drinking it...but one of our very favorite things to do is to visit new coffee shops and/or spend time in our favorites. Post Coffee (in Lee's Summit, Missouri) was a new one for us and it totally met our high expectations from what we had heard! The interior had a very clean, spacious design and, coupled with the friendly staff, felt immediately welcoming and relaxed. I had a perfect flat white and couldn't resist an old fashioned doughnut - totally worth it! 

Out of the Bag

Here's the thing about photography: it's a hassle. Carrying around all that equipment, finding locations, talking to so many people...it can be overwhelming and bit exhausting! Lately I have been on a mission to take more photos of life outside my paid shoots. I think it's challenging to view the world from the camera's perspective, always looking for opportunities and trying to capture the beauty in all different situations. It isn't comfortable, but nothing truly extraordinary ever came from staying in your comfort zone! Sometimes I feel like Dori from Finding Nemo, "just keep shooting, just keep shooting, just keep shooting shooting shooting..." 

The first step was actually taking my camera with me everywhere; I never even have the chance to photograph anything if it is left sitting at home. However, I have found that even if I have it with me, if I leave it in the bag there is much less of a chance of it getting used. If it's in my hand I start to really focus on my surroundings and at that point it's just easy to lift it to my eye and snap a few here and there. Recently it has been helpful and eye opening to just pick one lens to take at a time and do what I can with that, rather than try to take a larger bag with more options. I doubt I'm the only one that struggles to not have my camera collect dust on a shelf at home, so my challenge for you is to take yours with you and take it OUT OF THE BAG! 

Kansas City/Lawrence Stylized Shoot

I have always wanted to do a stylized shoot, but never felt like I had the resources or network to make it happen. Then I reached out to Miranda, a Kansas City wedding planner with Belle Journee. I had emailed a few planners and mostly got "thanks, we'll keep you in mind," which I know means I will most likely not hear back again. But Miranda replied right away and, after seeing my work, expressed a need for a photographer for a special project...fast forward to this gorgeous stylized shoot!!

I didn't have much daylight to work with and I broke the stand for my external flash (long story) so the images are few, but I was so happy to have something different to shoot during the slow season for weddings. Thanks to all the wonderful vendors who made it possible:

Venue: John Brown's Underground http://www.7e7th.com/
Coordinator: Belle Journee
Hair & Make Up: Dash Salon and Day Spa
Dress: J.Lynn Bridal
Floral: Sublime Stems

 

Dawson Family

For those of you who may not know, I do photography in addition to my full-time job. I am constantly amazed at how flexible people are in order to let me do their photos, and this session was no different! The Dawsons drove to downtown Kansas City where I work in order for me to do their photos during my lunch break...and before I went out of town for Thanksgiving. Mid-day shooting is obviously a little more risky light-wise, but we got incredibly lucky with a cloudy day so I didn't have to worry about shadows or squinty eyes. 

Another fact about me: I LOVE DOGS. So it was super fun to get a few shots with Banning and Katie's ADORABLE pup :) Family love just gets me every time...especially during the Holiday season! There is nothing more important.

Loose Park, Kansas City Family Photos | The Elliotts

A perfect Fall weekend (possibly the last of the season) and a perfectly adorable family to take photos of...what more could I ask for?! I work with Rebecca so I’ve gotten to know her a little, but it was wonderful to finally meet her husband and cute little baby last weekend. I had to exercise my clone tool skills because of the mass amounts of people that also happened to be taking photos at the same park and worked their way into the background...but editing practice never hurts and they all had good reason to be there as well :) Enjoy these beautiful colors because I’m not sure how many more sessions I’ll get in while they last!

Lauren Koker | KC Senior

Sometimes I forget how much I LOVE senior sessions….and this one is possibly one of my favorites to date! Not only did we have awesome backdrops (apparently what happens when you actually location scout ahead of time), but Lauren knocked her outfit choices out of the park (kinda like the Royals are doing with their games this week..) and the weather was incredible!! 

I am totally in love with our use of the skyline to show off this gorgeous KC senior and our beautiful city at the same time! Thanks to the Koker family for a perfect evening and congratulations to Lauren…you’re almost there!