After a long journey with miscarriage, Brittany gave birth to a son. And then a year and a half later gave birth again… this time to these precious TWINS! Once you’re done taking in all the cuteness, scroll to the bottom of this post to see all the sessions I’ve done for this family to help tell their story over the years :)Read More
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.
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The first time I met Valerie and Isaac was at a consultation after they inquired about having me photograph their wedding in 2018. We met at a restaurant and, after they both gave me a big hug, Isaac insisted on buying my meal too instead of letting me buy theirs (like it's supposed to work!). These two are so easy going and goofy enough that I fit right in. We had so much fun at their engagement session that I guess it was a good thing the sun set or we might have been shooting the whole night! Isaac grew up in Bucyrus, Kansas so it was only fitting that we were able to shoot on some (GORGEOUS) property out there.
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect night, despite being a little chilly... the fall colors, the barn, the pond with a bridge and their fishing poles... they even brought beer cans with the Chiefs and Broncos logos on them since they are a "house divided" when it comes to team affiliations!! Not only that, but the Chiefs and Broncos played here in Kansas City only a couple days after our session! I couldn't plan those things if I tried :D
Next September I'll get to shoot Val and Isaac's wedding at the Barn at Schwinn Produce Farm and it just feels so far away still - I can't wait!!
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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:
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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.
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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!!
Nick and Kristie’s downtown Kansas City wedding was nothing short of spectacular. It rained during their engagement session a few months back (remember that?) and thunderstorms were scheduled for the whole afternoon/evening of their wedding too. THANKFULLY our luck held out and we saw clear skies right up until the moment they did their exit!!
Nick and Kristie coached at the same gym for about a year before Kristie left Vegas to go back to school in Kentucky. After a year apart, they reconnected and began dating long distance for two years. Kristie said that the distance only made their relationship stronger and now they have been together for over six years!
Every year since 2010, they've gone to Maryville, MO for homecoming at Northwest Missouri State (Nick’s alma mater). They take a walk on campus before the homecoming parade and sometimes stop at certain spots to take photos along the way. One of the first photos they took in 2010 was at the ‘kissing bridge’ on campus. This last homecoming was especially memorable as they decided to take a photo on that same bridge and then Nick got on one knee to ask Kristie to marry him. Kristie said it was perfect, just the two of them and his best friend to capture the moment - a memory they will never forget!! Fast forward to September 9, 2016 -->
Kristie describes Nick as thoughtful, hardworking and funny and says one her favorite things about him is his relationship with his family, especially his parents. She says she just knows he is going to be the best dad and she loves that.
Nick describes Kristie as dedicated, passionate and caring and says that one of his favorite things about her is that she works hard for what she wants.
Some of the words they used to describe their relationship are fun-loving, comforting, passionate and effortless. Effortless… I love that one! I know sometimes love can be complicated, but it shouldn’t always have to be!
I can NOT get over this downtown Kansas City wedding venue! I work just up the street during the week so it was so special to see a new perspective/vantage point of everything that is so familiar to me :)
It was such a privilege to play a role in Kristie and Nick’s story and I’m so thankful for the ensuing friendship! Huge thanks to all the other vendors who helped pull this very perfect day together for this sweet couple:
Wedding Coordinator - Maggie from the Terrace on Grand
Florist - Costco Floral, arrangements by Kristie and Nick
Cake(s) - 3 Women and an Oven
Officiant - John Baker
Bridal Dress - David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses - Dillards
Tuxes - express.com
Caterer - Terrace on Grand
Hair Stylist - Studio 39 Salon
Makeup Artist - Studio 39 Salon
Band or DJ - Chris Taylor
Videographer - Preston Goff (yes, my very own husband!) www.prestongoff.myportfolio.com
Invitations - magentstreet.com
Jewelry - Fred Meyer
Centerpieces and most of the decor - Kristy Graczyk
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!
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!
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......
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 :)
Robert and Kristin took advantage of a Valentine's Day special that I ran for a couple weeks. After hearing that they never got to take engagement photos and that their wedding day pictures were a bit rushed, I was delighted to spend a short time celebrating their love for each other in this tangible way that they can treasure forever. I was also pretty happy to hear they are going to try and bring back some green coffee for my husband and I from Robert's family's farm in the Dominican...if you don't know, Preston and I recently started roasting our own beans, taking our love for coffee to a whole new level!
Thank you two for being so wonderful to be around, it's good to know you :)
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!
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!
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:
Today it snowed in Kansas City...enough for my day job to let out a couple hours early!! That meant that Preston and I got to spend a little time in my happy place before it closed for the evening. Heirloom Bakery & Hearth is one of the best things that could have opened so close to our house, even though it may be the worst thing that could have happened to my waistline. Tonight's white cheddar and cracked pepper biscuit hit the spot, but my usual favorites are the cranberry orange scones and chocolate chip zucchini muffins. :)
It's mostly one of my happy spots for the food and coffee of course, but the atmosphere plays a huge part in that too. Especially on snowy days like today when it's not as busy, it's cozy and warm. It's almost like it invites you to stay for hours and try a different baked good every 30 minutes..or 20....or 10. Hence the bad for my waistline part. It's nice to have such a friendly feeling place as a good work spot by our house. Be sure to check them out - just a minute drive from Brookside!
If you know Kansas City, you know the Roasterie: a local coffee company who has perfected the art of air-roasting and found a way to integrate itself into the culture here in creative and personal ways. Want to buy their beans in local grocery stores? You got it. Want them delivered to your door? You got that too. They can also be found as the coffee source for local businesses (including the Visit KC office that I work at during the week - lucky me!!).
The coffee scene here in KC is one of Preston and my favorite things about the area. I wouldn't quite call myself a coffee snob, but there is something so exciting about a city that doesn't feature Starbucks as the most popular spot for a cup of jo. There are an endless amount of cozy coffee shops, but the Roasterie has definitely become one of the most widely known because of their multiple locations, roasting facility, and assimilation into the society. I finally went on the FREE tour of their roasting facility this past weekend with my sweet in-laws and I was 'that person' snapping photos along the way...what's new.
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.
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!
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!