Michelle’s Modeling Portfolio Session

Michelle and I spent an evening in the West Bottoms creating some fresh looks for her modeling portfolio. It was a cold and windy evening, but like all quality models, Michelle was a trooper throughout the session and didn’t let it bother her (or didn’t let it show, at least). As a result, we captured some solid, stylish images that highlight a variety of looks. I wish Michelle the best in her modeling career and can’t wait to work with her again!

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McKenzie – Class of 2016

I don’t know how I continue to get the most awesome senior clients, but I do. The last few years, all of my seniors have been absolutely wonderful. They are strong, confident people with great personalities. They shine in each of their sessions as individuals with their own style and their own interests. I love that about them. They know who they are. They’re proud of their accomplishments. And they have great plans for their futures.

McKenzie was certainly no exception to this. I loved working with her at Missouri Town 1855 to create a rustic feel to match her style, and also working in the downtown Blue Springs area for some cool urban backgrounds. We took some photos in my studio as well to capture some portraits with basic backdrops, which she rocked. I loved getting to know her in the few hours that we worked together. She is outgoing and full of positivity. She is the kind of person who makes me hopeful for the future!

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The Evans Family (Yes, Again!)

I know, I know… these people have appeared all over my website and my blog for years. I should really stop posting so many of their pictures (or maybe buy a new domain exclusively for their pictures). But, come on! Just look at them! They’re ridiculously adorable. They’re amazing to work with. And each year I get the joy of seeing these handsome boys grow up, surrounded by the love of their incredible parents.

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Taylor and Taylor’s Kansas City Engagement Session

Engagement photos often involve quite a bit of direction for the couple – having one of them turn their head slightly, asking one person to snuggle up on the other, etc. So knowing that this awesome couple is comprised of two Taylors, I needed a game plan for talking to each of them separately. Taylor (the man) told me that his friends call him “T Mo.” So he shall hereby be known as T Mo.

T Mo has been featured on the blog before, as I did head shots for him a couple of years ago. He was a great subject then, but as the old saying goes, two Taylors are better than one! Maybe that’s not the exact saying, but we’ll just go with it.

I met Taylor and T Mo (and their awesome dog, Ace) at Liberty Memorial yesterday evening so we could include a variety of backgrounds for their very Kansas City engagement session. They were simply wonderful to work with. They are both genuinely kind, fun, wonderful people. I hope they had as much fun with me as I had with them. We enjoyed gorgeous fall colors, incredible views, and even a shot or two inside Union Station. Add a touch of Royals pride, and you have all you need for a perfect session!

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What I Learned on the First Day

We knew this day would come. For years, we counted down. We would walk or drive past the school in our neighborhood and say “Nathan, that’s where you’ll go to school next year… next month… tomorrow.” Secretly, I had been looking forward to the little bit of freedom of having one of my boys in school. I had been thinking about what it would mean – having more time to get work done, or more time to spend with my younger boy who has never really had much time alone with me.

But then the countdown reached zero. And everything changed.

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I was so proud of him as he walked confidently to the school bus stop. He was excited for new adventures. He was ready to make new friends. I realized that he wouldn’t have any problems. He would be just fine. This eased my anxiety. At least slightly.

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He’s such an incredible brother. So loving and thoughtful. So protective and kind. How will Sam feel without him around to play all day?

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Shortly after I shot this frame, he blew us two kisses. And my husband and I both broke down crying. For reasons more numerous than either of us could identify, I’m sure. Maybe mostly because we’ll miss him. Maybe mostly because we’re so proud of the young man that he is. Maybe mostly because that’s what he is now: a young man. Not our future plan, not our heartbeat on an ultrasound, not our swaddled baby, not our half-naked toddler dancing through the hallway.

We watched that plan and that heartbeat, that swaddled baby and that half-naked toddler ride away.

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Ok, but we also drove to the school to take a few more pictures (or that’s the excuse I use for making sure he survived the ride and found his classroom).

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One of the hardest parts about your child leaving you is simply not seeing what he’s doing. Not seeing him laugh, or knowing if he’s being friendly and selfless like you hope he’ll be, or being able to stand up for himself if someone is mistreating him. But I never realized what having him leave us would mean for us.

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It meant a quiet Lego table that wasn’t facing epic battles of robots and bad guys with hilarious names whose legs and ship wings would randomly fall off, and all the corresponding sound effects.

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It meant a placemat with no new crumbs to clean (woo hoo!). And a spot at the lunch table that wasn’t giggling about the silly things Sam was doing that I couldn’t see.

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It meant a dark and quiet room. No radio playing. No feet crashing to the ground with thuds that can be heard two floors below as he is being an American Ninja Warrior jumping off his bed while he is supposed to have quiet time.

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No new construction paper creations.

It was a weird day. I didn’t know what to do with my time. My routine was thrown off. I was bored. I watched what must have been the world’s slowest clock as it creeped toward 4:00.

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He couldn’t pinpoint his “MOST very, very favorite thing” about his day because there were just too many. He loved it.

He survived. We survived.

And I once again had a greater respect for my parents and everything they silently endured as I raced my way through childhood without any desire to slow down time.

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Boulevardia

Kansas City is so awesome. So very awesome. Boulevardia is just one of the reasons why it’s so freakin’ fantastic. I mean, it’s a three-day celebration of beer and music. I’m not sure it gets any better than that. I had the pleasure of photographing the national and local bands that played on behalf of The Deli Kansas City. Although I only attended a couple of the days, and only captured a small portion of the great acts, I can say it was absolutely packed full of talent. I loved hearing some local acts that were new to my ears. I was super impressed with every band I heard. What I loved the most was that there wasn’t a single local band that wasn’t deserving of playing on the main stage. Seriously, KC bands, you’re amazing.

The Outsides
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The awesome stilt man
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The Phantastics
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In the Valley Below
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Hembree
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MS MR
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Fire dancer!
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The Architects
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The Mowgli’s
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The ultimate unicycle man!
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Moon Hooch
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Calvin Arsenia and Jonathan Theobald
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The Buhs
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Atlas Genius
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Making Movies
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Kangaroo Knife Fight
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Bryan’s Senior Session – Blue Springs South Class of 2015

I simply love working with seniors! I enjoy capturing and celebrating their personality and style during such an exciting time in their lives. Bryan’s session showcased a spectrum of style – from casual to formal, from a fantastic smile to a more serious side. He rocked his session with a variety of looks, which always makes a session more exciting.

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Susie and Dave’s Wonderful Wedding in the Winterset Woods

Using an alliteration in the title of this blog post was a must. I may even include some similes, metaphors, or hyperboles in this post. Proper grammar is an absolute requirement. I will do these things in honor of my wonderful seventh grade Language Arts teacher, who also happens to be this lovely bride. I have admired her since I was 12 years old (and though I won’t offer the exact number of years, that was a LONG time ago). I have kept in touch with her through the years, and she has continued to inspire me – not only as an educator, but also as a mother, a friend, and a survivor. She’s simply a phenomenal person. To be a witness to this incredibly joyful day for her was a wonderful honor.

Susie and Dave exchanged vows during an intimate morning ceremony in the woods, surrounded by nature, friends, and family. It was perfect and beautiful. It was everything that a wedding should be.

Congratulations to the newlyweds! Best wishes for continued adventures and an endlessly growing love in the years to come!

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