I’ve never sat down and counted the many factors that come into play for a successful photo session. There are dozens; I know that. A few of the most crucial are natural lighting angles, location access, weather, opportunities and abilities for off-camera lighting setup, my creative flow and vision for the shot, and the subject’s comfort level in front of the camera. I think of all these things like the sliders lined across a soundboard. On any given day, these sliders can be all over the place. Maybe we’ll have awesome light at an angle that doesn’t work with the direction of the wind. Maybe we’ll show up to a secluded location I thought no one else knew about, and find a handful of photo sessions taking place in all the good spots. Many of the variables are beyond my control, so I make adjustments as necessary to optimize the situation.
But with Nick’s senior portrait session, every slider on that metaphorical soundboard was dialed up to 11. He was an incredibly confident and stylish subject. He trusted my ideas. We had access to some unique locations as well as some public areas where we encountered not another human soul. We had a perfectly overcast day (my absolute favorite type of natural light) with the clouds breaking right at sunset, soaking the the Kansas City skyline with rich warm tones as the buildings lit up for the night. We had a couple incredibly hot cars to shoot with. It was epic, start to finish.
These two adorable love birds celebrated their engagement with a Kansas City-style photo session. It was the first bitterly cold day of the season, and after enjoying such mild autumn weather up to that point, the sudden shift in temperatures solidified the KC experience for us. And they enjoyed lots of snuggles in the process. Because hypothermia is no fun.
We began our journey at the Country Club Plaza on a walking bridge where Ryan proposed to Christine. I love incorporating such meaningful locations in photo sessions, so this was a perfect place to begin. After exploring the area, looking for any place that could offer a break from the brutally chilling wind, we moved to the Crossroads Arts District to visit the recently famous “Kansas City I’m So in Love” mural on the south side of Fortuity at 19th and Baltimore. Christine and Ryan were troopers to say the least – they wore their Charlie Hustle KC t-shirts (while I was bundled in several layers and still freezing, so I can imagine they were certainly numb at this point). We took a quick walk around the block to capture some street scenes in the background, and I fell more in love with Kansas City in the process. The area we were shooting in felt alive and bright and modern, when not too long ago, it would have felt more like a ghost town. The revitalization of the Crossroads has done amazing things for the city and for people like us who love and adore it.
Congratulations to Christine and Ryan, who are so in love!
I don’t believe that there is some magic equation for creating the perfect wedding day. But I know there are certain key elements that make a wedding day more memorable, more exciting, and more photogenic. If you’re taking notes, some of those crucial elements are (1) two people madly in love, (2) tons of joyful friends and family, (3) a gorgeous venue, (4) dozens of ridiculously adorable kids. Kyiia and Jeff had all of these things. And to top that, they also threw in a stress-free schedule, sunset rooftop photos, and a groom serenading his bride at the reception with a song he had written just for her. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Scott’s lucky that I don’t wear cufflinks. Because I probably would have stolen these from him.
Usually I get a little annoyed when people call attention from the bride to take pictures on their cell phones. But I make an exception for grooms. I actually love that Jeff did this. Such a cute moment!
How AWESOME are these R2-D2 cake toppers?!
This surprise dance from Kyiia and Jeff (yes, with a wardrobe change!) was amazing!
Thanks to everyone who made this day so special and so beautiful for the lovely newlyweds:
I had a feeling that Lyndsay and Matt were a little nervous heading into our photo session. And I get it. It can be awkward to have your photo taken. It can be a little challenging to act naturally when you’re well aware that someone 5 or 10 feet away from you is snapping your photo. When I perceive that my subjects are feeling a bit uneasy, it means I have some extra work to do. Beyond setting up the shot, deciding which lens to use, deciding how to light it, and exposing the shot properly, my interactions with my subject can become the most crucial aspect of my job. Because who cares about a well-lit, perfectly exposed photo if the subjects don’t look comfortable or natural?
So I thought I’d have some extra work to do. But I was so wrong. They tricked me! My oh my. These two are in love. They entertain each other. They act naturally and beautifully together. They rocked this session!
Special thanks to Ben Money for being an awesome lighting assistant for this one! You rock, Ben!