Category Archives: kansas city

baby alyvia | newborn

i got to meet this sweet angel recently for her newborn photo session. she is just delicious! i fell in love the moment i saw her.  when she arrived with her mama and daddy, her mom let me feed her.  i was in baby heaven. once she finished her bottle, we headed out into the studio to begin photos.  i had several sets planned for a sleeping baby, but alyvia was afraid she would miss the party, so she kept her eyes wide open.

we moved to plan b, and i started posing her in some nice awake poses.  i do like to get a nice family shot with the baby awake, so alyvia was a perfect model for that.i thought after we got some family shots, alyvia would be exhausted…i was wrong.  🙂

it took us over an hour to get herto sleep.  luckily, alyvia’s parents are way cool, so i had a fun time getting to really know them.  her poor daddy was so sleepy that at one point we looked over and he was totally asleep in the chair. poor guy.

we finally got alyvia to close her eyes, and once she gave in to sleep, i was in “go mode.” we were able to get a bunch of gorgeous shots of her, and she slept right through it.  success!

alyvia was so well-behaved that i convinced her parents to stay an extra hour so i could get more photos of her. i think starvation had set in for chris by the time i finished. we kept talking about what restaurant they were going to head to. (they talked about mexican food so much that i had to get some chips and salsa for myself that night too!)

it was a great photo session, and i am definitely looking forward to more with this family.  i promise the next one won’t take as long! thanks for being so cooperative, chris and aveon, and of course, baby alyvia!!

siera+jake | wedded bliss

these two make my heart smile.  when they came over to chat about wedding plans and pictures, i knew i had to be a part of this wedding – even if it was just as a guest! lucky for me, they chose me as their wedding photographer! thank you siera and jake!!!

the location for the wedding was the historic Belvoir Winery in liberty, missouri.  This winery used to be a sort of group home,and it is known now for it’s frequent paranormal activity. my mom and my sister are always dragging me on ghost hunts and making me watch shows about the paranormal, so i knew immediately that my sister, Laura,  would be my extra assistant for this wedding (and let me tell you, she was stoked!).

when laura,myself, and amy (my other assistant) arrived for the wedding day, i felt my usual wedding-day mix of excitement and nerves.  Laura couldn’t get in the building fast enough to start feeling for spirits, and poor amy was more than willing to hang back and wait for laura to scope the place out alone. haha.

we found siera with her bridesmaids and mom getting all dolled up in the bridal suite – what a cool space this was! siera had already ordered her first starbucks with her new name on it.  ijust thought that was so cute. the boys were in the room next to us, playing video games, and treating this day like just another friday the 13th (did i mention the wedding was also on friday the 13th?!).

when i saw siera’s dress for the first time, i am pretty sure i audibly gasped. it was gorgeous! she had it custom-made, and i am sure i will never see another dress like it again.  the dress was all black with a red lace overlay on the bodice.  it had a full skirt and a banded waistline.

i could not wait for her to get into the dress! she also planned for the entire bridal party to wear red converse – love!!

once everybody was dressed, we headed outside to the belvoir grounds for photos. somehow, siera+jake chose the hottest friday the 13th ever for their wedding. i was sweating so much that my hair was soggy and stuck to my face – the exact description of a hot mess.

siera looked gorgeous! we followed her around with a small fan and even hid it behind her bouquet so she wouldn’t melt.

we set up a “first look” for siera and jake at the base of the stairs to the main winery building.  siera walked down the stairs, and her dress billowed out behind her – it was stunning.  when jake saw her, his smile was as big as his face.  siera also could not stop smiling.  and in turn, i couldn’t stop smiling either (although i may have appeared to be crying due to all the sweat dripping down my face).

siera and jake, along with my photo entourage, walked down to the metal and concrete gazebo near the fountain. we made a bunch of photos there, and we also created several in the grassy area. i could have photographed these two all day. we eventually made our way  back to the main building for the group photos. everybody was super cooperative, and we were laughing the entire time (it also helps that we were at location serving alcohol – this tends to keep everybody happy and agreeable).

the ceremony was awesome.  the bridal party gets to walk down this super long path as they enter the ceremony area.  siera’s dad walked with her down the long path, and they eventually met up with siera’s mom at the fountain.  both of her parents escorted her down the aisle to jake. i loved it (if you were looking closely at me, you may have noticed those pesky sweat tears again).

siera’s grand-pa, boob (yes, boob. not a typo), officiated the ceremony.  he made it very funny, and he was dressed to perfectly match the theme of the wedding, with a “six-shooter,” a huge bible, and full-on garb from the era.  it was perfect.

after the ceremony, the bridal party joined us for more photos at the nearby cemetery (thank you to siera’s brother, sage, for driving us. i am glad i was in the cab of the truck and not the bed though, as sage would be perfectly suited to drive in a nascar race.)

the sun began setting as we were in the cemetery, which added a perfect glow to all the shots back there. (and not to worry, we were very respectful of the graves). after our cemetery shots, we found some abandoned buildings on the property that were awesome for photos. we did some very old-fashioned poses, and boob even stuck his head out of a window to create this super-creepy shot that is one of my favorites.

while we were setting up the creepy shot, i started hearing some shuffling and strange sounds coming from the building beside us. since the sun was setting, it was getting dark and very spooky in our location.  i looked at my sister, and she immediatly perked up when she heard the sound. i am not kidding when i say this girl put on her game face, like she was being called up to the major leagues of ghost hunting. she started tip-toeing to the building, and the rest of the bridal party started to go inside.  (meanwhile, poor amy was gripping the side of sage’s truck and not going anywhere near that building).

the group made their way inside, and i suddenly heard a bunch of screams! i jumped just from nervous energy.  as fast as i heard them scream, i heard them start laughing. it wasn’t a spirit at all – it was siera’s dad, craig, hiding in the building and just waiting for his chance to scare the snot out of all of us.  (he was successful).

after our fake-poltergiest encounter, we headed in to the reception. i have one word for the food – italian. it’s pretty hard to top macaroni and cheese in my world. actually, it’s impossible. the reception was a good one – people were dancing and laughing and just having an excellent time. the best man gave one of the best speeches i have heard – everyone was laughing and crying at the same time. dilly dilly! the father-daughter dance definitely brought me to tears (but, let’s just call it sweat, shall we?).  as siera danced with her dad, i had to keep wiping off my viewfinder because my tears kept fogging it up. i happened to look up, and i noticed siera’s mom, kristi, video-ing this dance. she could barely hold the phone steady because she was constantly wiping away tears. i had to look away so that i didn’t start ugly crying. the entire room was losing it. (*tip: if you want your entire reception to be sobbing, choose “i can only imagine” for your daddy-daughter dance).

the night ended with no paranormal activity, which totally bummed my sister out.  amy, however, was relieved.  and i was just so happy to crank down my air conditioning to arctic-cold temperatures.  siera and jake’s wedding was one i will always remember. it was a great day, and the entire group was fun. i loved being a part of this day! siera and jake – congratulations!!!

aaron | senior

  in january, i had a photoshoot unlike any i have ever participated in! i was meeting a friend of mine and her son, who was a senior, for a “quick session.” since i have four boys of my own, i know these quick boy sessions very well. 🙂

i met her and her son, aaron, on a cloudy morning at a dusty loading dock behind a building.  she told me she just wanted a few photos and not to go overboard.  (i do tend to go overboard.)  aaron was in agreement that he didn’t want to spend too much time making these photos.  i kept my focus and chatted up aaron – one of my favorite parts of photo sessions is learning about the person i am photographing.  aaron told me that he graduated early, and he was leaving for bootcamp the following week.

as a mom of boys, and the daughter of a retired air force captain, i am always a tinge sad when i hear the somebody is deploying.  aaron, though, was super excited, and so was his mom.  he had been in rotc during high school, and he knew exactly what he wanted to do in the air force.  his mom was so proud and told me how she was happy he was going to get to see the world.  i had never saw it that way.  aaron went on to tell me that he was going to train in SERE, and that he will eventually train others how to survive in tricky situations.  i was so impressed by him!

we finished up at our grungy urban set, and i asked aaron and his mom if they wanted to try any other locations, or if they felt like we got “it.”  aaron jumps in and tells me about this cave nearby that would ma
ke for cool shots – did this mean he wanted to keep the photo shoot going??  when a senior boy has fun at a photo session, i feel like i have succeeded.

so we agree to hike over to this cave, and i must say i was a bit apprehensive because i am not in my best shape 😉 , and i tend to injure myself just walking normally.  i was also wearing Sanuks, which i can guarantee are not rated for hiking through mud. aaron suggests i put target sacks over my shoes to keep me from sinking in the mud and ruining the shoes.  i felt completely stupid, but i did what he said.  and guess what?? it worked!!  he told me to walk on the leaves instead of the mud so i wouldn’t slip, and that worked too! i have to admit, i was impressed.

we found the cave, and it was absolutely worth it! we got some killer shots, and i learned so much cool stuff.  i was just so impressed with aaron, and i am positive he is going to do great things.  it makes me so proud that young men like him are protecting our America.

thank you Aaron!

this is aaron’s favorite bible verse, and it seemed so appropriate with this image

kansas city location guide

i am always trying to choose the perfect location for our photo sessions.  i want to make sure the location fits the personality of the person, and also that it matches the vision the family has in mind for their images.  i am hoping this little location guide will help us all make sure we are in the perfect spot!

CROSSROADS ART DISTRICT

i love love love the crossroads district! it has a little bit of everything.  there is graffiti…brick walls…garage doors…vines and leaves….alleys …and TONS of color!

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RAILROAD PARK

railroad park is a great park in blue springs.  it is exactly what you think of when you think of a park – lots of green, trees, a lake, and (bonus!) a gazebo.

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DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY

now that we are growing a cool downtown area, it is fun to head down there for some adventures in photography.

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UNITY VILLAGE – the promenade

unity village is one of our cities prettiest locations.  it has the coolest doors and textured walls, as well as fountains and gorgeous flower beds.

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UNITY VILLAGE – THE WOODS

my favorite secret spot is the back woods at unity. i love going back here! normally there aren’t any other people back there, and there are un-mowed fields and quite possibly the coolest bathroom structure i have ever seen.

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THE WEST BOTTOMS

this is THE spot for graffiti.  i am in total awe of how awesome some of the graffiti is down there.  the colors are super bright, so it makes for super happy photos.  there is also a lot of grunge down there – plenty of old doors and ramps and metal stairs.  definitely plan to come home dirty, but it is such a fun experience!

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KAUFFMAN STADIUM

so many of us are royals fans again, and what better place than to show of that love than kauffman stadium?

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LAKE JACOMO

if you wanting a raw, outdoorsy style of photo, this is the place.  there are so many little spots at lake jacomo that i haven’t even begun to discover them all.  the lake is huge, and there are tons of trees and coves, and a lot of sailboats!

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LIGGETT PARK

i kind of made up the name “liggett park” because it really isn’t exactly park.  it’s more of a parking lot with some cool surroundings.  that said, i LOVE this little bit of beauty.  it’s a great location for boys (little boys, senior boys, and especially daddy boys)  because it is small enough that they know it will be a quick session, but it has a lot of nooks for tons of variety.

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LOOSE PARK

loose park is kansas city’s version of central park…wowzas.  it’s always gorgeous.  it’s full of trees, a lake, a rose garden, fields, bridges….sigh, it’s just all around lovely.

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LOWENSTEIN PARK

this is a small park in lee’s summit with a very cool bridge and several cool paths.  it also has a couple cool arbor/archway structures and a small pond with waterfall.

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simply|moore STUDIO “PARK”

i wish it was as big as a park, but the yard at my studio is quite nice for photos.  it works best for small families and kids or seniors.  i have some huge boulders, a wildflower garden (in the summer), a koi pond with waterfall, and trees.  it’s perfect when you want outdoor images, but want to keep it simple.

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