This family is truly one we should all strive to be like. They are always laughing together and the love they have for each other is huge. Not many kids would willingly attend a photo shoot on a frigid day and smile through the whole event. I was cracking up the whole time because they are so funny! As a newly-single mom, michelle has had to reforge her path and restructure her family dynamic. As a close witness to this, I am here to say she has succeeded. I love when i get to be around this group, and I am so happy for them!
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!
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!
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.
DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY
now that we are growing a cool downtown area, it is fun to head down there for some adventures in photography.
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.
THE WEST BOTTOMS
this is a great spot for graffiti. 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!
BURR OAK WOODS
Burr Oak Woods is a true treasure in Blue Springs. it is beautiful at all times of the year with lots of trees and fields and trails. there is a gorgeous area of woods that is perfect for so many different ideas.
so many of us are royals fans, and what better place than to show of that love than kauffman stadium?
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!
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.
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.
DOWNTOWN BLUE SPRINGS
downtown blue springs is a great location for a mini session. it’s not gigantic and overwhelming, and yet it is super charming.
DOWNTOWN LEE’S SUMMIT
if you want a mini downtown, lee’s summit has it! there is an urban feel to it, but there are also bits of small town. it has so much to offer, and something different around every corner.
JAMES A REED WILDLIFE RESERVE
this is one of kansas city’s most beautiful, serene locations. there are lakes, docks, trails, fields, flowers, bridges – everything you want from a nature location. depending on the time of year, you can find sunflowers, wildflowers, berries, field grass, but it is always gorgeous.
this is the place if you want our city skyline in the background. they have a huge yard to play in as well as lots of stone and tile textures. there is also a huge stairway that looks great too!
PINK HILL PARK
pink hill park is located in blue springs. it is a small little park with lots of grassy area and trees – it is gorgeous in the fall and spring. there are lots of huge trees too that make for great climbing.
Powell Gardens is just outside of Kansas City, and it has a million beautiful little spots for photos. there are bridges, pergolas, water, and obviously, TONS of flowers. There is a small fee to enter the gardens, but it’s worth it.
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.
the first time I photographed Addison was when she was turning 13, and look at her now! she has always been beautiful, but now she is just gorgeous! we had a great time wandering around the west bottoms scouting fun places to photograph. we were smart enough to choose the hottest day of the year (it was 98 as we were shooting), so we were super grateful for the tall buildings casting shadows.
the west bottoms is so intriguing to me. I like to think about it 100 years ago when it was booming with people and activity. I love thinking about locations as they would have been decades ago. I am noticing that people are coming back to the west bottoms, and that is super exciting to me.
so here is addison rocking her photo shoot in the west bottoms!
show kindness – wendy