7 Outfits & 45-Degree Weather For This Fall Engagement Shoot!

I keep telling Lindsey this, but I will put it on the record — she is one of the most prepared brides I have ever worked with! She has lists for days! She should consider a career in wedding planning, actually.

Lindsey & Dan Fall (5)

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Dan & Lindsey again this Sunday. I say “again,” because we did a special ice rink engagement shoot for them this summer, too! Here are some fun shots from that:

Lindsey really wanted another shoot to capture the beauty of Missouri’s Fall weather, so we modified their wedding package to include two engagement shoots!

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This time, Lindsey sent me a list of 7 outfits she and Dan were going to wear. Not only that, she also had the photos she wanted in each outfit! I was impressed, thrilled, delighted … so many emotions — all of them good!

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The last time I met up with the happy couple, it was on the day of the solar eclipse! The weather was much different this time around. It was a chilly 45 degrees! But both she and Dan were total champions — you can’t even tell they’re freezing along with me!

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Dan and Lindsey met on Match.com. She told me she was scrolling through and saw Dan’s picture. This is my favorite part — she said, out loud to the empty room — “I WANT THAT ONE!!!”

And she got him. 😉

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We met at Faust Park in Chesterfield. It’s right next to the Butterfly House! There’s a small pond, and several really old buildings and barns, which made it perfect for the feel Lindsey was going for this photoshoot.

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Since our last shoot was mostly on the ice rink, I didn’t get the chance to introduce the happy couple to Juanita. This time, I did. She’s my sassy stool I stand on to get shots like the one above.

Plus, I am short … and it’s always better to be above the person as far as photos go, so I use her quite often. If you ever see her, say “hi!” I really need to get a picture of her!

Lindsey & Dan Fall (12)

Speaking of barns, here’s one of them below. There is a section of the park called “Historic Village.” According to the Faust Park website: “The Historic Village at Faust Park includes four homes and 14 additional structures … All of which have been saved from demolition … Spanning a period from 1840 to 1910, the Village provides a context in which the lifestyles of the settlers of St. Louis County and the skills they used to survive are illustrated.”

Lindsey & Dan Fall (4)

Pretty neat, huh? There’s also a large playground if your kiddos don’t feel like taking in the history! Or if you just feel like takin’ a swing.

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The last time I checked in with Lindsey for the blog post, she told me Dan promised to tell her he loves her — every day. And, as she reports, he has still kept that promise!

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They’re just too cute! Excited for your wedding in May!

I expect more lists! 😉

Lindsey & Dan Fall (13)

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Top 3 Reasons To Hire A Professional Photographer Over A Friend With A ‘Nice’ Camera

During a wedding, I have a lot of people walk up to me, just to tell me this: “I wish I had hired a professional photographer at my wedding. We had <insert family member here> do our photos, and while they tried their best, the photos aren’t what we hoped for.”

Every. Wedding. 

And even to this day, I have people inquire about booking us, and then write back saying, “My friend said she’d take some! We are tight on the budget, so we’re going with her!”

My bells and whistles go off. Not because I’m upset we lost a client — but because I don’t want them to be disappointed in the photos that capture one of the most important days of their lives. Cutting corners when it comes to a photographer is a big mistake!

And, really, this applies to any photoshoot. A family shoot. An engagement shoot. A boudoir shoot. I’ve literally heard this reiterated hundreds of times — and every time they come back saying they wish they hadn’t.

But for this post — let’s focus on weddings.

Can your friend or family member produce results like this?


You tell us — which of the two below was taken by Kansas City Photography? If it was your friend with a nice camera that had taken the second one, would you have been satisfied?


Having a nice camera does not equal being a great photographer.

Just like owning nice cookware doesn’t make you a chef.

Does your friend know how to play with lighting? Could they give you something like this?


Or would it end up looking more like this?


Here are our top 3 reasons to hire a professional over a friend:

  1. Above all else, you should want your friend to enjoy your wedding. Taking photographs is work, and it’s a lot of pressure. It’s one of the most important days of your life! If you end up not liking the photos, your friendship will be strained, or possibly even ruined, as well.
  2. Just because your friend owns a nice camera does not make them a professional. Sure, maybe they’ve tinkered a bit. Maybe they have even taken some shots at weddings before as a guest. Have they ever opened Photoshop? Do they have examples of their work you can see? Will your teeth be white, and your eyes be bright? Have they spent thousands of hours studying photography and Photoshop? Do they have a backup camera if something goes wrong?
  3. You have guarantees when you hire a professional. You should have a contract that guarantees certain things — the amount of time you have the photographer. A guarantee they know what they’re doing. A guarantee they will show up. A timeframe on when you’ll have your photos back. Your photographer should have wedding experience. If something goes awry, or if we get behind on time — a professional doesn’t fold under pressure.

Your wedding happens once. I have people come up to me who recount stories of regret — a regret that lasts years, a lifetime! Moments missed, than can never be re-captured.

You don’t want to be the victim to awful wedding photos, like this.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook! And, for the love of all that is holy, hire a professional to shoot your wedding day!




Wedding Series: Tips for Brides — Husband & Wife Shots

You’re getting married! There’s so much to do, and so many things to get done. Find a caterer, a florist, get the perfect dress, and then make sure you’ve hired the right photographer to capture all of your hard work!

Well, you’ve definitely taken the right step as far as a photographer goes [oh hey, we travel]! 😉

Our “Wedding Series: Tips For Brides” highlights tips and tricks for the bride when working with a photographer.

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These are the absolute most important shots of the entire wedding day, the reason everyone gathered together, the reason behind the big celebration: The bride & groom!


No matter how busy the day gets, no matter if we happen to get behind — the No. 1 most important shots during a wedding are of the bride and groom, alone. When photographing a wedding, we always schedule time to whisk the bride and groom away from the crowd and take photos of just the two of them, in love.


This is also the reason we absolutely recommend doing a first look. Not only is it an intimate moment between just the two of them, but also one that isn’t being shared with a crowd of 100+ people watching them get married.


After the first look, we also have way more time to get these kinds of shots — some of just the two of them, eagerly anticipating the moment they say “I Do!”


If, for some reason, we aren’t your photographers (the horror!), make sure to talk with your photographer about how much time is set aside for photos of just the two of you.

Check out the entire “Wedding Series: Tips for Brides” series, click here

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Dragons & Fairies: A Fantastical Fairytale Wedding!

It’s not everyday you walk into a reception hall and see a massive cake with a dragon head adorning the top. Was I at the right place? Was this Katherine & Josh Heriford’s wedding?

IMG_7600(Cake by Edible Art by Sara — she’s based out of Lake of the Ozarks)

It was! There was the blushing bride —


And the grinning groom —


And a flower girl with the most fitting name — Violet!


And we can’t forget the groomsmen — the armed groomsmen. There’s a story here, I swear.


… those weapons the men in the wedding party are holding — it’s a wedding tradition between all of them. They gift each other weapons! Josh also mentioned armed weddings date back to the dark ages — and said the weapons were meant to help protect the ladies!

And with the groomsmen go the bridesmaids! This was a pose I first introduced at Matron of Honor Misty’s wedding — and Katherine wanted to make sure we got a pose like this for hers, too!

Misty also asked that I point out when I did this pose at her wedding — I was 6 months pregnant, laying on my back to get the shot! Haha.


Plus, dragons, fairies, themed drinks galore! What a fantastic wedding theme!


It was a hot weekend in Jefferson City, but Josh & Katherine’s wedding at Apple Creek Farm was still stunning.

The happy couple opted to do a reveal shoot — which is something I absolutely recommend. That means they stood back to back, and we had the groom turn around to get a first glance at his lovely bride before she walked down the aisle.


When he turned around, he couldn’t stop kissing her. He told me he was speechless. At that moment, he felt like the luckiest man on Earth. Or even Middle Earth. Maybe even in the entire Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.


After the reveal, the head-over-heels couple exchanged gifts. Katherine’s gift to Josh was rather sneaky on her part. She bought it at a convention called JordanCon. Josh had seen this pocket watch and loved it. He had planned to buy it, but didn’t have the money for it at the time.


Katherine secretly whispered to the woman selling it: “Can you hold this for me?” She went back and bought it later that day, Josh had no idea.


For Katherine’s gift, Josh bought her a charm bracelet with “Doctor Who” charms for their first Christmas together. A few months later, it broke. She had been wanting a new one, but never got one for herself.


Josh surprised her with a new bracelet, attached all of her old charms to it — and added a new addition: A Star Wars charm!


Seriously. These two. Can it get any cuter [oh, it can. Keep reading]?


Katherine had the longest, most beautiful veil I had ever seen. So long, that it started getting stuck on the brick as she walked down. Sometimes, the photographer also has to work in the damage control industry!

I saw the panic paint across her face as her veil kept snagging as she started the walk down the aisle toward her future husband, so I tapped a wedding guest on the shoulder who was sitting in the back and handed them the veil: “Could you?”

Phew, problem solved! You can see her holding the veil in this photo!


Thank you, wedding guest!

Their rings were also completely perfect for these two gamers — just look at what the inside of the band says:


“Score!” Perfect!

After the ceremony, Mr. & Mrs. Heriford made their way to the reception hall. This is where the dragons and fairies awaited us!

It was all handmade from their amazing wedding planner (and best friend and bridesmaid), Misty Stinnett!


Not to mention the groom’s surprise — a custom dragon topper for his giant pile of cookies (he doesn’t like cake), that was handmade by Misty’s husband, Steve! I seriously couldn’t get enough photos of all the decor, it was gorgeous!

One of the best games at the reception was a cake smash contest. Wedding guests voted on whose face the cake should be smashed into. It was pretty clear who the winner was:


And so …



I mean, he did lose fair and square!

There was also the first dance. It was so sweet, and they never took their eyes off each other once. It was a dance full of laughter, kisses, and twirls!


We at Kansas City Photography wish Josh & Katherine many, many happy years — thank you for letting us be a part of your most special day!



One Of My Most Important Photography Lessons: Shoot ‘Through’ Things

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri. Broadcast works a lot with the camera —  and one of the most important lessons I ever learned was to shoot “through” things.


It completely changed my perspective behind the lens. It was one of those “ah-ha!” moments. Shoot “through” things. Things other people may not look at — it completely changed how I view the world.

Apply it to photography. See a cool shape? Shoot through it.

A fence or netting? Shoot through it.


A bride’s veil? Shoot through it.


How about a beautiful blooming flower? Find a space between the leaves and shoot through it to the subjects in the background.

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And it can be subtle. I was squatting down in some tall grass to get this shot!


It’s not that every shot needs this “shoot through” treatment, but it should be a component to think about at every shoot. If you see your photographer squatting in the grass, or rolling around on the ground … they’re likely using this technique!



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Willows & Redbuds: A Gorgeous Maternity Shoot At Forest Park

The third time is a charm! Ally and I had to re-schedule this shoot twice — once due to it snowing, despite it being 70 degrees the day before, and once due to a tornado. Such is the life of a photographer in the Midwest! But it was worth the wait — everything is in bloom right now! Plus, the wind LOVED Ally — it kept blowing her flowy floral jacket perfectly.


I met up with the lovebirds, Ally & Aaron, at Forest Park in St. Louis today (Kansas City Photography is in both KC & St. Louis!). Ally’s original due date was in May, but her doctor recently bumped it to the end of April. We are going to be meeting Mr. Jaxton even sooner — hooray!


Ally met Aaron six years ago while working at Syberg’s in downtown St. Louis. It took a few years, but Aaron finally worked up the courage to “officially” ask Ally to be his two years ago.


The couple brought along their pups Gonzo and Wilson. Gonzo is super old, and realllly blind, but he was a good sport. Thankfully, they brought a favorite squeaky toy that really helped get the pups to look at me! That’s one of the tips on our blog post about shoots with pets!


You can tell Gonzo is not impressed. Or he is just squintin’ ’cause he can’t see anything. Poor dude! It also helped they brought along an assistant, AKA the sisters of all sisters — Jessica!


One of my favorite things to do during shoots is crack jokes. Then, I get reactions like this:


It doesn’t help that I am good at getting people to laugh, builds up my ego a little too much! Hahaha.


Congrats to the happy couple!

Know someone expecting? Send them our way. Also, follow us on Facebook!

A Cupcake Parlor Baby Shower … With Plungers!

I hosted a baby shower for my bestie Jenn on Sunday. But she didn’t want a “typical” baby shower. She wanted games that involved plungers, sippy cup beer chugging, and sangria.


Aight. Challenge accepted. Let’s do this thang!

We all met at Celebrating Life Cupcake Boutique in Chesterfield (KC Photo is in St. Louis and Kansas City!).

What a perfect name and place to celebrate the new life of Genevieve! Jenn loves Hooters, so even though the shower was Paris themed, we had wings to go alongside the cheese and fruit platters.


Game 1: Chug From A Sippy Cup 

It’s seriously not easy to chug from a bottle or sippy cup … and it’s certainly fun to watch people try it! We filled them 1/4 of the way full of sangria or beer (depending on the person’s preference) and got some amazing facial reactions. The chugging winner received a cute miniature Paris hat box filled with fun goodies like candy and necklaces. Added perk — Jenn got to keep all of the sippy cups after the shower!

Check out the “after” faces below!


Game 2: How To Make A Baby 

I asked for four volunteers. I wouldn’t tell them why. Then, I handed them plungers.


Then, I asked for four more volunteers and handed them two rolls of toilet paper.


Next, I told everyone to put whatever item they were holding between their legs. So, plungers between the legs, and toilet paper rolls between the legs.


The point? Make a baby! The plunger-holders had to get the toilet paper onto the end of their plunger without using their hands.

These games were really fun, and could get a lot of people involved at once.

I also told everyone that Jenn loves it when people touch her stomach. That was a lie. She hates it. On the bright side, she says she hasn’t had any strangers come up and touch it — so that’s a plus!


The one person who totally earned the belly rub, though, was Kyli. She flew in for the shower! She moved into her new house the day before, then caught a flight! That’s dedication.


We had a great turnout at the shower, and absolutely loved how cutely decorated the place was. We were told we could order custom cupcakes, but turns out that wasn’t the case. Regardless, we had a lot of laughs, Jenn raked it in on the gifts, and we all can’t wait to welcome Miss Genevieve into the world! Another perk — we had a lot of newborns at the shower, too, to really get our baby fix! By “a lot,” I mean two.


Also a shout out to the two Grandmas-to-be! Genevieve is the first grandbaby on both sides!


Want to see Jenn & James’ maternity session? Click here!

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I Got Pooped On! Elena’s Adorable Newborn Shoot

I had a first this weekend — I got pooped on by a photography client. I mean, she was definitely one of the cutest clients I’ve ever had, but poop is poop!

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As a photographer, I’ve had my fair share of baby tears, spit-up, even pee! But somehow I managed to stay away from the poo. Until this Sunday.

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Miss Elena Rose christened my shirt … and pants. We had just taken off her diaper for some adorable shots:

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But it was oh-so worth it! Just look at some of these gorgeous shots we got of her! And it’s a fun first to talk about.

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Plus, after the whole “that’s not chocolate pudding” moment, Elena snoozed quite peacefully. I mean, we were all sweating like crazy (I recommend you turn the heat up for newborn shoots, keeps ’em comfy and quiet), but she was content as could be!

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What’s an outfit change and a few sweat beads when you get to hang out with this sweet thing? Alyssa & Steve are proud parents to an adorable baby girl! <3

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Have baby fever? Check out Mr. TJ’s newborn shoot.

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From NICU To A Photoshoot: Teddy’s Newborn Shoot!

Two of my best friends, Amanda & Jordan, welcomed their main man Theodore Jordan into the world early.


He was due March 19, but decided he wanted to break out early — on February 28. I got the pleasure of taking this little man’s photos on what was supposed to be his original due date (sooo yesterday!!). His first days were spent in the NICU, but that’s where his nickname of “meatball” was born.


Theodore was having trouble learning how to nurse, so his mama Amanda told him: “You have to eat, goofball!” Jordan overheard and got really confused because he thought Amanda said “meatball.” Then, Amanda got confused as to what the heck Jordan was talking about, and the name just stuck!


Teddy, as we call him, is now enjoying his days at home, waking mom up every four hours to nurse …


Practicing his smug face for the ladies …


And wooing his gammy Bev with every little coo.


We love you, bud! If I have my way, your first word will be “cheeeese!”


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How To Deal With The Weather During Photoshoots

It’s a bright, sunshiny Missouri morning. But there’s snow on the ground. Ignore the fact it was 75 degrees a few days ago. Such is the life of a photographer living in a state where the jet streams cross. You get completely unpredictable weather. So, what’re you gonna do? Learn to love it.


We try not to re-schedule shoots due to the weather, unless necessary. Otherwise, I’d be re-scheduling all the time. All of nature’s elements are workable.

Trude Family (3)

Let me take you back to 2012. I woke up for a shoot and the sky was gray. And not the pretty kind of gray. It was like a grainy, gloomy, depressing color — with a weird tint of orange to top it off. It looked like it was going to pour any second. Nicole and her family were about to move to another state — and wanted some memories of their time in Kansas City. There wasn’t another day to re-schedule. So, I packed some umbrellas just in case, and we were off!

The key? Shoot without including the sky. Get up close, have a different background like greenery, train tracks, train cars, etc. Something where the sky doesn’t play a part.

We ended up going to a fire station. Nicole had complications with birth — and it was the firefighters who were her first responders. She teared up when I went inside and retrieved a firefighter. They even let the kids play in a firetruck. How awesome is that?


Ok, so we’ve talked about gloomy skies. What about wind? Like blow your hair in your face wind? The best tip is to face the wind. Then, it makes the hair blow back behind them. I call it the “model effect.” No fans needed!


In this shoot below, we were down by the water. It was so windy, but you can hardly tell!



Now, snow. Oh, snow.

Firstly, if the conditions are so bad that the roads aren’t drivable, or even if they are, but they’re slick — re-schedule. A photoshoot is never above someone’s safety. But, if the roads are fine — go play in it!


Use it to your advantage. Snow is so white and fun — nature’s perfect backdrop.


Although, use your head. I did recently re-schedule a maternity shoot due to the snow. It wasn’t because of the roads, it was because I didn’t want mama and baby to have to brave the very, very cold weather. So, like I said, just use your head!

To recap: 

  • All weather is workable
  • Bring umbrellas. Rain shots can be really fun!
  • If the sky is gray, shoot up-close, or shots that don’t involve seeing the sky.
  • Use the wind to your advantage. Have the person face into the wind.
  • Snow is awesome, it’s nature’s natural backdrop.
  • Re-schedule if the roads are too slick or covered.
  • Re-schedule if it’s too cold for children or pregnant mothers.

More of our “How To” series: