I Crashed Into This Family’s Car — And Then Booked Their Photoshoot

WHAM!

That was Courtney’s first impression of me. Accidentally ramming into the back of her car with my own.

There I was, driving along Clayton Road in Chesterfield when my oldest, Lily, complained from the backseat: “I’m hottttt!”

I looked down to turn on the A/C. I look back up, and it turns out I missed the memo that everyone was slowing down.

I hit my brakes as hard as I could, buuuut I knew it was gonna happen: CRUNCH!

We pulled over, and Courtney was just the sweetest as I walked toward her apologetically. “They call it an accident for a reason!” she assured me.

But hey, a jumbled Prius turned out to be a blessing in a really ridiculous disguise.

World, meet Courtney — and her adorable family:

Hubbard Family (1)

Somehow, me rear-ending this complete, but so, so sweet stranger — led to me taking her family photos!

We met this Saturday at Castlewood State Park. Courtney brought her crew — her husband Ryan, her son Chase, and her daughter Ella.

Amazingly, our children are literally the same ages! I foresee playdates in our future!

Hubbard Family (4)

Ella was such a good smiler! She’s 2 — and loves Skittles. I know because that was her reward when she would give a big ol’ cheeser for the camera!

One trick I always do is ask what the kiddos favorite shows are. If there’s a character that has a name that makes you smile when you say it — welllll, have them say it! Ella loves Minnie Mouse. So, when she was so over me asking her to say “cheeese,” I asked her to say “Miniiiiiie!” It has the same effect, and makes them smile when saying the word!

You said the words out loud, didn’t you? 😉

I’m pretty sure Miss Ella models at home — how perfect is her cute little self?

 

Hubbard Family (3)

And then there’s older brother, Chase. He’s 6 and a big ol’ first grader.

Chase is really into sharks and any kind of ocean life. He actually loves to watch ocean documentaries! He also digs race cars and basketball. Actually, the same day as the shoot, the Hubbard family was headin’ to the races that evening!

Chase had this really cool ring he wore on his thumb. I wanted to make sure we showed it off!

Hubbard Family (5)

And then the lovebirds (and former high school sweethearts) themselves — Courtney and Ryan!

They dated for a little while in high school, and then re-connected a few years later. Can it get cuter?! 

Hubbard Family (6)

As for this photo below — there’s a fun story. We were walking along one of the trails at Castlewood. As soon as you enter (before you even park your car), there are signs that say: “THIS RIVER KILLS! DANGEROUS WATER!”

Then, as we walked farther on a trail that actually led down to the water, there was a big gate that blocked off the beach. The same “IF YOU GO HERE, YOU’RE PROBABLY GONNA DIE” signs were posted in both English and Spanish outside of the gate.

Since we didn’t have any plans on actually swimming in the Meramec River that the fence was guarding, we thought it would be ok to … go around the sign … and the gate.

So, we did.

#outlaws

I knew I liked them.

Hubbard Family (2)

On our way back up the trail, Chase spotted this huge tree in the picture below. He was pumped, and went right off the gravel and into the grass to get over to it.

We definitely needed to get a shot of him in front of it — he went off-roading to get to it he thought it was so cool!

Hubbard Family (8)

Toward the end of the shoot, Ella had decided her modeling fee was more than a few Skittles and asking her to say “Minnie Mouse.” But she hung in there for this precious shot with her dad and brother.

Hubbard Family (7)

I am just tickled pink I was able to connect with this cool family in a much more positive setting. ‘Cause you knoooow, my first impression was … in the back part of their car. A literal impression.

Hubbard Family (9)Hubbard Family (10)

Thanks again, Courtney, for being so chill about everything!

Make sure to follow Kansas City Photography on Facebook! I promise I won’t hit your car, too!

Top 8 Photoshoot Locations In St. Louis


Hooray, you’ve booked the photoshoot! The next question: “Where do we go?”

We get asked this by photography clients a lot. So, here’s a list of our top 8 in the St. Louis area — all with photos we personally took at these locations!

Also check out our list for the Kansas City area!

8. Augusta Wineries / Klondike Park

It would be higher on the list if it weren’t such a drive! But, it’s definitely worth it. The wineries in Augusta have the beautiful, rolling hills — which make for a perfect backdrop.

IMG_6656

And since you’ll already be in the area, may as well hit up Klondike Park, too! It’s only a few miles away from the winery. It touts sandy, white beaches — probably due to the fact it used to be an old silica sand quarry. Plus, it has a beautiful lake! What’s not to love?

IMG_6815

And, I mean, you drove all that way — why not just make a day of it and stick around after the photoshoot to enjoy the wineries? You’ll already be dressed for the part! <3

7. Tower Grove Park

Since I lived in Kansas City for so long, I am a sucker for fountains. And St. Louis has some amazing fountains to tout, too! Like this one in the middle of the water at Tower Grove Park!

IMG_3472

Plus, there are some fun rock formations surrounding the water. Perfect for stacking a wedding party onto, right?

IMG_3516

The park is also historic — it was founded in 1868 and opened to the public in 1872. It has around 7,000 trees! Whoa!

6. Faust Park

This is one of my favorites to whip out. With so many great parks in St. Louis, this one oftentimes gets overlooked, or in some cases, never heard of!

Faust Park has the perfect architecture for those rustic shoots — just look at this amazing barn!

IMG_8861

IMG_0556

If cowboy boots are going to be involved in the shoot — this is where I suggest. It has that look and feel.

Faust Park has a “Historic Village” section with buildings from 1840 to 1910!

IMG_0564sepia

It’s 200 acres in the heart of Chesterfield — just waiting to be discovered!

5. Castlewood State Park

Nestled in Ballwin, this park boasts wooded trails, and a backdrop of the Meramec River!

Hubbard Family (2)

Although, this section of the Meramec is very turbulent, so there are a ton of signs warning you of “DEADLY RIVER!” Most access points are blocked off, but it’s possible to walk onto the beach and get photos still.

Right near the overflow parking area is this huge, open field. I can’t wait to see it in the fall — it’s going to be just as stunning!

Hubbard Family (10)

Along the trails are several ancient trees. I can tell because they are literally bigger than several humans standing side-by-side. This one below was Redwood big!!

Hubbard Family (8)

The only downfall of this park is that if you go on a weekend — it can be hard to find one another.

4. Downtown Eureka

If you’re wanting that cute, hometown feel — downtown Eureka is the place to go! It has cute, colorful buildings (I found this one in a little alley when Tatiana was taking our family photos) —

Christine Fam 18

It also has brick walls, decorated buildings, and the best little hometown feel to it! Make sure to check out Sarah’s Cake Shop when you’re there!! My youngest is obsessed!! (I swear I didn’t get paid to promo that, I just freakin’ love their cupcakes!!!).

Christine Fam 19

They also have this adorable pagoda! It is kinda out in the middle of a parking lot — but hey, it works!

img_9935

3. Myron & Sonya Glassberg Conservation Area

This beautiful park is also hidden in Eureka, down Highway FF. It’s 634-acres of woods, trails, and even includes a 3-acre fishing lake.

Mononoke Hime (2)

Along the trail, you’ll find a stream that runs along it. Your entire walk you can hear the trickle of water and the chirping of crickets.

After walking a short while on the trail, you’ll see this gorgeous miniature waterfall.

Mononoke Hime (1)Savannah _ Darin (3)

It’s a perfect picture opportunity. Plus, the trail is flat, so it’s not a hard walk. Perfect for nature lovers. It’s very easy to get a shot here without a ton of people in the way.

And, you’re surrounded by forest on all sides, so it’s just beautiful!

2. Lafayette Park

This park is a hidden gem. Until a client recommended it for their shoot, I had no idea it even existed! I ran the location by one of my lifetime St. Louisan friends, and they also had never been there!

Historians have called it the oldest urban park west of the Mississippi.

It has this stunning bridge, that’s surrounded by ornate flowers, and even a willow —

Lindsey & Tyler (1)

If you walk just slightly past the beautiful water / bridge area — there’s this standalone building with ornate oval windows, bricks, and wood.

Lindsey & Tyler (6)

There’s also a pond with a fountain, and a walking trail that goes around it.

Lindsey & Tyler (5)

And if you have kiddos — there’s also a park located right there as well! It’s a hidden gem!

1. Forest Park 

I hate to be cliché, but Forest Park really is a jewel of St. Louis. It’s 1,371 acres of awesome. What’s not to love?

It has the Muny, and its amazing architecture, which includes columns and a huge chandelier —

Alexis Senior (2) brighterSayo _ Oye (7)Sayo _ Oye (8)

And right beside the Muny is this gorgeous garden area! It doesn’t even feel like you’re in St. Louis anymore when you see all of the tropical buds!

Alexis Senior (3)

IMG_9665

It also has lakes, yes, multiple! (And if you know where to look, some super docile ducks, too) —

IMG_9519

Alexis Senior (6)brighter

And while there are the typical locations that everyone wants to hit up (and for good reason, they’re stunning!) —  there are also some hidden beauties — and willow trees!

IMG_3863.jpg

You can’t go wrong with willow trees. Seriously. And a little breeze!

IMG_3889

Alexis Senior (4)

Which one is your favorite?

And if you’re in the Kansas City area — we have our Top 10 list for there as well!!

 Click here to book your photoshoot with Kansas City Photography (which is in both St. Louis & Kansas City)!

###

(All photos in this blog post were taken by Christine & Tatiana with Kansas City Photography. No stealsies!)