Our Top 7 Photo Sessions of 2019

We are at that time of year where we sit back and reflect on how far we’ve come. The year 2019 is no different, except that we probably have even more reflecting to do than usual.

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This year marks the end of a decade! Whoa. That’s a really big deal. While we will have an entire post on our 2020 plans, this post is about reflecting back on our top 7 photo sessions of 2019. While all of them are very near and dear to my heart, these stuck out for their own special reasons! Read on to find out why!

7. Sunflower Mini Sessions! 

This was the first year Kansas City Photography decided to do sunflower mini sessions! The event took place at Brookdale Farms in Eureka, and I rented out the field on a Sunday morning. It was an absolute hit — spots sold out in 24 hours.

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It had rained the previous two days, and the field had been closed the day before due to the mud, but everyone made the trek in the mud for these beauties!

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It is technically supposed to be a sunflower “maze,” but with the puddles and mud, I picked out a few favorite spots and we stuck to those instead of walking through all of the soggy earth.

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We’ve had popular mini sessions before, but never to this magnitude. Definitely one for the books, and absolutely something we will do again!

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6. Lisa & Jason’s Wedding

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Lisa & Jason’s wedding stuck out for a few reasons, that photo above included. 🙂

I wasn’t actually their first photographer. Lisa had another photographer lined up for her wedding … who dropped out just months before they said “I Do.” Her now mother-in-law, who is my neighbor, reached out to me to see if I had their date available. I did, and we were able to meet up for coffee. Lisa told me I wasn’t allowed to back out, to which I told her “I have never missed a wedding in my life, you are safe!”

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Fast forward to a week before her wedding. Guess who gets bacterial pneumonia? This kid, that’s who. But, I absolutely kept my word. There was no way I was going to miss Lisa & Jason’s wedding, fever, pneumonia, or not!

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The next reason their wedding was rememberable (aside from their cuteness!) was the location. It was a location I had never been to before, in St. Louis, on the riverfront. It was someone’s home they had remodeled so that it could also work as a wedding venue. This place had the most unique artwork, including a statue that was so tall, even if several groomsmen stood on each other’s shoulders, they still wouldn’t reach the top!

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This piece was also inside …

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5. Lindsey’s “Breaking Free” Session 

As a photographer, sometimes we are approached and given a responsibility to tell a story. Lindsey’s story was not only important, but worth sharing to the world. At only 23, she has experienced a lot of loss in her life, especially in 2019 with the loss of both and uncle to cancer and a best friend … to murder.

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Lindsey came to me and said she wanted a “breaking free” theme for her 23rd birthday. She wanted to make 23 her best year yet, cherishing those she lost, but also becoming stronger because of the trials she has faced already at such a young age.

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Lindsey is studying to earn her EMT license, so she can help save lives — even after having lost so many in her own life. I look forward to seeing her flourish in 2020.

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4. Naka Kon 2019

Kansas City Photography has been a vendor at Naka Kon since 2012, setting up a photobooth in their vendor’s room every year. This year was different because it was the first year we had a double booth space, and it was all by a fluke, too!

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When Alyssa and I arrived at Naka Kon, we noticed the vendor to our left wasn’t there … and they still weren’t there even as time ticked closer and closer to opening.  One of the coordinator’s came by and told us the vendor was coming in from Colorado, and they had gotten hit by a big ice storm and were unable to make it in. She offered for us to purchase the space — so we went for it!

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This, combined with our on-site sessions, made it our most successful Naka Kon to date! We’ve already signed up for 2020, with a double booth space again! This year, we will have our Magic Mirror photobooth, too!

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3. Triplets Sessions

You’d think having one session with triplets would be amazing, but I actually had two sessions with triplets this year! One of my favorite families, the Sharp family, had triplets —

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And I also met Andrew, Gabby, and Cameron this year — triplets in very different walks of life! These three are seniors!

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It’s going to break my heart when the Sharp toddler triplets are old enough to do a senior session with me! Slow down, time!

2. A New York City Photo Session!

My husband, Bryan, has a cousin that lives in New York City. Although, since I frequent NYC several times a year, and always make sure to grab a bite with said cousin … Christie and I have decided we are actually cousins. Move over, Bryan!

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So, of course, when Christie mentioned a photo session, I couldn’t wait to fly out and explore the city with her, camera in hand! We definitely got yelled at over an intercom for the shot below.

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Worth it, though, right?! Thank you so much for this treat of a photo session, Christie!

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Plus, it’s true, she’s totally an icon. With an amazing voice. You’re gonna rock the $h!+ outta 2020!! I can’t wait to see it, and then be like … “Hey! That’s my cousin!”

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1. Gina & Rob’s Pouring Rain Engagement Session

Have you ever seen one of those romance movies where they run outside to meet, and kiss in the rain?! Like, every romance movie ever, right?

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I had the opportunity, for the first time in my photography career, to do a pouring rain engagement session!!

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Usually, when there is rain in the forecast, I will have clients reach out to me and ask about re-scheduling. I usually give the option to have a fun rain session, but I understand when they go ahead with re-booking for a different day. Then, my dreams came true.

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Gina opted not to re-schedule. So, away to St. Charles we went — umbrella in hand. I stood in the rain and got drenched while taking these amazing rain photos, and it was completely worth it. Thank goodness Canon is water-resistant!

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A few weeks after the session, I met with Gina for a coffee to finalize the wedding photography plans, and she told me she thought it was the most romantic thing that Rob waited until the final, in the middle of the street shot, to take off his outer shirt. He was excited for that shot, and that made her heart swoon!

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Plus, we were in the heart of St. Charles, so we had plenty of amazing natural backdrops to work with while the rain was pouring down.

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By the end of this session, I was drenched. Gina and Rob were drenched. It was cold … but it was 1,000 percent worth every second in that monsoon!

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We definitely had lost the umbrella by the end … but a little rain never hurt anybody. Plus, these two are happily ever after married now — ready to weather any storm together!

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Make sure to follow Kansas City Photography on Facebook — and don’t forget we are in both Kansas City and St. Louis!

A Super Mario Themed Wedding: Daisy & Luigi Get Married!

I had the extreme honor to be in Joseph & Jeny’s wedding this Sunday. They are both very big in the cosplay community, and I have gotten to know them over the years at anime conventions (mainly Naka Kon).

This is how I’m used to seeing them, dressed in some sort of adorable Luigi/Daisy or Peach/Mario combo:

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But I had the honor of seeing them dressed up in different attire this time!

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Since I was in the wedding, Kansas City Photography wasn’t the official photographer, but being who I am … I of course still snapped some photos!

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The theme was too unique to miss!

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Handmade piranha plants adorned the tables. Lights were strung across the ceiling. Reds, greens, yellows, and blues were on the tables.

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Each bridesmaid was dressed as current styled Daisy, and Jeny’s sister-in-law was Princess Peach. Jeny’s Maid of Honor was Classic Daisy.

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Here’s me (on the left) with a fellow bridesmaid, Anna!

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The flower girls were also little Daisy and Peach characters.

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Jeny handmade her gown! She told me there were three patterns she loved and couldn’t pick between … so she combined them!

“I was trying to represent all three dresses worn by Daisy: classic dress, current dress, and the dress from the Mario movie,” she said.

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And, of course, like many in the cosplay community know … sometimes you need help getting into your outfit.

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I am so happy these two are now officially husband and wife! Joe lived out of state, and they had to survive a long distance relationship for years!

The day he stepped off the airplane and called Missouri his home — he proposed!

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It was amazing to be involved in such a fun wedding! A huge congrats to Jeny & Joe!

Jeny’s photographer, Melody Joy, has more fun photos! Go check her out, and then you could see some photos of me as Daisy, too! 😉

A Mad Hatter Tea Party!

“You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

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I had the pleasure of capturing Momo Bunny Cosplay (our very own Tatiana) bring her vision of a Mad Hatter tea party to life! She had been preparing for this shoot for years. Literally.

Years.

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She hand-made her Mad Hatter cosplay and didn’t miss a single detail. There were dozens of teapots, cupcakes, and trinkets.

“I began collecting tea cups and tea sets from thrift stores, slowly getting all the pieces I needed right up until the very last hour before the shoot when the original chair I was going to use didn’t work out!” Tatiana told me.

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Momo’s best friend and fellow cosplayer, AshBear Cosplay, was the white rabbit.

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Momo’s beau, Marshmallow Tiger Cosplay, was the spoon-infatuated March Hare.

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For this spoon shot, I asked Eric (Marshmallow Tiger) to throw the spoon at me several times. At first he hesitated, but then I told him to aim for my leg. He literally hit the same spot on my leg five times! It kinda hurt … but no pain, no glorious spoon shot.

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My oldest daughter, Lily, was Alice. My youngest, Luna, was supposed to be the door mouse, but she decided to nap through the entire photoshoot …

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And it wouldn’t be a properly “mad” engagement without a cupcake fight.

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What Tatiana wasn’t expecting was for Eric to retaliate! To be fair, she even smooshed some green cupcake underneath his hair.

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“I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then.”

This shoot was as much fun for me as it was for everyone involved! They all stayed in character so well, that any shot I took was gold … hence why this blog post was late … because I edited way too many.

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“I don’t understand why people say they suffer from insanity. I have never been happier.”

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Tatiana has wanted to do this shoot since Tim Burton’s first “Alice In Wonderland” came out.
“His artistic style is so breathtaking and Johnny Depp’s Hatter really struck a chord with me. It wasn’t until “Through the Looking Glass” came out that my genderbend Hatter was finished. I loved the bright colors and whimsical aspect to the sequels costumes even more and used that for my design.”
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Her big aspiration is to cosplay every character in “Wonderland,” but she said the Hatter spoke to her first because it was a challenge.
“THE HAT! It was my first attempt at hat making and I am super proud that the first pattern I drafted for it worked perfectly! Disclaimer: no mercury was used in the creation of this hat. lol”
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“I wanted it to really feel like looking at the photos you are IN Wonderland — or Underland if you want to get technical.”

 

Hopefully I delivered, Tatiana!
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And I wish you all a very, merry unbirthday!

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Like … now! 🙂

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Exploring Denver’s Botanical Gardens with Usagi!

Hey, everyone! Tatiana here to share with you my little adventure in Denver, Colorado, this past weekend.

As many of you know, cosplay and cosplay photography are both passions of mine.

As Maid of Honor in my best friend Ashley’s wedding, I’ve been finding myself in the Denver area more often!

And in between a dress fitting and other wonderful Maid of Honor duties, I just had to book some photoshoots while I was in this scenic state! I reached out to Pirefly Cosplay, who I worked with during our on-location shoots at the anime convention NDK last year.

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And I’m so happy that our pretty guardian, Michelle, was free to do some more “Sailor Moon” magic with me!

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We originally planned for a casual Usagi springtime shoot, but Denver is getting a lot of the typical Missouri weather weirdness, so it was impossible to predict the cold front that happened!

Luckily, Denver’s Botanical Gardens has a vast variety of scenic backdrops with or without the flowers in full bloom!

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We had so much fun recollecting scenes from our favorite “magical girl” anime, including Usagi casually waiting for her boyfriend Mamoru. But knowing our meatball head, she would have the time and location wrong!

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This location couldn’t have been more perfect because the gardens have an entire Japanese plant section! It’s seriously an Otaku’s dream location — so we will have to set up an event here for this coming NDK!

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We both felt some Crystal Tokyo vibes with the inner building designs.

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AND DOOM TREE VINES! AAAAAHHH!!!!

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The Japanese Garden area also had gorgeous crystal clear ponds and majestic mini waterfalls to create AMAZING backdrops.

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Thank you SO MUCH, Michelle, for meeting me here and experiencing this beautiful location with me!

Cosplay shoots are so fun and exciting for me and I am always up for doing them!

Speaking of — I will be back in Denver this September for NDK. We will be setting up more on-location shoots during the convention!

 

Denver Takeover: On Location at NDK!

Tatiana here to share with you more of my adventures in Colorado!

Christine and I both have a deep love for anime and pop culture, along with our passion for photography. That’s why when given the chance to work at an event or convention, we use all of our magical girl powers to make it happen.

Nan Desu Kan is a premiere anime convention in Denver, Colorado, much like our beloved Naka Kon, which originated in downtown Kansas City. We have a booth at Naka Kon every year to showcase the hard work of so many cosplayers.

As a photographer with Kansas City Photography, and the face of Momo Bunny Cosplay, I wanted to bring something new to the table — on location photoshoots for cosplayers at cons!

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“On location” shoots are where you pick a special location to showcase the character you are cosplaying.

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This is my absolute favorite thing to do ever because it brings my cosplays to life — and sometimes I get to sit next to waterfalls like a wolf princess. HOW COOL IS THAT!?

This also led me to meet Christine in the first place (she was working an anime convention and I visited her booth!), resulting in a glorious friendship that has changed my life forever!

But enough about me! I want to introduce you all to some fantastic cosplayers who booked Kansas City Photography for NDK! ^_^

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Bad Emu Cosplay cosplayed as a Studio Ghibli character — Nausicaä. She’s from “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind!” Now, since we were in downtown Denver, we didn’t really have a vast valley of nothingness (which would fit where her character lives), so we made do with what we had to still get that powerful shot of her whole cosplay —which, by the way, she made completely herself!

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Moving her in the middle of a prickly pine helped, too. I love how the sun catches her hair here!

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Next, we have the Magnificent, Marvelous Mad Madam Mim, or Hopefully Cosplay! This was actually done right outside the Sheraton where the con was held. I thought the fence gave a “Sword and the Stone” vibe.

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We were both digging this squiggly bush! It’s fun to discover the territory around you to get that perfect shot! And I am pretty sure I saw Madam Mim give this exact face in the movie!

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Any “Fire Emblem” fans out there? Kell Cosplay did an amazing job with her armor as Caeda! The Capitol building a few blocks down from the con worked great for some castle-vibes.

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Kell and I found enough grass away from onlookers to get some shots in the “battlefield” as well.

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We used the same grassy area for this shot of Eternal Sailor Moon, from the amazing J’adore Cosplay!

Christine is going to be super jealous when she see all the Moon Prism Power I got to be a part of this weekend. 😉 [Update from Christine: I AM super jelly!!!]

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One of my favorite things as a photographer is to play with lighting. Although we shot this in the middle of the day, I couldn’t resist a moonlight glow for our moon princess. Jade actually won an award in the intermediate category of the cosplay contest! I was so honored to see those beastly wings up close. Congrats, Jade!

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Another great thing about being a professional photographer is that even if I only have a bustling urban location to work with, I can still find those hidden gems for a great backdrop. This was at a bank, believe it or not!

I was so happy when Michelle, or Belle Mich Cosplay, was willing to go through the food festival happening the same weekend to get some palace pics in the Civics Center Park. Oh yeah, here’s a game changer for you — ALL of these shots were done around hundreds of people!

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But I wasn’t about to let A Taste of Colorado rob me, or Michelle, of these pillar shots! Again, it’s all about the angles. 😉

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This event also came equipped with a Ferris Wheel. Great for a meeting location but equally great for my Carnival Prompto cosplay from “Final Fantasy XV!” This photo was taken by the lovely Ashbear Cosplay and edited by me.

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As a big thank you for Ashley being my personal photographer for the weekend, I got some pretty pictures of her Victorian-style Ariel cosplay.

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I cannot resist a floral backdrop! And the bees can’t really resist brightly colored wigs so we quickly mosey’d back to the car after a fun filled weekend at NDK!

It was seriously so much fun to be able to meet so many amazingly talented ladies. I hope to keep in touch, both as a photographer and friend. <3

My next on-location con will be Anime Weekend Atlanta at the end of the month!

Message us today asking about our con specials and reserve a time dedicated just for you. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Can You Name This Famous Disney Couple?

I learned a new term on Friday when doing this photoshoot — it’s called “Disneybounding.”

That means you are dressed in an outfit inspired by a Disney character. That does not mean you are necessarily dressed as the character (which would be cosplay).

How neat, right?! So — guess who!

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A “castle,” a yellow dress, a rose, a “beast” of a boyfriend — who is also dressed in a matching blue / gold combo …

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Tatiana & Eric were Disneybounding Belle & the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast.”

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The happy couple (if you recognize Tatiana, it’s because she is also a part of Kansas City Photography — and the face behind Momo Bunny Cosplay) has been together for 4 years!

Belle is Tatiana’s favorite Disney princess. She told me she used to watch the original 5-10 times a day as a child (I totally did the same thing with “The Little Mermaid,” no shame!).

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Tatiana said when the new live-action movie came out, it was one of the best date nights she and Eric had ever been on! The magic of Disney, folks!

“It was so magical to share that new experience of seeing it come to life with MY Beast,” Tatiana said.

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“So, with all that, it made sense to have our first ‘not-so cosplay’ photoshoot together to be ‘Beauty and the Beast’ themed.”

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“We are both Disney nerds, which is one of the reasons I love him.”

Awwwww!

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Originally, we were hoping to go to Samuel Cupples house on the St. Louis University campus, but it was closed!

We didn’t have a lot of time because we started the shoot at 7:45, and sunset was around 8:20. Even setting the shoot so late, it was still in the 90s! It has definitely been a hot week!

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But it all worked out, even if we were a little sweaty by the end of it. That, and we also grabbed Chipotle for dinner after the shoot — #winning.

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