Twinkle lights, chilly fall nights and another newly engaged couple! Let’s talk about Matt & Cierra…

Matt contacted us a while back while he was plotting his surprise proposal to Cierra. She had no idea what he was planning (insert Morgan Freeman’s voice: she did, in fact, have some idea. She just didn’t know the details). Matt chose the location: Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and was very specifc about date and time and even worked out getting their parents together back at Cierra’s parents house while the happy couple wandered through the Luminary Walk. Nothing says romance like twinkly lights and candle lit walks through the woods!

The sparkle!

Matt and I had corresponded through text throughout the week and even on the day of, he texted me the colors of their (dark) coats so that I could find them in the (dark) woods! Well, we did our best! I texted him a picture of where I was and as casually as possible, they strolled by me and asked if I could take their picture in front of this amazing tree. OF COURSE I CAN! So using Cierra’s phone, I captured a few shots of them standing and then Matt dropped to one knee in front of a crowd of people and proposed!

He opened the ring box backwards at first but neither of them minded!

There was a large group that applauded and cheered when Cierra said yes and the rest of the night was a breeze! Cierra and Matt met 12 – that’s right – TWELVE years ago. They attended different high schools and colleges and now after all of that, they have moved back to the KC area – together – and are saving up to buy a house and travel a little and keep doing all the things they love.

Matt and Cierra love getting out and about around town, trying new things together – restaurants and activities – and sometimes, they just soak up being couch potatoes and watching their favorite shows together over and over!

Not THE tunnel of love but we certainly made it theirs!

The best thing about night photography (or really any dimly lit location) is that your subjects really have to stay still for a period of time to get some of the best shots. Thankfully, this couple was all about sticking the pose for the camera! They really committed to these shots and I had so much fun capturing them – and all of the love they share! Congratulations to these two, thank you for letting me be a part of your special moment and evening and I can’t wait to hear about all the wedding plans!!!

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Get Engagement Photos!

Whether it’s a surprise proposal or a part of your wedding package, we are always thrilled to capture the magic of an engagement!

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But what makes these photos so essential? Why get engagement photos taken after you’ve posted the big bling to your snapchat crew?

Well, we can tell you a bunch of reasons why engagement photos are a must-have, but as  professional photographers, we may come off as a bit bias. So, we brought the question to our clients and we narrowed it down to 3 solid reasons.

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1. From “You/Me” to “We”

You’ve found the person you want to share the rest of your life with, and you’re ready to take the next step down the aisle. Your journey doesn’t start after you say “I do” and it’s not the beginning of your romantic relationship. It is the first chapter in creating a family unit within each other. The evolution to being two people in love to becoming one single force.

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Beth made us realize that it’s not just about romance, but also about family when I asked her why her engagement photos were important to her:

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“It was our first time having professional photos taken of us as a couple–as a unit. When I saw them for the first time it was like seeing us as a real family.”

That really put it in perspective! A start of a family is something to be honored and preserved for the rest of your legacy.

Another client of ours, Bret, shared a similar sentiment. “I wanted to get engagement photos to record the moment for ourselves at the very least. I’m certainly glad I did.”

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Plus, without engagement photos, the only professional photos you’ll have of yourselves is in wedding attire! Not that you won’t be stunning, but do you want your walls filled with only photos from the wedding, or a good mix?

2. Remembering and Renewing

“Until death do us part” can be a little intimidating … literally your entire life! During that time, Samantha put it perfectly how important her engagement photos will be for her in later years:

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“Ten years from now we can look upon our photos and see all the ups and down we have had over the years.  Everything we have accomplished within the ten years or even farther in the future. When we have grand children and we’re gray and old, I want to share where it all started.”

One of our brides, Katherine, told us it’s all about memories —

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For me it’s a big part of making memories. It’s a way to look back and remember all the love that each one shares as you enter a new stage of your relationship. Bonus is if you use them for save the dates you share those memories with everyone else!”

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“I want to be able to look an reflect on the moment long after it has past. Memory is great, but having the pictures to look back at can really put you back in the moment. Our engagement wasn’t even a year ago and I love looking at these pictures and remembering Hannah’s reaction and subsequent answer, or… erm, reaction… (She snatched the ring and put it on. Once she had realized she needed to answer, it went from there). It a part of our story which has been recorded for us,” Bret said.

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Seeing the glimmer in your eye looking at your partner at the very beginning is truly a treasure! Renewing your love by seeing where you’ve been — very powerful stuff in a photo!

3. Timeless Happiness before “Happily Ever After”

The wedding day is going to be such a monumental memory in your lives and all those attending to celebrate your eternal love.


Engagement photos give you the opportunity to celebrate your love one-on-one without all the pressure of the time crunch to get the ceremony going and keeping your guests entertained. Just you and your partner, ever so in love, making memories with each glance and smile.

And of course, us recording it all for your personal history book!

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Beth Franklin is always touched by the history she sees when looking through her mother’s photos:

“I love looking back at my parents old photos and seeing what everyone looked like and seeing how happy they are. I hope that one day our kids will have the same feelings when they look back on ours.”

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Timeless photos don’t just happen on the big day! You’re creating beautiful memories everyday.

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Let us not only capture the “I do,” but the moment you said “yes!”

As Bret told us: “Putting a scene to the story can give the moment that little something extra when you tell friends or put a photo book together.”

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Let’s talk wedding! Send us a message today! And make sure to follow Kansas City Photography on Facebook!

Celebrating A 19-Year Wedding Anniversary With A Surprise Photoshoot!

Debbie & Jeff drove to St. Louis from the Lake of the Ozarks to celebrate their 19-year wedding anniversary and be treated by family. And boy, were they ever treated! Mimosas, a hotel, and a surprise photoshoot!

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I met Debbie at her daughter Brittany’s place. I walked in and went back into the bathroom where Debbie was getting her hair curled.

She gave me a big hug and that’s when Brit told her that the last part of her anniversary surprise was professional photos from yours truly!

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We went to Tower Grove Park, which is a spot listed on our Top 8 Photoshoot Locations in St. Louis blog post!

It has some gorgeous trees, which are lit up in bright oranges and vibrant yellows right now. It also has some willows, as you saw above, and a pond! I thought about photoshopping out the goose in the photo below, but I’ll let him have his moment of glory! Plus, we were all tickled the geese didn’t feel like being mean! Do you see him?

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I asked Debbie and Jeff what their secret was to a long and successful marriage. Debbie said they are constantly making each other laugh. And that showed in the photos — they were having a blast and making each other giggle throughout the entire thing!

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I asked Debbie who was funnier, and she answered “I am!” That’s when Jeff shook his head in disagreement. He thought he was funnier.

After he said that, they both laughed. If humor is what keeps marriage alive — these two are going to last forever!

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We drove together to the park since it was only a few miles from Brittany’s place. On the way, we were listening to classic 80s. “Why Can’t This Be Love?” by Van Halen came on the radio. Jeff reached over and turned it up. The lyrics blared:

“Oh here it comes
That funny feeling again winding me up inside
Every time we touch
Hey I don’t know
Oh, tell me where to begin cause I never ever
Felt so much

And I can’t recall any love at all
Baby this blows ’em all away”

These lyrics are so fitting for these two lovebirds! Although, it is love with them 100%!

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At Tower Grove Park, there are these fun rock formations. Debbie immediately started climbing up them, without me even instructing her to. She climbed up, put her hands on her hips, and laughed down at Jeff: “I’m the boss!!” she laughed.

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Not gonna lie — he didn’t really seem to disagree that much! 🙂

The weather was a perfect mid-70s and felt great when the wind blew. It was really muggy, though, so we were still sweating by the end, despite Mother Nature being oddly nice to us. That’s when my phone started buzzing — there was a tornado watch!

Leave it to true Missourians to not panic. Debbie and I just both went “ooooh!” because the fact it was so muggy and humid now made perfect sense! Then, we continued on with the shoot!

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The park has around 7,000 trees!! Most of them are now turning delightful shades of all things Fall, so we made sure to take advantage!

Jeff didn’t want to sit on the ground, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t throw some leaves up in the air and play!

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This was my first time meeting Jeff, but I have known Debbie forever. And I went to school with her kiddos! I know she’s a big goofball, but just in case you weren’t, here’s proof!

After this shot, I asked her if she has ever seen “Superstar.” It’s one of my favorite movies, and if you’ve seen it, you’ll know why!!

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Debbie calls me one of her own, so I was tickled when Brittany messaged me so I could squeeze these two lovebirds in on Sunday before they drove back home!

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Happy 19-year anniversary!! You’re both an inspiration to me — I can’t wait to make it to 19 years with my hubs!


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It was also Debbie’s idea to put their hands together like a heart on the tree!! How cute is that?! Just like them!!!

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