A Leaky Ceiling Led To This Family Photoshoot!

Even though he literally lives across the street from me, I probably would have never met Jason if it weren’t for a sudden leak in my ceiling a few months ago.

I went onto this app called Nextdoor that connects you to your neighbors. I was in need of someone who could fix our sudden leak in the ceiling above our fridge. Neighbors recommended him, so I gave him a cold call.

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He came by and looked at the leak, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t just a slow drip like I had thought. He cut out a hole in the top of the ceiling and it sounded like a miniature waterfall. Once he got all the water out, he replaced the leaky pipe! Our hero!

He told me he only does small jobs like this for neighbors, so I really lucked out!

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When Jason had come over to the house, he noticed my huge wall covered in canvases. I told him I was a photographer, and gave him a business card (I have no shame in my photo game!).

This week, Jason told me his wife Hollie had mentioned needing some family photos taken. He remembered me, or maybe remembered the canvas wall (haha), and shot me over an email. And that’s how I met Jason’s crew yesterday!

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Jason told me his family really likes barns and rustic things, so he picked out Faust Park for their shoot location from our Top 8 List of Photoshoot Locations in St. Louis blog!

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12-year-old Trey just had surgery on his ear this week. He was a total champion during the photoshoot — I would have never been able to tell if I hadn’t known ahead of time!

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18-year-old Tyler has spent the last year in Colorado for college. Hollie told me they were thrilled to have him home for the Thanksgiving holiday. And then, Christmas is right around the corner, so they’re going to have even more family time here soon!

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I asked the two brothers some of their favorite things to do together. They answered “wrestling.” I asked Trey who usually wins, and he was super honest: “Tyler does.”

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Hahaha! I thought he was gonna talk smack, but he just up and told me he usually loses at wrestling. One day you’ll get him, Trey!

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I also noticed Trey has red and green on his braces right now, which is super perfect for Christmas!! I really love how you can customize the colors!

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I’m really glad I was able to meet the adorable Hanneke family — when I didn’t have a ceiling crisis! It’s always nice to get to know your neighbors! You never know when you’re going to need a plumber, a photographer, or borrow some butter! Haha.

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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.

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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!

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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.”

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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! 😉

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An Ice Rink Photoshoot During The Eclipse!

It would have just been an ordinary engagement shoot. Except Monday was anything but ordinary — just like Dan & Lindsey!

Monday’s engagement shoot was special for two reasons, other than the lovely couple themselves:

  1. It took place on the day of the total solar eclipse
  2. The first part was at an ice rink! How neat is that?!

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We ventured to East Alton Ice Arena in Alton, Illinois for this one-of-a-kind photoshoot. One of my favorite things is that we were able to put Dan & Lindsey’s wedding date up on the scoreboard!

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It’s May 26, 2018!

The significance of the ice rink is that Dan played hockey all throughout his high school career — and they both know how to ice skate! Plus, they both have mad love for the St. Louis Blues hockey team.

This next picture was definitely the most fun to take. It took a few tries — but we finally nailed it — ice shredding toward the camera:

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With the real ice coming at the camera, and a little Photoshop magic, we got that great shot above! To get it, Dan started really far away, came at us at full speed, then turned sideways at the last second to spray up some ice.  I think there’s a technical term for it — but you can tell this photographer is no pro at ice skating!

I’m pretty sure 3rd grade was the last time I put on a pair of ice skates. Thankfully, the ice rink gracefully let us in before open and I was able to wear tennis shoes on the ice for the pics!

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Lindsey likes hockey, but her real sports love is for baseball! I guess I should just say she really loves both. Which is why this next shot is so clever —

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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!!!”

Plus, to add to the cuteness, their first date was at a local restaurant to watch the Blues game. Fitting, right?

The rest is history! <3

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And, I need to mention, Dan and Lindsey are fun. Despite being able to ice skate, Lindsey wanted to put on a “different” kind of ice —

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Some sparkly high heels, baby! And at least she knows he has her back, even if she trips over her heels on the ice — let’s just say she’s head over heels for him? Tee hee.

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Their proposal story is just as adorable. On May 13, Lindsey woke up — angry at Dan from the night before. She wasn’t going to text him, because she felt like he owed her an apology. Finally, Dan texted her: “We need to talk.” He insisted it had to be in person.

Lindsey was, at this point, panicked. She thought he was breaking up with her because of their fight. She went over to his house and let herself in through the garage. She looked all over and couldn’t find him.

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She slowly walked back toward the garage — and found Dan there — on one knee.

He asked her to be his, and her response?

“BUT I’M MAD AT YOU!”

Totally cheating, right? How can she be mad when he’s presenting her with a ring?!

Dan said: “Well, you kinda messed this up. I was over in the corner and you were supposed to see me when you opened the garage door.”

She apparently walked right by him and went looking throughout the house, leaving him awkwardly on one knee until she actually saw him.

Laughing, Lindsey put out her hand and Dan put on the ring.

Cute. Perfect. Adorable! Just like them!

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After the ice rink, we headed to Faust Park for a few shots. When we got there, there were only a few people around, but by the time we left, people were coming droves to get a good view of the eclipse.

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One of my favorite things to do is shoot “through” things — so when I saw this tree — I knew exactly what I wanted to do:

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Lindsey told me her favorite thing about Dan is how goofy and random he can be. She said he keeps life interesting.

One shot we really wanted to get at the park was the classic “dancing” shot. The girl twirls and looks fantastic, while the guy smiles on at her.

Well, Lindsey really wanted to make sure she whipped up her dress — so we had to take about 20 practice spins!! She was so dizzy, but what a champion!

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Plus, it’s good practice for the wedding, amirite?

The very last shot we needed to make sure to get was at Dan’s family home. His childhood dog is 14 — and hasn’t been doing too well. He really wanted to make sure we got a good shot with Riley.

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Thing is — Riley didn’t wanna sit down, but was totally down to lean back and give Dan some kisses! Which is exactly what was happenin’ below!

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So glad Kansas City Photography was able to capture Lindsey & Dan’s special engagement story — thank you!

Can’t wait for the wedding, and a big congratulations to these two love birds!

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And if you haven’t had enough cuteness, just wait for this next bit. Dan promised to tell Lindsey he loves her — every day. And, as she reports, he has kept that promise!

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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.

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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?

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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!

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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!!

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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) —

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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!!!).

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

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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.

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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.

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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 —

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

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

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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 —

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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)!

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