Two Wrestling Brothers: A Fun Family Photoshoot At Forest Park!

Last Saturday, right after the fun duckling senior photoshoot, I was able to meet up with my Aunt Heather and her adorable family.


Their family photos were overdue! Looong overdue! She even shared a text with me from five years ago where we were trying to set something up. The stars finally aligned!!


My oldest, Lily, and her littlest, Grayson, are besties. They looove hanging out. Grayson just started Kindergarten this year. He loves the show “StoryBots” and the book “Monster Love Underpants.”

Glad to see silly underwear books will never go out of style. Anyone remember “Captain Underpants?”

Grayson also loves learning about the ocean, planets, and dinosaurs.


Older brother Colton is a senior this year!

Colton is into working out and soccer (which is practically just another workout. Soccer is hard!!). One of his pursuits is to get into a top 10 college! He’s a dedicated student and loves wrestling with his little brother.


Speaking of wrestling — Grayson kept trying to tackle Colton in between shots. Apparently, wrestling is also one of his favorite things to do.


Grayson even told me he “beat” Colton at their last wrestling match. Something tells me big brother let him win. 😉


My Aunt Heather is super craftsy. She teaches a card class a couple of times a month — and what she teaches you to do aren’t just any ol’ cards. These are like super ornate, “looks like you buy in the ornate handmade section at Hallmark” amazing!

And while she didn’t make this prop below herself — I wasn’t surprised when she whipped them out —


I love hanging out with Aunt Heather & Uncle Jim. They’ve been married for ten years!

And, seeing someone you love so happy in turn makes you so, so happy!!

I couldn’t stop smiling when I was editing these next three photos! 🙂


A really neat thing about Heather & Jim — they had two weddings, so they have two different anniversary dates! They got married here with their friends and family present — then got married again on their honeymoon in Greece!! How cool!


Oh yeah — did I mention Grayson and Colton did a lot of wrestling?


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We Found Some Cute Ducks During This Senior Photoshoot!

This Saturday was a beautiful day for some senior photos!

World, meet future dentist, Alexis! She’s already got the perfect pearly whites!

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Alexis is currently a senior at Belleville West High School. She plans to attend KU to become the world’s greatest dentist — and if I would have known this, I would have poked her a little more — since this photographer is a Mizzou grad! 😉

We met at Forest Park in St. Louis (Kansas City Photography is in KC & St. Louis) Saturday morning. Even though Alexis’ mama, Crystal, got a little lost, with some help from modern technology (share my location), we found each other!

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While shooting by the columns above, a security guard walked up to us, asking what we were doing. I may have had the deer in headlights look, because as far as I knew, it was perfectly acceptable to take photos at Forest Park.

Turns out, he was just chatty. But this worked in our favor!

Guard: “Whatcha up to?”

Me: “Taking some senior photos!! She graduates this year!”

Guard: “Ah! Congratulations!”

Me: “Uhhh … are we good to keep takin’ photos?”

Guard: “Yup! There are some really pretty flowers right behind ya there.”

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He also let us in on a little secret — if we walked across the street to the second lake, and headed for the rocks. We would find some ducks.

On the way to duck haven, we spotted a willow. Alexis and I bonded over the fact that it was our favorite tree! Willows are so beautiful!

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After a few willow shots, we continued our journey to Duck Island.

We walked over to where the security guard instructed, found the rocks, crossed the lake (I can’t believe I didn’t fall in, but if I did, I told Alexis to save the camera, not me!!), and slowly walked close to the ducks. These ducks were super, super docile. They literally did not care we were there.

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Now, Alexis told me if we did a duck shot, she’d make it her senior photo for the yearbook. Dooooone!

Alexis wanted to spend the last few minutes of the shoot taking family photos. How sweet is that?

Alexis had her sister, Alivia, there, along with her mom, Crystal, and the German foreign exchange student currently living with them (who Alexis told me is also like a sister), Lisa.

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And, of course, we needed to do one of just mom and daughter.

She wrote me this morning: “Me and her dad are so extremely proud of the young woman she has become. She is an amazing big sister to Alivia.”

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Congratulations on your senior year, Alexis! I know you’ll do great things!

Are you a senior this year in KC or St. Louis? We’d love to tell your story, too! Message us today.

Top 9 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 9 in the St. Louis area — all with photos we personally took at these locations!

Also check out our list for the Kansas City area!

9. 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.


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?


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

8. 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!


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


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

7. 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!


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

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Faust Park also has a “Historic Village” section with buildings from 1840 to 1910! It is also home to The Butterfly House, so there is something to do after your session! It also has a park right next to it for any kiddos to run and play during or after the session.

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No one expects to find historic barns in Chesterfield. It’s 200 acres of hidden glory in the heart of Chesterfield — just waiting to be discovered!

6. 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.

5. 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!


4. 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!

3. 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. If we venture in the spring, you will also see all sort of baby geese, swans sitting on their eggs, and tons of little squirrels running around!

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And if you have kiddos — there’s also a park located right there as well! It’s a hidden gem, and never extremely crowded, which is another bonus!

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2. Forest Park 

Of course, the iconic Forest Park had to make our list. It 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!

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

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1. Shaw Nature Reserve

Our number one spot is a place a photography client pointed out to Christine. She has been in love ever since! Shaw Nature Reserve, owned by the Missouri Botanical Garden, has a little bit of everything!

It has water in several locations, and some of those water locations have bridges or cute little awnings to duck underneath:

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There is also the Joseph Bascom house, which has gorgeous pillars to pose between. It can give a completely different photo session look! The home was built in 1879, and the columns make for great photos.

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Of course, there are also trails galore! Just a quick walk on one and you are surrounded by nature. It’s easy to forget you aren’t actually out in the country, you’re in a park!

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There is also the Whitmire Wildflower Garden where more than 800 native Missouri plants are on display.

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The park itself does have a $5 entry fee for adults. Children are free! It is definitely worth the small price to see this beautiful scenery. It really makes the photo session special, especially with so many amazing backdrop options!

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And, depending on the timing, depends on what you’ll see! These gorgeous daffodils were only in bloom for one week. This next photo was taken by a good photographer friend of mine, Dee Keim Photography. She took our family photos at this gorgeous park, too, so I wanted to share:


The history of Shaw Nature Reserve is also interesting! They phrased it well themselves: “The Missouri Botanical Garden’s land purchase in 1925 began the legacy of Shaw Nature Reserve. Originally set up as a safe refuge for the plant collection from the smoke pollution of the 1920’s, its role in the community has evolved through the years. Shaw Nature Reserve has many roles—as a nature reserve, a place to walk and hike, and a good spot for relaxing and for studying nature.”

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 Kansas City Photography. You may not re-use without permission.)