Our New Website!

I tried to log onto the Kansas City Photography webpage last week. I was met with an error message. I may have panicked a little, but I figured it’d be an easy fix. I reached out to my web person — but it was crickets. My face was probably equivalent to Miss Luna’s:

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My bells and whistles started going off — and here’s why. This happened one other time, with the same web person. I reached out to him (the same one, I never switched) and he responded saying I needed to pay him to get it back online. I was confused as to why, and he said it was a maintenance fee, and he had to re-build it. I actually lost a potential wedding client over this — they had seen my site, loved my work, and then got concerned when my site suddenly went down.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson then … but, long story short, I stuck with him and he put the site back up (after I paid him again *grumble*), and it has been sunshine and roses since then.

Then, the error (again). And no response.

Instead of waiting around, this time I decided to go ahead and just build it myself. This way I can make changes and add photos any time I want, without having to pay every time I want an update. It was really a long time coming, I should have done it a lot sooner.

Go check it out and tell me what you think! –> http://kansas-city-photography.com

 

On a side note, I recently tried to get Kansas City Photography published on Wikipedia, but I need some press coverage for that to happen. They have really strict guidelines, and I meet all of them but that one. Stay tuned!

A Creepy Car & Playing Around At West Bottoms: Dawn’s Family Photoshoot!

Tatiana here! It was a real pleasure to capture one of my dearest friends being so in love with someone who is also so in love with her! It’s been a long time coming and it just warms my heart that she has reached her “relationship goals.”

 

Dawn Family 18.jpgDawn’ son, Aidan, was the explorer for sure. He is so full of energy and kept wandering off, climbing on things and I just let him do his thing! He just started jumping on things and I was like, “WELP! Since you’re already there…” *snaps photos*

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This one below makes it seem like Lilly and Aidan are about to drop the next hot album in KC. And Aidan plays the drums, so who knows? Maybe this will be a thing!

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In this below, I specifically asked them to do a funny pose. I think the quote was, “act like you guys are in a street gang!” This is a perfect depiction of the Vieux clan ready to rumble! And also proof they could never be in an actual street gang.

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It took Miss Lilly a little bit to loosen up, but I think she enjoyed the pictures! She really liked the ones of just her, which is great, ’cause I would love to rock a senior shoot with her! Hint, Dawn, hint!

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Lilly was just standing on this rock trying to stay away from everyone, but me, being totally impervious just went, “Joke’s on you, ’cause you look cool on that rock!!!” *snaps photo*

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This is my favorite picture of Dawn and her kiddos! It also shows off some hidden treasures of this area known as “West Bottoms.” We just happened upon this hobbit door, it was super random!

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But you never know what you’re going to run into here, which is why we love this location! It even made it in our Top 10 Photoshoot Locations in KC list!

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Although, there was one bizarre incident — there was a black car at the end of the bridge with tinted windows. When we started to take pics, the driver revved the engine and opened the driver’s door … but no one got out! Later, the driver shut the door, and turned the car sideways. This is when I began thinking, “Am I gonna die?!” And Dawn is just like “what poses should we do next?!”

Anyway, no one died … so here we are!

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One Of My Most Important Photography Lessons: Shoot ‘Through’ Things

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri. Broadcast works a lot with the camera —  and one of the most important lessons I ever learned was to shoot “through” things.

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It completely changed my perspective behind the lens. It was one of those “ah-ha!” moments. Shoot “through” things. Things other people may not look at — it completely changed how I view the world.

Apply it to photography. See a cool shape? Shoot through it.

A fence or netting? Shoot through it.

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A bride’s veil? Shoot through it.

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How about a beautiful blooming flower? Find a space between the leaves and shoot through it to the subjects in the background.

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And it can be subtle. I was squatting down in some tall grass to get this shot!

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It’s not that every shot needs this “shoot through” treatment, but it should be a component to think about at every shoot. If you see your photographer squatting in the grass, or rolling around on the ground … they’re likely using this technique!

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Willows & Redbuds: A Gorgeous Maternity Shoot At Forest Park

The third time is a charm! Ally and I had to re-schedule this shoot twice — once due to it snowing, despite it being 70 degrees the day before, and once due to a tornado. Such is the life of a photographer in the Midwest! But it was worth the wait — everything is in bloom right now! Plus, the wind LOVED Ally — it kept blowing her flowy floral jacket perfectly.

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I met up with the lovebirds, Ally & Aaron, at Forest Park in St. Louis today (Kansas City Photography is in both KC & St. Louis!). Ally’s original due date was in May, but her doctor recently bumped it to the end of April. We are going to be meeting Mr. Jaxton even sooner — hooray!

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Ally met Aaron six years ago while working at Syberg’s in downtown St. Louis. It took a few years, but Aaron finally worked up the courage to “officially” ask Ally to be his two years ago.

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The couple brought along their pups Gonzo and Wilson. Gonzo is super old, and realllly blind, but he was a good sport. Thankfully, they brought a favorite squeaky toy that really helped get the pups to look at me! That’s one of the tips on our blog post about shoots with pets!

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You can tell Gonzo is not impressed. Or he is just squintin’ ’cause he can’t see anything. Poor dude! It also helped they brought along an assistant, AKA the sisters of all sisters — Jessica!

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One of my favorite things to do during shoots is crack jokes. Then, I get reactions like this:

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It doesn’t help that I am good at getting people to laugh, builds up my ego a little too much! Hahaha.

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Congrats to the happy couple!

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A Cupcake Parlor Baby Shower … With Plungers!

I hosted a baby shower for my bestie Jenn on Sunday. But she didn’t want a “typical” baby shower. She wanted games that involved plungers, sippy cup beer chugging, and sangria.

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Aight. Challenge accepted. Let’s do this thang!

We all met at Celebrating Life Cupcake Boutique in Chesterfield (KC Photo is in St. Louis and Kansas City!).

What a perfect name and place to celebrate the new life of Genevieve! Jenn loves Hooters, so even though the shower was Paris themed, we had wings to go alongside the cheese and fruit platters.

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Game 1: Chug From A Sippy Cup 

It’s seriously not easy to chug from a bottle or sippy cup … and it’s certainly fun to watch people try it! We filled them 1/4 of the way full of sangria or beer (depending on the person’s preference) and got some amazing facial reactions. The chugging winner received a cute miniature Paris hat box filled with fun goodies like candy and necklaces. Added perk — Jenn got to keep all of the sippy cups after the shower!

Check out the “after” faces below!

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Game 2: How To Make A Baby 

I asked for four volunteers. I wouldn’t tell them why. Then, I handed them plungers.

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Then, I asked for four more volunteers and handed them two rolls of toilet paper.

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Next, I told everyone to put whatever item they were holding between their legs. So, plungers between the legs, and toilet paper rolls between the legs.

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The point? Make a baby! The plunger-holders had to get the toilet paper onto the end of their plunger without using their hands.

These games were really fun, and could get a lot of people involved at once.

I also told everyone that Jenn loves it when people touch her stomach. That was a lie. She hates it. On the bright side, she says she hasn’t had any strangers come up and touch it — so that’s a plus!

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The one person who totally earned the belly rub, though, was Kyli. She flew in for the shower! She moved into her new house the day before, then caught a flight! That’s dedication.

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We had a great turnout at the shower, and absolutely loved how cutely decorated the place was. We were told we could order custom cupcakes, but turns out that wasn’t the case. Regardless, we had a lot of laughs, Jenn raked it in on the gifts, and we all can’t wait to welcome Miss Genevieve into the world! Another perk — we had a lot of newborns at the shower, too, to really get our baby fix! By “a lot,” I mean two.

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Also a shout out to the two Grandmas-to-be! Genevieve is the first grandbaby on both sides!

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Want to see Jenn & James’ maternity session? Click here!

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I Got Pooped On! Elena’s Adorable Newborn Shoot

I had a first this weekend — I got pooped on by a photography client. I mean, she was definitely one of the cutest clients I’ve ever had, but poop is poop!

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As a photographer, I’ve had my fair share of baby tears, spit-up, even pee! But somehow I managed to stay away from the poo. Until this Sunday.

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Miss Elena Rose christened my shirt … and pants. We had just taken off her diaper for some adorable shots:

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But it was oh-so worth it! Just look at some of these gorgeous shots we got of her! And it’s a fun first to talk about.

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Plus, after the whole “that’s not chocolate pudding” moment, Elena snoozed quite peacefully. I mean, we were all sweating like crazy (I recommend you turn the heat up for newborn shoots, keeps ’em comfy and quiet), but she was content as could be!

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What’s an outfit change and a few sweat beads when you get to hang out with this sweet thing? Alyssa & Steve are proud parents to an adorable baby girl! <3

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Have baby fever? Check out Mr. TJ’s newborn shoot.

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From NICU To A Photoshoot: Teddy’s Newborn Shoot!

Two of my best friends, Amanda & Jordan, welcomed their main man Theodore Jordan into the world early.

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He was due March 19, but decided he wanted to break out early — on February 28. I got the pleasure of taking this little man’s photos on what was supposed to be his original due date (sooo yesterday!!). His first days were spent in the NICU, but that’s where his nickname of “meatball” was born.

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Theodore was having trouble learning how to nurse, so his mama Amanda told him: “You have to eat, goofball!” Jordan overheard and got really confused because he thought Amanda said “meatball.” Then, Amanda got confused as to what the heck Jordan was talking about, and the name just stuck!

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Teddy, as we call him, is now enjoying his days at home, waking mom up every four hours to nurse …

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Practicing his smug face for the ladies …

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And wooing his gammy Bev with every little coo.

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We love you, bud! If I have my way, your first word will be “cheeeese!”

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How To Deal With The Weather During Photoshoots

It’s a bright, sunshiny Missouri morning. But there’s snow on the ground. Ignore the fact it was 75 degrees a few days ago. Such is the life of a photographer living in a state where the jet streams cross. You get completely unpredictable weather. So, what’re you gonna do? Learn to love it.

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We try not to re-schedule shoots due to the weather, unless necessary. Otherwise, I’d be re-scheduling all the time. All of nature’s elements are workable.

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Let me take you back to 2012. I woke up for a shoot and the sky was gray. And not the pretty kind of gray. It was like a grainy, gloomy, depressing color — with a weird tint of orange to top it off. It looked like it was going to pour any second. Nicole and her family were about to move to another state — and wanted some memories of their time in Kansas City. There wasn’t another day to re-schedule. So, I packed some umbrellas just in case, and we were off!

The key? Shoot without including the sky. Get up close, have a different background like greenery, train tracks, train cars, etc. Something where the sky doesn’t play a part.

We ended up going to a fire station. Nicole had complications with birth — and it was the firefighters who were her first responders. She teared up when I went inside and retrieved a firefighter. They even let the kids play in a firetruck. How awesome is that?

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Ok, so we’ve talked about gloomy skies. What about wind? Like blow your hair in your face wind? The best tip is to face the wind. Then, it makes the hair blow back behind them. I call it the “model effect.” No fans needed!

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In this shoot below, we were down by the water. It was so windy, but you can hardly tell!

 

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Now, snow. Oh, snow.

Firstly, if the conditions are so bad that the roads aren’t drivable, or even if they are, but they’re slick — re-schedule. A photoshoot is never above someone’s safety. But, if the roads are fine — go play in it!

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Use it to your advantage. Snow is so white and fun — nature’s perfect backdrop.

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Although, use your head. I did recently re-schedule a maternity shoot due to the snow. It wasn’t because of the roads, it was because I didn’t want mama and baby to have to brave the very, very cold weather. So, like I said, just use your head!

To recap: 

  • All weather is workable
  • Bring umbrellas. Rain shots can be really fun!
  • If the sky is gray, shoot up-close, or shots that don’t involve seeing the sky.
  • Use the wind to your advantage. Have the person face into the wind.
  • Snow is awesome, it’s nature’s natural backdrop.
  • Re-schedule if the roads are too slick or covered.
  • Re-schedule if it’s too cold for children or pregnant mothers.

More of our “How To” series:

The Calm Before The Storm: Jenn & James’ Maternity Shoot!

We got hit really hard with severe weather Monday night. We even had to go to the basement at the wee hours of the morning when a tornado warning was issued for our area. But the good news is — I got a shoot in before all that hail hit! Meet Jenn, James, and baby Genevieve (she’s still bakin’)!

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Jenn had a whole Pinterest board for me to look through, and I noticed a lot of those pins were silhouette shots. Some of my absolute favorite shots are silhouettes!! Done!

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Not gonna lie, James supeeeer didn’t wanna do the shoot. He just got the Nintendo Switch (the last on in Missouri), so he had Zelda brain. But regardless, he was a great sport, and we got some amazing shots!

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You could see how much they love each other just by the photos!

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Jenn is very fit. She goes to the gym 6 days a week. It was important to her that we incorporate some workout shots into the shoot. Her favorite hashtag is #fitbump. She lives it!

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I saved the best shot for last — this sums up Jenn’s pregnancy. She has been SO hungry, especially for sweets. Since my oldest daughter, Lily, just got her Girl Scout cookies in to deliver … we had quite a few cookie props for Jenn to use!

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Congrats, James and Jenn!!

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A Spring Photoshoot With Lily & Luna

Ok, so I know it’s technically  not spring yet, but it sure does feel like it! And I feel like since we’re in March, we are close enough! As a photographer, it’s hard for me to find time to capture shots of my own family — but I make sure to do it at least once in the spring and once in the fall with my own two children: Lily & Luna.

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If I waited until I was all caught up with client photos, I would never have time to do it — so it’s really important for me to set aside a day or two so that I can capture my vivacious, sassy 6-year-old and playful, giggly 2-year-old while they’re still small.

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The clothes? Zulily. I am totally obsessed with that site.

I am lucky enough to live in a wooded area, so I just had to walk out my front door to snag these awesome shots of my two goofy girls.

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And being photographer’s kiddos — these girls know how to pose. Luna turns 2 at the end of the month, and already any time she sees a camera, she goes: “CHEEEESE!”

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Lily is the exact same way, although she has gone beyond the mastery of “CHEESE!” and can come up with poses all on her own!

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Love my babies!

I have a Capital One card with an old photo I did of Lily when she was Luna’s age — and now when people see it, they think it’s Luna on the card! Guess I should update it with one of these, eh?

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