A 19-Person Family Reunion In 5-Degree Weather!

At this chilly (and huge) 19-person family photoshoot, we had two high school seniors!

What an exciting time for the family! We made sure to get a lot of photos of seniors Morgan and Nick since two of the grandchildren won’t end up as seniors at the same time again!


But, let’s back up to how we booked the shoot first!

An old high school friend and tennis teammate, Jessica, posted she was looking for a photographer in the St. Louis area. Here’s a shot of that glorious high school time in our lives —

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I am in the back right next to the coach. Jessica is in the middle row, the third from the left.

I reached out to her and she explained the ENTIRE family was getting together the very last weekend in December. And they were a fun bunch! Here’s proof:


We booked the shoot over the phone when it was an unnaturally warm August day. I don’t know if we were hoping to have a warm winter like last year, but come the day of the shoot 4 months later … it was freezing. Single digits freezing. But, we were determined! Plus, it helps that everyone was such a good sport!


I was told the last time the entire family got together to take pictures — Gino and Reese weren’t even born! Since Reese is so little, I could see that — but Gino is a big guy now!!


Since it was so cold, and we had kiddos with us, we huddled together in the basement for warmth, and I took every family “unit” out one at a time. They were pretty tickled at the word “unit.” There’s just something about it that makes people giggle.

So, let’s break down our “units!” First, the two that started it all — Greg & Coleen! They’ve been married for nearly 50 years (47 to be exact)!


They were tickled pink about the photoshoot, and we made sure to get lots of photos of them with all of their grandbabies, even though most of them aren’t “babies” anymore. I always tell my oldest daughter she will always be my “baby,” and I’m sure the same goes for the grandkids!


Then, of course, Jessica and her unit — Tyler & Reese. Reese was a big fan of waving at the camera!


Little Reese would start laughing and then make crying sounds. At one point I wasn’t sure if she was elated or devastated. Jessica told me it was a “fine line.” Haha!


Then we have Jon, Julie, Genevieve, Grace, Gabrielle & Gino! I love how all of their children have “G” names, that’s so precious — just like them!


I kept telling everyone to pretend it wasn’t freezing! I think it worked pretty well.


Next, we have the family of one of our seniors! Meet Jen, Dan, Nick & Katie! Nick made sure to bring a shirt change so we could snap a couple more of him for some senior pics!


And our last unit to introduce you to is Jeff, Amy, Morgan & Drew! At one point, poor Drew didn’t think he had a good smile, but that wasn’t true!! Hopefully he can see these photos and see what a good smiler he is! Great job, Drew!


The entire family was so sweet. Every time we’d go inside to warm up, several of them would offer me coffee. My favorite was when Greg said he’d top it off with a little Bailey’s. Ha!


Thanks for an amazing time, Ribaudo clan!

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Ollison Family ‘Units,’ A Huge Family Photoshoot!

I met up with the Ollison clan this weekend in Jefferson City. When I arrived, I jokingly divided them into “units” for the photos — and the name stuck the rest of the shoot!

But let’s start with the two that started it all — Becky and Dwin Ollison!

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Dwin loved that hat. He didn’t get to wear it for many photos, but we compromised and let him wear it for a couple!

These two have been married for 38 years, and together for more than 40! Their love is still going strong — even after raising their 4 beautiful children!

Below, you’ll find the original Ollison unit. The OGs, if you will. 🙂

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They’re all grown up and with families and significant others of their own. This shoot was a special time where all the family was together for Thanksgiving, one of them all the way from Florida!

Let’s start with Ollison Unit 2, AKA Christy and Jim! They’ve been married for 17 years!

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Christy just graduated this summer with her BSN in nursing! That’s awesome!!!

We found this gorgeous yellow tree around the Governor’s Garden area near the Capitol. It was the only tree left with leaves! We really lucked out!


Ollison Unit 3 is Jodi and Chase. They’ve been together for 9 years! They have two boys, Cyrus and Canton.

If Canton was smiling in a photo, Cyrus was givin’ me a pirate face. If Cyrus was smiling in a photo, Canton was givin’ me the cold shoulder. Jodi said she loved the “moments,” though, and this is definitely one!

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Cyrus loves “PJ Masks,” “Paw Patrol,” and “Power Rangers.”

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One way we were getting all the kiddos to smile was asking them to say different character names, like “Mickey Mouse!” and “Chase!”

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Canton loves “Finding Nemo,” trains and cars. He was in the middle of chompin’ a mint in this picture, but it was pretty close to a smile! 🙂

Next, we have Bethany, Dean, and their son Lincoln.

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Lincoln had the perfect little hair coif right in front! He wasn’t a big fan of givin’ me cheesers, but his grandpa sure could draw them out!

Lincoln loves Elmo, all kinds of animals, and bouncy balls! Who doesn’t though, right?

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Moving along with our fun “units” (they seriously giggled every time I used the word), we have Zach and Christy! These two are both seniors at MSU. They pointed out that the family colors used for the shoot even matched their school colors. #fate

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They graduate in a few weeks! I did go ahead and hint that, you know … Kansas City Photography does weddings, too! But, I know, graduate first!!! 🙂


But, what would a shoot be with this many people without a funny story to include? A few weeks before the shoot, Jodi was at the gym. She must be Mighty Mouse, because she was lifting a 45 pound weight. That’s when that weight fell onto her foot. Now, that part isn’t funny, but the fact she had to walk backwards down a hill with the help of her siblings because of her injury … was a little funny. 🙂

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Sibling love, amirite? I actually went to high school with Jodi and her hubs, although they were both in different grades than me. But, our school is very, very small. So, everyone knows everyone. I’m so glad you booked me for this shoot, it was awesome to see you and your fam bam!

I am sure grandma and grandpa were also stoked to get photos with their grandbabies!

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And getting all four siblings together is always a treat. Thanksgiving is the best!

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Even if I did make you walk up a big ol’ hill for some pics!

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23 People + 105-Degree Weather = 1 Sweaty Photographer!

Months ago, Della Miller reached out to me about doing a family photoshoot in my hometown, Lake of the Ozarks. She warned me there would be a lot of people.


I don’t flinch at crowds, especially since I’ve done a loooot of weddings, and I always jump at the chance to go visit home!

Plus, I love visiting with repeat clients and seeing how much their families have grown! The top photo is baby Holden earlier this year, and the second one is him from this Saturday!


This Saturday, Missouri cities broke heat records across the state. And it just so happened to be the Saturday Della and I had planned!


We couldn’t do a morning shoot because there were people traveling in from out of town — so instead we set it as late as we could where we’d still have sunlight, but also before the kiddos bedtimes.


When I arrived, it was 105 degrees. At least it was 2 degrees cooler from that afternoon, but golly! ONE. HUNDRED. FIVE.

But we were all troopers!


Since we met at Della’s home, everyone with kids could stay in the A/C until it was their turn for photos (we broke off into smaller family units after the big group shots)!


I also LOVE how they color coordinated everything!! And it made it easy to say “it’s the purple family’s turn!” Instead of, you know, “Clay, Karen, Eren, Brooklyn — please stand over here!”


I thought it was a family get together, but it turns out everyone drove in just for the family photos! It’s always so great when that happens — and I love it when people make it a priority to have photos with their families!


The best part of it all — like I mentioned earlier, I have worked with some of these families individually before. I love watching the kiddos get bigger & bigger!


Although, some things never change —


Just kidding! We got one of him smiling, too (a little, at least)! Practice makes perfect.


Despite having worked with some of this family on an individual basis, this was the first time I had gotten them all together like this!

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Della told me the family added two babies in 2017, and there’s one more on the way for the end of the year. What a great time to be a grandparent! <3


It was great to see them all as a big family unit! I “threatened” no one could go inside until we did one, final silly photo — worked like a charm! Kinda.


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