O-M-G: A Surprise Proposal at Unity Village!

Hey, everyone! Tatiana here to share with you how I, a professional photographer, was accepted into the ancient order of NINJA!

Uhhh … or, how I totally snuck up on Katie and surprised her with an engagement photo shoot!

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More on that in a moment!

Tony Fisher contacted us Sept. 19th after he found us — wait for it — THROUGH OUR BLOG! We’re pretty happy about that, since we put so much work into these.

He wanted to surprise his beloved of almost four years, Katie, when he popped the big question! We suggested Unity Village as the meeting area, and he had to fib a bit to get her to go with him without any questions or suspicion. You could say Tony was Ninja #2.

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He told her they needed to go to a dinner with friends, but it was a pretty fancy place — great cover and excuse to dress up!

We had emailed Tony and we agreed to meet at the big tower at Unity Village. I was “taking” photos of the flowers … this is when I spotted them! #sosneaky

It was abnormally more crowded than usual, so the rose garden wouldn’t do for the big finale! Ninja 1 and Ninja 2 (Tony and I) thankfully linked minds. He didn’t seem to know quite where he wanted to go, so instead of following them like I had been, I veered off course and started moving away from them. I then started taking photos straight ahead — signaling that was the perfect spot where he should get on one knee! He understood and walked right in front of the camera — and bam! She couldn’t even stop smiling enough for that smooch!

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When I stopped and pointed my camera in front of the fountains, Tony brilliantly followed my lead — directing Katie in my line of site. Here is the exact moment when she realized what’s about to happen — so magical!

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I’M NOT CRYING; YOU’RE CRYING!

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I don’t even think Katie noticed me getting closer and closer to them until I said, “Congratulations!” I then felt it appropriate to say “I’m not being creepy, I promise! I’m supposed to be here!” and that’s when Tony explained his master plan to his now fiancée.

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“Well, now that you cried all your makeup off — would you like to do a photo shoot!?”

She said yes to me, too. 😉

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She was so overwhelmed by her gorgeous ring that instead of breathing, she just kept exhaling “OH MY GOD!!!” every second. It was so wonderful I told her that would be the headline for the blog.

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“Oh my gawd, I’m going to wear this for the rest of my life!”

“Oh my God, I can’t believe you pulled this off!”

“OMG, I can’t stop looking at it!”

Tony, make sure your bride-to-be looks up from her hand long enough to cross the street!

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Aw, look at that cheese face! I think in this very moment, on October 9th, 2017 at approximately 6:30 pm — Katie was THE happiest woman in the world. I’m so overjoyed that I was able to capture this incredibly special moment for these two. Plus, they are huge “Game of Thrones” fans like myself … so they are great people in my book!

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We wish you many more happy memories to come at Kansas City Photography — and hope you keep us in mind for a wedding photographer (we travel, tee hee).

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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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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 Day At The Park

I met with Sarah, Shane, and their adorable family this weekend in Parkville. They picked this location based off of our Top 10 Photo Locations in KC post. It was a gorgeous day — in the 70s — in February!!

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Their three sweet girls were a riot. They didn’t want to say “cheeeese,” but we could get them to say “Anna,” “Elsa,” and “Frozen.”

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At one point, they were dancing on the bridge singing “Let it gooooo, let it gooo!” How cute is that?

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Since it was so nice, it was really busy — and joggers kept trying to interrupt our bridge shots. But we still got some great ones!

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We walked past the bridge to look at the water, and then decided we may get our youngest princess Aarabella to smile if we used the swings. Who complains about swinging? No one, that’s who!

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A gorgeous day for a gorgeous shoot!

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Top 10 Photoshoot Locations in KC

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 10, with an honorary mention — all with photos we personally took at these locations!

Here is our list for the St. Louis area (Kansas City Photography is in both locations)!

Honorary Mention: Loose Park 

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Yes, it’s gorgeous. But, it’s only honorary and not on the 10 countdown list because of how incredibly busy this place can get. It can be hard to get a shot without people in the background (and editing people out takes time). Plus, photographers everywhere.

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It’s not a hidden gem — and if you get caught shooting professionally in this area, and you haven’t paid their photographer’s fee, you get fined.

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10. Bass Pro Waterfall Park

Wait. Do a shoot at Bass Pro? Hear me out.

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This particular location has an outside park that includes waterfalls. Waterfalls, people! 

9. Parkville

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Yes, I just used an entire city as a photoshoot location. It has a population of around 5,500, and a whole lotta character. It boasts an adorable downtown area — not to mention this bridge!

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If you walk over the bridge, there’s a nice, open area with grass — and a  nice view of the Missouri River. There is a path you can follow along it, so you aren’t getting your shoes all muddy!

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There is also the “Hogwarts Castle,” which is actually Park University.

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8. National WWI Museum and Memorial

It’s a nice, open area with a killer view of the Kansas City skyline. Plus, you can explore some history while you’re there.

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But they will yell at you if you sit on the ledge like we did. We actually had no idea there were huge speakers for them to yell at you … until it was happening to us.

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Leaning is OK, though.

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And standing in front of it is all chill, too!

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7. Swope Park

This park has lion statues. And 1,805-acres. What’s not to love?

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Also, it’s Kansas City’s largest park. Glorious.

6. West Bottoms / Graffiti Walls

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It can be tricky to find, but when you go explore downtown KC, especially on the side roads by Restaurant Depot on 12th Street, you’ll find it. Colorful graffiti. Perfect for the urban setting. The senior pictures. The fun, funky group.

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Plus, the grafitti is ever-changing, so you’ll never get the same shot twice! It’s always so bright and colorful, and sometimes you can find fun little messages, like “feminine” above. On the flip side of that, you also have to watch out for not so nice words, too.

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5. Burr Oak Woods

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For the person who wants nature shots. This is also the perfect location for those fall photos — colored leaves and trees everywhere! Plus, they have great trails you can utilize after the shoot!

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4. Bingham-Waggoner Estate

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I usually suggest this one for my repeat clients. With these clients, we’ve usually already hit up the No. 1 spot (no peeking until you get there), and probably a couple others on this list.

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It’s a great change of pace. Plus, it has great scenery, a bridge, and a gorgeous estate that serves as a wonderful backdrop.

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This location is also dog-friendly! Their only requirement is that your pup has to be on a leash, and that you clean up any poo that may happen!

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3. Lake Jacomo

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The best place for water shots! On the way, they have several stop-offs with gorgeous water views. If you know where to go, there is also a great miniature waterfall area.

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If you drive further in the park, you’ll hit the yacht area — there’s a trail you can take back with gorgeous trees and tall grass.

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If you walk far enough, there’s a break in the trees and you can see the water in the background.

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There’s also the option of walking out onto the docks!

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2. Love Locks Bridge

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This hidden gem is a wonderful tribute to the love locks bridge in Paris. I love going here and seeing all of the different locks, looking at the dates, and the sweet engravings.

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If you walk past the bridge, there is beautiful tall grass, and even train tracks!

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1. Unity Village

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I can’t define my love enough for this place. A lot of people have never heard of it, and hearing them gasp at the sight hundreds of roses the first time they step foot onto the property is something I never get tired of hearing.

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Every breed of rose you thought you’d heard of, plus many more you probably can’t even pronounce (I know I can’t!).

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And let’s not forget those fountains! There are several throughout the property — including a huge one the size of a swimming pool in the middle.

img_5014img_0827 copy.jpgThe fountains are turned off once it gets chilly. But, even in the colder non-rose months, the architecture is fun to play with.

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And this is just the front. If you explore the grounds even farther, you will find the old stone buildings. This place is teeming with possibilities!

And as if it couldn’t get any better — this location is also dog friendly! It’s the same rules as Bingham: Leash required, clean up poo!

Don’t forget — our list of Top 10 photography locations in St. Louis is also available!

Please Note:Christine, Dawn, and Tatiana with Kansas City Photography took all of these photos! No stealsies!

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A Surprise Proposal

I got the call on a blustery cold day a week ago. I answered the phone in my usual fashion:

“This is Christine!”

“Uh, hi!” I heard on the other end.

Then, he got right into it.

“I’m planning on proposing to my girlfriend, and I want a photographer to be there to capture the moment. But, I don’t want her to know you’re there for us until after I am down on one knee.”

He found the perfect place with a skyline of downtown Kansas City at Kaw Park.

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Tyler’s girlfriend, Taelor, was blindfolded — and when she took off that blindfold, there he was, waiting on one knee on the marshy grass by the river.

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A kiss, a “yes!,” and a photoshoot. That’s how it’s done! Congrats, Tyler & Taelor!

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P.S.: He did good on the ring, too!

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