Lily Is Starting First Grade! NO WAY!

Well, it was a rough time emotionally last week. I took a much needed break, but I am back. I am going to blog every day this week (M-F), so hold me accountable!

Today, I’m writing about Lily. Our oldest princess is starting first grade this Wednesday. I just can’t believe it!

Here she is on her first day of Kindergarten:

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And here she is today, on her first day of 1st Grade!

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Below, Tatiana did a mini photoshoot with Miss Lily right before I did her photos at the same location!

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Trading photoshoots is a perk of being a professional photographer! <3

Currently, Lily’s favorite colors are purple and pink. I have been re-finishing a dresser for her in the same purple and pink colors as her room. It’s still in the garage, but hey! I am workin’ on it!

Her favorite food is vanilla ice cream (I just asked her, lol). Her favorite sport gymnastics. Her favorite sports team is the Kansas City Royals (she lived in KC the first 5 years of her life! Sorry, Cardinals!).

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She recently went with me to the salon and got some purple streaks put in her hair. Her hair is light enough that my gal Hannah could just put the dye right on her hair, and we didn’t have to do bleach it at all (I probably wouldn’t have let her do it otherwise).

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During the shoot, there was some road construction going on. Lily has never been a fan of loud noises, so we got this gem of a picture when a particularly loud drill turned on:

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Lily is social, lovable, smart, kind, and spunky. She has the attitude of a 16-year-old, and the wit to back up that sass. Everyone always tells us to get out our shotguns since she’s so beautiful, buuuut … she can hold her own. No guns needed.

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The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Here’s a picture of my beautiful mother (taken at the photobooth at my wedding, haha!). She’s pretty in pink:

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Throughout the years, this is always the holiday when my clients ask me about buying a photoshoot as a gift for their mom. I make a custom card for them to give to mom, and then she can get with us to book a date for a family photoshoot!

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Or, instead of gifting a shoot to mom, sometimes I have clients who get all the kids and grandkids together before Mother’s Day, and then surprise her with the photos the day of! Mom always tears up!

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Another perfect gift would be a shoot for the new mom. And we love newborns! Look at this stud. He’s already practicing his “swooning” face. <3

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Photos are such a precious a gift — a memory frozen in time. If you’re interested in booking a shoot before Mother’s Day, or giving Mom the gift of setting up her own family shoot — fill out our contact form (and tell us if you’re looking in St. Louis or KC — we are in both cities!), or message us on Facebook!

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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The Easter With 8 Baskets & Too Much Candy

My girls somehow managed to get 4 Easter baskets a piece this holiday. I’m not complaining, and I am grateful to those who thought about our kiddos, but I am pretty sure I have eaten about as much chocolate as I do on Halloween … you know, poison control. 😉

We woke up Sunday morning and hid Easter baskets with our cousins Caley and Ezra. Lily and Ezra are little besties, it’s so cute!

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From there, we went to my grandpa’s house. Grandma Karen told me every time I went over there that she had dreamt of hosting an Easter egg hunt on their big, gorgeous yard, but had never done it — and then all the kids grew up. Good news! The kids had kids, and now she was finally able to host her egg hunt!

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My two girls, Lily & Luna, were dolled up in their Easter dresses. Lily’s favorite color is purple, but pink is a close second. When they didn’t have purple, I knew it’d be ok to go with pink!

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Luna’s favorite color seems to be yellow (she’s 2, so it’s hard to tell, but she gravitates toward that color and uses it a lot). My favorite color is orange, so when yellow wasn’t available …

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It had started drizzling, but that certainly didn’t slow anyone down! The egg hunt was really clever — each kid was assigned a certain color of egg. This way, they all got equal!

We also made sure to get a shot of grandpa with all four of his great-grandkids!

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After that, we went over to Bryan’s (my hubs) uncle’s house for his family get together. More eggs to hunt! Luna considered herself an old pro by this point. Lily also killed it at cornhole. That’s the game where you throw the bean bag into the hole on the other side of lawn. Am I making sense? Haha.

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It was a great Easter weekend, I only wish it was mandatory to take Monday off, too!

Want to read more fun stories with our family? Did you know we have a pet pig?

Photo Fixing / Restoration Services? Yup!

The phone rang last week. It was a Kansas number, so I went ahead and answered it since it wasn’t a random number from Florida or Connecticut (anyone else feel like their cell has been extra spammed lately?!). It was a woman asking if Kansas City Photography does photo restoration services. Yes, we sure do! It’s quite the specialty!

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But don’t take our word for it. Let’s show you some more examples! I had a friend come to me a couple of years ago. She said she had no photos of her mom and dad together (her mom passed away years ago), but she did manage to find a photo of them in the same picture … just not standing by each other.

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I did do some digital restoration on the original, but what I ended up doing was more than that with Photoshop magic. I removed the person in the middle, and then cleaned up the rest, added in some fun clouds, brightened the colors (the photo was taken in the 80s I believe), etc.

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I’ve also had several people come to me to “fix” their photos. Not necessarily restore, but fix the coloring, make it look better, etc. Or, in Emily’s case … fix that nail polish! 😉

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Another time, I had a friend reach out to me about a bride who was just devastated with how her wedding photos turned out (I’m telling you, going with the cheapest option for a photographer is a big mistake … there’s a reason they’re cheap) — I took them and edited a handful for her. Once I reached out to the bride with the edited photos, she said she nearly started crying from joy after seeing them.

(Keep in mind, I don’t own these wedding photos. I did not take them. I just fixed them.)

Another time, I had a friend message me on Facebook to ask me to remove her bra strap that was showing in a fun picture of her from a wedding. I get these requests all the time, but until that phone call last week, it never occurred to me to advertise it as a service Kansas City Photography can do.

I recently had an old friend reach out to me. This was the last picture ever taken with her grandma before she died. She really wanted the shot of just her and her sister:

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If you’re looking for photo restoration, or fixes to your photos, make sure to contact us!

 

A Nature Trail Family Photoshoot

Burr Oak Woods in Blue Springs is such a lovely place — it’s full of trails, nature, and perfect photo spots. We love it so much, it made our Top 10 Photoshoot Locations in KC list!

I met with Kody & Kate this Sunday at said nature center. I’ve known Kate for years — it started way back when she came to a Halloween special I was doing in 2012 (I’ve come a long way since then):

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But Mr. Konner is much bigger now!

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Since that very first photoshoot, Kate discovered I am also a Scentsy consultant and fell in love with the Havana Cabana scent. Now, here we are, years later — still friends, Scentsy companions, and photoshoot pals.

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Kate’s family has grown by one since we first met — meet Miss Kaylee.

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Kaylee loves “Hello Kitty” and anything musical! She took a tumble off the bed just a few hours before the shoot and had a nice, big bruise under eye. That’s what Photoshop is for, right? Bruise removal. 🙂

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Kaylee just loves her big brother. She likes to follow him around and do what he is doing! Konner certainly doesn’t mind!

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Konner is so full of energy and fun! He loves to run, climb, find random sticks … 🙂

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He informed me at the shoot he’s having a “Harry Potter” birthday party and I’m invited. He also loves “Power Rangers” and dinosaurs.

I wanted to make sure to get some great pictures of Kate and Kody. These high school sweethearts have been together for 10 years this November — Kate’s nickname for him is “pookie.”

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Right after the shot above, I yelled, “Quick! Kate! Do something ornery!” She didn’t even skip a beat. BOOM. Tongue by his face. This was Kody’s genuine reaction, it wasn’t posed at all.

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Glad to have these two as inspiration in my life — they keep the fun in their marriage, and are so in love!

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A 3-year-old, a 5-year-old, & A WWI Museum

I love the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. Not only does it have a rockin’ view of the downtown KC skyline, but also lets Kansas City boast it has the nation’s official WWI Museum. We love doing shoots here — so much so, it made our list of the Top 10 photoshoot locations in KC!

I met up with some of our amazing regulars, Nic and Britton. They wanted to do a birthday shoot for their adorable kiddos, Bella and Ben. Now, when Bella was a little girl, she didn’t ever want to smile for the camera. Ever.

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We got the hang of it by the time she was 2, and the smiles continued from there!

Now, here we are, and I can’t believe it — but Miss Bella is now five! She has so many things coming this year, like Kindergarten! Bella is stoked, especially after going to see her future school!

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Bella loves the color purple, soccer, “Hotel Transylvania,” and “Moana.”

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She wants to be a police officer when she grows up!

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And then we have Mr. Ben. He’s 3, and a total toddler stud! Look at this:

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He gave me the same “no smile for you!” treatment as Bella, but he held out a little longer. 🙂

But now that he’s 3, he’s an old pro!!

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Ben loves dark blue (he’s specific), “Paw Patrol,” Mickey Mouse, planes, and trains!

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It was so windy this last Sunday during the shoot, that if you stood at the base of the tower and looked up and saw the clouds flying by, it looked like it was going to fall on you!! It was tripping me out, so I shot a video of it!

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After the shoot, Britton tells me the kiddos talked about it the rest of the day. It was neat for them to have a shoot, and then see WWI stuff! It was a fun, breezy, warm day!

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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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