From Alabama To Mississippi To St. Louis – A Surprise Proposal Under The Arch!

Mack’s mom reached out to me about a month ago, asking if I could help with her son’s surprise proposal. He wasn’t from the area, and had big dreams of pulling off a surprise proposal to his now fiancée under the St. Louis Gateway Arch!

I clearly wouldn’t be writing this blog post if we didn’t knock it out of the park:

These two traveled quite the distance to make it to St. Louis! Mack and Belle are both from Alabama, but now both live in Mississippi, but even more exciting … are looking for houses in St. Louis!

As for making this Arch magic happen … we hatched a plan! Mack’s mom has a good friend who lives in St. Louis. Mack made up an elaborate fib that this friend really wanted to show them the arch! She was supposed to be meeting them there and then they were going to lunch. Well, safe to say she never showed …

I asked Mack to program me in his phone under the friend’s name, just in case Belle peeked over his shoulder to see who he was texting. The next challenge? Getting Belle in position. There was some rope blocking off this gorgeous expanse of grass right in front of the Arch. I instructed Mack to step over it. He did … and Belle wouldn’t.

After some gentle coaxing, and Mack getting a stranger to take their picture with his phone, Belle relented and stepped over the no-no ropes. Worth it! Sorry, City of St. Louis … we promise it was worth it, and we didn’t ruin any of your grass!

The couple told me they crossed many times in college, and Belle says they joke they were always destined to meet (maybe it’s not a joke, though, because it seems true!). What officially sealed the deal was when Mack moved into the apartment upstairs from Belle.

But it started for Mack a little earlier, “I’ve been planning this proposal for months now. I asked for her mom’s permission to marry her daughter back in July and have been coordinating everything else since then. I’ve wanted to marry Belle from the moment we met.”

If that isn’t the most romantic thing you’ve ever read …

From Belle: “The first time I met Mack, I was like a little kid again, excited to sit next to him and scared to talk to him. I thought Mack was so chill and funny and not to mention, attractive.”

So, one would think a romantic trip to St. Louis might have tipped her off a proposal was coming? Nope!

“I’ve been joking for several months about a proposal, but he played it off so well I had no idea. I’m seriously the hardest person to surprise and I’m still shocked!” Belle wrote to me.

Since this blog post is truly about their love story, I will let the couple have the last words.

Belle: “Mack is the man I’ve always dreamed of. He completes me. It’s crazy that we grew up in different towns and I didn’t know him for 19 years of my life. I don’t know how I ever lived without him.”

Mack: “Belle is the most kind hearted giving person I have ever met. Her attitude towards life and hard working funny personality is what makes her truly special. She is always ready for an adventure and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life loving her.”

Congrats, you two! Hopefully we will see you at the wedding! 😉

A Surprise Rooftop Proposal in Downtown Kansas City!

Even though it was their 5-year anniversary, Willie still managed to convince Alisha she wasn’t going to be proposed to that day. All of his hard work certainly paid off, too!

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Last week, Willie reached out to me about planning a surprise proposal for his girlfriend of 5 years, Alisha. In his own words to me, he said, “I know, I know…it’s about time!”

He decided on the Rooftop Garden Park in downtown Kansas City. We agreed to meet at 7:20. My second photographer, Alyssa, and I were 30 minutes early. No sooner did we get up to the roof garden did Willie walk in!


As I say with all of my surprise proposal clients, when you arrive, I will not acknowledge you. We can’t give away the surprise! I always instruct my client to walk in front of the camera and just pop down on a knee.

We couldn’t have practiced it better!

Willie & Alisha

Of course, she said “yes!”

Alisha and Willie met 5 years ago in Joplin, Missouri, when Alisha was teaching English. She told me they had an instant connection, and planned their first date at a restaurant called “Instant Karma.”


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She said the name of their first date restaurant seemed really fitting! She was right!

“After 2 years together in Joplin, I moved back to KC to start my new job at a new school. We did a year of long distance and then he moved up here with me.”

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And now, they’re engaged!!

Alisha told me Willie is the perfect compliment to her type A personality. “He is compassionate, caring, and just the most wonderfully considerate person,” she said.

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Willie told me he avoided mentioning any weddings, proposals, or rings all week. He confessed he knew exactly how to get to the rooftop park, but pretended he didn’t when he was taking Alisha to it.

He had actually scouted out the location the week before. He even went over and received her parents blessing to propose the same week!

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All of us here at Kansas City Photography wish you the best! We can’t wait to see what wedding plans you both cook up. Don’t forget to keep us in mind. 😉

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CONGRATULATIONS, Willie & Alisha!!


Make sure to follow us on Facebook! Planning your own suprise proposal? Shoot us a message today and we can help!

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 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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A Surprise Proposal At A Winery … During A Tornado Watch!

Bret called me a week ago and whispered into the phone that he needed a photoshoot.

“Are you doing a house burn?” I chimed.

This would sound odd to anyone else, but Bret is a Lieutenant at Orchard Farm Fire Protection District. Sometimes, people donate houses to the firefighters so they can get experience inside a real house while it’s on fire.

“No, actually. It’s me and Hannah’s anniversary, so we’re making a day of it. I plan to …”

“Bret! Are you proposing?!” I cut him off, I was so excited.

“That’s the plan!”


We worked out a secret spy mission, and even used the code word “firestation” so we could talk about the proposal. When I message him on Facebook, a preview of the message pops up on his phone. That was a problem, because Bret was going to be with Hannah all day on the day! We didn’t want a message about a proposal to pop up on his screen.


Turns out, we had a tornado watch that night, and the time I had to leave to get to Bret, it looked like this:


But don’t worry! Hannah still got that ring, and we still got this:


We met at the scenic Mount Pleasant Estates winery in Augusta — with the most gorgeous overlook. It was at this little gazebo that Bret led Hannah outside to ask her if she’d spend the rest of her life with him.


Actually, let me correct myself. Bret didn’t ask. Here’s how it went — Bret got on one knee and said:

“I want you to marry me.”

He totally forgot to ask a question, he just … spurted out what was going through his head.


Hannah told me she had no idea the proposal was coming. And once he was on one knee, she didn’t wait, she accepted right away and put this gorgeous ring on her finger as quickly as she could!


After some winery shots, we headed to Klondike Park. There was an overlook, but we had to hike up a path that I swear was straight up. I am pretty sure it would have been easier to climb up it rather than walk. But we made it!

We were cracking up at this sign – Bret thought it would be hilarious to take a picture in front of it … Hannah and Bret are officially off-limits, my friends!


Not too far from there was a beach with pearly white sand. I’m a sucker for water shots of any kind! It’s probably because I was raised at Lake of the Ozarks — water is in my blood.


We had a great time — and a big congratulations from Kansas City Photography to you both, Bret & Hannah!


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 


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.


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.


10. Bass Pro Waterfall Park

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


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

9. Parkville


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!



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!


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


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.


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.


Leaning is OK, though.


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


7. Swope Park

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


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

6. West Bottoms / Graffiti Walls


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.


Halee Senior Photo 1

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.


5. Burr Oak Woods


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!



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.


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


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.



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.



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



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


2. Love Locks Bridge


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


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.


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.


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


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


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