On-Location in Kansas City: Featuring Unity Village!

We have gushed about Unity Village in our Top 10 Photoshoot Locations in KC list — but it really deserves its own post.

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It’s a mere 15 miles from downtown KC — and has 1,200 acres, along with “the largest fountain display in the metro, an award-winning rose garden, and two buildings that are included on the National Register of Historic Places.”

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There’s also a bookstore and coffee shop on the campus. The bookstore even serves Starbucks! Tatiana and I are suckers for anything coffee, so clearly that’s a win in our book!

One of the main shining stars at Unity is that said rose garden. Of course it’s seasonal, but it sure is worth the trip when they’re in bloom. Hundreds of roses are filling the air with exotic fragrances. They have little markers on what the various breeds are — and I can guarantee you’ll find some you’ve never heard of.

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The fountains are also seasonal. Unity keeps the water on as long as they can — depending on the temperature. They will turn them off before the first freeze, but they do keep an eye on the weather (they don’t just automatically turn off the water come Labor Day, like every other water functioning place on Earth … lol). Sometimes they’re on through October if the weather holds out!

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The main section we usually use for photographs is the rose garden. It’s impossible to beat. Pops of color everywhere, streaming fountains, and Mediterranean architecture as a backdrop. Unity Village also allows photographers without an additional fee — which is rare for a rose garden (I’m lookin’ at you, Loose Park)!

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It’s also the perfect spot for, say, a surprise proposal? 😉

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However, the thing that really makes Unity Village stand out is that even if the roses aren’t in bloom, and the fountains are turned off — there is some stunning architecture. It truly is the perfect location year-round!

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Arches galore, ornate doorways, stunning architecture all around. We’ve never had a problem with too many people at Unity Village (although Sundays are one of their busiest days, it still isn’t claustrophobic busy). Everyone we’ve ever encountered has been very friendly and helpful!

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We should totally be sales rep for Unity Village! Haha. We are not getting paid in any way for this feature — we just genuinely love this place and want it to succeed so that we may use it as a photo location for years and years to come!

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We’ve done every type of photoshoot here. Engagement. Anniversary. Surprise Proposal. Graduation. We’ve also done family photos, senior photos, and cosplay shoots here. You name it!

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Even if it’s about to rain — still stunning!

And this post mainly focused on the rose garden. You can venture beyond the garden and find stone buildings, gorgeous hills, and walking trails!

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If you’d like to check out some other locations we love — take a peek at our top 10 favorites around the Kansas City area! Then, let’s book a shoot there!

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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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