Happiness. Just overflowing with happiness. That's what Maile and Patrick's shoot was -- it was absolutely obvious how much these two love each other and how much fun they have together. It's so evident in the photos, too. Maile and Patrick love the outdoors and being in nature (including hunting together), but also wanted to showcase the city they call home with a classic Kansas City skyline backdrop. We did both, and it was the perfect late afternoon session that extended just after the sun set over the city. Here are just a few of my favorites of these two lovebirds. We can't wait for their wedding next fall!
There are certain kinds of couples that have so much joy when they're together that nothing can dampen it. Summer and Peter are that kind of couple. When I met them, I instantly connected with their joy for life, the way they loved one another, how they spoke about their sons, and what they valued for their wedding day. They care about people. They care about recognizing the people who are part of their story. And they care about capturing authentic, real moments that help tell that story. So no amount of rain or chilly weather could affect their day, and I was so thankful to get to experience this with them.
I started the day with the ladies at the Ambassador Hotel downtown, which just so happens to have the same address (1111) as their wedding date (11/11). From the hotel, we walked -- in the rain! -- to the nearest streetcar stop and rode the streetcar to the River Market stop, which was just blocks from their venue, River Market Event Place. That walk in the rain will probably go down as one of the most memorable wedding experiences. Loved it (my hair, however, did not... ha ha).
They thought out all of their details so well and had the help of Events by Elle to pull off the coordination of the wedding. I loved the dictionary guestbook where guests searched for a word that described Summer and Peter and marked it in the book. I especially loved the time and thought that went into the couple writing every single guest at the wedding a note to explain why they were there and what they mean to them. It was one of the most thoughtful ways to show appreciation I've seen. And of course, I loved the energy and fun their sons brought to the wedding -- and enjoyed the challenge of watching for their personalities to shine through in candid moments throughout the day.
Summer and Peter, thank you for trusting me with your story. It's a beautiful one.
Jessica and Jake's wedding in her hometown on Manhattan, Kansas, was an overcast yet pretty fall day. Their ceremony at St. Thomas More Catholic Church was FULL of flowers by Steve's Floral. I'm not sure a church has ever smelled so beautiful! I loved the white flower backdrop to their vows. After the ceremony, we went to the Top of the World park -- Jessica said she wanted classic Kansas views, and that's what we got. :) Their cocktail hour and reception were at Colbert Hills and everyone enjoyed a really fun party! We loved the sweet family moments that happened all throughout the day. It is very apparent just how loved Jessica and Jake are! Congratulations!!
The Nelson is one of my favorite locations in Kansas City. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. And capturing a sweet family (even on a freezing cold evening!) in the fall at the Nelson couldn't be better. :) Here's a sneak peek of this family's shoot!
Sara and Ben's wedding at The Brass on Baltimore was such a great day. Although thunderstorms loomed all day, the rain held off until everyone was safely inside partying the night away! Sara and Ben had such an elegant day, surrounded by their family and friends. I loved how it was formal, but not too formal for people to enjoy themselves. Beautiful, yet fun.
One of our favorite details was that Sara's dress was made by her friend and bridesmaid, Jovana Mirabile. We were actually able to film parts of the dress process and will feature that in their wedding video once it's ready! We were so excited to get to capture this day in photos and video.
Special thanks to my photography second shooter for the day, Jenny Shipley. Enjoy this sneak peek of Sara and Ben's big day!
It may have been misting on us, but that didn't stop anyone from having a fun, personality-filled family session. :) Love this family and all of the personalities packed into one house. Here's a sneak peek from their foggy morning session at Lakeside Nature Center.
During his speech at the reception, Nate shared that he had looked around the room and leaned over to Megan during dinner, saying: "All of these people here love us."
It was so true. And for good reason. Megan and Nate are both people who draw others to them. I'm not sure Nate has ever known a stranger, because to know him is to love him. I've had the privilege of knowing him since he was a 16-year-old, and watching him grow into who he is today has just been awesome. He's loyal, kind, wears his heart on his sleeve, and cares so deeply about those around him, especially Megan. Megan is warm, thoughtful, heartfelt, quick to smile, and fun-loving. Their wedding reflected all of those traits, from the thought they put into the tiny details (like making so many things themselves by hand! Or not forgetting the kids!) to the big things like where they'd say their vows, and the place they wanted to have everyone celebrate -- her family's farm just on the outskirts of Emporia, Kansas.
It was a perfect day for two people who deserved nothing less.
Big thank you to my second shooter Jamie Montalto (who, in a funny turn of events, was also a sorority sister of Megan's. Small world!).
Enjoy this peek into their wedding day.
I love getting to see families over the span of years. I remember when these boys were so little, and I did a shoot at their old house where they showed me their favorite toys, we made Christmas cookies, and so many sweet things... they were probably around the age of my boys now! It's crazy how time flies by. These brothers are just as funny as ever, and I loved getting to capture their personalities. Here's just a sneak peek at their session!
This day was all about personal touches, historical details, and celebrating family. Aleigh and Paul thought of everything. Their one-year-old son, Joey (who is the cutest!) was wearing an outfit that belonged to Paul when he was a baby. They got married in the church where (I think) 7 other couples on Paul's side of the family have gotten married -- what a tradition! Their reception had a Beatles cover band, because Aleigh LOVES the Beatles! They served pie from Rye (the groom's side family favorite dessert) and Betty Rae's ice cream (a favorite of Aleigh's late grandfather). To honor their wedding location at Loose Mansion and the Kansas City history that comes with it, all of their guests were given "lucky pennies" (Loose made investments in copper) and Hydrox cookies at the end of the night (Loose invented them).
Special thank you to my second shooter Jamie Montalto for her amazing work on this day. Some of her images are below. My favorites are the view from the back of the church as Aleigh, her mom, and Joey entered the ceremony!
Senior year for someone as talented as Lauren is an exciting time! She's balancing a busy volleyball schedule along with college visits and dreaming about future plans. I loved getting to capture some photos of her that help show her personality!
It all started with sandwiches, and a side of kindness. Sarah met Trey on her first day on the job at Jimmy John's, when Trey helped her feel at ease with a joke about socks and his easygoing nature. Six years later, they gathered with family and friends to celebrate in a very Sarah-and-Trey way: relaxed, yet beautiful. Sentimental, yet fun. Personal, yet partying. It was a happy happy day, made even more special by my own relationship with Sarah and her family (our parents are first cousins).
Enjoy this window into Sarah and Trey's wedding at Brookside Gardens in Kansas City, Missouri. I am loving reliving this day through photos!
When I was in the midst of newborn stage as a first time parent, everything was a blur. I just remember thinking nobody had prepared me for this. I mean, they did...sort of. But more in the "see all movies now while you can!" or "sleep while you have the chance!" kind of way. The pretty unhelpful way. People said our life would change. People said time would fly by so quickly. People said it was the sweetest time.
Now, I think I'm one of those people. Because our life did change -- in a million good and beautiful ways. And time does fly by so quickly -- our oldest is now over four, and I'm pretty sure I was just pregnant with him. And newborn stage was the sweetest time -- when they need you for EVERYTHING. In the moment, it's exhausting. Looking back, it's when the bonding began.
I love seeing new babies and new parents now, realizing that they're journeying through those same first moments together that begin it all. The journey of everything good, hard, beautiful, frustrating, worrisome, delighting, and unforgettable... parenthood. :)
There's something to be said for a wedding day that allows the little moments, interactions, personal touches to just breathe. And there's something about a Kansas field that just makes everyone breathe a little easier, at least it does for me. Lauren and Trevor's wedding day was such a joy to photograph, because the setting was beautiful, the weather was lovely, the details were pretty, but most of all because Lauren and Trevor just stayed focused on what the day was all about. No stress. Just happy.
Thank you so much for trusting us with your story. Thank you for letting us join such a fun day and soak it all in with you. Enjoy the photos from their wedding at Stone Hill Barn below. :)
I can think of few things I enjoy more than the Kansas Flint Hills at sunset on a mild summertime evening. Except when you add in an awesome couple who are SO in love with each other, and a restored vintage family heirloom truck, and then you have the makings of a shoot that goes well into the evening and even past when the sun sets over the western green hills. Nate and Megan are a dream to photograph, and I am so excited for their wedding this fall. I can't wait to share more of their story.
There's a lake in New Hampshire where the water is deep blue, rain rolls in and just as quickly out, cliffs rise up around it, wooded islands scatter throughout the waters, and where life just feels a little slower paced. It's a lake where memories are made, families retreat for a season, sparks fly, and the sweet parts of life happen. And it's a lake that welcomes guests warmly, as ties are tied, dresses zipped, flowers arranged, and two people speak vows to one another, musicians play, candles flicker, and partygoers celebrate into the early hours of the morning.
Elizabeth and Matt invited us in to their story, one that was overwhelming in all good senses of the word. They are thoughtful, warm, loving, kind, and simultaneously focused on the details and the big picture. Their wedding weekend was such a joy to be a part of, and we are thrilled to share with you this TEASER video from the weekend. While we filmed for three days, and have a wonderful longer, rich story to tell about the whole weekend, this teaser film gives a sneak peek into the wedding day and what made it so special. We're saving a lot of footage from more special moments to be revealed in their longer film, but we just love this sneak peek.
But be careful when watching it, because you just might fall in love with a lake called Squam. :)
(For best quality playback, please make sure the HD option is turned on. Then press play, then pause and let it load all the way before pressing play again!)
It's a love story waiting for a romantic comedy plot. Classy Cat (the dance team at K-State) meets a member of the marching band. :) Ashley and Bryce have the natural, comfortableness that comes with knowing someone really well, and liking someone a whole bunch. It's a good recipe for a great start to marriage. I'm so excited to celebrate with Ashley and Bryce on their wedding day next May, but for now, we braved the (extreme) heat together and captured some fun photos of them around Kansas City, the location to their summertime of engagement while they both happen to be here for work and an internship... in the same building!
Ashley and Bryce, I'm so honored that you've trusted me to preserve this time of your lives. Enjoy the sneak peek!
Their wedding day still feels like a dream to me. It was one of those days where everything was just perfectly beautiful. The two of them, their love for each other, the venue, the lights, the surprises, the details. Just so much love, and it was a day where everything just clicked (pun intended...) in my camera, too. I've come to realize that it really has nothing to do with me. Their wedding day (and engagement photos, and day-in-the-life photos at home before they were parents) were all so beautifully authentic because these two just have something special. So seeing them as parents was a real joy for me. Watching how they soothed their baby, worked as a team, looked lovingly at this new little life, gently spoke her name. It was all beautiful. Just so full of love like everything I've ever witnessed between them. :)
I couldn't be happier for you, and your sweet baby girl has some amazing parents! Congratulations. :)
There is nothing quite like the anticipation that comes with first-time parenthood. It's bittersweet to be at a place that feels further away from that time with each season that passes, but it also feels like yesterday. The planning, prepping, dreaming, name-discussing, and wondering are all so unique to that stage of life. Even the second time around, it's not quite the same. As a parent, I want to say "soak it all in!" but remember how annoying it was for people to say things like that (and "go to movies while you can!" ha ha...).
But really, Vina and Jason, I hope you soak it all in. Enjoy this time, because it is so sweet. But I promise it's only going to get better when your little guy arrives. :)
Summertime is the season that is filled with nostalgia for me. Waking up in a room that already feels a little too warm, bright sun streaming in -- summer days start and end with reminiscent thoughts, almost as if the humidity carries all of those old memories. It might be because summer was when a lot of those sticky memories happened: vacations, slower days, playing outside, eating watermelon with salt from my grandpa's garden, sleepovers with best friends.
So when, as an adult, I get to help create summertime memories for my growing kids, it brings me so much joy. And when best friends who are still best friends come to visit, it's even sweeter.
My best friend since we were 6 years old brought her girls and her mom to spend the night with us, play in the sprinklers, and break in our new house a little. Before they left, we also had to do a quick shoot in the backyard, because that's what best friends who are photographers do. :) Love these girls.
Tap tap... Is this thing on?
Well, it's been a while. 7 months or so since I've visited this blog and written words and shared pictures. I don't even know why, except to say that when our historical blog content from 6 or so years didn't get moved over to our new site, the wind just left my sails. It stopped feeling like I was contributing to an ongoing story that had been recorded of countless people, couples, families, all connected because of my camera lens. It felt like starting over, and like the voice didn't exist. And also, life has been really busy. I'm learning a lot about seasons. Seasons where priorities have to adjust to make space for new. I thought, this is a season where I'm too busy to write. And if I don't write words to go with pictures, then how is this better than just sharing a few sneak peeks on Facebook? So I asked the question of my Facebook friends, and almost everyone who responded said: get back to blogging. Stories are bigger than Facebook.
So, here I am. Jumping back in to blog a session featuring one of those lovely voices who said, "just try again. It's worth it." And this is the perfect session to do that with, because Renee is a woman of intention, of thoughtfulness, of celebrating beauty and goodness even when things feel a little crazy.
I spent a short time last week with Renee and JP in their backyard, where they've been tending to all sorts of gardening projects. I have seen this backyard before -- most notably, as a place of celebration for a big life event, full of people and noise. But on this night, the backyard is a place for celebrating the little things that make up life, although those things aren't regarded with any less importance. This yard is a place where they retreat to do work that feels like an escape from work. A place where butterflies get saved. Where weeds are pulled to make room for the beautiful. Where mothers are honored with blooms. Where dreaming about hostas the size of people happens. Where there's room for big talks, little talks, or no talking. Where plants are rescued, just like a beloved dog. Where rocks are painted to commemorate special people, special dates. Where roots meet soil. Where the good stuff lives.
Everything has purpose. Everything has meaning. Everything is cared for.
Renee and JP, thank you for this.