The saying time is a thief can really start to resonate as families grow. Family photos are a great way to capture different phases of life and freeze those moments in time so you can revisit them later! The process can seem daunting, especially when it comes to figuring out how to plan for a family photo session. I’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help make the process as smooth as possible!

COORDINATING OUTFITS

The best way to coordinate outfits is to pick a pallet with 3-4 different colors and mix up textiles and patterns that use those colors within your outfits. A good rule of thumb is to only have 1-2 people wear a pattern of some kind. This will keep the photos from looking too busy! Layers are a good way to add texture and variety to photos.

LOCATION DECISION

Pick a location that offers multiple different locations to take pictures. This will give everyone space and will offer a good variety of backdrops for photos. Being able to move around will allow the photographer to capture some good candid’s along with the portraits, if that’s something you’re interested in! Kansas City has so many great locations to choose from.

FULL BELLIES

I know rounding everyone up and getting them out the door on time isn’t a small task! But making sure everyone has a full belly will help you get the most out of your time with the photographer. You could even bring some snacks along that aren’t messy and are easy to quickly distribute between photos to keep everyone happy! 

PREPARE FOR OUTFIT CHANGES

If you are in the “babies” phase of life, it is a good idea to have an extra outfit on hand in case you experience a diaper blowout or they spit up on their original outfit. You can do a quick outfit change and keep going! You know your kiddos better than anyone else. If you have littles that are prone to spitting up in the car, I recommend putting them in their outfit after you arrive at the location.

I hope these tips on how to plan for a family photo session make the process less stressful! The point of family photos is to capture the phase of life you are currently in! If that means you are wrangling toddlers and wiping spit up off of little cheeks, that is what you should capture. You will be able to fit some good portraits in between and there will be years in the future where you will be able to get everyone to sit still. Every moment is precious and I would be so grateful to capture whatever phase of life you are currently in. 

How to Plan for a Family Photo Session | Kansas City Photographer

Kansas City has so many unique wedding venues, one of them being Union Horse Distillery. This location is perfect for small, intimate weddings! Antoinette and Seth didn’t want a huge wedding. They wanted to make sure their day was intentional and personal to them and this non-traditional venue granted their wishes. 

Between the rehearsal, watching Antoinette put on her Nike dunks, and capturing the couple order their favorite drinks at the bar, this day was a perfect representation of them. These two were so fun and carefree throughout the day and it was reflected in the moments I captured. The venue allowed us to visit the cellar and take some really unique photographs in front of the barrels. They also provided a small barrel that displayed the Union Horse Distillery logo for the couple to use as a guest book! 

The couple didn’t have a traditional wedding party, which made the ceremony feel very intimate. But their family and friends all came out to help celebrate them! The flower girls all wore Nikes that matched Antoinette’s, which was so cute with their dresses. After cocktail hour, everyone gathered for dinner and dancing! The couple decided on flavored popcorn as party favors, which doubled as a fun late night snack after some time spent on the dance floor. Thank you Antionette and Seth for allowing me to capture this unique and fun day!

Union Horse Distillery | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

I met Sally and Jake at Penguin Park on a beautiful fall day for their engagement session. We decided on Penguin Park because it is a place they frequent for trail walks together! The couple met at Northwest Missouri State University and dated for a few short months before going their separate ways. They reconnected two years ago and the rest is history! They enjoy spending time together by being active, going to the movie theater, and going out to dinner at Mr. Le’s for sushi. 

Sally said she knew Jake was the one because he always makes her laugh. “We would stay up for hours talking and just laughing together. It felt more like being with my best friend than previous relationships.” They were visiting Jake’s family in Iowa when he popped the question. The two had decided to walk the property with their dog and at one point she turned around and he was down on one knee! When I asked her what she was most excited about for her future marriage she said, “I am excited for a future with my best friend, and all the trips and memories we will share. Having a family together, staying active and traveling to the mountains!”

The pop of emerald green they wore helped bring out the colors in the beautiful Fall foliage at the park. These two were so much fun! We had a blast walking around the park and down the trails. Thank you so much Sally and Jake for the opportunity to capture such a special time in your life!

Penguin Park | Kansas City Engagement Photographer 

Picture this: you’ve found your person, the special someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. You can’t wait to ask this person to marry you! They keep dropping hints about wanting to be engaged and you’ve picked out the perfect ring. But how?! How do you plan a day that is deserving of the one you love? Don’t fret! I’ve got 5 tips for planning the perfect proposal.

ONE – FIND THE RIGHT MOMENT

First, make sure you are both ready for this next step. It’s a big one and something you should discuss in depth before getting down on one knee!  Once you’re both ready, wait and find a time that feels right – don’t rush the proposal. Whether you wait until your anniversary, a date that is special to you both, a big life event, or just an ordinary day, make sure it feels right!

TWO – PICK THE PERFECT LOCATION

Take them back to the place you first met, a childhood home, your favorite park/trail, or your go-to restaurant. Pick a place that is sentimental or meaningful to your relationship! If you don’t have a special place, don’t worry! Wherever you choose your purpose will end up being a special place in the timeline of your story. Choose somewhere pretty- a garden, a rooftop, a city landmark. Stumped for ideas? I can help with that too!

THREE – HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER TO CAPTURE THIS MOMENT

This moment is the next big step in the story of your lives together. You and your significant other will likely both be nervous and/or surprised and your adrenaline may leave you in a foggy haze. Hire a professional to capture all the details so you can look back and remember every second. Photos of this once in a lifetime event are priceless!

FOUR – SURPRISE THEM

If you’ve discussed wanting to get married chances are your significant other has given you some tips for the proposal. If not, give their friends and family a call! This will allow you to plan something that will really knock their socks off! Keep it a secret so the moment is a surprise. Even if they start picking up on what is going on, don’t spill all the details!

FIVE – HAVE FAMILY WAITING AS A SURPRISE FOR A CELEBRATORY PARTY

After you’ve popped the question and the adrenaline has settled a bit it’s time to celebrate!! Coordinate with you and your significant other’s family and friends to hide at the location you are proposing at, or to meet you at the next location for a second surprise! What better way to celebrate your engagement than with all your closest loved ones. Engagement parties are so much fun!

SAL + GABI

Sal and Gabi are high school sweethearts! They had been together for almost 10 years when Sal decided it was time to pop the question. They had talked about getting married, so Gabi knew it was coming but she had no idea when it was going to happen! Sal enlisted the help of his family in planning the perfect proposal. He got them all in on the secret and they disguised the proposal as an ordinary family dinner at The Bowery. Gabi had NO idea what was coming! The decorations were beautiful and the couple’s family and friends were there to help them celebrate! This was such a sweet and special moment to capture. Thank you so much Gabi and Sal for allowing me to be a part of your proposal!

5 Tips for Planning the Perfect Proposal 

Ian and McKenzie tied the knot at No Vacancy last Summer and the day was as sweet as can be! Their recommendation to couples who are engaged and planning their wedding is, “Stay true to who you are. Spend lots of time trying to figure out what YOU want as a couple, not what everyone else wants. Your true friends and family will love you and have fun no matter what you choose.”

Their day was an exact example of their advice! They had a small, intimate ceremony that felt so much like them and mirrored their relationship. No Vacancy offers a unique, colorful, cozy space for weddings and events and it was the perfect setting for Ian and McKenzie’s big day! They said, “It was nice to have both an indoor and outdoor space for people to visit, and many rooms people could escape to. The whole place is decorated with colorful vintage pieces, so it made the wedding feel really unique.” 

The wedding party’s attire matched the fun vibe of the venue, which made for some beautiful photographs. The groomsmen wore colorful patterned button ups under their suit jackets that nicely complimented their bridesmaids dresses. Everyone wore their own pop of color and it was so unique! After the ceremony the bride and groom were able to sneak away for a few minutes while the guest attended cocktail hour before dinner, speeches, and dancing the night away! I loved every second of capturing the details of this special day – thank you Ian and McKenzie for allowing me to be a part of your story.

No Vacancy | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

The first thing some couples ask me when booking an engagement session is, “Where should we meet to take pictures?”. I know that question can be overwhelming because you want frame worthy-photos that also capture the essence of your relationship. I’m here to tell you that we don’t have to only meet at a park or outdoor space to capture those moments! One great way to capture moments that truly feel like “you” is to take me along on a date. Kansas City has so many wonderful businesses, restaurants and venues for dates! This couple had some great Kansas City date night ideas.

Bridget and Peter took me to some of their favorite places in KC and I was able to photograph them in such a special way! This session was so unique to them and I loved every second of it. We started out at the first date idea location: River Bluff Brewery. The couple grabbed some brews and sat down to chat while I captured some moments of them together. The brewery is beautiful on the inside with a relaxed/fun vibe and offers some great outdoor spaces to take photographs. 

From there we made our way around the River Market, which is another date night favorite of theirs! Bridget said, “We’re always up for spontaneous date nights bopping around the River Market for drinks and a sweet treat.” This location was spacious and offered great lighting and backdrops. It also has a wide variety of shops and restaurants to choose from when it comes to date night!

Our last stop of the day was a perfect date night spot: Betty Rae’s! If you’re an ice cream or sweet treat lover this one’s for you! It was so fun to capture the two picking out their favorite flavors and digging in. Betty Rae’s has such a fun and unique atmosphere, the ice cream is also delicious. Bridget and Peter were so comfortable with each other and I had such a great time capturing some special moments for them. They have been together for 7 years – 4 of which were spent long-distance while they were in college. Their parents have been friends since college, but the military took them in separate directions for a while. Their families all ended up in the same place when Bridget and Peter were in elementary school and that is when they met!

When I asked them what was one thing they were most excited about for future marriage they said, “Building new Christmas traditions together as a family,” and I don’t think there is anything much sweeter than that. Thank you Bridget and Peter for letting me hang out and capture some special moments of this special time in your lives!

Kansas City Date Night Ideas | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is that I have been given the opportunity to capture the special moments in the lives of people who mean so much to me. This incredible day at Feasts of Fancy was close to my heart. I’ve known Tori since we were in Kindergarten and I was so excited when Kellan popped the question! Her and Kellan’s wedding story isn’t one of tradition, yet it is so incredibly special. 

This celebration at Feasts of Fancy took place months after Tori and Kellan’s intimate wedding ceremony. Tori’s mom, Anne, had breast cancer and it was extremely important to Tori for her mom to be at her wedding. So, with the help of their families, Tori and Kellan put their wedding together in 2 short weeks so they could celebrate with Anne. The day was beautiful and so incredibly special. 

The day of their large wedding celebration started out with the bridal parties getting ready at their respective houses. After their first look, everyone loaded up on the party bus and headed out for pictures! The beautiful spring day complemented the different shades of blue the wedding party wore and photographed wonderfully. After wedding party pictures, we went to cocktail hour and the party began! I had such a great time capturing all the fun, sweet, and sentimental moments from this special day. Between their grand entrance, the speeches, and dancing the night away this was a day many will remember. 

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this special day, in more ways than one. I will forever wish you two nothing but the best!

Feasts of Fancy | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

If you want to know the secret to an organized wedding day; I’ll tell you! It’s Veil Events!

I worked with Veil Events on Jordan and Payton’s wedding and it was the best day! It required meticulous organization and coordination due to the use of multiple locations. Lindsay and her team were on top of it and everything flowed so smoothly. Many brides want help in the area of organization. I thought it would be a great idea to ask the Veil Events team to share their secret to an organized wedding day! I contacted the owner of Veil Events, Lindsay Kooser. She had Kaylie, the office manager, sit down and compile some advice for bride’s-to-be.

The Secret to Success

“A wedding planner’s secret to an organized wedding day is simple…Plan, Plan, Plan!! If you’re a Taylor Swift fan you have likely heard what I’m about to say. If you’re not, maybe this will change your mind! Taylor Swift has a lyric, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The strategy sets the scene for the tale.” As cliche as I sound quoting Taylor Swift, she is 100% right, especially when it comes to wedding day! 

Importance of Planning

When wedding day finally comes, brides often feel tired of planning and are ready for the day to happen so that the planning is over. They sometimes fail to realize all that planning needs to be done to ensure a seamless and smooth wedding day! If they hadn’t put all that hard work in, they might’ve received endless questions from vendors and the bridal party, missed items, or had things go wrong. As a coordinator, we are not only the fairy godmother of the wedding day to make the bride’s vision come to life. We also help guide the bride in everything needing to be done and give our expertise on decisions to be made.

Creating a Timeline

The most important thing we do is create a timeline to plan out every minute! That may sound scary, but timelines don’t have to be scary and controlling. Making a timeline is actually our best tool for an organized wedding day! We plan out the day from start to finish so that everything has a time and place and nothing gets missed. They make the day go flawlessly, alleviate so much stress, and not only benefit you but benefit your whole bridal party and vendors. We even schedule things you might not think of, like time for the family to arrive so they aren’t late for pictures, bridal party breaks so they can get off their feet, and time for the vendors to eat dinner. The coordinator relies heavily on the timeline to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. 

Take it from Taylor

You may be thinking that all I’ve been doing is telling you to get to work…but, what I’m really telling you is it will all be worth it in the end!! Just like Taylor said, you are setting the scene for the tale and this is your best tale yet to come!”

Kaylie Roger, Veil Events Office Manager

These tips to success can lead to wedding day bliss, which was definitely the case with Payton and Jordan. Their wedding was such a pleasure to capture. I’m so glad I had to opportunity to work with the Veil Events team! Congratulations to the happy couple! Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your BIG day.


The Secret to an Organized Wedding Day | Guest Blog – Veil Events

We are back on the “What to Wear” topic and today’s focus is winter engagement sessions! I think people tend to stray away from scheduling sessions in the colder months because they don’t know how cold it will be outside and they think it may be dark and gloomy. I can’t control the weather and there will be some days that are cloudy and overcast, just as any other season of the year. But there are plenty of bright and beautiful days during the winter months that are great for capturing special moments! 

My suggestion to couples is to always do what feels like “them” and some people love the cold weather, bundling up, or have an indoor location in mind. I always recommend a neutral color pallet in the winter months – it lends itself well to the bare trees, light blue skies and any indoor location!

I can also get a variety of photos easily if the couple layers up! Layers help highlight the movement in photos and we can mix up the look by adding scarves and a hat halfway through the session.

If we happen to be blessed with snow, it keeps things bright and fun! I recommend wearing shoes that will keep your feet warm in the wet snow or doubling up on socks. 

Whatever season of the year, regardless of the weather, I will capture moments that feel like “you” so you can cherish the memories! If you ever have any questions about what to wear we can discuss different options. I’m an open book and want to help my clients get the most out of their sessions!

What to Wear: Winter Engagement Session | Kansas City Engagement Photographer

When planning a proposal you can go as extravagant or simple as you’d like! It’s all about what you prefer as a couple. This moment is the first step in your forever and it should feel like you. Josh knew he wanted to surprise Taylor but wasn’t sure how to go about it. He recruited Taylor’s family for a surprise session outside the Nelson Atkins Museum

Taylor arrived at the Nelson Atkins to take Christmas card photos with her family. Nothing out of the ordinary there, right? Little did she know, Josh was waiting to get down on one knee and pop the question! HOW CUTE IS THAT?! After Taylor realized the Christmas card session was actually a proposal session she was surprised AGAIN when their family and friends came out to celebrate. 

It was such an incredibly sweet moment to capture! I was able to get some photos of the newly engaged couple alone and together with their families before they all headed to dinner to celebrate. 

If you are in the beginning stages of proposal planning and aren’t sure where to begin I recommend reaching out to your significant other’s family and friends. Not only are they going to have great suggestions, they may even offer to help with the planning and execution of the proposal! 

This session was so fun and I can’t wait to capture more proposals this upcoming season! Thank you Josh and Taylor for allowing me to be a part of your story. Soak up every single second of being engaged!

Nelson Atkins Proposal | Kansas City Proposal Photographer