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Why are engagement sessions important?

Met Maddie and Joel. We first met over coffee and Mildred’s on a cold and rainy day several months ago. When they spoke of their wedding plans, they excitedly talked about ideas for their big day. When I asked about an engagement session, neither one seemed to think it was that important,  “We don’t need Save the Dates.”

While Save the Dates can be an important step in your wedding planning, they aren’t the only reason for an engagement session before your wedding day. The thing about this that no one really thinks about is, we do not do this everyday. Weddings are weird, with odd traditions and a day that can be so packed with stress, some wonder why they didn’t elope when they had the chance. To have a stranger there capturing these moments on your day can be awkward. Now, you picked your photographer carefully, of course. You wanted to make sure someone professionally and talented will be with you. What we fail to realize is, we don’t have someone following us around every day taking pictures of our hair and makeup process or getting dressed.

When you have an engagement session you aren’t only getting beautiful images out of the deal. Both the couple and the photographer are getting more acquainted. We learn your strengths, your likes and dislikes, your best side and things that you naturally do as a couple. A photographer is hanging out with you for an afternoon and you get the perks of having photographs at the end of the day. We are building our relationship with you and gaining your trust.

Maddie and Joel insisted that they were a laid back couple that didn’t care about lots of images. I asked them to trust me on the process but I gave them the option to turn it down as well. Complementary means just that. Take it or leave it. After the session they were glad they opted for it. Maddie said it got them even more excited for their wedding day and got to know me a little better. I want to tell your story by taking your portraits. There are so many moments leading up to the wedding day that make your day special. Having photographs along the process can take you back to those days that seemed to just fly by. Many couples have told me, “I wish we had professional photographs from before we had our children/got older that weren’t just from our wedding day.”

Take that leap of faith and let your photographer get to know you just a little bit better. Your wedding photographs will show your true selves just a little bit better.

 

 

Kansas City engagement photographyview full post »

Katie Jane - May 23, 2017 - 3:05 am

These are beautiful – the colors just pop!

Kim Miller - May 23, 2017 - 4:10 pm

Such a beautiful location and couple! I love your thoughts on the importance of an engagement session as well, so important to capture those life moments!

Jenny - May 23, 2017 - 4:14 pm

I adore these! What a good looking couple! I love the ones of them laughing.

Beth - May 23, 2017 - 5:01 pm

These are wonderful. Great advice too, I’m sure they are so thankful to have these now!

jessica - May 27, 2017 - 3:29 pm

These are beautiful, they’re going to love these forever

Melissa Klein - May 31, 2017 - 3:22 pm

What a great looking couple! These are all fantastic – congrats to them!

  

Crossroads District, Kansas City Children’s Photographer

These two adorable kids were such troopers on a warmer than most, but still chilly winter day here in Kansas City. A stop for hot chocolate in the Crossroads was a must to continued on! Blair and Ty were such naturals in front of my camera that they hardly made work seem like work. It is so nice to see a sister and brother who really do like each other, the hugs and affection weren’t the normal grin and bear it.  Their Mom wanted some images that she could proudly hang in her home, that weren’t forced smiles and canned poses. Knowing that each child (or adult for that matter!) has a one of a kind relationship with their sibling is what I want to capture. Beautiful photographs are taken by telling a story, not forcing a catch all pose. Everyone has a uniquely beautiful heart and mind,  in having a heavy part in what you want them to look like loses the self. It no longer tells a story. So many times I hear, “My child doesn’t like having their picture taken, how do you do it!” Because I don’t ask them to “Say cheese.”  Connection is what I want photographs to be about. Their Mom felt so much of who their are in these images and at the end of the day that is what I want my photography to be about!
Locations : Crossroads KC, Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Kim Kravitz - May 13, 2017 - 8:10 pm

WOW! They are too cute and definitely look like naturals in front of your camera. Nice work Rachael!

Chelsie Cannon - May 19, 2017 - 1:56 am

Oh my goodness, what a fabulous session! This is SO fun!! They are so great in front of the camera!

Katie Jane - May 19, 2017 - 8:38 pm

These are so sweet!

Jessica - May 21, 2017 - 4:15 pm

These are perfection, love the locations!

Kim Miller - May 23, 2017 - 4:01 pm

What cute kids! I love the connection you captured of them!

Melissa Klein - May 31, 2017 - 3:35 pm

These are so sweet! Great location, too!

  

Flying Pig Mercantile, Crossroads KC

Every Christmas my whole family gets together for a meal and gift exchange. The gift exchange is one of the highlight of my holidays, full of laughter. It is mostly for sport, some people buy joke gifts, others buy gift cards or gift baskets. Everyone always knows my gift. They know it will be from a local entrepreneur or purchased from a small business here in Kansas City. One year I gave a set of Missouri shaped coasters from Lost and Found Design (featured below) along with some screen printed items from Raygun. This last Christmas I was down to the wire so I ended up giving a Moscow Mule set but with booze from Kansas City, a metal shaped Missouri Christmas ornament from DE Metal Works and a Raygun print of George Brett.

The truth is, we should all see small local businesses and start ups like family. We give back to the local community and the money stays here in KC. When I give gifts, I always strive to shop local. Sure, a big box company may have some of our local sports teams and university items like t-shirts, hats, baby clothing and so on. Why not get something of possible better quality that was made here in KC?  Kansas City has way too many amazing local companies who put their heart and soul in their wares. Flying Pig Mercantile is one of them.

Flying Pig Mercantile is located at 1919 Wyandotte in the Kansas City Crossroads district. Fellow girl boss and owner of Flying Pig Local Mercantile, Katie Wooldridge has created a space where local artist can sell their products at a brick and mortar store, instead of online only sales. With a passion for Kansas City, Katie has curated products that are hand made here in Kansas City and only made by entrepreneurs in KCMO. Her taste is flawless, she has many of my favorite Kansas City Makers. From jewelry to keychains, Flying Pig Mercantile has something for everyone. Katie and her husband Adam had been screenprinting tee’s for 4 years when they found this quaint corner space in the Crossroads. They knew they didn’t want to just be a shop that sells tee’s. So they set out to find unique and different makers who did not have a lot of product available in other KC shops. In securing the unknown makers, they creating a store where they have one of a kind merchandise from up and coming Kansas City makers. You can purchase these makers items  and Flying Pig Local Mercantile’s speciality tee’s and hat’s 6 days a week. I know that I personally like to hold and see items that I buy, especially clothing. Flying Pig Mercantile has a screen printing shop, along with t-shirts, hats, prints and fun little things like drink coasters with iconic KC places. They have wares from a simple KCMO screen print, to Salvy tees. I personally love how soft their tees are! Wooldridge, on the name of the shop and what it means to her;

“I named Flying Pig Apparel (our screenprinting business) and then the store Flying Pig Local Mercantile was for my mom too. When my dad died 17 years ago, my mom found a picture of a flying pig. It was a pig flying off of a dock into a lake! The whole flying pig became her thing that she looked for because of what flying pigs represent: hope, anything’s possible, etc. I then started to adopt that same mascot in my life. I just love what the Flying Pig means to me and I like that I could name something after my Mom, even if it is in a weird way.”

flying-pig-local-mercantile-KC

Flying Pig Local Mercantile is having it a First Birthday Bash during Kansas City’s First Friday in the Crossroads district, May 5th. The will have local food and drink for you to get your party on with a raffle as well. Here is your personal invite! Flying Pig Local Mercantile’s first birthday/first friday in Kansas City.

Katie was gracious enough to allow me to photograph her store and the products they offer. Below are images of the store and it’s wares. At the end of the post there is a link to all the makers, so if you feel so inclined you can follow their social media accounts and/or give them your money.

If you have a small business in Kansas City or the surrounding area’s, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line and we can talk about photographing and featuring your store at no cost. I simply want to spread the Kansas City love with my photography.

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Kim Kravitz - May 1, 2017 - 7:27 pm

The Flying Pig looks like such a cool place! I’ll have to stop in next time we’re in Kansas City. 😀

  

Kansas City Missouri Senior Pictures

Kari is a sweet, caring girl that I have been fortunate enough to get to know over the last 3 years. She puts up with my crazy family, so I know she is a keeper. Photographing her is so easy, it should be a sin! She is a Senior at Olathe East High School and is so ready to graduate and start that new chapter in her life.  I always try and make our senior sessions fun and light hearted. We did Kari’s Senior pictures in Parkville, Missouri. Right near the muddy Missouri river! Kansas City is full of great Seniors to photograph. Each time I photograph a Senior session, it makes me feel like maybe I am still a little bit cool and not that old lady that talks about walking to school in the snow, uphill both ways.

Kari, you are a gorgeous girl and really have such an amazing future ahead of you!
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Shilan - April 17, 2017 - 6:11 pm

What a gorgeous girl! <3 Beautiful captures

Lisa - April 21, 2017 - 12:00 am

so pretty…love the tones <3

Chelsie - April 28, 2017 - 3:39 pm

These are lovely! What a beautiful young lady!

Amber - April 29, 2017 - 5:27 pm

Love these! Beautiful work! <3

Kim Kravitz - May 1, 2017 - 7:33 pm

She is beautiful! Love you included her puppy dog on a few images too! <3

  

First Birthday Solar System Party

It’s never too late to post about your little boy’s first birthday party, right? Even though it was in October, I knew I wanted to share these images because I LOVE how his party turned out. One day the solar system theme just popped into my head. Many hours on Pinterest lead to this fun first birthday party for a boy. I wish I could say the cookies and cake are my creations, but that isn’t my talent! At the end of the blog I will share all the vendors and places I purchased these items. Most of this was very simple and ready to go! Which is great, because I had spinal surgery 9 days before his party. Yes, I am a crazy person who had 50+ people in her home for a party less than two weeks after a major surgery. My mom and Mike’s mom helped out and we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without them. First birthdays are so special to me, and I loved throwing all my kids fun first birthday parties.  It is a great milestone to reach, and as a Mother a bittersweet goodbye to our baby as they become a toddler.

The fringe was fringe curtains purchased on Amazon here. I layered them on top of each other and cut the top black layer just a bit. I also love how the Happy Birthday banner is very versatile and we can use it over and over again. I also purchased that on Amazon here.  The star garland was also purchased on Amazon here. I bought both gold and silver for the round 38 inch balloons I purchased. Which ended up being a total disaster, who know they were such trouble and expensive to get inflated! The silver sequins table runners were a score from Ultra Pom. Ultra Pom is an amazing wedding and event rental business here in Kansas City. I purchased these on a whim when they were moving and clearing out old merchandise. The vintage cake stand also was a great find at their sale too! A few things I purchased from Hobby Lobby; the gold number one in cake, the decor on his highchair, letter M and kraft number one and the spray glitter used on them,I made the number one from silver glitter cardstock also from Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t sure if I ordered enough cake, so I made cupcakes and decorated them with planet decorated fondant purchased on Etsy here. His sweet little party crown was also made from a lovely maker on Etsy. It is such an adorable and precious keepsake from Mattys first birthday! The star platters, fun straws, Meri Meri star cupcake set, goody bags, and the unseen star plates were purchased at one of my favorite online stores Sweet Lulu. The goody bags could be filled with bouncy balls, Starburst, Milky Way’s, galaxy goo (like gak! bought here.), and a make your own moon rock (Dollar Tree rocks and glitter glue). Dollar Tree also provided 1 dozen star balloons that were decorated throughout our house and outside as well. You can not beat $1 mylar balloons, though I highly suggest placing your order a week or two in advance. Can’t forget those silver party horns that my kids were tooting on for weeks after the party.

I wish I would have been able to take more detail images, but it was more important to be present for my last baby’s first birthday party. He had a ton of fun being the center of attention that day!! Mike suggested we drop the photography gig and start doing party planning, what do you think? (I think no. Just no.)

solar-system-planet-birthday-cakeview full post »

Melissa K Klein - April 15, 2017 - 4:55 pm

This is so cool! Love the solar theme – one of the coolest birthday set ups I’ve seen.

Shilan - April 17, 2017 - 6:09 pm

These are absolutely adorable!

Kim Kravitz - May 1, 2017 - 7:31 pm

Happy birthday little guy!!!! And I’m always late blogging personal stuff too lol HA! Better late than never. 😉