Route 66 ‘CARS’ themed photobooth: a special event

I’ve been dying to make this announcement for awhile, but locking in the final details prevented us from doing it til’ now. So here goes…

'cars' flyer


Lucky Joplin, MO gets to be host to the Route 66 international festival this week… and 9art was invited to be a part of it! One of the highlights of the event is the presence of the real life stars of Disney/Pixar’s film ‘Cars’… that’s right kids, Mater & Lightning McQueen will be HERE, in person, this weekend.

That’s where we come in. We are setting up a special photobooth where you can have your photo taken in front of the full size cars. We’re not talking a background… this is the REAL DEAL.

To cut back on confusion… I realize that yes, we are calling this a photobooth, and no, it is not a conventional photobooth. So yeah, that means it’s not really a booth. At all. 🙂 But to tell you the truth, our ‘photobooth’ has never been a conventional photobooth, but folks know what I’m talking about when I refer to it as such during third thursday and other events.

There are two separate times/places:

#1: carthage route 66 drive in. We will be set up there from 6:30- 8:30. a quick note there: you can only get in for this one if you’ve bought tickets already, as the event is very much sold out. But if you’re not already going to be there for that one, moving on to…

#2: downtown joplin. We (and the cars) will be set up at the intersection of 5th & main from 5pm to 7:30pm on Saturday evening (the third). There are no tickets or formal schedules involved for this photobooth, so just come on by anytime in that timeframe!

Special note::

we will be offering special discounted packages to those that order AT the event. We will be prepared to take pretty much any form of payment you throw at us (yes, including credit cards) so come prepared if you want to get the best deal. If you’d rather order later, no worries, we’ll still have prints available to order at our usual rates!

The festival itself:  Photos aside, the full festival event actually lasts for 3 days and is PACKED with stuff to do. Concerts, car shows, food, and plenty more. find out more about it on the main site:



Hey guys. Yet another announcement for you, and I nearly forgot about this one…. the local Names & Numbers phonebook cover features another photo taken by yours truly.


The original photo (which looks a fair amount better NOT instagrammed & NOT sliced in half to fit into a phonebook-cover-format…)


Welp. That’s it, really. I’ll talk to you guys again, real soon….


Joplin Regional business journal :: a new endeavor

The Joplin Regional Business journal was recently purchased by new owners Larry & Mikell Warren, and has undergone a HUGE (and awesome) overhaul. More modern design, glossy front & back cover, and the next change… well, that’s where I come in.

Chris Roberts- a former employee of the journal who was brought back in as a consultant- told me the journal was looking for a new cover photograph, each issue, that would catch folks’ attention and perfectly accompany the new, more stylish feel. I am so honored to be brought in not just for a shoot, but for a regular relationship with this publication.

Here’s the new cover.. and you can see why I’m excited… photo on the front, ad on the back. 🙂


The ad is a success only because of the brilliance (and kindness) of good friends: Lance for writing a very punny tagline, Matt for the design. These guys are awesome.

now a closer look at the photo:


And then here’s the behind-the-scenes… thanks to Carole from the journal for getting a picture of ME to prove I stood on the city hall roof to get this shot instead of photoshopping the background in as someone, somewhere, may or may not have insinuated… 😉


Here’s Carrie & Donna from the CVB, who were kind enough to help out holding my umbrella even though it wasn’t one of their shoots.

And, Carrie was there to remind me of an old truth that she likes to state… ‘It’s not a real shoot if Mark doesn’t stand on something’.


And a couple of the outtakes, just to show that the sky was just as pretty as the buildings that day. 🙂



Venturellas, Danners, & Bosley’s :: one of those magnificent megafamily shoots!













I’ve worked with most of these folks before, and was certainly excited about the opportunity to do it again. It didn’t dissapoint… I really, really love what we got from this colorful (that applies literally AND to the personalities involved) sunset-into-nighttime shoot.

I’ve known the Venturellas since little Roman was just a tiny guy. Christina was one of 9art’s first loyal clients…back when my work…kinda… well, it sucked. She and her husband DJ were some of the first to believe in me, and for that, I’ll be forever thankful. Since then, Roman has gotten huge and his little sister  Kendall is equally adorable. If you need an AWESOME hair stylist, look Christina up at ‘styles’ salon here in Joplin.


Aimee is Christina’s sister, and her lively bunch always keep me entertained. Her husband Tracy has an ornery sense of humor that is always very appreciated by me (even those moments when not 100%…appropriate…) and their 4 beautiful daughters have inherited quite a bit of that fun spark as well. The Danners were generous enough to open up their property for the shoot, where they have a pond, a lovely little forest, and several vintage cars sitting around which made for perfect settings. We kept with the ‘old car’ theme we had for our last shoot, back when we used a family member’s bright orange classic with an alley as our background.


and let’s not forget the Bosleys… the parents who started it all. They still got it! 🙂


the rest of the post is just a few of my favorites from working with the individuals as well as the whole group.









I love Roman’s ‘serious face’ on the right…


























‘Messages’:: July’s photobooth


It’s been 2 years and 2 months since the May 11th tornado that wiped out nearly a third of my fair city, and my home with it.

It’s easy to forget that. Which, for some folks may not be all bad- because it was a hard thing to go through. But there’s two reasons I cannot LET myself forget.

#1: because God blessed me, my family, and my town in an incomprehensible way- by providing us with safety that night, and by saving hundreds of others with an endless, thankful barrage of ‘I should’ve‘ stories… ‘I should’ve been home….’ ‘I should’ve been asleep…’ ‘I should’ve died.’

#2: Because this didn’t JUST happen to Joplin. Now it’s happened somewhere else (Moore, OK). Joplin wasn’t the first, or the last tragedy to affect the lives and homes of masses. Because I know what that was like- as many of you do as well- I know how easy important the steady stream of encouragement and help is not just during the first ’emergency mode’ wave of shock, but also for months and months afterward as lives are put back together, piece by piece, donation by donation, volunteer by volunteer.

That was a long, dramatic introduction to a generally very lighthearted topic… the third thursday photobooth, here in Joplin Missouri. But I had to give some insight into what’s behind the more serious theme for this month: ‘MESSAGES’.

The idea is, those who come to the photobooth thursday night can contribute a message of hope to Moore, Oklahoma, either creating a sign on-site (markers, paper, etc provided) or by bringing a pre-made sign or piece of art. You can say anything you want… the idea is to encourage those in Oklahoma who lost their homes, who are still struggling to get back on their feet. And if you have a little extra to give, donations will also be taken at the booth. We’ll send both the messages and the donations to Moore when we’ve got it all pulled together.

I think this can be a really powerful thing. Is it because this is a super original, one-of-a-kind idea? Well, no. When I talked to Meg Hulsey from art feeds about my concern of this being a bit similar to some ideas they’d enacted, she responded lightly with ‘Holding signs while taking a photo wasn’t invented by Art Feeds and isn’t an original idea by us’. But she also said to go for it, because it could mean a lot to people.

This also isn’t the first time I’ve done this… I did it two years ago, after the Joplin tornado. You can see that post here.

Hope to see you all at third thursday, and I can’t wait to share the final gallery!


film noir photobooth!

Many of you also subscribe to our facebook page, in which case you’ve already seen these. But if not… here’s a few favorites from last month’s #thirdthursday photobooth, sponsored by the project ‘cold brewed’.

A few words on cold brewed… it is an online photo-comic that weaves a tale of murder, mystery, and… coffee. Its’ set in a 1940s world in which coffee is illegal and roasters compete for the local trade: a film noir with a twist.

My good friend lance schaubert wrote the story, and yours truly handled the photography. It’s by far the biggest series I’ve ever undertaken, and we’re currently in the process of lining up a publisher. If you’d like to get a glimpse, you can peruse my ‘best of’ post here… or go directly to the Cold Brewed site here.

In the meanwhile, I also run a monthly photobooth for Joplin, Missouri’s ‘third thursday’ art walk events. I really wanted to try something new for this one, and wasn’t sure how it would go over- all black and white, time period, with a not-always-family-friendly genre tamed down for the multitudes of kiddos that come through.

The response was tremendous! People loved it, and I was encouraged more than ever to think outside the box. Can’t wait to announce the next theme, later today….

Here’s my favorites from June! 1





























our 4th



   Hey everybody! It’s time for a good ol’ ‘personal’ post… that is, a post with pictures of MY kids instead of somebody elses’. Not that I mind posting pictures of other peoples’ kids… 🙂

    Hope everyone had an awesome holiday. For us it was a time of wonder and uncontainable excitement for a 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl that couldn’t get enough of flaming, sparking, banging things that fly around and catch stuff on fire. Love of danger starts early for Americans, what can I say…

You’ll see from this batch of photos, that I never take pictures OF the fireworks themselves. It’s always reactions TO the fireworks. I always find people more interesting than things/places/events/anything-thats-not-a-people. 🙂


Harry’s favorite part was chasing parachutes. 




When he gets REALLY excited, he does this thing where he rubs his hands on his face. As you can see…  so weird, but cute…




Had some fun dragging shutter speeds to capture writing with sparklers. ‘A’ for my bro-in-law Adam, ‘V’ for my sister Veronica… 



Going to take more time to experiment with sparkler photos next time… the results can be really fascinating. And a little trippy….






Harry had fun robot-dancing by the ‘strobes’ light with his aunt Mallory…



sweet, tired girl. 




sweet, tired girl + creepy aunt.









The Geisers

   Here’s the Geisers. All of them at once. Take a long look, because this is the only picture I’m showing you with everybody in the same picture. It’s just too much adorable to cram them all into one photo any more than this, so from here on, after this photo, it’ll be broken down into smaller, less intense doses of cuteness.

WHEW! So here’s more…..

sometimes, getting a picture of JUST mom and dad is harder than you’d think. 

thats’ why I like a lens that can get in close… 🙂

Individuals, in order of age: 

I told mom to encourage the kids to bring whatever they liked… which meant trucks & capes for the boys, prairie dresses (antique mall bargain!) for the girls. It’s always so much more fun when we have things like this to work around! 

love this very REAL moment. 🙂

another REAL moment… love it. 

Kaitlyn + Dak :: married, oh yeah!

    What a dream wedding this was for me to shoot. Super laid back people, great conversation between (and during) shooting, unseasonably gorgeous weather, an intense passion between the couple so beautiful to capture, plenty of time allowed on my part to get everything I needed to get, and just a general sense of fun and people refusing to take themselves too seriously… even if it IS their day.

    That’s a pretty common vibe to all the dandy brides and grooms I have the pleasure of working with. I am lucky, lucky, lucky… or, to phrase it more accurately, very very blessed, to have the clients I have. 

    Enough jibba jabba (as Mr. T would put it). On with the show!

kinda want this to be a magazine cover. Sooooo… which one of you magazines is going to do that? 🙂

Kaitlyn apologized for downing a hamburger during portrait time. I said ‘don’t apologize… go AT IT!’ 

(PS… whatever fast food chain that was… we can’t even SEE your patties. For real. That’s a pathetic burger).


beautiful St Peters’ church, here in downtown Joplin.


we switch to drama pretty quick.

this old school spiral staircase at St Peters’ is one of my absolute favorite spots. The light is so beautiful in there…. perfect for catching the intimacy I wanted to convey for this VERY-in-love and passionate couple.

these next two were some of the couples’ favorite shots from the day… the ones I was thinking ‘this will probably be a little too far out’… goes to show, you should never argue with your gut. 🙂

lots more pictures after the break… click on to keep going!

the reception was so nicely done. Love the colors and the attention to detail. Love Springhouse gardens, the venue where this took place. And cupcakes. I really love cupcakes.

one of the simplest shots of the day, but also one of my favorites. The red really ‘pops’ (yep, that’s the token art class 101 word you were looking for).

some guys need a little coaching on how to give that GQ look. (No amount of coaching would ever work on me if the lens were flipped, actually). But not this guy… no sir.

oh, we got normal bridesmaid pictures too. But I prefer these…

EPIC HIGH FIVE!! I may start demanding one of these for every shoot from here on out.

the flower girl requested she and the bride go for a spin. The sweet bride obliged. 

1st dance


let the wild rumpus start!

MAN he got into it. Just glad I was there with a camera.

final shot of the night. Last shot doesn’t usually turn out this epic. It was a beautiful night!