baby Hunter at Red Oaks II

Oh man…  Hunter’s fourth session from his baby’s first year package; he is officially 1 year old. The Brashears are one of my very favorite families to work with, and even though I see them regularly, I can’t believe how fast mr. Hunter is growing.  The whole family was there for this one, including proud and loving big brother Parker, who is very gracious about sharing HIS camera time He used to be the only real focus when we first started working together. pay no attention to the punnery.

We did this session out at Red Oaks II in Carthage, MO; a stunning imported village made up of vintage vehicles, buildings, props, and assorted scenery- from an awesome diner box car to an authentic old-school gas station- all brought in by the famed artist,  Lowell Davis.

Lowell drove in while I was walking around and I chatted with him a bit. While a rare less-than-courteous photographer or two have occasionally made things difficult, he’s let his attitude toward photographers remain incredibly gracious. ‘People don’t want to take pictures of me with my paintings, or my sculptures,’ he told me. ‘But they want to take pictures of this place, and that’s such a huge compliment to me as an artist’.

To which I said, ‘I’LL take pictures of you with your paintings and scultpures!’

Hmmmmmm…. another shoot, for another time. 🙂

In the meanwhile, here’s Hunter, Parker, and parents Julie & Ryan.

hunter: baby's 1st year #1

Hunter was photographed in this bowl during his FIRST shoot… needless to say, he fit a little better back then. 🙂


This resident canine really loved people, and didn’t understand why he shouldn’t be in the shot. So I obliged him for one…



hunter: baby's 1st year #9 vintage car at red oaks

hunter: baby's 1st year #8 close up of baby in vintage car

hunter: baby's 1st year #7 brothers in vintage car

Parker was pretty excited about the car…

hunter: baby's 1st year #6 parker in vintage car

hunter: baby's 1st year #4 family portraithunter: baby's 1st year #5 mom and son_024b

hunter: baby's 1st year #3 dad & son

hunter: baby's 1st year #2 black and white close up

Back to school :: especially special specials







Hope your summer has gone well.

The blog has been quiet this last week, and the reason for that was a much needed vacation.  Got some family time, played around in Branson (because face it, if you live in Joplin and have toddlers, where else do you go?) and re-charged for the new season.

I know it’s still summer and still August, but I can already feel fall in the air, and I’m ready for it. I’ve got some big ideas brewing- some for personal projects that I can’t reveal yet (but oh MAN they’re going to be fun), but right now, I’m talking about ideas for our beloved families- both the ones I have the extreme pleasure to continue working with, and those just now stumbling onto 9art or just now thinking about hiring us to capture THEIR family in a new, fun, and beautiful way.

In celebration of the season- and to combat those awful school pictures you DON’T want to be your only memory of your amazing kiddos- our first back-to-school special is for the previously announced mini shoots, going on this week.  To re-cap:

SPECIAL #1 (mini shoots)

  • $20 for a 15-20 minute ‘mini session’
  • ages 2-16 (multiple kids welcome within that period of time)
  • thursday evening, 5pm to 8pm, at Landreth park
  • saturday, 10am-5pm, in the studio
  • special packages available for these shoots only

Because you want pictures to remember your child at this stage that look like this….


not so much this. Yikes.

laser background school photo












SPECIAL #2:  (session disk)

FREE high resolution disk offered with purchase of  any family package, level #1 or above (sorry, we cannot apply this to the print core alone), or with any senior package at level 2 or above. Sessions must be booked & sitting fees paid by September third at latest, to qualify.

That’s pretty cut and dry, and not something we offer often, since our family session disks are generally priced at $800 or higher.

I’m excited. Hope you are too. Now book that session!



Emma Grace:: session 1

Emma Grace has made her debut! After (sadly) wrapping up 3 or 4 baby’s 1st year packages in the last month, it’s nice to see another one begin. Chad and Amanda are sooo excited about this beautiful little lady… and you can see why.


Got busy and never had a chance to share images from Amanda’s maternity session, so here’s a couple of those (going backward, ha)! We also included Chad’s little boy Will in that session… he is an awesome little guy. Wanted to throw a couple pics of him in as well, since he wasn’t able to be there for Emma’s portraits!




and back to Emma’s session… did I mention that we did these at the airport? Not the first place you’d think of, but such a fun setting. (no, there wasn’t a ‘new arrivals’ sign that would’ve worked… I know what you’re thinking…)







a strong sense of humor is definitely in place here.





 Stay tuned for more shots of this little one as she grows! 🙂

Route 66 international festival

I shot quite a few pics at this amazing festival here in Joplin a week or so back, and am just now getting to this post!! Been driving me crazy, because I couldn’t wait to share these images after capturing them.

It was such an incredible experience. Photographed kiddos in front of Lightning McQueen & Mater on thursday night at the drive in, then again on saturday night right, around the corner from my studio in downtown Joplin.

The night didn’t end after the cars were hauled away on saturday night… ended up on 3 different rooftops to capture pictures of the crowds for the Joplin CVB (the CVB hosted the festival and gave me the wonderful opportunity to set up the photobooth), then, in a very unplanned turn of events, ended up there until 11 to shoot ‘the Grass Roots’… backstage access and everything. 🙂

Want to know what’s funny? Half-spraining my ankle that night. Did it happen when I climbed a rickety ladder and over a big gap to get to one roof? Or when I heaved myself over to another rooftop from a fire escape to get another shot?

Oh, neither. It happened while I was climbing down some very ordinary, safe stairs.

THAT’S  my answer to people who get nervous when I do dangerous things to get the perfect picture: I’m perfectly fine when I’m laying in traffic, jumping rooftops, or climbing trees… it’s when I’m just walking that I injure myself.

On to the pictures…

These two are some of my favorite ‘photobooth’ regulars from third thursday here in Joplin. Flipping love the expression…


this is one happy boy.


this might be an even happier boy.

_001cThe two fellas in the middle are the ones responsible for controlling/hauling the cars, surrounded by the Joplin PD officers who ‘guarded’ our favorite pixar characters while they were surrounded by people at the event. It was an impromptu picture I had to grab before the vehicles went back into the trailer that night.

_001dDid I mention the cars were remote controlled? Whoa…



Being there while they loaded these up was so surreal. A literal hush fell over the enormous crowd for like, 30 minutes.

_003bGood to see downtown streets packed out! There was a great car show lining main street…



quick capture. This guy is great.


there’s the trailer that Lightning and Mater were loaded onto… it was headed to New York that night.



concert time!


Wait. WHO are the grass roots, you ask? They’re the group responsible for at least a half dozen of your favorite oldies, if 60s music is your thing. Go check em’ out.  ‘oh THAT song and THAT song and THAT song!’ will likely be your reaction…

And they still sound pretty danged amazing for a group that’s been performing for the last 50+ years.






It’s nights like these that remind me I love what I’m doing and it’s absolutely what I’m meant to do. Very blessed!

I’d also like to thank the CVB again for this opportunity and many others this past year…. thanks especially to my good friend Carrie, who is truly helping Joplin REPRESENT! Check out the Joplin CVB facebook page here and become a fan. If you see them post a photo… chances are I took it.

9art NEWS:: part 1

Hey there. How’s your summer going?

Sometimes, in the middle of all the craziness, it’s time to stop, slow down, and take stock. That’s what I’m doing over the next week and a half. And as I’m taking the time to do that, I want to fill you guys in on the latest… we have news that will make you cry, that will make you cheer, and that may just make you open up your e-mail window right now and drop us a line.

(that line could be angry, or it could be excited. I guess we’ll see).

This post will focus on what’s coming up. I only have one spot of bad news, so I’m going to pattern this post after the ‘compliment sandwich’ formula.

If you’re not sure what a compliment sandwich is, it’s ok.  Here’s a picture I took of someone making a sandwich.


#1:  Mini-session special!

We are running a BACK-TO-SCHOOL SPECIAL for week after next: there will be TWO DATES available for 9art mini sessions, featuring your favorite little (or even medium) one. Because let’s face it, school photos are lame. Real lame. We want you to do better than that…

  • 15 minute session
  • 2yr olds thru-16 yr olds
  • these will focus on individual portraits, but we’ll probably let you sneak a sibling or two in. Parents will not be included in   these sessions, however.
  • two windows to schedule a session:

THURSDAY, AUG 29, between 3pm & 8pm  ///  SATURDAY, AUG 31, between 8am & 5pm

  • sitting fee is just $20
  • better book your slot now… these may be gone in a hurry. 🙂

#2: *cough*nophotobooththismonth*cough

I realize this is an announcement we should’ve made sooner…. we are NOT participating in August third thursday.  Some of you have already known about this (especially those who have been attending long enough to know we generally DO take August off from 3TH), but for those who had no idea this was coming- and were really looking forward to it- I’m sorry.

Why? We need a break. 🙂 We need to recharge. August is our month to BREATHE before the madness of fall sets in; and especially since we haven’t had much of a chance to breathe just yet this month, it’s time for a little rest.

But guess what? We WILL be back, full force, in September. What’s the theme ? Well we won’t give any clues just yet, but you might get your capes ready… 😉

#3:  Special for full sessions announced next week!

For those of you thinking about booking full sessions for september & october…. it’s time to act soon.  That’s always our busiest time of year and now is the time we start filling the calendar. Think it over this week, then stay tuned for another special in that direction NEXT week.

More news coming up soon… but next time, more of what we’ve been up to, not what we’re planning next…

Jessica & Caleb :: Mrs. & Mrs!!

Had so much fun at Jessica & Caleb’s wedding.  These are very sweet and genuine people, not to mention just really good looking. Also enjoyed getting out of Joplin to shoot this day in Neosho, Missouri at the Civic  & the Neosho United Methodist church.

Thanks to Lori Marble, Jessica’s wonderful stepmom who was the one to recommend me as a photographer to the couple. Wayyyyyyy back when I went to good ol’ Crowder College, Lori knew me… and she will forever refer to me as ‘sticky boy’… possibly my most ridiculous nickname to date. It was earned bc I was always putting up flyers on campus and the maintenance lady would often complain to Lori about all the tape I left on the doors (yep. that’s it).

Doesn’t matter if a nickname is cool or not… if it sticks, it *sticks*…. 🙂








_011saw this awesome little diner across the street from the church and asked Jessica what she thought about taking pictures here. It just so happened, its’ her favorite restaurant in Neosho. 🙂 Didn’t get a chance to try the burgers at Charley’s grill, but good GRIEF they smelled amazing.


in the midst of pictures, a customer asked if he could photo bomb. See, I’m ok with photo bombs if you just ask first…. _013


_015the interior of this historic church is gorgeous.


one of my favorites!





_022I couldn’t resist… you can’t see them here, but family members were hanging around while we did these last few in the church. Poor Jessica was getting more and more nervous with the ONslaught of ONlookers…


…So I just went with it.




_028it was a fun bunch. They more than made up for being outside on a very hot day.

_029loved the purple sneakers._030

lots of brotherly love. Maybe too much. Maybe too brotherly.

_032if you have a wheelbarrow available as a prop….




my view, + peripheral. _036


_038follow the break for the ceremony & reception… plenty more fun to be had. Including batman.
Continue reading

Dylon :: 16

Dylon just turned 16, and to celebrate, we took pictures! Such an honor to be able to take these pictures, since Dylon is the son of my cousin Jake… and I can tell you, he looks JUST like his dad. 🙂

We shot these in and around the Carthage baseball stadium, since Dylon plays there often. We also got to take some pics with his moms’ brand new convertible… well, by brand new, I mean brand new to the family.

Lots of blue in this post. LOTS of blue. I love blue….










CARS themed route 66 photobooth, part 2!

Told you guys a few days ago about the route 66 international festival being hosted by Joplin. I was asked to take part by being the professional photographer present at the event to get shots of folks with Mater & Lightning McQueen, brought down directly from Pixar for this week only.

Last night was the drive in: a totally sold out showing of ‘Cars’ with a two hour period set aside for pictures and more. And during that 2 hours… the line NEVER stopped. Not that I’m complaining. 🙂 It was intense, but we had a blast.

[NOTE: if you’re from the Joplin area, and missed the drive in but still would like pictures of your family with Mater & McQueen, the cars will be in downtown Joplin (5th & main) all day saturday; 9art will be there from 5 to 7:30 to take your professional pictures. Check back on our last post for more info!]

Here are the cars themselves: life sized, and get this, remote controlled! You can see the controller in his hand, just barely:



And here’s a few shots from the night. Enjoy!




look closely at the dresses…


6bthis one just makes me laugh.



it’s not ONLY kids who get excited about Pixar movies…





And here’s Michelle & I… WE ARE 9ART! Photo by Whitney Scott of Whitney Scott photography… I could decide whose logo to put on this, since she took the picture, but with my camera… ah well, we went with her logo. 😉
PS, Whitney & David, when you guys read this, thanks for lending out your light/battery when my backup battery failed me miserably. Helps to be friends with the competition, you know it?

10bwe’ll end the post with a shot of the Scotts themselves, and their adorable kiddos (who had a tough time putting the delicious snow cones down long enough for a picture)!