Derek & Grace… married

This was a very special wedding for me. Derek is a friend of mine who has, in the past year, become a close one. I’ve known few men with as much integrity as this one, both in work and in life. Derek also happens to be an amazing filmmaker… you can take a look at his latest stunning documentary, here. And he is now married to a very lovely lady… miss Grace is a woman who lives up to her name well.

I have two favorite things about this wedding.

First, this is the only wedding I’ve ever shot in which the ‘first kiss’ as a married couple, was in fact the couple’s first kiss, at all.

They’d never kissed before this moment, out of an amazing quest for purity that they’ve worked hard on together.

I don’t think most folks… myself included… can scarcely imagine making that commitment. Yet I’ll forever be inspired by it.
My second favorite thing about this wedding, is that they totally had a brinner reception.

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If you don’t know what brinner is… oh my. You may not have truly lived.

Brinner is breakfast… for dinner. It’s pretty fantastic. And this wedding also is unique in that I’ve never seen breakfast as the reception food. Mmmmmmmm.

Without further ado, here’s the full day…

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these three fellas co-own Amplify Gym together. If you have kids interested in gymnastics, you should check it out.

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Grace’s dad MADE all the benches used at the wedding. I’m always kind of blown away by people that just make stuff with their bare hands. It’s a whole different kind of creativity than my own.

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The wedding venue was very planned but worked out extremely well. The first choice had been rained out (too muddy), so the couple was able to secure the not-yet-opened ‘Amadeus Ranch‘. It wasn’t 100% finished, but it was still beautiful. Can’t wait to shoot more wedding here in the future.

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this is my friend Austin, down in the crowed.

Sometimes, he’s real creepy. But I like him anyway, and this picture makes me laugh.

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this is my good friend Colby… he is, in fact, one of my very first friends in Joplin. This is not the most flattering picture to introduce him, but it made me laugh and is dedicated to everyone who ever tried to quickly duck out of a picture I was taking and still ended up in the picture, but with a really awkward ‘I’m trying to get out of the way’ stance.

Knowing Colby, I’m pretty sure this will make him laugh.

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 *GOOFY BREAK*

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I love that these two ran/skipped back to the reception. I promise I didn’t tell them to (If I had, I would’ve told them to run where there weren’t cars in the background, but then that kinda would’ve taken the awesome spontaneity out of it…)

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I think Colby was asking if it was time to sign the marriage license…

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first dance!

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Sonya & Sabin :: May 29, 2015

Sometimes, people look at my wedding photos and say ‘that’s GOOD.’

And in cases like this, I genuinely cannot take the credit. What’s so GOOD… what makes some photos have the impact that they do… is the genuine emotion that’s there when I happen to be snapping away. Without genuine love behind the eyes of my wedding day subjects, the photos would be nothing. Sonya and Sabin had that, in abundance.

They were SO in love, that you could say love completely conquered the dark spirits that threatened to overshadow the day… a day filled with tornado warnings (one dangerous storm was literally headed straight at us), flash flooding, a veil that was accidentally thrown away (and thankfully recovered) and nonstop torrential downpour, at what was originally intended to be an outdoor venue.

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A lot of brides would have completely freaked out, mascara streaming down their cheeks all day… well THAT sure would’ve put a crimp in the photo taking of the day. 😉 But not Sonya. Sure, she was stressed, but she didn’t let it mess with her cheerful spirit, and you could see, the moment these two locked eyes that day, literally nothing else mattered.

As it should be.

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may photobooth: a story by siblings improv + 9art

This third thursday (the day that Joplin hosts an art walk every month, as of a few years now), I got to do probably the most innovative thing I’ve done yet with the photobooth.

It’s all about collaboration… this time with the one and only SIBLINGS IMPROV, a local improv group started by some folks I know that wanted the art of comedy & and collaboration to thrive in our little city.

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Eric (pictured above), Drew, and the other folks at improv meet every Tuesday night to teach, learn, hone their craft and develop camaraderie with other local improvers (and would-be improvers). Our local paper even wrote up a little article about it…

Who better, to help me host a photobooth devoted solely to story, to an unpredictable tale, told by the very folks to who populate my photographic storytelling stage each month here in downtown Joplin?

The initial idea was simple… find a way to collaborate with Siblings. These folks of course RAN with the idea, helping set up a framework for a story that would run the course of the night.

I had to be careful. I knew if I said the word ‘improv’ that folks might be weary and think things like ‘oh I can’t do improv’…. which is the very reason I announced this photobooth as having a ‘surprise’ theme.

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Once we knew were doing this thing, we set up a plan. Here’s what it was:

Each photo got one line of the ongoing epic poem, written on the spot, by the member of Siblings that was present for their half hour ‘shift’. The Siblings member furthermore stepped in and helped direct each group, telling the story through the use of those present and the weird, random props we assembled to assist us.

Here is that story.

Does it make sense?

Absolutely not.

Does it matter?

Nope.

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It’s fun. It was on-the-spot. It was new. THAT’S what matters.

Have fun…

PHOTOBOOTH STORY (2015)

Ian went to catch a fish
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to please his parents, was his only wish

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his friends met him at the bayou

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two dames asked “can we sit by you?”

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along came two heroes to save the day

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because Dr. Seuss and the Hulk came out to play

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A dog and his master came by to see

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how funny a different a different kind of catch can be

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pick cashew apples, Truman did

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defended with rackets, against the squid

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[FAST FORWARD TO… chapter 3]

The hulk had decided to fish

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Against his evil nemesis…

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4 long haired girls screamed Action! And the fishing was on!

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As the large crowd, eagerly looked on

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The Hulk had a bite, but it was just some ninja turtles

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Hulk and his love, Helmet Momma, also caught the scary Levi fish

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Once the Levi fish is caught, he makes a delicious dish

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The evil lamp head captured Helmet Momma- but Hulk won the day!

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Hulk soon brought princess and lizard boy D to join his hero way

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CHAPTER 40

After Ian’s death, a mother/daughter team determined to fight crime

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The Ratzsimuff gang could wreak ferocious havoc on a dime

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Mother & daughter fought the gang with bravery, and honor, and weird looks..

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To the lair the Ratzsimuffs plot and scheme, how they’ll make the public scream!

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Daddy Man, Wonder Mom, Titus Boy, and Judah Boy

Break onto the scene!

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With the bearded beauties TO STEAL ICE CREAM!

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They threw the babies to the cops, then quickly ran away

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The Dogwoods witnessed all of it, like the most insane of plays!

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Alien Alex descended from the stars

to eat some lovely bars

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the new members of the Ratszimuff gang

gather together to hang

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Helmet Dad ang gang are stepping on their turf

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the clowns are NOT happy, threatening to break out the nerf!

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The town broke out in all out war!

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But Ryan spoke up.

“Hey girl. No more.”

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The gangs made friends at last!
They pulled together and had a blast!

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CHAPTER 73

The alien- Brainhead- attempts abduction

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but underestimates the humans’  skills at dancing, fanny packs, and deduction

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Brainheads’ alien crew tried to act sneaky, but were loud because their car was leaky

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The noisy engine caught the attention of the Crusaders

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So they SMASHED the aliens like momma’s mashed potatoes!41

FIN