Kids are the REAL rock stars (Hunter, session 3)


    Sometimes, I look at the style that has evolved out of my work, and it feels odd that I take pictures of…babies. I mean, I also take pictures of a lot of other very different things. Weddings, food, downtown scenery, bands & 1940s detectives…but it seems like babies would be the last subject on my list when it comes simply to analyzing the sometimes over-the-top epic shooting style that I tend to take on. 

     But why not? Babies & other children in general are much cooler than we are. They’re as honest as honest gets, pure, funny, and of course adorable… so why can’t I take pictures of them in the same way I’d take pictures of a band or a superhero or some other more seemingly ‘epic’ subject?

That being said, I start with the simple shots… the ones that focus on the expressions & chubby cheeks, quiet moments that are captured in a more classic and timeless way. Sometimes, if you add too much ‘style’ to a picture, it takes away from the subject. 



But after that… I like to break out the off-camera-flash, the wide angle lens, and lay on the ground or climb a tree for dramatic angles, to capture kids in a stylized and quirky way. It’s fun feeling to see my work take on a unique look. And even more fun plugging that into a genre of family photography that isn’t always approached in a very fresh light. 


If that came across as egotistical… shoot me.

(And not with a camera).

Enough rambling. Here’s more of the real stars of the show… baby Hunter & big brother Parker. these are some ridiculously cute children. And my camera has NOTHING to do with that fact.




Caegan: SESSION 3

    Another baby turned toddler; I’ve seen mr. Caegan go from newborn to very expressive, bouncy little man. take in the CUTENESS!

   This is actually the note we started on. Caegan had just woken up and I was a little too close a little too fast…

he warmed up fast.

this is the expression of an unimpressed toddler. take that, perfect family picture. (he had many such expressions).


sometimes I have to turn around to snap a picture of what the parent is doing to get the kiddo to smile… 

It’s a good thing nobody is there to turn the camera on ME, bc I’m generally doing some pretty ridiculous things when I’m taking pictures of toddlers.

Oliver (#2)

    Oliver is back. Who is Oliver? A really super cute kid that also happens to be the son of some good friends of mine. They have real cool taste (Oliver’s dad Matt is an amazing graphic designer), so shooting in their house is always a blast. Their clean, bright, modern interior-design style is fun to shoot… but really, that’s just backgrounds. The important part is the little man, and the lens just can’t get enough of him. 

And we’ve discovered a new ‘theme’ to end our shoots on. If you’ll remember this shot from the last session…

Now the last shot, from THIS shoot. (and if you look carefully, you can see the last session in the background!)

If there’s one thing we can learn from the spiels, it’s to go with the flow, meltdowns and all.

those Eidson girls: shoot EIGHT

   I realized after this shoot, that this was the EIGHTH time I’d worked with the Eidson family over the last 3 years. Olivia’s ‘baby’s 1st year’, then Caroline’s… and this session marks the last of Caroline’s first year. Crazy! But of course, it won’t be the end. 

  We went for more of a ‘lifestyle’ approach  to this shoot… our setting was downtown Springfield, where delicious crepes & cool buildings are in abundance. I let the sisters explore the territory, and this is what we got! 

my favorite…

Caroline, session 3 (+ olivia)

    If you’ve followed my work or this blog for any length of time, you’ll recognize these two…a couple of my favorite little muses from springfield missouri, Olivia & Caroline. Olivia wrapped up her baby’s 1st year plan last year and Caroline began hers this year. Can’t believe we’re already on our third session…

As always, a million thanks to Sarah (the mama) for putting so much thought into outfits, props, & location- her planning always makes it worth the drive to springfield- and for just being awesome and having such outrageously cute children. My goodness.

almost just seems like this one has never had her portrait taken, you know? 😉

the set up. sometimes that’s my favorite picture of all.

baby Caegan, session 2

    I don’t often split a section into multiple parts, but sometimes, the elements are against you. Such was the case in working with mr. Caegan during his 2nd baby’s first year shoot… it was an evening that was supposed to be pleasant, turning out instead to be gloomy with a very chilly wind that wasn’t exactly baby-friendly. Didn’t stop us from getting a couple of great shots in the 20 minutes we had to work before his little nose just got too red for us to keep going in good conscience…

Re-convened with mom Lisa & dad Corban a couple of weeks later for shoot 2, which was an absolutely PERFECT day. And what an awesome and increasingly expressive little fella he is! 🙂 

his expression kills me in this one.

baby Truman; the story we haven’t told

   Some of you that keep up with my work- or know me personally- may recognize this couple:

They are old friends of mine, Campbell & Kimberly Fisher. There is, however, a THIRD member of their little family you HAVEN’T seen… even though I’ve been taking pictures of him for the last year. He’s been referred to as ‘baby K’, his identity somewhat protected until now since he has been in the foster care program, w/ the Fishers serving as his temporary guardians since he was just a few days old. 

The word ‘temporary’ bites the dust today. In fact, as of RIGHT NOW, the Fishers are officially baby K’s parents; having legally adopted him after a very long, anxious wait to be able to do so.

Now that it is official, I have the very great pleasure of being able to show you a few shots from sessions over the last few months that I haven’t been able to display until now. 

So, so, overjoyed & excited for my friends on this day as they are able to make their family complete. 

And baby K, henceforth, can be known by his official adopted name; Truman Kade Fisher.  





baby Finley

     My good friends the Bellegardes just made an addition to their little family…mr Finley. I had so much fun with our last session that I was even more pumped about this one. Speaking of pumped… or pumping…. we’ll open with this awesome fist pump. 

alright, here’s something a little more serious. 

proud big sister Jalyn!

she was being so cute, I had to give Jalyn her own shot…

Baby Oliver: session 1

    A couple of my good friends are havin’ babies. Real cute ones. This is the first… mr. baby Oliver, son of the great designer Matt Spiel (who will be responsible for the next 9art re-branding project) and his most lovely wife Amber. This kiddo is growing super fast… it’s a good thing we didn’t wait any longer for the shoot, or I’m pretty sure he would’ve just walked off-set.

look at these baby blues!

I actually have an entire file on my computer that I title ‘best of matt spiel’. It contains dozens of ridiculous, goofy pictures of a man who is not scared to be goofy in front of a camera… in fact, he SHOULD be scared bc of all the pics I’ve accumulated… 

and, lastly, my personal favorite: