baby Harrison:: session 1

“I’ve heard people say “I just want a cheap photographer”, “pictures are too expensive” etc but I can honestly say, there’s         nothing better I’ve paid for in life. The days are long but the years are short and the beautiful pictures I have to document a   time in my children’s lives which is a BLUR have worth beyond any dollar amount you can give. The two hour photo shoot is   chaos each time and every time I think “NO WAY he got anything good out of that”. And EVERY TIME=AMAZING. I’m not   saying you need to spend a bunch of money to get good pictures, but I am saying I don’t believe there’s a better investment.”

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This is baby Harrison.

Mom Sarah is the one I quoted. I actually stole (with permission) the unsolicited endorsement from an unexpected facebook status. It is a powerful reminder that I’m in the right profession, and am beyond blessed to have the clients-turned-friends that I do.

This is the start of Harrison’s 1st year…

But the THIRD year I’ve gotten to work with the lovely Eidson family. Harrison’s sisters Olivia & Caroline are infamous if you follow my work closely at all… they’ve been muses for me these last couple of years as I traveled to Springfield to document them during THEIR first years.

Here they are now, holding their ‘baby’s first year’ books, in a couple of shots I snuck in while Harrison was getting a meal in the other room.

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and NOW, to add to the news of the new baby, the Eidsons have also moved into my direct territory here in Joplin. Part of me is sad for not having more opportunities to hang out in Springfield when I work this family, but it’s also nice to have these folks as (almost) neighbors now. And I hope for more Springfield folks to travel to in the near future.

Mr. Harrison… welcome to Joplin, and to the WORLD! And to clients, both current and future… thanks for working with me and valuing these memories in the way you do. 🙂

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Mr. Oliver: session 3


Oliver is the too-cute kid of one of my favorite people in the world… Matt Spiel, and his lovely wife Amber. Matt is my official designer, you could sorta say… he tweaked the logo into the beautiful visual creation it is now, and lays out my ads for me (which you can see around town on the bluestream tv’s). Amber is responsible for the neverending stream of chocolate chip cookies at the Spiel home, for which I am also extremely grateful.

This was a fun shoot with a great ‘summer feel’, which was nice to get in before the new wave of fall shoots. Enjoy!

We started off with hats. Really, putting hats on a toddler is more of a game. So I went with that….


there was ONE hat that he stuck with… the fedora. Kids’ got good taste.




Really though, he just wants to bang on his drum all day.



A picture of the Spiels with their huge S.



the crinkle! oh, the crinkle.




We decided to venture outside. Oliver was a little quicker out the door than expected.


These are my favorite shots from the shoot. I won’t take credit though, all Matt’s idea…




Then we went for a walk…



And, ended the shoot on the same note we always end it…. on a meltdown. 🙂









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

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 Keagan: this kid is ONE YEAR OLD!

     This is the fourth and final session for baby Keagan’s 1st year. I always have mixed emotions when another baby’s first year comes to a close… awesomeness that they’ve been in this world a whole year already/excitement that now we get to make them their awesome 1 year book… and then, of course a little sad that it happened so fast.

    Really, I should stop being so dramatic… it’s not the end of the WORLD and it’s not like I’ll stop taking pictures of this little guy or anything…

   Keagan’s parents Kim & Nathan are good friends of mine & my own kids love mr. Keagan too, especially my little girl who screams ‘KEAAAAAGAN!’ every time she sees the business card I have w/ this boy on it. Makes me laugh.

    Enough talk: pictures!

If Keagan won’t wear the loran mustache, guess who WILL?