Tony + Kayla :: the big day

     Tony & Kayla’s big day took place at the one and only Springhouse Gardens, Joplins’ premiere outdoor wedding venue. I’m no stranger to the venue, but I certainly don’t get tired of it…. it is simply beautiful.

   And so are this couple… very, very sweet (and funny) people.

   I first met Tony a few years ago, when he was a groomsman for a wedding I shot for Malachi & Angie. Always a groomsman, never a… 

well, not anymore!

I LOVE my 105mm lens…lets me get some nifty close ups like this one…

trying on the veil for the first time!

a very serious man. Nothing helps a man look suave like a good cigar.

there’s malachi, over there on the left…

beautiful bride!

this is when we gave the LADIES the cigars…and told the men to act like ladies. I think Tony won.

Kayla is pretty much the coolest bride ever, in my books, for doing this…

the ceremony. perfect time of day. We’d had rain all week but were blessed with such a nice, perfect temperature, sunny day!

we DID it!

reception details…

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

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    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. 

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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. 

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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.

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PHOTOBOOTH:: best of 2012

   As many of you know, I run a photo booth each month at downtown Joplin’s ‘third thursday’ events. Last year, after running the booth for 2 years previously, we got to see the event grown in a huge way. Attendance increased exponentially, to the point that our modest little upstairs studio could no longer handle the traffic.

   We moved the photo booth to a borrowed space on the main strip and watched lines reach out the doors. Tomorrow evening, we begin a new season of photoboothing with our ‘rock stars’ theme. To celebrate, here’s some of our favorite images from last year…

and I’ve including the reasons we love doing this.

because our regulars are never lacking enthusiasm.

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because it’s a full family affair for many of you.

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BC you were inventive in your ideas.

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Because I came away with images I never could have expected. 

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Because I got to interact with my clients from my “other” areas of my work in a new context. (pictured are Beth & Nick, whose wedding I shot this January, & Caleb, who is the star of the new series ‘Cold Brewed’).

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Because some people really got into it.

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Because folks didn’t even have to be born yet to get the picture.

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Because you all learned to be caricatures of yourselves.

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Because you people are just so damn classy.

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Because this picture is real weird.

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Because I got to see this family have the honor of officially adopting Mr. Truman. Before last year, we could not legally show Truman’s face. It was a huge victory to be able to include him in the galleries… a reminder of this family becoming complete.

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Because things got epic.

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Because some folks just really looked the part.

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And some people happily participated, even when they really didn’t look the part.

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Because of the great zombie war.

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Because ms. Ashley Carter always led the pack when it came to fantastic expressions.


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Because good friends of mine made a point to come.

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Because the running of the bulls came to the studio.

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Because an entire high school show choir led the crowd standing in line, in a rousing chorus of ‘We Are Young’.

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Because sometimes, the only prop needed was just a table.

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Because sometimes, my clients referenced themselves….
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Because we took photos that looked like weird album covers.

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Because I got to get my old boss from starbucks wear this ridiculous outfit.

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Because the cool kids came.

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Because so many of you were such faithful attenders. Weird, faithful attenders.

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Because w/out the help of the DJA (downtown Joplin Alliance), this thing wouldn’t exist.

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Because there was so much flippin’ cuteness.

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Because great acting was had.

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Because, the photo booth became something epic. Thank you all. Here’s to another round in 2013!

 

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.

Jessica + Caleb

    I took pictures for Jessica’s family a few years ago, and can’t believe that I’m now working out plans to shoot her wedding. It was great to meet her fiancee Caleb, especially when I discovered he is a fellow ‘Batman’ fan and brought the shirt to prove it. 

    So I ran with that….

So yeah, the rest of the session is more romantic than superhero themed… but you know…batman can be romantic too. 

Can’t wait to work with Jessica and Caleb again for their wedding and July!  

MY kids

    Sometimes, I forget to pull the camera back out on my ‘off’ time to capture some images of my own kiddos. I had a recent weekend where that thought hit me, and this time, I pulled out a light, snatched my camera, and started shooting my kids where they played in our own backyard. 

     Maggie (now 2) is not so much a fan of the camera. I’ve chosen to leave out the shot where I told Harry to put his arm around her. Silly me, thinking I could make that happen…but I love her mean-muggin’ expressions all the same. 

   Harry (now 4) is pretty much the complete opposite. This little man was BORN for the camera, giving me pretty much a brand new expression every second I’m shooting. Honestly, it’s scarier than the one that won’t pose at all.

    Love watching their personalities develop….the both certainly have a LOT of personality. Impromptu photo shoots are the best!

 

NEWS NEWS NEWS

   Ok, so there’s nothing THAT exciting. But I do want to keep you faithful few posted on latest happenings, so here goes….

#1: I currently have a photograph up at the annual photo exhibit photospiva. The exhibit features entries from all over the place, and it is a huge honor to have made it in. 

here’s the image that made it:

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Of course, it just doesn’t look as good here as it will in person. Plus, here, you only get to see my one image… not the 70+ other pieces from amazing photographers young and old.  My mind is always blown by the amount of talent and the diversity of style in this show. So if you live in (or near) Joplin, Missouri… please come check it out.

#2: My friend lance schaubert and I are 75% done shooting for our new project, cold brewed. This is the biggest, most challenging, and most fun personal project I’ve ever worked on. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Cold Brewed is:

      -a film noir inspired story, told through words and pictures.  

To keep up on progress made in our little story, you can follow via facebook. In the meanwhile… here’s our first official poster, as well as as some fun outtakes…

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We’ll start with my partner in crime… Lance himself. He’s one of the few that can match my general enthusiasm.

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another cast member (miss Abby DeWelt) snapped this pic of me… 

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Lance applying makeup to Caleb while Jake… acts like Jake.
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sometimes, there are more people making a shot happen than you think there are…

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Caleb lookin’ tough on set… T-U-F-F! (kinda looks like a rap album cover).

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Campbell isn’t being as creepy as he looks… he was afraid I’d fall off the desk while I was standing on it for the shot… yep, I stand on things a lot.

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That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more… to be in on it immediately when we begin posting actual story content to the site, follow here

Talk to you all soon!

-Mark 

 

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.

SNOW DAY

    I was sitting in the coffeeshop looking at the snow earlier this week, when it hit me: I’d be kind of lame, after complaining about not having snow all winter, if I didn’t go shoot something in this. 

     So I threw up an impromptu invite on the 9art facebook page and set up a couple of snow-romping-mini-shoots to celebrate the white stuff. We’ll open with the Fishers… Campbell, Kimberly, & little Truman.

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this one cracks me up… if you know Campbell at all, you know he can be a little ridiculous… and when I asked if they would sit in the snow (which Kimberly promptly did) Campbell asked if THIS pose would work so he didn’t have to get his pants wet…

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Next up is Jordan… she’d already done some of her senior pictures, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a few more in the snow after her aunt (the lovely Sarah) let her know about the special I was running.

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 Hope YOU enjoyed the snow too, this week… talk to you all soon! 

-Mark