Today a Dream Came True

Today a Dream Came True 
*it’s hard to write this dry-eyed so please forgive anything that’s not perfect.  


The mountains have always been magical to me. Since I first visited at the age of 4 (this is going to come in play later) they have been where my dreams take me. Camping, fishing, photographing and skiing. Year after year and they still have a hold on me. The Rocky Mountains are where my mind wanders when I am day dreaming. 

In July, when my daughter was 4, there was a special event – Light Up Fort Scott – for Jaxson, also 4, that we attended as a family. 

All I knew about the event was that it was for a boy who had been through more than most anyone will ever go through and wanted nothing more than to ‎see a sky full of floating lanterns like one of the scenes from the movie Tangled.

I expected a handful of lanterns. After the hundreds of lanterns floated into the night, my eyes were wet and my heart was happy to know that our town loved this little guy so much. Later that evening I found out the true enormity of his situation:  


Jaxson has an enlarged heart, has experienced tumors on his spinal cord and an aortic anuerysm. Endured chemotherapy. Renal failure. Blood transfusions. Lost a large portion of his small intestine. He’s also been diagnosed with Generalized Infantile Myofibromatosis. High blood pressure that threatens a kidney. There’s more but you get the picture. Oh and his body is currently being supported by a system of collateral vessels that he has developed. His system can only support a small body mass. ‎That smile, that laugh and that spunky, little boy has a future that’s beyond uncertain. 

Upon reading all of what he’d been through and would still go through, a wave of indescribable pain hit me. My daughter ‎was 4. Perfectly healthy. I couldn’t imagine what it must be like for his parents. And above all, for Jaxson. 

The lanterns were on his bucket list, something he and his mom created. Immediately I asked a friend to tell me more ‎about the bucket list. “He wants to see mountains,” she said.

‎And it was then I decided I had to do whatever I could to help fulfill that wish and show him the very mountains that fill my dreams.   

Within days I had booked flights and made preliminary plans, most of which would involve his very own photo shoot IN the mountains. Thanks to Care to Share, his hotel and a car were taken care of. A few other locals chipped in some money to cover food and any extra costs that might come up on the trip. 

On Wednesday, my wife and daughter flew to Denver with Jaxson, his momma and brand new baby brother. ‎Jaxson got to see his mountains for the first time with mom Grace, who also experienced them for the first time. We rolled through a meadow, sat on boulders (in Boulder, CO) and crushed pinecones. There were tears. But more importantly there were smiles that never ended‎ and dreams both met and made anew. 

 His first up-close view of a mountain. The sunflare was perfect. 


Alex & Carissa’s Vintage 1940’s Styled Love Session


Alex & Carissa have a pretty special place in my heart. In addition to knowing them both from when they were just kids, they trusted me to capture their wedding day on a beach in Florida. It’s always an honor to photograph couples on their wedding day and it’s even more special when it’s a destination wedding!

When planning this session, Carissa told me she wanted to do a styled shoot and of course I was all in! Upon arriving to the set, this is what I found:

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In addition to the cool decor, they were dressed PERFECTLY!

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If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve really enjoyed shooting film in addition to shooting digital. See if you can spot the film images…I love the digital photos but the film provided an amazing look and was perfect for this vintage session!

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Kansas City Bridal Photo Shoot

As I walked into the hotel room, the team was assembled and had already begun working with bride Sami. Hairspray. Various colors of makeup powders. Flower petals. And a beaming mother of the bride……pretend bride.

Sami was the PERFECT bride for our bridal photo shoot near downtown Kansas City. The only thing is, she wasn’t getting married. I had wanted to do a bridal session with someone who wasn’t under time restrictions like on a wedding day. Our team consisted of Kimberly Pierce (makeup), Amiee Charles (hair), Kaylie Park/KP Event Design (flowers…lots of flowers) and Brittany Scott (Something White Bridal Boutique). It was PERFECT!  Everything fell into place and we made some great images!

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The bouquet was TO DIE FOR!


Eventhough there wasn’t a groom, Kaylie prepared a handful of boutonniere’s and they were equally as amazing as the bouquet. Stunning work Kaylie!


Our first stop was at the Liberty Memorial, which has a killer section of blue and gold tiles. The colors are amazing and I knew would make for a stunning backdrop since we had a lot of yellow in the bouquet.




Amiee did a phenomenal job on Sami’s hair. Especially since I really didn’t give any direction, other than I liked brides with their hair down. I also told her I adored when the bride wore her hair up. Sooooo I wasn’t much help. She took over and kicked butt for sure!
AB1_4326After the Liberty Memorial, we made our way to the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and played with a little sunflare! The Kauffman is one of the most breathtaking structure’s I’ve ever seen. Check it out if you haven’t already.


And Kim was spectacular on makeup. Sami is already flawless but Kim took her to another level!


All in all, I would love to do this again as I had a blast!  We will probably do another session later in the year!

Meet My New Assistant – Kelli

Hi there!

Say hello to my new fabulous assistant Kelli!


I’ve been photographing Kelli for years and I’ll be shooting her wedding this May! We’ve worked together a few times and I’ve shot thousands of images of her so she kind of knows my quirks and reads my mind when I ask her to do a specific pose. I dig it when people read my mind and ignore my mumbles.

Most of my time is spent shooting and editing and I’ve really neglected a lot of other areas, like my lobby and gallery! It’s the first thing people see and it’s a mess so she’s going to help me keep that organized, assist me on some shoots and probably even fill in whenever I have an idea and need to test it out. You may even talk to her when scheduling shoots and image consults.


She’s pretty awesome and I think you’re all going to like her….


Outdoors weddings are my favorite. The light is usually dreamy. There’s no messing around with fake light. Everything offers itself up as a potential prop/backdrop. It’s what I love to shoot more than anything else. Yet, rarely am I surprised. I’ve shot so many outdoor weddings that they seem to all be a continuance of the weddings before. There’s nothing wrong with that, as they’ve all been beautiful and varied just a touch. So when Shelby was explaining her wedding vision, there was part of me that doubted it would be as beautiful as I had envisioned in my head. I was right. It far exceeded what I had in mind.

She wanted to get married outside. And in a church. Those two don’t work together very well. Or at least they didn’t prior to her wedding with Kenny, her beau of several years. Being the creative genius she is, she built (with the help of a lot of people) her church….without walls, ceiling, glass windows, floors, etc….she had window frames and a door frame. And pews made of hay bales. Mix all that together with golden light from the fading sun and you’ll find that this wedding was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a wedding photographer. It was pure perfection.

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Love + Sun Flare

We all know love when we see it. John & Kristen have it.

Typically whenever I photograph a couple, it’s always the girl that visibly shows how much she adores her guy. In their case, it was pretty equal as both were obviously in total adoration of the other.

We were lucky to find perfect light to help set a romantic mood for the session. There weren’t any difficult “romantic poses”, all they had to do was stand by each other and all I did was record the love projecting from each of them.


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Four or five years ago I reached out to the world of Facebook with the hopes of finding someone who could make a baby prop for a newborn photo shoot. I don’t remember what it was or who the photo shoot was for. What I do remember is someone recommending a girl named Megan. Thankfully she answered my email and produced the most magnificent blanket I’ve ever felt. I’ve been using her products ever since.

Back then was just the beginning of KNOTS. Today, I’d argue with anyone who said KNOTS wasn’t the very best place to get newborn, baby and toddler clothing and photo props. She’s a genius with knitting thingy’s and pretty good with a sewing machine as well. Lucky for me, she lives fairly close so I can call on her last minute and generally get a pretty amazing HUNK hat or softer-than-clouds blanket. And I do tend to ask her very last minute. She always delivers. Because she’s helped me out more times than I can count, anytime she wants to do a shoot I try my best to say yes. This time it just happened to involve her daughter and nieces – all wearing KNOTS headbands/bows.



A Second Mother

There are few people in the world who can love another person’s child as much as a parent. Amy is one of those people and because of that we are lucky to have her in our lives. I’d assume we’ve all heaped praise on her over and over again. Both to her face and to everyone in the community. I know for a fact we’ve bragged about her to people as far away as Florida. She’s the best.

To show our love for her, this morning we surprised her with a photo shoot with all the kids she watches on a daily basis – Charly & Colson, Jax & Kendal, Harper and Blair.

Here’s how it went down:  Weeks ago all the parents picked the date and I took care of letting Amy know where to be, but I didn’t tell her what we were doing. All she knew was to be dressed up by 830a.m. And just last night I told her all the kids would meet her at the park at 830. Still, no idea what was going to happen. Megan bought flowers for all the kids to hand out…and the plan was for them to be hiding and all walk out at once and present her with flowers.


Well, that didn’t work. One of the kids walked out early and then of course the rest followed. My camera wasn’t ready to captured the moment BUT I did see the emotion in her face….SURPRISE! And then, LOTS of hugs!



Amy doesn’t just watch our children every day, she loves them every day. This is priceless. If we could pay her millions of dollars, it would be worth every penny.


Then we did a quick photo shoot….



There are countless daycare options in Fort Scott. Sure, we could choose anyone else. But why? Everyone wants the absolute best for their children and we have been beyond blessed to have the very top tier of child care. So, as all the kids yelled this morning….”WE LOVE AMY!”


Sunsets. Smiles. Barns. Animals. Eyes. Wind-blown hair. These are a few of my favorite things. Moments that happen fairly regularly. Moments that happen only once. I photograph everything. Both important things and completely mundane things. It’s what I do and, in part, it’s who I am.

A year or so ago I had a moment that something clicked…why chase sunsets with the intent to JUST take a picture? To preserve…to remember…to show off? Yes. Yes. Sometimes yes. One day I remember thinking to myself “While you’re capturing it, are you missing it?” Emphatically yes. Now I just watch and soak it in.

Why photograph my daughter? To remember? To preserve? To show off her beautiful face to the rest of the world? YES. Tonight as I was driving to the lake to meet family for dinner, I thought how awesome it would be to get a cute photo of something – most likely of Blair – and share it with the world on Facebook or Instagram.

And so I locked my phone and camera in the car. And I watched her sit on the dock, toes in the water. And then when she asked to touch the water with her hand, I laid down beside her and touched it with her. Her eyes widened and her smile grew and grew. And then I looked her in the eyes and saw the life I was missing while I was trying to capture it all inside a tiny, black box.



I love this image more than I can say in words. But my only memory of the moments leading up to this are from seeing this picture. I remember that she had fun. But I don’t remember how I felt. Nor do I remember how big her eyes were when she threw the petals up in the air. Or if she squealed with delight or was silent. I would rather have that than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, photographs mean the world to me. But sometimes I get carried away and treat my daughter like a professional model, which she is not. She’s my daughter. And she’s only going to play with red bud leaves for the first time, once.

Country Boys

When Courtney told me she wanted to do a BOHO-themed shoot with her 2 young boys, I was thrilled. I love photographing these boys (they are adorable and ornery) and adding in a theme made me even more excited than I normally get for their shoots. When she explained what she had in mind, I immediately thought of Huckleberry Finn playing near the river.

They showed up ready to go, dressed exactly how I’d seen in my mind and I knew it was going to be a great session. Courtney even dressed the part as well so we put her in quite a few shots.

We went to one of my favorite locations – a creek right in the middle of Fort Scott. The shoot was planned to coincide with the best light of the day and thankfully everything fell into place and we were able to get some of my favorite shots this year.





Above you can see that Chayden is missing a few teeth. Every time I see him, he’s smiling. Such a joy to be around.







Creedyn, the youngest of the two, didn’t just call me “Kenny”..he called me “Kenny Felt” every time he talked to me. Pretty cute.


And then there’s Courtney. One of the most creative people I know. Anytime I need inspiration for a session I know without a doubt that she’ll come up with something amazing. Notice the cool sunflare?!

This was easily one of my favorite sessions of the past few years. But then again, I say that just about every time I photograph this family!