Walking in to the reception area at The Bauer Event Space for Emily and Vince’s wedding, I felt like I was walking into a fairytale. The colors were soft and the decor was simple but it was absolutely gorgeous. Emily and Vince both got ready at the venue, which is also where they had their first look. With temperatures approaching 100 degrees we quickly moved through the portraits and the outdoor ceremony was even sped up to keep everyone as cool as possible. Once the party began, though, it never stopped! There were so many unique details to this wedding and we even brought along our Open Air Photo Booth Alternative to The Photo Bus- since we couldn’t get the bus upstairs :) (You can find those photos here!) View full post »
“John, John, JOHN! I’m engaged and you HAVE to come to Iowa to photograph my wedding! And I want to meet your girlfriend, Cate!” Yes- you read that right. Girlfriend. When Lyndsay wrote to John about photographing her wedding we were still boyfriend-and-girlfriend. A couple of months later we happened to be photographing a beautiful wedding in Des Moines so we met up with Lyndsay and Aaron at Zombie Burger (I say this only because I want you to go there and get the Buffalo Bacon if you ever get the chance. As long as you’re not a vegetarian, you won’t regret this decision.)
Anyways, fast forward a week and we were engaged (!) and a few months after that and Lyndsay told us wedding plans had changed: they were moving the location to LAS VEGAS! The guest count was drastically going to be reduced, they wanted to get married at the Bellagio (which we weren’t allowed to photograph at because they had their own photographers), and they wanted a kick-butt portrait session with just the two of them. Oh, and they also wanted to changed the date so they asked what dates we were still available in October. We said any weekend but October 4th, because we were already booked. A few days later she text us back: WE PICKED A DATE! OCTOBER 5TH AT THE BELLAGGIO! Oh man, Lyndsay, you’re so lucky we love you.
So, after both of us photographed a wedding on October 4th (with a photo bus at each one!), we hopped on a 6am flight from Kansas City to make it for a 4pm ceremony in Las Vegas.
Believe it or not… WE MADE IT, and we made it with time to get some getting ready photos! (Disclaimer: While we weren’t really supposed to be taking photos during the ceremony we made sure to fully respect the photographers there and completely stay out of their way and their photos and we made sure Lyndsay and Aaron bought a photo package from them…. because they got some great photos around the city!).
The wedding was done and we went to Lyndsay’s favorite Italian restaurant from home: Maggiano’s Little Italy! They were even provided with a super awesome Las Vegas cake and we were all serenaded by a musician who sang the night away for us.
With an early wake up call, we began the day of the kick-butt Las Vegas, Nevada portrait session with Aaron and Lyndsay! No matter where we went we had to be at the Sign Graveyard (ok, the real name is the Neon Sign Museum) an hour before sunset. We left the strip to head to the mountains. The overcast day made it possible to literally stop anywhere we wanted on the side of the road for photos… so we did! We then went to a park, and, finally, the Sign Graveyard… which we got ALL to ourselves for an hour for photos!
We’ve worked with incredible couples over the years but we’ve never had a more tolerant groom than Aaron. Lyndsay was never pushy but guys don’t always like to spend an entire day taking photos… but Aaron never complained once.
Enjoy this ginger-filled post with a change from the Kansas City scenery :)
Six years ago I had a friend reach out to me to see if I could be her support during the delivery of her baby and also photograph it. She was a senior in high school, the baby’s dad wasn’t necessarily around, and her relationship with her father was strained (at that time). OF COURSE I’d be there for her, and thankfully my college professors were understanding and let me skip my classes.
Watching this baby being born was magical. In fact, when someone asks me what is the coolest experience I’ve ever had, I say “The Peace Corps was amazing… but I have no words to describe the way I felt after witnessing a baby being born.” It was at that moment I knew I wanted to be around the birth of babies but at that moment I was SO tired of school the last thing I wanted to do was start all over. I mean, the classes I take to be a French Language major are pretty different than the classes I’d need to take to be in the medical field. So, I put the thought behind me and was comfortable with the fact that this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity until I have my own kids, but even then, it’s different.
Then (on my birthday!) I received a message from a friend of mine. “We are trying to get pregnant again, that sounds so weird, and I am going to most likely have a home birth, if not at a birthing center. Would you be interested in capturing the special moments of it? If not, I totally understand, it’s not like you get asked this everyday.”
All I responded with was “YES!” (And congrats, because that’s definitely worth congratulating”). And then I forgot all about it.
Fast forward and I’m photographing an extended family. After I deliver the photos to the family, the sister asks me if she can use one of them for her profile photo on her new doula website. It wasn’t until a few months ago I looked up her website. After all, I was curious as to what exactly a “doula” is. Mind. Blown. THIS! THIS IS WHAT I NEED TO DO! If I were to become a doula I would be present at births, helping couples, and I’d even get the opportunity to photograph them. How MAGICAL is that?! Right around the time I was discovering this dream career I had no idea existed, I received another message from my trying-to-get-pregnant friend of mine (8 months after the first message). “I know you are on vaca! But, we are FINALLY pregnant! I’m only 6 weeks, so I haven’t announced it yet, but I am due February, so if you are still up for it, I would love to have you photo our home birth! Obviously I won’t know exactly when I’m going to go into labor, but it will be a water birth and I want very classy candid moments to cherish the experience!” Yes, yes, YES! I will be there!
The excitement of the “I have to find out more about doulas” thought hasn’t worn off but the craziness of the end of last year made me put the research and the studying and the communication with doulas and midwifes on hold. We had tons of events with The Photo Bus, fall portrait sessions, weddings, oh, and our own wedding to focus on. But I still had the opportunity to photograph a birth coming up and I was so excited to be there and I had absolutely no idea what to expect (except for a baby being born, but that’s a given).
On Friday night my friend (Mama) reached out to me. She said contractions had started, so I didn’t need to do anything yet except take my phone off silent mode. Saturday morning she text me and said they were picking up and getting stronger so we could have a baby this week, but again, I didn’t need to get ready to go yet (but I was JUMPING OUT OF MY SKIN just waiting to go!). But then the contractions stopped. Sunday morning they were back and 7 minutes apart. It had been raining all day so the streets were wet and the temperature was supposed to drastically drop over night and snow was on the way. Because of this, I didn’t want to take any chances and we decided if things hadn’t picked up too much by 8pm I was going to head over anyways. I arrived at their home right about the time their midwife said she was in active labor.
Mama went right to bed so I took some photos and decided to get some sleep, too. After all, baby was coming! Dad called their firstborn, who was staying with family members, to tell him goodnight and he hung out with the dogs for a bit before putting them downstairs.
Before I went to bed, though, I’d asked the parents if it was ok if I sort of live-documented the birth on Instagram. They said it was fine as long as I didn’t mention their names, show their faces, or tag them in it since they weren’t telling some family members they were in labor quite yet. I shared this photo and I had no idea just how this story was going to unfold- in person or online. So, I posted this: View full post »
Tiffany and Daniel had a beautiful, classy bohemian wedding at the Firestone Building in Kansas City, MO. This is a wedding I (Cate) had been looking forward to since the moment I first met Tiffany. She walked in to our studio with her incredible coordinator, Jessica Woolery. Her eyes lit up when she spoke about the story of meeting her fiancé in their old apartment complex (she thought he was cute so she played the role of the cute, single neighbor and kept asking him to help her with moving-in things) and also about her super busy life. When she started mentioning everything she had on her plate I was not surprised she asked Jessica to help her: she took care of everything and told Tiffany (and Daniel) where they needed to be and when… so, needless to say, I couldn’t wait to see everything come together!
Boy-oh-boy DID IT come together! Tiffany and Daniel’s wedding was perfect…from the decor to the drinks to the weather. Her dress was stunning, his orange-lined coat was a surprise, and their smiles and laughs the entire night were contagious!
Timing is everything, isn’t it?
Back in February John had been telling me about seeing one of his past brides in the neighborhood recently and he’d assumed she’d started a new job in the area. He was really hoping we’d run in to her together because he wanted to introduce me to her. A day or so later, we saw Santina (that’s the bride!) when we were having our morning coffee date at Quay Coffee. We were introduced and then she bent down and quietly asked if we do maternity photos. I looked down at her belly and it was flat as a board… I thought there was no way she was pregnant! Turns out, she was, and I was wrong once again ;) I got all excited because we’d also just seen the maternity photos by Pete Laroche on “how a baby is made” that went viral and even though we are not typically newborn or maternity photographers, I threw out the idea to her of doing something fun and different… if she’d be up to it. Santina is so laid back and she couldn’t wait to get started. But we couldn’t come up with something creative that hadn’t already been done… and we needed to get started before she started showing any more. So, instead of doing one session we would a series of sessions to document the growing of their baby and the transformation of the guest room in to the baby’s nursery. I loved being there for the changes: taking out the guest bed, putting in the crib, picking out a paint color (and then deciding not to paint!), finding out they were having a boy (!!), putting up the vinyl jungle stickers designed by Santina’s sister, watching the home transform from a newly-ish-wed-grown-up-home to a brand new family home with baby toys throughout it, moving around Santina’s stuffed animals from her childhood room… and finally, baby Frank’s 2nd week of life.
This was something new and different to me (and us, really) but I loved every single minute of it.
So, CONGRATULATIONS to the new parents, Santina and Frank, on Baby Frank! It’s going to be so much fun watching the little man grow up through photos.