Lens Maven: Blog http://lensmaven.net/blog en-us (C) Lens Maven lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) Fri, 01 Dec 2017 18:09:00 GMT Fri, 01 Dec 2017 18:09:00 GMT http://lensmaven.net/img/s/v-5/u280948230-o365196744-50.jpg Lens Maven: Blog http://lensmaven.net/blog 106 120 This is it... http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/12/this-is-it On the road to recovery. The Final Pill

...the final pill. It marks the end of what I am calling my "medical recovery". I still have plenty of healing to do on my own, but today is my last day of pills. For those who don't know, on November 10th I had surgery to repair my abdominal wall (meaning they went opened me up and "corset" stitched my abdominal muscles back together) due to them coming apart during my pregnancy with my twin sons. At that time they also repaired a hernia located in my "alien" bellybutton (I call it that because without abdominal muscles to hold my bellybutton together...I didn't really have one), a hernia that had become painful over the course of the last several months. 

The surgery went off without a hitch. I was ecstatic to learn I didn't even have a drain put in (it's common with this surgery to have 1-2 drain tubes put in to help drain off excess fluid that develops around the incision)! This was it...after nearly 6 years of pain, and insecurities; I finally felt like a normal human being again. The following Thursday (the 16th) I went to see my surgeon for a post-op at 1pm. He'd noticed I had some excess fluid around my incision, but no big deal. He drained the spot and was happy with how I was coming along, as was I. I returned home to my computer where I sat editing for an hour or two before deciding I should change my bandages. It was then that I noticed a red area developing on my abdomen. This was the start to a very scary weekend. 

My parents had arrived from Nebraska that same evening as previously planned to help me around the house so Sean could return back to work (I'm restricted on how much weight I can lift, which with three boys at home...means I lift a lot daily). Taking a peek at my red area again, it had spread from my incision to my breastbone. Although scared out of my mind, I called the after-hours on call surgeon at the insistence of my husband (which I thank God for that). After a quick discussion with the doctor, and sending him a few photos of my red flaming self, he determined that I had a very aggressive infection and prescribed me a horse pill of an antibiotic that I went on that same evening. The following morning at 8am after a sleepless, fever filled night, I was able to see my own doctor. 

The ugly infection.Yes, I am literally cut from one hip to the other. The bandaid is where there hernia was repaired and I was given a "new" bellybutton.

The actual conversation between my doctor and I seems like a blur. I clearly remember the look of anguish on his face as he said things like "E.R.", "open you up", "clean you out", "put you out", "blood infection". With tears streaming down my face, he left me so I could call Sean about what was going on. During our conversation he came back in to say that he'd like to try putting me on a cocktail of antibiotics and steroids in an attempt to battle the infection without the need for surgery. It was a risk considering how aggressive the infection was, but if he was willing to take the risk...as a professional...I trusted him. 

That evening the fever was back. "Kiddo, I think it's time to head to the E.R.", my mom said to me as my teeth chattered away and hot tears streamed down my face. "No, this wasn't it...just wait a little bit longer", I'd thought to myself. Thankfully ibuprofen did it's job and kicked the fever just for the time being, allowing me to at least get through the night. Around 3am I woke drenched in sweat, but COLD! The fever had broke! Come Sunday morning, my red abdomen was reduced to a light pink. With another trip to see my doctor that Monday morning, I was sent home with a "you seem to be in the clear of this, but it's still an uphill battle". 

Sunday morning, just a little pink. Sunday morning I sent this image to my doctor. He'd sent back a message "That's looking so much better, I'll see you tomorrow morning!".

Thanksgiving morning I popped the first pill out of the second round of steroids. I remember looking at the clear empty hole that'd been left behind, thinking that this year I was thankful for so much more. Thankful that my health was coming along, and that I was there to celebrate the holiday with my family. It may not have been as big of a medical scare as my anxiety was making it out to be...but when I looked around that table Thanksgiving night. I was there. My husband, the love of my life to my right, and surrounded by family. The next morning we put up our tree, decked it in precious memories, and when asked what I wanted for Christmas this year...the answer was simple. I already have it. Everything I could possibly want in this world is right in my own home; the love of my life, my boys, and God's love. 

The Kids' TableThis crew...enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with their fine dinnerware. Photo by my lovely husband. The kids' table. Oh Otto, we all know you're up to no good with that look on your face. Photo by my husband. ThanksgivingThanksgiving dinner, surrounded by my family (I'm the one on the right for those who can't tell the difference between my sister and I). Photo by my lovely husband. My glorious self!Morning messy hair, a medical binder, and pajama pants. That's how I role these day. Photo by my twin sister, photographer at TBD Photography in Lincoln, NE. Daddy's HelperPhoto by my twin sister, photographer at TBD Photography in Lincoln, NE. Abram, little ornament helper.Photo by my twin sister, photographer at TBD Photography in Lincoln, NE. Oh Sean...No makeup, true self photo right here, and Sean also being his true goofy self. Ha! Photo by my twin sister, photographer at TBD Photography in Lincoln, NE. Precious OrnamentThat ornament holds precious photos, photos of his passed parents that Sean shares with our boys every year. This is the exact reason why my "job" is so important. Photo by my twin sister, photographer at TBD Photography in Lincoln, NE. Liam and his cousinPhoto by my twin sister, photographer at TBD Photography in Lincoln, NE.

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world christmas tree i'm here infection kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer pills recovery surgery thankful thanksgiving http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/12/this-is-it Fri, 01 Dec 2017 18:08:30 GMT
Weeks 38 and 39 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/10/weeks-38-and-39-of-project-365 At six in the morning, I am sitting here typing this update with a cup of coffee...only a touch above room temperature, while my fingers miss key after key due to being chilled to the bone. The past two weeks have gone by in the blink of an eye (or should I put that in photographer terms? "Snap of a shutter", how's that for being cheeky at 6am?!?). From Husker games at Memorial Stadium, to haunted houses in KC, it's been an exciting two weeks. Even with how busy I am during the day with editing, and running kiddos to and fro, I've managed to get into the Halloween spirit. The house is decked with spooks, ghouls, and the occasional skeleton. It ranks up there with Christmas as being my favorite holiday. A holiday where magic, spookiness, and make-believe come to life. A thrilling combination if you ask me. 

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I mean...who doesn't eat a waffle under the table while watching your little brother play on his tablet?

 

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The boys were thrilled to see the decorations when they arrived home from Pre-K.

 

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Being the little guy really stinks some times... (In reality, I let him try but he kept eating the caramel instead of putting it on the apples.)

 

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The big skies of the midwest. 

 

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GOOOOOO BIIIIIIIIIIG REEEEEED! Go Big Red!

 

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We managed to make it back to Wahoo, our home before Germany, to catch up with old neighbors in a familiar fashion with the fire pit . It is still "home" to us. 

 

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Not a day goes by that he doesn't steal the blinking lights from the pumpkin lanterns. 

 

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The fog was thick this morning. The houses was shrouded in darkness, but a dim glow came in through the upstairs windows.

 

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Human, where are you?!?

 

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The last moments of dusk reflected in the house windows. 

 

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Haunted house selfie. We're such a freight to see!

 

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All of my guys enjoying a roller coaster ride. (Sean may beg to differ.)

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PUMPKINS! 

 

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Go Abram go! 

 

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A chilly practice. Good thing the coaches make the practices fun and interesting for the kids. 

 

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Muffins in the morning light. 

 

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This was a bribe...I have no shame in that. We all made it out of the store in one piece and with all the ingredients we needed.

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) missouri photographer an intimate look at my world caramel apples dusk fog go big red halloween haunted house husker football kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography project 365 soccer twins wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/10/weeks-38-and-39-of-project-365 Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:52:56 GMT
Week 37 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/10/week-37-of-project-365 Fall...it's finally here! There's a slight crisp to the night air, the leaves are beginning to change and gracefully fall to the earth. These are the days I love most. Where not only does that morning coffee warm your soul but also the chill in the tips of your fingers. Sweaters, tall boots, and the occasional mix of fan wear representing our favorite teams (GO BIG RED!)...I just love it all! Last week Kansas City still hadn't quite got the memo about the changing season, but it was good for my final sessions of September. Speaking of September, that's a wrap folks! Whew! It was by far my busiest month of the year, and now I am looking forward to sharing all those beautiful moments with my clients as I finish up their galleries. I have the next two weeks off to enjoy my family, friends, Husker football, and to heal from this cold that I managed to hold at bay until I finished up with my last client. Oh, and editing...lots, and lots of editing. I am blessed. 

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"Mom, I'm hiding!" - Otto

 

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I try to sneak snacks into my office to help keep my energy up while editing, and he somehow always knows. He LOVES pork rinds. Weird, I know. 

 

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An optical illusion? Husker football day!

 

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Kenna, so full of life, spirit, and just so darn pretty! More about her on the blog later. 

 

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Soccer brothers! You see that smile on Liam's face? That's the "I scored a goal!" face. 

 

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So much laughter during their engagement session. I cannot wait for their December wedding. 

 

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Practice makes perfect...hopefully. 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world class of 2018 engagement session kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography project 365 senior photographer senior session soccer twins wedding photographer wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/10/week-37-of-project-365 Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:59:55 GMT
Week 36 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-36-of-project-365 It's been sort of a crazy week, and I'll be the first to admit that getting in a photo every day was extremely difficult. I'd be rushing around and get to the end of the day to realize I hadn't taken a photo, or even rushing out the door I grab my camera...realize the dog is still out, put down my camera to put him in his crate...and then realize on our way to soccer practice that I forgot to pick back up my camera. This week there's a mix of cell phone and "big girl camera" photos, but I am giving myself a little grace about it. Some weeks the beautiful moments reveal themselves as if God wanted me to capture that specific image, and other weeks I can't seem to figure out which way is up. This week was the latter of the two. 

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Some days, spinning around the trunk of a tree helps to decompress after a long day. 

 

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The clouds before the KC Sporting championship match were stunning! The atmosphere at Children's Mercy Park was rocking and Sporting took home the trophy!!! 

 

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Trying so hard to lower the basketball hoop by himself. Almost there buddy, almost. 

 

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I was rather impressed with my long zoom lens getting detail in what little bit of moon was showing. Stretched at 300mm, it didn't turn out too shabby!

 

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I've never seen a groom so enthralled with his wife. He was seriously her biggest fan, and it honestly made me tear up a bit. After the first kiss he turned to the crowd and announced "THIS IS MY WIFE!!!". 

 

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Last T-ball game for the season. They're not twins or anything...haha!

 

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Very much an "Otto" look. 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world beautiful clouds he was so proud of her husband and wife photographers kansas city kansas city photographer kc sporting kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography moon project 365 soccer t-ball twins wedding photographer wedding photography wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-36-of-project-365 Tue, 26 Sep 2017 18:10:49 GMT
Week 35 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-35-of-project-365 One of my ultimate photography goals was achieved this past weekend, it was so amazing and sent my heart soaring. For the first time...my husband joined me as my second shooter for the wedding of an old college friend of mine. You see, he's pretty amazing but never wants to take credit for it. He's been taking stunning artful images for years, and several of his pieces grace the walls of our home but he's never taken up his camera as a part of the Lens Maven business. With the abundance of weddings I've had this year, he decided it was time, and I couldn't be more thankful. You see, he and I have been together for eleven years. We know each other like the back of our own hand, moving and working together in perfect sync. Looking at the images following the wedding, you can even see our artful eyes are so similar it's kind of creepy...in a good way. We never stop moving during a wedding day, so to see that we saw the same perfect moment and captured it in our own, yet similar way was so interesting. Being a team is the best feeling in the world. 

Sean, the man behind the camera who makes my heart skip a beat. 

 

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Abram and his BFF blowing off some leftover energy at the end of the day. 

 

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T-ball and soccer days are some of my favorite. They are my designated times to escape from my meticulous editing and behind the scenes photo business work to enjoy my family...to be their mom. 

 

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Otto: "You see this car...it's mine...so don't even try!"

 

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"Mom, look at me!". Oh I see you kiddo, I see you. 

 

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The rain poured down around us as the sun broke through the clouds. 

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And then a rainbow graced the sky. Congratulations Erin and Darren!

 

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The sun was so intense as it set behind the trees. A blazing fire giving way to a cool evening. 

 

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When you cheer dad on as he helps you win the game you were playing on your tablet. 

 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world family time is my escape husband and wife team kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography project 365 wedding photographer wedding photography wedding season wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-35-of-project-365 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:58:49 GMT
Week 34 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-34-of-project-365 The hum of the tires beating the pavement below would have been a sweet lullaby at 10pm at night, but to my right sat my love...with his second love...football. Shouts of jubilation and man glee rang out in the SUV while three sleeping kiddos dreamt in the back. Him, with the laptop streaming the Chiefs football game, are what kept me awake as we made our late night trip to Lincoln. The weekend ahead was jam packed with friends, family, and photography. I was so ecstatic! A wedding, a senior, and a family session kept me on my toes, while my own family kept me grounded. A combination I wouldn't trade for the world. 

 

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Sean encouraging Liam as he prepares to bat next. 

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You know...just getting some zen in before batting...

 

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If only I could've got in a nap before the long night ahead!

 

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Lindsay and Shea are beautiful people both inside and out. Their wedding was beautiful, sincere, and so.much.fun!

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Her dress was STUNNING!

 

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Gorgeous friends, and sunflowers. You can't go wrong!

 

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Abbey rocked her early morning senior session. Confident, beautiful, and fun!

 

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First day of soccer practice for the season. Seeing smiles on BOTH of their faces warms my heart. Maybe, just maybe Liam will grow to enjoy team activities. 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) missouri photographer an intimate look at my world kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography project 365 senior photographer senior session soccer t-ball twins wedding photographer wedding photography wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-34-of-project-365 Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:10:35 GMT
Hitting a Homerun http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/hitting-a-homerun I'd only briefly skimmed over Garrett's answers to my senior questionnaire before putting the sheet of paper in the back of my vehicle alongside my camera gear. We were on the move to another spot, so the paper got lost in shuffle. The next evening I found the sheet with bright blue ink distorted from water that had spilled from my sons' water bottles that'd been put back there for the following evening's t-ball events. Ugh! As I am attempting to read any portion of the blue watercolored mess, it hit me...I'm sure Garrett's mom has been in a similar situation. You see, Garrett is an amazing baseball player (even with a full-ride scholarship!), but he didn't start off amazing. He probably started 12+ years ago, at a tee, swinging like there was no tomorrow and missing. He kept with it though. Swing, connect with the ball, run, repeat. He practiced, and made his dreams come to life. If there is even an ounce of "Garrett" in my boys, I'd be one happy parent. 

High School Senior, Class of 2018, Senior SessionClass of 2018 At his reveal session, I'd asked him to fill-in-the-blanks with the watercolored mess, and here is what he had to say: 


What's one piece of advice you'd give to adults? 

Garrett:  If you want someone to act like an adult, treat them like one. 

Truth! As a parent, I sometimes forget this. I expect a lot of my children and sometimes fail to realize they're still just kids. So although I know Garrett was referring to the teen years (Lord help me when that comes), it's the same concept for younger children. 

High School Senior, Class of 2018, Senior SessionClass of 2018


If you could choose to be raised by robots, dinosaurs, or aliens, which one would you pick? Why?

Garrett: Aliens, because I would get to travel through space. 

...but Garrett...there's one problem I see with this. There's no gravity in space, so how would you play baseball?!?

Class of 2018, High School Senior, Senior SessionHigh School Senior


If you had access to a time machine, where and when would you go?

Garrett: To the future to see what I had done with my life. 

The future can be a tricky thing. If you could see what you'd done with your life, would you change it? A big part of me says that you'd not need to see your future Garrett. I'm fairly positive your future will be great. Between your awesomeness on the baseball field, your personality, and your outlook on life, I see your future being a wonderful thing to look forward to. 

High School Senior, Class of 2018, Senior SessionHigh School Senior

Thank you Garrett for being awesome! I wish you nothing but the best!

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) 2018 seniors baseball baseball player class of 2018 high school senior kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven scholarship senior photographer senior session http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/hitting-a-homerun Wed, 06 Sep 2017 17:16:54 GMT
Week 32 and 33 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-32-and-33-of-project-365 Meetings, meetings, meetings...editing...family time...and a whole lot of wedding love. That's been the theme for the past two weeks. If you hadn't noticed already, I missed last week's post, because...life. I'm diving head first into the busiest month of the season so in order to keep up, I've put the blog off (not the daily pictures themselves, just the actual post/writing of the blog). In the past two weeks my twins started pre-k, I cheered them on at t-ball, shot two weddings and a handful of other types of sessions, had several senior reveals and wedding meetings, and somehow managed to keep my head on through it all. Which is a good thing considering it's not going to get any easier coming up. I live for the grind of "work", and find that I am happier when I can find that healthy balance of family and my career. 

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That first bite of frozen yogurt...euphoric. 

 

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Coach Sean and part of his team getting their medals after enjoying their frozen yogurt. 

 

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Liam practicing his swing while waiting to bat.


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Before...

 

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After! Finally!!!

 

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This is what's called the "Otto ghost". 

 

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I'm not crying! You're crying! 

 

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So this isn't your typical wedding photo but I have to share the interesting story behind this bridesmaid and the special tobacco she's smoking. She's a self-proclaimed hippy, let's just set the record on that one. The tobacco she is smoking is Peruvian, and is NOT to be inhaled. She presented this tobacco as a gift to the bride and groom. Each member of the wedding party whispered a hope/dream/wish into the tobacco, and when they were done passing the tobacco, she took it and then proceeded to blow the smoke on the couple's foreheads, hearts, and then their clasped hands. It was a way of passing on these hopes/dreams/wishes onto the couple. Now while I'm not a smoker myself, I found this to be a very special (and unique) moment.

 

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Late night drive back to Kansas City after being in Nebraska for the wedding I shot with my sister of TBD Photography meant a pretty chill evening at home. Quiet time with play doh was Otto's long day release. 


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Liam in the morning light. (Gosh, I do love me some morning light!)

 

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First day of Pre-K! Otto never wants left out...but that little guy still stays home with me, much to his dismay.

 

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Feet, make a good headrest. 

 

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Almost game day!

 

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Reagan's senior session! She had so much personality...it was such a fun session!

 

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My sister's family tagged along with her to KC (she was my second shooter for a Labor Day wedding)...and while they were here, they got their son a new dirt bike. Sean may, or may not have had some fun with it.

 

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Morgan and Jeff's wedding day! I'll share more of those photos later.


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Cell phone selfie. Spent my evening at the salon (thanks to Sean who arranged the salon time for me!), and this is round one of a two part process. Until part two...I'm pretending I'm Daenerys. ;)

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world busy season class of 2018 kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography love project 365 senior session traveling photographer twins wedding wedding season wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/9/week-32-and-33-of-project-365 Tue, 05 Sep 2017 15:59:24 GMT
Week 31 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-31-of-project-365 A week of really high points, and epic fails that brought me to tears. Thankfully the epic fails were not of my doing, but nonetheless...a day I was so looking forward to ended in chaos and peaked emotions. You're probably thinking to yourself "oh my goodness, what could have possibly happened?!?". It's more what didn't happen. I'll explain more in this week's Project 365.

 

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The simple joys of children.

 

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The most brilliant rainbow I've ever seen in my life. If you look just to the left of it, there's another one forming. I always view rainbows as God's way of reminding us that after a storm comes peace and beauty. 

 

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The day of "epic failure". This was meant to be a before/after type of photo...but sadly the "after" never came. A day that had been months in the making turned into a day of complete frustration. If I were to show you the "after" as it currently stands, we have a sheetrock surround, a hearth with off-center tiles (after asking them to be laid centrally on the fireplace), and exposed tack strips where the carpet was ripped up. To top it off, I saw way too much bum crack that day. For the readers of this blog...I've kindly edited out the bum crack. 

 

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With the tile not being finished, the new carpet couldn't be installed, so off to the zoo we went as a family. It was, in my opinion, the perfect family day. Perhaps this was my "rainbow" after the storm that happened the day prior. 

 

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I was so busy running around this day that you get the pleasure of viewing a "selfie" from the KC Sporting game of my love and I. Woohoo for a WIN at their 100th sell out! 

 

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They are so darn cute...like disgustingly cute. In a good way! I cannot wait for their wedding this coming October.

 

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Epic eclipse day!!! We were in the path of totality and it was so awesome to see!

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TOTALITY!

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Just after totality. Thankfully the storms that rolled through in the morning cleared off just in time for the eclipse, and then rolled back in just after. I think the Big Man upstairs really wanted us to enjoy the eclipse.

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world crazy weather eclipse engagement session kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography project 365 rainbow totality wedding season wonderful childhood zoo http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-31-of-project-365 Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:12:55 GMT
Week 30 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-30-of-project-365 Have no fear, the blog is here! In all honesty there are weeks where I don't feel like being poetic, or witty...weeks where other priorities take precedence over the blog. This past week has been so busy for me as a photographer that I had to put the blog aside to keep up with deadlines, and to keep up with my main priority, my family. Taking a daily photo to document my life is rather simple, but being present in my life is a whole other animal. Do I choose to run outside to take a photo of a beautiful moment my husband or children or having...and then return to editing/blogging/emailing/social media managing, or do I be present in that beautiful moment? The answer isn't always an easy one. 

 

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Zooming around the last leg of the race to Abram's chalk made finish line. (Yes, his pants are on backward...no he wouldn't let me turn them around.)

 

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I live for twin moments like this. They aren't always happy with each other, but at the end of the day, they always love each other. 

 

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The life of a boy mom. Constant scrapped knees, bumps, and bruises. It took a lot of convincing that his knees didn't require a bandage. 

 

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Otto, always so expressive with his hands. I'm not positive what he was pointing at, but a split second later the three were off in that direction. 

 

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Garrett, class of 2018. More about him on the blog later!

 

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This is what it looks like when you plop down a cake and five forks in front of sugar eager kiddos.

 

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Brianna, such a natural! More about her senior session on the blog later!

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world be present beautiful moments cake class of 2018 kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography priorities project 365 senior session twins wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-30-of-project-365 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:36:00 GMT
Alex & Jeremy's Laughter and Light Engagement Session http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/alex-jeremys-laughter-and-light-engagement-session The clouds on the evening of Alex and Jeremy's engagement session were constantly rolling through. One minute we'd be covered in silver clouds, the next dissipating to singular fresh peaks in the sky as the sun bent around them. It was as if the sky knew that love was there, and the sun needed to be present for all the details. By the end of the session, not a cloud could be found...nothing but beautiful evening light. 

Engagement Session at Belvoir Winery Engagement Session at Belvoir Winery

Alex and Jeremy are such wonderful sweet souls. You can tell that his goal in life is to always make her laugh, and they feed off of each other that way. Heck, I even found myself feeding off of their laughter. Between random funny comments, practical jokes, and simply just poking fun at everyone...we were all rolling with laughter. 

Engagement Session at Belvoir Winery

Engagement Session at Belvoir Winery
I wish you two a never ending true love, lots of laughter, and happiness wherever life takes you. Congratulations, and I can't wait for you're wedding in 2018!

Engagement Session at Belvoir Winery Engagement Session at Belvoir Winery Engagement Session at Belvoir Winery

 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) 2018 wedding beautiful sun belvoir winery engagement session kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer love love and laughter http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/alex-jeremys-laughter-and-light-engagement-session Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:52:24 GMT
Week 29 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-29-of-project-365 There will be weeks where things just don't go your way...where life weighs on your soul, dragging you down while you swim your hardest to catch a single breath just beyond the surface. The surface is there though, and when you reach it, that single breath is the most refreshing grasp on life. Drag yourself to the shore, stand up, and walk toward the warm light dancing across your skin. Embrace it. Believe in it. With all your heart, love it. 

 

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"Mommy, catch!"

 

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Dad came home with glow sticks from a training at his office (glow sticks as a handout...seems kind of weird). The boys were thrilled and found all the dark places in the house to test them out. 

 

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I have a love/hate relationship with electronic devices for kids. They do help teach things in a fun way, and give me a moment of peace...but my goodness the aftermath of taking the things away makes me lose hair every time!

 

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Apparently Liam enjoys haircuts way more than Abram. 

 

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This day did not go as planned, and so I missed my photo for the day. 

 

217.1

I actually cannot take credit for this photo. I handed off my camera while I made a quick run. This was a pleasant surprise going through photos this morning, thanks to my twin sister, Michelle. 


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Is it just me...or are they making eyes at each other???

 

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Nearly up before the sun, waiting for the coffee maker to kick on, I glance out on the lake and see two early morning kayakers.

 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world fair rides hair cuts kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography project 365 solar flare twins wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-29-of-project-365 Tue, 08 Aug 2017 14:46:52 GMT
Week 28 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-28-of-project-365 August 1st...seems like a great month to start fresh and new. Take chances, get things done, and take to heart the things that matter most in life. As July's memories creep their way to the past, I'm looking forward to not only the future, but the present. The here, and now...take hold of those moments and make the most of them. The future will be here soon enough, so for now...appreciate the present. Today, I urge you to appreciate whats in your life at this moment. Don't waste a single moment. 

Project 365

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Abram has been all about "look at what I can do!". Today's accomplishment...hoping on one foot. Good job buddy!

 

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Twin shenanigans. It's always entertaining. 

 

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Otto is on a major green kick, and by "major" I mean his world literally crumbles if he doesn't get the green shirt, or the green popsicle, or this green...and that green. 

 

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Meeting in the hood. I'm not positive what they're discussing...but with that many kids all in one place, I'm guessing it's no good. 

 

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Saturday morning snuggles with dad. This is my Heaven on earth. 

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We took the kiddos to see a car rally. They were enamored by all the new and old cars. Abram is taking an AC break inside while dad gets himself a much needed ice-coffee.

 

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This beautiful couple took me to one of the creepiest venues I've ever been. It was a thrill, but I admit that I am slightly concerned about a particular type of photobomb to appear in the background. 


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He's a bit on the weird side, but that is what we love most about him. A one-of-a-kind personality...who wears only green.

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world engagement session haunted location kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography love project 365 twins http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/8/week-28-of-project-365 Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:59:56 GMT
Week 27 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/7/week-27-of-project-365 Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Seven years of highs and lows (Yes, we've had lows...gasp! But without the lows, you cannot truly appreciate the highs.), memories, precious moments that make us who we are...as a couple, as a family. I'm not going to say any more, but will end this with one of the readings from our wedding...because it's beautiful. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

Project 365

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Play dough...a parent's worst nightmare (other than Legos). 

 

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The days have been so hot that the kids can't really come out to play until the evening. A moment of quiet play as they make art in the neighbor's driveway. 

 

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I was pregnant with Otto when I was given that "trucker" hat. Blissfully ordering potato pancakes at the local Christmas market in Germany...and the old gentleman was overjoyed by my giant pregnant belly and his potato pancakes in my hands that he had to give me a hat with the name of his stand. One of those moments I'll never forget. The hat has found it's way out of storage and on this morning, Abram decided it was too sunny while eating breakfast, so the hat came in handy. 

 

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"O for Otto mommy?" At 2.5 years old, he blows me away every day with just how smart he is.

 

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Splash park...a perfect place to run around enjoying life. Their laughter warms my soul.

 

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I woke up at 4am this morning. Myself and 4 other photographers met up to do a sunrise downtown KC engagement session with two couples. Both will be getting married the coming year. Their love is so apparent, and thankfully for all of us, they wear their love on their sleeves which made photographing both couples so much fun. 

 

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Anniversary flowers. Waiting on those lilies to pop open. Happy 7 years my love. 

 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) 1 corinthians 13:4-7 an intimate look at my world engagement session kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography love project 365 seven years sunrise session wedding anniversary wonderful childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/7/week-27-of-project-365 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:01:48 GMT
Week 26 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/7/week-26-of-project-365 Reality is hitting me more and more every day. It's been 4.33 days since the fierce sun of the Dominican Republic last graced my skin (and by "graced" I mean "fried"). The ocean calls to me, the sounds of the waves rolling in sands churned up from the ocean floor. This midwest gal will never tire of it. But here I sit, in my home office listening to the pounding of little feet in a fierce game of "now it's your turn to be the bad guy...RUN!", and you know what? I wouldn't change that for the world. 

If you hadn't noticed the title of this week's blog, and thought to yourself "how did we skip two weeks?", well take a moment and take a gander. See it now? Good. Well here's the scoop. There were a few days that I used my twin sister's camera (because in frantic mom-trying-to-get-out-of-the-house style...I failed to grab the camera bag that was right by the door), which happened to overlap two weeks. I'm waiting to get those photos from her before I blog the two previous weeks of Project 365. It's a bit backwards, I'll admit, but I'm itching to get back on track with the project after being on vacation the last few weeks so onward ho we go!

Project 365

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The sunsets that followed the bursts of tropical downpours were some of my favorites. The clouds were painted in vivid colors as the night faded. 

 

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Yours truly! Taken by my lovely husband...because a lady cannot resist beach photos.

 

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Crabs...everywhere! It took me a few days to even notice all of the crabs. Their homes were carefully dug in the sand/dirt that surrounded the walking path adjacent to the beach at the resort we stayed at. I'd catch movement from the corner of my eye, but I finally spotted one that was playing a game of "if I don't move, she won't see me". 

 

195/365

Back to Nebraska, and the mornings are a sharp contrast to what we left behind in paradise. A chill in the morning air, with dew covered spider webs, and a thin blanket of fog covering a calm lake. 

 

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My mom would call this "karma". I was a climber as a kid, and apparently that's a hereditary trait. Lord help me!

 

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Run Otto, Run! Three hours of pent up car energy and the joy of being home. 

 

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Abram, indulging my love of morning light and shadows. 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) an intimate look at my world crabs dominican republic kansas city kansas city photographer kcmo photographer lens maven liberty missouri photographer lifestyle photographer lifestyle photography light and shadows paradise project 365 punta cana sunset vacation http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/7/week-26-of-project-365 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:49:17 GMT
Week 23 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-23-of-project-365 I never realized how much I depended on the hum of my home to sing me to sleep at night, until last night when the house went silent. I immediately woke up, watching the ceiling fan slowly creep to a stop...thinking "well...that's not good". There was no storm. Just sudden darkness that could (or couldn't?) be seen from several blocks down the road. Here I was, wide awake feeling a bit peeved because it was supposed to be the night that I actually got sleep. It's been eluding me, this sleep nonsense. Considering my calendar ahead, it's really no wonder why I haven't been sleeping. Even with months to go before my busy season truly hits, I'm already thinking about what needs to be done, who needs consults, timelines, deadlines, and the big kicker...my impending surgery which is coming at the second week of November. 

So if you have a coffee (or really any type of caffeinated beverage) in your hand, lets raise a mug and cheers to taking the day on full steam ahead. This lady has work to do!

Project 365

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Good until the last drop. Mmm...cereal flavored milk. 

 

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If you look closely at that bubble, you'll see my whole world.

 

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Early morning chores, and morning light.

 

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These two (well technically 3 with their adorable daughter) are getting married in October! I cannot wait to celebrate with them!

 

175.1/365

Another duo week because I extremely proud of this one. Attempting to follow a high speed subject with a giant lens isn't the easiest. With copious amounts of panning and steadying my hands/breathing...I think I nailed it.

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Their squeals of joy and "Oooooh ahhhh" could be heard for blocks!

 

176.1/365

A september wedding couple who are seriously fun. I'm pretty sure they laughed their way through 90% of their engagement session. Their wedding is bound to be a great time!

176.2/365

Liam in a box, and Otto not so happy with Liam in a box. 

 

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Otto was helping me with practicing my "shutter drag" technique for my upcoming events. It's a great way to showcase fancy dance moves and special lighting at receptions!

 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) An intimate look at my world Busy Schedule Ahead Engagement Photography Engagement Sessions Fireworks KCMO Photographer Kansas City Kansas City Photographer Lens Maven Liberty, Missouri Photographer Lifestyle Photographer Lifestyle Photography Love Panning Project 365 Shutter Drag We Lost Power Wedding Photographer Wedding Season http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-23-of-project-365 Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:51:05 GMT
"I made it. I'm a senior." http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/-i-made-it-im-a-senior Months of planning, last minute changes due to potential weather complications, and a 5 hour commute from small town Nebraska, have all lead up to this day. It's not something I take lightly, senior photos, because these are images that represent years of accomplishment, self discovery, and the coming of age. These are, like what Shea says, a significant "I made it. I'm a senior." moment. 

Did you know that I spend countless hours with my seniors in advance? Time spent getting to know my seniors, what makes them tick...and what doesn't. We go over all the details. Nothing is left for up for guess work on my senior's part. When the day of the session arrives, we know exactly where and when to be, what attire is being worn that best suits the location(s) they've selected, and most importantly...what to expect from each other. This time spent together in advance is so crucial, and is included with all my senior sessions. Why? Because each senior is worth it. 

Senior Girl, Class of 2018

You know what's also very important to me? The experience. Maybe it's just my personality, but I can't just show up, click off a few photos and call it a job well done. It's not in me to do that. I want to create memories. For seniors this is an adventure, an experience full of life, celebration, fun (and most likely lots of laughter because I can't not laugh)... From the initial consult(s), to the final reveal of their moments, it's an experience that I hope they'll not soon forget...but then again, how could anyone forget when memories are forever with photography? 

 


 

With Shea, I did something outside of my normal senior questions. I asked her if she would write about her time with me...and this is what she had to say: 

Shea: "You know that feeling of extreme happiness where nothing can bring your mood down, you feel like you're conquering the world, and your smile is literally bursting at the seams from ear to ear? That's euphoria. And that's exactly how I felt when I was getting my senior photos done.

Senior Girl, 2018 I was so excited for my senior photos to be taken because I finally got to say, "I made it. I'm a senior." But I couldn't have done it without the photographer, who made the whole experience ten times better. Lens Maven made me feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. She taught me how to pose for the photos to get my "good side", and wasn't impatient with me when I didn't know what to do.

Senior Girl, 2018 She listened to what I wanted to express in my photos, and she delivered just that. Lens Maven made it feel as if I had known her my whole life because she made me smile and laugh and live in the moment.

Senior Girl, 2018 Through the numerous outfits, the countless photos, and many bursts of laughter, the whole experience of senior photos was like being at an amusement park. The fun never ended." 

Senior Girl, 2018

We had so much fun together, and I honestly cannot say who enjoyed the session more. This is what I call a "job well done". Thank you Shea for coming so far to see me, trusting me to make your vision come to life, and for all the memories we made together. I hope you enjoy these memories for years to come. 

Senior Girl, 2018 Senior Girl, 2018  

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) A senior experience Class of 2018 Graffiti I made it. I'm a senior. KCMO Photographer KCMO Senior Photographer Kansas City Kansas City Photographer Kansas City Senior Photo Session Lens Maven Liberty, Missouri Photographer Library Making memories Prom Dress Senior Session http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/-i-made-it-im-a-senior Thu, 22 Jun 2017 16:01:12 GMT
Week 22 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-22-of-project-365 Chicken with it's head cut off, this is how to best describe the week. I was here, and there...which felt like everywhere, so it seemed. Squeezing in photography, editing, and "me time" between the minute spaces in my calendar's "to-do's" was a challenge. That's the thing about this project of mine. It reminds me to stop, take a deep breath, and see the beauty. It's my daily reminder to just take a moment and look at the bigger picture (or sometimes smaller depending on the tiny details life brings me). 

 

Project 365

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Growing up, my mom loved birds. She had a soft spot for finches especially. I had these three show up while I was washing dishes. Thankfully my camera was behind me on my kitchen island, so I quickly snapped a photo of these three red finches to show my mom. (Yes, three...see the one between the spindles, hanging out on the railing leading down the stairs?)

 

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We've had some pretty gnarly storms roll through this past week. Stepping out to take Coal outside the morning after one had just rolled through, and I was in awe of the beautiful light breaking through the clouds. 

 

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When dad has a shopvac...

 

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So.many.bubbles!

 

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After a hot morning running around outside...I realized it'd become very quiet, come to find he'd gone upstairs to retrieve his precious "lovey". Once lovey enters the picture, you know the kid is tired. 


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I couldn't decide which one to use...so I included both! Enjoying some outside time after a big Father's Day dinner. 

 

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Lots of tears and 4 bandaids later...the twins had a "successful" trip to the doctor. Thank goodness for fun bandaids. 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) An intimate look at my world Bandaids Bubbles Crazy Weather Father's Day Finches KCMO Photographer Kansas City Kansas City Photographer Lens Maven Liberty, Missouri Photographer Lifestyle Photographer Lifestyle Photography Project 365 Twins Wonderful Childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-22-of-project-365 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:09:07 GMT
Week 21 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-21-of-project-365 6:45 AM, and already drenched in sweat from the rising humidity. Finding brief moments of reprieve as the sun plays peek-a-boo with the passing clouds. I had this blog post all planned out in my head while jogging. The words rolled in my head, coming in majestic waves. It was going to be amazing. Key word: was. I now sit here with one leg curled under myself, while the other dangles for the purpose of entertaining the two year-old at my feet. "1, 2, 3, 8, 11", he's saying softly while counting my toes. I promise...I don't have 11 toes, and I also don't recall a single premeditated sentence from this morning's jog. What I do have though, are some photos to share from the week. A week filled with memories, events, and few firsts for my boys. 

 

Project 365

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Attempting to play around with an in camera haze effect, although my model isn't exactly feeling the moment. No matter how many times I said his cone was fine, he just didn't believe me.

 

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I've been watching this weed grow for months while passing it on our way to the bus stop, and overnight it went from this dreadful eyesore to an abundance of indigo flowers. Being that I was on my way back from the bus stop, this was taken with my iPhone. 

 

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This lady right here...such an inspiration. Her determination level is through the roof. A working (40+ hours) single mom of four (although now engaged to a wonderful guy) showed the world just what it means to shoot for the stars and never give up. Congratulations on you college graduation Bridget!

 

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Kind of like riding a bike? I'm not sure when he last skied, but check him out! 

 

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Just over 5 years ago on Mother's Day weekend is when they (our twins) were first introduced to the lake. Cuddled up in tiny tubes, we gently pushed them around until this little guy pictured nearly fell asleep. Now 5 years later, here he is for the first time in the big tube. I think that squished smile says it all. 

 

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Otto avoiding the fact that we're supposed to be packing up to head back home after our long weekend back in Nebraska. 


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After several days with off sleep schedules, this is where Otto has landed the past two nights. Asleep on daddy's chest, while I gush over his amazing eyelashes. 

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) An intimate look at my world Boating Class of 2017 College graduate Graduation He hates the cone KCMO Photographer Kansas City Kansas City Photographer Lens Maven Liberty, Missouri Photographer Lifestyle Photographer Lifestyle Photography Project 365 Skiing Twins Wonderful Childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-21-of-project-365 Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:49:31 GMT
Week 20 of Project 365 http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-20-of-project-365 My photography led me in all directions this last week. To the park where my polaroid captured the joy of a good slide in vintage fashion, to a bar where I chatted the night away with likeminded photographers, to the top of the city where the sun seemed *that* much closer, then to a lower elevation where the senior and I walked below the roaring city streets above, and even to the quiet hum of a hospital. My queue of sessions is filling up, and that's exactly what my heart enjoys. Working the days away, creating memories that will last a lifetime for individuals I care deeply about, my own clients. Don't get me wrong, my family enjoyed ourselves this last week too. My husband even taught our twins how to ride bikes. I wasn't at all emotionally prepared for that big milestone. Not.one.bit. 

 

Project 365

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Otto made a friend at the boys' baseball game. There was a lot of "boinging" going on from these two on the sidelines.

 

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Fun at the park captured in a vintage style. 

 

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The last of the boys' two games a week schedule. Run Abram, run!!!

 

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About 10 minutes after this photo was taken, I was called outside to capture the video of them both taking off without the training wheels. (Sean had brought home the bikes only 30 minutes before that.)

 

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Meet Shea! She is gorgeous, kind, funny, and so darn smart! More about her on the blog later. 

 

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This little lady graced the world this last week, and I am over the moon happy for her parents!

 

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Apparently this is the cool place to hang out while eating crackers on a hot day. (Don't worry, the ground is only a couple feet below them, no kiddos were harmed in the making of this photo.)

 

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lensmavenkcmo@gmail.com (Lens Maven) An intimate look at my world Class of 2018 Fresh 28 Session Hospital Shoot KCMO Photographer Kansas City Kansas City Photographer Lens Maven Liberty, Missouri Photographer Lifestyle Photographer Lifestyle Photography Newborn Project 365 Senior Session Twins Welcome baby girl! Wonderful Childhood http://lensmaven.net/blog/2017/6/week-20-of-project-365 Tue, 06 Jun 2017 19:19:24 GMT