Sisters Ashley & Caroline {family & pets}

Sisters, sisters! Ashley and her little sister Caroline took time this October for a mini-session with their cute pups Gracie and Pedro. We met up at the governor’s garden and had some fun with the dogs in tow.

Smiles all around.

Meet spunky Gracie (above), and the pudgy but lovable Pedro (below).

Ashley, being the sweet big sister she is, set up the session for her and her little sister Caroline. Although they are several years apart, you can tell they have a great relationship.

Thanks Ashley and Caroline for a fun afternoon. And hugs to Gracie and Pedro!


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caticonslite_bm_altThe Walker Family {family}

Raylene and I know each other through the hPYe – the young professionals arm of the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce. She has a wonderful smile and a vivacious personality. And it runs in the family! Her children, Alexander, Jameson and Zoe were all smiles for our mini-session in late October where downtown Jefferson City was our backdrop.

We began in the governor’s garden and then moved to Madison Street. I love the image above and the one below left. Zoe and Jameson had the idea to spread out and we took advantage of a fun look with the family staggered.

Mom with each of her great kids…Alexander top left, Jameson top right and the adorable Zoe below.

Raylene’s radiance just shines!

After fun in the leaves, we capped off the session enjoying some great treats at YoYums.

Thanks, Raylene, for letting me capture one of Jefferson City’s most photogenic families!


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caticonslite_bm_altVintage Funk {product}

Hannah connected with The Rocket Group through the Twestival event in Columbia earlier this year. She contacted me this fall to schedule a two hour product shoot for her company Vintage Funk and Junk. A Stephens College graduate, Hannah followed her passion and started her own business to make vintage wears a part of today’s mainstream. And she’s succeeding by showing ways to reinvent and incorporate a vintage piece into your modern style. The following are five diverse looks I photographed to help Hannah promote her brand to current and would-be customers.

Next up was a fabulous sheer yellow coat styled with black accessories and boots to help ground the airy frock…

From warm to cool, with vintage made new from head-to-toe.

This hot pink jacket screams fun.

Ever try prints with vibrant solids? If not, look and learn!

To end the day, a little green jacket worn styled to show a gorgeous back and great gingo leaf gold necklace.

Meet the fabulous ladies whose creativity inspired the session. Hannah (Vintage Funk’s proprietor and fashion maven), Hannah (our beautiful model), and Jacqueline (stylist extraordinaire).

Thanks Hannah, Hannah and Jacqueline! Be sure to check out more of what they have to offer to add the next vintage piece to your wardrobe.

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caticonslite_bm_altThe Kleffners {extended family}

I met Ann earlier this year through Leadership MO. I was designated class photographer and that later led to Ann asking me to capture some family photos for her. And she has a beautiful family that is growing with some adorable grand kids.

Ann and Steve are the core of the family, with two married children and five grand children – the youngest just weeks old.

Here are all the grand kids together.

Amanda is married to Brian…

and they have Tristyn, Adam and baby Brianna.

Brad is married to Danielle…

and they have the darling Lauryn and her new baby brother, Chase.

The lovely Kleffner ladies…

And the charming guys…

Ann, it was wonderful getting to photograph your beautiful family! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I can’t wait to see all those adorable grand kids grow!

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Ken, Kelsey & Lillian {family}

Ken is one of my oldest friends in Jefferson City. We met briefly years ago when he interned at the capitol and I was just starting as a journalist there. A few years later, he returned to Jeff City to run the YMCA’s Youth in Government program that I volunteer with. Needless to say, when we finally decided to forego the commute from Columbia, we had great friends from the start in town with Ken and his lovely wife Kelsey. Since then, they have added adorable Lillian to make three. I joined them the first weekend in October to photograph their family on a great, crisp fall morning.

We started at the capitol grounds and then made our way over to the governor’s garden.

Love those fall leaves! Lillian didn’t need much encouragement to kick and throw them around.

This photo of Ken and Lillian is my favorite from this session.

Lillian is high-energy and I did my best to keep up. Below, I caught her taking a quick rest on a stoop in front of the governor’s mansion. And I love the one of her and Kelsey – such great smiles.

We also spent some time on the beautiful tree-lined Madison Street.

We ended the session with a stroll through downtown…

Thanks Ken and Kelsey for letting me spend a great morning with you!

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caticonslite_bm_altHow to Best Photograph Your Halloween Costume {entertaining}

Halloween is a popular holiday at our house. In fact, we’ve hosted a costume party almost every year over the past decade to celebrate fall and this spooky occasion. One thing we’ve learned over the years is how to best photograph those awesome Halloween costumes. The two tricks you need to make your photos a treat are good lighting and a backdrop.

Use your imagination for the backdrop. In 2010, we were inspired by Dexter. A few supplies from the garage, along with fake blood in a spray can and police tape gave an eerie scene that wasn’t too dark, meaning the costumes popped.

First, start with a roll of plastic. Thumb tacks easily secure it to your wall without leaving noticeable marks behind. Next, spray on the fake blood. Then add the strips of police tape (both can be found at most stores leading up to Halloween). Final touches include a garbage bag (where else would you put the body parts), a chainsaw normally stored in the garage, a few 5-gallon buckets on hand, and a few rags strewn about stained with more of the fake blood. In 5 minutes, you’re ready for your guests to strike a pose.

Next on your list – lighting. In this set up I used an off camera flash softened by an umbrella. This allowed the room to be more haunted with low-lighting except when it was time to snap a photo. If you don’t have an off-camera flash set up, don’t fret. Just be sure to test the flash level on your camera and add ambient lighting if needed.

The last tidbits – catch guests as they arrive as many will forego masks or other pieces as the night wears on. And remember, have fun! The more playful they are striking a pose, the better the final product…

Now go enjoy some candy while admiring your great costume photos!

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caticonslite_bm_altThe Laffoons {extended family}

This summer I met Gretchen. She’s a stylish mom with a radiant smile. In conversation she told me that her family had a tradition of taking family photos every fall. Her husband Gary is originally from Jefferson City and they had recently moved the family here. I was very excited a few months later when she asked me to capture their extended family, too. So despite grey skies, we set out for a fun session in mid-September at the Governor’s Garden. We began with Gary and Gretchen, and their two adorable boys Jackson and Austin.

I love the one on the left catching all their giggles with the capitol in the background.

And so the boys wouldn’t have to sit still for too long, we played a game of peek-a-boo in the openings in the stone wall.

Next up was Al and Sue who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year.

Cathy (middle) is Al and Sue’s daughter, and her daughter Madeline makes the third generation.

And here’s the whole extended Laffoon family, plus one of just grandparents and grandkids.

Boys will be boys and, boy, did they climb on everything!

I plotted with the boys to see if they could show me how they “get” their grandpa’s nose and ears. Al confessed later that he’s know to “clown” around.

We ended the session down at the landing so the boys could check out the trains. Austin was a little alarmed at first by how loud the train’s horn was…

But he warmed up and waved as the train passed by – a perfect ending to a fun shoot with the Laffoon family!

Thank you Gretchen and Gary!


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It’s Starting to Feel Alot Like Christmas…

Maybe not, but it is time to have your family photos taken for your holiday cards. The weather has been gorgeous and the fall leaves are changing colors quickly. To capture your family (including the four-legged ones) in the prime of this season I’m offering a round of mini-sessions at the super affordable rate of $75.  As an added bonus, you can choose to have The Rocket Group design your custom holiday card featuring your new photos for just $50.

This shorter, 45-minute session is perfect for immediate family with up to 5 people ($25 per additional person) and includes a disc of at least 25 edited images with print release and copies designed for posting online. No minimum print purchase is required – ever!

We don’t use a studio – instead we capture your family in your homes, neighbhorhoods, and favorite community spots. We strive to have fun and let all those personalities show through. I’ll offer direction, but we’ll also let the kids be kids (and that goes for some grown-ups, too).

Here’s our mini-session schedule. Contact me to reserve your spot today!

Saturday, Oct. 15  BOOKED!

Saturday, Oct. 22: Downtown, Governor’s Garden and Capitol Grounds

10 a.m.  BOOKED!

12 p.m. Still Available!

2 p.m.  BOOKED!

3:15 p.m.  BOOKED!

Mastercard, Visa and Paypal also accepted.

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caticonslite_bm_altWhat makes a good head shot?

As we talk to business owners at today’s Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, one of the recurring photography questions is about head shots. Your head shot sees more action today than ever – especially if you are active (which you should be) in social media, including Linked In, Facebook and Twitter (don’t be the egg.) Logos are great (and if you need one talk to Gus at The Rocket Group). But people want to know who they are talking to and a current and original head shot is best way to show who you are.

Gus Wagner, president.owner of The Rocket Group.

Most of all, your professional head shot should capture an approachable you. That means embracing your style and interests that are also inherit in your work space.

The team at Gamble and Schlemeier.

The Berry Wilson Law Firm.

But you don’t have to be tied to your office. Want something that paints more of a big picture? The building you work in, or the city where you pound the pavement can all be your backdrop. The only limitation is your imagination. Don’t be afraid to be so bold as using magazine spreads or album covers as your inspiration.

When you’re ready to ditch the marbled backdrop and straight collar studio session for a session encompassing who you are where you work, contact us. We’re here to help.

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Chris & Stephanie + Darling Drew {baby}

Say hi to Drew! Chris & Stephanie who you’ll remember from our baby bump session this summer, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! His name is Andrew Joseph, but they call him Drew. I got to meet him just nine days after his birth and he was incredibly sweet, which you’ll see as you scroll through this post.

Drew was napping for most of our session, but above he gave us a quick peek of his baby blues. Below, he snuggled up bare bottomed on the beautiful blanket and set of pillows his two grandmas lovingly made him.

In the next series, I love the contrast between his soft, light skin and the warmth of the dark blanket we wrapped him in.

Stephanie is always prepared. She had ordered this adorable knit hat for his photo session and I love how it frames his cute face!Chris and Stephanie also had the idea to use some of the baby blocks they had in Drew’s nursery. We used them to spell out his name, as well as the phrase “I AM CUTE” to mimic a photo of Chris when he was a baby.

Above, Drew’s smile hints that he’s having a very sweet dream. Below, I got close-ups of all those wonderful baby features. Button nose, little eyelashes, baby toes – with mom and dad’s wedding rings resting on them!Chris and Stephanie had some fun ideas for our session, and we tried them all. The size of bookcase emphasizes how tiny Drew is, plus I love all the photos of family surrounding him. Drew’s dad Chris is a rugby player and coach and had the idea to lay Drew in a deflated rugby ball. The two below turned out, but I’m not sure rugby(or at least the feel of the ball)  will be Drew’s cup of tea.The next series of images capture Drew with mom and dad individually. They both already have a wonderful bond and connection with their little guy and it shows…
At Stephanie’s shower, friends and family each gave their favorite children’s book. Needless to say, Drew has a full library. Soon they’ll be reading these classics to him, but for now they work as a great place to curl up on under the window.
We also replicated an image from their baby bump session, with Drew all curled up in front of his mom’s tummy.
And we would have been remiss to not picture this Baby Bell with a few bells. By the end, we were all tuckered out, especially Drew. So this new family snuggled up on their bed for some closing shots…

Congratulations Chris & Stephanie! Welcome Drew! Here’s to your beautiful, new family!

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