You can see it in the way their friends look at them, and in the expressions on people’s faces when they hug them. Ali and Barclay are just two of the kindest souls I have ever known. They are a delightful, perfect fit. Their love for travel, music, and new experiences, the way they share themselves vulnerably and freely with everyone they meet, the way they listen to people with their full attention and interest. Their huge expressive smiles, the way they don’t take themselves too seriously. Their gorgeousness. These are just a few reasons that it is easy to love these two.
Originally, Ali and Barclay wanted a very small intimate wedding, but as their dream to move to Barcelona in the fall became a reality, they decided to have a huge party with all of the people they love most as a wedding celebration and also an early sendoff. After a moving ceremony officiated by Barclay’s dad, one of my favorite parts of the day was the recessional. Barclay’s friends followed them with drums and cymbals and there was so much energy of celebration in the air that I teared up as I photographed Ali and Barclay dance out of the room after just getting married. The reception was decorated with lots of handmade things to signify the two cities where their life together would begin: paper airplanes and postcards from both Kansas City and Barcelona.
There were yard games, and a vintage VW bus for a Photo Booth. A Gourmet Popsicle peddler cycled his way through the tables, and there were references throughout the day to Ali’s amazing food blog (Gimme Some Oven), like napkins printed with “Gimme Some Tacos.” Best of all, their amazing amount of talented musical friends were the entertainment for the whole night. Every single song for the first hour and a half of the reception was performed by one of their best friends. At one point, my shooting partner David and I laughed when we realized that we were so entertained by the music that we were standing in the middle of the dance floor just watching the show instead of shooting!
To open this post of my favorites, I’ll start with one at the very end of the night. Barclay and Ali riding the railcar back to their River Market home. Their honeymoon to Mexico had been postponed last minute- like on their wedding day kinda last minute. But they never let themselves show sadness or sulk. Instead they laughed as they talked about what Kansas City food they would eat the next day instead. Love you two!!
Jeff remembered recently that it has been said that the Spirit of God is in our tears. This is exactly how it felt to be among Jeff and Janette, and their rich group of loved ones the night before their wedding. There were lots of tears of the most joyful kind. I’m so glad that I got to not only be present for my friends, but also make a record of how special it was. Here is a glimpse.
Jeff’s family before Janette walked down the aisle at the rehearsal
Jeff practicing his vows to Janette’s daughter, Vivian
This is a happy happy week. This week, one of my husband’s very best friends is getting married to beautiful Janette, who immediately won our hearts. As did her 5 year old daughter, Vivian. Our feelings for this threesome run pretty deep. We look forward to doing family life with them for years to come. For now, I will share with you some favorite photos from our time together a few weeks ago. Happy wedding week Jeff, Janette, and Viv! xoxo
Whenever I tell people that I know Ali, creator of the beautiful and widely loved food blog, Gimme Some Oven, they look at me like I just got a lot cooler in their eyes. Barclay has the same quality of widespread affection and admiration, from his musical endeavors to his long-standing commitment to justice and helping people in need. It has been a definitive characteristic of his for all of the 10+ years that I’ve known him. And as I had a few hours with these two recently, I grew to be an even bigger fan. Both of them have the most sincere and giving presence. I am struck by how both of them are really exceptional listeners. They approach life with curiosity, and joy, and a delightful sense of adventure.
We spent time in places where their life happens, in the Rivermarket’s Quay Coffee, just down the street from her home, then to local market, and of course back to Ali’s place, where they often prepare food together, and where Barclay proposed after preparing a coursed meal a few months ago. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
I will remember Annie and Nate by many things. By how they didn’t put any pressure, expectations, or scripts on their day, they just enjoyed it as it came. I will remember how fun their friends are and how much they laughed. I will remember how sophisticated, pulled together Annie, when you get to know her better, is also really silly, a deep feeler, and a total blast. I love the way they are with each other. Throughout the day, I would look over and see Annie and Nathan hugging or grabbing a quick kiss. Lots of little things showed me how well Nathan cares for Annie and looks out for her. The party was so good that it was so hard to pick out favorites. The entire family (including grandparents!) danced late into the night. What a pleasure it was to know you guys through your wedding weekend. Here are a handful of my favorite moments from the day.
Annemarie and Patrick have just about every good quality you could name. Their outer beauty is matched by their inner beauty. They are successful and intelligent, rooted in some of the strongest family and friendship bonds I’ve seen. When my two assistant photographers met them for the first time that day, they looked at me after seeing the way Annemarie and Patrick were with each other and said, “are they always like this?” (so happy and kind and beautiful). I said “I know!”. It made our job easy and fun.
Thank you Fox and Kelly families for allowing us to be the ones to document your beautiful moments.
For a number of years, Kelly and I would meet on the eliptical trainers at the gym first thing in the morning, and often our conversation revolved around the ups and down of her dating life. At one point she was so disappointed with the journey that she said she had basically given up on love. I thought to myself “okay, yeah right. You will find love, but I’ll let you do what you need to do for the time being”. I just knew that there was no way that this woman who was one of the most luminous life filled friends I had ever known should be giving up on the idea of finding love. Kelly is the kind of person who pays for all of her friends to go see the Bon Jovi concert because she was obsessed with him when she was young, and then ends the night by swimming in city fountains in her 80s ripped t-shirt. If she were Oprah, she would take all her friends on a cruise. She is incredibly thoughtful, and talented, and funny, and faithful as a friend. She always looks radiant like she’s just returned from the beach, with the best natural blonde hair I’ve ever seen. About a year ago, Jeremy unexpectedly came into the picture. As Kelly explained it, all these years she had been wondering if her expectations for what she wanted in a husband were too high. She was frustrated because she met several people who would have some of the character qualities she was looking for, but then the cultural element wouldn’t be there. For as much joy as Kelly takes in design and art and beautiful food and great music, she had always hoped to find not only a man of character- but a man who could take joy in these things with her. She wondered if she needed to start being okay with OR rather than hoping for AND. After an early date with Jeremy at the Nelson Atkins Museum of art, she was walking out to the car and felt God saying to her “See Kelly? Your expectations weren’t too high; they were too low.” Jeremy became the AND, the one who was all of the things she had hoped for an more.
Getting to know Jeremy and his boys, I have quickly grown to respect him immensely. He is wise and gentle. Devoted, creative, intelligent. He loves Kelly in ways that surpass all of my hopes for her as her friend. It was so beautiful to be with these two on the day that their new life together began. Here are some favorites, and feel free to see the whole slideshow here.
A very special thanks to Dave and Jessi Lueck, who were about 1 week past their due date for their second baby, and they still insisted that Dave be my partner in shooting that day. You will see several of his photo below.
It’s a pretty deep thing to photograph big moments in the lives of people you love. This November I got to photograph the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Kelly Jackson. More on Kelly and Jeremy tomorrow, when I share some images from their very special wedding. But for now, I wanted to share a handful of simple love-filled moments from the night before the wedding; a small family rehearsal dinner. As I looked through the images, I became even more aware than I was that night of all of these great exchanges of affection. These little gestures tell a big story.
This first image is my favorite. One of the elements of this wedding and this story that I love the most is that in marrying Jeremy, Kelly is also marrying his two boys, David and JJ. As her close friend, I got to see that she loved them immediately. Both because they are wonderful and she adores them, but also because she is making a commitment to them, to love them forever and to make them her family. Kelly was emotional as she gave the boys a very personal gift that she had made for them, and David quickly stood up and grabbed Kelly and his dad with the biggest hug. It’s so good to see the beginning of them taking her into their lives as well.
The holidays crept up and took me by storm and I never got around to sharing the engagement session of one of my new favorite couples. Annemarie and Patrick are actually kind of a phenomenon to me, with their degree of intelligence, beauty, and kindness. We had the most beautiful sunny October afternoon together, and I’m so thankful that I get to be the one to record their wedding this coming June.
About a third of the time, my couples live in another state and in order to get to know one another before the wedding, we rely on a few phone calls and maybe a skype get together. Every time I talked with Faith throughout the year, I thought to myself how positive and gracious she was and how happy I was to have been connected with these two. Even after a brief conversation with her dad over the phone about logistics, I could tell that he loved his daughter very much. I knew this would be a good wedding.
The wedding was on the most beautiful sunny day in early November. One of my favorite photos of the day was made by my guest second shooter for the day, Wichita photojournalist Craig Hacker. He found a great hidden spot up front and captured the sweet way that Faith and Julian look at each other. I felt like it was a very “them” moment, a look that a saw several times throughout the day, but Craig captured it for them in the context of standing up at the altar, about to begin married life together. The reception was a non stop dance party, fueled by this super-fun cover band that I saw for the first time, The Patrick Lentz Band.
Thank you Faith and Julian for inviting me to be a part! Here are a few highlights…