Rebecca Clair Photography
 intimate winter lifestyle engagement photos at Burr Oak woods in Blue Springs, MO near Kansas City

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Embrace the Poignancy of the Changing Seasons; Announcing Fall Mini Sessions {Kansas City family photographer}
 Autum folioge in the golden sunlight, Kansas City fall family photos

“Fall is the season when we send our children off to new classrooms, when we pull jackets out of the closet only to discover that they barely reach past elbows anymore, a season full of both the poignancy of passing time and the excitement of a new season ahead.”

A couple weeks ago I sent Ethan off to his first day in his preschool class. He didn’t want to hold my hand and chattered all the way up the stairs to the classroom, his new lunch box swinging from his hand. The following week with celebrated his third birthday with a move to a twin “big boy” bed. All these transitions had me feeling a little nostalgic for his infant days, for those hours cuddled up in the rocking chair as he nursed and those first toothless baby smiles. But at the same time, I’m finding so many joyful things about this new season: his blossoming curiosity about the world around him, his current obsession with lawn mowers, and the excitement about our upcoming move to a new house.

How about you? Does fall blow in with a bit of nostalgia and a sense of time passing quickly? If so, consider embracing the beauty of this season right now with a fall photo session. I’m now booking a limited number of fall dates (thanks to the aforementioned move!), so if you’re looking to schedule one, send me a message to get on my calendar!

Do you want a way to make updated family photos even easier? Sign up for one of my fall mini sessions and get a head start on your Christmas card photos (plus you’ll receive a matted 8x10 fine art print that’s ready to pop in your favorite frame).

Find all the details here!

 Kansas City fall mini sessions, fall family photos, September photo session, mini engagment session, affordable family photographer, Rebecca Clair Photography
Slow Down This Spring; Announcing Spring Mini Sessions {Kansas City Family Photographer}
 Mother and sons in the evening light, candid family portraits, Kansas City family photographer

This morning I managed to wash all the dishes and clean the kitchen counters. I immediately felt a surge of self-accomplishment….until I stepped into the bedroom and remembered the mountain of clean laundry waiting for me to fold. You guys, I’m not sure if I’m ever going to get caught up on all this. With a job and a toddler and a business to run, I feel pulled in so many directions at any given time and as soon as I finish one task, I discover another ten waiting for me still. Can anyone relate?

I think I’m realizing more and more lately, though, that as a mom (especially as a working mom) there will always be tasks left on that to-do list, no matter how hard I work. There will always be emails to write, goals to set and push towards, updates to make. And the housework….there will always, ALWAYS be dishes to wash, mountains of laundry tackle, bills to pay, and random chores that I keep pushing off until I find a free moment. There will always be something left on that list to do, and if I wait to rest until I’ve finished everything, I will never rest.

But there won’t always be time with family. Your kids won’t always be little. Your baby won’t always want to fall asleep curled up on your shoulder. Your son won’t always wrap his little hands around your legs and beg, “Up mommy?” Your daughter won’t always lean her head against your shoulder as you read her a story. These moments are so fleeting and if you wait to enjoy them until after you’ve finished all your work, you’ll miss it. There will always be more work to do, but there won’t always be this.

So if scheduling a photo session has been on your to-do list, pushed aside under all the other urgent day-to-day tasks, I want to help you make it happen this spring. I’m opening up one day of mini sessions at the end of the month, with just five openings (these will probably be the last mini sessions I offer until fall). And because I know how busy your life is, I’m including a complementary matted fine art print with each session, ready to put in your favorite frame (because chances are that printing and hanging your photos is also on that never-ending to-do list).

 Kansas City spring mini session dates, Kansas City family photographer, lifestyle mini sessions, spring mommy and me session

So take twenty minutes this spring to slow down and take in those fleeting moments. Close your eyes and let your infant nestle close. Pick your son up and swing him up in the air to hear his giggle erupt. Cuddle close with your daughter and read one more story. You will never regret spending these moments with them. And you will never regret capturing these moments in photographs that you can treasure. Do you want to know more? Click the button below to get all the practical details!

 Black and white candid portrait of father holding son in evening light, Kansas City family lifestyle photo session
 Family walks together in the spring evening, Kansas City spring family session
Fall Traditions to Start (or Continue) This Year {Kansas City Lifestyle Photographer}
 Rebecca Clair Photography, Kansas City lifestyle photographer, apple picking photo session, apple orchard photos, Kansas City family photographer, apples on the ground

The cold yesterday caught me by surprise, but even as I pulled another jacket over my sweater and dug my hands deep into the warmth of my pockets, I couldn’t help smiling, because it finally felt a bit like fall! And I knew that the cool, wet weather meant that soon the trees will be kissed with the reds and yellows I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve been ready for fall since the day I flipped my calendar to September, but this cooler weather has really started me dreaming about all things fall and cozy. We’ve already gone apple picking and picked up some mini pumpkins to decorate our dining room table, but I’ve been dreaming about autumn picnics, hikes through paths of golden trees, and sweet, spicy pumpkin pie.

And so I thought it would be fun to compile a list of fun fall traditions to start or continue this year (there’s still time!):

Go Apple Picking

This is at the top of the list because it’s one of my favorite fall traditions! I love wandering the rows of trees, plucking the best apples to put in my basket (and usually munching on one as I go). And it’s even better if you can snag some fresh apple cider donuts to enjoy at the end of it! We started this tradition with friends years ago, but it was fun to bring Ethan for the first time this year and watch him experience the wonder of it. There are several great orchards in the Kansas City area, but Cider Hill Family Orchard and Alldredge Orchard are two that we’ve personally visited and loved.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

We haven’t taken Ethan to a pumpkin patch yet, but maybe this will be the year that we start that tradition! I’ve heard that Kansas City has some great ones, many with fun family activities besides just the pumpkins (check out the handy guide that KC Parent put together, listing a lot of the popular patches in the Kansas City Area)

Take a Nature Walk

Every season has its own unique beauty and I’m a fan of getting outside all year round, but there’s still something especially inviting about driving out of the city in the fall, as the leaves start to change from green to gold and red and the fields soften to rich browns, to get just a bit closer to nature to witness its autumn transformation. The Kansas City area has a lot of great places to hike, including Weston Bend State Park and Shawnee Mission Park. Even if you don’t want to drive too far out of the city, Lakeside Nature Center and the Anita Gorman Conservation Center are both great places to explore nature right in the city.

Bake a Yummy Fall Treat

In the summer, I sometimes sweat when I just think about turning on the oven, but when the weather gets cooler, I suddenly feel the urge to mix up something sweet and spicy (preferably to enjoy with a hot mug of tea or coffee!) Sometimes I’ll bake during naptime or in the evenings, to surprise Ethan when he wakes up, but more often I’ll invite him to climb up on a chair to help me pour and mix. Apple crisp, pumpkin muffins, and gingersnaps are some of my favorite fall treats to bake!

Visit a New Coffee Shop

Starbucks may be the first thing you think about when you think of a fall cup of coffee, but while I appreciate pumpkin spice now and then, there are so many sweet local coffee shops to explore in our city! Thou Mayest and Crows Coffee are two of our favorites, but I also just had a delicious pumpkin pie latte at Parkville Coffee this weekend (and it’s just a short walk from there to English Landing Park for a autumn stroll along the river).

Rake Leaves and then Jump in the Pile

Sure, kids love this tradition, but don’t let that stop you from trying it, too! I don’t think there’s much that could bring out your inner child quite like jumping in a pile of leaves! And crisp fall leaves are the quintessential fall smell!

Make a Big Pot of Soup and Invite Some Friends Over To Share It

You may have noticed that a lot of my fall traditions revolve around food, but really, all around the world we use food to celebrate the significant seasons and moments in our lives (hello, birthday cake!) While I love the sweet fall treats, I think sitting down to savor something warm and comforting, like a good, hearty soup is such an appropriate way to celebrate this cooler season. And it’s even better when you gather around a table with some friends and loved ones to share it. You can make it homemade (I love to throw soup in my slow cooker!) but even soup from a can counts if your short on time!

Schedule a Fall Photo Session!

I know, I know….but I had to end with this one, because if you’re like me and you love to celebrate fall with all these traditions, don’t you want a tangible reminder of those sweet memories with your loved ones to look back on year after year? Maybe it’s your child’s first experience apple picking or that hike you took with your fiancé the fall you got engaged or that coffee date alone with your husband while your mother in law watched the kids for a morning. These traditions aren’t even as much about the fall season as they are about celebrating it with the ones you love. So while you can schedule a photo session all year round (and I hope you do!), fall is full of these sweet traditions and moments that are perfect for capturing in a photo session! Message me to chat more about how I can help capture those fall moments for you, whether it’s with your family, your spouse, or even just you and your dog!

(Are you hoping to catch one of my fall mini sessions? I still have a couple open! Click over here for more details!)

So how about you? What are your favorite fall traditions?
Comment below and share some of your favorite things to do in the fall!

In This Business Together: Emilee and Anthony’s Relaxed In-Home Headshot Session {Kansas City Small Business Photography}
 Kansas City lifestyle photographer in home couples session cuddling in the kitchen with coffee engagement photos black and white photo

I really love getting to connect with other creative entrepreneurs in my area. I feel inspired by the lovely things they create and by their tenacity in pursuing work that brings them joy.

Emilee is one of those creative entrepreneurs. Though she is a photographer herself, she recently branched out into a new business venture as well, starting a wedding décor rental company with her husband Tony. As newlyweds themselves, they remember what it felt like to plan a wedding, recalling both the excitement and the stress of managing all the details and balancing a budget. As they were planning their wedding, Emilee noticed that many brides chose the same few weddings themes and purchased similar decorations. After the wedding, they then had to either sell or store those decorations. Now that Emiliee is married and settling into a new home with Tony, her recent experience with wedding planning led her to start Wedding Decor & More, a company that rents wedding décor to brides to help them save time, money, and hassle in the wedding planning process.

I loved hearing how this new business was fueled by Emilee and Tony’s own lives and experiences. I think one thing I’m learning in this adventure of running my own business is that business and my personal life aren’t as starkly separate as I used to think they needed to be. I’m realizing that who we are and the things we love really do influence the work we pursue and HOW we pursue that work.

And so my session with these two was less about what they do with their business and the products they offer and more about who they are and the way they love each other. It was about the way Tony makes Emilee laugh (something she loves about him!) and the way he supports her in every crazy idea she has, including supporting her in running two businesses. It was about how Emilee is so energetic and upbeat (which is the first thing that attracted Tony to her when they met working together at a restaurant) and hard-working. It was about how comfortable they feel together, content to relax in their home with one another and their three dogs. Doing their session at home, cuddling on the couch, relaxing in the kitchen, and sitting with their dogs, seemed to fit these two and the relaxed, cheerful demeanor they offer in all they do, including in this new business.

I can’t wait to see these in action on their new website (coming soon!). In the meantime, you can find out more about Wedding Décor & More on Facebook.  

Community Over Competition: A Photographers Play Date {Kansas City Couples Photography}
 Couples session in Kansas City west bottoms couples photography hair blowing

“Community over competition.”

I first heard this slogan (which originates from the Rising Tide Society) at the Inspired Story Conference in Dallas last summer, when I gathered with women photographers from around the country for a weekend of learning, creating, and listening to one another’s stories. Every photographer who spoke at the conference shared their knowledge and stories candidly and generously. I was blessed and challenged as much by their humble attitude as their words. My experience that weekend at the conference pushed the value of “community over competition” deep into my heart.

As my own knowledge and experience slowly grows, I try to remember the gift that that those photographers were (and still are) to me as I learn this business of photography. And like them, I strive to share what I know just as generously, whether it’s sharing a particularly lovely location I’ve found or passing on client questionnaires I’ve created. Although this can be a competitive business, with dozens of photographers clamoring for the same clients, I believe that the competition doesn’t need to define my interactions with other local photographers and that forming positive relationships with other area photographers can only help all of us grow stronger in our art and business.

I’m grateful that there are other local photographers that feel the same, including Jen Williams and Jordan Friend. A couple weeks ago, Jen and Jordan organized a play date for some local photographers in the West Bottoms and I had the privilege of joining them. They had recruited some couples and singles to model for us and we spent a couple hours that afternoon, wandering the area, taking photos and getting to know one another. I had never been to the West Bottoms before and the urban environment definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone. The harsh mid-afternoon light was also a challenge, forcing me to embrace the contrast and find flattering light in the shadows. Several of the photographers there that day also showed me how they use some of their lighting equipment to offset the harsh light, inviting me to rethink the usefulness of flash.

In the end, I sweated a lot (it was HOT out that afternoon!), made some new connections, stretched myself beyond my comfort zone, and created some images I’m proud of.

Kolby and Shaffen

Rebecca and Trevor

Olivia

Wandering Westport: Part Two of Chris and Hanna’s Urban Session {Kansas City Couples Photography}
 urban engaged or married couple in Westport archway engagment photography couples photography Kansas City, MO

As promised, here is Part 2 of Chris and Hanna’s fun and relaxed session! (If you missed Part 1, you can find it here)

One of the things that Hanna and Chris have loved about their current apartment is its proximity to the quaint and unique shops and restaurants of Westport. They love to try new restaurants together as fun little dates, so it made sense to do the second portion of their session in this fun part of Kansas City. We didn’t really have a plan for this portion of the session, other than to wander together and give ourselves permission to stop whenever we found a place that looked fun. And let me tell you, it was so much fun! Westport is full of colorful storefronts, brick alleys, and unique little nooks and crannies. And we found the most beautiful, dramatic light in the parking garage of all places!

I also loved that many of the buildings and shop fronts had an international flair to them. Those seemed to particularly suit Chris and Hanna, who love to travel together (in fact, Hanna described a backpacking trip through South America as their favorite “date” together!)

A Newlywed Home: Chris and Hanna’s Adorable In-Home Session {Kansas City Couples Photography}
 cuddling together with coffee on a bed during an intimate in-home couples session in Kansas City, MO

(I’m actually going to post Chris and Hanna’s session in two parts, because there’s just too much goodness to fit in one post! So stay tuned for Part 2!)

I love photographing couples and families in their homes. These in-home sessions happen most often when a newborn baby makes his entrance into a family or when the cold of winter pushes us all indoors, but I think the home provides a sweet, intimate setting for a photo session in any season (and in any season of life). Home is the space we come to rest, to relax, and to be most fully ourselves with the ones we love, and I enjoy seeing the ways each home reflects the life and personalities of those who inhabit it. 

So you can imagine how excited I was when Hanna and Chris asked if we could do their session their cozy Westport apartment! This apartment was their first home together as a married couple and holds many memories of that first year and a half as newlyweds. They are preparing to move this year, though, and wanted to commemorate that season in their first home with a photo session before they go. 

Their apartment is full of light, warm color, and the kind of character that only an older building can offer. Every room held little details that spoke of Hanna and Chris’ personalities and life together, from the walls that friends help paint when they first moved in to Hanna’s easel and paints in the dining room, the theology books lined up on the shelf next to a globe of the world, the old newspaper stand that proclaims “You’re Married”, and the potted plant trailing on the window sill. 

Before their session, Hanna shared that the two of them met in college, while riding together with friends on the way to a dance. They hit it off on that car ride (so much so that they may have freaked out their friends!) and both fell in love with their ability to banter back and forth and make each other laugh. It wasn’t hard to imagine the banter of that first meeting as I watched them joke and tease and laugh together during their session. 

Chris and Hanna, thanks for being vulnerable enough to allow me into your home to photograph you together! It really was a joy to spend that Saturday morning together!