Rebecca Clair Photography

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Posts tagged Kansas City lifestyle photographer
Saving the World by Beauty; Melissa’s Senior Celebration Session {Kansas City Lifestyle Photographer}
 Latte with rose petals in a coffee shop, Kansas City lifestyle photographer, Kansas City senior photographer, Kansas City small business headshots, Kansas City lifestyle blogger, candid portrait, winter portrait session, Monarch Coffee

When we sat down at Monarch Coffee, Melissa pulled out a journal and a little paperback book titled Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved By Beauty. I know only a little about Dorothy Day and even less about this particular book, but the subtitle intrigued me (so much so that I just ordered it from the library).

As we chatted over lattes (Melissa ordered a pistachio rose latte with dried rose petals sprinkled on top – by far the loveliest and most unique latte I’ve ever seen!), I began to understand how that book title reflected so much more than just a random addition to her reading list.

Beauty is an integral part of who Melissa is and what brings her joy. She loves flowers, glitter, poetry, and the color purple and laughed out loud at the unexpected gift of simple things like flower petals on her latte (after she had given up on the idea having flowers for a February photo session). But she’s also a strong, determined woman who carries her warm, bubbly personality into some admittedly difficult places. After studying nursing in undergrad, she is now finishing up a master’s degree in social work. Every week she puts her ideals into action at her job at a local women’s shelter. And she wasn’t afraid to embrace the beauty of her life right now by scheduling a photo session for just herself as she celebrates finding her voice again in this season and entering a career that she is absolutely passionate about.

And as she sipped her latte, Melissa pointed out the tattoo on her wrist – a simple semicolon – and shared that it serves as a tangible reminder of her hope, a permanent declaration (to both herself and others) that the story isn’t over and that beauty will still prevail.

Do you find hope and encouragement in beauty? How do you make space for beauty in your own life?

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!

Not About Cancer: A Shoot for CURE Magazine’s Extraordinary Healers Publication {Kansas City Lifestyle Photographer}
 Rebecca Clair Photography Kansas City MO lifestyle photographer CURE magazine Extraordinary Healers nurse and patient cancer survivor at Lake Jacomo

Cancer has altered the course of Danielle’s life. Diagnosed at just 17, cancer undoubtedly changed many areas of her life and family and ultimately led her to a career with a cancer organization.

Cancer has also defined Donna’s career as she has worked as an oncology nurse for years, helping countless patients walk through the practical and emotional side effects of their diagnoses. 

And cancer is what initially brought these two together, when Danielle first met Donna in that awkward doctor's office visit, shortly after her diagnosis. 

But this session was not about cancer. It was about two friends, sitting by a lake on a spring day, catching up on life. It was about sharing stories of children and grandbabies. It was about laughing (a LOT of laughing) and maybe a bit of hugging. Because that’s a huge part of what set Donna apart as a nurse for Danielle: she cared about Danielle as a person, not just as a cancer patient, and she made her feel comfortable enough to laugh, even in the most uncomfortable situations. 

I'm so grateful to CURE Magazine for connecting me with these two extraordinary women and featuring a few images of their sweet reunion in the latest edition of their Extraordinary Healers publication. If you're able, I suggest reading Danielle's moving tribute to the impact Donna had on her cancer journey, along with the other essays in the collection. (And I have to say, it's super fun to see a few of the photos in print in the book of essays that CURE just published!)