Rebecca Clair Photography

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Posts tagged Kansas City photographer
Blossoms and Mud; Celebrating the Beauty of Spring with the Alderson Family {Kansas City Family Photographer}
 Family portrait in a grove of trees at Loose Park, golden hour family session, Kansas City creative  family photographer, Rebecca Clair Photography

Spring holds so much beauty, like a gift the earth unwraps after the cold gray of winter. There are the crocuses that push through the snows of early spring. The soft warmth of the sun coaxing us out of our houses. Trees laden with fragrant blossoms. And tiny leaves unfurling from every branch and thawing patch of ground.

But there is also rain. And mud. There is wind and cold drizzle and sometimes unexpected frost or snows that wipe out the flowers and seem to push us back into winter.

The beauty of spring is mixed with messiness and mud.

Yet somehow the mud and rain highlight those spring blossoms and make them feel that much more lovely and welcome.

Sometimes I think new seasons of our lives are like that, with mud and mess framing the beauty unfolding. It takes a conscious effort to lift our eyes from the mud and fix our gaze on the beauty and new life.

It was such a privilege to watch the Alderson family do just that, to fix their eyes on the sweetness of their new baby, on the wonder of their older son’s curiosity and energy, on the goodness of their love for one another through the ups and downs of these seasons, and on the abundant beauty of this season of their family.

Practically Perfect In Every Way; Welcoming Baby Marin {Kansas City Newborn Photographer}
 newborn baby in crib, looking down from above, Kansas City lifestyle newborn photographer, in-home newborn session
“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” — Peter Adams

When I chatted with Kirsten before her session, she admitted that she cried a little when she came across my portfolio of newborn photos on my website. It was part of what convinced her to hire me to photograph her own little family as baby Marin joined their world. And it was possibly one of the sweetest compliments she could give me.

Because that is always one of my goals in a portrait session. Not necessarily to make people cry (though I feel like I’ve done something right when they do!), but to make them feel something when they look at the images I create.

Each season of our lives are full of so many feelings (“all the feels” as they say), but in the swirl of life, in the exhausted haze of the newborn stage, then the constant motion of the toddler years, and later in the rush of soccer practices and dance recitals and science club, we barely have a moment to take in those feelings and we struggle to live present in the moment (or at least I struggle to). But when I create images that evoke those feelings, they offer a second chance to savor those feelings and moments all over again (and again and again as you look at them on your walls or flip through them in an album).

What feelings do you want to savor in this season of life? Let’s chat about how a photo session could help you do that (message me to start the conversation!)

Welcomed Home; Luke's Light-Filled Newborn Session {Kansas City Newborn Photographer}
 Kansas City lifestyle newborn photographer, Kansas City newborn photographer, Kansas City newborn photos, Kansas City in-hom newborn session, parents cuddling baby on bed

Welcome to 2018! Do you have big hopes and dreams for this year?

I thought it would be appropriate to start the New Year with a new blog featuring a brand new little baby!

The Robinsons first invited me into their home this fall for a relaxed in-home maternity session. During their session, they shared that they had designed their house themselves and I loved seeing all the little details they had added to make it home, including artwork and several wall hangings that they had made themselves. And all the light filling each room was a photographer’s dream!

Then in December I returned to photograph them again as they welcomed baby Luke into their home. They had added more sweet details to Luke’s nursery but I couldn’t help thinking that the thing that made it feel most like home was the way that Luke nestled right into their home and their life. It was such a privilege to capture them in this sweet new season as a family of three!

What makes your house feel like home for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Everyday Treasures: the Tarkowski Family’s Saturday Morning Session {Kansas City Family Photographer}
 Rebecca Clair Photography Kansas City MO lifestyle family photographer Line Creek Trail Family Session family together by a waterfall

I am so excited to finally share this sweet family session with you guys! I think it may have been one of my favorite sessions lately, not just because this family is gorgeous (though they are!), but because I so enjoyed witnessing how tender they were with one another and the sweet moments of connection they created during our time together.

This year I’ve started sending out a little questionnaire to my clients once they book a session with me, to help me get to know them a little more and plan a session that truly fits them in this season in their lives. I knew this family’s session was going to be good as soon as I read Natalie’s responses to her questionnaire. She shared candidly about some of the challenges and insecurities of life as the mom of two littles (I love it when clients are real and authentic with me!), but she also wrote so poignantly about the little everyday moments, in the midst of that real life, that make her feel loved: when her husband tells her that she’s beautiful every single day or calls in the middle of the day just to say hi. When her daughter comes in to snuggle in the morning or draws her special pictures or is so excited about something that she can’t wait to tell her. When her son cries for everyone else but stops immediately when he settles into her arms. She shared about the moments she loves with her family, snuggling up together to watch a movie together, about sharing a cup of green tea with her husband in the morning before the kids wake up, about taking walks together at the park as a family, about playing with the neighbors, and about watching her husband play pretend with her daughter.

When I read her responses, I couldn’t help thinking that these moments are the treasures of this season with littles, the gems in the midst of the chaos and mundane, the beauty that gets us through the challenges. Life with young kids can be so trying at times (as the mom of a toddler, I’m right in the thick of that season, too!), but I’ve found that stopping to really appreciate and enjoy these moments helps remind me of why it’s all worth it. I am so grateful that I got to capture a few of those treasure moments with the Tarkowski family that Saturday morning as they explored one of their favorite trails together.

How about you? What treasure moments get you through the unique challenges of your current season of life?

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.  

Great Expectations: A Tale of Two Donuts (and a Few Tips for Happier Toddler Sessions) {Kansas City Family Photography}
 Kansas City family photographer toddler eating a donut Cider Hill Family Orchard

Let me tell you a little story about expectations vs. reality with a toddler.

Last week, on one of those gloomy, rainy days we’ve had lately, I ran out to the grocery store with Ethan to grab one quick thing that I had forgotten during our normal grocery trip (because now that we have a second car, we can do that!) While we were there, I decided to pick up a donut for us to share, a special rainy day treat.

Here’s how I imagined we would enjoy it:

We would come home from our errand, snuggle up together while the rain fell softly against the window, and share a sweet blueberry donut treat together.

Here’s how it actually went down:

Ethan cried and yelled “Dono! Dono! Donooo!” the entire car ride home. He ate his portion of the donut at the table in about 30 seconds. And then proceeded to cry, “Dono! Dono!” again, until naptime.  Not exactly the sweet moment together that I’d imagined!

Why do I share this with you? Because I get it. I get the frustration of planning something fun, only to have your toddler melt down. And I get the disappointment of booking a photo session and having your toddler frown and refuse to sit down or look at the camera. Toddlers are hard to predict and often have strong opinions of what they do or don’t want to do. It can make picture day a little stressful for you and them.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are a few tips for setting up a session that’s fun for your toddler (and therefore fun for you, too!)

1) Loosen your expectations. I know Pinterest is full of cute poses and ideas and we can try a few of them, but don’t push too hard if your toddler isn’t into it! I find that we get happier, more genuine photos when we follow your toddlers lead. If they just want to cuddle in your lap, go with it! These moments won’t last forever and you’ll be glad you captured them. If they don’t want to let go of their favorite toy, let them keep it. You’ll look back at these photos and remember the season when they were inseparable from it. Do they just want to run around with sticks? Jump into the game and chase them! We can totally capture that, too!

2) Bring a favorite toy or book. Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal or car? Do they ask you to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear every single night? Bring those along! They can help your child feel more comfortable in a new place, with a stranger, and we can catch some photos that capture these beloved pieces of their childhood.

3) Bring a snack or treat. I’m not necessarily advocating for bribing your child (but maybe just a little?), but it’s no secret that a fun treat can often quickly turn around a toddler’s mood! My only suggestion is to bring something that you don’t mind being in the photos since I won’t be photoshopping those out (you may find that cookies are cuter than cereal bars and fresh fruit is cuter than an applesauce pouch!) and don’t bring something messy unless you’re willing to embrace the mess of the moment!

4) Play together. I know that sometimes you want just one good picture where you’re looking at the camera and smiling (the kind that the grandparents will hang on their fridge) and I always try to get at least one of those. But most of the session I want to focus on you enjoying being together. Snuggle your child. Tickle them. Toss them in the air. Spin them around. Explore with them. As you focus on spending quality time with them and having fun together, I’ll focus on catching the sweetest, authentic photos, too.

Despite my rainy day treat backfiring, we had a little bit of donut redemption at Cider Hill Family Orchard’s Apple Blossom Festival this weekend. After we took a wagon ride through the orchard, we sat together on a bench, a warm bag of donuts crinkling in our hands and cinnamon sugar coating our fingers, watching a fire and munching on the BEST apple cider donuts (and then we wandered around the orchard, fed ducks, splashed sticks in the pond, and swung on a swing!). It wasn’t the same rainy day snuggles that I’d imagined last week, but it was a sweet family moment I’ll cherish.