So I decided to venture out yesterday to do something out of the ordinary for me. I drove off in search of something... What that was, I don't know for sure. I had this abstract idea in mind of finding some old abandoned structures and thought I'd just take some time to shoot "not people" for a change of pace.  

After quite a bit of driving old dirt roads I just about gave up hope of finding anything worth stopping for until I stumbled upon this little gem.  She sat atop a hill somewhere outside of Manhattan, Ks.  The bright sun was shining from behind the hollowed out home, as if to say "Please come see me! I'm so lonely..." 

 So.. I did. 

It was peaceful up there. The breeze was blowing softly , and you could hear the tall grasses rustling in the wind.  

As I made my way through the first layer of the entryway rubble I wondered how things end up this way.  Who lived here? Why did they up and leave? The air smelled stale and musty while the wallpaper fell peeling off the walls little by little.  Exposure to the elements and the pull of gravity over time had taken it's toll on this place.  Such a state of desolation.  I thought of the possible families that ate together in this kitchen. The mother who watches the kids through the window as she sweats over a stove in the heat of the summer.   What kind of plates hung on that rack? 

I imagine what the place looked like filled with life.  Noises of happy children running around the open fields out back.  I pictured them reading stories in the bedrooms, catching fireflies in the grasses. 

The doorknobs.. How many hands have turned them? It makes you think... So many times things happen for the last time and we don't realize it is the "last" at that moment. Did the final occupant leave knowing they'd not return this place?  Was the light switched off with the plan that it would never restore light to this home for the rest of it's days?  I'll never know.  

I went out looking for something old and though I didn't discover anything mind blowing I saw what things can look like if you let them go.  This house was someones home.  They worked hard for it at one point.  Until one day, they let it go.  This once freshly painted, wallpapered, and secured shelter was now nothing more than an abandoned, hollowed out vessel. It now only stood to shelter some birds and whatever other creatures felt like stopping by for a visit.  I am thankful for the welcoming invitation. It made me slow down and think for a bit. Something I've needed for a long time.  Thank you old adorable house.  Thanks for letting me capture you as you stand.  Your flaws, your emptiness... your reality.   

Colt + Jennifer : A Surprise Proposal

 "I love you... not for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you..." - unknown

First of all... Let me just begin this entry by saying it's not very often that a guy wants to pose for a photographer period... let alone at his own proposal to his girlfriend.  

Jennifer... I'm going to just throw this out there right now: HE IS A KEEPER!!!!  

Rewind about a month.  Colt came to me searching for someone to document this event for the two of them knowing that the woman he would soon call "fiancé" would probably like to have the  memory to look back on.  (so thoughtful!) We went back and forth for some time, plotting, planning... and discussing our options as far as how we were going to get away with this and keep it a secret from her.  I felt so bad! But at the same time, it was just necessary.  I felt sneaky but...  it worked like a charm. 

I was set up waiting for their arrival.  They walked over to the JC Nichols fountain at the Country Club Plaza, and they stopped along the way for a selfie or two. 

I watched for him to notice my location back in the distance, as they giggled and made their way to the area where I was hiding out. 

Right away I could tell that they were such an amazing young couple.  They met through a mutual friend at a halloween party.  Colt said, "I knew she was the one for me because everything was, and is, so easy with her."  You could tell that he knew just from the way he looked at her. 

They talked and smiled for a few minutes and though after the fact he spoke about his nerves, I couldn't tell one bit as I snapped away at their conversation and smiles.  At one point he starts to go down on one knee, and JUST as I was about to get a little teary eyed myself, she yanked him back up so quickly that I had to giggle instead.  He never even made it to the ground! :)  

 Are they not the cutest couple ever?! 

His plan worked like a charm.  He told her that since they've both been so busy lately, that they needed a little break and took a stroll around the area before dinner and she didn't even see it coming.  After a few tears and a beautiful embrace with the "Yes!" we were able to catch a few quick images before they went off to enjoy their evening as bride and groom to be :)  


Beautiful ring for a beautiful girl.  I am so thrilled for the both of you!  May your future be filled with health, happiness, and love.  Congratulations Jennifer and Colt and happy wedding planning! 




Sweet Martha

Meet Sweet Martha... This singing/songwriting duo caught my attention through a friend and I fell in love immediately.   Kaitlyn's sweet, demure personality is the perfect contrast to Brad's intermittent jokes.  The bantering between the two alone is probably enough to keep anyone entertained but nothing beats the sound that Sweet Martha puts out.  If you can get to a show I'd highly recommend it! 


With the beautiful, buttery, voice of a songbird, Kaitlyn Mrasek doesn't miss a beat.  She met her soon to be band mate Bradley Rader at CMSU where she says, "I remember singing along to 'Til Kingdom Come' by Coldplay when he was playing guitar in one of the common rooms – probably trying to get girls – and I just started harmonizing with him. From there, he asked me to sing backup for a couple of gigs he was working on but never materialized."

Bradley Rader, guitarist and songwriter, had been keeping busy writing his own music while "adulting" and working a full time job.  Finally in 2012 the two came together again and began working on a cover set and building off of Brad's previously written music.   

Brad is not only an amazingly talented musician and singer... (I'd also like to point out the obvious fact that he can grow a killer beard!)  These two sound perfect together. You can listen for yourself at the end of this blog. Definitely push play on the links I've provided! 


These guys are worth checking out!  Now and again you can catch a set at a local venue so keep an eye on this duo....  They're going places :)  And in the meantime check out the videos! 

Melanie + Tommy - A Vintage Celebration of Love

“A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.” — Honore de Balzac Quotes

Anyone that knows me, will tell you... I am a cynic.  I don't make it a secret.  Love? BLECH!  CRYING at a wedding? WHAT is that?!   I thought for SURE without any doubt in my mind, that I would show up to this event just like any other I've documented.  Nope.  I did my job.. I laughed almost the entirety of the ceremony,  my camera plastered up against my face.  I smiled as I looked through the lens, and I most certainly did tear up on several different occasions.  This couple exudes love.  They are the epitome of happiness.  I thought I'd walk away from this one as I have any other.  A sense of relief that my job was done to the best of my ability.  Coming down off of the adrenaline rush as I sift through the images of the day (maybe with a glass of wine in hand ;)  Instead, I found myself reflecting mostly.  Thinking how lovely it must be to have someone look at you the way these two look at each other.  Bravo Mel, you made a believer outta this girl! 

The wedding ceremony and reception took place at the Historic barn in Tonganoxie, Kansas.  We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day! 

Melanie worked relentlessly on everything from the cake and cupcakes, down to the decor.  Everything you see, was created by her own two hands.  Impressive to say the least. 

Mom was unable to be there due to some health issues so the girls got to video chat :)  Gotta love technology these days!  Some photographers can't stand the phones at events like this.  They really don't bother me.  Besides, who would NOT want to capture a moment as sweet as this?  

Tommy came to Kansas from Louisiana with a plan.  He said he had three wishes. 1: win a million dollars.  His last two wishes were both to get a wife.  The two met that night.  They fell in love, by the simple touch of a hand, backed by those two very specific wishes that had been hanging out in his back pocket for quite a while.  

The look on his face pretty much says it all. 

Butterflies like weddings too!  

All three of Melanie's boys were in attendance. Thank you Ian for missing homecoming for mom's day :) 

Mom danced with her son and smiled throughout.  I think this may be my favorite image of the day! 

A wall in memory of the loved ones attending this ceremony in spirit. 

Mel and Tommy... Thank you for allowing me the great pleasure, to document your wedding, your memories, and your love.  This family is truly special.  Congratulations! 

Sunset Senior- Lauren

So... nothing excites me more than a last minute photo shoot.  Lucky for me, I am located about five minutes from the infamous Grinter Farms sunflower field and they decided to bloom a few weeks before we had this shoot scheduled.  On a whim, we decided to do the first half of the lovely Lauren's session at the farm while the flowers were in bloom.  I'm definitely not complaining! :)   

The lush golden carpet of flowers was not the only feature at the field.  Thankfully her mother noticed this spot tucked away across the street because it compliments Lauren's features beautifully!  

Perfection is when you come across a huge green/gold tractor for a Bobcat senior session :) Thank you Lauren for letting me capture your natural beauty and congratulations on your senior year! 

A Summer Bridal Session

I love brides. I love everything about them from the hair, to the dress and accessories. However, let me be the first to say that I do NOT enjoy the hot and humid Kansas weather in the summer.  This shoot was everything I could have hoped for and it did unfortunately, include the weather I just mentioned.  Nicole was such a good sport!  

Not even the 100 degree heat could undo the magic her hair and makeup artists performed.   

We were so lucky to have found such a beautifully preserved location for her photos! The rustic atmosphere was the perfect contrast to her gorgeous gown and accessories.  

And what kind of rustic bridal shoot would be complete without a surprise of the boots hidden beneath the dress?! Perfect match to the antique whiskey barrel we found on site.  Thank you to Jessica Kissinger Artistry for her beautiful makeup, and to Lovely Brides for the hair!