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Wow, where do I even begin? In case you missed it on Facebook, last month we had the joy of welcoming our first child, our beautiful son, into the world after nearly a decade of trying and waiting. Charlie has been such a blessing and perfect addition to our life, we are so happy! The last month has been so wonderfully beautiful, exhausting, and joyful it’s hard to put into words but if you’re a parent reading this, well, you know how I’m feeling! I want to soak in every second of this precious and fleeting time, even when he’s crying and we’re trying to figure out why, or when I’m nursing him and literally falling asleep sitting up, and how sleeping 3 hours feels like we slept all night. Charlie smiled at me yesterday and I just melted. Oh the joy that is before us and ahead of us. If I could bottle it all to keep forever, I would! Motherhood is so much more than I could ever have imagined. To go from battling infertility for so long (and eventually just accepting it) to the other side of the dream being realized, is just…well, wow.

I’ve worked with hundreds of babies over the last 8 years as a photographer and finding time to photograph my own baby has been a challenge! I’m so thankful for my dear friends Sarah Maxey (who photographed Charlie’s beautiful birth) and Janean Gray (who photographed his incredible newborn session) because otherwise this tired momma would have missed photographing these precious milestones. Fellow photographers, if you are expecting your own baby, hire someone else to do the photos instead of thinking you’ll do them yourself, seriously!

So, here we are at one month old!! Charlie was born weighing 6 1/2 pounds and is now up to over 9 lbs! He’s a hearty eater! We’re still working through sleep deprivation but it’s getting better, slowly but surely. He’s a pretty serious little guy so far but the smiles are starting to come in and I’m so excited for the next stage where he is more interactive with us. Hubby and I have chosen not to share many photos online, but here’s a couple to show how big he’s getting even though he’s still little!

I’ll be back to work here VERY soon, and excited for what’s to come this year. Some changes of course to reflect working around Charlie’s schedule, but it benefits everyone. I always knew that being a mom was tough, but now that I am walking the walk and talking the talk, I REALLY just GET IT now. So I want to make marking these milestones much easier for everyone, and I look forward to really launching what I have in store for you. Stay tuned, it’s coming soon!

Happy 1 Month Charlie! Momma loves you!!


Beckie Nicholls -

Jess, I know I’ve already said it, but nothing is making me happier, right now, than knowing you are finally getting to experience motherhood! I love you guys so much and can’t wait until you’re here and I can hold my brand new nephew!

Robin Jeffries -

<3 <3 <3

Therese Burke -

Congratulations Jessica ..it is wonderful reading your story. I have known about you for a long time because Quinn Keller is my nephew. You captured his life so beautifully during all that time in the hospital. Thank you. I just became a grandmother for the first time and my grand-daughter’s name is Charleigh 🙂 too. Mush happiness with your darling Charlie .. he is adorable !! xo Welcome to motherhood .. it is the very best !!

Rhonda Barrett Mann -

So happy for you, Jessica and Daniel

Jennifer Butterworth -

He is so cute! Still just thrilled for you and Dan. Enjoy this time.


Miss Kate turned 3 in January and when brain storming ideas for locations with her mom, she suggested we do a Frozen themed session since Kate’s daddy custom built a Frozen themed castle for her birthday party the next day. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I’ve been photographing this gorgeous girl and her precious family since she was 3 months old and have loved watching her grow into the spunky spirited little lady she is becoming.

I had her start out by singing “Let It Go” of course and from there we had some fun, had a snowball toss with Mom & Dad and she got to open a present early! A girl can’t have enough Elsa dolls!

Happy Birthday sweet Kate, you’re such a treasure to all who know you and you’re going to do great things in this world!

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This amazing family is always such a joy to photograph year after year, they’ve been annual regulars since the littlest girls were 6 months old and this was their 5th year. We always try to alternate styles of location, last year we were in a park setting so this year we went with some architecture and the Unity Village campus in Lee’s Summit never fails to disappoint. The campus is huge but we focused on the main center garden area with the water features and stone work. We also scheduled it for a week night since it’s really popular for weddings on the weekends, so if you’re planning on going out there, I strongly suggest a weekday morning or evening as we pretty much had the place to ourselves.


We have a standard set of combos we always get; all the family together, just the kids together, parents alone, and then individual shots of each kiddo. Since my sessions are all-in-one sessions (meaning time and digital images), it makes it easy to get all the combos done for the wall. I especially love when parents get shots of just them by themselves because after the kids come along, it rarely happens! So I try to make sure I always get some. I think I have maybe two photos of my parents alone together my entire childhood, and I was kid #4, so I know how important it is for the kids to have when they’re older as well as for parents.


We lucked out with an overcast evening so we didn’t have to deal with any direct sunlight, which made these photos below PERFECT. I am loving how blue the water was and how amazing everyone looked in front of it.


Looking forward to next year with this precious family! And if you’ve never been to Unity Village, I highly recommend it! Awesome location to shoot at!


It’s finally starting to get chilly here in KC, which means sunny skies and temps hanging around the freezing point with the wind chill, something the Canadian girl in me says feels more like Spring but the Kansas girl in me says “I’m not ready for Winter!”. I’m sure anyone reading this probably relates to the Kansas girl more! SO, in an effort to feel warm and fuzzy, time to start posting sunny sessions from this Fall. I’ve been so busy shooting that I just haven’t blogged. Here’s a freaking adorable family session we photographed down in the River Market. These sisters were just too cute for words and I loved how much they loved each other, it just melts your heart. Smiles and giggles for days.

Here are some of my favorites! I love the orange, blue and green from the scenes color combo, it just totally works! Enjoy! And stay warm!

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Okay, I know I say it in black/white here on my website that I never shoot seniors, ‘as in ever’. BUT, sometimes rules can be broken and I do surprise myself with how much fun I have. Case in point, Abby Jo’s senior session. Her mom is a good friend and colleague of mine and when she asked if I would do the session, I thought ‘you know, why not?’. And we had a BLAST! We chose the Crossroads here in Kansas City for the majority of our session and got a good mix of greenery and urban feel to Abby Jo’s photos, which just turned out beautiful. It’s been a long time since I worked with a teenager and I’ve been so used to chasing toddlers for sessions, it was a nice break! I’m contemplating bringing back Senior sessions next spring when I’m back from maternity leave, so stay tuned!

Here are some of my faves from Abby Jo’s session! Here’s the the Class of 2016!

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