Bradley {2012 Senior}

Meet Bradley.  He will be a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas this year and he was my first 2012 senior of the season!  I think he did me proud.  He is hoping to attend Kansas State (boooooooo).  Just kidding.  (not really)

We started down town, but we plan to finish up his shoot soon at a pond or lake, because that is where his passion lies.  He loves to hunt and fish and also loves sports.  He is on the Cross Country team and also on the baseball team at Aquinas.  He is quite the runner.

We had so much fun on our shoot tromping through the west bottoms, with the exception of him telling me he was meeting me on the North side of a haunted house when in fact he was on the South side.  But after figuring that out we set out.  He also brought his dog, Barkley along of which I kept referring to "Berkley".  Past senior experience lol!  I think Barkley did awesome.  I won't embarrass Bradley by telling the story of me asking him to come down to Barkley's level for a picture ........  oh wait, yes I will.  ;)

ME:  Bradley come down next to Barkley so I can get more of a close up picture.
BRADLEY:  Okay.  at this point he proceeds to move over the top of Barkley and squat.
ME:  Um, noooooo that doesn't look like what I was going for.   at this point he realizes what he was doing and we break out into laughter.  Where is a photographer when you need one!!

Oh wait...... at the bottom is my illustration of this fine senior moment.  Enjoy!!

Here's to you Bradley and your upcoming senior year!  You were awesome and can't wait to see what happens when we fish!

Baby B {Children}

I know, I have blogged like three times this week and just pick yourself up off the ground.  Ha ha you are very funny.  I am on a roll so just humor me in me actually trying to blog more.   I am going to make a very good effort of launching this blog on a consistent basis so you can see all the latest things that the studio is doing.

This little sweet thing melts my heart.

Shelby {Senior Class of 2011}

Wow!  I have so much to say about Miss Shelby.  I have known her since she was 7.  Her younger sister was friends with my Kylie and then a family friendship developed from there.  Her family used to be very very close family friends.  And then a very very cool thing happend.  After a bout of heartache in the family my momma and her daddy GOT MARRIED!!  Yup that happened.  So now, technically, my sweet Shelby is my niece.  And I will claim her any day of the year.  I love her like she is my own.  We bond over Forever 21 costume jewelry.  We're cool like that.

Did I mention her laugh?  I love her laugh.  She has this giggle that makes me giggle every time she giggles.  Did I mention she is ripped?  She doesn't necessarily believe it but the. girl. is. ripped.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  And did I mention she is smart?  No, not smart.  The girl is like Beautiful Mind Russell Crowe smart.  Okay don't get all wierded out and think she thinks the government is out to get her and has a room full of newspaper clippings hung everywhere.  I don't really know how else to say it besides the girl is smart.  Okay, sorry if I embarrassed you Shelbz.  Had to brag.

Aside from the obvious in being beautiful, she is loving, sweet, loyal, funny  and she radiates a sparkle to those around her.

And I had to add --  I just asked Ellie Bean what her favorite thing about Shelby was and her answer was "her pool because she teaches me to swim."  So, did I mention she gives swimming lessons?  LOL!

 In August, Shelby will be leaving this fine town we call Piper and heading to San Antonio, Texas to attend Trinity University.  We will all miss her deeply but are so excited to watch her spread her wings.

Shelby we love you and will miss you.  We wish you so many blessings on your journey in this wonderful thing we life.  You are a bright spot in this world and can't wait to see the sparkle you give it in this new adventure!!

Michael John (he's gonna be a rock star)

I really love babies. I am at that point in my life where I have enough in my home so I don't need anymore here with me, but I fall in love every single time I photograph one. So keep bringing the babies because that is my fix for a couple hours and then they get to go home and I get to sleep. ;)

This little guy is gonna be a rock star. Why? Because he already has the name, right! He was a gem when he came and his big brother was such a cutie. I have previously shot this little man because his mamma and daddy got married last year and I fell in love with his curls then. So I hope you all enjoy the rock star and show some love to the curls.

Drew {Collegiate}

I don't even know where to begin with this post.  The past couple months have completely changed me as a person and as a photographer.  It has made me take a step back and actually look at my life and my career  and start to rethink things.  One of the reasons I have taken a step back with my photography is the subjects I have taken recently.  Three specific life stories have humbled me, changed me and will forever be a part of me.

This is Drew's story.

I won't get into the details of how I met Drew because it is actually one of those stories where you talk about one thing which leads to another story which leads to a whole other story sort of story.  Because I knew Drew before I even knew Drew.  So I will tell the story in a round about sort of way.

I was the girl in high school who as a freshman was on the varsity basketball team.  Did I play, not so much, but I lettered when I was a freshman.  yyyyeeeeeaaaahhhh.  I was scared to death because these girls were HUGE.  Well, not really but perspective as a freshman is well, perspective as a freshman.  I wasn't really the most loved person coming on the team because you know, I had game.  I am just cracking myself up!  Anywho, there were two people that were seniors that kind of took me under their wing and became my mentors.  Diane Frost and one Wendee (badass) Kost.  Diane was this sweet and gentle teacher and Wendee, well I was scared to look her way because she was gonna kick my ask.  But nonetheless she seemed to like me and I went with it.  ;)  Diane and Wendee graduated that year and left Piper, but I always remembered them as being those people that made me feel like I belonged there.

Fast forward 15 years later.  Haley's junior year the basketball team goes to State.  I, of course, being the huge basketball fan that I am couldn't miss her cheer for this and watch a little State bball action.  We stayed at the same hotel a lot of the other people from the community were staying in.  I saw Wendee earlier that day and through out Haley being in high school had seen her a few times at games and stuff and would always smile at her or wave but I wasn't going to be the girl that was like Wendee!  Hey it's me Nikki Payne in the butt, you know the one from when I was a freshman and you were nice to me on the basketball team!!!!  And then have her be like yeah right, I don't remember your face at all.  So I just smiled and would be on my way.  I saw her at the hotel as she was sitting with her family in a chair by the ping pong tables and she hollered my name across the room.  I was like wait, what?  Wendee Kost is yelling at me?  Oh my God, what have I done.  Did I look at her wrong or not smile right?  I walked over to her and she asked me if I still played softball.  Yes, softball, because I was just an all-american athlete.  See, cracking myself up again.  So I was like um, yeah.  And she ASKED ME TO BE ON HER AND HER HUSBAND'S TEAM.  At this point inside my little body I was doing like a little arm action happy dance.  Yadi yada yada and I said yes, and am still playing ball with her.  Geesh.

Soooooo in between that time yes, I had seen Drew around but just didn't know who his parents were.  Wendee and Kent were Drew's parents.  So you see, I knew him before I even knew him!  

I know this is Drew's story, but I just have to go out on a little side story that Wendee has become one of my cherished friends.  Her husband, Kent and her have not one child, but two children with muscular dystrophy.  They are the bravest, srongest and most kind people you will ever meet.  I heart them and can't say enough about them.

So let's talk about Drew.  Drew has muscular dystrophy.  Drew graduated May 21 from the University of Kansas.  He is graduated from the School of Journalism.  WOW.  Well, you say why wow?  Well, I will tell you why wow.  When Wendee and I talked about taking some pictures at the KU campus for his senior year I was more than on board.  I was so happy to do it because Drew and I have this relationship where we both enjoy the side of our personalities that can be a complete smart ask. ;)  So I met them in Lawrence to begin our photographic journey.  I knew I wanted to do something different because well, Drew's life is the same as every other college student, but Drew's life is also different.  I wanted to be able to photograph what he wanted but I also wanted to represent his life.

We set out to photograph him first at the journalism department.  So yeah, we set out.  We drove to a parking lot and his sweet, dear mom unloaded his scooter, put it together and Drew got on and we went a walkin!  You see, as we are climbing the hill along the sidewalk and Drew is climbing along the sidewalk too it hit me.  His mom is not there every single day to drive him to a parking lot and load and unload his scooter.  Hmm.  "Drew, so when it is 5 degrees outside you are climbing all these hills from your dorm?"  Yup, he does.  He has to bear down and just push through whatever weather is thrown his way.  Can he ride the bus?  Sure, but it really isn't as simple as you would think.

We walked around the campus for an hour up sidewalks, down sidewalks, around sidewalks.  I wanted a picture of him in front of the Tower at Campinelli Hill.  Yeah, right.  After walking for 20 minutes around a building looking for a way to get there we gave up.  We stood on a walkway with it in the background and dealt.

The two hours I spent with Drew will forever change me.  My little Ellie Bean complains when she has to walk into Target.  Really?  I complain because I don't like the cold and then drive in my warm car to where I need to go to get out and have to walk for 20 seconds into somewhere.  Really?

Drew you are an inspiration.  You have faced adversity and you are kicking it in it's face.  You are my hero and you are just awesome.  Congratulations on graduating the University of Kansas.  God Bless you and God Bless your future endeavors.


2012 Senior time is here!!!  Book your session for this summer anytime in June and you get 48 free wallets!  Post this picture on your facebook wall and tag five friends and you get 16 more wallets FOR FREE!!!!!  Now how can you pass that up!!

Email or call the studio 913.638.0225