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the mccarthy family – kansas city family portraits

i’m losing track of how many times i’ve worked with the mccarthy family now. having them in front of my camera is always a treat. we typically go for an urban setting for their family portraits but we decided to try out the beautiful fall colors this year and i love what we captured.

not only are the mccarthys a ridiculously beautiful family, they are one of the most loving families i know.

we used this next series on their christmas card and it just makes me smile.

and seriously. farrah. she slays me. like a sweet little fairy in the meadow. she’s perfect.

ryan and erika, you are simply amazing and so are your children. and i’m honored that you’ve chosen me to capture all these little stages in their lives.

with lots of love,


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hometown style – my favorite kansas city tees for her life magazine

i loved kansas city before kansas city was cool and that’s probably why i had so much fun putting this shoot together. i rounded up a collection of my favorite kansas city shirts for the january issue of her life magazine. what’s even more fun is that i got to style the whole shoot too. model harrison quinn brought his own pants and shoes and much of what model paige pelfrey is wearing came from my own closet.

one of the first to make my list is raygun. i’ve been buying raygun shirts online for years and i was thrilled when they opened a brick and mortar shop here in kansas city. as a native kansas citian i find that people who don’t live here are often confused by the whole kansas city, kansas/kansas city, missouri thing. there’s no better way to sum it up than with this too much city for one state tee.

next up is charlie hustle. if you haven’t heard of charlie hustle, there’s a chance you’ve been living under a rock. paul rudd proudly rocked a charlie hustle shirt when our kansas city royals were in the world series and the kc heart tank i own is a staple of my wardrobe. we had fun pairing the tank paige is wearing with what she and i like to call socially acceptable sweats, heels and a blazer.

i’ve been a long time fan of sandlot goods. katy bird started sandlot with a line of handcrafted horween leather goods (keychains, wallets and tech sleeves) before expanding to include leather bags like the one pictured below and her famous made in kc tee. i’ve worn this super soft tee so many ways but pairing it with this bold orange skirt, suede booties and a leather jacket just might be my favorite way to wear it. the jacket wasn’t originally part of the plan, but when katy walked in to the studio wearing it i literally stole that jacket right off her back. never mind that it was freezing and she really needed a coat. anything for the shot, right katy?

ocean & sea is a recent discovery and i’m obsessed. founded in 2013 by brendan and amanda o’shaughnessy, ocean & sea is the result of the their passion for design and illustration. two of my favorites are the ampersand tee and the heart hoodie but they’re making more than just tees. they’ve also got a great line of beanies, prints and stickers. and i could seriously get lost in their daydreams project. if you click that link be prepared to kill some serious time (and be inspired).

bandwagon merchandise was another new discovery for me. their kc monogram and kc streets shirts stood out as two of my favorites but they’re also producing some killer royals and chiefs inspired tees too. i liked working with the folks at bandwagon so much that we used them for the newly re-designed super bo shirts.

and how could we round up our favorite kansas city shirts without including baldwin? while this kansas city fashion power house is well known for their kc hat, the #repyourhood collection is garnering lots of attention these days. jason sudeikis, a big supporter of baldwin, wore the kansas city crew pullover on late night with seth meyers. and i’m seeing the well-designed market bag, a collaboration between baldwin and la-based apolis, all over town. i use mine on a daily basis.

the kansas city bred tee by collar for collar isn’t just another cool shirt. the collar for collar team passionate about dogs. they’ve partnered with organizations all across the country that are dedicated to rescuing dogs and finding them homes rather than keeping them kenneled for an extended period of time. half of the profits from every shirt sold directly benefit dogs in need. their signature kansas city bred tee features a tag on the neckline that symbolizes the impact your purchase has made toward saving dogs (your collar for their collar).

and last but certainly not least, is normal human. since 2012 they’ve been creating an original line of kansas city focused wears and wares. everything normal human designs is hand-printed in their westport store in small batches and they aim to use environmentally-friendly products whenever possible. my favorites from their clothing line include their kc hoodie and the kc crew neck sweatshirt (one of the softest sweatshirts in the history of sweatshirts). 

i hope you enjoyed this roundup. i’d love to hear what your favorites are.

thank you to all of the designers who lent clothing and to the talented team i got to work with.

models: harrison quinn and paige pelfrey of exposure model and talent agency

hair: erica johnson of double take salon and day spa

makeup: paige pelfrey

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emma – kansas city senior portraits

i’m sneaking in a late night blog post in honor of this lovely young lady who will celebrate a birthday tomorrow. i’ve had the honor of having her and her amazing family in front of my camera more than once and it’s been so wonderful to watch her grow up these last few years. she’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and i simply love spending time and working with her.

i knew we would love these before we even started shooting! that dress…so perfect for this great urban location.

emma is such a natural in front of the camera and her eyes are just incredible!

i love photographing horses and this session was no exception. gotta love that beautiful sunset light and the love this girl has for her horse.

i wish you all the best on your birthday and in the future, emma. i have no doubt that life has great things in store for you!

emma’s hair and makeup by the talented gina holmberg.

we are still booking senior portraits for the class of 2015 and we’ve already started booking the class of 2016. for information or to book a session shoot us an email or call us at 913.787.2527.

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zuzu’s petals for her life magazine – kansas city fashion photographer

one of the things i love about shooting fashion for her life magazine is getting acquainted with all of the different boutiques in kansas city. this was the second time i’ve shot zuzu’s petals and i’ve fallen even more in love with them. owner’s melanie and linda are as sweet as can be. while i was there pulling wardrobe i couldn’t help but notice that when a customer walks in they greet them by name. they ask how their family is doing. they treat them like old friends. and if they don’t know you they go out of their way to get to know you. they’ve created such a warm, inviting atmosphere that you almost don’t want to leave.

for this shoot we pulled together eight looks that i really loved. in fact, i may have bought an item or three.

i bought the shorts and the wrap in the top left photo above.

and i bought this great aztec tunic. i wore it throughout the summer and now i’m pairing it with jeans, leggings and even a pair of black velvet skinny pants. so many ways to wear that top!

as always, we had a great crew for this shoot. our stunning model, barbara moreland of exposure, is one i absolutely can’t wait to shoot again. hair by erica johnson of double take salon and day spa and makeup by heidi bowles. ladies, i don’t know what i’d do without you!

you can find zuzu’s petals at 11780 West 135th Street, Overland Park, KS 66221. to see new arrivals and hear about sales be sure to follow them on facebook and instagram.

until next time,

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noah – a kansas city senior portrait session

i don’t always photograph senior boys but when i do they’re ridiculously photogenic. like noah.

boys, THIS is how you dress for senior portraits. i always suggest wearing something casual, something on trend and most definitely something timeless. you don’t want to look back on your senior portraits and say, “what was i thinking?’ with noah’s great style i know that won’t be happening to him.

or his little brother myles. talk about a future heartbreaker! 

did you know that for senior portrait sessions we offer a complimentary mini family or sibling session on the same day? while you’re camera ready why not have your siblings or even the whole family hop in for a few shots. this can be done at the beginning or the end of your session which makes it super quick and painless.

noah, thanks for trusting me to create unique senior portraits that tell your story. you’re a bright young man with a wonderful personality (and killer style) and i can’t wait to see what the future hold for you.

it’s been an incredible year for us at hocus focus. we’ve got some really exciting things happening in the year ahead and so many more sessions to blog so stay tuned!

until next time,

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