I've been a professional photographer since 2003. That was the year I walked up on the stage of the Multipurpose Building at the University Of Central Missouri and received my diploma, a bachelor's of science in photography. Since then I've held several photography positions for a handful of companies, worked for other photographers and of course I run my own photography studio here in Lee's Summit. I am lucky to have found a career that is truly fulfilling and that I adore. One reason I adore my job is that I get to go on adventures and I also get to see so many new places.
Right out of college I worked at a local printing lab, so I got to see the ins and outs of how labs work. Next I worked for a company taking preschool pictures. There I did a bit of traveling and got to see lots and lots of preschools. Some were quite elaborate, where the insides looked like a little town or a miniature Disney World, while others were smaller and very simple. It was neat to see the different aspects and the different facilities parents have the options of choosing. Later I got to be a school photographer (year book pictures). This was also interesting since I got to see the different layouts of the schools. Again some were large schools where we had to have 6 photographers set up to get everyone photographed in one day; others were attached to middle schools, and then some were very small private schools. One thing that I learned while photographing schools was how similar they are. One week I went to school A in a city; the next week I went to school B in the same city and the layouts of the buildings were exactly the same. Huh?! Who knew, I guess why reinvent the wheel. The schools might have been the same but the staff and their desires were not, some would have us set up in the gym while others thought the lunch room was a better location.
A few years ago I worked for a company photographing High School and College graduation ceremonies. Again I got to see different venues such as their football fields and even got the opportunity to photograph many, many ceremonies at my alma mater, UCM. It was all very interesting to see the behind the scenes of such events. Once I got to go behind the stage at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center and another time was lucky enough to photograph Emanuel Clever before a ceremony.
Photographing weddings provide another great adventure and keeps things interesting! Kansas City has so much to offer in the way of wedding venues, giving brides the opportunity to have a unique and personal wedding. I've had the opportunity to photograph weddings out in the country on someone's farm several times. These are always a special wedding space as a farm isn't a traditional venue, but rather just a nice family member or friend allowed them to utilize the location. This spring I was excited to be able to shoot a wedding where the bride and groom chose to have a camp ground as their ceremony and reception spot! That was quite a difference to the weddings I’ve shot at fancy hotels such as the Hotel Phillips downtown and The Fontaine on The Plaza but was just as special and fun! I love the adventure of finding great spots for the bride and groom at each location. One of my favorite locations was Studio Dan Meiners. What I loved about this location was that everything was white, even the ceiling! This made for great lighting as I could easily bounce my flash off the ceiling and get such an evenly light atmosphere.
Since I've lived in KC all my life and been a photographer here for several years, I've photographed families and seniors at several repeat locations. But once in awhile I get a request like I did recently that requires me to hunt out new locations, which I love. This summer I will be photographing a family in a neighborhood in north Lee's Summit. It's a lake community so it was so fun to drive around and take in all the gorgeous homes and scenery while scouting out the perfect place for their family photos!
The past few years I have added real estate photography to my list of skills. This means I photograph homes for sale for realtors and their clients to post real estate websites. I love this adventure. I get to see KC homes at their best. It's so fun to see all the different layouts, landscaping and decorating. I've been able to photograph million dollar homes and starter homes.
Again I am so lucky to love my job and seeing the different aspects of KC! I’d love to hear what you think of Kansas City! In the comments below tell me some of your favorite places in KC and some of the adventures you have been on.