Sunday, November 6, 2011

Imagine Prep High School Hoops

We had a great time with the boy's basketball team at Imagine Prep.  They were a fun bunch, and once they got going in front of the camera, it was tough to get them out of there.  We shot these in the library, and once they found the sunglasses and boom boxes, it was on.  I think the flag was a great touch.  Coach Irons is doing a great job with these guys, and I wish them the best this season.

Hey fellas, thanks for letting me be a part of your season!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kibby Part 2

This was session number two with Kibby, and she absolutely nailed it.  We had done some studio stuff earlier in the year and were looking for a perfect Autumn afternoon to head outside, and today was it.  Kibby's a great kid and doesn't view herself as glamorous, but you'd be hard-pressed to believe that from these pictures.  She's also a fine athlete and was really looking forward to her senior soccer season in the spring, but unfortunately tore here ACL.  We wanted to get these in before her surgery next week and I'm glad we did.

Kibby, I think you're a star, and I hope everything goes well.  Thanks for taking chances!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Jamie and I have been looking forward to this shoot for quite a while.  She's an awesome kid!  Cheerleader.  Smart. And about as nice as they come.  I really wanted to make sure she had a good experience and we left with some great photos. . . well, mission accomplished!  Jamie did a knockout job of enthusiastically becoming a model.  She was willing to try whatever we suggested, but also came up with a bunch of great ideas on her own.  Mom had some great suggestions as well between the sprints she was running to try and keep warm. . .  : )

Jamie, you're beautiful, and you did an amazing job of making this gritty urban setting come to life.   BRAVO!!


Kelley is the sister of Kristen (of the Kristen and Andy blog post from earlier).  I've had the great opportunity to shoot both Kristen's and her sister Gretchen's senior pictures, so it was an honor to shoot Kelley's this morning.  It was cold (in the 40's when we started, but Kelley was tough.  The low morning sun was beautiful and really highlighted her amazing hair.  Kelley has movie-star looks and was a total blast to work with.  She jumped right in and lit up the lens.

Kelley, I just wanted to say thanks for letting me spend the morning with you.  And Mom, I don't know how you do it, but you turn out one beautiful girl after another. . .

Monday, October 24, 2011


I remember when I first met Allie a couple of years ago when she came into Math Lab for help.  She was a fun-loving squirrely kid who always made me smile.  Well, she's still a little squirrely (and I hope that never changes), but she's grown into a lovely and beautiful young lady.  We met at the train station in downtown Kirkwood and hit a couple of locations.  I love the blue top she chose, so we looked for some simple backgrounds.  You know you've got a good subject when you can put her next to a trash dumpster and she makes it look good (the large photo with the blue and green).

We were heading across the railroad tracks when the sun lit up Allie's face, so we took advantage of the light and got some beautiful shots.

Mom, thanks for helping out.  You've got an amazing daughter, and I know you're proud!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Ali, you were GREAT!!  Emily, you were. . . well. . . Ali's sister!!  What a fun morning!  Emily was a great helper, offering sound advice and encouragement.  Her best line might have been when I said at one point, "Wow, this looks beautiful" and she said, "Then you'd better get Ali out of there!"

Hah, Emily, the jokes on you.  Your sister is beautiful, and you're just gonna have to deal with it.  Ali actually found a great spot, with a "lush jungle" feel.  I'd never shot there before, but I will use it again I'm sure.

Ali's also a big Cardinals fan, so it was especially fun to reminisce about the amazing Cardinal win last night and the Pujols 3-Home Run game.  We all had a good laugh when Ali's Mom spotted the "Rally Squirrel" in a tree Ali was standing under, only to have it jump down and give Ali a pretty good scare.

Ali, you hit a few home runs of your own today.  Great working with you.  Thanks for such a fun morning.


It was a perfect morning, temperature in the 60's with a beautiful sun rising through some soft clouds.  And Yaniece was ready to get to work.  She has a personality that is as warm and beautiful as her smile.  Her sister, Annisha, was there to help out by offering encouragement and making funny faces.  It's safe to say that Yaniece is NOT the biggest fan of the "Great Outdoors", but she was a real trooper, agreeing to do whatever was necessary.  We hit a couple of spots, and each one worked.  We finished with Yaniece sitting on the wet ground, but when she brought her knees up and her ripped jeans showed, it just made the shot!  And Annisha, you did a great job throwing the leaves!  It sure was fun getting to know you both a little better!  Thanks. . .

Monday, October 17, 2011


It's always fun to shoot someone who is experienced or just a "natural" in front of the lens, but it may actually be more fun to shoot someone who "isn't so sure".  Abby is a former student of mine. . .  a quiet achiever, who doesn't crave the spotlight.  She told me last Friday that she, "wasn't all that self-confident" when it came to doing her senior pictures, but you'd never know it from the looks of these.  She was amazing, braving a chilly EARLY morning on a day off of school.

We had a blast at the railroad bridge and were lucky enough for a train to come along.  It's really thrilling to feel the train rumbling by and fun to try to slow down the shutter to convey the speed of the train.  There is a moment in every shoot where the subject just relaxes and you can see it through the lens.  Abby got there on the bridge and was just having a blast after that.

Our original goal was to just come away with 2 or 3 good images, and I think we made it.  Thanks Abby, and Mom!!  It was a great morning!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kristen & Andy

Kristen is a long-time friend and current colleague and one of the nicest people I've ever met.  I'd met Andy once before (only briefly) so it was fun to get to know him a little better.  He's a great guy, and hit the jackpot finding Kristen.  There's nothing quite as energizing as being around young people in love, and these two certainly are.  It was next to impossible to get them to stop smiling.

We started at the park for some more "formal" shots, and the morning couldn't have been any nicer.  Next, we headed over to the railroad bridge for a little more "fun".  Kristen had the tough job, walking in heels.  Andy had the easy job. . . just being with Kristen.  We were just finishing up, and as they were walking off the bridge, Andy stopped and dipped Kristen, and it turned out to be an amazing final photo.

Thanks for letting me hang out with you guys, for laughing, and for loving. . .

Saturday, October 8, 2011


We've been planning on doing some pictures with Hannah for a while, and she finally got a Saturday morning off, so we headed down to the railroad bridge and then over to the park.  We had helpers, as Hannah's sister, Alynn, and friend Libby joined us.  Dad meet us as we finished up as we headed to the park.  It was almost as much fun watching them goof around as it was shooting the pictures.  Thanks for holding the lights and reflectors, and just making things fun!

This was a special shoot for me, because not only is Hannah beautiful, and a great kid, but I happen to also be a huge fan of hers.  I've been watching her run since she was a freshman, and I've always been blown away by both how good she is, and about how dedicated she is.  She recently set the course record at Parkway Central, and as high hopes for state.

Alynn, thanks for "finding" the flower. . .

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lauren's 17th

Lauren turned 17, and after a makeup and hair session, she and her friends were surprised with a photo shoot at the Turtle Park.  Needless to say, we had a great time!  The girls were "working it", and Mom and Ryan (the driver) helped hold the light.  Six of the girls play on the softball team, and the 7th plays tennis.  I barely recognized them when they got out of the car. . . but that's one of the great things about girl's sports. . . they can be tough and rugged when they need to, and then when they want to be beautiful, they can do that too. . .

Big props to Lauren's younger sister, Sarah, who suffered a gruesome leg injury several weeks ago in softball and has been in a wheelchair since.  She sucked it up and hobbled and crutched around the park, up the hills, on the turtles, and down the gravel paths,  and never complained.  She's WAY tougher than I'll ever be. . .

On a side note, Lauren is in my 1st hour class, and I told them about 3 weeks ago that "I've given up on the Cardinals.  I'm done with them.  I won't watch them any more!". . . So now, I figure, I shouldn't watch them in the playoffs and just be a fair-weather fan.  So I get down to the park a little early, and I figure, "It won't really be cheating if I just listen to the game on the radio for a little."  Well, I turn it on to find out the Birds are up 3-1, but only minutes later, Ryan Howard pounds a 3-run homer and I turn off the radio.  That's what I get, I suppose.

Then, when we've finished the shoot, I return to the car and get ready to leave, only to find that the car won't start because I left the lights on and drained the battery.  I had to call my buddy, Steve Jonak, to come bail me out.  Thanks, Steve!

I wonder if I should watch the game today. . .

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Benjamin Loves Trains!

. . . I mean LOVES trains!!  He knows how to pull the brake lever and make sure the train stops.  He loves climbing on them, looking at them, and just being around them.  He knows most of the "Polar Express" by heart and acted out several scenes today.  He's got a younger brother coming soon, and I'm sure he'll love having a partner to explore with.

Jackie and Darrell, thanks for letting me hang out with you and your little guy today.  It was an awesome autumn afternoon and it couldn't have been more fun!

Fun Fridays Continue With Win Over Parkway North

It was more of the same Friday Night, as the Pioneers rolled over the visiting Vikings.  A rainy afternoon and threatening skies turned in to a beautiful evening.  The Pep Club was inspired, the Pommies were stellar, the band ROCKED, and the cheerleaders looked amazing in their new "sporty" uniforms.  Coach Matt Irvin has the Pioneers rolling, believing, and focused.  They know they have the opportunity to accomplish something extra-special, and are committed to doing just that.  It's good to be a Pioneer!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

KHS Girl's Tennis Poster

It was time to shoot the Girl's Tennis Poster, and I knew I was in for a great time.  We decided to go "serious", and that's always good for some laughs as these girls try to put on their game faces.  They did a great job, however, and are pretty intimidating if you ask me.  With only 5 seniors, this year's team is young.  They all seem like such nice kids and have a great time together.  If you get the chance, get and and support these great kids!!

Thanks, ladies, for such a fun afternoon!

Pioneers Roll over Hawks

I'm fully aware that in sports, you can never get too high or too low.  When a coach wins, he immediately begins thinking long-term. . . what do we have to do to prepare for next week?  But sometimes, you just have to let go and smile, and soak in the performance.  It's been a long time since I've seen a team in any sport click like the Pioneers clicked on Saturday as they routed host Hazelwood Central.  In addition to the 7 touchdowns they scored, 5 were called back!!  The defense was stingy, and Central threated only once late when their running back broke out of a pack and looked like he might go the distance but was caught from behind before he reached pay dirt.  

After the game, Coach Irvin addressed the team and acknowledged their fine performance, but challenged them to be consistently excellent.  He praised not only the starters, but also the scout teams who did an outstanding job in preparation this past week.  Several tough opponents await, but I think it's time to start getting excited about this team.  Congratulations fellas on an amazing Saturday. . .

Greentree Parade

I had to laugh when I saw the car go by with the sign, "Grand Marshall, Dave Holley" and no Dave Holly in it. . .  That's one more thing I love about Dr. Holley.  If he was supposed to do something, but found a better way to do it, he just did it. . . and that better way always resulted in more smiles.  It was no different on Saturday as he handed out candy to the masses.  He finally caught up to the car and rode out the parade, but not before he'd left his mark. . .

Monday, September 12, 2011


Wow!  Ellen wanted to get some more fashion-type urban pictures, so we met down at the Tap Room on Locust St. downtown.  Ellen show up ready to work, and we had an awesome time.  She really feels comfortable in front of the camera and made my job so easy.  I gave her very little direction, she just naturally seemed to know what looked good.

Ellen, you're beautiful, and you did an amazing job!  I'm glad you had so much fun.  I think it shows in these images.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


What high school student do you know that's willing to get up early on a day off?  Well, Megan and I met down by the train station at 6:30 this morning, hoping to catch some early light, but there were nothing but clouds and the threat of rain.  That didn't damper Megan's enthusiasm one bit.  

I had the wonderful experience of having Megan in my 1st hour last year, and she always had a 100% positive attitude.  It's hard to find people like Megan, but when you do, you know you've found someone special.  

Megan had some great ideas, like having Mom bring the dog, or shooting by the fountain.  Megan, like always, you were fun to be around, and I think we got some great stuff here. . . 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Paul and Jamee

Congratulations, Paul and Jamee!  What an all-around awesome experience it was to share in your special day.  You would think that a wedding held outdoors in 100+ temperatures would be less than a wonderful experience, but because of your amazing attitudes it was nothing but wonderful.  Paul's younger brother Mark gave one of the best officiating speeches I think I've ever heard, explaining that he had plenty of experience with love, because of how he saw it everyday in his parents and grandparents.  

After the ceremony, everyone headed down to the Tap Room for the reception.  What an excellent room for the event.  Classy and comfortable and plenty of windows letting in some great light.  After dinner, and some humor-filled toasts, all in attendance danced the night away. . .


Sunday, August 28, 2011

KHS Orchestra Seniors

We had a blast today, shooting the seniors for the KHS Orchestra poster.  What an awesome group.  They were so willing to do whatever we asked.  (Mrs. Cox was a big help getting the kids to try new things and take some risks.  That lead to some great pics.  Thanks so much for your help!)  The alarm went off while we were shooting and the police showed up.  We had a little fun with Alex, and the officer put her in cuffs.  I can't imagine ever having been this young, this attractive, or this talented. . .

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Nothing beats Friday Night Football, Pep Club, Pommies, Cheerleaders, Band.  Simple.  Done.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


No better way to kick off the new school year than with a rousing Pep Rally!  The gym was packed with Pioneers who were ready to strut their stuff and let everyone know why they are proud to be a Pioneer!  Fall sports were recognized, The Art Stout Academic Award Winners were announced (last years team's with the highest cumulative GPA's), the Pommies and Cheerleaders performed, and THE BAND just flat out CRUSHED IT!!!  

Dr. Havener, your first Pep Rally was a huge success. . . way to go!  

'So happy to be a Pioneer!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Best Possible News!!

The world seems to dish out really crappy news on a regular basis these days. . . then, when you start to wonder some big "WHY" questions, you get a dose of the good stuff and you realize you can make it another day. . . Jeremy,we couldn't be happier for you.  Glad you're healthy and can get back to doing what you love!  You make us all so proud and we're always cheering for you!

"Woodstock" kicks off 2011-12 at KHS

Peace and Love were the norm this morning as we kicked off another school year at KHS.  I can't imagine any other schools have as much fun as we do on opening day.  The seniors let it be known that it is THEIR year, then turn around and welcome the freshmen.  Good music, tie dye, and tatoos were abundant.  It was great to see familiar faces and get back to work.  Nice job, seniors!  You did a great job welcoming Dr. Havener as well.  I can tell it's going to be a special year. . .

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Maggie graduated this spring and is getting ready to head off to Mizzou this week, so we took senior pictures as well as freshman pictures.  I was so excited that Maggie agreed to meet me early, since the light this time of day is amazing.  Well, it's overcast and gray right up until Maggie pulls into the parking lot, and then the sun comes out and we're ready to go.  Maggie has a smile that just lights up the lens and it didn't take long for her to get comfortable.  We had a great time as she went from casual, to cute, to classy.

Maggie, thanks for an awesome morning.  You did an amazing job, and I'm sure you're going to have a great year at Mizzou!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Colby & Marcus

What a great time we had this morning.  Colby and Marcus, you guys were great.  Lots of laughter, and an occasional SQUIRREL!!  Two great kids!  Thanks so much for an awesome start to the day!

KHS Girl's Tennis

Went to shoot some girl's tennis practice this morning.  The girl's were working hard and are looking forward to a successful season.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

KHS Swim Practice

I love shooting swimmers.  It's amazing the way water can look when it's caught at a high shutter speed.  It's tough to shoot swim meets indoors where the lighting doesn't allow you to shoot at a high enough shutter speed, so I love getting out to the first couple of days of practice that are held outdoors at the Kirkwood Pool.  I started swimming for exercise last summer, and over the year I've developed a great respect for these kids and the mental toughness required to participate in this sport.  Great job, guys! (more photos are available at the website:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Here We go Again!!

One of the top five days of the entire year!  I love the start of fall practices. . . it's great to see new faces mixed in with old familiar ones. . . it's like "Spring Training", every team has a chance to win it all.  

It was a picture perfect morning with temperatures in the low 80's!  I don't know how Coach Townsend made it happen, but he did, and it was wonderful!  (Who remembers last year, when it was so hot practices were called off by 9:00 in the morning.  

Volleyball hit the track running at 7:00am and things were officially underway.  The girls came out ready to work and after a warmup session, ran the dreaded mile.  Times in the low 6:00's lead the way, and it's clear that much hard work was put in over the summer. 

Football followed at 7:30, and just jumped right in.  Summer work has prepared them and they don't waste a second.  What a tremendous atmosphere.  Coach Matt Irvin has assembled an amazing staff, and he leads the way with his passion and enthusiasm.  If I was still coaching, I would spend as much time as I could around him and his practices to learn how to utilize the precious time you have each day.  Coach Irvin and his staff do it as well as any I've ever seen.

Boys soccer, Girl's field hockey, swimming, cross country, and tennis all got underway this morning with softball and golf kicking things off this afternoon.  It's once again a great time to be a Pioneer and I can't wait to see what these young athletes will do this year. . .

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rachel B

Rachel, you were AWESOME!!!  So much fun hanging out with your and your Mom and your brother.  It's pretty easy to get great pictures when you shoot someone who is just so dang HAPPY!  We tried to get a couple "serious" pictures, but Rachel just had to smile.  Her brother did a great job of keeping the atmosphere fun and silly.  He did some serious dancing to help loosen Rachel up.  It was great fun.  We hope the weather is a little better next week, so we can head downtown and try some gritty "urban" shots.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

JMac Day 3

Hot, Great attitudes, amazing counselors, kids were awesome, autographs were signed.  Thanks for coming home and putting on a great camp, Jeremy.  We're all so proud of you! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

JMac Day 2

It was another hot day in St. Louis, but all you saw at this camp were smiles.  You know something good is happening if kids are working hard on a sweltering turf and laughing and smiling.  I was once again impressed with the great enthusiasm that all the counselors showed and the effort they put forth to ensure that the campers learned and had fun. Way to go!!!  One more day to go and I'm sure it will be another great one. . . 

Monday, July 18, 2011

JMac Football Camp

Great fun today at Jeremy's football camp.  It was really hot today, but Jeremy's surrounded himself with some really good people, and the counselors did a great job keeping things fun and enthusiastic.  The kids were having a great time.  At one station, the players were being taught how to protect the football and had to run through some gates while the coaches tried to swat the ball out.  The coaches were instructing them to be serious, but the kids just couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces.  I mean, how are you supposed to when you're hanging out with your heroes?

It was great to see former KHS football stars, like Mike McNeill and Marcus Harris and good to see some of Jeremy's Mizzou teammates like Sean Witherspoon.  I gotta tell ya, I'm definitely in the Witherspoon Fan Club after watching him work with the kids today.  He's a force of nature and I can see why Jeremy considers him such a close friend, and why he had such a positive impact on the football program at Mizzou.  I'm sure he's doing the same thing for the Atlanta Falcons.  Just a top-notch wonderful young man.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pirates vs Heaters

What a great way to spend a summer night. . . Coach Gunn's son, Connor, had his final baseball game last night so I grabbed the camera and headed over.  Nothing beats young kids playing baseball.  The clouds had cooled things off, and there was a little rain.  I overheard an outfielder asking his coach, "Why is it raining if we've got a game?"  Priceless. . .

Friday, July 8, 2011


I met up with Rachel this morning to shoot in the studio as a start to her senior pictures . . . Rachel warned me up front that she didn't like cameras and wasn't very comfortable posing.  One of the things I love about this branch of photography is getting to know the people, and trying to help them find some place where they are comfortable.  Rachel was in my class her sophomore year so I know her pretty well.  She's a great soccer player and a hard-working student.  I made the mistake of starting with her sitting in a chair.  It didn't take long to learn that "Kibby" is really most comfortable when she's moving, so we ditched the chair, put on some music and let her move.  It got fun in a hurry.  

We decided to just let things go, and she was such a "gamer".  She started messing up her hair, kicking off her shoes, and just having fun.  She had brought along this great little hat, and she liked it 'cause it gave her something to do with her hands.  I think it looks really cool, too!

Our goal before we started was to end up with 3 or 4 usable images.  Well, Rachel, you did that and more.  I had a great time and can't wait to shoot the outdoor stuff next weekend.  Love the hair. . . love the "lines". . . love the pics!!  You ROCK!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Met "D" this morning up at the high school for a "Senior Photo" session.  It was already warming up by 7:00am, so it's a lucky thing we started early.  What a great morning!  "D" is a natural and really seemed to be comfortable in front of the camera.  He wanted to get some pictures at the football field so we started out there.  Then we head inside for some studio work.  The A/C was on, but we were both still sweating pretty good.  It's going to get really hot today, I'm afraid.

"D" has great taste in clothes.  The blue checks were great, and the coat and tie were sweet.  

Great job, "D".  I loved hanging out this morning.  You were outstanding and I think we really nailed it.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I had the opportunity to travel to Joplin this weekend with a group from Greentree Church.  We took a trailer full of donated items and spent 2 days working on a clean-up crew.  It's impossible to adequately show the scope of the devastation, and it's difficult to find the words to explain it.  We had a group of 17 from Greentree and joined with  approximately 17 others, including a group from New York.  We spent several hours picking up debris from a farmer's hay field, clearing 30 acres, then went to some property that sat on the edge of the destruction.  Our group worked tirelessly in oppressive heat to accomplish a great deal, clearing debris from the yard and moving it to the curb (where it must be to be picked up by the city).  In spite of all this work, that left us exhausted, when you looked at the big picture, we had made no significant dent whatsoever. . . 

We traveled into the heart of the destruction, and it quite simply takes your breath away.  Had this happened to a single block or subdivision, it would have been an unspeakable tragedy, but as you drive for block after block after block, the view does not change.  I went to college in Joplin, and graduated in 1984.  There have been changes, but much of the city remains the way it was back then.  I couldn't get my bearings or "feel" where I was.  The visual cues your mind uses to orient itself are gone. . . 

We were fortunate to find hotel accommodations in nearby Carthage.  We returned the next morning for our assignment, and returned to the property from the previous day.  Again, using tractors, trailers, rakes, shovels, and hands and feet, we worked for several more hours.  Once again, the heat slowed the pace, but I marveled at the effort expended by this group.  I can't imagine property owners having to do this work by themselves.

In the afternoon, we were dispatched to Alabama street in the heart of the destruction where a backyard needed clearing.  Large trees had been toppled and piles of debris had blown in and clung to the trees.  On one hand, it was amazing the progress we made, but then again, it's just so little compared to what needs to be done.  

I'm embarrassed to say that I was glad when we called it a day.  I was hot, tired, and just plain beat.  I couldn't wait to climb in the truck and drive it home.  It was a relief to get out of there. . . but all day today, I've felt guilty for being in my air-conditioned house while thousands are still without in Joplin.  If you have been thinking about going to Joplin to help out, you should go.  Be prepared for miserable conditions & difficult and sometimes dangerous work.  But it's work that matters and work that will need to continue for a long, long time.