Keith + Kellie | South City Fall Engagement Session

Let me just start out by saying that when you have to face a personal fear at an engagement session, I say that's always a recipe for awesome photos ;) Keith and Kellie are a super active, fit, and adventurous couple. We started their session at a favorite location of theirs - the Missouri Botanical Garden - to take advantage of the fall colors. And man, were they beautiful!

The second location they chose was an abandoned warehouse near their neighborhood. They know the realtor that bought up this property so they got some special access into the building. I love stuff like this - I honestly just cannot get enough of shooting in spaces with murky light and interesting textures. And this was also such a great choice for Kellie and Keith. They seemingly have no fear and were unfazed by the ridiculously steep and terrifying steps leading up to the roof (I, on the other hand, was a hottttt mess, ha). They climbed on rooftop ledges and out onto a janky old fire escape and pretty much gave me a heart attack like 18 times. But aside from me freaking out on the inside, I loved this session because it was different and fun and felt like the perfect fit for this couple.

Kellie and Keith - thank you for being adventurous and taking me along for the ride! Loved hanging with you guys and we can't wait for the wedding!

xo

Katie

Taylor + Ryan | Castlewood Park Engagement Session

It has definitely been THE fall of engagement sessions around here! I have worked with so many awesome couples over the past 2 months, and Taylor and Ryan were no exception :) I had a blast with these two. They wanted a woodsy vibe for their photos, so we decided on Castlewood Park which is such a great place to shoot - not only because of the abundance of trees and trails, but because of the overlooks as well. We made the hike up at the end, and I was reminded that I reeeeeally need to start working out again, ha!!

Taylor and Ryan - thanks for being so much fun to work with. We can't wait for your wedding next year! 

xo

Katie

Misty + Johnny | Vintage Camp-Inspired Wedding

Ohhhh man. Where to even begin with this amazing wedding? I knew right off the bat that working with Misty was going to be such a treat. She is an incredibly talented designer, and when I heard the inspiration for her and Johnny's wedding I could barely contain my excitement! I knew there would be a ton of DIY elements to their wedding, but was totally blown away by the end result. Everything was designed and collected by them - the invitations, signage, centerpieces, bouquets - literally EVERYTHING. 

They chose Camp Wyman as their venue and it literally could not have been more perfect. They are taco and donut lovers (I mean...who isn't, amiright?) and of course they incorporated those elements with food trucks and a donut wall...yes you heard that right, a DONUT WALL. 

All of these elements came together to create such a unique and fun celebration of their love. Misty and Johnny truly put their heart and souls into their wedding day - and it showed. 

A big thank you to Kevin Lowery for shooting this wedding with us! I was honestly just looking for a way to get him to St. Louis for a visit, and this seemed like a great excuse ;) He is such a talented guy and we loved having him by our side for this one!

Hair + Makeup: Danielle Style

Videography: Bret Hoy

Donuts!: The Donut Stop

Cake: Milk Bar

Food Trucks: Mission Taco + Seoul Taco

 

Kathryn + Dushyant | Downtown Chicago Engagement Session

The morning of Kathryn and Dushyant's sunrise engagement session, I woke up in Chicago to steady rain and dark skies. Like....DARK. Like it looked like nighttime dark. This was pretty much our one shot at an engagement session, as I wouldn't be able to make it back up to Chicago this fall. Kathryn and Dushyant have many wedding guests coming in from out of town, so their save-the-dates need to go out asap. So we decided to just play the hand we were given, weatherwise. I asked them to meet me 30 minutes later to give the skies a little time to brighten, and by the time we started we had enough light to shoot (yay!).

Kathryn and Dushyant are avid runners, so they thought it would be cool to start the session at one of their favorite running paths, on the lake. I absolutely love when couples incorporate a hobby or passion into their session, it makes it so much more personal. After this we made a stop at their downtown apartment to warm up/dry off/change clothes...and of course, grab some snaps of their adorable cats :) We then did some shots around their neighborhood, and ended right downtown at the Riverwalk. 

Kathryn and Dushyant are doing something super awesome and unique after they get married, and they wanted to incorporate this into their engagement photos. Instead of Kathryn taking Dushyant's last name, they decided to ditch this tradition and come up with their OWN last name, while paying homage to their families. They took the first part of Kathryn's maternal grandmother's maiden name (Remington), and the last part of Dushyant's maternal grandmother's maiden name (Srinivasan) - combined them together, and they will both be changing their last name once they are married. I think this is just so cool! They handmade a sign with their new name, and brought it along to the session - images in the gallery below :)

These two were absolute TROOPERS despite the weather. They smiled and laughed so much, and never once complained about the rain or let it get them down. Shooting in the rain was a bit of a challenge for me, but to be honest - 10/10 would do this again. I think the rain, wet streets, reflections, and lit-up streetlights add such a unique element to these images. I absolutely LOVE them. 

Kathryn and Dushyant, I had such a good time with you and I hope you love what you see so far! Looking forward to your wedding next year!!

xo

Katie

Kristi + Paul | Downtown St. Louis Engagement Session

Call me crazy, but I have absolutely been LOVING the cooler, gloomy weather we've had as of late. Fall and winter are my favorite times of year - shooting under overcast skies is kind of my jam :) I met up with Kristi and Paul on a chilly evening at 4 Hands, and the plan was to hang there for a bit, head over to The Landing, and then end across the river with some sunset views of the skyline. Well....there wasn't any sun - in fact, the clouds were so low that they shrouded the top of the Arch. And to be honest I couldn't have been more thrilled with this, ha! Kristi and Paul hail from Seattle, so I know they are maybe a bit sick of gloom and were probably envisioning something a bit sunnier. But truth be told I think their images are still vibrant with love, despite the gray skies that hung low overhead. 

Kristi and Paul are such a sweet couple, I had a great time getting to know these two. We cannot wait for their wedding at The Lalumondiere next year!!

xo

Katie

 

Lauren + Jeff | Lincoln Park Engagement Session

Sometimes you meet someone and within like 30 seconds you think to yourself, "Yep, these are my people." That's pretty much exactly how it went down when I met Lauren and Jeff in person for the first time.

I made the trek up to Chicago from St. Louis in late October. Forbis couldn't join me (ahh those pesky responsibilities of work + parenting), so my buddy Emily of Films by Juniper road-tripped with me and came along to the session. We had so much fun walking around Lauren and Jeff's Lincoln Park neighborhood on this gloomy fall evening. 

These two are honestly a dream to photograph - they made it so easy. They are super relaxed and hilarious people. We are really looking forward to heading back up to Chicago next September for their wedding!

Caity + Bennett | Woodsy St. Louis Engagement Session

I'm gonna keep this short and let these images speak for themselves. We had such an awesome time hanging out with Caity and Bennett. They are a fun, hilarious couple and they were just all smiles at their engagement session - and so were we! They love the outdoors so we explored the woods for a while and wound up at the river to catch the last bit of light. Bennett is a huge Star Wars fan, so Caity surprised him by busting out some masks at the end of the session - so funny ;)

Caity and Bennett - thanks for hanging with us and being super awesome!

xo

Katie

St. Louis Riverside Family + Maternity Session

We are so happy for our friends Tori and Dan, who are expecting their second baby girl later this fall! They are lovers of the outdoors - camping, float trips, you name it - so it seemed only fitting that we photograph them completely in their element near some woods and some water. It was a chilly, cloudy evening, and I'm absolutely loving the moody vibe of this session! 

Tori and Dan, thank you so much for letting us document your time as a family of 3. We can't wait to create more images when you are a family of 4! Hurry up and get here, November! ;)

Mike + Emily | Downtown St. Louis Engagement Session

Almost one year ago to the day, we met Mike and Emily of Films by Juniper for the first time. We were both hired to shoot an awesome wedding - us shooting stills, them shooting video. We had so much fun working with them that day and began to refer them to all of our couples interested in videography. 

A few months later, Mike and Emily got engaged during a trip to Portland. Shortly thereafter, they contacted us. Their plan was to elope and they wanted us to shoot it. We were thrilled, honored, excited, and needless to say, completely on board. We met up over drinks a few times to talk plans for the elopement, and from there a friendship began. Mike and Emily are creative, stylish, fun, young, silly, hardworking and just genuinely nice people. Sometimes we can't figure out why they like hanging out with us since we are quite a bit older than them, but nonetheless, we are very grateful that they came into our lives :)

After a few locations were considered, Mike and Emily ultimately decided on eloping in Joshua Tree, CA. For their engagement session they suggested an urban vibe since their wedding photos will be full of desert-y goodness. One of my best buddies Kevin Lowery was in town staying with us and he joined us on this shoot. We had a blast and all shot roughly a million photos because let's be honest, these two are so fun and pretty damn easy on the eyes.

If you haven't seen Mike and Emily's lovely work, I highly suggest checking out their website here. If you're getting married and need a videographer, hire them. You won't be disappointed.

Here are some (a ton) of our favorites from this awesome session. Mike and Emily, we love you guys! Hope you love what you see so far, and we can't wait for your wedding. Is it April yet?! ;)

xo

Katie

Wilson Family | At Home Session

When Pearl contacted me for a family session a while back, I was absolutely thrilled! You see, Pearl is also an incredibly talented photographer in the St. Louis area - her work is gorgeous, you can check it out here. One of the things I love about photographing other photographers is that they already know the best times of day to shoot and they know what vibe they want. Lifestyle family sessions are some of my favorite kind of sessions to shoot, and Pearl and Heath wanted some documentation of what an average evening looks like in their home, so it all worked out really well.

In addition, the week we shot this, Pearl and Heath were celebrating their 10 year anniversary, so they really wanted some photos of just the two of them. I love when couples take a little bit of time to do this at family sessions. The family shots are important, but photos of just you and your significant other are so nice to have too ;)

I had such a wonderful time with this family. Their home is gorgeous, they have lots of land and a HUGE garden. They played and laughed and were absolutely 100% themselves in front of the camera which made it difficult for me cut myself off from shooting, ha. Just the best.

Keep scrolling to see some highlights from their session!

Christina + Nima | New Orleans

Let me tell you guys a story. Like, an actual, real-life love story. Christina + Nima's chance meeting reads out more like a movie script than real life. 

The scene: A resort in Jamaica.

He's there for a wedding. She's visiting Jamaica for a yoga retreat with friends. She gets convinced to sneak into the resort for an afternoon of swimming.

He spots her immediately, and throughout the course of the day it takes him not once, not twice, but three times to work up the courage to swim up and talk to her. He ends up asking her to join him at the wedding later that day. She say's she'll think about it.

That evening, he waits.

She never shows.

He could let it go and chalk it up to just meeting a pretty girl at a resort and leave it at that. But in his heart he knows this is more than just a chance meeting. Eventually, he decides to text her and tell her he felt a connection between them. Even though they had only met once for a few hours. Even though it sounds crazy. And he waits again.

She's on a plane home at that very moment and can't receive the message. After several hours, he finally receives a text back:

"I felt it too."

He asks if he can fly into St. Louis from D.C. and take her out to just one dinner to explore the connection they both felt. She agrees.

And the rest, as they say, is history :)

-----------------

This was our first time visiting New Orleans. It's such an amazing city full of life. The French Quarter made an incredible backdrop for Christina and Nima's joyful wedding day. They got ready at the gorgeous Hotel Monteleone, and the festivities took place at the lovely Latrobe's just a few blocks away. They chose to have a traditional western ceremony, followed by a traditional Persian ceremony. Guests then enjoyed amazing food and danced the night away until the Kinfolk Brass Band whisked everyone into the streets of the French Quarter for a traditional Second Line (which was arguably our favorite part of the night). It was the most perfect ending to a perfect day.

We had the pleasure of working with some wonderful New Orleans vendors while we were in town. I want to give a special shoutout to Kerrie and Jamie with Girls in Black. Navigating the busy French Quarter would have been more than intimidating had we been on our own. They had the logistics down solid. They were such an enormous help not only to Christina and Nima, but to us as well. They were organized, friendly, fun, and just an all-around pleasure to work with! A full vendor list can be found at the end of this blog post.

Since we arrived a few days early, we were also able to document the welcome party the evening before the wedding which was full of food, drink, and heartfelt speeches. So that's where we begin our story of Christina and Nima's wedding. 

Strap in....this is a long post, but I don't think you'll regret it ;)

The Life Aquatic

Lately I've been seeing some amazing underwater photos in some of the photography groups I'm in, and I just couldn't resist trying some out for myself. I bit the bullet and purchased a DiCAPac bag for my camera, and after testing it out in the bathtub I took it to the pool. It is such a weird, unsettling, and downright scary thing to have like $3k worth of equipment underwater, ha! But the bag held up and my camera stayed bone dry :)

Shooting with this bag took some practice. Once the camera is in the bag, changing the settings takes a bit of practice, but it isn't impossible. It was a super bright sunny day at about 1:30pm and I shot these with my D750 - I won't lie, I was kind of cursing that max shutter speed of 1/4000. Even with my ISO all the way down, I wasn't able to shoot wide open which kills me a little bit on the inside ;) At first I was trying to stay above water while putting my camera under the surface and just snapping away, hoping for the best. That wasn't going so well, so eventually I threw on some goggles like a cool kid and got underwater with it so I could actually look through the viewfinder. The only downfall of this bag is that it has an "expandable" part for the lens. Obviously this is so you can put longer lenses in the bag, but I was using a Nikon 35 which isn't a huge lens. I kept trying to fold the lens part back to fit around my 35, but it kept wanting to expand. So I found myself having to manually hold it to make sure it was flush against the front of my lens. But honestly, it wasn't terrible and I'll take it, considering the relatively low price tag of the DiCAPac. 

There are people that seem to love this bag, and others that advise against it and say it isn't "safe" enough. It seemed fine to me, but I'm thinking that if you were going to be doing a LOT of underwater work, it might be best to spring for something more durable, like an AquaTech housing. Since I won't be doing this a lot, I personally just couldn't justify the nearly $2000 price of one of those.

I included a short video at the end of this post on how I edited the color images....I sound like an idiot and the fan on my laptop is always running (that's a great sign, right? ugh), but if you can get over that, feel free to give it a watch!

Also I should add that the last two images were shot by my 15-year-old nephew...he had a lot of fun taking some shots too, and I'm OBSESSED with the one he got from underneath Fox - so cool! 

Hannah + Colin | St. Louis City Engagement Session

Sometimes it can be tricky running a husband and wife photography team when you have a little one at home. Our pool of babysitters is a little on the smaller side, so sometimes Mike has to stay behind when I'm shooting or meeting people for consults. When we were scheduling our meeting with Hannah and Colin, they suggested we bring our kiddo along to the consult so they could meet us both. I think that's when we knew they'd be a great fit for us :) Hannah and Colin are such a laid-back, sweet couple. Their engagement session took place at Tower Grove Park (where they got engaged!) and their home/neighborhood, just a few blocks away. 

Hannah and Colin are getting married next year in her hometown of Wardsville, MO, and having their reception in her dad's backyard. We literally cannot WAIT for this wedding! These two are such a joy to have in front of the camera. 

Keep scrolling to see some highlights from their engagement session!

Rachel + Jason | Flagstaff, AZ Wedding

When Rachel and Jason contacted us to photograph their wedding in Flagstaff, AZ, we were beyond thrilled. We shoot the majority of our weddings here in St. Louis, but we welcome the chance to get out of town and see more of our beautiful country. Photographing against a backdrop of mountains was pretty awesome for us :)

Since Jason and Forbis go way back, we already knew this couple would be really fun to work with. Jason and Rachel enjoy all things that are outdoors. They are active, athletic, and adventurous people, and their wedding reflected all of those things. Due to warmer than usual weather, their wedding day was set up a little differently than what we are used to. They decided to get up super early to get some portraits before the heat of the day set in....and we were SO happy they did. They scouted a gorgeous, isolated location and we were able to just explore and create photos of them on a relaxed time schedule. Later in the afternoon, I headed out to the Nordic Center with Rachel so she and several close friends could start setting up. This wedding was truly a DIY effort, and everything came together so wonderfully. 

Rachel and Jason's ceremony was held in an aspen grove. They chose to be married by a close friend, which felt so special and personal. The reception was held steps away and included lawn games, an amazing spread of vegan food, s'mores, and an actual party yurt :) The night ended with songs and laughter around the campfire. 

What we loved so much about this wedding was the simplicity of it. And what I mean by that is that this wedding was more about the people and less about the things. I think that sometimes people lose sight of that, but this couple and their family and friends definitely did not.

We were so grateful to be a part of this beautiful wedding. Rachel and Jason, thank you so much for allowing us to document your day. We hope you cherish your images forever! 

xoxo

Katie + Forbis