Kansas City Family Photographer | New Lens and a Beautiful Model

We have been so blessed with so many wonderful new friends and neighbors since our move to Kansas this summer.  One of our favorite families not only has a son in the first grade with my oldest (and an amazing Mama who I adore) but two beautiful teenage girls who my sons have fallen head over heels for.  There is no substitute for great babysitters – every Mama knows they are absolutely worth their weight in gold – and then some!  But the absolute best recomendation for me is when my boys start asking for “play dates” with those sitters! HA!  You know they are good when the kids don’t know you are actually hiring them to be there!!  These two girls are just beautiful young women – inside and out – and we are so happy that are quickly becoming part of our family.

My boys are awesome models ~ they truly are ~ but they are only 4 and 6 and their patience can only be expected to go so far!!  So I needed a model ~ and of course I called upon my beautiful babysitters!  Only one was available that day, but man oh man, did she rock it ;)

But to back up on why I needed a model… I am not a Senior Photographer (and not trying to break into that market!  I love my babies! ;)  Oh, and by the way, this gorgeous young woman is a Freshman in High School ~ can you believe it?!?  But back to the Why… My amazing hubby surprised me with a new lens for Christmas – the Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 G VRII.  It has been on my wish list for a long time, but as a family and children’s photographer I just felt like it was far too expensive to be worth the investment.  I kept envisioning using it for my kids sports ~ where it will be amazing to have such a fast zoom lens ~ but I wasn’t thinking about using it for portraits at all!  Oh, was I wrong.  So very very wrong!  Yes, it is a big investment.  But it is worth.every.penny.

I am a huge fan of prime lenses – I have sworn by my 50mm 1.4 for years.  But just look at the compression in these photos! Eeek!  No wonder so many Wedding and Senior Photographers are in love with this thing! I was standing in almost the same place for all of these photos – but look at that gorgeous creamy bokeh (blurry background) when I zoomed all the way out to 200mm.  Oh my!  Playing in the snow was fun ~ but I cannot wait to get out and really play with this lens this spring!!

Renee Stengel Photography signature by On The Spot Design

PS I would love to hear your feedback!  If 25 of the the gorgeous young lady’s friends and family make comments on this blog post and 15 become new fans on the studio FACEBOOK PAGE (the same person can do both if they would like – just leave a comment on the FB page that you are a new fan!) I will gift Mom and Dad an extra 8×10 print as a thank you gift. And if we make it to 50 comments and 30 new fans ~ they can upgrade that print to a beautiful 11×14 Float Wrap :)

ReneeStengelPhotographyWinterSnowSeniorLeawoodKansasOutdoorSession2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyWinterSnowSeniorLeawoodKansasOutdoorSession2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyWinterSnowSeniorLeawoodKansasOutdoorSession2014

Kerri - Stunning!!!!

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Kansas City Family Photographer | Gorgeous Mama to Be

I am so proud of this beautiful Mama!  I am not quite sure she knew what she was getting into when she agreed to a maternity session in the snow with me – but she sure rocked it!  This gorgeous Mama is expecting twins ~ can you believe it?!?  She looks absolutely amazing and I had such a great time getting to know her.  Her babies will be here before she knows it, I am so glad I had the opportunity to capture this sweet time for her.  It has been one crazy winter around here – so I think photos in the snow are a fitting theme for this Mama’s maternity portraits!

A few of the photos are a bit more dramatic than my usual style ~ particularly the last two on this post ~ but hey, so is photographing an expecting Mama in the snow!!  This winter has been looong, and cold ~ and long.  And I realized it was really starting to get to me. So I decided I needed to do something about it ~ quick! I took on several projects to help infuse some sunshine, so to speak.   And I am so glad I did!  When I look at my photography portfolio ~ whether portrait or landscape ~ I see one big hole, winter.  I take photos all year long and then hang it up every January and February.  I don’t function well in the cold.  I am sitting here shivering at my desk as I type this!  But at some point this year, I just said, enough is enough.  Time to put on the big girl pants and embrace it!  I started studying how snow affects light and white balance and the settings in the camera ~ it isn’t too different from the other seasons, but there are a few adjustments to be made that make a big difference in the final photo.

And then I got this crazy idea to do a maternity session in the snow!!  And once I got the idea I just couldn’t let it go!  But I didn’t want the poor Mama to freeze – and we have had some doozies of cold days around here.  So it had to be a day with temperatures above 30, but snow on the ground, and had to work around everyone’s schedules.  I couldn’t believe we actually pulled it off!  But don’t worry, I didn’t have her standing around in that pretty dress for long – we kept it short and sweet and got her back in the warm car very quickly!  And fortunately having two babies kicking around in there helped keep her pretty toasty!!

Thank you again beautiful Mama ~ you are absolutely glowing.  I hope you had half as much fun as I did ;)

Renee Stengel Photography signature by On The Spot Design

PS I would love to hear your feedback!  If 25 of the the gorgeous Mama’s friends and family make comments on this blog post and 15 become new fans on the studio FACEBOOK PAGE (the same person can do both if they would like – just leave a comment on the FB page that you are a new fan!) I will gift Mom and Dad an extra 8×10 print as a thank you gift. And if we make it to 50 comments and 30 new fans ~ they can upgrade that print to a beautiful 11×14 Float Wrap :)

ReneeStengelPhotographyWinterSnowMaternityLeawoodKansasOutdoorSession2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyWinterSnowMaternityLeawoodKansasOutdoorSession2014

ReneeStengelPhotographyWinterSnowMaternityLeawoodKansasOutdoorSession2014

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Kansas City Family Photographer ~ Mommy and Me ~ with Baby number three…

Every Mama should have at least one beautiful photo of themselves and their babies hanging in their home.  I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

We had family photos taken on a beach trip a couple years ago and I have one of myself with my two boys on the beach.  I treasure that photo.  We have it as a large canvas displayed in our home and it is a reminder to me how important it is that all Mama’s should get-in-the-photo.  My boys love that photo – even more than I do in some ways.  I find them looking at it and telling me how pretty I am.  They don’t notice the imperfections that I do – they could care less about those little things – what matters to them is that they see a photo of their Mama laughing with her boys and they think it is beautiful.

I loved capturing this session for this gorgeous Mama and her sweet (and oh so shy!) baby girl.  Julie is a Mama of three and a wonderful photographer herself – and we photographer Mamas often have a tough time getting in the photos!  And as number three in the family, Little L was more than happy to have her sweet Mama all to her herself for the morning!

I hope to offer more Mommy and Me sessions this year ~ they are a special time for a Mama to capture these fleeting moments with her little ones.  But not just photos of her little ones, photos of them together!  We had such a wonderful time last week.  Thank you Julie, for trusting me to be the one on the “other side” of the camera for a change :)

Renee Stengel Photography signature by On The Spot Design
ReneeStengelPhotographyMommyandBabyGirlLeawoodKansasWinterStudioSession2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyMommyandBabyGirlLeawoodKansasWinterStudioSession2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyMommyandBabyGirlLeawoodKansasWinterStudioSession2014
ReneeStengelPhotographyMommyandBabyGirlLeawoodKansasWinterStudioSession2014

ReneeStengelPhotographyMommyandBabyGirlLeawoodKansasWinterStudioSession2014

Now before you get mad at me and call me a “Mean Photographer”, Sweet little L went from happy to, well, not so happy in a matter of seconds. Mama was right next to me and her “mad” face was just so stinkin cute that I couldn’t resist the temptation to keep shooting for just a second more ;) Oh, and why was she mad? Um, because she is two. Yup, that is about it. I promise the two photos next to each other, happy ~ then tears, just seconds apart ;) Oh the trials of being two…

ReneeStengelPhotographyMommyandBabyGirlLeawoodKansasWinterStudioSession2014

Thank you Woodsy Wonders for this darling little ladder ~ I absolutely adore using it with my little people!!

Sweet baby girl found this hat in my studio ~ it was way too small for her ~ but once she found it she was only happy if she got to wear it.  Good thing she looked so cute!!  Looks like it is time for me to invest in some bigger hats for the studio ;)

ReneeStengelPhotographyMommyandBabyGirlLeawoodKansasWinterStudioSession2014

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