When I was little I always dreamed of the Cinderella dress. I just love ball gowns. The weight of the dress. The flare of the skirt when you spin. The way it can turn a simple moment into a fairytale. When Stephanie put on her blue dress she turned to me and said, “This dress makes me feel like Cinderella.” Her face glowed. She looked beautiful.
Stephanie and Michael are joined at the hip. They are a true team and this baby is going to have one set of amazing parents. Their family is one I have admired since Stephanie and I met in college. High school sweethearts. A love of music and Disney. Disney is the heart of their family. It’s one of the most magical places on earth. It brings their family together.
When Stephanie told me she was pregnant, my first thought was that I HAVE to do her maternity photos. Many parents choose to find out the gender before the baby is born. Some couples even have a gender reveal party. Stephanie and Michael chose to go against the norm. They are waiting until the baby is born to know the gender. This is a special time in their lives that they don’t want to forget as they transition from a family of two to three. The one special photo Stephanie did request was to capture their wedding rings on the bump to help signify the unity of God and the life they are creating together. Something else this shoot needed was to capture the magic of Disney. Disney means so much to their family that they chose to capture a picture of each of the iconic places in all four parks with a onesie “Future Disney Addict Coming March 2020” to announce their pregnancy. The question in my mind was, how can we make this happen?
Stephanie and I joke that we seem to have almost parallel lives. However, Stephanie knows that I may be a little extra when it comes to pictures lol When they got into town, we enacted the beauty process. Stephanie got her hair done. Shoutout to Darcie at beauty brands. Her hair looked fabulous!! Next we were on to make-up. This was surreal! We headed over to Paradise and Mallory called us back. We chit chatted for a while and I casually mentioned I grew up in Springfield. Mallory looked up and said she was from Springfield too! She asked what high school I went to and when I told her she said, “I went there too!” You guys, we went to high school together and after 10 years we didn’t recognize each other at first! What a small world. Mallory, thank you so much for making Stephanie look stunning! I hope our paths continue to cross because your makeup photographed beautifully.
I had a plan, but sometimes plans have a way of completely changing. lol I originally planned to do photos at the Nelson and then end at Liberty Memorial. Seeing the time, I knew we couldn’t do both. We hopped in the car and pulled up to a field. Right off the side of the road. It was the only field covered in snow so we took what we could! Stephanie asked “Is this road busy?” I replied “No, hardly anyone drives it.” Wrong lol We watched car after car after car drive by and stare at us. But hey, those pictures turned out so dreamy :D So worth it ;)
Since we didn't have time for the Nelson, we decided to go to the Liberty Memorial. We drove up, got an awesome parking space. Right away we could see something was wrong. People were heading back to their cars. They had gated off the memorial due to snow and ice. There was no way around the barricades. My heart dropped. My eyes scanned the area to come up with a solution. I turned to Michael, “How far if the Kauffman?” His face lit up, “About five minutes, and that might be even more meaningful since we try to go to the opera every year.” We about faced and booked it back to the car.
The weather was supposed to be beautiful, but it was overcast and cold. Not quite what I was expecting. At this point, I didn’t think we were going to get a golden hour. When we made it to the front of the Kauffman the sun broke through the clouds. The light was full of warmth. A mixture of orange, yellow, and pink to create the dreamiest, magical atmosphere. I was ecstatic. It felt as though we were guided to this spot for a reason. That this was the plan all along. After golden hour, we swung around the building to capture the last shots of the day. There was a cold wind. Up close you could see goose bumps on their arms. I backed up to get a portrait of Stephanie. Right then, a gust of wind flared out her dress to create a full skirt. She looked like Cinderella. You could feel the magic. Michael and I looked at each other to acknowledge, did you see that too? For a family who finds inspiration, comfort, happiness, joy from the magic of Disney. I think we nailed it.
“Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic” - Cinderella
Save the date,
Baby Sweeney debuting March 2020
Hair: Darcie at Beauty Brands, www.https://www.beautybrands.com
Makeup: Mallory Doss at Paradise Makeup, Hair, and Airbrush Tanning, https://www.paradisellckc.com