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Mariah and Spencer's Engagement Session at Smithville Lake

A Summer Sunset Session

There was a heat advisory in effect. Temperatures reaching 100 degrees. The sun beating down. Alex and I were meeting Mariah and Spencer at Smithville Lake for their engagement shoot. A lake just north of Kansas City, MO. Right before their session, a small set of rain clouds moved in and dropped the temperature a few degrees. Once the clouds moved away, the weather could not have been more perfect. Minus large gusts of wind that blew in every now and again. 🤣 The lake is much bigger than you think! We had decided to meet somewhere in the Crows Creek area, but knowing that I would probably struggle with directions, Alex and I planned to get there early. Parking ourselves at shelter 9, I let Mariah and Spencer know where we were. Giving her my phone number just in case. As their session time approached, and arrived, I got a call from Mariah. They were on the struggle bus trying to figure out where they were in relation to us. 😂 Between the four of us sending pictures, dropped pins, and descriptions of nearby trails, we finally figured it out. We may have done a little bit of cheering once we were all in the same place. Lol


Mariah is a fellow AJer. For those of you who don’t know what this means, there is a couple that does photography education courses. Their names are Amy and Jordan. They specialize in wedding photography, but are wonderful teachers and I attribute so much of the growth of my business to them! They are two beautiful people with such joyous personalities. Mariah and I have both taken their shooting and editing course and that’s how Mariah ultimately found me!! I can’t wait for Mariah’s wedding because she has chosen a dream venue for anyone who loves the light and airy style. So excited :D.



As we warmed up and got to know each other, the first thing I learned about the two of them was that Spencer wants to cut his beard off but Mariah does not want him too 😁. We joked with them that we have the opposite problem. I prefer no facial hair on Alex 🤣. Prior to the shoot, I knew that the both of them were teachers for a small school district. Mariah’s about to start teaching preschool (I may have a big place in my heart for preschool since that’s the population I used to work in ❤️) and Spencer teaches high school science. Two very different worlds, but gave us something to relate to since I was part of the education world for 5 years. As we walked around the Shelter 9 area, I chatted with Mariah while Alex chatted with Spencer. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, Alex loves to chat. 😄


While we never ventured in tall grass. Most of the areas we wandered were well kept grounds, we still ran into a ton of ticks!! Spencer had the right idea as he had bug repellent socks on. 😂 I think I might have to invest in some of those!! For readers who have been adventuring this summer, have you noticed a significant tick population increase??? I feel like they are pretty bad this year. Maybe it’s just me lol but I have never seen so many and I’ve lived in Missouri for most of my life.🙈



Our last destination was to one of Smithville lake’s beaches. We hopped into our cars and headed over to Camp Branch. The beach was busy. Latin music playing loudly on portable speakers as families sunbathed or swam in the lake. Coming from the Shelter 9 area, I felt like we had entered a party! I took a quick ring shot in the sand. Since the sun was still a bit high to do photos on the beach, we switched gears and headed to the boat docks. I wish we had more time there because those were some of my favorites of the night! The light was PERFECTION!!! Walking back to the beach, we took full advantage of the remaining golden hour. I think I went through every pose I could think of. All while dodging a crocodile sand creation that someone had made 😂. We ended the night by having Mariah and Spencer wade into the water. Small waves rippled past their feet. After the light was gone, we stayed and talked until dark. It felt like we were with friends that we had known forever. ❤️











Mariah and Spencer, we can’t wait for your wedding!!!


Mariah + Spencer


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