Kansas City Community

I moved to Kansas City when I was twenty four years old; when I was still figuring out who I was {the endless search} & was beginning to leave the shores of college to the sea of transition & responsibility. The three years I spent in KC produced some of the most creative growth & change in my adulthood. I owe a large part of this learning to the many inspiring people I grew close to within the art community. Before I moved away from Kansas City, making the leap to Central Europe, I took time to photograph & meet with some of these folks. Below are their stories of influence on my life. I'm grateful to have known each individual, & to have their support wherever I go.

Emiah Edwards | Photographer, Dancer

When I attended a 'Listen Explore' event in Missouri, I was a writer amidst a group of photographers & felt completely out of place with the whole scene. But as we began introducing ourselves, Emiah's gentle vulnerability & bold spirit made me feel at ease. As I got to know her more, I learned that she started photography as a side to physical therapy & found her passion while on overseas missions work; observing that photos have the ability to 'capture the soul of people'. A look at Emiah's work is exactly that, bringing to life the subjects she documents. She inspires me to take a deeper look at what I see in the world & in people.

Ali Happer | Photographer

Ali is one of those individuals that you can be yourself around, even if you don't know her very well. I was always surprised how calm & comfortable I felt whenever I was around Ali, & it seemed to me that everyone who met her felt the same way I did. When I started looking at Ali's photography, I was immediately drawn to her nostalgic eye. I find that whenever I need to look at a concept in an intimate way, I look to her images & to her point of view. 

 Savannah & Michael Stark | Photographers

I met the Stark siblings when I was invited to perform a piece of writing at their company launch. It was a gathering mixed with worship, community & art; a good representation of what Savannah & Michael portray in their work. The photographs that the two produce invite me into cherished moments in time, where the earth stands still & there is nothing but simple emotion. They carry the sentiment of 'driven likeness' in the quality & spirit of every individual they photograph. 

Shelby Matthews | Graphic Designer

When I started working at Anthropologie a few years back, Shelby was a coworker that I found a connection with. Her vivacious personality was infectious & I always admired her joyful spirit. As a freelance graphic designer, Shelby has an incredible work ethic & illustrative eye. I would spend countless hours with her in coffee shops, working on my writing as she worked on her projects, gaping at her ability to draw an intricate logo or design. Her talent continuously challenges me to take my own work seriously, & to grow it into something lasting.

Lance Flores | Photographer, Design                   Priscilla Kioko | Stylist, Musician

A wonderful thing about being on Instagram is finding people online that become real life friends. Over the past few years, Priscilla & Lance have become those friends to me {& much more} in my life. I connected immediately with Priscilla, a fashion stylist & musician, whose God centered mind runs deep. I am forever taking note of the way she pairs her lifestyle with expressive fashion. Lance, whose take on modern photography & graphic design is well known in any creative circle, was surprisingly friendly when I met him. I'd long admired his bold designs, & hanging out with him in person was so easy & fun. I've since gotten to know Priscilla & Lance more & am constantly left satisfied in knowing that there are caring minds in the competitive world of artistry. 

Sarah Sweeney | Photographer

Sarah was my go-to photographer & neighborhood pal in Kansas City. Her bright & airy aesthetic has the ability to capture the eye of any stylist, any brand, & I've loved watching her business thrive in KC & beyond. Every photoshoot I've worked with Sarah on has been a good learning experience, & I can't wait to see what's next for her. She is a big inspiration to me in the field of photo styling & lifestyle photography, as well as an amazing encouragement.