Category Archives: Uncategorized

“What else, mommy?”

“What else, mommy?” Elijah says taking my “order” with pen & paper in hand. “Hmm, I’ll have pancakes!” I say. “OK!” he says while making scribbles on his notepad. . . “What else, mommy, what else?”

I am dazzled by the imagination & innocence of my child. The purity of children is to be held as one of the most revered experiences a human can have. I am beyond grateful to be invited into the sacredness of my son’s precious lens through which he experiences life.

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Amidst the Mundane

Amidst the Mundane

I recently described life to a friend as “robotic,” or the same thing on repeat. I have come to terms with the season of life my family is in; however, I am trying to figure out how to capture more creativity and wonder a-midst the mundane. I’m choosing not to become too wordy or detailed (as I would when I write in my journal), however I’m certain if you can relate to his idea you can insert your own story. Therefore, I’m throwing this out there–this need to find and feel wonder when it requires so much effort to do so.  The image below communicates the very heart of what I hope for.

I took this double exposure almost 2 years ago. The first exposure of the photograph, the silhouetted sculpture, is titled “Rush Hour” by George Segal (It’s on display at the Nelson-Atkins.) It depicts a group of people walking, gloom faced, in long rain jackets. It’s a bit depressing to say the least. The second exposure is the vibrant and detailed pattern, which was on the side of a temporary exhibit at the Nelson. The exposures are opposite, yet complimentary. Therefore, this is my hope–to cultivate space for wonder to illuminate the drab areas of my life.

Jewel Anderson, All Rights Reserved.

The Van Kirks

010_VanKirks2015Oh, my sweet and dear friends–the Van Kirks. I have been very dear friends with Laura for a number of years. She’s one of those rare to find friends who I am deeply kindred to. In a single conversation we can be to the deepest of depths, yet also crack a joke and be belly laughing moments later. We were once roommates (which was the best!!), were both bridesmaids in each others’ weddings, and also had our first babies a month apart! Laura married Kyle–the coolest–, and had the sweetest of sweets–Charis. Geeze, they are the best. I could say a bajillion things I love about them. These photos are to capture the last few months before Van Kirk baby #2 arrives! As joyful and exciting growing a family is there is also a tinge of sadness with changing family dynamics. Therefore, here are a few images capturing the 3 before they become 4. They are also moving to Washington D.C. for the summer–which is where baby #2 will be born! Wowza, I know. This speaks to their adventurous side and also their steadfast trust in God. I love their spirit in how they make decisions for their lives. I want to be like them in this way. So, here ya go–a few pics of my wonderful friends–the Van Kirks. Muah!

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Josh & Sarah

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This is Josh & Sarah.  Josh is brother to my dear friend Julie and Sarah is not just her sister-in-law but a true friend whom we (Julie’s friends) adore. I have always admired Julie’s sibling relationship with them–it’s the kind of sibling bond I think most people long to have.  Josh and Sarah are the quintessential outdoorsy kind of folk. They are former Colorado residents and are current Oregonians, where Josh studied vitecology and works at a vineyard. They are bad-A in just about everything they do–cycling, hiking, climbing, and well anything.  When Julie told me Sarah had won some crazy uphill cycling race you can imagine I was scared out of my mind when I rode with them for the first time in Boulder CO. I had already planned to blame my rookie cycling skills on the altitude, however I also knew the “altitude” wouldn’t be a strong enough case to cover my butt. I was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t care at all about needing to ride at their usual caliber. I felt accepted and at ease, which is my consistent experience of them.  Josh is funny. He often  has a coy smile and a look of mystery on his face. I sometimes think he thinks I’m kind of ridiculous, however I’m convinced this is a part of his humor. Sarah is “sweet as pie” (a classic Julie phrase). She’s incredibly talented at many things including sewing, painting, cycling, etc. She doesn’t know how beautiful she is and she’s far more adored by Julie and her friends than she likely knows.

Around a year ago we learned Josh has lung cancer, and because of Julie’s deep bond and her unfailing love for Josh and Sarah I feel deep sadness. Suffering is not an easy topic to discuss openly, however one thing I know is avoiding it can be far worse than at least trying to fumble through addressing it.  As a counselor I am in the face of pain often. I have a deep conviction about living an honest life, however their pain is not mine to share. My experience as Julie’s friend has been heartbreaking. I felt honored and also enjoyed photographing Josh and Sarah. There is something very real, yet strange about learning about joy through suffering–i.e. not taking life for granted and truly cherishing your loved ones. Phrases such as this can often sound trite until you experience pain. . . Josh & Sarah, thank you for allowing me to document this time of life. You two are so loved.

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Sara & Adam

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I realize I may sound trite, yet I must say I am finding it difficult to put into words what a beautiful & holy love story these two have.  Sara is a very dear friend to me.  There are few people like her. She is known by many as: vastly generous, deeply caring, rich with wisdom, intelligent, beautiful, and devoted.  Sara’s presence oozes with empathy and understanding. With a slight tilt of her head, locked eyes, and her sweet gentle voice she can make anyone unload the deepest of depths within their heart. It’s true. And although she is one of the most gentle and sweet souls I know she is also one who loves a good prank and a sweaty mountain hike. Sara passionately embraces beauty and whimsy, yet does not “live in the clouds.” She thinks deeply and loves long-lasting deep conversation about Bonhoeffer & C.S. Lewis. She fights to exploit what is true and is cherished by many. Adam. Oh, Adam. What a perfectly suited man for Sara. Although I do not know Adam as deeply I do know his strengths compliment Sara. Adam is an honest man. Although a simple phrase, I don’t say that lightly. Adam strives to live a life dedicated to what is true, even when it’s difficult. Sara describes Adam as one who is built for commitment. Sara and Adam humbly work to understand one another at whatever cost and with the desire to grow. These two were introduced while living half-way across the country, yet through their closest of friends. It was over a short amount of time, emails, long phone calls into the night (let’s be honest–morning), and plane rides, before Adam moved to Kansas City. I am baffled thinking of the collective joy experienced by the thought of Adam & Sara getting married. And I have no capacity to think of the amount of true good that will come from these two joining lives. Sara & Adam are loved by many and I just know that it will be a celebration of celebrations as they join together in the covenant of marriage. 010Sara&Adam_2014017Sara&Adam_2014020Sara&Adam_2014025Sara&Adam_2014024Sara&Adam_2014023Sara&Adam_2014026Sara&Adam_2014030Sara&Adam_2014032Sara&Adam_2014035Sara&Adam_2014044Sara&Adam_2014052Sara&Adam_2014050Sara&Adam_2014057Sara&Adam_2014

Rhett Valentine

BLOGHEADER015Rhette_Valentine2014Ohhh, the Jackson family. It seems as though I just took Brad & Blair’s engagement pictures. It warmed my heart when I found out Blair was pregnant–I always knew she would make such a sweet mama & she is! Blair has such an unassuming, kind, and welcoming spirit. And although I don’t know Brad as well he seems laid back, kind, and is so sweet to Blair. They made parenting look easy when I was with them a couple weeks ago–they are natural born parents. I have no doubt sweet Rhett is going to grow up knowing she is loved.

So, without further aeidu here is the Jackson family having welcomed sweet little lady Rhett Valentine.
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Autumn & Bill

wp-content-uploads-2013-07-blogheaderWow. It has been a long time since I’ve 1. photographed an engagement session (or anything for that matter) and 2. blogged! I was really excited and flattered Autumn asked me to take her and Bill’s engagement pictures. I’ve backed off from photography a lot given I’m in graduate school, but I have rare bursts of free time when I actually have the time to say yes to shoots. Autumn & Bill were really fun to be with. Autumn is Greg and I’s good friend Jake’s sister. Jake is one of Greg and I’s favorite people, so I was even more excited to be with Autumn. Bill & Autumn dated long-distance between Denver & Kansas City for awhile.  Seeing one another every other weekend and taking occasional vacations the two made their relationship work.  Although Autumn was sad to say goodbye to the Colorado mountains, moving back to KC was well worth the sacrifice of environmental beauty to be with Bill.  I love seeing people make sacrifices for one another–to say goodbye to the things they love or prefer in order to ultimately gain the best reward of marriage.  Autumn & Bill were really funny throughout our shoot.  They are both really sarcastic, but clearly adore one another.   It’s clear in the photographs how sweet these two are together. Autumn & Bill, I hope your Mexico wedding is amazing!! I wish Greg and I could be the ones to document your day. : )   wp-content-uploads-2013-07-030autumn_bill_2013wp-content-uploads-2013-07-013autumn_bill_2013wp-content-uploads-2013-07-014autumn_bill_2013wp-content-uploads-2013-07-016autumn_bill_2013wp-content-uploads-2013-07-boots_duowp-content-uploads-2013-07-033autumn_bill_2013wp-content-uploads-2013-07-026autumn_bill_2013wp-content-uploads-2013-07-043autumn_bill_2013wp-content-uploads-2013-07-kauffman_duowp-content-uploads-2013-07-046autumn_bill_2013

Laura & Kyle!

Laura is one of my dearest. You may have seen her on my blog a time or two; but this time is different, this time she has her soon to be husband, Kyle, with her. Kyle is the best. Laura is the best. The best meets the best. I genuinely could not imagine Laura with anyone else. Their radical enthusiasm for the Lord and for life is equal, which for those of you who know them I’m sure you would agree it’s pretty crazy they found someone just as passionate, right?

One of my favorite things ever is to photograph people I love. . . with their soon to be husbands. : ) We first started at Kyle’s home (their future home together), in the Lykin’s neighborhood, which is in the inner city. Then, we moved on to other spots important to their relationship. One of which was in front of their church, where Kyle proposed during the worship service (evidence they are radically awesome people), then we went to the Kansas City Star. Now, the Kansas City Star building is photographed a lot–I get that. But, it truly is special to them because it was in the newspaper Laura first read about the Lykin’s neighborhood and saw a quote by Kyle. She became interested in moving to the inner city, so she contacted Kyle to learn more about the neighborhood. Well, a few months later they were engaged. : )

Laura, I love you so much. I admire your heart & zeal for life a whole lot. Kyle, you are so good to my friend. I know you will take the best care of her–I’m glad it’s you.
Kyle owns 7 opening day Chick-fil-a shirts. One of his goals in life is to have a wardrobe’s worth and wear them on repeat during retirement.I love this so much. They wouldn’t stop squeezing each other all day!!wp-content-uploads-2012-08-013_laura_kyle_esUmm, Hello, Laura. You are stunning.wp-content-uploads-2012-08-070_laura_kyle_es1

Also posted in Engagement

Kentucky Derby Charity for The Mission Project

Last Saturday I had the privilege to photograph a charity event for The Mission Project.  The Mission Project is an organization that helps fund a housing community that enables capable adults with developmental or cognitive disabilities to live independently and safely in community with minimal support–this is their purpose statement taken straight from their website. The goals of the organization are:

The project strives to create a community and support systems for participants to enable them to live as fully and independently as possible while providing them with opportunities for:

  • Finding and maintaining meaningful employment
  • Socializing with peers
  • Learning in a variety of continuing education classes and cultural activities
  • Participating in recreational activities
  • Getting and staying fit
I had no idea an organization like this existed. Now that I have learned more about this organization and had the honor to meet the members and community participants I see the immense beauty and need for this kind of community. I love when people recognize the needs of others & dream up ways to meet those needs–this organization is doing just that.
In order to help fund this community every year they have a Kentucky Derby themed Charity event that supports this organization. The event hosts a silent auction, live auction, and Kentucky Derby horse raffle drawing. In Missouri it’s illegal to bet on horses, so creatively they came up with a way to incorporate participation in rooting for the horses without actually bidding on them. . . For me it was not only informative to learn about this community, but it was aesthetically pleasing and fun for me to photograph all the beautiful hats and outfits. I met some wonderfully kind people and had a great time being a part of the 5th Annual Kentucky Derby Gala!

Enjoy some of the details and story from the day!

I loved how timeless and sophisticated most of the women looked.The women weren’t the only ones with the Kentucky Derby spirit, the men dressed the part as well.Since it’s illegal to bet on horses in Missouri there was a table that represented all the horses in the derby. People purchased tickets and put their “vote” in their favorite horses bowl & at the end of the event a ticket was drawn from the winning horses bowl. This way people weren’t actually betting on the horses but could still participate in the race.The traditional cocktail for the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep, here it was named “Mission Julep.”Hats & Hats & More Hats Here is a group of adults who live in the Mission Project housing. I love that they aren’t taking the group picture too seriously.
This is Jesse. When I met him I was able to hear some of his amazing story. He told me before he moved to The Mission Project he was completely closed off from society. He didn’t have friends, a job, or any transportation. Now that he lives in a robust and joyful community  he has made lots of new friends, has a job, and now has transportation to run errands. He said moving there has dramatically changed his life for the better. I got choked up hearing how much his life has changed because of his new home. Let the live auction begin.The bid was getting a little higher than she wanted. This man kept being taunted to bid higher and higher. I would have given in to the pressure for sure. While being pressure to bid higher this woman was debating whether she wanted to keep upping the bid for a trip to Napa California.Time for the the most exciting two minutes in sports.Happy about her horse winning.And the winning horse was, I’ll Have Another!How about “I’ll Have Another” Mission Julep. : ) 

Wahoo! My Site is finished!

WAHOO! HERE WE GO! I’M SO EXCITED TO SHOW OFF MY NEW WEBSITE. IT’S FUNNY HOW EVEN THE MOST SIMPLE OF LAYOUTS AND DESIGNS CAN TAKE SO LONG TO CREATE. BUT, HERE WE ARE, IT’S MARCH 1ST AND I FINALLY GET TO SHOW OFF MY HARD WORK. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH ME & MY WORK I ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE A PEAK AROUND. IN AN EFFORT TO NOT REITERATE WHO I AM & WHAT I’M ALL ABOUT I’D LOVE FOR YOU TO READ MY “ABOUT ME” & “PHILOSOPHY” SECTIONS OF MY SITE. I WOULD BE THRILLED AND HONORED IF YOU ALSO TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK OVER MY PORTRAITURE. . . . THERE ARE STILL A FEW QUIRKS I’D LIKE TO WORK OUT, BUT I WAS GETTING TOO IMPATIENT–I WANTED TO SHOW ALL OF YOU MY NEW SITE!

THANK YOU TO JASON CARRIGAN FOR HELPING ME A LOT WITH GETTING MY NEW BUSINESS UP AND RUNNING. HE HELPED ME TREMENDOUSLY WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.

PLEASE CHECK BACK SOON AND OFTEN! I WILL SOON HAVE A DRAWING FOR A FEW GIFT CARDS TO PUT TOWARDS A PORTRAITURE SESSION. TELL YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS, & WHOMEVER! MORE DETAILS ABOUT THAT WILL COME SOON.