Hamer Family 

Since moving into the KCMO area, my exploration of it has been limited, but not to unlimited. Walking through the mass city of KC, can be a little overwhelming… And, I secretly hoped I would be able to capture a family in the urban jungle. I didn’t have to wait or look for long.. Enter the Hamer family! 

I really like this family. I love their charm, hurmor and generosity.  It’s kind of amazing how we all met, one of those through another friend type deal. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

The Saturday morning was perfect, Oddly Correct served up delicious coffee and nothing could go wrong… Except for the small tiny issue of a dead battery and no backup. Thankfully, this small setback was resolved with the help of using their camera. It was way embarrassing, but it didn’t ruin a thing!

Now, let me show you pictures of Matt, Megan, Wren & Moses! With special guest Kathy!





























Cassie Michelle Photography 
Taken: August 19th 2017 | Westport KCMO

Camera: Canon EOS (courtesy of the Hamer’s) 

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The Botinelly’s + baby boy

Ten months ago, I moved to Missouri and with it, moving away from friends that I’ve grown to love. So, it was exciting for me to be asked to take pictures of a wonderful couple. And, first session of 2017! Back in June, I got up before the sun, grabbed some coffee and drove the three hours back to Kansas, I’d do it for anyone, but this was extra special!

Getting to capture Brendan & Karyssa was lovely, added of course by the baby bump that they prayed and hoped for. Since taking these photos, that little bundle has been born and he’s pretty cute!

Conner, you have amazing parents and your life is richly blessed! I have no doubt you’ll conquer many things!

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Cassie Michelle Photography
Taken: June 10th 2017 | Wichita, KS 
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T5

Kieso family

I was honored to not only get to capture this family, but to capture the biggest family I’ve ever done.  I took into account that kids will be kids and have zero patience for a lady trying to get that right picture.  So, I just snapped as many pictures as possible.
When Tiffany and I discussed what she was looking for, she mentioned that she wanted some of her and her husband together. Knowing that this was something she really wanted, I made sure to get some for them and them alone. I hope I delivered to what she was looking for.

I loved doing this session and capturing this wonderful family. It was a fun evening!

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Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR
Wichita, KS
Photographer: Cassie Stephens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixty years later.

August 5, 1956 was a sunny day filled with, a slight warm breeze of smiles and cheer in a little small town in western Kansas.  Of course, I may just be starting this with complete fiction, but isn’t most fiction just a wonderful telling of what may have been? Besides all that, it was the day my grandparents did the big ‘I Do’.  Since my grandpa is a young buck, my grandma had to wait until he graduated high school until they got married, that and well he also had surgery done as well.  They grew up in the same town, went to high school together and the whole relationship began with a blind date.  She was all that was good, sweet and followed the rules.  He was the jock, rebel and all that she wasn’t.  But, I think that is what makes a couple. Maybe back then they were the complete opposites, however sixty years later they are still married.  It wasn’t easy at times I’m sure, but they grew stronger in their marriage and adding God helped a great deal too.  She was growing in her faith and he remained, however sometimes it takes a great push for the stubborn to fall to their knees and find God, that was him.  Now after one daughter and two sons, three grand girls and one great grand girl, they can see the accomplishments of what their love did.

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I’m in complete adoration of their relationship and what it looks like.  I love them to the moon and back and grateful that I spent all those summers with them and still able to spend time with them as an adult.   I love you both and I’m honored that I was not only able to witness your sixtieth anniversary but to capture it with photos, love and tears.

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Congrats you crazy kids!

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Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR
Derby, KS
Photographer: Cassie Stephens

David and Tia and everything wonderful.

I’m always honored when someone asks me to take pictures for them, I’m even more honored when asked to do their wedding… Even if I have a slight panic attack.
Taking pictures of weddings always makes me go into panic mode, simply because I have one shot at it, no do overs.  Every wedding I have done, which hasn’t been many, was a bag full of stress.  Except this one.  Maybe it’s because I’ve known Tia for awhile, or I’ve taken pictures of her kids over the years, or maybe just maybe it was laid back because that’s what it was.

I knew I could do it alone, but having a friend help out is better.  So, Camissa came along with me and my three camera bags to Paola, KS.  Once settled, we scoped out the town, the venue and went to eat dinner for $11… for two! Small towns, if nothing else, offer cheap food.
The morning of the wedding came early, with coffee.  Once we made it to the venue, looked it all over and made introductions, we got to work.  Throughout the entire wedding I kept thinking how right this was.  I was happy to see Tia smile brightly, David looking upon her with complete adoration, Sydni and Joe gaining a new family and close friends and family in happy tears.  It was simple, stunning and wonderful.

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Taken on 4.24.2016
Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR/Canon EOS
Paola, KS
Photographer: Cassie Stephens
Assistant/General all around funny person: Camissa Dater

 

A tale about a Lightsaber.

Like with any good story, you should always start at the beginning.

Two years ago, my friend and roommate was off traveling in Italy, which left me home alone.  One evening I couldn’t sleep, so it was decided I would rearrange the furniture at two in the morning. Put in my ear buds and got to work.  Have you ever been in the shower and heard loud banging? Instead of investigating, you just slowly pull the curtain back and continue your shower, praying you don’t get murdered.  I wasn’t in the shower, but I kept hearing a loud banging noise. Yet, whenever I took out my ear buds, it didn’t happen.  Shrugging my shoulders, I continued on.  Almost an hour later, I pulled out my ear buds to someone banging on my door.  I jumped and held back my scream… That’s a lie, I screamed like a five year old girl, who got a pony for Christmas.
As it continued, I heard someone yell some inaudible words. In a slight panic, I slowly walked over to the top of my stairs and tried to look who could be banging on my door. Not seeing anything, I went into my room and grabbed the first thing…. It was my Lightsaber.
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This was the most ‘nerd’ I’ve ever been.  Ever so slowly I walked down the steps until I reached the landing.  My front door is glass with wood trim, so anyone could look right in.  In the corner however, that’s the safe spot.  There is a window and next to the door is more glass, but on the inside I can see out, you can’t see in.  So in that corner I looked out the window and noticed a shadow next to my house.  Quietly reaching up, I unlocked the door and started to open it.  That’s when the person heard me, they started to walk back over to the door; it was now or never.  I hit the button, my Lightsaber glowed the brightest green and I ran out and hit the person on the head.
Their are moments in a person’s life, that the only thing you can say is ‘shit’.  This was my shit moment.  As the adrenaline within me slowly faded, I got a good look at the person I hit.  The person was a man, a man in a uniform, a man in a cop uniform.  I just hit a cop over the head with a Lightsaber…. Shiiiittttt.  Nothing was said, for what felt like an eternity. He and I just stared at one another, I finally hit the button and turned off my saber.  He finally reacted and said the only logical thing you could say in this situation; “did you just hit me with a toy Lightsaber?”
“Yes… I thought it was a murderer or something.” I replied.  He laughed, he laughed harder than I expected him to.  Once he calmed down, he went on to tell me that my neighbors tried knocking, because they thought I was getting attacked.  I explained what I was really doing and the reason for not hearing, was because I play music loudly.
“It’s a shame I can’t tell the others about this.. They’d never believe me anyways.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry again.  I should probably reconsider my options of weaponry.”
“Yeah, but you have a story now.”

A story indeed…

Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a link to a sermon.  When I arrived home late last night, I watched it.  I’m not usually a yell out loud, ‘AMEN’ type of girl, but I was on fire last night.  This sermon was basically killing it, don’t worry, I’m working on writing a blog.  I was so into this sermon and yelling amen, that I forgot my windows were open.  I also forgot I have neighbors.
Once I was done watching the sermon, I started to get ready for bed.  That’s when I heard it, a tapping noise.  I’m no stranger to people tapping on windows or doors. I recall a Halloween years ago, were a lady by the name of Samantha tapped on a window and it freaked myself and my BF Camissa out.  Like, Camissa had to have a hand over her mouth to stop from screaming and I just held onto her like a pillow. It’s safe to say, tapping isn’t my favorite.
The tapping continued on my front door and I found myself in the exact same situation. The only difference, I heard what the person was saying outside.  As they continued to tap, he spoke up and said; “I know you’re up.”  Now, that doesn’t sound creepy or horrible, but his voice was saying otherwise.  He sounded like Emperor Palpatine with a heavy breathing problem.  That’s NO BUENO! I tried to look and see who it was, but all I saw was feet.  So, I went ahead and did that good ol’ nerd thing, I grabbed my Lightsaber.  Once I started walking down, I didn’t see anybody, so I thought I was in the clear. I still wanted to make sure, so I looked out the window and he was standing right there.  He was looking up and said in his heavy Palpatine voice; “Your lights are on. I know you can hear me.”
This was my chance again, I unlocked the door, opened it and walked outside. He had his back to me, when I turned on my saber he turned around and that’s when I attacked another male with my Lightsaber.  This was another shit moment.
Not only am I using a toy to defend myself, I’m also hitting innocent men… This man happened to be my next door neighbor.  Once again I was asked the only logical question; “Did you hit me with a Lightsaber?”
“Yeah.. Sorry.” I replied
“Have you done this before?” He asked
“Umm yeah. A cop.”
“Hot damn! Really?!?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry again. Did you need something?” I finally asked
“Huh? Oh yeah, are you okay? I kept hearing you yell ‘amen’ and ‘yes’. I mean, I know why other girls may yell those. But you aren’t most girls.”
I laughed harder than necessary and told him why.
If you happened to drive by my place last night, you would have seen two adults laughing like children and one adult with a Lightsaber still on.
Before he bid me goodnight, I had to ask why his voice sounded off.
“I’m sick. I know I sound like a groundhog while in heat. Sorry if that scared you.” He replied.
I didn’t ask how he knew about groundhogs in heat.

Today, I found these in my mail box….
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With this note…
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It reads: Sorry I scared you, so much so you hit me on the head with a Lightsaber.  Good arm, however.
Stay strong lady.
Your friendly neighbor!

P.S. Got you these. We cool?

Yeah, we cool.

How retail made me the worst person.

Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to a person tell me that they would like to work retail because, “it looks easy”… They even did the hand air quotations! Before I laughed in their face, I stabbed them with a fork. Just kidding, that’s psychic and I’m not their; yet. The thing is, it’s not. Retail is a soul sucking, take all, give me your first born type of job. I didn’t hop and skip my way into retail willingly, I needed a job after my first job shut the doors FOR-EV-ER. I’m still in the business, nine years later and I’ve gotten worse.
Before retail, I saw the good in everybody, no one could do wrong and if they did, I’d like to think they’d get up and do well after. I use to enjoy weekends off, run down hills like Laura Ingalls, pick daisies, enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do none of those things any more, rather I dislike humans and nurse a glass of whiskey every night. When I began this wondrous journey of retail, I didn’t think I’d still be in it; but alas I am. Nothing surprises me any more, I think the last time I was surprised by what a customer said, was when he came up to me and said; “someone crapped down your aisle.” Sure enough, someone did indeed crap in my aisle… Someone walked and pooped at the same time… Pooped.

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Now I know what you may be thinking; “why doesn’t she get a new job?”  I’ve already tired that avenue, and the problem is simple. I like the company I work for, Shoe Carnival is truly the best company I’ve worked for in my short retail span. Old Navy was meh, even though one manager was slightly crazy and how I found out I was loosing my job with Steve & Berry’s was instead of the company telling us, the company in which we called to fill our vending machines said; “Uh, this store is closing right?….”

Working with great people help that as well. The peeps I work with are a mixed bag of interesting, boss looks just like Simon Pegg and the laugh out loud type.  Plus, let’s be real.. The pay is choice and the benefits for my heath is rad. But it is because of these crazies that I get through my day a little better, mainly because we all agree on one thing… People are the worst.

 

I’ve painfully tired to understand people and why they think it’s okay to leave out 50 shoes,  have the balls to walk up with a smile and say, “I didn’t want those.”  I’ve tired to understand all the stupid jokes they seem to think I’ve never heard before, “my card isn’t scanning…. I guess my shoes are free!” I’ve tired to understand all of the dumb questions I get asked everyday, one in particular is about our BOGO… I guess people forego reading the sign, that’s right in front of their face.   The worst thing someone has ever said to me, (and I’ve told some), was just last year on Thanksgiving day. Lady came up to me with a sad face and said, “I really hate that you all have to work and miss your families.”  Inside my mind exploded with full anger, almost to the point of having aneurysm…

I could go on and on, for those who are friends with me on Facebook get the random status from me on which these random situations happen.  Honestly it’s because of those everyday situations, that I truly do dislike humans. I’m quick to an angry attitude, I’m way to sarcastic for my own good, I’ve perfected the fake laugh, I sigh the minute I hear someone yell, “help!?”, and I look at the people shopping in my store and wonder how on earth they think it’s okay to be rude, messy and lazy.  What has happen to you humans?  Is it because I’m just working in retail,  that automatically makes me garbage? What is it? Why?

Now I can pretty much read your mind while reading this, “man, she must be crap at customer service.”  False.  I may mentally curse and wish death upon all, but outwardly I’ll charm the pants off you.  I will make sure you find the right shoes, you’ll leave satisfied and will want to come back because of that excellent service! (that’s what she said)  Yeah, people will yell at me, tell me I’m an idiot and proceeded to say they should get what they want…  But I’ll always make sure to let you, the customer speak your mind, all the while I’ll make sure to have my mouth slightly open and a ‘bored’ look upon my face. Or maybe this face….

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But once you turn your back…

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On the flip side, every once in a while I will get a sweet, nice and the most loveliest customer ever.  When that does happen I almost want to give them a free pair of shoes and take them out for a steak dinner!  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it seriously makes my day.

In the end retail has changed me, it’s given me talents along the way and I get to be apart of people’s lives I never thought possible.  I’m a black belt at folding shirts (without the shirt folder!), I’ve become friends with a wide variety of people and I’ve taken that next step into my management career.  Yes, retail sucks the life out of me and I’m fairly certain I’ll have to give my first born to Shoe Carnival…  But, I can say with full honesty after all that being said, working retail is the most satisfying way to see how much people has changed over the years and it’s also the kind of job that I love to hate.

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