Fun Family Photography in Kansas City by Denise Williams Photography » Kansas City's Family Photographer

“You’re not wearing a bra???” he said.

(I realize this might sound like an x-rated blog post, but it’s NOT! There’s a good point, keep reading…)

It was 5th grade and I was at the school skating party. Those horrifyingly embarrassing words were exclaimed to me by a classmate as he tried to snap my bra strap in the back. Only I wasn’t wearing one!

I was mortified. Fifth grade was the year things were changing, and I just felt awkward. Clearly, I was resisting the changes. I wanted none of this weird grown up stuff like BRAS!

This story is less about bras and the inappropriate actions of pre-pubescent boys, and more about the way I felt about myself at that time. That “time” being the tricky little spot in life we now call the TWEENS. At ages 10-12, kids aren’t little children anymore, but aren’t quite teens either. They still feel like a kid sometimes, but are also dealing with grown up stuff like body changes.

The changes happening in the tween years can be tricky.  They don’t feel like themselves and are starting to look different. Skin break outs and oily hair become the new norm.

By the pre-teens, avid picture-taking of every little cute thing they do slows down, or stops all together.

Having just been through the tween stage with my oldest and on the brink of it with my youngest, I am realizing how FAST time is passing.

I don’t want to forget who they are right now and I don’t want them to feel bad about themselves because of some fleeting changes as they mature. They are still beautiful souls, and I want them to see that.

I’ve made it my mission to capture those preteen years for my family, and I want to help you do the same.

You might be wondering, how are photos going help tweens when the changes in their looks is what they feel awkward with?


The “Who I Am” project for tweens is aimed at filling in the forgotten photo years while enriching the lives of pre-teens. The main goal of this project is for pre-teens to realize their inner beauty and be confident in who they are.

I am looking for Kansas City tweens, ages 10-12. (limit one tween per family) I will ask the tween and her parents a few questions, then combine the text and photographs to create impactful pieces of art. (the questionnaire part is a secret, so don’t mention that part to your tween)

Have a tween boy that is interested? Sign him up!

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I want to capture the the personality of tweens and record the last stage of their young childhood before they become young ladies. I want them to realize their true INNER beauty so that they are confident in themselves. Imagine the impact beautiful imagery could have on a tween’s self-image when paired with positive affirmations of those most important in their lives.


Session will be mid February. I’ll give specific dates if you are interested and email me.

There are only 12 spots.


Email me at


If you know of any tweens that would love this project, forward this on. If they book, have them mention your name and you’ll receive a complimentary web-sized digital from your session.


The session itself is complimentary. That’s a $150 value!

A $50 deposit is required to reserve your spot and will be applied to your order.

My past clients loved their images so much they purchased more to use as birthday, Mother’s Day, or “just because” gifts for themselves and their daughter. I have a feeling you’re going to want to too!

Portrait collections start at $320. Signature 8×10 gift prints are $40. Other products such as the keepsake Inspiration Album are available.

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Let’s get to showcasing your tween’s spirit and soul!

Email me at if you are interested. I will send you more specifics so you and your tween can decide if this project is the perfect fit.

I am also available by phone if you want go that route. 913.725.8133


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This is the second year I have photographed the Napier family and I’m so glad they chose to document their family again this year! Once is year is never too much when it comes to capturing your family. If you have kids, you know they are rapidly changing before your eyes. Sometimes you don’t even see it until you look at a photo! See for yourself!

Some of the obvious places in the station were closed due to an event, so we had to be detectives. I was pretty pleased with what we found. Because of this, we had to find some new-to-me spots inside Union Station and I loved the lighting! While I don’t love last minute surprises, this one turned out to be a good one. You’ll see what I mean.

The Napier Family

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As with most kids, each one of the Napier family girls has their own unique personality and we captured it in these photos! They are all special little girls and I have really enjoyed getting to know them over the last year of photographing them. Did I mention that all three of these girls do some modeling? Just look at them though. Duh!

Because they are all so unique, we got some fun and unique photos for mom! We wrapped up at the Liberty Memorial for these fun ones.



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sisters union station kansas city family photo sessionPINIMAGEEspecially relevant, is it time to update your family photos with some beautiful wall portraits you can enjoy every day? How long has it been? If it’s been a year or more, the answer is yes, it’s time. Take a look around my site and if I am a fit for you, let’s do it. I love proving to moms that family photo sessions can be fun! Get in touch today. I wanna hear about your family!

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If you use social media, you have probably seen many themed photo sessions.  Your friend’s kids got their latest holiday pictures taken with Santa hats in front of a snowy scene. Your aunt had a movie theme for her birthday pictures. You may wonder, should you have a themed photo session?

There are countless ideas out there for making your photos interesting, unique, and a reflection of your personality. Birthdays, hobbies, holidays, back to school.

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DWP does just a few themed sessions, as my mission and passion is focusing on the relationships more than the props, but they are fun to do and I enjoy them!

Should You Have a Themed Photo Session?

Before you consider a themed photo session, ask yourself these questions:

Why do I want to do this type of session? What will I do with the photos? Where will I display them? Will the theme go with my home decor, or do I just want them for an album? Who will be in this session? Will I be hiring someone to do this or be doing it myself?

Then, to discover your ideal theme ask:

Is this photo session indoors or outdoors? If it’s outdoors you’ll probably want to consider a theme that suits the weather.

What season is it? If you are looking to use a specific backdrop or seasonal prop, can you use Mother Nature’s current display as your theme?

Do you love a specific historical era, such as the 50’s? Or a particular TV series like Star Trek? There are so many eras and movies that you can draw inspiration from. Make a list of shows, movies & eras that you and your family love.

Do you have specific hobbies? Perhaps you are an animal lover, a sports fan or have a passion for fashion. Make a list of your interests and your theme might just jump out at you.

Maybe a special holiday is coming up.

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Is this a major life event? Use your pregnancy announcement or a milestone birthday as the perfect excuse for a fun photo session. Consider using a setting and props that speak to both you and your partner’s interests. There is also tons of inspiration on websites such as Pinterest that you can turn to for ideas

Whatever theme you decide to choose, make sure that it speaks to your personalities so that you genuinely enjoy the process and the results. Themed photo sessions are also usually a great way to encourage children to be involved and to get them excited.

Still wondering, should you have a themed photo session? I would love to help you figure that out and bring your theme to life! Get in touch or hop on my VIP list HERE so you are the first to know when I have special themed sessions.

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I was SO excited when I got my first DSLR camera for my birthday ten years ago.

My oldest was two and I was so excited to get better pictures of my daughter. As a result, I resigned to taking her milestone pictures, instead of taking her to Target or Pennys.

I put that baby on auto, popped up the flash and started snapping.

Yet, disappointment quickly set in because they weren’t as good as I thought they would be. Seems like they should have been because I had an expensive camera now!

There was a difference, but the photos still weren’t as good as I imagined they would be with this wonderful new camera.

So I set out to teach myself how to use my camera’s manual settings. I was going to have to be the one to make the better photos, not the expensive camera!

It took me many years, with a lot of self-education, webinars, classes and practice to finally utilize my equipment the way it should be. (Confession: I shot on auto mode the first couple years of my business.)

You are probably not starting a business, you just want to have better photos of your kids, while utilizing that nice dslr camera you have. Am I right?

Well, I am setting out to help you learn how to take those good photos, and speed up the learning curve of shooting in manual mode. I am hosting a Snap Happy Photography Class in January.

Are you in?

Don’t be nervous. I’ll make it really understandable and even if you take away 3 good tips, your photos will improve. You’ll be on your way to capturing awesome memories of your kids!

So let’s do this.

If you are like, “heck to the yes” (or even just “yes”), grab a friend who has a dslr, and sign up. You will both get the $10 off! This is good all the way up until the class happens.

Be sure to check out all the info below on my Snap Happy Photography Class. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.  

Email subscribers have already had first dibs and there are only 10 spots.


Saturday, January 14, 2017
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
The Creamery Clubroom
Crossroads District
2100 Central St, KC, MO



Email me at or call 913.725.8133 to sign up.


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The KC skyline view out the Creamery Clubroom windows.

The WHO, the WHAT, and the HOW…

Who is this class for?
This class if for moms (or grandmas) who want to learn to take better pictures of their kids and learn the basics of using the manual settings on their camera.

What you’ll learn:
How to find the best natural light and use it to your advantage.
How to compose your photos.
Tips for posing and working with your subjects
Exposure: ISO, shutter speed, aperture.
Settings: RAW vs. jpg, presets, white balance.

What you’ll get:
Over two hours of instruction.
Practice time in an awesome indoor space, as well as outdoors (weather permitting).
A printed workbook of class info.
Snacks, coffee, drinks.
Goody bag.
An updated headshot.
All my top secrets (ha ha!)

Equipment needed for class:
A DSLR camera with manual settings. Not sure if you have a DSLR camera? Get in touch.
A lens meant for portrait shots. Zoom lenses meant for distance will not work for this workshop.
Your camera manual. There are many makes and models and I am not a camera expert.:)

We will be working with natural light in this class. No flash needed.

How much?
$75 per person + tax
Sign up with a friend anytime & both receive $10 off class fee.
One discount per person max.
*If you shared my fb post to be entered to win 1/2 off, you can go ahead and sign up. If you win, I will refund 1/2 back to you!
**DUE TO THE NATURE OF THIS CLASS AND THE LIMITED AVAILABILITY, ALL SALES ARE FINAL**. If you need to cancel you can transfer your admission to a friend, or use the credit towards a photo session.


Email me at or call 913.725.8133 to sign up.

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A perfect space for relaxing, practicing (great light) and of course snacking!

Did you miss my video on prime vs. zoom lenses? Check it out! Click HERE




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Choosing the Right Camera for Your Child

If your child has recently started showing an interest in photography and you are thinking about buying them their first camera, there are a few things you need to consider in choosing the right camera for your child. As a parent you probably know that a kid’s interests can change tomorrow, next week or even next year but the good news is that you can still support their new hobby without breaking the bank.

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Here are my top 7 tips for choosing the right camera for your child.

  1. Choose a camera that will enable your child to learn the basics quite quickly. Make sure that the controls and buttons are manageable and that the size of the camera is suited to the size of their hands. The menus should also be logical, easy to read and have intuitive icons that are easy to understand.
  1. Children love to experiment and tend to learn faster when they can do so. An entry-level DSLR camera will allow them to adjust exposure settings such as ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Interchangeable lenses are also a great learning tool but definitely not essential as a beginner.
  1. When deciding on a camera for your child, take a look at the screen. It should be large, bright and have great color reproduction. It should also be easy to use both indoors and outdoors as there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to see your images clearly on the screen due to bright sunlight.
  1. Ensure that the sensor resolution is good enough and meets your specific requirements, especially if you want to print larger size images. In most cases a 10-14 mega pixel camera is a sufficient for an entry level photographer.
  1. As a first time photographer, your child will want to keep practicing so it’s important that you are able to extend the camera’s memory using a SD/SDHC memory card.
  1. Next come the accessories. Your child will want to download their images from the camera onto a computer for editing so a USB cable will be an essential accessory.

If you aren’t sure that a brand new camera is the best route to go as your child pursues their interest in photography you can also look at buying a secondhand camera instead. Ask around because many photographers may be willing to sell an older model camera. Be sure to find out about all the camera’s features and any extras that it might come with before making the purchase to ensure that it meets your specific requirements.

These tips can apply to buying anyone a camera. Are you getting a new camera for Christmas? Perhaps you got one last year but still haven’t gotten around to using it… Stay tuned, because I’ll be hosting my Snap Happy photography class in January. Hop on my email list to be sure you get all the details! SIGN UP HERE

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