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Photo Events by KC Phoenix Photography

Special Events and Wedding Photography in Kansas City is one of our favorite areas of photography to work in and be around. We have posted a selection of special events on this blog photographed in Kansas City from 2002 thru 2013.

Please look through them and enjoy.  To see more weddings and special events photographed by Lisa and John of

KC Phoenix Photography, visit them at

KC Phoenix Photography .  Click on ”View Events” to see all their published work.

John & Lisa’s  KC Phoenix Photography Studio ise also listed on Tie The Knot, Kansas City Style – The Top Wedding Vendors listing for Kansas City Thanks for taking the time to view the events we have photographed.

John and Lisa -

KC Phoenix Photography serving Greater Kansas City.

KC Phoenix Photography

Your Kansas City Wedding, Senior, and Commercial Photographers



How To Choose a Wedding Site

We recommend that if possible, both bride and groom will attend all interviews.

Always carry a note pad and pen to write down important information and questions that may arise during your interview.

Actually, choosing the wedding site that is just right for you, is a lot of fun.

Before you start looking, you should brainstorm. As you do, take to consideration your budget, your wedding theme, the atmosphere you want at your wedding, your interests, and your guests.

The location is one of the most important aspects of your wedding so consider carefully what will make yours a special, one-of-a-kind wedding event. You have many option including a do it yourself wedding (friends and family contributing of course.) Following is a list to get you started.

Ideas for wedding sites include:

  • A Home – do it yourself wedding, or Wedding Venues such as…
  • Auditoriums – usually on a rental basis,
  • Beach – public domain may need permit and or license,
  • Bed and Breakfast – full service,
  • Camp Grounds – do it yourself wedding,
  • Club Houses – do it yourself wedding,
  • Country Clubs – most offer full service,
  • Conference Centers- some offer full service, some are on a rental basis,
  • Convention Centers – some offer full service, some are on a rental basis,
  • Hotel – Ball Rooms – Grounds or – Gardens. A Gazebo makes a wonderful setting for a     wedding ceremony- full service
  • Houses of Worship – Churches – Synagogues – Temples – Mosques – etc…some offer     full service, some are on a rental basis, some can only facilitate the ceremony,
  • Mansions – full service
  • Museums -some museums offer celebration rooms and may even help with special     wedding themes, especially historical – usually on a rental basis,
  • Parks – Great – do it yourself wedding,
  • Patio – Gardens – do it yourself wedding,
  • ranches – usually on a rental basis,
  • Resorts, full service
  • Rented Halls – usually on a rental basis,
  • Stadiums – usually on a rental basis,
  • Yachts or Cruise Ships – full service,
  • You can probably come up with some more ideas.

Unless the location is your top priority, choose the dream location and a few alternative sites that will be just right for you, so that if necessary you can be flexible. Some location are natural for weddings and offer all the amenities you need. Others rent the space and leave the rest to you, still others are free but you have to make all the arrangements. So, consider your budget, consider the work involved, consider your guests and choose the site that will afford you your dream wedding. The information you gathered, is actually a wonderful preparation for your interviews.


These are venues that can take care of every little detail regarding your ceremony and reception. You’ll still need to attend to your personal needs. You’ll need to attend to the attire, wedding accessories and wedding gifts for each other, family, and wedding attendants.


Many wedding sites that are available on a rental basis. Some provide the space, others provide tables and chairs too while still other provide linens, tableware, flatware and glassware as well. There are also rental based sites that have a working relationship with selected caterers and are familiar with other wedding service providers and vendors.


Public parks, beaches, gardens etc… make great wedding sites and are perfect for do it yourself weddings. They offer you the opportunity to express yourselves in an unconfined atmosphere. Most are free to use but you’ll need to do the majority of the planning and contracting. Your first step is to find if you need any permits and or licenses. If you do, obtain them.


Many apartment complexes, condominiums, mobile home parks and gated communities have club houses for their residents´ use. So whether you choose to have your wedding in a home or a club house, you’ll need to be in charge. Do recruit your family and friends and assign them appropriate tasks. Most will be honored to be asked and excited to be a contributing part of your wedding.

How to Find Wedding Sites

Once you have chosen the type of wedding site you want for your wedding, do the following:

  • Ask your family, friends and acquaintances for recommendations.
  • Attend bridal shows.
  • Search the yellow pages under the appropriate category.
  • Either call or visit the facility and request a brochure specific to weddings.
    • You want only the best! Be selective!
    • When visiting or calling, were you greeted cordially?
    • Were you able to obtain the information you requested in a timely manner?
    • Were the people you spoke with helpful? Too helpful and eager?
  • Now, check the internet for local wedding sites and go to their websites.
    • Do you like the look and feel?
    • Does it provide you with the information you are looking for?
    • Does it show or tell about unique one-of-a-kind weddings ? Can you find Free gifts, Free articles or Free information? Are they helpful? Did you find a clearly posted name, address, phone and email contact?
    • If not, skip it and go to another site.
    • Bookmark (favorite) the websites that are agreeable.
  • Place the brochures in a folder until you are ready to choose a few favorites.

What to Expect of the Representative of the Facility:

  • A business card of each person you may work with within the facility.
  • A brochure that explains what is offered and any exclusions, rules, regulations and options.
  • References
  • A tour of the facility so you may check their amenities.

Questions for the representative of the facility:

Please note that not all questions apply to all. Each question will indicate what venue(s) it is directed to.

fs = full service rb = rental basis ps = public site

  • Are there bathrooms on the premises? ps
  • Are there garbage receptacles on the premises? ps
  • Are there electric outlets on the premises? ps
  • What are the hours available for a wedding? ps
    (Most public sites are available only on certain days and certain hours.)
  • Is there a parking area close by? ps
  • How long have you been accommodating wedding parties ? fs rb
  • How many wedding clients have you served? fs rb
  • Do you offer any guarantees? fs rb
  • Do you have an in-house wedding coordinator? fs rb
  • Do you offer a bridal package? fs
  • What are your rates for the different packages and what are the options available? fs
  • Can you recommend wedding vendors and service providers your customers had a good experience with? fs rb
  • Do you offer any discounts? fs rb
  • What additional expenses may be charged? fs rb
  • Do you provide an insured and bonded babysitting service?* fs
  • How much and by when will we need to put down the deposit? fs rb
  • What is the latest time frame for making changes? fs rb
  • Will you provide us with a written contract? fs rb ps
  • Does the contract include a 3 day cancellation clause? fs – rb ps

* If you plan not to include children in your reception, do not alienate guests who’d rather bring children than miss your wedding. You should provide a babysitting service for such guests.

Once you made your choice, you need to receive a written contract signed by the person in charge, and dated. The contract must include all of your responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees offered by the facility. Caveat Emptor – Buyer beware! Read each contract very carefully, on, under and above the line. Be sure that you understand it fully and agree with all the terms. If you have questions, concerns, or are uncertain, contact them for clarification.

In most parts of the USA you have 3 days to examine the contract and if you need to, cancel with no penalties.

Copyrights © 2004 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser

Amy and Dutch with the Kansas City Wedding Photographers

We started by meeting Amy and Dutch at our Phoenix Photography studio in Shawnee Kansas, when we hit it off right we got started immediately working with them on their wedding day planning.

Fun in the sunset, Amy with Dutch

Their engagement photo shoot was done at Shawnee Mission Park where we had the awesome       opportunity to photograph them and their horse at sunset around the lake.  It was an exciting time – they brought fun props to use as well.  We ended up shooting about 75 frames and posted them online for the couple and their family to view.  They loved them!

Amy and Dutch with their horse

Love in the park

The wedding was in Paola Kansas at a beautiful location, Town Square event venue which was fabulous in all respects, great food, wonderful service and a beautiful ceremony area – hard wood floors high ceilings – in all the upstairs area accompanied with  great lighting from all the large windows.

Main event room

She Said "Yes"

In the Paola Square there were several great outdoor locations and perfect weather for starting thier day.  We got started with the couple getting ready and then meeting in a floral garden under the whisteria arch.  Then the rest of the wedding party jumped on a trolley with the couple and we went to several fun – but close – locations to get dozens of shots of the couple and the wedding party…now to the ceremony!

Once the Wedding Ceremony was over everyone poured into the large downstairs event area.  Many well decorated large round tables with a huge dancing area in the middle.  The cake off to one corner was on an cool country antique table (the decor of Town Square) with fun western decorations around and behind.om here it’s now wedding time.  The ceremony held on the huge second floor of Town Square, superbly decorated with beautiful flowers that seem to represent their country taste well with sweet little tin lanterns at the isel edge.  Town Square has an awsome pergula built for couples to get married under with the lighting just right it makes for a very nice scene to photograph.

Kansas City Wedding Photographers Lisa Catera and John Phoenix found the evening to be filled a couple hundred of thier frineds and family celebrating the wedding and all the fun traditional wedding event things that took palce, but the most important and outstanding is how happy the couple were and how great the entire day turned out.  Have a look at some of the pics from thier day…they were simply great to work with and we look forward to seeing them for all their anniversary photo shoots!

Phoenix Photography, your Kansas City Wedding Photographers


Why your wedding photographer should be high in your wedding budget consideration.

Wedding couple in picture frame

The reality is that most people aren’t aware of what actually goes into making great pictures that you’ll cherish for the rest of your days. They’re not familiar with the processes that most photographers go through – it’s much more than just showing up to take the pictures and then handing you a DVD or printed proofs. There is actually quite a bit that takes place before, during and after your wedding that contributes to the final result.

Most good wedding photographers didn’t just wake up one day able to make the kind of beautiful images that you see in their wedding portfolios. Most of them started their careers with education – both formal and informal – on how to make great pictures. Professional photography is definitely an acquired skill. Most photographers spend years learning how to master their camera equipment, lighting scenarios, image composition and different posing situations that work (and ones that don’t work). Formal education is often supplemented with internships, on-the-job training and many hours spent making, evaluating and re-making picture after picture.

Having gotten this far in their photography careers, once the photographer decides to take the plunge into wedding photography, a significant additional learning effort must be undertaken to learn and perfect the science and the art of photographing weddings. Many, if not most photographers will start this process by working (usually for free) on anywhere from a few to a dozen or more weddings as a “second shooter” with an experienced wedding photographer. Much like driving an 18-wheeled semi-truck is different than driving your passenger car, making great photos at a wedding is completely different from making great pictures in a studio or for a newspaper or magazine.

Once the photographer has a handful or more weddings under their belt as a second shooter, they will often perform a couple of weddings for free or near-free as a primary shooter. It’s critical for the photographer to continue to gain experience in the dynamic wedding environment. This experience is invaluable, as you never truly understand the demands of dynamic event photography until you’re “on the hook” to deliver the final product from start-to-finish.

Wedding Photography by Phoenix Photography

During the Wedding

During the wedding, your photographer (or photographers) will arrive many hours before the ceremony to capture the details – often this includes the bridal party getting ready (hair & makeup, putting on the dress, etc) as well as the groomsmen and groom getting ready. Also, as the ceremony and reception areas are set up the photographer will capture the details of the decorations, table settings, etc. Of course, the photographer(s) will then make photos of the ceremony and reception, as well as any send-off.

After the Wedding

This is the component of the process that is probably the most misunderstood by the average person, as it is the one that they have little-to-no exposure to, generally speaking. On average, your photographer will spend anywhere from two to four hours on the back end – selecting, processing, enhancing and tweaking your images – for every hour that they are in front of you. That means that an average 8 hour wedding will require, at a minimum, a total of 24 to 40 hours of work on the part of the photographer. A “one day” wedding has suddenly turned into almost a full week of work.

Most photographers will need at a minimum of two professional quality camera bodies (usually three or even four including backups), which can cost anywhere from $1500 to $6000 or more. Add to that an array of lenses costing anywhere from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars each, lighting equipment, required software, etc and the costs can be more than $20,000 just in basic equipment to be able to make, edit and process photos. And like most technology, much of the above equipment will be obsolete in 3-5 years due to advances in capabilities and industry trends.

Other Considerations – Location

This is an important one to keep in mind as well. Though Kansas City is not a very expensive place to live, Real estate alone is ridiculously expensive. Add to that the very real costs of health insurance, some of the highest fuel costs in the country, general costs of doing business (marketing and advertising, printing, utilities, etc) and you can see that it can get very expensive, very quickly just for someone to make the move into the wedding photography business.

In Closing

The intent of this article is simply to attempt to illustrate that which most couples shopping for a decent wedding photographer never realize – that there is much more than “show up and shoot” on the day of your wedding that went into your photographer’s ability to be there and make images that will be cherished for the rest of their lives.


Photographers aren’t just there the day of your wedding to shoot your wedding. They are running and operating a business! Just like in any business marketing, research, and customer service is happening all the time. Websites need to be kept updated and bills need to be paid. Some photographers chose to take only one wedding a month, but others take one every weekend which means your wedding probably isn’t the only wedding they are working on. Also, they have employees or contractors to pay, such as a second photographer. Not only do they have to pay the second photographer, but extra equipment has to be purchased for the second photographer. I haven’t met a wedding photographer that did absolutely love what they do. However, they still want to make a profit, so keep all of this in mind when you are looking at those prices!

Closing Comment:

The Knot, Kansas City Wedding Photoraphy

Your wedding day is often the most important day of your life. It is the one day where everything is about you and you get to marry the one person that means the most to you. Weddings cause many stresses and worries but at the end of the day it is the day in which you are happiest. Wedding photographers capture this happiness, how beautiful everyone looks and the events of the day. Wedding photos are shown for years and years to grandchildren and great grandchildren, they are therefore an extremely important feature. Your wedding photos will keep the memory of that special day with you forever so you will want them to be of the best quality possible. Good quality photos unfortunately cost a lot of money, but they are well worth it!

Thank you Article Alley for this article on wedding photography prices: http://www.articlealley.com/index.php

Phoenix Photography provides all wedding clients with 2 professional photographers, engagement session, high resolution of fully fixed images ready to print, day of wedding coordination…and more!  With over 500+ weddings and as many happy clients, we can provide for your wedding much more than many in Kansas City…and so very happy to do so!

Thank you, we look forward to meeting you.

John Phoenix & Lisa Catera
Entrepreneurs in business to make life better for everyone.
913 677 1419

Phoenix Photography, your Kansas City Wedding Photographers


Phoenix Photography, Wedding Photography and so much more!

Joyce and Ugo Engagement With KC Phoenix Photography

Joyce and Ugo were such a wonderful couple to work with it made taking their engagement photos a great deal of fun.  They are both from Nigeria as well as their families.  We have been told us that their families have the same flare for photos and we are so looking forward to their wedding day being very exciting .  Enjoy their engagement photos.Weddings and Engagements Kansas City

KC Phoenix Photography

your Kansas City Wedding Photographers


The Case Against ‘Good Enough’ in wedding photography

Blog by Kathleen Trenske

Wedding Photos

My parents have exactly 18 professional images from their wedding. Eighteen. I know them inside and out. I could describe each image to you so well that a sketch artist would be able to recreate them.

How do I know them so well? Because I’ve looked at them hundreds of times. I’ve looked at them hundreds of times because they were on display, in an album. An album that was made by a professional, filled with prints made through a professional lab and bound in a book available only to professionals. From the time I was a little girl I was fascinated by it — seeing my parents so young, my grandparents and aunts and uncles surrounding them. It was a simple leather book, with the images slipped in and preserved behind plastic but it held up surprisingly well over time. Even though I looked at it more times than I could count. Even though this May those images will turn 42 years old.

But what about couples that marry today? What if they decide to forgo an album? What if they decide it’s not worth the cost? How many images do you really think they’ll put into frames? Five? Ten? Maybe that first year married, they’ll have a bunch. But then, kids comes along. Baby pictures replace wedding pictures in those frames. They move, things change. In 40 years, how many pictures do you think their children will know by heart? How many pictures will they have even seen?

Today, a lot of couples think just getting the disc of images is “good enough.” Here’s the problem with that thinking: it’s not true. Not by a long shot.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that getting the files from your day is great. Today’s couples probably get up to 1,000 images from their wedding, WAY more images than my parents did. After all, what happened to all those other images from my parents’ wedding day? They probably sat, negatives in a box, at their photographer’s studio never again to see the light of day. So I think it’s wonderful that couples get ALL their photos. But what worries me is that even with that option, it won’t mean that today’s couples will necessarily be better off. My fear is that today’s couples will actually end up with LESS than what my parent’s got in 1971.

Think about it, will the computers of 2055 even have DVD drives? USB ports? Will they even have hard drives at all? If the past is any indication, the answer is no. You know what the big technological advancement was when my parents got married? Eight-track players. What if their images were stored on the equivalent of that? How in the world would I see those images today?

But you know what never becomes obsolete? What never goes out of style? Photographs. And not just any photographs. Not photos printed at a drugstore. Professional photographs, printed by a professional lab. Those are the photos you find in an attic. It could be a 100-year-old photo, but it still looks good. Because back then, the paper photographs were printed on was high quality and developing them was an art form. There were no machines that spit out pictures onto cheap paper with inexpensive ink. I actually have to stop myself from intervening when I see people at those automated machines in a drugstore. Whatever they’re charging, it’s too much. Because those prints aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They will fade. They will curl. They will not stand the test of time. Not even close.

Your memories are worth more than that. And your wedding images? They are worth TONS more than that. These aren’t snapshots from a vacation. They aren’t pictures from your iPhone. You cared enough about these moments to hire a professional to photograph them. Follow that through by having a professional print them. Have that professional print the pictures you put into frames and have them design you a high-quality wedding album that you will cherish for decades.

If you purchase an album through your photographer, you can see a sample in person. You can touch and feel it and make sure it is worth every penny.

I know that albums are expensive. That’s for good reason. They are custom-designed books, usually hand-stitched and hand assembled and made just for you.

But of all the things you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photographs are the ONLY thing that will increase in value over time. As the years pass, you’ll be more and more glad that you have them. Especially, if you can experience looking through them by flipping through a gorgeous custom-designed album instead of sitting in front of your computer and clicking “next” with your mouse.

So, figure out a way to make it happen. Figure out a way to afford that album. Forgo a centerpiece. Cut back on your guest list. Opt out of the vintage car you’ll drive in for all of 20 minutes.

Don’t just do it for you. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren. Because when they root around in your attic in 2075, they will have no idea what do with a USB key anymore than they would with a laser disc player.

Kathleen TrenskeKathleen Trenske is half of the NYC-based husband-and-wife photography team, Robert and Kathleen Photographers. Founded in 2006, Robert and Kathleen are one of the most in-demand photography teams in the Northeast.

Pulling from her journalism background, Robert and Kathleen incorporate couples’ personal stories into their work to create images that are powerful and personal. Their work has been featured in online and print publications, with images featured on the covers of magazines and books, including Paris Wedding. Shooting both digital and film, Robert and Kathleen take a fine art, classical approach to wedding and portrait photography.
She blogs at www.robertandkathleen.com/blog

Thanks to Kathleen for her story!

For additional information on other blogs ,contact Phoenix Photography

Phoenix – Photography, your Kansas City Wedding Photographers