Kansas City wedding photographer | boudoir photographer | family & newborn photographer » Darbi G. Hebrank is Kansas City portrait, boudoir and wedding photographer located in the Kansas City area ( including Lee

I am going to start sharing tips from the perspective of a photographer–both for taking images of your own kids and making the most of your wedding day coverage.

For my first installment of my #DarbiGWeddingTipOff (a better hash tag is in development, lol): Let’s talk #GETTINGREADYpics. In the decade I’ve been shooting weddings, I’ve experienced…and sometimes the better term would be “endured”… a variety of getting-ready locations. I am not a photographer who will push you into getting HOURS of coverage of the preparations so that I can get all creative with hundreds of macro shots of your eyelashes and each stage of your primping. I’d rather use my time and your time wisely, and I instead try to be there for the most important part: the 45 min before the bride puts her dress on, and then the 15-20 min after she’s all dolled up. But other than adequate TIME, there are other elements required to get frame-worthy prep shots.

Like…lighting. Natural lighting is my preference–GIVE ME AT LEAST ONE WINDOW, PUH-LEEEEZE? (insert puppy dog face here) Turn off the lights overhead. I don’t need ’em. But a window is a must.

I also don’t need a glamorous room, but if you want getting-ready images like the below triple-threat of Emily and her best gal pals (and me!! Can you see me??? lol), then take the reins on where you get dressed and choose a place that isn’t decorated with outdated furnishings, or cloaked in horrid wallpaper or enveloped in dark wood-paneled walls with flickering fluorescent lights overhead. Even if you’re religious, getting ready in a green-hued church rectory with bookcases full of dusty faith-based reads or in the church basement where the worn out tables and chairs, combined with the concrete walls painted a once-virginal white, will not be flattering to you, and will be detrimental to your prep photos.

Kansas City Wedding Photographer Darbi G. prep pics

If you can’t go for luxuriously amazing, then SIMPLE is best. Your childhood home is a great idea if it’s adorned with a nod to THIS decade and isn’t cluttered with signs of life. Your current abode may work if you have the right light and decor. Send me pics in advance and I’ll tell you if I can make it work! Hotel rooms work just fine in most cases. But a double plus if your venue has a bridal suite that is designed with beautiful photography in mind–which is the case with several venues around town, such as this one at NOAH’S Event Venue .

Let’s say you nail the room choice…don’t ruin it by letting your ladies strew their goods all over the place. Instead, instruct them from the get to keep all of their belongings in ONE corner on the opposite side of the window. This includes waterbottles, makeup, bras and the like.

And if there is a (movable is even more fun!!!) mirror… or three… well…you might just end up with an image that reflects (see what I did there?) more than you thought was possible.


Here are some more of my favorite getting-ready pics. The ones with more dramatic of light had not much window light, so I instead embrace the contrast. Well lighted rooms with bright wall colors are my favorite though.


What do YOU prefer? The high contrast/dramatic images or the bright, fresh ones? Tips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi GTips for great getting ready wedding pics by Kansas City Wedding photographer Darbi G

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As of today, Ashley & Sean have been married over a month now, and if their life since then is anything like their wedding was — it has been full of laughter, a few good-natured eyerolls, and lots of sweet moments, but not many dull ones.

Ashley says her favorite part of Sean is that he’s got one-liners for days, and a sensitive side that not many get to see. She says, “Sean is quite brilliant. Sometimes to the point of annoying (lol) as he knows everything! I’m always learning something.
I love the way he loves me. He loves all my flaws along with all the reasons he thinks I’m amazing.”

Sean says Ashley doesn’t hesitate to make a sacrifice for others. I love what he said about why he loves her: “She is not afraid to challenge me or call me out when she thinks I’m not doing my best. She’s very caring for others and would make so many sacrifices and do anything to make someone else happy. She’s not afraid to dream big and have lofty goals, and she knows how to work hard and do her best to accomplish them. She just pushes me every day to be a better person, whether it’s directly giving me a guiding hand when I need it or just indirectly by leading through her examples.”

Guys! That is LOVE through and through.

Anyway, about the wedding of these two accountants (yes, both of them are numbers people!!) that took place at such a great rural venue in LAwrence, KS: Circle S Ranch & Country Inn?

Late Fall and winter weddings get a bad rap because of chilly temperatures. But here’s a secret: If it’s not a cloudy day, the late fall/early winter light is absolutely delicious because even during the otherwise dreaded midday hours, the sun is coming in an at an ankle so it’s works well for back lighting.

And if it’s reasonably and bearably cold (like 35 degrees at least!)–all the better to cuddle up with. Ashley O’Daniel? and @Sean know what’s up. They grabbed a mid November date and ran with it… even planning the ceremony to be outside. But they of course didn’t want their guests to be uncomfortable, so they had an old pick up truck full of rolled up afghan throws at the ready for the ceremony. It was a thoughtful, practical and generous wedding favor! The teamwork required to pull of this wedding, which was rife with cozy, country-chic personal touches, was significant. So it’s a good thing these two lovebirds have a sold base of loving friends and family who didn’t hesitate to lend a hand with decorating and other logistics.

I went overboard on choosing faves from this wedding because it was a long wedding day full of so much goodness…and because A&S have proven to be the most patient couple–I usually try to get a teaser album up on FB within the first week of the wedding, however this time of year, that was impossible, so I’m doing this one AFTER they’ve already gotten their full gallery.

Photography is meant to be shared and unfortunately, fewer people are seeing the pics because FB’s algorithm favors paid posts. So whether you are a friend of mine personally…a loyal client….or a loved one of Ashley & Sean….or even someone who just appreciates photography or love stories…please do us a favor and comment/react to these pics so we feel the love! Please and thank you! 🙂

Ashley & Sean and friends/Family: Please use any of these as your cover or profile pics, but please tag Darbi G. Photography in the caption!

Wishing it were YOUR Loved ones in front of my lens? I’m now booking 2018 weddings, so please visit www.DarbiG.com for more information. I will be at the KC Weddings Bridal Spectacular? at the Overland Park Convention Center?, which is put on by KC Weddings?, the leading local wedding magazine in the area.

And of course, here is the VENDOR team that made the kick-buttery of the day possible:

Flowers: In Bloom?
Styling: White Carpet Bride?
Dress: Natalie M.?
Cake: Kristen Furnish?
Location & catering: Circle S Ranch & Country Inn
Photo Booth: PhotostreamKC?
Suits: Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc.?
DJ: DJ Alex Reed? (he was AWESOME, FYI!)


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Admittedly, the months of January-March are a Midwest on-location photographer’s slow season. Fewer couples get married when wintry weather is a risk, and families aren’t jumping at the chance to get in front of the lens for an outdoor shoot when they can see their own breath and might not be able to feel their own noses after a few minutes.

And if I’m honest, *I* don’t love shooting when it gets below 34 degrees because cameras tend to act up, my numb fingers get clumsy, and my momentum is busted when I have to continually remind my clients to relax and try to not look cold. ha This is all combined with the fact that Kansas City has next to zero options for shooting indoors for those of us whose approach to photography doesn’t require a studio so as to foster more natural moments in between the posed traditional pics.

BUT… all of this is moot if a client has a home that not only has ample light but is furnished and decorated in a way that conveys the personalities of those living there. Because then we can shoot IN the home. And the family members can unzip their true selves in their own element… which makes my heart SO delighted.

So when the S family of four got on my docket for a shoot in late February, I was pumped. Elizabeth, the mom, ruefully told me that they hadn’t had any professional photos since William, the youngest (who is nearly 2!!) was born. So she told me to definitely hone in on him… which was NOT a problem because as his mom so perfectly put it, “he’s got curls to die for!”

Hanging out with this family was NONSTOP… fun. Sweetness. Cuteness. and let’s be honest: chaos. And that’s JUST the way I love it because it’s REAL. So please enjoy looking at these images from their at-home session… and meet the two little boys who won me over, within SECONDS of walking through the door. (and a special thank you goes to their nanny, AnnMarie, who was there to help corral the whippersnappers!!)

This is Maxwell & William.

Kansas City Family photographer Kansas City Family photographer Kansas City Family photographer Kansas City Family photographer Elizabeth told me that Maxwell is fascinated with the ballet after having seen THE NUTCRACKER last year. I happened to have this picture book in my Usborne Books & More inventory (in case you didn’t know that…I’m a consultant for Usborne) and thought it would be perfect… and an aid in getting him to warm up to me in case he was shy (he wasn’t.) Well, lo and behold, Maxwell squealed when he saw it because they have the SAME book, in a Noisy book form, already! And in this case, it’s a good thing we had two of them because you know how little brothers always want what big brothers have? Well, yep. These two were no different.Kansas City Family photographer Kansas City Family photographer William didn’t want to listen. You know, because he’s almost 2. And his tantrums… well, let’s just say…he’s so adorable that they are cute! 😉
Kansas City Family photographer I always like getting a pic of mom & dad together, pretending that they aren’t snuggling to a cacophony of their rambunctious children.
Kansas City Family photographer one of my faves is below!!Kansas City Family photographer


When I first got to the house, Maxwell’s nanny was there to help for a bit, and she had suggested that while I did my look around to scout out places to shoot, that Maxwell keep track of my ideas. And being 4, he can’t quite write, but he pretended to…and then he would go check off the places on his list (greeting card). I thought it was SO cute! Kansas City Family photographer This right here…something tells me THIS is a good snapshot of this chapter in their lives. 😉 Kansas City Family photographer Kansas City Family photographer Kansas City Family photographer Kansas City Family photographer i don’t think this fam pic below could get any more perfect in MY eyes. This toy room was a dream to shoot in. And this family….well…look at them! Kansas City Family photographer Kansas city family photosKansas city family photosPossibly one of my fave series EVER. Kansas city family photosKansas city family photosAnother favorite from the session. This is love, guys. LOVE. Sady fam collage 20Kansas city family photosKansas city family photosKansas city family photosKansas city family photosKansas city family photos

Thank you Elizabeth and Tim for inviting me into your home to hear the giggles, witness the endearing craziness and document the special family that you are.




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Kassie & Brice’s wedding breathed new life and energy into my very being. They inspired me to my core, but also exemplified my style and my dream client. I met them at my first bridal fair in January of 2015. And they originally booked me for a May date in 2016, but had to move the wedding to September and I was so glad that I was still available. Just being around them makes me smile. They connect with me, and they connect with one another, in such a genuine, warm and loving way.

And to top it all off, they enlisted a team of vendors that were out of this world. Nellie Sparkman with Events By Nellie is one of the coolest, most fun and creative Kansas City wedding planners I’ve ever worked with, and I cannot recommend her enough to anyone looking for someone to help hold the reins on the most special day of their love life!

With her expertise and creativity, Kassie & Brice were able to bring their vision to life. And one thing they did that I’ve never seen yet at a wedding of my own is nix the head table in a traditional sense and instead opted for a family table! They sat with their family members and let the bridal party sit with their dates/friends. It was SO awesome. They had a family-style meal too, which made the entire environment so warm and cozy, and guests were so excited to just dig in and help themselves. I would do my own wedding like that if I were getting married again!

and from then on, it was so much fun to see everyone unwind and witness their merriment unfold on the dance floor. Kassie & Brice are surely going to be surrounded by an amazing support system as they navigate the new terrain of marriage.

And have I ever mentioned that I have the best clients? I think I gauge that on a few qualities… do they prioritize photography? are they fun and sweet and just GOOD PEOPLE? Do they inspire me? and do I secretly wish I were friends with them? ha Well, let’s just say…. Kassie & Brice fit that mold to the T. THANK YOU for finding me at the bridal fair. I’m prepping for the next one in a few days and I can only hope I find another couple just like you. XOXOXOXKassie Brice wedding 1Kassie Brice wedding 2Kassie Brice wedding 3Kassie Brice wedding 4Kassie Brice wedding 5Kassie Brice wedding 6Kassie Brice wedding 7Kassie Brice wedding 8Kassie Brice wedding 9Kassie Brice wedding 10Kassie Brice wedding 11Kassie Brice wedding 12Kassie Brice wedding 13Kassie Brice wedding 14Kassie Brice wedding 15Kassie Brice wedding 16Kassie Brice wedding 17Kassie Brice wedding 18Kassie Brice wedding 19Kassie Brice wedding 20Kassie Brice wedding 21Kassie Brice wedding 22Kassie Brice wedding 23Kassie Brice wedding 24Kassie Brice wedding 25Kassie Brice wedding 26Kassie Brice wedding 27Kassie Brice wedding 28Kassie Brice wedding 29Kassie Brice wedding 30Kassie Brice wedding 31Kassie Brice wedding 32Kassie Brice wedding 41Kassie Brice wedding 33Kassie Brice wedding 34Kassie Brice wedding 35Kassie Brice wedding 36Kassie Brice wedding 37Kassie Brice wedding 38Kassie Brice wedding 39Kassie Brice wedding 40



Planner:::Nellie Sparkman w/ Events By Nellie

Venue:::::: The Guild KC

Florist::::::: Poppy & Clover Floral Design

Dress:::::::: Savvy Bridal Boutique

DJ::::::::::::: AMAC Entertainment

Stylist:::::::: Roots & Branches Salon (Sarah Purviance)

Officiant::::: Timmy Gibson

Caterer:::::: Scrape the Plate Catering

Baker:::::::: It’s a Sweet Treat Day Bakery

Kansas city Photographer:::: Darbi G. Hebrank/Darbi G. Photography


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NOTE: I’m way behind with blogging (but I’ve stayed up to date with facebook teasers. So I hope you are following me there as you’ll get first scoop if you are! This wedding was from mid May! 🙂


Oh, goodness. Let’s be honest… every wedding photographer has mixed feelings when the busy season kicks off again. Nervousness. Excited. A bit dreading it, but mostly looking forward to get back to it.  But sad to leave behind my son and husband…fearing the exhaustion, the day-after hangover from a non-stop day of sweating, bending in weird positions and carrying heavy equipment. Yet I’m pumped to be creative. And how it all ends up depends greatly on the couple…the wedding itself…and those who worked together to make the day special.

This year, I got to kick it off with Rachel & Gordan’s wedding…and I’m so THANKFUL that eVERYTHING about the wedding was amazing.  The wedding party, the family, the fact that R & G were positively magnetic in front of the camera. I was giddy all day long!!! Ali and I came away feeling more than satisfied that the commencement of our 2016 season together began with a wedding and a couple that will secure a spot in our list of favorite weddings.

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The team of vendors who made this day one of my fave weddings ever!

+CEREMONY/RECEPTION: Terrace On Grand (Emad & Maggie are two of the most accommodating, genuinely sweet and fun venue coordinators I’ve ever worked with)

+HAIR & MAKEUP: Alexia Wambua

+VIDEOGRAPHER: Surveyor Creative (Cameron Philgreen)–And let me just say… he was my favorite videographer I’ve EVER worked with! so professional, so fun…so helpful and so respectful. He’s got mad skills too…and I saw the video and will share it once the couple oks it… it is AWESOME!

+OFFICIANT: Brother of the bride- Jared Thompson

+FLORALS: the bridal party!!!

+BAKERY: Sister’s Baking Company

+DJ/BAND: DJ Connections


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