• Cara LeFebvre

My friend is a single mother. She's not only a mother, but a poet, a gardener, a collector of lace and porcelain, a vegan, and a teacher. She has read every book written on plagues, capitalism, warfare, poverty, injustice, and the other ugly realities in our world we are forced to experience instead of going about our business.

Back in January, she started reading about COVID. She started gathering supplies - masks, gloves, copper tape, tyvek body suits, oximeters, a ventilator, food supplies, you name it. She waited and waited and, now that it's obvious we are going into full-blown shut down here in the United States, she finally got her last defense.

Most people thought she was nuts. Some still refuse to listen to her as she sounds the alarm on what's ahead - myself included. But when I went with her to Bass Pro Shop two weeks ago, one thing became very clear. I live in America. In these times when there's so much uncertainty, America buys guns. In these times, there was such a demand for guns that the employees were forging the types of guns sold in order to sell more, faster. Background checks are apparently quicker with shotguns. People were scrambling for ammo, most of which was sold out - the only left was the hunting ammo, but we are now hunters.

Gun violence has increased in Kansas City from what I hear. I've heard cases of people holding others up outside of grocery stores. People have been shot at a block away from me as recently as two days ago. These are scary times and I believe they'll only get worse as more people's desperation grows under capitalism. A capitalist society where guns are plentiful but capital is hoarded by few. I hope as time passes, we as a society realize that lives are worth more than money.

  • Cara LeFebvre

Hot summer nights, hanging on a soccer field past dusk, driving home with the windows down and feeling like I just had a life-changing shoot. That's what this night was for me.

To me, photography is an understanding of reality, a teacher, and a way to connect with myself and the world around me. I feel indulgent taking money for portraiture, because I'm also taking the portrait. While shooting, I asked their mom what her favorite thing about her kids was. She said, "How they come together." I feel like that sentiment resonates in these photos.

We laughed and shot until the sun set behind the trees, then I did some individual portraits. I love doing individuals because I can really connect with each person on a different level. Each person in this family was intelligent, thoughtful, and driven to the core - and the oldest daughter had just received a full academic scholarship from Mizzou, so these photos were also celebratory!

I'll end with these images. The eldest son's 1yr old was sick the day we shot, so all the photos I have of her are in relation to the family nurturing her. I was worried about her health before I arrived, and kept telling myself I would shoot as quickly as possible. It all worked out in the end, and I was grateful to witness the closeness and care this family has for one another.

I wanted to post so many more, but I've instead hidden them all over my website - to go see more of the Hemphill family, dig through the different pages and see who else you connect to in the process!

#kcphotographerfamily #kansascityphotography #lalalunephotography #kansascityphotographer #documentaryphotography #documentaryphotographer #localphotographerkc #kidsphotographerkc

  • Cara LeFebvre

The first days of spring - when flowers bloom yet the air is still chilly. We decided to make a fire. We went to my favorite spot on the river to build it, and brought along s'mores for the celebration. Flynn built the most precise and efficient fire I ever saw - he broke down branches and searched for the exact sizes so that the cone grew gradually in size. At the start of the fire, Emery had to use the restroom so I gave her some toilet paper I brought with me & she squatted like a true Kansas girl, then delivered the toilet paper to her brother for the fire. Instead of being grossed out by this (which, to be honest, I kind of was) he used it as the centerpiece. (So sweet!!)

We hung out, laughed, had a three-legged race, talked about their family. At one point Emery decided it was important to whittle sticks down for the marshmallows. I'd forgotten my pocket knife, so she found a sharp rock and made it work! When asked if she would do ours as well, she said she didn't have time but then was convinced when we offered $1 per stick. You'll notice in one of the photos of her and Flynn she has the dollar proudly tucked in her pocket.