2013-Missouri National Guard celebrates Birthday Ball


BBall_001_WP_CPYThe Missouri National Guard Birthday Ball is a night when we gather to celebrateBBall_005_WP_CPYin dress blues and finery.BBall_003_WP_CPYSharing laughs and good times with colleagues and loved ones.BBall_002_WP_CPYAs we honor and celebrate the fact that for 377 years, Americans have served as citizen-soldiers for our nation.BBall_004_WP_CPYThank you for a great time. See you next year!

Woman of Depth and Perception

Megan_003_WPMegan is a young woman who knows what is important in life. It was pretty clear to us that this high school senior has intelligence, wit and beauty.Megan_005_WPMegan_004_WPIt’s going to be good; It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be on Megan’s terms.


East of the Big Muddy



The colors of Autumn are more vibrant and more plentiful in mid-Missouri than they have been for some time. Rainfall at the right times and a slightly cooler summer have contributed to this phenomenon. These images were made in the flood plain to the east of the Missouri River between Jefferson City and Columbia, Missouri.


New Friend

It is more likely than not we become friends with new clients, or the random people we meet while cameras are in our hands. Photographers making landscape photographs, while no less friendly than any other image-makers, are less likely to find a new friend while on an image quest. We recently experienced an exception to the rule while out photographing the fall color in mid-Missouri, covered in an upcoming post. While racing against the evening light to photograph a valley south of Columbia, this fine fellow made his presence known…


After a quick hello and pat on the head, we tried to return to the camera but this puppy  wanted more attention and wasn’t afraid to ask for it. Craig knelt down behind the tripod to pet him quickly and told him to stay. The puppy plopped his muddy front paws on Craig’s jeans in thanks. It quickly became apparent we weren’t going to get the shot in that location, so gear was grabbed and moved a little ways up the hill. Meanwhile, the light was diminishing as some less-than-glamorous gray clouds drifted in to block what had been some beautiful golden hour sunlight. With a new spot secure, tripod legs were  extended so a barbed-wire fence wouldn’t be in the foreground, and composition of the next shot began.  Suddenly, muddy paws smacked Craig’s behind, nudging his nose into the back of the camera. The dog was told to stay down. Just as we turned back, the last of the beautiful light disappeared from the valley. The dog’s face seemed to say, “Can we play now?” Off the camera came from the tripod. The puppy posed elegantly for the shot above.  After playfully tussling with the four-legged fellow for a bit,  gear was packed and  it was time to head home. While the original thought was to shoot the sunset, making a new friend is always better.  See you around, pup.

Ida and Cash

We recently had a great Senior Portrait session with Ida and her horse Cash. We shot on location at the stables where Cash lives and trains. As you can see in the images below, both Ida and Cash were very comfortable in their environment, enjoying each others company, being themselves in front of the camera. This is our goal at every photo session we do.






Portraits of Service and Sacrifice

Thank You

To all who have served in the United States Armed Forces and your families,

KFOR10-Collins065for our freedom,

100306-A-3298_for defending our way of life,



081219-A-3298C-001and for sacrificing so much of your lives for all of us.



DSC_2868And for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice; there are no words we can express to your families that adequately express how grateful we are to you.

All portraits by SFC (Ret.) Craig Collins

Shelda And Her Boys

Shelda and her sons are longtime clients of Clever Creek Studio. This was their fourth session with us. We met near the Missouri River Bridge in Jefferson City early on a recent Saturday and captured some great moments in the early morning light.

CCS_1103_WP CCS_1191_WP CLC_7843_WP CLC_7849_WP

notes from a winter walk

We walked this weekend at Three Creeks State Forest after a new snow. It was just a dusting, or perhaps frosting, on the landscape.


Most of the time when leaving home with camera in hand there is a specific objective in mind and a vision has been conjured as to what the final images will look like.


But sometimes it’s a beneficial exercise to just pick a spot and see what you can come up with. That was the plan on this day.  It would prove to be a dichotomous outing. We started out noticing little details in the woods. Berries and leaves shimmering like rubies and emeralds.


Then we started to notice how life has left its mark on the trees.



The forest was still and quiet until a woodpecker decided it was time for second breakfast.


And then a big picture moment reached out and smacked us. No, not a great photo opportunity waiting to be captured. As this photo was made…


…we realized we were standing on a creek bed that should have at least four feet of water in it. But it is mostly dry save for a puddle here and there.


The impact of just how bad last summer’s drought was and how long the effects of it are lasting was made clearer for us. We encourage everyone living in a drought situation to really start conserving water now. That’s pretty much everyone in the mid-section of the United States. The long-range forecast isn’t good so the more we save now the less painful it will be later.

Here’s to a wet Spring!