What do you think of when you hear Mini Session? Are you thinking– “affordable, quick, small?” Here in West, Michigan there are all sorts of photographers that pop up letting you know they are offering Mini Sessions. A lot of time this will happen in the busiest season, fall. It’s a great way for photographers to push their clients through quickly. However, it’s a lot of work on our end (The photographer). Yeah we get a fast buck but then we’re spending several hours behind our screens trying to work with what we got in a small amount of time behind the lens.


Everyone is different and if Mini Sessions are for you, great! If not that’s fine too. Let me tell you why I don’t do Mini Sessions with my family. Days or even weeks before a session I spend time picking out the perfect coordinating outfits. Stressing over whether or not I’ll look good in a certain color or if my kids complain about wearing a specific shirt because it might be itchy. Just when I think I have everything picked out, our family shows up to where we need to be, and then the photographer has maybe 20 minutes to capture who we are and in the best light. Now I believe that some photographers are great at this but if we have one kid that’s in a bad mood, then our entire session is ruined. I’ve felt defeated, stressed, and all around sad. I spend time apologizing to the photographer and then I beat myself up over how I could have prepared my family better. Has this happened to you? Maybe it wasn’t someone’s mood, maybe it was the weather. It was too cold, or it started to rain. Whatever it is, you’re feeling rushed. Does any of this sound familiar?


(The million dollar shot right here)

I have been guilty of doing Mini Sessions for Kara Hanes Photography but I’ve decided that this is no longer something I value as a photographer. I want to spend time getting to know you, talking with you, finding out what makes you smile because your husband just looked at you a certain way. Maybe it’s Your kid deciding to show their happy emotions a little more because after 20 minutes, they finally think “huh, this lady is actually ok, maybe I’ll smile, grin, or show my personality a bit”. Or maybe it’s been a while and we need to catch up. Whatever it may be, I’m all about getting to know one another and less about being “that lady that pointed a camera in my face”. What do you think? Should we become friends? If your answer is yes then I can’t wait to meet you!

(Making memories with the Koetje Family. There wasn’t any rain on the radar and then all of a sudden it started to pour- waited it out for 20 minutes)


Caramel Corn Recipe

My daughter and I were talking today about how we could spend our evening doing fall things. Some of the things we came up with were carving pumpkins, caramel corn and baking pumpkin seeds. Luckily I had my trusted caramel corn recipe and all the ingredients on hand. This is probably the easiest recipe I’ve ever done.

What you’ll need is;

  • 1 cup of popcorn kernels
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Karo corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • Brown paper grocery bag
  • Non stick spray (optional)
  • Baking sheet (optional)
  • Stock Pot with lid
  • Small pan


  1. Place popcorn and 1/4 stick of butter in a stock pot. Place on high periodically shaking the pot to mix butter and kernels. Once it starts to pop continue shaking the pot. When the popping begins to slow down take it off the heat. (You can also use microwave popcorn if you choose)
  2. Place popcorn in a greased (with non stick spray) grocery paper bag.
  3. In a smaller pan, bring 1 stick of butter, brown sugar, and Karo syrup to a boil while stirring. Don’t over boil. Once it boils for about 1 minute take off the heat and stir in baking soda.
  4. Pour caramel over the popcorn in the bag, fold the top of the bag and shake.
  5. Place bag in microwave for 90 sec and then shake.
  6. Place in microwave an additional 90 sec and shake.
  7. Place in microwave for 30 seconds and shake.
  8. Place in microwave for an additional 30 seconds, shake and pour onto a baking sheet until it cools down.



Speaking of Fall, we want to invite you to our booth at the Jenison Christian Fall Arts and Crafts Fest where we’ll have discounted fall items as well as new items we’re selling for Christmas. You won’t want to miss out.


Fall Garland

In our house we have a mantle. If you’re lucky enough to have one then this is just for you. With adding a location of our booth I thought I’d share some of the stuff I’ve been working on. Yesterday I was cleaning up and took a peek in my fabric bin. Here I found some of the following materials. You could do this with whatever fabric you have but I’m going to share with you what I used.

First you’ll need some string and fabric. I used Jute (5ft), burlap (50 strips of 8″x1″) and buffalo check (50 strips of 8″x1.5″). Depending on how big you want it will determine the length of cut. If you use burlap make sure you keep in mind that it can be very messy.

To assemble you just tie a knot over the string in a pattern.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and it’s the perfect fit for our mantle. -Kara

Did you like the tutorial? Tell us how you would use this in your space. Comment below 👇🏻

In addition to your home we invite you to check out our new super soft Happy Fall Y’all T-shirt. You can find these next week at Rustic Corner in Jenison or in the online shop.

Other mantle items:

Water pitcher and cotton from Walmart $16

Letter H and truck from Hobby Lobby $20

Country egg sign and trick or treat bag from Hanes Home Market

Trick or treat yo’ self sign from uniquely Chic by Karen

Happy Fall Y’all: Our Favorites

Crunchy leaves, pumpkin everything, hot apple cider, donuts and football games. Could there be anything more perfect than fall? We’re sharing some of our favorite things this fall;

  • Amazing pumpkin donuts from our local place in Hudsonville, Michigan called, Post Family Farm. They are the best if you get them while they are still warm.
  • Apple Pie. This is probably my favorite dessert of all time with a side of ice cream. We have a friend that makes the most delicious pies at The Warm Oven Bakehouse.
  • Sweatshirts, t-shirts and campfires. I love a comfy pair of jeans and a nice warm sweatshirt.



  • Boots. Every year I’m on the hunt for a cute pair of fall boots, here is my favorite pair from this year.
  • Farmer’s Markets. Have you ever been to one? For those of you who are local, here are a couple that are in the area that are must sees.

Jenison Artisan Market

Terra Square

Grandville Farmer’s Market

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See more of our fall products in our shop at




Our New Endeavor: Hanes Home Market

Can you believe it’s been so long? I still can’t believe that I retired from photography. There have been many changes over the last few years but the reason is what I’m most proud of. Family is everything and I’m working to spend more time with them. As someone who was a loyal friend and followed my work I wanted to update you on what I’ve been up to. If you’re new then welcome I’d love to share what I’ve been working on.

Starting this March I began designing products. Why the switch? I wanted to be able to release my creativity but also have time with my family. Unfortunately photography took a lot of nights and weekends from that. Aside from me I think you’re really going to love what I’ve been working on.

ownersTogether my mother-in-law, Kathy and I have been creating items for a booth we have at The Red Door in Allendale. She makes amazing soaps and aprons while I make signs and pillows. In addition to our booth we also have our online store front with products that can be found exclusively in our online Esty shop. Above you’ll find our handles and we hope that you’ll take a peek and share the love.

Are you someone working to get your business or endeavor growing! I see you over there! Feel free to visit our links at


My Go To Gear For Photography

Before I get started I just want to say that I am in no way an expert. I remember when I first started out and I felt like such a faux-tographer. I bought my first DSLR and started out photography as a hobby. When I started to receive inquiries I then decided it was time to up my game a little bit. Feeling like a photographer can be intimidating and takes a LONG time to fully understand each piece of equipment. Today I’m sharing with you what I pack in my bag for any go to photoshoot.

Here is the line up:

– 1 Camera I currently shoot with a Canon EOS 7D

– Lenses



Compact Flash Cards 32 GB Transcend

Tripod Albott 64 Inch Travel Tripod

Light Reflector 

Senior Changing Station Portable Pop Up Pod Dressing/Changing Tent

Sounds like a lot right? It is and I didn’t get it all overnight. It took me years to get this set up. Here is the thing, gear is super expensive and you might not have money to purchase a lot. Starting small and working your way up is what I always say when someone is looking to get in to photography. I honestly am not a fan of zoom lenses. I use them for details but that is about it. my favorites are the prime lenses and this is something I’m hoping to expand in the near future.

We all hear these lies that our gear defines us. There are those who take great iPhone photos right?

My Advice:

1. Know how to use your gear.

2. Educate yourself. This profession is constantly changing so you’ll want to make sure you are moving with it. A great inexpensive course for beginners would be All About Your DLSR and Intro to DSLR



Al & Betty’s 65th Anniversary


As I sat with my Grandma (Betty) this past Saturday, I asked her to tell me the same story she told me years ago. The one of how she and my Grandpa (Albert) met. She told me of the cold winters they had in Hudsonville, MI back in the late 1940s and how she and her friends would walk to Porter’s Pond to ice skate. This is where she met Albert and he asked her to start dating him. Between you and me, I think it was more than the ice skating that intrigued her. After 2 years of dating he proposed. Being a woman of faith my Grandma refused to marry someone who wasn’t a man of God. It was in this moment that she led him to the Lord and they were engaged.

On August 14th 1952 they married and months later they expected their first child thus beginning our family legacy. When asking Grandma how it feels to have 65 years together, She told me “I just can’t believe that the two of us started all of this”. Meaning our abundantly blessed family.


Although we are without many special people in this photo we are blessed as a group of Schepers. Both of them have taught me much about having faith and how to cherish those I meet. I wish many more years of blessings to both of them! Click on the image below to see more from the Anniversary Event.

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Plaggemeyer Family



Meet Joe and Emily and their beautiful kids, Emmia, Aaliyah, Shaylee, Jakob, Emmie and Ismael. Emily babysat me when I was little and is the oldest of the cousins in our family. That’s right, her and I are related. I remember when her and Joe started dating (over 22 years ago!) Their best friends were dating each other and set them up to join them one evening and the rest is history. Together all of them are so fun to be with and just hearing their laughter is contagious in itself.


Session at Rosy Mound Natural Area in Grand Haven.

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DeBlaay Family


I met Lindsey and her husband Matt when her and I were both pregnant with our girls and teaching preschool. Needless to say we have been great friends ever since. Not only friends but I’ve come to know her extended family and they remind me a lot of my own. Meet the DeBlaays, Mary (also known as Beppe to her grandkids), her sons Chris, Jake, Matt and Mike and their families. I think it’s fair to say that Mary has quite the beautiful family. During this session we continuously laughed, danced and said the magic word *FART* over and over to make those kiddos giggle and bring out their natural smiles (well, mostly the dads). Would you believe me if I told you that prior to this session it was 60 degrees and raining? We lucked out with beautiful mid day sunshine and a little bit of shade at Aquinas college. If you’d like to check out more from this session you can do so at Kara Hanes Photography

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Agnes and Dora by Stephanie H

Stephanie is an Independent Agnes and Dora Representative helping others feel comfortable and confident with beautiful clothes! Imagine you’re at the mall going from dressing room to dressing room trying to find the right outfit but none of them fit just right. You’re frustrated because you’ve just spent hours of your time trying on clothes that you’re not even taking home.

Now I want you to imagine meeting Stephanie for the first time. You can do this over the phone, via social media or in her own home where she is fully stocked with your future wardrobe. Now Stephanie can either let you pick and choose what you want to try on or she can style you with amazing, comfortable clothing. Trust me, I can’t stop wearing my leggings based on the soft fabric alone and not to mention they come in so many patterns. Now you may be wondering if you’re too young, too old, too tall, too wide, too short or will it fit you like it does in the ad. I’m here to tell you, yes! Agnes and Dora is for everyone. Check out what Stephanie has for you this summer.

Find Stephanie on Instagram, Facebook, or at Zipcode Jenison, 49428.



See more from this session at

Would you like to schedule headshots for your business? I’d love to hear from you. Get info at Contact Kara.