Meet the Faces behind Strauss Peyton

Jonathan Braswell

A second generation portrait artist, Jonathan grew up in the world of Strauss Peyton and was always surrounded by stunning artwork of his family.  Coming to the realization in his twenties that not everyone had their homes covered in beautiful portraiture of their family members was shocking to him.  Now that he has boys of his own, Jonathan realizes the impact the portraits he grew up with has on his own boys who love to see their papa as a little boy.  

Kaela Braswell

Living in Washington state in a tiny town called Duvall outside of the Redmond/Bellevue area for most of her life, Kaela never thought she'd find herself living in Kansas.  But sure enough, a sweet handsome man swept her off her feet, wooed her with promises of sunshine, hot summers and airmailed Jack Stack BBQ to her to seal the deal.  It took 2 years for Jonathan to convince her to sell her own portrait studio, her home and move her and her daughter (and mom!) from Washington state to Kansas.

Having lost her dad when she was 19 has given Kaela a healthy respect for appreciating the family you have and making the time for portraits.  Any reason is a good reason to have new portraits made, in her opinion.  You simply never know when life is going to hand you that nasty phone call on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Kaela and Jonathan enjoy their non-photography time with their kids and in their garden at their farmhouse, growing all sorts of tomatoes, beans, hot peppers and tomatillos.  Especially now that Kaela has hot summers to grow her plants that won't be chewed up by slugs.  Thank you, Midwest!

Mark Braswell

Mark Braswell purchased the studio in 1977 and became the fifth owner of the Strauss Peyton legacy.   Mark has enjoyed the past fifty years of photographic excellence, more than forty of those years photographing notable names of Kansas City.  

During his career, Mark earned a Master’s degree in portrait photography.  He won many state, national and international awards for his portraiture.  He had the honor of creating a portrait of Margaret Thatcher, photographing Ronald Reagan’s inaugural, holding workshops for the Professional Photographers of America, working on joint projects with Christie’s in London, teaching seminars in the south of France and was a charter member of an exclusive group of photographers from around the world known as XXV, because the membership is limited to 25 members.

In 2018, Mark began the journey towards retirement and passed the Strauss Peyton ownership to his son Jonathan and Kaela, Jonathan's wife. Today, he focuses more on photography and various projects in the community.

Andrea Luker

Andrea is the Donations Coordinator for Strauss Peyton which gives her the opportunity to give away portrait certificates to nonprofits for them to use for their fundraising. The best use of a Strauss Peyton donation is in a silent auction where we can contribute multiple portrait certificates. Her job is the best in the business because she usually gets a “Yes, thank you very much. We would love a donation from Strauss Peyton.”

Andrea's interior design interests evolved from a love of her visual world. She studied Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati. She still exercises her artist brain by working with the communities that provide assisted living and memory care services for adults making “art” in many forms.

Andrea's past work was in marketing and assisting families with the emotional aspect of making a decision to relocate their loved one in a senior living community. This impacted her heart for the importance of memories. Some of the memories from her childhood are preserved in photographs; mostly in an album. The ones that surrounded her everyday growing up were on the walls of her childhood home. This is why she believes it is so important for wall portraits to be part of a homes decor. The family heirlooms that are most impactful are the ones that are seen and enjoyed every day. Andrea also believes it is important to preserve the image of our loved ones so that when the day comes and they are no longer by your side, you can easily recall comforting memories.