It's not every photography client who will track through Oak Creek and
hike up steep red rocks. Athena's vision for her photo shoot became clear as we sat together at
Creekside Coffee to discuss her goals for her company. Athena is a therapist who works to help women empower themselves. For the photo shoot she wanted to show that she is a powerful goddess connected to nature, the mother earth, and the beautiful Sedona landscape. Athena has had professional photos done before but this time she wanted the photos to “capture my lighter spiritual side. That would definitely be something different for me!”
Athena brought along two dresses, one white and one black, and a concept. “I think it will be fun to make the shoot more about balance and capturing these somewhat opposing aspects of self.’ Originally the weather called for monsoon rains so with my knowledge of these storms we scheduled in enough time to make up for any storm delays. Mother Nature was good to us and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The filtered light through the clouds made everything perfect and I was able to capture the beautiful woman Athena is!
Athena impressed me with her commitment to her goals on this shoot. You see, although she loves and connects deeply with nature, the cathedral rock hike was one of the hardest hikes Athena had ever done. She also didn't tell me before the shoot that she had a fear of heights. At the steepest part of the hike you have to place your shoe in a crack to get up to the top of Cathedral Rock. She almost turned around right there but with a little encouragement she overcame her fear of heights so that she could capture the beauty of the red rocks at the place where she had visualized it happening. I was so proud of her for getting out of her comfort zone and showing off her powerful
Athena, I had an absolutely adventurous & gorgeous day taking photo with you! I am so proud of you for conquering her fear of heights and trekking though slippery waters to get amazing photos that truly show what a beautiful goddess you are! You are unforgettable :)
As an auntie myself whose nieces and nephews mean the world to me, I love that Monique decided to get a family photo session with her three adorable nieces. ☺ Because they were all visiting Sedona, AZ for a short time, I was tasked with two things: use the beauty of the red rocks as a back drop and let the kids be kids.
Check and check!
Oh boy, did she come to the right person! We had a blast together at Red Rock Crossing with the classic view of Cathedral Rock in the background. We kept the posed shots to a minimum and let the girls play in nature while getting candid shots. Capturing loving photos of the girls cuddling their auntie was easy as they love being with her. The girls took turns riding on Monique’s shoulders with great enthusiasm. The youngest was shy at first but was doing cartwheels before long. Everyone enjoyed walking the rock path to the creek and playing in the water…and mud. Kids, gotta love ‘em! Sometimes photography gets tricky when your light source begins to go. Despite a monsoon storm approaching we made the most of the sunlight glinting off the water and lighting up all four happy faces.
An auntie and nieces photo shoot may not be a traditional family photo shoot but these relationships are worth commemorating too.
Special thanks to Monique and her fabulous nieces for letting me play along! Monique, with your sweet gentle patience and fun-loving attitude it’s easy to see why your nieces love you so…and now you have the photos to prove it. ;-)
Mike and Gracie are a magical blend. Her smile makes you smile. His laugh makes you laugh. They walk into a room and you know right away something fantastic about to happen. It should surprise no one that they met at a party where they talked and laughed together. On her way home later Gracie mentioned casually to a friend that she "thinks she might like him". As a couple they exude a genuine warmth and love joined with a charismatic fun and friendly attitude. You can immediately feel how happy they are together.
Mike and Gracie knew the Creekside Inn in Sedona would be able to comfortably hold their multitude of friends and family. There’s plenty of room and great shade to keep everyone cool. It’s this kind and caring energy along with unending joy that makes everyone feel so loved. No wonder they have so many friends.
The bright sun streaming in through the trees lit up the leaves while also creating great shadows. The depth and richness of the photos are proof. The naturally filtered sun gave us some beautiful soft lighting that made Gracie and Mike glow. Even Walter, their pup, looked especially handsome. ;-)
Mike’s brother Jonathan planned the WHOLE wedding and did a spectacular job organizing the beautiful details and the flow of the day. Earlier that morning the girls dolled up with giddy excitement and laughter as the guys put on their fancy shoes and got the party started with drinks, dancing, and lots of hugs. As the bride and her girls stayed tucked away, Mike and the boys greeted the arriving guests. By mid-afternoon Gracie took her dad’s arm and started to walk down the aisle.
There were so many loved ones to witness their ceremony that I couldn't even capture the whole crowd with my wide-angle lens!
Their wedding day was a blast like one big party all day…just look at them coming down the aisle after the ceremony!
The reception was a BIG PARTY exactly how an AWESOME reception should be! Filled with lots of dancing and laughter. Mike and Gracie, being the party starters they are, danced their way into the reception for a good 5 to 10 minutes making the crowd cheer and clap for their grand entrance.
Mike & Gracie + friends and family of these AMAZING newlyweds.... THANK YOU so much. Not only did I feel your gratitude but so many of you were so kind to express it. This is truly my dream to be photographing weddings like Mike and Gracie's. To be working with wonderful people like you, I can hardly call it work. It was truly a magical day and everyone made me feel so welcome! I know we captured some memorable times for the whole family to enjoy for years to come. Mike and Gracie, I can't express this enough. You have hearts of gold AND YOU ARE SO MUCH FUN!! Love you guys and we will be sure to stay in touch with you! =)
Carol and Brad came to me as a perfectly matched set. Weddings join two people in one loving union…but they had this before the ceremony. From the day I met them it was easy to see their shared interests, kindness, humor, and awesome dorkiness. They met through mutual friends in their running groups in Phoenix and they both love running in Northern Arizona. As they ran through the many possible wedding venues they agreed on the lush green landscape of Creekside Inn at Sedona Bed and Breakfast. The green shades all around made all the other colors more vibrant. The rich red of Carol’s bouquet and Brad’s red tie and boutonniere as well as all the other wonderful colors the guests wore made the photos brilliant.
Carol & Brad, thank you for being so genuine, kind, and easy to work with and photograph. You really made my job so much fun! Your whole wedding revolved around close friends, family, and the love that you share together. I sincerely felt touched by the boundless support and love given to you on Saturday, June 17th as everyone watched you say your vows. I can tell you make a big difference in all the lives that surround you. The wedding was flawless and beautiful at Creekside Inn in Sedona and I was so happy to capture it! Congratulations to a perfectly matched set.
Sharing their elegant and colorful wedding day beside Sedona’s Oak Creek with
friends and family was very important to Carol & Brad. It’s common for photos of the bride
and groom to be taken with her family and then his family but this couple had another suggestion. They wanted a picture will ALL their guests! Carol and Brad had a great idea to make a guestbook out of the photo by having all the guests sign the mat that will surround the photo in its frame. “Do you think we could make that work?”, they asked during our initial meeting. I think we got it. ;-)
On her wedding day she rode in on a horse! Here's her story...
Ashleigh and Randall had eyes for one another as soon as they met. Randall stopped by her house to do some electrical work and after talking they became friends immediately. Ashleigh was seeing another guy at the time but that relationship faded and died making room for their love to blossom. By February 23rd it was in full bloom and Randall asked Ashleigh to be his girl! During their engagement photo session I loved the smiles that Ashleigh would give Randall every time they were about to kiss. Ashleigh had that same smile on her wedding day. I always have such an amazing time photographing these two! Their lively energy is contagious and their love is sweet and fun. I feel so happy to be the one to document the chapters of their love story. From engagement to wedding day!
They chose the perfect rustic location of Cherry Creek Lodge in Young, Arizona. The day was absolutely perfect with blue sky's and scattered clouds rolling in. The men started the day by lending a hand in setting up hay stacks before getting dressed, sharing a beer, and gathering for photos in the barn. The ceremony site beside the lake added a nice touch of blue to all the natural greens and browns of the landscape. I think the horses liked it too.
Besides a beautiful barn and lakeside view there were great lodge accommodations at Cherry Creek Lodge for this energetic, spunky, fun bride and her bridal party to primp and sip Mamosas.
Before the ceremony started Ashleigh and Randall met for a first look in the barn by the horses. We took some gorgeous photos in the barn after the first look and then Randall headed off to the ceremony start and Ashleigh got on her horse!
The wedding was like a western fairy tale with Ashleigh riding in on her beautiful steed with her delicate lace gown cascading down its flanks under a sky of big billowy clouds.
The ceremony was full of laughter, beautiful ladies in cowgirl boots, handsome cowboys, a stunning bride, heartfelt moments, and an abundance of love.
Love love loved the Bridal Party, the horses, and all of Ashleigh's fun ideas! <3 She even brought a huge beautiful picture frame so we could take some fun ones too! =)
After the Ceremony and lots of pictures the party continued in the lodge and on the back patio where they had live music and lots of intimate and beautiful moments with family and friends!
Ashleigh and Randall, thank you for allowing me to capture these important moments in your lives. As a long time friend of yours Ashleigh, it made all of it more special and important to photograph your wedding day! Randall is your perfect cowboy, patient and calm. Randall, Ashleigh balances you nicely with her “I know what I want and I’m not afraid to say it” attitude. There's no denying by the way Randal looks at you Ashleigh that he has so much love for you! Ashleigh's tears of happiness almost made me cry. I love you guys so much! Kaleo, Breanne, and I were so happy to document your day! Thank you for letting us be a part of it!
Destiny brought Eli & Limayri together at his family’s jewelry store. Limayri was working there and Eli had come in to help out when he spotted the woman he’d one day surprise with a romantic proposal.
I was excited to be apart of Eli’s surprise proposal and engagement photo shoot. How did he pull it off? He invited his sweetheart for a day of enjoying some Arizona Vineyards. Their first stop was at Javelina Leap Vineyard where I pretended to be working on a photography project taking advantage of the perfect weather and dappled sunlight coming through trees. Eli was confident in his love for Limayri but nervous about pulling this off. After a few glasses of wine and pictures, Eli made a few excuses to leave Limayri in order to get the ring and then hand it off to Kaleo so it wouldn't be sticking out of his pocket. But Limayri still began to get suspicious that this might be it. Nevertheless, when Eli got down on his knee under the pergola and slipped on Limayri’s favorite rings from the family jewelry store on her finger, she was overcome with emotion. The day continued with another photography session and more wine at Page Springs Cellars Winery and Vineyard. What a glorious location with so any beautiful backdrops. Our lovely couple were happy to kiss in front of the winery, the flowers, and the view of the vineyards. We all had so much fun together getting to know one another. Once the photo-shoot was done we even stayed at Page Springs Winery enjoyed a bite to eat over good conversation.
Thank you, Eli and Limayri for allowing me to be a small part of your magical day. I will always remember how Limayri’s gorgeous smile shined even more brightly each time she looked at Eli and the laughter you two shared so generously. It feels like we gained two new friends. Good luck with buying your dream property and home, your wedding, and all that life has in store for you.
The proposal was at Javelina Leap Vineyard in Page Springs Arizona. What a beautiful moment to photograph! The look on Limaryi's face was priceless <3
After a few glasses of wine....
And a lot of kisses.....
And a lot of ooo -ing and ahhh-ing over the beautiful ring....
We went to Page Springs Cellars, Vineyard, and Winery and took more pictures!
We had a BLAST together! They made AMAZING models for page Springs Vineyards ;)
And after photos we drank more wine and had a bite to eat over many wonderful stories and great conversation!
Her smile is contagious and his laughter is priceless. Gracie & Michael can walk into a room and you know right away a fantastic time is about to take place. Gracie is a perfect match to Michael because she is charismatic, friendly, and fun to be around. Michael, who is funny, loving, and down to earth keeps his eye's on Gracie. He is in love and there is no questioning that. You can immediately feel how happy they are together by simply talking to them and getting to know them.
They met a party, they talked and laughed together. That night Gracie went home with her friends but casually expressed to her friend that she "thinks she might like him". That like turned into love and basically that turned into happy ever after. <3
It was a beautiful day when we took their engagement photos at the beautiful Tlaquepaque located in Sedona, AZ. We had fun wondering around the cobble stone streets and spanish style buildings. We even stopped by one of my favorite places "The Chai Spot". I loved including their puppy dog Walter in the photos and I couldn't be happier with how they all turned out!
Mike and Gracie,
I am honored to have gotten to know you by taking your engagement & wedding photos and sharing mutual friends. You are both very special people and there's no doubt about it. Cheers to an AMAZING future you will share together!
PS Walter is the cutest little dog. I LOVE TAKING his PICTURE too!
If your looking for inspiration to live life to the fullest then look at these two beautiful souls! I was so happy to do a photo shoot of this adventurous couple before they left Arizona to travel around the world together and make positive change in the world!
Thank you Adam & Galiel for having so much fun with me and being such an inspiration for everyone. I will totally be following your blog and cheering you on! xoxo
Straight from their blog here is a little bit about this couple and their journey together:
"Like all good stories ours started out in a very random place, the Sprouts grocery store. Any other day neither one of us would have been in the store, yet fate had other plans that we would learn down the road. I walked in and saw her and knew I needed to talk to her. The chase began and it was a chase, when I got near her she made a sharp turn and away she went. Eventually our paths crossed and so the story unfolds. We met, connected right away and started dating.
There’s a rule in dating that after only one month you don’t take a ten-day long trip to a romantic place like Hawaii, but we don’t live by the rules. So we bought our tickets to Hawaii and set out on our first big adventure together. What better way to see if we were meant to be… we were! Travel was natural for both of us. We travelled without any hang-ups like what to do next, where to eat, things just flowed on the road.
Since that first trip we’ve crisscrossed our way through North America going from the east coast to the west coast. We’ve been on boats, planes small enough you could touch the captain, hitchhiked to beaches and biked through cities. With each new journey, we uncover and realize our love and desire to explore unique places. We want to meet people from all cultures, learn new languages and experience everything on this beautiful planet.
Coupled with our desire to travel is our desire to help people and mother earth. We feel called to bring the change to the world we want to see. We believe all people should have food, water, shelter and happiness as a bare minimum. On top of that we believe the planet is abundant enough for all to thrive and evolve to their greatest potential. From these journeys, we started to birth our current idea to create a massive change in our world and to do it together."
Here is a link to their website and BLOG: http://journeytoreclaim.com/
We did their photo-shoot in Sedona Arizona along the trail up to Cathedral Rock.
Carolyn & Adam's wedding was sweet, small, and elegant. Their Wedding was hosted at the beautiful Macaluso household in Phoenix Arizona. All the details were absolutely gorgeous and some even made with love and decorated by friends and family. My favorite part about photographing this wedding was that it was easy to see that the most important part of this wedding was the love that Carolyn and Adam share. It was also wonderful to see the support of their friends and family on their wedding day.
Carolyn & Adam,
You both have really big hearts and have the ability to make the people around you feel loved. Thank you for having me to help photograph your day!
The Wedding rings were absolutely beautiful and I loved photographing them in the Arizona succulents. The girls had a blast getting ready together upstairs and I was grateful for the beautiful natural light that was flooding in! Flowers by Carlyn Millea from Blissful Bloom!
The groom and groomsmen all had matching socks and they were so FUN ... I had to photograph them! :)
They each opened up letters from each other on their wedding day while getting ready and I absolutely loved being their to see their faces glowing with joy.
I also got to spend some time photographing Carolyn with her girls in their adorable matching robes. The guys had a lot of fun pretending to push the groom into the swimming pool :) I also had a blast taking these photos in their very pretty green backyard by the pool. For all of us who live in Arizona, especially Phoenix we know that pool are absolutely necessary in the summer. Luckily the weather on their wedding day was cool and sunny with some clouds passing by.
For the first look Adam an Carolyn decided to go to Scottsdale Civic Center close to downtown Scottsdale. Originally, the ideas for the first look was in front of the "LOVE" sign but unfortunately there was a festival going on. There was a lot of people at the Scottsdale Civic Center but fortunately we found some tucked away beautiful spots for Adam and Carolyn to have some privacy for their first look.
After the first look and a few portraits by the LOVE sign we took photos of the Bridal Party at the Scottsdale Civic Center with lots of trees and beautiful backdrops.
Before the Ceremony began Adam and Carolyn gave a sweet cards and gift that brought tears to Mrs. Macaluso's eyes.
The wedding ceremony was full of smiles and love! Directly after the the whole yard was transformed into a beautiful wedding reception quickly.
The rest of the wedding was full of dancing, speeches, drinks, and happy tears, and laughter.