It’s cooling down here in Arizona and luckily we have this beautiful light year round. I have friends who have to cancel and reschedule sessions all the time due to the weather, we are so lucky here! Speaking of lucky, Michelle and Ben’s Papago Park Engagement session was originally slated for the Desert Botanical Gardens and we happened upon this pretty location by chance! I arrived early at DBG and saw that they had a special event going on, which entailed closing early. We had checked about 2 weeks before the date but something must have come up! No problem, we improvised and headed to a little nook of Papago that is surrounded by college apartments on one side, and this pretty spot on the other. You’d never have guessed, right?
A little stream of water makes all of those blooming white oleander possible. Couldn’t resist placing Michelle’s engagement ring on top of one. I reached over the water thinking “don’t fall in, don’t fall in” and my sweet clients patiently waited! Worth it! Michelle and Ben are getting married in Wisconsin, but wanted to include Arizona in their engagement photos. I’d say we captured the beauty of this place pretty well, always helps to have two sweet souls madly in love. <3
When my friend Suzy asked me to second shoot with her in California I said YES! She was so kind to let me travel with my family and so she traveled solo. We met up for an incredible Oceanside wedding day on Saturday. Chris, Milly, and I arrived Thursday and made the most of cloudy days, sleep deprivation, and the crisp ocean air. I’m recapping our trip below in photographs, our adorable little Airbnb (who will probably no longer allow children under 2 after all that crying), and our fun stops around town! Hope y’all enjoy tagging along. <3
There’s probably a doggie walking by, we are pretty obsessed at the moment!
That little baby mullet 😛
One of my favorite wineries, you know those pretty little red cans of sparkling white wine that come with straws? They are super popular with wedding parties, and they are from Francis Coppola winery!
Our host has family members opening a brewery and treated us to some craft beer. It’s like we were home! Perfection. <3
Cuddles with our favorite guy.
That Black Lime Grisette was incredible!
We did not mind not having ac, French doors open, fan on, fresh sea air. It was awesome.
The sweetest little patio, this added an extra layer of protection having a mobile baby. It also provided the perfect spot for a cheese board and some of that delicious beer while Milly slept at night.
Wait, is that a treehouse?!!
How awesome! A little treehouse in the making!
Indeed we did!!
After about 7 hours in the car, two stops to potty and lunch in Yuma we found this brewery right up the road from our Airbnb. Such good beer and food too! We also noticed a live band playing Red Hot Chili Peppers, turns out, it was the Red Hot Chili Peppers doing a soundcheck for the Kaboo Music Festival.
Game face on, here kid, let me show you how it’s done! Yes, we are those people with a baby in a brewery but she is always so well behaved, all the people and things going on keep her attention! If she were ever wild, we would take her for a walk, and the lucky parent who stays behind gets to enjoy the rest of BOTH beers! 😛
La Jolla, so incredibly beautiful, I can’t believe we had both been to San Diego several times before, and on a trip with my sister and her family she took me here. I couldn’t wait to get back and show Chris what he had missed, it only took 5 years. That plant is aloe vera, incredible!
Someone did not get the sleep memo, and it took us the first night of driving her around for an hour, in the car, to realize that’s how the following nights would go! Traveling with a kiddo is soooo relaxing! 😛 Seeing the world through her eyes is amazing, and while she usually sleeps soundly in the dark bathroom when we travel, this place was unique. The door to the bathroom was a sliding barn door and so she would just slide it over and say HELLO! Chris enjoyed his first PSL of the season after a sleepless evening. <3
Encinitas Beach, CA, first time feeling the ocean water on her toes.
Balboa Park has beauty everywhere, we love it there!
Post wedding day brunch, so good, Claire’s on Cedros in Solana Beach! I highly recommend the Bloody Mary, but I’ve yet to meet a Bloody Mary I don’t like. The sweetest grandmother asked to hold Milly, we are not those people that worry about strangers holding her, of course we chat with them first and it’s always a grandma. She was shocked how heavy she was. My little chunky monkey!
Oh this picture is a blurry mess, thanks Chrissy! 😛 I love it anyhow!
I have been sitting on this incredible blog post for just far too long! Truth is, I love getting 20-30 favorites from a wedding day over to my bride and groom stat. Then I love to take my time and put together images that I feel truly tell the story of their day. Sometimes that just takes a bit more time on my end to package it up pretty and post to my blog. Frank and Jen had an incredible Gainey Ranch Golf Club wedding this past July. To say the day was perfect is an understatement because it ….rained. Yes, rain, a glorious treat here in the desert which made portraits outside in July possible. Amazing!
We worked overtime to get portraits done quickly as the storm was rolling in. I remember sitting at a stoplight commuting from the ceremony to the reception and what seemed like buckets of rain falling on my windshield. The perfect break in the storm came at exactly the right time. I love it when everything falls into place on a wedding day!
It was such a pleasure to capture Frank & Jen’s engagement photos (which you can see here!) and their sweet wedding day. To see a couple truly have the wedding they’ve dreamed of brings such joy to the work I am able to create. From their private ceremony (we re-enacted all of the church photos below) to Jen’s sweet friends who made the cross-country trek to stand by her side, to the gelato cart in lieu of cake (best.idea.ever)! I’m sharing all of my favorites below (and then some).
Here is the incredible vendor team who made this day a dream come true for the most deserving couple. Frank and Jen, lets not be strangers, I can only hope all of my couples are as wonderful as you both!
Frank & Jen’s Gainey Ranch Golf Club wedding day was perfection. What we thought would be a typical sweltering July day in Scottsdale ended up being a delicate balance of beating a wild storm and staying cool. The drive from the church to the reception dumped buckets of rain and I was just a little worried we wouldn’t have any time for photos of the newlyweds. Well, the storm gave us a break from the sun and the light breeze was the perfect refreshment during portrait time. I have so many favorites from this beautiful day, sharing just a few quick sneak peeks below! More to come!
Alyssa and Steven decided on their beloved alma mater for their engagement session and I don’t think they could have chosen a more perfect place. Their University of Arizona engagement session was so much fun to capture! Their love began here, has seen late nights studying, undergraduate to medical school, and the exciting days of planning the perfect wedding day!
I’d never been through the University of Arizona campus and it reminded me of the stately and beautiful college campuses I love back east! Everything was in bloom, which is evident from so many of their photos below! These two have a playful chemistry which was not only fun to capture but just to be around!
I had a wonderful time capturing Alyssa & Steven’s love, especially in a place so near and dear to their hearts, they are wildcats through and through! I’m counting down the days to capturing their Scottsdale wedding this Fall!
Below are some of my favorites from their session, I hope my work takes me back to this beautiful campus again, to capture more sweethearts in love, some time soon!
Courtney and Ken’s lakeside Pinetop wedding was the perfect day. Perfect in that they celebrated their love in a beautiful setting surrounded by family and friends. When I met Courtney to discuss her timeline (and grab a beer!) about a month or so before her wedding she arrived with a HUGE binder. This girl was prepared! But sometimes things can go a little haywire during a wedding day, in fact, I try to prep my brides and grooms by telling them that something WILL go wrong.
Sometimes its something small like a broken boutonniere, or a missing chair or two. Sometimes makeup takes a little longer than expected. I believe that preparing couples for what could go wrong helps them anticipate a small snafu here and there. Courtney and Ken’s snafu would be that the cabin Courtney had been getting ready in (with all of her and her bridesmaid’s belongings) caught on fire during family photos.
Their amazing families had helped with so many details during the day. Which meant that their full attention went to alerting the venue coordinators and assisting in any way! I calmly turned to Courtney and said “you’re out here, your husband is out here, and your families are out here, everything is going to be just fine”. Courtney agreed and we just let the small fire play out, of course with the help of the amazing firemen and women of Pinetop. Courtney told me she’d never forget that moment. Although it wasn’t anything she could have planned for, we documented it as it was part of her wedding day. You’ll notice a photo below of Courtney & Ken with the firefighters who saved the day!
It’s hard to believe that the bridal portraits of Courtney are taken while the fire was being extinguished just 100 feet away. These are my all time favorite bridal portraits. Courtney you are so beautiful, both inside and out! You’ll also notice that Courtney & Ken honored their grandmothers in such a sweet way. Having them as flower grandmas over flower girls was the cutest thing. I could not get enough of this and loved getting to know their grandmothers and families. They also had a drink canoe, which is just what you do when you have a lakeside wedding in the beautiful pines of Northern Arizona! How cool is that? Reliving all of the beauty that was Courtney & Ken’s lakeside Pinetop wedding below! <3 & to see more of this beautiful day, I’m happy to share that it was featured over on Borrowed & Blue, click here to view.
This El Chorro wedding. All things that are good. A sweet touch of Christmas. All the heart eyes and love on this amazing day! My beautiful friend Marisa Belle had me along to second shoot for her and it was my first time at El Chorro. It was perfect! I’m sharing all of my favorites below, so much detail and thought went into making Brennan & Aaron’s perfect wedding day and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to assist my amazing friend!
Today I’m sharing Katelyn & Jonathan’s Boyce Thompson Arboretum engagement session! These two were so sweet together, their love is playful, delicate, and warm. Some couples just have that magic chemistry that makes my job a little easier, and these two have got it! It’s a beautiful thing to witness, and I love that my job//passion//dream career allows me to witness couples during their engagement session and their wedding day!
Katelyn and Jonathan drove all the way from Havasu for me to capture their engagement photos and they also shared that they were picking up a new puppy while in town! I think I’ve commented on all of little Leo’s Instagram pictures since they brought him home! I had a wonderful time getting to know this sweet couple and my time with them makes me even more so excited for their wedding next January! Now if only I can convince them that they need Leo to be the ring bearer!
Frank & Jen, where to begin! I’m featuring all of my favorites from their Boyce Thompson Arboretum engagement session below. But first, a little back story on this beautiful couple. I remember leaving our coffee consultation thinking “please, please pick me”! These two are so down to earth and know exactly what they want on their wedding day! They shared with me about their sweet little family and that they just want to have a big party with friends and family from all over the US! Yes!
While talking over locations for their engagement session they decided on the Boyce Thompson Arboretum which is literally one of my favorite places. It’s usually a bit cooler than Phoenix, and its so green! So many little nooks and fun spots, it can be busy with hikers and guests, but it’s typically pretty private! I love this place and I love this sweet couple who have hearts of gold. I am so excited to capture their wedding in July! Yes, July! What’s a little heat when you are this in love?! <3 Oh, and that gorgeous ring below? It’s a fifth generation diamond, each lady who has worn it has been able to design a custom band, while wearing a family heirloom. Isn’t that amazing?!
An Agritopia engagement session has been on my must-do list for what seems like forever, so when Katy mentioned somewhere that felt a little Southern, a lightbulb went off! I love this place for so many reasons, it’s super close to home, it’s very versatile, and it’s got charm (case in point – the hidden heart in one of these photos)! Also, you can rent garden beds here and grow your own veggies & herbs; how cool is that?! Add in a super in love and adorable couple, and it’s kind of the perfect spot, wouldn’t you say?
Katy and Caleb have a playful kind of love, which made capturing them with my camera a breeze. They also have a super sweet proposal story which you can read all about over on How He Asked! You can just see it all over Katy’s face how happy Caleb makes her! Below I’m sharing all of my favorites from our time together at Agritopia, and I think my only regret was not ending our session with date shakes from Joe’s Farm Grill! While I’m anxiously awaiting November to photograph these two again, I’m just as excited to share these. <3