Gillian and Alex's Desert Botanical Garden Engagement Session

Whether it’s weddings or engagement sessions, as a photographer I make it my mission that my clients leave thinking it was easier and more fun than they could have ever thought. But going in, some couples are into getting their picture taken and some are not (I’m probably not far off if I say it’s often the dude who is the less stoked one). I’m not sure where Alex and Gillian fell in the range of pre-session jitters, but they really went for it as soon as we started. I think Gillian said they had never had professional pictures taken of the two of them…well they could have fooled me. These world traveling, college sweethearts were game for anything and having fun with it all. Goofiness, sexiness, twirls, lifting. All of it. And they look awesome.

Next month, they’ll travel back to Phoenix for their wedding from their home in Walla Walla, Washington. Probably the most fun hometown to say out loud of all time. In the meantime, we did a Desert Botanical Garden engagement session so they could show off a bit of the desert before their January wedding. Always a classic choice, here are a slew of the many awesome photos we made together.

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My Equipment:

Shot with: Canon 5D Mark IVCanon 5D Mk III

Lenses used: Canon 24mm 1.4LCanon 50mm 1.2LCanon 135 2.0L

If you’re doing a destination engagement session in Phoenix, AZ, I’m your guy. I’m also your guy wherever you want your wedding or engagement to take place. I’m cool as heck and I travel.



Lisa and Alicia's Northern Arizona Wedding and Redo Reception

Weddings are one of the biggest moments in a person’s life. I may be a non-traditionalist who thinks you should do whatever you want on your wedding day and whatever is right for you, but I’m also someone who knows it’s a huge deal, no matter how you do it. From courthouses to backyards to the most elegant wedding venues in the world, no matter how you do it, weddings and marriage represent the love you have with another person and making the commitment to keep that love going for life.

Lisa and Alicia’s wedding was a destination wedding up in northern Arizona and filled with little details and things they loved. They even handmade the concrete pots to put their succulents in for their wedding guests to take. Lisa and Alicia poured themselves into their wedding…and then mother nature poured on them. Everything at their wedding was to take place outdoors, but we were hit with serious rainfall that wasn’t on the weather forecasts. It was a mad scramble to move everything indoors…and then the venue lost power. No backup.

But weddings are really about the love you have with the other person, and you can’t stop these two. Not only did the rain let up just long enough (except for a light sprinkle) to do their wedding ceremony outdoors, but they rallied around each other and their loved ones rallied around them. Lit by cell phones (and my flash in the photos), they pressed on and had a first dance. I can honestly say it was my favorite first dance I’ve ever photographed. They earned it, they deserved it, and it was so symbolic to see their loved ones be part of making it possible.

Still, it crushed a lot of us to see them have to have this experience. So, their planner, Ashley with Honey & Shaw, did her thing and set up a surprise redo reception at Gather Estate and we all chipped in and gave it to them. These two love each other and their kids so well, so it felt great to give them something they deserved.

On a side note, if you have a chance to hire Ashley and Honey & Shaw, do so in a heartbeat. Seeing her have her clients back like that was a joy to see. Same goes for Gather Estate, or the other incredible vendors listed below who contributed to the makeup reception.

Below are some of my favorite images we got at their wedding and the reception redo. Cell phone first dance included.

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Redo Reception Team:

Planner: Honey and Shaw 2nd Shooter (for main wedding): Megan Blanchard

Venue: Gather Estate Video: Nat and Jared

Cakes: Dessert First by Veronica and The Herbivore Bakeshop

Food: Mighty Bites by Mel Drinks: Couple of Bartenders

My Equipment:

Shot with: Canon 5D Mark IVCanon 5D Mk III

Lenses used: Canon 24mm 1.4LCanon 50mm 1.2LCanon 135 2.0L

You deserve the wedding (and wedding photographer) of your dreams just like Lisa and Alicia. Let me help you with that part! Contact me below and let’s have fun together.

Ruby and Darren's West Fork Trail Engagement Session

I’m pumped for Ruby and Darren’s wedding at the Farm at South Mountain next month. These two are really sweet with each other, playful, and giving my wife and I a run for our money in how much we love our pets (they currently have us one upped via their license plate being named after Parmesan, their dog). Plus, I believe Darren proposed in basketball shorts, so I like his style.

For the engagement session, Ruby wanted something natural that felt like it showed off Arizona. Hard to beat Sedona when you want to do that. Here are some of the best shots from their West Fork Trail engagement session. It even includes some apple picking!

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My Equipment:

Shot with: Canon 5D Mark IVCanon 5D Mk III

Lenses used: Canon 24mm 1.4LCanon 50mm 1.2LCanon 135 2.0L

Sedona is a wonderful place for engagement sessions. So is most of Arizona. And, you know, anywhere you want to make some art about your love. Contact me and let’s do that.