Adventure to Merry Go Round

Sedona, Arizona’s top engagement session location

THIS spot…it’s one of my favorites in not only Arizona but Sedona specifically, but it’s not an easy place to get to. Many many photographers dream about shooting here but you have to have the right off roading vehicle to get up. For example: a Rubicon Jeep, truck with high suspension, or a Forerunner with big ass wheels!! Rental car companies won’t let you take their cars out there because the road is so bad that many get stuck or end up with a flat tire. I highly highly suggest going with a company like Pink Jeep Tours or Red Rock Rubicon. These vehicles are made to go on roads like this!

I’m so happy Anna and Selam wanted to go dance in the sun and explore the cliffs of the Red Rocks when they were visiting Arizona. I grew up with Anna in Ohio and was SO excited for when she told me they wanted to fly out for their engagement session. Now this is my fifth friend to come out to Arizona from the midwest for their photos. And I think it gives them a good excuse for a vacation and I get to see my people, so I’m not mad about it!!

Flagstaff’s Top Mountain Wedding Venue!

Autumn aspen trees and mountain views

Snowbowl venue, at the top of Mt Humphreys, is one of my very favorite venues in Flagstaff!! It sets at 9,300 ft which offers beautiful views of the mountain and of the valley below. I honestly love this venue so much because it’s classic Flagstaff especially in the fall when all the aspen trees are changing. There are two different venues up at Snowbowl, the Hart Prairie Lodge and Fremont. Both are good options but here is what I like about them separately:

Hart Prairie Lodge: This venue gives couples a more lodgey look inside with darker wood. It’s cozy and has a great deck where the ceremony take place.

Fremont: They recently built this venue which has a great view of the peaks and you feel like you are more in the woods. It has more windows and is brighter overall than the Hart Prairie Lodge. It has a great patio for cocktail hour or outside dancing. Both are great venues that give a mountain wedding feel.

Tiara and Evan met years ago in North Dakota when he was working for the railroad. They fell in love and has moved a few different states but has landed in Flagstaff for the last two years. Their wedding day was FULL of fun, colors, and so much joy. Oh and the ceremony was JUST beautiful with a light breeze in the air and aspen trees swaying in the wind. I took the whole bridal party, a little tipsy, out to get aspen fall colors and it was sooooo worth it!!

Sedona Engagement Session

Back lit sun flare shot how to

One of my VERY favorite engagement sessions in the Sedona Red Rocks. Kirk + Sarah flew in from North Carolina and it was one of the most perfect Sedona days. Sunshiney, not busy at all, and a little breezy!! I’m obsessed with chasing the sunshine.

Shooting into the sun can be hard but SO WORTH IT. Here are some tips on shooting into the sun to get sun flares.

  • Wait until the sun is low- about 20 mins before it sets. That’s when you can get the really golden color
  • My 35 or 50mm seem to be some of my only lenses that create that really pretty sun flare. The fixed lens tend to be better for this
  • I use my couple to block the sun but play with it in the ladies hair or between them. Movement is really fun here so you can the sunshine look but also not just portrait look
  • You need something to block the sun or defuse it behind trees so the light isn’t so blinding
  • I am usually really open at f/1.4-f/2.5 and my shutter tends to be exposed right in the middle. A little bit more over exposed so they are bright and not in the shadows
  • Then play around!! Your eyes might hurt because you are looking into the sunshine but it’s so worth it!

Engagement in the Sand Dunes

Arizona Wedding Photographer goes to Glamis, California

HELLO beautiful sunshine and sand dunes!!!! I’m obsessed with how these photos turned out. Firstly, because they are of my bestie Hailey. She is also a wedding photographer in Arizona and we were roommates for 3 years!! Secondly, because I’ve been dreaming about shooting here for a long time but it hadn’t happened yet, stokedddd to shoot here!! Hailey asked me to shoot her engagement session because she had booked her dream photographer from California for their elopement. It was the best gift I could have given her and one I’m so happy we both have these memories to look back on.

Glamis or Imperial Sand Dunes located in South East California, very close to the Mexican boarder. It is a place of beauty and lots of vehicles so you have to be careful when shooting!! Always look over your back just incase a buggy or jeep is coming over a hill but doesn’t see you. I cannot rave enough about the sunlight and sand dunes feel here. IT was magical to say the least. It felt like we were in the middle of Egypt trucking through the desert.

Hailey and Mike met years ago at the Edge of the World while she was photographing for this festival. Little did they know 3 years later they would run into each other again online and become each others person. I remember the day she came home from that first date with Mike. She was GLOWING. She said they just hiked in the woods and talked and it was easy. It was everything you could want in a relationship. As do all couples have ups and downs but Hailey and Mike have sustained the up’s and downs. They live in a 5th wheel that they completely redid and looks amazing (you can see it on instagram).

All in all, it’s a beautiful place to get married or have engagement photos done. Also, camping and having fun in the sand dunes is a second best 🙂