Charlotte + Ben // Arizona

“As we grow old may it be told that we never lost our flame. If love is a fire then our desire it to burn a whole tank. “ -Josh Garrels

THE tension between Ben and Charlotte, all the time, but especially on their wedding day can be described using these words: spicy, sexy, and steamy. 

So if that helps you at all understand their first dance, or the kiss during the ceremony, or the portrait session. They are so incredibly in love with each other which is apparent not only through the physical but also their deeply connected hearts and minds. 

Arizona offers a variety of venues and theirs was ON POINT! Filled with willow trees, windmill, and Italian looking stucco, I didn’t have a hard time finding places to photograph! This is my fourth wedding with this great group of friends in Flagstaff. The groomsmen were so use to my directions. BTW- they all love being in front of the camera, it’s hysterical. The girls, I mean just look at them, SO freaking beautiful. I couldn’t take a bad photo even if I tried at their wedding. 

I really love it when couples don’t do a first look. The tension in the room is full of wonder, excitement, and celebration. When we invite our community into that place I think we are offering a human experience that is rare and honest. To see the grooms reaction as he sees his bride walk down the isle, to watch the father of the bride give his daughter away, and to see the space between two people be almost visible, doesn’t happen anywhere else. I think it’s an honor to be invited into that shared experience. That it was for Ben and Charlotte. I might have teared up a little bit when photographing. It’s always when the guy starts crying during his vows is when I tear up. I watch the parents face through my camera lens, which mind you no one other then the bridal party can see, and I loose it. Both sets of parents have prayed and thought about this moment in their child’s life. It’s as if you can feel the father’s happiness yet sadness of the reality that his little girl is no longer little. And the mother of the groom’s face holds all the years of doubt and unknowns for her sons future. It all gets tied up during the ceremony, with a wash of relief as the couple kisses and walks into the next stage of their life together. 

Nicole + Justin // Sedona, AZ

Oh the beauty of Sedona and this couple took my breath away. The day started with hovering thunderstorms and soft winds. Nicole and Justin wanted to get married up in Sedona because of the beauty. They have been together for years and years and have two twin four year olds that are the cutest things in the world. This day was all about family and the love between these two.

The Red Agave venue is perfect for small weddings because everyone can rent out a cabin to stay right on site!! The ceremony and reception is all on the same property with a gorgeous red rock landscape right behind. Justin and Nicole are kind, gentle, funny kind of people. I want to be around them all the time if I could! Justin is a chef and Nicole is a nurse. They wanted their day to be revolved around family, beauty, and good food of course!!

Moments right before the ceremony the lighting struck and let out a big rain storm for 10 minutes! When all was done the wedding day went on without an issue. I always believed the rain is a lucky thing on a wedding day. The heavens are clapping along with everyone else in those moments. The burrito truck was probably their best idea at the wedding!! What a fun idea. They danced the night away with the most lovely speeches given by family members and close friends. It even got me in tears.

Logan + Parker // Ajo, AZ

On the Mexican border lies a tiny little town that offers much. Ajo, Arizona. Logan and Parker would drive to the beach in Mexico and always joked they wanted to get their engagement photos taken in this corky little town. Well- I help dreams become reality for people!

Logan and Parker met on Bumble. On their first date they both knew it was meant to be! From then on they have been inseparable. Their hearts are united so closely as friends and lovers. They are so sweet on each other and towards each other. I am always amazed by all the different types of relationships I get to see through photography. Their’s is truly special.

Ajo has streets and streets filled with artwork and it’s AMAZING! Down every alley there is amazing street art that lines the walls and fills the town. We HAD to stop and grab a few fun shots in front. The colors popped!! Then we raced out into the desert to find the most perfect cactus and scenery. Logan is from Louisiana so cactus are so amazing to her. Parker is a phoenix boy but loves the desert vibes. We ate Mexican food, had margaritas, and danced till the sunset. Cannot wait to photograph their Phoenix wedding next year!!

Jon + Lauren // Lee’s Ferry

On a windy afternoon Jon, Lauren, and I jumped in the car to drive 2 hours to Lee’s Ferry. It’s a spot known among fly fisherman as one of the best spots in the world. Nestled in the Grand Canyon with the Colorado river racing through it. It’s magnificent and the perfect place for Jon and Lauren’s engagement photos!

Northern Arizona as some of the most unique landscapes I’ve ever seen. Extreme desert living up there is what they are known for. People come from all around the world to hike in the Grand Canyon, fish at Lee’s Ferry, and explore through Antelope Canyon. For us who live in Northern Arizona, it’s our backyard to play in on a random Friday evening. Lauren and Jon have been dating for years before he popped the question last year at Disneyland. It came as a sunrise to everyone, especially her twin brother, who was capture in a photo of the proposal with mouth wide open in shock.

Lauren was always obsessed with the rushing water at Lee’s Ferry and big rock structures. So we took the adventure up to the desert and dance around in her magnificent beauty. Enjoy these photos!

Arizona’s Best Engagement Session locations

The reason why I love Arizona is because the immense diversity all in one state.  You have mountains, desert, cactus, lakes, canyons, red rocks, and trees. It’s truly an amazing state, one that often gets only recognition for being a desert. Below is a list of my FAVORITE Arizona locations for outdoor engagement sessions. My clients usually want something extreme and different than their normal. I try my best to find the most unique locations to have a beautiful experience to remember.

1.Sedona

Maybe it’s because it’s the place I feel most at peace in Arizona or it’s gorgeous landscape but Sedona is my FAVORITE place to photograph couples in Arizona. With the epic red rock background and creekside sounds Sedona has something for everyone. I have my top spots to go such as Tlaquepaque, Cathedral Rock, Oak Creek Canyon, and Red Rock Crossing to get a variety of Sedona. You will see below why it’s my favorite.

2. Page

Can you say OMG epic? Between Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell Page has endless options for photoshoots here in the desert. The orange rust color does amazing things to the skin. Just remember to get a permit (if needed for location), bring water, and get tacos after the shoot in Page at any of their amazing Mexican restaurants. Also, don’t wear the color orange/red because you want to stand out among the rocks not blend in.

3. Grand Canyon

Ridiculously amazing is a good phrase to use for a Grand Canyon engagement session! It’s overwhelming and romantic. Park entrance fee is $30 so be prepared for that! With the Arizona harsh light be aware it is VERY hard to shoot until the sunsets or right after. The canyon is beautiful but hard to shoot sometimes. Find spots where the photographer can be up higher to get a more full look of the canyon.

4. Flagstaff

My hometown! This place is special because I know all the hidden gems to get the best angles of the mountain. If you want a view of the mountain you’ll have to stay in town or go out on a forest service road. If you want to be in the mountain and aspen go up to either Snowbowl or Lockett Meadow! In August there are sunflowers EVERYWHERE. If you want snow come up during the winter and if you want the colors of leaves changing come up during late September-October. It’s a glorious place to get your photos done always with good sunsets!

5. Phoenix

There are MANY spots you can go in Phoenix to get a desert cactus look! Botanic gardens is a great spot along with South Mountain. Remember the desert is best to photograph in the morning or evening due to harsh light. Light colors look good in the desert along with black. You really can’t go wrong. It’s unique and different! 

6. Fossil Creek

YES Arizona has waterfalls!! you just have to go searching for them. This location is a bit of a hike but SO worth it. You will need a permit to go because they only let a few people in each day. Remember to do it online through the forest service a week or more in advance! Those blue waters are perfect to take a dip in and then photograph with a lover. 

Justin + Laura // Page, AZ

When childhood friends come to visit from Tennessee, we play in the canyons! Arizona is vast, wide, expansive, wild, and beautiful. I cannot get over it, STILL, and I’ve lived here for more than 4 years. I LOVE LOVE LOVE ARIZONA. Justin and Laura fell in love with Arizona too. They met in Nashville years ago when out with friends. It was instant and quick. She from Miami, He from Ohio. They live in Tennessee with their goldendoodle! She is gentle and beautiful, He is hard working and friendly. They make a match that is undeniable.