If you are really lucky in life, you get to meet someone who just exemplifies the word amazing. Someone so selfless and generous and kind and humble, you just know that the world is made SO much better because they are here. These two people right here – they define amazing. They adopt, they foster, they tackle special needs and medical complexity head on. And they are truly awesome people to be around.
I met Mom a little over a year ago, when she was desperately searching for someone to come reshoot this adorable little girl’s newborn photos before she grew too much! I am so glad that fate sent her my way, or me hers. Since then we have done a great big happy family reunion shoot, a cake smash, and now some pure and simple family photos with her incredible little clan! I am so thankful she chose me to be her photographer, but even more thankful that I get to call her a friend.
And, um, this location?? If you’ve not been to Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert, you are missing a seriously adorable little farm in the middle of suburbia! We squeezed in a session just as the Christmas tree lot had opened for the season, and hiked back to the beautiful grove of tall trees. The kiddos loved checking out the goats, giant turkey, horses and other animals in between shots. This location is rustic, woodsy and beautiful, without ever leaving Gilbert! (The farm does charge a small fee for photography use, but it is SO worth every penny! Photographers have access to the entire property which we did not even scratch the surface of!)
TWINS. CAKE. SMASH. You guys, this is the big leagues, I feel like I can conquer ANYTHING now that I’ve survived these cuties and their first birthday cake smash session!!
Ok, I’ll be honest, they were actually the easiest, most fun and cooperative kiddos I have ever smashed with. We not only finished up our session exactly on time, (which never happens with cake smashes!) they also kept the entire mess on the backdrop! These babies are amazing, I love watching the way they interact with each other. How fun it must be to have a twin!
Their Mom totally nailed it, too, with the awesome black and gold theme, just in time for New Year’s, and the bright pink and blue cakes. I love to see what fun themes my clients come up with for their smash sessions, and she definitely did not disappoint!
The best part? When we were done, two very happy, messy, cake covered babies went straight in the bath and the entire backdrop went straight in the trash. Easy peasy, no cleanup!
I’ve been keeping this adorable session under wraps for so long that it was still warm out when we met at the Queen Creek Olive Mill for their family photos! I had so much fun with these kiddos, Mom has a GREAT attitude about photos and was willing to let their little personalities show. Sit still and smile just isn’t practical for some kids, and that’s ok! Embrace the silly, the playful and the giggles, because that is the best way to get those real genuine smiles to shine through. And sometimes, just sometimes, someone even ends up upside down!
If you’ve never had a chance to stop by the Queen Creek Olive Mill, you are missing out on an amazing hidden gem here in the East Valley! The grounds are beautiful, lots of big weepy trees, grass and benches to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is amazing. The cafe serves up some of the most delicious looking food – I will definitely be making a point to grab some during my next trip. And where else can you get freshly pressed olive oil, straight from farm to bottle to your kitchen? Because I always love to support small business when I can, this year I stocked up on a variety of yummy olive oil flavors to bring to our families in California for Christmas. You can even take a tour and learn how olive oil is made, what a fun afternoon!
Now that Christmas is only 7 days away – YIKES! – I can share some of the gorgeous family photo sessions from this crazy Fall season! Since I finally feel like I’m getting my footing here in Arizona and ready to explore beyond my favorite Target and Starbucks, I was able to add some amazing new locations to my bag of tricks. First up, the lush, green orchards at the Farm at Agritopia! The orchards are only open to families twice a year for a limited number of sessions, and I was super lucky to nab a perfect sunset spot. I packed 7 awesome families into a couple of hours at the orchard and we made some holiday magic!
The orchards will be open again in the spring and I’ve heard that there are some beautiful blossoms on the trees that time of year! If you didn’t make it in this time around, keep your eyes peeled for my next date there. Or, if you can’t wait for Spring, I just may have another option up my sleeve for fruit trees. Drop me a message and let’s chat!
Last Fall, this beautiful extended family chose McCormick-Stillman Railroad park as the backdrop for their family photos, and I was so excited to go check it out! Tucked back in a little city park in the middle of the bustling city of Scottsdale sits an amazing little historical gem! The McCormick-Stillman Railroad park opened in 1975 as a result of a donation of land from the McCormick family and the donation of a railroad from the Stillman family. Within the park you can find several historic buildings, a private railroad car once used by 4 past Presidents, a beautiful vintage carousel, and of course, the railroad! The 15 gauge ridable miniature railway cruises through tunnels, past water tanks and even has a working turntable. If you have a little (or big!) train fan in your house, this park is the place to be!
The park is an awesome backdrop for families looking for something a little different for their family photos. The area has a very Fall look and feel, and the train cars and carousel make a unique and playful setting, perfect for Christmas! Grandma did an amazing job at making sure that everyone coordinated, and the colors they chose fit the location perfectly. This is definitely one of my favorite spots to shoot at the holidays!