Ashley + Brandt | Arizona Engagement Session

arizona engagement session

Well it wasn’t too surprising how fun it would be to photograph these two for their engagement session. Ashley’s parents here in Arizona are some of our very best friends. My husband and her dad are a bundle of non-stop giggles when they are together. Yes. Giggles. Did you know two mature grown men could giggle? If you know Jim and Ryan you know this all to be too true.



Her parents are the ones we call when our fridge breaks. They call us when they need an iron. She calls me when she needs something photographed for her blog, My Plant Based Family.

And on the days where we just need coffee….we have each other’s backs.

The moral of the story, Holly and Jim are life-long friends. 

On our way to our session as Ashley and Brandt were telling me how they met and what life is like in the U.P. of the great state of Michigan, Ashley mentioned her job.  At Starbucks.

Holy cow…did you hear the angels singing?  Me too.

I’m almost 99% sure that Starbucks is the sixth love language.  At least, I know it’s mine.  You’re having a bad day?  I bring you Starbucks.  You want to make my day?  Bring me Starbucks.  I’ll be your best friend forever.  (Currently I drink an iced coffee, extra ice, no cane syrup, with cream and raw sugar…I’m just throwing that out there).

Ashley has worked at Starbucks for a year and a half!  And while Brandt is a coffee connoisseur now, he only stepped foot into Starbucks for the very first time right before they started dating.

And now, he’s hooked on those caramel frappucinos (who isn’t)!  But his addiction did come with time.  When he walked in for the very first time, it was to see her at work.  He said when he walked in, he saw her face light up when she saw him.  At that point, all he could think about was how she looked at him and couldn’t concentrate on ordering anything but black coffee.

That’s it? She said.  Black?  Oh come on.  Really?

Really. That’s how I like it.  (In his defense, he says that the bitterness of black coffee is the only way to wake a man up in the morning…also, he couldn’t think of anything else but her).

I think it was all over at that point.  For both of them.

Thinking about that moment, him walking in, her standing at the counter, all dressed in Starbucks green smiling away, melts me.  Not because I’m a loyal fan of Starbucks, but because I’m a fan of these two.

Brandt and Ashley,

I know since it came up in our conversation, that neither of you will ever forget your Starbucks moment and I hope you don’t!  I hope that you’ll have those moments every single time you see each other.  I hope that when life is hard, for better or worse, that memory will be the forefront of all the rest.

I keep looking at these pictures, seeing the arching trees and the two of you standing underneath them and I can’t help but see God’s banner of love over you.  I pray that no matter where you go or what you do, that the world will see it.  They will see there’s something different about the two of you.  They’ll long to know the kind of love the two of you share and I know that because of it, you will be a blessing to everyone you meet.  Because you were to me.





Wanna see another engagement session? Check out Jodi and Steve’s engagement session!

Steve + Jodi’s Desert Botanical Garden Engagement Session | Phoenix, Arizona

Desert Botanical Garden Engagement Session

The sun had gone down so we wrapped up their engagement session and started the trek back towards the entrance of the Desert Botanical Garden. As we were walking, we of course started talking about the wedding and what were going to be the most important parts of the day for them.  She mentioned one thing that brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.


We spend years playing at their feet, listening to their stories, learning everything we possibly can.

We learn to cook like (or not like) them.

We want to be like them.

They are such a big part of who we are.

Jodi’s grandparents will be married for seventy years when they make an appearance at their wedding in March.


Can you imagine the life lived? The life loved and lost? The seasons navigated? The memories made? The wisdom gained?

Legacies are beautiful because they aren’t just about one person.   Legacies are passed down from generation to generation and everyone, both families together and as individuals, contribute to make them even more valuable. Even more priceless.

I think legacies are incredible gifts, yes.  But I think they are more than that.  They are something that we are entrusted with.  We have the ability to add to them and take away.

To whomever is reading this right now,

I hope that you choose to add value to your legacy.  I hope that as you enter in and out of your own seasons of life that you always remember you’re apart of a bigger picture.  There is a generation that will soon follow in your footsteps, so make your steps count.

Steve and Jodi,

I love so much the few stories you’ve shared with me.  Just walking through the Desert Botanical Garden for your engagement session was enough for me to know that you two are incredibly blessed.  Who you are and what you do is bigger than you realize.  I’m so excited for your wedding in March and even more excited to capture the beginning of something so beautiful.  The best is yet to come.





Shelby Lung: Scottsdale, Arizona Cosmetologist

Shelby Lung

I first met Shelby when she was in Junior High!  Believe it or not, I had the privilege of coaching her and her sister in volleyball.  They are the sweetest girls with a passion for life.  I can’t believe that Shelby is already 20, has had a modeling career, graduated cosmetology school and is now working at a salon in Old Town Scottsdale.

Shelby and I have partnered together to bring photography clients the ultimate experience.  While hair and makeup is not a part of my standard packages, I am giving clients the opportunity to buy her services al a carte.  Shelby will also pop in here and there on my blog to give clients tips on how to wear their hair and makeup for their session!

So take a moment, read Shelby’s bio and get to know her!

Hi! I’m Shelby! My passion for hair and makeup began at a very early age. I remember doing my cousin’s hair for family outings and playing with my friend’s hair during school. I always admired the creativity and uniqueness behind hair styling and makeup artistry in the everyday world.
When I was in high school I started modeling professionally. I was traveling a lot for photo shoots, and training sessions, and events all over the Unites States. I continued to model here and there after high school for photo shoots and hair shows, but during this journey I really fell in love with the behind the scenes work of the high fashion industry.
Having a background in modeling I have developed a passion for hair styling and expression through makeup. My philosophy with makeup is to keep the integrity of your natural beauty and enhance it!
After completing cosmetology school and going to work in a salon I wanted to be able to continue to express my passion, and love that I get to do that on a daily basis now as a career and through photography. Whether you’re walking the runway or it’s the big day; creating a style for your occasion is my specialty!

Shelby LungShelby Lung


Welcome Packets

One of the upgrades I made with my rebranding is a Welcome Packet.  The last few years, I’ve played email tag with clients trying to figure out locations, what to wear and when they will receive their pictures.  I’ve put all of my most frequently asked questions into a packet to send to all of my clients, both returning and new.  If you’re a photographer looking for inspiration, I’ve listed where I purchased each piece at the end!

In the black linen folder, you’ll find 5 inserts: What to Wear, What to Expect, Print Release, Locations and an Appointment Card.  You’ll also find my business card and a hand written note to each of my clients.

What to Wear, What to Expect and the Print Release are all pretty self explanatory.  To help me not to forget to send the Print Release to clients with their photos, I just decided to add it in with everything else so they have a physical copy already with them.

For Locations, I listed 5 places that are my absolute favorite.  I know and trust the lighting and have my favorite spots already picked out.  Sometimes there are so many options, that it’s hard to pick so giving clients a short list to choose from help boost their confidence when making their decision.  They always say, “I don’t know, you’re the photographer!” So I educate them to make the best choice.

I added an appointment card so clients will have something tangible of mine that they will want and need to keep.   Of course, most will write it down on their calendar as soon as you confirm the date, but on the off chance that they don’t I’ve provided them with something to help remind them of when their session is.  It’s all about the details.





Black Folders: Paper Presentation

White Envelopes: Paper Presentation

Inserts: Designed and printed by me

Stationary: Tiny Prints (I also purchased matching address labels and polka dot envelope liners)

Luxe Square Business Cards: Moo

Custom Logo Stamp: Fall For Design


Salt River Engagement Session

As soon as we scheduled this session at the Salt River I started praying that we would see the wild horses.  If you’ve never been to the Salt River before, I advise you to put your devices down, unplug and go.  What you will find will take your breath away.  This was my first time going “down to the river” (aside from 1 float trip) since I moved to Arizona in 2003.  That’s 12 years I went without having this experience as a part of my life, and it was 12 years too many.  Before Power Road starts gradually winding down, it comes to a peak between two small mountains, right near the dam and my response is the same every single time.  God.  You.  Are.  Good.  To see the rolling dessert, majestic purple mountains and the winding river spread in front of me is a reminder of the goodness of God.  Of His grace and mercy.  That even when we’re in the desert, there is beauty to be found.  And it’s indescribable.

Shane and Jinnae’s session was the very definition of perfect.  We caught the sun at just the right time, the location wasn’t crowded and the horses were right there waiting for us, just as I had prayed!  We hiked up and down the river bank through narrow paths, dodging tree branches, anxiously waiting the time that the sun set gently behind Red Mountain.  And then, as if on cue, the desert lit up.  Purples, pinks, greens.  Even gray sparkles in the desert at dusk.

Shane and Jinnae, I couldn’t be happier for you!  I’m so honored to be a part of your day.  I love your story how you were dancing partners first and your love for each other has since grown into a lifelong friendship and commitment to one another.  I pray that God blesses you two in countless ways.  Cherish these days as you’re counting down to the!