Sangston Family Photos | Bella Rose Estate

Bella Rose Family Session

Streater, Illinois. It was 1958. She was 18, he was 20 and they were in love.

Only 9 months after Dick and Rita were married, their first beautiful daughter, Laura, was born and it wasn’t long after until Dave, Sheri and Ricky came along. They lived and loved there for 15 years until they decided to pack up a Uhaul with all of their things (and a whole lotta faith) and moved to the wild-west in 1973.

Over the past 60 years, Dick and Rita have loved and served the Lord faithfully and raised each one of their kids to do the same. Both Dick and Rita have such a sweet, genuine love for other people that has trickled down through three, beautiful, generations.

Bella Rose Family Session

This past weekend, the whole family came together to celebrate Dick’s 80th birthday and pre-celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary approaching at the end of the year. I feel so lucky to be given a glimpse into the life of a family. To see how they love each other and make memories and it all happens right before my eyes. And then, I get to go home and look through the photos, the memories, over and over again and I think, gosh, I have the greatest job in the whole world.

Then I sit here and think of all of the wonderful things I want to say about the family, to the family. For the Sangston’s I think I can sum it up in one word, gratitude. Though this weekend was officially Dick’s birthday celebration, I think this weekend was a lot more than that for them. It was a time where they came together to celebrate just how good God has been to their family. And he’s been, oh, so good.

Dear Sangston Family,

I can’t look through the photos and write anymore without tears welling up so if there are typos that follow, you know why, ha! My own heart overflowed with joy seeing you all together. I could clearly see how tight-knit you all are and the depth of your love for one another. I’ve been lucky to hear stories from Sheri over the years and am humbled beyond words to have met you all.

You have all been given the greatest gifts any family could ever ask for. Parents who have loved each other through 60 years of ups and downs and a legacy of faith. Being the nerd that I am, I looked up just exactly what “legacy” means. A gift by will. You get to determine the exact type of legacy you’ll leave. Dick and Rita, this gift you’ve created for your children and your children’s, children’s, children I’m sure had challenges. I’m sure that the days were oh, so long but somehow you found the years to be quite short. But through it all, your steadfast choice to continue to pursue your faith in Christ has resulted in blessings greater than you’ll ever realize.

Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session
Bella Rose Family Session

The Hintz Family | Superstition Mountains

Superstion Mountains family session

This family session at the base of the Superstition Mountains was the perfect way to end 2017!


Earlier this fall, I photographed Donavon and Kimber’s family at one of my favorite locations in Scottsdale.  When Donavon’s parents and brother and sister-in-law came for Christmas, we headed out again to photograph the whole family!

Unfortunately half of them, and myself, came down with either the nasty cold or the flu the week prior to the photos (raise your hand if you DIDN’T get sick…I applaud you).  Let me tell you, it was not a fun way to spend Christmas!  I know that Scott and Amanda can attest to that as well!  They flew in from the frigid midwest to warm sunny Phoenix only to enjoy it from urgent care! 

Thankfully by the end of the week, everyone was starting to feel a little better which is a good thing because I took them way out into the middle of nowhere at the base of the Superstition Mountains for their family session. Towards the end, we waited for the sun to drop low enough to be able to get the beautiful mountains in the background. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

Vickie and Hilmer,
Thank you so much for following me down the longest dirt road ever and hanging out with me in the desert. Spending my last session of the year with your beautiful family was so special to me! The Superstition Mountains made for the most beautiful backdrop but what made the evening even better was getting to know your family. I’ve heard stories of your faithfulness and generosity and after meeting you, I can see that there are probably way more stories than can ever be told. What a legacy. Being able to watch you love on and interact with your family was something that I truly admired. I pray that the Lord continues to establish the works of your hands!



Stephanie + Mark | Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona Desert Session

Stephanie and Mark’s session in Scottsdale, Arizona is at the top of my favorite sessions for 2017!


At the beginning of 2017, I had one goal. To be published on a wedding blog. In order to do that, I set to work planning my very first styled shoot. As always, I jumped in with both feet and figuring everything out as I went.  As I was in search of vendors for this shoot, I reached out to our local creative community for referrals to some of their favorite vendors.  That’s when Stephanie entered the picture.

I was given a few names for some fabulous macaron artists (I say artists because making macs is a definite art!)  I reached out to one vendor and when I didn’t hear back after a few days, I tried another one.  After looking through Decadent Macaron’s website, I reached out to her.  It wasn’t just her fun website and great looking product that drew me in but one line of her website, “Do everything for the glory of God.”

In this creative industry it’s very, very easy to take credit for everything we do.  For the pictures we take, for the product or service we provide.  I put in the time.  I took that picture (not the expensive camera), I was published….the list of “I’s” can go on and on and on.

While I’m the one holding the camera in my hand, I know I’m not the one who put it there.  I didn’t give myself the desire, the drive.  I see where I’ve been and where I am now, and there’s no way I got here on my own.  I take the photos and am excited when I see the back of the camera because I see growth with each click of the shutter.  There’s only one reason I’m here, at this time and place.  It’s because He’s called me here.

I know when it comes to her business, Stephanie feels the same way.  It’s evident if you follow her on social media.  Since our first styled shoot together at the Royal Palms, we have both grown by leaps and bounds.  Watching her business grow to new limits has been amazing to watch from the sidelines.  I can’t even imagine how she must feel!

Stephanie and Mark,

I know this last year has been an insane time of growth for your business.  I truly feel like the best is yet to come for you two.  I see your hard work and I see where you’re placing your trust.  You haven’t built your business on the failing sand, but on a strong foundation, with Christ as the cornerstone.  With Jesus in your heart and macarons in your hand, you’ll be unstoppable.



Stephanie’s skirt was handmade by Emerge, Designs by Jen. Follow her on Instagram!
Make-up | The Sparkle Bar

Forster Family Session| Phoenix, Arizona

desert family session

To know and be known.

It’s a common saying when referring to community. All of us have a deep desire to live and love life with people who share our passions and beliefs. Our hopes and our dreams. The Forster Family session was one of those beautiful reminders of just how impactful community really is.

Without community, I would never have had the opportunity to meet this beautiful family. Sarah and I met in a photography Facebook group that’s just been one big cheering section.  We share in each other’s successes by seeing who can share the funniest GIF and encourage each other when we just don’t know how to handle certain situations.  The best part is the answers come from servant’s hearts.  They are people whose desire is to love and serve clients (that’s you!)  They’ve made me a better person, a better photographer and a better business owner.  I’ll forever be grateful for all of them!  Sarah is just a few months into her business, and oh MAN is she crazy good. Check out her IG here —> Sarah Forster Photography.

I think the pressure rises when you photograph a fellow photographer.  I’m usually the most nervous right before their sessions!  But Sarah, TJ and that little cutie Fitzgerald (Fitzgerald you guys…as if those eyes weren’t enough to melt your heart) were a dream.  I’m not just talking about their spot on styling and their pretty smiles.  That’s the part you get to see.  What I get to see behind the scenes sends this family session straight into the “dream zone”.

As a parent, and former teacher (that part of me will never go away), I love watching parents parent their children.  Throughout the entire session both Sarah and TJ were so very present with Fitzgerald.  At 20 months old, life can get rough, especially with a crazy lady waving a minion and little snake in front of her camera.  They were both so very patient and gave little Fitzgerald just what he needed, when he needed it.  Whether it was snuggling up with mom or watching Thomas the Train with dad (thank you modern technology), shouting and cheering when he sat down on a stool by himself (be still my  heart), it’s very evident that these are two very involved parents and he is one loved little boy.

Thank you Sarah and TJ for showing the world what it’s like to be loving parents.  For putting your kiddos first.  I know that it probably seems normal to you, but I promise your ordinary is someone else’s extraordinary.



The Bregger Family | Bella Via

Family Session


Starbucks is usually where most of the magic in this world happens. Countless conversations that have taken place inside their walls have blossomed into business ventures and lasting friendships.

And in the case of Kim and I? Both.

As she was nearing the end of her time working for corporate America, she was searching for what she could do from home. Knowing that I am a photographer and content creator for big blogs, she reached out asking how to get started. As I talked, she wrote down everything she could

I remember feeling absolutely humbled when I walked away from that Starbucks. There I was, just doing what I was doing to help provide for my family (and have fun doing it) not realizing the impact I was having on someone else. Kim (and Jordan) have jumped in with both feet into the world of content creating and watching their passions collide into one crazy, blessed adventure has been inspiring.

I know there are going to be days when you’re pushing the boulder so hard up the hill and it’s might feel like you’re not going anywhere. Keep pushing! You never know when the top of the hill is going to appear…and then you won’t be able to keep up!