One of my annual traditions around these parts is to post a nice recap of the year in photos. They range from road trips with friends, family pics, wedding, photoshoots and of course, storm images. It felt like a different year overall, a little more subdued, with spring chasing offering slightly less excitement this time around and a couple less weddings. But wow it was a blast of a year regardless!
The year kicked off at a little shoot with a former bride and groom from Australia and their new baby girl, and then I was off on a road trip with Jay, Jason and Andrew to Death Valley and the eastern Sierras. From there it was wedding season, then storm chasing on the plains, followed by epic haboob and lightning action across Arizona during the monsoon, and finally fall weddings and family portraits. Toss in some wonderful family moments, it was a year to remember.
It also marked my fourth year as a full-time photographer and it keeps getting better and better. I still feel incredibly blessed that I get to do this everyday.
Hope you enjoy this look back at some of my favorite images, including at least a photo from almost every wedding and family session!
Every now and then a couple comes along that blows your mind. Their kindness and thoughtfulness, their story, their passion, their love…it all just works in such a magical way. When Shelly called me and said she wanted to get married up at Horseshoe Bend in a little elopement ceremony with just Joe and her parents, I couldn’t wait. When she shared with me more of her story and how they had gotten to this point, I knew this was something extra special that doesn’t come along too often.
I was so excited about it that I told my three buddies in my text group, and immediately Jay Worsley offered to film it. He’d always wanted to shoot something like an elopement up there, and so I told Shelly about what Jay wanted to do and she was ALL-IN. And our buddy Jason Williams joined as well to help out with shooting, filming and being the baddest assistant ever.
The day was amazing. But for Shelly it started down in Phoenix at 5:30am with Pooja from Makiaj Beauty for hair and makeup. Which was spectacular by the way, Pooja ia amazing! Then they made the four hour drive up to Page and got to the hotel just in time to change super fast into wedding outfits, quickly do a first look and then get to Antelope Canyon for portraits. Our guide Tana was genius and incredible to watch, stopping all the onlookers from snapping photos of our bride and groom. She cleared people out and gave us room to work. Heaps of praises for her!
From there it was lunch and JUMBO margaritas at El Tapatio. They were a little TOO jumbo, but they were delicious! A short break after and we hit Horseshoe Bend for sunset.
The actual elopement was simple and beautiful. To have your own father perform the ceremony and your mother be a witness, it was incredibly moving. The vows, the words from her dad was perfection. You can hear them below in Jay’s video. We found a little spot and people were nice enough to keep their distance so we could have as much privacy as you can with 100’s of people everywhere.
Not many words left to describe this day. Shelly and Joe, thanks for trusting us and including us in such a huge moment of your life. And for all the love after, tagging us, creating graphics to share our websites and just being so complimentary. It goes without saying that we don’t get that kind of showering of praises too often!
And last, but not least…thank you for the cupcakes again. I would love another one right now please.
But in the meantime…here is a little look at their day, with lots more photos still to edit! And please, when you are done with the photos, watch Jay’s film embedded at the bottom. It’s incredible.
Chris and Gretchen from last night. A little stroll around downtown Phoenix. We knew the sky at sunset would be epic.
Love these two people, they know every cool hot spot downtown and even took me out to the Crescent Ballroom for a quick dinner after our shoot. Cannot wait to shoot their wedding at The Icehouse in May! Gonna be awesome!
I knew about 10 minutes into my first meeting with Dan and Stephanie that I wanted to shoot their wedding. They were so happy, so full of life and so excited to get married. I knew instantly that I loved these two people, what they believed in and what this new beginning meant for both of them.
Not to mention how cute they are. She’s a graphic designer and he’s been doing commercials and such for over 20 years. They certainly made the shoot easy on me!
We started off the day by hitting some areas of downtown Phoenix that were new to me, and then finished up over by South Mountain. Dan just had to get some shots with the Harley in it and I couldn’t have been more happy about it. The thing is a beast, he got it all detailed before the shoot and it shined like it was brand new.
Had an awesome time guys, can’t wait for the wedding in May! Going to be epic fun!