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Introducing Kaitlyn & Peter Woodward

On Saturday, December 16, 2017, Kaitlyn Ayers and Peter Woodward were married in the Gilbert, Arizona, temple.   Their beautiful reception was later that night at the Audubon Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.  

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Introducing Alena & Rubiago Silveira

Bride, Alena, went on her mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Brazil.  Groom, Rubiago,  was born and raised in Brazil.  Ironically, that is NOT where they met!  But when love is meant to be, two people manage to find each other, even if they are a country apart.  From the minute I met these two I could see the intense and enduring love they have for each other.  It was such an honor to capture their special day.  On Thursday, December 14, 2017, Alena Porter married Rubigo Luccas Silveira in the Gilbert, Arizona temple for time and all eternity.  Congratulations to a couple that is as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside!

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Introducing Kris & Jason Moyes

I have been photographing Kristin Robison and her family for ten years.  I have loved watching her cute kids grow and change over the years and have become friends with Kristin.  She is one amazing woman!   When she called me to tell me she was getting remarried in New Port beach, California,  I was over-the-moon excited for her.  It was so fun meeting her groom, Jason Moyes, and his four great kids too.  Blending a new family of 10 may be a challenge, but I can see so much love between Kris and Jason and I know they will make it work.  And check out how cute they all are!  

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Introducing Mallory & Nathan Judd

On October 28, 2017, Mallory Tibbetts and Nathan Judd were sealed in the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple.  It was such a pleasure working with this cute couple and their families.  Congratulations you two, wishing you a world of happiness and wedded bliss!

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Introducing Eric & Andee Soza

In Mesa the Waldie family is a quite infamous!  Five years ago, five of their eight kids all got married on the same day!  It was a big event that made all the local papers and news.  You can read about it here.   On August  17, 2017, I had the honor of working with youngest sister Andee, and her groom, Eric Soza, on their beautiful wedding. Eric and Andee are both studying to become accountants, but they are anything but stuffy.  They are all about fun and games and you can see it in every detail of their reception.  Take a peek at their big day:

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The Fabulous Mrs. Sassy

If you live in Mesa you have probably  heard of Sassy’s cafe on Main Street between Greenfield and Val Vista.  If not, stop what you are doing right now and head over there and treat yourself to an amazing meal, delicious confection, or amazing unique cake.  Your taste buds will thank you!  The owner of Sassy’s is my beautiful, talented friend Melody Larsen.  To know Melody is to love her.  She is the sweetest, kindest woman, and her laugh is so infectious.  For her 25th anniversary we headed out to the Salt River to create a fun album for her husband.  

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Introducing Elder Ben Udall

I have been working with the amazing Udall family for years.  Three years ago I got to photograph Addison and Will just before they left on their missions (you can view them HERE) and now it is little brother, Ben’s turn.  In July Ben is leaving for a two year mission to the Marshal Islands for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Good luck Ben!  

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Introducing Alex & Brooke Koutoudis

have shot at Villa Siena many times over the years, but this was one of my favorites weddings there.  On Friday, May 19th Alexander Koutoudis married the beautiful Brooke Abbatantuono at Villa Siena in Gilbert Arizona.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your perfect day!  Congratulations Brooke & Alex.

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Introducing Drew & Jenna Farnsworth

If you live in Arizona, you know that our weather can be crazy!  It can rain cats and dogs one minute and be totally sunny an hour later.  We can have a haboob or monsoon sweep through the valley covering everything in its path with dark clouds, dust and rain, downed trees, and then the sun will pop out like nothing happened.  But on this day, February 18th we experienced something that I havn not seen many times in my twelve years of shooting weddings.  We had an entire day of rain!  Not just a little rain, but rain every minute of the day, the kind of rain that turns parking lots into swimming pools.  The kind of rain that could make a bride cry. . . especially when she has spent months planning a beautiful back yard reception.  But, you know what they say, “rain on your wedding day is good luck!”  A quick move to the beautiful Superstition Manor reception center saved the day.  Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.  So that is exactly what Drew and Jenna did!

Luckily we had a beautiful sunny day on the day we shot their formal bridal portraits.  Drew’s reaction to seeing Jenna in her wedding dress for the first time is absolutely priceless. 

Here is Drew’s story of how they met: “The ongoing debate on how we first met still exists, Jenna believes it was just a group hang out, I however was convinced it was a date. After a fun night of Dutch Brothers, adventuring to the lake, and driving around Fountain Hills neither of us wanted to leave so we made sure to set up a second date for the next day, and that’s how it all began. After that I don’t think we ever went more than 1 day without seeing each other, we just couldn’t get enough!

From then on it was movie nights and soda runs until the day came when I knew I had fallen in love with the girl of my dreams. After a long day with a lot going on, seeing her was the only thing that mattered. I couldn’t imagine my life without her and that’s when I knew it was time. I decided to take her back to fountain hills where we first met and ask her to spend the rest of eternity with me. And the rest is history.”

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Fashion Friday: What to Wear?

The question I get asked most often from my amazing clients is, “What should we wear?” So I thought I would blog about it.   Everyone wants to look great in photos, especially formal family portraits that will likely hang on your wall for years, or even decades.  Of course, we all want to look our best, thinnest, and most fashionable.  So here are a few tips to making yourself, and your family look their very best:

Suggestion #1:

Stick with mainly solid colors.  This will bring the attention to your faces.  However, you do not need to completely avoid pattern.  To add a splash of pattern to your photos, a handy trick for those who are hesitant to break away from the monotone monochrome is to choose one patterned item (for example a beautiful floral dress for your daughter, or fun multi-colored striped sweater for your son) and then select the color pallet for the rest of the family’s clothing from colors within the patterned piece.

Suggestion #2:

Who doesn’t want to look their thinnest in photos?  Long pants and long sleeves elongate arms and legs and are most flattering on nearly everyone.  Additionally, V-necks tend to be more flattering.  Large areas of bare skin draw attention away from the face.

Suggestion #3:

You do not need to match!  Yes, limiting your color pallet will help bring attention to your faces, but that doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be wearing the exact same color, or shade of that color.  Or that everyone needs to be in matching Polo shirts.  Coordinate outfits: Everyone in the portrait should wear items that complement each other in style and color.  Think of all the clothing in the photo as being one outfit, will they all coordinate and look good together?  Also, imagine various groupings that we will shoot (the entire family, just mom and dad, just the kids, etc.)  Will each grouping look good together?

If you are hesitant to try patterns, one thing I have seen a lot lately is a family selecting one or two colors, but then everyone is wearing a different shade of that color.  That way there is variation and cohesiveness.  Also, adding in some splashes of an accent color and textures really adds depth to your pictures without adding distraction.

Another great look can be to pick a color theme.  Such as spring colors, primary colors, or muted autumnal shades.  That way you don’t have that “we are twins” look, but you still have a cohesive style.  (*See below for some color pallet suggestions. )

Regarding which colors are best, my philosophy is that if you feel good, you will look good.  So wear colors that you love and feel good in.  However, that being said, white is one of my least favorite colors to photograph (unless it is a wedding dress of course!)  I am not saying that it is forbidden, but  it washes a lot of people out.  Additionally, it reflects the color surrounding it.  In other words if you are sitting near someone wearing red, part of your white shirt may now look pink.  But don’t completely avoid white,  splashes of it are a nice accent.

Suggestion #4:

Be comfortable!  I know that sometimes you want a more formal portrait, and that is fine.  But I have photographed a lot of families over the years and the universal theme is that if everyone feels comfortable, they LOOK comfortable, and happier, in the photos.  If you are too hot, you will be sweaty, which isn’t attractive.  If your son tells you that the shirt is hurting his arms, he will be pulling at the arms of his shirt the entire shoot.  Everyone should be as relaxed and happy as possible.

Suggestion #5:

Don’t wear shirts with logo’s.  Not only do they date a portrait, but they will also draw the eye of the viewer directly to the logo rather than the subject of the portraits.

Suggestion #6:

Pay attention to the details.  A great chunky necklace or beautiful scarf can really add an unexpected pop to your photos.  And don’t forget the shoes.  Although I LOVE close up shots, when photographing a large group we often have to get the shoes in the frame to accommodate all the people.   And if someone is wearing their oldest, ratty tennis shoes, it will show.   Or if everyone is wearing darker colors and then there is one pair of shiny, bright  white shoes they will attract all the attention.

Always remember, clothing that blends harmoniously creates timeless portraiture because the viewer’s eye goes directly to the faces.

Here are a few clothing ideas.

Spring Samples:


Summer Samples:


Fall Samples:

Winter & Holiday Samples:

This post was really targeted toward family and group photos,  for any non-group photo: senior portraits, engagement photos, newborn or children portraits, etc.  the rules change.  When you have a large family group you really need to draw attention to the faces or the photo seems too disjointed and chaotic.  However, when photographing just one person, or even a couple, you can show more of your personality through your clothing.  Look to magazine ads and commercials for a look you love that you can replicate.   Also, add props and other items that represent your personality.  Photography is no longer you alone in front of a brown backdrop sitting on a stool.  Go outdoors to your favorite local.  Bring your skateboard and favorite shirt and show us what you got!

From now on, once a month I will be blogging FASHION FRIDAY: WHAT TO WEAR? So keep your eyes open for future fun fashion posts.

If you enjoyed this entry, I would love to hear your comments!  Just click on “comments” below. . .

*Also, now, you can subscribe to my blog and be notified by email each time there is a new entry. Just scroll back up to the top of this page and click on one of the subscribe buttons.  Look for articles on how to dress for the best photos, how to look thinner in your photos, and all sorts of wedding tricks and tips.

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