They say that babies are the closest to heaven as you can get. I take this advice quite literally and often ask these sweet little ones what heaven was like. I always get a laugh out of the parents, but I secretly think our smallest humans might have all the answers if they could only communicate. Sometimes, the sweet little angels look at me with the most serious gaze and I feel like they desperately want to tell me details. Little Gracie had that look and I could almost feel the heavenly love permeate through her.
Welcome to the world sweet girl. xoxo ~Melissa
Laura and TJ met two decades ago when TJ hired Laura for a job at a video store. TJ said he hired her because he fell in love with her instantly…her smile, laugh, and beauty immediately stole his heart. But, he said, it was her kindness, her strength and her boundless love for her family and others that made him love her forever. Laura and TJ were friends for a long time before they got engaged just two months ago. And once they realized the beautiful love that had grown between them, they didn’t want to waste any more time.
Originally, this sweet couple was going to get married on the San Francisco Peaks, but scheduling problems with their wedding party changed the plans and Laura and TJ decided to elope in Casa Grande and drove up immediately after for our photo shoot. It was Veteran’s Day, so traffic was heavy and they didn’t arrive in Flagstaff until just before sunset. We got some great photos downtown into the night, and the next day headed up to the peaks near Snowbowl for more.
I loved spending time with Laura and TJ and hearing about their love story. Congrats you two! Thank you for including me in your special day! ~ Melissa
The Casey family wanted to come to beautiful Sedona, Arizona for their annual family photos and who could blame them? The red rocks, beautiful vistas, and the gorgeous sunsets are unrivaled in the Southwest. I love shooting in Sedona because at every turn there’s something that will take your breath away. There are many reasons why so many people make the pilgrimage to Sedona…from acclaimed vortexes to the healing waters and sounds of Oak Creek to the peace you get when you find a trail all to yourself. If you’ve never been, make the trip!
Jessica and Gerry are expecting their second baby in December and big brother, Elvis the Bernese mountain dog, and big sister, Delaney are very excited! I loved the custom signs for Delaney and Elvis! But mostly, I adored how much this family loved one another. There’s nothing quite like being able to observe a close family and how they make each other laugh and smile. The Casey family were adventurous and wanted to go to the summit of the Sugarloaf trail and Jessica hiked it like a pro! The views were definitely worth the effort!
It was great meeting each of you! Thank you for coming to Sedona! xoxo ~ Melissa
The last time I photographed Lauryn she was two. Yep. Two. I remember it like it was yesterday. Fifteen years ago, my friend Pam (Lauryn’s mom) and I worked at the Summit Center. She had two adorable little girls and I had a new camera. So I took about twenty rolls of film (Yes! Film!!) to her home and photographed those two giggle boxes rolling around in piles of leaves. I’ve never had so much fun. Soon after, I was thinking about starting a photography business but scared out of my mind. Pam was always the one I turned to for reason. While she probably doesn’t know it, she talked me into purchasing my home in Flagstaff. I was obsessing…could I afford it…what if I couldn’t find a roommate…did I really want it…was I going to stay in Flagstaff, etc. Pretty much, I was paralyzed with indecision. “Why not?” she said, “Don’t be scared, just do it!” With no emotion, she just said it matter of fact. “If you don’t like it, you can sell it. What’s the big deal?“. So, the next thing I knew, I had a new home. And thirteen years later, I still live in that home. Pam coaxed me along my photography path in the same manner she did for my real estate fears. In 2005, I was on the fence. Should I leave the security of a great job? “Just go for it!“, she said. I obsessed. I made spreadsheets. I made pros and cons lists. I obsessed more. But, in the end, I followed my heart and I have Pam to thank for that.
Pam after my home purchase, Pam and I both quit our jobs. She went to work at the Northern Arizona University Marketing Department and I, well, I made the leap of faith to photography. We’ve both never looked back.
This session was special to me in many ways. I got to spend a couple of precious hours with an old friend I don’t see nearly enough, and I got to get to know her beautiful daughter once again. Thank you for taking a chance on me Pam, so many years ago. And congratulations Lauryn! You’re going to do great things with your life. Your contagious smile, your laughter, and your bright soul will lead you to much success! xoxo ~ Melissa
I’m not only lucky to have this beautiful family as clients, but also as friends. This family has been entwined in my life for over 13 years. (where does the time go??). It’s been quite the journey…from having Adam as my roommate in 2003, to him and Kristen dating, getting engaged, married and the birth of their sweet munchkin Kensie, not to mention all the wonderful, crazy moments in between all the milestones. We’ve all been through a lot together and they’ve all shared some of my most joyful, precious and even sad moments of my life. They were cheerleaders to me to start my own photography business in 2007 and I’ll always be so thankful for their support and love. I always look forward to photographing them and watching Kensie grow up really has been a privilege. It was wonderful spending the afternoon with them and their parents. Love all you lots!! xoxo ~ Melissa
I’ve known Miranda since she was about seven years old and I could hardly believe it when her Dad, Dave, called me for her senior photos. Dave and I have served on the board of Flagstaff Biking Organization together for a long time. It’s a bicycle advocacy group here in Flagstaff with a mission to get more people and kids on bikes for health and the environment. Specifically, he and I have a passion for Bike to Work Week and our elementary school children program of Bicycle Rodeos, which teaches safe riding for kids. Dave also recently retired from the Flagstaff Police Department and has participated in the Police Unity Tour for many years. I’ve always been thankful for his service and dedication to the public.
When I first met Miranda, she was just getting into mountain biking. I remember her first ‘race’ in downtown Flagstaff where she and her sister rode one mile and at the end, collected a medal with hundreds of other kids. Her big grin and laugh were contagious. While her Dad lived in Flagstaff, Miranda, and her sister live in Camp Verde, so a couple of years would go by before I would see them again. This was the case when Dave called for her senior session. When Miranda showed up for her photo shoot, I almost didn’t recognize her. She is no longer the little girl of my memory, but a beautiful and smart young lady. However, that gorgeous smile is still the same. Miranda will be graduating from Camp Verde High School this coming May and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for her. Congrats Miranda! xoxo ~ Melissa
We chose Red Rock Crossing State Park for her senior session. I love discovering old locations and being inspired by the changes in the landscape and foliage. I’m usually at this park as a Sedona Wedding Photographer, and it’s always wonderful to be able to photograph seniors and families at my favorite locations. I’m loving being a Camp Verde Senior Photographer this year and getting to know many of the students there!