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August 03, 2018
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You may have figured out a few things about me by now.

1. I live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world.  The forests of Flagstaff, the red rocks of Sedona, and one of the seven wonders of the world that is the Grand Canyon are where I get to play.

2. I’m lucky enough to get to spend my days preserving memories for brides and grooms with the jaw-dropping backdrops these natural playgrounds provide.

One of the most frustrating things for me is the lack of information about how to elope to the Grand Canyon. I get lots of emails and phone calls from couples from all over the world trying to navigate their way towards marital bliss at the Grand Canyon, but by the time they find me, they are usually confused.  Well, I am about to right a wrong.

What You Need to Know to Get Married at the Grand Canyon

Let me begin by saying you can’t just show up and get married at the Grand Canyon. It requires a permit and only certain locations are available for weddings – whether you are eloping by yourselves or traveling with an entourage.

If you have questions or want help getting your permits, email me at melissa@tangledlilac.com. I am happy to walk you through the process of planning your Grand Canyon wedding and give you tips on how to start the process.  I even know some great planners who can help you along the way.

How to Get a Permit for Your Grand Canyon Wedding Ceremony

Click here to review the National Park Service guidelines for getting married at the Grand Canyon.  

Click here to get the actual permit to get married at the Grand Canyon.

Allow FOUR WEEKS to get the application processed. Email your Grand Canyon wedding permit application to grca_permits_mail@nps.gov.

Grand Canyon Wedding Special Use Permit Fees

The Grand Canyon is entrusted to the care of the National Park Service. As such, there are fees to help maintain and preserve the natural lands for future generations.

Permit fees are based on an annual cost recovery analysis conducted by Commercial Services. These fees include the cost of permit processing, administration and the basic monitoring of events. 

Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fees for 2018:

  • General Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fee  – $140
  • Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fee for Shoshone Point – $420
  • Grand Canyon Wedding Permit Fee for Shrine of the Ages – $230
  • Extended Day Hiking – $175

Some additional information about Grand Canyon wedding permit fees:

1. Do not include payment information on your application submission. You will receive detailed online payment instructions after the receipt of your application.

2. Larger events or other special uses that require additional management and/or administrative time will incur additional fees at $65.00 per hour.

3. Remember to allow FOUR WEEKS for processing.

How to Get a Marriage License for Your Grand Canyon Wedding

Typically, your officiant will help you obtain your marriage licenseYou’ll need someone authorized to perform a Grand Canyon wedding in Arizona.  

If you need help finding an officiant for your ceremony, please call Phil or Gwen at Arizona Ministers.  They are the sweetest, most caring individuals and I know you’ll love working with them.  

Here is how to get your marriage license:

Getting Your Marriage License in Person

In Arizona, both parties have to show up in person to get the marriage license.  

Flagstaff and Williams are popular choices due to the proximity to the Grand Canyon. Click here for a link to marriage license information in Coconino County.  

In Phoenix, click here to make an appointment to get your marriage license.   

If you are traveling from Las Vegas, you’ll have to wait until you get to Arizona to get your marriage license.

From the Clark County Website:

Nevada marriage licenses are only valid within the State of Nevada. Marriage ceremonies must be conducted within Nevada’s borders and may not be conducted within another state or country. It is recommended that ceremonies conducted in the air or water be restated, with witness, once back on Nevada soil.”  

Also, you have to get the license in person at Clerk at a Clark County Marriage Bureau location. I find this last fact extremely funny because it throws all the romantic comedies out the window. My favorite movie is “What Happened in Vegas” and it makes me sad it couldn’t be real, lol. {sigh}

Getting Your Marriage License by Mail

Mohave County allows a marriage license by mail for US citizens only, with some restrictions

Click here for a copy of the marriage license application you can print out, fill out and mail in  

It’s all happily ever after once you get your application processed and have your marriage license in hand, right?

Well, not quite. There are only certain spots available for weddings at the Grand Canyon. And you’ll need a list of vendors that will travel to the Grand Canyon to provide services.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing how to pick the perfect Grand Canyon wedding spot and exactly what you need to know to plan the perfect Grand Canyon wedding.

Stay tuned. When I’m done, you’ll have everything you need to make your special day the day of your dreams.

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July 30, 2018
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Meet Alvin and Cheryl. They came all the way from Singapore to get married at one of the seven wonders of the world.  Shoshone Point is not only one of my favorite spots, it also happens to be a favorite of couples eloping to the Grand Canyon.

Eloping to Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon

Couples interested in eloping to the Grand Canyon should know that you can’t just show up. Permits are needed and fees must be paid. You’ll also want to make sure and arrange any services (like a great wedding photographer 😉) ahead of time.

Shoshone Point lies at the end of a jutting peninsula East of The Village. Every location at the Grand Canyon has stunning views, but Shoshone Point provides the most spectacular.

There is a large Ramada complete with BBQ and restrooms at the point that can be reserved from May to October, making it the perfect spot for wedding ceremonies.

Getting to Shoshone Point

Take the Desert View Drive 1.2 miles east of Yaki Point (just beyond mile marker 244). Find the unmarked pull off on the north side of the road. Park and begin your journey to magical views with an unrivaled display of colors.

The trailhead to Shoshone Point is about one mile each way. The path follows a fairly flat graded dirt road. It is slightly uphill on the way in which makes getting out a bit easier.  With your wedding permit, you’ll be given the code to the gate and have the opportunity to drive up the road and park near the rim.

One of the best reasons to pay the extra fees to secure Shoshone Point is it will seem as if you have the canyon to yourself.

It is so much fun hanging out with a couple that is giddy with excitement. You can see how much they adore each other and how much fun they have together in the pictures.

Alvin and Cheryl made it easy to capture stunning pictures. They were naturally at ease in front of the camera. In fact, I’m pretty sure they forgot I was even there.

 

Luckily they were not afraid of heights because the ceremony and many of the photos were right on the edge of the Canyon. It’s important that you work with a wedding photographer that knows the Grand Canyon. As the sun begins to set, the shadows often create false ledges, so be careful!

In the end, though, you will have breathtaking images that will capture this special time.

The best time of day for pictures is an hour before sunset, which also happens to be the hottest time of day. Make sure and bring plenty of water and some good walking shoes.

Consider the heat and the hike when choosing your wedding garb. Some people choose to change into their finery after the long hike.

I always make a point of including some black and white images when I photograph a wedding. It may seem odd to photograph the Grand Canyon and its beautiful array of colors in black and white, but there is a timeless feeling that is difficult to reproduce in full-color images.

Alvin and Cheryl were such good sports. They were so happy to be getting married at the Grand Canyon, they didn’t mind all the little extras it took to get just the right shot.

They are one of those couples that makes you love being in love. It’s infectious.

Congratulations, Alvin and Cheryl! I am so grateful to have been witness to such a beautiful day.

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July 09, 2018
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Sweet, sweet summertime in Flagstaff.  It’s my absolute favorite time of year. Now, I know that I say that about every season in Flagstaff, but that is because I love the season I’m in.

To celebrate my favorite time of year, I am scheduling mini-summer sessions. While I am having a hard time narrowing down the spot (because there are so many great ones to choose from), I can guarantee you the backdrop will be stunning in a way only Flagstaff can deliver.

Flagstaff Summer Mini-Photo Sessions

Each session includes:

  • One planning meeting via telephone or in person
  • 30-minute photo session in Flagstaff
  • Up to 20 proofs to choose from
  • In-person photo review session in my downtown studio OR an online gallery that will be live for one week

Three summer mini-photo session packages are available to choose from:

  • Package A: $99 + tax – One digital image or $99 Print Credit
  • Package B: $249 + tax – Five digital images or $249 print credit
  • Package C: $399 + tax – All digital images or $399 print credit

Prints start at $75 and are all mounted on matboard and printed on matte archival paper.

Mini-sessions are my most popular offering and they always sell out. Call 928-774-0220 or email me at melissa@tangledlilac.com to secure your spot today.  Please note, a $49 payment is required to book the session and will be applied to any package. Your payment is refunded if canceled 72 hours prior to your session.

3 Reasons I Love Flagstaff Summers

There are many more than three reasons why I love Flagstaff in the summer. In fact, I could probably talk about this topic all day long.

Many people look to the fall to showcase the vibrant colors of the city. But personally, I love photographing in summer. Summer represents a slowing down and a little more play. And there is no escaping that everything is alive. The gardens are growing, the grass is greener,  and the flowers are plentiful.

Here are just a few reasons I love Flagstaff summers.

1. The hiking, biking and summer cocktails on the patio.

Everything happens outside in Flagstaff during the summer. Hiking or biking in a Ponderosa pine forest surrounded by the beautiful Aspens is breathtaking. There is beauty all around and I have no trouble getting lost in a lovely daydream. I regularly take my dogs into the forest for their morning walks and the smell of pine and the warmth of the sun never fail to start my day on a positive note.

2. There is always something going on downtown.

Flagstaff’s historic downtown is something very special. During the summer there are Movies on the Square, Musical Acts and local events showcasing local talent. It’s always full of activity and laughter. While some might think it can get a bit crowded, I love to see locals and visitors hanging out downtown. I firmly believe it is summertime that keeps the city alive.

3. The smell and cool air from a summer Monsoon

Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the smell of this wonderful mountain town following a monsoon shower. People in Flagstaff don’t shy away from the monsoon rain, they revel in it – myself included. I appreciate the need to feed the forest, the beautiful flowers and to help keep fire danger low. But there is something a bit magical about a gentle rain falling and slowing down the whole town.

I hope you’ll join me so we can pay tribute to summer together. Maybe the reasons why you love summer are different than mine, but the photos from our session together will always serve as a tribute to the season the keeps Flagstaff thriving.

Once again … here are those details.

Flagstaff Summer Mini-Photo Sessions

Each session includes:

  • One planning meeting via telephone or in person
  • 30-minute photo session in Flagstaff
  • Up to 20 proofs to choose from
  • In-person photo review session in my downtown studio OR an online gallery that will be live for one week

Three summer mini-photo session packages are available to choose from:

  • Package A: $99 + tax – One digital image or $99 Print Credit
  • Package B: $249 + tax – Five digital images or $249 print credit
  • Package C: $399 + tax – All digital images or $399 print credit

Prints start at $75 and are all mounted on mat board and printed on matte archival paper.

Mini-sessions are my most popular offering and they always sell out. Call 928-774-0220 or email me at melissa@tangledlilac.com to secure your spot today.  Please note, a $49 payment is required to book the session and will be applied to any package. Your payment is refunded if canceled 72 hours prior to your session.

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May 12, 2018
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Meet Rio. Rio is an energetic, lovable and mild-tempered Portuguese water dog. Rio’s mom teaches at NAU and loves coming home to her best friend every day.

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People who know me often say that I appear more comfortable with animals than I am with people. They are not entirely wrong. Documenting the love between humans and their furry friends through pet photography may just be my favorite thing – ever.

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Because Rio has so much personality, I created this little slide show. It’s something I offer as part of pet photography sessions.

 

About Portuguese Water Dogs

Portuguese Water Dogs come from Algarve – a coastal region in the south of Portugal. Cão de água as the Portuguese Water Dog is known as in Portugal literally translates to “dog of water.”

The dogs are like shepherd dogs. But instead of herding farm animals, they herd fish. The dogs were trained to drive fish into the fishermen’s nets, retrieve broken nets, and act as a courier between ships.

Portuguese Water Dogs rode in fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the Atlantic waters of Portugal to the waters off the coast of Iceland where the fleets caught cod.

Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their non-shedding quality and became famous when President and Mrs. Obama adopted two of the breed – Bo and Sunny.

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Why Portuguese Water Dog Makes Good Pets

Did you know dogs can have a sense of humor? I did. And this breed has a very good one. During their fish-herding days, Portuguese Water Dogs were part of the crew. They ate with the crew, were often paid for their services and spent their free time hanging out with their work families. They are prone to acting silly and will repeat behaviors when their audience laughs.

Of course, Rio embodied these traits which is why his pet photography session was so much fun. It’s also why he was captured so beautifully on the images.

Portuguese Water Dogs are fairly easy to train. Some can have an independent streak, so training early (like with any dog) is the best way to ensure success. They respond to praise and treats. Harsh discipline and voices should be kept to a minimum. Personally, I believe that is true for every animal.

This breed has a desire to please. Use that desire to train this well-tempered, well-behaved beauty.
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Behavioral traits of the Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water dogs are chewers, and while trainable curbing this behavior can be a challenge. They also get very excited when their owner comes home or visitors come to the house. This excitement often turns into jumping or presenting the visitor with a toy or some other object as a gift.

The breed is also known for its separation anxiety. The anxiety is easily addressed with a plethora of chew toys and plenty of exercise before being left alone. The chew toys may just save your furniture or favorite pair of shoes because chewing is how they express anxiety. Dog,Dunstan,Portugese,

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May 07, 2018
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Abby, Parker and only their closest friends made the trek from Colorado to Sedona for their big day

Sedona is known for its beautiful scenery and spectacular hiking, but a lesser known sport is its epic mountain biking. When Abby and Parker were considering locations for their intimate wedding, these avid mountain bikers wanted to include their favorite activity.

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Why Couples Choose Sedona as a Wedding Destination?

While Abby and Parker chose Sedona because it would allow them to partake in their favorite past-time, there are other reasons why couples choose Sedona to tie the knot.

1. The Spiritual Energy

Surrounded by the beauty of the red rocks, Sedona has vortexes that are swirling with a subtle energy from the earth. People have been traveling to Sedona specifically to absorb the energy of the vortexes for centuries.

If mystical energy sounds appealing, you can participate in a wedding week retreat or just a day tour to spiritually prepare you for your next chapter.

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2. Down to Earth and Stress-Free

Sedona is the perfect destination for a beautiful and elegant wedding without all the fuss. The pace of life in Sedona is a little slower than most places. Sedona, with all her beauty and magic, is a great reminder to couples of what’s really important at this time – each other.

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3. Sedona is an Outdoor Enthusiast’s Mecca

With hundreds of trails for hiking and mountain biking and a creek for fishing, if you love the outdoors, you will love Sedona. Trails vary in difficulty from easy to challenging and provide a variety of views of the surrounding landscape. Some couples even choose to hike to their favorite spot to exchange their vows.

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4. The Spectacular Red Rocks and All Their Glory

There is no denying that the picturesque backdrops and the dramatic scenery attract visitors of all kinds. You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to appreciate what Sedona has to offer.

The funny thing, though, when couples are exchanging their vows the scenery doesn’t matter. Just look at how Abby and Parker get lost in each other during their vows.

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I simply adore small, intimate weddings because I always leave feeling part of the family. There is something to be said for sharing an intimate moment with those that matter the most. The emotion, love, and support for the couple shine through to the images that I capture.

Look at the images of the family and friends that traveled with Abby and Parker to celebrate with them. The love is pure and beautiful. I can still feel the love of the group as I look back on these photos. 2018-02-14_0011.jpg
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It is easy to say couples choose Sedona because of its beauty. There are no words that truly do Sedona justice. And truthfully, the images don’t do it justice either. As breathtaking as Sedona looks in the images you see, it is even more glorious when you experience it in person.

There is something about Sedona that is timeless, just like a marriage should be. Maybe there is something to those magical, mystical vortexes after all.

Abby and Parker, may the magic of the vortexes bring you many years of happiness. Thank you for choosing me to be a part of your special day.

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April 24, 2018
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This week, my friend Kim Yuhl asked if she could write about her headshot session. To be honest, I don’t remember how Kim and I met. It seems like we’ve known each other forever.

That’s sort of how things work in Flagstaff. You meet someone somewhere and you instantly become friends.

Kim is a small business digital marketing specialist and freelance writer and needed new headshots for her business.

Before I turn it over to Kim, I want to remind you that I am running a headshot photography session promotion.

Take Your Best Shot – Literally

Every Monday in April, join me in my downtown studio or at downtown Flagstaff outside location for a 15-minute headshot photography session. After we create some magic together, you’ll receive a polished high-resolution image to use online, in your marketing and wherever a good photo is required.

Here are the details:

  • The 15-minute sessions are available on April 9, 16, 23 and 30
  • You’ll have access to an online gallery to select your image
  • Package includes one image – additional photos can be purchased
  • The cost is $99

Let’s schedule something:

Click here to book your headshot session or call 928-774-0220

Without further ado, here is Kim …

Hey there!

I asked Melissa to let me hijack her blog, so I can tell you about my headshot session. I knew she wouldn’t ask me or any of her clients to do something like this because she doesn’t like to impose like that.

Here’s something you should know …

I never truly understood the value of a good headshot.

My guess is, you don’t either.

In fact, I started and sold two businesses using selfies, press photos and random images in my profiles. After selling the second business, I started helping other small businesses grow their digital footprints.

One day it dawned on me that maybe I needed to take the advice I was giving to my clients. That advice is …

Your Image is Everything

It is how people will know whether they like you or not if there is a connection and if they can trust you.

So, I took a deep breath and called Melissa to set something up.

You see, why most people view me as outgoing, I am most comfortable hiding out at home in my sweats. I am not comfortable being the center of attention and certainly did not look forward to being in front of a camera.

I think that is one reason I procrastinated getting them done. The other reason is the cost.

I mean, how much of a difference will a good headshot make and is it worth the investment? Well, the short answer is yes.

Yes, it is worth the investment and it makes a HUGE difference.

 

My Professional Headshot Session

First, you should know that my headshot session was scheduled with Melissa and her former partner Kristen. And while both were friendly and kind, it was Melissa that put me at ease, made me feel comfortable in uncomfortable positions and made me feel pretty.

I had a session that included both in studio and downtown Flagstaff images. I did bring a few different tops and accessories. Melissa had me wear what she knew would work well on camera.

Her directions were simple to follow and within a just a few minutes I felt like a “natural.” Let me be honest, I am so not a natural, but Melissa made me feel like I was. And honestly, I think it is that feeling that you see in my images.

I am surprised at how many different images she was able to get in such a short period of time. I was also surprised at how a subtle shift in your shoulder or your chin can completely transform how you look in a photo.

I still use those tricks today – or at least I try to remember to use them because when I don’t it is noticeable and not in a good way.

The bottom line, my time with Melissa in her studio was some of the best time and money spent on my business. It is also an investment that keeps giving back.

A Great Headshot is Timeless

My session was over two years ago, and I still use my headshots. I use them as my profile pictures on several social media platforms. I use them on my website to introduce myself to my visitors. And I use them as part of my email signature in various communications.

Here’s the thing. My headshots still look great – if I do say so myself. They look current and have stood the test of time. Most importantly though, they make me look good.

It has dawned on me that I might need to get a new set of photos taken. But I’m not in Flagstaff anymore and it will just have to wait until I am. I’m not sure I can trust anyone other than Melissa to take my photo. And neither should you.

Trust me, you will never regret having a great professional headshot. You may regret having to pay full price for them, though. Don’t let Melissa’s deal pass you by. Here are the details again:

Take Your Best Shot – Literally

Every Monday in April, join me in my downtown studio or at downtown Flagstaff outside location for a 15-minute headshot photography session. After we create some magic together, you’ll receive a polished high-resolution image to use online, in your marketing and wherever a good photo is required.

Here are the details:

  • The 15-minute sessions are available on April 9, 16, 23 and 30
  • You’ll have access to an online gallery to select your image
  • Package includes one image – additional photos can be purchased
  • The cost is $99

Call and schedule something today:

Click here to book your headshot session or call 928-774-0220.

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