I have a little secret, I have a big soft spot for adult family gatherings. I grew up in a family that used to gather every Sunday at my Grandmother’s house in Trion, GA. She made a feast that was so large, it could have fed 50 people, instead of the 10 people who attended. We did that up until I was 14, and then my mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed within a year. When mom was sick, she didn’t have the energy to make the 20-mile road trip to Granny’s house, so we stopped the tradition. I suppose it was grief and the fact that my brother and sister had married and moved on after mom had passed, but we never had those family gatherings again. During those years after, I missed my uncles, aunts, and cousins, but I suppose, life went on. I went to college and then moved to Arizona after I graduated. I didn’t even know what I was truly missing out on until I was much older.
When I started to regularly photography family gatherings, it hit me like a brick wall. These relationships, these moments, you never get them back. At every shoot, I’d soak in the laughter and giggles, and even sometimes the tears as I reminisced on moments of my own family’s memories lost. I love these shoots and it’s so nice to capture these moments for families. I know they’ll cherish these moments in 40 years, even more than they do now.
I love spending the morning with the Berthelsen Family in Oak Creek. This little piece of paradise has always been a reminder of home, with the cool streams and beautiful riparian environment. Plus, this family was just so happy to be together, to smile and laugh and reminisce. Thank you for having me as part of your family history 🙂 ~ Melissa
It’s been over a month since I’ve posted any of my work to my website. The first quarter of 2017 was the busiest I’ve ever been in ten years and I’m so grateful to all my clients with trusting me with their memories. And then there came new equipment to learn and new computers to install, a new employee to train and priorities were just redirected. Being a full-time photographer for the past ten years in Flagstaff has been a blessing. But, I’m always amazed at how much time I spend doing other things than actually photographing. When I had college photography interns, that was their greatest disappointment, they were not using their camera. I crunched the numbers one afternoon and found out that I only click my camera shutter about 12% of my working time. While it wasn’t a surprise to me, seeing that small number stare back at me was an eye-opener to how I spend my time. However, I’m getting into a rhythm now and I wanted to kick off my return to posting with one of my most cherished clients, the Byers Family.
Amee has been my hairstylist for the past ten years and owns Shanti Salon here in Flagstaff. When I’m in her chair, I feel loved and with a friend. Her husband, Thomas, owns Thomas Byers Guitar Studios and teaches music to students and adults in Flagstaff. I’ve been with this couple every step of the way from their wedding to their first baby, Cohen and their rescue dog Maple. Amee and her family are now expecting their new little boy any day now and I can’t wait to meet this little angel! I love that they are going to wait to name him until they get to meet him face to face. What a lucky soul to have chosen these kind and loving people to be its parents. Congrats! I can’t wait to see him! ~Melissa
Amee chose the gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon as her backdrop and it was so fun watching Cohen play in the creek while we did her photos. If you’ve never been to Oak Creek, I highly recommend you go, but on a weekday. The secret is out about this enchanting slice of Arizona and the weekends are crowded and chaotic. Amee’s rose colored maternity gown was gorgeous and her gold headband enchanting. Amee has always been very stylish! Amee was even brave enough to step into the creek for a few photos despite the creek being freezing! (Snow melt is very cold, lol). Thanks for being so adventurous Amee!
Congrats to the Byers Family! I can’t wait to see him! ~Melissa
George and Julia wanted to celebrate the arrival of their little girl by having maternity photos at the gorgous Slide Rock State Park. They live in Phoenix, but have always loved the red rocks of Sedona, and especially Slide Rock. Kristen and I had never done a photo session there before (I know-I have no idea how it has evaded us all these years!) and were particurally excited to shoot there. When Julia texted us her outfit choices for the day, we became even more excited. That red dress!! She looked absolutely gorgeous and we loved that she was adventurous and got into the water! The day was not without some drama, however, as we were escorted out by the State Park officials. It seems that we got so caught up in the session that we lost track of time and were in danger of getting locked into the park after closing. But, it was totally worth it! Congrats Julia and George! Thank you for choosing us as your photographers!
On a beautiful fall day in Sedona, Sarah and John were married at a picturesque home in Oak Creek Canyon surrounded by their closest friends and family. Sarah, who makes custom jewelry, wore a piece she made just for her day and it was spectacular. Her Anne Barge gown, simple and classic, was perfection. Shawn at Foster Wright Floral Design designed Sarah’s gorgeous bouquet and the ceremony and reception area flowers. The ceremony was so sweet and everyone at the intimate ceremony found themselves tearing up at the authentic vows.
After the ceremony, I spent some time hiking along a creek near the property with the couple and their dog, Juniper. Juniper is a gorgeous black German Shepherd who has been with Sarah since she was a puppy. In fact, Sarah met June when she was just a few weeks old when Sarah had been asked to help socialize a litter of puppies. (That has to be the best job in the world!) June, of course, spent most of her time in the creek, and we laughed at her antics. The couple was so sweet to photograph, you could really see their love for one another through the lens.
It was an amazing day and I was so honored to have been there for Sarah and John. Congrats you two!
Venue and Reception: Private Home inn Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona
Photography: Tangled Lilac Photography
Wedding Gown: Anne Barge
Bridal Jewerly: Sarah Walker Jewerly
Floral Design: Foster Wright Floral Design
Caterer: Simply Delicious
We met Josette and Brett in Oak Creek Canyon on a beautiful fall day. This was our first time meeting them in person since we Skyped for our consultation, so we were very excited! Josette and Brett are such a cute couple, always have a smile on their face and make each other laugh. They had a very calm fun loving vibe about them. We look forward to spending more time with them at their wedding in May at Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona. Congratulations you two! Enjoy your engagement!
Kim and Tim celebrated their wedding day at the beautiful El Portal and Segner Ranch in Sedona, Arizona. The bride and groom were surrounded by their closest family and friends at their outdoor ceremony and reception. The guests were treated to an amazing English garden reception. The design and floral were perfect for the occasion, lots of bright whimsical floral and decor. Kim and Tim, we wish you years of love and happiness! Thank you for letting us share in your special day! ~Kristen
Coordination and Design: Kim Duncan Event Designs
Floral: Bliss Floral
Catering: Big Foot BBQ
Venues: El Portal and Segner Ranch
Photography: Tangled Lilac Photography