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
I’m always so touched by thoughtful people, and this dad’s gesture was so sweet. Jeremy bought a gift certificate for his wife last fall, when they found out they were expecting little Sammy. In talking with him then, you could just see how excited they were on the arrival of their youngest son. Big brother, Tate, was loving the new role as well, and just lit up when he held his little brother. We chose a beautiful aspen grove, with gorgeous ferns, for their family shoot. The late afternoon light filtering through the trees was beautiful. Flagstaff really is a perfect place for family photos. I hope these photos bring you all a lifetime of memories! xoxo ~ Melissa
As Flagstaff family photographers, we love scouting out new locations, and sometimes, that involves finding locations that are sometimes overlooked. This session, of the fun Naleski family, was at a neighborhood park, the Jim Cullen Memorial Park, locally known as the Tree Park, located in Coconino Estates. We love using locations that are meaningful to families and being that the Naleski’s come to this park regurally, we knew these photos would always be special to them.
We loved that they brought their bikes, and how they embraced that little Grace had a cast from being an adventerous kid. There’s always a lot of laughs doing their photos and this session was no exception. It’s hard to believe that our first family session with the Naleski’s was when little Grace was an infant and Georgia was a sweet toddler. Boy, does time fly!
One of our favorite places to photograph familes in Flagstaff is at Aspen Corner. The gorgeous place is just off Snowbowl Road on your way to the ski hill, and looks great in any season. And summer, well, summer is our favorite three months in Flagstaff when the lupines and sunflowers really pop in photographs. Being a Flagstaff family photographer really is fun, especially when your backdrops are so gorgeous.
We’ve loved getting to know the Martinez family over the years, and especially watching this little munchkin, Harper, grow. She loved being outside and playing in the outdoors. We’ve found that kids really relax when their outside and it’s a great time to plan for family photos. Thanks for trusting us with your memories! Can’t wait to see you again!
We first met Katy and Bradley when they came to Flagstaff for their first anniversary in 2015. It’s hard to believe that was five years ago! Bradley had just started to work for the Four Seasons Resort and soon after our session he and Katy were transferred to beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico. From there he was transferred to the big city of Las Vegas this year at about the same time little miss Emma was born. We were lucky enough that Bradley’s mom, Brenda and her husband, Tom were able to make it for the session and even Bradley’s sister, Kelly, was able to come meet her new niece all the way from New York! We love family gatherings like this as they celebrate the love the ties families together. It was so much fun meeting everyone, especially beautiful and sweet Emma.
We hope to see you all again soon!
Corbin, a senior at Shadow Ridge High School, met us at Papago Park for his senior photos. We knew when he pulled up in a souped up Subaru Impreza WRX,, we had a mechanic on our hands. Corbin loves cars and told us about fixing up his Subaru and how much he loved learning about how they work. It was great getting to know this smart young man as we walked around the park with his girlfriend.
Congrats on your graduation Corbin! We know your future will hold much success!