I just love living in the college town of Flagstaff. Northern Arizona University, with its 20,000 students, brings so much to the table. Each year, I get symphony tickets, go see various plays, volunteer with my alumni sorority, get to see some great collegiate sporting events and even get to use the Sky Dome to do some serious leg exercises sprinting to and from the bottom of the field. But my favorite part is meeting wonderful students each year as they prepare to graduate.
Nikki came to her session with some great props and a smile that lit up all of Old Main. She was so sweet and I loved hearing about her future plans, all wrapped up in fresh excitement that made me excited for her.
We chose Old Main, the oldest part of NAU, for her photos. The historic buildings stand tall over the grassy lawn, and remind everyone who pass, they are part of a larger future of NAU graduates.
Congratulations Nikki! I can’t wait to hear where the future takes you. ~ 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
Bailey will be graduating from Camp Verde High School this coming May and I was so honored to do her senior photos. Bailey and her mom wanted to come up north for her session and take advantage of the spectacular landscape we have and the contracting urban area of downtown. We were chasing the last bit of sunflowers here, but we found two beautiful areas with both the taller sunflowers and the shorter ones in a different location. For the downtown photos, we choose a cool block in the up and coming ecletic Southside Flagstaff. Bailey was an absolute dream to work with and I loved spending the afternoon with her, her mom, sister and best friend. I loved that she brought her sweet puppy, Cooper, who just turned one and her amazing Chevrolet Camero. There was no way I could add all my favorite photos here, so check out her slideshow here! Bailey has aspirations to become an ultrasound technologist and I have no doubt that this smart, dedicated and beautiful young lady will be very successful. Congrats Bailey!
Arron graduated from Coconino High School and is attending Northern Arizona University this year. We loved that he brought along his French horn and his concert tux. A native of Texas, this brave young man started his senior year at a new high school. We also loved meeting his younger brother, Ryan, who joined us for a few photos. Congrats Arron, we look forward to your bright future!
Dain is graduating from Flagstaff High School next month and we were delighted to have been able to capture this time in his life. Dain is such a sweet young man and we really enjoyed getting to hear about his hopes and plans for the future. Dain is a hockey player for Flagstaff High School, the Flagstaff Avalanches, and aspires to play at the collegiate or farm league level. We wish him the best of luck and know whatever he chooses, he will succeed! Congrats Dain!
Sage is a senior at Coconino High School and will be graduation next Spring. We met Sage years ago when we met his mom, Christine, who owns Northern Arizona Glam Squad. We did a family session for them a while back and we were surprised just how fast her kids have grown up. We can’t believe he’s a senior! Sage is a very bright and determined young man who plays football as a lineman and is a self taught guitarist. He has aspirations to join the Coast Guard after graduation. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this wonderful young man! Congrats Sage!
Photography: Tangled Lilac Photography