The City of Flagstaff and the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau were looking for some images for a campaign that promoted the close proximity to Phoenix baseball and the Grand Canyon. We live in a spectacular part of the world and are within two hours of some awesome places with Sedona, Prescott and the Grand Canyon all in our backyard. Having the Grand Canyon, a natural wonder of the world, only 75 miles from my front door, is such a treasure. I’m probably at the Grand Canyon once a week, on average, for weddings and I love how different it looks each time I’m there. It’s a beautiful place for portraits, weddings and commercial shoots like this one.
Grand Canyon has some spectacular locations to choose from but we chose Lipan Point at the Grand Canyon because of it’s grand views, beautiful outcroppings and a great view of the Colorado River. I think it’s one of my favorite overlooks at the Grand Canyon National Park. However, it’s not best for anyone with issues with heights. There are drop offs at each angle of approach and you’ll need secure footwear and no vertigo to navigate them.
Jerome and his daughter, Grace, are clients and friends of mine. When the City of Flagstaff described the models they needed for the shoot, I knew they’d be perfect. Plus I loved the thought of using a real father-daughter relationship for this commercial photo session. I try and use organic situations when I can because they lead to better, natural expressions. I did Grace’s newborn photos and can’t believe she’s this old now. Where does the time go?
If you want to visit Lipan Point, I recommend approaching it from the East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Plus, that route will take you through the vast lands of the Navajo Nation and it’s beautiful landscape. On a clear day, you’ll even be able to see the Painted Desert in the distance on your drive. Sunset and sunrise are both spectacular times to visit this gorgeous point.
The Grand Canyon is a magical place to photograph. Every time I go there, I’m met with different cloud coverage and hues of the magestic rock walls. Keep in mind, however, if you’re planning a commercial shoot, you’ll need a permit to do so. I’m a big proponent of permits and how they help regulate the impact of our public lands.
Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed landmarks in desert Southwest surrounding the Grand Canyon. I get excited every time I’m scheduled to head out that way.
Ivana and Kyle Arrive at Horseshoe Bend in Style
I knew I was going to adore these two when they drove up in a canary yellow 2017 Camero. There’s just something about a muscle car that drives all the girls crazy, don’t you think?
I joked with Kyle and asked him if he got to test the car‘s speed, and he smiled shyly and said it handled pretty good above 110 m.p.h. A man after my own heart, lol. 🙂
Ivana was the sweetest ever and the perfect compliment to Kyle. She looked perfect in her long lace gown with a beauty that reminded me of a young Demi Moore.
Eloping to the Grand Canyon
Kyle works as a police officer in a small community twenty hours north of Toronto and Ivana lives in Toronto proper.
Because our region is just so different from Northern Canada, these two wanted to get married in Las Vegas but do their post-wedding photos at Horseshoe Bend.
For your reference, you can choose to have your elopement ceremony at Horseshoe Bend, or just head to the area for your photos like Kyle and Ivana did.
Many people assume Horseshoe Bend is part of the Grand Canyon, but it actually resides within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
It overlooks one of the most spectacular views on the Colorado River, 4 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam, and 7 miles north of mile zero of the Grand Canyon.
It has all the characteristics of the Grand Canyon: The river, the canyon, and the beauty.
Horseshoe Bend is close to Page, Arizona with scenic Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon nearby.
Getting to Horseshoe Bend
The trailhead to Horseshoe Bend is a 3/4 mile hike. A bit of climbing may be required for some of the stunning backdrops Horseshoe Bend has to offer.
There are parts that can be a little steep and there is some sand. So be prepared with hiking shoes or other comfortable footwear.
You can always change into pretty shoes when you are on location. Although some shots of what it takes to get to a spot can be fun to look back on later.
Looking Great in the Heat
On average, the Grand Canyon has 264 sunny days per year. So, chances are you will have a bright day – and if it’s during the summer, it will be hot. With shade being scarce, it’s important to prepare for a session that might make you sweat.
Keep these tips in mind when preparing to head out to your sunny and hot photo session.
1. Bring plenty of water because hydration is essential.
2. Apply sunblock thirty-minutes before heading and out and bring some extra with you.
3. Bring towels to soak up the sweat.
4. A portable personal fan is a great tool for cooling off between shots.
5. And finally, don’t forget a makeup bag for touch-ups.
Horseshoe Bend is Perfect All Day Long
As a photographer, there is a perfect time of day to take photos. It’s the hour right before the sun sets and is what we in the business lovingly call the golden hour.
Despite the crowds, the heat, and the fact it was high-noon with no shade (a photographer’s nightmare), we were able to get some incredible images that I hope they’ll treasure forever.
Kyle and Ivana’s tenderness towards one another was so sincere and so heartfelt, and I loved watching them interact.
Congrats you two! I hope you enjoyed your desert honeymoon!
Brittney and her family traveled from Canton, Georgia to the southwest on a business trip that also involved sightseeing and relaxing with the family. The whirlwind trip involved a couple of days in San Francisco, some time in Scottsdale and of course, the Grand Canyon National Park. Brittney and her family had never seen the Grand Canyon until all of us approached the rim to start her photos. Being that I live so near, and frequent the Canyon so often, I often forget just how incredible the view really is. As they neared the edge, I continued to talk (yes, sometimes I talk too much, lol) and I noticed no one was responding. As I turned to look at them, I could almost hear all their hearts stop. They were all staring into the Canyon, mesmerized. It really is breathtaking and yet, impossible to put in words. The Grand Canyon is just something that you need to see in person.
Brittney is graduating from Woodstock High School this coming May and I loved chatting with this beautiful and bright young lady about her future. It’s not often that I get clients from my home state, and I adored listening to updates about my alma mater, the University of Georgia, and all the changes that have happened in Atlanta since I left the South in 1995. (Has it really been 21 years!?!) This young lady has big plans for the future and I can’t wait to follow her success.
Congrats Brittney! I hope you and your family enjoyed your visit to Arizona! ~ Melissa
Since I’ve been a wedding photographer, I’ve come to expect the unexpected. I’ve seen couples panic from big issues like lost wedding gowns at the airport, incorrect catering and floral orders the day of the wedding, to small things like missing shoes, spray tan disasters and the dog-as-the-ring-bearer chasing a duck into the golf course pond. We, at Tangled Lilac Photography, always tell the couple to release all their expectations and to just embrace their day as it unfolds. More likely than not, a little something will go wrong, and more times than not, the couple does not even notice. That’s because it’s usually something so small and insignificant that in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.
I wasn’t expecting this latest hiccup however. This morning at 12:01AM in Washington DC, the government shut down.
But, what does this have to do with anyone’s wedding?
We at Tangled Lilac Photography photograph a lot of destination weddings at the Grand Canyon. If you’ve seen any of the photos there, you can see why so many couples from around the world are drawn to this majestic wonder of the world. It is a scene that conjures no words to adequately describe the beauty, serenity and magic of this place. We’ve had couples from Germany, Switzerland, New York, Maine, Florida, Kansas and all states in between that have been married while looking over the rim.
So, when we were contacted by our friend, Andrew, at Heart of Sedona, to photograph a Grand Canyon wedding at Shoshone Point, we were delighted. It’s definitely one of our favorite places to photograph in the world, and to have it in our own backyard is a fortunate blessing afforded to us living in Northern Arizona.
What we didn’t anticipate is the Government Shutdown. This morning, the gates at the Grand Canyon were closed, permits revoked and a “I’m truly sorry” was issued to the couple from New Jersey who we were scheduled to photograph tomorrow as they exchanged vows overlooking Shoshone Point.
Lucky for the couple, they had the foresight to hire a great team of professionals. Andrew and I brainstormed and decided that a different location, not too far from their original destination, Merry Go Round Rock, would be a beautiful option. It offers a beautiful overlook and heartstopping sunsets. It’s going to be the perfect solution and, more importantly, gives the couple the peace to know they are going to have that perfect wedding after all.
We’re looking forward to going to Merry Go Round Rock tomorrow and helping our new friends celebrate their life together. Thank you for trusting us to be part of your new life together! ~ Melissa
Charlotte and Kyle had a sweet intimate wedding on a snowy Saturday at the end of December. The couple was back in their hometown of Flagstaff for the holidays and thought it would be a perfect time to say I do! Their ceremony was attended by immediate family and held at the quaint Chapel of the Holy Dove. Charlotte looked stunning in her lace gown and her red rose bouquet from Mountain High Flowers. The Chapel of the Holy Dove is a unique place, set in a meadow with views of the San Francisco Peaks. The Chapel is one the way to the Grand Canyon so it gets many visitors from all around the world. Most visitors write in the chapels journal but couples that get married there get to write on the chapel walls. Charlotte and Kyle are now among the couples that have had their wedding in this special little chapel. Congratulations Charlotte & Kyle, we will you lots of love and happiness! ~Kristen
Floral: Mountain High Flowers
Photography: Kris Daulton, Associate Photographer, Tangled Lilac
Melissa and I absolutely LOVED this sweet and intimate wedding! Rebecca and Evan traveled with their families from the Chicago area to say their I do’s looking over the magical Grand Canyon. The Wedding Yentas agreed that it was an amazing way to start their life together. Rebecca and Evan kept some Jewish traditions to make the event extra meaningful. Please take a look at the wonderful feature on The Wedding Yentas, A guide for the Jewish Bride!