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Have any of you been to the Salt River in Arizona before? There is this winding single lane highway that takes you through a gorgeous mix of saguaro cactus and lakes and the Salt River and if you're lucky, some beautiful wildflowers.

We got so lucky for Patrick and Alyssa's engagement session and the wildflowers were dressed to empress.

The absolute joy and chemistry these two have warmed my heart. I had the best time with them and our session went too fast. It was love at first site for these two and they are going to be getting married in Utah Valley, Utah on their one year anniversary.

One of my favorite parts of an engagement session is having it as a trial run for your wedding day. You are able to get more comfortable in front of the camera, more comfortable with your photographer and see what sort of poses and posing prompts work and don't work for you.

Since I mostly specialize in destination weddings, sometimes my couples assume that we won't be able to meet for their engagement photoshoot but I make it to you!

Hope you enjoy these captures of Alyssa and Patrick. Drop a comment below and let me know which one was your favorite!

We've all been there. You just want one good photo of your children together but it seems if one is behaving, the others aren't and then they keep switching. You pay a significant amount of money for a family photoshoot and then your kids are miserable.

After over 10 years photographing families and weddings, I have a few tried and true ways to guarantee at least a few winning photos of your children.

Tip #1: Bring Snacks

Okay this one seems obvious but you would be surprised by how seldom parents remember to bring snacks for their kids to their photoshoots. I get it, you're rushing and struggling to even make it to the family photo session in time, but if you're a parent, you know how a hangry child can be. Try not to bring anything super sticky or messy but something that the kids can snack on quickly.

Tip #2: Avoid's contagious

Kids can sense stress. If you are panicking, which is so easy to do before, during and after your family photos, your kiddos are going to feel that stress and natural smiles are going to be much less likely. Instead, try to give yourself extra time. Get to your photoshoot location early and let the kids explore a bit. Book a long enough session so that you have time to take little breaks between photos.

Tip #3: Pick comfy and cute outfits

Cute outfits are always preferred for family pictures BUT make sure not to pick clothing that your kids are going to be miserable in. It's a battle that no one is going to win. Choose your outfits far ahead in time that your kids have an opportunity to wear them. See how they settle as they move around. Try to avoid tops that ride up constantly. Or things like suspenders that can be falling down. You want clothing that your kids can run around and be comfortable in.

Tip #4: Candids are King

Family photo sessions don't have to be "sit still and smile." Often, some of the best photos are the ones of your kids playing candidly. Those are when you get the real smiles, the real memories of how your kids interacted with each other at their age.

Tip #5: Make Jokes (fart jokes included)

Keeping conversation and jokes flowing is a great way to make a family photo session feel more like a fun outing and less like a burden. Fart jokes are forever a classic. Doing silly photos, playing peek a boo, etc. You know your child best. Most recently I asked one of the children that I was photographing if he knew any funny jokes. He asked me "why did the lizard cross the road?"...."to die." So keep that one in your arsenal for later. You're welcome.

Leave me your favorite ways to get some good smiles out of your kiddos in the comments below.

Wedding photography is a special and timeless way to capture the memories of one of the most important days of your life. However, choosing the right wedding photographer can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision for you and your partner.

  1. Look for a photographer whose style aligns with your vision for your wedding. Do you want a more candid and photojournalistic approach? Do you prefer a more traditional and posed look?

  2. Review the photographer's portfolio to see if the quality of their work meets your expectations. Pay attention to the lighting, composition, and editing style to see if it aligns with what you're looking for. Make sure to ask to see complete galleries.

  3. Consider the photographer's experience and reputation. Ask around to see if anyone you know has worked with the photographer and if they were satisfied with the results. Read through reviews on the photographers listing on Google or Yelp.

  4. Be sure to have a clear understanding of the package options and pricing. It's also a good idea to have a conversation with your photographer about what you're looking for in terms of coverage on your wedding day.

  5. Communicate openly with your photographer throughout the planning process. Share your expectations and any important details about the day with them so they can be prepared to capture the moments that matter most to you.

Hope these tips help and of course, I'd love to be considered as your wedding photographer.



Wedding Venues Pictured Above: Ski Valley Taos & Bishops Lodge

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