Thursday, September 29, 2011

7 Days 7 Photographer {A Day in the Life of a Wedding Photographer}

Whew...what a week!  Not only was this a busy week for photo sessions, prepping for this great project, three trips to Sedona, meeting with lots of couples getting married in 2012, but on top of all the normal activity one of our computers decided to die.  When someone says the motherboard is fried, well, that's kind of like someone telling you you've ran out of oil in your car and the engine has seized.  Not good.  So, we had to weigh out the choices, did it make more sense to buy new, or repair an already old system?  In the end, the new system won and the last two days have been spent on the phone with various tech supports trying to get programs reloaded and re-licensed.  Yes, very good times indeed! :)

For this project, I choose to document  "A Day in the Life as a Wedding Photographer", which, hopefully shows what my  days are like before I get to the job and while working a wedding. 

When I get up, this is literally the first thing that I see.  I like to call it "Animal Parade" which is really just tripping over our hungry pets.

After I stumble through the house, I go outside and water my garden.  This year, I choose to grow little tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli.  I also grew some wildflowers to attract bees so that the vegetables would be pollinated.  I would say, this year, it was pretty successful.  For those of you that are familiar with Flagstaff gardening, you know we have about a 60-90 day growing season, which makes it tough for growing much of anything.  In the past, I've planted in my front and back yard (North and South facing) and I've never had a great crop.  But, with my new raised bed garden, on the east side of my house, it seems a bit easier.  I've had lots of tomatoes (much to the dismay of my husband, who is actually afraid of tomatoes), about a dozen cucumbers, but no broccoli yet.  I'm hopeful though!

When I finish that, it's off to medicate JoJo.  He's our senior kitty that is diabetic and blind and gets insulin injections twice a day.  He's been on insulin for about 3 years now and is doing great.  And, because the needle is SO small, he doesn't even notice the injection.  If any of you ever find yourself faced with having to do injections on an animal, don't sweat it.  It's so, so easy and with treats, they don't mind at all!

Here's a little blog board of our four legged family members :)  Yes, Banjo loves to dress up and I find myself throwing all sorts of articles of clothing and accessories on his randomly.  Although my husband argues with me, I do think he loves the attention!  They are all rescues and each add their own kind of sweetness to our lives.  I do love them so much!

I can't do anything without delicious coffee.  This is from Late from the Train in Flagstaff.   And yes, I do know how ridiculously shiny my coffee mug is, but hey, sometimes you need a little sparkle to your morning!  I also have the biggest sweet tooth you've ever known, so these delicious cinnimon rolls were perfect to get me going!

I think around 10:30am is when I logged onto the computer and generally started getting ready for my work day.

The only bad thing about being a wedding photographer, is that you have to generally miss out on a lot of things going on in your friends' lives.  On this particular day, I was missing my dear friends, Zsuzsi and John's, wedding. All I could do is write them a note telling them how much I wished I could be there for them.  Our friends, Molly and John, pictured below, were in town from Florida and staying with us to go to the wedding and it was really, really hard to go my separate way.

These are items needed and packed away for my work day; charged batteries, about 30 pounds of camera gear, my favorite Dansko shoes for working ( This photo taken before I cleaned them off, we had a forest photo session the day before!), enough memory cards for 8,000 photos (yes, I'm paranoid about running out)  and a lint brush for all of my pet hair that always ends up on my black pants :)

Timelines are critical for our day, Kristen and I spend a lot of time and communication with the couple to make sure everything runs seamlessly, the second photo is of our snacks packed, and on the right is my lovely assistant, Kristen, greeting me with her sparkling smile for the day!.  I really can't say enough kind and wonderful things about this woman; she's dedicated, a wildly talented photographer, patient with my stress and just a wonderful human being.  She's been with me for almost a year and I count my blessings to have found her!

Our wedding was at Hart Prairie, north of the San Francisco Peaks and it was nothing short of a perfect day!  It was overcast, never rained one drop and mid-70s.  Yes, perfect!  Then, add in a super sweet couple, Caitlin and Ryan, and the wedding becomes things that photographers dream of.   These photos are were taken right before the ceremony.

After the ceremony, we headed to the High Country Conference Center.  We spotted a great kid's section that Kim of KD Event Designs had prepared and got a couple of cute photos with the kid's masks.  OK, we're dorkly, but why not?

During dinner, no one really wants photos taken of them eating, so it's a great time for us to take 20 minutes to recharge batteries, get our gear together and grab some food for ourselves.  We were lucky to share dinner with Kim and her assistants.  This is about the time in the day when I start looking a bit tired, don't you think?

This photo was literally the last photo on the card, Kristen and I with Caitlin and Ryan.  Kristen and I really are so fortunate to be able to do what we love. Sometimes I have to pinch myself!

Tune in tomorrow for a sneak peak of this beautiful wedding!

Be sure to check out the past and future posts from the other photographers below!  If you're on Twitter, follow us here by searching for #7Days7Photographers or #TWIPS.  Here's a list of the photographers involved and their dates:

Sunday:  Casie of
Monday:  Ashley of
Tuesday:  Orly of
Wednesday:  Ariana of

Friday:  Shannon of
Saturday:  Steph of

Thanks for reading! ~ Melissa

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

7 Days 7 Photographers {One Week Behind the Camera}

I'm excited to be part of a great and fun project this week, "7 Days, 7 Photographers-One Week Behind the Lens".  Spearheaded by Ariana Watts of Faces in Focus Photography, this project aims to give readers a glimpse into working, vacation and ordinary days of professional photographers all across the globe.  I'm so honored to have been asked to participate!  If you're on Twitter, follow us here by searching for #7Days7Photographers or #TWIPS.  Here's a list of the photographers involved and their dates:

Sunday:  Casie of
Monday:  Ashley of
Tuesday:  Orly of
Wednesday:  Ariana of
Thursday:  Melissa (that's me!)
Friday:  Shannon of
Saturday:  Steph of

I hope all of you get to read about these very talented ladies and be sure and check back Thursday when I post my day!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Newborn Photography {Baby Jayce}

Welcome to the world baby Jayce!

Baby Jayce has two adorable older sisters that I'm sure will be able to teach him a thing or two. These little girls were full of energy and ready to model!

Beautiful proud mother with her baby boy!

What a sweet baby!  He was so calm and  slept the entire shoot!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Orpheum Theater Wedding {Marci & Eric}

Marci & Eric's love for music weighed highly in the decision to get married in the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff and having a music festival theme wedding. 

Marci looked stunning in her elegant gown and heirloom veil!

Their first meeting took place in the garden at The Inn at 410.  Eric's expression is priceless when he gets a look at his beautiful bride for the first time!

Kim Duncan from KD Event Designs did not disappoint with all the creative details! Our favorite was the tickets guests received at will call for their table assignments!

Marci & Eric's wedding was a special family affair! Their combined four kids made up their wedding party!

Thornager's Catering did a fabulous job on all the food. The bride and groom had three different food stations and a food truck to go with the music festival theme!

We were able to get on the roof with the Orpheum sign! Thanks Marci and Eric for being good sports!

Instead of the traditional wedding cake Marci & Eric had a dessert bar with a variety of treats from local favorites Sugar Mamas and a gelato station from Kickstand Kafe!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Foxboro Ranch Wedding Sneak Peek {Alex & Kenny}

Alex and Kenny got married last month at Foxboro Ranch outside of Flagstaff.  This couple is so special and their wedding was nothing short of spectacular.  Every guest was touched by their love and the romantic atmosphere that they created.  Here are a few photos of the beautiful bride and groom.  A full post of their day is soon to come!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer Engagement Session {Elizabeth & Karl}

Elizabeth and Karl have known each other for over 30 years, recently reconnected, and are getting married in Las Vegas in November! What an amazing story!?!

Their evening shoot on the mountain provided a gorgeous glow!

Elizabeth and Karl have so much fun together, they are like two little kids, so cute!

So sweet!

Elizabeth & Karl we are so happy you found one another, congratulations! -Melissa & Kristen

Flagstaff Family Session {Montgomery Family}

We had such a fun shoot with the Montgomery Family! Erin & Ben gifted the shoot to their parents who had not had a professional photo taken in 18 years!

Such a cute photo of  Nancy and Jeff!

What a pretty girl! 

I don't think Ben was too sure about the photo shoot but we managed to get a small smile!

Gorgeous day with a gorgeous family!  Thank you Montgomery Family for the opportunity! -Melissa & Kristen

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mountain Top Wedding at The Little Nell, Aspen {Samantha & Stephen-Part 1}

We are so excited to share Part 1 of Samantha and Stephen's amazing mountain top wedding in Aspen Colorado.  The wedding and reception took place at  The Little Nell 's Sundeck at the Aspen Mountain Club.  Aspen is so green and lush in the summer and the mountain views are breathtaking, it was perfect!

The Little Nell's staff was spectacular to work with, especially Katriona, thanks for touring us around! The hotel is located in the heart of Aspen and is adjacent to the gondola that takes you up to the beautiful Sundeck and Aspen Mountain Club.

The beautiful bride got ready at the hotel and had her make done by the fabulous artist Christine Morris Assalone from Full Circle

Samantha looked flawless!

Glamorous Occasions traveled with us from Flagstaff and created Samantha's vision for her bouquet of pink peonies and amazing white florals for the bridesmaids and tables.

Samantha's "something old" was this gorgeous pearl necklace that was her mothers.  Her mother picked out every pearl by hand while on a trip to Hong Kong.   Pretty special!

The boys got ready pretty fast so we had time to stop by the Little Nell bar before the gondola ride.  Drink of choice, Colorado Whiskey!


The gondola ride was definetly a highlight! All the guests traveled up the gondola to the wedding at 11,200 ft!

The view from the gondola is even spectacular!

Stephen and the groomsmen looking dapper before the ride up the mountain!

Anne from Anne's Alterations made this beautiful handmade corset and and custom fit Samantha's fantastic gown.

We just loved the bouquets, simple and elegant!

Samantha put her dress on and got the  finishing touches done in the wine cellar at the Aspen Mountain Club. 

Samantha and Stephen decided to do a first look while they had this amazing mountain top to themselves, before the guests started to arrive on the gondola.  These are some of our  favorite moments to capture!

Samantha was glowing!

So sweet and such a genuine moment!

Samantha was so cute showing of her dress to her soon to be husband.

Congratulations Samantha & Stephen and stay tuned for Part 2!
xoxo- Melissa & Kristen