Engagement Session: Mt. Lemmon

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These two! What did I love about them? What didn’t I love about them…would be the better question. I think I want to be them. What started off as a slam dunk easy session with two very easy going people….somehow turned into quite an action packed a venture come 6 o’clock. More on that later…

Currently hailing from the South (for the bride-to-be’s medical residency), the couple knew they wanted to do an engagement session that involved the brides hometown of Tucson, Arizona. While visiting Arizona over a short break we took Catalina highway up to Mt. Lemmon and took a series of desert shots (incorporating the birds favorite- Saguaros), then a series of shots in the grasslands that appear half way up the mountain. We then finished up with the final series overlooking the Tucson valley at Windy Point.

After a fun an easy engagement session, chatting, laughing and taking in all the beauty of the drive we got to the car to find…A FALT. AT 6pm. ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN. WITH NO CELL SERVICE. IN THE DARK. So…there was that.  The groom to be, claiming that he had no idea what he was doing, quickly assured us that we were fine, and we would figure this out. Together. The bride to be was calm, easy going and never once seemed worried as the two of them broke out the cars manual, found the spare, and tools, and got to work, jacking the car up and pooling together their limited resources. Never proud, never frustrated, never bossy.   Even after several hours with this couple, I learned more about them and their relationship in that first 5 minuets of tire changing than I had the whole day. Ultimately, a kind stranger showed up, and helped fixour tire in 2 minuets flat. The groom to be took it as a “learning” opportunity and ate up everything the stranger from Denmark had to say. The couple chatted with everyone lightly and cracked jokes, reveling their kind nature and at ease spirits, thanking the strangers profusely.  On the way down the mountain, the couple lamented that they wished they could pay the strangers kindness  forward…and were so touched by his help. I reminded Shayne that she was in fact in medical school, trying to become a pediatrician, so that she could help children…but this fell on deaf ears- she still wanted more for others.  I was incredibly struck by this couples love for one another, their ease around one another.  It was as if they had always been together, like they were young, but their relationship incredibly old and easy. I love sessions like this, where I can see exactly why two people are together. But what I love even more, is seeing why they will always be together.

Congrats you two! Hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them. Hugs. Jake & Shayne- Engaged (21 of 451)

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Desert Maternity Session

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My dear, sweet, thoughtful, smart, BEAUTIFUL friend, rounded out her beautiful family with her 4th child this winter. I was lucky enough to capture her at 35 weeks pregnant, just 3 weeks before I got captured her sweet daughters birth! For her maternity session, Erin decided to do photos of just her and the baby…saving the whole family photo thing for the coming months. We were really able to just capture her and Sam together, which I know Sam (and Erin) will cherish forever. We headed into an open park that had just recently been covered in this beautiful white/yellow buffalos grass & yellow flowers to capture Erin in her last, and final trimester of pregnancy. The desert sun, indigenous cactus, and beautiful mountain provided the perfect relaxing setting for baby & mom. Thank you Erin for letting me be a part of this! Love you with all my heart! Congrats!  Erin Nutting Sam Maternity3

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Banning/ Baird Family

Banning Family4Extended family sessions are always fun…you get to lear a bit about a family dynamic, see families be themselves, and most of all get a LOT of photos. I like to mix sessions, so I get a little bit of everything. One of my favorite things is when a family chooses an amazing spot…something off the beaten path.  One of best things about taking a scenic drive and taking photos in a beautiful location is that it gets people out of their zone, out of traditional photography and brings a realizing beauty and wonder to the little faces. This is hard to do with lots of schedules and people to coordinate, but this group made it happen, and I’m so glad they did. This trail is one of my absolute favorites in Tucson.  Not only that but they coordinated ever so perfectly, with an amazing mix of prints and colors. YES. Not only that but they are ALL incredibly photogenic. And I mean ALL of them. The two little granddaughters took the cake however. Their names? Penelope and Augury. I can’t. I just can’t. You’ll see what I mean… Braids & Bannings: you were so sweet, so fun and SO WELL DRESSED. Hope to see you all again soon.

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Thompasson Family Holiday Sesseion

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This FACE! I first met this sweet baby girl at her newborn shoot, when she was teeny tiny and under weight…my how the times have changed. She is the sweetest, chunkiest, happiest baby and I had a blast at her shoot. For this family session we met at a pecan grove here in Tucson, just as the leaves had begun to yellow. The mama, Jackie (with the most amazing head of hair you have EVER seen!), did an amazing job styling these three and it was just so hard to pick out my favorites. Enjoy looking! Thompasson (2 of 528)

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Styled Barrio Viejo Shoot with Butterfly Petals!

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This was truly one of the most fun shoots to do, ever! The ever so talented Amanda from Butterfly petals, dreamed up this romantic little Barrio/ Mexican inspired shoot and brought me on board to photograph it. It was such a treat to get to photograph all her beautiful floral creations. From her saguaro skeleton ceremony pieces, to her beautiful bougainvillea head pieces, everything she does is unique and gorgeous. EMcDonnellPhotographyBarrio (1 of 1) copy copy

 

Once we got a plan together, I asked my ever to talented friend Jenny of  De Filippis Designs to create one of her amazing invitation suites to fit the style of the shoot. The colors were amazing!EMcDonnellPhotographyBarrio (1 of 1)-2 copy copy

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My second shooter, and fellow friend/photography Kelsey of Kelsey Shirley Photography came along too…and brought her ADORABLE kids for us to photograph. Love these two!

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The location for the shoot was in the old Barrio Viejo in downtown Tucson at El Tiradito Shrine. Click the name to read more about the history there…amazing!

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All the jewelry and vintage clothes were thanks to Alexis at Avenue Boutique how handmade most of the jewelry you see. Check out her gorgeous creations on her website!

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This cute face!

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The shoot was fun for obvious creative reasons, but it was also fun because everyone involved was so fun! We even had food, drinks and of course- a tequila shot!

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These tables were exquisite!

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Beautiful menus and table numbers by   De Filippis Designs!

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This is my favorite shot from the shoot!

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The earrings! Again,  Avenue Boutique.

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The amazing  Sugar Sweet Bakery even got involved, making some delicious cupcakes and cookie favors for the shoot. Their dessert is INSANE. The best cookies I have ever had in my life…and I am a cookie SNOB. Everything they do in that bakery is perfection, aestitically and taste-wise!

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Love these table favors- cookies in a jar with custom tags that say “Mr. & Mrs.” great idea!

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Bunny the donkey shoed up to make an appearance at the end of the shoot too! He is the sweetest donkey, and was so easy to work with.

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Of douse ever model, needs to take a snack break…

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A very special thank you to our amazing models! You both are such awesome and gorgeous peep and friends!

Vendor Credits

Flowers/ Design/ Styling: Butterfly Petals

Cupcakes/ Cookies/ desserts: Sugar Sweet Bakery

Vintage Clothing & Jewelry/ Styling: Avenue Boutique

Invitations/ Placards/ Menus:  De Filippis Designs

Photography assistant: Kelsey Shirley Photography

Location: El Tiradito Shrine 

A special thank you to-Bunny the Donkey as well how made a last minuet visit on short notice and even had a bath!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica & Brett: Barrio & Desert Engagement

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I have to say this is one of the funnest shoots I’ve done. These two were full of ideas, laughs and stories. I felt like I was just amongst friends the whole time. Relaxed, sweet and  charismatic describe these two best. This shoot started off in the old Barrio, and then moves into the desert for our final hour of shooting.

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Is she the cutest or what?
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Brett, or Brad as I accidentally called him the whole time- had all of us craving up. Erica & Brett- Engagement 2014 (327 of 568) copy

 

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Erica is the cutest….I got so many cute shots of her I had to make a composite.

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The couple got this amazing bag while traveling in Spain…had to incorporate.

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Erica & Brett- Engagement 2014 (565 of 174)Congrats you two! Thank you so much for sharing your evening with me! XO

 

Fallon & Richie: Engagement Session

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These two are the quinessential classic couple. Elegant, polite and ever so beautiful. It was so fun getting to photograph them for their engagement shoot, along with their pup! For this shoot, we meet in downtown Tucson- and then wandered into the desert near the Tucson mountains for some more casual shots.

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The Palo Verdes were STUNNING this year…so many yellow blooms. Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 5.11.31 PM

Love this green, yellow and navy look we were able to capture.

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This little guy was so well behaved! And adorable to boot!

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My favorite shot of the shoot…

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Love this one- these two are so loving…

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Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 5.18.25 PMThank you both so much! I had a blast, congrats! XO