When we say we are inclusive photographers, we mean it.
Today I (Rose) spent some time with Cheyenne and her mom Dawn. Yes, we adhered to social distancing and despite my desire to hug, I did not. Today was senior picture day for the beautiful Cheyenne. Since 2020 is not a normal year, senior photos were on the back burner for Dawn until the high school decided to put together a presentation for all the grads. She called us and we had lots of time available to have a session this morning.
There was a little apprehension for Dawn. Her last experience with a photographer taking photos of Cheyenne was not a good one. Cheyenne has autism. She moves differently. She holds and loves her stuffed dog. She is also absolutely funny and says the best "cheese" I have ever heard.
Dawn shared with me that the last photographer told her she couldn't work with Cheyenne. She moved to much and wouldn't take direction.
I am always stunned when other photographers tell clients stuff like that. Sometimes it is you are too fat. Or you are not pretty enough. Or I do not photograph same sex couples. Or I cannot take a photo a trans person. So basically you interested in taking photos of people you think are acceptable. You are only a pretty person photographer. And that all you are interested in is making a buck. Well I am not that kind of photographer.
I cannot say this enough.... EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL. EVERYONE DESERVES TO FEEL APPRECIATED.
I found a great way to photograph Cheyenne today. I realized that I needed to adjust my style to make it work for her, not make her work for me. Today was one of those once in a lifetime moments for mother and daughter. It is my job, my art, to make that happen for them. Life's moments should not only be for certain people. They should be for all people.
Check out Cheyenne's session in our Senior Photos and Portraits gallery.
When booking their sessions, many of our clients ask us where they should have their photo sessions. Just like in real estate, location matters. Not because we focus on the location and not the subject but because we always feel better in locations where we feel comfortable.
Being located in the Phoenix Area, we have found some incredible locations. We have compiled a short list of some our favorite places. Below you will find our list of locations and details about each one. We like to include the general “feeling” of each location. Some of the locations are free and some do require an additional cost.
This is just a small list of the amazing places in and around Phoenix. We are happy to research and visit other locations to give you the best possible photos.
E Boston and S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ
Downtown Chandler is loaded with old buildings, green spaces, and art work. City Hall has a beautiful courtyard with trees and lots of places to sit. This location is one to take stroll and find the perfect niche to take a photo. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Veteran’s Oasis Park
4050 E Chandler Heights Rd Chandler, AZ 85249
We didn’t know marshlands and dry habitat existed together in Arizona but Veteran’s Oasis proved us wrong. There is a large lake and a beautiful walking trail. There is running creek and lots of off path photo locations. The park spreads over 113 acres. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Gilbert Rd and Page Ave, Gilbert, AZ
Downtown Gilbert is the place to eat these days which means that the architecture is amazing. The water tower is above a wonderful park and great place to start a session. Old buildings, public spaces, benches, old train tracks – downtown Gilbert has it all. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
2757 E Guadalupe Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234
This beautiful preserve covers over 110 acres of wetland and desert. The park includes 7 ponds, benches, green spaces, observatory, and ethnobotanical garden. There is a beautiful short walk that we have used on several sessions and each one is different. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Manistee Ranch Park
52nd Avenue and Northern Avenue Glendale, Arizona 85301
This neighborhood park is just over 4 acres. It includes a beautiful ranch house and unique outbuildings. Also on the property is a small orange grove and a huge green area. Benches are scattered throughout the property. There is an additional permit for photography for $25.
Heritage Square at Heritage and Science Park
113 N. Sixth Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Heritage Square contains the Rosson House which is an 1800’s Victorian home. Additional vintage homes, alleyways, benches, rose gardens, and brick encompass the park. Early morning on the weekends is the best time for photos at the Square. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Papago is a municipal park adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical garden. It is known for its view of red buttes. There are trails and a large lake with palm trees, desert, cactus and more. At the right time of day the shadows and light created by the trees is amazing.
Roosevelt Row Arts District
Roosevelt Row begins at 7th Avenue and extends east to 16th Street. On the north side it begins at Interstate 10 and extends south to Fillmore Street.
We like starting at First Street and Roosevelt. The area is dotted with buildings with the most incredible murals. The colors are vibrant and interesting. Images take on an urban and artistic feel. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Scorpion Gulch at South Mountain
South Mountain Park 10000 S Central Avenue, Phoenix
Scorpion Gulch is located at the base of South Mountain. It has amazing desert and mountain backdrops. Scorpion Gulch includes two stone buildings with doorways, windows, stairs, and fireplaces. Behind the buildings you will find the best views of South Mountain. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Coon Bluff Campground
Coon Bluff Rd, Mesa, AZ 85215
Another outdoor wilderness location. Coon Bluff is on the Salt River and wild horses are in the area. Some areas do require some walking but worth it. It is relaxed and shady with mature mesquite trees. This location also has clover covering the ground in the early spring. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Mesa Arts Center and Downtown
1 E Main Street, Mesa AZ 85201
Mesa Arts Center has a great combination of industrial and modern with small green spaces. The site also includes large art murals, stairways, and colorful backdrops. There is even a fun spot with large yellow dots on the ground that kids love. A quick walk out of the Arts Center property and Main Street in Mesa is a great urban location as well. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Downtown Tempe/Mill Avenue
Mill Avenue & Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
Downtown Tempe and Mill Avenue has brick lined streets, light rail, train tracks, and vintage buildings. Modern touches are thrown in to the thriving area. Walking along Mill Avenue or turning the corner and finding a lovely bench to grab a quick photo. The location is a wonderful mix of vintage and urban. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
There are so many lists on the internet about what to do in preparation for a photo session. There are not many that give you the do not do. Over the years we have compiled our own list of the DO NOT DO items. These tips should make the photo session you schedule with us, or any photographer, a huge success.
Just a couple of weeks ago we went to Boston and Maine for our annual trip. While in Boston I (Rose) scheduled some photo sessions at the historic and beautiful Boston Public Garden. Having grown up in the Boston area and gone to college just steps from the Garden, it is one of my favorite places. I was so excited to get the chance to take photos.
Two of the sessions were engagement photos for couples that we will photograph their weddings next year. Included in our wedding packages is an engagement session. Check out our wedding portfolio for some of the photos I took. One if the brides is the daughter of a very good friend of mine, Lacy.
Lacy was my first friend I made at our high school. I moved to the Boston area at the end of September my Freshman year and Lacy befriended me almost right away. So to say she is my oldest friend is not a dig on our age, but actually very accurate. Savanna, her oldest daughter is the bride and I could not be more thrilled to be photographing her wedding to the wonderful James.
While in the Garden we did some family photos for Lacy and her kids - Savanna, Jake, and Lola. It was such a good time with them. There was someone missing from the photos. Lacy's husband Dave, who was also a high school friend of mine, passed away several years ago. You can see him all of his kids' faces. And his presence is missed every time I am with my friend. I felt a little sadness after our session. I didn't say anything at time.
It was more than a week before I got home to edit the photos. When I was working on the photo above I realized something. Although Dave was missing, they were still a family. The There is an incredible family in that photo. A mom who has carried on in the face of unbelievable tragedy with such grace and determination that I am in complete awe. Children who are thriving, finding their way in their adulthood, finding partners and having careers. A little girl who smiles so big and is so full of personality.
I also realized how incredibly lucky I am to be the person who got to capture that photo. I get the honor of showing my friend, that life is still made up of beautiful moments with her family. We are still sad that Dave is not physically with us, but I think he really was standing with them.
When families change, either through divorce of death or separation, it is important to remember that you are still a family. I hope I get to show many more families how incredibly beautiful they are and can be.
We love to travel. We just love some cities a little more than others. Boston and Bath are two of those towns. Rose lived in Boston for 7 years going to high school and college there before moving to the west coast. Every summer we go back to New England for a family trip. Tim was born in Bath (Maine) and most of his family lives in and near Bath. This year we are embarking on two exciting trips both culminating in a week in Maine.
Tim will be traveling on a road trip with his brother and Rose’s dad. Rose will be going to straight to Boston to spend time with her high school friends and a college friend.
Boston is an amazing city. It is a big city in a very small geographical area. The history that is all around you is incredible. Our country pretty much started in and around Boston. For Rose, growing up there was an amazing experience of culture and history. Spending time there is always wonderful and with so many friends still living in the area, makes it feel like home. Bath is one of those picturesque New England cities where ships are built at the Naval Yard and Fourth of July is the highlight of the summer season. Tim's family has lived in Maine since 1622.
Of course, Rose booked some photo sessions for some her friends. The sessions will take place in the Boston Public Garden. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful public parks in the country. Photography was a hobby when Rose lived in Boston. The opportunity to photograph friends in such a beautiful location was something she could not say no to. Rose will be doing family photos and two engagement/couple sessions. Stay tuned for those photos!
After Boston we head to Maine! Lobster rolls and salt water are part of the plans. We will also be celebrating the life of Tim’s father David, who passed away last August. His final wish was to be reunited with his bellowed Maine. We are looking forward to spending time with family to reminisce and reunite.
We love so many great cities but Boston and Bath, ME are ones that give us a sense of home. We may move away and live our lives somewhere else, but a piece of our heart will always be home. What city has a piece of your heart?
Rose and Tim share their thoughts on photography, travel, and working together.