Here we are almost 6 months after we shut down and started obsessively binge watching Netflix. Covid for us started on March 18.
We were in Arkansas shooting an engagement session for our friends who were getting married in the coming months. We had been watching the news and knew that when we got home things were definitely going to change. And not just the difficulty we would have finding toilet paper.
We had several weddings cancel. In fact, all but the wedding for our friends in Arkansas and the two weddings we had scheduled for October, either cancelled or rebooked. Grad sessions increased. Lots of parents had been waiting to book and were taking advantage of our daytime flexibility. We also knew families wanted photos but didn't want to do a longer session, so we created our Portraits on the Porch sessions. 15 minute sessions on your front porch or in your backyard. We did 8 on Mother's Day.
The other big change for us was using and working with masks. Adjusting how we held our cameras and used our equipment was new and interesting. Making sure we didn't jump in to fix the errant hair or pulling a piece of lint off someone. Social distancing is the norm now.
We are starting to see things pick up. We are booking some smaller weddings - see our new Micro wedding pricing on our new pricing page. We have several family photo sessions booked for fall.
We are committed to following all CDC guidelines and those of professional photography organizations. We will be masked for your session. We will do our best to be 6 feet away from you (some photos require us to get a bit closer). We will make sure to sterilize any equipment that you come in contact. We are personally limiting our exposure by only going out for necessities and limiting social contact. We want to you and us to be safe. So we ask that you reschedule your shoot if you are sick. That you also arrive with a mask on and remove for the photos. And of course keeping that social distance.
It is certainly a new and interesting time for us as photographers. We think this is a great time for those family photos you have been putting off. We hope we can be your photographers.
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.
Superstition Mountain Museum
4087 N Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ 85119
This wonderful little museum has a small exhibit building but what makes this place special is the grounds. The Superstitions are visible from the entire location and make for a wonderful backdrop. Included on the grounds are old barns, the Elvis Chapel (it was featured in an Elvis movie, a boot hill, old mining and farm equipment and wonderful desert landscapes. There is plenty of parking and the grounds are free. We do recommend a small donation to the museum for the use.
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.
Old Town Scottsdale
Scottsdale Road & E 1st Street
Old Town Scottsdale features hundreds of little shops. The streets have many little alcoves, public art, and benches to provide a great location for your session. If you crave large green spaces, the Scottsdale Arts Center is located by a large public park. Early morning sessions allow for those fun street photos we love so much. With very little traffic, walking down the middle of street is no problem. There may be a parking meter charge.
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.