Taking Heidi’s Family Holiday Photos

family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer

family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer

family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer

family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer
family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer
family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer

family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer

family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer

family holiday photos | Phoenix photographer

For some crazy reason, Heidi trusted me to take her family holiday photos. I was honored and so incredibly nervous. This was the first time I was taking photos of someone outside of my own family and I was so worried I would mess it up. I found this desert area outside of the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort where we were able to grab some gorgeous sunlight and desert views. I am so happy with how everything turned out.

Her kids were amazing! I wore a funny reindeer hat with jingle bells (so they would look at the camera) and brought them two cupcakes as a reward once we were finished. That pretty much sweetened the deal and we were able to get some great smiles. As we were leaving the first location, we got in our cars to drive to this cool wooden bridge that I had spotted. Maya (Heidi’s daughter) asked if she could ride with me. So, I strapped her into Kelsey’s car seat, blasted a little Taylor Swift “Shake it off” and we continued the photo shoot at the bridge.

Seriously, that Maya has a personality larger than life. She kept posing herself in the middle of the family (front and center) and I would have to say, “Maya, honey … can you back up just a bit?” It was the cutest. And her love for her brother, Matthew, is just heaven to watch. She was so great with him and you can see how much he just adores his big sister.

When Heidi and Mitch would pose for pictures, the kids would just laugh and laugh. They loved seeing their parents in front of the camera. “Let’s have them kiss,” Maya would say. And then immediately, I would get the parents to smooch and I would hear the sweet little giggles of their kids in the distance.

So much love and laughter at this photo shoot. It makes me think this is why photographers do their job. It’s the moments like this that are captured behind the camera that make for the best memories. Thank you, Heidi, for this great experience!

Heidi and Stephanie

An Afternoon at the Farm

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If you have kids and live in Phoenix … go to the Farm at South Mountain for brunch and let the kids run free on their huuuuuuge grass lawn. We took a soccer ball, a diaper bag, and that was about it. The kids kept themselves entertained hiding behind trees, chasing the ball and playing tag. Ryan and I got to actually eat lunch, kick back a little and just relax. What a perfect, perfect Sunday.

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The farm at south mountain

Every day should be like this

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Saturday night was all about family. Ryan and I took the kids out for dinner and walked around one of our Phoenix resorts enjoying the sunset and snapping some photos. We let the kids run around the grass, climb the trees and chase after ducks in the lake. It was truly the best day. Doing life with these three individuals makes for some of the most memorable moments I have ever experienced.

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I can’t help but laugh at this photo. I mean, who holds a child like that?

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This was the sweetest moment. We were standing by the lake, when I snapped this photo of Colton. His arms were crossed and he was staring into the distance, as if to contemplate the meaning of life or something. It was really deep. Then, I realized he was just pouting because Ryan told him he couldn’t jump into the lake with the ducks.

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His expression is priceless! Yes, Colton. Your mom and sister are crazy.

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The best part? I can hit repeat on this day any time that I want because wherever we are, life feels this wonderful.

Meet my new puppy-in-law

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Two amazing things happened today: 1) Ryan lost a bet last night, so I get to decorate for Christmas early! 2) My sister-in-law bought a new puppy, so we went over to see the little fella. He’s a black lab named, Rocky. It sure reminds me of our chocolate lab, Logan. We too bought him around Christmastime when he was an itty bitty 8 week old pup. Besides taking off my earing and trying to swallow it, my new puppy-in-law is awesome!

Sweet Girl. Sweet Tooth.

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Kelsey and I walked into Sugar Lips Cakery to pick up an early birthday cake for Colton. I told myself that I would not buy a cupcake, “We are just there for a cake. Focus, Stephanie!” and then Kelsey spotted it … a perfectly pink cupcake with a swirl on top.

I got to the register with one cupcake and then, ah what the heck, throw in another one for me. The lady at the register said, “That will be $2.” Two dollars? As it turns out, Sugar Lips Cakery has a “Happy Hour” one hour before they close on Wednesdays and Saturdays where all cupcakes are one dollar!

Sweet, I thought before turning back to the register and asking for four more. I have no self-control. None. Whatsoever.

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We admired all of the beautiful cakes they had on display, and then we found a great corner in the cakery and dug in!

Teri’s Autumn Holiday Party

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Almost every year, Teri hosts fall party to kick off the holiday season (check out this one from 2011). She’s much better than me, because she actually waits until after Thanksgiving to dial up the Christmas decorations – so truly, this is an autumn party.

Ryan was home with a terrible cold (thanks, Colton & Kelsey) so I went solo. Teri is such a fantastic hostess – and I just loved catching up with dear friends (hi, Rachel) that I don’t get to see as often as I like. She had just the right amount of light, food everywhere, a local guitarist, bar station and all the fixings to make it feel like the holiday season has arrived.

Thank you so much for hosting, Teri! I just love your darling home!

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How cute is her house? I’m coming over one day and taking pictures of all the cute designs, little corners and personal touches that make her little bungalow in downtown Phoenix so perfect!