Chris & Megan are getting married tomorrow! Makayla and I flew into Boston last night and drove up to Portland Maine this afternoon to meet up with the soon-to-be-weds to grab a sweetheart session to just connect and laugh and diffuse and help get them familiar with direction and posing and not posing and just enjoying each other in front of the camera. And... before we even started Makayla and I just looked at each other and nodded, "they are going to be PERFECTLY FINE tomorrow..." :D
This wedding styled shoot was a dream to shoot at Tucson's ever-loved wedding venue, Arizona Inn. Our goal was to nail a look and pallet that strayed from the neutral typical desert tones and REALLY put COLOR on display! We had promised wedding blogs SWOONED and AISLE SOCIETY that we would hold off on releasing this highlight reel until they featured the shoot! (shout out to the publishers for being so gracious and complimentary. they also provide some near wedding inspiration in case you need some help!)
So here is one of the most amazing pallets of color, textures, gown and southwestern uniqueness that we have ever shot in Tucson! Here are a few key wedding planning notes to pocket if you adore class, color and a fresh spin on a desert wedding...
5 WAYS TO BRING IN CLASS, COLOR AND LIFE TO YOUR ARIZONA WEDDING...
(1) YOUR PLANNER SHOULD BE A MAGICIAN. Or something close.... With the coordinating prowess of Meagan with Meagan Crain Event Planning, we found ourselves navigating details and elements that were delicious. Meagan orchestrated the entire vibe of the shoot and pulled together a team of wonder-people. She particularly was keen on bringing elements that offered nods to southwest culture (i.e. cigars and tequila toasts instead of traditional champagne and flute glasses). RECAP NOTE: If style and vision for aesthetic are important to you...hire a planner who has a vision and the tenacity to pull the necessary strings and make things happen!
(2) PLANTS. COLORS. COPPER. OH MY. When Jara of Urban Stems showed up with a TRUCK LOAD of punchy pink floral with bougainvillea, peonies, ranunculus, garden roses and pops of delicate air plants accented with copper touches (i.e. Arizona's state metal) we stopped in our tracks and jaws gaped open! Brie Dumais Designs nailed these original wood invitations and water color design accents that brought a super fresh but textile element. In case you are looking for a graphic and paper designer for your wedding invitations, programs, signage, LIFE in general, Brie is the SHIZ. RECAP NOTE: Think outside of the box and pay attention to the native plant life as well as the colors and textures of the venue.
(3) BE PAMPERED. BE BOLD. BE TAKEN CARE OF AND WHERE IT WELL... MUAH team at Heather Van Houten along with the incredible gown ( ***drool***) by Tucson's stellar bridal gown shop J Bridal created this understated-yet-drool-worthy bridal look. Red lips plus a stark white hourglass gown with intricate lace and framed with poppy peonies...
(4) SET A STAGE AND PICK AN ACCENT. Setting the stage for a dinner party is one thing. Doing so with cohesive elements that compliment the setting and the vibe and care for details is another. Meagan chose cobalt blue to be the accent that freckled our punchy pinks and native sage colors. Frostings & Ultrapom were both wonderful companies who hooked us up with design elements for staging! They provide rental elements like furniture and seating to further execute a "look" that is refined and swoon-worthy. Sweet Creations laced a classic white tiered cake with gold flecks and eucalyptus details!
(5) LOVE EACH OTHER WITH ALL THAT IS IN YOU. Granted this was a styled shoot, but our models were married in real life and it made the ebb and flow of this whole styled shoot incredible. Dudes, be strong. Girls, stand tall and breath with poise. Love and be loved. Look, laugh, pause...and love some more. All of it. Be as free as the burst of light from behind the alter below and the dancing petals thrown by people who love you. LEAN INTO your wedding day with as much eager joy as you can muster....and then let others help you muster even more. :)
Does this inspire you? Share and leave some love below? Compliment the vendors noted below for the work and art they produce...they are worthy of applause! :) | LKM
// VENDOR LIST //
Flowers: Urban Stems // Hair & Makeup: Heather Van Houten // Wedding Gown: J.Bridal Boutique (designer Wtoo) // Bridesmaid Gown: BHLDN // Suits: Brooks Brothers // Paper Products / Invites: Brie Dumais Designs // Cake: Sweet Creations // Planning & Design: Meagan Crain Event Planning & Design // Furniture: Frostings Event Design & Rentals // Misc. Rentals: Ultrapom
The desert comes alive in April and when Delaney specifically said she wanted COLOR... i knew we had to plan their engagement pictures in the Tucson spring season.
Our main focus in their engagement session was to simply get acquainted with each other and comfortable in front of my camera. We dodged the gnats and aimed to learn posture and posing...posing that begs romance NOT awkwardness (can i get an amen?)
An airman and blonde bombshell in the middle of a springtime desert....Delaney and Rickey's engagement session was as bright and easy as their laughter. Such a joy to get to know them, attempt some romance, capture a little bit of flirt and joy and frankly...Ricky, your fear of being awkward is SHOT DOWN mister. Frankly, your strength and tenderness with Delaney was effortless and I am over the moon with the way you leaned in and loved each other. Thanks for letting me get up and personal with you guys and capture some of the special. - LKM
I am breaking my blog silence with a vulnerable mushy birthday ode and a particularly personal love story :) Today my husband turns 35 and as ALL birthdays should be celebrated WELL, this week is gonna be a good one!
This summer we had a two part family portrait session experience with the fabulous Meredith Amadee Photography. (check her out. she is wonderful, relaxed, loves the authentic and brings out the special :D). This session is fun snapshot of our season. We are city folk learning to be desert rats with an edge. We are falling in love with the craziness that is Tucson and the people that are our church home and the unconventional routine and rhythm that is our normal currently.
We have hunkered down, planted roots, leaned into community and looked toward the future intently. We have been asking questions about "what next"-- "where do we want to grow here in Tucson?" "what do we love?" "what are we passionate about?"...And the single most important and desperately poignant answer has been a mile ahead of all others....EACH OTHER.
I am patiently, loyally, absolutely his. Marriage morphs and fuzzy stuff ebbs and flows and we felt the current HARD and we clung to each other. In the privacy of our home and in the tension of our assessive conversations and growing pains, my head has turned more towards him. The horizon is usually my foremost gaze, but when the race with your best friend hits the hard patches, I realized how much i wanted to stick next to him as I run. WE run. Together.
Oh best friend and only lover ever--you are mine and I am yours and I celebrate you. The simplicity of this is what keeps me tethered to home--to contentment, zeal for our family and a deep passionate longing to grow, still more, with you.
Bring on more desert romance baby. This is OUR love story and i am THRILLED to laugh, love, twirl and make-out among the cactaii many, many more times. :)
P.S. Thank you Meredith, for this incredible treasure of a session. :) you caught the silly, the sexy, the sassy, and the still. :) It was perfect! Love you! And AnaLia...for her magic with makeup. I felt like a movie star :)
They came in from the west coast to visit their alma matre and embrace the nostalgia of the love story that started amid the brick walls of Old Main and park benches along University. They were SO excited....so playful and yet so tender. Here are a few highlights! // LKM
The University of Arizona is where Michael and I met, flirted, danced, tailgated, studied, laughed, and fell in love. In front of Old Main is where we promised to stay by each others side if Michael should ever be deployed, not knowing if we would ever face the stresses and burden of that promise. As life would have it, we did, and just weeks after his return we were able to celebrate with LKM and commemorate his homecoming as well as our engagement in the place we hold so near to our hearts!
FROM THE BRIDE: What were key moments that stood out to you during your session / wedding day?: The University of Arizona is where Michael and I met, flirted, danced, tailgated, studied, laughed, and fell in love. In front of Old Main is where we promised to stay by each others side if Michael should ever be deployed, not knowing if we would ever face the stresses and burden of that promise. As life would have it, we did, and just weeks after his return we were able to celebrate with LKM and commemorate his homecoming as well as our engagement in the place we hold so near to our hearts.
We always knew that campus would be the right place to take our engagement pictures, the difficulty was in finding the perfect photographer to capture the way we feel about one another, and about the place for which we care so deeply. Laura was so thoughtful in making sure that we captured moments in different areas of campus that meant something to us, and we are so appreciative of that!
What were your highlights about working with LKM?: Laura was incredibly flexible with her time, from scheduling to day-of shooting. Our situation was unique in that we booked LKM while Michael was deployed overseas so we weren't quite sure when we could all get together. Laura was encouraging and patient as we worked together to schedule a date. She is truly a ball of energy and made it easy to relax and have fun. Taking professional photographs can be awkward and forced, but her guidance and silly suggestions made the entire session fun!
What would you tell a future client interested in hiring LKM?: Don't hesitate to give her a call. Whether you are a seasoned pro, or someone who has never had their picture taken, Laura makes sure the session is about you. Your personality, your likes, and your comforts, are all paramount in the way she operates. Plus, her final products are to die for!
It was such a treat to meet you two! Thank you for trusting me with this super sweet session! // LKM
Happy Valentine’s Weekend! We hope it is full of joy, hugs and LOTS of WOO :D // Oh! And if you were to find your way to our little webpage and fall in love...we’d love to say, why thank you! All wedding inquiries* received till next friday the 19th will receive $325 credit to go towards an LKM Signature sweetheart / engagement session! (link in profile :D)
When I heard Nathan smiling through the phone I wanted to squeal. But I knew that'd probably embarasse him.....so I did.
He was calling to tell me he talked to Emily's dad and that they were courting. My brother had watched and waited for this little lady for a million years --a good long enough time to have his eyes fixed and his heart hopeful. Who would have thought that back then on the tire swing and in the sandboxes and Awanas and clown parties, they'd have their future hearts align and fall in love. Gaining Emily as a sister is...just so crazy beautiful! :) Here are a few highlights from the Bugbee's winter wedding in Upland, Southern California :)
Guys started off getting ready at Foothill Bible Church. Super casual at a place the Bugbees call home... Nathan found these sweet 'wallet ninjas' as gifts for his men...
We were able to jot down the road a bit to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Trail where Emily snuck up to have their first moment together... by far, one of my most favorite moments of a wedding day is the First Look. The emotions are all just so raw. And there is no pressure, no weird audience oggling, just pure nervousness and crazy beautiful excitement for each other.
Nathan's groomsmen....were on par. (note: the picture below with emily and her brothers...was NOT posed. Her brothers had never seen her kiss before and were legitimately shocked and flipped out a little.)
Mr. Nakamaura is a long-time friend and notorious for his tears...we joked about what he would be like throughout the day. We were surprised and tickeld to see both he and mother of the bride so so joyful....it was the aisle, however, that broke him. When he saw Nathan's face perhaps. Or realized he was giving away his only daughter... it was a sweet, sweet thing to see. Giving her to this man that waited for her. And would strive to lead her...the whole ceremony was full of celebration and worship!
At some point during the ceremony it rained hard. And before preparing for the couple's reception grand entrance, we grabbed a few sweetheart spins together in the puddles outside of the church.
And then it was time to dine...speeches were raw and the theme was deep deep gratitude. It was casual and large and hugs and 'yehaws' resounded in the church gym topped off with a surprise groomsmen dance for Emily.
Congrats you two!! It was such a treasure to be part of your wedding day! I hope these moments and this full full day is such a treasure-trove of memories for years to come! Welcome to the family Emily! | LKM
P.S And also....super important to name a few key partners for this particular wedding... Emily Rickard & Elyse Defoe came to join the LKM team and capture this story! They took the reigns whenever I (Laura) could be IN family pictures and also be part of the story too! So so thankful for their precious spirits and creative eyeballs!
When woodsy meets urban you get PJ & Mariah's sweet and spicy engagement session on Tucon's Mt. Lemmon. We met a very cold winter morning and navigated sunbeam-glazed pine trees and long green reeds and goosebumps and butterflies in the stomach. And we laughed and played and showed off their ink and the way he dipped her and they was she liked it... so much love. :) enjoy some highlights AND check in tomorrow to see their WEDDING STORY highlights!
When the morning sun rises and the cactus blooms and twiterpated folks like James + Lindsey come eager to be sweet, silly and nostalgic... I watch the saguaro's shadows shorten, the ocotillo brighten, a yellow vintage dress twirl and a precious anticipation be a wonderful backdrop for it all.
These are called love story sessions because looks and laughs are my favorite parts of stories--the breaths in between and the pauses that anticipate the next chapter they have yet to experience. | LKM
p.s. and if you love these quaint perfect little details, just WAIT till you see their wedding! :)
//THE WARNER BROS. STORY//
So now that the TV SHOW has aired, i can share the backstory about a cool unprecedented opportunity we had earlier this month! A few weeks ago Warner Bros. called and asked to use an engagement picture in one of their episodes of MAJOR CRIMES. My client, Jeff, had landed a role on the show and part of the story line involved a fictional fiance. They asked if he had any recent sweetheart pictures and voila! LKM got the call asking for a few high res images to use in their fake mock up of a wedding site, we negotiated release, copyright limitations, usage and and the episode aired on TNT this past Wednesday! It's a 2 second clip (i'me efficient with my 5 minutes of fame ;D). Watched it in my pjs last night with a surreal thankfulness for cool opportunities and exposure! Check out Season 4 Episode 10 Here :)
So in other details that are highly more important and not nearly as narcissitic... Jeff & Emily are a riot. Highschool sweethearts. An actor. A fitness model. Vegans. Lovers. Laughers.
I'm delighted to be trusted with capturing a piece of their love story during this season.
This session was set in this crazy random hole in a hill called Potato Mountain in the Claremont foothills of Southern California. We hung out in the last few rays of sunbeams, reached a few inner childs (yes i know that is not grammatically correct), and got to know each other. Having shot their family reunion several months prior, I had only seen slivers of Jeff's erratic (cough) goofy side and Emily's soft-spoken but eye-twinkling exuberance. Their affection is natural with longevity sprinkled all over it. :) ....
// CLIENT REVIEW //
(i swear i didn't pay him to say these things)
There i was, in my pjs watching a tv show flash this sweetheart picture created by LKM STUDIOS. I was pumped. Jeff then sends a follow up email titled: "REVIEW" with the instructions: Post this. It sounds like i'm not your spokesperson but a real client. And if i couldn't get any more narcissitic, I figure sharing the review hammers in that nail for the day.
"This is not just a photographer. This is not just a pretty face with an even prettier personality. This is a force of nature. LKM is so good, that her photographs cross into different dimensions. It's true. One of our engagement pictures from our session with Laura was so electrifying, so vibrant, that it crossed from everyday land into TV land on the famous TNT drama 'Major Crimes.' How is this even possible? How could TV characters even find out about a photographer from a different dimension? Well, once you meet this woman, you will know that she is out of this world. Hate smiling? You will love smiling after your session with Laura. Feel unsexy? Laura will make you feel so darn sexy. Don't want to show intimacy with your significant other in public? Laura will make you feel confident, playful, and grateful to be taking pictures with the love of your life. Positive, warm, talented, and fun, book your session with Laura K Moore now!"