Alex and Holly heating up Flagstaff

Alex and Holly, engagement session, portrait, sunset, kiss, flagstaff  So I love the outdoors.  Always have and probably always will enjoy getting out on the trails.  The first time I spoke to Holly she told me Alex and the family were headed up for a weekend of camping.  Better yet, they thought it would great if we could do their engagement session in the mountains somewhere.  Hold up…in the mountains you say?  Yep, it was pretty much on from there.

  If you’ve ever been to Flagstaff, Az in the summer you know that any plan is subject to Mother Nature and the monsoon storms.  The afternoon of their shoot was no different.  I had my eyes glued to the radar screen on my phone as their showtime ticked closer and closer.  Literally five minutes before they arrived a severe thunderstorm band passed through dumping buckets of rain and hail.

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They pulled up and just like that, the skies parted a cool breeze came in from the West and the sun shined down.  No really, that’s how it happened.  I have witnesses.

Forest 5_fbAlex and Holly, engagement session, portrait, sunset, kiss, flagstaff  Would you believe one of these two rock stars told me that they hated being in front of the camera and just didn’t “take good photos”.  Yeah…uh huh.  Sure ya’ don’t.

Alex and Holly, engagement session, portrait, sunset, kiss, flagstaffAlex and Holly, engagement session, portrait, sunset, kiss, flagstaffAlex and Holly, engagement session, portrait, sunset, kiss, flagstaffAfter a quick change we left the trails for a nearby meadow with a view.

Alex and Holly, engagement session, portrait, sunset, kiss, flagstaffAlex and Holly, engagement session, portrait, sunset, kiss, flagstaff

From start to finish, Alex and Holly rocked it out on a mountain in Flagstaff, Arizona.  If the good time we had during this shoot is any indication, their wedding in April is going to be amazing!  I for one can’t wait!  So make sure to stop by and tell the happy couple congratulations!

PS…want to know my favorite thing about being out on the trails?  Seeing sights like this!  Courtesy of Mother Nature and on this particular night, the awesome Alex and Holly!

Meadow 7Interesting fact…You can’t see them, but during this portion of the shoot we had an audience (about 30-40 people) on the ridge behind me.  I think they had come to check out the sunset but they ended up cheering and whistling every time Alex and Holly kissed.  Alex and Holly could see them and they cracked up every time.

Meadow kiss coveredHave a great weekend everybody!

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Hey, don’t just stop here, let’s get social 🙂  Come visit me on Facebook or Twitter and join in on the fun.  Or if you’re looking for something on the light side lets share our odd little worlds on “Instagram” at Sean_spphotography.   See you next time everybody 🙂

Sean

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Changing the Honeymoon Paradigm

From the desk of: Veronica

Did anyone else watch Newlyweds: The First Year
on Bravo? No? Just me? What can I say, I’m a sucker for reality TV; especially Bravo.

One couple on the show did something different instead of taking a typical honeymoon, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Tina and Tarz decided to forgo a big trip and, instead, do one activity a month together that would put one or both of them outside of their comfort zone. The only two things I remember were getting tattoos and getting “nude” photos taken together (no parts, just lots of skin).

I think this once-a-month thing is a great idea and I could see it playing out in so many different ways. It’s just so unique, and since some people will be able to take big fancy trips throughout the rest of their life (ahem, not me, being all poor and whatnot), so this could be a fun and different way to not only celebrate their wedding, but the entire first year of marriage.

Here are a few ways you could tailor this idea to your personalities, budgets, and lifestyles:

  1. For adrenaline-junkies and/or people who wish they were more adventurous: Plan one adventure a month. Sky-diving, race car driving, bungee jumping. Pick your poison.
  2. For those who are new to the area/state: Visit a different “highlight” your state has to offer to learn more about your surroundings.
  3. For you crazy campers: One campground a month. They can be wildly different, in far-flung locales, or maybe they all have a theme. (If my husband were choosing, that theme would be “rustic; no toilets allowed.” Kill me.)
  4. For those who want to travel more in the continental US: Visit a different state every month. This would be especially do-able for those on the east coast in all those tiny states. A bunch of states would only be a tank of gas away!
  5. Music-lovers who never go to concerts or haven’t for a long time: One concert a month – within driving distance or far away! Make it as cheap or globe-trotting as you want.
  6. For couples who already have families/no time alone: Maybe the best and most relaxing thing would be to book a room in a nice hotel once a month. Like any of the other traveling ideas, you could make them nearby or far-flung, expensive or inexpensive, but the main idea is to get away, get some sleep, have some uninterrupted time, and perhaps some fluffy bathrobes and room service.

What do you think? Would the promise of extending the honeymoon over an entire year be enough to do things a little differently? Is it something you would consider?

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), on TwitterInstagram, (and Pinterest!). Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.


Dream Wedding Calculator

From the desk of: Veronica


Have you ever heard of the website Dream Wedding Calculator? I guarantee that it is going to be one of three things for you:

  1. A helpful tool to get you started before the major wedding planning begins,
  2. Something that will help you realize that the wedding you already had was the perfect wedding for you and you didn’t really want the “wedding of your dreams,” OR
  3. Something that consumes you as you try combination after combination and start planning weddings all over the world

Seriously though, this is a fantastic tool if you haven’t gotten into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning and want a big picture – can you do what you want to do for $10,000, or is it going to cost you triple your budget? Well, if your dreams are going to cost $30,000 and you only have $10,000, then you can change your preferences, re-arrange your options, and see what it’s going to take to get a wonderful wedding within your means. It would also be helpful if you’re deep into planning and something major has to change to make the budget work, so it would definitely be helpful in all aspects of planning.

I put in all my preferences for my “realistic” dream wedding (in Michigan instead of say, Tahiti), and it helped me realize how smart we really were. We would still be paying that sucker off today, that’s for sure, and I still thought my wedding day was the best day ever, so GO ME.

But really. I remember sitting down and trying to make a budget right after getting engaged and having no idea where to start. And I was WAY off. Shocker, right? This website is a fun and easy way to get the big picture and start thinking about all the moving parts involved in your big day.

So, go forth and calculate!

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), on TwitterInstagram, (and Pinterest!). Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.


Remembering

From the desk of: Veronica

Last night I had a terrible nightmare. I woke up in a fog, and for hours I couldn’t shake the feeling of being scared and on alert.

Then I remembered what day it was today.

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September 11th 2001 was one of the most terrifying days of my life — and I wasn’t even there. I didn’t see it, I didn’t have to escape from the buildings, I didn’t have to call loved ones to say good-bye, I didn’t run in to save anyone. I didn’t even know anyone directly affected.

And yet, I couldn’t shake the terror, the anger, the outrage, the sadness. The overwhelming sadness.

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It took me a long time to realize that sometimes really good things happen at the same time the most horrible things are happening. While it was the worst day I could remember, it was also a day when countless heroes were born.

All those people who ran toward the buildings instead of away.

All the service men and women, the average people, the people who were more scared than they had ever been in their lives but thought of others and made a decision to help — all those people are what make this country really great.

America faced a horrific day, and Americans faced it with courage and love.

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It’s good to remember this day, and I truly hope you can remember it without hate in your hearts, and instead with love and reverence for those who did such good on this day and every day after.

Thank you to everyone who tried to make good from a bad situation and loved before hating.

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You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), on TwitterInstagram, (and Pinterest!). Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

Project Drive-In – Saving an American Icon

From the desk of: Veronica

As summer draws to a close, drive-ins around the country will close up shop for the season. Unfortunately, for many of them, their doors will never open again.

The movie industry is switching from film to digital, and the cost of an upgrade to a digital projector costs $80,000, which is out of reach for the majority of drive-ins, which are largely family-owned businesses.

Luckily, Honda wants to help preserve this part of our culture and is pledging to donate projectors to FIVE drive-ins. The public will choose the five that get the new digital projectors, and there are only a handful of days left to vote!


Now, you might have a drive-in you love that you want to save, but if you don’t, you could always help save mine 😉

Click THIS LINK to visit the Project Drive-In page and vote for a theater. And if you need suggestions, the Hi-Way Drive-In in Carsonville, MI, could use some votes.

Please vote, pass it along, and donate if you have some spare scratch.

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), on TwitterInstagram, (and Pinterest!). Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.