Tim & Amber

Tim and Amber live six doors down from me. In the two years since I met them, we have become friends and Dixie and I have gotten in the habit of picking up Amber and their dog Ruby when we pass by on our walks. These two are the kind of neighbors everyone wants -- bring you soup when you're sick, help you with your plumbing issues, show up in a pinch kind of neighbors -- and I'm so thankful for them and their generous spirits.

This past October, Tim was kind enough to let us use his 1963 Ford Falcon Convertible for the MJ2Day mock engagement shoot and I knew that I wanted to say "thank you" to these two by giving them a session of their own. Besides, every man who is as crazy about his car as Tim is, needs some photos with it and his woman. So this weekend we drove out to the middle of nowhere and did just that. We got some amazing light and I love how these turned out!

That was fun! Thanks for your friendship and kindness to me Tim & Amber!


Equipment used for this shoot: Canon 5D Mark III // Canon 50mm 1.2 lens // Canon 24mm 1.4 lens

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Portrait Faves 2013

2013 is coming to a close and I thought it would be fun to do a couple posts highlighting my favorites photos of the year. Tomorrow I'll be sharing my favorite wedding photos of the year, but today I'm posting my favorite portraits. These include engagement photos and family portraits of an assorted variety.

The following 20 images (in the order they were taken) resulted from a quick pick on my part, based on how each photo made me feel. These are my personal favorites. But I'd love to know what you think! Leave a comment but more importantly make sure to vote for your faves by clicking on the star icon under the ones you like. To see the results of the vote, click on "portfolio" then "blog favorites" above.





















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Mini-Session Favorties

I photographed SIX sweet families this past Saturday during my last day of mini-portrait sessions. It was so fun to connect with all of them and capture a bit of their cuteness. I can't wait to put their faces on holiday cards as well!

Here are a few of my favorites from each session:

This is Shannon, Chuckie, Charlie and Jamie. I loved little Jamie's smile!

Next is Emily, Steve and Max. How adorable and stylin' is this little 10 month old guy?

The adorable Edwards family! I loved meeting little Evelyn for the first time!

Jessica, Tony and their six-month old daughter Leila were so fun!

I photographed Alex & Marci's wedding in February and got to see them again for family portraits. I love that they included their family pups!

And finally, this is Sarah, a dear friend who is also on my team for Align -- my album design company -- and her cute family.

TOO stinkin' cute!!!

What a fun day of shoots! That wraps up my first season of holiday mini-sessions! If you didn't get in on the action this year, definitely plan to join in next fall!


Equipment used for this sessions: Canon 5D Mark III // Canon 50mm 1.2 lens // Canon 24mm 1.4 lens // Canon 70-200 2.8 lens

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Kohne Family Portraits

It's the cute Kohne family again! These guys have been regulars on my blog ever since their Kauai wedding four years ago. They are neighbors and friends and I love capturing their dog-centric family yearly.

This year, I found out that they love biking with their dogs to a nearby dog-friendly restaurant, so I suggested we incorporate their bikes into the shoot. I'm so glad we did! How cute is this?

It was a gorgeous day for lounging outdoors:

Marley and Jackson are adored and loved by David and Katie. They are so cute, and I especially love Jack's one ear at attention:

What a fun shoot! Thanks for your friendship David & Katie! Dixie and I are thankful for you!


Equipment used for this shoot: Canon 5D Mark III // Canon 50mm 1.2 lens // Canon 70-200 2.8 lens

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Mini-Session Cuteness

On Saturday I got to photograph four cute families at The Grove in Gilbert. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time! Here are some of my favorites from each mini-session.

First up is my associate photographer Mary and her husband and three-year-old son. How adorable are they!?

Next up is Andrea -- a friend and one of my designers for Align -- and her husband Joel and three-year-old son Hamilton:

Andrea and Joel are expecting another son in January!!

This next family is my dear friends, the Swansons. I have photographed them countless times over the years and every time their family is different! That's because Scott and Julie have been foster parents for a number of years. This summer, they adopted three of their foster kids, and now their family is complete and should look like this for years to come. Yay!!

Here are all 6 kids from oldest to youngest (L to R & Top to Bottom). The top three are biological and the bottom three are adopted. What an adorable crew!

Scott and Julie did a jig behind me to get this reaction. I think sometimes parents work harder than me at family portrait shoots!

I love this married couple -- some of my favorite people ever.

One more of the whole family of eight!

And finally, here are the Hendleys. Annette, Rob, and their sons Justin & Jacob. I photographed them awhile back and it was fun to reconnect with them again!

What a great set of sessions!! My last day of holiday mini-sessions is coming up this Saturday, the 9th. I still have a few slots open if anyone wants to jump in last minute! Contact Sara at sara[at}melissajill{dot}com for more info!


Equipment used for this sessions: Canon 5D Mark III // Canon 50mm 1.2 lens // Canon 24mm 1.4 lens // Canon 70-200 2.8 lens

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