Weddings by MJ

Anthony & Becky

They fell in love at dinner one night. They had only known each other a couple months. But sitting there in a Chicago restaurant, across a small table, in a dimly lit room... they were falling in love.

Becky loved his wit, his spontaneity.
She loved his passion for life, and his playful spirit.
She loved that he met her with flowers at the airport when she came home.
And Anthony loved her strength, her drive.
He loved her class, her beauty.
He loved the way she smelled and how she felt in his arms.

It was that night at dinner that they KNEW. This was the one. Becky couldn't spend enough time with him, and Anthony - Anthony can remember every emotion, every detail, every breath of that night. In his own words, "I knew from that day forward this was the woman I wanted to be with for the rest of my life." A moment he would never forget.

This past week, Anthony and Becky left Chicago just as the air started to chill and traveled to Scottsdale to become husband and wife. And with every glance between them during their wedding, I imagined that THIS is what they must have looked like - sitting in that restaurant at a quiet table for two, falling in love.

The wedding took place at the picturesque Four Seasons. It couldn't have been a more beautiful day.

Becky's Jenny Lee gown was gorgeous:

Becky looked so stunning in it!

Anthony looked handsome all dressed up and ready to see his bride:

The couple did a first look before the ceremony so we had a chance to walk around the venue and get some great portraits.

The bridal party was a good looking bunch:

And what an amazing backdrop for the ceremony!

SO sweet:

Becky's father walked her down the aisle:

Husband & wife!

The dinner setting and decor provided by White House Flowers were amazing:

The perfect setting for an outdoor dinner reception:

After dinner, the party moved indoors:

I'm so happy for you Becky & Anthony!

Click here to see even more photos from this gorgeous wedding!


Vendors responsible for the amazingness:
Coordinator: Jen Thye with Imoni Events
Ceremony & reception venue & cake: Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North
Florist & Decor: White House Flowers
Hair: Ruca Bowman at Hautie Rouge
Make-up: Sarah Sanmarco
Officiant: Charlie VanDyke
Invitations: BeUBrides
Band: Static
Videographer: Simply Cinema

Equipment used for this wedding:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm 1.2 lens
Canon 24mm 1.4 lens
Canon 70-200 2.8 lens
2 Canon Speedlite 580 EXs
Gary Fong Lightsphere
2 Lumedyne HV Tinycycler Battery Packs
2 Pocketwizards
Light Stand with umbrella bracket and cold shoe

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MJ's Camera Bag


new mug shots

In an effort to keep my bio photos updated, I recently had my good friends Gina & Marcus of Gina Meola Photography shoot me some new mug shots. I ADORE these friends and am so thankful God has brought so many good photographer friends into my life to bless my socks off.

I also want to give a big shout out to my friend Alex Evjen of AVE styles who styled my wardrobe and stuck around during the shoot to make sure I didn't have a hair out of place or something stuck in my teeth, and Tina Burnham who did my hair and make-up! They are both FAB!

For last year's shoot I went a little glam, so for this year, I decided to go a little more lifestyle. Gina and Marcus are huge dog-lovers like me, so they were happy to include the love of my life -- Ms. Dixie dog -- in some of the photos. Here are some of my faves:

Yay! Click here to see even more photos on Gina's fabulous blog and make sure to leave her & Marcus some love!

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the [un]tour -- free photo workshops!

For the past 5 days, my friends Khara and Emir Plicanic have been staying with me. Khara is a wedding photographer based out of Lincoln, Nebraska who I met through Photogirls. These two are in the midst of completing a HUGE feat -- They're biking 3100 miles across the country from San Diego to St. Augustine, FL on a mission to educate & inspire everyone with a camera. Phoenix was their 2nd stop on their tour and they rolled into town 3 days early (thus the 5 day stay) and yesterday taught 2 classes: One for beginners/hobbyists (10 Tips to Instantly Improve Your Photos), the other for pro wedding shooters (Wickedly Fast Wedding Workflow). The beginner class is inspired by Khara's new book Your Camera Loves You, which I got the chance to flip through while they were here. It looks AMAZING!

Khara and Emir are calling their trip "The [UN]tour" because it's [UN]conventional, [UN]expected, and [UN]believably awesome! They are taking a southern route to stay warm, so they can't stop at EVERY city, but here is their list of upcoming stops:

Las Cruces
New Orleans

Khara will be teaching both of her workshops in each of these cities and the amazing thing is that THEY'RE FREE! Check out the official [UN]Tour website for more details and to sign up!

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101 in 1001

Taylor Swift Concert

On Friday night I checked a fun goal off my list. Goal #50 to be exact -- See Taylor Swift in concert.

Super. Fun.

I went with my friends Julie and Katina and my sister and parents (who somehow didn't make the photo collage -- sorry guys!) and we had a blast. Although our seats were only 6 rows from the very top of the arena, we were thoroughly entertained and yes, I sang most of the words.

With Taylor Swift you just can't help it -- her songs are so catchy.

I'm just amazed at her song-writing abilities. She's been on the earth all of what...21 years?... and she writes in a way that is SO genuine and SO relatable. Seriously mind-blowing. My favorite song of hers is "Back to December." Brilliant and so uniquely evocative.

It will be fun to watch her career develop over the years -- so much talent and so much time to share it. I'm a fan!

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Weddings by MJ

James & Gabby

Typically love in a middle school involves innocent preteens passing notes during class or holding hands in the hallways. For James and Gabby, middle school love happened between the Physical Education teacher/Baseball Coach and the Administrative clerk. They met at work and the moment James saw her, he was taken by her beauty. He would use any excuse he could think of just to walk by her desk - which meant he was making WAY more copies than what a PE teacher typically needs. He would always pretend to be hungry so that they could grab food - which meant he was eating WAY more than a PE teacher typically eats. But it didn't matter. It was on one of those afternoon lunches, in the parking lot of a Subway restaurant that they kissed for the first time. And with that kiss they both knew... this middle school love was going to last forever.

James & Gabby were married Saturday in their home town of Yuma, Arizona. The day started in Gabby's family's home:

Gabby's mom and sisters helped her get glammed up:

She made a beautiful bride:

James looked great and I loved his baseball cuff links!

These two are so cute together:

The ceremony took place at this cute little church:

Gabby's father proudly walked her down the aisle:

Yay! Husband & wife!

To see even more photos from this wedding, click here to watch the slideshow!


Equipment used for this wedding:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm 1.2 lens
Canon 24mm 1.4 lens
Canon 70-200 2.8 lens
Canon Speedlite 580 EX
Gary Fong Lightsphere
Lumedyne HV Tinycycler Battery Pack

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