Kohne Family Portraits

I photographed David & Katie's wedding two and a half years ago in Kauai. And I love that they keep asking me to capture their family year after year. They are such a great couple and, among other things, we've bonded over fixing up our houses, gardening, and our love of one of God's best creations: little dogs. Jackson and Marley are their family and have been in every shoot I've done with them since their engagement photos. And you KNOW I love it! They are such little cuties and are so easy to photograph.

We did the entirety of their shoot in their yard and neighborhood and here are some of my faves. Here's Jackson with his signature -- one ear at attention:

You guys are awesome! Thankful for your friendship!


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

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wedding inspiration

Modern Wedding Shoot: Featured on Junebug!

I'm SOOOO excited to finally be able to share with you an amazing styled shoot that I recently got to be a part of! It is featured today over on Junebug Weddings! I partnered with the following vendors and the combined talent of this amazing team birthed this modern wedding inspiration concept!

Concept, planning & integration of a gazillion details: The girls from Outstanding Occasions
Styling: Alex Evjen of AVE Styles
Florist: Camelback Flowershop
Venue: W Scottsdale
Invitation & paper suite: Idieh Design
Models: The Agency Arizona
Dresses: Mariee Gallery
Make-up: Bliss Spa
Hair: Organic Hair Lounge
Pink Necklace: Laura Eva Designs
All other jewelry: Emmaquist
Shoes & Menswear: Saks Fifth Avenue
Linens & Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Cakes: Classic Cakes & Confections

I haven't participated in many styled shoots in the past. And I have mixed feelings about them. I don't think images from styled shoots should be used by photographers to show what they can do on a wedding day. Styled shoots and wedding days are two different beasts entirely. BUT I do think styled shoots have their place. I think they are a great way to inspire couples who are planning their weddings. And for me, I specifically want to inspire brides & grooms to make their weddings uniquely about THEM. I want them to feel complete freedom to put their own personalities and the things they LOVE into making their weddings unique. I think sometimes brides see something and copy it, and in this way, many weddings end up looking alike. But I love it when couples feel inspired to do something different that speaks to who they are. Enter the concept behind this styled shoot.

Our bride & groom were models but this shoot was built around two characters who inspired the details & direction of the "wedding." Tori, an interior designer and fashionista from LA, married Tyson, a quirky, Arizona guy who grew up riding horses. This modern couple juxtaposed masculine & feminine details throughout their wedding with a primarily black, white & grey color palette inserted with a pop of pink. Their love for fashion, horses and donuts also showed up in the details.

We're so thrilled with how the shoot came out and hope that it inspires future brides & grooms to put their personalities into their weddings!

Camelback Flowershop created two amazing bouquets and I fell in love with the zipper wrap on this one!

Tori & Tyson wore one look for the ceremony portion of the day and one look for the reception. This first dress is a WTOO dress with a sweetheart neckline. Tyson sports a checkered shirt, bow tie and tweed jacket.

I love the varied black and white patterns on the invitation suite that Heidi put together!

The details for the reception tables included ghost chairs, horse heads and pink painted succulents:

I had a lot of fun shooting around the fabulously modern W Scottsdale:

These three cakes from Classic Cakes & Confections were INCREDIBLE:

The second gown was a Matthew Christopher Dalia Dress and Tyson changed into a black polka dot tie:

Pink painted succulents also made an appearance as part of the escort cards:

In addition to the fabulous cakes, the reception included a designer donut table:

What a fun shoot! There are more photos and details over on the Junebug Weddings Blog feature. Click here to check it out!


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

For reception table shots:
Canon Speedlite 580 EX
Lumedyne HV Tinycycler Battery Pack
2 Pocketwizards
Light Stand with umbrella bracket and cold shoe
50" Softbox

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...for my sister's pumpkin pie, among other things.

I think I've decided that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yep, I have.

Yesterday was everything I love wrapped up into one day. I only wish it lasted longer. My family converged on my parent's house, which is my favorite place to spend Thanksgiving. It's SO cozy. We ate AMAZING food, went on a walk to the park, napped and played card games. Then ate amazing food again.

The amazing food was primarily supplied by my mom and sister who are great cooks. Every year we divide up the cooking responsibilities. My mom & sister make the plan. The last two years, I've been responsible for picking up the pies. This year, the whole of my responsibilities could be filled by combining these four ingredients:

As you can see, there's a common theme here: I can't be trusted with much.

I've come to terms with this and embraced it. Actually, I've added the fact that I am not given much of the cooking responsibilities to my "what I'm thankful for" list. This time of year, being that I'm a photographer, I don't have much free time on my hands. So buying the rolls and cooking a simple sweet potato dish is right up my alley.

My mom made the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. My sister made the pies and green beans:

Josh, my brother-in-law meanwhile, worked hard to find the deals:

And here's me with my creation:

As we sat down starving, ready to inhale the amazing-smelling goodness, my mom sweetly suggested that we all go around and say something we're thankful for. My sister, in her tell-it-like-it-is manner, shot back with, "Maybe we could do that while we eat because this is pretty much torture."

So we prayed, dug in and THEN shared what we were thankful for. My list included my family, Dixie, what I get to do for a living and my full-time office manager, Sara, who came on and has helped me simultaneously take things to the next level and achieve more balance in my life this year. God brought her into my life exactly a year ago this week.

SUCH a great day. As we were devouring some of our favorite food, we all agreed that we should do Thanksgiving at least 3 times a year. Josh suggested monthly. Spending quality time with family, focusing on what we're thankful for and eating yummy food? I could get behind doing that monthly.

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David, Ashley & baby Bennett

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you all have a belly full of Turkey right now :).

You may remember that back in August, I shared some newborn photos of baby Bennett -- then only 2 weeks old. Last night I had the chance to see him again -- now 4 months old -- and the little man has clearly been working hard on growing. He's such a little chunk of love!! David & Ashley wanted to document their family at this stage and get some photos for their Christmas cards, and I was only too thrilled to see them all again.

This time, little Bennett let us see his eyeballs. And they were pretty cute.

The light in their home was amazing:

Such a sweet family:

I feel so blessed to get to do what I do for a living. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Equipment used for this shoot:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm 1.2 lens

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For Photographers

2nd best Christmas gift EVER

I know. You're all rolling your eyes at me. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and I'm mentioning Christmas. I'm becoming one of those people I myself find annoying. You know -- the kind that skips over Thanksgiving all together and starts putting up lights and playing Christmas music after Halloween?

I'm sorry Thanksgiving -- you KNOW I love you. I will be savoring your yummy goodness (both metaphorically speaking and literally speaking) all day tomorrow. I'm thankful for you. And you're still one of my two favorite holidays.

BUT. Christmas is around the corner and I can't wait to share with you all what the 2nd best Christmas gift EVER would be for the photographer in your life.

I almost titled this post "BEST Christmas gift ever" but then realized that I love Jesus and am SO thankful God gave us the gift of his Son to come to earth, walk among us and ultimately save us. So clearly, Jesus -- the reason we even celebrate Christmas -- is the best gift ever.

With that said, do you have a photographer in your life who is on your "to buy for" list? Someone who maybe started a business anywhere from a few months ago to five years ago? Someone who LOVES photography but just wants to take their work to the next level? Or maybe someone who loves the art of photography but really struggles with the business side of things?

Or, do you find yourself reading this and YOU fit the above description?

I have THREE spots left in my January MJ 2 Day workshop that would make the 2nd best Christmas presents EVER for three lucky photographers. Two full days of learning goodness in my home in Phoenix, Arizona. An experience that will transform them and motivate them to take their photography and businesses to the next level. What an amazing gift that would be!

And if you ARE that photographer, why not put the MJ 2 Day on your Christmas list? I know husbands who have earned some SERIOUS points in the past when their wives ask for the workshop as a gift and they come through.

There are only three spots left but I can't wait to find out who they will go to! I hope they each end up under someone's tree in just over a month!

Click here to go to the workshop website for all the details and to snatch up one of the remaining spots today!

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