another wedding day blunder

Remember when I shared last Spring that I CAUGHT ON FIRE AT A WEDDING? Well, I have another equally classy wedding day incident to share with you from Brian & Heather's wedding last Saturday at Silverleaf Club. The day went beautifully. Gorgeous couple, great venue -- I'm loving life. So we're at the reception and it's time for me to take the blue sky shot of the venue. I walk down the hill and get this image:

On my way back up I'm looking off to my right and see the next shot I want to take. This beauty:


I've lived in Phoenix for 21 years. Never once have I gotten stuck by a cactus. No, I waited until I was working at a classy venue shooting a beautiful wedding to be impaled by cacti spines.

If you look closely at the image I took just moments before said incident occurred, you will see the perpetrator. A cholla.

After running into the cactus with my upper left arm, I proceeded to take the shot I had been envisioning and then made my way back up to my assistants who were sitting outside on the patio. We had a good laugh, Lizzie snapped this photo:

And then Shannon extracted 12 spines from my arm. Fun times.

Yet another lesson to add to the book 'o classy wedding day blunders -- and this one is deep: Watch where you are going.

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Album Design Templates


Brian & Heather's Album Design

Brian & Heather were married Saturday at Silverleaf Club in Scottsdale and we just finished their album design! I love how colorful it is and how it tells the story of their day.

Click here to see the full design! And keep in mind that the finished album is much larger -- 14x10 inches in size.

Note to photographers: If you need help getting YOUR album designs done fast, click here to find out how you can purchase my templates!

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Kleiman Family Portraits

I recently met up with this cute family at Desert Mountain to capture some family portraits for them. You may recognize Seth and Bethy -- the cute couple on the left -- from my blog. They've made two appearances already. I shot their engagement photos last August and a portrait session with them and their adorable dog Ella back in September. These two are getting married in September and hands down they win the prize for the most pre-wedding sessions I've ever done! I love it! Because of them I'm thinking I might need to come up with some type of frequent customer program with my own little punch cards. Like once you buy 10 sessions you get the next one free :).

This time we got together to capture family portraits for Bethy's family. The session was a surprise for her parents who live up in Desert Mountain and I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with Bethy's family before the wedding in September. I'm going to have so much fun at their wedding feeling like part of the family!

Bethy's brother Benji, his wife Aimee and their 2-year-old son Jonah were in town visiting from Chicago. So cute:

I love the bright colors they chose to wear:

Jonah is excited to meet his sibling who is on the way:

Dan and Joy have been married for 34 years!

We ended the shoot at Dan and Joy's home so we could make sure to include "the rest of the family" in a shot. These guys LOVE their puppies so of course we get along great :).

Since our shoot last September Seth and Bethy have added a new member to the family -- little 3 pound Sophie. I couldn't believe this thing was actually alive -- she was so itty bitty I could put her in my pocket. And believe me, I wanted to.

Can't wait for the wedding!!

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Weddings by MJ

Brian & Heather

It's a love that has spanned the country and will travel the world. Heather and Brian met at a lounge when they were both living in New York City in October of 2006. After that first night and their first conversation Heather remembers thinking "Wow. He is tall, handsome and smart." Everything she had been hoping to find. And while first impressions are telling, it was that first New York winter they spent curled up indoors that they knew this could be it. Over home cooked meals, they expressed their mutual passion for travel, the love of a big city with so much to offer, and a shared intellectual fire. As the chill of winter swept through the city, they were warm. It was as if they were already laying the groundwork for this beautiful desert day.

Since that first night they have filled each other's lives with love and adventure. From helicopter rides in Kauai, snow-mobiling treks in Quebec, skiing in Telluride, to dinner at home, relaxing on the couch, watching a movie, this couple couldn't be more perfect for each other. Even Brian's 6'4" build is perfectly matched by Heather who stands at 5'9". When Brian left New York to take a job in San Francisco, he returned to Central Park for a proposal that involved a ring and a puppy. Heather joined Brian in San Francisco several months later. On Saturday they came together in Scottsdale, Arizona to celebrate their wedding day in front of their friends and family. It was clear from the way Brian looked at Heather that he was still as taken by her beauty, her class, her intellect, her strawberry blonde hair as he was that very first night.

The wedding took place at one of my favorite venues -- Silverleaf Club -- and it was a gorgeous Spring day. I felt so honored to witness the beginning of the next chapter in the life of this couple who is truly meant for each other.

The day started with the girls getting primped and prepped:

Heather's amazing shoes:

The room we were in offered some dramatic lighting:

Heather's Jewel by Pricilla of Boston gown was stunning and I love this shot of her girls helping her into her dress:

Unfortunately the couple's beloved dog Toby who was in their engagement photos was not able to make it out to the wedding but Brian sent Heather a card with puppies on the front in his honor:

I was able to grab a few shots of Brian getting ready to see his bride:

Brian and Heather saw each other before the ceremony and I love the emotion I was able to capture during their first look:

These two were so into each other it made my job capturing portraits of them a breeze. We got so many great ones:

Here's some fun photos of the bridal party -- such a great group!

The flowers were magnificent and were done by Brady's Floral Gallery:

While I was shooting some other fun photos of the girls, I had them hand off their bouquets to the guys. Lizzie -- my fabulous 2nd shooter -- grabbed them and got this fun shot:

The ceremony took place on a lawn with a beautiful mountain backdrop.


I love the emotion that comes out right after the ceremony. This is a fun shot I caught of Brian with his sister Ruth:

I don't usually post family portraits on my blog but I just loved the setting and beautiful light we were able to find for these:

The reception details were immaculate:

A couple first dance shots I love:

After the father/daughter dance Heather's dad bowed to her. What a cute moment!

And the mother/son dance was so sweet and full of emotion:

Love this couple!

If you'd like to see even more photos from this amazing day, click here to watch the slideshow!

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MJ's Camera Bag


MJ 2 Day East Coast!

The next MJ 2 Day photography/business workshop will be held September 20-21 in Charlotte, NC! I'm SO excited to bring the workshop to the East Coast! I've held three MJ 2 Days in Phoenix so far and I always have a good number of attendees who fly cross-country to attend. It will be so great to bring the workshop to THEM!

If you're interested in taking your photo business to the next level, this may be the workshop for you! Check out the MJ 2 Day website for all the details and to register. Spots are limited so sign up to claim yours today!

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