Tucson Wedding | 4th of July

This time of year always reminds me of the days I spent my summers fighting wildland fires. Most of my adult 4th of July's were spent away from my family, sleeping among the trees on a mountain, fighting alongside some of the best guys I've ever known.

These days, summer looks different. And as much as I am nostalgic about my past, I feel lucky that this holiday means family, friends and celebrating the country I love.

Last 4th of July Christina and I were asked to photograph a wedding planned around the holiday. Matt and Jennie love America and have both spent time in our Nation's capital living and working to better our country. Their wedding day perfectly depicted their love for each other, the 4th of July and the United States. Happy Anniversary Jennie and Matt, all the fireworks are for you!

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National Kissing Day

Did you know that it's National Kissing Day? To be honest I didn't either until social media told me it was (gotta love that!). Anyways, I thought it was only appropriate to share some of my all time favorite smooches to get us through this Monday. Enjoy!

 

... and my favorite kiss of the year ...

Photo by David Newkirk

Photo by David Newkirk

Smooch away friends!

How to take better photos of your kids this summer

I recently got back from San Francisco for a friend’s bachelor party and had a rude 107 degree awakening when I stepped out of the airport in Tucson – wow, summer is with us. Christina and I are both born and raised in Tucson so we are familiar with the dry heat and the amazing monsoons, however, we both agree that having two small kids makes summer a little bit harder. Our mid-morning park dates have been pushed to an early 7 a.m. and we are finding ourselves inside or in the pool for the majority of our day.

Our boys are not school age yet but for many of you summer means a lot more time together as a family – vacationing, swimming, and my personal favorite staycation’ing. It is a really great time to pull out your camera and document your children and all the mischief they are getting into. I’ve had quite a few of you ask me how to take better ‘everyday’ photos of their children so I’ve put together some quick and easy tips so you can fire up your phone camera, or even better your ‘adult’ camera and capture some really great images of your kiddos this summer.

1. Get lowwwww – I am always telling Christina to do this. We even have a video of Ren riding his bike where I am yelling ‘Get Low! Get Low!’ in the background. It is clearly a trick I feel stronly about :-). Kids are short, we know this, so unless they are staring right up at you and you have the camera directly above their little face the photo is not going to be as great as it could be. Take an extra second and get on your knees or lay in the grass so that the camera is at their level.

In this photo I crouched down to Eli's level so I could be face-to-face with him as he ran at me. I still can't get over those shades!

Since I mentioned a looking-up photo I thought I would post the one below to show you the difference between a kid level and adult level view. Both are great but just tell a different story.

 

2. Go outside – I know that in Tucson we tend to keep the curtains closed and the house a little darker in hopes it will keep the heat out. A dark house isn't going to give you those playful summer photos so get the kids outside! Mid- morning and early evening light is the best for snapping pictures which is coincidentally also the coolest times of our summer days so try to adventure outdoors.

This photo was taken in the beautiful early evening California sun which gives Eli a nice little hair light on the left side.


3. Let them be little – So many of us go right in to pose mode when we try to get pictures of our kids. Do you know how HARD that is? I hate to break it to you but if you try to get your kids all lined up with smiles on their faces you will be more disappointed than happy with the photos. Instead, try letting them do whatever they want to do and you just run around with them documenting. I promise that you will love every single photo of your kid eating dirt, climbing trees or playing house. You are also more likely to catch a cheesy smile because they are doing exactly what they love.

This San Francisco family (who also happen to be my closest friends) have the most impressive garden at their Novato, CA home. Harvesting the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor and tending to their plants is something they enjoy doing together and I wanted to capture that. During this family session I just stepped back and watched Eli help his dad pick vegetables and I was able to capture this image - it is one of my favorites because it is so genuine to how this family actually lives.

Finally …

  1. When it’s just not an awesome photo à edit – How many of you use editing apps other than instagram before posting your photos to social media? [raising my hand proudly] Good! There are so many impressive apps out there that allow you to take an OK photo and make it really great. Two of my favorites are VSCO Cam and Fotor found in the App Store.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of taking great pictures of your kids what are you going to do with them? Post them on instagram? Me too. We are trying to be better about printing photos of the kids and Christina has been using this really awesome app called Chatbooks. For only $6/book Chatbooks automatically prints 60 page books of her instagram photos and ships them right to our door. If you want to try it out (promise you will get hooked) you can use the code below to get a free book.

Happy 4th of July weekend friends! If you have any specific questions regarding taking photos of kids please don't hesitate to reach out to me! I love sharing knowledge.

 

Paparazzi Proposal

I still remember the day I proposed to Christina. I took her away to Sedona for the weekend and we stayed at our favorite little B&B. I enlisted the help of her sister and brother-in-law and made sure that she was blown away by everything I had planned - which she was, because it was awesome.

I put a lot of thought into the events of that weekend because I am a firm believer that when you get down on one knee and ask such an important question it can't just end there. I am a self proclaimed un-romantic but I knew I had to bring the romance that weekend - there had to be flowers, candles, champagne and lots of surprises because that is what Christina likes.

About a month ago, a friend of mine approached me and said that he was ready to ask his lady to be his forever and wanted to know if I could be there to take pictures. What he didn't know was that just by asking me to take photos he had given me permission to become his proposal wingman.

Damien told me that he wanted to propose to Echo on Mt.Lemmon. He wanted to have a brunch prepared and incorporate their love for archery. I made a few calls and secured a cabin and enlisted Christina to help romance it up a little.

Damien had told Echo that he had an interview on Mt.Lemmon that morning for a wildland position. When they arrived at the cabin we had a beautiful table set up with food and their bows, arrows and target all ready for them. Damien had us blow up some balloons to put on the target, one of the balloons had a symbolic ring that kicked the whole thing off.

After Echo said yes, I came out of the bushes to congratulate them and to get a few photos of them as fiancés!

Christina and I feel really lucky to have gotten to be a part of Damien and Echo's day. It was so fun helping bring Damien's ideas to life and then seeing Echo's reaction made us feel like we got engaged again. Both Christina and I talked on the way home about how we hope we get to do more of these.

I also owe a big thank you to Christina who created the flowers and table scape - who's next??

Christina and I have gotten to work together more often lately and it's been awesome. It always kind of feels like a fun date which is like bonus points!

Loschiavo & Priser Engagement

Stephanie and Chris's love story goes a little something like this - two Tucson youngsters meet, she wins him over with her 'home cooking' (which was actually my mother-in-law's home cooking, shhhhhhhh), he moves to Phoenix to attend dental school, she follows her heart to him, he proposes in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - swoon.

Stephanie is my sister-in-law and it is no secret that I like Chris more than her - it's a joke - calm down Steph. But really, these two are the perfect compliment to one another and I can't wait to see them start a whole new love story as husband and wife in November.

When Stephanie asked me to take engagement photos she told me she wanted 'Desert Glam' so that her out of town guests could get the Arizona feel before they arrived to Scottsdale for their wedding. We ventured out to Catalina State Park for this session and with Steph's styling and the gorgeous backdrop I think she got exactly what she wanted.

I really do love this couple and am so lucky to call them family.

Marquez Baby & the Bump

As a dad of three children I know how important and special it is when your family grows. When I first started photographing families I realized that helping them capture each big moment during their time of growth is something I truly enjoy. I started offering the Baby & the Bump package last year so that I could help families document each exciting and fun part of expanding their family and it has turned into one of my favorite packages.

I often joke with Joe and Kara that they are 'Scott Rice Originals'. Over the last two years they have allowed me to document so many milestones in their family and I can't say enough wonderful things about them as people and as parents. Not too long ago we were at The Ritz Carlton taking announcement photos to let their family and friends in on their secret that they were expecting their first baby, Cruz. This year, Joe and Kara found out they were expecting a baby brother for Cruz and again allowed me to be a part of their growing family. 

Tucson Maternity Announcement Session

Tucson Maternity Announcement Session

When Kara and I brainstormed her vision for this announcement session she wanted one of the most important details to set the tone. Baby Roman's due date was on Valentine's Day so there was nothing more fitting then filling the orchard with heart balloons --- and of course the adorable Cruz who hammed it up the entire time.

Little Cruz going to be a big brother and loving it..It's a boy!!

Little Cruz going to be a big brother and loving it..It's a boy!!

The image with Cruz in the trunk is one of my favorites. Cruz kept wanting to close the lid of the trunk so Joe and Kara would distract him, Joe would run back and forth in front of me and duck under my camera lens keeping Cruz with a big smile on his face.  

The image with Cruz in the trunk is one of my favorites. Cruz kept wanting to close the lid of the trunk so Joe and Kara would distract him, Joe would run back and forth in front of me and duck under my camera lens keeping Cruz with a big smile on his face.  

For Kara's maternity session she wanted a bohemian feel with a ton of gorgeous natural light and that is exactly what we got. This session was featured back in February here on Couture Colorado Baby.

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We took advantage of the farms in Marana, Arizona and stumbled on some gorgeous fields that worked with everything that Kara envisioned.

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Introducing baby Roman.... the sweetest and tiniest baby I've gotten the privilege of photographing. Roman surprised everyone when he arrived earlier than planned and I had asked Kara if I could come by the hospital to help preserve those memories for her and Joe. As all mom's and dad's know, those first few days/weeks/months quickly become fleeting memories and babies' tiny hands and feet and wrinkly skin don't keep for long. Kara and Joe allowed me to capture some truly beautiful and intimate pictures of them as they shared those first few days with their new son. I am still grateful for the opportunity.

Roman and mom

Roman and mom

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Once Roman arrived home I came to their house to do their official newborn session. I've recently noticed that my newborn photography style is leaning more towards lifestyle. I don't do much posing and really try to capture the family in their most natural state. Adding a newborn to the family always adds such an incredible dynamic that deserves to be memorialized in its most raw state.

I might be a bit biased as a dad to two boys but there is nothing better than brothers.

I might be a bit biased as a dad to two boys but there is nothing better than brothers.

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Joe, Kara, Cruz and baby Roman thank you again for allowing me into your lives. I am always so grateful that you give me the privilege of watching your family grow. Until next time!

Little Ellie

Welcome Ellie, the first little princess of the family. She already has Dad, Grandpa and Uncle cleaning their guns. 

Look at this little angle 

Look at this little angle 

Little Ellie in Dads Firemans Coat.

Little Ellie in Dads Firemans Coat.

It has been a privilige to document this wonderful couple and the begining of their growing family.  This is the begining of their story and am excited to see what is in store for them.

Killian

Killian [Kills]

Killian was a U of A senior, and I say was because she has since graduated and is now living and working in NYC for a good company [Macy's!] that hired her straight out of college. Killian was a total blast and didn't need me to tell her anything - she would just strike a pose!

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At the begining of the shoot I had her seated on a sign [actually she is sitting on a magazine so her shorts didn't get dirty] and the University Police came by and I thought we were gonna get the "hey.. beat it!" but nope, they just watched us do our thing and then left to go do police work [I guess duty called].

The picture on the Left I took just for kicks. 

The picture on the Left I took just for kicks. 

Right after the police drove away a skateboader crashed right in front of us! I think he was too busy checkin' Kills out and not skating...  Look at that wipe out! Now you know why we call her KILLS....

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Bens Bells Love

Bens Bells Love

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Killian, this shoot was a ton of fun and I love hearing how great post-grad life is treating you in the Big Apple! 

Barr Maternity

Baby Barr [He Just Arrived!]

How good does this momma look!

How good does this momma look!

I had so many laughs with Jennifer and Jesse during this maternity session and since there little one was just born I wanted to share these moments.  Jennifer being 35+ weeks pregnant with her first son [Levi] was an absolute stud - and I mean that in the most feminine way possible. She walked from spot to spot with no complaints. Since these pictures were taken, baby Levi Barr was born on 12.3.3013 and momma and baby are both happy and healthy. 

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Jesse has nephews & neices and is great with kids! These two are going to be awesome parents and I am excited to see little Levi grow up to be a good man like his father. 

Mackey Family

Miss Abigale herself.  

Miss Abigale herself.

 

Had such a good time with the Mackey family the evening of this session. This is a family  that I have know for years, I  have had the honor to watch the adorable litlle Abigale grow to the girl she is today. She is such a ham for the camera and has the greatest personality. I had given her a candy necklace before the shoot as a little gift and it became was a must wear for her, she did not want to take it off , so it stayed.At one point we were interupted my a small family of cows, they wanted to pass through and judging by the size of the horns on her head who were we to stop them. So we all kinda shuffled behind a gate and let them pass, we got a good laugh out of it. As the session went on Abigale decided  she would be director the of the shoot and was posing her parents, she would say " Mom tilt your head and dad look at mom, Yea that's it" So funny.  I just let her go with it and was able to capture some fun stuff. This little girl has a personality like no other and is so sweet. I had a great time and was able to get a man to smile who rarley is able to be caught on camera. At the end we got great shots and good memories.  

The director herself and family

The director herself and family

(above) Abigale giving her dad a head massage and now she poses for her moment

(above) Abigale giving her dad a head massage and now she poses for her moment

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