DAY IN THE LIFE IN TUCSON, ARIZONA

 
 

Hello friends! It's been a while since I've posted, because I've been SO BUSY lately photographing some amazing shoots! I'm finally starting to slow down, so I have some time to finally share all of them with you :) :

Here's a Day In The Life session that I photographed of a sweet little family in Tucson, AZ. It was a relaxing, chill day of pancakes, bubbles, and visiting horses at a nearby stable. Please check it out!

xo
Christine

Webb Mini Day In The Life, San Diego, California

 
 

Here's another Mini Day In The Life session!  I spent one lively Sunday afternoon with the Webb family, aka "The Most Fun Family Ever," as little Ollie and Benny chased each other around the house, played with legos, ate lunch, and jumped on the bed.  Check out how fun this family is in the video below!

Thank you Jenny and Jeff for letting me into your home. I left wishing I was a member of your rambunctious, fun little family :) 

xo
Christine

Sara + Avi + Avara, Day In The Life, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Arizona

 
 

My Day In The Life session with Sara, Avi, and their daughter Avara can be summed up in just one word - FUN!

I photographed their session at the Renaissance Faire in Gold Canyon, Arizona. It was a day filled with sunshine, laughter, and lots of sticky, yummy carnival snacks (funnel cake, anyone?). These mamas really put effort into making the family outing, not just a typical day at the fair, but a whole EXPERIENCE for their daughter. I documented Avara as she got her face painted with unicorns, pick out her own pink and purple princess gown, and practiced her juggling stick skills.  She collected tokens from pirates, got high five-ed by royalty, and earned her fairy wings. For a little girl deep in the unicorns-and-princesses phase of her life, it was a perfect day. And for parents who take genuine pleasure in seeing their daughter excited, happy, and having the time of her life, well...it was a pretty perfect day for them, too :)

Sara and Avi, thank you so much for allowing me to tag along and photograph your family for a day. You guys are incredible mamas :)

Please click on the link below to see photos from their Day In The Life session!

xo
Christine

 

Scottsdale, Arizona Resort Wedding: Billy + Mary

 
16MarshWed_SQSP_112.jpg
 

I love, LOVE documenting stories! Usually I focus on documenting families, but occasionally I will photograph weddings, too. 

Mary and Billy were referred to me by a mutual friend. I liked them immediately upon meeting them - they are both so laid-back, kind, and fun-loving! At our initial meeting, they described what they wanted for their wedding - a casual, intimate, ceremony solely witnessed only by close family and friends. When they said they really wanted me to photograph their family and friends, and not worry so much about details (i.e., flowers, dress, shoes, etc.) I was really stoked, because I knew that I could focus on capturing the beautiful moments of their special day. 

Their ceremony took place on a tiny rooftop at Isabella's Kitchen, a fantastic Italian restaurant in North Scottsdale. With a guest list of about 15 people, it was a beautiful, small gathering of siblings, parents, in-laws and friends.  I was prepared for the intimacy of the ceremony but I wasn't prepared how emotional it was going to be. The love and appreciation that Billy and Mary share for each other, and for Mary's 7-year old son Dylan, was so obvious, and really beautiful to watch. I cried buckets the entire time I was photographing!

Congratulations to Billy, Mary, and Dylan on your new little family. You guys are really meant to be :)  I wish you the happiest of ever-afters!

xo
Christine
 

Curtis Family Day In The Life Session, San Tan Valley, Phoenix, Arizona

 
 

My husband and I don't have any children. For a long time, I didn't want to have any, for all the typical reasons - I wanted to start a new career, I wanted to travel, I didn't think we could afford them, etc - but the main reason was I just didn't feel ready to start a family. Recently, however, my biological clock has started ticking, and now we are wondering what it would be like to have little muchachos of our own. The idea of raising kids still freaks me out, though.  The responsibility of raising children to be good, kind, responsible adults, that are also productive members of society, seems daunting. How do love them without spoiling them? Do you tell them to follow their dreams, even if you think their dreams kind of suck? As far as I can tell, these seemingly important questions don't have "right" answers.  If it's one thing I've learned from photographing Day In The Life sessions, it's that child-rearing is no JOKE. However, if you are successful, then it will be the most important, happy, and rewarding experience of your life.  And, from what I observed during their session, the Curtis family seem to be doing it RIGHT.

Amanda and Ryan have four, beautiful adopted children.  Ranging from ages 14 to less than a year old, each of their kids have incredibly different personalities, wants, and needs. Their oldest daughter is a typical teenager who wants her own phone and to always hang out with her friends.  Their youngest daughter is still in diapers and has to be put down for scheduled nap time. However, Amanda and Ryan seem to have managed to balance the formula for doling out equal amounts of love and discipline. They know how to laugh, play, and say "No!" to each of their kids.  And if it's one thing I learned from them, it's to PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN!  Ride bikes, skate board, dance around the kitchen, swing on swings, hug, tickle, and laugh with them. During their session, I realized that the Curtis children really valued all of the family time they spent together during their session, and kept saying that they had the best time that day.  They they will probably look back on the day as one of the most fun experiences of their childhood :)

Amanda and Ryan, thank you so much for allowing me to come into your home and photograph your family for the day.  I am in complete awe of the both of you as parents, and I hope that my husband and I will be able to raise children half as well as you are raising your own brood :)

Please click on the link below to see photos from their Day In The Life session!

xo
Christine


Jakeman Day In The Life Session, Cave Creek, Arizona

 
15JakemanSQ_079.jpg
 

Ah, the Jakemans.  It's hard for me to find the words to describe this session, because this family truly touched my heart. My Instagram Sneak Peek of their shoot indicated that the session revolved around the adoption of their second son. And, yes, for the most part, it did. But for this family, events like adopting a little boy isn't just one extraordinary gesture of love. For the Jakemans, adoption is actually an ordinary gesture, by one extraordinary family.

I met the Jakemans through the Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH), where I've been volunteering as a photographer for the last several months. Many PCH patients spend a great deal of their lives in the hospital, and their parents often miss out on getting photos taken of their kids when they are young. PCH recognizes the importance of family photos in documenting a child's life, and asked me to shoot some sessions for these deserving families outside of the hospital. The Jakemans were one of the first families they put me in touch with. After meeting her on the phone, mom Alex and I set up a pre-shoot meeting at their house.

When I arrived at their house for the meeting, I wasn't there for more than a couple of minutes before Lily came out of her bedroom, walked straight up to me, and gave me a gigantic hug. I was immediately smitten with her, and amazed that she was so tall and looked so healthy and beautiful.  When she was just an infant, Lily was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a terminal illness that has a very short life expectancy.  Almost 5 years old, her illness has kept her in the hospital for a quarter of her life, for various treatments and surgeries.  She has been fed for the majority of her life via a tube in her stomach. Alex told me there were times when they didn't think she would live through some of her surgeries. Lately, however, her health has improved tremendously. In the past year, she has started to eat solid foods!

I can only imagine the toll that the stress and anxiety of nurturing a very ill child can have on a family. I personally don't think I could handle much more in my life. The Jakemans, though...they are cut from a different cloth. Not only did they have a second son (2 year old Aiden), but they also decided to foster a third child. Eli was a medically fragile infant that they began fostering when he was only 7 weeks old. After waiting for 2 long years, they were ready to finalize his adoption! To document this momentous occasion, we scheduled their Day In The Life session for Eli's adoption day.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived at their house the morning of the shoot.  I assumed, with two medically fragile children, that health care was going to make up a large part of their day. And yes, while the children's illnesses were something that had to be addressed (particularly during meals), for the most part the Jakeman household isn't that different from any other family.  They still have structured mealtime, they love to play with puzzles and forts, they have tearful breakdowns, and occasionally fall and hit their head on furniture, etc. While the adoption was the main event of the day, what what really struck me during their shoot was the amount of love that Alex and her husband Shaun bestow upon each of their children. They are very affectionate - there were lots of hugs and and kisses for everyone. And they are incredibly fair. Two of their children have medical issues, but those two don't get more attention, or are treated with particular care. There isn't a particular "favorite" child.  It became very apparent to me during the shoot that Alex and Shaun truly love having children, and enjoy spending time with their kids. Alex even told me that they aren't done having children, and are considering the adoption of a fourth child!

Shaun and Alex, when you look at your Day In The Life photos, I hope you can see what amazing parents they are :) You are truly an inspiration!

xo

Christine

Techie Note:  The video below is in Standard Def (SD). Click on the following link if you prefer High Def (HD):

https://vimeo.com/user37326663/jakeman