Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog en-us Michele Dawson Photography (Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:06:00 GMT Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:06:00 GMT https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u388884620-o619984492-50.jpg Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog 120 80 Phoenix Senior Photo Session at Manistee Ranch {Phoenix senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/phoenix-senior-photo-session-at-manistee-ranch-phoenix-senior-photographer

When you think of a senior photo session in Phoenix, what comes to mind? Desert? While photo sessions in our saguaro-studded landscape are absolutely stunning, some seniors opt for a look that's off the grid like Reagan did for this fun session at Manistee Ranch.

Built in 1897 by a wealthy lumber baron from Wisconsin named Herbert W. Hamilton, Manistee Ranch began as a 320-acre spread along what is now Northern Avenue. Hamilton sold the place to Louis M. Sands, a prominent Arizona businessman and rancher, in 1907, and it stayed in the Sands family until it was sold to the Glendale Historical Society in 1996 (City of Glendale website).

Today the ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places, and its four buildings – a garage, office, barn and house – can be visited by anyone who wants to get a little taste of Glendale history. There are also beautiful citrus orchards on the property.

I love Reagan's peach-colored dress and her hat is EVERYTHING. SO FUN!

Senior session at Heritage Square

Senior session in Downtown Phoenix

Senior session at DC Ranch

 

Are you ready to book your senior session?
BOOK NOW

Have a question?

EMAIL ME

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem senior portraits Boulder Creek senior photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/phoenix-senior-photo-session-at-manistee-ranch-phoenix-senior-photographer Tue, 28 Sep 2021 15:15:00 GMT
Family Photo Session at Scorpion Gulch {Phoenix family photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/family-photo-session-at-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-family-photographer If you're in the Phoenix area and haven't had your family photos taken at Scorpion Gulch, let me tell you something. You're missing out!

Built in 1936, this South Mountain hot spot was originally a home and trading post where jewelry, curios, soda, and candy were sold. Today the roofs of the buildings are gone, but the beautiful stone frameworks remain, providing a beautiful backdrop for any type of photo session.

I tend to choose this as one of the spots for my fall family mini sessions year after year because everyone LOVES it. It's also a great choice for toddlers and small children, because it's fairly contained and doesn't require a lot of walking around.

And this family NAILED the outfits. The blues and golds tie in perfectly with the coloring of the surrounding stone. That mustard yellow just has a special pop that looks SO good in photos. They did a great job of sprinkling the color in several spots: the older daughter's top, mom's necklace and earrings, the subtle pattern in the younger daughter's dress, the younger daughter's shoes, and the accent pattern in the older daughter's shoes. Perfect!
 

 

This location is also amazing for senior and dancer photos!

Dancer photo session at Scorpion Gulch

 

Are you interested in booking a family session?
BOOK NOW

Have a question?

EMAIL ME

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer Scottsdale family photographer Scottsdale family portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/family-photo-session-at-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-family-photographer Fri, 24 Sep 2021 14:38:11 GMT
Tips for What to Wear for Your Family Photo Session {What to Wear for Family Photos in Phoenix} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/tips-for-what-to-wear-for-your-family-photo-session-what-to-wear-for-family-photos
7 Tips for Nailing Your Fall Mini Session Outfits

Once you've picked a date and secured your family photo session, the most common question I get is "What should we wear?"

Outfits Should Complement One Another, Not "Match"

That look of everyone wearing the same thing tends to look dated, distracting, and without any personality.

Instead, pictures look beautiful and natural when your family is coordinated, but not matching. I recommend starting with mom and/or daughter's outfit and build from there.

Some tips:

  • Earthy, jewel, neutral, woodsy, and blush tones photograph work well for fall photos.
  • Pick two or three key colors and add in a couple neutral colors -- gray, beige, denim -- for layering.
  • Burgundies, maroons, olives, and mustard tones look amazing in fall photos. These tones look stunning for SUNFLOWER SESSIONS.
  • Repeat your key colors several times throughout the outfits.
  • Another way to coordinate is to choose different shades of a color family. This works well with blues and grays.
  • ACCESSORIZE! Jewelry, scarves, hats, belts, boots, layers.
  • Be mindful of the details: Iron if needed. Wear shoes that coordinate. Wear clean clothes.
     
These are some of my favorite outfit choices from clients in past years (with the help of icolorpalette.com). Hoping they provide you with some inspiration for your fall family photos!
 
 
Still need to book your session?
Book Here
Email Me
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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photo sessions Phoenix family photographer Phoenix mini sessions Phoenix photographer Scottsdale family photographer what to wear for family photos https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/tips-for-what-to-wear-for-your-family-photo-session-what-to-wear-for-family-photos Wed, 15 Sep 2021 20:35:59 GMT
Gorgeous Senior Photo Session at Heritage Square Phoenix {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/gorgeous-senior-photo-session-at-heritage-square-phoenix-phoenix-senior-photographer

Senior Photo Session at Heritage Square in Downtown Phoenix

One of the best things about senior sessions in Phoenix is being able to choose from so many amazing locations. While some opt for the natural desert landscape or a gritty downtown vibe, some want a more classic outdoor feel. That's why I love Heritage Square, located in Downtown Phoenix.

Beautiful Annabelle, from Boulder Creek High School, chose Heritage Square for her senior session and it was perfect. Full of trees, greenery, roses, and a gorgeous historic Victorian house, it was gorgeous!

Other locations to consider:

DC Ranch
Sonoran Preserve
Anthem Park

 

Have you booked your senior session?

Book Now!

Email Me

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem senior photographer Anthem senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior portraits Scottsdale senior photography Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/9/gorgeous-senior-photo-session-at-heritage-square-phoenix-phoenix-senior-photographer Wed, 08 Sep 2021 22:54:43 GMT
Fall 2021 Phoenix Mini Sessions are Here {Phoenix fall mini photo session} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/8/fall-2021-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-fall-mini-photo-session DC Ranch, North Scottsdale

DC Ranch, North Scottsdale

 

2021 Photo Mini-Session Signups:

Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale, Buckeye (Sunflower) locations
 

I'm so excited to offer fall family mini photo sessions at four locations in the Phoenix, Cave Creek, Scottsdale, and Buckeye areas. NEW this year: Sunflower mini sessions at Rocker 7 Farm Patch in Buckeye.

 

What are Mini-Sessions?
 
Mini-sessions with Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY are fast-paced and perfect if you just need a few family or sibling photos for your holiday cards and gifts, or if you have young children (or teens) who might not have the patience for a full family session.



OUTDOOR FAMILY MINI SESSIONS
 

20-minute session
Up to 6 people
10 high-resolution digital images
$265 ($50 deposit required)
 


Oct. 17 SUNFLOWERS at Rocker 7 Farm Patch (Buckeye, AZ)
3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

*** This is my first year shooting at Rocker 7 Farm Patch, but you can get an idea of what it looks like by visiting Rocker 7 Farm Patch.

Oct. 30 at DC Ranch (North Scottsdale)
3:30-5:30p.m.

Nov. 6 at Desert (Cave Creek)
3:30-5:30p.m.

Nov. 14 Scorpion Gulch (South Mountain)
3-5p.m.

BOOK NOW

 

Cave Creek Desert location

 

Scorpion Gulch, South Mountain

 


 

 

BOOK NOW

Have a question? EMAIL ME

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem mini session DC Ranch mini session Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix mini photo session Phoenix mini session Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Scottsdale mini session https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/8/fall-2021-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-fall-mini-photo-session Fri, 20 Aug 2021 22:10:58 GMT
Christmas Holiday Mini Sessions 2021! {Phoenix Christmas Mini Session 2021} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/christmas-holiday-mini-sessions-2021-phoenix-christmas-mini-session-2021

Phoenix Christmas Holiday Mini Sessions 2021!!

Guess what, friends?

It's time to think about holiday pictures (yay!). I'm so excited to announce I'm offering not one, but two, adorable holiday scene studio set-ups this year. Christmas Holiday Mini Sessions for 2021 in North Phoenix are ready and waiting for your cute kiddos!

These both take place in November at my in-home (Michele Dawson Photography) studio in Anthem, AZ.

 

These two backdrops will be set up on two separate days.

Nutcracker on Main Street offers a Nutcracker store front with lots of Nutcracker friends. Perfect for beautiful holiday dresses, ballet tutus, sweater and tie, or any other fun holiday outfits you choose to bring.

Holiday PJs  is perfect for a more casual look with cute pajamas.

 

Nutcracker on Main Street
Nov. 13
15-minute session
At my in-home studio in Anthem
5 digital images, option to purchase additional
$165 ($50 deposit required)



Holiday PJs
Nov. 20
15-minute session
At my in-home studio in Anthem
5 digital images, option to purchase additional
$165 ($50 deposit required)

BOOK NOW

 

Due to set size constraints, these sessions are for siblings (up to teen), single children (up to teen), and parents and their young(ish) children only. Cousins or friends need to sign up for separate sessions. Please note: outfits/clothing are NOT provided.


 

 

BOOK NOW

Email me

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem Christmas mini session Anthem mini photo session Cave Creek Christmas mini photo session Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix Christmas mini session Phoenix family photographer Phoenix mini photo session Phoenix photographer Scottsdale Christmas mini session Scottsdale mini photo session https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/7/christmas-holiday-mini-sessions-2021-phoenix-christmas-mini-session-2021 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 22:54:24 GMT
Pinnacle HS Senior Session at DC Ranch Scottsdale {Scottsdale senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/6/pinnacle-hs-senior-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-scottsdale-senior-photographer I love when seniors incorporate their sports, passions, and interests into their senior session. Parker did just that at his hockey-infused portrait session at DC Ranch.

The hockey stick and the colorful jersey bring so much personality to Parker's images and are a true representation of who he is. We also did plenty of photos out of hockey apparel.

DC Ranch Market Street in North Scottsdale is one of my favorite spots for senior photos. There are so many backdrops that provide such a variety, whether you're looking for a contemporary feel or want something more natural, rustic, or urban. There's a little bit of everything.

 

 

Check out other senior sessions on the blog:

Lake Pleasant

Downtown

Are you ready to book your senior session?

See my calendar and book directly online HERE

Have a question? Email me

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem senior photographer Anthem senior photography Anthem senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/6/pinnacle-hs-senior-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-scottsdale-senior-photographer Wed, 02 Jun 2021 23:25:21 GMT
2021 8th Grade Promotion Mini Sessions are Here! {Anthem Phoenix Portrait Photography} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/3/2021-8th-grade-promotion-mini-sessions-are-here-anthem-phoenix-portrait-photography  

2021 8th Grade Promotion
Mini Sessions are Here!
May 1, 2

We've spent the last year Zooming, social distancing, face masking, and hunkering down at home.

With some graduation and promotion ceremonies facing strict guidelines and restrictions, it's all the more reason to celebrate your 8th grader!


I'm offering two days of mini sessions for your soon-to-be high schooler. This is our chance to capture some of these precious moments before they move on up in the academic world. They can get dressed up, be a little more casual, or showcase a special sport, skill, or hobby. This is their time!
 

15-minute mini session
5 digital images
$95


May 1
North Phoenix desert location
Late afternoon/evening

May 2
DC Ranch
Morning
 
BOOK NOW
 
 
 
BOOK NOW
EMAIL ME
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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) 8th grade promotion photos Anthem Arizona family photographer eighth grade promotion photography Phoenix Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix 8th grade promotion photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Scottsdale portrait photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2021/3/2021-8th-grade-promotion-mini-sessions-are-here-anthem-phoenix-portrait-photography Mon, 29 Mar 2021 16:35:12 GMT
Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions 2020 {Phoenix photographer mini sessions} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/11/christmas-tree-farm-mini-sessions-2020-phoenix-photographer-mini-sessions

CLICK HERE FOR INFO ON 2021 CHRISTMAS MINI SESSIONS

 

Christmas mini sessions are here!

This year I'll be holding two days of OUTDOOR mini sessions in my Anthem back yard. I have a beautiful backdrop and plenty of trees and props to make it feel like your kids are in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

Sessions will be held Nov. 28 and Dec. 5 with both early morning and late afternoon times available.

15-minute session
5 digital images
$125 ($50 deposit due at time of booking)

Book NOW

Book NOW!

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem AZ Christmas mini Anthem AZ Christmas mini session Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix Christmas mini photo session Phoenix Christmas mini session Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/11/christmas-tree-farm-mini-sessions-2020-phoenix-photographer-mini-sessions Wed, 11 Nov 2020 04:16:58 GMT
Guys — What to Wear for Your Senior Photo Session {Phoenix senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/senior-guys----what-to-wear-for-your-photo-session-phoenix-senior-photographer One of the most frequent questions I get when getting ready for a senior photo session, whether it's in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Anthem, or anywhere, is what to wear.

This comes from girls and guys alike ... as well as their parents.

 

Here are a few of the tips I offer for senior guys:

  • Be comfortable and true to yourself. You don't want to spend the hour in clothes that don't fit well or don't feel like you. The clothes you choose should be something you'd pick out to wear, whether it's for a casual event or something a little dressier.
  • Bring a variety of outfits. I always recommend a casual outfit, an outfit that's a little dressier, then maybe something fun like a sport uniform or jersey, or a shirt or hoodie with the logo of the college/university/military or other endeavor that comes after high school.
  • Casual outfits: There are a lot of casual looks that look great in senior photos. For starters, denim goes with everything and complements just about ANY backdrop. Flannels, polo-style shirts, long-sleeved henley-style and rugby-styled shirts are all  good options. Shorts are OK but I always recommend at least one other choice that includes jeans or other style pants.
  • Dressier options: Long-sleeved dress shirts are great choices. It's best to avoid busy patterns and pinstripes. Some guys opt to add a tie (necktie or bow tie) and jacket.
  • Fun choices: If you play a sport or have a hobby, this is the chance to showcase that. Whether it's a football or baseball jersey, we can incorporate that into your session. Excited to go to NAU next year? Wear an NAU shirt or hoodie.
  • Don't forget the shoes. Your shoes WILL show in the full length photos. Make sure they're consistent with your outfit. It's also fun to treat them as an accent if you have shoes in a bold color or style. And don't forget to wear the appropriate socks.
  • Know what to avoid: It's best to stay away from neon colors, name brand tags, or logos. Those are all distracting and take away from YOU. They also don't lend themselves to a timeless photo.
  • Think about your location. Your outfit should complement your setting. Jeans and a casual shirt look natural in the desert. If you're downtown, getting a little dressed up fits right in. Also, think about the colors and how they'll look at your location. If you're every in doubt or unsure, I'm happy to help you out.

Casual Outfits

Dressier Outfits

Phoenix senior photographerPhoenix senior photographerDC Ranch Market Street Fun/Sporty Outfits

A few final tips:

  • If you're wondering when to get a hair cut, about a week to 10 days before your session is best.
  • If you usually have a clean-shaven face, be sure it's shaved just prior to your session.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, just ask!

Email Me

Book Your Session

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Cave Creek senior photographer Cave Creek senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior photography Phoenix senior portraits Phoenix senior sesison guys what to wear Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior portraits What to wear for guys senior portraits What to wear for senior photos guys What to wear for senior pictures guys https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/senior-guys----what-to-wear-for-your-photo-session-phoenix-senior-photographer Wed, 23 Sep 2020 03:04:34 GMT
Senior Photo Session Downtown Phoenix {Anthem Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/senior-photo-session-downtown-phoenix-anthem-senior-photographer You can't go wrong doing your senior photo session in Downtown Phoenix. It offers so much diversity when it comes to vibes and backdrops.

There's the gorgeous architecture of the Orpheum Theatre in beautiful sand and clay colors. It looks stunning with cranberry and burgundy outfits, like the blouse Sky is wearing here.

Then there's the fun colorful murals, which looks great with any solid-colored clothing. I also love to get some street shots, just to get a general downtown feel. And you can always find photogenic buildings and classic brick backdrops. So much variety!

Other locations to consider:

DC Ranch
Sonoran Preserve
Anthem Park

 

Have you booked your senior session?

Book Now!

Email Me

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Cave Creek senior photographer Cave Creek senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography phoenix photographer Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/senior-photo-session-downtown-phoenix-anthem-senior-photographer Wed, 09 Sep 2020 18:15:00 GMT
Family Session in North Phoenix Desert {Phoenix family photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/family-session-in-north-phoenix-desert-phoenix-family-photographer

One of my favorite locations for family sessions is the Sonoran Preserve in North Phoenix off Dove Valley Road. Such a beautiful desert backdrop with rolling hills in the foreground and background. And when we're really lucky, we get some beautiful pink-tinted clouds just before the sun begins to set.

I almost always do my family sessions about an hour or so before sunset so we get the most beautiful light. I can get the gorgeous light behind the family, and also the warm glow as the family faces the sun, if there are some clouds and squinting isn't required.

And this picture-perfect family nailed the outfits and colors. You can't go wrong with shades of blue and grey in just about any backdrop. And I love the pop of green!

Tips for your Family Session

Book Your Family Session

Email Me!

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Cave Creek family photographer Cave Creek family photos Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer Scottsdale family photographer Scottsdale family photos Scottsdale family portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/9/family-session-in-north-phoenix-desert-phoenix-family-photographer Tue, 08 Sep 2020 17:13:13 GMT
2020 Phoenix Fall Mini Sessions are Here! {Phoenix fall photo mini session} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/8/2020-phoenix-fall-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-fall-photo-mini-session  

It's Time!
2020 Fall Mini-Sessions are Here!

NEW DAY ADDED!

While this year has been anything but normal, it's even more important to hold onto tradition and continue to capture your family's most precious moments.

 

What are Mini-Sessions?
 
Mini-sessions with Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY are fast-paced and perfect if you just need a few family or sibling photos for your holiday cards and gifts, or if you have young children (or teens) who might not have the patience for a full family session.

All sessions are outdoors, I will wear a face mask, and I have long lenses to ensure social distancing in the event Covid national and state health guidelines and/or mandates are in place in November.

Session fee: $250 (up to six people)

20-minute session
10 high-resolution digital images
$50 deposit required
 

 


Nov. 1 at Manistee Ranch (Glendale)
SOLD OUT

 

2:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
4:30 p.m.


Nov. 7 at DC Ranch (North Scottsdale)

8:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

Nov. 8 at Manistee Ranch (Glendale)
NEW DAY ADDED!

 

3:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
5:00 p.m.

 

Nov. 11 (Veteran's Day Holiday) at Venue at the Grove (South Phoenix)
NEW LOCATION!


8:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
10 a.m.


Nov. 15 at Scorpion Gulch (South Mountain)

3:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

 

BOOK NOW

 


MANISTEE RANCH

 

DC RANCH

VENUE AT THE GROVE

SCORPION GULCH 

 

BOOK NOW!

EMAIL ME

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona fall family mini photo sessions Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix fall mini photo sessions Phoenix family photographer Phoenix holiday mini sessions Phoenix mini sessions Phoenix photographer Scottsdale fall mini photo sessions https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/8/2020-phoenix-fall-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-fall-photo-mini-session Tue, 11 Aug 2020 23:38:52 GMT
Class of 2020 Senior Downtown Phoenix Photo Session {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/3/class-of-2020-senior-downtown-phoenix-photo-session-phoenix-senior-photographer One of my favorite venues for senior photo sessions is Downtown Phoenix. And Boulder Creek senior Ashley nailed it.

The colorful murals and graffiti provide that urban, gritty edge. Opting for solid, neutral colors like the black Ashley chose -- or denims and greys -- is the best choice so you don't clash with the bold color pattern.

The exterior of the Orpheum Theater offers beautiful, classic architecture and gorgeous earthy colors. Sidewalk photos offer that fun street vibe.

Downtown photo sessions will work any time of year, although, understandably, I've never had anyone choose one to do one in the July or August heat. But every other time of year is perfect and typically shaded.

Take a peek at some of my favorites from Ashey's session:

Is it time to book your Senior Session?

BOOK HERE

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem senior photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior portraits Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2020/3/class-of-2020-senior-downtown-phoenix-photo-session-phoenix-senior-photographer Thu, 12 Mar 2020 21:45:44 GMT
Phoenix Dancer Photo Session Scorpion Gulch {Scorpion Gulch Phoenix Dance Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/9/phoenix-dancer-photo-session-scorpion-gulch-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-dance-photographer Photographing dancers is one of my absolute favorite things!

This is ballerina Sofia at Scorpion Gulch in the South Mountain area of Phoenix. She and her Mom picked the most perfect leotard. The sage green and cactus print beautifully complements the stone and natural backdrop. Even the pointe shoes blend magically with the rustic setting.

Scorpion Gulch is a popular choice for all kinds of portraits -- high school seniors, families, and, of course, dancers.

The Portrait Experience

Book Your Session Here

Email Me

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix dance photographer Phoenix dance portraits Phoenix photographer Phoenix teen photographer Scorpion Gulch photography Scorpion Gulch portraits Scottsdale dance photographer Scottsdale portrait photographer Scottsdale teen photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/9/phoenix-dancer-photo-session-scorpion-gulch-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-dance-photographer Thu, 05 Sep 2019 17:22:00 GMT
Phoenix Birthday Photo Session in the Desert {Phoenix portrait photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/9/phoenix-birthday-photo-session-in-the-desert-phoenix-portrait-photographer

What better way to celebrate your birthday than with a photo session?

We had such a fun time in the North Phoenix desert for Sofia's 11th Birthday photo shoot. She had some fun rose gold number balloons and a beautiful dress with tones that perfectly complemented the color of the balloons and the soft desert hues.

So often parents focus on birthday pictures during their kids' first four or five years. And then when they hit their senior year in high school, they're often reacquainted with a professional portrait session. But those in-between years are so important, too. Kids change so much from year to year. The differences from 9 to 11 and then 11 to 13 are, frankly, mind-blowing!

Sofia is also a dancer so of course we couldn't let the opportunity go by to get some dance poses in the desert.

Appreciate those in-between years!

 

The Portrait Experience

Book Your Session Here

Email Me

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona birthday photographer Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix desert photographer Phoenix photographer Phoenix portrait photographer Scottsdale birthday photographer Scottsdale portrait photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/9/phoenix-birthday-photo-session-in-the-desert-phoenix-portrait-photographer Mon, 02 Sep 2019 22:30:00 GMT
Gorgeous Senior Session at Anthem Park {Anthem Arizona Senior Portrait Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/8/gorgeous-senior-session-at-anthem-park-anthem-arizona-senior-portrait-photographer One of the many wonderful things about being a portrait photographer in beautiful Anthem, Arizona, is the opportunity to create gorgeous images at the Anthem Community Park.

This spot is always a favorite, especially for locals, who often have fond memories and associations with spending time at the park. There are lovely waterfalls, a footbridge, and plenty of trees and grass. I time my sessions one to two hours before sunset so we get the best golden hour light filtering into our images.

I've photographed numerous seniors from Boulder Creek High School and Anthem Prep at the park and the images are always some of my favorites.

I loved this session with this Anthem Prep senior. We had some wind but this beautiful girl made it look so easy and glamorous.

The Portrait Experience

Book Your Session Here

Email Me

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona senior photographer Anthem Arizona senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/8/gorgeous-senior-session-at-anthem-park-anthem-arizona-senior-portrait-photographer Fri, 30 Aug 2019 21:30:27 GMT
2019 Phoenix Fall Mini Sessions are Here! {Phoenix fall photo mini session} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/8/2019-phoenix-fall-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-fall-photo-mini-session2

DC Ranch Market Street, North Scottsdale

 

This post is from 2019.
If you'd like to book a 2021 mini-session,
CLICK HERE!

 

 

It's Time!
2019 Fall Mini-Sessions are Here!


 

What are Mini-Sessions?
 
Mini-sessions are fast-paced and perfect if you just need a few family or sibling photos for your holiday cards and gifts, or if you have young children.
 

 

Session Fee: $225 (up to 6 people)
 
20-minute session
10 high-resolution digital images
$50 deposit required

 

Oct. 26 at Scorpion Gulch, South Mountain
See location on map

3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
5 p.m.

BOOK NOW

Oct. 27 at DC Ranch, North Scottsdale

See location on map

8:30 a.m.
9 a.m.

9:30 a.m.
10 a.m.
10:30 a.m.

BOOK NOW

Nov. 3 at Desert Location, North Phoenix

3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 pm.
4:30 p.m.

BOOK NOW

 

 

DC Ranch

 

Scorpion Gulch

Scorpion Gulch

Desert Location, North Phoenix Desert Location, North Phoenix

Studio, Downtown Phoenix Studio, Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix

BOOK NOW!

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona fall family mini photo sessions Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix fall mini photo sessions Phoenix family photographer Phoenix holiday mini sessions Phoenix mini sessions Phoenix photographer Scottsdale fall mini photo sessions https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/8/2019-phoenix-fall-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-fall-photo-mini-session2 Fri, 09 Aug 2019 20:32:29 GMT
Scottsdale Senior Photo Session at DC Ranch {Scottsdale Senior Portraits} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/8/scottsdale-senior-photo-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-senior-portraits So many high school seniors in Scottsdale and Phoenix choose DC Ranch Market Street for their senior portraits. And I can't blame them!

This location is absolutely one of my favorites and always the first that comes to mind when a senior or their parents want a venue that provides a wide variety of backdrops.

There's the stunning gray concrete wall with those amazing 3-D lines. There's a section that looks very industrial. There's blue-grey barn doors and stone window cutouts. There's a great tunnel and footbridge. Some cacti, some trees, a backdrop of twinkling lights, and a general cool vibe.

Loved this session with Griffin!

Contact me/See available dates!

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer phoenix senior photographer phoenix senior portraits Scottsdale senior photography Scottsdale senior pictures Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/8/scottsdale-senior-photo-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-senior-portraits Thu, 01 Aug 2019 20:34:25 GMT
Dancer in the Desert at Scorpion Gulch {Phoenix dance photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/7/dancer-in-the-desert-at-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-dance-photographer Two of the things I love about creating portraits in Phoenix are photographing dancers and this amazing location, Scorpion Gulch.

Scorpion Gulch, located at South Mountain, is basically the stone structure and remains of what was once a trading post. It's nestled in a backdrop of gorgeous mountains and the early evening sunlight pokes through the trees and cool window frame openings, making for gorgeous portraits.

As Wikipedia tells it,  Scorpion Gulch served as a home and storefront offering curios, jewelry, leather goods, soda, and candy until 1966 then became a bar in the 1970s.

Scorpion Gulch is a treasure for local photographers -- perfect for family and senior photos, and especially conducive to dance photography.

Whether it's little ones in their first tutus, advanced ballerinas in pointe shoes, or dancers somewhere in between, I love this beautiful backdrop offering so much texture, nature, color, and a signature rustic, Arizona look.

I loved working with sweet dancer Makenna, who studies ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap at Legacy Ballet Academy.

Blog Post: Downtown Ballet Session

Contact me for your dance session!

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizozna dance photography dance Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix dance photographer' Phoenix dance portraits Phoenix photographer photographer" Scottsdale Scottsdale dance photography Scottsdale dance portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/7/dancer-in-the-desert-at-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-dance-photographer Mon, 22 Jul 2019 16:40:35 GMT
Ballerina Kathryn Morgan Performs in Phoenix {Phoenix Dance Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/7/ballerina-kathryn-morgan-performs-in-phoenix-phoenix-dance-photographer A few months ago I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan perform at Legacy Ballet Academy's 10th Anniversary Gala. Kathryn is the very definition of grace, beauty, poise, passion, and determination.

If you're a ballet dancer, odds are you're familiar with Kathryn.

She was just 17 when she started dancing with New York City Ballet. Four years in, she began inexplicably gaining weight and was plagued with migraines and fatigue. She was diagnosed with an under-functioning thyroid and ultimately left NYCB to focus on her health. She has since started a YouTube channel focusing on myriad aspects of ballet and aimed at young dancers. She has more than 146,000 subscribers.

In a YouTube video, Kathryn told viewers she went through a devastating divorce over the past year. As a way of coping with it she turned to her first love – dance – spending hours in the studio. She shed weight, quickly regained her technique and artistry, and realized she still has what it takes to reignite her ballet career. Her goal of once again joining a ballet company were realized in April this year when it was announced she'd be joining Miami City Ballet as a soloist.

The month prior, she joined guest artist Sean Rollofson, a company member with Ballet Met, at Legacy Ballet Academy's 10th Anniversary Concert, where they performed the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene and Act 2 from Giselle. Legacy students danced the corps de ballet as the Willis.

Here are some of my favorite images from these magical performances:

 

A Look at Phoenix Dance Photography by Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) ballet photography Kathryn Morgan Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix dance photographer Phoenix event photographer Phoenix performance photographer Phoenix photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/7/ballerina-kathryn-morgan-performs-in-phoenix-phoenix-dance-photographer Wed, 10 Jul 2019 18:06:05 GMT
5 Reasons To Get Professional Senior Photos {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/6/are-yearbook-photos-enough-5-reasons-to-get-senior-photos-phoenix-senior-photographer If you're a high school senior in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Anthem (or the parent of one), you'll likely get that phone call to head to a local photo studio to get your yearbook photo taken.

While some schools allow students to submit their own, there are plenty of others that make this studio visit mandatory. And once you're there, you'll likely have additional photos taken, which they'll try to sell you. While that might work for some seniors, I tend to think you'll get a much more personalized, unique experience if you hire a photographer for natural, outdoor photos.

Some of the top benefits include:

  1. We celebrate you at this remarkable milestone. Getting ready to leave high school and embark on the next chapter -- yes, it's all cliche, but it's true. A high school senior is at the in-between stage in life. Still has their toes in the family house, but their arms flailing to reach outside for what's next. It's the last hurrah before you're officially an adult and on your own.
  2. You're not confined to a studio. You can have a say in the location or type of location you'd like. Do you dig a downtown vibe? Want to show your Arizona roots and be photographed alongside the saguaros? Perhaps you want something rustic or flowery. No problem. I get to know my seniors and we come up with the perfect location.
  3. You have plenty of time. While the first 5 or 10 minutes of our session can be spent warming up and getting used to being in front of the camera, once you let loose and get relaxed, you'll feel like a model. Plenty of time for outfit changes and moving around at your venue.
  4. I can transform your images into artwork. Sure, teens are queens of the selfie and have a phone full of filtered images. But I have the skill, equipment, and artistry to take your portraits to the next level, worthy of gorgeous wall art and heirloom albums.
  5. An opportunity to have fun! Perhaps the best reason of all is that getting senior portraits done gives you the chance to get dressed up in a variety of outfits, even get your hair and make-up done, and to be given the all-star treatment.

Are you ready to book your session? See available dates here!

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer michele dawson photography Paradise Valley senior photographer Paradise Valley senior portraits Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior portraits Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior pictures Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/6/are-yearbook-photos-enough-5-reasons-to-get-senior-photos-phoenix-senior-photographer Mon, 01 Jul 2019 02:48:36 GMT
Dancer Mini Sessions are Here {Phoenix Dance Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/dancer-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-dance-photographer

It might have snowed last week in Scottsdale, Cave Creek and Anthem, but cacti will be in bloom and we'll be back in our shorts and flipflops before we know it. It's also the time of year I offer my dancer mini sessions.

This is the fifth(!) year I've offered these beautiful outdoor sessions. It's so fun to see the dancers' development and growth from year to year. The little girls who twirled around in the park years ago are now strong, beautiful pointe dancers.

And ... this is the best mini-session price of the year. A normal mini-session is $225. You're saving $100!

This year I'm offering two locations.

Scorpion Gulch

Sunday, March 24
Starting at 3 p.m.
$125
20-minute session

One outfit
10 digital images
$50 deposit required

Book Scorpion Gulch

This is the historic remains of an old trading post. A rustic stone structure with lots of picturesque door and window frames surrounded by a desert and mountain backdrop. It's also very accommodating for pointe dancers with concrete and solid-surface floors.

 

Anthem Community Park

Sunday, April 7,
Starting at 4 p.m.
$125
20-minute session
One outfit
10 digital images
$50 deposit required

Book Anthem Community Park

Anthem Park offers a gorgeous green backdrop with waterfalls and a bridge. It's better suited for younger dancers (under 7).

Book Your Dancer Mini Session

www.micheledawsonphotography.com

michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix dance photographer phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Scottsdale dance photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/dancer-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-dance-photographer Tue, 26 Feb 2019 16:40:36 GMT
Snow Fun in Flagstaff {Flagstaff Snow Photo Session} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/snow-fun-in-flagstaff-flagstaff-snow-photo-session For those of us in Phoenix, heading up to Flagstaff during the snow season, whether for a photo session or just a visit, is always a treat. With months of 100+ temperatures, finding hats, gloves, and warm jackets is an adventure unto itself.

I grew up in Northern California -- the snow has always been an hour or two drive away. Which is perfect. I don't have to live through chilly temps  worry about snow-piled roads and driveways, yet it's accessible enough to visit and be awed by the wintry beauty when the urge strikes.

Northern Arizona is getting a healthy share of snow this year. I recently took my daughter and two friends up to spend the day in the snow and, well, who am I kidding? To take pictures.

Despite these Arizona kids freezing their tushes off, it was a beautiful day.

 

Click Here to Book Your Session

Click Here to Email Me

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix snow photo session Scottsdale senior photographer snow photo session https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/snow-fun-in-flagstaff-flagstaff-snow-photo-session Thu, 21 Feb 2019 00:47:14 GMT
Senior Session at Anthem Community Park {Anthem Arizona Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/senior-session-at-anthem-community-park-anthem-arizona-senior-photographer One of the best parts of a senior photo session in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Anthem areas is choosing the location. Some seniors and parents have a very specific venue in mind while others seek my opinion to help find a spot that mirrors their personality.

Some seniors like to stay close to the community where they went to school and grew up. That was the case with this Boulder Creek High School senior, who chose nearby Anthem Community Park for her senior photos.

This park has plenty of beautiful greenery and landscaping, a bridge, and beautiful waterfalls.

While location is an important element of the photo session, finding the beautiful light at the best time of day is what's key for beautiful images. All my senior sessions begin no more more than two hours before sunset time. That way, when we get the best light -- a specific time we call "golden hour." As you can see, the results are gorgeous ...

Click here to view another senior session at Anthem Community Park

Click here to view a senior session at Lake Pleasant

Click here to view a senior session in Downtown Phoenix

Click here to see available dates and book!

Click here to email me!

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizono senior photographer Anthem senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/senior-session-at-anthem-community-park-anthem-arizona-senior-photographer Wed, 13 Feb 2019 17:10:12 GMT
Black and White Family Photo Session {Anthem AZ Family Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/black-and-white-family-photo-session-anthem-az-family-photographer In photography, as in life, it is often the case that less is more. Nothing is more true when it comes to a family photo session.

A new client had booked a family session with me and said she had a specific vision in mind. Honestly, when I heard that, I was struck with equal parts excitement and fear. It's exciting to take on a challenge and try to help a client re-create something amazing on their Pinterest board but it's also a bit nerve-wracking hoping to meet expectations.

This Anthem Mom wanted a very minimalist look in black and white. She wanted to frame enlarged individual images of her four kids two by two on her wall. She wanted simple images with plenty of white space.

I scouted out the Anthem area, trying to find a simple, light-colored wall. It was a bit harder than I thought it would be. I didn't want any type of brick or line marks, and it had to be light colored. I finally found the perfect wall in one of the last spots you'd imagine for a photo session.

It was a bit windy but the family was sweet as can be and we had a great session.

When she saw the images, she told me she LOVED them all. And so do I!

Are you interested in a more colorful location?

Check out this session at the colorful Downtown Phoenix murals

Have a question?

Email me!

Ready to book?

Click here to see available dates and book now

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Scottsdale family photographer Scottsdale family photos https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/black-and-white-family-photo-session-anthem-az-family-photographer Mon, 11 Feb 2019 20:34:40 GMT
Scottsdale Senior Session at DC Ranch {Scottsdale senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/scottsdale-senior-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-senior-photographer I had another great senior photo session with Kyler, a basketball player at Saguaro High School. We chose DC Ranch Market Street in North Scottsdale. This location remains one of my favorites because of the huge variety of backdrops. There's a little bit of everything: industrial, modern textures, rustic stone window cutouts, grayish-blue barn doors, a tunnel, cactus, a bridge with trees in the backdrop, storefronts, stairs. Basically heaven for a senior photo shoot.


 

More sessions at DC Ranch:

Kyle's senior session at DC Ranch

Mariah's senior session at DC Ranch

Jaryn's senior session at DC Ranch

Some other locations to consider:

The Junkyard

Lake Pleasant

Sonoran Preserve

Downtown Phoenix

Ready to Book?

See available dates

Have a question?

Email me

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona senior photographer Anthem Arizona senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior portait photographer Scottsdale high school senior photos Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/2/scottsdale-senior-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-senior-photographer Tue, 05 Feb 2019 15:27:41 GMT
5 Reasons the Junkyard is a Perfect Location for Your Senior Photos {Phoenix Senior Pictures} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/class-of-2016-senior-photos-at-the-junk-yard

One of my favorite locations for senior sessions here in Phoenix is a spot that's fun, memorable, quirky, and unique: the junkyard.

If you want a little edge to your senior session, think outside the box and infuse the unexpected by being photographed at the local junkyard. Why? So many reasons, including:

  • A huge range of color and texture. Whether it's the cobalt blue Ford Mustang, the faded red tomato Dodge Challenger, or the butter-yellow and white Ford truck, you'll find an array of hues as your backdrop. Piles of steel parts, scattered wheels, hoods and doors lined up all in a row -- they all provide a rich, visual texture and add so much interest to your photos.
  • No need to fight the crowds. Many times, the photographer hot spots are teeming with other photographers and their clients. Not to mention the patrons and visitors to the park, shopping center, nature trail, or whatever venue is being used. Many times at the junkyard you and the photographer are the only ones there. The site is HUGE and you don't have to worry about not getting the shot you want or a wayward toddler dashing behind you at any given moment.
  • Incorporate your personality. Whenever I shoot a senior at the junkyard, I ask him or her to point out any vehicles that catch their eye. I even had one shoot where the senior and his mom recognized a car like the one his grandfather drove. A connection that adds even more meaning to the image.
  • Wow your family and friends. When they see your images, their interest will pique. It's not every day you get a portrait taken at the junkyard.
  • It will be memorable. Getting your senior photos should be not just about getting the images but should be a special experience you'll treasure and look back on fondly. Exploring a junkyard is something you're sure to remember.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's go explore the junkyard and take some fun photos along the way!

 


Are you ready to book your session? Have a question?

Email me: michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior portraits Boulder Creek senior pictures Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior pictures Phoenix senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/class-of-2016-senior-photos-at-the-junk-yard Tue, 22 Jan 2019 18:02:34 GMT
Senior Photo Session at Lake Pleasant {Phoenix and Anthem Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/senior-photo-session-at-lake-pleasant-phoenix-and-anthem-senior-photographer One of my favorite spots for senior photo sessions in the Phoenix area is Lake Pleasant. The lake itself is fun and some girls like to wear a beautiful, flowing dress and dip their toes in the water for their images.

But what I love are the hills and desert scenery. In fact, for sessions at this North Phoenix lake location I always advise seniors to be ready for plenty of walking around on rocky, hilly terrain. But the efforts are always worth it.

I had the privilege of meeting gorgeous Boulder Creek High School senior Quincy recently. I loved her the moment I saw her because one of her outfits was one of my favorite colors to photograph -- mustard yellow. It looks so gorgeous with the desert backdrop.

She rocked her other outfits as well. We had a little wind, but I love the way it adds some personality and action to the images.

 

Are you ready to book YOUR senior session?

Click to check available dates

Have a question?

Email me

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior photos Phoenix senior portraits Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior photos Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/senior-photo-session-at-lake-pleasant-phoenix-and-anthem-senior-photographer Wed, 16 Jan 2019 16:09:45 GMT
PYBT's The Nutcracker Suite: My Favorite Party Scene Photos {Phoenix dance photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/pybts-the-nutcracker-suite-my-favorite-party-scene-photos-phoenix-dance-photographer

 

In addition to photographing high school seniors and families in the Phoenix area, I also get to do some dance photography -- both performance and dance portraits. My daughter Allie dances with Arizona Dance Artistry and Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre so I've been lucky enough to photograph their Nutcracker show for the past four years.

 

It's so magical watching these kids go from "so cute" little kids on stage to beautiful artists performing in featured roles. My initial intention in this blog post was to share some of my favorite photos from the show. But there are just so many beautiful and fun moments that I have to break it down.

 

So here, in this post, are some of my favorites from Party Scene, featuring Sofia Pettee in her debut as Clara. The party scene is always a favorite for dancers. The scene is about 25 minutes long, so if you're a party girl or boy, you get lots of stage time. And this act features the most acting, which the kids tend to love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to view my gallery of outdoor dance portraits

 

Have a question? Click here to email me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix dance photographer phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre Scottsdale dance photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/pybts-the-nutcracker-suite-my-favorite-party-scene-photos-phoenix-dance-photographer Sun, 13 Jan 2019 02:19:03 GMT
5 Reasons to Book Your Senior Session for Late Winter in Phoenix {Scottsdale Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/5-reasons-to-book-your-senior-session-for-late-winter-scottsdale-senior-photographer March is a good month for brightly colored blooms in the background.

Lots of colorful blooms in the background in March.

When it comes to booking your senior photo session, those in Phoenix and Scottsdale tend to fall into a few categories.

First, there are the early bird planners. These are the seniors and parents who are on top of everything and do their senior session the summer before senior year. Because it's so stinking hot in Phoenix, these usually take place in July or August up north in Sedona, Flagstaff, or Prescott.

Next, there's the the average planner. These are the families who choose October and November for senior photos. Weather is cooler, the kids can wear fall clothes, and the school year is still somewhat fresh.

But then there's the next category where many find themselves in: Their senior photo session starts weighing on their mind at the start of the second semester and a new year.

From my standpoint, February and (early) March are the best months for senior photos. Here's why:

  1. You're still on schedule and have plenty of breathing room. If you aim for February and March, you have plenty of time to showcase your photos, get invitations and announcements made, and have one less thing to do as you're preparing for finals and thinking about post-graduation.
  2. You can usually wear warm or cooler weather outfits ... or both. If you want to wear your boots and sweaters, with average temps in the 70s, there are typically still days where that will work. Or, if you want to wear that sundress, you can often incorporate that into your session, too.
  3. Not too hot. There's nothing more miserable for a teen than having a 90-minute photo session when it's 100 degrees. Dripping sweat isn't a good look. The weather in Phoenix and Scottsdale in February and March is perfect for an outdoor photo session.
  4. Your photographer will have more flexibility. Many photographers are slower at this time of year. You'll have a better chance at getting a day that works for you and your photographer will have more time to focus on your session.
  5. Your look likely won't change much. Some seniors go through some physical changes over the course of the school year. When you wait until February or March, you'll likely look very similar to you do on graduation day.

Not too hot for jeans, not too cool for a summer dress.

 

Click to see more photos from Jaryn's Senior Session at DC Ranch

 

Click to see more from Ally's Senior Session in Downtown Phoenix

And that leaves us to the last category, the scramblers. They're calling photographers in April wanting to get a session in and get their images back as quickly as possible so they can send out their graduation announcements. Photographers get booked up quickly for late March and early April so it's harder for seniors to find an available date, making it more stressful for everybody.

So if you haven't booked your senior session yet, don't let yourself become a scrambler. Call or email me if you have any questions about booking.

See Available Dates and Book Now!

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix high school senior photographer Phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior photos Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior photos https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/5-reasons-to-book-your-senior-session-for-late-winter-scottsdale-senior-photographer Wed, 09 Jan 2019 18:55:03 GMT
Moms: The New Year's Resolution I Dare You to Make {Phoenix Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/moms-the-new-years-resolution-i-dare-you-to-make-phoenix-photographer Hi Moms!

Have you made a New Year's Resolution? I know, I know. Please don't roll your eyes. Many of us are trying to eat more salads, spend more time exercising, get more organized, and be more present with our kids. I know.

But here's a more unique resolution I challenge you to make: Come out from behind the camera and get in the picture with your family.

In my years photographing families, I've heard every excuse in the book, coming from moms with kids of all ages.

"Yes, I want to do family pictures as soon as soon as":

  • I lose weight
  • My hair gets a little longer
  • I have something cute to wear
  • The baby is older and I don't look and feel so exhausted.

But what it boils down to is that we -- the Moms -- want to change the way we look before our likeness is captured for generations to come.

And, believe me, I'm guilty of this as well. I've been putting off getting head shots taken for a year now, waiting to lose that 20 pounds. I shy away from phone pics and will head toward the back when there's a group pic being taken.

I'm consciously trying to change my mindset and I ask that you do, too. If you turn it around and think about your kids looking through photos in 20 years, you want them to remember those special moments, the connections, and even laugh about the temper tantrum your toddler was having that particular day.

Your kids want pictures and memories of you, just the way you are. The way they see you everyday. Real. It's those authentic moments that will be the most cherished -- not the carefully curated, heavily filtered images that are living on social media for likes and comments.

So, get real, be yourself, and document the precious stages of your family's life.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Started:

 Great Locations for Family Photos

Tips for Your Family Photo Session

Book Your Session

Email Me

 

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Scottsdale family photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2019/1/moms-the-new-years-resolution-i-dare-you-to-make-phoenix-photographer Sun, 06 Jan 2019 02:03:32 GMT
Downtown Phoenix Portraits at Murals {Downtown Phoenix Family Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/downtown-phoenix-portraits-at-murals-downtown-phoenix-family-photographer  

One of the best things about being a family and senior photographer in Phoenix is having access to such an array of backdrops. If you want hills, saguaros, and desert, no problem. It's all around.

If you want the grandeur of red rock, we can drive to Sedona. If the allure of mountains, pine trees and wildflowers are your calling, we've got Flagstaff just a couple hours away.

If you want rustic or urban, modern or edgy, casual or trendy, there are plenty of great venues throughout Phoenix, Scottsdale, Carefree, and Anthem.

But one of my very favorite locations is Downtown Phoenix. Specifically the beautiful, colorful murals that grace the city streets. They're the perfect backdrop for all kinds of portraits: family, seniors, dancers. Gorgeous!

What to wear: This location offers a ton of vibrant color. If you have a portrait session here, there are a few key things to keep in mind as you plan your wardrobe:

  • Because the murals are multi-colored and offer so much interest, it's best to wear solid colors. I recommend choosing some of the solid colors in the mural and then adding blacks, grays, and denim works, too. See the family above. They nailed it. A mix of solid colors that complement the mural with black and gray accents.
  • Prints and patterned-clothes will look too busy against the backdrop.
  • Family members should wear different, complementing colors (like the family above), not matching or the same colors.

 

Are You Ready to Book Your Session?

Check Available Openings Here

Email me

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/9/downtown-phoenix-portraits-at-murals-downtown-phoenix-family-photographer Wed, 26 Sep 2018 18:31:38 GMT
2018 Phoenix Fall Mini Sessions are Here! {Phoenix family photographer mini sessions} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/8/phoenix-fall-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-family-photographer-mini-sessions  
 
New Date ADDED!
Nov. 25 at Scorpion Gulch!
 
It's Time to Book Your Fall  Mini-Session!
 
Yes, the time is already here!
Gather the kids, coordinate your outfits, and let's have a few minutes of fun and capture moments that will last a lifetime!

Mini-sessions are fast-paced and perfect if you just need a few family or sibling photos for your holiday cards and gifts, or if it's been a year or more since your last family photos. I'll photograph your family as a whole and, if time allows, a few of the kids.
 
 
Session fee: $225 (up to 6 people)

 

20-minute session
10 high-resolution digital images
$50 deposit required
$25 discount for repeat clients
 

Saturday, Oct. 13, Downtown Phoenix (colorful murals)
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.

4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

5 p.m.

 

Saturday, Oct. 20, Manistee Ranch, Glendale (orange orchards, barn, historic house, rose-climbing trellis)
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
5 p.m.

 

Sunday, Oct. 21, DC Ranch, North Scottsdale
8:30 a.m.

9 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
10 a.m.

 

Saturday, Oct. 27, Scorpion Gulch
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
5 p.m.

 

Sunday, Oct. 28, DC Ranch, North Scottsdale
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
5 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 10, Downtown Murals
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, Nov. 25, Scorpion Gulch
3 p.m.

3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

3

 

Schedule Appointment

 

 


 

 

Manistee Ranch

DC Ranch
Scorpion Gulch

DC Ranch

CLICK TO SEE AVAILABLE TIMES AND BOOK NOW

 

michele@micheledawsonphotography.com


 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem AZ fall mini photo sessions Anthem AZ fall photo session Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix fall mini sessions Phoenix family photographer Phoenix mini photo sessions Phoenix mini session Phoenix photographer Scottsdale fall photo mini sessions Scottsdale photo mini sessions https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/8/phoenix-fall-mini-sessions-are-here-phoenix-family-photographer-mini-sessions Wed, 29 Aug 2018 13:31:06 GMT
9 Tips For Back-to-School Photos {Phoenix family photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/5-tips-for-back-to-school-photos2 BFFs Allie and Delaney are ready for 8th grade!BFFs Allie and Delaney are ready for 8th grade. August is here and you know what that means: back to school and all our kids' smiling faces with their first-day-of-school outfits, clean backbacks, and renewed spirit popping up on our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

For many, grabbing that quick photo by the front door or by their new classroom is done without much thought. But with just a little extra planning, whether you're using your phone, a point-and-shoot, or a DSLR, you can capture your kids' first day of school like a pro.

  1. Allow enough time. If you plan to snap a few pictures in the morning before school, be sure to get the kids up early. You don't want to feel hurried and stressed before they even get to the classroom. You could even do your own mini-shoot the weekend before school starts. Bribes help. :)
  2. Let your kids pick their first day of school outfit. As your kids get older, this will be a given. Or your child might be like my 12-year-old daughter who has been choosing her own outfits since the age of 3. This is not only less stress for you, but it allows you to capture their personality at that moment in time. My now 20-year-old son went through a stage in third and fourth grade where he wore a brand called World Industries (isn't he so cute?). Then he went through a long soccer stage. There were many first days of school with a Lionel Messi or Christian Renaldo jersey. I love looking back at those photos and remembering that period of his young life.
  3. Use props. It's always fun to add a few props to your first-day-back photos. For younger kids, you can find plenty of printables showcasing the grade they're entering. If you have older kids who wouldn't be caught dead with a chalkboard stating their grade, just ask them to hold some textbooks or have their backpack on. Maybe even sit at park table and "do some homework."
  4. Get a close-up. My very favorite photos are good close-ups. Toothless, braces, freckles, fresh faces, the first year wearing makeup to school ... you want the details!
  5. Good lighting. If you're taking quick pictures in the morning before school, try to avoid placing your child in direct sunlight. Otherwise they might be squinting and you'll get shadows on their faces. In front of the front door is a good bet if it doesn't get direct sunlight. If the sun is smacking your front door, chances are good the back yard will be better. The morning sun hits the back of our house, so we did this one of kindergarteners Zach and Allie out front.
  6. Do what's natural. In addition to getting shots of your kids smiling and looking cute, try to show the story. Getting ready in the morning (I treasure this shot of Blake in front of the mirror with all that nervous energy on his first day of 3rd grade). Silliness is awesome. Or, if your child walks, bikes, or scooters to school, go along with them and capture some pics of them -- if you can keep up. When my oldest son was younger, soccer was his passion. In seventh grade he would dribble his soccer ball to school every day. Great photo opp! Here are my little twins Zach and Allie on the first day of kinder. Fast-forward eight years and there's Allie in all her 8th grade glory.
  7. Do the same each year. I was never organized enough to do this, but I love seeing photos of kids in the same spot year after year so you can see how they've grown. At the end you can make a cute video.
  8. Beg, bribe, respect, whatever it takes. My kids are 20, almost 17, and almost 13 (times two). And three of them are boys. Boys, at least MY boys, do not like getting their picture taken. As a result, my personal social media pages are blasted with photos of my camera-loving daughter. As the kids have gotten older, I've respected their boundaries when it comes to photo-taking and social media. There are many times my boys will let me take a quick picture with the promise of not posting it on social media. Sometimes they'll want to approve the photo first. And they also have gone through phases that they don't want any pictures taken. While I've been know to bribe and beg, I ultimately respect their wishes. Chances are if you catch them on a different day in a different mood they might just say yes to the camera.
  9. Get mom and dad in the picture. This one is important and I'm a terrible offender. As family documentarians, we live in a great time for capturing and storing so many moments. As Moms (and Dads), we often neglect to include ourselves in the picture. Do your kids a favor, and pop in those photos from time to time. As your kids get older and have kids of their own, they'll treasure looking back on those moments with their parents. I love this memory with my son Nick -- now a high school senior -- on his first day of kindergarten.

 

Do you have a high school senior and not sure when to book their senior photo session? Read here for tips!  

Are you wondering which Phoenix location to choose for this year's family photo session?
 Read here for suggestions!    

Have a question about booking a photo session?
Email me: michele@micheledawsonphotography.com       

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer anthem az senior portraits michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix photographer phoenix senior pictures phoenix senior portraits tips for back to school photos tips for back to school pictures tips for first day of school pictures https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/5-tips-for-back-to-school-photos2 Mon, 30 Jul 2018 01:14:41 GMT
5 Great Phoenix Locations for Family Photo Sessions {Phoenix Family Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/5-great-phoenix-locations-for-family-photo-sessions-phoenix-family-photographer If you're gearing up for a family photo session in Phoenix, one of the most important decisions is pinning down a location. Thankfully, Phoenix and the surrounding areas offer a huge array of options.

Whether you want desert, orchard, urban, park, downtown, rustic, eclectic or a mix, your photographer will help you find the location that best suits your family's personality and style.

Some of the most popular family photo locations in the Phoenix area include:

Scorpion Gulch

Located in South Mountain, Scorpion Gulch is the stone skeletal base of what was once a trading post and general store. There are several roofless buildings with lots of stone, window and door-cutouts and plenty of texture and visual variety -- all against a desert and mountain backdrop.

The area is rather contained and there is parking just across the street so there's not a lot of walking around.

I love this location for both family and high school senior sessions.

Manistee Ranch

This historical ranch is located in the city of Glendale and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds of Manistee Ranch feature on an old ranch house with photogenic stairs, a red barn, orange orchards, rose archways, and fits the bill if you're looking for a non-Arizona-looking option.

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix is for you if you want edgy, urban, or hip. Many families like the colorful murals or top of the parking garage. Solid colors -- especially blues - with black and grey are the perfect color choices for outfits against these fun murals.

DC Ranch

Located in North Scottsdale, DC Ranch Market Street offers an array of yummy-looking restaurants and fun, boutique-style shops. But from a photography standpoint, there are a variety of textured concrete walls, stairs, industrial walls and barn doors, stone walls, and lots of lines to give photos a modern look. But there are also very natural areas with trees, cactus, and plenty of greenery.

Anthem Park
If you love a green park setting with waterfalls, a bridge, and perhaps even some flowers in bloom, then you're sure to love your family photos at the park. The park is often a good setting if you have little ones. They're able to run around and shake off some energy during the session. The waterfall always photographs extremely well  and is a beautiful backdrop for those with blue eyes.

Are you ready to book your family session? Have a question?

Pricing info

Book now/Available dates

Email me: michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix mini photo sessions Phoenix photographer Scottsdale family photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/5-great-phoenix-locations-for-family-photo-sessions-phoenix-family-photographer Fri, 27 Jul 2018 00:14:25 GMT
Phoenix HIgh School Senior Photo Session at DC Ranch Scottsdale {Scottsdale senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/phoenix-senior-photo-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-scottsdale-senior-photographer One of my favorite locations for senior portrait sessions in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area is DC Ranch Market Street in North Scottsdale.

The greatest lure of this magnificent spot is the huge variety of backdrops. I was reminded of this again during my session with Boulder Creek senior Mariah. She chose three great outfits, including a bold red dress, and they were perfect for all the mini-venues at this market place.

Parts of DC Ranch have a very clean architectural look -- concrete walls with textural lines, industrial looking doors and walls, stairs, and plenty of storefronts with tall windows.

But just a few steps away there are more rustic elements -- bluish-grey barn doors, stone cut-out windows, and lots of rich, copper-colored metal.

And if you like a natural look, there's that, too. A wooded area with small footbridge, a beautiful cactus-filled area that blooms in the spring, and even a tunnel.

There are also other nooks and crannies that I discover each time I photograph there. Which are your favorites?

Other locations:

Lake Pleasant

Downtown Phoenix

Anthem Park

 

Are you interested in a senior portrait session at DC Ranch? Not sure on location? Let's talk. I book senior sessions 2-3 months in advance.

Email me: michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior photographer Anthem AZ senior portraits best senior photographer Phoenix Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix high school senior photographer Phoenix high school senior pictures Phoenix high school senior portraits phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior portraits Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/phoenix-senior-photo-session-at-dc-ranch-scottsdale-scottsdale-senior-photographer Fri, 20 Jul 2018 23:47:27 GMT
Senior Photo Session at Sonoran Preserve {Phoenix senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/senior-photo-session-at-sonoran-preserve-phoenix-senior-photographer As a senior photographer in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas, one of my favorite places for senior photo sessions is anywhere with a natural desert backdrop. There's something so magical and beautiful about the the golden sunlight against the amber desertscape.

The trailhead at the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve offers a great mix of desert scenery with a splash of urban-style, concrete architecture in the visitors area. Just enough to offer a little variety.

I always -- 90 percent of the time -- photograph my seniors in the late afternoon, early evening. We usually start an hour and a half or two hours before sunset. This is when we get the most beautiful, flattering light. Golden hour.

And golden hour was beautiful for gorgeous, golden-haired Kayla. Don't you think?

Are you ready to book your senior session? I generally book 2-3 months in advance, so don't miss your window if you have a specific month in mind. If you'd like to book or have a question, email me. michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior portraits Scottsdale senior photographer Scottsdale senior photos Scottsdale senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/7/senior-photo-session-at-sonoran-preserve-phoenix-senior-photographer Tue, 10 Jul 2018 18:53:57 GMT
How To Decide When To Get Your Senior Pictures {Phoenix senior portraits} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/not-sure-when-to-get-your-senior-photos-5-tips-to-guide-you-phoenix-senior-portraits One of the questions I get asked most as a senior photographer is "when should I get my pictures done?" And, thankfully, there's no right or wrong answer. It's all a matter of what works best for your schedule, budget, location choice, and they type of outfits you'll want to wear.

Regardless of when you want to do your photos, it's best to book at least two months in advance. And I'd say three months out if you're hoping for October or November. There are several factors you'll want to consider for each season.

Summer: OK, there's no getting around the fact that it's blistering hot during the summer in Phoenix. But some seniors like to head to Lake Pleasant or travel north to Sedona or Flagstaff and summer is a great time to do that. School hasn't started and your schedule is likely more wide-open. If you want your photos done and want to have them available to post throughout the year on your social media pages, summer might be a good time for you.

Fall: Not surprisingly, many seniors choose the fall season for their senior photos. The temperatures start to dip and that back-to-school feeling is in full swing. This is the busiest time of year for portrait photographers. Not only do seniors like this time, but October and November is filled with family photo sessions. If your photographer is booked in October and November, then late September and early December can be good times. Just be sure to consider your budget around holiday time.

Winter: Because our winters are so mild here in Phoenix, another popular choice for senior photos is January and February. These are attractive times if you want to wear warmer clothes -- think jeans and boots or a fun velvet dress. You generally don't have to worry about being too warm for your session. This is also a good time because most photographers won't be as busy as if you wait until March and April, when all the last-minute seniors seek out their sessions.

Spring: March and April are the last-chance months. There are those who want pictures in the spring and perhaps want them taken when they look closest to how they'll look when they graduate. But then there are also those ones who time has gotten away from -- always busy with SATs, studying, sports, and other activities. March and April are always the busiest time of year for me for senior photos. If you want March or April, it's best to book 3-4 months ahead of time. Some families don't like to feel so rushed and want plenty of time to plan for announcements, albums, and gifts. For those families, I recommend getting them done by February.

Class of 2019: When do you want YOUR senior session to take place? It's best to book 2-3 months in advance. If you're ready to book or have questions, email michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem az senior photographer anthem az senior photos best senior photographer in phoenix michele dawson photography paradise valley senior portraits phoenix senior photos phoenix senior pictures phoenix senior portraits scottsdale senior photos scottsdale senior pictures https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/not-sure-when-to-get-your-senior-photos-5-tips-to-guide-you-phoenix-senior-portraits Sun, 17 Jun 2018 22:27:55 GMT
Senior Session at Oak Creek Canyon Sedona {Phoenix senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/senior-session-at-oak-creek-canyon-sedona-phoenix-senior-photographer One of my favorite things is when a senior wants to head north for their photo session. There are so many amazing locations in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas, but there are some kids who feel the lure of the magical red rock and magnificent natural surroundings.

It's especially appealing if you want to get your senior photos done in the summer or early fall and it's just too unbearably hot to do them in Phoenix. Sedona is beautiful year-round -- I even had one client who did hers in the snow.

This is from one of my favorite sessions: Sara at Oak Creek Canyon. This location has the red rocks, the gorgeous lure of the creek (can't you just hear it now?), trees, fields, and the remains of an old building.

Which one is your favorite?

 

Class of 2019: If you're ready to book your senior session or would like more information, email me at

michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona senior photographer cave creek senior photographer michele dawson photography phoenix senior photographer phoenix senior photography scottsdale senior photographer sedona senior photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/senior-session-at-oak-creek-canyon-sedona-phoenix-senior-photographer Mon, 14 May 2018 22:11:12 GMT
Phoenix Spring Mini Sessions Coming April 15 {Phoenix Family Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/3/2phoenix-spring-mini-session-dates-announced-phoenix-family-photographer2 What's better than spring in Phoenix? Spring mini photo sessions, of course!

I'm excited to announce SPRING mini-sessions! These are perfect for families or siblings and your images would make the perfect Mother's Day gift for a lucky Mom or Grandma.

Spring mini-sessions will take place April 15 at Manistee Ranch in Glendale.

Mini-sessions are fast-paced and perfect if you need just a few updated photos of the family or kids to adorn your walls, be the centerpiece of a special gift, or want photos in spring or summer outfits.

$195

20-minute session

10 high-resolution digital images

$50 deposit required

April 15 at Manistee Ranch
3:30
4:00
4:30
5:00
5:30

Book a session at Manistee Ranch

 

To book a session or request more information,

email michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix mini sessions phoenix photographer phoenix spring mini sessions https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/3/2phoenix-spring-mini-session-dates-announced-phoenix-family-photographer2 Tue, 06 Mar 2018 16:33:22 GMT
Phoenix Valentine's Mini Sessions Announced https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/phoenix-valentines-mini-sessions-announced For the first time Michele Dawson Photography will be offering Valentine's mini sessions in Anthem, located just north of Phoenix.

These sessions feature an adorable "sweets for sale" stand (shout-out to my hubby Brett for all his help) and numerous holiday-related props. These fun sessions are designed for kids from toddlers to teens, but are also a great fit for couples, dancers, or even pets if you think your furry friend is up to the task. If you're interested in a family session, please contact me to schedule a full session at a separate time.

Sessions will take place Sunday, Jan. 28, at a small pocket park in Anthem (you'll receive directions once you sign up).

The details:

  • Cost $95 REDUCED to $65
  • 15-minute session
  • 5 digital images, to be delivered via email 5-7 days after the session
  • Sign up on the link below. You'll then receive a Paypal invoice for the full amount. Full payment is due within 24 hours.

If you have any questions, email michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

Sign up for your Valentine mini session.

 

Sign up for your Valentine mini session

Questions? Email michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer anthem az senior portraits michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix photographer phoenix valentines mini session phoenix valentine's mini session valentine mini session anthem valentine mini session anthem az valentine mini session phoenix https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/phoenix-valentines-mini-sessions-announced Tue, 16 Jan 2018 21:00:31 GMT
Kate's Senior Session at Lake Pleasant (Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/Kate-senior-session-at-lake-pleasant-phoenix-senior-photographer This past fall several high school seniors asked me to do their senior photos at Lake Pleasant. I love this North Phoenix location because it offers a gorgeous backdrop -- cactus-studded hills and trails that meander around a beautiful crown jewel of a lake.  Lots of little coves and big enough to always find something new.

I loved this session with Kate for a whole host of reasons. Of course, she's gorgeous, but she also nailed her outfits. I especially love the yellow dress against the yellow-flower-dotted hills and then in the water. Kate was a great sport about getting in the slimy, muddy water. It made for truly beautiful photos.

Wishing you a fun-filled last semester of high school, Kate!

 

 

If you'd like to do your senior photos at Lake Pleasant, or have another idea you'd like to discuss, email me michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem az senior portraits best senior photographer phoenix lake pleasant senior photos lake pleasant senior pictures michele dawson photography phoenix photographer phoenix senior pictures phoenix senior portraits senior pictures phoenix https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/Kate-senior-session-at-lake-pleasant-phoenix-senior-photographer Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:13:18 GMT
Photo Session Gift Certificates Available! {Phoenix photographer gift certificates} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/12/photo-session-gift-certificates-available-phoenix-photographer-gift-certificates Are you stumped for a holiday gift for someone in the Phoenix area who has everything? Consider a gift certificate for a photo session with Michele Dawson Photography.

Gift certificates are available in any dollar amount and are perfect for:

  • Family sessions ($275)
  • Extended family sessions. Include the grandparents or all the adult siblings and their families ($275 up to 6 people plus $15/person after 6)
  • Sibling sessions ($275)
  • Teen or youth stylized session (dancer, athlete, etc.) ($275)
  • Headshots ($175)
  • Mini-session ($195)
  • Senior sessions ($175-$395)

For more information or to purchase a gift certificate,

email Michele Dawson Photography.

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer anthem az senior portraits gift certificate phoenix photographer michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix photo gift certificate phoenix photo session gift certificate phoenix photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/12/photo-session-gift-certificates-available-phoenix-photographer-gift-certificates Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:10:12 GMT
Phoenix Photo Mini Sessions: November Dates Added! https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/10/phoenix-photo-mini-sessions-november-dates-added

 

 

Still need to book a quick and easy family photo session? There's still time! Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY has a few November openings at DC Ranch Market Street in North Scottsdale.

Mini-sessions are fast-paced and perfect if you need just a few photos of the family or kids for your holiday cards and gifts. The focus is on images of the whole family together.

     

  • $195
  • 20-minute session
  • 10 high-resolution digital images
  • $50 deposit required

 

Saturday, Nov. 4, DC Ranch Market Street 
8 a.m
8:30 a.m.
9 a.m.
9:30 a.m.

10 a.m.

 

Friday, Nov. 10, DC Ranch
8 a.m
8:30 a.m.
9 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
10 a.m.

Book Nov. 10 DC Ranch

 

Sunday, Nov. 12, DC Ranch
8 a.m
8:30 a.m.
9 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
10 a.m.

Book Nov. 12 DC Ranch

 

 

DC Ranch

 

 

  Click Here to Book Now or Ask a Question

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer anthem az family photographer anthem az mini sessions michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix mini sessions phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/10/phoenix-photo-mini-sessions-november-dates-added Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:27:24 GMT
Downtown Ballet Dancer {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/9/downtown-ballet-dancer-phoenix-senior-photographer I've known Paityn and have been watching her dance ever since my daughter joined the same studio, Arizona Dance Artistry, about five years ago. Paityn's in her last year of high school this year and I thought it would be fun to showcase her ballet talents for her senior pictures in a fun downtown Phoenix session.

Paityn is the oldest dancer at the studio and is a role model in the truest sense of the word to all the dancers -- from the cute little tutued tots to the young teens who strive to dance like her and mimic her strong work ethic.

She's often quiet but bouts of fun and silliness spontaneously erupt when she's at rehearsals or out and about at photo shoots. She has so much unfolding this year -- the lead role of Clara/Sugar Plum Fairy in Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker suite, college dance auditions, ballet competitions, and of course, keeping on top of school and dance classes.

It's going to be a bittersweet year at the studio as she performs in her final performances and makes decisions about where she'll pursue dance next year. But I know we're all so excited for her and will be cheering her on every step of the way. Merde, Paityn!

BOOK A FALL SENIOR SESSION

Fall is a beautiful time for senior sessions in Phoenix. I have limited openings in November and December. Contact me for more information or to book your session today!

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) michele dawson photography phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/9/downtown-ballet-dancer-phoenix-senior-photographer Wed, 27 Sep 2017 18:14:50 GMT
Phoenix Photo Mini Session Dates Announced for Holiday 2017! {Phoenix Mini Photo Sessions} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/8/phoenix-holiday-mini-session-dates-announced-phoenix-mini-photo-sessions  

 

For

For Fall 2018 Mini Sessions, CLICK HERE

Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY will be holding holiday mini sessions in October. These Phoenix photo sessions will take place at DC Ranch, Scorpion Gulch, Downtown Phoenix, and Anthem Community Park. I'll take photos of your family together (up to 6 family members), as well as quick individuals of the kids and the kids together.

Mini-sessions are fast-paced and perfect if you need just a few photos of the family or kids for your holiday cards and gifts.

If you have toddler or pre-school-aged children, I recommend a morning session or the last session of the afternoon.

The Details:

  • $195
  • 20-minute session
  • 10 high-resolution digital images
  • $50 deposit required
  • If you're a repeat client, you'll get $25 off.
     

Saturday, Oct. 7, DC Ranch Market Street 
8 a.m
8:30 a.m.
9 a.m.
9:30 a.m.

Book Oct. 7 DC Ranch

Sunday, Oct. 8,  Anthem Community Park
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

Book Oct. 8 Anthem Park

NEW DATE! Saturday, Oct. 21, DC Ranch Market Street
8 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
9 a.m.
9:30 a.m.

Book Oct. 21 DC Ranch

 

Saturday, Oct. 21, Anthem Community Park
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

 

 

Sunday, Oct. 22, Urban/Downtown Phoenix
3:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

 

Book Oct. 22, Downtown Phoenix

Saturday, Oct. 28, DC Ranch
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.


Sunday, Oct. 29, Scorpion Gulch
3 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.

Book Oct. 29 Scorpion Gulch

 

DC Ranch

I love senior photo sessions in Phoenix. Whether it's in Anthem, DC Ranch, Cave Creek, Downtown Phoenix, or Sedona. there's a location to complement your senior's style and personality.

 

Scorpion Gulch

Scorpion Gulch

Anthem Community Park

Anthem Community ParkAnthem Community Park Downtown Phoenix

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer anthem az family photographer anthem az mini sessions michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix mini sessions phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/8/phoenix-holiday-mini-session-dates-announced-phoenix-mini-photo-sessions Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:13:17 GMT
9 Tips For Back-to-School Photos https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/8/5-tips-for-back-to-school-photos BFFs Allie and Delaney are ready for 8th grade!BFFs Allie and Delaney are ready for 8th grade. August is here and you know what that means: back to school and all our kids' smiling faces with their first-day-of-school outfits, clean backbacks, and renewed spirit popping up on our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

For many, grabbing that quick photo by the front door or by their new classroom is done without much thought. But with just a little extra planning, whether you're using your phone, a point-and-shoot, or a DSLR, you can capture your kids' first day of school like a pro.

  1. Allow enough time. If you plan to snap a few pictures in the morning before school, be sure to get the kids up early. You don't want to feel hurried and stressed before they even get to the classroom. You could even do your own mini-shoot the weekend before school starts. Bribes help. :)
  2. Let your kids pick their first day of school outfit. As your kids get older, this will be a given. Or your child might be like my 12-year-old daughter who has been choosing her own outfits since the age of 3. This is not only less stress for you, but it allows you to capture their personality at that moment in time. My now 20-year-old son went through a stage in third and fourth grade where he wore a brand called World Industries (isn't he so cute?). Then he went through a long soccer stage. There were many first days of school with a Lionel Messi or Christian Renaldo jersey. I love looking back at those photos and remembering that period of his young life.
  3. Use props. It's always fun to add a few props to your first-day-back photos. For younger kids, you can find plenty of printables showcasing the grade they're entering. If you have older kids who wouldn't be caught dead with a chalkboard stating their grade, just ask them to hold some textbooks or have their backpack on. Maybe even sit at park table and "do some homework."
  4. Get a close-up. My very favorite photos are good close-ups. Toothless, braces, freckles, fresh faces, the first year wearing makeup to school ... you want the details!
  5. Good lighting. If you're taking quick pictures in the morning before school, try to avoid placing your child in direct sunlight. Otherwise they might be squinting and you'll get shadows on their faces. In front of the front door is a good bet if it doesn't get direct sunlight. If the sun is smacking your front door, chances are good the back yard will be better. The morning sun hits the back of our house, so we did this one of kindergarteners Zach and Allie out front.
  6. Do what's natural. In addition to getting shots of your kids smiling and looking cute, try to show the story. Getting ready in the morning (I treasure this shot of Blake in front of the mirror with all that nervous energy on his first day of 3rd grade). Silliness is awesome. Or, if your child walks, bikes, or scooters to school, go along with them and capture some pics of them -- if you can keep up. When my oldest son was younger, soccer was his passion. In seventh grade he would dribble his soccer ball to school every day. Great photo opp! Here are my little twins Zach and Allie on the first day of kinder. Fast-forward eight years and there's Allie in all her 8th grade glory.
  7. Do the same each year. I was never organized enough to do this, but I love seeing photos of kids in the same spot year after year so you can see how they've grown. At the end you can make a cute video.
  8. Beg, bribe, respect, whatever it takes. My kids are 20, almost 17, and almost 13 (times two). And three of them are boys. Boys, at least MY boys, do not like getting their picture taken. As a result, my personal social media pages are blasted with photos of my camera-loving daughter. As the kids have gotten older, I've respected their boundaries when it comes to photo-taking and social media. There are many times my boys will let me take a quick picture with the promise of not posting it on social media. Sometimes they'll want to approve the photo first. And they also have gone through phases that they don't want any pictures taken. While I've been know to bribe and beg, I ultimately respect their wishes. Chances are if you catch them on a different day in a different mood they might just say yes to the camera.
  9. Get mom and dad in the picture. This one is important and I'm a terrible offender. As family documentarians, we live in a great time for capturing and storing so many moments. As Moms (and Dads), we often neglect to include ourselves in the picture. Do your kids a favor, and pop in those photos from time to time. As your kids get older and have kids of their own, they'll treasure looking back on those moments with their parents. I love this memory with my son Nick -- now a high school senior -- on his first day of kindergarten.

 

                 Now booking Class of 2018, Family Sessions for September and October.
www.micheledawsonphotography.com

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer anthem az senior portraits michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix photographer phoenix senior pictures phoenix senior portraits tips for back to school photos tips for back to school pictures tips for first day of school pictures https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/8/5-tips-for-back-to-school-photos Fri, 04 Aug 2017 17:16:14 GMT
Senior Photos at DC Ranch {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/7/senior-photos-at-dc-ranch-phoenix-senior-photographer I had the chance to photograph so many amazing seniors in 2017. Some of these teens I met for the first time; others I've known through my kids and their families.

It was so fun to photograph Kyle, whose older brother has been one of my son's best friends for the past almost 10 years. I've sat with his family countless times on the sidelines of soccer fields and the bleachers of high school football stadiums.

Kyle wanted to showcase his football playing by wearing his Boulder Creek team jersey. The industrial-looking backdrop at DC Ranch was perfect!

We also got some shots of Kyle in his non-football clothes. I love the variety at DC Ranch: urban, nature, rustic, modern. It has something for everyone and every mood.

To book your Class of 2018 senior session, just shoot me an email: michele@micheledawsonphotography.com

 

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) dc ranch senior photos michele dawson photography phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer phoenix senior pictures phoenix senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/7/senior-photos-at-dc-ranch-phoenix-senior-photographer Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:37:05 GMT
DC Ranch Senior Photo Session {Phoenix senior photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/6/phoenix-senior-photo-session-dc-ranch-market-street-senior-photos Now that summer's here, it's the perfect time to get caught up on my blog and celebrate the wonderful seniors I had the pleasure of meeting this past year.

This is Jaryn, a recent Boulder Creek High School grad. She's a passionate dancer -- everything from ballet and lyrical to contemporary and tap. We had a great time as we scouted out all the magnificent backdrops at DC Ranch.

Jaryn: Hope you have a relaxing summer and best of everything as you begin college at Grand Canyon University.

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior photographer Boulder Creek senior photos Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior pictures https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/6/phoenix-senior-photo-session-dc-ranch-market-street-senior-photos Tue, 13 Jun 2017 02:43:46 GMT
Melissa and Sunny's Reception {Carefree Wedding Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/5/melissa-and-sunnys-reception-carefree-resort-reception In my last post I highlighted some of my favorites from Melissa and Sunny's wedding at Cave Creek Chapel. There were so many images I loved that I had to save the reception photos for a future post. Ta-da! Here they are -- some of the most magical moments.

Before their grand entrance into the reception hall at Carefree Resort, we got some outdoor shots on the grounds of the property.

The reception was filled with loved ones, tradition, laughter, cake pops, amazing dancing Dads, babies, and plenty of youth dancers from the studio where Melissa teaches, who, not surprisingly, stayed until the very end.

Sunny and Melissa, I know you'll have an amazing future together filled with travels, bulldog adventures, yummy breakfasts, graciously taking the non-dancing adult roles in youth ballet productions, and whatever other wonderful things come your way.  I know it's cliche, but you two really are meant for each other. Again, thank you for choosing me to document this beautiful day for you.

  

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Carefree wedding photographer Cave Creek wedding photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix special events photographer Phoenix wedding photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/5/melissa-and-sunnys-reception-carefree-resort-reception Sun, 28 May 2017 01:54:52 GMT
Melissa and Sunny's Wedding {Cave Creek Wedding Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/5/melissa-and-sunnys-wedding-cave-creek-wedding

Back when I started my photography-as-a-little-business-venture two years ago, I never imagined I'd be shooting a wedding. But back in March, it happened. I captured so many fun, beautiful moments as Sunny and Melissa got married at Cave Creek Chapel.

Melissa has been my 12-year-old daughter's dance teacher for going on four years now. We see her many times a week and she's choreographed and coached my daughter for her solo competition dances. The kids love her. She constantly showers them with love and praise and gives them huge bear hugs when she returns from vacations or a student has been away. She orchestrated the dance studio's now infamous birthday dance circle in which the kids gather around in a circle, join hands and sashay around the lucky birthday boy or girl while singing Happy Birthday.

When Melissa and Sunny started dating, he brought her iced teas and lunch on long class or rehearsal days (and he still does this). But he smartly realized he would need to win over not only her but her students. So he started bringing boxes full of treats -- donuts, cupcakes. Mission accomplished.

So back in the fall when Melissa asked me if I shot weddings, I told her I never had. But she didn't care. She asked me to shoot her wedding anyway. So I spent many hours researching, poring over wedding photos, watching YouTube videos, and trying to keep my nerves at bay.

I found an amazing second photographer (Aimee Hernandez) to help me and I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. 

Thank you, Sunny and Melissa, for letting me a part of your wedding and having faith in me as your photographer. It was such a beautiful day.

Wedding venue: Cave Creek Chapel

Bride Hair and Make-Up: Kensington Makeup and Hair Artists

Watch for reception photos in the next blog!

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Cave Creek Chapel Cave Creek Chapel wedding Cave Creek wedding Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix wedding Scottsdale wedding https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/5/melissa-and-sunnys-wedding-cave-creek-wedding Tue, 02 May 2017 02:55:35 GMT
5 Great Locations for Your Phoenix Senior Photos {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/2/5-great-locations-for-your-phoenix-senior-photos-phoenix-senior-photographer One of the biggest decisions when getting your senior photos done in Phoenix is choosing a location. Your senior photographer will help you find a location that matches your personality and tastes, makes you feel comfortable, and will look beautiful in your images.

Whether it's a local park, an urban setting with bold murals, a trendy retail center, a junk yard, the desert, or the red mountains of Sedona, the Phoenix area offers plenty of variety.

Here's a quick look at five of my favorite spots.

DC Ranch Market Street. This is, by far, one of the most popular locations for senior and family photos. Located in North Scottsdale, this retail center offers an array of yummy-looking restaurants and fun, boutique-style shops. But from a photography standpoint, there are a variety of concrete walls, stairs, industrial walls and doors, and lots of lines to give photos a modern look. But there are also very natural areas with trees, cactus, and plenty of greenery.

Phoenix senior portraits DC RanchPhoenix senior portraits DC Ranch Anthem Arizona senior photosAnthem Arizona senior photosAnthem Arizona senior photos

 

 

Anthem Community Park. Some seniors like to choose a location that reminds them of their childhood and the area where they grew up. For seniors at Boulder Creek and Anthem Prep, that might mean the Anthem Community Park. Green grass, a bridge, waterfalls, and the train tunnel, are fun ways to document your senior year.

Anthem Park senior photographyAnthem Park senior photography Anthem AZ senior picturesAnthem AZ senior pictures

Anthem Park senior photosAnthem Park senior photosAnthem Community Park senior photos

 

Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon. For with a sense of nature and adventure, the Oak Creek Canyon area in Sedona is stunning. The red rock mountains, the creek, the stone ruins of an old building, and the openness give the photos an Arizonan signature stamp. The results are always stunning.

Anthem Arizona Senior PhotosPhoenix Arizona Senior Photos Anthem Arizona Senior PhotosPhoenix Arizona Senior Photos Anthem Arizona Senior PhotosPhoenix Arizona Senior Photos

 

The Junk Yard. For those who like a sense of out of the ordinary and love lots of color, shapes, and textures, the junk yard can provide an edgy, modern look.

Phoenix senior junkyardPhoenix senior junkyardSenior session at the junkyard. Phoenix junk yard senior photosPhoenix junk yard senior photos

Scottsdale Quarter

If you want a chic shopper vibe to your senior photos, Scottsdale Quarter provides whimsy and fun along with sophistication to offer a wide range of images.

 

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem az senior portraits michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix photographer phoenix senior photographer phoenix senior pictures senior photos anthem park senior photos dc ranch senior photos phoenix junkyard https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/2/5-great-locations-for-your-phoenix-senior-photos-phoenix-senior-photographer Sun, 12 Feb 2017 19:41:10 GMT
Phoenix Senior Photo Session {Anthem Community Park} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/1/phoenix-senior-photo-session-anthem-community-park Meet Christina. She's a senior at Anthem Prep.

I love that she wanted her senior photos done at Anthem Community Park. Some seniors want an urban feel to their session. Or a desert or rustic look. But Christina wanted a place that always made her happy as a child. Growing up in the community of Anthem, that was at the park.

The train that delights the kids, the beautiful waterfall, the greenery, the fishing pond -- they're all beautiful memories for this high school senior.

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior pictures Phoenix senior portraits best senior photographer Phoenix senior pictures Anthem AZ senior pictures Phoenix senior portraits Phoenix https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2017/1/phoenix-senior-photo-session-anthem-community-park Sun, 08 Jan 2017 17:53:59 GMT
Family Photo Session at Scorpion Gulch {Phoenix family photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/11/family-photo-session-at-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-family-photographer One of my favorite family photo locations in Phoenix is Scorpion Gulch, the remains of a trading post built in 1936 at South Mountain Park. The historic structure is made of stone and is set against a rolling mountainside. No ceilings remain, just walls and window and door frames. It provided the perfect backdrop for the family photos I recently did for Bonnie and her family.

I photographed Bonnie, her husband Patrick, and their three kids at this time last year. One of the things I love is that the kids aren't toddlers or little ones with missing front teeth. They're bona fide teens and tweens. And the great thing is that they've changed so much in just one year.

Jake still strikes his "thinker" pose, but now his golden locks are several inches longer. Samantha is now in high school and has a new hair style. And 6th grade Danny is getting so tall.

I love that they want photographs of these years. So often as the kids get older, we get busy and don't take the extra effort to coordinate everyone's schedule, we have teens who don't want their pictures taken, or we simply think it's something we just do when the kids are little. But these years are filled with tremendous change, so much personality, and so many emotions. It's a great time to capture all of that.

I hope they choose their favorite family image and get a huge canvas to hang in their family room. Every time they look at it they'll think back to the photo session where Jake, in typical fashion, tried relentlessly to make his siblings laugh, Samantha had just gone to her first homecoming dance the night before, and they were just glad the Sunday photo session didn't interfere with their favorite team's football game (or did it?).

 

 

 

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix children photographer Phoenix family photographer photo session Scorpion Gulch https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/11/family-photo-session-at-scorpion-gulch-phoenix-family-photographer Thu, 10 Nov 2016 01:25:13 GMT
Senior Session in Cave Creek {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/10/senior-photographer-phoenix/megan I recently had a super fun session with Anthem Prep senior Megan. She was such a great sport as we explored downtown Cave Creek. We ventured through Frontier Town, which made the perfect backdrop for our session. We walked down the street and found an area with a natural backdrop, and then explored the quaint shops and restaurants.

We even crashed the outdoor dining section of local diner Big Earl's Greasy Eats, where we captured some beautiful images.

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To book your senior session, contact Michele Dawson Photography.

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior portraits Anthem Arizona family photographer Cave Creek Arizona senior photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photographer Phoenix senior portraits best senior photographer Phoenix https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/10/senior-photographer-phoenix/megan Wed, 26 Oct 2016 19:14:54 GMT
Tips for Your Family Photo Session {Phoenix Family Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/10/tips-for-getting-ready-for-your-family-photo-session Yay! You did it! You made that appointment for an outdoor family photo session ... or maybe you're thinking about it as you start your to-do list for the holiday season. Whether you have toddlers, elementary-school-aged kids, or teens, there is preparation required, as well as some decisions to make to help ensure we capture fun, memorable images of your family.

Location, location, location. When you book your session, one of the first things I'll ask you is where you'd like to do the shoot. You might have a particular location in mind. If not, I can help you find the spot that best suits your family's personality and what feeling you want to convey. If you want to take advantage of our desert backdrop, I'll help you find the perfect spot showcasing the desert scenery. Perhaps a park with grass, trees, and waterfalls is more your style, like the family below chose. Maybe you want a more urban feel, a rustic look, or even your back yard. I'll help you fulfill your vision. Phoenix family photographerPhoenix family photographer

Time of day is key. I, and many outdoor photographers, prefer to hold photo sessions 1-2 hours before sunset. That's because this time of day offers beautiful low light and a beautiful, golden glow can be achieved. Photos taken in the middle of the day in Phoenix means shadows on faces, harsh light, squinting eyes, and more challenges to capturing beautiful images. In the summer months I generally hold sessions at 5:30 or 6 p.m.. Once we're into fall and winter, it's about 4 p.m. You can see the beautiful golden hue and the light bouncing off Sofia's hair in the photo below. This can only happen naturally during "the golden hour." What to wear? This always seems to be the most frequent question I'm asked. There once was a time when the whole family would wear white shirts and khakis, or black shirts and jeans. B-O-R-I-N-G. Not only is it on the dull side, but black and white don't flatter skin tones the same way color does. And color offers so much more warmth, fun, and personality. When outfitting your family, don't try to match everyone, instead try to COORDINATE. Start with Mom's outfit. One strategy is to coordinate tones: coordinated warm tones would include red, orange, and brown. Cool tones you could put together would be hues of blue, purple, and green. Once you get your tone family, you can choose one or two neutral colors to add to the mix -- denim, ivory, grey, black. And then add layers and accessories: denim jackets, scarves, statement necklaces, hats, colorful shoes, boots. Try to repeat your colors several times through different members of your family. Mom's turquoise scarf might match daughter's turquoise shoes, which matches the son's print shirt. The families below nailed it for their sessions.

Coordinate, don't matchThis family got it right when selecting outfits. They aren't matching, but are coordinated in varying shades of blue. Phoenix family photographerPhoenix family photographer

Don't expect perfect poses. Try not to get frustrated with your kids if they're not sitting still and smiling as you'd like them to, especially if your children are small. I'm not going to ask you to say "cheese." I want natural smiles and laughter. Kids are kids, they're going to run and be silly and have fun. That's part of the magic of an outdoor photo session. Parents always seem to choose the photos of spontaneous laughter and family togetherness as their favorites, rather than the more rigid, posed, forced-smile counterparts. This little boy below felt like grabbing a stick and playing his make-believe drums! Perfect! It worked. We captured a precious, candid moment. And in the second photo, I captured a sweet moment of this little boy trying to feel around to make sure his hair looks good. Both are sweet, candid moments that will bring so much joy now and, even more so, in the years to come.

Bring what makes 'em happy. If you have small children, bring their favorite toy if it makes them more relaxed or if you'd like to include it in the shoot. It's also a good idea to bring snacks. And bring water for everyone, especially in the warm months. Also, you never know what a toddler will get into, so bringing an extra outfit is recommended. If an older child wants to bring a special object that has sentimental value or would like a special prop, feel free to bring it. This little boy really wanted his toy monkey in the family picture. In 20 years when the family looks at this image, they'll remember that sweet time in their lives when little brother loved that monkey -- a treasured memory.  Anthem Community ParkAnthem Community Park

Most importantly, relax and have fun. Try not to feel stressed if the kids aren't cooperating as you envision. If they see you're stressed, then they'll be stressed. Photographs of your two-year-old chasing butterflies or playing with her hair will be more meaningful than ones of her sitting dutifully and saying "cheese." I promise.

If you have any questions or want to book a session, contact me at michele@micheledawsonphotography.com.

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix children photographer Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer getting ready for family photo session getting ready for family photos https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/10/tips-for-getting-ready-for-your-family-photo-session Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:38:58 GMT
Family Session at Papago Park {Phoenix family photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/9/family-session-at-papago-park-phoenix-family-photographer I recently did a family photo session at beautiful Papago Park in Phoenix. It was an early morning and we pretty much had the whole beautiful area to ourselves. I love Papago Park for its variety: red-rock background, desert, the tall grass area, and the light peeking through the trees and brush.

This time it was Mom and Dad and their two-year-old son, which always means one thing: the two-year-old is in charge. And that's just fine.

Whenever I photograph a toddler, there's lots of chasing, running, playing peek-a-boo, sometimes bribes, sometimes suspicious looks upon meeting me. But I always end up capturing some adorably candid moments.

Isn't he just adorable?

I still have a few holiday mini-sessions left for Saturday, Oct. 22, at Papago Park. For more details, click Mini-Session Details.

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Papago Park family photographer Papago Park family portraits Papago Park photographer Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/9/family-session-at-papago-park-phoenix-family-photographer Wed, 14 Sep 2016 03:52:04 GMT
Phoenix Holiday Photo Mini-Sessions: 2 DAYS ADDED! {Phoenix Family Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/8/phoenix-holiday-photo-mini-sessions-two-days-added

FOR 2017 MINI SESSIONS, CLICK HERE

 

It's hard to believe but the holidays are just around the corner! 
Get started on your to-do list and book your mini-session before it's too late!
I'll be offering a limited number of mini-sessions this fall.

Session fee: $200 (up to six people) 
* 25 minutes
* Online gallery of 20-25 edited images
* Your choice of 10 high-resolution digital images, selected from your gallery.
* $75 deposit required.
* If you're a repeat client, you'll automatically get a 15% discount!!




NEW DATE!
Saturday, Sept. 24
DC Ranch Market Street
7:45 a.m. - 8:10 a.m.
8:15 a.m. - 8:40 a.m.
8:45 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. filled

Sunday, Oct. 2
DC Ranch Market Street 
3:00 - 3: 25 filled
3:30 -3:55
4:00 - 4:25
4:30 - 4:55 filled
5:00 - 5:30




Sunday, Oct. 16
Scorpion Gulch 
3:00 - 3:25
3:30 - 3:55
4:00 - 4:25 filled
4:30 - 4:55 filled




NEW DATE!
Saturday, Oct. 22
Papago Park
7:45 a.m. - 8:10 a.m.
8:15 a.m. - 8:40 a.m.
8:45 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.




Sunday, Oct. 30
Anthem Community Park 
3:00 - 3:25
3:30 - 3:55 filled
4:00 - 4:25 filled
4:30 - 4:55

BOOK NOW!


 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) anthem arizona family photographer anthem az mini sessions michele dawson photography phoenix family photographer phoenix holiday photo sessions phoenix mini photo sessions phoenix mini sessions phoenix photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/8/phoenix-holiday-photo-mini-sessions-two-days-added Thu, 25 Aug 2016 20:44:07 GMT
And Baby Makes 5! {Phoenix Newborn Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/6/and-baby-makes-5-phoenix-newborn-photographer With four teens/tweens in the house, it's always a special treat to visit and photograph little ones ... especially the newborns. I am instantly reminded of how much sweetness is packed into a 7-pound bundle of joy.

I recently photographed Asmahan and Jose, their two little ones ... and their brand new baby boy. It's such a special feeling to capture some of those special moments in their first days as a family of five -- watching the two little ones learning how to be gentle with their newborn brother, catching that quick little smile that newborns make when they're sleeping, and seeing everyone getting to know the newest member of the family.

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ newborn photographer Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix lifestyle photographer Phoenix newborn photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/6/and-baby-makes-5-phoenix-newborn-photographer Tue, 14 Jun 2016 21:49:44 GMT
Congrats Class of 2016! {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/congrats-class-of-2016-phoenix-senior-photographer It's graduation week around here for our high school seniors. I had the great privilege of meeting some of the most talented, dedicated, and all-around awesome seniors over the past nine months. Thank you SO MUCH for choosing me to photograph you during this milestone year!

We did senior photo sessions all over Phoenix: DC Ranch Market Street, Boojum Hidden Tree Gardens, Anthem Community Park, Scottsdale Quarter, a junkyard, the desert, and a golf course. I was also lucky to have a couple seniors who wanted their session in beautiful Sedona, one in the knee-deep snow. Thank you all for the wonderful memories and best of luck in college and all your future endeavors!

Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors! Congrats Class of 2016!Best wishes for all your future endeavors!

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior pictures Anthem AZ senior portraits Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior photography Phoenix senior photos https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/congrats-class-of-2016-phoenix-senior-photographer Thu, 26 May 2016 15:56:35 GMT
Kelsey's Senior Session {Phoenix Senior Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/3/kelseys-senior-session-phoenix-senior-photographer
 

I can't believe we're only two months away from graduation! Early spring is always a wonderful time for senior photos here in Phoenix. It's warm, but not too warm, the sun is shining and high schoolers have a more relaxed state of mind as they look forward to the coming months.
 

I've had quite a few senior sessions at DC Ranch Market Street. And with good reason. This cute marketplace has SO many cute little backdrops and vignettes that are perfect for senior and family photos. And how stunning is Kelsey?
 


 


 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Boulder Creek senior pictures DC Ranch senior photos DC Ranch senior pictures Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior pictures Phoenix senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2016/3/kelseys-senior-session-phoenix-senior-photographer Mon, 21 Mar 2016 18:46:44 GMT
Boulder Creek Senior {Phoenix Senior Photography at Scottsdale Quarter} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2015/10/boulder-creek-senior-phoenix-senior-photography-at-scottsdale-quarter Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. A lot of photographers in the Phoenix area -- and anywhere for that matter -- don't like to disclose their locations, especially when it comes to senior photos. Whether it's a magical, golden field or a secret trove of goodness tucked away from suburbia, we tend to get possessive. But there are some locations that 1) are clearly recognizable, and 2) are just too good to NOT whip out your camera and best lens and have a go at a photo shoot.

Scottsdale Quarter is one such place. If you're a high school senior who likes fun, fashion, and a bit of whimsy, THIS location is for you. As you can see by the photos that follow, there's a little bit of everything. There are stairs. There are a variety of interesting backdrops with different colors and textures. You'll find props already provided among the retailers -- whether it's a fun, yellow bicycle --complete with a basket of flowers, a gumball machine, or the signature fountain/water area where visitors of all ages have been seen cooling off during the brutal summer months.

Here are some of my favorites of Boulder Creek senior Page. Page is on the spiritline and plans to pursue a career in nursing.

  Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter. Boulder Creek Senior PortraitsI had a fun time at Page's shoot at Scottsdale Quarter.


 

 

 

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem AZ senior portraits Anthem Arizona family photographer Michele Dawson Photography Phoenix photographer Phoenix senior portraits https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2015/10/boulder-creek-senior-phoenix-senior-photography-at-scottsdale-quarter Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:49:37 GMT
"Um, I Have a Two-Year-Old ... There's No Way We Can Do Photos" {Phoenix Photographer} https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/-um-i-have-a-two-year-old-theres-no-way-we-can-do-family-photos It's been said to me more than once. "Oh, I'd love to get photos of my children done, but I have a two-year-old, there's no way he/she would ever sit still." And, as the mother of four kids who are now all teens/tweens, I remember all too well the stress and panic that flared up when I attempted to assemble the family for a group shot during a holiday or gathering, let alone in a formal setting for a professional photographer.

During those panic-inducing occasions, I'd march the kids into the portrait studio in their carefully coordinated holiday outfits, bribe the older two and try to get the two babies to smile. One child would have a cheesy, forced grin ("Mom, I smiled."). Another would be looking at the other kids to make sure they're smiling. A baby would be playing with his shoelace, another baby would be drooling with no smile in sight. I'd look at the photos and feel a little let down that they were less than perfect. And, really, how can you expect great photo moments when you plop kids down in an indoor studio for five minutes? You can't.

Now, as a photographer, I've learned a few things about shooting two- and three-year-olds. Yes, they're full of energy. No, they probably won't sit still or do what you want them to do. But that's OK. As they play, explore, and interact, your photographer will capture the essence of their sweet personality.

A few months back, I shot a family with an adorable three-year-old bundle of energy. He buzzed from here to there, didn't want to sit or stand by his sister and made impassioned faces at his parents (like in the photo above).

But after I focused on his sister a bit, he wanted me to look at him. All on his own, he decided to lie on the grass and gave me a beautiful, natural smile. It was a quick moment, because before I knew it he was up and running again, but I captured it and it was my favorite one of him from the session. We moved to a different location in the park and he was more interested in talking about toys and showing how he plays with them. And that provided a few more memorable images.

After the session, the mom was apologetic for what she viewed as her son not cooperating to the best of his ability. And, when she saw the images, she was shocked. "I can't believe you got all those cute shots," she said. 

As I look back on the pictures of my kids as toddlers, the ones I love the most aren't the ones where everyone is smiling perfectly into the camera. It's the ones where they're laughing and showing me their personality. Where they're looking dreamily in the sky or looking at each other as if they're sharing a private joke -- the special moments captured as if nobody else was there. If you're the parent of a toddler and are thinking about a family or child portrait session, here are some things to help your session go smoothly:

  • Plan the session at a time when your child won't be hungry or tired. In the morning right after breakfast or after an afternoon nap might be good times.
  • Allow enough time. Leave yourself enough time to get to the venue so you're not running late. That will just add to your own stress level and your child will pick up on that.
  • Bring snacks and water for your toddler.
  • Grab an extra outfit in case the one your child is wearing for the photo session gets dirty, wet, or anything else that seems to randomly happen when your toddler is outdoors.
  • Bring one of your child's favorite toys, stuffed animals, or blankets. This might help relax your child, and can also be used as a prop.
  • Talk about the photo session with your child ahead of time. Tell them how much fun it will be so they're excited for it.
  • Don't scold them if they become "energetic." A skilled photographer will keep up with your child and will be able to capture some wonderful candid moments. Let your child play and be himself/herself.
  • Don't stress out. If you're stressed, your child gets stressed. This should be a fun experience for your family or child. When they see you smiling and having fun, it's more likely they will, too. Kids will naturally feel a little more unsure in the beginning of the session, but should relax and feel more at ease once they establish a rapport with the photographer.

For questions about booking your family session, contact michele@micheledawsonphotography.com today.

 

 

 

 

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(Michele Dawson PHOTOGRAPHY) Anthem Arizona family photographer Anthem Arizona photography Phoenix family photographer Phoenix photographer https://www.micheledawsonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/-um-i-have-a-two-year-old-theres-no-way-we-can-do-family-photos Tue, 21 Jul 2015 04:00:13 GMT