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  • Welcome to Our Journal

    Keith is a photographer who believes that kids are nearly perfect and that great images capture a bit of that perfection for all eternity. He loves that children don’t filter their emotions. Living loud is their power. And his job is to capture a moment of their uncontained imaginations: your children, unscripted.

    Melissa is the studio manager, adoring wife, busy mom and occasional writer that believes she is living the most beautiful life in the whole world.

    Keith and Melissa have two amazing daughters, Isabella and Gabriella and a little Jack Russell named Pooch.

    This journal is our personal blog about our family, photography, travel and how we are inspired by children in all their authenticity, one beautiful photograph at a time.

The Deuce | Downtown Phoenix Family Session

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This family session at the Deuce was a blast. I’m not sure what strings this mom had to pull to get the Deuce to say yes to our session – but they did. Glad they did because it was the perfect location.

Every year she finds a fresh place for their session. I love it. Something to look forward to for sure. I wonder what plan she is hatching for next year?

Click here to see last year’s session at the Windsor/Churn in Central Phoenix.

Gabby Playing | Children Unscripted | Personal

gabby at the park

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”. Dr. Seuss

We already miss this place so much. The Phoenix Swim Club’s previous location was such an ideal setup for little and big kids alike. Whether you are a swimmer or just there to wait for a sibling to swim, all the kids enjoyed themselves at this safe little haven!

Gabby had a blast at this place every single day. She had her little posse of friends and loved playing on the old playground equipment. We were just scanning film that was picked up from the lab and I fell in love with this photo of Gabby.

I love her intensity. I love the look on her face. I love that she is so darn strong. I love the bandaid on her arm from a collision at school. I love how her feet look like mine, bunions and all. I just love this kid.

And I love how Keith is able to document their childhood one beautiful photo at a time. I am so lucky!

{Camera: Zeiss Ikon  Film: TriX}



Make up how to | Makeup Tutorial by Linda Wagner

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Well for those who know me well, I rarely wear makeup EXCEPT for the most part when we I need to look like a professional or for a special occasion. I have been lucky, I’m certainly not a cover girl but I was given some basic gifts like good skin and some decent eyes. So for most of my life, I pretty much ignored all that make up had to offer.

Those days are over! As 45 approaches this July, I’m not looking quite as youthful as years past, imagine that? I look tired (cause I am), a little haggard every morning when I wake up, the circles are a little deeper and darker. I’m thinking it’s time that a light application of something to make me look a touch better is now required before I step out the door.

Now I also need to be honest that I don’t really know a lot about make up and it’s correct application. (Yes, for those that have laid eyes on my first ever passport, I was 15 with lots of purple eyeshadow and blue eyeliner!) I joke that I’m only half girl as I have such little interest in these sorts of things. But the time has come. And who better to help me make this big step a little easier than Linda Wagner – fabulous Scottsdale make up artist.

Linda is a sweetheart, patient and kind and really good at what she does. She explained to me in great detail what I should use, what I could incorporate from the make up I already own (what should be thrown out and how often, I’m really bad about that) and some recommendations for what I need to add that will make a difference.

Of the many make up options she recommended, the four that I am embracing most are: Chanel’s CC Cream (this correction cream has sunscreen + it is lightweight and disguises the redness in my skin), Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Caviar Ink, Hoola Bronzing Powder (matte not shiny!) and the best mascara I have ever used, Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real. The coverage is great and the brush makes it so easy to apply.

Now I’m sure many of you reading this can’t understand how I never knew of these products till now – let’s just say that I’m not really great at experimenting, I probably had the same make up routine for nearly 20 years. I know, it’s embarrassing!

Well now I feel great – I can embrace my mid 40’s with a little bit of well applied make up. With a few products, I really do look better, more fresh, more rested, ready to take on the day.

Thanks Linda for taking the time to help a poor girl learn about make up and its application – as the saying goes it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!


Happy May | Time Flies

kids photographer scottsdaleOh I wish I was more diligent about posting weekly about the goings on with the family. We have had a hectic last few weeks. I love to be busy and busy we were. And in case I forget to mention it, the weather here in Phoenix has been divine. It is the first week in May and we have not hit 100 yet! So because of the beautiful weather, we have had extra time outside. It’s like waiting for the dead of winter back east, once June/July/August roll around, we are limited to inside, shaded areas and the swimming pool.

So evening trips to the park are a must this time of year. And of course the ice cream man knows it. He is parked by the park! And I love that the modern ice cream man takes debit cards. Really? I tried to tell the kids one day as he was driving by us that I didn’t have any cash. Well astute little Gabs noticed the Visa/MC logo on the side of his truck. Oh Square – must every phone be allowed to be a credit card machine??? Oh well.

Photo #1 is the line for the ice cream man! Photo #2 is Isabella’s newest entrepreneurial idea. She is making these braided head bandy type things with flowers. They are actually really cute. She gifted one to a friend of hers who wears it daily to school. Mass production is around the corner when summer arrives. Look out!

Swim meet, getting the goggles sorted before the 100m breast stroke. It’s almost like Derek Jeter or dear I say Ichiro – the rituals. The rituals….regardless of sport – they start young. Or maybe it’s because in her first ever race in her first meet, her goggles popped off and she had to finish the race with the goggles in her hand. Scarred for life I think.

Gabby Bear passed out sick in our bed, with her companion Pooch by her side. Oh how endearing sick children are. This kid warmed the cockles of my heart at 3am being so damn adorable I could have cried. Sleep seems like an option when your kid is sick. And it really doesn’t bother you that you are about to wake up in an hour or two for a 13 hour work day. It’s like it’s separate or something, you can compartmentalize it all.

Ah yes, Gabby and gymnastics. Was this sport created for her? It fits her like a glove. Tiny, energetic – this is such a good fit. She LOVES it.

And Miss Bella with her presentation on Mathew Brady. The end of year art presentation – was actually really fun to attend. Multiple classrooms with all sorts of different takes on some great artists. Bella chose a photographer, hhmmm wonder why? She’s loving the large format style, who knows maybe this will plant a seed?? She looks pretty proud behind that camera!

You know before having Gabby – as every mom with two kids knows – you had dedicated all your time to the first born. Then along comes this second little firecracker (and I know some of you have many, many more kids to divide your time between) and you never seem to quite be able to spend the same amount of alone time with them as you did your first born. But you know what, it’s really worth it to find time. I can’t even explain how excited Gabby is when we have this time alone doing things as just us. Don’t get me wrong, most times she can’t stand to not share every single experience with her sister, but there are these every now and again times where it is just her and I. And she doesn’t hesitate to tell me how much she loves it….and I do too!

Hiking at Papago. Lunch at Fox Restaurant Groups newest winner: Flower Child. Check out this place – as vegetarians there was plenty of choice for Keith and I but there are also all sorts of great omnivore options as well. Fresh, Fresh, Fresh!!!

Enjoy the Spring weather!

Newborn Baby | Children’s Photographer Scottsdale

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I love hats, I love adorable babies, I love adorable babies in hats. What the heck is cuter than a baby in a hat??? Especially an adorable fuzzy owl hat! Oh how I wish I had that hat for my little girls when they were small.

Miss Baby S is beyond cute. She was certainly the star in her newborn session. She looked great in her birthday suit, her diaper cover, her hats and her headbands.

She was so sweetly pleasant 99% of the short but I hate to say it,  I love that shot where she is crying. She vetoed the big fuzzy hat for a few minutes till mom comforted her back to her lovely calm self.

Oh I can’t stand how fast they grow. That’s why that shot of all of their feet is one of those that you must have. Those tiny, tiny little feet. Captured forever.


Caroline Barkley - May 6, 2014 - 1:34 am

She is adorable in every shot but I love the one with her feet between her mommy and daddy’s.