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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 luckiest woman in the whole world | happy mother’s day | family photography

I know that motherhood is not meant for everyone but wow was it meant for me. Ever since I was a little girl I remember wanting to have two children, preferably girls. Fast forward lots and lots of years, I was fortunate enough to meet the person who made me a better person, my best friend in the whole wide world: Keith. My husband and the father of my two beautiful girls.

To say that a day goes by that I am not amazed by my children or my love for them would be an understatement. I am choked up right now thinking of all the reasons why I love being a mother and why I love my children so much. Sure it’s not perfect, I am learning as I go. I never did this before. I get angry. I yell. I get frustrated. I could never home school. I appreciate my mother more and more all the time. This is tough. We are raising two girls and need to show them how strong they can be. I had an amazing role model, my mom worked really, really hard and raised my sister and I to be self sufficient, intelligent women. I want the same for my girls.

BUT as challenging as being a mom can be – the daunting responsibility of giving them a great foundation – it is the most incredible experience I have ever had. I look into their gorgeous blue eyes and my heart over flows with this love that I can’t describe. As they grow I am amazed by them every single day. How much they have to give, their generosity, their humor, their caring, their intelligence, their sweetness, their love for me, Keith, each other and those around them (including our four legged friends too).

I remember my mom saying that one day I would understand how much she loved my sister and I. I got it the first day and I am realizing it more and more with each passing year. I look around and have to say that I couldn’t ask for anything more. I love my life and everything about it. I told Keith when I first met him that I was the luckiest woman in the whole world.

All these years later I am still the luckiest woman in the whole world and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Thanks girls for allowing me to love being a mom so much.

alexmcnail - June 13, 2012 - 7:08 pm

I a photographer and I like your photos. they are amazing!

Keith - June 13, 2012 - 7:16 pm

Thank you Alex.

questions to ask the kids: Gabriella | Scottsdale family portrait photographer

Ok. It is Miss Gabby’s turn to answer the questions. My personal favorites is: Mommy is the coolest person in the world. For those that do not know Gabs, she is the master of diplomacy. At an early age, she figured out what to say and when to say it. She is usually full of bull…it – but she delivers it in such a convincing way. She makes my heart melt.

Oh and I overlooked the fact that actually Gabby and Isabella answered one other question the same. favorite sport: soccer. And you have no idea how much I want to add my take on her answers. She cracks me up. Some are predictable and others, I am scratching my head! Really, ladybug is a word that describes her? A food she doesn’t like? I could probably fill this entire page with answers to that question. Las Vegas, really? Who’s Caprice? To live in Paris? She hasn’t even been there yet. Love the imagination. I just love this stuff!

May favorite food is: Corn Dog (Veggie from Trader Joe’s of course)
My favorite sport to play: Soccer
The best TV show on TV: Dinosaur Train
The coolest person on earth is: Mommy
My favorite thing about food is: that it’s healthy!
The thing I do most awesomely is: dance
If I could change my name, it would be: Caprice
If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d go to: Las Vegas
My favorite color is: pink
My favorite toy is: my dinosaurs
When I grow up, I want to be: a horse rider
My favorite movie is: Bambi
My current favorite song is: Jingle Bells
My favorite book is: Jack & the Beanstalk
Three words that describe me are: pretty, ladybug, weird
The snack I could live on is: junk
One food I really don’t like: broccoli
If I could have one wish, it would be: I could live in Paris
My best memory is: our family trips to Greer

Questions to ask the Kids: Isabella | scottsdale family portrait photographer

I can’t remember where I came across this idea – most likely an adorable kids blog somewhere along the way. I love this, periodically ask your children a series of questions and see how their answers change over time. I think I could probably ask several days in a row and not get the same answers twice. Some answers I expected, some I was surprised by!

I’ll start with Isabella. She is currently 7 and in second grade (she’ll be 8 in August).

The highlights: I love that if Isabella could change her name it would be Francesca. She loves Auntie Darlene’s little baby girl Francesca. Happy she likes Mumford & Sons so much. Both she and Gabby want to be horse riders when they grow up (the only question they answered the same). Last but not least, I love her one wish.

May favorite food is: Chicken Fingers
My favorite sport to play: Soccer
The best TV show on TV: The Last Air Bender
The coolest person on earth is: The Avatar
My favorite thing about food is: it’s yummy!
The thing I do most awesomely is: the monkey bars
If I could change my name, it would be: Francesca
If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d go to: France
My favorite color is: green
My favorite toy is: Uno
When I grow up, I want to be: a horse rider
My favorite movie is: Arrietty
My current favorite song is: The Cave (Mumford & Sons)
My favorite book is: Ivy & Bean Series
Three words that describe me are: nice, adventurous, friendly
The snack I could live on is: candy
One food I really don’t like: cauliflower
If I could have one wish, it would be: I wish there was no money in the world – then everyone would be the same
My best memory is: our trip to Zion & Bryce with Grandma and Grandpa

I can’t wait to update this from time to time and see how her answers evolve. Stay tuned for Gabby’s answers.

may day baskets | scottsdale family portrait photographers


Once we had the idea to spend part of the summer in France, Isabella started finding ways of incorporating all things French into everything we did.

A few months ago, Isabella asked me to help her look up French holidays. Since most French holidays are religious (and had already passed) that left only one holiday before the school year ended: May Day.

Hhhhmmm – how do we approach May Day? Do 7 year olds want to learn about International Workers Day? The Festival of Flora? Fertility? Pagan Traditions? The May Pole Dance? May Day Baskets? Wow – so many traditions associated with May 1st.

Isabella chose her own focus – Spring. A hybrid of what she read, she decided to make May Day Baskets. One for her teacher. One for her grandmother (which she is going to follow full tradition: leave it at their door, ring the door bell and run). She has decided to emphasize the fact that May 1st symbolizes the beginning of spring. Good!

She has her (unsolicited) presentation ready to roll for school. Her teacher has allotted her a very generous spot at circle time. She has requested Keith, Gabby and I be in attendance. She is taking May Day seriously.

Gabby has followed her lead. She has made her own baskets for her two teachers. Of course she has included a dinosaur in each little basket. True to form.

Happy May Day!

(Oh and I’m taking that double chin seriously – YIKES!)

Kristen Butler - May 4, 2012 - 1:46 am

Stop being so critical silly lady! :) You’re beautiful! And you have beautiful, thoughtful creative children… the rest… meh… doesn’t matter!

melissa - May 4, 2012 - 5:15 pm

You are so sweet Kristen! Thanks for reading.

Kara Madden - May 14, 2012 - 10:55 am

You’re beautiful! The girls, too. I love the intensity captured in the shots as you all work on your baskets, which are adorable!

melissa - May 15, 2012 - 4:47 pm

Very intense indeed! Thanks for the comment!

gabby and her scooter | scottsdale children’s portrait photographers

When I look into Gabby’s beautiful blue eyes, I feel like I can see into her heart. For Gabby every day is a journey into a world of possibility and magic, of kindness and caring, a free flowing little girl that embraces life through laughter and tears.

And in the case of the above picture: frustration. She loves her little scooter that Grammy gave her for her birthday – but wow does she get frustrated when she isn’t just zipping along seamlessly through the park. So Keith captured her deciding that she had scooted enough for the day. I can just hear her saying how her “ankles hurt”. (Her usual explanation when she has decided that physical activity and her are not getting along).

Glad Keith was there to capture this picture that defines Gabby. Her childhood.

(I just noticed she is barefoot – just like her daddy! I’m not sure she and Keith would ever wear shoes if it wasn’t mandatory in certain situations!)