Aug 9, 2016

Mike + Tanika || Sedona, AZ Engagement Session

This session post just wouldn’t be complete without the story of how this all came about. Because to me this makes it even more sweet!

It had been a week since I had been outside. I’d almost forgotten that there was still life going on outside the hospital doors. And then Cameron came to take a few days with Ione while she was in the Special Care Nursery and I went home to rejuvenate for a few days. When it came time to go back, Cameron had a sweet surprise for me.
He had been feeling stressed and overwhelmed there and thought, “Man! This is hard work! I deserve a treat! I hope Marquette brings me something.” And then he said immediately it turned. “I’ve been doing this for 2 days. Marquette just did a week. Holy cow, she deserves a treat!” So he went around town looking for the perfect surprise. And man, he didn’t realize just what a treat he was getting me!
The day after I got back, Cameron informed me that I had an appointment, told me where it was at and sent me on my way. I knew it was at a beauty salon, and that it probably was something to do with my hair, but that was it. I walked in to the Unique Salon and they asked who I had an appointment with. I laughed. “I have no idea! My husband set this up and told me when to come, so I don’t even know what all I’m doing here!”
They were so excited! “You’re here for your day of beauty! Your husband is so sweet!!” I was immediately taken over for part 1, my pedicure and introduced to Tanika. We got over to the pedi chair and Tanika asked if I wanted a magazine. Before I even thought about it or looked at the magazines, my mouth had declined the offer. Now, as an introvert…I wasn’t sure what I’d just done. Of course it’d be easier to hide behind the magazine and enjoy the pedicure, but this year is my year of being intentional and breaking out of my comfort zone. So I decided to jump in and visit and enjoy the time.
Tanika was so sweet from the beginning, and I quickly noticed her gorgeous shiny ring and commented. This was the 25th of February, and she’ just gotten engaged on Valentines Day! It was so fun to hear about the proposal, her fiance, his kids, their Sedona wedding plans, and their life. I loved every minute of the conversation! A little down the conversation road, Tanika asked what I do, and got so excited when I told her I’m a photographer. She was in the market for a wedding photographer.
I was giddy. I think I kept my cool, but this was a chance to visit about weddings, photography, and to leave my information with her. I was hopeful, but I didn’t think she’d actually pick me. I couldn’t get THAT lucky! And then after we got home with Ione she messaged me. And then we had a lunch date. And then suddenly I was their wedding photographer!!
Being able to work with Tanika and Mike has been pure fun and joy. Their chemistry was apparent at the lunch date, and they were absolutely fabulous during their engagement session. Cameron and I got to drive out to Sedona and meet them and Tanika’s sister there for a fabulous evening of pictures, pizza, and visiting. It was the PERFECT way to spend my 30th Birthday!!Tanika and Mike were amazing. There was no awkward warm up period; they jumped in with both feet (quite literally!) and steamed it up!




I didn’t even ask them to get in, they just went for it. And then pointed to a rock in the middle of the creek that they wanted to get on. And when that was behind a tree, they just kept going! It was so fun to get to shoot them mid stream, and to watch them work their way across together. Mike kept them both steady and was sure to keep hold of Tanika.








I wish there were audio accompanying this next photo! The squeak Tanika let out with Mike suddenly picked her up was so fun!




Isn’t Tanika gorgeous? She seriously doesn’t take a bad picture at all!



Getting off this rock proved to be a little more of an adventure than Tanika wanted. Hitting the bottom of the creek she did a number on her pinkie toe, cutting it open and jamming it pretty good. But you can’t even tell in the next shot that there’s any pain going on! She just kept on going!






After the creek at Indian Gardens, we joined the long and slow car train into Sedona to get down towards Red Rock Crossing for Part 2. You can’t do a session in Sedona and not get the red rocks! It was completely worth the hour long commute (to go 10 miles! Everyone wanted into Sedona that night!). The light was absolutely stunning on that red rock.





I love the way he looks at her. This right here is a man completely in love.





















Seriously you two?! I’m dying over here. Such a beautiful couple!









I am beyond excited for their Sedona wedding next year! These two have so much to celebrate, and are such amazing people. I feel so blessed to get to work with them and to get to know them! Thank you so much Tanika and Mike for an amazing evening, for the delicious meal, and for letting us come and be a part of such a special time in your life!


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