Hi, we're Hunter and Sarah, a husband-and-wife, luxury wedding photography team. We’re also educators, helping other photographers build profitable and sustainable photography businesses.
We had done a LOT of online research before our trip to Phoenix. After hours of googling and pouring over local photos, Hunter and I had narrowed our options down to just a handful of locations for Christy and Matt’s North Scottsdale engagement session. We arrived in Scottsdale in the afternoon a couple of days before their session, and it was already in the mid-100s. Way too hot to go location scouting. So the next morning, we got up just before sunrise and headed to several locations in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a series of parks located in North Scottsdale. However, we were surprised to find signs at each location that mandated we obtain a permit to photograph. No worries! A lot of locations here in Charlottesville require us to call ahead and let them know that we’re coming, and some even ask for a small fee.
But when we called the office, now less than 24 hours before Christy and Matt’s engagement session, and they told us it could take 7-10 DAYS to obtain a permit, we began to panic. Apparently, the person who usually handled photography permits wasn’t even in the office that day. We would need to submit an application, complete with insurance information and a fee of up to $180 to use the locations we had scouted. One of those locations didn’t allow photography except at the trailhead (read: in front of the gift shop). We submitted the application, then called the office back and pleaded with them to push through the permit before the end of the day. Then, in case it didn’t happen in time, we drove all over the Sun Valley and scouted several more locations in the heat of the afternoon. We found a few suitable spots, but nothing as perfect and “desert-y” as those at the preserve. That’s why we were beyond relieved when, just a few minutes before the offices closed at 5:00 pm, we received an email with the permit and gladly paid the $60 fee for the remaining photography-friendly location. *Exhale*
When we finally did meet Christy and Matt at 5:00 am the following morning, it was with so much relief and excitement. We hadn’t seen them since Matt popped the question on he and Christy’s final day of Law School more than a year ago (we were there to capture the proposal!). As if the excitement of reuniting with old friends wasn’t enough, there was… THE LIGHT! Hunter and I fangirled over the soft, even and warm light that slowly rose over the distant mountains for days following the session. It felt like we just couldn’t take a bad photo! We briefly considered dropping everything, selling our house, and moving to the desert JUST to be able to shoot in this beautiful light every day! Then, as we wrapped up the session at 6:50 am, the temperature approached the low-90s, and we remembered why we live on the East Coast. Visiting the desert is plenty for us!
It was so life-giving to see you two again! Your infectious joy spilled over into Hunter and and I as we captured your romantic desert engagement session, and even during our breakfast we all got together afterward! We can’t thank you enough for waking up at 4:00 am to take these photos, and we are so confident that you won’t regret it! We also know that since you two hadn’t seen each other in almost four months (probably the longest you’ve gone since your relationship began), that we got a little extra something-something in these photos 😉 The even better news? In just four more months, we should be together again to celebrate your marriage, and do this all again! We absolutely cannot wait to see you two again!
Sarah + Hunter