Arizona Desert – great setting for family portraits

Arizona is a unique backdrop and many of our clients want to capitalize on the natural setting for their desert portrait session.  Since the Spear family recently purchased a home in DC Ranch they wanted to showcase the surrounding environment.  Keeping their color palette of clothing simple they stood out nicely against the green and yellow palette of the natural desert landscape. The accent of long necklaces and bracelets by the women adds a nice touch – simply things can enhance a portrait.

And let’s not forgot about the glorious mountains that surround us here in the Valley of the Sun.  The main challenge is not making “humans” feel too small against a mountain backdrop – distance from the mountains helps achieve this look and creates a memorable landscape portrait.

Black and white images are always a nice change.  Subjects can really standout again a busy backdrop when showcased in black and white. The focus becomes the family members which is ultimately what a more formal portrait is trying to achieve.

Soft afternoon light provides a warm glow and gives dimension to any photograph.

When embarking into nature be sure to remember that our landscape is not really one to be touched – there are numerous species of cactus as you can see in these images.  A slight step in the wrong direction and you will need tweezers and be in for a long and painful night.  Make sure to be careful when braving the desert (closed toe shoes, long pants, etc).  Slow and steady is a must!

We really enjoy the Spear family and are excited by the new additions on the way!  We look forward to future  portraits of this wonderful family. Our prior session with the Spears included a multi-generational group of about 25 people – it was great!

Holiday Portrait Photo Session

The holidays are now a distant memory…but we are playing catch up with our blogging.  This past holiday we enjoyed seeing the Black Family for their annual family portrait. This  session was taken at their own residence incorporating the limited fall colors we see here in Arizona. It’s always fun to watch the relationship kids have with their parents at all ages. The Black’s holiday card was super cute and we are pleased to have been a part of their traditions.

Black Family Portrait Photography Scottsdale CWLIFE

Above. From left to right: Xander, Cameron, Nikki, Julia

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It Works Global: Presidential Diamond Rachel Whigham visits AZ

In October, Rachel, a Presidential Diamond at It Works Global gathered her top producers and came to Arizona for a weekend of camaraderie, team building and goal setting. Rachel, Andrea, Latoya, Ashley, Deserea, Alycia, Joyce, and Chelsea had a  fun and productive weekend. We met them in Rio Verde for an afternoon of individual and group portraits. We had fun interacting with these amazing and beautiful women. The day was crazy hot, but these ladies all in dressed in black with high heels braved the heat and the desert landscape…..I am not sure they were fond of the Arizona heat, but we all still had fun!

To learn about It Works Global and Rachel’s success, visit Rachel’s profile.

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Rachel and her team!

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“You’re a diamond, dear. They can’t break you.”

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Merging Families: Cara and Chris’s Wedding at Las Sendas Golf Club

Although many of the guests, family and friends, razzed Cara & Chris about having this day finally arrive – it was splendid! Cara and Chris got married after 13 years together. Everyone would agree that it was worth the wait for this bride and groom. “Best Day Ever,” as their motto perfectly summarized the celebration of not only Cara and Chris, but also their families as they united through this union.


Ceremony & Reception Site/Linens/Caterer/Rehearsal Dinner/Limousine/Bartending: Las Sendas Golf Club

Reception Site Coordinator: Dashna | Guest Accomodations: VRBO  | Wedding Cake: Piece of Cake | Florist: Aubrey’s Petals

Invitations: Cox Printing | Professional Make-Up: Aria | Ceremony Music/Entertainment DJ/Specialty Lighting: Push Play Entertainment

Bride’s & Bridesmaids’ Gowns/Alterations: David’s Bridal | Tuxedos: Celebrity Tux and Tails

Videographer: Bob Goldstein | Photographer: CWLIFE Photography


Located in the outskirts of Mesa, Cara and Chris chose to have their wedding at Las Sendas Golf Club. One of the top ten golf resorts in the Phoenix Metro, this place was the perfect place for their wedding. With about 160 guests, this venue accommodated them all. The sunset colors of yellow, orange and hints of violet and blue just maked it the perfect backdrop for their wedding ceremony.


One of the many special moments in this wedding was the love and affection of Cara to Marlee  (Chris’s daughter) and vice versa, as you will see in the upcoming photos.


Always fun moments preparing before all the guests arrive. And is was clear that Cara and Chris were surrounded by special friends.


Beautiful afternoon light shined across the ceremony.  Lots of cherished moments, from the rose petal display, to personalized vows, to a gift exchange between Cara and Marlee – but most important, true love between Cara & Chris!



Cara declares her love and commitment to Chris with her own written vows. And Chris gets emotional as he does the same in  turn to Cara – simply beautiful to watch.



Here is Cara, Chris and Marlee marching into a new adventure as a family.


Super fun bridal party! They were dressed to impress and were a fun loving group.


Mr. and Mrs. Hotchkiss on the dance floor!


Dancing….everyone’s favorite part of the wedding! This crowd sure had a great time.


Lovely remarks for the bride and the groom.


How low can you go? The bride rocked this song!


Congratulations Cara and Chris! May life give you joy, love, and happiness forever!

Jen and Liz’s Valentine’s Day Wedding at Ancala Country Club

Meet our brides Jen and Liz! Jen was born and raised in South Phoenix while Liz came from a small town in Ohio. They both met in San Diego in 2009 through a mutual friend. They said that “the conversation was easy, we shared a lot in common, and it felt like we had known each other for years. Within weeks, we were exclusive and did the usual Uhaul move-in that most lesbians our age do.”  Jen currently works as a Capital Crimes Defense Investigator for the Maricopa County and Liz as Director of Client Services for a large local landscape company in the Valley.

The wedding was held at Ancala Country Club.  It was a DIY between Jen and Liz’s favorite things: Sock Monkeys and Plants! Who knew that these two different things would create such a unique and one of a kind wedding. Their center pieces consisted of succulents found in the desert and their bride and bride figures on the cake were sock monkeys! Since Liz is a die hard Ohio State fan, their wedding colors had to be scarlet and gray. Since their wedding was also held on Valentines Day Wedding, it turned out perfectly!

We at CWLIFE Photography we fortunate enough to have three same sex wedding blogs publish this wedding:


      Equal and Forever | 2 Brides 2 Be | Gay Weddings & Marriage Magazine


Ceremony and Reception Site: Ancala County Club | Reception Site Coordinator: Amy McKee

Officiant: Christine Mello | Entertainment/DJ: Dan Bare | Photographer: CWLIFE Photography


Word from our brides:

Liz was a planning beast when it came to wedding details and we had some very dear friends, Lanie and Kyle who walked us step by step through the process and Danielle who was there by Jen’s side helping her through the planning and final details. We also were blessed with being referred to two amazing photographers, Connie and Steve from CWLIFE Photography, who not only were there to capture our day, but were an amazing support throughout the entire process, from start to finish.


Congratulations to our beautiful brides Jen and Liz! We know their life will be filled with Laughter & Love…