June 3, 2020
This Sonoran Desert Engagement session is near and dear to our hearts. Every engagement session is special, but when you get to do photos for a sweet girl you met as a young child and have been able to watch grow up, then it’s even more special.
When Cameron and I got married, his little sister, Abigail, was 7. Almost 8. She had the cutest little hair cut that framed her expressive face, and had the best imagination I knew. Now she is grown up, a college graduate, and in love. Jacob, we’re excited to have you in the family!
Abby loves the desert and wants it incorporated not only into her wedding but into her engagement session as well. Oh darn, twist my arm. So I was on the lookout for the perfect spot for them and LOVE where we found for photos.
Jacob and Abby came up in March just before we all had to start social distancing. It was great to get to spend time with them, play games, and take pictures. And Jacob…I promise allergies here don’t last all year long! Everything in the desert and the forest was blooming and giving us all allergy trouble!
Normally for engagement sessions I like to start with the dressy outfit first. For this session I knew we would want the dressy outfit as we pulled up and out of the canyon. With the light we’d want to do that near the end so that we could have more light in the bottom of the canyon earlier. So we did the casual outfit first, and I loved how the outfits worked there in the saguaro!
Abby’s ring is quite special and comes with a story!
Kerry, Cameron and Abby’s dad, had a friend in college who had lived in South Africa. When Kerry and Kathleen became engaged, his friend offered to help Kerry get ahold of a diamond.
One Spring morning Kathleen went out to the mail box and found an Airmail envelope in the mail.
Inside, wrapped in a piece of blue tissue paper, was the .24 carat diamond in the corner of the envelope! Kerry was working out of town for the BLM on the fire crew at the time, so to keep it safe, he had the diamond sent to Kathleen. She took the diamond to jeweler and had it set in a gorgeous white gold band.
Soon after they were married, Kerry became sick with a really high fever. Kathleen got the thermometer and shook the mercury down when the thermometer hit her cupped hand below. The thermometer hit the ring and broke, getting the mercury all over her hand and the ring. They got it cleaned up, but not too long after spots started showing up on the gold.
They took the ring in and learned that mercury will corrode gold and that she was missing a prong. Living the newlywed life, funds were short. Kathleen put the ring in a drawer to repair Someday.
Years down the road now, Abby and Jacob were in need of a ring. Someday was here! Abby and Jacob were able to take the ring to a local jeweler (named Rocky…could he have a more fitting name?!) and have it repaired and the crown reset. It is absolutely stunning and I love that they were able to keep the ring in the family!
When it came time for the ring shots, I first was looking for a cactus. I try to find things that are significant or meaningful to the couple. Since Abby loves cactus, I knew I wanted to find a cactus. As I looked around I found this blooming thistle plant and knew that I wanted some ring shots there as well.
One of Cameron’s homeschool memories with his Mom was a walk they were taking while doing a unit study on flowers. Kathleen was teaching about flowers and talking about the defenses that they had. Seeing the thistles blooming all over, she pointed them out to her boys. (Abby was not yet in the picture.) “See the Thistles? Do you think anything would want to eat those spikes?” Just then, the goat that had followed them on their walk reached out its neck and bit the thistle head off and ate it. It was a fun family memory as they got to know the new area. Thistles since became a favorite flower of Camerons as it reminds him of time with his Mom. Since this was originally her ring, I thought it quite fitting!
Whenever we change outfits I try to change locations too so we don’t fall into recreating the same poses again. When we were ready for the dressy outfit we drove out of the canyon to get the whole panorama. It was the perfect combination!
I had few quick shots I had in mind and brought a long skirt from my closet! Abby is so sweet and totally game to let me play a little. She still looked so classy and elegant! It was fun to have both dressy looks for the shoot!
This weekend is their first wedding (the small family only Covid-style party before the big party). I can’t wait to be there to celebrate with them! Be sure to follow me over on Instagram to catch the first peeks of Jacob and Abby as husband and wife!
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