Treasured Photos of Our Marriage


Ryan and I have been together for 10 years, and have been married for seven. We have a lot of photos that we treasure, but none more than these I am sharing with you today. Why? Because love is hard. It's raw. It's commitment. It's work. It's sacrifice. It's a choice. These are photos that symbolize our continued commitment to each other.


After seven years of marriage we have recently decided to have an AMAZING marriage, and not just one where we exist as life partners, one of true intimacy - not being afraid to share the ugly and support one another through it. This year has been a hard one for us, but I'm thankful for it because it has brought us closer in a way we have never known until now.


Ryan took me away to San Francisco to celebrate my birthday and to also set time aside for us. It was an amazing and special time to say the least. One of the things we got to do while we were there was have our photos taken by Gina Meola and Marcus Murphy - two dear friends of ours that also happen to be brilliant photographers.


We had dinner with them, prayed with them and then took in the most breathtaking views while they snapped pictures of me and Ryan. It brings me to tears to know that these photos were taken by the hands of two people that love us, pray for us and support us.


Engagement photos are sweet and beautiful, wedding photos are momentous and seven year marriage photos are empowering. I encourage all couples that haven't taken photo of JUST them (not family photos) after seven years to do it. You need to celebrate how far you have come since day one of "I do."


Photos  by Gina Meola

Katie & Derek Styled

New year. New love. Katie and Derek are two incredibly cute people with a really sweet love story (read more about it here). I had the opportunity to style them for their engagement shoot with Gina Meola Photography. Because Derek is currently living in Michigan, I styled him virtually, but Katie and I were able to meet up. scottsdale-engagement12

I LOVE meeting my clients face to face if it is at all possible, but I must say, Derek looked nothing short of handsome, no? He loves fashion and is a fan of the preppier side of style. I'm a big fan too, so it was a breeze helping him coordinate is outfits. Once we had his outfits nailed down, Katie and I went shopping.



We were able to find all that she needed at Nordstrom. Her wonderful mom came too, and she was kind enough to keep an eye on Elle for me. Best gift ever! Katie also loves classic pieces, but definitely has a touch of edge with everything she wears. So, we chose an emerald tank (color of the year and perfect match for her hair), a champaigne sequined skirt and a denim jacket for one look. I WANT that skirt too! For her second, we dressed her up a bit more with a beautiful beaded dress, black cropped blazer and black booties. Classic. Edgy. Stylish.


Katie had her makeup done by Stephanie Neiheisel, and visited the Dry Bar to have her hair perfected. I can't wait to see what their wedding looks like with these two sophisticates. To see more photos from this engagement shoot, click here and visit Gina's blog.


Howard & Heather Styled

Howard and Heather are a couple that I got to style for their engagement photos with Melissa Jill. They remind me of me and Ryan in that Howard is willing to wear clothes that Heather picks out, but HATES shopping. Heather is a complete fashionista. She even went to fashion school, so you know the girl definitely cares about her clothes. That's me and my husband in a nutshell too.

It was a blast working with them! They chose to have their photos taken in Flagstaff, and took advantage of the beautiful trees as well as the old brick buildings in downtown Flag. I made sure they had the outfits for both.

For the more urban setting we chose to dress them up, and selected a bright fun silk dress for Heather. It is completely indicative of her bubbly personality, and it stood out against the simple backdrops of the town. With a lavender shirt, a sport coat and some great jeans, Howard complemented Heather perfectly.

For the outdoors outfits, we stuck to something that was cozy and fashionable at the same time. What is more "in" than a chambray shirt, some leggings and a pair of great boots, no? AND we got Howard to sport a shawl cardi! Isn't he so cute in it?!

It was a blast working with them. To see more photos, visit Melissa's blog.


A Photographer's Perspective On Using A Stylist

Gina Meola is mentioned a lot on this blog because we work together often, and have become good friends because of it. I asked her if she would be interested in contributing something about fashion photography to the blog since she's a photographer, and instead she wanted to share how working with a fashion stylist has helped set her business apart. =) Now, can you see why I love her?! Enjoy!

--- For us, offering personal styling services to all our clients is SUCH a bonus! When a couple hires us, they believe in our values, they care about an amazing experience, and they trust us to capture them BEAUTIFULLY! Alex of AVE STYLES has helped solidify all those areas!

For most couples, engagement photos are the first time they are being professionally photographed together. It can feel unfamiliar, a little intimidating, or even awkward without the right guidance. So why not let an expert in fashion help put your clients’ minds at ease? In the end, they feel more confident in themselves and are more trusting of YOU.

These are just a few ways having a stylist “on staff” has changed Gina Meola Photography::

  • This is one more way our couples are cared for because we include this service in our collections.
  • Marcus and I spend less time preparing for photo sessions, and more time growing our business!
  • Our couples arrive stress-free to shoots because their ensembles were selected far in advance.
  • Our couples can focus on lovin’ each other instead of worrying about their outfits. This, in turn, helps us create natural, authentic photographs.
  • The overall experience AND image quality are enhanced tremendously!
  • Fully trusting Alex ensures our clients look and feel their very best!

The verdict is out, and having a personal fashion stylist makes the process much more relational, unique, and special! THANK YOU, ALEX!!

All images by Gina Meola Photography and style by AVE Styles.