It’s Black, It’s White. [Blog Circle Post] Oh! MG Photography Southern Phoenix, AZ Family and Children’s Portrait & Lifestyle Photographer

This month we did a B&W theme for blog circle and if I had more time on my plate, I would have figured out really unique ways to display black and white. when done right, black and white can really serve an awesome dramatic purpose.



OHM_8783-2 OHM_9341WEB


Check out San Diego Wedding Photographer Lauren Nygard and see what B&W she came up with this month!

Plan a day with Vertuccio Farms in Mesa, AZ – Oh! MG Photography Southern Phoenix, AZ Family and Children’s Portrait & Lifestyle Photographer

I am so excited to say that I have teamed up for ONE DAY (maybe two!?) With Vertuccio Farms to offer

1/2 off admission when you book a

$50 mini session

with Oh! MG Photography!*

When we first moved to Phoenix last year this was one of the first places we visited as a family and it was a great time!

Come dressed as your Halloween character, come dressed as your adorable self. This is a great opportunity to get the family out of the house and spend some quality time together!

These mini sessions start at $50 ($25 dollar deposit due to reserve yourself a spot! Spots ARE limited!)

They include 2 digital images & the choice of one printed as an 8×10 (S&H included)

On top of some ravishing photos, you’ll receive 1/2 off general admission when visiting the Vertuccio Farm that day!

That’s a savings of $4.50 a person!

Vertuccio Farms and OhMG Photography Photographer Oct 18th

If you’d like to book your Vertuccio Mini session visit the market place where you can pick your time and pay your non-refundable deposit of $25.00.



never heard of Vertuccio Farms!? Shame on you! Visit to see what the hype is all about! I’ll tell you what, my favorite part last year was the EXTREME AIR PILLOW! yeah that’s my 6’5″ husband getting AIR with ease.  (these pictures are from my personal trip in 2013 and are in no way endorsed by Vertuccio Farms.)

Vertuccio Farms 2013Vertuccio Farms 2013Vertuccio Farms 2013

A Day In The Life of Oh! MG Photography – South Phoenix Family & Children’s Lifestyle and Portrait Photographer

My life is pretty ordinary. I mean I’ve got one kid, my husbands got a full time 9-5 (sorta) job, and I sorta work from home & act like a housewife.

We don’t have anything spectacular to share when it comes to day to day activities so I decided I’d spice up my boring day with my olloclip.

True story: this post was going to have REAL DSLR images on it. hi res. gorgeous edits. then I thought: thats not real life. What’s real life is raw, and noisy and not glorified. (and because I deleted the images I started on my camera from the morning.)

So here I present you some killer Olloimages.
My images start as I make my way to the school to pick up my baby girl. Welcome to my August 21st.


It looked like a it’d be a pretty gloomy day – it being monsoon season.



It makes for a perfect day to free-lens on an olloclip right?



You’re completely right, I need more coffee. So I stopped into Safeway for some Starbucks.

I was waiting for my coffee when a woman looked at my phone and was like- “Oh isn’t that cool, is that a lens?”

Yes, yes it is. Now let me tell you all about it in 1.4 minutes while we wait for my iced coffee.




Sat in the car, sipped coffee. and then it happened …

 the rain was only going to hold off for so long.

the sprinkles they came down and they came down hard, but I’ll tell you we braved that sprinkling like it was no body’s business.



Brought my baby doll home and popped in some Fish sticks for lunch, MMM.



I was then held at my will to play a game with my child, where she later threw a fit that I was winning and threw a pillow at the game.

During her time out, I did some editing.



When she cooled off, we played Legos.



I once again ran away, sanity in hand, to edit quickly between being a mom and slave to my daughter.



I decided letting her rollerblade outside could get out some energy she has pent up,

so we all but roped a pillow to her hind quarters and headed outside.



When she’s red in the face like that, it means the energy is escaping her.



Then it was off to teach her what belly muscles are and why we need them to balance.



 The reality hit me.

I was actually a grown up.

Not a playmate, or a Photoshop junkie.

Time for the household chores – PM edition.



One of my best friends has 4 legs and purrs, so what?



Those dishes got done, and I had to show you so you didn’t

pass judgment on me too quickly.



Made some Sodium-filled Velveta Mac n Cheese to go with

whatever I made – It was a very “whatever” dinner night.



I sat with my daughter at her kids table and talked crap about the stuffed the uncool stuffed animals

and raved about all the hottest trends in a 4 year olds life.


I am omitting the picture I have of my amazing husband passed out in bed, which he’s not aware I have

but I am so so so lucky and thankful to have him as someone to share my bed with and settle in for the night with, every night.

My life ain’t glam, it’s not perfect. But it’s sure a heck of a lot cooler through an #olloclip.

HAY! lets see what Nicole Marie Gulick-Causey of Nicole Gulick Photography in San Clemente CA is up to in her “A DAY IN THE LIFE” entry in this months blog circle!

A few things I think could help if you’re just getting on your feet in this business – Oh! MG Photography | South Phoenix, AZ Children’s and Family Portrait & Lifestyle Photographer

A few pieces of photography advice that I have learned to accept and live by. First of all, never leave your house unprepared. Which translates to bring everything you own with you wherever you go if you are on the job.

This includes but is not limited to: extra memory cards, battery charger, the battery to your Camera, an extra battery, speed light, extra batteries for the speed light, a light diffuser for your speed light, reflector, reflector stand if you have one, your lens cap, lens filters, other lenses even if they don’t usually suit what you’re going to be shooting. Extra points if you remember to bring your umbrella, your umbrella stand, your trigger and remote for your speed light, and you win the game if you bring a freaking stool for someone to sit on.

A few other things that I like to have in my trunk are a blanket, and a basket. These items are really versatile when you are dealing with family shoots and children and the basket can help carry things around if you don’t have a super awesome camera bag The size of Texas.

Another tip that is hard to accept because you really want to take advantage of your awesome expensive lens, is: don’t always shoot at 1.8 f-stop. I’m guilty of it I’ve done it plenty before. I want to use that awesome 1.8 to get the blur. But being brutally honest with you, you are better off shooting at 2.8 on a lens that stops down to 1.8 because you’re going to get clarity, and you’re more likely to get two or more heads in focus rather then half an eye as you would At 1 .8. Focusing that low is an artform. Do your self a favor and start high and get low.

One big no-brainer is, always, always, always have a contract despite the work you are doing paid or unpaid. your contract defines the terms of which you’re working under. For instance, do you hate when people are late? In my contract it states if you were more than 10 minutes late you’re not getting that time back to make up in the shoot. What about payment? I know plenty of people who have in their agreement that 50% of the sitting fee is due at signing and the other 50% is due the day of the shoot. If you don’t wish to be taken advantage of, or to be walked all over by a client, be sure to outline and point out every single detail in your contract. When somebody asks, how did you write your contract? I say to them what do I expect out of my client? What do I want my client to do for me and what do I want to do for my client? It isn’t hard to think about the ways you can get burned and abused in this business and how you can prevent it with a single contract.

Don’t continuously undercut the industry around you. VALUE yourself, as well as your work and others will too. Now, I’m not talking about special events, or special occasions where you’ve been invited to be present (parties, festivals, events where you pay-per-image pretty much.) sometimes it’s nice to lure potential clients in with those opportunities. I’m speaking of $30 full sessions with 80 edited images. You’ll be making beans for profit and wearing yourself thin and tired in months.

Okay and my last rant – BE LEGAL. Have your business license. Pay your sales taxes. It’s just good juju. It’s gonna catch up to you, too. Besides if you want to be able to write off purchases you need to be legal first meaning have a business license. Any purchases made after are game to write off!

Anyone else have words of wisdom? SHARE! Build a soapbox and lay it on us in the comments.


An adventure with off camera flash – Oh! MG Photography | South Phoenix Family & Children’s Lifestyle and Portrait Photography

A photographer named Amanda Brooks invited me out to practice off camera flash (OCF) with her, and a friend as a model in an undisclosed location. I was totally game!

I’ve been in Phoenix a little over a year. The first thing I did when I moved here was set up a “meet and greet” in Shoot & Share- Phoenix (facebook group) .

A man showed up and had an umbrella set up. He shot Nikon, I shoot Nikon.

I got to use it for like 1-3 images and I was in love.

I had no income, but I wanted the set up because I loved the results.

The set up was simple, an umbrella, speedlite, trigger, receiver.


Fast Forwarda to finally now. I’ve had a speedlight the whole time – it’s the whole trigger, umbrella, stand stuff that I just didn’t want to jump into.  Intimidation, inexperience, and unwillingness to expand my horizons held me back!


I finally got sick of being stuck. I shouldn’t let these things define me or what i’m capable of! So I set off into the direction of OCF.


I was able to do a load of different styles – a lot of things I wouldn’t normally do in a session. And yes, these are mostly glamour edits – meaning I wouldn’t edit a typical client so much.


I took a few without flash just for comparison, the fact that they’re shot without flash is noted on them.


I will continue to have fun with OCF and use it when I can! I encourage others to step out of their comfort zones and do the same thing.

Have Fun!


Baby “B” and his 3 month milestone shoot by Oh! MG Photography – South Phoenix Family & Children’s Lifestyle and Portrait Photography

I met the B family and fell in love with the easy going parents they are.  Mom and dad are go with the flow type and I love that.

When Momma B had baby B, i got to visit in the hospital and grace them with my babyrazzi presence.  Little baby B was just so precious.

hospital photographer in phoenix az

hospital photographer in phoenix az

Then I had his newborn shoot shortly after falling in love with him at  the hospital.

Well, baby B (unbeknownst to us at the time) had a reflux issue. He didn’t want to do much of anything and as a creative mind and spirit i had to make the shoot work.

LIfestyle Newborn in Phoenix Arizona Photgraphy

We made lemonade out of lemons. As much as that saying got me through the feeling of failure I was sick of using it.

Luckily, that frame of mine passed with plenty of time to spare before his next “grow with me” session.

Sunday I got to hang out with Baby B to mark his (upcoming) 3rd month milestone!

3 month Baby Photography Phoenix AZ

WHAT A HAM!! Now, this is just a preview of what is to come of his adorable mini session that I absolutely adore.

I can’t wait to share the entire album with mom and dad.

In two weeks I get to capture his (almost) 2 year old sister’s images!

A Carefree Baptism & why I love being at events by Oh! MG Photography – Family & Children’s lifestyle and portrait photographer

This weekend I traveled to Carefree, AZ to witness a wonderful baptism at Our Lady Of Joy Roman Catholic Church.

Being that I grew up Catholic I was 100% comfortable being in a church documenting this awesome day for the C family.

Catholic Baptism Photographer North Scottsdale

Her gown was phenomenal; we joked that a wedding dress would be less maintenance it was so flowy. Baby C’s demeanor was so calm and easygoing it just made you smile when you saw her so content!

It was a gorgeous day, and the ceremony was short. Afterward we did family images outside of the church for them to really capture the whole of the family and Godparents in light of the day.

 Catholic Baptism Photographer Phoenix AZ

I really love being able to accommodate to people during life events. I’m a huge #putdownyoursmartphone believer. In other words ENJOY THE MOMENT – let someone else photograph it for you. Be in the frame, and let your image be more than smart phone quality.

Catholic Baptism Photographer North Scottsdale AZ

All in all, it was an honor, priviledge and a blessing to meet and help the C family out, as it’d be to help anyone out capturing an important day in their or their child’s life.

$189 Holiday Sessions Sept through December! – Oh! MG Photography Family & Children’s LIfestyle and Portrait Photg |




This year, take advantage of the holiday season mini sessions hosted by Oh! MG Photography.

Update the frames in your home for half the cost of a full session.

Get your custom professionally printed holiday cards through Oh! MG Photography and receive 20% off of your product order!

Contact Melissa today for a consult on your holiday family photos by Oh! MG Photography.

Splash of Black & White: Using hard chisled high contrast Black & White in Lifestyle Photography – Oh! MG Photography Phoenix, AZ Family & Children’s Photographer 2014

DISCLAIMER: Yes. I am one of those moms that take pictures #ALLTHETIME of their kid. Sorry! But mix two of the things I love (kid + camera) and i’m happy as a clam.


Black and white family photography phoenix

Typically I use a very delicate, clean, smooth crisp edit for my personal and professional photos. I’ve seen many uses of B&W though that I am captivated by and that’s a high contrast B&W style that I’m sure I’ve never used.

The trick? Well, the image looks crazy in color. I mean, highlights blown, darks so dark they’re distracting, weird sharpening everywhere.. but turn it black and white and it’s a total different animal! It becomes the masterpiece I wanted it to be.  Lots of post tweaking. :)

Unique Black and white family photography phoenix Making a splash in  Family Photography

^^ Yep, that’s my speedlight with a plastic bag over it. that shutter speed paired with the speedlight created awesome droplets freezing in time!Making a splash in  Family Photography PoolOCF_0021

PSA: “Because a CD doesn’t look nearly as good on your wall.” – Oh! MG Photography Ahwatukee, AZ Family and Children’s Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer

Right now, Oh! MG Photography is offering you an amazing deal on prints!

Something you really have to see to believe.

If you’re a past, present or future client you get to take advantage of 20% off prints!

Discount Prints Phoenix Arizona Photographer

just for you, 20% off! when you purchase prints through Oh! MG Photo.


If your walls are bare, I need to help you with that! No one likes a naked wall.

Here we go, now this looks way better than hanging a CD there (and a lot less awkward too!)


Melissa Garcia is a Family and Children’s Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer based out of South Phoenix serving the entire Valley Area.

Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Carefree, Scottsdale, Surprise, Peoria, Tolleson, Avondale.

Contact Oh! MG Photography for a session today!

(602) 730-1329

Oh! MG Photo vists the Grand Canyon in Arizona | Ahwatukee, AZ Portrait, Children’s & Lifestyle Photographer 2014

Ever been completely captivated by something so large that your mind is sort of confused and refuses to process the reality that’s presented before you?

Our family is good at taking mini-cations. We decided that for my birthday we would visit Williams, AZ and take the Grand Canyon Railway to the Grand Canyon.

First off, yay. I’m 27. But secondly — how am I suppose to take this all in at once? Its a huge gaping hole. A majestic canyon; the first of seven wonders of the world.

Lets start by talking about the train ride, taking off around 9:00am.

 TRAIN RIDE42 TRAIN RIDE44_1 Ride the Grand Canyon Railway

We said goodbye to Williams and Hi to Kathy with a K who was more than upbeat, she was awesome. Last thing you need on a 2 hr 15 minute ride is a mean old lady.

You end up going through just miles and miles of plains and herds of cattle.


we got to the Grand Canyon and we had 3 hours to see it.  Well three hours is NOTHING at the Grand Canyon. I could have stayed there for 12 more hours to watch the sunset, watch it rise, document the wildlife, take a freaking break from walking once in a blue moon & hydrate.

We had 3 hours to see something that probably should take a few days to visit. GRANDCANYON_0005_1 GRANDCANYON_0001_1 GRANDCANYON_0013 GRANDCANYON_0033 Pano1_1


It was HOT. it was like 90 degrees out. and 30% chance of rain so there was humidity.  Between my daughter who didn’t want to walk anymore, and the horrible decision to wear all black – the day was going very rocky but the beauty of where we were had to make up for that. See that bird?  That’s a Calfornia Condor. He nearly went extinct!

California Condor02

Heres CaliCon # 30. They’re all tagged because they really nearly went extinct.  Click the link if you’d like to read more on the bird with a nearly 9 foot wingspan!

So we went on this walk, a trail. It was suppose to take way less time than it did, but our awesome daughter with short legs just wasn’t having it. I don’t blame her; it was hot, it was a rather long trail in open sun… but we had no choice but to finish it and take a bus back to the station.

Now when you take the Grand Canyon Railway, you NEED to make it to the station on time or you will be left behind. They don’t do a head count, they don’t really care if you’re left behind because really there are people that don’t return on the train every day.

We had to take a 2 mile trail, to a bus stop, to get to another bus transfer, then take that one to the station. The bus left at 3:30 and we got there at 3:15.

Needless to say I was literally thinking of worst case scenarios: taking a $140 cab ride back to Williams, getting a hotel room for $160+. Just. Stress.

We get back to the train and we just MELT. We are relieved, stress is lifted, yadda. My husband will say he wasn’t stressed nor worried but I on the other hand just saw dollar signs occur in the worst case scenario plan and didn’t like it one bit.

We get some wine and some beer from the food car, and enjoyed the scenery and extra cows on the way home. Oh, and we got robbed.


My daughter was not a fan of them. She was seriously afraid of all the actors  robbers but yet this kid LOVES Chuck E Cheese.

I digress.

We get robbed,

my daughter clings to daddy–

you get the deal.


Saw plenty of elk too.

Elk along the ride

Elk along the ride

We got back to the station and decided that we would try and take the chance of going out to eat in the adorable town of Williams despite our child testing every limit ever laid before her.

We ate – and we headed back to Phoenix. What was so awesome about that was the lightening storms we got to watch literally the whole way home.


Let me break down what we would have done, or will do the next time, had we known how everything would go down.

(realistically) you don’t have enough time (3hrs) to hang out at the GC (Grand Canyon.)

I AM NOT DISSING THE GRAND CANYON RAILWAY. But when you have a really antsy 4-year-old who is afraid of fake cowboys – you set yourself up for failure and frustration by taking the train.

If you plan on taking the train – take it with well obedient children or plan on staying up there for a while and stay at the lodging that’s immediately at the canyon itself.  You don’t have to return the day you ride up there, and vice versa.

Be prepared for crazy prices, yolo. When in rome, do as the romans do.

Don’t go during hot months, and if you do, know you’ll regret wearing black.  There is minimal shade.  MINIMAL.

It’s illegal to throw rocks, coins and feed animals at the canyon. Like: fine-you-illegal.  Don’t feed anyone but your family.

When we go next, we plan to drive all the way to the south rim and bring bikes. we plan on lodging at the rim and being able to spend more than 3 hours there.

We may even hike down the canyon, it can take like all day – but I think one day when Hailey’s old enough to stay behind Tim and I might do that.

So, below you’ll see a slideshow of some of the pictures. They all start looking the same, really. I mean it was an amazing experience but the rate at which you can walk is nothing compared to the size of the canyon. Your view doesn’t really change much even walking around it for a few miles.

We have seen the first wonder of the world. We can rest our heads easy on our pillows at night. But if we had to do again we’d do it differently!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

7 years of blissful marriage & plenty of family photos (how and why I take them)- Ahwatukee, AZ | Oh! MG Photography 2014

My husband and I have been married seven years now. <3Oh! MG Photography Anniversary Photographer Ahwatukee, AZ Oh! MG Photography Anniversary Photographer Ahwatukee, AZ


Nothing beats a self timer and anniversary selfies!


Speaking of, let’s talk about not caring about getting them PERFECT straight out of the camera. I feel like so much is uncertain when I am not physically behind the camera when the shutter goes off.

I set the timer to 10 seconds, then I program the camera take 5-9 images when we are taking family images. I underexposed the images on purpose most the time; it’s a lot easier to bring up a slight shadow or darkness in a .NEF/ Raw file oppose to living with a highlight that isn’t recoverable!

I NEVER shoot in .jpeg. ever. I also rarely care if I look glamourous.

Here’s Legoland, CA. This is a few years old, maybe 2? This is totally edited; I edited people out of the background and brightened it and got rid of bra straps. Stuff like that.  P.s. my kid’s adorable.  We found a trash can I could put my camera on, or something and sat on the bench across from it. bingo!

Oh! MG Photography | Family Trip Legoland, CA

Here’s one in Sedona, AZ shortly after we moved to Arizona.  We found a stump we could set the camera on, rotated a bench thats I think chained down, and walla.

Sedona Photography Oh! MG Photography Ahwatukee, AZ


This one is from Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park, MI #Puremichigan I saw a porch far enough back that if I shot with my 35 we would have plenty of space.  Or was it my 105? doubtful. Probably my 35. All i remember was this was a sprint to get in the frame and thats why my legs are all spread apart, because I was thinking of how to put my face and arms — not my legs!

Oh! MG Photography from Arizona in MIchigan


Here’s another one from Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes area.  This one took a lot of brightening in the faces because of the hour we were out at. Camera was on a “DANGER” sign.

Oh! MG Photography in South Mountain, AZ


This is from easter this year before we went egg hunting at the neighbors.  Camera was on a tripod.

easter Photographer Oh! MG Photography Ahwatukee, AZ

This is from Roosevelt Lake this summer.  Camera was on a neat toadstool looking thing that was probably put there to place cameras on it for tourists.

Roosevelt Lake Oh! MG Photography Travels

here’s the Grand Canyon. This one was rough! High noon, antsy daughter. Lots of foreigners wanting to get where you are!  I had my camera on my camera bag but the camera started to slouch into the bag and the frame just kept going up, up up…Whatever see the California Condor?! Exactly. I can totally pretend this was meant to be a negative space image. /not. #youknowthetruth

Oh! MG Photography at Grand Canyon, AZ Ahwatukee Photographer

You see, you don’t have to make a family picture a painful experience.  I make it easy, fast. We get 9 out of the way and i pick one after swapping heads and removing things from pockets and such.


Take a challenge and take a picture of your family within the month still. FAST. PAINLESS. you can do it!

but for real, everyone’s a photographer these days — you can totally do this too. ;D

For more information on how to program your cameras self timer, I suggest googling EXACT TERMS: “___camera model___ Self Timer ” I typically find some really awesome tutorials. 9/10 chances are the person doing the tut has a brittish accent. #notsurewhy


My family will be able to look back at these one day and actually be IN the picture. Not just pictures of the things we saw on the trip but a picture of them ON it. I can NOT tell you how many of these we DON’T have from when I grew up. I grew up with a disposable camera glued to my hand. stuck. cemented. I forced my mom to fork over $20 so I could get them developed. It’s the only way I remember any of my childhood: photos.

I also lack, horribly, images of my mother and I together. And it’s something that when I’m 84 and maybe even gone that my daughter will look back and think “gosh i’m so lucky to have a crazy photo addicted mom who made a small photo documentary about everything in my life.”

These past events are for remembering in the future.  I may live in the now but  I want to remember the past.




you stay classy

The Essence of Summer – Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ Family, Children’s Portrait & Lifestyle Photographer


Summer Time Phoenix Tempe Mesa Arizona Family and Childrens photographer Oh! MG Photography


I say this to anyone I meet.

They’ll say, “do you have any children?”

and I’ll show them my business card or the background of my phone and I’ll say,

“yes, I have a 4 year old – she’s my model.”

 She’s not really a model, but she’s MY model.

She will always be the most beautiful thing in the entire world to me.

She’s aged so fast. I mean she’s going on her second year of preschool, she’s adventurous, lively, hysterical.

 She’s a ball of energy and a work of art and she’s what I focus my on in my life.

Phoenix Childrens Lifestyle Photographer Affordable PricePhoenix Childrens Lifestyle Photographer Affordable Price

I also take time to do small shoots with her through each season.  Today  was summer.

Summer Photography Family Phoenix

Today it was 100 degrees out, at 11am.

Papago Park Arizona Photographer

Today was sweaty… and hot. Hot sun rays beaming down on us without many clouds in the sky to intercept the heat.

view of papago park phoenix arizona photographer

Today was my feet burning in the Arizona desert sand while my daughter played at a park.

Seriously, they just wanted some shade.

Kids in the park

Today was the cicadas blaring their buzzing noise through Papago Park here in Phoenix.

Phoenix Arizona Photographer

Today was a usual day of summer in the amazing desert city of Phoenix, AZ.

Phoenix Childrens Lifestyle Photographer Affordable Price

 even the bugs were too hot to be out. My daughter wore her bug catcher hoping to find something.

Not even the beatles in the desert were dumb enough to be out in that heat!

Phoenix Arizona Photographer

She was  hot too and sweating through her tiny 4 year old pores.

But, she loved the awesome thrift store umbrella we rocked today :)

Phoenix Childrens Lifestyle Photographer Affordable Price


 Amazing Photographer Blog Circle:


If you enjoyed reading & seeing my “Summer” post

stop on over to

Nicole of Nicole Gulick Photography’s blog based out of San Clemente, CA

to see her creative spin on the topic “Summer”




Melissa Garcia is a Family and Children’s Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer based out of South Phoenix serving the entire Valley Area.

Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Carefree, Scottsdale, Surprise, Peoria, Tolleson, Avondale.

Contact Oh! MG Photography for a session today!

(602) 730-1329


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