Oh! MG Photography visits Bearizona in Flagstaff, Arizona | Ahwatukee Family, Children’s & Lifestyle Photographer 2014

I was hesitant to go, because the price seems a bit high. $50 to drive through a park!? drive through!? Sounds like a ploy.

But maybe it’s worth it I mean they’ve got a cool name, it’s gotta be worth the money, right?

I’m speaking of course, of Bearizona.

Experience animal wildlife the way it was meant to be, in a natural environment, all from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle. Your family will enjoy our wide variety of wildlife, from majestic bison and nimble big horn sheep to stealthy wolves and adorable bear cubs.

 

Entrance of Bearizona, AZ by Oh! MG Photography

Entrance of Bearizona, in Flagstaff, AZ

So we drive in, and first animal whose habitat you drive through is the  Rocky Mountain Goat.

Rocky Mountain Goat by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

Rocky Mountain Goat

Next up, Is the Dall Sheep.  They were pretty chill and liked to hide, here you see a mature dall sheep, and then a baby.

Dall Sheep, Bearizona Flagstaff, AZ by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Dall Sheep, Bearizona Flagstaff, AZ by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

Then we moved to the American Burro (thats a donkey)

American Burro at Bearizona by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 American Burro by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

After the Burros, we move on to what my daughter called, “Mr Hairy face.” Otherwise known as the American Bison!

Adult Bison by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014Baby Bison by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Mister Hairy Face by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

When you are done getting through these animals you run into a sign that reminds you to roll up your windows, and lock your doors. Why? because you’re about to be surrounded by Alaskan Tundra, and Arctic Wolves.  Let me tell you; they made the money we paid to get in WELL WORTH every single penny. They walk right up to your car and you suddenly feel like you’re gonna be in what seems like youtube video of a wolf on a persons car. Caution at Bearizona by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

King Pin in the Den by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Relaxing Wolf by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Two Wolves by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Wolves by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 wolves through a fence by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Wolves asleep in their den by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

When you’re done with the wolves, you go through Junior Black Bears but we didn’t see any. Not sure what was going on, but we end up seeing plenty of black bears at the walk-through portion of the zoo at Bearizona. (plenty of pictures from that t00, don’t worry!)

I could not get enough of the yellow wild flowers and the setting that the next animal, the White Bison.

Young White Bison by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Bison Habitat by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Adult Bison by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

Next: Ah yes, Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.

Big Horn Sheep by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Through a storm by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Adult Big Horn by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

THE BLACK BEAR!  They were lazy. They were sleepy. They were HOT. I’m pretty sure that when it downpoured they were ecstatic (while staying asleep)  that it was finally cooling off. It went from 82 degrees to 66 when It rained.

Bearly hiding by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Comfy Bear in Den by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Dinner Time for Bears by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Food Coma by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Fatty Bear by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

 That my friends, is the drive through portion of Bearizona. Now, its not just a drive through zoo and I learned when we visited.  There is also a walk through portion with shows, exhibits, and shops!

Let me share some amazing bear images I got after they fed the junior bears, and the baby cubs (plus some more other animals!)

Fox of sorts by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 young bears playing by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Bear Sitting by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Bears Cleaning Each other by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Bear Cub by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Petting Zoo Goat by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Rooster by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 egg by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 don't bite my face off by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Wildlife at the cafeteria by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Playful Otters by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Otter by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Lazy Bear by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Cleaning bears by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014 Bear Cubs Cleaning by Oh! MG Photography | Ahwatukee, AZ 2014

Overall: A+. 100%. Awesome! Totally worth the drive if you’re in the market for a day trip, if you’re staying in the vicinity, or if you are an avid nature photographer.

Pay once, go through alllll dayyyy. on wheels. not your feet. Are you getting how awesome it is to go to a zoo where you can stay in the car and not walk?

Like, we realized how awesome it was that we didn’t have to walk and hear about how “tired” our 4 year old is after walking. (heard enough of that in the actual walk through portion of the zoo.)

Bonus points if you go on a cold day, an over cast day, or a rainy day. We went when there was a 30% chance of rain. You bet your bottom dollar it rained. Scratch that — it poured. It was awesome!

For more information on Bearizona [ location, hours, FAQ] visit Bearizona.com

* This post is in no way endorsed by Bearizona, I just so happened to have been really impressed. *

stay tuned for a super-awesome post about our day long trip to the Grand Canyon!

#PureMichigan: a personal Oh! MG family vacation – Ahwatukee, AZ Family Photographer

I was born in , raised in, and still visit Grand Rapids, MI. It’s where my parents bought a tiny red brick house and made it their home. It’s where the kids left the nest from. It’s my mother’s resting place.  It’s where my daughter loves to visit Papa.

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It’s where I met my husband, it’s where my husband’s family lives. it’s where I see my in-laws, its where my husband sees his parents and family. It’s where my daughter loves to see GiGi and Grandpa Joe.

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Regardless, it’s a place full of memories. It will always remain a place of memories.

I mock the hashtag and saying #PureMI or #PureMichigan because of the semi-famous “Pure Michigan”  (click that for commercial) travel ad campaign that started in 2007 and still runs to this day. I have friends here in Phoenix, AZ that they always see the ads, I saw them when we lived in CA and people worldwide probably have the same testimonial.

She’s never seen a whirly-bird before. (helicopter, whatever you call them.) Her shirt? says it all. MI7__25

This trip revolved around my brother getting married to his amazing fiance. I may be a bit bias, but she’s awesome.  I didn’t photograph their wedding, thank gosh, because I had enough fun in the party to convince me to never shoot a wedding I’m invited to,  ever. The amazing Peach Moon Photography based out of Grand Haven, MI  shot their engagement photos and wedding photos and were great people to work with. I’m the tall blonde in the family image on the alter with the PRECIOUS flower girl that is my daughter,  and the tall bald ravishingly handsome man that I’m married to.  Thats my “cleans up well” dad next to me, and then of course her family on her side.

Peach Moon Photography, Tim + Erin Wedding

Copyright Peach Moon Photography, Tim + Erin Wedding

There are plenty of other #thelillis wedding insta-pictures on my IG Feed but you gotta go back a little ways. You can’t miss ‘em!

Besides being there for their wedding, we were there for personal vacation as well. We saw plenty of family, scenery, and I took so many nature/still life shots it will make your eyes numb.

We went to the Grand Rapids Arts Festival downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

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We visited  Grand Haven State Beach  both as a family and as a couples date to just get away.

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We went to Traverse City (TC), MI which is known for their berries, and cherries.  We went because our daughter had never been there, and I haven’t either.  There’s this place called the Sleeping Bear Dunes  which is like, arguably one of the prettiest places to visit in the lower peninsula of Michigan. WE LITERALLY SAW A BEAR CUB CROSS THE ROAD. <– caps necessary.

060814_0384 060814_0386 060814_0391MI15__12 Known for their berries and cherries, so naturally I had to have a very berry filled pie at Grand Traverse Pie Co. MI15__25 Some lighthouse that wanted $4.00 to walk upstairs in it. No thanks!060814_0348 060814_0373We visited family for Father’s Day. The best part was that my dad came along with us to my husbands side of the family’s gathering. It’s so nice to have them integrated!

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My husband and I respectfully saw friends I see once a year (when we visit.) Nothings more refreshing, more awesome, and more rewarding than maintaining friendships over years and years. We pick up where we left off the last time we saw each other — it’s how I’m able to have friends nation and world wide.   Friends are the flowers in the garden of life!

MI5__7 marshmallws Making S’mores with out friends Lisa and Conor whom will be getting married this year. MI5_

childhood best friends grow up, and have kids, who hang out with each other — i’d say that’s more like family.

The literally awesome part of the friends that I visit is they continue to grow up, prosper, and I get to see them from afar on facebook them actually meet their kids they’ve had or the ones they’re about to have! (a friend announced she was pregnant on fathers day!)

I saw old high school friends, old family friends. Family.

Oh, and I continued to shoot barns for no good reason at all.

 

 

 

Visiting the gorgeous scenery of Lake Roosevelt, AZ – Oh! MG Photography 2014

Ahwatukee

May 24th we took a trip.

My husband wouldn’t tell me where we were going but he was like, “get ready we are leaving.”

So 1) I knew we were leaving far away, and 2) I know he understands my appreciation and love for the scenic Arizona so I was pretty sure I’d like what I see where we ended up.

After some windy roads that gained elevation, then lost some, then gained again, we passed through scenes unlike ones I’ve seen in Phoenix, AZ.

Mind you, these were shot from the passenger side of our car, window down .. me saying, “sorry really just one more.. ” each time.

lakeRoosevelt_0003 lakeRoosevelt_0008 Ahwatukee Photog takes a road trip

I gave my camera a rest and those awesome clouds you see sort of just lurked around. Finally we arrived somewhere between the 188 and 288.

Lake Roosevelt Visitor Center National Park

We stopped into the National Park up there and there’s a visitor center in Lake Roosevelt, AZ right across from Roosevelt Lake Marina.

Without spending money on any park passes or parking passes for recreational areas, we made an afternoon of just seeing the sights.

Below is Roosevelt Dam.

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A pretty awesome view of the iconic bridge they have there (and an all natural sky, that stuff isn’t made up!)

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Then there’s my scared-of-ants photographer-4-year-old daughter.

We taught her the ipad takes good pictures, so she walked around taking umptillion shots of EVERYTHING. (that was fun to delete later.. )

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And an Oh! MG family trip wouldn’t be a trip if we didn’t take a family picture. We do this almost everywhere we go.

There was literally three cement pedestals there likely for this purpose, to be tripods.

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Lake Roosevelt had much more for us to see. Here’s some that really stood out from our day-trip:

Distance View from visitor center Roosevelt Lake, AZ Another View from visitor center Roosevelt Lake, AZ View from visitor center Roosevelt Lake, AZ Roosevelt Lake Marina, AZ Roosevelt Lake, AZ bridge

Summer Special – Ahwatukee & South Mountain Family Photography | Oh! MG Photography 2014

Put down your smartphone and jump in the picture for once!

Oh! MG Photography is offering a price point for everyone for a limited time!

Photographer in Central Phoenix debut $99 Special

Photographer in Central Phoenix debut $99 Special

I’m debuting a summer special that you’re able to apply through August! These short and sweet sessions start at $99* and can take as little as 20 minutes!

These sessions are designed to be very quick and to the point — I know this summer heat is nothing we wanna sit in! I’m sweating just thinking about it.

Sometimes the summer is the only time everyones off work & school all at once, so now’s the perfect time to purchase!

Starting at 7:00pm, these sessions will capture a thorough glimpse into what your family is in the “now”. Update your family photo quick and painlessly!

Email Melissa@Ohmgphoto.com for terms and conditions, this is a time sensitive deal!

This affordable price point won’t last forever.

Family Photographer in ahwatukee and south mountain

Family Photographer in ahwatukee and South Mountain, AZ

*plus AZ city and state tax

Oh! MG Photography Marathon Shoots!

I want to thank everyone who trusted me to capture some awesome memories for them in Twentynine Palms, CA. I had families of 5, I had small babies, older kids and a blissfully wed couple without children.

I traveled to Twentynine Palms with one mission: to capture one last session for my best friend’s family before they move overseas for the next few years.

This same best friend was my first real client. Our next shoot is tentative for 2018. What can I say, I book out! ;)

Never forget who helped you get where you are now, and never forget what leaps and bounds you took to get here.

The loss of my #1 enthusiast

Without delving into the hows, whys, and whens, let me start with: my mom was risen to heaven June 5th 2013. 

On june 5th 2013 I lost my #1 enthusiast. My mom was my number one fan, and always will be.  But I wont see the likes on facebook anymore. I wont get asked how my shoot went. I wont be told how adorable that little girl was, or how precious that boys smile was.  Sure, from others maybe. But not my mom.

We all search for approval from our parents, and though my moms always supported me and always thought I was good at what I did — this seemed most important to me that she approve. And she did. She said she always knew i’d be a photographer. 

Ever since I was a kid, I had disposable cameras (“Whats that?” said the kid born in 2000) and I would get them developed (for like 19.99) and literally tape them to my walls because I had so many pictures. 

My mom started this. She started Oh! MG Photography when I was in 6th grade. She funded that first disposable. She bought me that first digital in 9th grade. 

My foundation has crumbled, you guys. 

It’s like the epershand (&) leaving M&M. I think the “M”s would be a little lonely. 

It really doesn’t help that my husband is temporarily not by my side to make things whole again. To stop the chaos in my head from snowballing into tears. 

I am forgetting about work for right now. As much as it hurt to hand back money to contracted clients, I’m going to go home and hug my dad. I’m gonna take a picture of him. I’m gonna attack my brother with a huge sister hug. I’m gonna take a picture of him. I’m gonna tell Hailey to sit in Grandma (Rose)’s lap and i’m gonna tell Hailey to go sit in great grandma’s lap, and Grandpa’s lap. All: pictures. 

Because life is fleeting. And the next thing you (the photographer) know, is you have pictures of everyone else’s family besides your own. The ones that matter most.