#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.


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.


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.




Nerd alert: I got new glass! (that means lenses in non-nerd speak) – Oh! MG Photography, Phoenix AZ

I got two new lenses recently (a belated mother’s day gift from my husband) and I’m sort of, really completely, totally and utterly am obsessed with my new Sigma 105mm 2.8f AF lens.

I was so obsessed with my olloclip and I still love it but this brings my macro TO LIFE! Everything can easily be gorgeous now with this amazing lens.

I do have a complaint against it when working in low light situations, that’s when I’d go with a fast acting 35 or 50mm. My 50 has never steered me wrong in low light!

Soooo I made a gallery because of the nerdliness.

This lens is going to make a newborn shoot much more interesting! I get to shoot baby “B” on the 24th, and I am counting down the seconds until I get to use this lens in a real shoot :)

Welcome to the world, baby “B”! – 1st 48 hr hospital visit | Oh! MG Photography, Phoenix, AZ

I was ecstatic when I got the text that said “baby is here! here’s our room number, when will you be by?”

I LOVE visiting these itty bitties in the hospital, so fresh and so new and so amazing.  All they know is mom, the sound of her; the smell & what she offers for them.

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mommy baby love, Oh! MG Photography, Phoenix, AZ

baby foot, Oh! MG Photography, Phoenix, AZ

to view the whole album, visit my portfolio page link at the top, or click here!

I am honored to be onboard with this family for a year for Newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months & 1-year shoots. Although I’ve done numerous (and I mean NUMEROUS) shoots of different ages of different children I can’t say that i’ve been around for all 5 of those awesome milestone ages for too many people that weren’t my direct friends. Needless to say, I’m super excited!

My June - July break

That little girl?
She’s my world.
Like literally. I still look at her and I’m like “I made you!” … She’s three, you guys. I should be over that. (but I’ll never be.) She makes me feel young (until I look in the mirror.)

From June to July, I’m spending time to hang out with my world. For the past year (as of June) I have spent COUNTLESS HOURS being a photographer. I don’t log my hours and it’s a good thing because it might dissuade me.

I need to make up these hours with this little girl. We need to go see the ocean and pick up sea shells for the shore, and go to the zoo and rawr at the animals, and go to the park and find lady bugs, and go to the pool and make waves.

I’ll be only taking those who book with me FOR JUNE AND JULY if you BOOK BY MAY 31ST. You need me July 12th? MESSAGE ME NOW. You want me June 4th? MESSAGE ME NOW!!! I can’t emphasize this enough.

As of June 1st I will not respond to any inquiries. Thats’ because I’m changing my header on facebook to be “CLOSED JUNE AND JULY.” clear disclaimer.

It will suck to be out my own income, but its worth it, if it means seeing the smiles on that kids face more often.

Popago Park, Phoenix AZ

One place I plan to shoot in Arizona, is Popago Park. at dusk you are swept away by the open skies and the sunsets colors, glistening waters and red rocks in the distance. It sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not, but it is a public area. When we visited here as a family there was a loud family reunion there and locals “fishing” in the ponds.

Oh! MG Photography is moving to Phoenix, AZ in September, probably open for business Oct/Nov time frame. Right now I’m clearing up with the county, city and state what i need to be a sole proprietorship in terms of licenses and permits, filing for taxes etc.

Being a small business is hard to explain. State to state varies and I completely dislike that.

Either way, Oh!MG is really excited to move to the wonderful areas of either Chandler or Gilbert. Very suburban and modern.

Where ever I am, no matter where i go I see flowers and I want to take pictures of them. There’s something about natural occurring color in nature that makes me excited and eager to capture it.
These flowers range from San Diego native to Desert Native… these are 43 flowers I’ve encountered in March- April.

San Diego trip

My husband had taken leave for me to visit my mother who fell in Michigan last week and he submitted much longer that I’d be there so that he can spend some time with his family before he has to leave us. He leaves us in the next few months to instruct at OCS (Officer Candidate School) for future USMC Officers. He’s pretty much a gentle DI.. I digress. So While he does that for 3 months he’ll be missing out on 3 awesome months of being with Hailey and me! 

We took advantage of the leave and he planned us a trip. I said — just plan a trip. I didnt want any say in it because I’m picky… I digress. 

He booked us for Legoland day 1, Sea World day 2, and San Diego Zoo day 3.  (oh and intermittent ocean and coast visits.) 

I feel my age after walking so much in quality sandals. But we have awesome color to show for it! when I’m not dependent on my laptop battery for length of work time I’ll post more images of our trip. :) 

When I get home I’ve gotta get to editing to awesome sessions i had!Image