Posted on July 31, 2014
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!
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.
Posted on July 15, 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.
So we drive in, and first animal whose habitat you drive through is the 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.
Then we moved to the American Burro (thats a donkey)
After the Burros, we move on to what my daughter called, “Mr Hairy face.” Otherwise known as the American Bison!
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.
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.
Next: Ah yes, Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.
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.
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!)
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!
Posted on July 9, 2014
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.
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.
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.
We visited Grand Haven State Beach both as a family and as a couples date to just get away.
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.
Known for their berries and cherries, so naturally I had to have a very berry filled pie at Grand Traverse Pie Co. Some lighthouse that wanted $4.00 to walk upstairs in it. No thanks! We 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!
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!
Making S’mores with out friends Lisa and Conor whom will be getting married this year.
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.
Category: Arizona, Family, Travel, Uncategorized Tagged: #, #PureMI, Arizona, AZ, blogger, chandler, Desert, facebook, Family, Family Photographer, gilbert, Grand Rapids, Melissa, Melissa Garcia, MI, michigan, Oh! MG Photography, OHMG, Phoenix, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, Pure MI, search, South Mountain, Sunday, Sunshine, Vacation, Visiting, wordpress
Posted on July 6, 2014
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.
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.
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.
A pretty awesome view of the iconic bridge they have there (and an all natural sky, that stuff isn’t made up!)
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.. )
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.
Lake Roosevelt had much more for us to see. Here’s some that really stood out from our day-trip:
Category: Arizona, Family, Uncategorized Tagged: adventure, ahwatukee, Arizona, AZ, Beauty, chandler, Desert, facebook, Family, Family Photographer, gilbert, Lake Roosevelt, landscape, Natural, nature, Oh! MG Photo, Oh! MG Photography, oh!MG photography, OHMG, Phoenix, photo, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, road trip, Scenic, search, South Mountain, Sunshine, Tempe, Trip, wordpress
Posted on May 17, 2014
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 :)
Category: Blog, Testimonial, Uncategorized Tagged: AZ, baby, blogger, chandler, Desert, facebook, Family Photographer, Luke AFB, macro, Melissa, Melissa Garcia, Mother, move, newborn, Oh! MG Photo, Oh! MG Photography, oh!MG photography, OHMG, Phoenix, photo, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, review, sigma, Sunshine, Tempe, Twentynine Palms, wordpress
Posted on May 14, 2014
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.
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!
Category: Arizona, Blog, Clients, Family Tagged: Arizona, babies, baby, blogger, chandler, Family Photographer, first 48, gilbert, hospital visit, lifestyle, lifestyle shoot, Melissa, Melissa Garcia, Mommy and baby, Mother, newborn, Oh! MG Photography, OHMG, Phoenix, photo, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, search, Tempe, wordpress
Posted on May 11, 2014
We still remain resilient, super-humans. We are mother’s now. We are a breed of species that isn’t born and only “becomes”. Once you go “mom” you don’t go back. This is for all you super moms, that don’t have the support you probably need. For all the smart, caring, and over-burdened women who care for their young so selflessly. A lot of us set aside our lives to raise new ones. A lot of us put things on hold and never get back to them but are okay with it because we’ve created even better things to occupy our time. (children) You are a rock, and you are solid. You know how to hug like a champion and kiss a booboo like a pro. There’s not a scary monster in a dark closet that you can’t capture and there’s no bug you can’t squash.
Before I was a Mom – I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.
Before I was a Mom – I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom -
I had never been puked on – Pooped on – Spit on – Chewed on, or Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and My thoughts. I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom -
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests…or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep. Before I was a Mom – I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom -
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important.
Before I was a Mom – I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known The warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom. – Author Unknown Source
Category: Arizona, Blog, California, Clients, Family, Testimonial, Uncategorized Tagged: amazing, lifestyle, lifestyle photography, moms, mothers, mothers day, mums, Oh! MG Photography, Photographer, photography, Secrets Of Motherhood, South Mountain, supermom, women, wonderment, wonderwoman
Posted on February 3, 2014
These are my OlloClip images. some aren’t breathtakingly stunning but I think it’s so fun and creative to share instagram images this way instead of a flat glass. :) Where the iPhone has a very wide angle lens already, the ollo makes it even wider! I absolutely love this and recommend it to anyone who is a photo-addict such as myself. I can easily rack up 700-800 images on my phone in a month.
Posted on September 19, 2013
It took me forever. I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier? I’m not sure, really.
Oh! MG Photo is now in Phoenix.
We’ve been situated for a few weeks but it’s been busy with getting unpacked, figuring out routines. Our daughter is enrolled in PT preschool now which sorta frees up but confuses my mornings a bit.
I’ve met some neighbors and really right now i’m just trying to spread word right now; Meet & greets. Networking meetings. Social gatherings. Uprooting is hard! Especially integrating into such a large city such as Phoenix.
I’m just one family portrait photographer amongst a sea of other photographers.
Posted on July 18, 2013
After my mom passed, I feel more in tune to the clouds and sunshine.
A beautiful day is always a gift, but now I see as though my mom helps these days enhance my mood and boost my spirits more because she knows how much I love poofy clouds and nature.
I took this picture the other day before the wild fire smoke consumed the desert here.
The sunburst is angelic, photogenic, surreal. When I see things like these I imagine my mom hugging me.
I was speaking with a friend what I should do about my moms birthday on Friday. She would have been 63. I want to release a balloon up to the sky to her. Merely thinking about doing it had me in tears. As my friend consoled me, this song came on Pandora.
Mom. Hug me with your clouds and continue to be my sunshine. Love you.
Posted on June 7, 2013
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.
Posted on May 28, 2013
I did it.
I was like, “dangit, you live once.”
I had a complete stranger take my boudoir photos.
Now… I know nothing about being sexy or alluring. I’m a rigid, stiff, needs-a-deep-tissue-massage type of woman. I sort of really needed to rely on a stranger to make this work. My husbands away, father’s day is coming up.. i said why not.
Welp. I can’t share the majority of the images with you, which sucks because I really want to show off how amazing she is. But it’s quite apparent just by the quality of all her work on her facebook page, and on her www, that she’s comfortable and knows how to instruct a boudoir session (or any type for that matter) quite well! I was in such good hands.
My tips for anyone who is thinking about doing boudoir in the future with any photographer out there that doesn’t supply hair and make-up:
if you dont typically wear it — don’t.
you’re gonna be uncomfortable, and if you’re not comfortable you’re not going to be giving it your all. You’re gonna be too distracted “do I look fat?”, “are my eyelashes falling off?”, “can you see my scar here?”
Comfort is the key.
Now if a photographer does offer HAMU (Hair and Make-up) they are probably going for a polished, glamorous look, which is great. Go for it. Do it! (as my daughter would say.) But don’t try to pull off colors your gut is telling you not to, and don’t feel obliged to say yes to any experiments if you’re not comfortable.
In summation: Thank you, Lauren. You’re awesome. I met you for a whole — 2 hours? Three, max? Shoot I probably drove longer to see you than I did see you total. But it was worth it. And you were so kind, and welcoming to both me and my daughter (whom I had to lug around with me). It’s like I had known you for months already. Its completely refreshing to meet people like you. Ladies and gents this woman will go far in her photography career (which is her side job, btw. not even her FT job.) and I completely recommend ( and sort of really really just want you to) go like her facebook page and if you’re in the Oceanside, CA area think about her for your future homecoming, boudoir, or family photography needs.
Posted on May 13, 2013
I had a great family shoot this weekend with a super sweet family. It’s hard to believe mom has had 2 kids. WHATTTTTTT — right? & both the lil men have just the best photogenic smiles. Mom, you did well!
It was so good to have such a great shoot after not being able to book with this house selling crap. The day was gorgeous, and the whole family was so easy going. This once again was shot down in Morongo Valley, CA (one of my most favorite places to shoot — ever. )