#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.




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

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.


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:

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

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.

thumb sucker, Oh! MG Photography  Phoenix, AZ

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!

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.

Oh! MG moves to Tempe, AZ in August!

Ahhh! Moving!!

The more stressful parts of the move are behind us now. The next stressful part!?

Uprooting my photography business to a new state and city. A completely new circuit of people, a new demographic, a lot of news.

WITH THAT SAID! I’d love to pass along an offer ONLY VALID TO ARIZONA RESIDENTS!

$50 dollars off my standard portrait session fee.

This does not include Newborn, and does not include prints, CDs, or thumb drives.

This will only be valid until Dec 2013!


My June – July break

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.

The lingering PCS

Wow, I suppose if you’re not affiliated with the military or understand military lingo — that title could be misleading, confusing, awkward. PSC= move.

Our family is destine for Arizona between the months of April & August this year.  Not sure when. Not sure how.  PSC’s are suppose to be black and white, right? Orders up, receive new orders, move. end.

No no no! Not for US! Not for this mini circus family. Orders aren’t even up yet.

Official orders aren’t even out yet.

Can’t move until we decide what to do with this house we own — which is leaning toward more of a VA loan short sale or regular sale. Oh and the amazing husband has a place to be Apr thru Aug. So do you SEE all the limbo and uncertainty?

And of course HOW is this related to photography you ask?


You see here I am use to being a single working mom with the occasional husband help on the weekends. I know this sounds super bad and my husband will read this and go, “you make me sound like a horrible person” but rest assured babe I do not think you’re a horrible person, husband, or father. We can blame the agonizingly long hours and piles of duties that lay ahead of you every day at work because frankly thats the truth. You’re a busy man and you put a roof over our heads. [ .... thattttt we're trying to get rid of. irony.]

I am use to a friend or two being as amazing as they are  – watching my darling while I’m at a shoot. Three of the about 5-6 amazing friends that I have who are willing to do this for me are 5-7 months preggo. They are going to burst when my husband is gone Apr – Aug.

I will have HALF the support that I typically do and HALF the chances of finding someone to watch Hailey. Yes, I could pay. Totally an option there. But then I’d have to raise my prices. Want that? I mean i’m willing to tack on $10 to my cost if you [consumer/client] are willing to pay.

See my friends are not obligated by any vows, contracts or any means to do this for me or even be there for me — especially for free. I hate hate hate knowing I depend on someone besides my husband at all so its a big obstacle I will take on this summer. The awesome husband is obligated by vows. and probably a means. and a contract somewhere in there that I made him sign in his sleep. 

My shoots will be fewer and farther between from March – July. anddddd they might have to go up by $10/shoot. BUT. but. I will still deliver the energetic portrait experience every one of my past clients have witnessed.

And we aren’t even on the topic of what’s to come in Arizona. Oh heavens to bootsie you guys i’m scared as ever to open shop there. I google the terms “Arizona Portrait Photographer” and all i come by are amazing, out of my league portrait artists. I’m just glad my business license doesn’t expire here in CA til August so I can work work work until I leave without renewing. (that’d be a Hefty waste of 50+ dollars.)

I am ANTSY IN MY PANTS to see the new scenes to shoot at, locations, parks, mountains, terrains, AHH! Sunsets, Sunrises, Dust storms, thunder storms. Wild flowers.