#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

An ode to mothers everywhere

I started off with an idea. I wanted to glorify the unglorified actions of motherhood. I wanted to make it more acceptable to the general public to a mom loving a voluminous spit up, or a blowout diaper, or a tantrum.  Let’s stop pretending motherhood is about unicorns and rainbows and let’s remember what it’s really about.
Well besides knowing that much of my idea, I couldn’t really verbalize my idea. Images portray a mood and feeling that words couldn’t quite find.
I met Andrea online when I did a model call for a new  SAHM mom with a young infant. Well I hit the jackpot because this woman had twins. Not identical, by the way, so SHOCKER: the babies don’t look alike (it’s actually pretty freakin’ awesome if you think of their lives to come.)
I got to know Andrea in the short while that she welcomed me into her home to shadow and capture the unglorified moments of motherhood. The messy feeding of babies. the poopy diapers. the tired cries of twins, the sweet smiles of waking up from a nap, the constant playing and carrying around with a baby. Get a drink  of water with a baby on your hip? I got ya covered.
I knew that I couldn’t possibly write what I wanted to say. I resorted to searching online for a good poem that was published on a website (see source) although it’s from an unknown author. It’s so true. I remember every bit of these words.  It is seriously crazy how time and children change you and how priorities shift.

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.

That's one hip-baby.

That’s one hip-baby.

Before I was a Mom

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.

a day in the life of a mom, baby silhouette by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ

Before I was a Mom – I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.Sleeping baby, waking up. Lifestyle session  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.

Soothing one, lifestyle session  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ

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.

only a mom could love one so much  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ

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. let me ease the pain,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. Smiles are contagious,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ 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. hold me so the pain can stop mom,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZI never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. never under estimate the power of moms touch,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. always knows where mom is,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.in your arms is where i want to be,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ  Motherly kisses are like none other,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ

Before I was a Mom -

I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. smiley baby,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZI didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. what a mess im in,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ 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.

 holding on tight , baby lifestyle  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ

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. Reaching for mom hand, baby lifestyle  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ I had never known The warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. Two by Two  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZI didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom. Just playing around,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ Sisterly smiles  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ Always be there for you,  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ Twins playing with eachother, hanging out with mom!  by Oh! MG Photo of Phoenix, AZ – Author Unknown Source

Wow, finally a dot com!

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.