For those of you that have been following my blog for awhile, these two lovebirds might look a bit familiar (as well as this gorgeous estate nestled near the Catalina Foothills in Tucson). Back in the fall of 2020, I hosted an Engagement Session Giveaway on Facebook. I moved to Arizona in the summer of 2019. Then, just as I got settled and began exploring my new home, the pandemic put a screeching halt to everything. Even though big events like weddings were on hold, I still wanted to do what I love: meet new people, explore new places, and create new work.
A few couples were selected at random from all of the giveaway entries, and Karen and Joey were one of the winners. I met them at Karen’s parents’ home near the Catalina Foothills and absolutely fell in love. Not only with the one-of-a-kind property, but with the kindness these two showed, as well. I had so much fun at their engagement session and hoped that I’d get the chance to see them again.
About 8 months after their session, I got an email from Karen. They were ready to set a wedding date! Life had finally started to calm down a bit and they felt like it was time to move forward to the next chapter together. All of my full day wedding collections include a complimentary engagement session for my couples. It is so vital for a successful wedding day! Plus, who doesn’t want photos to remember that small window of time between saying “yes” and saying “I do”?! Karen was immediately ready to schedule their second engagement session and start shopping for outfits.
The plan was to meet back at her parents’ home and explore more of the property. This Catalina Foothills ranch estate is also where her and Joey will host their wedding. Karen told me that her parents have started talking about selling the property in the near future. This is the home where she grew up and where she will marry the love of her life. “I just want to make as many memories here as possible while I still can,” she said.
Karen and Joey were just as much fun this go around as they were the first time we met. Maybe even MORE FUN!
When your shirt matches the color of the agave plants you love…
Karen warned me about a week before their session that she would be bombarding me with outfit photos. She really cared about making sure they looked their best. Bring it on. I mean, especially if it means they show up looking THIS incredible!!! I already loved their casual outfits, but these dressier ones were just perfection!
This photo just makes me even more impatient for their wedding day!
Karen and Joey wanted to do something extra special at the very end of their engagement session. A champagne pop! Now, I had originally just planned to include a series of images down below showing the fun and chaos we had. But I decided to do something a little different and learn a new skill: GIF ANIMATION!
For any couple thinking of doing a champagne pop like this at their engagement session, I say go for it! I’ve got two tips for you:
1. Save this for the very end because it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get wet! You don’t want photos with spots all over your clothes.
2. Bring two bottles in case the first one doesn’t produce that big spray of bubbly that you want. Better safe than sorry!
Karen and Joey, you truly gifted me with one of the most rewarding evenings of my career. You two were so sincerely happy to see me and excited to spend the last few hours of daylight together creating beautiful memories. When I got in the car to drive home, I just sat there smiling– feeling so content and fulfilled. Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for being able to pursue this dream career of mine and making amazing friendships like yours along the way. Your April wedding can’t get here soon enough!
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Tucson, Arizona.
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