For their engagement photos, Mac and Jessica wanted to feature two very different places. They spend a lot of time outdoors with each other and love the green, woodsy feel of Mt. Lemmon’s trails. I always encourage my couples to pick meaningful locations and that’s certainly their thoughts behind location number two: the U of A campus where they met and fell in love. This multi-location engagement session around Tucson took place over 3 months. I loved getting to spend time with Jessica and Mac twice before their wedding day!
Six years after Jessica and Mac met each other at college, they took a short trip from their Phoenix home to the Tanque Verde Falls hiking area in Tucson. They had visited this spot once before shortly after they started dating. Unbeknownst to Jessica, Mac had snuck down to Tucson just a few days earlier to ask Jessica’s parents for their blessing. At the end of their hike was a beautiful waterfall. Mac set up his phone so that they could grab a photo together by the falls with their German shepherd, Nora. After their quick photo, Mac looked at Jessica, dropped to one knee, and popped the question. They celebrated with snacks and a tiny bottle of champagne that Mac had secretly packed for them.
After their hike, they left to go to Sausage Deli, a very popular eatery in Tucson that’s been around for more than 40 years. Jessica was excited to meet up with her mom and share the good news. Her mom wasn’t alone though… All of Jessica’s family, Mac’s parents, and his nephews gathered together at the deli. But none of them knew what was going on! Needles to say, everyone was so happy for them and grateful to celebrate together.
Mac and Jessica drove down to Mount Lemmon from Phoenix a few weeks prior to their session. They fell in love with a small grove in the woods. Along one of the narrow trails were a few trees with leaves starting to change color. The sun was covered by clouds and the air was crisp and cool; fall had definitely arrived in Tucson– at least up on the mountain.
For their individual portraits, I busted out my handy dandy reflector to add a bit more light. I had Jess hold it for me while I stepped back, posed Mac, and prepared to take a few photos. He couldn’t help but crack a big smile while she looked up at him, turning the reflector from side to side.
When it was time to switch places, Mac and I got the best laugh and smile from Jess! I didn’t have them each be my “photography assistant” by accident… I used them as “smile bait.” Always works like a charm!
As the temperature started to drop, Jess and Mac changed into their more casual, warmer outfits. The colors they chose perfectly paired with the fall foliage.
Mt. Lemmon offers a ton of options for beautiful photo backdrops. Check out other engagement sessions on Mount Lemmon here!
Mac and Jessica’s second half of their multi-location engagement session took place less than a week before Christmas. They really wanted to have photos taken around the University of Arizona campus, commemorating where they met and fell in love. I let them be my tour guide and take me to their favorite spots.
I would have never expected to see a small grove of lush orange trees on an Arizona campus! It certainly added a whimsical feeling to an everyday walkthrough between buildings.
Then Mac and Jessica took me to this bench. The day before their session, Jessica texted me a little backstory about this spot: “We always met here outside of one of my classes senior year. I’m just going to say… it isn’t the prettiest area, so you may have your work cut out for you on angles 😂 I’ve told Mac any other place we choose that has a significance in the future needs to have a better background.” Yes, there were other benches just a few yards away on the green lawn under some shade trees. And yes, they were in a prettier location. But it wasn’t their bench. This was. And now they have a photo to remember it forever!
Even though I had never explored the U of A campus before, I already knew that the fountain was THE place to be. Of course, right after we arrived at this spot, a big tour group showed up! I told Jessica and Mac that we could wait a few minutes so that they didn’t have an audience while taking photos, but they weren’t phased a bit. We ended up getting some of my absolute favorite images of the day here. You’d never know there were 20+ people and a tour guide with a loud speaker just a few feet away from us!
Jessica and Mac brought a few on-theme U of A beanies with them. Since the tour group had finally dissipated, we backtracked to the steps of Old Main for one last campus photo!
This Spring, Mac and Jessica will be celebrating their wedding at the Stillwell House and Gardens venue downtown. I’m so excited to share the day with them!
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Seattle, Washington.
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