This is a photo of me and my BFF, Ivy. Yeah, she’s THAT cool with her pink hair, sparkly outfit, and bubbly personality. She’s also a genius business lady, a natural encourager, and has been running her own photography biz (The Pic Chick) for longer than I’m sure we both care to admit;)

Ivy recently hired me to photograph her 10th wedding anniversary reception at The Hotel Congress, and all the memories of how I got started in this industry came flooding back. You see, Ivy FORCED me into wedding photography. I swear she gave me no choice, and wouldn’t take no for an answer! I had been playing around with my cute Canon Rebel and the cheapest prime lens I could get my hands on for just a few months when she called me up…. “You have to shoot this wedding for me next weekend.” Say what?! I had never photographed a wedding. Like, EVER.  She had a client who was desperate for a last-minute photographer, and Ivy insisted I was ready.

That week I bought my first speedlite, spent every waking moment watching YouTube tutorials, memorized every Pinterest pose I could find, and made a church-in-an-abandoned-strip-mall kind of wedding look fabulous. The wedding adrenaline hit me hard, in the most fulfilling kind of way, and I never looked back.

So there you have it. I jumped off a cliff to get started. It was a high-stakes risk that turned into a highly-rewarding career, thanks to this one lady who had more faith in me than I did myself.

Now onto this glitzy anniversary party….

Ivy loves all things sparkly, bold, retro and stylish. She often sends me boxes of hand-picked outfits, and I have to say, she just has a knack for styling! She saw the blank-slate of the Copper Hall room at Hotel Congress, and imagined frosting it with a classy candle-lit and metallic Valentine’s Day theme. Melissa at Hotel Congress made Ivy’s vision come true, and decked the hall with rose-gold tablecloths, dozens of candles and candelabras, and other metallic accents. Guests received a glass of champagne garnished with raspberries and were personally greeted as they arrived. Ivy’s kind and patient hubby of ten years, Ryan, has a job that moves them around a lot… I don’t get to see her often, so I am grateful they chose Tucson to celebrate! Oh yes, and their two children are cuter than cute and full of personality themselves (got to love those kiddo outtakes that always make me belly-laugh).

The AC Hotel Downtown Tucson has an incredible lobby for portraits, and its a convenient place to stay if you’re ever celebrating in downtown Tucson. The lighted PLAY signage outside of another one of my favorite urban venues, Playground. Because of the relentless rain on this Valentine’s Day, we opted to stay indoors for portraits, and I have to say, the staff was accommodating and super kind.

Just look… isn’t she a doll?!

Engagement party portraits at the AC Marriott Tucson and Playground

10 Year Anniversary Reception at Hotel Congress


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