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News flash: you do not need a special occasion to have photos taken. You don’t need to be engaged, celebrating an anniversary, or anything at all! If you’re in love and want photos taken with your partner, that’s as good an excuse as any. Consider these their magical Mount Lemmon “Not Engagement Photos”.

Navy and Green Mount Lemmon Adventure Photos

Devyn and Ryan have been together for 5 years. They are head-over-heels for each other, and I’m pretty sure it shows in these images! Here’s the best part– Devyn’s my sister, so when she asked about doing a fun little adventure photo session, I could not have been more stoked.

On their homecoming weekend, we headed up Mount Lemmon to Windy Point for a quick little adventure session and some engagement-esque photos. She wondered if it would be weird having professional photos taken since they’re not engaged, but of course, it isn’t! You don’t have to be capital “E” Engaged to commemorate a time where you’re cute and in love! Existing on a random Tuesday is an equally good reason for photos.

We climbed rocks in formalwear and had a blast together enjoying the sunset before they finally headed back home to Phoenix. These images are proof that you don’t need professional hair and makeup or any extra expenses to make photos stunning. This bouquet? Trader Joe’s. The hair? Dry shampoo. The makeup? Haphazardly applied in my bathroom by me. It’s not about the amount of money that goes into a session. It’s about the relationship you bring to the session.

If you are in love, and you can make each other laugh, your session will be perfect. I promise. The reason these images shine is because these two are happy, in love, and approaching the tail end of their homecoming hangovers from the night before 😉 They frolicked, laughed, and got to totally enjoy their #NotEngagementPhotos.

I hope you love these images as much as I love these humans.

Woman laughing and twirling her skirt
Man kissing woman's forehead with woman looking behind her
Man and woman enjoying a sunset
Man and woman sitting on a cliff at sunset
Man and woman cuddling and kissing at sunset on a cliff
Black and white girl focused on eyes
Man and woman cuddling at sunset on a cliff

The Not Engagement Photos – Mount Lemmon

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I’m not usually one to cry at weddings, especially ones I’m photographing, but I shed a tear more than once on Jenna and Mike’s wedding day. Set on her uncle’s private desert estate, Jenna and Mike’s intimate backyard wedding could not have been more perfect.

Jenna and Mike are people who have spent their careers caring for people. As a flight attendant and a nurse, they know how to make people feel seen, heard, and truly cared for. This, of course, is reflected in the way they treat their guests, but more than anything, this care for people is reflected in the way they care for each other.

These two made such an effort on their wedding day to make each other the priority. For their first look, we swept the family and wedding party out of the backyard, and the two of them shared some quiet moments in the desert together before the rest of the craziness of the wedding day unfolded. She wiped Mike’s tears, and he held her as tightly as I’ve ever seen anyone hold another person.

Their vows to each other came from the bottom of their hearts. I’m not typically one to cry at weddings, but man, the two of them wrote some of the most heartfelt promises I’ve heard in a long time.

Once they were officially husband and wife, Jenna & Mike celebrated with an intimate desert first dance as their 50 guests look on from the backyard wedding celebration. They laughed. They cried. They danced. They celebrated.

It really was everything you could hope for in an intimate wedding celebration. They felt totally at ease, and they surrounded themselves with the people who love them the most.

Jenna and Mike, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It was my joy and honor to celebrate the first day of your marriage with you. I hope the desert continues to remind you of your incredible and intimate wedding day– even once you’ve made your new home on the East Coast. You two are the best.

Thanks a ton to this incredible vendor team who made this party go off without a hitch!

Day-of-coordination- Hitch Without a Glitch

Floral Market: AZ Flower Market

Makeup: Lily Colletti

Dress: Bridal Gallery of Orlando

Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulus Weddings

Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

Invitations & Paper Goods: Vista Print

Signage, details, favors, floral arrangements, and literally everything else: Our bride, Jenna Pierce

An Intimate Backyard Desert Wedding | Cave Creek, AZ | Jenna & Mike

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photography by Kiley Harmon  |  design by Foil & Ink