Cecily and Quinn | Wedding at Nobuo at Teeter House

Cecily and Quinn were married in a very intimate ceremony at Nobuo at Teeter House. I love it that their wedding was stripped down to the basics, but without missing any of the elements that make it meaningful and special.

I loved them and their wedding so much that because of it I have started to accept “mini-weddings” which is only three hours of coverage.

For Cecily and Quinn they drove over to the ceremony site together so since there wasn’t a first look, I started with portraits of the bride and groom. We had so much fun and as you can probably tell, I could have photographed Cecily ALL day. I’m sorry but I just had to include all of these.





After the bride and groom portraits together were finished we made our way to meet their families for all of the family portraits and I love this moment when Cecily’s father saw her as a bride for the first time:

Here’s just one of the many family portraits that were taken. Sisters always have a special place in my heart:


All of their guests right before the ceremony:

Quinn watching his bride coming down the “aisle”

Such a special and meaningful ceremony:

Immediately after the ceremony they had an intimate dinner for all of those who attended the ceremony at Nobuo and proved that simplistic decor can be just as beautiful as the more elaborate ones:

Later they had a laid back reception for their closest family and friends in Quinn’s parent’s backyard. So fun!

When I’m having a hard time choosing between too many fun pictures I just stick with the cute kids:

And just one last shot of their beautiful rings:

If you are interested in hiring me for your “mini-wedding”, please email me at cristi@cristiowen.com.
It includes the ceremony, the reception details, portraits of the bride and groom as well as family portraits and another 1.5 hours of whatever you choose (cocktail hour, first dance, cake cutting, some getting ready shots before the wedding, etc). It’s seriously the best!

Nicole and Jamey | Maternity Session

Almost exactly one year ago I photographed Nicole and Jamey’s wedding at the Desert Botanical Gardens and this last week we got to back there for a maternity session. So fun!

I didn’t expect to see them again since they live in Pennsylvania so this was an extra special surprise for me.

I’m so excited for them and I hope I get to meet that sweet baby some time this year.

This is the exact spot where they said I do:


A throwback to their wedding day for a little comparison :)

Dear Nicole and Jamey, it was so special to see you both. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Goals for 2013

A few days ago I shared Ava’s New Year’s Resolutions and promised I’d be sharing mine as well.

Traditionally my sister and I would get together every January 1st to write our goals and then share them with each other. Besides being some good ole sister bonding time, it also helped us to dream big and increased our accountability.

To be completely honest, this year, I didn’t really have a moment to reflect and write out my goals until January 14th! I haven’t shared them with my sister yet, but I really wanted to get these up on the blog before the end of January, so here they are:

1. Have the fabulous Ellen Laux develop my new brand along with a new blogsite and all the other fun little things that go along with that. So excited for this!
2. Design a cozy space to meet with my clients in our new home.
3. Work on at least one concept shoot with industry peers
4. Blog twice/week
5. Find an organization to volunteer at with my sister
6. Use my film cameras for personal work
7. Write daily on a journal for Ava
8. Go on a date with Curtis once/month sans baby
9. Make our new house a home
10. Fulfill my childhood dream of having a piano
11. Learn how to play the piano
12. Have a garden in our home
13. Teach Ava Portuguese
14. Photograph more birth stories
15. Practice yoga at least 3 times/week

There are of course many other things that I won’t bore you with. You know, the ones that feel more like a to do list than a big goal. For example, buy a certain lens or upgrade a software program. I’ll save those for my sis because that’s what sister are for :).

And because photographers aren’t allowed to write a blog post without a picture, here’s the only photo I’ve taken of my little one this year with my professional camera. It’s more of a snapshot, but I never want to forget her happy face as she wakes up from a nap.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

My aunt, her husband, my grandpa and my mom celebrating back in 1962. The skinny ties are back, why can’t the gorgeous dresses make a comeback too?

What? A blog post? From me?

Well, it’s a New Year and you know how that goes, somehow that brand new shiny month of January makes you feel like you can do things that in the other 11 months of the year seem impossible.

I had officially given up on writing blog posts again until I have it all updated and working smoothly as a blogsite. My website and my blog will be roommates, living under the same address and visible on iphones, ipads, etc. Can’t wait! But that may take a few months still and the problem is when you have something out there on the internet, it’s never non-existent and instead it just looks abandoned. And that’s just tacky.

So here’s a blog post to wish you a Happy New Year and a very motivating month of January. It’s proven science that if you take the time to write down your goals they are much more likely to come true. So this month take a few minutes to dream and a few more minutes to plan. This is likely the most motivated you will feel all year so let’s get it done! I’ll be sharing my goals and dreams with you soon, but Ava (my 7-month old baby girl) already has hers all planned out:

Ava’s New Year Resolutions for 2013:
1. I will figure out every buckle they tie me down with. Carseat, bouncer, highchair… All of them.
2. Whatever it is that they are eating. I want it. I will have it.
3. I will not crawl. No one else is doing it.
4. I will walk. And no hand-holding either.
5. Everything I touch I will put it in my mouth.
6. I want to surprise my parents and on the same day say my first word in English and then in Portuguese. It will be epic.
7. I will stop spitting up. Mainly because none of my bibs match any of my outfits. So embarrassing.
8. I will have a big ol’ first birthday party. No theme though. Pinterest is so 2012.
9. Please oh please can these teeth come out already?
10. I will go on more playdates. Any babies out there have some free time to play in 2013? Have your people call my people.

Happy New 2013 Everyone!

Holiday Portrait Sessions 2012

They are back! I didn’t do any mini-sessions last year, but Holiday mini-sessions are back by popular demand this year. Now there are no excuses not to get your family portrait updated.
Here are the details:

You can chose a 30 minute or a 60 minute session.

The dates and times available are listed below.

The 5pm session can only be a 30 minute session.

Sessions will take place in three different locations. Just waiting until it gets closer to see which places look the best :). When you book you can let me know if you are looking for more nature or more urban.

Once you’ve picked a time and date email me so I can send you a contract.

A contract and a retainer (of 50% of the cost of your session) are required to reserve your spot. Retainers are non-refundable unless your initial time slot gets booked by somebody else.

One family per session.

The images will be uploaded to an online gallery within 2 weeks of your session so you can choose your favorite 5 (30 minute session) or 10 (60 minutes session) images and I will email the high resolution files of those images to you.

Please arrive 10 minutes before your session start time.

Here are the times and dates still available:

Fancy Camera Workshop – less than one month away!

Yay! The next workshop is scheduled for September 29. So excited!

If you are not familiar with the Fancy Camera Workshop, read on for more details.


Camera settings, lens choice, focal point and compositional elements will be discussed at length during the morning portion of our day together.
After lunch (provided by the workshop), we will spend a few hours practicing what you learned during a live outdoor photoshoot. I will be shooting too, sharing my camera settings and my thought process behind each image and answering your questions. Everyone will also have a chance to direct the models and compose their own image. We will then look at our images together and answer any final questions. I will briefly share my favorite Photoshop techniques as well.

Here’s an overview of our day together:

9:00 Introductions

The Technical Stuff (manual exposure, camera settings, focal points, focal length, etc)

The Fun Stuff (compositional elements)

Equipment: a little show and tell of lenses, cameras, memory cards, and useful gadgets.

12:30 LUNCH (included) and Review

1:30 Live photoshoot

4:30 Downloading of images and a mini Photoshop (CS5) lesson

5:30 Sharing of Images/Critique/Q&A

7:00 The End


Previous attendees have included students who were just taking their camera out of the box as well as those who own a photography business. There’s a maximum of 12 attendees per workshop to ensure everyone gets individual attention and can learn at their own pace.


If you have a fancy camera but feel like your images are still lacking the wow factor or if you’ve been reading online tutorials and “pinning” photography tips on pinterest, but still feel like you don’t completely get it, this is your opportunity to feel confident with your camera and make some pinterest worthy images 😉


The workshop will take place in Chandler, AZ


Notebook and something to write with

Any digital camera will work as long as it has a manual (M) mode

Your Camera’s Manual

Don’t forget your camera’s digital memory card (CF, SD, MMC, xD, MS, MD, SM)

Don’t forget to charge your camera’s battery

A card reader or your camera’s cable to download photos

A laptop (very helpful if you have one, but not mandatory)

If you don’t have Photoshop, you can download a free trial version prior to the workshop at www.adobe.com


The workshop cost is $229 per person. Payments must be made at least 48 hours prior to the workshop via paypal or check. Please note that payments are non-refundable. Email at cristi@cristiowen.com to reserve your spot!


Yes! You can take 10% off by following the instructions on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/cristiowenphoto


Please email me at cristi@cristiowen.com

Bare Walls Make Me Sad

Since we will be moving in just 4 short months, we had decided that we wouldn’t put anything up on the walls in baby girl’s room. It just didn’t make sense to have more things to pack up when we move and also patching up the holes and repainting would just be more work when the time comes to say goodbye to this place. Besides I can live with blank walls for just 4 months, right? Hmmm, wrong. I thought I could, but as it turns out I’ve been spending a lot of time in her bedroom and I just couldn’t stand to stare at those blank walls anymore. So we now have over 50 wholes to patch up and paint over. But if you ask me, it’s SO worth it.
There are still lots of projects waiting until after the move, but at least her walls aren’t completely naked anymore. Here’s a pic from my instagram with what we have up on the walls thus far.


And if you are like me and naked walls make you sad, here are some fun ideas on how to dress up those walls on one of my pinterest boards.

The Diaper Bag Checklist

A few weeks ago, we took baby girl for her first extended outing, including a little trip to one of our favorite restaurants, Sauce. Oh, turkey and feta salad how I’ve missed you.

Prior to this, we had only really gone to the Doctor’s office, my sister’s house, and some super quick trips to Buy Buy Baby.

Being the planner and list lover that I am, I took advantage of nap time to create a little tag to attach to her diaper bag with a checklist of all the essentials. I even planned ahead for a couple months from now and included things like a teether, sunblock, and toys. I was feeling like I was about to receive a new-mom-of-the-year-award.

As we were getting out of the car, my husband looks at me and very seriously says:
“I thought of something else you need to add to the list.” He paused as to give me a chance to figure out on my own what I had forgotten and still maybe have a chance at an honorable mention (since at this point the new-mom-of-the-year-award was out the window). And he finally says: “the actual diaper bag”.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I packed the perfect diaper bag and left it behind. I’m totally out of the contest now. And a little relieved that I didn’t actually forget something on the list ;). I thought he grabbed the bag, he thought I grabbed the bag. At least we both remembered the baby. And we just laughed and cut our date short.

So maybe I’ll add a tag to the carseat that says “got diaper bag?”

And for all you moms out there, here’s my list. Any other must-haves? I know the list will change as she gets older and I’d appreciate a heads-up on other diaper bag essentials.


Baby Girl – One month


::We mostly call you ‘chunkin’.

::Your dad has lots of funny nicknames for you, and he calls you ‘princhesca’ a lot. I guess that’s his Italian version of princess ;).

::He’s also always telling you how precious you are. It melts my heart.

::I try to speak lots of Portuguese with you.

::I don’t know very many lullabies, so I sing a lot of Lulu Santos for you. You fall asleep every time. I think it’s because you don’t want to listen to me anymore. Either way, it works.

::You are losing your hair. We can’t really tell if it will be light brown or red. Maybe it will be reddish brown.

::Your eyes are still really blue. So crazy! How can I possibly have a child with blue eyes??

::If I put you on the right light and squint a little, you are starting to look a little more like me.

::You are mastering how to push the pacifier back in your mouth. So cute.

::You love taking baths.

::You mostly communicate with little grunting sounds. Thankfully you leave the crying for extreme situations like the doctor’s office.

::You started to really see us now – which is awesome!

::Your cousin Nathan is so in love with you. He loves sitting next to you and bouncing you on your little chair.

::Your dad and I are pretty sure you intentionally smiled at us. Coincidence or not, we still loved it.

::You eat 3 oz of formula every 3 hours.

::We go through a lot of bibs :).

::I don’t get much sleep, but I feel so lucky that I get to hold you in my arms. Less sleep = more holding time :).

Mama loves you so much, baby girl!

This is why I shouldn’t have been allowed to have a child…


Toddlers and Tiaras is next.

I hope you all had a safe and fun holiday. We spent ours torturing our child with not-so-age-appropriate patriotic apparel, eating some good food, enjoying the weather (mid 80’s and humid! which is a july miracle for us here in phoenix), and watching movies with the family. Did not see a single firework, but it was perfect.