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Easter Celebration | Styled Shoot

A few weeks ago I got to photograph a front yard Easter party so wonderful and full of sweet ideas for your own Easter celebration. It was styled by Mindy Alyse Events, florals by Butterfly Petals, furniture rentals by Dusty Lilacs, invites and paper products by Page and Mason, tutus dresses and bowties by Jujus Tutus and the best desserts I’ve EVER had were by Sweet Lulu.




You can see a lot more images on Kara’s Party Ideas and on Emma Magazine!
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter celebration!

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!

Featured in Arizona Bride Magazine

There is something about seeing my images in print that never gets old. It’s always so fun and exciting. Specially when it’s such a prestigious magazine like Arizona Bride and a couple I adore.

Thank you Arizona Bride for the honor and Brookelyn and Brett for being super fun clients!


You can see more images from Brookelyn and Brett’s wedding here.

Megan’s First Photo Food Diary

As I mentioned yesterday, I asked Megan to keep track of her intake and exercise for one week so I could assess what changes we could make to achieve the 1,ooo daily calorie deficit she’s striving for in order to lose 2 pounds/week.

Whenever you take a close look at anyone’s diet, there will always be many different areas for improvement. I find it easier to just pick one or two things at a time to focus on.

So here’s Megan’s intake/exercise for her ‘baseline’ week:

As you can see, for her baseline week, Megan decided to “kick-start” her diet instead of just keeping track of her usual intake.  She tells me she was aiming to consume ~500 calories/day. This is contraindicated as it is very difficult to consume adequate amounts of nutrients when the daily caloric level is below 1,200. Besides, it’s just not realistic long term. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but when you are losing weight, think of it as a new way of eating forever, not just until you reach your goal weight. If you think you are just going to do this one crazy diet until you reach your weight and then try and figure out what to do to eat healthy at that time; chances are you will gain the weight back and feel very discouraged. To help you visualize what a healthy and well balanced diet looks like you can take a look at the new icon the USDA has just released. Here’s a link to

So besides eating a realistic amount of calories, here are the two things that I asked Megan to focus on and master for the next two weeks:

Don’t be afraid of “carbs”.

You may have noticed that “carbs” did not make an appearance during Megan’s baseline week.  Carbohydrates definitely need to hire a new publicist. The “bad carbs” have given an overall negative image to all carbohydrates and that’s just not true. “Good carbs” are essential to a healthy and well balanced diet that will help you achieve and/or maintain your healthy body weight. Plus the B vitamins present in whole grains are a big part of your metabolism.

Be physically active every day.

Yes, that includes Saturdays and Sundays too. And of course, you need to be consuming an adequate amount of calories to have enough energy to exercise. And ~50% of your calories should be coming from carbohydrates.

This week I’m going to the grocery store with Megan to answer her questions and will be posting that on here too.

Go Megan!!

Fun New Project

I have a fun new project in the works which will be coming to the blog very soon. And it will change things. Any guesses? Here’s a hint:
P.S. Yes, I realize I need to clean my camera before my session tomorrow.

Morgan *Perry High School Senior Photos*

I had so much fun photographing Morgan. She brought her best friend along, Jordan who was a huge help and made our session even more fun. Thanks, Jordan!

Morgan has such an easy going personality. Plus she’s really funny, sweet, and has great style.  If I was still in high school I’d want to be her best friend too!
Doesn’t Morgan remind you of Lauren Conrad?

Morgan, best of luck next year! I know you will do great!

Sweet Vintage Finds

A few weeks ago, I had the awesome job of photographing the super fun and whimsical candy store Smeeks in Phoenix. I’m pretty sure this is the coolest candy store anywhere! Check this place out:I really want to buy those letters for my house. So fun!Georganne is the owner of Smeeks and the genius behind all the sweet fun:

Oh and as if all of this wasn’t awesome enough, Smeeks also has a photobooth. If you know me, you know that I have a true love affair with photobooths. I really do LOVE them. I took a few pictures of Georganne in the photobooth and I was really bummed because I didn’t have any cash on me and that’s when Georganne told me… “go ahead and get in, it does two rounds of photos”. What? Really? But I’m not ready… Snap! hahaha, Still love it though:)

BTW, I’m blaming the bad hair day on the rainy day.

Georganne also owns the store next door, Frances Vintage. This place is like a giant treasure chest where you want everything you see.  Do you see those white cameras on the first photo on the left? I really want those! Oh and I just bought the tiny little wooden camera and I love those kitchen towels, and if I had a baby, I’d want those doorknob signs. And all the paper goods? Don’t even get me started. I’m telling you, this place is incredible!

Time to start on a little Holiday Shopping? It’s my excuse anyways :).

Contest Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered GoodyTwo’s Crunchy Truth contest. Stacey has chosen a winner… And the winner is…

Laura Hill!

Laura, please email Stacey at to claim your prize.

I hope you all had a sweet Halloween!

The Sweetest Toffee Shop

Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing the sweetest toffee shop in town: GoodyTwos. I met Stacey, one of the owners and I’m not gonna lie, I want to be her BFF. Stacey and her mom are the geniuses behind GoodyTwos. Their concept is to take something traditional and add a nutty twist to it.  I love every thing about their shop and the toffee is the best I’ve ever had. And I swear I’m not exaggerating. If you don’t believe me, you should try it! And if you keep reading, you might get to try it for free! Read on…

Isn’t their packaging adorable? It’s all in the details! Inside of every bag or box of toffee, you find these little “crunchy truths”. Kinda like a Chinese cookie fortune, but better.

The recipe for their traditional toffee has been in their family for years and I’m sure it’s probably locked up somewhere. It’s toffee perfection.

This crunchy truth, put the biggest smile on my face:

Now for the best part of this blog post. The SWEETEST CONTEST ever! GoodyTwos is going to give one lucky winner $50 worth of toffee store credit at Goodytwos Toffee Company. All you have to do to enter the contest is come up with your own crunchy truth and post it in the comments below. For additional entries, you can also retweet this: “the sweetest contest ever. go to @cristiowen blog to win $50 to @goodytwos toffee.”

The winner will be announced on October 30th at 10 am right here on my blog. Just in time for Halloween :).

And here are some sweet crunchy truths to get you inspired:Can’t wait to hear all your crunchy truths! Go ahead and enter as many times as you would like!