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Love Stories.

Illustrating real stories of adventure, beauty and love.

Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Carmichael Studios, Naomi and Mona
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When I was asked by Naomi to do their engagement shoot with a camel in the sand dunes, I thought I was dreaming!  I actually was struggling with insomnia one night and went to check social media and saw Naomi's message.  Well then I couldn't sleep even more, dreaming up all the possibilities.  I woke up my husband and told him about it, and later I found out he thought he was dreaming too.  He called me the next morning asking if he was dreaming or was there some dialogue about a engagement session in the sand dunes with mention of a camel.  We were so excited for the shoot and knew that MerryRose Custom Fashion Designs could create the perfect gown for this occasion which they did.  The session was so much fun.  We ended up with a sweet camel named Naomi modeling right alongside these two beautiful brides to be.
 
I asked for them to put their love story into writing, and here is their story in Mona's words:
 
Naomi and I met doing research in a Pepper lab at ASU. We both have a love for science, learning, and have a thirst for life. Our relationship has always been special and filled with adventure. I remember Naomi and I talking in front of the school library a few months after we met, and first on both of our bucket lists after graduation was to travel the world. Many people have this goal but few actually accomplish it. One of the many things that make Naomi and I perfect for each other is that we hold each other accountable to the things we want, we make sure that we find ways to accomplish our goals together, as often times our goals are the same. It wasn't long after graduation that we traveled to Italy and Costa Rica. The following year we saw the Berlin wall, hiked the Black Forrest and saw most of Germany. A few months after that we found ourselves cruising down the Nile river in Egypt, taking pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and waiting for our plane to stop moving in the wind as it almost blew over in Iceland!
 
I proposed to Naomi on 2 September 2017. Our engagement was elaborate and beautiful and filled with the people that we love the most. When the conversation of engagement photos came about, I came up with a unique plan… We had just gotten back from our trip to Egypt, where my father and his family are from. We rode camels through the Great Pyramids, walked through the bazaars, and visited many of the memorial sites of the current revolution. We explored the museums of antiquities and the many other beautiful wonders Egypt has to offer. Because of how unique this trip was when compared to Europe and South America I thought it would be nice to not only bring a part of Egypt into the photos, but it would also bring a part of my heritage and nationality is well. I ended up telling Naomi I wanted to do a photoshoot in the desert with a real camel, to emulate our trip. We wanted to re-create the feel of Egypt so we picked the Imperial Sand dunes in California. It was quite the hassle to get all of the permits and insurance for a live exotic animal photo shoot, but it was well worth it! With Carla and Michael, our wonderful photographers, we did a quick turn around trip to the sand dunes and captured the most amazing engagement photos any of us had ever seen.
 
To create the mood for the pictures, we wanted it to seem as if we had just left an extravagant gala, and somehow got lost in the desert, met a camel, and decided that taking her along for our adventure was just what we needed for an end cap. 
 
The relationship that Naomi and I have is in many ways unordinary. We like to think outside the box, we go against the grain and we try to make everything we do an adventure. A love like ours is one in a million, so our photos needed to resemble that. We only get one shot at life and we want to make sure that we go big and have a lot of fun doing it!
 
 
 
Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Carmichael Studios
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We were so pleased to be a part of Ashley and Annie's Christmas Day wedding at the Sanctuary Resort and Spa!  

 

Ashley and Annie met through a childhood friend five years ago. They had gone to college together and all had known each other 30 years. Being new to Phoenix, Ashley and Annie became reacquainted as friends. It didn’t take long to become attached to each other and realize how lucky they were to have a second chance!

 

They got married on Christmas Day 2017.  We got their call the week before and it just so happened to be scheduled after our Christmas festivities would have come to an end.  Annie was so sweet and laid back about everything I knew their wedding would be a fun experience for Michael and I, and why not spend time doing what we love to do on Christmas Day?  It was truly a beautiful way to close out our 2017 wedding season.

 

Besides the minister and ourselves, their children were the only others present.  Ashley's two adult boys and Annie's two adult girls were there to share in the joy of a Christmas wedding.  It was intimate, elegant and fun! Of course, with Praying Monk as the backdrop, we had a gorgeous scene.  It was a perfect day for a celebration of love, marriage and family.   

Christmas Day Wedding at the Sanctuary

A Christmas Wedding. Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, Wedding at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

 
Sunday, October 15, 2017
By Carmichael Studios
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Justin and Kayleigh's wedding took place at Guthrie Castle, a 15th century castle located in Angus, Scotland. Entering through the castle gates felt truly magical. The interior was beautiful, the gardens spectacular and it had it's own loch. We stayed in the castle a few nights, which helped us really get in touch with the vibe of this stunning venue. It truly felt like a few days living within a fairy tale. The love shared by these two made everything even lovelier. Many people who traveled from near and far stayed at the castle over their wedding weekend, and the couple hosted many events that made for a wonderful weekend for all.


Here are a few words about their love story and wedding day in their own words.

 

Kayleigh:

 

I had known of Justin for a couple years before we started dating, but once we met properly, I instantly knew that he was the one I was supposed to spend my life with. Everything just clicked into place. Justin is supportive of my goals and ambitions and always encourages me to reach for the sky and to go above and beyond what I could do alone. He is kind and compassionate, and always honest. With Justin, I have never and will never need to worry about his intentions because they are always good. I am extremely lucky to have such a wonderful person by my side in life. With that said, the most important part of our wedding day for me was making sure that our feelings and love was visible during the ceremony. We decided to write our own vows so that we could express the feelings that we had for one another and the things that we loved about one another without boundaries. It was one of my favorite parts of the day, knowing that he had put so much effort into what he said and that he truly meant every word. To hear him say the things he said and promise to love and support me for the rest of our lives together in front of our friends and family was more special than I could have ever imagined. The other thing that stands out in my mind is the number of people that traveled from so far away to be with us. It didn't really hit me until the day after when we were reading everyone's cards, but it was incredible to see the support and love that we have from so many people around the world.

 

Justin:

 

Kayleigh is one of those people that you see once, but never forget. I saw her around campus where we both worked but never had met or spoken properly until after I left. We started dating, and we just fit together so effortlessly. Kayleigh's drive is unmatched by anyone that I've ever met and she pushes me to be better, just so that I can keep up. Haha. She is my partner and my one true love. She knows me better than I know myself, and always knows when I have something on my mind that I just need to talk about. She's as stubborn as a bull, but that's because she is strong and independent -- We are truly partners in life. The day was so full of laughter and fun, it's almost hard to pick one moment that stood out to me The first moment I saw her walking down the center isle with her dad, my heart jumped. This was the woman that I was agreeing to spend the rest of my life with and she looked absolutely beautiful. Another moment that sticks out to me is that we were so fortunate to have our grandparents at he wedding, and one moment in particular my grandfather got up and gave us the simple, wise words to never go to bed angry and always talk it out.



The wedding reception was charming and included traditional Scottish dancing by a live Scottish band, along with other hits.  These dances really were a lot of fun, half of the attendees (on Kayleigh's side) were pro's while the other half (on Justin's side) kept up as best as they could.  Toward the end the bride and groom were held up and tossed by people in the wedding party.  The reception was a very lively celebration and fun for all.


Two days after their wedding we went to St. Andrews, Scotland for a more relaxed shoot in one of the most beautiful settings I have seen.  It was such a charming and romantic spot, I was so glad that Kayleigh chose this spot for their photos.  We took some photos surrounded by gorgeous architecture, and then went into St. Andrews Cathedral which was built in 1158 and is Scotland’s largest and most magnificent medieval church, left in ruins.  This setting was magnificent.  Finally we ended up by the sea with rolling green hills in the background.  It was all just so perfect.  





 
Friday, March 03, 2017
By Carmichael Studios
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Heidi called us from Minnesota to arrange for her wedding photography.  They were to fly out and spend a week in the desert to get married on March 5th.  We loved the sound of this from the very beginning!  There is something about an elopement that we absolutely love to be a part of.  And when we heard that their ceremony was being held at Sunset Point at The Boulders, we were even more thrilled to be able to capture this elopement!  A desert elopement at sundown hillside?  Yes, please!



A little more about Heidi and Jim.  They met online and have been together 4 years.  He proposed on their 2 year anniversary by taking her out to the same restaurant and places they went on their first date. They drove up the north shore ( Lake Superior), where he made a fire on the beach, pulled out a bottle of champagne out and got down on his knee to ask her to be his forever.  They always had loved visiting Arizona, so they didn’t even consider getting married anywhere else.  With a little research they found the ideal spot to exchange vows.  Sunset Point at The Boulders was truly the perfect place for them to tie the knot.   After a fun hike through the hills they said “I do” at sunset and we were so happy to be a part of it.


So gorgeous, right?


 
Friday, March 03, 2017
By Carmichael Studios
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I’m so excited to be sharing our first wedding as a mother-daughter team! Marcella (my oldest daughter) was my assistant for Kenzie and Nick’s McCormick Ranch wedding in Scottsdale and we had so much fun!



Here is a little bit about Kenzie and Nick’s love story in Kenzie’s own words:

Nick and I met when we were in high school between mutual friends and soon became best friends. It wasn’t until three years later when Nick joined the military that we decided to start dating. Almost our entire relationship was long distance but having such a great foundation as friends helped us get through the tough times. Soon after Nick completed boot camp he was stationed in Sasebo Japan for three years where we only saw each other a few times a year. Our relationship became stronger because of it and we appreciated the little time we got together. Once those three years were over he finally got orders for San Diego! We were so excited to finally be living in the same country! We decided to celebrate with a trip to Belize. That is where Nick decided to propose. He had been planning the proposal for a month and did it all without me finding out. When we were in Belize Nick carried the ring around everywhere we went because he didn’t know exactly when he wanted to do it. We went on an adventure to the Mayan ruins where we climbed to the top of one of the ruins that looked over the entire jungle. Once we were up there he knew that was the perfect moment and he got down on one knee. I was crying and shaking and it was the perfect moment that neither of us will forget.
 
The wedding planning was very easy for us. I knew there were a few things that he really wanted and had an opinion on but other than that he let me make most of the decisions on my own but was always there to help me when I needed it. He was so supportive and caring and helped me get through the stresses of wedding planning. Our wedding went exactly how I had imagined it. We were so happy with all of the decisions we made. My favorite part was me walking down the isle and Nick’s eye’s tearing up as he watched my father walk me down.
 
Now we have been married a few months and couldn’t be happier. We live in San Diego and we got a new dog that we love. Life is better when we are together and we are liking the military life style of getting to live in new places and make new friends.
 
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