Author Archives: Suzanne Melissa

2017 Holiday Sessions

Although I don’t have the time to shoot weddings anymore I do love the opportunity to work with families this time of year.  I believe everyone should have a nice family picture at least once a year…and we all need a new Facebook profile picture right!

Suzanne Melissa Photography: Blog &emdash;

Here are the details on the sessions I will be offering.  Sessions will be 25 minutes for up to 5 people.  If you have more than 5 people in your group please book back-t0-back sessions.  The session fee is $175 and includes the session and 20-25 edited images.  Payment is required to reserve your date.


October 21
3:00 pm
3:35 pm
4:10 pm
4:40 pm
5:15 pm

November 18
3:00 pm
3:35 pm
4:10 pm
4:40 pm

Once you have reserved your date I will email information on the locations and tips to help make the most of your pictures without stressing out!


Tricia and Josh {Gilbert Wedding Photographer}

I met Tricia and Josh for coffee and we talked for over an hour about their wedding plans.  Not just location, colors and logistics, but Tricia’s desires, wishes and vision she had for her wedding and wedding photography.  Tricia had already emailed me and said that she had read my entire bio section and that we had a lot in common…I knew right away I wanted to photograph her wedding.

We recently shot their engagement session and I adore their ease with each other and how Josh’s calm demeanor is the perfect balance to Tricia’s brimming excitement for life.  See for yourself.

Dustin and Stacey {Gilbert Engagement Photography}

Meet Dustin and Stacy.  One super-duper, DIY couple who also happen to be my neighbors!!

I met Dustin and Stacey almost three years ago when we both moved into our new homes in Gilbert.  Over the last couple of years I have watched Stacey mow Dustin’s lawn a countless number of times and seen first hand numerous friends and family stop by to help them work on the never ending project…the backyard deck.  When they shared the news that Dustin had proposed I could not have been happier to know that Stacey could finally stop mowing the lawn would be a permanent neighbor.

It only seemed fitting to start their engagement session at their home away from home…Home Depot.

Next we moved the shoot outside to soak up some of the golden hour.


We had to include Rocky their adorable chocolate lab.  Rocky was a model of good dog behavior…most of the time!


We took advantage of every last bit of daylight for this session, but ventured out one more time.  Dustin specifically wanted to take pictures at a location he had seen while out riding his motorcycle.  On day two of shooting I had completely lost my voice (good news for my husband…right!).  I am SO grateful for my fellow photog Liz who agreed to get a last minute babysitter and join me for the second part of the session.   These next two images are from Liz.

While Liz was capturing the images above I had this adorable view.

We had a little fun with this “Wedding Parking Only” sign that we came across.

Oh…shut.the.front.door!!!  They are just TOO cute!!

Project Organize: The Junk Drawer

As part of my Project Organize Life I recently decided to tackle my “junk drawer”.  We all have them, but when it became difficult to open and close mine I decided it was time to take action.

Here’s a before and after:

I started by emptying the entire contents of the drawer onto the counter top.

I have this drawer organizer that I was not fully utilizing…mostly because once the drawer started to get unorganized I gave-up and just shoved items in the drawer without looking!

Okay-so once everything was on display I broke everything into groups:

1: Paper work that needed to be sorted (I found 2 bills, one wedding invite and a check…yikes!!).

2. Gift cards: Did you know that nearly $8 Billion in gift cards never get used!  I had about $300 just waiting to become part of that $8 Billion.

3. Prenatal Vitamins…umm, I’m not pregnant and most had expired.  Trash.

4. Accessories: Including 10,000 bobby pins…because you never know when a stray hair might need pinning.

I used a binder clip to hold all of the gift cards and put a sticky note on the front to remind me what stores I had gift cards for.  Now when I am getting ready to run errands before I leave I check the list and see if I have any gift cards.

I added a second drawer organizer to keep paperwork/mail that requires an action from me (e.g. bills, wedding invites, thank yous etc).

Here’s the final product:

1. Car keys: I always dump my car keys here otherwise they will be lost.

2. Gum: I actually hardly ever chew gum, but it’s good to have around.

3. Gift cards and extra pair of sunglasses.  I ALWAYS lose my sunglasses and the sun it like kryptonite to my eyes, so extra sunglasses are a must.

4. Band-aids because there is always a blister waiting to happen or just healing when you spend 10 hours on your feet shooting a wedding.

5. Chapstick

6. Cell phone charger

7: Organized location for mail

The before and after one more time because I’m SO happy to have an organized junk drawer!!

Becca + Peter {Tucson Engagement Session}


Meet Becca and Peter..a cute couple from Tucson!!

Becca and Peter are getting married in late September here in Phoenix, but since they currently live in Tucson we decided to meet at UofA to shoot their engagement session.  Since Becca had booked me over the phone this was my first time meeting both her and Peter and I totally lucked out.  These two were SO easy going, fun and completely enjoyable to hang out with.

We discovered early in the session that Peter is a blinker…you know, as soon as the shutter clicks he blinks!  There’s usually one in every couple.  Peter was such a good sport as Becca and I joked continuously about this throughout the entire session.

Here are my favorite images (blinks included!).

Shooting on campus always has some surprises.  About 100 yards from where we were shooting there was an outdoor music festival.  Live performers and all…minus any actual attendees!  A rap du0 hit the stage and kept shouting, “Hands in the air!!”.  There was NO ONE within 200 yards of the stage…they were singing to themselves!!  As I told Becca and Peter to walk towards me for this next series of shots I also encouraged them to get their inner hip-hop dance on.

As we started to leave campus Becca bolted to this newspaper stand and grabbed a copy.  Turns out she likes to complete the crossword puzzle while on break at work.  Since she had to work the night shift that night (she’s a nurse) Becca was pretty stoked that she had a new crossword puzzle.

I thought it would be fun to take a few pictures in this local candy shop…who doesn’t LOVE candy right?  Answer…Peter.  We moved on after a few shots!

The lighting at this outdoor cafe was soft and beautiful.  A perfect place to end a fun engagement session!