When Vanessa called me to set up this session, I’ll admit that I wondered how we were going to pull it off. A surprise for her other half?? I’m AWFUL at keeping secrets! But she’s a stealth genius and managed to surprise Alex with not only his family coming from Kansas to help celebrate at his birthday party, but the extended family photo shoot with his parents & siblings at Papago Park in Tempe, AZ. She and I coordinated ideas and colors for their outfits, with her relaying info back to them as quietly as possible, and them deciding on a navy blue, neutral browns/creams & a pop or orange. A great combo for the desert!

The week leading up to our session had some beautiful sunsets (as Phoenix tends to have) and I knew that we would be in for a treat if the clouds rolled in the afternoon of our session. While we had crossed our fingers for a drop in temperature, the day came, and it didn’t happen. So Alex’s family had the true experience of a summer afternoon in the Arizona desert! Haha! I packed a cooler of ice water, a couple umbrellas and we trekked through Papago Park to find some beautiful landscapes to create their images. Although the weather was warm, the clouds & sunset made the heat worth every minute!

The kids played with rocks, kicked dirt, loved on their grandparents¬† and made everyone smile even bigger. Two year olds have an independent streak that make photographing them so much fun! You never know exactly what you’re going to get, and you just follow their lead! Candids are often the name of the game with toddlers.

A beautiful desert sunset danced across the sky, and we had a fabulous & fun photo session, wrapping up just as the sun dropped behind the mountains. I’m so excited to know that their families will have art hanging on the walls to show off their fun (and surprising) trip to AZ!Kristen Carter Photography- Tempe AZ Extended Family Session Papago Park¬†Kristen Carter Photography-Phoenix AZ Extended Family Session Papago Park

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Til next time! <3 KC

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