As a Mesa photographer, I love capturing the bond between brothers! If you’re the mom of boys, I’m sure you know how special it is to have pictures of your boys together! Well it was important for Amy too! I’ve known Connor and Kaden for quite a few years and have done several sessions for their family, including their older sister’s senior portraits. So when it was time for some updated pictures and modeling headshots, I was glad that Amy called me again to work with her boys. Connor and Kaden make it so easy. Since I’m updating my blog, I’m finally catching up on some older sessions that were amazing and need to be shared!
“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” -Marc Brown
Urban Portraits for Boys
We chose an cute little Tempe location that would give us some great urban shots using the brick background for the boys. How could you not fall in love with those gorgeous blue eyes?!?! And I promise, there is no extra photoshop here. They really are THAT blue!
My heart melts seeing Kaden’s sweet grin! This is always the age that parents miss. Those precious in between years when they suddenly grown up and aren’t babies anymore!
In the exact same location, with a little creativity, we were able to the beautiful green backgrounds that moms love!
This year I had the added treat of Connor’s longer hair. This teen goes from clean cut preppy to teenage heartbreaker just by running his fingers through his hair! Love that deep stare, and did I mention those eyes???
As they approach their one year anniversary, I thought it would be a great time to share a little more about these amazing dog groomers! While this location has only been open for about a year, they have all worked at many pet salons throughout the East Valley. And it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve seen them be underappreciated and overworked, so when the opportunity presented itself, owner Darcy Brechler made the most of it! That was the beginning of Fuzzy Paws, which is located near Power and Baseline in Mesa.
If you have furbabies, you know how important it is to find people who not only do amazing work but also treat them like their own. That is the case with Darcy, Joanne, and Wes at Fuzzy Paws. I’m so thankful for that Darcy has made a wonderful new home for herself and these two awesome groomers. Other places cancelled appointments and had issues with turnover. Now, with Darcy owning the shop they can simply do what they do best!
I’ve personally known Joanne for nearly 20 years. I met her at Dogs Day Out when we lived in Chandler and got our very first puppy. We moved to East Mesa and it got to be a little too far of a drive, I resorted to finding something closer to home. I tried mobile grooomers with no luck and the the groomer near our home had shut down. If you know the old Pudgy Pup location, that is where we were reunited. Since it was close to home and they had cage free grooming, I decided to give it a try and the it was really nice. But just like a great haircut, all groomers have different styles. I had been taking my dogs to The Pudgy Pup for awhile and they were great, but something was just a little different and I couldn’t place it. Then one day I picked up my dogs and they looked amazing!!! Imagine my surprise when I found that Joanne had moved there! That was it, I swore I’d never let anyone else groom my dogs again!
You can tell the love they have for dogs from the moment you step foot in the door. The salon is clean, there are gates to keep the pups safe, and each groomer has a separate room. Here is Wes giving a little extra love and getting a smile in return! He’s been grooming for nearly a decade and he’ll carry even the larger breeds from the tub!
First Anniversary: Fuzzy Paws Customer Appreciation
Saturday September 15th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 7102 E Baseline Rd, Mesa, AZ 85209 (480) 807-0224 Website
In honor of their first anniversary, Fuzzy Paws Pet Salon is hosting a Customer Appreciation day on Saturday! They will have Tacos Tapatio catering the event with free grilled tacos for everybody! Sides included as well as salsa bar drinks and dessert!
Free Treats for Pups
$8.00 nail trims all day
Drawing for free grooming
Call for an appointment to give your pups a spa day! They are open from 8-4 Monday-Saturday and closed on Sundays. Check their website for additional information.
Looking for your own personal branding session?
Be sure to give us a call and we’ll be sure to get images that represent your brand and your style! Branding sessions take place at your business showing what you do best and is a great way to share your passion with your clients. While headshots are included, it is equally important to share your brand story with professional photography.
Anyone who knows me knows I am incredibly picky about my nails. While I don’t personally do acrylic nails, I have used gel polish for years. I have been to nearly every nail salon in the area and have found that gel polish is just not something everyone can do correctly. I’ve gotten polish on my cuticles, bumpy polish, polish that chipped, and even been treated poorly by owners.
Formerly Thy Nails
Thy Nails has been on the northwest corner of Baseline and Power in Mesa for nearly 2 decades. Within the last year, the owners remodeled and sold the salon. Back in 2009, I had pretty much given up hope when I stumbled upon Thy Nails. Long story short, Ann & Kathy were the only place I went until 2017. They moved to another location and I missed them terribly.
Without much confidence, I decided to give the new owners a chance. I was delighted when my first gel manicure was flawless! They probably just had a lucky day, right? That was my thought. Not one single cuticle had polish on it! While I still missed Ann & Kathy, a few weeks later I decided to try them again for a full gel manicure and pedicure. After taking over in February, I’m happy to give them my personal recommendation. You won’t be disappointed!
And Now I’m Hooked
Both Victor and Johnny have worked in the nail care industry for over 10 years. Previously their families were from midwest, but they relocated to the Phoenix area a couple of years ago. They ran successful nail salons in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Tell them Michelle sent you and you’ll receive 10% off your services!
Johnny is absolutely amazing and gives the best foot massages! He and his wife, Tina, are co-owners of Utopia Nails. While Tina was off the day I visited the salon for pictures, she has done my gel manicure several times and I couldn’t ask for better service! Johnny will joke that today is his first day and we’ve had some great conversations about his home and family in Vietnam. Even though they lived in the United States at the time, his kids were born in Vietnam and they speak both English and Vietnamese.
You won’t find a better salon owner than Victor! He takes great care to be sure your nails are perfect! He and his wife are co-owners of Utopia Nails. His wife will be away from the nail salon for awhile caring for their new baby! Unlike many salons, they speak very good English. In fact, Victor was just telling me about his citizenship test and how he had to read paragraphs, as well as both speak and write in English. I was impressed! I know many people who are bilingual but learning to write English is quite the accomplishment! Congratulations on becoming an American citizen!
If you like gel polish, this is your place! They have so many colors it is hard to choose, and they even have a line of polish that includes both gel and regular! You know what that means? You can get regular polish on your toes and gel on your fingernails…and they’ll match!!! This is huge for me! For years I would try to find the closest possible matching polish for my pedicure, but this makes it easy!
Next time you stop in, check out their box of sample colors! This isn’t even close…this is just one set of available colors!
Looking for your own professional branding session?
Be sure to give us a call and we’ll be sure to get images that represent your brand and your style! Branding sessions take place at your business showing you doing what you do best and is a great way to share your passion with your clients. While headshots are included, it is equally important to share your brand story with professional photography.
I guess I’ve always loved hats. It reminds me of playing dress up when I was a little girl. Many senior girls don’t have a lot of hats, but never fear, I’m always adding to my collection! If you saw my recent post about the accessories in our Style Closet, you’ll know that this whole idea started with one hat. Specifically, a black floppy hat from Target. By 2014 I had started collecting hats and using them with every one of my teen and senior girls. Hats are such a fun way to change up your look and get even more variety for your senior pictures. If you make it to the end, you’ll get to see my favorite hat!
The Original Hat
This black floppy hat has been around forever! I still love it and bring it to every outdoor senior portrait session. Being black, it can coordinate with almost any outfit or if you want to try something fun, grab a ribbon or scarf to add to the hat!
Wearing a Floppy Hat
These floppy hats work great as summer accessories for your senior portraits, but in Arizona, you can pretty much wear them any time! This hat from our Style Closet works great with light, summer colors, sundresses, and rompers. It takes a little shaping but that’s about it. I just love how long hair flows from this hat, but long hair can be tucked up inside for a different look! And of course, short and sassy haircuts look great with floppy hats too!
Sunrise with the light colors and pastels…pure heaven! This one is quite a few years old but will always be a favorite!
Even more gorgeous desert colors in the spring, and this time we paired the hat with a tan scarf, also from our Style Closet!
Hats are a great way to frame your face and show off your eyes too!
Love the rustic look we got when paired with boots and jeans! We had a little trouble deciding how to wear the shirt. Tying it in the front did the trick!
Hats add a different style depending on your outfit. This senior portrait was taken in the fall and was featured in the Modern Teen Style’s 2014 Pictorial Issue!
I can’t explain it, but I fell in love with this adorable beret the minute I saw it! Unfortunately I’ve only had the chance to use it a couple of times, but I still love it! If you have an outfit to match (brown jacket or boots maybe?) bring them so we can give it some love again!
I have a few of these too! They make for a great urban vibe!
Light blue and dark blue, you just can’t go wrong here! Again, a little shaping goes a long way!
Do I have a favorite?
Oh yes, my favorite hat? It has to be this navy blue one from Target! I love all my hats but this is probably my favorite because it’s new and I haven’t had it long enough to bring along for my senior portrait sessions. Look out though, it’s gonna be making lots of appearances soon!
If you have hats, bring them! If you don’t have hats, check out our Style Closet and we’ll bring ours! If you don’t like hats, you will once we’re done, I promise! Hats work great for many outfits, styles, and locations so you really can’t go wrong! Here are a few more articles that show off our favorite Style Closet outfits and accessories!
It all started with a hat. One simple hat that was loved by all my senior girls. That was back in 2013 and the collection has continued to grow ever since! Maybe you’re wondering why we offer our exclusive Style Closet to our clients. Well, for one, it makes it easy to suggest small additions that will bring something special to your senior portrait session. Also, it is a lot less expensive for us to buy a bunch of items one time than to have our seniors each buy their own accessories. And finally, it lets you choose things you might not normally wear. Who doesn’t love to dress up?!?! Be sure to scroll all the way down to see my favorite piece! If you have a minute, I’d love for you to let me know what your favorites are too!
When I started this post, I intended to add pictures of everything from our Style Closet. That got out of hand really fast! So for Part I I’m going to share some of the jewelry and accessories we have available. Be sure to check back to see more of the hats and props!
It’s a Headband, a Choker, a Belt, and More!
The most versatile accessory from our style closet is this piece. Mercy wore it as a headband for the vintage part of her senior portrait session, complete with the antique phone which is also part of our prop collection. She really went all out with her acting skills here, having a full conversation with one of “her many male suitors.” Priceless, just priceless!
Then wearing the same dress, she wore this same accessory as a choker and a belt! Talk about a versatile accessory! It can also be worn as an anklet, bracelet, or necklace!
While you may have the perfect accessories, sometimes it’s fun to pick through our collection to find even more goodies! We have a couple sets that include matching necklaces and earrings.
It’s not much, but Alli loves flowers so this pewter bracelet was perfect!
Chunky bracelets are a great fashion trend for your senior portraits. This set of chunky bracelets and the long necklace were added to our Style Closet earlier this spring. We were shopping at Charlotte Russe and they were included with our purchase! In case you’re wondering, this cute top is also from Charlotte Russe.
“Hello Boys” Sunglasses
I love sunglasses, but these sunglasses are just about the cutest accessory ever! They really are just perfect for teens and senior girls! While wandering through Target with my daughter and her friend, they were joking around trying on all the different shades. And then these popped up. Let’s just say it definitely didn’t go back on the shelf! They’re the newest addition to our Style Closet, so definitely try them out!
Did I mention that this image is in the May 2018 Issue of Modern Teen Style! It was accepted for the pictorial issue which has hundreds of inspirational teen images!
If you love hats, you’ll definitely want to check out Part II: Hats and see what other fun accessories we have for your senior portraits!