Rockin U Photography: Blog en-us (C) Rockin U Photography (Rockin U Photography) Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:20:00 GMT Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:20:00 GMT Gabe + Alyssa (Surprise Proposal!) Gabe has quickly earned a special place in our hearts. Without getting all mushy on you we'll just leave it at that. When he mentioned that he had bought an engagement ring and wanted the proposal captured, I knew we had to do something special!

Gabe and Alyssa have been together since they were 15...that's 10 years! We talked for a couple of weeks, trying to choose locations and such. Gabe thought Alyssa would like something with more of a rustic feel, so we decided to shoot in Wickenburg rather than closer to their home in the Valley. So under the disguise of giving her a birthday gift of a couple's portrait session, we planned the shoot for her birthday day of March 1st. 



For the first time in my career RAIN made us cancel the shoot! I know Gabe is just dying here, wanting to propose so badly. We reschedule for two days later. 

Two hours before our scheduled shoot's raining again! But there's a break in the clouds and the forecast is looking good, so we are going for it!

For about 30 minutes we just act like this is a normal couple portrait session. They are seriously so cute together. 







The big moment arrives and, yes, he pulls the ring box out of his shoe! I had been wondering where he was keeping it. ;)







She said yes. :)

We move right into engagement pictures. 



And then the glorious sunset...








Congratulations Gabe & Alyssa! We loved capturing this moment for the two of you. May your future be richly blessed. 

]]> (Rockin U Photography) engagement proposal propose ring surprise wedding ring Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:02:38 GMT
Adam + Ashley ~ The Wedding Bowl ~ La Jolla, CA Ashley has always dreamed of a beach wedding. On March 8, 2014 her dreams came true! Ashley was an absolutely stunning bride. The beach and the weather were perfect! The ceremony took place at The Wedding Bowl in La Jolla, California. The wedding party and family all stayed at the Scripps Inn which is directly across the street from The Wedding Bowl. This was so wonderfully convenient, not to mention the hotel itself is lovely. 


]]> (Rockin U Photography) Azules Beach California La Jolla Rockin U Photography Scripps Inn The Wedding Bowl Waves bride groom photographer photographs wedding Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:40:43 GMT
Two Guns Ranch & Gold Rush Days Parade I got to hang out with all these fun people from Two Guns Ranch this past weekend for the Gold Rush Days Parade. I was amazed at how much work it takes to prepare the horses and carriage for the day. They worked nonstop all morning getting everything ready. Down to the glitter on the horse's hooves - every last detail was thought out. It was great fun to see it all in action! 



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To see the video/slideshow from the day click here:

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Arizona Carriage Gold Rush Days Horses Parade Percherons Rockin U Photography Two Guns Ranch Wickenburg photographer Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:22:43 GMT
Wes & Sara {Arizona Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer}

Wes and Sara got married at the beautiful Van Dickson Ranch in Skull Valley, Arizona. 

Sara's family had rented a large cabin in Prescott, so Sara and the bridal party all got ready there. 

Sara's family had rented a large cabin in Prescott, so Sara and the bridal party all got ready there.


Sara and her sweet flower girl.


  The groom and his brothers. These boys had fun together! FB_1005Wes and his brothers. The boys a fun together!

The venue is a working ranch and beautifully landscaped. Lots of grass and large old trees provide a wonderful backdrop.

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I love it when a bridal party is this much fun! It did take a quite a few attempts to get everyone airborne at the same time!


Aww she had so much fun at her wedding.

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See how they look at each other? So much love...

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]]> (Rockin U Photography) Photographer Rockin U Photography Skull Valley Van Dickson Ranch arizona bride fun wedding pictures groom love photographer photographs wedding wickenburg Fri, 10 Jan 2014 14:20:17 GMT
The Revolution I read this on my FB feed and thought it was wonderful. So for all you young parents out there here is some encouragement. Take time to sit and play, and discover, and talk. You'll have plenty of time for all the other stuff later…trust me. :)


I want to read your words before they are kept under lock and key—for your eyes only.

I want to watch you laugh and be silly before I am no longer your favorite audience.

I want to admire your choice in color combination and accessories before my opinion on fashion is politely ignored.

I want to listen to your nighttime secrets before the bedroom door shuts, and I’m standing outside listening to your favorite song drift out from beneath the crack.

I want to look into your eyes and ask, “What’s on your mind?” before I am no longer privy to your hopes, dreams, worries and fears. 

I want to say yes before your invitations are reserved for people your own age. 

I want to know you,
Listen to you,
Love you,
Before things change, and you're not my little girl anymore. 

With each passing year, the map of my child’s life expands to reveal a new section of uncharted territory. And although it might be tempting to retreat to separate paths, separate rooms, and separate screens—I must stay the course. This means I must accept the rare and important invitations that sound like this: 

“Hey, Mom, check this out.” 
“I want to show you something, Mom.”
“Wanna see what I’ve been doing?”

I must hear things that are not going to be easy to hear.
I must answer questions that are not easy to answer.
I must love a child that may not always be easy to love. 

But if I make a conscious effort to accept his invitations now, perhaps I will still receive them later; I can only try. 

Whether I am in familiar or unfamiliar territory with him, one thing remains constant: he is my child, and I will love him as much as humanly possible in the time that I am given. 

And on the days I feel like I’m staring at a stranger, I will try more than ever to be ALL there—because in the midst of our busy, media-saturated, overscheduled lives, taking time to really know someone is the ultimate act of love.

© Rachel Macy Stafford 2013 

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Fri, 10 Jan 2014 13:49:36 GMT
Peanut Butter Cups Peanut butter cups have never been my favorite indulgence. But when I saw how easy this recipe was I had to give it a try. Here's the original recipe:

I must say these are just so good!! 


  • 2 bags chocolate chips (I used chocolate dream)
  • 3/4 C. milk (I used almond milk)
  • roughly 3/4 C. peanut butter
  • Yes that's it!


This chocolate melts very smooth and creamy. I tried another brand and didn't like it as much.

Get a mini muffin tin and line it with papers. Put 1/3 of the chocolate in a glass bowl and put the bowl into a pan with water creating a double boiler. Set heat to medium low and stir constantly until all the lumps are gone. Remove bowl from heat and pour the rest of the chocolate in. If you are thinking of heating the chocolate some other way, be sure to research "tempering chocolate" before you do. I ruined the first batch of these I made by heating the chocolate at too high of a temperature. Well...they weren't really ruined - we still ate them. ;)



Fill each cup about 1/3 of the way.



Put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set up. Add a small spoonful of peanut butter to each one, then fill to the top with the rest of the chocolate.  Put back in the freezer for a couple of hours...then ENJOY!!

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In the recipe linked above, she leaves them in the freezer. They are pretty tough to bite into frozen so I prefer the refrigerator. 

* I decided to add some nuts to mine and all I had were cashews. So I ground them in to small pieces and added to the chocolate that goes on the top. It was a good choice! Love the extra crunch. 



]]> (Rockin U Photography) Mon, 07 Oct 2013 02:01:15 GMT
Black Bean Tacos I love just about anything that comes with avocado and salsa on it!

I came across this recipe here:

 When I find a new recipe I want to try I "pin it" to one of my Pinterest boards. Once I have tried it, if I love it, then I move it to my "Tried It, Loved It" board. I like things simple ;)

This recipe is so easy and the tacos reheat really well. 


  • 2 C. black beans, cooked
  • 1/2 C. red onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 4-6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • salsa

In a medium bowl add the beans, onions and spices. Mash together.


Using a pan or griddle, heat to medium low, add a little olive oil. Place the tortillas on the griddle to heat. Flip the tortillas then add the bean mixture and cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and pat it down gently. Cook until tortilla is brown then flip to other side. Top with avocado and salsa! So good...


]]> (Rockin U Photography) Sat, 05 Oct 2013 15:18:19 GMT
Cody, Katie & Baby {Arizona Portrait and Destination Wedding Photographer}

Cody and Katie are so excited about adding to their family! They wanted a creative and fun way to reveal the gender to all their family. We scouted locations and picked a small park in town. 

They were scheduled for an ultrasound at 2:00 p.m. and the gender reveal party was at 7:00. If all went well and baby cooperated they would be able to share the exciting news with their family. 

I got a phone call about cooperated and they were able to see the gender. Party is a go!!




The plan is to have everyone cast a vote by wearing pink or blue. There were pink and blue balloons and a box filled with balloons for the reveal. The family was so great! They all had fun wearing their color choice!


And then...


The big reveal!!



Congratulations Cody & Katie :)


]]> (Rockin U Photography) Tue, 06 Aug 2013 14:48:00 GMT
Tellan & Marissa {Arizona Portrait and Destination Wedding Photographer}

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town - Albuquerque, New Mexico - July 26, 2013

Tellan and Marissa chose the beautiful Hotel Albuquerque for their wedding day. The ceremony was under the pavilion and the reception was set up under a tent in the garden area. 


The bride and bridesmaids got ready in the bridal suite of the hotel - a large and lovely room with a balcony.

#2 So many special touches went into the planning. Everything was just so beautiful!



#4 Tellan and Marissa wanted to wait until Marissa was walking down the aisle for their first look. So without seeing each other, they exchanged letters and prayed together before the ceremony.

Lloyd_1433 It's so hard for dad's to let go of their little girls...

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A delicious dinner had been served and best man was preparing for the toast when the storm hit. I read reports of 89 MPH winds and 2-4 inches of rain. One report said a tornado touched down somewhere in Albuquerque! The hotel staff moved us into the Fireplace room and the power went out! But that didn't stop the celebration! The toasts continued in the dark.


 The staff prepared a ballroom and we all moved there. We still had no power and the only light was from a few small backup lights running on reserve power. The DJ could not play any music so the musicians that played during the ceremony brought their instruments in and as you can see the dancing went on as planned! It was a bit of a challenge from a photography standpoint, but we made it work.

#6 A silly storm could not stop the celebration!



Because of the storm we couldn't do the sparkler exit...but they don't seem to mind :)


The power was still out and the rain was down to a drizzle. We had one more shot we had to get. With a battery powered video light to guide us through the debris and darkness, we made our way out to the fountain. We did a quick setup of two flashes and the video light. Groom's brother is hunkered down behind the fountain holding a light and we used the flashlight app from my iPhone to light Tellan and Marissa so I could focus. this shot! What a "Grand Finale"!

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I believe it's the start of a beautiful and blessed marriage and we are so very grateful to have been a small part of it.

If you would like to read Tellan and Marissa's story - told in Marissa's words, click on the link below to read her blog.


]]> (Rockin U Photography) albuquerque bride groom hotel old town photographer photographs pictures wedding Fri, 26 Jul 2013 14:48:00 GMT
Colin, Emily & Jenna It's always a bit of a shock to me to see the "kids" I've know since they were in grade school, actually grow up. I know they will, I've watched my own do it...but still it seems to surprise me. I've know Colin & Emily for over 20 years I guess. Living in a small town, you can't help but be involved in some part of their lives, through school, sports and life events. I had the privilege of seeing my son perform Colin & Emily's wedding ceremony in 2009. Now that was pretty cool. They were married on June 20th which just happens to be my parent's wedding anniversary. After losing my dad this past March, that date is even more sentimental to me. 

So on to the exciting news! Jenna Lovelle Morse arrived yesterday! She weighed in at 8 lbs 6 oz and everyone is doing well. 

Colin and Emily...congratulations. I am so thrilled for you and your little family. I know you will be awesome parents - Jenna is one blessed little girl. xo

PTM Storyboard 3 Up


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]]> (Rockin U Photography) Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:41:06 GMT
Racquel {Senior 2013} Racquel is one of those rare young ladies that is beautiful, smart and talented...but remains humble and grounded. We met out at her famiy's ranch for her senior portrait session. This was the first time I encountered the problem of keeping goats out of my camera bag ;) 

On their property is this VERY cool old wood shed. After Racquel's very brave mom did a little snake recon...we went in for some shots. 


The light was so beautiful coming through the trees so next we did some backlit shots. 

Me: "spin in a circle"

Racquel: "like all the way around?"

Me: "yes, all the way around"

And then this happened...haha!

PTM Storyboard 3 Up

As the light was fading we ended the session on the road that winds through their ranch on off into the desert. 


20130425_1098 It was one of those shoots that reminds me why I love what I do so much. xo

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Thu, 20 Jun 2013 03:06:45 GMT
Pizza! Pizza was on the menu tonight! It was delicious!


I found this pizza recipe and have made it a few times. It's pretty simple and easy to make (which is always a plus!). 

The dough recipe makes enough for 2 - 15" round pizzas. I used all the dough in this 11x17 pan.

Ingredients for the dough:

1-1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1-1/4 cup water

1/4 cup warm water for the yeast

1 packet yeast

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1-1/2 teaspoon salt 

(I added some some garlic powder, onion powder and italian seasoning)


Oil the inside of a large bowl and set aside. This is for the dough to rise.

Pour 1/4 cup warm water in a large warmed bowl. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes. Then stir in the remaining water (1-1/4 cup), oil and salt.

Add the flours and stir until pretty well blended. It will not be smooth.

Turn out onto a floured counter and knead until smooth, adding a little more flour when you need to keep it from sticking. A little sticky is okay. Form into a ball. Place the dough ball in the large greased bowl and turn the dough so that it gets oil on all sides. If you don't do this you will get a dry crust on the outside of the ball. Cover the bowl and set aside (out of a draft) until the dough has doubled in size - 40 to 60 minutes.

Divide the dough in half for 2 - 15" pizzas. Shape the dough into balls and set on a floured counter.

Cover again with a towel and let rise another 20-30 minutes. You can freeze the balls at this point or roll them out and freeze flat.

Put the dough on your pizza pan. Push out with your fingers to the size of pizza you want. Cover with a towel again and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.


20130310_6889 The dough ready for all the goodies!

For toppings I added pizza sauce - I would love a homemade recipe if anyone has one. Normally I avoid all dairy, but I did add some low fat mozzarella cheese. 

Also vegetable "sausage" that I actually found at Safeway, spinach, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and pineapple.

20130310_6893 Ready for the oven (preheat to 425 and cook for 20 minutes)

This is actually A LOT of pizza so would be good to make when you have a crowd to feed!

Link to the original recipe:

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Mon, 11 Mar 2013 03:29:52 GMT
Birch Family I just knew this was going to be so much fun when Danielle called and scheduled her family's photo shoot. She said the boys were going to be all decked out in their cowboy duds. What's cuter than little cowboys?




It was obvious that Conner is completely comfortable in front of the camera. He even had his own ideas of how and where to pose! I could take pictures of him all day long. One picture that was a must have was with his cool shades.



Little Cooper was the entertainment :) He is so adorable and was a perfect one year old. 



I have to say that I just love it when the people I photograph have their own unique ideas for their photo shoot.

Danielle and KC had sweet boot bottoms so we got a shot of them!



And Cooper had to get in on the action and try to bite the boots! :)



This has to be one of my favorites - maybe because I raised two boys as well - it's just so cute to see them interact. Cooper is a typical little brother - looking up to his big brother. Conner is patient and caring - he's a GREAT big brother.



To see the full gallery of photos click here:

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Mon, 18 Feb 2013 23:46:11 GMT
Brinkley Family In Arizona there's always the heat, dust and cactus. So when we ventured out into the desert for the Brinkley family photo shoot, I wasn't really thinking about how muddy it would be. Oh and it was cold. But the desert was beautiful. Because of recent rains it's just starting to turn green. 


I love how the cholla cactus appears to glow in the sunlight.

20130212_2616 It's no fun when it gets stuck to you though!


I know the family is happy to have Jake home from Korea - even for a short time. Enjoy your family time!

Thanks for your service Jake.

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Fri, 15 Feb 2013 22:01:07 GMT
Keenan It was Keenan's last day in Wickenburg before flying back to Montana. I guess we are a bit spoiled here because we usually have such great weather. We only consider it in the summer when it's so hot. Well we had storm clouds, wind and it was cold! We braved the temperatures and got some great shots!

This was the 5 minutes the sun peeked out!

I was excited when I saw water in the tank :)20130210_2341

Keenan said he is on his way to medical school. In fact he just got back from a medical mission trip to Mexico!

Good luck Keenan...I know you will do great things!

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Tue, 12 Feb 2013 15:27:25 GMT
Nancy - Senior 2014 Nancy says she has lived her entire high school career in the Del Webb Center. She wanted her senior pictures to show what that was like. So that's just what we did! It was a great way to kick of the season for the 2014 Seniors!!

Performing at the Webb Center20130205_1946

Performing in the Webb Center



I dared her...she did it :)


Sit back and enjoy the slide show!


]]> (Rockin U Photography) Tue, 12 Feb 2013 15:27:06 GMT
New for 2013 This is my VERY FIRST blog post! 


With the launch of my new viewing/ordering site, I have incorporated a blog. My desire is for the blog to be a place to share photos on a bit more personal level. There are so many amazing and interesting things I learn about people while taking their photographs. I believe that information should be shared! 


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The blog will also be a place to share my new adventure...eating whole food, plant based. This is an ongoing learning experience! I am always looking for and trying new recipes. Some are keepers...some are NOT! So for those interested in eating in a healthier way, my hope is that this will be a place for us to learn, share and motivate each other to a healthier lifestyle. 


And last...a safe place to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and consider His word. Let's discuss, learn, share and grow together!  

 I'm excited to get started and see where it leads. I hope you will enjoy it


How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you;
    let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

Blessed are you, O Lord;
    teach me your statutes!

With my lips I declare
    all the rules of your mouth.

In the way of your testimonies I delight 

as much as in all riches.

I will meditate on your precepts

    and fix my eyes on your ways.

I will delight in your statutes;

    I will not forget your word.

                  Psalm 119:9-16

]]> (Rockin U Photography) Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:01:00 GMT