Carlene and Alex’s adventure engagement session was one for the books. Leading up to the session we were very worried about the weather and the trial traffic since it was Memorial Day in Sedona. I was camping out in West Sedona where for most of the day the wind was howling and the rain was come and go in down pours. Carlene and Alex were driving in from California where they had been visiting family and were texting in for weather updates. We were set to hike Cathedral Rock for their session, which isn’t the best hike to do when the Sedona Red Rocks are wet. I crossed my fingers knowing the Sedona weather changes drastically often and rain can be on one side of town and not the other.
As it got closer to their session the weather cleared, clouds parted and the sun shined. They arrived just in time and even after a long drive jumped out of the car smiling ready to conquer the trail. It was Alex’s first time hiking Cathedral and Carlene’s second. I try to hike Cathedral every time I am in Sedona, it is one of the only vortexes in Sedona that I have ever felt an immense draw to. As we hiked up the rock we chatted about how important travels are to our lives and shared many of our adventures together. Alex actually proposed to Carlene during one of their travels to the Philippines to visit family. It was their second trip there together and he popped the question right on the beach with a ring he designed and had engraved. It was so sweet because on Carlene’s backpack she had a luggage tag that I had given her when we first met which had a photo in it from the proposal! I was so excited to see she had it and thought it was the most special thing that she put that photo in there. I was in awe of all the adventures they had together in the Philippines from canyoneering, scuba diving with sharks and sea turtles and seeing the waterfalls and cliffs. I think it is so awesome Alex proposed at such a special place for them and they get to go back soon for Carlene’s grandmother’s 100th birthday, woohoo!
Their cute love story started way before the proposal though. They've been together 5 years, and they met actually at a restaurant Carlene used to work at, but met while he was working there. She had come in to eat with a friend and he served their table. She thought he was super cute and ended up leaving her number with him. They got to talking, hung out a few times and kept in touch. It was Halloween sometime later that they became a couple. He was trying to meet up with her at some of the friends houses but she was bouncing back and forth between place and by the time he finally got to her it was the day after Halloween! So he definitely had to work for it and chase her to start the relationship.
As I was photographing them once we reached the peak of the hike I noticed they had the same tattoo on their forearms and was asking them about the symbolic meaning. They told me that they try to just go with the flow of life and how water and a very specific music artist reminds them of this and the tattoo comes from a design related to a song. Carlene sent me the CD and I have linked some of the music here in the blog for you all to enjoy! I loved how when talking about music their faces lit up. They go to a lot of concerts and were telling me how they have found a sense of community in the musical culture they are apart of. After the outfit change they also put on matching necklaces that they got at a music festival that are hand made with a lot of meaning. They were so beautiful and it was just another perspective on how this couple is so well connected with each other. Alex and Carlene have such a soft sweet love and it was such a pleasure to capture them together. At one point Alex looked at me and said, doesn’t Carlene just have the most beautiful smile. My heart melted, these two are so sweet and loving towards each other and Carlene for sure has the prettiest smile and giggle! It is moments like these where I am reminded how insanely blessed I am to have this job and be able to meet couple’s like this and capture such a special part of their lives together. These two are set to wed next year at Agave, a wedding venue in Sedona. I think they are going to have the most fun, loving and music filled day!!!
“Traci is such an amazing/down to earth person to work with!….We admired her work, her adventures and was very easygoing to communicate with. We decided to take our pictures Memorial Day in Sedona at the Cathedral Rock Vortex. Couldn’t have worked out better with the weather; the clouds were breaking up from a previous rainfall, the sun was peaking through and there was a nice breeze when we reached the top. We shared giggles, got to know each other and we definitely challenged our hiking skills with our dress clothes. By the way, its not easy hiking in a dress lol. Traci made it so easy for us to be ourselves, even though I was the more nervous one. All we did was just go with the flow and the day went perfect. Thanks so much, Traci! We are honored to be your last hike in AZ and wish you lots of good vibes and safe travels! ”