Meet Ana and Zalo! These two and I had the absolute best time at their engagement session and nothing short of an epic adventure. As I always say, hats off to my couples for always being down to go the extra mile and put in the work to make the magic happen! These two were traveling to Arizona for a several day trip with Ana’s brother and his girl friend to check out the highlights the desert has to offer and look further into moving here from Texas. Ana and Zalo woke up in the wee hours of the morning to drive to the airport, fly to Phoenix, rent a motorcycle, drive it in the cold weather three hours North, off road with the motorcycle, adventure around a canyon and then drive back to Phoenix!! Whew, I am tired just typing that lol.
When they came to me to discuss their session they were completely open to locations. We threw around the idea of Joshua Tree and Sedona at first, but as soon as they saw this canyon they were sold. This canyon is one of my favorite places in Arizona so I was super excited. While I have photographed a couple there before for an anniversary session I still went to scout out the location to make sure getting the bike somewhere along the rim wouldn’t be a safety issue. I sent Ana & Zalo videos so they could get an idea of the land and give them a live view of the location.
The day of the session Flagstaff showed off its beauty from a recent snowfall. I knew they would be driving on the bike so I decided to pull over and snap some shots for them for later. I could not have imagined a better day for them to make this drive North, it was gorgeous out! As we neared the canyon the excitement grew and once we had the biked settled we took a moment to take in the view. In preparing for the session I knew the one of the most important things for them was the scenic experience and I think we for sure got the view they were wanting! Ana and Zalo have been together for ten years! As much as this was an engagement session it felt like a moment of celebration of their entire relationship together. They told me stories of how they met in through family and became friends at first, to how they started out as an official couple, to moving to Chicago together, times on Zalo’s motorcycle together and the time that Ana tried to learn to ride herself, to then moving back to Texas together and their proposal story in Colorado Springs. One of my favorite memories they told me about was the road trip they took together through many national parks and several states! Before the session and at the start of the session they expressed their concerns of being shy and nervous in front of the camera. I always love watching my couples blossom in front of the camera in a way they didn’t expect they might once we get the session going. Every couple’s love is different and it means so much to me to be able to capture their authentic moments together. We adventured around the canyon for a couple of hours from sunset to blue hour, which if you ask me is when this canyon really becomes an absolute show stopper. From hiking the rim, to getting the bike settled in a wet desert on a cliff and snow ball fights it was one heck of an Arizona engagement session. It was a fantastic day and I am so, so thankful that these two trusted me from a different state to help their vision come alive for their engagement session and explored in the depths of Arizona with me!
I always love working with couples from out state because it gives me a chance to share with them all of the unreal, amazing places to go see, epic hikes to go do and yummy restaurants and bars. Arizona is a place I am SO passionate about and I get so excited to hear about my couples adventures while visiting. I was lucky enough the next day after the session to meet up with Ana and Zalo and her family for dinner in Sedona. We met at Javelina Cantina, my favorite restaurant in Sedona, after they hiked Cathedral rock for dinner and (you guessed it!) Mezcal! It was such a fun time getting to know them better without the camera and sharing life stories.
Hope you all enjoy the images. Feel free to drop a comment or share the blog! Lastly, cheers to Ana and Zalo!
" role="presentation"> " role="presentation">Disclaimer: This canyon is nestled on Hopi Reservation land. The canyon is very fragile. If you decide to visit this canyon please be respectful of the Hopi, pull the proper permits before going practice leave no trace behind. If you are interested in how you can practice leave no trace behind, especially during your elopement or engagement session you can read all about it here!