Virginia Wedding Photographer | Brett + Arielle in Phoenix, AZ

Kara Leigh Creative is an adventurous wedding, elopement and lifestyle photographer based in Charleston, West Virginia, but serving the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. In this shoot, Kara met up with Brett and Arielle, a couple living in Phoenix, Arizona, to hike around Papago Park and explore the Desert Botanical Gardens. 

Sometimes couples sessions like this one are “just because.” You don’t need to have an engagement, or a wedding, or even an anniversary, to work with a photographer.

A few thoughts about this: 

For me, photography is about documenting life together – and life together happens in the in-between moments. It’s the late afternoon walk in the park, the snuggles on the couch, cooking dinner together, and listening to mundane stories about little wins or failures.

We live in a ultra-connected world – always available by phone, email, text, Instagram, Facebook etc. – and yet as I listen to people’s stories, I find myself sensing how deeply loneliness has filtered into the fabric of our society. We are in touch, but not connected. We don’t spend the face-to-face time we crave. We are too busy for front-porch sitting. And it seems that backyard barbecues don’t count unless they make it onto our social media stories. In the midst of trying to look as if we are living, we forget to live.

One of my favorite things about working with couples and families is that being in front of the camera necessitates being present. I ask you to engage with one another, to breathe one another in, to remember why you love the people you are with, to focus on that which is tangibly in front of you. I may be prompting you into laughter or introspection but, perhaps more importantly, my work is giving you an excuse to tap into your sense of intimacy, to re-connect you to the pieces that make up your relationships while I am documenting them.

These moments don’t need an “occasion” – they just are – and perhaps they are better served by not having one at all, so that the pressure isn’t to “look pretty” but rather to allow you to relax into being “just us.”