How It all Began | Our Story | Arizona Photographer and Videographer

Photographer and Videographer for Wedding

Our story may not be great American literature, but it’s ours and we believe every love story is worth telling. We met 10 years ago, in your average, boy meets the girl – while she is working a summer job – kinda storyline. Our first date consisted of the batting cages and a giant size game of Jenga. What really hooked Melissa though, was the first time Stephen made his famous chicken enchiladas… did we mention Stephen was a chef?

Our wedding was a small intimate day with our absolute favorite people and it was perfect. We went antique hunting, argued over invitation inserts, and even created a step-by-step instruction manual complete with photo references of what each table would look like. It’s a big reason we are so thankful for wedding planners today!

At the end of the day, and after months or years of planning, we know better than most, it’s the way your wedding was captured that can instantly transport you back to the way you FELT on that increible day…

Truth be told….neither of us ever saw Photographer and Videographer for Wedding days as a career path…but our lives lead us on this incredible journey together. 

The First Shutter

Melissa was the type taking photos of anything and everything, but when she took a film class in high school, the old dark rooms cemented her love of photography. It was the ability to freeze a particular memory forever and how they become a time capsule to transport you immediately back. Photography became a constant hobby, but she never imagined making it a career could be a reality. She went on to graduate with a dual bachelors in education.

Stephen spent most of his life in the restaurant world. His love of service is unmatched and can make friends literally anywhere he goes. One of his biggest strengths in our dynamic is his ability to make anyone feel comfortable and at ease. Having never picked up a camera besides the one on his phone, it didn’t take long for us to figure out we were a perfect match, kinda like the ying to each other’s yang. As one of those people who is naturally good at ‘everything,’ photography quickly became a top skill of his. We had a simple Canon Rebel camera, but looking back, our settings never left AUTO. YIKES!

The Fire was lit

When we really stopped an thought about it, it wasn’t until after we were married in 2015 that a true fire was lit. Simply put, it was our own lack of research that resulted in us not properly investing into the memories of our day, we are still living in regret from that decision. It’s why we are planning an epic 10 year vow renewal! 😉

It is also why it is so important to us that we provide our couples with not only photo and films that they will cherish for a lifetime, but an experience they will never forget. We firmly believe that they way you FEEL in those moments, translates into how you feel when you look back at your wedding memories. It matters.

Photographer and Videographer for Wedding

The Cabin trip that changed everything

In 2018, we took a cabin trip with our kids that, we say, changed everything for us. After some tough talks, and a ton of prayer, we made the scary decision to both leave our full time (well loved) careers, and pursue our dreams of becoming full time wedding photographers!

We knew if we were going to become wedding photographers, it was a big responsibility. You can’t just expect to show up on a wedding day and have magic happen, we needed to know the ins and outs. We spent the better part of a year diving deep and investing into the one thing we still believe helped us build our business and serve our couples well, EDUCATION!

With Melissa’s background in education, it was an easy answer that we needed to find educators to teach us how to capture someone’s once in a lifetime memories. However, it’s not a secret that this industry is competitive.

Enter Katelyn James Education. If we ever have the chance to give Katelyn or her sweet husband Michael a hug in real life, we would probably cry. They don’t even know us, but they helped us build a business from the ground up while raising our own three children. They are such an inspiration to us everyday. In fact, our kids even know her voice and when we watch her monthly subscription, they refer to it as “KJ Days!” We have a bunch of mini photographers in the making! 😉

  • Side note: If you are looking to get into the wedding industry, we highly suggest you check out Katelyn James education. She is a Virginia based wedding photographer with over a decade of experience. Not only is she an incredible artist, she is an inspiring wife, mother, and woman who helps thousands of photographers build successful businesses. Their family story is incredible.

One of the best things she taught us was that capturing someone’s wedding is not just about taking great photos; anyone with the right training could do that. It is the experience, and the way you make them feel, that will transform how much they LOVE their photos and films.

Photographer + Videographer combined

Something we also regretted not investing in was a videographer. When we got married in 2015 this industry was vastly different. Video was so new and it didn’t seem like something worth investing in because we didn’t want a simple recording. Every year, we regret not having at least that.

Our love of freezing memories lead us to us bringing them to life! There were so many moments on a wedding day that would be captured on photo, but there would be a thought in the back of our minds – “video was needed here.” It almost always brings more emotion and allow you to really feel the entire moment. Some people say it’s weird to think of hearing their own voice in a move but we promise, it’s so much more than that. Having a more cinematic approach to our films, it is like you are watching a movie of your own day. Although we wish we had our own film to watch every year on our anniversary, it is such a thrill to be able to capture both art forms and tell the entire story.

Check out intro video

Working Together

We know working with your spouse is not for everyone. We can tell by the wild looks we get when wedding guests find out we are indeed married to each other AND work together. (That question never gets old!)

People are always so shocked to learn that we started from the ground up, together. The same went for our addition of videography. We learned and trained together every step of the way and this allows us to give our clients that seamless experience between both.

We often feel like we are one mind on a wedding day and we think that is what make our experience so boutique. It is what sets us apart when we become a united photographer and videographer team on the wedding day. Instead of dealing with what sometimes feels like the paparazzi on your wedding day, we know what moments to anticipate and what moments to allow to flow naturally. Together we have the ability to capture your day in a way that is less intrusive, while still creating cinematic magic.

Check out our most recent Photography wedding day HERE

Check out our most recent Photography + Videography wedding day HERE

Photographer and Videographer for Wedding

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Our Story |
The beginning

Kelly + Chris |
The Ashley Castle

We are published Phoenix wedding photographers and wedding videographers, engagement photographers & elopement photographers specializing in joyful, genuine and romantic story-telling images and films. We service all of Arizona including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, & beyond! 


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Wedding Photo + Films for couples who value 

Genuine & Joyful