Updated: Sep 28
If you read my first blog post "How I Went From Friday Night Lights to Live Wedding Painter", you will know that during the summer of 2020 is when my live painting career was born. With this new dream quickly growing and bookings flooding the calendar, it was time to improve my portfolio and website with more "live" content. Fast forward a couple months, and I had planned a small styled shoot for myself during a vacation my husband and I planned to take in Sedona, AZ. #sedona #arizona #sedonatravelguide
Details were starting to fall into place for location, rentals, and overall theme of the shoot. I was going to paint a ceremony scene in the middle of the desert, but had no one to capture it (and it definitely was not going to be my husband). Have you seen the trending videos on TiKTok where the wife shows multiple great photos she has taken of her husband on vacation vs. the TERRIBLE photos he's taken of her??? Yeah, thats my Jimmy lol. Cue Drew with Dock House Digital!!!! He was our wedding videographer, turned friend and helped mentor me in getting the business off the ground. At the time, Drew was also building his film portfolio for Adventure sessions. The trip quickly turned into a styled shoot for my business and Jimmy and I being his couple for an adventure shoot around Sedona.
Let me preface, this trip to Sedona was never meant to happen (but I'm really glad it did). We actually had a two week trip booked AND paid for in Italy for our first anniversary in June 2020. Well, we all know that it didn't happen due to COVID... I have a love hate relationship with the pandemic. Luckily we got most of our money back and the airlines credited our account with miles. We used our travel credit to book everything for Sedona the week of thanksgiving. Jimmy and I ended up getting asked to not come to the family Thanksgiving dinner due to concerns that we may have picked up COVID along the way. A family member picked us up from the airport in their minivan, with a clear shower curtain hanging up, separating them in the front from Jimmy and I in the back LOLOLOL!!! I can't make this up, and it's now one of the best stories and memories to look back on!! xD
Sedona quickly became one of our favorite vacations and it totally exceeded our expectations! It was beautiful and there is so much to do. We were there for seven nights and couldn't finish our travel to-do list. We flew into Phoenix airport and rented a car and drove to Sedona. It's a very pretty drive and the two hours goes by quickly, so I highly recommend that. We stayed at the Sky Rock Sedona, which was perfectly in the middle of town and easy to get to everything. Thew views from the back were INSANE.
Sky Rock Sedona Accommodation: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/flgsx-sky-rock-sedona/overview/?scid=f2ae0541-1279-4f24-b197-a979c79310b0
We first explored iconic spots in Sedona to get footage for Drew and our adventure session. Every spot we hiked too was even more beautiful than the last. Looking back, I can't believe I hiked half of the locations in a maxi skirt and heeled boots, but when you see the video, it was worth it!! We began early in the morning for formal shots and started at Bell Rock. We then drove out to Devil's Bridge (you'll see why it's called that below in the picture). I highly suggest driving a higher/ four-wheeled car like a Jeep. For many hikes, including Devil's Bridge, there is closer parking to the hike entrance that can only be accessed by 4WD vehicles. If I am hiking a trail thats several miles, I'm not walking another 4 miles just from the parking lot to the trail entrance.
Bell Rock Hike pictured on the left and Devil's Bridge Hike pictured on the right
A quick lunch and outfit change into some jeans, and the adventure session took a whole different turn. This honestly was my favorite part of the whole trip! #AdventureJunkie but also a scaredy-cat, so these locations can be easily reached for the intermediate to moderate hiker. We rented an ATV for the afternoon from Sedona ATV. 5/5 stars!! An absolute must. It was a little odd to me, as a suburban girl, how much free reign you have to drive these anywhere and everywhere on and off trails. Drew and I volunteered Jimmy to drive the white-knuckle trail through the rocks, and we just held on tightly with mild anxiety, but incredibly taken aback by the beauty of it all. There are rumors in Sedona of the Vortex and the spiritual experience people travel all over to witness. Not saying I was one of those people, BUT... we drive upon a spot where I felt an overwhelming amount of happiness, calm, and sense of grounding to that location. I have yet to experience something to that magnitude.
Sedona ATV; www.atvsedona.com / IG: @sedonaatv
Here is the final product to our adventure session film with Dock House Digital!!!
After a long day of shooting, it was time for rest and the styled shoot for the next day. Being a solo styled shoot, my vendor team was small but amazing to work with. The shoot was held in the back of the Red Agave Resort. They have a set spot for weddings and events to be held in the back of their property, but a wedding was going on that day so we decided to walk about 50 feet behind the property. All the florals were done by Mountain High Flowers, and I am obsessed with them. I was able to send in my budget and Pinterest board for inspiration and they create the masterpiece. Last, my rentals came from Wood n Crate Event Rentals. They are based out of Mesa, AZ about two hours away, but the owners were extremely accommodating and had their rentals drove to Sedona, unloaded, and loaded back up all in day's work. I couldn't have been more pleased with how everything came together for this solo shoot and the content we captured from it. I will recommend all these vendors over and over and over again!!! Their websites and socials are below, as well as photos from the shoot. Enjoy!
Video: Dock House Digital / www.dockhousedigital.com / IG; @dockhousedigital
Venue: Red Agave Resort / www.redagaveresort.net / IG ; @redagaveresort
Florals: Mountain High Flowers / www.sedonamountainhighflowers.com / IG: @sedonaflorist
Rentals: Wood n Crate Event Rentals / www.woodncratedesigns.com / IG: @woodncrate
Final film from the styled shoot: https://vimeo.com/486160662
*** Pictured above is the most supportive husband ever who read his book in the background while we worked away for 2-3 hours