Arizona Wedding-Boudoir-High School Senior-Photographer » I'm Stacy Kokes, and I photograph love...

So you’ve seen the finished product; all my favorite images that grace the blog. But what about what you don’t see? What goes on behind the scenes to get those prized shots? And more importantly, what goes on in between the shooting? I give you the 2012 SKP edition of ‘What Really Happens': Behind the Scenes/Bloopers.

I like to keep it classy, but I will NOT pass up a bride n’ groom sandwich dance opp :).

“Are you sure it doesn’t look better with me in it?!’ ;)

Sometimes the wedding party is so cool that I pretend to be a part of it…

The  ‘finger point’ of 2011 making it’s way back onto the scene

Warning: I often defy the law of  ‘personal space’

Due to my vertical impairment, the use of tippy toes mixed with ‘the client knee bend’ is a very popular move ;)

Since my second shooter is often times my husband, I often find unnecessary ‘butt shots’ such as this during my culling process.

‘Honey, we’ve been over this. As cute as you are, our clients don’t want you in their engagement photos. F’reals.’

This is what an excited ‘test shot’ looks like.

This is what happens when we’re sick of  doing ‘test shots’.

Just when I think my camera and I are best friends, it goes and hits me in the funny bone!

‘Can you see me now?’

Did I mention that I disregard ‘personal space’?!

Whoever said ‘lying down on the job’ is frowned upon never saw me shoot!

Busting out a ‘post-family formals’ happy dance. All you photogs feel me ;)

Little red light, green light action. Works every time!

Warning: I may lie and/or stand on your bed. But I promise it will be worth it!

Nah, I don’t lift weights. Shooting a ceremony with this bad boy has me covered!

Sometimes I put my brides to work ;)

Lastly, I’ve learned that sometimes you just gotta put your camera down and bust a move with the bride :)

Now you know….this is what REALLY happens! Happy New Year everyone :) xoxo

  • January 3, 2013 - 4:40 am

    Sandy Honzik - Oh how fun to see the other side! Thanks for sharing!

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Happy New Year everyone! Before I can set my sights on what 2013 has in store for us, I like to reflect back on the year we just had. As I thought back on all the wonderful memories, I came up with my top 10 SKP moments of 2012 (not in any particular order).

Top 10 of 2012

1. Two successful adoption mini session marathons: It was such a blessing to be able to use my gift and love for photography to raise money for our upcoming adoption. We busted out 11 mini sessions over the course of 2 days and raised almost 20% of our fundraising goal from those alone!

2. Staying within my range of 15-20 weddings. We ended the year with a total of 16 weddings!

3. Shooting a wedding in Estes Park, CO. Since I first visited Estes in 8th grade, I have had a soft spot in my heart for CO. It has been on my wedding ‘bucket list’ along with Hawaii, Ireland and other fun, exotic places. While I still have the other locations on my list, I am happy to say that I was able to cross Estes Park, CO off the list. Although I’m pretty certain I could shoot there all year long with no complaints!

4. Photographing my niece’s senior photos. My first-born niece Kaylee is a senior this year. I remember when she was baby like it was yesterday! When she asked me to shoot her senior portrait session, I was nothing short of honored :).

5. Collaborating on the Western Glam Styled Shoot. Christina Clark, Ashley Mullins and I collaborated on a styled wedding session with a western glam theme. The two of them put so much time and effort bringing our vision to life and I was thrilled with how it all came together. I love doing sessions like these that push my creativity and gives me the opportunity to work with such talented vendors. As an added bonus, we were featured on The Desert Bride blog!

6. Photographing our best man’s wedding. It doesn’t get much better than photographing some of our best friends’ big day. Chris was the best man in our wedding and getting to document him marrying his wife Carrie was definitely one of the highlights of my year!

7. Launching theWORKSHOP. I love exploring new areas of the business. Among my new ventures this year was the launch of theWORKSHOP.

8. Launching Beauty Boudoir. This has been a long time in the making. For a long time I went back n’ forth about adding boudoir to the SKP repertoire. I knew I had a heart for making women feel beautiful so I decided to take a new spin on the boudoir industry by launching my Beauty Boudoir line. Definitely a major highlight of 2012!

9. Hosting Zach & Jody Gray’s IN CAMERA/LIGHTING Workshop. Among the many reasons why we love the photography industry, one of the biggest would have to be our fellow photographer friends we have met throughout. We have had the blessing of getting to know Zach & Jody Gray and proud to call them friends. In March they set up shop in our house for 2 days and rocked out their InCamera & Lighting Workshops. Having them here was a total blessing and honor :)

10. Attending WPPI/Showit United. This conference is always a highlight of our year. It’s a time to get away, hang with photog friends from across the country and get pumped up for the upcoming year. We are sad to say that we won’t be making it to United/WPPI 2013 but for good reason. We’ll be hanging with our newborn son which I’m guessing will be the highlight of all highlights! ;)

There were so many great moments from 2012. What a great year! I wanted to take this time to thank ALL of my clients for making me love my job every single day. Specifically, I wanted to send love out to my 2012 wedding couples. Thank you for being such amazing clients and for treating Joe and I so well. We truly are so blessed by each and every one of you. Thank you for trusting us with one of the biggest days of your lives. Being there as a witness to your love and commitment continually blesses our own marriage and brings joy to our hearts. We wish you all a happy, health and BLESSED 2013!!!

Lots of love to ALL my 2012 clients. Thanks for making it a great year!! xo, Stacy Kokes

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Who would have thought that a simple game of shuffleboard would change their lives forever?!

Kendra + Dave met while playing a game of shuffleboard. It was ‘friends at first sight’. Yes, Kendra made Dave work for her love! After spending more time together, Kendra soon realized that this guy was special. Their friendship grew into a beautiful love story; one that will continue for the rest of their lives as husband and wife!

K+D, Congrats again on your engagement. Your wedding is going to be AWESOME!!

xo, Stacy Kokes

I loved how they incorporated their love story with these custom shuffleboard discs!

Ummm gorgeous much?!

Awww, aren’t they just the cutest?

Dressed up and lookin’ glam!

  • December 17, 2012 - 3:33 am

    Bernetta Cochran Puthoff - love the pictures, you look beautiful.

  • December 17, 2012 - 5:37 am

    Dave Hall - Beautiful! Love youall

  • December 18, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    Kendra Schultz - David and I absolutely love these photos – thank you again for doing such an amazing job Stacy!

  • December 20, 2012 - 2:08 am

    Tammy Riley Golbach - Love your pictures…My beautiful kids!!! <3

  • December 20, 2012 - 2:11 am

    Cindy Willis - Beautiful pictures. :)

  • December 20, 2012 - 3:57 am

    Betsy Bailey - david Riley, you are precious and what a beautiful fiancee, Kendra – I am so happy for you both – love you!

  • December 21, 2012 - 2:08 am

    Susan Forman - Love the photos… but then you can’t take a bad photo when the subjects are so wonderful and in love… congrats

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Our first round of mini sessions were so much fun that we decided to do another. And the turn out for round 2 was more than we could have asked for! Joe and I had the pleasure of doing SEVEN back-to-back mini sessions last week with all of the proceeds going towards our adoption fund. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone who came out on December 1st to support us. We are grateful for your donation and excited that we are able to bless you with some images :).

Perhaps a Round 3 should happen…?? Stay tuned!

We started the afternoon with our good friends and fellow adoptive family, the Hagensens. We LOVE this family more than words can say :)

Next, I had the pleasure of photographing Irena + Bogdan, parents of one of my recent brides. They have been married 34 years and this was their FIRST professional photo session together. They rocked it!

Next was fellow photographer Stacey Poterson and her adorable family. They are such a trendy lil’ bunch!

Next up: the Bates! Joe and Victoria are good friends of ours. Their two daughters are adorable as they come. We love this family!

Lil’ Owen gave me my workout for the day. This kiddo is quick on his feet and absolutely adorable. Little boys in bow-ties steal my heart in an instant!

Next was Jessie+Conrad. They swore that they were camera shy but I just couldn’t believe them. These two brought it!

Last on the agenda was one of my former wedding couples: Chris + Liz Burns. Only this time there were two additions: their adorable german shephards. As always, Chris+Liz brought their hilarious, quirky, awesomeness to the table. They were the perfect couple to end the night on a high.

Thanks again to everyone who came out for this fundraising event. We are blessed by your giving!!!

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My dog has urinary incontinence. Happy Monday, everyone! I have a feeling this is going to be very random today. But seriously, my Faith dog was officially diagnosed with urinary incontinence today. The poor girl wets her doggy bed when she’s in a deep sleep which leaves me on cleanup duty. Thankfully we got her some medication that is supposed to stop this issue. However, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m having to clean up potty messes just months before our baby boy arrives. I think the Lord is preparing me for what’s to come LOL!

I think the store Hobby Lobby exists outside of time. Usually when I go, I have a goal in mind; buy this and that and then get out. But whenever I leave and finally check the time, somehow several hours have passed. It’s one of the only places where I can go hours without checking my phone, my email or facebook. Instead I just daydream about all the fun projects I want to do or how I know the perfect spot for the latest piece I find. Sweet, sweet Hobby Lobby :)

Today I got to be a participant in someone’s dissertation research. The topic…Adoption and Blogging. I was so, SO excited to get to share our adoption story and why I chose to blog about it. I may be a bit biased, but I think this is the coolest dissertation topic EVER! I am just blown away by the ways in which the Lord is connecting us to some amazing people through this process :).

T-59 until our son is born! I am trying to make the most of this time by getting the nursery ready, reading mommy books and having some ‘me’ time. I have about a half dozen half read books on my shelf right now. I always tell myself that I’ll read it later…when I have more time. With baby B’s arrival right around the corner I realized, NOW IS THE TIME! I have made it a point to finish some of the books that are sitting on my shelf while starting new ones as well. Today I finished ‘the Explicit Gospel’ by Matt Chandler. Ummm…incredible! Now I’m onto Dr. Sears’ ‘The Baby Book’, ‘Shepherding a Child’s Heart’, ‘Give them Grace’ and ‘Future Men’. Looking forward to enjoying my quiet time while I still have it!

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