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

Wow. wow. WOW! What an amazing few days this has been. I can’t wait to tell you ALL about it.

Back in January, I got one of the SA-weetest emails from Jody Gray saying a. that they would love to bring their IN CAMERA Workshops to Phoenix and b. wanted to know if I would be interested in hosting them. Ummm duh! Of course I would!

And so the planning began.

Three months later, it was finally here. This past Sunday and Monday, we opened up our home to 30 photographers and got our learn on!

It was such an honor to host Zach + Jody and all of our new friends. We’re grateful for the opportunity!

Thursday night we grabbed dinner with these two lovelies right before they spoke at the Phoenix PUG group.

It was a full house that night. And Z+J straight up ROCKED it! (please forgive the crappy Iphone quality)

Peeps were all ears for the lecture portion!

Practicing proper exposure and white balance on me

Out on Day 1 Shooting + Post practicing what we learned

Having some fun!

Check out the set up and the final product



The set up to the final product

Mmmmm…my hubby makes for a sexy model!

I got ‘kokes’ed’ into modeling as well ;)

Workshop complete! We love our sweet friends :). They spoiled us even more with Nashville Starbucks mugs. Sah-weetness!

  • March 20, 2012 - 9:52 am

    Emily - Soooo jealous! Looks like it was a great time and great learning experience!!

  • March 20, 2012 - 3:39 pm

    Zach n Jody - Love!! Thanks for having us at your Suh Weet home and thanks for bein all around amazing!!

  • March 20, 2012 - 8:56 pm

    sharon elizabeth - How awesome!!!! And I just LOVE the wall to your tv! AHH!

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Dave + Desirae pledged their love and commitment to one another under the gazebo in their backyard in front of their closest family and friends.

Romantic much?!

Desirae was RADIANT! Dave wasn’t looking too bad either ;)

Their love for one another oozed from them with every sweet glance, laugh and kiss.

Congrats Dave + Desirae! You have MUCH reason to celebrate. xo stacy

I loved how they helped each other get ready. Sweetness.

Girl knows how to WORK it!

Their backyard gazebo was the perfect backdrop for their reception.

Family love up in this HOUSE!

my WORD…you two will make gorgeous babies!

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Drumroll please…it’s finally time to reveal our DIY living room remodel that we’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks.
First let me give you a background.
We have a 1500 sq ft 1970s home. Over the last 3 1/2 years we have been updating it little by little and it was finally time to tackle the living room.
The goal was to turn this drab, hodgepodge living room into a fresh, shabby chic living room all on a rather tight budget.
We decided on a few major changes that the majority of our budget would go toward:
New windows + New couches
The rest of the remodel was made possible by: my mom and dad’s awesome handy/creative skills, craigstlist,, joann fabrics, marshall’s, and of course, lowes + home depot
This is what it looked like before.
I was not a fan of the pinky tan color on the walls or the burgundy/green/black color scheme.
Overall, the decor seemed so ‘random’. This room definitely needed a better flow.

I had a love/hate relationship with the plantation shutters. I love the shabby feel that they bring to the room but I found myself rarely ever opening the windows.

I’m a huge fan of natural light so I wanted to bring some consistent light in through new windows.

Also notice that the tv/plantation shutter combo seems distracting. They just didn’t compliment one another, so one of them had to go. Like that was a hard decision!

My wonderful dad did ALL of the construction work on this project (and all the other updates on our house). He’s made our house look SO much better! Thanks Dad :)

Notice that even with the windows open, it just looks awkward.

Not for long :)

Windows out! Time to start deconstructing/reconstructing this wall

Woo hoo! Look at how pretty those new windows look!

Right after these were in, the room seemed to grow. The extra light created such a spacious effect.

Notice the window on the left is new as well. It’s amazing how new windows alone can make such a difference in the look of your house.

I decided to play it safe with paint this time and pick my favorite Behr Ultra Tea Bag green color. Almost every other time we’ve painted, we’ve had to repaint a different color because I don’t end up liking it.

We painted the green color in our bedroom last year and I absolutely LOVE it so I thought we would do the same here.

I wanted a color that was soft and soothing and that’s exactly how it feels when I walk in the room.

This next part is probably my favorite part of the whole room.

I’m slighting obsessed with old things. They have so much character.

These reclaimed barn wood planks are from a 150+ year old barn from Pennsylvania. Talk about character!

Sigh…in LOVE with these!

Here’s a peek at some of the details before I show you the whole room :)

The curtains and roman shades were made by my lovely mom. Thanks mom!

DIY remodeling in action:

We reused our old bar stools by recovering them.

My mom made these great curtains.

I bought one new eye-catching piece (the driftwood mirror) and paired it with an old desk that I already had to give it an overall fresh look.

Once again…what it looked like before.

The After!!!

The Before

The After!!!

And this is the view into the ‘dining room’. I forgot to take a before picture (sorry).

My mom had this great idea of doing a dual-color wall to make this feel like a separate space from the living room.

This is still a work in progress. We’ll be focusing on this room next!

So…what do you think of everything?!

  • March 14, 2012 - 11:28 pm

    Gabrielle - Wow! It looks great Stacy! The reclaimed wood is beautiful !

  • March 15, 2012 - 6:05 am

    Jen - Yay! Love the freshness of it. My favorite is the curtains and rug. I bet you’re loving it!

  • March 15, 2012 - 6:46 am

    Kelsey Smith - Stacy this looks ah-mazing!!! The barn wood is genious!!!!

  • March 15, 2012 - 7:25 am

    Sarah Martin - Ummm… Yes, please! It looks great! :)

  • March 15, 2012 - 7:59 am

    Dallas - Stacy, this is gorgeous. Wow, what a difference. I absolutely love the rustic wood on the walls. Awesome work :)

  • March 15, 2012 - 8:39 am

    Jessica - It looks amazing! I love it!!

  • March 15, 2012 - 9:34 am

    Elise - Looks great Stacy! You have very handy parents and good taste :)

  • March 15, 2012 - 12:44 pm

    Candice - Wow, what a difference! You all did an amazing job, you have awesome parents!

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Let me start by apologizing for missing CTM yesterday. To be honest, I’m finding it hard to keep track of what day it is lately!

My mom flew home yesterday :(. We were frantically finishing up projects up until the minute she had to leave for the airport! Thankfully my dad is here until tomorrow so we were able to work on a few more fun projects!

I have been trying VERY hard to stick to our budget, which means you need to get creative.

So my dad and I turned these old, ugly bar stools into fresh, fun, updated bar stools.

What do you think?

  • March 13, 2012 - 6:54 pm

    Jen - Stacy, are you crazy?! All this time they’ve been there and THIS is the photo we get?!!! Stop the insanity!

  • March 14, 2012 - 10:54 am

    Jessica - it looks good! :)

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This was our 2nd year at the annual WPPI photographers’ conference.

I can officially say that I LOVE going.

Joe + I hop in our car, make the 5 hour drive, stop at the local Whole Foods and we are ready to roll for the week!

We stayed at the Signature at MGM Grand. I felt totally spoiled there. Between the ginormous king sized bed, the jacuzzi tub that could fit an army and the full kitchen, we were feeling like rock stars :).

We got in on Sunday night and did what any couple would do their first night in Vegas. We went shopping LOL. Not the buy-new-things kind either, the ‘let’s window shop through stores that we totally can’t afford’ kind. It’s the best ;).

Monday officially kicked off the fun! The thing I love most about this trip is that I get to see/meet photographers from around the country that I don’t get to see very often and catch up. That’s what Monday was all about.

We went to a Showit meetup, had coffee with the AH-MAZING Zach + Jody Gray, (who are bringing their awesome workshops to Phoenix this month, fyi) attended some classes and then went to my FAV event of the trip: Photographers Unite.

Photog Unite is essentially a church/worship service for photographers who love Jesus (or want to know more about him). It’s such a powerful couple hours as we worship together as believing photographers and hear a heart-piercing message by Albert Tate of Fellowship Church. This will continue to be something I look forward to each year!

Tuesday we heard the lovely Jasmine Star speak. That girl always knows how to motivate and inspire! We also got to hear from our friends Eugene + Heather Brown who are rockin’ video in Nashville. LOVE those two!

What went down Tuesday night was beyond anything I ever thought I would be a part of. My P31 girls hooked us up! Us girls got all dolled up and went to the Palms Place PENTHOUSE for a fabulous girls night out. My jaw about dropped when I stepped into this place. It was gorgeous. And the women I meet/hung with, were even more so; inside and out!

Wednesday came quickly. Our last morning before we made the drive back to Phoenix. But it couldnt’ have been spent better. Our morning was made bright by having coffee with Eugene and Heather followed by….wait for it….a FLASH MOB! That’s right, I got to check off one of my 101 in 1001 because on 02/22/12, I was in a flash mob. And it was EPIC! I’d always wanted to be part of one, and who better to do one with than 75 of my fellow photog friends?! And yes…the video IS below.

With all our favorite photographer friends gathered in one place, we said our goodbyes then made the drive back to Phoenix.

The impressions these wonderful people made on my heart are lasting. And I can not WAIT until next time :) xo stacy


Daily Video: Flash Mob from Showit on Vimeo.

  • March 8, 2012 - 8:21 am

    Jillian Tree - Stacy I loved seeing you again!! We had such an awesome time in the flash mob :)

  • March 8, 2012 - 1:37 pm

    Charity Maurer - Aww Stacy, what a blast! Looks like you two had a good time :). P.S. I LOVE Alejandra! :)

  • March 10, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    Casia - So bummed we didn’t get to go this year! FUN was had by you guys for sure!!!

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