Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.: Blog https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Monika Cheang Photography, LLC. (Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Sun, 27 Jun 2021 22:53:00 GMT Sun, 27 Jun 2021 22:53:00 GMT https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u703392510-o633592223-50.jpg Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.: Blog https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog 120 80 Senior Portraits 2021 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2021/1/senior-photos-2021 Senior Portraits 2021

This is a special year for these seniors.  They are navigating through all the challenges this year has to offer, and still come out strong and looking great for the future.  Wishing all of you health, wealth, and happiness.

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) best Phoenix Photographer best photographer Best Scottsdale Photographer cactus Shadows photographer cave creek photographer CCUSD93 CSHS event photographer headshots Scottsdale photographer senior portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2021/1/senior-photos-2021 Wed, 20 Jan 2021 05:32:46 GMT
My Most Challenging Clients https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2020/10/my-favorite-people My Most Challenging and Favorite Clients

   My own family is my most difficult client to please.  But, I will treasure the images I take of us every day for an entire year until we do it all over again next year.  We plan for this day as a family from June until the weather cools down by October, when family photo season begins in Arizona.  This is my favorite time of the year, since it was the month that our oldest daughter, Emily, was born
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Emily and her sister, Sofia, wanted to show my clients what to do when in a photo session. First, cell phones must be put away.  Then you have both hands free to pose.  

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The poses for siblings need to look natural, not awkward.  The girls demonstrate both here:  

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What is most important, is not to lose the attention of your clients.  Obviously, I failed to do that very quickly with my family. 
 

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In the end, the final product is always worth the effort!

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Call me to capture your family portraits

480-229-6252
 

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Best family photographer best photographer in Cave creek best photographer in Scottsdale cave creek photographer certified professional photographer family photographer professional photographer scottsdale photographer Senior pictures shutterfly https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2020/10/my-favorite-people Wed, 28 Oct 2020 05:59:13 GMT
Senior Portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2020/3/graduation-photography Here's to all the High School Seniors Graduating this year!

There's still time to book your graduation photo session with me.

Call/txt Monika @ 480-229-6252

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2020/3/graduation-photography Sun, 08 Mar 2020 20:09:54 GMT
Engaged_in_Arizona https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2020/2/engagedinarizona Did you just get Engaged?!  Congratulations!

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed about all the wedding planning ahead of you, 

here are some freebies and coupons to get you started!

25% off save the date cards with code ENGAGED25 at Minted

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Free Personalized Save the Date Sample
 

 

 

Contact Monika to schedule a photo session

monikacheang@gmail.com

480-229-6252

 

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taxes_and_photography https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2020/2/taxseasonandphotography  

Taxes and Photography Business

It's that time of the year...tax season... ugh!  I used to absolutely dread this part of my photography business.  Like most creative/right brained thinkers, this is probably the least favorite part of what we do as photography business owners.  It wasn't until I met my CPA, Linda, that I began to appreciate and actually look forward to a review of my taxes each year.  Linda and I began our professional relationship in 2011, when I first started Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.   My record keeping was a mess at first and it took days and days before I could sit down and have something ready for her at our appointment.  Linda is a business owner herself, and she always had useful feedback for me that helped me to grow my business each year.  Linda never made me feel like I couldn't get it together.  She taught me to plan and organize my business with a tax review in mind throughout the year.  She provided me with business tools and skills that I use every day in my work.  Over the years I have noticed myself needing less time preparing before we met to review.  Now I know exactly where I stand as a business day to day, and where I want to be by the end of the year.  Thank you, Linda, for never giving up on me, and always showing me firm, but kind support.  This is a lady you have to meet!  This is my CPA, Linda Bee, with her beautiful daughter, Tatiana. She is not just our CPA, she is my client, and a dear friend. 

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Cave Creek Wedding by Sunset https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/12/cave-creek-wedding-by-sunset A Sunset Wedding in Cave Creek

It was a magical night, a wedding by sunset in Cave Creek at the Arizona Rustic Weddings in Frontier Town.  What an absolutely perfect night to get married!  The couple was glowing with happiness all night. 

Wishing Chris and Deanna all the best as they begin their life together.  

Venue at Arizona Rustic Weddings in Cave Creek

Cake is by Silver Rose Bakery

Flowers by Brady's Floral

Food by Harold's

Photography by Monika Cheang

Arizona Rustic WeddingsArizona Rustic Weddings Cage Creek BrideCage Creek Bride
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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona wedding photographer best cave creek photographer best family photographer best photographer in town best scottsdale photographer best scottsdale wedding photographer best wedding photographer Cave Creek Chapel Cave Creek Photographer certified professional photographer event photographer professional photographer scottsdale family photographer Scottsdale wedding photographer wedding Photographer wedding Photographer in Cave CreeK https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/12/cave-creek-wedding-by-sunset Sun, 22 Dec 2019 05:38:52 GMT
Me4Kidz https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/12/me4kidz Me4Kidz

 

You might know by now I'm a HUGE fan of people, especially families and family-owned businesses.  I cannot tell you enough good things about this wonderful family and their business, Me4Kidz.com.  They are not just my clients, they are a part of this wonderful Cave Creek community of good people doing good things.  ME4KIDZME4KIDZME4KIDZ

Me4Kidz offers kid-friendly first-aid kits that are non-toxic, bpa free, earth-friendly, Pediatrician approved, and latex free.  They really are a company that cares, because they are partnered with non-profit organizations that provide work for those of various disabilities.  In doing so, most of their products are put together by loving and caring individuals with disabilities.

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This family is truly devoted to their work, their community, and most of all, they care about each other.  When we met to create images for their products, the Nassos' united as a family to supported each other fully.  I am so proud to play a small part in their continued good work.  Here's an excerpt from a poem written by Richelle Nassos, as she reflects on the year.  Her words describe who they are better than I ever could.  I know I'm doing something right when I get to work with good people like the Nassos Family, and Me4Kidz.  

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excerpt from Poem by Richelle Nassos

2019 was a year of great reflection

Deep appreciation of HIS protection

Our kids are growing up in front of our very eyes

We are humbly aware that they are our greatest prize

The scripture tells us "we brought nothing into this world...

& we can bring nothing out of it." (1 Timothy 6:7)

So on that note - be bold with your sharing

In a world where you can be anything - be kind & caring,

We are well aware our days are numbered...one by one

From the beautiful sunrise until each sunset is done.

Be Present as your days get pressed with life & work

And mindful that each moment is a blessing & a true perk.

Speaking of perks - I Love my work and my little family tree

It's not always easy but what fun would that be?

Our boys - the beautiful notes in my every song

They fill my cup & keep me going so strong! ....

ME4KIDZME4KIDZME4KIDZ ME4KIDZME4KIDZME4KIDZ

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) band-aid stock photography best phoenix photographer child photographer in phoenix me4kidz photographer in cave creek photographer in scottsdale https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/12/me4kidz Tue, 03 Dec 2019 20:29:15 GMT
Arizona Rustic Weddings https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/11/arizona-rustic-weddings An Arizona Rustic Wedding

 

This is a beautiful story of Brigitte and Austin and how they met by chance.  I love stories like theirs, because they met in the most unlikely way.  Brigitte met a friend at work who was deaf and was so inspired by her, she decided to become an interpreter.  Brigitte said she immersed herself in the environment and the culture, and began attending a weekly Deaf group at Desert Ridge Marketplace.  " It was only my second time there that I locked eyes with this cutie across the room," Brigitte said.  She gave him her number and the rest is history.  Thank you, Brigitte, for sharing your story with us!  I'm so glad I was your wedding photographer and a part of your beautiful wedding day!  I wish you the best life together!    Venue at Arizona Rustic Weddings, Flowers by Brady's Floral,  Cake and desert buffet by Silver Rose Bakery, Food by Harrold's. DJ Dave Wotrkins

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) best photographer in scottsdale best wedding photographer in cave creek best wedding photographer in Phoenix cave creek photographer cave creek wedding photographer professional photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/11/arizona-rustic-weddings Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:57:04 GMT
Strawberry Arizona 2019 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/9/strawberry-arizona-2019 Visit to Strawberry, AZ

For our 16th Wedding Anniversary, we planned a trip to Fossil Creek in Strawberry, AZ. 

Our stay began at the famous Strawberry Inn.  As far as the kids were concerned, this boutique hotel could have been our destination in and of itself.  It was perfect, with games on the lawn and connecting rooms to accommodate larger families.  It is a very romantic place as well. Strawberry InnStrawberry InnStrawberry Inn Strawberry InnStrawberry InnStrawberry Inn Strawberry InnStrawberry InnStrawberry Inn Strawberry InnStrawberry InnStrawberry Inn Strawberry InnStrawberry InnStrawberry Inn Strawberry InnStrawberry InnStrawberry Inn

For Sofia, the porch was a place for knitting.

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This was the PERFECT location for a little family photo shoot too!

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HAPPY 16th ANNIVERSARY TO US!

Fossil Creek

This is the exit near Camp Verde, and takes a 14 mile dirt road to get to, but very satisfying and worth it once you get there!  The hike is just a mile, if you get the prime parking spot, in lot 1.  To check out information on needed permits, go here:  https://www.recreation.gov/permits/251863

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Some of our local favorites in Strawberry:  MamaJo's, the Italian restaurant across the street from our hotel.  The people there are very welcoming, with food and desert to the max!  Also great is the Pine Creek Lavender Farm for local fresh lavender products, and The Randall House for some really great pie.  

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Sofia found scrunchie heaven at the Farmer's Market!

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Thank you, Strawberry Inn for a wonderful stay! 

To visit, go here:  https://www.thestrawberryinn.com/ Strawberry, ArizonaStrawberry, ArizonaStrawberry, Arizona

We will definitely visit and stay at Strawberry Inn again!

Cave Creek PhotographerCave Creek PhotographerCave Creek Photographer

Monika Cheang is a Certified Professional Photographer, based out of Cave Creek, Arizona.  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) AZ wedding photographer cave creek photographer fossil creek lavender farm professional photographer randall house strawberry az strawberry inn wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/9/strawberry-arizona-2019 Mon, 16 Sep 2019 22:58:52 GMT
Stock Photos and Wall Art https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/9/stock-photos-and-wall-art Stock Photography and Wall Art

 

If you know me, you KNOW I capture images daily.  I can't imaging life without photography.  My husbands says it's because I have a terrible memory and that is my way to document the moment in case I forget.  He might be right, but I just call it my art expression.  Nevertheless, what you may NOT know about me, is that I am an ADOBE Stock and IStock Photo contributor.  What that means, is that I actually get paid to capture these "art expressions."  Through this process, I have learned a lot about what is considered a "quality" image.  Not all submitted images get accepted, and there is a list of rules that must be followed in order for the image to qualify.  I would recommend all professional photographers to submit images for consideration.  It's really a humbling experience.  I wanted to share with you some images that have sold so far, through Stock, private clients, and other art websites.  I also sell them through my website by following the link here:            

https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/stockandwallart2019
I also take custom orders for an image, if you should have a specific request.  Call/txt me @ 480-229-6252.  Thanks for reading! -Monika

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona photographer best arizona photographer best cave creek photographer best family photographer best landscape photographer best phoenix photographer best professional photographer best scottsdale photographer cave creek photographer landscape photographer Phoenix Family Photographer phoenix photographer professional photographer scottsdale photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/9/stock-photos-and-wall-art Mon, 16 Sep 2019 22:58:33 GMT
Fall Family Photography 2019 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/8/fall-family-photography-2019 HOW TO HAVE STRESS-FREE FAMILY PHOTOS!

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The time is here for outdoor family photos!  This is my favorite time, when families take a break from the daily hustle, and dedicate an hour of their time to be together and celebrate who they are.  Family reunions happen all year long, but there's something very special about this time of the year.  It's also one of the best times to be outside and take pictures in Cave Creek and the surrounding Phoenix area.  I have lived in Arizona for over 35 years now, and I never get tired of "winters" in Arizona. 

Unfortunately, the Holiday time of the year seems to also be the time many families feel increased stress.  One of the biggest reasons for this stress is the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves of what the season should look like.  For many years now, I have been a part of creating lasting family portraits.  I'm here to assist you from beginning to end, so that you get the results you are looking for, in a stress-free environment.  I am always honored to be asked to photograph such a special day for your family, as if it was my own.  I would like to share with you a few things we do in our family to get this process done in time, stress free and enjoyable.  I want this to be YOUR stress-free day for you and your beautiful family.

1.  Plan Ahead:  As soon as summer ends and school begins, we discuss the location and color choices.  We look through closets and throw clothes on the bed to see how we will compliment each other.  We begin with the most difficult or most particular person to dress first, and work our way around them until we end with my husband, who is always easygoing.  In clue what to wear?  Get an idea from Holiday Cards you've received from others, brainstorm with your photographer, and have fun with it.   

 

2.  Schedule the date and time:  Call your photographer and schedule your session.  The earlier you schedule, the more likely you will get the date and time of your choice.  You want to give yourself enough time to pick out your favorite images, get back your prints, and send out cards, gifts, etc.  Discuss with your photographer what is the best time for lighting and what fits your family schedule.  

 

3.  Don't Overthink it:  Relax and enjoy your time together.  You will never again be in this moment and time, so love the family you are now.  You planned for this time, now look around and take it all in and breath.  You're here, it’s time to relax, and have fun!  Also, make sure you all get enough sleep the night before.  You want everyone to be well fed and rested.        

 

4.  Hire a Certified Professional Photographer:  It is very important to choose a photographer that is experienced and who you are comfortable with.  A Certified Professional Photographer has taken the time to learn the craft of photography, has the technical skills, and will deliver great results every time.  Choose a photographer you are comfortable with, that thrives on customer service and satisfaction.  Professional photography is so much more than just snapping a picture.  We know that these are keepsakes you come back to time and time again and treasure forever.  

 

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monikacheang@gmail.com

Cave Creek certified professional photographer

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek photographer Phoenix family photographer professional photographer SCOTTSDALE photographer Stress-free family photos stress-free photos https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/8/fall-family-photography-2019 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 04:26:38 GMT
Love in Cave Creek https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/6/love-in-cave-creek Love in Cave Creek

This couple stands out for me because they had so much to celebrate.  They were vacationing in Cave Creek, Arizona, during springtime, which I think is the most beautiful time of the year.  The colors are so vibrant and everything is blooming before the sun sets in.  They are also expecting their first child together!  There is so much love between them.  It was absolutely infectious!  I am so glad they decided to take time and capture this moment of their life together.  Happy vacationing and good luck with your beautiful Family!  ❤️

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek photographer event photographer family photographer phoenix photographer rancho manana scottsdale wedding photographer tonto bar and grill wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/6/love-in-cave-creek Wed, 26 Jun 2019 06:24:55 GMT
Familyphotographyinscottsdale https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/6/familyphotographyinscottsdale Family Photography

I’m sure, like me, you feel like this year is speeding by.  As a mother, we watch your kids change so quickly, from day to day, not to mention year to year. This beautiful family session was taken six months ago, and I bet I would be amazed to see how much these boys have already grown and changed.  And, here already, I’m preparing for the next season of outdoor family sessions for the fall.  Each year I have to send out a reminder sooner to make sure my clients get the session date and time they want. October weekends are almost  booked already, so please don’t wait until August to book your family session with me. I absolutely love every single day of my year, but the fall holiday season is by far, most exciting, no question!  I look forward to capturing every beautiful smiling face!  In the meantime, stay cool this summer, and see you for mostly indoor events and weddings until we reach reasonable temperatures in Arizona again.  Although...I'm always up for a challenge.  


Mom and her boysMom and her boys Family photographyFamily photographywww.MonikaCheang.com They love their momThey love their momwww.MonikaCheang.com
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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave cave creek photographer cree event photographer family family photographer headshots phoenix photographer photographer portraits professional photographer scottsdale scottsdale photographer scottsdale wedding photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/6/familyphotographyinscottsdale Fri, 21 Jun 2019 07:46:16 GMT
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Family Photo Session https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/5/mccormick-stillman-railroad-park-family-photo-session Family Photos at a Railroad Park!

Trains, park, and carrossel!  It is no wonder I got plenty of smiles from these two boys at the railroad park. 
Who could resist a family park day?!  Call or txt to schedule an appointment.  Gift Cards are now available for Mother's Day!  480-229-6252


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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Family park day in scottsdale family photography in scottsdale family photos in a park family photos in scottsdale mccormick-stillman railroad park scottsdale railroad park https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/5/mccormick-stillman-railroad-park-family-photo-session Wed, 01 May 2019 17:36:24 GMT
Senior Class of 2019 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/3/3-senior-class-of-2019 Senior Portraits

High School Graduation is one of the most important first steps towards adulthood, so the moment MUST be captured!  Your child is graduating, probably moving off to college and, as a parent, I want that graduation portrait to be spectacular.  It must show off your child's personality, uniqueness, and beauty.  There are no rules when it comes to senior pictures.  These are special young people that deserve their time to be themselves, in the way that they want to be represented.  I welcome props, favorite things, places, and even other people, in the shoot.  This is your time to be you and celebrate all that you have accomplished so far!

Beautiful Clara is graduating Class of 2019!  Her family is thrilled and I was honored to capture her style at DC Ranch Marketplace. 

senior pictures, class of 2019, senior portraitClass of 2019, Clara Holling, senior pictureswww.MonikaCheang.com senior pictures, class of 2019, senior portraitClass of 2019, Clara Holling, senior pictureswww.MonikaCheang.com   Class of 2019Senior Portraits 2019www.MonikaCheang.com Class of 2019Senior Portraits 2019www.MonikaCheang.com

Stunning Savannah is also in the Graduating Class of 2019!  Her beautiful personality came through in every image at Rancho Manana.  I was lucky enough to get a shot of her and her mom together!  YES!

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The best part of my job is meeting and working with good people like that!

Thank you for letting me be your High School Senior's Professional Photographer

To schedule an appointment, call or txt me @ 480-229-6252

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) 2019" Cactus Shadows pictures Cactus Shadows Senior class pictures cave Creek photographer CCUSD93 class of 2019 family photographer Graduation Graduation pictures 2019 Graduation portraits phoenix photographer pictures professional photographer Scottsdale photographer senior pictures photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/3/3-senior-class-of-2019 Mon, 04 Mar 2019 09:26:15 GMT
Kumon in Cave Creek https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/2/kumon-in-cave-creek Kumon Family

Have you heard of Kumon Learning Center?  Kumon is a Math and Reading Center in Cave Creek.  But, it's actually so much more than just a place where kids learn.  The Tatum Ranch Center has a reputation for connecting with students and motivating them to reach their learning goals and go beyond their expectations.  They are a family oriented place, focused on providing the opportunity to help as many kids as possible to develop and learn in a more cost-effective way than a traditional tutor. 

This is the family behind Kumon Learning Center in Cave Creek.  They are parents, and like every parent, they want to help their own children achieve their greatest potential.  This is what makes this center special.  Recently, Professor T. asked me to capture their family in Cave Creek.  The very special occasion:  Their son's high school graduation.  What an honor it was, watching the proud parents, as they send their son off to college this year.  Mr. and Mrs. Williams know first-hand what it means to see their children succeed academically and provide them with the best opportunity for success.

Kumon Cave CreekKumon Cave Creekwww.MonikaCheang.com

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona family photography Best Carefree photographer best cave creek photographer carefree photographer cave creek cave creek photographer event photographer family photographer Kumon kumon in Cave Creek Phoenix family photographer phoenix photographer portraits professional photographer scottsdale family photographer scottsdale photographer scottsdale wedding photographer spring family photography in phoenix wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/2/kumon-in-cave-creek Sat, 16 Feb 2019 22:15:44 GMT
Wedding Photography https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/1/wedding-photography Arizona Weddings

It has been over 15 years since my own wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I still treasure our wedding photo album on a daily basis.  Wedding photography is a document of the beginning of your life together, and a testament of that commitment.  Many couples don't realize how important choosing a wedding photographer is.  A Certified Professional Photographer will know how to capture your wedding story, and take notice of things you didn't even know where going to be important to you one day.  Trust in someone who not only cares how special this day is, but how to capture it beautifully for you. 

I know personally how much those moments grow with value over time.  Now I share my story with my daughters, and I wish the same beautiful story for them, and for every client I meet.  I treat all of my clients with that same passion.  I know every photographer has a style, but a good image is just that, a good image, that will last a lifetime and be passed down for generations to come.

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/1/wedding-photography Fri, 25 Jan 2019 05:14:39 GMT
Family Photography and Location https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/1/location-family-photography Family Session Location in Scottsdale

Clients often ask me for the best spot in town to schedule their family session.  And, although there are several photographer preferred locations, I don't think that's the most important part of scheduling the shoot.  What matters most, in my opinion, is that you are together, spending time as a family, in a relaxed, comfortable place.  There's no doubt that the setting matters, and as a photographer, I'm always looking to make sure that the light is right, and everyone looks their best.  But as a wife and mother, I look for the connections made and try to capture that special bond we all share.  So, whether it's the desert, the park, or the parking lot of Target, (yes, it's been done with great success!), remember to get personal and find a place that is meaningful to you.  Variety is the key!  Let's get creative, and capture that beautiful bond you all share!  The Guseman family is a perfect example of just that!

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) AZ family AZ family photography best photographer cave creek cave creek photographer cave creek wedding photographer event photographer family family bond family photographer family reunion headshots headshots" love and family phoenix family phoenix photographer phoenix wedding photographer photographer pinnacle peak general store portraits professional professional photographer scottsdale scottsdale and pinnacle peak scottsdale family photographer scottsdale photo spots scottsdale photographer scottsdale photography location scottsdale wedding photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2019/1/location-family-photography Fri, 18 Jan 2019 18:43:26 GMT
Family Portrait Session in Cave Creek 2018 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/10/family-photo-portrait-session-in-cave-creek-2018 Cave Creek Frontier Town Family Portraits

 

It's no surprise that this is the busiest time of the year for outdoor family portraits.  There is no better place than Frontier Town in Cave Creek, to bring out the rustic cowboy that's in all of us.  The Billmyer family have been my clients for years, and I love seeing them grow and mature as a family.  Watch them strut their stuff in cowboy boots and denim looks.  It's always so much fun spending time with them.  

 

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Engagement sessions in Carefree and Cave Creek https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/6/engagement-sessions Engagement Sessions and Save the Date Cards

 

Congratulations!   You're Engaged!  Take this time to celebrate your commitment to each other with an engagement photography session. Engagement sessions are very important for both the couple and the photographer.  This is the time to enjoy your time together before the hustle and bustle of your wedding day.  It may be stressful and overwhelming to pose on the day of your wedding.  Couples sometimes feel that there's too much pressure to pose naturally on their wedding day and to stay in the moment. But, your engagement session can be as creative and relaxing as you want it to be.  You can create photos at a place that is memorable to you as a couple.  Perhaps it was where you had your first date or a place you love to go together.  Some of my favorite images were those done by our photographer in Sedona, since this was where my husband had proposed.  At the time I didn’t think an engagement session was necessary, but now those are the images I have on the wall in a canvas wrap.

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This is the time for you and your photographer to get to know each other as well.  I will get to know your style and the way you are with each other.  Knowing how you interact as a couple is important for me to know, so I can suggest a pose that is natural for you and represent who you are. This will always help on the day of the wedding in order to create images you are really happy with. 

Lastly, the images from your engagement session are great for Save-the-date cards to mail out to your guests!  There's no better way to say, "We're getting married!" 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) carefree carefree wedding cave creek photographer cave creek wedding photographer" save-the-date photo scottsdale wedding photographer wedding in scottsdale wedding photographer western wedding https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/6/engagement-sessions Mon, 11 Jun 2018 22:40:58 GMT
Scottsdale Museum of the West Wedding https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/5/scottsdale-museum-of-the-west-wedding This was a gorgeous location for a couple so much in love. Special, as it was the place of their first date. Jonathan & Danielle

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) old scottsdale wedding scottsdale museum wedding scottsdale wedding photographer wedding in museum wedding in scottsdale western wedding https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/5/scottsdale-museum-of-the-west-wedding Thu, 31 May 2018 00:32:20 GMT
Cactus Shadows Senior Pictures https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/4/ccusd93-senior-pictures Cactus Shadows High School Senior Pictures

I can't believe this beautiful lady is graduating high school!  I've known her a decade, and have watched her grow up.  She is our beautiful neighbor, and soon to be an ASU student!  There is no doubt she will be a great success in whatever she pursues!  Already, earning a total of $10,500 in scholarships and grants, and completing high school with a 4.3 GPA all four years!!  She is truly a blessing to know!  Congratulations to you, graduate of Cactus Shadows High School 2018!

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cactus shadows high school cave creek cave creek photographer cave creek wedding photographer ccusd93 event photographer family photographer headshots phoenix photographer professional photographer scottsdale photographer senior headshots wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/4/ccusd93-senior-pictures Mon, 23 Apr 2018 05:00:36 GMT
Windgate Ranch Scottsdale Photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/2/windgate-ranch-scottsdale-photographer Windgate Ranch Community in Scottsdale

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Some of my favorite families live in Windgate Ranch!  Mary Scot and Matt moved here with their two beautiful bundles of joy and love it here so far!  The Scottsdale Community of Windgate has been a wonderful community for them, feeling right at home in the neighborhood. 

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Thank you for the opportunity to be your family photographer in Scottsdale, Arizona!

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) family photographer professional photographer scottsdale photographer wedding photographer windgate photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/2/windgate-ranch-scottsdale-photographer Sat, 17 Feb 2018 03:58:49 GMT
People of Carefree Arizona https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/1/people-of-carefree-arizona One Amazing Lady!

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I got the chance to work with this amazing lady, creating an updated picture for her in her home in Carefree.  It is people like her that make my work worthwhile! 

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Nancy Clarke has had a career in teaching and education for over 57 years!  She has worked as a school principal and Assistant Superintendent for CCUSD, teaching pre-school through college students and consulting for a research project for Iowa State University, the AZ department of Education, and AZ Charter Schools.  

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After 54 years of marriage, her husband, Ron, passed after a series of illnesses.  Since that time, she knew she needed to move forward in a positive and productive way.  

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In 2017 Nancy decided to retire from teaching and education, and found that other activities needed attention in her life, like her Grandchildren, great Granddaughter, and giving back to the community.  She currently spends time traveling to visit her three children, and their families.  Church life and community service has been a life long goal as well.    

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This beautiful lady is truly amazing, inside and out!  Not to mention, she has the most amazing views from her home!  I feel so blessed to have met her, and people just like her, living in Carefree, AZ.

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) carefree headshot carefree photographer cave creek headshots cave creek photographer ccusd93 school administration https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/1/people-of-carefree-arizona Thu, 25 Jan 2018 20:13:36 GMT
Professional Headshots https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/1/professional-headshots Professional Headshots

 

January is a great time to consider updating your professional headshot.  Your headshot is the first impression of you, so you want it to be great.  Whether you are a business, an independent contractor, or retired and want to stay social, you will need a headshot. 

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My job is to make you look your best!  Since I personally don't like getting my picture taken, I know the process can be uncomfortable for some.  I will make our time together relaxed and fun, bringing out the best expression in you.  As a Certified Professional Photographer, I notice every detail, and have learned to use lighting and posing techniques to make you look your best.  Lastly, each image is edited, in detail, as needed. 

Professional Headshot Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot

Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale Professional Headshot in Scottsdale

When it matters to get the very best headshot of you, rely on the professionals and call Monika to schedule an appointment at 480-229-6252.  I will suggest a location in Cave Creek, Scottsdale, Phoenix, or in a neighborhood near you.  Some of my best work was done on location, inside an office, or outside in the parking lot.  

 

   

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek photographer event photographer professional headshots scottsdale photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2018/1/professional-headshots Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:37:16 GMT
Our Family Photo Shoot https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/11/Scottsdale-photographer Our Family Photography Session

at The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix Arizona

Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix

It's that time of the year in Phoenix, when temperatures drop down to 80 degrees, and families schedule their portraits.  This is also the time for engagements, weddings, graduation pictures, and family reunions.  It's my favorite time of the year, but certainly busy from now until June, when temperatures return to the 100's again. 

I got wrapped up in the spirit of the season and decided to attempt our family portraits now as well.   Brooke from the Japanese Friendship Garden said that we could have the garden to ourselves in three days time, so I took that as a sign that it's now or never.  Three days was not much time to prepare, but I knew this would be worth the effort. 

First, I quickly scheduled hair appointments for us at the Drybar in Scottsdale Quarter.  There was no time to shop for new clothes, but we have plenty to wear.  We threw the clothes on the bed to see if we were color coordinated, and we decided that we were ready.  My only mistake was that I didn't take time to prepare my equipment for our session.  I am ALWAYS prepared, but, for us, I thought I could just throw everything in the trunk and go.

Needless to say, nothing went according to plan.  We arrived late, as we had to stop for gas and refreshments on the way there.  I truly don't know how my clients make it on time for every session with me!  My husband kept reassuring me that we would have plenty of time, but I wanted time to set up.  Once we arrived, I realized I was missing two very important pieces of equipment for the shoot.  The sun was going down quickly, and I panicked.  All this time and effort in getting ready, and I felt like I let my family down.  Thank goodness for Robby, our guide at the Japanese Friendship Garden, who offered to help fill in what my missing equipment was supposed to do.  

Without further ado, here are a few of our favorite images from the shoot.  Technically...not my best work.  But, what matters is that we made the effort to set aside one afternoon to come together and celebrate us as a family.  I hope our girls will always remember that we took the time because we are important to each other.   

And, as stressful as it was at first, we had fun together and we made a great family day out of it.  I hope you take the time to celebrate your family and schedule a family session, if you haven't already.  Of course, I hope it is with me!  And, I promise, I will be prepared for you, and it will never be stressful.    

Thanks for stopping by!

Monika Cheang

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Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.

Call to schedule a photography session:  480-229-6252

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona professional photographer cave creek photographer cave creek wedding photographer certified professional photographer family photographer phoenix wedding photographer professional headshots scottsdale photographer scottsdale wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/11/Scottsdale-photographer Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:00:00 GMT
Cosanti Paolo Soleri Studios https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/10/cosanti-paolo-soleri-studios Cosanti Paolo Soleri Studios

 

Have you heard of Soleri and his WindBells at Cosanti and Arcosanti in Arizona?  Paolo Soleri was an Italian architect, artist, and philosopher who designed his studios as well as other sites around town.  Paolo Soleri first designed his Design and Craft Studios in 1955, tucked under Camelback Mountain, in Paradise Valley, and named it Cosanti.  It remains there today, as an Arizona Historic Site and is open to the public.  Cosanti means "Things Before", or "Against Things," which supports Soleri's anti-materialist stance and designing a home to minimize the destruction and impact of the earth.  Cosanti remained his residence until he passed away in 2013.  In 1970, Soleri built the experimental town called Arcosanti, about 65 miles north of Phoenix.  He taught and influenced many architects and designers for generations. 

I had the pleasure of photographing Cosanti last week, and wanted to share it with you.  My favorite part of Cosanti were the world renowned line of bronze and ceramic Soleri WindBells and Planters by Paolo Soleri.  If you come at the right time of the day, you will get a chance to see the process of how the bells are formed.  It continues to be a proud artform for the skilled artisans at Cosanti and Arcosanti that carry on the legacy of Soleri's WindBells.  They are so stunning, that I couldn't resist and had to own one myself!

 

You can learn more about Paolo Soleri when you visit the current exhibition at The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.  Now through January 28th, 2018.  https://smoca.org/exhibition/paolo-soleri-the-city-is-nature/  

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For more information and to visit, go to www.Cosanti.com

 

       

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Phoenix Wedding and Family Photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/9/phoenix-wedding-and-family-photographer A Wedding... and then a Baby!

The sweetest thing ever is photographing a wedding in 2015, and then being asked to come back and photograph the couple's first baby in 2017!

I met Denver and Kalie in December 2015, when they married at Cave Creek Chapel.  It was a very special Winter Wonderland...Cave Creek style. 

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Then just a month ago, I received the news that Kalie and Denver were expecting their first little girl!  Wynter Finley was just five days old when I got to meet her and take her first baby pictures!

What a joy!  This made my year!  Please welcome Winnie!

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona weddings azimages azteca baby's first photo shoot cave creek family photographer cave creek weddings denver wilson phoenix baby photographer scottsdale baby photographer scottsdale family photographer scottsdale weddings wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/9/phoenix-wedding-and-family-photographer Tue, 05 Sep 2017 05:34:22 GMT
Baby Stephen Photo Session https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/8/baby-stephen-photo-session Just when I think I love to photograph weddings best, I get to capture the first days of a baby's life,

and fall in love with baby photography all over again. 

Meet Stephen, as his family welcomes him into his home. 

What a beautiful family they make!  

  

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cave creek wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/8/cave-creek-wedding-photographer A Very Special Wedding in Cave Creek

 

I admit, every wedding I get to photograph is forever special to me.

Carrie & Trevor will stand out most of all in a way that may surprise you.  

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I first met Carrie and her parents to discuss the details of her wedding and immediately knew we were a good fit for each other.  Carrie picked Cave Creek Chapel, officiated by Rev. Randy Williams.  She wanted a quaint chapel with character and charm.  Reverend Williams made the ceremony personal and memorable.

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We continued to correspond through email with details and final arrangements, when I noticed something special about her family name.  The name John W. Peterson came up in the email and sounded very familiar.  I realized quickly how extra special this bride and her family would be to me.  You see, John W. Peterson was a songwriter, Carrie's grandfather, and he wrote a song that saved my life.

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When I was about 12 or so, I heard a recording of a song from an album my mom brought home.  We didn't usually listen to evangelical music, but this happened to be a record sung by a lady she knew.  The words of that song were like words from God to me, as she sang, "It Took a Miracle" , written by John W. Peterson.  The words and that song saved me that day, and keeps on saving me time and time again ever since.  John W. Peterson had a major influence on evangelical Christian music, especially between the 1950's to the 1970's.  He wrote over 1000 songs and 35 cantatas.  It took only one to change me forever.        

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The fact that we met was no accident.  What are the chances that this couple would find their way to this beautiful Cave Creek Chapel for their destination wedding, and choose me to be their wedding photographer?  No accident, right?!  

As expected, this wedding was magical, the bride was stunning, the couple very much in love, and this wedding day was absolutely beautiful.  So much so, that I too got tearful with everyone else there.  As a bonus, I got the chance to meet Carrie's grandmother, too!      

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As I was leaving, I noticed the most beautiful sunset and stopped to capture it.  It took a miracle for me to get this far in life, to be able to do what I get to do, and to be a part of such amazing stories, like this Wedding Day Story of Carrie & Trevor.  I wish them both many years of happiness together!  

    Cave Creek Wedding Photographer Cave Creek Wedding Photographer Cave Creek Wedding Photographer 

Sincerely,

  Monika Cheang   

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona bridal azbridal azfamily azimages azteca bridal cave creek chapel cave creek family photographer cave creek photographer cave creek wedding photographer cave creek weddings christian weddings destination weddings family photographer it took a miracle john w. peterson photographer" professional professional photographer scottsdale photographer tonto weddings wedding photographer wild west weddings https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/8/cave-creek-wedding-photographer Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:43:03 GMT
Maui Family Trip 2017 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/6/maui-family-trip-2017 Maui Family Trip 2017

 

I promised my family that the professional cameras would stay home, so I made due with my Iphone 7 and waterproof point-and-shoot.  Nevertheless, we made some memories, and I want to share them with you.  The moment we arrived to our VRBO, we knew we were in paradise.  Honua Kai is absolutely stunning, kid friendly, and centrally located.  I had never used VRBO before, but would do that again in a heartbeat.  The condo was fully stacked with supplies and beach gear.  All we needed was food and clothes.  Konea Tower is brand new and beautiful.  Every room has a gorgeous view.

Honua Kai Resort & Spa Honua Kai Honua Kai Resort & Spa Honua Kai Resort & Spa Honua Kai Resort & Spa Honua Kai Resort & Spa Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Of course one of the best parts of any island, is the beach!  That was my favorite part.  The snorkeling is around every corner, but Molokini Island is a fun day trip, if you like sailing.  That was my favorite part as well.  I was surprised that I didn't hear the waves, but they are so calm on this side of the island, that you don't hear them at all.  It is very relaxing. 

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The Road to Hana was a 50 mile stretch of glorious green jungle wonder.  Our friend suggested a guided tour through an APP, and that was all we needed.  It begins at the Mile marker 00, is connected to your GPS and takes you through all the stops before you get there.  The Seven Sacred Pools are closed due to flooding, so check with the park before you go.  https://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/kipahulu.htm  But, it's still fun to see, if you want to pay $25 just to hike to it.  Across the road is a bamboo forest that I heard was worth the walk, but I couldn't convince my kids of that.  The eucalyptus painted trees are not really painted.  They grow that way!

Start your travels at 7 am and take your time making all the stops.  It's the journey, not the destination, right?!  You should make your way back by 4:30pm, so you don't drive in the dark in the winding road.  There are over 600 turns and no lights! 

On the way back, the APP talked about the history of Hawaii.  It made me so sad and ashamed to be part of a country that takes over by force just to make a profit.  I wasn't born an American, but I feel very sorry for what Native Hawaiians went through.

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Black Beach on the Road to Hana was magical!  The lava cooled so fast that the rocks stayed black, but not for long.  They are smooth and beautiful to walk on, but water shoes are helpful if you want to walk into the caves and hike up to a blowhole.  We ran out of time to see the blowhole, but that is why you should leave for the road to Hana early.

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Lahaina is a town full of character just south of where we stayed.  This is a place to just hang loose and relax.  Great food and shopping too!  We met the sweetest lady at the Chinese Museum & Gift Shop.  She is a researcher of Chinese history and told us her story of how her family came to this country.  She showed my girls how to pin up their hair.  There are a lot of different missionaries here, and so much culture.  The trees are so big!  The Banyan Tree is located here at the park.  It's better to visit during the day to see how it has spread throughout the park.  At first it seems like a forest, but it's actually one tree, with 10 trunks, 50 feet tall, spanning 2/3 of an acre.  It was brought from India in 1873 at only 8 feet.  Our favorite restaurants were Babba Gump and Cheeseburger in Paradise.  Island living is so very nice!  I would visit them all.  I hope you get a chance to see Maui!  Mahalo! 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) black sand beach cave creek photographer honua kai lahaina maui 2017 maui photography maui snorkeling molokini island phoenix photographer professional photographer road to hana scottsdale photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/6/maui-family-trip-2017 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:11:59 GMT
Certified Professional Photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/6/certified-professional-photographer Certified Professional Photographerwedding photographer

Why Hire a Certified Professional Photographer?

It assures you of this photographer's professional knowledge and experience, while also declaring that photographer as one who has achieved and maintains a higher standard.

See the Difference Certified Professional Photographers Make

Consistency.

CPPs know how to achieve great results—every time. You get a strong collection of images that tell your story, not a few lucky snapshots, and you will work with someone who knows how to produce a quality image under any circumstances.

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Technical Skills.

CPPs are more than picture takers. They are students of art, lighting, posing, fashion and even interior design. They combine these elements to create images that fit your unique style and become works of art you will treasure for generations.

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Unique Artistry.

CPPs have the skills to create unique, customized works of art—not cookie-cutter pictures. They follow an artistic vision. It’s your story captured as a collection of art.

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Professionalism.

When you hire a CPP, you know you're getting someone who is willing to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible images. They are business owners who thrive on customer service and satisfaction, and they continuously aim to produce products that exceed your—and their—best expectations. These images are keepsakes whose stories you'll tell time and time again and treasure forever.

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Just about anyone can take a good picture every now and then. But when life's biggest moments are unfolding and there's just one chance to capture that perfect memory, don't risk it. Entrust your photography needs to a Certified Professional Photographer and see the difference for yourself.

Monika Cheang, Certified Professional Photographer
www.MonikaCheangPhotography.com

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) best cave creek photographer best family photographer best phoenix photographer best scottsdale photographer cave creek event photographer cave creek family photographer cave creek photographer cave creek wedding photographer certified professional photographer event photographer family photographer headshots phoenix wedding photographer portraits professional family photographer professional photographer scottsdale event photographer scottsdale family photographer scottsdale photographer scottsdale wedding photographer wedding albums wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/6/certified-professional-photographer Wed, 07 Jun 2017 18:26:59 GMT
Carefree Wedding https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/4/carefree-wedding Phil And Monika

I had the pleasure of capturing Phil & Monika's Wedding Ceremony at the Carefree Resort and Conference Center this past weekend.  As a Certified Professional Photographer, weddings are the most special of all for me to capture.  You only get one chance to capture this day, and it must be done well.  Every detail is captured, because every moment is special.  I have been married 14 years, and our wedding pictures are still something we look at and share with our children regularly.    

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 Phil's a tough cowboy, with a heart of gold.  

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Monika looked absolutely stunning in her wedding dress!  

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It was no surprise that, when Phil saw his bride, he wept.  

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They met country line dancing four years ago.  After a year of friendship, fireworks flew!  Monika says, "Whenever we danced together it felt like there was no one in the room but us.  Four years later, it still does."  

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I am completely moved by the love they share.    

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May you spend a lifetime dancing together!

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Senior Photo Shoot https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/4/seniorpictures Seniors! Graduating Class of 2017

It's almost here!  You're almost done!  

What better way to celebrate and honor your senior, than with a portrait session?!

Here's to Mandy!  An Honor Student, Swim Team Captain, and theater enthusiast.  

Congratulations on your accomplishments!  

Best of luck at U of A!

Call to schedule your portrait session!

480-229-6252

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Not Just a Family Picture https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/1/not-just-a-family-picture Not Just a Family Picture

 

As I reflect on this past Holiday Season of family portraits, I stop to consider if all that effort to create a family picture is worth it.  Without a doubt for me the answer is YES!  Definitely!  But, I'm a family portrait photographer, you might say, so I may be a little biased on the subject, right?!  Well, yes, as a photographer, of course I love seeing families take time to look their best and capture the moment.  It is a great privilege for me to be the one doing the capturing and I thank you for choosing me to do it!

However, as a wife and a mother of two young girls, I get it.  It seems like a lot of work, time, and effort.  We insist on a family picture every year and I try to make it as fun as possible.  I take the girls to get their hair done, we pick out new outfits, and we plan on doing something fun after it's all done.  They insist I take our own family pictures, because they claim it doesn't take as long and I'm the best.  My family is very smart! 

The pictures we take that day will be used on our annual holiday card and sent out to many of our friends and family.  But, it's so much more than that for us.  These pictures will be treasured all year long, and for many years to follow.  

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That short session will provide me with images that I can use to create gifts, make wall art, and screen savers.  I can use them on my phone case and take them with me everywhere I go.  My family is always with me and I think of them every second of the day.  My husband does the same.  I truly believe that the cohesiveness of our family begins with our family pictures.  There is nothing more powerful than a visual reminder of what comes first.  

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I have a background in family studies, psychology and counseling, and although I have no statistical evidence to prove it, I know from personal experience, that a family picture keeps reminding us how important we are to each other. 

I hope your family pictures are just as meaningful every year.  That is what I always want to help create for you!

Enjoy the Outtakes from our family day!

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona families cave creek photographer event photographer portraits professional photographer scottsdale photographer scottsdale wedding photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2017/1/not-just-a-family-picture Sun, 08 Jan 2017 04:37:58 GMT
Fall Photo Sessions 2016 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/9/fall-photo-sessions Fall Family Photo Sessions are here!

...and now offering Mini Sessions for a limited time!

Contact Monika for details and available times

480-229-6252

Refer a friend, and receive a $25 discount when booking an hour session

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) anthem park carefree photographer cave creek photographer dc ranch marketplace event photographer headshots professional photographer rancho manana scottsdale photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/9/fall-photo-sessions Wed, 14 Sep 2016 21:42:42 GMT
New York 2016 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/9/new-york New York

2016

Visiting ground zero was profound for us as a family.  No words can describe the pit in my stomach as I felt the loss.  When I feel such sadness, I usually look up, and somehow even that didn't help me today.  Why can't we all just exist on this earth together and tolerate our differences?  It's big enough for everyone.  So sad.    

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As we continued on our visit of New York, I realized that hope was in everything as we looked around.  Hope and freedom has always been represented by the Statue of Liberty.  But, hope is in everything.  Hope is in the city, the buildings and the people we meet, the new food we try and the traditions we learn and create. Hope is reborn in our children and the things we teach them.  New York remains a beautiful city, representing strength, history, and hope.  We must never forget that there will always be hope in our world, no matter what.    

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Before and after the Orlando nightclub shooting.

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As a wedding and event photographer, based out of Cave Creek, Arizona, I hope to capture the love and joy that is in our daily life between the ones we love.  May these images always give you hope and remind you of the love that is there.  

 

 

    

 

 

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek photographer family photographer ground zero phoenix photographer scottsdale photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/9/new-york Sun, 11 Sep 2016 16:35:58 GMT
A Sedona Escape https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/5/a-sedona-escape SEDONA and Son Silver West

 

Sedona is the place I go with my family if we want a quick escape to relax and re-energize our spirits.  How can you resist such beauty and serenity?!  As a photographer, I get to create beautiful images in a setting that is one of a kind.  Sedona is the place of weddings, events, and creative spirits.  

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Aside from the hiking and being with nature, we love to shop.  One of our favorite stops is the Son Silver West.  This is not just a shop, but a Galeria that has been family owned for 36 years!  This truly is a landmark, and worth stopping for!  Recently this family business has been threatened with a Notice of Violation by the City of Sedona Director of Development.  It would be a shame to lose such a special place.  This is what Sedona is all about, and I hope they stay for at least 36 more years!  Here's to local family business!  Enjoy these images from our stop at Son Silver West.  We are rooting for you!  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona arizona photography cave creek photographer event photographer family family photographer gallery history phoenix photographer portraits sedona son silver west southwest treasure wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/5/a-sedona-escape Sun, 29 May 2016 04:27:38 GMT
Clay & Stephanie https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/1/clay-stephanie ionis pharmaceuticalsClay & Stephanie

Clay and Stephanie

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a moment between two people that you knew would change you forever?  I did when I photographed Clay and Stephanie.  I worked with Stephanie at Banner more than ten years ago.  We were both young counselors and learning from each other.  We stayed in touch, living just a mile apart.  I knew Clay as Stephanie's husband, a kind man who invited us to his home once for a Christmas Party.  Little did I know he was a published author, a national speaker, and the Chairman of Gold Standard Management House Institute. 

Then, in December of last year, I received an email from a representative at Ionis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad, California, requesting a photo shoot with one of their patients, a Clay Sherman and his family.  Do you believe in accidents?  Well, I don't.  Immediately I reached out to Stephanie, asking her if I have been commissioned to photograph her and Clay.  It was a bittersweet reunion, as Clay was diagnosed with a terminal illness.  I want to share with you my photo session in this video.  Stephanie and Clay's love and care for each other brought tears to my eyes.  Nothing is more important than the moments you get to spend with the ones you love.  As a photographer, there is nothing more important than capturing that love.    

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek photographer family photographer headshots ionis pharmaceuticals phoenix photographer portraits professional photographer scottsdale photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2016/1/clay-stephanie Mon, 18 Jan 2016 23:22:58 GMT
Family Portraits 2015 https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/12/family-portraits-2015 I wrote this blog post last December, and I can't help but post it again because it is SO important.  Family comes first, so take time to capture the moment...at any time of the year.  Here is a video of just a few of my favorite families I was lucky enough to capture from this 2015 season.  From my family to yours, Happy New Year!  

May 2016 bring you lots of pictures!

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December, 2014:

The other day I heard on NPR News that Holiday Cards are dying due to social media.  According to the broadcasters, it takes way too much effort to get the family together for a photo just for an annual photo card.  They argued that it takes way too much time and effort to locate everyone's current address, to stamp the card, lick the envelope, and mail it out.  

But, is a family photo really just about the card?  Coming from a counseling background, I think it does matter that families take the time to schedule a family photo session.  It is not just about the final product, but the process of getting there.  It takes thoughtfulness to plan on what to wear as a family, and to take the time to pick the location and style of the session that best represents who you are as a unit.  That photo session together is not just for an annual card to say, "this is what we look like right now."  Family portraits are just as much about the process of spending that time together to say that we matter enough to take the time and capture who we are as a family.  I have no doubt this annual ritual of family pictures bonds families and creates lasting memories.  My own family knows that if there is a family photo opportunity, we are there and ready to pose.  

I hope you take the time to take your family pictures, because whether you choose to send a Holiday card of not, family portraits do matter.  Here are a few of the latest and greatest families I had the privilege to capture.  I hope you enjoy this video in honor of all families out there.  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) az weddings cave creek photographer family photographer family portraits holiday portraits scottsdale photographer scottsdale wedding photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/12/family-portraits-2015 Sun, 27 Dec 2015 08:13:01 GMT
DC Ranch Family Pictures https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/10/dc-ranch Scottsdale DC Ranch Marketplace

It's no wonder this location attracts the most photographers and their clients!  It's absolutely beautiful, and has just about everything for any occasion.  You have the green grass, desert landscapes, bridges, walkways, stairs, textured walls, windows, fountains and barn doors.  No two corners are the same, and photographers can get creative with angles, lighting, poses, and mood.  I hope you take advantage of this time of the year when you can celebrate your family and take time for your family portraits.  Even with our internet driven society, the Family Holiday Card is not dead, and they still bring joy to anyone who makes time to create and send them.  I keep everyone I have ever received!  DC Ranch is a beautiful place for engagement photography and weddings as well.    

My Job:  To make your photo session a fun experience and create images that will be treasured for generations!  

 

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A Climb with Him...and my iphone https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/10/a-climb-with-him-and-my-iphone A Spiritual Walk

It was a last minute decision to go hiking that morning, and I had a hard time finding anyone to join me on such short notice.  The weather was in the 70’s and PERFECT, so I felt compelled to go anyway.  My friend, Erin, told me, “Enjoy your climb with Him this morning!!”  with Emoji kisses and hearts.  I have never been told that before, so it got stuck in my head and I couldn’t let it go.  I was very excited as I approached the trail, feeling well prepared for my first hike of the season.  I had my water, after all.    

I am a private person when it comes to my faith, but as I approached that trail, this is what I saw instead of the "Got Water" sign that is posted for hikers at the trail head.  I had to look twice!

                                                                                 

Got Water? Got God?    

This is what is there…                                           and this is what I saw!

 

So I got the message clearly and made a conscious decision to Climb with God, as I continued on my hike.  It was a beautiful morning!  I felt His presence and didn’t feel alone at all. 

 

 

And even as the climb got harder, I felt full of joy and gratitude…

   

Because, seriously, how lucky am I to be hiking this gorgeous place?!

  

I have done this hike many times, but this time, walking it with God, I noticed how the tired cactus leaned on the rock, just like I lean on Him when I feel weak.  And the tree that grows despite all odds in the hard soil, provides a place for the birds to build a home.  Maybe you will find this corny, but I was really having a moment. 

 

The road may be at times difficult, and long, and winding, and filled with criticism and doubt, but God is always there!  Isn’t it great to know he is the only judge that matters?!

     

On my way up I noticed that my favorite cactus lost one of its awesome curvy arms, which made me sad.  But, on the way back down, look what I saw that was hidden to me before!  The cactus was growing again!  Isn’t it cute?!  His living energy carries us through our losses.

 

May you Climb with Him one day as well.  I hope you do!  It’s an awesome trip!  You might see faces in the rocks smiling at you, and roads laid out just for you...

And may you always look up and feel grateful to be alive.  I hope my photography at Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale inspires you to look at things in a new way.  

   

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) a walk with god arizona photography az beautiful pictures cave creek photographer event photographer hike nature nature hike nature photography nature walk photography pinnacle peak trail professional photographer scottsdale scottsdale photographer spiritual walk tria wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/10/a-climb-with-him-and-my-iphone Thu, 08 Oct 2015 02:01:21 GMT
What Freedom Means to Me https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/9/what-freedom-means-to-me What Freedom Means to Me


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We moved to this country from Poland, which was communist at the time in 1983.  When I was young, I wrote poetry about how great it was to be free, feeling the significance, yet not quite understanding as a nine year old the magnitude of my amazing opportunity in this country.  I have often felt other Americans did not value their freedom as much as I had, because it was something they were born having, and didn't know life any other way.  I grew up during a time of civil unrest, with tanks passing by our home in order to keep people from revolting against the government.  I was scared and I didn't understand why riots were breaking out in the middle of town and people were being gassed.    
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I was 9 years old at the time. I officially became a citizen when I was in high school and it was one of the proudest days of my life.  It meant to me that my freedom was official and permanent.  There are people all over the world still today who wish for the same thing.   

 

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So, today, like every day,  I feel grateful when I take time to reflect on what freedom means to me.  I was one of the lucky ones who got that chance to live in a free country.   

 

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A day like today is a reminder, I hope, that freedom isn't free.  It takes ongoing effort and sacrifice to keep it so. 

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  I think that everyone deserves to feel the freedom I was given, and I pray that one day everybody will.  As a photographer, I hope to show through my work, the love and appreciation for all that I was given.  Thanks for stopping by.         
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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) 4th of july 911 a time to remember arizona arizona photographer cave creek photographer country freedom grateful independence day landscape not born free our photography scottsdale photographer statue of liberty twin towers us citizen usa wedding photographer what freedom means https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/9/what-freedom-means-to-me Fri, 11 Sep 2015 23:35:42 GMT
Back To School Photos https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/8/back-to-school Are you ready for school to start?!  We are!!!!  

Thanks to Justice for Girls at ShopJustice.com.  They have the cutest clothes for back to school.  As a photographer in Phoenix, and surrounding areas, fashion shoots are so much fun for me!

Hair accessories by Butternut Boutique at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ButternutBoutique

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek photographer ccusd93 child photographer desert ridge event photographer fashion shoot headshots phoenix photographer school pictures scottsdale photographer shopping at desert ridge wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/8/back-to-school Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:49:21 GMT
Senior Portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/senior-portraits Senior Portraits

What I love about senior portraits is that I can add a little punch to them.  Allyson and her mom, Margaret, are just lovely here!  Headshots, seniors, and graduation pictures are my favorite kind of shoots!  As a photographer based out of Cave Creek, there are so many different places to photograph.  Scottsdale, and surrounding areas of Phoenix are close by and very different from each other, fitting every personality and showing off your personal style.     

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek cave creek photographer dc ranch family photography graduation pictures headshots high school graduation high school photos phoenix pictures professional photography scottsdale scottsdale photographer senior pictures photographer senior portraits seniors https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/senior-portraits Tue, 26 May 2015 18:39:29 GMT
Weddings at Cave Creek Chapel https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/weddings-at-cave-creek-chapel The Charming Cave Creek Chapel is the perfect place for small weddings, elopements, baptisms, and events.  As a photographer based out of Cave Creek, this is one of my favorite places for event and wedding photography.    

Cave Creek Chapel Weddings

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona weddings cave creek chapel cave creek photographer event photographer phoenix wedding photographer photographer wedding photographer weddings https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/weddings-at-cave-creek-chapel Thu, 14 May 2015 22:12:17 GMT
Mothers https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/mothers Thank you for the privilege to photograph you and your children!  It is my honor and great pleasure to be your family photographer.  Happy Mother's Day!  
 

Sincerely,
 

Mothers
 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) candid photography cave creek photographer event photographer family photography mothers phoenix photographer scottsdale photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/mothers Sun, 10 May 2015 21:27:35 GMT
Tovrea Castle Photography https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/tovrea-castle-photography Tovrea Castle
 

As a kid, I always called it The Birthday Cake Castle.  I remember hearing about a man who bought the home for his wife, and I always thought it was a gift for her birthday, in the shape of a cake.  I might have added my romantic spin on it, but to me it was the most mysterious place and I wanted to see what it looked like inside.  It was actually built by a man from Italy named Alessio Carraro, who meant to develop a resort community, with the castle as a hotel.  He did not finish his dream, and in 1931 the castle was purchased by E.A. Tovrea and his wife, Della.  E.A. died a year after purchasing the home, but Della lived in the castle until 1969 upon her death.  The City of Phoenix purchased the property in 1993 from the Tovrea Estate, and it is now run solely by volunteers.  AMAZING!  The castle became open to tours just last year and I had the privilege to take a peak and photograph some of my favorite parts to share with you.  It only took me 30 years, but it was well worth the wait, I think.  I hope you get a chance to visit it yourself!  Plan ahead, because tours sell out months in advance.  Don't forget to thank the volunteers that maintain the property solely for their love of Arizona history.  As a freelance photographer, there is nothing more fun than being commissioned for an event or wedding at a beautiful place like Tovrea Castle.   
 

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By now you might be thinking I'm overdoing pictures of the castle, but I was really excited to be there!  Take a look at this "guest house".  We were lucky enough to see a visitor there that day.  The white rocks really add to the dimension of the castle, don't they?
 

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So, we finally parked the golf cart and I was standing at the front door, with our tour guide.  I met a sweet nine year old girl, who was asked to ring the bell.  We walked around the back to go inside the first floor.  I couldn't wait!    
 

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Once inside, my eyes went straight for the views out the windows.  The cactus and mountains were all around.  I could just imagine what it must have felt like with a view of just the desert and mountains before the rest of the world arrived.  Now the shape of the castle made sense to me.  It was a panoramic view, with a lookout point at the very top.  Unfortunately, the top two floors are closed to visitors.  Our tour guide said he was permitted to go up once and tried to make me feel better by saying it wasn't that much different than the floor we were on.  There is a computerized 3D view to skim through, so you can get the idea.  Notice the texture of the fireplace and the Arizona flag design on the floor.  Also something to notice was the outline of the bulls on the walls.  Apparently that was E.A. Tovrea's thing.   
 

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The best part was the basement!  The ceiling looked like melted marshmallows, and there was a sense of history there.  Unlike the typical basement, the hallways all led to amazing desert views all around.  The door to the wine cellar was impressive.     
 

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Della Tovrea's story ends a bit sadly.  She was robbed by two men while in her home, and died a few weeks after.  Our tour guide said she wasn't physically harmed during the robbery, however, she never fully recovered after that ordeal.  One of the thief's were caught and some of her belongings recovered.  There was so much information about the history of this castle, that I think I need to go through that tour again.  I hope I did it justice and I hope the Carraro vision will live on and develop further one day.     
 


 


 

 
 


 


 


 

           
 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona castle arizona history arizona photographer arizona photography carraro family castle event photographer family photographer photograph arizona professional photographer tour arizona tour tovrea castle tovrea castle visit arizona wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/5/tovrea-castle-photography Fri, 01 May 2015 18:49:16 GMT
ARIZONA IN SPRING https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/4/arizona-in-spring ARIZONA IN SPRING

Color, not like you would expect for the desert.  But, Arizona has it!  For this short time of the year, Arizona is in bloom and I want to share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it.  

 

Desert Botanical Garden

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Pinnacle Peak 

Arizona SpringArizona in Bloom

Superstition Mountain and Canyon Lake

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona desert arizona highways arizona landscape beautiful pictures of arizona canyon lake cave creek photographer desert botanical garden family headshots phoenix photographer portrait photographer portraits professional photographer superstition mountain wall art wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/4/arizona-in-spring Mon, 06 Apr 2015 22:03:42 GMT
Western Asset Protection, Inc. https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/4/western-asset-protection Sometimes you need a serious headshot...and sometimes you don't.  

Western Asset Protection, Inc. is a family owned and operated insurance brokerage firm specializing in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement products.  They are able to assist independent insurance professionals by providing a portfolio of strong Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement products to meet your clients needs.  

Their team is professional, and not like any other group I had the privilege to work with.  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Headshots Medicare Advantage Phoenix Headshots Western Asset Protection professional headshots scottsdale headshots team building https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/4/western-asset-protection Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:08:29 GMT
They are twins! https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/3/they-are-twins You won't believe they're twins, but they are two gorgeous brothers that just know how to work it in front of the camera.  I had so much fun with these two young men.  There's no doubt the future looks bright for them.  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Portraits acting cave creek photographer dc ranch event photographer family family photographer headshots models photography scottsdale scottsdale Photographer twins wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/3/they-are-twins Fri, 13 Mar 2015 17:58:22 GMT
SISTERS! https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/3/sisters These two beautiful sisters are already the best of friends.  Sweet Olivia and Ava share intimate moments together, making their parents so proud.  It's been almost seven years since our second daughter was born, but these two brought it all back for me.  Another reason why I love doing what I do.  Isn't it wonderful to have a memory of these precious moments?  It goes so fast...

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) baby pictures cave creek photographer family infant photography phoenix photo portraits scottsdale photos sisters https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/3/sisters Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:08:04 GMT
Faith's Bat Mitzvah https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/2/bat-mitzvah A Bat Mitzvah is such a very special event in a young woman's life.  What a beautiful tradition that I look forward to photograph every time I have the opportunity.  Here, Faith turns 12 and is celebrated by her family and community.  I was so impressed with Faith's maturity level and her ability to speak and sing in front of so many people.  There was so much love and support for her there.  She is truly a blessing for all who know her.  

XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center XM5A6878Bat MitzvahJewish Community Center

 

 

     

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Bat Mitzvah, Center" Community Event Photography Jewish Party Scottsdale Photography birthday celebration family memories https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/2/bat-mitzvah Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:04:06 GMT
Meet Noah! https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/2/noah-turns-2-years-old Noah turned 2 years old and so his mom called me for a photo session.  We picked a spot that was special to her and I was happy to accommodate her.  As you can see, Noah had a very busy day.  He loves his soccer ball, playing peak-a-boo, cars, stairs, and most of all, rocks.  Noah loved to show me around the place and I loved being around his glowing personality.  His energy kept me smiling for days.  

Happy Birthday sweet Noah!       

phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits. phoenix photographer, child portraits, candid shots, outdoor portraits,Child PhotographyReaching milestones such as a birthday is a great time to take portraits.

 

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Phoenix photographers birthdays candid portraits cave creek photos child photography event Photographer family photos family pictures headshots milestones park portraits phoenix park portraits in Phoenix scottsdale portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/2/noah-turns-2-years-old Sat, 21 Feb 2015 00:24:37 GMT
Calling all Seniors! https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/1/calling-all-seniors I know you've been procrastinating to get those headshots for the senior yearbook.  I can make it so easy and fun for you! As a Certified Professional Photographer, I will make you look your best!

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cactus shadows senior pictures cave creek photographer high school senior pictures scottsdale photographer senior portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2015/1/calling-all-seniors Fri, 23 Jan 2015 22:13:22 GMT
Family Portraits DO Matter! https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/12/family-portraits-do-matter The other day I heard on NPR News that Holiday Cards are dying due to social media.  According to the broadcasters, it takes way too much effort to get the family together for a photo just for an annual photo card.  They argued that it takes way too much time and effort to locate everyone's current address, to stamp the card, lick the envelope, and mail it out.  

But, is a family photo really just about the card?  Coming from a counseling background, I think it does matter that families take the time to schedule a family photo session.  It is not just about the final product, but the process of getting there.  It takes thoughtfulness to plan on what to wear as a family, and to take the time to pick the location and style of the session that best represents who you are as a unit.  That photo session together is not just for an annual card to say, "this is what we look like right now."  Family portraits are just as much about the process of spending that time together to say that we matter enough to take the time and capture who we are as a family.  I have no doubt this annual ritual of family pictures bonds families and creates lasting memories.  My own family knows that if there is a family photo opportunity, we are there and ready to pose.  

I hope you take the time to take your family pictures, because whether you choose to send a Holiday card of not, family portraits do matter.  Here are a few of the latest and greatest families I had the privilege to capture.  I hope you enjoy this video in honor of all families out there.  

Families 2014

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Cave Creek Photographer Family Holiday Cards Portraits Scottsdale Photographer family pictures https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/12/family-portraits-do-matter Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:48:35 GMT
Women Who Inspire https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/11/women-who-inspire I was inspired to write this post about one particular woman, who I had the pleasure to photograph a few weeks ago.  Her name is Donna Johnson, and she really is AMAZING and inspires me to do more.  As I was putting my thoughts together to describe how wonderful she is, I realized that there are so many women who I have met, both personally and professionally, who inspire me to be amazing in different ways.  These women, who trusted me to photograph them, may not even know how amazing they are and how much they inspire others.  So, with no further ado, here they are!  Just a few of so many...  

Donna JohnsonDonna Johnson

Donna Johnson, Executive National Vice President at Arbonne International.  Donna is not only the top earner in her company for the past 25 years, but she is also the creator of Spirit Wings Kids Charity, which helps orphans around the world.  Not to mention, she started out as a single mother of three (now happily married and a mother to five).  I was struck by her kindness and sincerity.  She is the kind of person you can't help but want to be around and work with.  You must read about the work she does!  There is not enough room here to describe how this woman created what she did, gives back the way she does, and leads others to do the same.  Inspiring!    

www.spiritwings.com

www.donna.myarbonne.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deborah JonesDeborah Jones

 

Deborah Jones, Office Manager for John Cheang at Ameriprise Financial.  Deborah is not only an amazing thoughtful, loving, and giving person, but also the one who has been keeping my husband's business running smoothly for years.  He often calls her "The Boss", but to us she is just the sweetest lady you will ever meet.  We love you Deborah!      

 

https://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/john.cheang/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin MyersErin Myers

 

Erin Myers, is a writer and creator of Artful Living.  She is a spiritual leader in her community, and an inspiration to all the women who know her.  Her transparency is inspiring and contagious.  Her voice is true and clear.        

http://www.artfullivingvoice.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cindi Glidden-TraceyCindi Glidden-Tracey

 

Cindi Glidden-Tracey, Associate Clinical Professor at Arizona State University.  Cindi was my practicum professor during my second year in the Masters of Counseling program at ASU.  I am grateful to her for inspiring me to be the counselor I became for many years before changing my career path to photography.  And, I am even more grateful that she supported my change by trusting me to take her family photos, as well as the ones that are currently hanging in the hallway of Payne Hall in the College of Letters and Sciences at ASU.  I can't even begin to express how much she has inspired me by just being a wonderful teacher, colleague, and friend.

https://cls.asu.edu/ccp

 

 

 

Lora TerrillButternutboutique.com

 

Lora Terrill, Lawyer, and the most creative person I know!  She makes magic with fabric!  You have to check out her etsy page at  https://www.etsy.com/shop/ButternutBoutique 

Her nine year old daughter is now inspired to make charm bracelets on her mother's site, while donating to a local dog shelter!  Amazing!  I am proud to call this woman my friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling Lessons Danielle MorganTraveling Lessons

 

Danielle Morgan, Owner of Traveling Lessons.  We met Danielle four years ago when my daughter, Emily, began taking piano lessons.  Danielle is not only a wonderful teacher, but the owner of her own business of traveling music teachers.  She is a wife, a mother of two, and just about the most reliable person I know.  

http://travelinglessons.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cara ZicPrima Dance Arizona

 

Cara Zic, Owner of Prima Dance Arizona.  I hope you are beginning to see a pattern here of mothers who are successful business owners.  I met Cara through my younger daughter's passion for ballet.  She is a wonderful teacher, and yet flexible enough to understand that being a kid comes first.  Her gentle guiding ways are very much appreciated by this mother (ie., me), espeically in an art like Ballet, which demands strict diligence and concrete rules.  

   

http://primadanceaz.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few more women that I just had to include, all of whom I had the greatest honor to photograph.  May I do you justice!  

 

Stephanie Honing Stephanie HoningAgeless Health Institute

 

Stephanie Honing, RN, MSN, NP is the owner of Ageless Health Institute with her husband, Dr. Eric Honing, with BodyLogicMD of Phoenix.  She knows so many people, yet choses to work with me!  It is always a pleasure working with her.  

http://www.agelesshealthinstitute.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra BarckholtzRealtor

 

Sandra Barckholtz, Realtor at Sandra Barckholtz, Arizona Real Estate in Phoenix and Scottsdale.  A successful business woman, who's family always comes first.    

http://www.sandrabarckholtz.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emmalee McFarlandTuscany Salon

 

Emmalee McFarland, Hair Stylist at Tuscany Salon.  Always smiling and always positive.   

http://tuscanysalon.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tammi StifelRealtor

 

Tammi Stifel, Realtor with Realty ONE Group, a dedicated wife and mother of three.

http://app.realtyonegroup.com/rogmeaa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy RosemannRockaway Hills Ranch and Realtor

 

Amy Rosemann, Manager/Trainer at Rockaway Hills Ranch.  A sweet lady and our choice for a trainer.

www.AmyRosemann.BHHSAZ.com

Also,

Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

www.RockawayHillsRanch.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prova salonCrystal CarrieProva Salon

Crystal Carrie, Hair Designer at Prova Salon.  This gorgeous lady was asked for autographs when we had our shoot together!  A gentleman even asked to take a picture with her with his phone.  

www.crystalatprovasalon.com 

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crystal-Carrie-Hair-Design-at-Prova-Salon/239833109509631?pnref=story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca TizzanoRebecca Tizzano

 

Rebecca.  Her faith inspires me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cindy Lee HerrickCindy Lee Herrick

 

Cindy.  An amazing lady who always thinks of others.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devi HajdukDevi Hajduk

 

Devi.   An entrepreneur, and a great friend.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaime SmiloviciJaime Smilovici

 

Jaime and her mom.  I admire their relationship.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alisa La RussaAlisa La Russa

 

Alisa.  As her mentor, she taught me more than I could ever teach her.

 

www.youniqueproducts.com/alisalarussa 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek inspiring women https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/11/women-who-inspire Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:05:54 GMT
Family photography https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/10/family-photography One of my most favorite things to do this time of the year is family portraits.  I love seeing families come together and take the time to look their best.  And, I get to capture their proud moment!  Makes me proud to be a part of that.  My greatest joys in life is my own family and I know how important it is to preserve those memories.  Let me share with you a few of theirs.  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek photography family photography professional portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/10/family-photography Sun, 26 Oct 2014 16:59:50 GMT
Arizona Brides and Weddings https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/10/arizona-brides-and-weddings It has been 11 years, but I remember my wedding day clearly, especially the dressing up part!  Brittney and I had the opportunity to spend the morning dressing up and preparing for the perfect bridal portrait.  We began our adventure at Dolce Salon & Spa at Scottsdale Quarter.  Brittney's hair was done up by Hair Stylist, Mallory, and makeup by Make-Up Artist, Seda I.  Doesn't she look just stunning?!  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Arizona Bride Arizona Photographer Cave Creek Photographer Event Photographer Portrait Photographer Professional Photographer portraits wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/10/arizona-brides-and-weddings Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:35:36 GMT
Arizona Hiking! https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/10/arizona-hiking In the spirit of hiking season here in Phoenix, I would like to share a few images from my hikes around town.  Enjoy this gorgeous weather and be safe!  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Arizona Hiking https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/10/arizona-hiking Sat, 04 Oct 2014 22:21:18 GMT
Certified Professional Photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/9/certified-professional-photographer Certified Professional Photographer

Monika Cheang, Certified Professional Photographer

I am pleased to announce that I just completed the Certification by the Professional Photographer's Association!  This has been a two year long process for me, of learning and growing to earn the title, professional photographer.  Coming from a completely different field with a Master's in Counseling, I was not sure where to look for a formal, structured education in developing my skills in a completely new line of work.  So, I discovered, that, unlike a counselor, who has to have a certification in order to practice counseling, a photographer does not necessarily need a certification to call themselves a professional photographer.

I have always had an intuitive sense for photography, wonderful equipment, amazing mentors, and the time to teach myself new skills online.  But, I was personally challenged and driven to complete the certification, having come from a higher standard of professional practice.  I wanted to provide the best and highest level of product for my clients and earn the title to call myself a professional photographer.  

The Process

The process of becoming certified is divided into two parts.  The first part is the written exam, which includes questions that are relevant to professional photography today.  The second part is a portfolio review of submitted images and judged by the CPP standards.  The certification is maintained with ongoing educational credit hours that are required for renewal every three years.       

 

 

What this means to you!

Hiring a Certified Professional Photographer is quality insurance for you, as the client.  You know that you are working with a qualified professional, who will provide you with the highest quality.  More importantly, you will leave with images you love for years to come and for generations to enjoy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona cave certified creek in photographer professional https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/9/certified-professional-photographer Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:26:06 GMT
Make your business card stand out! https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/8/make-your-business-card-stand-out Adding a photo to your business card will assure that your face is remembered, as well as your credentials.  It is also a way to make the card stand out against competitors.  A professional image begins with professional headshots.

Sandra Barckholtz know this well.  Here are here latest images from our photo shoot.  Less than an hour and she has many different poses to choose from.  Take a look!

Realtor Realtor Realtor Realtor
Realtor

Sandra Barckholtz

Associate Broker, West USA Realty

480-221-2593

http://www.sandrabarckholtz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SandraBarckholtzRealEstate 

https://twitter.com/SRBarckholtz

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) business cards cave cave creek photorapher creek headshots images professional professional headshot scottsdale scottsdale photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/8/make-your-business-card-stand-out Mon, 25 Aug 2014 05:00:20 GMT
John Cheang, Retirement Financial Advisor, Managing Director with Ameriprise https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/8/retirementfinancialadvisor  

Are you planning your Retirement?

John Cheang has over 26 years of experience as a Retirement Financial Advisor.  Currently, he is the Managing Director at Ameriprise Financial.  

Top Areas of Focus

Wealth Preservation Strategies

Estate Planning Strategies

Retirement Income Strategies

 

https://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/john.cheang/

John Cheang, VP at Ameriprise FinancialJohn Cheang, VP at Ameriprise Financial

 

 

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) 401k rollover ameriprise ameriprise financial best scottsdale advisor financial advisor john cheang retirement advisor scottsdale advisor scottsdale retirement advisor https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/8/retirementfinancialadvisor Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:34:49 GMT
Family Portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/7/family-portraits Family parties and reunions are such a great opportunity for portraits.  Jim and Sally Dorsey celebrated their 80th Birthdays with their seven children and spouses, and twenty grandchildren.  This was the perfect setting for a group shot as well as individual family portraits.  And, just like with every family, things tend to get really fun by the end of the day.  

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Family Portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/7/family-portraits Tue, 08 Jul 2014 07:31:04 GMT
A Disney Cruise Experience https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/6/my-disney-cruise-experience I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that Disney has done it again and created the perfect setting for us to make family vacation memories.  The Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship was my favorite at 5 am, just before the sun came up.  The sunsets and sunrises were amazing!        

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The excursions to the islands went way too fast, so we will just have to go back again! 

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Cruise Disney https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/6/my-disney-cruise-experience Mon, 16 Jun 2014 18:12:56 GMT
The Owl Family https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/5/the-owl-family I love babies, any kind of babies.  Even owl babies!  So when I heard from my friend, Nicoleta, that she had a nest of them in her backyard, I had to go check it out.  The mom and dad owls were not very pleased to see me...

 

They were very protective over their babies.  Aren't we all?!

 

 

But, it was well worth the wait, because they were so fuzzy and cute!  

 

 

Don't they make a great family portrait?!

 

 

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Family Owl Portrait https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/5/the-owl-family Fri, 09 May 2014 04:54:38 GMT
Our Family Portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/5/our-family-portraits On Easter morning, I had the privilege to take a series of images of my own family.  Although I enjoy photographing everything in life, I am primarily a family/relational/lifestyle photographer, so I was wondering how that would transfer in portraits of myself with my own husband and children.  This loving bond in relationships is what I enjoy photographing most.  To my surprise, I think I captured the essence of us and our connections with each other.  Let me know if you see it too.      

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Family Our Portraits https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/5/our-family-portraits Fri, 02 May 2014 04:50:01 GMT
Arizona Landscape https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/4/arizona-landscape "Photography is my meditation." - Czar Anthony Lopez.  

 

No matter what, I always look up.  It must be a habit by now, because I almost never miss a sunset.  Next to spending time with my family, being in nature is one of my greatest joys.  Most of these images were taken with my Iphone during a hike, or off the side of the road on the way to somewhere.  

The last few sunset images were taken on April 9th, 2014, and, as some of you may know, that was the day Abigail Tizzano passed away from cancer at the age of eight.  I would like to dedicate this post to Abby.  She had so much love for life, and joy in her eyes, a most beautiful spirit, and more strength and courage than any mountain I've ever seen.

    

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) Arizona Desert Landscape https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/4/arizona-landscape Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:32:57 GMT
Arizona Spring https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/3/arizona-spring This is Spring in Arizona!  Well, in Phoenix anyway.  If you live here a while, you might have already noticed the seasonal allergies that this time of the year brings.  But, isn't it worth a sneeze or two to see all this bloom?!  YES!  The desert comes alive with color this time of the year and hiking is just amazing!  I hope you enjoy these images from my trip to the Desert Botanical Gardens and some hikes around town.  Some images were taken with my Canon DSLR, and some with just my iphone.  As a photographer based out of Cave Creek, I love traveling all around town to find beautiful places for family and couple photography.  This is a very romantic place for weddings, and engagement sessions, as well as family photography all year round.            Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom Bloom

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) desert botanical gardens desert photographer family photographer phoenix photographer photographer in desert botanical gardens professional photographer scottsdale photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/3/arizona-spring Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:50:10 GMT
Why I became a photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/3/why-i-became-a-photographer I'm often asked why someone like me, with a Master's in Counseling, wanted to pursue a career in photography.  The answer for me is simple.  I love people, relationships, and life!  I especially love to reveal through an image I take how good they look, how much love is in their life, and capturing their endearing expressions with each other.  I love being there during a moment in life that mattered enough to take a picture.  This is why I love being a photographer.  I hope you enjoy the images of my last session with the Cox Ladies, in beautiful Rancho Manana, at Tonto Bar & Grill.

          

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) cave creek cave creek photographer destination weddings phoenix photographer professional photographer rancho manana scottsdale photographer tonto bar & grill https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/3/why-i-became-a-photographer Sun, 16 Mar 2014 18:15:59 GMT
Rawhide Western Town https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/3/rawhide-western-town Rawhide Western Town was originally practically in my backyard when I moved into my first home in Scottsdale, Arizona.  But, shortly after I  moved in, they moved across town and I no longer get to see fireworks on the 4th of July from my back porch.  Although they are a bit of a road trip for me now, Rawhide remains one of my favorite little spots in Arizona to visit.  Here are a few images from our recent trip to Rawhide Western Town with my posse.  Notice how much fun my colorful daughters were having pretending to be cowgirls for the day.  There's panning for gold, a rock wall, horse rides, carriage rides, and live shows.  We didn't even get to do my favorite part yet, which is the BBQ in the evening under the stars.  As a photographer based out of Cave Creek, this is one of my favorite places to visit and photograph.  What better setting for a photo shoot in Arizona, than Rawhide!  I hope you enjoy!

Me and my PosseWhen hiring me as your photographer, you might find one of my assistants holding up a reflector for me from time to time. They were not having fun at all! The Cowgirl Life

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(Monika Cheang Photography, LLC.) arizona wedding photographer arizona western town cave creek photographer destination wedding photographer phoenix photographer phoenix wedding photographer rawhide scottsdale photographer scottsdale wedding photographer wedding photographer https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/3/rawhide-western-town Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:11:43 GMT
Arizona Renaissance Festival https://www.monikacheangphotography.com/blog/2014/2/arizona-renaissance-fair The Arizona Renaissance Festival

Last weekend we took the kids to the Renaissance Festival.  It was great to people watch in the great AZ weather!  Runs between February and March each year.  When you go, rent some amazing royal garb and eat a turkey leg.  You will be entertained! This is a great place for a unique family photo session, or engagement, or wedding photography.  As a photographer, this is a very special place with many unique locations for a photo shoot.