"It was like jumping onto a moving freight train.” Flagstaff Portraits - CEO PortraitWhile were making some fresh professional portraits, I’d asked Pam about becoming the new owner of the popular aromatherapy products store, Body Bliss in Cottonwood, AZ. She was scrambling to get up to speed to stay on top of all the amazing growth in her business. Instead of the usual synthetic yuckiness, Body Bliss products are made with natural and sustainable botanical raw materials and can be found at some of the finest spas around the country. The company was originated by a botanist and a massage therapist, looking to create healthier supplies for massage therapists to use day in and day out.  It's a product line that is near and dear to Pam's heart and she loves her fun, demanding job.

FlagstaffPortraits-BodyBlissCEOBeyond what I originally thought of as aromatherapy products (like essential oils), Body Bliss offers a huge variety of delicious sounding goodies like "I RENEW Organic Tea Tree & Rosemary Foot Soak”, "Chai Spice & Vanilla Virgin Coconut Body Polish”, and "Pink Grapefruit & Jasmine Cleansing Cream.” I get hungry just reading their titles! Personally, I'm in love with the Organic Lavender & Vetiver Body Lotion and am kind of wondering how I lived without it all these years! You can purchase online, so go get something yummy for yourself or a lucky loved one: Body Bliss website


Kristen Dacey Iwai of KDI Photography is a full-time professional portrait photographer based in Flagstaff, Arizona with more than 2 decades of experience. Making portraits of families, pregnancy, newborns, babies, children, high school seniors and for businesses in her downtown studio and on location, she serves clients from Flagstaff, Sedona, Tuba City, Winslow, Payson, Page, Williams, Prescott, Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Arizona. Please visit KDI Photography's website.

Flagstaff Family Portrait Photographer • Flagstaff Maternity Pregnancy Photographer • Flagstaff Newborn Photographer • Flagstaff Child Photographer • Flagstaff Senior Portrait Photographer • Flagstaff Commercial Photography

I met a lovely person yesterday when realtor Linda Kiehne came in for her ReMax Peak Properties professional business portrait. Unlike my family, children and senior portrait subjects, I find that people often come to the studio to get an updated head shot with some reluctance. I can empathize because I prefer to be behind the camera (or at least one of my children!) when it comes to portraits, too. I try to make it a painless process for my commercial photography clients and I'm so glad that Linda enjoyed her experience during our session together.

You can see some of KDI Photography's commercial portraits here.

commercial headshots

By the time she finally called me, I could hear the guilt in her voice. They had waited and waited to find the right moment. Something always got in the way. The kids  had some school event or sports activity. She and her husband wanted to lose a little weight. One of her children was going through an "awkward teeth" phase. (For the record, I absolutely love the visual time machine aspect of "awkward teeth"!) Scheduling was always a challenge. Before they knew it, the kids were just SO MUCH older. She felt like some of the important moments in her family's life had been missed, photographically.

Have you ever heard that proverb: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now".

You know when the best time is to make portraits? Now.

Here are my top 7 reasons to have your portraits made during the summer:

1. Coordinating schedules is usually easier in the summer. It's less likely that you'll have to work around school events, sports, lessons and other after-school activities.summer family portraits flagstaff photographer

2. People often feel more “photo-ready" in the summer. We're outdoors, getting some sunshine and are usually more active than during the holidays.

3. Your stress level will be dramatically reduced when your holiday gift giving and holiday cards are completed before the rush sets in. And, when you and your family members find yourselves in relaxed summer mode during the session, your holiday portrait gifts and cards will show it!Family-Portrait-Flagstaff-AZ4. Family and senior portrait photographers (like me) ...continue reading 7 Reasons You’ll Love Having Portraits Made in Summer – Flagstaff Photographer

When the Rodriguez family first arrived at my studio, they appeared, in a group. Since then, whenever I meet with them, there's usually quite a few members of the family present. It makes sense, since they comprise two of the three local families that own the delicious Tacos Los Altos on Route 66 here in Flagstaff Arizona. Running the family restaurant business together, I’m sure they’re used to the need for lots of familial cooperation! Being really passionate about their food and about their customers means a lot of hard work. If you haven’t been to Tacos Los Altos, you need to go because it’s quite yummy: https://www.facebook.com/TacosLosAltos/

The two oldest daughters in each family were about to receive their First Communion and we needed to celebrate this important rite of passage. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed being with them and being entrusted with documenting such a meaningful moment in their lives. Being with this family always brings a smile to my face and I hope we’ll get to make more portraits together down the road.

First Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZFirst Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZ First Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZ

First Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZFirst Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZ First Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZ First Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZFirst Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZ       First Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZ First Communion Portrait, Flagstaff, AZ


I first encountered Abbie when she was just a little little. During her family portraits, she and her siblings were adorably loving and sweet. An early example here, although her brother's not so sure about the snuggling!children snuggling, Flagstaff, AZ

Watching the 3 kids in this family grow, that loving sweetness hasn't changed. Something that has changed is that Abbie has blossomed into a brilliant artist,  committed runner, passionate skier, and someone who loves great books.  She has also, unfortunately, has had way more than her fair share of health challenges. Diagnosed with Dysautonomia, she has spent an enormous amount of time in the hospital and has been in an out of a wheelchair. She has seizures and chronic pain, she passes out, she sometimes loses the ability to speak, walk or use her hands. And yet, she rises with determination over and over again and resumes pursuing all of her many interests and talents. She doesn't seem to let anything stop her for very long. It's a quality that she shares with Olympic athletes I've photographed.

With all of this in mind, we set out to make a senior portrait of Abbie making art and also outdoors in her beloved snowy Flagstaff.

Senior Portrait, Flagstaff, AZThe manner in which Abbie makes her art shows her sheer will. She will set up her materials anywhere - in a cluttered office, on the floor, wherever she can find space. And what she creates is remarkable. Her work reveals the beauty inside her and also sometimes unveils her physical and emotional pain, too.

Senior Portrait, Flagstaff, AZI love how you can see in her face the strength she has inside.

Senior Portrait in snow, Flagstaff, AZSenior Portrait in snow, Flagstaff, AZSenior Portrait in snow, Flagstaff, AZSenior Portrait in snow, Flagstaff, AZAbbie's so inspiring that she's one of 4 nominees for a scholarship - an A.C.E. Award (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence)  from the Exchange Club of Flagstaff. The A.C.E. Award is presented to a senior high school student who has shown perseverance and success in meeting difficult personal and academic challenges in his or her high school experience.

Sounds right up her alley.

Senior Portrait in snow, Flagstaff, AZ

You can read more about Abbie's health and her phenomenal art in a recent article in the Arizona Daily Sun here.