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"It’s benign.”  Isn’t that such a great sentence? Who doesn't want to hear that the issue they're having is harmless, noncancerous?

Those two words are an excerpt from one of my earliest conversations with radiologist Ken Salce. I hope he gets to say that to patients every day but, for me, hearing it was remarkable. It was a long time ago, but ever since that day, seeing him has always been a happy reminder of his compassionately issued reassurance.

Flagstaff AZ Location Couples PortraitWhen I bumped into him at a fundraiser with his sweetie, Tara Cecil, she gave me reason to smile, too. She is a person who is filled with light and enthusiasm and love, all of which  radiate out of her face.Flagstaff AZ Location Couples Portrait  You can't miss it, it's contagious.

They are amazing together, sharing private jokes, finishing each other sentences. They share an easy confidence and it’s just a good feeling to be around them. When Tara finished her PhD and they set a date for their upcoming wedding, we made plans to create some overdue couples portraits. Their way of being together makes my job a breeze, I sometimes think they'veFlagstaff AZ Location Couples Portrait forgotten I’m there, with my camera!

We made the first photographs in the bucolic summer in Flagstaff, with  abundant, saturated yellow flowers surrounding the happy couple.

For their second portrait session, the turning leaves of the golden aspens in Northern Arizona were in their fullest glory.

Despite the fact that both of them work at Flagstaff Medical Center, Ken and Tara ...continue reading Couples Portraits in Flagstaff, AZ – Northern Arizona Photographer

"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

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KDI Photography is holding a raffle to support a family whose 31/2 year-old daughter is going through cancer treatment. We're offering a free studio portrait session for up to 5 people with a $99 print credit to one winner. Buy one or more raffle tickets and you will be helping to provide financial support to their family as they travel to Phoenix for chemotherapy treatments. One raffle ticket for $20 or 6 tickets for $100.  Raffle drawing will be November 21st.

We are excited to offer some support to this amazing family so thanks in advance!

TO GET YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS, PLEASE REACH OUT TO ANY OF THESE FOLKS:
Kristen or Keiji Iwai at (928) 779-4151 or studio@kdiphotography.com
Shannon Ellison at (928) 213-0888 or Sehavey22@yahoo.com
Heidi Komada at (928) 221-7854 or heidinted@yahoo.com
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• Want to help even more?  Sign up to coordinate raffle tickets at your work or school!

• Not interested in winning a portrait session with KDI Photography but still want to help? Please feel free to contribute to another fundraiser, a GoFundMe campaign that was set up by Maslar family friends.

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She was clearly getting ready to say something. She stood in front of me and paused, looking at the floor for a second. When she did glance up at me, she quietly mumbled, 'I'm gonna miss you.' I said 'Oh, I know. Me too. I always love when I get to play with you.'

Later, at the end of the very full day, KDI Photography I looked at the wax bracelet she'd made me, snuggled sloppily around my wrist, and smiled again. My 3-year-old friend (she'd made a point to assure me we were real 'friends') had arrived in the morning with her awesome parents for their portrait View and Order meeting like she almost always arrives - looking very serious and shy. About 15 minutes in, she usually starts to warm up and progresses from there to the freely-climbing-on-my-lap level, and then finally on to full-out dance party mode by the time she has to go. In like a lamb and out like a very playful, giggly lion.

Today, our little dance break needed no music except us humming along to our crazy steps. I'll confess, I love it when kids are reluctant to leave the studio because it means they're happy to be here. Fortunately, I'll get to see her again soon - there's more on the calendar with her delightful family.

The bracelet was tangible evidence of some sweetness in a day that was full of sweet moments. A wonderful email from clients who were happily surprised by something that Keiji and I sneakily included in their order; a newborn's sleepy sounds, furrowed brow, and prayerful toes; parental expressions as they reacted to their teenage daughter's photographs; a woman's joyfully enthusiastic voice on the phone as we conspired about her upcoming couples engagement portrait.

Again and again, beautiful souls somehow find us, walk through our studio door, and fill up my heart. Their presence is an amazing gift.

 

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

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Two weeks ago, the phone rang and it was horrible news. My friends and clients, the Hanson family, had suffered an unimaginable tragedy. That morning, their 22 month old son Mason had unexpectedly run outside and was hit by their car. This precious boy, this adored ball of sunshine and love, was gone. In the days that followed, as I sat with them and created projects for his memorial and for their home with the portraits we’d made together, I saw up close what it looks like to suffer the worst pain anyone can imagine. The pictures were some comfort to them, and I was grateful there was something I could do to help, as I struggled with the absolute powerlessness we all feel when watching friends live through enormous grief.

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In the 10 days following Mason’s passing, they were surrounded with a tsunami of support, from helping with financial concerns to building “Mason’s Garden”, a beautiful growing, flowing memorial to their littlest child in their backyard. Along with extended family, friends and our remarkable Flagstaff community, they accomplished herculean tasks of organization and planning. When Mason’s parents took to the podium next to his casket to beautifully remember their child on Sunday, the sorrow in that room was palpable. But Jessica’s speech was also something else. An inspiring entreaty to make the world more Mason-like.

With Jessica's permission, her words are included here.

Wow, there is a lot of love in this room. A lot of sadness, but a lot of love. Look at how beautiful that little boy is.

I was contemplating talking about the most HansonFamilyPortraitFlagstaff10-2015_025dramatic poop experience with you all but I suppose it would be a good ice breaker. 5 weeks ago I let my Mason go without a diaper for no more than 3 minutes. I wanted to watch his cute little naked butt running around for a short period of time. As I was watching him I noticed he was giving me the look….The, I’m going to poop on the floor look. From that second on everything was in slow motion. I said buddy, don’t do it… I stood up and as I was going to pick him up he pooped right on the floor…then I stepped in it. So there I was standing in my daughters room on one foot holding a naked baby who was ready to fire at any given moment. I started yelling for Mikey… ...continue reading Live Like Mason – A Heartbroken Mom’s Words of Wisdom