The Paseo Venue | Desert Elopement Editorial | Mae & Co. Creative

On surface level, this day was any photographer’s dream. But it holds so much deeper meaning to me.  

Manda of Mae & Co. designed this cutting-edge editorial at Paseo Venue, which is located in the depths of Apache Junction, Arizona. Surrounded by mountains and flushed by the desert sun, this venue is an absolute dream for weddings big and small. 

Every last detail was attended to. The floral artistry (by Flora by Haleigh) was years ahead of its time (anyone else swooning over the color fading bouquet?) The warm hues Manda selected for this tablescape flawlessly compliment that of the surrounding desertscape. One piece of this editorial that I still think about often is Megan’s dress! Sarah Seven gowns are my favorite, it is no secret. The intricate pearl beading and tulle train make this gown a showstopper. 

Now, let’s not forget about Troy’s look either. His simple monochrome attire spoke boldly for itself. It was a refreshing variant from a typical groom’s look, but still exudes utmost elegance.  

This was my first time visiting Arizona. It was also my first experience traveling solo–– it was a bit intimidating to hop on a plane alone at 20 years old, but it was exactly what my soul needed. In the first sentence of this blog post, I mentioned that this experience out west had a deeper meaning to me. Here is why. 

At the time I took this trip, I was working my part-time healthcare job. Going full-time into my photography was not in the books for me for a while, as I was fearful that relying on only my business would not be sustainable. As all creatives do, I doubted myself and my potential for years. I was the only thing holding me back.

Throughout this journey to Arizona, I began to experience real freedom. Freedom to create. Freedom to be myself. Confidence. Working with patients through the pandemic took a toll on me. After getting a taste of what creative independence and being appreciated felt like, I was addicted. A few days later, I worked up the courage to put in my resignation notice at work. 

This day was a catalyst for my business. It inspired me to chase after where my heart is and who I am as an artist. This experience impacted the rest of the course of my life. Everything has it’s perfect timing–– I have no doubt that this editorial fell into my lap when I needed it most.