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Witnessing Some Magic – A Minnesota Welcome

We were pretty surprised when the message arrived in our in-box one morning. The invitation: to visit WHCC, our professional photographic lab, and watch them handcraft some of our wall art and albums. Um…Yes, please!

It was fascinating to actually learn how cutting edge technology assists some highly skilled craftspeople in creating works of art, painstakingly by hand. It gave us an even greater appreciation for the care and commitment to quality that each piece is given.

We’re so grateful for all that they do for us and for the opportunity to witness the magic of how they bring our vision to fruition.


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

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


Lakin, Flagstaff High School, Class of 2023 – Completing the Circle

I first photographed him in 2005, and his wide eyed startled face as a baby made me laugh out loud. It still does! (Stay tuned for another post with those early portraits of the Smiths.)

Senior in high school with leather jacket in front of an old cabin and the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff Arizona. © KDI Photography

When we did his senior portraits, it was so enjoyable to see who he’s become. Spoiler alert: he can still do the startle face, only now he’s added a whole host of additional hilarious and heartwarming expressions. His bilateral alternating eye brow lift is AWESOME! His freezing, numb hands couldn’t keep the smile from his face, he’s THAT good natured.

senior in high school shows his startle face in front of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff Arizona. © KDI Photography

This was bittersweet because he is the youngest of the Smith family, Jen’s baby. I’ve SO enjoyed photographing each of her wonderful kids at this milestone, and having Jen along for each session just makes it that much more special.


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

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


Sloane, Flagstaff High School, Class of 2023 – a Contagious Giggle and an Intimidating Stare

We trekked out north of town on a glorious fall day, the aspens somehow miraculously at their peak, despite some earlier session reschedules. She doesn’t love being the sole focus of attention but she’s been tortured by me and my camera her whole life so I’m sure she just settled into a familiar routine! 🙂

Fall senior photos, Flagstaff High School graduating class of 2023, mountain location session, KDI Photography

Her giggle and her humor have always been contagious (check out the portrait of her at aged 2 below ⬇️ and you’ll see what I mean) and YET… her steely stare can make you feel like you’re in trouble, like whatever you’re doing might go down on your permanent record. She’s so intimidating when she does that! 

Fall senior photos, Flagstaff High School graduating class of 2023, mountain location session with guitar, KDI Photography

She brought along her guitar. Oh, the sound of her playing, the rich notes wafting across the meadow, made my blood pressure drop – everything right with the world. And of course, her puppies needed some time in front of the camera, so peaceful (and remarkably compliant!) in her arms.

Can’t believe this moment is here. She graduates next month and in the fall, heads off to study marine biology at the University of Hawaii! Congratulations, Sloane!

Fall senior photos, Flagstaff High School graduating class of 2023, mountain location at sunset, by KDI Photography

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

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


Meg, NPA, Class of 2023 – Going By in a Blur

She is a funny, talented, loving, quick-witted, kind, strong, intelligent, beautiful-inside-and-out badass. Meg is also FAAAST. She responds fast with her humor, she thinks fast when engaged in conversation and most of all, she runs fast! She recently won the 1600M and next up, she’s headed to college, where she’ll run for Sacramento State. 👏🏼

Courtyard Studio Portrait, Senior Photo of NPA Athlete, Runner with Shoes, Flagstaff, AZ ©KDI Photography

It’s pretty cool to witness someone grow into a phenomenal adult in front of your eyes and your camera. A whole lifetime of changes. I’m so lucky that I’ve been able to do that with this exceptional person. (Check out my recent blog post “More Than Sisters” if you want to see her whole life in portraits!) 

Courtyard Studio Portrait, Senior Photo of NPA Athlete, Runner with Shoes, Flagstaff, AZ ©KDI Photography

She is unstoppable but I am rooting for her, all the same.

Studio Portrait, Senior Photo Girl in White, With Blue Green Background, Flagstaff, AZ. ©KDI Photography

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

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


Alexa, BASIS Flagstaff, Class Of 2023 – Senior Photos With Two Star Subjects: One Human, One Canine

I couldn’t stop laughing. Next to me, I could hear Corey, Alexa’s mom, trying in vein to suppress giggles, too. Alexa was seated next to the beloved Rose, their fluffy white family dog. Rose was understandably entertained by the many compelling attractions that surrounded us; birds, laughing kids in the distance, etc.

Senior photos, Fall in Flagstaff, AZ KDI Photography

So, my prompt to Alexa was “Whichever direction Rose is looking, mirror her and look there too.” She did this with aplomb and was utterly convincing in her portrayal of casualness. The sweetest thing was when Rose looked right at Alexa and they briefly smiled at each other. It was touching and hilarious at the same time.


I’ve known Corey for several years but this chance to get to know Alexa was really appreciated. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: she’s humble, brilliant, graceful, kind and has this particularly remarkable mix of seemingly contradicting qualities; She manages to pull off being supremely cool with also being totally willing to be goofy. I had so much fun on the gorgeous fall day that her senior portrait session was graced with. She and Rose can be my star subjects anytime.

Young Woman in Red Jacket, Jumping in the Middle of a Dirt Road, With Fall Foliage and San Francisco Peaks in the Background, Senior Photos, Fall in Flagstaff, AZ KDI Photography
Young Woman Looking at the Peaks, Senior photos, Fall in Flagstaff, AZ KDI Photography

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

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


Cacie, Flagstaff High School, Class of 2023 – A Family Affair

On a late August afternoon, I pulled up along side the dark truck. The windows were tinted and for a moment, I wondered if it was even sidling up to the correct vehicle.

Senior portrait of girl in Navajo traditional dress, playing violin in front of the San Francisco Peaks, in Northern Arizona, Coconino County, Flagstaff AZ. ©KDI Photography

When the window rolled down slowly, I felt like I was in a spy movie and we were about to exchange some espionage dossier! But no, it was the Smiley Begay family, meeting me as planned. They had perfectly followed the random pin on the map I’d sent them.


It was so much fun to be with them again. This time, we were celebrating their youngest, Cacie with senior portraits. With her parents and grandmother along for support, it was a family affair. Her grandmother even handcrafted her stunning Navajo traditional dress. They made final adjustments to her clothes in the field of yellow blooms, tucking things in, and trimming threads.

It was a session full of flowers, laughter, and beautiful music.

Senior portrait of girl sitting in yellow  flowers, wearing Navajo traditional dress, holding her violin, near the San Francisco Peaks, in Northern Arizona, Flagstaff AZ, Coconino County. ©KDI Photography

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

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


Daniel, BASIS Flagstaff, Class of 2023 – One Very Kind Assassin

“Senior Assassin.” 

What do you think of when you hear those words? MY mind goes to images of (non-swimming) seniors in high school, showing up at my studio, wearing goggles and pool floaties, while surreptitiously looking over their shoulders. It’s the time of year when there is a vague, quirky paranoia in the air. 

Senior photo in Fall, Flagstaff, AZ

The game goes like this: the high school seniors all try to squirt gun their assigned “target”, before their own “assassin” can get to them first. The water safety items are the protection that keeps them in the game. By the time Daniel and I met for his senior photos, there had already been 8 attempts on his “life!” Remarkably, he lives to fight another day!

This is especially awe-inspiring, when you think of how many scheduled places this guy is during a given week. He participates in four sports; soccer, cross-country, track and basketball. That’s not even including a bunch of many other very cool hobbies. 

Black and White Senior photo in Fall, Flagstaff, AZ. ©KDI Photography

Besides being well rounded and interesting, he’s also supremely empathetic and kind. I saw this in action when I told him that I hoped I could still possibly grow taller. Without hesitation, he agreed, supportively, that I could do it! 😀He’s THAT encouraging, even if you have a ridiculous pipe dream. He graduates in May. Wherever he lands will benefit from what he brings to it.


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

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


More Than Sisters; 18 Years of a Beautiful Sibling Relationship – Flagstaff Portraits

The first time I met them, I could only see Eliza. Meg was snuggly tucked into her mom’s round belly. But their relationship was already powerful. When I see this first portrait now, it feels as if Eliza was waiting for her to get here. Like they were always meant to walk through this life together.

Black and white close up studio portrait of toddler, with her chin on her mother's pregnant belly.

I count it as a huge blessing that I’ve been able to make portraits of this remarkable sibling relationship every year since then. When their parents told them they were divorcing, one of the questions they had was “Can we still make portraits with Kristen?” Happily, the reply was yes.

There have been sessions when, surely, they weren’t feeling it, times when they were annoyed with each other, or maybe me. Yet they are my star subjects. Always creative, natural, insightful, kind, authentic, hilarious. These sessions always feel like a party, a great hang with people you love. They dance, sing, jump, snuggle, giggle, lounge like they they know who they are. Sometimes, I have to call their attention back because they are naturally drawn towards one anther, speaking a sister language that they alone share.

Now, with Eliza at college and Meg college bound soon, I asked each of them to tell me about her sister.

Meg:

Eliza is my sister, best friend, mentor, inspiration, and one of my favorite people on the planet. Her hard work, passion, talent, and dreams inspire everyone she is around. I love her and couldn’t imagine my life without her.

Eliza:

Meg and I weren’t always close but as we’ve grown up we’ve only grown closer and now I’m so lucky to be able to say that my sister is one of my best friends. I admire her endless generosity and motivation. She is full of life and so easy and fun to be around, and now more than ever, I’m thankful for all the time we get to spend together.

I’m thankful for all the time spent with these two amazing women.

Color studio portrait of teenage sisters sitting snuggled on couch, in Flagstaff photography studio.

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

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


An Engbring Update – Heartfelt Family portraits, Summertime in Flagstaff

She walked into the room on a Tuesday morning, sat down, and calmly and confidently, told me that my heart is good. It’s her job to deliver news like that. She is a cardiac Nurse Practitioner, after all. Thankfully, the news was reassuring – an auspicious first meeting!

Summer Family Portraits Flagstaff, Family of three with San Francisco Peaks in the Background, Arizona

Since then, I have been lucky to have many more conversations with Megan and always love them. She’s so positive and joyful. But when we reconnected for this latest family portrait update, there was something new that clearly had her fired up. She has been helping people get healthy for a long time, but now she had added a new modality to her roster of tools.

Since I’d last seen her, she had become a certified Habits of Health coach with OPTAVIA. It’s the opposite of gimmicky, quick fix weight loss programs, because it comprehensively helps folks affect lasting change with some serious supportive scaffolding surrounding them. You can hear her passion as she talks about how she feels truly grateful to be able to help transform lives with lifestyle changes that avert illness, rather than treating people after they’re already sick. Her eyes light up when she talks about it and she radiates hope and optimism. Seeing her so aligned with her purpose made me feel really happy for her, not to mention her clients.

Yet, as fulfilled as her work makes her, nothing lights up Megan more than Matt and Amelia. They are a dynamic trio! And when you include Caterina and Cleocatra (stuffed cats that replicate feline family members), and even a few M&M’s, Amelia lights up the most! Being with these three is always such a treat.

Summer Family Portraits Flagstaff, Family of three with San Francisco Peaks in the Background, Arizona

If you want to benefit from Megan’s passionate expertise, you can get in touch here.

Summer Family Portraits Flagstaff, Hands of Family of three showing Rings with Peaks on them, San Francisco Peaks in the Background, AZ

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

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


Camden, BASIS Flagstaff, Class of 2023 – Cool Under Pressure, Senior Photos


Oh man. There should be some kind of award. If I could give one “Senior Portrait Survival Award” this season, Camden would be a lock. 

This guy smiled and laughed while millions of mosquitos attacked him. The worst was trying to maintain a straight face while they feasted on him. He must have blood that’s the equivalent of mosquito crack. And then, after a valiant effort to keep a straight face, he’d crack up from the effort of holding all together. He has a great, full throttle laugh, so it was hilarious. I laughed sooo hard.

Senior Photos Flagstaff, Rock Climbing, Summer in Arizona

I’ve been photographing him since birth and seeing the adult he’s becoming was amazing. He’s changed a lot, just in the 2 years since our last family session! He may look different but he’s always been kind, calm and intelligent, and is an impressive boulderer, so we needed to reference his climbing in the portraits. 

Somewhere over the years, Camden’s mom Liz became a treasured friend, so being with them both, cracking up, was an absolute blast. 


2 responses to “Camden, BASIS Flagstaff, Class of 2023 – Cool Under Pressure, Senior Photos”
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    Liz Hobbs
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Flagstaff Family Portrait Photographer • Flagstaff Maternity Pregnancy Photographer • Flagstaff Newborn Photographer • Flagstaff Child Photographer • Flagstaff Senior Portrait Photographer • Flagstaff Couples Photography

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


Keiji Iwai & Kristen Dacey Iwai

KDI PHOTOGRAPHY

 

724 N. Humphreys St

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

 

Phone

(928) 779-4151

 

Hours:

M - F 9 - 5 by appointment

KDI Photography Portrait Studio in Flagstaff, Az
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