San Diego | 5th Wedding Anniversary | 2012

This post is WAY behind ! But, one of my goals for 2014 is to share more of me with my fans. The best way to do that is through photos. So, Here is our 2012 vacation. My husband and I took our first trip to San Diego. I’d never been to the beach and he wanted to go to Sea World. We both got crazy sunburns ridding beach cruisers up the beach. But it was a BLAST ! A little bit about my husband and I. We’ve been married for almost 7 years now. We don’t have children and have no plans of having any. We are DINKwads ( Double – Income – No – Kids – With – A – Dogs ) . We love to travel , he loves to hunt and we want to enjoy as much of life as we possible can. Oh, ya we’re also workaholics ! But each year we try to take 1-2 weeks and take a vacation or two. Go somewhere that we’ve never been. The world is a BIG place and we’re determined to experience it !


~ X0xo





Photographer Shoot

Wow ! Where did the holidays go ? December was a VERY stressful month for my husband and I. I realize that I have neglected my blog (once again) for far too long. It’s been a crazy few weeks at my house and I couldn’t seem to find the time to sit down and blog.¬†We started what should be a month of enjoying holiday lights and hot chocolate off on a bad foot. My husband’s truck was totaled while parked in front of our house at the beginning of December. ( Look for the blog on that one) So, I spent the month arguing with insurance companies and he spent the month looking for a new truck. Luckily right after Christmas our wishes came true as we purchased a new truck that he is just in love with. So, now that we’ve started 2014 off on a good foot , it’s time for me to blow up your newsfeeds with my blog posts that were supposed to be done in 2014 ūüôā .

In October I had the opportunity to meet up with a couple local photographers and learn from each other. They are amazing ladies, both inside and out. Amber has since sadly moved ¬†back to Indiana but Ashley still lives in Arizona. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to meet many more local photographers. I believe that you should be able to grow and learn from your fellow photographer vs the nastyness I’ve seen in this industry. I enjoyed the time I got to spend with these amazingly beautiful women and I hope to get that chance again sometime !





Why Should I hire a professional photographer for holiday portraits ?

It’s amazing how 2013 has flown by. Mind you I could have done without the two surgeries but after the last set of injections I have to say I’m doing quite well. I’m on the mend and ready for the holidays. Or at least mentally I am. I’m sure you’re all planning that amazing Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday shopping trip already. If you don’t know me then you don’t know what a crazy all out Black Friday shopper I am. I’m already writing out my holiday list along with my holiday to-do list. I’m scanning the online ads and counting down. I know I’m crazy but that’s why you love me ūüôā !

On there once again I find “family photos” and holiday cards on my to-do holiday list. I’m sure allot of you find the same items on yours too. Now I know with the easy access to digital cameras that it would be just so easy to do the photos yourself or call “aunt sally” to come press the button. But STOP and listen to me for a second on why you should not just have “aunt sally” press the button.

Now as a photographer I could easily setup my camera and set the self timer. But that just causes me way too much stress ! I actually hire a professional , Images by Amber. To do our family photos. But why ? Because I know that Amber is skilled in the fine art of posing. She’ll make us laugh and get those funny expressions and the cute photos that otherwise wouldn’t get captured.

A professional photographer is also going to make sure that your outfits coordinate and that the pose you are doing makes you look slimming. As a woman I am very self conscious about my figure and weight. The worst thing is to look at a photo and think ” I look like i’m 30 lbs over weight” . As a professional we make sure that you’re at ease , your outfits coordinate and you look amazing.

There are also the little things like having experience with taking family photos or even wedding portraits that come into play. I spend my fall between October and December juggling weddings and family portraits. In Arizona this is prime wedding season. You’ll find me many weekends running from one family session to a wedding. No wonder I’m frazzled by January 1st ūüôā .

We also have spent time and money learning our editing software, investing in classes on developing new photography skills to make your photos look amazing and then lastly we’ve invested thousand’s of dollars on backdrops , camera , lenses , flashes , off camera lighting , props. There are many reasons that go un-thought of when it’s time to decide to hire a professional or do it yourself.

So, before you ask aunt sally to be your Holiday Photographer seriously consider what you’re getting for the price. Memories can’t be re-created and I’m a huge advocate for capturing those memories and freezing them in time in the best quality ! Make sure that you have the best of family photos.

This Holiday season choose a quality family photographer for your holiday memories !

xoxo ~ Sammantha-Maria

Princess Cake Smash | 1st birthday Phoenix Az

One of my most favorite things to do is a stylized session. Now what is a stylized session ? Well, it’s where a theme is chosen and from there I organize the wardrobe, the look , the props. I organize pretty much everything. You just show up and prepare for fun ! That is exactly what my good friend Lindsey wanted to her little girl’s first birthday. I must say it was a BLAST ! We decided that she must be dressed like a princess. So, I had the tutu custom made, choose the tiara and even the design of the cake. Her mom LOVED the whole feel and design. I have to say besides my weddings this has to be the most fun I’ve had in awhile ! If you’re looking for a fun session think about having a stylized session. You can contact us for more details at¬†ImageImageImage

Miss City of Maricopa | 8.31.13


The last few months have been crazy for me. It always seems to get that way around the start of school, the end of summer and the beginning of the holiday rush season. This year I was honored to be able to capture the crowing of the 2014 Miss City of Maricopa. What an amazing event inspired around young women who are working hard to follow their dreams. I personally love pageants and jump at the chance to capture them when I¬†can. From the talent contest to evening wear it was a truly amazing event that I’m honored to have been apart of. I hope that I will be given the same opportunity next year. This is a great organization for young women to be apart of !¬†SONY DSC



Winds of Change

I apologize for neglecting all of my amazing followers for so long. I know it’s been forever it seems like since I last blogged. But,I wanted to update everyone on some amazing and exciting changes that will be taking place at Mako Photography. Like all companies we have seen our share of “growing pains” and even made a few mistakes along the way. Now this may sound like we’re closing our doors for good but in fact we are doing the opposite. We will be starting a fresh chapter and ripping off some old scabs that have kept us held down over the last few years. Our identity will remain the same but there are things that will drastically be changed. Some of you will love the changes while some of our followers and clients won’t be so enthused by the changes.

What are the changes you may ask ?

Well, one of the biggest changes is that you will notice a change in pricing. I realize that some of you may find it hard to grasp the changes in pricing but as everything does it’s been time for along while to raises the prices. It’s scary for me too ! I’m worried that I’ll lose all of my amazing fans and clients. But I know that those of you who truly value my work will understand why I had to make the hard decision to raise the prices. Now all the price changes aren’t done but I’m working on them one day at a time. Weddings have already been changed. The rest will follow suit in the next few days. But, if you find that you can’t afford the current prices and don’t want to lose me as your photographer then, don’t forget that I do offer mini-sessions too and there are payment plans available as-well. I want to be able to accommodate all of my clients while still being able to provide for my family.

My next big announcement is that you will notice that custom USB’s or CD’s are no longer included in wedding packages and portrait packaging. What’s up with that ? ¬† I’ll be posting a more detailed blog post about this sometime in the future but I have a belief that a custom USB or CD can’t replace custom art that you will hang on your wall. Custom art is how you are remembered. Most clients that order a USB or CD won’t even have the art printed within the first 12 months if ever. With the ever changing technology by the time you get around to printing your images the media could be obsolete. Now for those of you that still want that custom USB or CD you will still be able to purchase it or add it to your package but it will come at a premium price. It boils down to that fact that I care about my work and about your memories. I want you to be remembered not forgotten !

The next change is going to be how I approach sessions. I’ve discovered a love for stylized sessions and this is the kind of sessions that I want to be providing to my clients. What this means is that if you schedule a cake smash for your little one that the session will be organized around a theme. From there we will pick a couple amazing outfits from local vendors, order a cake that goes with the theme and coordinate colors and decorations in line with the theme. In a stylized session the client is given a chance to dress up and feel beautiful (maybe even feel like someone else). You aren’t just coming into the studio and having your photos taken in jeans and a tee-shirt. Stylized sessions are focused around fashion,fun and flair! Now for those of you who aren’t adventurous enough I will still be offering the basic session but I encourage you to try a stylized session. ¬†I wan to help you feel beautiful and step outside of your comfort zone. Awe your family and friends with your true inner beauty !

These are just a few changes that I’m working on at the moment. Over the next few months you will notice changes in how business is conducted and my style. I don’t want to scare everyone off with changes. I hope that you will continue to follow me and embrace the exciting new changes that are ahead for Mako Photography !

Model Call | Senior Class 2013 – 2014 | Phoenix, Az

Do you like to laugh ? Are you a senior girl ? Do you dance to your own beat ? Do you LOVE to tell your friends about the newest thing you discovered ? Are you fashion forward ? Do you love to pose for a camera ? Have you dreamed of being a model ?

If any of these things fit you then you are what we are looking for ! We are looking for senior girls who want to be studio reps for Mako Photography.

What does this mean for you ? This means that we will plan a fun , over the top , jaw dropping session for you. In exchange for an amazing session you do what you normally do, share us with your friends ! You’ll be provided cards with your favorite image on to share with your friends. You’ll also get an IPhone/Android case with your favorite image and Iphone/Android app of your gallery to show your friends too ! When your friends book us for their session you receive 15% off of any of our products. If enough friends book us you could receive all prints , USB, framed and canvas art for FREE !

Sounds like fun ? What are you waiting on sign up today ! All you have to do is email us your most recent image , information about what school you go to and what ideas you have for a shoot. We will contact you within 48 hours about becoming a senior rep for Mako Photography !

Senior Star Rep | Phoenix Az

Join Mako Photography and become a Senior Star Rep today !

Bri | Senior Star Session

Hope everyone is staying cool this week ! It was 124 on sunday in Phoenix. HOT ! So, as I¬†hibernated¬†from the heat and dreamed of 70 degree days I decided it was time to start re-blogging previous blog posts that got “ate” when we transfered site vendors. The first of my re-blog is Bri’s Senior session.

I enjoyed working with her allot. She was tons of fun and was easy to work with. She came with lots of ideas and knew exactly what she wanted. We choose Scottsdale Civic Center Park as the location for her shoot. A warm April day made her senior session an amazing day !

Best of Luck Bri in all your future endeavors and reach for the stars !



Welcome Packet

This last weekend I prepared for a bridal expo. I wanted a unique way to display my bridal welcome packet. I decided to do a DIY announcement style. Everyone seems to be loving these so, I thought I’d do a post on what it took to make them.

In the packet I include : Welcome letter, must have shot list , bridal show pricing specials and other products offered. ( You can include as much or little as you would like)



Envelopes were purchased at

Mat and enclosures were also purchased at

Silver/Metallic Paper clips were from staples

Printing was done on ink jet printer

Business cards printed by

Mats were affixed to the envelope with zots or glue dots. I did the same to affix the welcome letter to the mat. It took about 15 minutes to put glue dots on mat and welcome letter add enclosures and pin business card.




I then took black glitter ribbon from Michael’s and wrapped it around tightly . I cut the ribbon and then used a hot glue gun. Taking a dot of hot glue I glued the ribbon together. I then took¬†adhesive¬†hearts and placed them on the ribbon (you can use hot glue to make sure they stay). ¬†The announcements are now sealed. Brides are able to slip off the custom “belly band” to look at them.

I found this a good way to stand out from the other photographers at the bridal show and the brides enjoy the unique packages.

Hope that this inspired you to try something different at your next bridal expo. Brides these are also easy to do for wedding announcements !