Cozy Clicks Photography Phoenix Family and Child Photographer in Ahwatukee, Scottsdale and Phoenix Areas. bio picture
  • Hi! I'm Emily!
    I am a family and child photographer in the Phoenix area and a photography and Photoshop teacher for new and aspiring photographers. ( I am also a mom to four awesome kiddos!) I specialize in on location, natural light photography. Your photo session is custom to your family and together we can choose the right style, wardrobe and location. Email me today for more details on scheduling a one of a kind photo shoot.

    To see more of my work, please visit the family or child portfolio links. Or scroll down to visit my blog where you will find a lot of featured family and child photography sessions, information on fun, local Phoenix events, product reviews, tutorials, activities for kids and more!!

    Are you a photographer? Start here to visit the Photography Learning Catalog!

3 Easy Ways to Make Photos Professional Looking

easy ways you can make your pictures look like the pros. Try these tips today!

You probably take pictures all the time and you are looking for easy ways to make  photos professional looking. I’m sure you take photos on your phone or your new DSLR camera, but they don’t always come out looking the best.  Whether you are a new photographer or just a parent looking to take nicer photos, try out these 3 tips and your photos will start to appear more polished and professional looking!  Here are 3 easy ways you can get your photos to look more professional.

Watch the Limb Chops

You know you have done this before.  Scroll through your phone or take a look at the session you just shot paying attention to just the arms and legs of your subjects.  Did you chop some hands off?  A foot?  Part of their head?  We’ve all done it, but if you are looking for your photos to look more professional, you want to avoid this at all costs! Pay close attention BEFORE you press that shutter to make sure that the person you are taking a picture of is completely in the frame.

How to make your photos look more professional using these 3 easy tricks

Look at the Light

If you want your photos to look like the pros, you have to pay attention to the light.  You don’t need a fancy lighting set up at all!  Far from that, you can just use the natural light around you.  That is what I do for my professional photography session all the time! What you need to do it pay attention to how the light is hitting your subject.  Is it right in their face?  They’re probably squinting if it is, and that won;t look nice.  Is there dappled light on them.  This will look like splotchy patches of shade and sun.  That doesn’t look flattering either.  Try to aim for solid, smooth light over the person you are shooting, like in the photo below. (notice the light is behind her, so she is not squinting, nor does she have patchy shade over her face)

Goregous child headshot with light behind her in Phoenix child photography session

Straighten it Out!

This is such an easy thing you can do that will make your photos look so much better!  Look at the horizon line first and before you take the shot- straighten out your camera!  Don;t see the horizon?  Look at lines of buildings or other architecture around and make it straight.  Doing this will make you pictures look so much nicer!  If you weren’t paying attention during the shot, you can always fix it super easy in Photoshop.  Watch how below.

I hope you’ve learned some easy ways to make photos professional. Visit the Photographers Link for my Photography Learning Catalog full of more photography resources to help you take better photos or subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tutorials.

I’d love to hear you tips for making your photos look more professional! Come join me in my photographers only inspire group and let me know or leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!


Make your photos look more professional by following these three easy steps

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Red Rocks and Beautiful Desert Sunsets

Photography at Papago Park {Phoenix}


Mother and two daughters pose in this portrait taken in the desert in Phoenix, AZThe Location: Papago Park

One of the most requested locations for Phoenix family photography sessions is Papago Park.  Just look at the photos and you can clearly see why. Papago Park is a great location for family photography because it gives great variety.  There are the beautiful red rock mountains of the Hole in the Rock, but also cactus and desert landscapes. (Go even further into the park and you’ll find a small lake and palm trees!)  This is a fantastic spot for out of town visitors and local Phoenix families!  You can check out some more of my favorite Phoenix locations for photography here!

Mother and Daughter pose for a portrait together at 6 months old at sunset in Phoenix, AZ

The Family

This gorgeous family of three braved the heat this past July for their Phoenix family photography session.  You would be amazed that even though it can be hot here in Phoenix, the evenings and the sunsets in the summer can be pretty beautiful.  The family was together to document the 6 month milestone of the youngest girl.  6 month outdoor portraits are so much fun!
3 year old girl portrait in the red rocks of Papago park in Phoenix, Arizona Family portrait takenin fromt of the Hole in the Rock in Phoenix, AZ near the zoo.


The Style

Take a closer look at the wardrobe selection of this family and you will see a perfectly coordinated trio!  I always advise clients to mix up the colors and patterns and stay away from wearing all solid colors for their family session.  Also, incorporating accessories, like the headbands the girls are wearing here, add fun detail to your portraits.  Make sure to ask me about good color options that will compliment the background location you have chosen for your Phoenix family photography session.  Greens and blues look great against the red rocks at Papago Park.

6 month old portrait of girl taken outdoors with natural light at Papago Park To schedule your next Phoenix family photography session, or the set up a session for your child or high school senior, contact me today.  Together we can choose an awesome Phoenix location for your pictures!  i look forward to hearing from you!


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 How to Add Extra Sun Rays in Photoshop Simple {video} tutorial to show you how to add extra sun rays to your pictures to give them a creative look

You have stumbled on this page because you are looking for how to add  sun rays in your photo by using Photoshop!  Here I  will show you a super easy way to give your photo that little bit of creative flair by adding in some sun rays to your picture.  You can scroll right down to the bottom if you want to start viewing the tutorial now (It’s only a couple minutes long and then you can apply the technique on how to add sun rays in Photoshop to your photos right away!)

Want to learn an easy way to add rays of light to your photos? Watch here to see how too add sun rays in Photoshop!

Don’t have that couple minutes to watch?  Let me break it down for you right here:

  • Add a gradient layer and change the style angle

  • Change the gradient type to noise and the style to HSB

  • Move the “S” slider all the way to the left

  • Move your “rays” where you’d like them to be

  • Change your blending mode to soft light

  • Erase the rays off your subject and adjust the opacity

Still a little confused? Watch the couple minute tutorial below on how to add in sun rays and it will start to make more sense!

Adding in extra rays of sun in Photoshop can give a more creative look to the photo that you are working on.  The technique gives you flexibility in adjusting how much  or how little you wan tot show through.  Want lots of sun rays? Keep the opacity at 100% or make another gradient layer on top of the first one to add in more!  Want the rays to appear more subtle?  Just lower the opacity or brush more of them off in your layer mask.

For more tutorials and photography resources visit  my Photography Learning Catalog.  I’ve got some fantastic eCourses available now and some freebies for you as well!

I hope you’ve learned how to add sun rays in Photoshop! I’d love to see how you applied this sun ray trick!  Come visit me in my Learn & Inspire Group on Facebook and post a few or just come by and say hi and let me know what you’d like to learn next!

Thanks for checking out my post!


Want to learn even more tips, tricks  and tutorials for FREE and get them delivered right to your inbox?

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Styled Children’s Photography

Phoenix Area Family & Child Photographer

Styled childrenThe Session

This session was  styled children’s photography in Phoenix.  Children’s sessions are always some of my favorite to take, but when you add in some style it makes them extra fun!  Styling usually included some additional props, hair and/or make up and certain accessories that are pieced together to really make an impression with the photos. Here, the vintage chair, the stylish gown and flower crown completed the look of the styled session.  Hair was also styled for these photos.

Beautiful child portrait sitting on crate in a field in Arizona

Styled children

The Location

This beautiful glowing field looks like it could have come right out of  fairy tale story book.  In reality it was a location in North Phoenix that backed up to a residential neighborhood.  A small wash that you may not look twice at had the beautiful light needed to create these styled child portraits.  It’s all about light and beauty can be found in so many places! If you are unsure where to book your next photo session, I can help you select the one that is right for you or you can check out some of my more popular locations here.

Child portriat takenin styled session with desginer dree, flower crown and vintage chair in Phoenix, AZ Children

The Vendors

A big thank you to the vendors that made this styled photo shoot possible.  Flower crowns were custom made by Graye’s Garden Floral Crowns.  Hair was styled by Scottsdale based hair stylist, Sarah Elstro.  Complete styling of the session was put together by photographer Danielle Unger. If you are looking for help finding vendors for any of these products or services to include in your photo session, just ask me! I can help connect you to the right vendors to make your child or family session that much more spectacular!  You’ll be glad you did!

Goregous child headshot with light behind her in Phoenix child photography sessionIf you are looking for a styled children’s photography session in Phoenix, I am now booking sessions through December.  Fall and winter dates typically fill up quickly, especially on the weekends, so contact me today to book your custom photo shoot. Basic pricing packages can be found here.  I look forward to working with you!


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Phoenix Area Family Photographer

Featured Photography Session Sibling photography embracing at Papago park in Phoenix, AZ in the summertime

The Session

This photography session was a family shoot, with a few child portraits added in too! And oh, my! These kids gave me so much to work with.  They had so much love and care for each other that you can almost feel the emotion in the photos! I was just blown away by these two. With most of my family session, I always try to get some shots with just the kids:)  The evening was just perfect too for a summertime session in Phoenix.  The slight wind and clouds gave a little bit of coolness to the usually hot Phoenix evenings.

Child photography at Papgo Park at sunset in Phoenix

The Awards

The emotion between these two children in the first shot captured here was instantly loved by the photography community.  The photo was a finalist in the July international Child Photo Competition . It also graced the cover page of Inspire- Digital or Not Fine Art Photography Magazine on Facebook in July.  I am so grateful for the all of the positive feedback I have received from my peers!  Thank you!

Mother and Daughter portrait at the Hole in the Rock at Papago Park

The Location

One of my favorite Phoenix area locations is the Hole in the Rock at Papago Park.  Known for the red rock look, this place is popular with out of towners and locals alike! This place is full of  mountains and red rock surrounded by open desert.  There is also a lake and palm trees here to get a totally different feel!  You can take a peek at some more featured sessions from Papago park here and here!  Just make sure to note that there is a mild amount of hiking involved at this particular location.

Fmaily portrait at the Hole in the Rock near Scottsdale, AZScheduling

I am currently booking family sessions at Papago Park and at many other locations around the Phoenix area for the fall and winter season.  The majority of my session take place either an hour before sunset or at sunrise.  Please email me today to book your date!


Family photography at the top of the mountain at Papago park near Scottsdale, AZ


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