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 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!!

Shooting Portraits With Open Shade

A Photography Tutorial on Natural Light

Using natural light is a fantastic way in photography to shoot portraits.  There are many different ways to use natural light to achieve different results. In this video tutorial, I explain how I use “Open Shade” to shoot photos.  You can watch below now or keep reading for more explanation!

You’ll notice that the subject is placed in completely solid shade, but that there is a natural light source directly in front. You will shoot from the area that is lit, while the subject will stay completely shaded.  Garages are a great example of where to find open shade, but there are other spots too!

Locations with Open Shade

  • Garages
  • Sides of Building
  • Awnings
  • Ramadas
  • Mountains
  • Cave Entrances
  • Forest entrances (be careful of spotting shade here)

Here are two examples of how I shot in this type of natural light.  You will notice that in the first photo, she is completely facing forward and the light source covers her face.  There are not many shadows.  This makes her appear lit up and gives great catch lights in her eyes.  In the second shot, all I did was move her to the side.  Here, half of her body was facing the light, while the other half was not.  This gives a more dramatic portraits, with contrast in the face.  There are also great catch lights here!  Give it a try a let me know how it comes out! You can even post an example of your work in my Learn and Inspire Group for Photographers so I can see how you did!

Two ways to use open shade to achieve different results in portraits

Thanks for reading! You can check out more FREE tutorials on my YouTube channel or take a peek at some of my full eCourses that are now open for enrollment!


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Phoenix Senior Portrait Photography

Portrait Photographer Serving the Greater Phoenix Area

How awesome are these high school seniors!?! This high school portrait session consisted of not just one or two, but 10 friends! What a fantastic way to head off to college and remember those great high school days then to include your best friends in your senior portraits!  I love the concept of having a “family” portrait with your friends.

Group of high school senior friends take a portrait together in Phoneix before heading off to college Three high school senior girls laugh together at Heritage Square Garden in downtown Phoneix Boyfriend and girlfriend seniors at Heritage square park

The Location: Downtown Phoenix

This multiple part session took us throughout the streets of Downtown Phoenix.  The downtown area has so much to offer.  Heritage Square Park is smack in the middle of high rises and busy streets, but looks like a quaint little garden with old brick buildings surrounding it.  You’d hardly guess you were in the middle of a city. Not more than a few blocks down the road and you’ll come across an area with a heavy urban feel.  Colorful murals, graffiti and the true feeling of a downtown area wait.  The diversity of the area is what makes Downtown Phoenix one of the best locations for portraits.

High School Senior guy shot in Downtown Phoneix near Roosevelt Row and Graffiti murals Urban senior gilr portrait in Downtown Phoneix

The Session: Senior Portrait Photography

Now that school is back in session ( I know, it’s already August!)  Now is the time to start thinking about senior portraits.  Being a high school senior is a once in a lifetime event and you want to capture this time with custom portraits that reflect YOU in high school! I love shooting seniors and would love to capture what makes you the senior you are!  Schedule a session with your friends or on your own, bring one outfits or several that capture you style!  Senior portrait photography is about fun and individuality.

Large group high school senior shot in downtown Phoenix by graffiti wall Urban high school senior girl shot by bird wall in downtown Phoneix

So, if you are a high school senior in the Phoenix area contact me today!  I know lots of great locations in the area to match the look YOU want!  Availability is limited, so email me today!


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Maternity Photos in the Phoenix Area

Styled Pregnancy Photography Session

How many of you are pregnant?  Congrats! I’m guessing you probably are if you stumbled across this post and you’re probably searching for inspiration or maybe even a photographer to take your maternity pictures.  A lot of women are hesitant about having photos taken when pregnant.  You don’t always feel your best and your body has changed- a lot.  I remember the feeling, I did it four times! What you don’t realize sometimes when you are pregnant is that it doesn’t last forever ( although it may feel that way at times).  You’ll want to remember the beauty of your pregnancy once it has passed.  It is such a magical time and women really look angelic during the last few months.  So, don’t feel like you’re too fat or tired to get in front of the camera! You will be happy you set up a maternity shoot to remember this special time.  Your future son or daughter will love to see the pictures too!

Matenriy photography taken at the Rio Salado Audobun Cneter in Cnetral Phoneix with mom to be in the salt river Salt River maternity photo in Central Phoenix. Pregnant mom in the waterThe Location

Tucked right into Central Phoenix, this beautiful spot has almost a magical feel to it.  With beautiful light, lots of tress, flowers(at the right time of year) and of course the river  this spot is a win for maternity photos.  To see more from this location check out this maternity session.  Interested yet?  Email me for more details!

Maternity portrait with mom in flower crown taken in Central Phoneix Full length maternity picture with gown in trees in Phoenix, Arizona

Belly shot of maternity photo with henna tattoo belly in PhoneixThe Vendors

This maternity session was part of a styled shoot out which included hair, make up and styling artists to make it possible.  If you are looking for referrals for hair, make up or clothing please let me know when scheduling your session.  I can help point you in the right direction so you are looking your best for you shoot!  Thank you to  Make Up by Nicole Fisk , Hair by Rachel Coggs and  Brenna Klingenberg and Jessica Lobbins for styling.  Want to see maternity sessions with these vendors?  Click here and here.

Pregnancy photo with gown and flower crown in yellow floers by the Rio Salado Audubon Center

Even if you are newly pregnant, now is the best time to schedule you maternity session.  For the best results, pregnancy photos are taken between 28-33 weeks.  Email or call me today to discuss your session!




  • August 5, 2016 - 5:25 am

    Linda - These are beautiful maternity photos.ReplyCancel

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Sharpening for Web Use: A Video Tutorial

One of the trickiest things for photographers is getting their pictures to really look sharp when they display on the web or any social media platform.  It can be tough because it is online that we are sharing our work with the world and of course, we want it to look as crisp and clear as possible.  Sharpening your photos for print use is one thing, but with the ever changing formats of social media platforms, sharpening them for online display can give you a headache!

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from fellow photographers is ” How do you get your photos so sharp?”.  Here, I  have created a video tutorial for you to answer that question!  This is what I have found works best for me (as of now) and hopefully it will help your photos get that tack sharp look you want to show the world!  Just click below to view quick and easy video tutorial! For more training, please visit the for photographers  link above or come subscribe to my YouTube channel with more FREE tips!


Learn how I sharpen my images for the web by clicking the video below! Let me know if it works for you.  I look forward to hearing from you!  Thanks for reading…and watching!


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One Year Old Child Portraits

Phoenix Area Family and Child Photography

Oh the joy of being one! So much is going on- learning to walk, to talk and being oh so curious about the world.  Having a one year old is joyous for parents too!  Watching them grow and change each day.  It can also be a little stressful-believe me I know, I have four of my own and all of them turned one.  For a parent, remembering this precious time is so meaningful because they really are only one once, and making sure to take photos- both professional and on your own-  is so important.  If you are stressed about your little toddler and think there is no way you could take portraits of them, think again!  I have some great tips on toddler photography here.  I love taking pictures of the youngest of kids because they are so cute and adventurous and give all sorts of expressions when the camera is focusing on them.

Children Four year old girl photo taken in the desert in South Phoneix Siblings photography. Brother and sister together for pictures at Scorpion Gulch

The Location: South Mountain

This spot is always a favorite for many of my clients because it encompasses a lot of elements of the natural Phoenix landscape.  South Mountain has desert views, cactus and of course mountains! To give the session more variety there is a small spot called Scorpion Gulch right at the base of the mountain.  This area showcases some pretty cool, old west, stone buildings.  To get more of an idea for what this location has to offer see some of my past session at South Mountain and Scorpion Gulch here and here.

Family of four picture in the desrt at South Mountain in Central Phoneix Mother and daughter laughing together in fun family portrait in Phoneix

The Session: One Year Portraits and Family

The focus of this session was the super adorable one year old you see all over this post.  Lucky for him, his whole family wanted to share in his birthday pictures and hoping in for a few.  With my basic package you have the option of including more individuals if you desire.  This way you can get a few family shots in too, even if the focus is on your child!

Father and son portrait taken at South Mountain near Phoenix, AZ Mom and dad with their one year old in cute sunset family picture in Phoenix, AZ Family portrait with two young children taken at sunset in the desert next to Scorpion Gulch in Arizona

If your little one is turning one…or five… or eighteen, email me today to schedule a custom photo session!  Together we can choose a location based on the look you want.  I can assist you with wardrobe, accessories and even hair and make up if needed.  I can’t wait to hear from you!


  • July 18, 2016 - 12:48 pm

    Melissa - These are gorgeous photos! From the interactions and smiles from the family to the location and composition (hello gorgeous compression), these are fantastic. You make me want to have dessert photos taken!ReplyCancel

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