Arizona Class of 2020 Senior Sessions & Model Program

All of my Class of 2019 seniors are about to graduate which means it’s officially time to announce my Class of 2020 senior packages. For this coming up year, I’ve completely revamped my senior sessions & senior model program. I’m offering three different senior packages & three different levels for my senior models! I’m so excited for a year full of new adventures capturing your senior year.


Class of 2020

Senior Sessions

These sessions are for anyone that’s wanting the typical senior photo experience. You have one session & I help you pick an awesome location, we style your outfits together, & then we have an awesome session where I help you with everything from posing to making you fake laugh (which I’m usually pretty good at with my bad jokes).

25-30 minutes  1 location  1 outfit  15 digital images

25-30 minutes

1 location

1 outfit

15 digital images

1 hour  1 location  1-2 outfits  40-50 digital images

1 hour

1 location

1-2 outfits

40-50 digital images

2 hours  1-2 location  1-4 outfits  60-90 digital images

2 hours

1-2 location

1-4 outfits

60-90 digital images

A $100 nonrefundable retainer is required upon booking with the remaining amount due in full before or on the date of your session.


  • hair & makeup - starting at $55

  • florals - starting at $55

  • additional 30 minutes - $100

  • cap & gown mini session - $175

  • prom mini session - starting at $175

  • personalized photo album - starting at $225


Senior Model Program

The past two years I’ve offered a senior model program, but wanted to change things up a little for this new year to provide more of an overall experience & adventure for all of your senior year. I’ve teamed up with a two amazing makeup artists for our styled shoots & we will also be getting florals for our group session.

We’ll meet up some time this summer to go over mood boards & decide on what styles & locations you’re wanting for your sessions & I’ll also take your headshot for social media! All senior models will be included in the group stylized session that includes hair & makeup & we will take both group shots & individual photos.

For this year I will be taking on 10 senior models for the Class of 2020!


All model packages require a $200 nonrefundable retainer upon booking. A payment plan will be set up for throughout the year until the balance has been paid. All personal stylized sessions will be scheduled between July 1st to December 1st, 2019.

*Model Applications will close August 1st, 2019 or when all spots have been filled*

I’m so excited to kick off the upcoming school year with a bunch of amazing new seniors. Your last year of high school is going to fly by, so let’s fill it with a bunch of fun sessions to remember the whole year by.

What to wear for your senior photos - Tips from Samantha Rose - Phoenix, AZ Based Photographer

This is my first blog post that will be part of my 'Tips from Samantha Rose' series. I want to keep these blog posts, simple & to the point, but give you everything that you came here for. 

Before we get started, a little about me... I'm Samantha, a Phoenix, Arizona based photographer (& surrounding areas) that focuses on weddings, seniors, couples, & creative work. 

Something to remember when it comes to your senior photos or any type of session, you want your outfit to represent you. Your personal style & personality should shine through your photos, don’t get caught up in what other people are wearing or doing for their photos. These are just tips to make your photographs even more amazing & what I have found looks the best… or doesn’t look the best.

Things to avoid:

  1. Neon colors

    -Neon colors tend to reflect onto your face & create weird skin tones!

  2. Form Fitting Dresses

    -There are exceptions to this, but anything that is form fitting is usually pretty hard to sit down in & shows all types of lines, you want to be able to move around for your photos!

  3. Graphic T’s

    -There are a lot of exceptions for this one. Sometimes graphic t’s (your favorite band, the college you’re going to, or your favorite band) show your personality & can be dressed up well. Dress up the shirt with cuffed jeans & a french tuck & a cute pair of

  4. Wild Patterns

    -Horizontal lines, tiny polka dots, anything that makes you have to blink a few times for your eyes to focus on it are usually not the best. Although these may look cute, sometimes certain patterns don’t photograph well because of the contrast between colors so it’s just easiest to avoid them. Not sure if a pattern will photograph well or not? Send a photo of your outfit to your photographer beforehand!

  5. Anything that wrinkles easily or picks up a lot of lint

    -Do a test run ahead of time to make sure after you sit down or squat that you won’t end up with a lot of unflattering wrinkles in your shirt/dress. Photographers can fix minor things like a few wrinkles or a piece of fuzz here & there, but if your entire outfit is covered in dog hair, even after editing it may not look the best.

The basics of choosing an outfit:

  1. Color is everything. If you’re not sure what color you want to wear for your photos, think about your location that you’re having your photos taken at.

    -For lush greens: maroon, mustard yellow, off-white, tans, & deep/darker colors always pop

    -For desert landscape: pastels, deep colors & neutrals, & vibrant colors like a strong red & yellow always photograph well

    -For the city: darker tones like blues & blacks & maroon always look good against a city scape

  2. You can dress up or down any outfit, depending on what style you want. For nature type landscapes, flowy dresses with a boho style always look beautiful (especially at golden hour).

  3. Don’t be afraid to accessorize with other clothing items! Want a dress to have a more chic look? Wear a shirt underneath it. Bring a jean jacket or some type of jacket to drape over your shoulder, tie around your waist, carry behind you, or just wear normal! Jackets can add so much more to your outfit, but make it easy to switch up your look. Bring a hat along too! If you want to easily step your outfit game up, bring a hat to wear or hold in front of your face or in your hand for a few shots can add a lot to photos.

  4. Sometimes less is more. Don’t overthink what you want to wear. What do you feel the best in when you go out somewhere? Don’t be afraid to be photographed in it! You should have your own personal style in these photos because they’re of YOU.

  5. Don’t be afraid to go out-of-the-ordinary though. Did you love your prom dress & want another excuse to wear it? GET PHOTOS TAKEN IN IT. No matter the location, if you have a unique outfit in mind, something that’s unexpected can look great in photos & really stand out.

Some Simple Tips:

  1. Wearing a dress or skirt? Wear a pair of shorts underneath. That way if you need to sit down on the ground or move around, it’s easy to do so.

  2. Did you recently get a lot of sunshine? When thinking about your outfits, don’t forget about awkward tan lines that could possibly show in your photos.

  3. Don’t forget to take your hair tie off your wrist! Your photographer will probably remind you, but just in case.

  4. Make sure you can move around in your outfit! Your photographer will probably give you a lot of different poses, some will be sitting, standing, looking over your shoulder, if your outfit is too tight or looks bad when you’re sitting, you might want to think of a different outfit option.

  5. Send your photog photos of your outfits beforehand! We aren’t mind readers & we can give suggestions, but we don’t know what your personal closet looks like. If you’re unsure if something will fit the location or look you’re going for, send them a snapshot of your outfit(s) & they’ll be able to help you with more details easily! You can also check out their Instagram or Pinterest for ideas of past looks they shot to give yourself inspiration.

In the end, don’t be afraid to be you. If I listed something about that I said you should avoid, but you know it’s your personal style & you want to rock it, go for it! These are just suggestions to help you figure out what will look best for you & what I have found looks the best when I photograph. As long as you’re excited for your session, YOU love your outfit, & you have an awesome photographer, you will look amazing.

All Hallows' Eve - A Session at the Cemetery

Halloween is finally here (& almost over).

My favorite time of year & my favorite holiday. There’s always something special about the way October feels. In a recent Instagram post I made I stated, “there’s something about early fall mornings when the sun hasn’t quite come up yet & there’s dew on the grass, a chilly breeze, & the smell of fallen leaves in the air that puts my mind in a special place. I’ve grown up loving Halloween my entire life, the whole season of it & the way it makes me feel.”

I typically decorate for Halloween during the middle of August & spend the next couple months binge watching all my favorite Halloween kid movies & scary films.

I’ve come to find that the actual day of Halloween isn’t quite what it used to be. That tends to happen when you get older. Once you’re too old for Trick or Treating & the whole “vibe” for the holiday when you’re in your 20s is a lot different.

Which is why I love getting to take themed photos like this. The photos from this session give me the exact Halloween feeling that I always long for when the day comes around. A cool day, just a glimpse of the sun, autumn leaves, & a creepy theme to go along with it all.


Had so much fun waking up at the crack of dawn with Pride & Reagan to bring our ideas to life.

Reagan found this dress in a vintage shop during the middle of the summer & sent me a photo of it & we knew it would be perfect for our Halloween session this year. After finding the perfect model, adding some of my mom’s vintage jewelry, & just a few details with candles & flowers, we knew this was going to be the perfect shoot.


Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows’ Eve.

Happy Halloween everyone, I hope you had a great day & enjoyed the photos from this set.

Brooke & Blake - Engagement Session - The Lodge in Yorktown, IN

I’m not even being dramatic when I say that I got tears in my eyes from seeing the love between Brooke & Blake shine through when I was taking & editing their engagement photos. I was so happy that I got to take their photos while I was back in town (in case you didn’t know, I live in Phoenix, Arizona now). We had their session at the Lodge in Yorktown, IN which was the perfect location.

I always love photographing couples & have been getting into it a lot more over the last year & this session really showed me why I love what I do. Getting to capture memories for people like this that show so much happiness, I can’t even put it into words, which is why I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Enjoy Brooke & Blake’s engagement session at the Lodge in Yorktown, IN:


Next adventure is their wedding in June!

Western Styled Session in Old Town Scottsdale | Phoenix, Arizona Based Photographer

The moment I moved out to the Southwest, I knew I had to do a Western themed photoshoot. Being a photographer in Phoenix, Arizona & so close to Old Town Scottsdale, which has the title of “the West’s Most Western Town,” it was clearly a sign that I had to make this happen.

I’m still pretty knew to Arizona, but I’ve already gotten to know & work with so many awesome people. The creative community out here has honestly given me so much support & welcomed me in more than I ever could have expected.

When I posted about wanting to do a Western themed session, Josie was one of the first people to reach out to me. I knew she would be perfect for the vision I had in mind. We spent probably a little over a month planning out her outfits & figuring out the style that we wanted.


We decided that the overall look was considered a ‘boho western’ style. Sticking to old west roots with a chic cowboy hat, cowboy boots, a red bandana, & bolo tie, but bringing in modern boho styles with a floral dress & silver & turquoise rings.

On August 11th at 7 in the morning we finally met up in Old Town Scottsdale to create some old west magic. I also want to add that Josie is a trooper because by the time we were done it was over 100°.

Sometimes going into photoshoots you don’t always know what to expect. You can plan a lot & try & map everything out for a styled shoot, but even then there’s a lot that you just have to work with in the moment. The lighting, the people around, the location, outfit changes, & a lot of other random stuff that goes into creating well thought-out photographs.


I was seriously so happy with how these photos turned out. One of my goals that I set when I moved out to Arizona was to do more creative shoots that I really planned out & had a true concept behind them. There’s just something really special about ideas in your head coming to life.


Josie was so much fun to work with & open to all my weird ideas & concepts. Follow her on Instagram here & you should also vote for her in the Face of Foothills Search here! Such a talented, awesome lady that I can’t wait to work with again.

Here’s to the next adventure.


Jorey & Bryndon - Engagement Photography in Phoenix, AZ

Two weeks ago, I photographed one of my best friends & her amazing fiancé. I might be a little biased (& I know I've said this about almost every session), but this was truly my favorite couple's session I have ever done. I just recently became an Arizona based photographer & I moved out West three months ago & a few months before that, these two moved out to Arizona TO THE SAME CITY & we live less than 15 minutes from each other. 


These two have been officially engaged for a year now & I was so excited they wanted me to photograph their love & cute selfs. I've always loved photographing couples, but probably have the least experience in that area (compared to portraits), but over the last couple months I've been working on learning more about posing & all the genuine emotions there are between couples & I think it really shows through these photos. 


So excited to photograph more couples & adventures in Arizona this year.

Intimate Phoenix, AZ Wedding Photography - Pomelo Phoenix

Last month on June 28th, I had the pleasure of photographing an intimate wedding in Phoenix, AZ at Pomelo PHX. I've been an Arizona based photographer for only three months now, so I was so excited to photograph Victoria & Sam's special day. These two actually found me through REDDIT (which just goes to show you should market yourself everywhere). It was a quick, cute ceremony with just their immediate family. Victoria & Sam have been together for 10 years & decided they wanted to officially tie the knot. I'm so happy they were the first wedding I photographed in Arizona & I love how their photos turned out. Check out my favorites below:

Venue:  Pomelo PHX

Venue: Pomelo PHX

Cake by:  My Goodness Cakes  
Flowers by: Pam's Floral 

Flowers by: Pam's Floral 


I couldn't wait for the summer at the Warped Tour - A 10 Year Tradition

If you're not a part of the pop-punk scene, you might not know that the Vans Warped Tour is making its final full cross country tour this summer. 

A little history... Warped Tour has been around for 24 years. It started in 1995 & was created by Kevin Lyman. It's the largest & longest running touring music festival in the United States & is geared most towards punk rock music. 


I attended my first Warped in 2009 when I was 13. 

I had recently gotten into punk music over the last couple years & my older brother had attended the tour the year before in 2008. When my friend & I decided we really wanted to go, he agreed to go with us, even though the music we were listening to at the time he wouldn't necessarily classify as "punk music." 

We had no idea what we were doing, if my rolled up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt and pink aviators don't make that obvious enough... we were so excited though. I had never been to anything like this before, where your favorite bands play all day long, you can easily meet them, & everyone is just there for a good time listening to music. 

I've been to other music festivals like Lollapalooza & it's just not the same (for myself at least), people go to Warped for the experience, not to wear a cute outfit & for the Instagram aesthetic. 

When I say that this tour changed my life, I'm not being dramatic. This music & these bands truly shaped who I am. Punk music has always had a strong "don't give a f*%! about what people think about you" attitude to its music. When you're in middle school & high school & people are jerks about what you wear, what music you listen to, how you look, & anything in between, having music & band members that make you feel not as alone helps a lot along the way. 

There's also a certain type of atmosphere at Warped that you can't get anywhere else. With people crowd surfing all over (& the possibility of getting kicked in the face that has happened to me multiple times), the annoying band guys trying to oversell their CDs, the strange things they have handed out for free over the years (anywhere from Arby's roast beef sandwiches, PeaceTea, Monster, iTunes downloads, melted candy, tacky sunglasses, to Trojan condoms). It's so weird & so much fun.  

And if this isn't obvious enough already, I'm a die-hard pop-punk fan. I have had a lot of friends over the years that have liked certain bands in this genre, but most people grew out of it after a certain age. I never did. When I go to these shows & I'm seeing bands I've listened to my entire life, I'm not living out some "childhood" or "middle school" dream, these are bands I have always loved & always supported. 

I have met every single one of my favorite bands throughout the years. Which I think is another side of how amazing Warped Tour is for people. We listen to these bands, we grow up with them & sometimes they don't even seem real. Once you see them live in front of you & meet them & have a real conversation with them (& smell what type of cologne they wear), it all changes. These people that have created music that have helped shape you & feel less lonely throughout your life, they're right there, & you realize they're just human too. There's no feeling like it. 

The tour had changed over the years, they tried adding workshops & structuring the stages differently, I've seen hundreds of different sponsors come through the tour, some years the bands weren't the best, there's annoying people at the shows, people won't leave you alone about buying their merch, it's too hot, or something else goes wrong. In the end though, I would never change anything. 


I've seen so many bands on the Vans Warped Tour, I can't even keep track. To compile a short list: 3oh!3, The White Tie Affair, Forever the Sickest Kids, All Time Low, We the Kings, I See Stars, The Ready Set, Breathe Carolina, Breathe Electric, Mike Posner (lol), Less than Jake, Motion City Soundtrack, Taking Back Sunday, NeverShoutNever!, The All-American Rejects, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Waterparks, As It Is, Prvis, This Story So Far, State Champs, The Academy Is..., A Day to Remember, The Ataris, Flogging Molly, Anarbor, Phone Calls From Home, Black Veil Brides, Artist Vs. Poet, Automatic Love Letter, BoysLikeGirls, Bring Me the Horizon, Cartel, Wallpaper, Metro Station, Go Radio, Pierce the Veil, Good Charlotte, Hey Monday, We Are the In Crowd, The Summer Set & honestly so many more that I'm sure I'm forgetting. 

A handful of these bands have split up over the years or changed names or gone into solo careers. I've seen some of them more than 5 times & some of them only once, but every single one of them put on one of the best gosh darn shows each time I saw them. 


Meeting the Ataris at my first Warped Tour in 2009 in Noblesville, IN. 

Meeting the Ataris at my first Warped Tour in 2009 in Noblesville, IN. 

I attended my first Vans Warped Tour in 2009 at the then, Verizon Wireless Music Center, in Noblesville, IN. From 2010 to 2017, my amazing mom attended all the other shows with me (in case you didn't know I have a really awesome mom that listens to the same music I do & loves concerts just as much as me). This was my first year going to Warped in a new state (Phoenix, AZ). My boyfriend, Brannon Muncey, went with me to the final show (he's NOT a fan of concerts, but was kind enough to go with me & try & have a good time). And even though I was in a different state & a different venue, it was just as amazing as it has been the last 9 years. Also, as I'm writing this blog post my mom is at Warped Tour RIGHT NOW in Noblesville. She FaceTimed me in so that we could get a photo together. 


It's hard knowing that Warped Tour is coming to an end. It's a tour that I've grown up with & has been such a strong tradition in my life for 10 years straight. There's been countless memories made that a blog post just can't do justice. This is just a huge thank you to the Vans Warped Tour, Kevin Lyman, all the bands, all the companies, & all the people involved. It has been such a crazy & amazing time over the years that I will truly never, ever forget. 


NASA Inspired Studio Session - Arizona Based Portrait Photographer

Back in March I had an amazing stylized session with some of my favorite creatives in Indiana. I posted a blog post featuring all the other looks a couple months ago inspired by bold colors and fashion, you can view that blog post here

The other part of that session was truly my all time favorite studio session I have EVER done. If you know me, you know that I love NASA. I have wanted to do a space themed shoot for so long and I finally got to work with an awesome team that made those dreams come true. 

Model:  Cheyanne Cook  | Hair & Makeup:  MUA Hailey  | Outfit:  NASA Bomber Jacket  

Model: Cheyanne Cook | Hair & Makeup: MUA Hailey | Outfit: NASA Bomber Jacket 

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I wanted a look that was ~out of this world~ but really, Hailey did such an amazing job with the makeup. I knew that we needed something bold to drive the photos since we were working with mostly a black backdrop. We then added in metallic props to help give a galaxy theme. 


I'm so proud of this session and so happy with how it turned out. I'm spending more time this month dedicated to my creative work and excited for all the adventures. 

Sloane Sivek - 4th of July Portraits on Tempe Town Lake - Arizona Senior Photographer

I tried to think of a clever title for this blog post, but all the patriotic song titles were a little too cliche for me. 

I put together this session super last minute. People in Arizona don't exactly celebrate the 4th to the extent that everyone does in Indiana, but who would I be if I passed up the opportunity for a themed session. 

There's a high risk fire danger throughout all of Arizona currently (and most of the West), so I passed on my typical sparkler and smoke bomb portraits and went with some cute, simple photos down on Tempe Town Lake. 

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After it took Sloane & I 45 minutes to find each other, we finally got to take some gorgeous photos at the end of golden hour & beginning of blue hour. 

These portraits were super simple, but honestly some of my favorites (sometimes simple is the best I've learned). 

Hope everyone has an amazing & safe 4th of July! 

A Happy Birthday Note to My Best Friend - Whitney Coffman

Wishing the happiest of birthday's to my best friend on the entire planet, Whitney Coffman. 

I'm about to get extremely cliche and sentimental, so if you're not into reading all that, now would be a good time to exit out of this blog post.


Whitney is my person. My ride or die. My partner in crime. My personal cheerleader. We just get each other. 

You see, we have been best friends for over 17 years. And I mean legitimately. We've never hated each other or gotten into any arguments (mind you one time in the 1st grade and then a short spell during our sophomore year of high school where we didn't talk much). She's always been the one friend in my life who has always been there, no matter what. She's never left me for different friends or decided we were too different or let us drift apart. Through the ups and downs, the crappy friends and boyfriends, the bad decisions and the good, the tough classes, long nights, family drama, the passing of our favorite dogs, the nerdy years and the emo years, we have seen each other go through it all. 


And I'm not just saying all of this because it's her birthday. She truly is one of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life. She's someone that I can always be my complete self around and I can always come to her for an honest opinion (we also both secretly and openly hate when the other has any other close friends because we don't like to share the other). 

I wish I had a list of all the amazing and crazy things we have done together over the years. From countless birthday parties, trips to the reservoir, chalk drawings, tandem bike rides, Jonas Brothers' concerts, scary movie marathons, party planning, walks home from the bar, spending hours talking in the kitchen, texting each other when we were doing laundry in the basement, exploring our creepy house together, countless slushie runs, being roommates, wild times at Lollapalooza, trips to Puerta, trying to start a food channel (lol that pizza was awful), climbing trees, late night Taco Bell runs, thinking we are good dancers and being sore the next morning, sharing beds,  our endless love for Nick Jonas, Disney movie marathons, peanut butter and graham cracker snacks, grocery shopping, night tag, our love for Sunny cat, and truly so much more. 


I can not even begin to imagine my life without you. You're the one person who always responds to my Snapchats, you laugh at my jokes, appreciate my bad singing and dancing, usually buy most of my drinks at the bar, always encourage what I'm doing with my life, and never judge me for how messy my room is or when I am late to something. 

Thank you for being the best friend a girl could ever ask for. I'm so happy to see you so happy and figuring life out (even if college sucks sometimes), I can't wait to see all that you're going to do with your life and I'm so glad I get to be a part of it (even if it is from a distance). I miss you so much and wish I could be with you on your birthday, but I'm excited for our next adventure soon. 

Love you long time Shaniqua. Happy 23rd. 


Technicolor Difficulties - The Barrett Brothers

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Back in March shortly before I left Indiana, I got to do one of the coolest collab sessions I have ever done. I had wanted to do some more creative studio work before I moved & Bryndon Barrett reached out to me when I posted a model call on Instagram. We had a few different ideas in mind & then eventually added his two brothers, @breydonbarrett & @tarbyy to the mix. 

We wanted colors & posing to really drive most of the photos. Bryndon had the idea of primary colors for a bold statement, and since the three of them almost look like triplets (which they're not), in the photos you can focus on them as a whole, not just individually. After a snow storm delaying our session & multiple outfit decisions to be made, we finally got to make some photo magic & here are my final edits. 


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There wasn't a complete set plan for all the photos, but we wanted a connected feeling for most of the shots. Here are my top picks: 

This is the first installment of this session with the Barrett Brothers, I'll be sharing the other set of photos in a couple weeks! I'm hoping to get into more creative, styled work this year & this session was the perfect stepping stone for creativity & different ideas. 

Chasing Sunset Dreams - My Life in ArizonA As a Photographer

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Two months ago, my mom and I set out on a trip out West along Route 66. I'll save my details of the trip for another time, but today I'm mostly just talking about emotions. 

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I was so ready to get out of the city (and state) of Muncie, IN. I was born, raised, and grew up in that small city. I went to college there, I met all my closest friends there, and of course my mom is there. I am so grateful for my experiences and everything in between that Muncie gave me, but it was time to leave. 

I think people get comfortable, sometimes too comfortable and we don't like to talk about it. I could have easily stayed in my hometown. I had made a lot of good connections there and my business was taking OFF which was one of the hardest things to think about. I had just graduated college, I was starting to have a steady income from my photography business that I started all on my own, so why would I leave that? 

I was ready for change and to be inspired by something new (and I'm sure some of you are saying, "what a millennial thing to do.") It's true though. People need to see new places, do new things, and like so many people say, get out of their comfort zone. 

So I decided to leave, and move in with my long-time boyfriend, Brannon (who moved out to Arizona six months before for a software development job). 

It's obviously not all rainbows and butterflies though, I want to be honest and realistic. Arizona has been everything I ever dreamed, waking up someplace where I can see mountains out my bedroom window in the distance, palm trees and cacti lining every street you turn down, and there's so much stuff to do everywhere you go. Moving your photography business across the country though? Not so easy. Don't get me wrong, I know what I'm doing with my life. I often joke with my friends or family, or the internet for that matter by saying, "I have no clue what I'm doing with my life." The thing is though, I do know. I'm a portrait, lifestyle, wedding, and anything else in between photographer, and I own my own business, and I want to be successful and have this be my full-time career. 

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It's been a process, and I've only been here for two months and I've already gotten discouraged a number of times. I'm not used to not being busy taking photos, editing, and talking to clients nonstop. For the last year that had been my life, so moving across the country, hardly knowing anyone, I should have been prepared for the halt in business. I wasn't though. Most recently I spend my days reading about marketing and business (I highly suggest John Harrington's book, Best Business Practices for Photographers, Third Edition), connecting with other photographers, learning about advertising, and updating my social media as often as possible to stay relevant.

When you're staying in your apartment during the greater part of the day and only taking photos 2-3 times a week (when that's your career) you tend to feel a little lazy. If I'm being honest, I'm just winging it. I don't have an exact plan, I wish I had a more set direction of how to do what I'm doing and reach my goals (I've done a couple thousand Google searches though and I haven't found a direct map of how to become successful), and there's not.

A real life photo of me chasing sunsets + dreams in Moab, Utah. 

A real life photo of me chasing sunsets + dreams in Moab, Utah. 

So here I am, writing a blog post talking about my feelings and what I'm doing with my life, hoping people will take the time to read it. I don't know exactly where I'm going or where this is going to take me, but for now I'm just riding the adventure wave and doing everything I can to get to the top (was that too cliche?) 

Until next time.




Now booking ALL Arizona sessions + Indiana sessions for the month of October, click the Contact button below to send me a message. 

Encanto Park in Phoenix, AZ - Arizona Based Portrait Photographer

About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress:  Gap  | Shoes:  H&M

About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress: Gap | Shoes: H&M

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Emily Kidd last week in Phoenix. Emily is a Seattle based photographer, but was visiting her boyfriend in Phoenix. I am currently a Tempe/Phoenix, Arizona based photographer (making my way around the state) and was so excited to meet up with another photographer! We met through the creatives group Build & Bloom on Facebook. 



We started our adventure at Dark Hall Coffee and talked about all things photography, goals, and The Office. Then we made our way into the 108 degree weather for some portraits around the building. 


About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress:  Target  | Shoes:  H&M  

About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress: Target | Shoes: H&M 

Once we were ready for a break from the heat, we hopped in the car and headed towards Encanto Park in Phoenix (with a few detours beforehand). The park had the perfect amount of sunshine and shade. 



*Shameless Plug* This would also be the PERFECT location for seniors, lifestyle portraits, couples, or a family session if you're in the Phoenix area and want to set up a session! 


Even if I was sweating profusely afterwards, it was so much fun getting to shoot in the Arizona sun with another photographer that totally understands the struggles and amazing side of being a photographer. 

I'd love to meet up with other ~creatives~ in the Phoenix, AZ area, send me a message if you're in the area and want to collab! 

Here's to the next photo friend adventure. 


Stops Along Route 66 | Blue Swallow Motel - Tucumcari, New Mexico

I'm currently sitting in my apartment in Tempe, AZ with the air conditioning blasting. It's 101 outside... and only getting hotter. 

I just got back from a visit in Indiana though and I can officially say I'm a Phoenician because the humid 85 degree weather there is so much worse than the 100 degree dry heat here. 

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This photo was taken at the back of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. I've been in the process of editing all of my photos from my mom and I's road trip out west. 

This was one of my favorite stops on our trip. When we decided to stop at all the best Route 66 locations, the Blue Swallow was listed as a must, and I can completely understand why. 


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The salmon pink walls, periwinkle doors, and vintage signs made it feel like we were taking a step back in time. The town of Tucumcari has clearly changed a lot since Route 66 was at its peak of popularity, but driving down the road you can still see and visit places that have been there since the beginning. 


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On me: Shirt from  Urban Outfitters  | Jeans from  Forever 21  | Sunglasses from  Ray-Ban  

On me: Shirt from Urban Outfitters | Jeans from Forever 21 | Sunglasses from Ray-Ban 

If you're making a trip along Route 66, the Blue Swallow Motel is a must see and if you have time, I would absolutely stay the night there. 

This is my first installment of my Route 66 blog posts, I plan to feature all my favorite locations, photo stops, and unique things along the way. 

Here's to all the adventures coming. 

The Greatest Spectacle in Photos - Indy 500 Stylized Session

My family has listened to the Indy 500 since before I was born.

Every. Single. Year. 

I'm not even a race fan, but it was still treated like a holiday (decorations included). And we are in attendance every year at the annual Indy 500 Parade (most notable years are 2007 which featured Patrick Depsey and 2015 when Nastia Liukin came). Waving at B-List celebrities, critiquing floats, and eating sandwiches with my whole family is by far the best part though. 

I'm in Indiana this week and I have always wanted to do a 500 themed session, whether I am a real fan of racing or not, I love styling clothes and getting creative for any occasion. I teamed up with my photo friend, Reagan Allen, and models Claire Mahoney and Amanda Pecora for this spontaneous session. 

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I styled this whole session from clothes in my closet, brought our two Indy 500 flags, grabbed some Indy Car cups, and a water bottle filled with milk (in case you aren't aware of the traditions of the Indy 500, the winner drinks milk at the end. If you want to know why, click this link here).

Without further ado, I give you the Greatest Spectacle in Photos (please tell me you get the pun). 


Winners Drink Milk

(unless they're dairy-free)

Illuminate. Innovate. Indianapolis. 

(the theme of this year's Indy 500 events)

Model 1: Short jean overalls from brand Mudd, checkered bandeau bra from VANS

Model 2: TopShop Textured Gingham Shirt, shorts thrifted from Vintage Shoppe in Muncie 


If you're attending the Indy 500 this year, bring and drink lots of water, wear sunscreen, bring sunglasses, and maybe some ear plugs. If you're listening from home, the race coverage starts at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) and the race is schedule to start at 12:20 p.m. ET (9:20 a.m. PT). 

Bold is the Move - Arizona Based Lifestyle Photographer

Bold is the move. 

And this session was a dream. 

I teamed up with an amazing group of girls for one of my favorite studio sessions to date. We started with the idea of strong colors and bold makeup and it turned into an amazing vision that was everything I could have ever dreamed. 

I'll keep this blog post short and let the photos do the talking. 


Models:  Christine Tate  &  Cheyanne Cook    Makeup:  MUA Hailey    Hair:  Kaycee Mae  

Models: Christine Tate & Cheyanne Cook 

Makeup: MUA Hailey 

Hair: Kaycee Mae 

Look 1: Captured in Cellophane 

Look 2: 80s Bold

Look 3: Sunshine Yellow

Look 4: Bold Together

Models: Christine Tate & Cheyanne Cook 

Makeup: MUA Hailey 

Hair: Kaycee Mae 

Look 5: Waves of Blue

This is some of my favorite work I have ever created in the studio. It was so much fun getting to do a creative session with some amazing ladies. There's one other look to this session that I'll be sharing in a separate blog post! For now, let me know in the comments which look is your favorite! Here's to the next round of creativity. 

Polaroid Memories

Isn't time a funny thing?

My mom and I always say that. Because time is a funny thing. It's a really weird thing. Life tends to sneak up on people. That famous quote from One Tree Hill describes it pretty well, 

“One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” 

Don't get me wrong though, I am so glad I'm not 17 anymore. Life changes for a reason, we grow up, we change, we meet new people. It's the moments in the middle that make me nostalgic though. All the family holidays that you think will never end when you're younger. The car rides with your dog in the middle of summer. Decorating for your birthday parties with your mom. Your first date. The people you meet throughout your life, when you're in high school or college, that are sometimes just in your life for a short glimpse of your whole life in retrospect. The moments we don't think about until later on though. 

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I love photos, polaroids especially. I'm sure you're sitting there thinking, "of course you do Samantha, you're a photographer" and who doesn't like photographs? I'm such a nostalgic person though, photos just make me feel a certain way. I don't know how to explain it, but it's a happy-sad feeling. I love that photos can take us back in time, make us remember memories or relive moments. They also make me sad though, knowing there's certain memories or places you'll never look at the same. There's certain people you may never see again. People move away. Animals (and people) pass away. Traditions change. 

Back home I spent a lot of time looking at old photographs. From when I was younger or before I was born. I loved looking at my grandma's old photo albums, trying to figure out what the feeling was like when the photo was taken. My grandpa passed away when I was only 4 so I've spent a lot of time over the years looking at photos of him and asking my mom questions because I want to feel like I know him more. All the photos have helped with that. 

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I guess that's what people would say is the beauty of it all though and what's so nice about photographs. Because even if people do leave and things change, you'll always have that memory and that photo to remember it all. 

And I call these Polaroid Memories because I treat polaroids a little differently than other photos. In today's world we're so lucky to have high-tech phones that let us take photos so easily. We can pretty much capture every moment of every day on our smart phone. And with my DSLR have unlimited shots that I can take (well about 3,000 when both my memory cards are empty). We constantly snap away. We post our photos on Snapchat, and Facebook, and Instagram, and we share it with all our friends and followers to see. We have a tendency to not print photos out like we used to. I promise it's different holding a memory rather than just looking at it on your phone though. 

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That's why polaroids are extra special (and I'm sure all you avid film users are rolling your eyes or maybe agreeing) because you don't have endless shots to take. So you have to pick and choose what you want to document. I know a day or a moment meant a lot when I have a polaroid of it. 

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There's just some things I never want to forget, even if they make me a little sad. I hope I always remember my family's dog, Lizzy, the best beagle to ever grace this planet. And all the trips I took with my mom to California, Colorado, New York City, Chicago, and in between. And the holidays every year with my grandma, and siblings, and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. And the adventures I took with my slendas.  All the photo shoots. My cat. And living with my best friend. Moments are so special. So don't forget the in betweens and the people you meet along the way. Make more polaroid memories. 

“Maybe it’s sad that these are now memories. And maybe it’s not sad.”

- The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

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A Happy Birthday to my mom - April 24th


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For starters, Happy Birthday. I know this is the first time since I've been alive that I haven't been home for your birthday, and obviously birthdays and special events are a big deal to us. 

I wanted to write you a blog post because your real present won't be ready for about a week or so, and it's easier for me to type things out sometimes. 

I want to give you the biggest thank you possible. You've truly made me who I am. No matter what crazy thing I want to do or idea I have, you always support it (you usually try and give me advice to rationalize first that I usually don't take until afterwards), but either way you're always there. 

We say it all the time that it's pretty scary how alike we are. We both aren't necessarily 'book smart', we can always skip past the history side of things, and we know just the right amount of time you should spend looking inside a museum of any sort. I can thank you for my creative side, which has truly been what made me go into the career path that I did. Always doing crafts growing up, baking, listening to music constantly, and always pushing me to do and be whatever I want in life, even if it doesn't make sense to other people. 

Not many people are that lucky. To have a stay-at-home mom, which is a real job in and of itself, that also doubles as your best friend. Thank you for being the room mother in all of my classes in elementary school, and always throwing me the BEST birthday parties to this day, and always giving all of my friends and I a place to hang out at every weekend and after every sporting event or special occasion (and even letting my past, crappy friends come even when you knew they weren't good people ;-) ). 

You've taught me so much about being a kind person and making all people feel welcome, but always knowing that you can never let anyone, no matter who it is, walk all over you or treat you bad, which is something I've definitely taken to heart. 

I also still can't get over how lucky I am to have a mom that listens to the SAME MUSIC THAT I DO. Taking me to my first pop-punk show (All Time Low nonetheless) when I had just turned 14 and falling in love with the group as much as I have. We have seen A LOT of shows since then and traveled to countless cities to see all of our different band guys. Stood in line for hours. Waited in the hot summer heat. Bought CDs from bands that aren't that great. Taken creeper photos of our favorite people. And always standing in the back at the show and taken in the whole concert, loving every moment side by side. 

And finally, being the best travel buddy. Ever. Like I said, we just get each other and we have seen so much together. From all the family trips, to Chicago, to California, and to New York City, and a bunch of other little places, and finally on a road trip ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. Something we have both always dreamed of. Starting in Indiana going to Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and finally to Arizona, my new home. (Not to mention all the amazing stops along the way). 

You've helped give me the most amazing life, and I've tried my best to express that into words. I hope you know how hard it was to leave you and how much I already miss our (almost) daily trips to get a Coke or Mountain Dew, or just randomly coming by to surprise you, and spending weekends binge watching too many tv shows. But like you said, we're just a phone call or plane ride away (I don't think it'll ever get easier though). I could say so much more and probably write a book, but I'll try and keep it short. 

Thank you so much Mom, for being the best mom, the best concert buddy, the best travel companion, and my best friend. I love you so much. 

Happy Birthday. 

Earth Day - It's not a political thing, it's a planet thing - Small changes we can make

I think we hear a lot about "doing out part" for this planet that we live on, but when you think about it, what are you actually doing? 

I remember when I was in elementary school and my hometown, Muncie, IN, started pushing recycling and started their blue bags and Recycle Muncie program. If we're being honest, I didn't start taking recycling seriously until the end of my sophomore year of college at Ball State. I took an Environmental Sociology course and it completely changed how I view the world. 

Credit: Joel Pett

Credit: Joel Pett

I want to preface this by saying I do not think environmental views should be a political thing. I believe everyone should care about our planet, no matter your views on anything. Whether you believe in climate change (global warming if you're behind on the times) or not, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to better our planet and not leave extra trash behind. I am not saying everyone should have to approach things the same way, but trying to better our Earth and the way we do things should not be seen as 'political.' 

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Less than a year ago I started switching to more "eco-friendly" and natural products, not just for the Earth, but for myself. It's been a slow process, and I still have a lot of changes I want to make, but I wanted to share some of the small changes that I have made that I've been so happy with. 


My favorite reusable bags are canvas fabric because they are easy to wash, durable, and the handles don't hurt my hand when I have a lot of groceries or items in them. I suggest buying one from a local store or farmer's market. 

My favorite reusable bags are canvas fabric because they are easy to wash, durable, and the handles don't hurt my hand when I have a lot of groceries or items in them. I suggest buying one from a local store or farmer's market. 

Reusable Bags: The easiest swap of all... reusable bags. I don't know if you've heard about how bad plastic bags are for the environment, but shoppers use about 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year. Nearly 100,000 marine creatures die from plastic entanglement each year (and that's just the ones that are found). Sometimes I forget my reusable bags at home though or I get a plastic bag when I forget to say I don't need one, you can recycle plastic bags at a lot of stores now though (Target and Walmart for example). They can't be recycled in your normal recycle bin though. 


I use  Simple Ecology  produce bags that are made out of organic cotton and are machine washable. 

I use Simple Ecology produce bags that are made out of organic cotton and are machine washable. 

Reusable Produce Bags: Reusable produce bags were another easy swap. You know those plastic produce bags that you use one time and then usually rip open to take your fruits or vegetables out? Swap those for reusable ones. I usually just leave these inside of my reusable bags that I take to the grocery with me that way I don't forget them. They also work as great garment bags for the laundry. 

I got mine from  Etsy  and they come in a variety of different patterns. These have been washed multiple times and still look brand new. 

I got mine from Etsy and they come in a variety of different patterns. These have been washed multiple times and still look brand new. 

Reusable Un-Paper Towels: This is one of the best investments I've made (well I actually got them for Christmas, so thanks Mom). I haven't bought paper towels (or napkins) since I got these. They dry things so well, are machine washable, work great as napkins, and latch together with buttons so it can fit on a normal paper towel holder or set up on your counter. These also work as great swiffer dusters. These were a little more pricey, but when you think about how often and how much you spend on paper towels, it's worth it in the long-run. 

Mine are from Etsy by  Marleys Monsters . You can pick the color and design and I'm serious... they work so well. 

Mine are from Etsy by Marleys Monsters. You can pick the color and design and I'm serious... they work so well. 

Reusable, washable Sponges: We can thank my mom for these as well and for not only looking at the eco-friendly side, but the cleanliness side. Growing up and still to this day, my mom talks about how gross sponges are because bacteria from food, counter tops, and whatever else you use them for gets stuck on the inside and you never know if they're actually clean just by rinsing them with soap in the sink. I didn't like the idea of just throwing sponges away after using them just a few times though and came across these. 

They can be purchased on Amazon or the  HandyLaundry website , but again, not necessary. 

They can be purchased on Amazon or the HandyLaundry website, but again, not necessary. 

Wool Dryer Balls: Alright so I have to be honest, these are definitely not a necessity. They're supposed to help dry your clothes faster, but I personally hang dry 90% of my clothes which is both more eco-friendly and saves energy. No matter what you read though... they do NOT help with static. I mostly wanted to put them in here to say just that because they're shown on a lot of zero waste websites and blogs and I don't find them super useful. 

Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottle: A reusable water bottle is another easy swap that in the long run can save you a lot of money. I know some people are particular with the taste of their water, but this is hands down the best water bottle I've ever owned. I wanted something that wasn't plastic, but I also didn't want anything glass because when I carry a water bottle I'm usually moving it around a lot and putting it on hard surfaces. You have to wash this water bottle by hand, but it keeps things cold for up to 24 hours and warm for up to 12 hours. AND IT REALLY WORKS. Whether this water bottle is setting out in the sun for hours or I leave it on my kitchen counter for an entire day... when I open it up, it's always cold. There's few things I hate more than room temperature water and now that I'm living in Arizona I appreciate a cold drink more than anything. I know that Yeti is a comparable brand, but I liked the design, price, and meaning behind Cotopaxi the best. 

I bought the 750 ml (25 oz) bottle in olive.   Description: Double-walled construction keeps contents hot for 12 hrs. and cold for 24 hrs.  Bottle will not sweat, regardless of temperature of liquid inside bottle  Fits most cup holders and water bottle cages  BPA-free and resistant to bacteria and odors

I bought the 750 ml (25 oz) bottle in olive. 

Description: Double-walled construction keeps contents hot for 12 hrs. and cold for 24 hrs.

Bottle will not sweat, regardless of temperature of liquid inside bottle

Fits most cup holders and water bottle cages

BPA-free and resistant to bacteria and odors

I bought Bee's Wrap brand from Amazon in a 3 pack. You can order it directly from their website  here . 

I bought Bee's Wrap brand from Amazon in a 3 pack. You can order it directly from their website here

Reusable Food Wrap - Bees Wrap: Another change I've tried to make is not using cling wrap, which is something we ultimately just throw in the trash. I read a lot of good reviews about Bees Wrap which is made from Bees Wax and works to cover food items, bowls, etc. just be rubbing your finger over it to warm up the bees wax enough to make it stick. This is something else I questioned, but it really does work! If you get anything on it you just rinse it off with water and store it in a cool, dry place. It's also a little on the pricey side and I know now people are starting to make fabric style wraps to cover bowls and such, but so far I really like this. 

These can be purchased on Amazon  here . The package comes with 4 toothbrushes that you are supposed to change every 3 months, so one package lasts you a whole year. 

These can be purchased on Amazon here. The package comes with 4 toothbrushes that you are supposed to change every 3 months, so one package lasts you a whole year. 

Bamboo Toothbrush: One of the first swaps I made on my less-plastic journey was changing to a bamboo toothbrush. In the U.S. it's estimated that over 850 million toothbrushes are discarded and end up in landfills each year... if you spend enough time walking around a beach and looking at the trash that washes up, you'll probably find a toothbrush in there somewhere. Bamboo toothbrushes can be recycled, you just pull out the bristles with pliers and throw those out (some companies claim their toothbrushes are 100% biodegradable/recyclable, but I haven't found a ton of info to back it up yet). You can buy bamboo toothbrushes from multiple places, the ones pictured I was sent for free by the company to do a review on them and currently they're my favorite!   

Menstrual Cup: (possible TMI ahead-->) I know sometimes people can be weird talking about women's personal products, but let me tell you that this is ACTUALLY the best purchase I have ever made. I bought a Diva Cup (there are other brands now so do your own research on which you think would fit best for you, but I've loved the Diva Cup brand). In case you don't know what it is, you use it instead of tampons/pads. I've never been a big fan of tampons for the sole reason of Toxic Shock Syndrome (and I also just don't know exactly what I could be putting into my body each month). I was nervous to buy one because I've heard they can be confusing and hard to put in (sorry if that's TMI). Let me tell you though that once you get it figured out, you'll never go back... I bought this in October and have not bought pads or tampons since. You can wear if for up to 12 hours and let me tell you that it's basically like you aren't on your period!! I've had zero leaks/problems with it. I usually put it in before I go out in public and then it lasts me the whole day so I don't have to (dump it out) until I get home. I've never had to deal with it in a public bathroom so I can't speak on that behalf, but even on heavier days I've had no problems. I'm writing a ton of information about this because I want more women to experience how amazing this product is. If you have any more questions that you think might be awkward, feel free to message me about it! I rinse it out in the sink between uses and then at the end of my period I boil it in hot water to sterilize it! 

I bought mine on  Amazon  and there are two options (pre + post child birth sizes). I'm telling you... it's a game changer. 

I bought mine on Amazon and there are two options (pre + post child birth sizes). I'm telling you... it's a game changer. 

I got this razor for free from a company that I took product photos for, you can buy it  here . It comes with 5 extra razor blades. 

I got this razor for free from a company that I took product photos for, you can buy it here. It comes with 5 extra razor blades. 

Safety Razor: I actually have not used a safety razor yet because I've been using up my old razors (I like to wait to make my transitions until I've finished using up the products I'm getting rid of because I think it's more wasteful to not finish using a product). I'm also a little scared to learn how to shave with a safety razor, but I've watched a few videos and read about how to do so safely. You aren't throwing away a plastic handle every few months or a razor head. You can ultimately use this razor for the rest of your life and change the blade whenever needed (which can be recycled, but put it in a can or some type of bottle before putting in your recycle bag). 

If you wear full coverage makeup almost every day, I'd suggest buying two so that you have one when the other is in the wash. You can buy them directly from the  Makeup Eraser website  and they come in different colors and patterns. 

If you wear full coverage makeup almost every day, I'd suggest buying two so that you have one when the other is in the wash. You can buy them directly from the Makeup Eraser website and they come in different colors and patterns. 

Makeup Remover: Do you use multiple makeup wipes or some type of product each night when you take your makeup off? I personally don't wear a lot of makeup (mostly because I never took the time to learn how and I'm also a little lazy), but I do wear mascara, eyebrow pencil, and some eyeshadow on a regular basis. Almost two years ago my mom bought me a Makeup Eraser and it is truly amazing. You get it wet with warm water and then rub gently in a circular motion on your face/eyes/etc. Water only and it works MAGIC. As I said, I don't wear a ton of makeup, so I haven't tested it with a lot on my face, but it takes my mascara off so well that when I get out of the shower I don't have raccoon eyes still. Once the rag gets full you just throw it in the wash (follow the directions on the tag) and then it's good as new. It says that you're supposed to get a minimum of 1,000 washes out of it. 

I bought mine on Amazon  here . I definitley suggest either buying one with a bag or finding a bag to store it in! 

I bought mine on Amazon here. I definitley suggest either buying one with a bag or finding a bag to store it in! 

Tongue Scraper: This is cute if you have bad breath to be honest. I don't use mouth wash anymore, and this helps get all the extra gross stuff I may not have gotten with my toothbrush, off of my tongue. I bought a Dr. Tung's Tongue Scraper that came with a storage bag. It does come in plastic packaging though when you get it so there are probably other alternatives that might come in 100% recyclable packaging. 

Reusable Straws: I accidentally left my reusable metal straws back in Indiana, but these are SO IMPORTANT. Plastic straws cannot be recycled and the number of them that we use every day and that end up in our oceans is insane. It's so easy to tell places that you don't need a straw and you can either drink straight from the cup or if that grosses you out and you prefer/need a straw, GET A REUSABLE ONE!