monday magic: first edition

Hi everyone! I hope that your Monday is off to a fabulous start! Hopefully by now you’ve had a few cups of coffee and are ready to embark on what could be the best week ever. And if you’re not quite ready to embark on your week, that’s ok, too– Mondays can be tough! I think we can all agree that 7-day weekends and no Mondays would be a great lifestyle.

And that’s where Monday Magic comes in! Every Monday, I’m going to give you a little piece of magic to start your week. This magic will come in the form of motivational posts, pictures, reviews, prints…essentially this will be a creative, fluid artform for you to keep things fresh! The magic that I share will hopefully make you excited about your day, spread some positive vibes, and squash Monday’s bad rep for being a “bad” day.

Now, most of these posts may be about Disneyland and all things Disney-related, because what better way to talk about magic than the magic produced by the Happiest Place on Earth?? However, the overall goal of these posts are to give the week a little kickstart and sprinkle some magic motivation into your Monday; these will help you have your best day, and week, yet!

Sooo, let’s get to it and dive into our first week of Monday Magic!


Have you ever been to Disneyland? If you have, do you notice how everything there seems to be sprinkled with cheer? My fiance and I frequent Disneyland because we love the happy atmosphere and the overall joy that is shared by the people around us when we are there.We are so happy and thankful for the kindness that we receive at Disneyland, and it’s like looking at the world through rose-colored glasses when we are there (literally–see below!).


So, what’s the secret behind this? How can we keep this kind of joyful life when we step out of the perfectly-tailored experience? Well, one thing that we’ve found works in keeping the magic going is being kind to those around us. I know that if you are reading this, you are a kind person– somehow, you’ve stumbled across my page and have taken the time to read this far; thank you SO MUCH for that! You have no idea of how incredibly kind that is of you and how thankful I am that you’ve done this!

Keeping this kind of mindset– both being kind to others and thankful for their actions– and forming the habits of thinking this way can really change your mindset over time; I know that it’s worked for me! So, instead of thinking, “Ugh, another Monday… I don’t want to go to work…”, try to remember what good comes out of work and what you can do to make other peoples’ days. I promise that it will make your Mondays more productive and powerful, and, most importantly, you will become happier! 🙂 Every day can become a Disney day.


So, Monday Magic wrap up: let’s try to be extra kind and thankful for others today. It’s a beautiful day to have a beautiful day. 🙂


What are you thankful for this Monday? What’s your favorite part about Disney? Comment below and share with me– I’d love to hear!

xo, Payton

P.S. Make sure to subscribe to the email list if you want weekly reminders of Monday Magic!

P.P.S. Be sure to tune in later this week for some more details on my engagement-anniversary trip to Disneyland with my handsome fiance, Nick!


felicia and kyle

As a photographer, I get the wonderful opportunity to meet the most wonderful people in the most wonderful places. That’s a whole lotta wonderfuls! Life is pretty grand if you ask me.

At my last photoshoot, I was blessed enough to get to glimpse into Felicia and Kyle’s love story. You know that feeling of true love that you see in the movies? The kind that just radiates out of people and infects you with happiness? Well, that’s Felicia and Kyle. They are the sweetest couple, and I was on Cloud 9 while photographing them! On top of that, they were so natural to photograph! They were truly a dream. My favorites are the ones where Kyle made Felicia genuinely laugh (which isn’t hard!), like the one below. Her laugh was so contagious and bubbly– Nick and I were cracking up along with them!


Felicia and Kyle met and both currently reside in the quaint town of Flagstaff, Arizona. They are both engineering majors at Northern Arizona University (NAU)– yet another reason why they fit together so well! Felicia graduated from NAU this past weekend and was offered a job down here in the valley, so she’s going to be packing up her bags for the big move! This was a big source of inspiration for the desert landscape. Graduating from college and heading out into the world is such a big step in life: documenting it for Felicia was the perfect way to make the change start to feel real.


One thing that I can guarantee that won’t get old about the valley are our sunsets. And with that, here are some pictures from my session with sweet Felicia and Kyle! So grateful that I had the chance to photograph them!

xo, Payton



first post

Well, this is it. My first blog post. I’m not the best writer. Certainly not the best conversationalist. But I’m here to put my thoughts down for all to see, all because I love this and have so many ideas that I want to share!

I love the freeform of blogging and the fact that I can write about what I really want to explore in my time. I love that I can tell the story behind the pictures that I take through blogging and that I can post the pictures of the beautiful people that I am so lucky to meet. I love the sparks of creativity that I feel when I find something that I want to write about. This is all very new, but I hope that you’ll follow along with me as I learn and grow through this wonderful artform!

So, in my first post I thought I would write a little about me.

Name: Payton Drew Meade, soon-to-be Payton Drew Synodis on December 31,2017 (eeep!) See handsome fiance and me dancing above.

Age: 23

Favorite colors: Blush and eucalyptus green

School: Arizona State University alumnus! whoot whoot!

Occupation: Engineer at a medical device company

Dream job: Portrait photographer (specializing in couples!)

Right now, I am an engineer working a desk job 9 hours a day– not exactly what I thought would be in store for me when I started my chemical engineering degree 5 years ago. I was expecting more hands-on work, more collaboration, and more fulfilling interactions as I bring customers the products that they want and need. While I love working on medical devices that save lives, I think that I am too removed from the process as I sit behind a desk and file away at the inner workings of the corporate world.

When I picked up a camera to shoot two of my best friends’ engagement pictures a little over 2 years ago, I felt the rush that I felt with engineering when I was in school. I loved the technical aspects of crafting the perfect lighting and curating poses that looked and felt natural. I felt like I was capturing the love that they felt for each other, and it was so exciting and humbling to be able to witness that! Most importantly, I was so happy to interact with people, hear their stories, and capture their love in a timeless way– through portraits! After many more portrait sessions over the years (both formal and informal), I have found that photography truly makes me happy, because it allows me to make others happy.

I hope that you enjoyed reading a little excerpt about me as my very first blog post! Hopefully this let you see a glimpse into why I love photography so much and why I love to serve others through taking portraits!

See you next time!

xo, Payton