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Favorite Wedding Photo of 2012 {Lauren and Brian at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge}

Lauren and Brian's Wedding at the JW Marriot Desert Ridge in Phoenix

 

Sometimes, when you take a picture you just know you’ve got magic.  That the image you’ve taken is THE ONE.  The shutter clicks and *bam* you’ve got it – and if you didn’t take another picture the entire day you know you could go home satisfied.

Other times, it’s not till later that you realize you might just have something special.   The house is quiet, everyone else long since asleep.  You’re in the zone – well known to all artists – where the image start to sing it’s own song and you only have to listen closely to know what it wants to become.   Somewhere – in the transition from full color to a vintage, film inspired black and white – the shadows take on a different texture, the desert landscape stands out in start relief against deepening clouds and a slow smile spreads across your face.  Yes – you’ve got something special here.

This is an image meant to be viewed large – but even on my computer screen, I knew I had created something that I loved.  And in the end – there’s nothing more satisfying than that.

***

{Lauren and Brian were married last month at the fabulous JW Marriott Desert Ridge.  It was an incredible day filled with love, laughter and more than a handful of celebrity sighings (remind me to tell you about trying to capture a gaggle of groomsmen on the hunt for Miley Cyrus).  The divine Ashley Gain was on hand to make sure that the day went off without a hitch and the fab team from Bright Bokeh captured a killer video of the events of the day.}

Rachel and Zhen’s Engagement: Part Two {Arizona Desert Picnic}

 

He asked her, on bended knee, just as the sun was setting on a desert mountaintop.  It was just a month after they met and she wondered what on earth had taken him so long.  No – it wasn’t a mad dash romance – he got down on one knee to ask her to be his girlfriend.  Who could possibly resist that sort of old fashioned romance?

Certainly not Rachel.

And that was just the beginning.  They’ve got big dreams, of a life on the east coast in a Victorian house near the ocean, and the family they plan on creating together.  They “argue and make up.  Bicker and smile. Fight over the remote control and love each other unconditionally”.   Zhen says he’ll love her until his teeth fall out, and Rachel crosses her fingers and says she hopes he doesn’t take up hockey anytime soon.

And so it goes – with humor and solidarity and a dash of adventure  – Rachel and Zhen love one another in a way that defies label or definition.  It just is.

And we are glad to have been a part of it.

Phoenix Desert Engagement Portraits
Arizona Desert Engagement Portraits
Phoenix Engagement Portraits - Desert Picnic
Arizona Picnic Engagement Shoot
Desert Picnic Engagement Portraits
Picnic Engagement Portraits - Desert Picnic

Part One of Rachel and Zhen’s engagement Shoot – Young Love, Urban Style
{also coming soon – their fab Inspirador Wedding} 

Rachel and Zhen’s Engagement: Part One {Downtown Phoenix Urban Shoot}

Phoenix Urban Photography

Your people.  The ones who really get you – what you do and who you are.  Your people are excited about your art, mad for your talent and down with your ways of being in the world.  And you get them right back.  It’s a smokin’ kind of kismet and the best sort of magic-making.

Sometimes you just know immediately when you meet someone who will become one of your people. We love those moments – live for them.

Rachel first connected with us via Facebook and we knew from the moment she described herself and her fiancé as “a little kooky, quirky, artsy, modern, contemporary, cute”  that we were going to get fabulously.   From that first email it was official – she was one of our peeps.

And it was a perfect match.  Rachel and Zhen don’t take themselves too seriously, they have a great sense of style and individuality and most importantly, they know how to have fun.  This engagement shoot was a blast – we began in the grungy alleyways of downtown Phoenix and then headed up north to an abandoned desert hideaway for a private picnic.

And along the way we laughed.  And we schemed.  And we planned.  And we got silly. Zhen and Rachel were game for anything and so seriously in love that if we hadn’t already been smitten, we would have been head over heels by the end of the shoot.

Zhen and Rachel – they’re our people.  And we plan on keeping them.

Downtown Phoenix Engagement Photography

Urban Engagement in Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix Engagement Portraits

Urban Engagement Photographer - Phoenix

{Stay tuned next week for Part Two of this shoot – and for Rachel and Zhen’s incredible Inspirador Wedding}

Did you miss me?


Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Things we know for sure:
1. I am not the most prolific, reliable or regular blogger.
2. I have developed a solid pattern of occasionally making a damn good show, apologizing profusely, spewing lots of promises and posting a series of posts, only to inevitably sink back into obscurity before you’ve even gotten used to having me around.
3. I also have an unhealthy attachment to run-on sentences (see above). This is not necessarily related to this blog post – but important nonetheless.
4. I have, in the past, practiced a ridiculous level of avoidance with any task that even remotely approaches self-promotion.
5. This includes blogging, maintaining our facebook page and marketing of any sort.
6. All of the above are important for the maintenance and continued growth of a photography business.
7. Clearly I’ve got a few kinks to work out.

But guess what?  Enough of that.  2012 is the year to work out those kinks.  We’ve had big shifts occurring behind the scenes for the past year  - and although change often occurs slower than we’d like – it’s definitely occurring.   We are learning and growing and refining our purpose and passion, and our focus has shifted in a big way.  Our work has shifted in a big way.  Our plans for the future have shifted in a big way.  And because we’re also quite over the starving artist myth, we are going to have to knock that whole ‘self-promotion makes us skeevy’ thing into oblivion so that we can share it all with you very soon.

In the meantime, I need to push myself back into blogging.  We’ve got a few years worth of sessions, most of which have never been shared.  Beautiful women, beautiful couples, beautiful families.  We’ve been involved in some crazy cool collaborative shoots with fiercely talented individuals.   Our photography has been published on some fantastic blogs and recognized in a respected magazine.   And for the most part, all of this all exists only on my hard drive and the random to-do lists that clutter my desk.   Instead of waiting for everything to be perfect, or the new iteration of this company to be launch-ready, or for the perfect assistant to appear out of the blue with a razor sharp mind, a love of marketing and piles and piles of dark chocolate to feed me when I’m stressed – I just need to begin.

You see – I’ve convinced myself over the years that if I can’t post absolute perfection I shouldn’t post at all.  That every one of my clients deserve a hand-written and personalized story to go with their images.  That every single post had to showcase the wholeness and heart of every session. That I couldn’t post anything until all the new changes were 100% ready to be put into effect. That nothing less that perfect would ever do.  And that has kept me frozen in place.  Always waiting for enough time, or the exact right inspiration, or for all the changes to be in place (or that imaginary assistant to knock on my door).

So yes we’ve got big changes coming – and they are not quite ready to share.  And yes, I’ll probably always need nagging and encouragement and of course – self-promotion still makes me feel a little icky.  But I’m working on it, because I have to and because I want to.  Because I really, really believe in the work we are going to be doing, and I want you to know about it.  So, I begin with baby steps.  An intention to blog all these archived shoots, to celebrate the beauty of my clients and their families and their lives.  A desire to combine words and photography into something that I  feel passionate enough about that blogging (and all other forms of self-promotion) become automatic and fulfilling instead of a chore to be avoided.

I could use a cheerleader or two along the way.  I’ve got some pretty entrenched habits to change.  I’m also easily distracted by shiny things and dark chocolate, so clearly I could use your help.  Are you with me?

Tell me – what necessary things do you avoid?  Does your perfectionism get in the way of your productivity?  Have you managed to change your habits and get back on track?  Do YOU need a cheerleader? 

And please – if you have a moment, check out our new Facebook Page.  We’ve posted our upcoming travel dates, will announce promotions and contests and will begin sharing more photos there as well.  Stop by and say hi – we’d love to hear from you.

Lets Dance!

Many, many moons ago (in a land far, far away) I was a dancer.  Ballet.  Jazz.  Musical Theater….it was a huge part of my life.  It’s been a long, long time since my last curtain call – but the world of dance will always hold a special place in my heart.  Of course, I jumped at the chance to be a part of a fashion shoot inspired by the growing trend for dance inspired clothing, hair and makeup.

By now almost everyone has seen the blockbuster film The Black Swan.  Dance inspired fashion had already been gaining visibility, with ballerina buns, leggings and tights popular with fashionistas everywhere.  The release of the Oscar Nominated film moved the style solidly into the mainstream.

The combination of poise and elegance with simplicity and comfort personified by dance clothing (and dancers themselves) was the inspiration for my third collaboration with Phoenix’s very own fashionista, stylist Alex Evjen of AVE Styles.  This shoot was initially conceived back in the fall (kudos to Alex for being ahead of the trends and predicting what was to come) but had to be rescheduled recently because of busy holiday schedules. We were all so excited when the planets finally aligned on a date when everyone was free to do the shoot.

Clothing for the shoot was provided by The Willows Home and Garden, a local luxury home and lifestyle boutique.  Hair Stylist Extraordinaire Kim Cornwell of Triple Threat Studios was on hand to provide her take on ballerina-inspired hair, and the multi-talented Alex took care of model Jennifer’s makeup (LOVE the smoky eyes)!   We shot at the always fabulous Tempe Center For the Arts, which provided the perfect urban backdrop for our shoot.