Monthly Archives: January 2010

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Andrew & Andrea {junkyard} | Phoenix Engagement and Wedding Photography | Part 2

{scroll down, or click here for Part 1}

I got the sweetest email from Andrea after the last post, saying the first post of photos from her engagement photography session made her cry at work.  I told her not to worry; there was a dang good chance I’d make it up to her by crying at her wedding.

Honestly, I probably will.  Yes, I’m the worse kind of cliche – the wedding photographer who will cry at your wedding.

Sometimes I get misty during the first look, other times I’m overcome by the emotion behind the vows.  If you, your mother or your cousin Eileen happen to cry – at any point and for any reason – I’m almost certainly a goner.   There is almost no chance I’ll make it through the father-daughter dance dry eyed (I admit it; I have a soft spot for Butterfly Kisses).   Seriously, I’m a huge sap and I’m not afraid to admit it.  However,  I have persevered and I can now shoot straight through a veil of tears (patting myself on the back for this one – it’s not easy).

Andrea and Andrew – I hereby promise not to turn into a blubbering mess on your big day.  I’ll keep it together.  But when a couple loves each other with emotion this sweet and true – it’s awfully hard not to feel it too.

~~~

We headed to my favorite phoenix junkyard to find some urban texture.  There’s nothing like rusted metal to get my muse inspired.

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Phoenix Engagement and Wedding PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

I love these next ones so much because they clearly show just how much fun these two are!

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

And then these ones give you a hint of their romantic side….

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Eegads, isn’t this building amazing?  Every time I go to this place I find something new.

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

This one has a total silver screen, movie star look to me…the next Bogie and Bacall…  My favorite engagement photo ever!

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Andrew went back to the car to change, so I took the opportunity to snap these pics of the lovely Andrea.  Honestly folks, next to no editing on these  – her skin really is that perfect!

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography
Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

We even found some bales of hay – and Andrea had the perfect shirt to get a little country!

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

The way every good fairy tale photoshoot ends – they walk off into the sunset together….


Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Okay, you see now why these two deserved two whole blog posts?!

Somedays (like this one!) I swear that engagement photography sessions are my absolute favorite….I mean, with a urban backdrop like this and a couple as beautiful as Andrea and Andrew…how could I not be inspired?!

FYI:  A2 are getting married at the amazing North Scottsdale wedding venue Sassi.  I got to check it out with the couple a few weeks back when they went for their tasting appointment, and it is going to be truly stunning.  So many possibilities for amazing photographs – I get giddy just thinking about it!  If you are looking for a great Phoenix wedding venue, you should definitely add Sassi to your list.

Andrew & Andrea | Phoenix Engagement Photography | Part 1

Dirtbags. It doesn’t sound like the name of a place where you’re likely to meet the love of your life, does it?  Yet sometimes unexpected things happen in unexpected places.

It was Andrew’s senior year of college.  After a few years of single fun and living abroad, he decided it was time for a serious girlfriend.  Still, when he headed out to the bar that night he wasn’t planning on finding his future wife.  He was going out for a drink, not planning a wedding.

But then he saw Andrea and somehow, in that first moment, he just knew.

With her long blonde hair and beautiful smile, she was undeniably gorgeous – but there was something more that really captured Andrew’s attention.  Despite her petite stature, she exuded an easy confidence that intimidated his friends.  Andrew was captivated.

Before meeting Andrew, Andrea had her eyes set on a semester of stress free single living.  After a busy term as president of her sorority, Andrea was ready to take it easy.  But sometimes fate steps in – in the form of a round of drinks and a gentlemanly kiss on the cheek in a bar with an unlikely name – and plans change.

When Andrew was ready to propose, he knew it had to be special.  He took Andrea for an early birthday treat – dinner at  The Royal Palms.  He left nothing to chance; even her outfit was taken care of.  Just after he popped the question, her two best friends (flown in from out-of-town and waiting in the wings) ran in with champagne.  Amazing enough, but Andrew didn’t stop there.  He followed the proposal with an engagement party for 30 of their closest friends and family, including Andrea’s sister Kate, who had traveled from St. Louis to Phoenix just to be a part of the night.  The evening was overwhelming, an emotional blur, a high of family and friendship and amazing, once in a lifetime love.

He loves her sarcasm and wit.  She loves his inherent goodness and knows that he makes her a better person.  Andrea says Andrew pushes her to pursue her dreams, supports her choices and is her biggest fan.  Andrew knows that Andrea’s patience and understanding have been the glue that has held their relationship together (and he’s quick to add that her sexy face and butt don’t hurt either).  As a couple they are the best bad dancers on the dance floor, and have built a partnership that continues to get stronger with time.

From Dirtbags to Soul Mates.  Works for me.

Andrew and Andrea – I am so glad you chose me to capture your love and to be present as you speak the vows that join your life together.  You are both beautiful people, inside and out, but it’s your infectious (and sometimes goofy) energy and love of life and of each other that make you shine.  I hope you enjoy the images we captured at your engagement photography session and  I cannot wait for your wedding day!

(Oh, I got a little carried away choosing images for this post, so I’m gonna have to do this in two parts!)

~~~

Andrea and Andrew are wine connoisseurs, so we began their engagement photography session by heading to Bomberos. Bomberos is an awesome Phoenix wine bar (you have to try their bruschettas and paninis) with an fantastic outdoor patio.  Because it was early Sunday afternoon – right before close – we had the place to ourselves.

Urban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

(Andrea is wearing the outfit she wore the night she got engaged – love it!  Such a fabulous, fashionable couple!  And the yellow heels?  I die!  If it were not considered poor form to steal clothing from your clients, I totally would have made off with the shoes!)

Urban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography
Urban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography at Bombero's Wine Bar in Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

When the restaurant closed we headed downtown, in search of texture and color.  Nothing says love to me like urban decay!

Urban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyUrban engagment photography in downtown Phoenix by Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Stay tuned later this week for even more images from this fabulous engagement photo session…next up – my favorite junkyard!

Family Vacation | Phoenix Family Photography

Sarah contacted me last fall from her home in Seattle.  She was planning a business trip/family vacation to Phoenix, and hoped to take advantage of our amazing fall weather to schedule a family photography session.

Pre-session planning and solid photographer-client communication are incredibly important to the outcome of a lifestyle photography session.  This time, an in-person consult was obviously out of the question, so we used technology to our best advantage.  Telephone, email and the iPhone camera made it easy to finalize all of the logistics and get ready for the session – even from hundreds of miles away.

Sarah was a fantastic client.  She was familiar with my work and my style, and knew it was exactly what she wanted.  She had a clear vision of what she hoped for in terms of location and image options, and was open to all my feedback and suggestions.  Best of all, she understood the impact that clothing choice would have on her finished photographic artwork.

She began by sending me snapshots of her kids and telling me a little about each girl, and about their family.  I love it when clients do this – it gives me a sense of who they are and helps me relate to them on the day of the shoot.  With children especially, this can make such a difference.

We talked in-depth about location options before settling on the beautiful Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza.  Not only is it a fantastic location with many possibilities for a variety of images, but it was convenient to their resort.   Perfect!

Finally, we discussed clothing.  Sarah took the time to lay out several options and send me quick snapshots on her iPhone to get my opinion.  After we settled on the fantastic dress she chose for her youngest daughter, it was easy to pull together options for the rest of the family – and she did an amazing job at selecting great looking, stylish, comfortable clothing for the entire family.

Are they not the most beautiful family?

Family photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyFamily photo session at Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza | Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

You Are What You Wear | Phoenix Photography

Family Portrait Session, Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, Jeanette LeBlanc Photography.

check back soon for more pics from this fab family- they totally nailed the wardrobe!

You are what you wear.

A little cliché?  Perhaps.  But when it comes to portrait photography, this Phoenix photographer believes firmly that clothing plays a huge role in the success of the finished product.

Before I go all Stacy and Clinton on you – let’s be clear what your clothing does NOT need to be:

  1. Brand NewI’m down with your favorite ripped jeans, retro band T’s, and worn converse - as long as you know how to rock them in your own fabulous style.
  2. Fancy-Schmancy and Uber-ExpensiveUnless it’s your thing (If it’s really your thing, then by all means baby, bring on the bling).   If you’re not normally a dress-up kind of person, don’t feel like you have to be one for your session.
  3. Matching No need to focus on matching everything from the color of your fuchsia headbands to the stripes in your socks.  In fact, I beg of you, please, please don’t.  If you’re heart is set on everyone in white button downs and khaki pants, I’m probably not your girl.
  4. Stressful No need to worry about each and every item, or fret about the suitability of each accessory.  This is supposed to be fun.   If you’re unsure – call me, and together, we’ll make sure you look fabulous.  I promise.

I want you to be happy, thrilled, over the moon about your images, and I know that this is much more likely if we take the time and work together to help you choose clothing that fits these few simple rules:

Feels Good.

During your shoot you could be sitting in a pile on the grass having a tickle battle, rolling down a hill with your fiancé, throwing your kiddos in the air or climbing a tree. Wear clothing that lets you do all that (and more) comfortably.

As for the kids? Well…uncomfortable kids have a tendency to look…uncomfortable, and are often cranky to boot. Happy kids make for happy pictures.

Bottom Line: Don’t choose outfits that make any of you feel constrained, stiff, itchy, scratchy, like you’re dressed up for Halloween, or that leave you with a nagging worry that a button might pop if you bend the wrong way. Trust me.

Looks Good.

This can be tricky, looking good is totally subjective – right? If you’re not a Carrie Bradshaw fashionista in real life, you might want to pull in some extra help from a straight-talking friend or your trusty photographer (that would be me) who knows about such things and has plans in place to help.

Sometimes last year’s of-the-moment dress has already become hopelessly untrendy. Sometimes the current fashions just don’t look or feel like you. Sometimes outfits that look good in the mirror might not be ideally suited for photography. If you’re really looking for extra help, I can put you in touch with some incredible folks who make people look good for a living.

Bottom Line: If you don’t feel fabulous-fierce-take-on-the-world gorgeous in your outfit, you’re not going to love, love, love the end result – and I’m all about you love, love, loving the end result.

Makes Sense.

Here’s where we pull it all together. It’s not just enough that everyone look good and feel good – you’ve gotta look and feel good together AND the outfits should fit with your location and the desired mood for your portraits.

Glup. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? (quick – revisit #4 in the top list, and remember, don’t stress).

Before you even begin figuring out your wardrobe, we’ll have an in depth consultation to narrow down what you really want for your pictures, choose the perfect location and make sure you have an understanding about how that all comes together in the finished photograph.   I’m with you every step of the way.

Bottom Line: It’s easier than it seems.Think twice about having Emma in a lace prom dress if you can’t get Tommy out of his spider man cape and favorite Star Wars pajama top. If we’re going to be running around in a park, you’ll likely not decide to wear your starched Sunday best. Hate the way stripes and plaids look together but Dad has his favorite stripped polo ready to go? Best steer mom away from her beloved family tartan. Easy-Peasy. [unless Mom is really attached to that tartan, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it).

~~~

If you’re still not certain, and you can’t decide between the yellow wrap dress with your red heels or your dark skinny jeans and purple  belted shirt – I’ve got good news.  You don’t have to decide.   Bring lots of options.  Heck – throw your whole wardrobe into the back of the car.  When we get to the session we’ll wing it all with fabulous results.  Trust me.

Now take a deep breath.  Close your eyes.  Imagine how blow-everyone-away-fabulous-ready-for-America’s-Next-Top-Model  you’re all going to look in those pictures….

Can you see it yet?  I totally can.  OMG, you look INCREDIBLE!

I can’t wait for your session.

[Photogs: Feel free to use this, in whole or part (or just as inspiration) if you think it might help you with your clients.  I just ask that you credit it by linking back here]

Naomi | Phoenix Newborn Photography

The last time Tamara was having a baby, she invited me to take her birth photos.   I was eager, honored, so ready to be there to witness and record the homebirth of her little girl.

She called one afternoon to say that she was in labor.   Her voice was relaxed, she sounded excited.   It wasn’t serious yet, she said, so just to sit tight and she’d call back when I needed to come.

I got off the phone and began leisurely pulling my things together.   Her last birth had lasted 36 hours; I figured I had plenty of time.

I should have known better.

Not five minutes had passed when I got another call, from what appeared to be an entirely different person.  Her mood had changed, her voice had changed.  Everything had changed.

It was definitely time.

I hustled into the car and set out to drive to her place.  Across town.  At rush hour.  C-R-A-W-L-I-N-G at a snails pace and freaking out the whole way.

I pulled into her cul de sac and saw the midwife’s big blue van haphazardly parked across the driveway, back doors still open, wooden birth stool lying abandoned in the street.

Looks like I wasn’t the only one in a hurry to get there.

I walked in to find the new family of four already curled up together in bed.  Apparently wee Nora had decided that her mother had worked hard and long enough the first time around to deserve a break.

When Tamara discovered she was expecting another daughter, we decided that birth photos probably were not going to work out (good thing, as baby girl number two came just as quickly – I never would have made it), but that a combo maternity/newborn photo session was definitely in order.

So instead of rushing across town at rush hour, I got to wait until a few days later, and welcome sweet Naomi in a little more relaxed fashion. …

___

All knit items featured in this post are by the fabulous Marie.   She has set up her shop on Etsy and is ready to take custom orders for some items.   I consider myself the  luckiest newborn photographer in town to have a basket full of knitted treasures – each and every one is made perfectly and with love – fabulous for any photographer or even for parents who have a soft spot for soft, cozy knitted goodies.

Naomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Naomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Naomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc Photography

Naomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlanc PhotographyNaomi's newborn portrait session in Glendale Arizona | Jeanette LeBlan