Sunday, July 11, 2010

American Spa Magazine Shoot

This week I was priveleged to shoot an ad for Dream Innovation's Matt Murdock, an Anthem massage therapist, who has innovated several new massages and teaches his techniques to massage therapists all over the world. Matt is my massage person, and his butterfly massage, shown above, is truly amazing, so I was very excited to shoot it, but terrified, that so many people are going to want his services after seeing his ad that he won't be available for me when I need him! Our beautiful and exotic model, Spencer, is local superstar business SWEAT's own Josh and Laura Roger's babysitter. Laura, after three kids, could be a model herself, she's just too sweet and self effacing to do it. :) Spencer, will be going to ASU in the fall, to become a physician's assistant. She's so going to dominate that school, thanks to her incredible, sparkling personality, and drop-dead gorgeous looks, both of which seem to come directly from her equally beautiful and sweet mom, Rulla, the director of catering at the Biltmore, which you would never guess because she's so tiny, whom I immediately clicked with because we had all of these funny, obscure things in common, like that we both got married at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Nigel! We did several shots for both Matt's butterfly and rain massages. I really like a deep massage, as intense as you can get it, and the butterfly is beyond intense, so I tried to reflect it in the look and feel of the pose, lighting and expressions, which was pretty easy, because Spencer has that kind of dark intensity, and Matt knows exactly what to do. You would think that laying on a massage table and getting a massage for four hours would be a breeze of a modeling assignment, but think again...think about how when you lay down, your face smushes and kind of turns into the sheet, so the fabulous Spencer had to almost hover her face above the table so that it was just glancing the sheet and turn her face way up and away from it so that you could see her eyes. Good thing Matt was there to get the kinks out! I never let models see pictures direct from my camera, just in case there are blinks or awkward positioning, but Rulla had to leave and Matt was giving Spencer a ride home, so they both stayed and saw everything...I shouldn't have worried, because in the shots where Spencer was blinking, she just giggled about it, totally non self conscious, gotta LOVE that!! How refreshing. Just like I was the one to get the massage. Hmmm, I think I'm going to book my next massage with Matt right now!

Friday, July 2, 2010


When Emerson's totally chic and beautiful mom told me that she was usually pretty stoic for pictures, I just smiled... kids love my rose petals and little kid sized chairs and stuff that I have around, and in 17 years of shooting, I have never left a smile behind, so I do have my little tips and tricks, but I had my secret daughters, Zoe and Tenley! Little kids LOVE older kids, so it wasn't long before Emerson was going for it...and go for it she did! She slid through the rose petals like a pro baseball player, and jumped and twirled all around, throwing rose petals with the girls. Daddy, a hockey league commissioner, got big points, too...although he eyed our super chexx hockey game machine with longing, he was right in there to give love, throw rose petals, and shake his groove thang, all to catch Emerson's interest. I just love seeing daddys with little girls!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Annabelle and June

I adore little girls. I have two of my own, of course, but all of a sudden, they are gigantic, huge behemoth girls, losing teeth and getting dental appliances all over the place, so when Annabelle and June came in for a photo shoot, I found myself getting nostalgic. Annabelle, the little strawberry blonde, crawls everywhere on her elbows and forearms, commando style, like she's a little army girl, going through basic training in Da Nang. She's the smiley-est little sprite ever, and I was treated to watching her joy when she stood just holding her mom's finger for the first time...these moments are SO the time I delivered the proof for their hand painted gallery wrap, two weeks later, she was walking already! June is a delicate, tiny fairy dancer, with giant soulful eyes and perfect little kewpie doll lipe, who really had a ball busting a move all around the town and avoiding the camera...until the tiny stool came out. I don't know why, but the tiny stool has gotten me out of all kinds of woes...everyone just wants to sit on it. Even I want to sit on it. It's just so cute and ...tiny! I don't know what I'll do if it breaks...I can see myself running into the night, screams of "I should have stocked up on tiny stoolssssssss....." echoing in the night. Annabelle and June's mom and grandma and I had a great time picking could you not with these gorgeous little girlies? Grab your children and hug them, guys...the time really does go wayyy too fast.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Austin's Senior Rep Pictures

As you know, most of the time, men don't like having their pictures taken, but women do, and I don't necessarily like to wrestle guys that I don't know who hate me on sight, so I've always just taken the easy way and avoided shooting guys as much as possible. Until Austin, who basically took any preconceived notion that I had about shooting guys and dumped them out the window. And now I'll shoot the dudes once again.

This guy was such a natural, he moved so well, everything he did was right. Take, for example, the blue and white shot directly above...I'm here to tell you, no one looks good with their head way to the side like that. Except Austin, who looks to me like James Dean in that shot, then moves on to Chase Crawford in the shot in the blue glass, then the boy next door on the steps. That is one heck of a versatile face. And a heck of a nice guy as well, which I almost didn't have the opportunity to find out.

Let me tell you the story: Ok, first of all, if you know me, you know that I'm obsessive about time. I'm ALWAYS early. I'm the one turning on the lights for the people who work there kind of early. And I live and die by my Blackberry. My "a" and "s" key had fallen off of my Blackberry Pearl, making it really hard to type just about everything, and I wrote Austin down for "tuedy" and I assumed my s and a were missing and the "r" had turned to an "e" and I meant Saturday, since I shoot mainly on weekends, so I went down and waited for him on Saturday, and called and left messages, but they didn't get the message, as their house phone was having problems, so then they waited for me on Tuesday, which was when our appointment was, but of course, I wasn't there, which is my total fear, and why I am always early, especially to photo shoots, when everything has to be as perfect and stress free as possible, because having your picture taken is kind of stressful. Anyway, they called and left a message, and when I got the message, I freaked out, since I have NEVER missed a shoot, EVER. After we got it all straightened out, they were kind enough to give me another shot, and I was wise enough to get another phone so that little trick wouldn't happen again, but I was kind of worried, like, you know, they hate me already, what's going to happen? But when Austin, and his mom, Lisa, who looks like a prettier Teri Hatcher, walked in, and their smiles lit up the room, I knew that everything would be all right.

We started the shoot in some smooth rocks, typical guy shoot...kind of safe and nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. But when we moved on to a rock in the water, something just clicked on in both of us, and we just had a very fun wild ride to Austin's Model side. Somehow, everything that Austin did just looked way current, like on American Idol when they update a song and make it their own...Austin updated poses and made them his own. He just blew it out of the water. He became 40 different people. Every time he looked at the camera, it was to catch another new angle of his face. It was just fascinating to see how many looks he has. It was a totally fun day; it made my job feel new again, which, after 17 years, is a definite bonus.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Engagement Pictures of Tara and Barry

My next entry in the "I love my job category" comes in the form of engaged couple Tara and Barry, the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, who both could be supermodels if they ever wanted to leave their fabulously successful lives to hang with the paparazzi. I have shot Tara's beautiful parents and beautiful daughter, so I already have a lot of love for their family, and I had a sneaking suspicion that the amazing bone structure of the family would be present in Tara, but Holy Apple Pie, look at this girl! Drop dead gorgeous and she even bought me lunch!

We shot this past Sunday, also known as day of the raging windstorm, and I was so afraid that we would have to cancel the shoot, since I'd sent in my lights for their annual tune up, but thank goodness for photog friends...Dana Kiely brought me her set and we were ready to roll. Tara and Barry were on the way to a wedding reception, so they looked fabulous already, but we had a little bit of a time restraint, and Tara had mentioned that Barry, like every man on the planet, might not be super into pictures, ( not to mention any names, but ahem, Buzz!), but Barry came in calm and cool and ready to take on the engagement picture world!

What's kind of interesting is that I kept seeing them in these kind of dramatic poses in black and white, and when I feel something I just have to shoot it that way, so that I can move forward, so I shot some straight, but then went with my gut and shot more dramatically, and...YAY!! They loved the dramatic ones! Woo Hoo!

Now, as you know, most men, after seeing photos once through, usually get very antsy and go out in the living room with my sweet little hubby and watch sports with him, but I am here to say that Barry got my vote for Greatest Guy when he not only stayed and was interested the whole time, but when they were ready to pick their engagement pictures, which traditionally are, um, more on the traditional side, Barry picked a very non-traditional one, (which happened to be my favorite!) I love it when I click this way with my couples because it means that we're right for each other...when I feel something from them, and they love it, and when I pick out one in my head and they pick it too, it just means that they picked the right photographer for them to capture memories that they will treasure for the rest of their lives. By the way, the next time you're fortunate enough to be kicking back in the dentist's chair watching Friends reruns on the television in the ceiling while getting your root canal instead of having to be mentally present for that fun event, thank Barry. He invented the technology for the ceiling tv!,

Oh, which one did they pick for their official engagement picture, you ask? Well, you won't hear it from me...they're keeping their plans under lock and'll just have to hope that you get invited to what is sure to be an event filled with a lot of love, laughter and joy. Just like Barry and Tara.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Triplets!

Ok, so what's not to love about shooting babies, right? Their sweet little rolly polly selves far outway the drool, the spitup, the incessant crying, and, of course the poop in rainbow colors that gets on all of our nice white backgrounds. I shot two sets of quadruplets for years, and they were wild children, cute, but wild, like tear my studio apart in 5 minutes kind of wild, so to say I was feeling a little trepidacious about shooting little six month triplets in the nether world of Gilbert was an understatement, but there I went. My sweet little hubby even packed me snacks for the trip, so long and far away is Gilbert.

But when I got there, I just fell head over heels in love with Makayla, Hanna, and especially little Shayne, pictured above with veterinarian dad Jamie. Aside from being an absolutely lovely person, Mom Staci is probably the most calm mom I've ever seen. Those kids felt so loved and cared for and cooed over, there wasn't even a possibility of a tantrum! While I was setting up, the babies were hanging out on this big overstuffed chair by the window, just smiling away at mom and dad. They just hung out and were soooo adorable and sweet and cuddly and cute. My youngest, T.T. is graduating from kindergarten this week, and being at the Schmidt's house made me want to have more babies!! Well, maybe not. Well, maybe...hmmm. I'll keep you posted on that one. I'd only be 107 by the time they reached high school.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Phoenix Wedding-Heather and Brian

Heather and Brian's April 24th wedding was everything a wedding should be; fun, crazy, chaotic, and filled with so much raw, unbridled love and emotion from everyone involved that you can just tell that these guys are going to be still laughing and holding hands when they're 80, with all of their friends and family around to witness the love and laughter. The wedding and reception were held outdoors at the eclectic Carefree Station Restaurant, on the tree filled patio, surrounded by thousands of wildly blossoming plants . The light bounced all around after the ceremony, heightening every moment into . It was one of those weddings that I felt grateful to be a part of...I just fell in love with my couple. The little moments that make each wedding totally special and different abounded. They wrote each other notes the morning of their wedding, and when I delivered Brian's note to Heather at the Carefree Salon, where she was getting her hair and makeup done, she cried. Their children, Spencer, Cody, Bree and Macy stood up for them, and that morning, Macy told her mom how thrilled she was that Brian was finally going to be her real dad. When they had their sisters sign their marriage certificate, they told them that they had decided on them as the witnesses, then walked out and got the mail and theirs were the first two RSVPS. The day was just perfect, just like Heather and Brian.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Shot on the Cover of Deva Lifewear Catalogue

My shot of local models and my friends, Alex and Mary Spence for the "Bolinas Chic" hemp clothing catalogue Deva Lifewear is going to be on the Cover! See it big here: We were out in the desert shooting with absolutely nothing around us, when these kind souls from Anthem Pets came by walking all of these was serendipity!! They had to be in the shot!! They provided a very fun vibe for the whole rest of the shoot, but I knew in my heart that this was going to be the one!




Erica and I had a real adventure while I was shooting her pictures! We started out at the Monte Lucia resort, where a wedding was going on ...giant wedding, small property, lots of security= yeah, you guessed it, we got tossed! Plus, my assistant for a day, Gina, who had broken her leg at the roller skating rink had to do a lot of walking on her walking cast...owie!! Well, luckily for us, Toni, Erica's mom, knew the area...we were back up and running at the Camelback Marriott within minutes...I love the Marriott. I really do. They're so cool there, the grounds are so beautiful, and they make a great steak. Anyway, Erica was so cool and totally laughed about the whole thing, so there was no recover period...she just went for it!! we relaxed over there and had a great time and took some great shots of a Very beautiful girl.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


One thing that I adore about...ummm, me, is that I am always right about how people will photograph, and I pegged Kayla, who was our first babysitter when we moved to Anthem, as a 1940's film star type when she was only 15 years old. Well, of course, my Zoe is 11 now, and shudders at the thought of anyone watching over her baby sister except her majesty herself, so we haven't seen Kayla for a while, and when we did, last fall, and she told me that she wanted me to take her senior pictures, I was so excited! Have I mentioned that Senior Pictures are my first love? I just love teenagers, and their perspective on absolutely everything. There's no "I can't's". They just do it, and when they go for it with as much aplomb as Kayla has, it's magical. We didn't get to shoot until this past week, so I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted to do with her, which was to bring out her natural pinup tendancies. I just LOVE Kayla's look. She's so fabulous!! I love her mom and dad, too. When they saw the pictures, her mom, Michelle, cried, and her dad kept telling her over and over how beautiful she is. Which makes me just love my job even more, of course.