Monday, December 6, 2010

Zen's Cafe - Surprise, AZ

After a few emails and phone calls back and forth with Adrian Yap, owner of Zen's Cafe, we finally found some time for me to come in for an interview and photo shoot at the restaurant. It ended up being a bit of a last minute scramble, and Cadence went along for the ride.

Even at 2:00 in the afternoon, the bar area was filled with "regulars", and I was impressed that Adrian knew each of them by name. After sampling some of the food, I understood why Zen's Cafe had such a passionate and dedicated following, and how the restaurant was so successful just one short year after opening. After sampling a Philly Cheesesteak made with chunks of Rib Eye steak and several pieces of what is, hands down, the most delicious fried fish I have ever eaten in my life, I think I might just have a new favorite restaurant.

Here are a few photos from the day...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year...

Time always has a way of speeding up as Thanksgiving approaches, and then quickly shifts into warp speed between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. This year, our holidays are shaping up to be even more hectic than usual as we are packing up our belongings to move to Lincoln, NE, where my husband is starting a new job in January.

A few weeks ago, as I was preparing for my holiday shoot with the O Twins, I did a quick practice shoot with my daughter to test the lighting and see how things would look. I even managed to get her into a couple of her Christmas outfits for the test shoot, and was so pleased with the results that I ended up using several of the images for this year's Christmas card. Woohoo! Now I don't have to drive myself crazy trying to do another photo shoot to try and get the cards done.

Here are a few of my favorites that didn't make the final cut for the Christmas cards...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baby Z

I was originally supposed to do a Maternity Session with Momma A, but the day of the shoot, she started having contractions and ended up going to the hospital. It turned out to be false labor, but we never did get a chance to reschedule before she gave birth to Baby Z. When she asked if I would be interested in taking some newborn photos, I jumped at the chance. Baby Z would be my first real Newborn Session, and I was excited to give it a try.

Already a month old, Baby Z was wide awake and alert for our entire session. While those sleeping baby photos are always nice, I'm so happy we got the chance to see Baby Z's beautiful brown eyes in the photos.  Watch out girls! This little boy is going to break some hearts someday. He sure melted mine!

Here are a few of my favorites from our day together, and a few B&W conversions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

O Twins Holiday Photos

Every since I first got a chance to photograph the O Twins back in August, I've been chomping at the bit to get them back in front of my camera. These boys are adorable, full of energy, and so much fun to work with. Mommy O and I have been emailing back and forth since August, tossing around ideas for their holiday photos. After a lot of brainstorming, we came up with a few different ideas.

I arrived at the O house early Saturday morning and set up my backdrop. We tried a couple different set ups with wrapped gifts, Christmas tree ornaments, and even piles of red and green tissue paper, but the boys just weren't interested. So, we decided to go for it.

I cleared away the wood floor and spread out my seamless paper while Mommy O changed the boys into some old white onesies. A tray full of red and green fingerpaint later, and we had the perfect recipe for some outrageous holiday photos! This was definitely the most fun I've had at a Christmas portrait session, and I will definitely be doing it again with any families that think they might want to give it a go.

Thank you O family for spending a Saturday morning getting messy with me! :-)

Here are a few of my favorites:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Backlighting and B&W conversions

I've been working lately on backlighting in my photos, so of course the best subject is my daughter. Even though she's a crawling, standing, climbing fiend these days, plop her down in the grass outside, and she gets distracted enough to get a few good shots. Here are a few of my favorites from two sessions, and the black and white conversions.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tutti Santi Ristorante

I contacted Matteo, General Manager at Tutti Santi Ristorante's Glendale location, to interview him for a feature article on Tutti Santi in West Valley Health and Living Magazine. We also set up a photo shoot to get some shots of the delicious food to run with the story. I headed up to Glendale on a Friday night, and was greeted warmly by Matteo when I arrived. Everything about the restaurant--the food, the friendly staff, the lighting, the artwork--is classic, romantic Italian. The dim lighting made for a difficult shoot, but I think I managed to capture both the flavor and the ambience in the photos.

Here are a few of my favorites from the evening:

Sheraton Crescent Hotel

For an upcoming article in West Valley Health & Living Magazine, I headed up to the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix. Having recently renovated, the Sheraton is re-launching its three on-site restaurants, and I had the opportunity to meet the new Executive Chef, Gary Scherer, and get some shots of the delicious new menu items he is creating for customers. I had a great time, and am looking forward to heading back to the Sheraton to do more photo shoots soon!

Here are a few of my favorites from the day:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

LH's Princess Portraits

LH's Mom and I used to work together before I quit my full-time job to be a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer/photographer. She contacted me a few weeks ago with a request to take photos of LH that could be submitted with her application for the Florence Junior Parada Rodeo Princess. We met up Sunday morning, hoping to get some good shots before the lingering summer heat overtook us. (Yes, it's October and still in the 100's here in Arizona). If LH's poise during our photo shoot is any indication, I'd say she is a shoe-in for the Princess title!

Here are a few of my favorites from our day together!