Zona Communications

Vistancia is a community waaaay out on the northwest corner of Phoenix. Even from a central location like downtown Phoenix, this place is still 32 miles away.  My buddy Rick Young actually lives way out there, plus some members of my family. It’s beautiful, surrounded by mountains and desert. The photo above is of the main waterfall that marks entry into the neighborhood.

Zona Communications is a company that provides internet, phone and television to their customers out in Vistancia and northern Phoenix. I kind of wish they were down our way because their high-speed internet uses fiber optics technology, which is faster than a bandwidth-sharing cable connection and also requires NO modem. Wow. I want it.

Their marketing director Joe Harding needed some pictures of a few of their clients that run businesses out of their homes and then some random shots of the community. They want to highlight these Vistancia businesses on their website, which is a great idea!

So I packed a cooler, a tent, a sleeping bag and made the long drive out there. Okay, I’m totally kidding. But I did need my passport. Kidding again.

If you live out in this area, you might want to check out Zona Communications and also these great local businesses represented below.

First up on the shoot was Ron Fraser who does commercial printing with his company Client Focus Printing. He has a beautiful home on a golf course, so we shot in a few different spots.

Next was Eva Guibert, the CEO of Guibert Travel. We shot at a wonderful local park where you can play basketball for free indoors and swim outside in a beautiful pool. It really looks like an enjoyable place to live.  We even got her friend Jason to join in for a shot or two.

Next up was Sarica Cernohous, who is a rep for Not Just Printing. The main goal was a shot of her for the website, but her kids were super-cute and instantly posed for the camera. I had to include two shots of them, followed by Sarica.

From what I gathered, Sarica did some modeling some years back. When we went to get a shot on her living room couch, she sat right on the edge of the cushion with absolute perfect form. Made my job super-easy!

Joe wanted some shots on this desert trail that loops through the community. So we walked around by the waterfall you saw at the top of the page and snatched a couple of shots.

The Tasting Room is also a Zona client, so we snatched a quick photo of their storefront.

Thanks to Joe and Zona Communications for letting me take some photos for them and I look forward to working with you again in the future!

Southwest Shakespeare Company Gala

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do for a little exposure, a little practice and just a little bit of growing up.

The Southwest Shakespeare Company held a gala last weekend to raise money for their theater group. The cost was $100 a ticket, so it was a fairly ritzy event. A member of the company, Sara, asked if I wanted to help do a photobooth and hand out my business cards for a little bit of exposure.

I’ve been wanting to practice and get better at the whole one-light photobooth kind of setup, so I said sure I would. Plus it helps a good cause. While I don’t get out to shows or plays too often, I do enjoy them when I do.

So these are just a few of the shots I took that night. Sarah brought some props along to give it a cool, old office feel and I think it worked pretty well.

Used a Speedlite EX II off left with a light stand and umbrella. Flash was manual and power around 1/4. Canon 5D Mark II and a 50 mm 1.4 set at around f/5.0 and ISO 200. Backdrop was a giant drape/curtain I borrowed from church which proved perfect.

Definitely still learning, but for what we were trying to accomplish that night, they turned out pretty good I think.

Pearson Christmas Party

Last Thursday night I had the opportunity to photograph the Pearson Christmas Party that was held at The Venue, a gorgeous event location in downtown Scottsdale. Of course I had to do a quick little HDR of the interior before the guests arrived, which you can see above.

I’ve done a few events before, but this was the first that required a kind of “posed shot station” where couples could walk up to where we were shooting, pose for a nice shot and be on their way. Which was a lot of fun for me, because it became an awesome learning experience. My buddy Rick Young (awesome photog, his work is here) gave me some lessons before the event on shooting with an off-camera flash through an umbrella and I have to say, those lessons paid off.

The venue was dark…very dark, so I used a 580 exII with a diffuser, combined with my Tammy 17-35mm 2.8 and Canon 50mm 1.4. The posed shots were all done with the Tammy, the Speedlite and the umbrella on a light stand.

I still love what that 50mm does with its wide aperture in settings like this.  Being in such a dark environment with a single flash was tough, but I think the shots turned out great.

The group itself was awesome…super friendly people, they paid me more to stay longer, they floated me extra drink tickets for the bar, they made sure I had a huge plate of food and even invited me to the “after party.” I had a blast with everyone and hope to see you guys again next year!

Happy Birthday baby Claire!

This darling, precious gift of a girl, turned two years old this past week. Her parents asked me to snap photos of her big birthday party on Saturday and I was honored.

Life has been tough for little Claire, who has amazing challenges to face almost every day. But look at that smile. Oh my…how can you not get a warm, fuzzy feeling deep down inside and smile back at her?