Morning Stroll with Musician Tori Fleming by Jessica Lawson

 
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This beautiful soul has become one of my favorite artists to collaborate with. If you’re following along my photographer journey, Tori + I went to college together. Fun fact! We actually we're in Women’s Choir together. BUT she had the voice of Adele’s angel cousin and I was really good at swaying on the risers.

Anywho, we started working together the summer after we graduated. I wanted to not just shoot weddings (still true!) and she needed some photo work. Our first collab was for a shoot for Angelic Magazine. That was fun.

Since then I’ve followed this woman through clubs and bars as she tore up Hollywood and beyond with her stunning talent + soulful lyrics.

Tori loves the Lord and His people. I will always love that she intentionally chose not to write Christian music so she could be used to reach people where the Church can’t always.

This was a very early San Diego morning where we met up, got some coffee, and strolled, caught up, and created some more social media content for Tori.

She really wanted to express more of her personality not just her rad modeling skills. But I’m pretty biased. She’s one of my favorite models. Very thankful for this friend. Enjoy our overcast morning together.


If you are in need of some lifestyle creative content, feel free to hit me up! I love collaborating with bloggers, musicians, artists, and small business owners. Whether you need more content for your gym, coffee shop, or jewelry business, or you want to tell the story behind your product, message me. I’m all about photographing people + what they are passionate about.


 

Ian + Lisa / You Are My Sunshine - Desert Sunset Engagement by Jessica Lawson

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This little foothills trail has become one of my favorite places to shoot in Phoenix. I’ve done at least 10 shoots here in the past year and it is different EVERYTIME. There is a lot of diversity as well as a lot of interesting levels as you walk deeper into the valley.

This first photo was taken within the first 5 minutes of the shoot. LIKE…. C’mon. It’s stunning. I would hang it in our home, but Cameron and I agreed that’s a little weird. Ha.

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This is Ian and Lisa. They are precious. They met at PayPal, where they both still work. They are incredibly sweet and kind to each other. I love how Lisa makes Ian’s face light up. And I love how sweet Lisa glows around him. But even more so, they are equally in love with their baby girl, Kaia as they are with each other and it is PRECIOUS. Kaia and Ian are best friends. She got her demeanor and some of her facial features from her daddy. Only Lisa and his baby girl can produce the biggest smile on Ian’s face. Please enjoy these!

FOR FUTURE COUPLES

Protip I learned from this shoot. If you want to bring your children to an engagement shoot, I 20/10 recommend bringing someone who can hold the baby. I am only required to bring a second shooter to *most weddings so it is not a good idea to bank that your photographer or their second shooter can be on baby or doggy duty. IF you ask ahead of time, totally fine. But try to get a friend so we can do our part in capturing romantic photos of just you two!

I will say in the last year I have held a baby in one arm while shooting with the other and it was very empowering and terrifying all at the same time. God-willing a little window into Cam and my future. But not any time soon, mom….

Ariel + Felicia / Saguaro Lake Engagement with a Pup by Jessica Lawson

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Before I brag about this couple, I just wanted to say, I’m going to be blogging twice a week to catch up before the end of the year of the wonderful weddings, engagement sessions, AND other projects I’ve gotten to do this year.

2018 was a WILD year for my photography business.
I’ve had the most amount of weddings, clients, and just overall business. So if you’ve been eager to see yours or a friend’s wedding thank you for your patience. I’ve made a plan and I’m excited to get to share every Wednesday and Friday, starting this week!

Here we go!

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Ariel + Felicia met up with me at Songbird Coffee + Tea House. (They have an amazing spicy chai, just for the record.) And I think within the first few minutes we realized we were quite the good fit for each other.

Their relationship means the world to them. They have had to fight to be together and it’s only so fitting that they are getting married in a Boxing Gym. And I think because of how hard they have had to fight back adversities against their relationship, they have found so much joy in each other.

They are each other’s best friend and safe place.

Honestly, I think they were really happy to get to show off their love for one another because these shots are some of the purest “poses.” I may have directed them, but they led.

Sometimes I walk away from a shoot discouraged how uncomfortable a couple is with one another. I get PDA is awkward. Trust, I get it. But I really admired that Ariel + Felicia just blossomed when they were encouraged to show how much they adore each other. That’s what engagement photos are all about. You’re inviting people into a glimpse of your relationship and what makes you guys special.

Thank you guys for honoring Cameron and I with showing us your relationship, your love, and sharing your story.
Rooting for you guys!
April 13th, hurry up! <3

TIPS FOR FUTURE COUPLES

I think one of the best things for this shoot was hearing Ariel + Felicia share about what they didn’t like from their past photoshoots. They conveyed they felt awkward and that they had to lead the shoot. Knowing that, I spent a little extra time researching poses for similarly height couples and same sex couples, because they are my first! <3
It’s always a great idea to let your photographer know how you’re feeling. Especially if you are harder to read, or shy, or an internal processor. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at reading people on a shoot. But sometimes this is the first time we’re meeting, so it’s always helpful to not just think of us as a Sears Portrait Studio, or a robot photobooth.

We’re people too! And if you try to be our friend, I guarantee your photos will come out better.
You can tell when I care about people through my photographs. MY job is to care for each person in front of my camera. But your job is to help me do that.

Tell me your story. It matters! And it helps!
Tell me what your dreams are. Tell me what your parents are like.
It matters. It all helps form a connection between us.

Cameron and I were recently going through our favorite weddings from 2018 (so far, Josh + Taryn ;) ) And the top three couples were all people we consider friends. And 2/3 we met as photographers first.

Happy Halloween friends! Thanks for listening to this makeshift advice column. :)

FRIEND > PHOTOGRAPHER