Catching up with life and work

This year has been very productive and very busy for me. I photographed weddings, babyshowers, senior portraits, family sessions, birthdays, and special events. On my personal side I have volunteered for various projects for my children's school, projects for friends, and tried to catch up on cleaning, and being a good parent. Super busy!! Yes!

I thought summer would be the perfect time to catch up with everything and finally rest and spend summer with my kids. Well, I was incorrect. hehehe. I gave myself more projects. WOW I think I have lost it. But honestly, instead of freaking out and panicking about deadlines, I have felt super grateful. I love that I have photographed so many memories. I love that I have made extra income to take my kids and hubby out for dinner or a movie. I love that I can buy plants that will grow in my garden. Life is super good! It really is.

I am balancing life and work by remembering that each day is great and that I am grateful. I take my time to enjoy what I am doing but I also remind myself that deadlines are important too.

If you are stressed about your projects or you just don't feel motivated step away. Think about how excited you were when you took this project/job on. Think about how this job can open doors for future jobs to come. GO for a swim or do some type of excersise. Enyoy a tall glass of lemonade or wine. Then come back and tell yourself you are gonna rock this project!

That is how you catch up with life and work. and that is how you enjoy what you want to do.


Growing up

I always get so nostalgic when I photograph seniors. I remember how exciting it was for me to grow up and go off to college. I remember how scary it was growing up and going off to college. I to remember my parents being so excited and so proud. That is why I just love photographing Senior portraits. These kids amaze me. Last year I had the privilege to photograph Angelica. This awesome kid was in band, had good grades, and was going to make her mom proud.

I had not met her prior to the session. But when I got to know her I knew this kid was special and she was going to do well.

Finding your style in your art

When I first became really passionate about photography I just wanted to take nice pictures of my daughter. Like many new moms, I wanted a billion pictures of my first born. As I started to understand the technical side of photography I became more passionate about getting the technique down and less about what I was trying to convey in my photography. I attended many workshops to imitate styles that I thought were what everyone was looking for. I started to take pictures and not capture memories. I had no creative outlook nor did I have my own style.

I became frustrated because all I saw in my pictures were images with no story and no creativity. I attended a very interesting and charming conference Field Trip ( but found myself lost. The conference was full of gorgeous people who knew what their styles were and knew what they wanted to photograph. Then I started to notice that I just didn't fit in with the style or with their outlook on photography. I felt so out of place and unrelatable. They wore hunter boots, I wore old beat up snow boots (there was plenty of rain but no snow). Was I at the wrong conference? Did I make a mistake in investing so much money and time to only feel less secure about myself?

I stayed away from workshops for a while. My crappy reasons were: it was to much money or I just didn't want to feel lost again. Then a miracle happened. Foundation Workshops ( offering a less intense version of their famous workshop. I jumped for joy!

I will start off saying I have always awwwed and gooogoood over Fearless Photographers ( Kirsten Lewis ( is one of my favorite photographers and she is part of the Fearless family. I have read many blog posts about photographers and how this workshop opened up their world to different possibilities. I felt like this is what I needed! Citlalli Rico (, Susana Barbera (, these beautiful and amazing photographers were also part of this amazing group of superstar artist. I had to do! I had to attend the Foundation First workshop and I had to find myself.

And I did. I finally figured out who I was and what I wanted to do. I also figured out it was ok to try new and different things. These journeys help you define what you love and that love transfers into your work. I learned from Field Trip letting go of the conventional. I met many talented and very gutsy people. I met photographers who only photograph food and things and can still tell a story. I can't do that...yet..and that is amazing to me! Foundation helped me find myself in the harsh reality that I need to clear my mind and soul to tell a story. And that there is always a story to tell even if you have no relation with the story. You learn to understand your surroundings and find the beauty in what surrounds you.

Wow all that writing just to tell you that I have found my style. Yeah it has been a very therapeutic journey! All workshops can teach. It is up to you to learn, to not be scared, and to find yourself and your style. I love closeups of tiny feet and tiny hands. I love showing couples in the right lower third of my image while they are surrounded by infinite sky or nature. I love photographing people in their elements as well as in a portrait. So I combine all this love into my sessions now. I don't need to just do a conventional and expected portrait. I can be crazy and creative as well. One hour does not limit me. It inspires me!

The following pics are pictures I captured of four wonderful photographers. We did a practice photo thing a while back. I was a bit nervour because I was meeting four collegaues and I was going to share my work with them. I got out of my comfort zone to create. Thank you Nieves Montaño (, Jessica Alden (, Yasmine Couso (, and Karina Beagley-Zazueta ( for inspiring me and motiviating me :)

2016_downtown_headshot (39 of 147).jpg

A family reunion

I was very fortunate to photograph an amazing family of four generations. The four generations composed of grandma, father, daughter, and granddaughters. Another bonus of this beautiful session was I got to capture four month old twins. It was so adorable to see two little souls just chill while us grown ups were wooing over their sweet and beautiful smiles.

This family was super sweet and just adorable. I was very honored to capture their memories.

Seniors... Attention!

A couple weeks ago I photographed two high school seniors. These young men met each other on the first day of band camp their freshman year. I related to these band gurus because it reminded me of my days in band. The uniforms, the friendships and the memories all were part of one of the happiest experiences of my life. Now these two young men will be leaving all those wonderful experiences and will go out in the world to live new experiences and make new memories. Congratulations Brad and Greg. May the future be as amazing and as memorable as high school was.

Welcome Baby Jamie

The wonderful and funny Heckle family has a new member, Baby Jamie. I am super happy that I got to capture baby Jamie's adorableness (not sure if that is a word but I love it!). At two weeks Jamie is already opening his eyes and enjoying the world that is to come (blurry but amazing).

Sara, mom, had three super cute outfits that well I just wanted to squeeze in delight. The white romper belonged to dad, and the Captain America outfit was made by a dear family friend. And at two weeks old, Jamie was a trooper. At first the sunlight was not his favorite. But as the shoot went along he enjoyed the warmth of the sun. Over all the session went super well (we did have to stop for the union breaks we had to give the model.) Please enjoy these super adorable pictures of Jamie's photography debut.


Mt. Lemmon Wedding

Last April I assisted as a second shooter at Mike and Kara's beautiful dreamy Mt. Lemmon wedding. This wedding was so much fun. The entire wedding party was just super adorable and super sweet. The lighting was perfect, the backdrop was gorgeous. Felt like I was inside a fairy tale book. Please enjoy some of my favorite pics from the wedding.

2015_our_wedding_april (101 of 457).jpg

Thank you Mike and Kara for such a beautiful memory.

Caught on camera...

Have you ever wondered what you look like when you work? Like many people, I must say my response would be "No". But I do have to admit I do get curious. I know I make funny faces, climb on walls, lay on the ground, hide behind objects, and occasionally pretend to be a photographer ninja.

I am part of an amazing group of women photographers and occasionally we have get togethers to practice our photography. In these get togethers we also take pictures of each other working. I love it! It is really good to see yourself in action. Seeing yourself working can also be a teaching tool. You can see what other angles you could have chosen. You can see the space around you and your subject. You can also see the direction of lights, shadows, and how you could have utilized them better.

Well Wahla! Here are some of the pics that were taken of me as a photographer ninja.

 Photo taken by Nieves Montano (With Karina Beagley-Zazueta & Yasmine Couso)

Photo taken by Nieves Montano (With Karina Beagley-Zazueta & Yasmine Couso)

 Photo taken by Nieves Montano (With Yasmine Couso)

Photo taken by Nieves Montano (With Yasmine Couso)

 Photo taken by Nieves Montano (Just me)

Photo taken by Nieves Montano (Just me)

The beauty in getting ready

Weddings can be such a stressful mess for brides. The second the bride sits down to get pampered and dolled up is very important. This moment is the one quiet moment where a bride is being oohed and ahhed over how beautiful she looks, how excited tonight will be, how she will forever remember the moment when her husband looks at her and the butterflies in her stomach start to flutter.

I also enjoy the connection between the bride and her lady guests. Mothers watch proudly and tell stories. Maids of honors are running back and forth making sure the brides are happy. Sisters, aunts, cousins stop by and give kisses. And then the father comes in and the waterworks come out.

Honestly, some of my favorite wedding memories are created in those little "get ready" rooms. So many new memories are made. It truly is amazing. Here are some of my favorite getting ready moments.

2013_ortiz_wedding (45 ).jpg

Remembering the Lull Wedding

I was looking back at some of the weddings I had photographed. I started to think about all the beautiful flowers that bring a wedding to life. Then I started to remember one particular bouquet that really captured my interest. The bouquet was made of paper but not just any paper. It was made from the pages of the bride's favorite book. What an amazing touch right! The bride was a writer and her future hubby was an IT tech. I also remembered how intimate the wedding was. It really was romantic. Here are some of my favorite memories from that day.