Jessica Ary: Blog https://www.jessicaary.com/blog en-us (C) Jessica Ary [email protected] (Jessica Ary) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT https://www.jessicaary.com/img/s/v-12/u1030241956-o697449690-50.jpg Jessica Ary: Blog https://www.jessicaary.com/blog 86 120 The Consequence of Changing Plans https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2016/3/the-consequence-of-changing-plans I run inside a gas station in Beatty to escape the rain.  "Please tell me it isn't raining where you are."  Alison is driving from Los Angeles and I'm coming from Bishop and we're meeting up at Red Rock to climb.  "I wish I could" she responds.

"Maybe we should go to Joshua Tree instead.  We'll be able to climb on the rock tomorrow and Lisa has a camp site and invited us to stay there."  After some debating and discussion about how much rain is too much rain to climb on sandstone at Red Rock we agree that the best option is to go to Joshua Tree instead.  

I take a right onto State Route 127 and drive into the darkness of the deserted two lane highway.  The rain has finally stopped and I pick up the pace a little knowing that I still have a 4 hour drive ahead of me.  The road is hilly and curvy at times.  Adele is blasting over the speakers and I'm belting the lyrics of 'Someone Like You.' I'm happy and excited to see Alison and do some climbing with friends.

I take a turn on the highway and begin going into the other lane of traffic, I'm going to fast.  I pull the steering wheel to the right and begin to spine, I'm losing control.  I'm facing the opposite direction and my car hits the dirt and rock along the road.  "This is it, I'm going to get really hurt."  I close my eyes and accept what is about to happen to me.  The car lurches and feels like it's about to roll, but it doesn't.  It continues to spin and just as fast as it began I'm at a stop.  I'm OK.  Somehow I'm totally OK.  My car is parallel to the road facing the correct direction.  I pull the car forward a little to get it closer to the road.

I reach for my headlamp, which I somehow knew exactly where it was, even after the contents of the car had been tossed around.  I throw it on and step out of the car.  I walk along the drivers side towards the back of the car.  Nothing, no damage.  I continue to walk around to the passenger side, still no damage.  It isn't until I get to the front of the car that I see a flat tire.  I run around to the other side and the front driver's side tire is also flat.  I'm not going anywhere.  

Checking my phone, no service.  Shit.  I look up and down the road, no headlights.  Shit.  When was the last time I saw a car?  Have I even passed another car?  Shit.  

I start to consider my options.  I can wait for a car to come, but who will be in the car?  Will I be safe?  Do I get in the car with them?  My other option is to walk.  I passed a sign that said I was only a mile from the next town.  It's gotta be a small town.  What kind of town?  Is it safe?  Some of these small desert towns aren't too accepting of outsiders.  What will happen when I get there?  Will anything be open?  I look at the time, it's 8:50pm.  If I'm going to walk I need to do it now before everything in this town closes up.  

I jump into action putting on warm clothes and packing my backpack with supplies, extra layers, food, water, and wallet.  I throw on my pack and take a breath.  I look towards the town and I see headlights!  HEADLIGHTS!  I jump in the road and flag down the car.  It's a woman, thank god!  "Can you help me? I've been in an accident and I can't drive my car.  I don't have cell service."  She reluctantly agrees to go to town and call the Sheriff.  So I sit and wait.  Several other cars stop to ask if I need help, but I wave them on.  Finally, over an hour later the California Highway Patrol pulls up.  

He's nice and helpful.  He tells me that my best option is to ride into town with him to get a hotel room and call my insurance to get the process started with getting a tow.  I agree and pack a few more things for the night and slide in the backseat of his vehicle.  He tells me he has a daughter and that Red Rock is one of their places to go.  He tells me about what it's like patrolling in that area and the kind of people he deals with.

Once in town, we pull up in front of the Nugget Casino.  I joke, "it's funny to have you drop me off here, I'm sure it's usually the other way around."  He chuckles and nods in agreement.  He walks me in and asks for a room.  The woman behind the counter responds, "we're sold out, the whole town is because of the super bloom in Death Valley."  Shit.

We walk back out to his vehicle, and I call every hotel in town (there's a total of 4) and they are all sold out.  He calls his wife to see if I can stay there and she agrees.  He then calls his Sargent who says it's not OK.  So, this is it, I'm going to sit at the Nugget Casino and try to hatch a plan.  He shakes my hand and I tell him thank you for all of his help and for trying to offer me a place to stay.  I ask his name, "Robert,"  "Thank you Robert so much!"  I turn and walk into the Nugget with my bags and take a seat at the bar.  I order a shot of whiskey and a glass of Cabernet.

The next two hours are spent on the phone with insurance.  Calling car services, and talking to Alison.  After trying every option I can imagine I decide I'm going to stay awake all night in the casino.   Not excited about this idea I order another glass of Cab.  My phone rings, it's the tow truck driver.  He's going to come to the casino to get the keys to my car.  Before getting off the phone I ask, "Do you know anywhere I could stay tonight, the town is sold out of rooms."  "Well" he responds, "there's a brothel that has rooms.  Now I know what you're thinking, but it's real nice.  I've taken a lot of people there and everyone has enjoyed themselves."  I'm sure they have.

I call them.  They have a room.  

The tow truck arrives at the casino and I grab my bags and run outside.  I start throwing my bags into the cab.  "Are we all going to get the car?" He asks.  "Nope, you're going to take me to the brothel."  He reluctantly agrees and we begin driving.  His name is Paul and it turns out Paul is a mountaineer and has climbed lots of peaks including Denali.  He tells me about the cold winds and merciless temperatures on the mountain.  It's the coldest he's ever been.  "It's just a walk up," he says, "but it's unbearably cold."  I tell him he needs to give himself a little more credit.  

We arrive at the brothel and Paul walk me in.  I clutch my bags as I walk through the bar where the women are.  A couple of them are sitting at the bar talking to men, while another is lounging in a booth with a couple of men.  We continue through the bar to the hotel office.  I say goodbye to Paul and thank him for his help and get the key to my room.  I walk into my room and it's a typical hotel room.  Two beds with floral comforters, boring paintings on the wall, and an ancient TV.  

I look at the time, it's 2am.  I'm still wound up from everything that has happened and since I'll probably never stay at a brothel again I should go see what it's about.  So, I grab my wallet and confidently walk into the bar.  I sit down at the bar and order a Cabernet.  I take a sip of my wine and I'm approached by a woman, she leans in and whispers, "just so you know, only working women are allowed to sit at the bar."  "Oh", I say, "can I sit with you then?"  She looks at my confused, but agrees.  Her name is Holly, and she's worked at several of the local brothels.  Apparently, this one is the classiest.  I begin asking her a million questions about how it all works, what cut does the brothel get?  What do they are charge?  What do most clients want?  I'm fascinated!  An hour goes by and the two girls sitting at the bar go back to their rooms alone.  The bartender calls last call.  I say goodbye to Holly and wish her luck and turn into bed.  

The next morning I wake up to missed calls and text from friends and loved ones.  I spend the morning catching up and letting everyone know I'm alright.  I was in a car accident and slept at a brothel, but I'm alright. 

I eat lunch back in the bar the following day.  It's much sadder when the daylight is pouring into the dark bar.  As I eat I wonder what the women are like, do they have families, a boyfriend, husband?  Do their parents know where they are?  Do they like their job?  

After getting some food in my stomach I call a cab and go to check on my car.  The night had gone as well as it could in such a bad situation, but the journey wasn't over yet.  I still needed my car!  

The cab driver was a short woman with spiked hair. She slowly began asking me questions and I could tell she was trying to figure out my story.  So, I told her about the night before.  "Oh wow, I thought you might work there."  I laugh and tell her no.  She then tells me about driving clients out there.  The drivers sometimes wait in a lounge. She's seen the ladies line up for the men and they take their pick then choose what they want from a menu.  It's just business.  Sex business.  

She drops me off at the tire shop and tells me my story made her day.  Glad there's humor in it!

The rest of my day is spent in the waiting room at the shop.  I try to sleep for most of the day, curled up in a hard leather chair.  My car is finally done at 4pm.  There's still a sound and some rubbing happening somewhere, but they can't find the problem.  They've fixed the tires and aligned my car and tell me it's fine to drive home to Bishop.   So, I start the long drive back home.  I was sad that I wasn't going to see my friends.  Sad that I was alone.  Sad because all I wanted was a hug and for someone to tell me everything is alright. 

The silver lining, is that I drove through Death Valley during the golden hour.  I stopped many times to take pictures of the shadows across the hills and the beautiful wild flowers.  I also say an amazing sunset.  It made the disappointment and sadness I was feeling slightly better.  

I arrived home and threw open the front door.  I was so relieved to be surrounded by familiar things, to have my cat meowing at me for attention.  I was so happy the last 24 hours were over!  I was safe! The tears began to stream down my face.  It was all over and I had somehow survived all of it.  On my own.  I wept. I was so lucky.  So very lucky to be alive.

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) accident brothel car death pahrump reflection road story trip true valley https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2016/3/the-consequence-of-changing-plans Mon, 14 Mar 2016 04:06:17 GMT
Lauren on Mt. Tyndall https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2015/7/lauren Last summer I started the High Fashion Project.  What began as an idea that merged the my fashion side with my outdoorsy side evolved into a statement of feminism and strength.  I was overwhelmed with the support and attention each image received and completely blown away when the messages started to pour in.  Both men and women wrote me to tell me that the images inspired them and that they saw strength, power, and beauty in this series of pictures.

I wanted to continue the project in some capacity this summer, but I knew I didn't want to be the subject any longer.  It seemed appropriate that the women in the images should be the friends that have supported me and encouraged me throughout this project and all of my outdoor experiences.

Lauren was the first to come to me to share her thoughts on the High Fashion Project.  I remember her telling me that she loved the imagery of a strong and confident woman looking beautiful while standing on top of a mountain that she had just conquered.  So, it only seemed right that Lauren should be the first subject.

We climbed the North Rib of Mt. Tyndall with our friend Evan on June 21st, the summer solstice.  Tyndall isn't an easy peak by any means.  The approach is long with a lot of gain and requires a trip over the 12,000 ft Shepherds Pass.  Once you make it to the bass of the actual route you are greeted by giant boulders.  The climb itself is AWESOME!  Lots of 3rd class scrambling with a few interesting slab moves here and there.  It's challenging in all the right ways.  Once at the top of the ridge you're greeted with a fun traverse to the summit.  We each had such an enjoyable experience on the ascent, but the real treat was the summit.  You have views for days, and it presented an amazing backdrop for Lauren's picture.  While photographing her the Shakespeare quote, "and though she be but little, she is fierce" kept rolling through my mind.  It's the perfect caption for the photo.

After our beautiful morning on the mountain we began our long hike back to the car and Lauren reflected on her experience.  I really loved her thoughts on the project after photo shoot:

"I've always enjoyed the High Fashion Project but participating in it made me appreciate it in a whole different way. Mt. Tyndall was a challenging peak for me and so changing into a fancy dress and looking out into the windy vastness made it feel like an exhilarating celebration of that accomplishment---something more significant than just a woman posing in a pretty dress. It also felt like a unique celebration of feminine strength. Mountaineering and outdoor endeavors have been largely dominated by men in the past, and sometimes I feel pressured to shed or suppress my feminine side in the wilderness, but High Fashion Project felt like it acknowledged and honored my whole self for leading to this achievement."

This is why I've continued this project and this is what inspires me to create! 

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) The High Fashion Project adventure eastern sierra explore fashion femenism mountain outdoor women outdoors photography sierra sierra nevada summit tyndall https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2015/7/lauren Thu, 09 Jul 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Susan & Laura: Wedded Bliss https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2014/7/susan-laura-wedded-bliss Susan & Laura have one of the most amazing relationships I have ever witnessed.  The two of them have waited 20+ years to make their union official and tie the knot.  After being together for that many years, raising a child, and making it through the good times and the bad, a couple has a bond a deep love that shines!  

 

Finally, after all this time Susan and Laura had the opportunity to celebrate their love surrounded by all those important to them.  The only thing more beautiful than witnessing the love between Susan & Laura is the love of their friends that surrounds this couple.  Everyone who was in attendance was excited to celebrate this union!  There were many tears, heart warming speeches, and lots of dancing.  The entire day was beautiful and full of happiness and I'm deeply honored that these two chose me to be part of such a special day.  Many congratulations to the Hughes and many more hears of bliss <3

 

Susan & Laura's Wedding Susan & Laura's Wedding Susan & Laura's Wedding Susan & Laura's Wedding Susan & Laura's Wedding Susan & Laura's Wedding Susan & Laura's Wedding Susan & Laura's Wedding

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Angeles Los gay marriage photography same sex temecula wedding winery https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2014/7/susan-laura-wedded-bliss Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:30:16 GMT
Endless Love and Laughter https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/12/endless-love-and-laughter When a couple is together for twenty years there is a love that is deep, and a connection that extends beyond words.  Susan and Laura are an example of the love created by a relationship that has withstood the ups and downs of twenty years together.  They hadn't ever had professional photographs taken of them, and I was incredibly honored to be the first.  They were both nervous, as expected.  I watched as Laura would whisper to Susan to calm her and relax her.  They would share special moments together, as if I weren't even around.  The result was an intimate and real illustration of the beautiful love that these two share.  I had such an amazing time getting to know the couple during our session, and I'm thrilled to be photographing their wedding in May 2014!  It's going to be a beautiful celebration!

Susan & Laura's Engagement SessionSharing a laugh together. Susan & Laura's EngagementRelaxed and laughing under the willow tree. Susan & Laura's Engagement Session Susan & Laura's EngagementThis is one of my favorites. I love the way Laura is looking at Susa. Susan & Laura's EngagementThis is just too cute!

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/12/endless-love-and-laughter Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:30:00 GMT
There Ain't No Wedding Like an East Coast Wedding! https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/6/there-aint-no-wedding-like-an-east-coast-wedding When Jen and Bryan (AKA Breezy) announced they were getting married you knew that you were in for fun, laughter, drinking, and a whole lot of partying!  I promise you, they did not disappoint!  

Jen lives in the moment and more often than not, she has the biggest smile spread across her face.  Bryan is one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet and when you hear his bellowing, deep laugh, you can't help but laugh along with him.  Their happiness is contagious and it's pretty much impossible to have a bad time when you are with the two of them.  So, when they asked me to photograph their wedding I basically jumped up and down with the phone in my hand and started dancing in the living room!  I was so excited to capture their tremendous love for each other and to be a part of such a special day.  

I hope these pictures are able to express what a blast their entire wedding day was.  The men started off the day with beers and masks, which pretty much set the tone for the entire day.  I included my favorite part of the reception, when Jen's family continued their tradition of singing to the bride. It was a beautiful moment, and I had a hard time fighting back tears witnessing such a funny, beautiful, and heartfelt tradition.  

Jen and Breezy, thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this day.  It meant so much to me and I hope you enjoy my account of your beautiful day and amazing relationship. xoxo.

Beer, masks, and laughs.  Sums up the groomsmen. All the groomsmen and the groom front and center. The groom clowning around.  The sweet flower girl with the groomsmen.

The beautiful bride, Jen.  I just love how relaxed she looks here. The bride and her bridesmaids, and of course Jen with a giant smile! My favorite of the bride.  Simply beautiful.

The bride

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Connecticut East Coast Wedding bridal bride groom groomsmen photography wedding dress wedding party wedding photographer wedding reception https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/6/there-aint-no-wedding-like-an-east-coast-wedding Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:00:00 GMT
An Italian in Love with California https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/4/an-italian-in-love-with-california I often say, "by the end of each session I have become friends with my client".  This holds true when I had the pleasure of photographing Elana.  As our session began I immediately began asking a zillion questions, not just to hear her speak with her beautiful Italian accent, but also because I was so curious.  I wanted to know what she thought about Americans, has she been treated nicely while here, what made her want to move here, how does the US compare to Italy, is the cost of living different, etc, etc, etc.  She happily answered all of my questions and I began to realize more than ever that it doesn't matter where we're all from, we really are all the same.  We all want to dream, to be happy, we want love, we want life experience.  

Elena moved here for 16 months to take a break from her career and gain some more education.  I admired her for taking such a bold leap.  As we talked I learned that she had taken full advantage of her time here.  She had soaked up the Santa Monica culture, made trips to Maui, surfed, shopped, studied, and made new friends.  It's beautiful to witness someone who is taking a moment to soak up life and enjoy it!  

Now, Elena's time in Los Angeles is drawing to an end.  She is packing her things and moving back to Italy to return to her job.  I feel so fortunate to have documented her time here.  I hope that Elena looks back at her pictures and looks back at this time in her life with beautiful memories.  I am sad to see her go, but feel blessed that she left me with the reminder to enjoy life and soak it up.

 

Surfer Girl A Beauty on the Beach Head Shot Soak up the Sun

On a front porch in Santa Monica Gazing on the beach in Santa Monica

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/4/an-italian-in-love-with-california Tue, 30 Apr 2013 16:00:00 GMT
Rio Has Her Heart https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/2/rio-has-her-heart I had the pleasure of spending a gorgeous February morning at the beach with Carol and her pup Rio (my job is SO hard sometimes).  Upon meeting the pair  I knew that we were going to be in for a fun morning.  Carol is a surfer with NorCal roots and Rio is doesn't know a stranger, and when you're around them you can't help but smile.  Which is exactly how the morning went.  We all laughed, played, and rolled around the sand (when we left my pockets were filled to the brim with sand).

 

It was such an amazing way to spend the morning and I'm thrilled with the final images!  You can see the love that they have for each other and the unique bond between dog and owner.  It's beautiful to witness....

 

Yep, that's Rio drinking from a water fountain.....so freakin' cute!

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) J.Nicole Los Angeles Santa Monica beach dog pet photographer photography portrait retriever https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2013/2/rio-has-her-heart Tue, 26 Feb 2013 19:13:20 GMT
A Mermaid in Malibu https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/10/a-mermaid-in-malibu I had the pleasure of spending a gorgeous day in Malibu with the lovely and talented Truett Butler.  Tru is an up and coming actress and comedienne.  Not only is she gorgeous and a treat to photograph, but she has such a fun and spunky personality!  We were both on the same page during the entire shoot and each of us were willing to try anything.  On that particular day the tide was extremely high, which at first bummed me out a bit, but in the end, the tide helped contribute to some amazing shots that wouldn't have happened with any other conditions.  There were multiple times during our session that we were both climbing and balancing on top of rocks, or up to our knees in water.  By the end of the shoot Truett was channeling her inner mermaid by rolling around in the water with about 5 pounds of pearls around her neck and a giant wedding dress train floating around in the ocean (everyone else on the beach thought we were two lunatics...and maybe we were).  We accomplished some amazing shots that I'm really proud of and I hope you all enjoy....

 

Beautiful girl in Malibu Fashion in Malibu Bridal on the beach in Malibu Dramatic bridal shot on the beach Senior session on the beach in Malibu Sexy swimsuit shot Channeling some Emma Watson Maybe it's just me, but don't you think Truett is channeling a little Emma Watson in these images?

Mermaid in the water in Malibu

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) J.Nicole Photography Los Angeles Malibu Mermaid beach bridal fashion photographer portrait senior swimsuit https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/10/a-mermaid-in-malibu Wed, 24 Oct 2012 07:00:00 GMT
A Homerun at Union Station https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/9/a-homerun-at-union-station When Sarah asked me to photograph her engagement pictures I couldn't have been more excited!  Sarah, is loads of fun, full of smiles, and up for just about anything.  After I learned the story of her and her fiance Dan, I became even more excited to tell their story.  The two of them met playing softball, however, they didn't exactly live geographically close.  Dan lived in Long Beach and Sarah lived downtown, so to see each other Dan would ride the blue line up to see Sarah.  You can really see the love these two share when you spend a few minutes with them.  Sarah cannot stop smiling when she looks at Dan and he can't stop giving her reason to laugh and smile.  They are such a joy to be around!

What better way to illustrate this love and commitment than by having a photo shoot at Union Station.  Not only is the train station beautiful and full of stories and history, but it also has a natural romance about it.  Here are a few of my favorites from our session....

Downtown Views Love at Union Station Smiles and lots of laughter Downtown love

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Couples DTLA Downtown Engagement J.Nicole Photography Jessica Ary Los Angeles Love Photographer Photography Union Station https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/9/a-homerun-at-union-station Wed, 26 Sep 2012 16:59:04 GMT
A Star is Born https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/a-star-is-born After photographing the whole Quinn crew, Kelley approached me about shooting her headshots.  Of course I said YES!  I was jumping at the chance to photograph those giant blue eyes!  Kelley made my job super easy, not only does she have amazing sparkling eyes, but she also knows how to pose and change things up.  Just give this girl a little direction and she soars, which makes me know that she will make it big one of these days :)

This shoot took place in a hidden corner in Hollywood and a park in Los Feliz.  Here are some of my favorites from the day, let me know what you think!

Kelley Quinn Kelley Quinn

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Headshots Hollywood J.Nicole Los Angeles Los Feliz actor actress garden headshot light natural park photographer photography portrait https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/a-star-is-born Wed, 25 Jul 2012 16:30:00 GMT
Rock and Roll with a Dash of Whimsy https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/rockandroll-whimsy Jane is a hip, rocker chick whom I was very excited to photograph!  FIrst of all, she naturally has an edgy look, so I knew I could push the boundaries and get very creative.  Second, she was "up for anything"...my favorite phrase to hear from my clients.  

So, we took off to Los Feliz and began exploring some new locations I had been dying to shoot at.  Jane really was up for anything, she was climbing into things, rolling around in the grass, and a fun wardrobe.  As we continued on our adventure we stopped to check out a location that Jane had suggested, and it has now become one of my favorite spots.  

After a fun day of dress up and shooting, we were both exhausted and excited.  I'm absolutely thrilled with how the images turned out!  I've shared some of my favorites and a video I put together of Jane's Fashionista shoot.

I cannot wait until my next Fashionista shoot, so give me a call and you could be the next feature on the blog.

Glamming it up at the park Rock and Roll in Hollywood Pin Up Model Whimsical and Angelic Rocker Girl

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Fashion Feliz Female Hollywood Los Model Photographer Photography Portrait Rock Rocker Roll Session Shoot Women and https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/rockandroll-whimsy Tue, 17 Jul 2012 16:30:00 GMT
Quinn Family - An Anniversary Gift https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/quinn-family---an-anniversary-gift The Quinn siblings are four unique individuals with a ton of energy!  They are the kind of people who are always full of interesting stories, have a positive outlook on life, and are always a joy to be around.  So, when Coco asked me to take some photographs of them I was thrilled!  I was even more thrilled when I found out the reason for the photo session.  Their parents live in Hong Kong and were coming to Los Angeles to see all four of their children and celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary.  It has been years since all four children have been photographed together, and I was honored to be the one to take the image for this special gift.  

The Quinn family celebrated their anniversary last night, and I'm told that there were tears when their mom saw the picture for the first time.  I was also told that everyone at the tables around them saw the picture and also loved it.  It means so much to me that I'm able to provide such an emotional and precious gift that the family will always treasure, it really is the BEST part of my job.  

Cheers to the Quinns and thank you for allowing me to be a small part of this momentous occasion!

The Quinn Family

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) angeles anniversary children family location los on photography thirty-five wedding years https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/quinn-family---an-anniversary-gift Wed, 11 Jul 2012 16:00:00 GMT
Tips for Photographing Fireworks https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/tips-for-photographing-fireworks Wednesday is my FAVORITE holiday, the Fourth of July!  This means firework displays!  Fireworks are beautiful, but its very challenging to capture that beauty and feeling in a photograph.  I've listed a few tips below to help you get great firework images this Independence Day.  I'd love to see your images, so please send me your favorite shots and I'll share them on my Facebook Page!

Turn of Your Flash - The goal of photographing fireworks is to capture the color and sparkle.  Using a flash just adds more light and will take away the brilliance of the firework, so make sure that flash is off.  

Use a Tripod - a tripod will keep your camera steady and allow you to use longer exposures which allows more light to enter the camera, and capturing more of that sparkle and light from the firework.

Manual Settings of Scene Selector - You should change your settings to Manual, if your camera has the capability.  A good place to start is ISO 100, f11, and 1/2 of a second (make sure you have a tripod).  Now you can adjust your aperture until you are happy with the exposure.  If your camera does not have manual settings it may have a firework setting under the scene selector.  For the best results you should still use a tripod.

Anticipate the Explosion - The goal is to capture the firework at it's peak explosion.  To do this you'll need to push that shutter button before the firework explodes.  If using a point and shoot camera you may need to allow for a little extra time for the camera to focus and pull the shutter.

Composition - Don't just take close up photographs, be sure to also include the foreground and scenery in the setting where you're watching.

I hope these tips help you capture some amazing images!  Please leave any questions you have in the comments section and I'll respond for others to read and learn.  If you have any images you'd like to share on my Facebook page please email them to me at [email protected] I can't wait to see your amazing photographs!

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) 4th of July DSLR Fourth of July Independence Day Point and Shoot fireworks photo tips photography https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/7/tips-for-photographing-fireworks Mon, 02 Jul 2012 18:41:27 GMT
Inside GEEK Magazine - Monsuno Toys https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/6/inside-geek-magazine---monsuno-toys If you have any boys in your house there's a good chance you've heard of Monsuno.  These are the hottest toys since Pokemon and I had the privilege to photograph the minds behind the toys for GEEK Magazine.  

Basically, Monsuno is an animated series that has also been developed into a game involving trading cards and small action figures.  The series revolves around a team of kids who have the ability to command battling animals.  These kids are doing their best to protect the earth from their total destruction.  The game picks up here, as children across the country and given the ability to control these animals and pit battles against each other.

I was amazed by the creators as I listened to Corey Sienega, of GEEK Magazine, interviewing the pair.  Their plan for evolving the television series and games was very precise and planned.  Their organization has a plan to keep Monsuno relevant for years to come.  It is definitely an interview that you should check out!

You can read the interview and see my images in the next issue of GEEK Magazine which comes out in August.  

Monsuno Toys

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) GEEK Inside Magazine behind jakk magazine monsoon photography scenes the toys https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/6/inside-geek-magazine---monsuno-toys Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:00:00 GMT
Summer Vacation - East Coast Tour https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/6/summer-vacation---east-coast-tour Summer is here and that means vacation time!  My fiancé, Sean, and I were way overdo for a vacation.  Not only has he been working extremely long hours, but we had never traveled together.  It's true, we've been together almost 2 years and through all of our travels have never actually flown together.  So, we were both very excited to get away and create some memories together!

Our trip began in New York, where we caught up with friends and family.  I was even lucky enough to meet up with a group of people from my alma mater, The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.  I was very excited to learn that my former drawing professor was going to be there at the same time.  We hadn't seen each other since I moved to Los Angeles three years ago so it was great to catch up and learn what's new at the university.  

Fun in New York

From New York our travels took us on a long train ride to Long Island where we were attending a wedding.  The wedding was set at a barn in a quaint part of the Island near Oyster Bay.  The day began muggy and extremely hot!  Of course the sky decided to open up right as the ceremony began, but the guests stayed calm and sat through the short ceremony as the rain began to come down.  As the ceremony ended and the guest made their way to the barn the sun appeared and the party began.  

After the wedding I took my first ferry ride from Port Jeff to Bridgeport.  It was great to see the sound and sample some seafood, but we were both eager to see Sean's family.  The next week was spent eating everything Connecticut had to offer and spending the balmy afternoons and evenings at their cabin on the lake.  At times we'd make a mad dash inside as the rain would once again begin to pour.  

First Ferry Ride and Time at the Lake

One of the best nights of our trip was karaoke at the neighborhood bar.  About 12 family members came out to sing and dance.  Song selections included my usual, "Just a Girl" by No Doubt, "Wannabe" by the Spicegirls, and of course "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen which I belted out with Sean's brothers.  Luckily, this nights has little documentation ;)

Finally, the rain followed us to Tampa, Florida.  Here we celebrated Sean's birthday at the Hard Rock Casino, and ended the celebration at the beach in Clearwater.  After two weeks of non stop rain Mother Nature finally let up so we could enjoy the last 3 days hanging out at the beach and by the pool.  

Peaceful Tampa and thunderstorms in the sky

This trip was one of the best getaways I've had in a long time!  We spent time with family, saw so many friends, and got to spend some quality time together.  I had never been gone this long away from home and I'm very fortunate to have the ability to do so.  I came back refreshed and eager to back to work.  Perhaps 2 week vacations should be the norm, don't you think?

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Connecticut Florida New Summer Vacation York family https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/6/summer-vacation---east-coast-tour Fri, 15 Jun 2012 17:00:00 GMT
Those Big Beautiful Eyes - Newborn Session https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/5/those-big-beautiful-eyes---newborn-session Baby Levi was only 11 days old the day of his first photo session, but he already seemed like he a lot on his mind.  As I would get near him he would look up at me with the biggest blue-green eyes like he was looking deep into my soul.  He would sit looking out the window with what must be serious baby thoughts on his mind.  

When he wasn't thinking, Levi was calm, sweet, and the dream newborn that every mom could wish for.  His Mom and Dad both gushed about how easy he has been.  They've been down this road once before and have been blessed both times with calm, quiet, cooing, newborn babies.  You'll see exactly why this guy is so lovable as you scroll through some of my favorite images from the shoot.

 

Smiling Baby Deep in Thought Big Yawn Contemplating Fast Asleep Soft Head Adorable!

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Angeles Family J. Los Monica Newborn Nicole Photographer Photography Portraits Santa Venice https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/5/those-big-beautiful-eyes---newborn-session Wed, 30 May 2012 15:33:11 GMT
A Playful Afternoon at the Park https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/5/a-playful-afternoon-at-the-park After several weekends of rain, the sun finally came out to play!  I spent a beautiful, warm, spring afternoon with the Krogmann Family at Lake Balboa.  I adore this family, they are fun, excited, and up for anything!  We began in the main area of the park where we played with bubbles, hung from trees, and lounged around on a blanket.  After spending there, they suggested we explore another part of the park, an area that none of us had ever visited (I told you they were up for anything!).  We drove to a nature reserver and I was so happy we made the extra stop because the scenery felt more country bayou than Los Angeles.  We spent the rest of our time exploring and sharing stories while I shot the family as they interacted, and was able to capture some pretty dramatic shots.  It was such a great way to spend the afternoon and I had fun getting to the family better while we all shared in a new experience.

 

Family Portrait Sisters Family time

Sister Time Dog Pile

Summer time in a field Country Road Through the legs

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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Angeles Balboa Children Country Family J. Lake Los Nature Nicole Photography Reserve https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/5/a-playful-afternoon-at-the-park Tue, 08 May 2012 16:00:00 GMT
Jen From Ostrich Coaching + Consulting https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/4/Jen-From-Ostrich-Coaching-Consulting I wake up Saturday morning to rain and drizzle, not exactly ideal shooting weather.  I begin to pack my gear and gather my things in hopes it will clear up.  Once I’m ready I check in with Jen, my client for the day, expecting to hear the worst and crawl back in bed.  To my surprise she reports that it is sunny and warm in Santa Monica!  Yahoo!  So, I jump in my car and drive out to meet her for our shoot.

Jen is one of the few close friends I have in LA and someone I met early on when I first moved out here.  We’ve become close over the past two years and I’ve watched her grow into the gorgeous woman she is today. Jen has recently launched her own business, Ostrich Coaching + Consulting, and I had the honor of taking her pictures to feature on her website.

It turned out to be a beautiful day filled with catching up, girl talk, a little champagne, and a lot of laughter!  Here are some of my favorites of the day….

 

 

 


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/4/Jen-From-Ostrich-Coaching-Consulting Thu, 19 Apr 2012 14:08:50 GMT
Taking the Leap https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/4/Taking-the-Leap I’ve been dreaming for the past seven years that this time would finally come.  For the past seven years I have dreamt of one day being able to quit my job and focus solely on my photography.  For seven years I was too afraid to take the leap.

That initial fear is now gone and the time has finally come for me to take the leap into my own photography business.  Am I still afraid? ABSOLUTELY!!! But my excitement for the future gets me through those moments of paralyzing fear.

The time finally felt right.  It has taken the last year to get to this point and even a year ago I wouldn’t have believed that I would’ve quit my job.  For the past year I have been miserable at my corporate job.  I was finally making the money I had always wanted to make and I had worked very hard to get where I was, but it just wasn’t enough. I still felt a hole in my heart.

I looked for other jobs, something with more creativity, but nothing seemed interesting AT ALL.  I was beginning to worry that I would never figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, until fait intervened.

My boss asked to meet with me one morning, outside of the office, at a nearby coffee shop.  I knew that my job performance hadn’t been it’s best in recent months, but I had just had my top producing month, so how bad was this meeting going to be?  My boss wanted to discuss my job performance, my lack of motivation, and overall lack of excitement.  He suggested that this may not be a good fit for me.  Suddenly, I was stunned and terrified!  I began crying, I couldn’t hold back the tears.  I’ve always been the best I can be at everything I’ve done, but here I was on the verge of losing my job.

My boss gave me a few days to think things over.  Those were the best days I had had in a long time.  The thought of leaving that job brought such huge relief. I felt like I could breath again, smile again, and laugh again. The dark cloud that had been hovering over my head for the past year was finally gone and all I could see was sunshine!

Surprisingly, I wasn’t too afraid about what would come next.  I wanted to deny, but after some soul searching it because clear exactly what I should do and what I’ve always wanted to do – photography.

Life had presented an opportunity for me.  My chance to dive right in and do what I LOVE doing!  I am incredibly lucky to have this time shine and I am so excited to give everything I have to this!  I have always imagined what it would be like to be a full time photographer and now that I’m here the possibilities are even better than I ever imagined.  I can’t wait for the months to come!  Too see what happens when I do give everything to this.

As I said, I am so lucky.  I have changed my life in the blink of an eye, and the love and support from my friends, family, and especially my fiance has been overwhelming.  Seeing them believe in me is encouraging and proof that they saw this photographer self in me all along.

In the weeks and months to come you will be seeing a lot of changes happening around here!  There will be a new website, updated Facebook Page, and new offerings.  There will be a whole lotta shakin and whole lotta fun going on so be sure to stay tuned for all the updates!

And if you or anyone else you know is looking for a photographer, call me, I’m officially open for business!

Lots of Love,

Jessica


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/4/Taking-the-Leap Tue, 17 Apr 2012 11:32:36 GMT
A Morning with the Kennedy Family https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/2/A-Morning-with-the-Kennedy-Family On an overcast Saturday morning I met up with the Kennedy Family to photograph them in their lovely home.  They were such a blast to hang out with!  Most of the morning was spent being entertained by their little one.  It didn’t take long to realize that lil Ms. Kennedy loves to ham it up in front of the camera.  The result?  Lots of laughter, great smiles, and the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Color Family J. Nicole Natural Light Photography https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/2/A-Morning-with-the-Kennedy-Family Wed, 08 Feb 2012 10:05:06 GMT
Weekend Fun: San Gabriel Mission https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/1/Weekend-Fun-San-Gabriel-Mission It had been awhile since my girlfriends and I had gone on an adventure exploring a new place in Los Angeles.  So, this weekend a couple of us decided to drive east and check out the San Gabriel Mission.  San Gabriel and East LA are known for asian food.  So, our adventure began with us driving around circles in search of a great noodle shop or Vietnamese restaurant.  We finally settled on a quaint Chinese restaurant.  The man who took our order did not speak English and we really weren’t sure exactly what we were ordering, but that is all party of the adventure!  What we ended up with was some delicious, albeit very spicy, Chinese food.  After we stuffed ourselves to capacity we were ready for the Mission.

For those of you not familiar with a Spanish Mission, the purpose was to spread Christianity to Native Americans, and ultimately create “civilized” citizens.  There are 21 Spanish Missions across California.  I find the missions interesting for multiple reasons, 1.) My native American Background, 2.) These are the oldest structures in California, and 3.) This is a very interesting aspect of California’s history that is much different than the colonization on the east coast.

The San Gabriel Mission was founded in 1771.  The architecture is not the most interesting compared to the two other missions I’ve been too.  However, I was impressed by their engineering.  They built an aqueduct using clay pipes which brought in water from the San Gabriel Lake.  The fact that they were able to have running water at the mission, in an area that was undeveloped during the 1800′s was really incredible.

Enjoy the highlights from the San Gabriel Mission and I look forward to sharing more weekend adventures with you soon.

An interesting gate in the city of San Gabriel

Exterior of San Gabriel Mission

The Alter of the Church

Famous people who have visited the Mission

* All pictures cc jnicole photography


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) comment just for fun My Ramblings Weekend Adventures https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2012/1/Weekend-Fun-San-Gabriel-Mission Mon, 16 Jan 2012 11:25:21 GMT
an organized new year https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/12/an-organized-new-year Every year around this time I do my best to refocus and reorganize for the New Year.  The New Year is a chance to start over with a clean slate.  A time to set goals, and strive towards finishing all those bullet points on your to-do list that you’ve been putting off.  My belief is that you can’t be successful in the New Year unless you get all of your ducks in a row.  So, here’s a few things I’ve been doing to prep for a successful 2012!  What are you doing to get motivated?

  • Every New Year I go through my email and clean out the junk mail.  It only takes a second to unsubscribe to those pesky emails.  Plus, if you’re anything like me it’ll help your wallet.  I’m easily persuaded by those online stores advertising their good deals.
  • Organizing my files.  I’m very good at organizing my picture files, but not so great at streamlining my regular files.  I’m taking some extra time to create files by months and years so I can easily find past invoices, receipts, and other random documents.  My hope is that this will make taxes a little less stressful.  This goes for my hard copy files too!
  • Create a mail station.  Snail mail tends to pile up, and it drives me crazy!  So I made a simple filing system where I usually sort through my mail.  Here I have a place to put my bills and items that need filing.  The mail has a spot, it’s out of the way, and I know exactly where to find these items when I’m ready to address them.
  • Create a master calendar.  My boyfriend and I are not always the best about communicating upcoming events on the calendar.  So, last week I made a dry erase calendar where we can both add our events and things to-do, so we are both aware of our schedule.

    Dry Erase Calendar

Each year I try to take a few more small steps towards becoming more organized.  It’s all about baby steps!  Don’t bite off more than you can handle, and you’ll make your way towards being more organized and less stress.  What are your tips?


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) comment My Ramblings New Year Organizing https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/12/an-organized-new-year Thu, 29 Dec 2011 13:28:52 GMT
Happy Holidays from Sourthern California https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/12/Happy-Holidays-from-Sourthern-California It was one of the first evenings in Los Angeles that felt like winter was in the air (for Southern California, anyways).  The air was brisk and the air smelled of leaves and stoves burning.  The sun was just starting to set, creating a beautiful light (a photographers dream!).  I was sitting on a bench at the entrance of LACMA where I was meeting Julian, Jessica, and their dog Brewer.

I’ve been working with Jessica for over a year now and she asked me to shoot some quick shots for their family Christmas card.  When she told me her chosen location was the lamps outside LACMA I couldn’t resist!  The “lamps” are an installation by Chris Burden and is correctly named, ‘Urban Light.’  The 202 cast iron street lamps light up at dusk every evening and create an enchanting glow.  There is just something mysterious and romantic that gets stirred up when standing among the lamps.  It really is a perfect place to capture a fun holiday picture.

Jessica, Julian, and Brewer appeared across the street and as soon as they meet me by the lamps I got to work.  The lamps weren’t on yet, but the light being cast on them and the lamps was perfect!  As we joked and teased Brewer, I snapped away.  Here are a few of my favorite from this winter evening photo shoot…

Brewer’s face kills me in this one, so stinkin’ cute!!!

This shot was just for fun.  I had already gotten some really great shots and had this image of my head of Julian dipping Jessica.  Some how, I talked them into this silly, yet romantic move.  They were both good sports and had a lot of fun editing this one.

So, which one did they choose for their holiday card???

Ta-da!

The winning picture was one of my favorites from the day.  I dubbed it “Xmas in SoCal.”  I’m sure their family and friends in snow ridden states were pleased to see this image when it showed up in their mailbox! Ha, you gotta rub it in a little every now and then, right?


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Color Dog Family Holiday J. Nicole Photography dog greeting card holiday LACMA Los Angeles photography Southern California https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/12/Happy-Holidays-from-Sourthern-California Thu, 15 Dec 2011 09:56:31 GMT
whole lotta shaken’ goin’ on https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/12/whole-lotta-shaken-goin-on I’ve been shooting for 7 years now.  A lot of my jobs were for other people, some were for me, but most of my photography has just been for fun.  The time has come that I am finally ready to take myself seriously and actually begin promoting myself as a real business!

Most of my work has been freelance over the last 5 years.  This means a client calls me and I got photograph the job that they booked.  I do not get to shoot what I want, and I have no say in the final product.  I’m there to fulfill their vision.  For the past 5 years this has been great and I’ve learned a ton, but I’m at the point in my career where I’m ready to shoot for me!  I have all these exciting ideas in my head and I can’t wait to get to get the creative juices flowing!

Photography should be fun and that’s exactly how each session will be.  So, I’ve made a few changes in an effort to move in this direction.  The first new section on my website is “sessions.”  This is where you can learn more about what to expect from a session with J. Nicole, as well as, review the pricing.  Keep in mind I’m really flexible, so if you have any questions or comments feel free to speak up!

The second section that’s been added is “specials.”  I have two specials right now, a referral program.  This will be an on going special which has no limits!  That’s right, if you keep on referring you could receive 20% off of every session.  The second special is 10% off of a session when you “like” my Facebook Page.

Speaking of Facebook, I do have a page now!  Please like it and be sure to suggest my page to your friends too!

I’m very excited about the future and can’t wait to start snapping your beautiful faces <3


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) comment J. Nicole update creative juices photography referral program https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/12/whole-lotta-shaken-goin-on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 13:51:07 GMT
summer, summer, summer time https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/3/summer-summer-summer-time

 

This is another older image.  I’ve been having issues with Photoshop, so until that gets resolved I didn’t want to leave you hanging.  This winter has been dragging!  It’s been extra cold and rainy here in LA and all I want is a nice beautiful day so I can go lay out on the beach.  This is an image I snapped in Santa Monica last summer when my parents were visiting.  I hope this summer gives you some warm vibes too.  Hang in there spring is right around the corner.


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[email protected] (Jessica Ary) Black & White beach Nikon Santa Monica https://www.jessicaary.com/blog/2011/3/summer-summer-summer-time Mon, 07 Mar 2011 14:13:32 GMT