For Aspiring Photographers :

One of my New Years Resolutions was to be a more supportive friend, peer and just overall. And this is a step in the right direction I believe. 🙂

I have been wanting to write a post like this for weeks and weeks. I just couldn’t pin point exactly how I wanted it to come across.

A few things that occurred in the past few months is I have been getting more and more questions by email, on Facebook and even Instagram regarding photography.

And even a few of those questions have actually been a bit sneaky in fact. Reaching out by email saying they want wedding photography or regular portrait but first want to know my equipment ? What is my favorite lens to shoot? Things my clients 99% of the time would never ask.
Odd….yes! That was the first thing that came to mind. But friends! There is just NO NEED for that I promise, just shoot me an email if by chance you have a question on an image you saw or location. 🙂 No “cover” stories needed!

For anyone who doesn’t know me I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am very much a free Spirit kind of girl and not afraid to speak up. I believe in helping others because I was once there. And i’m STILL constantly searching, taking workshops and growing. That’s the best part of our journey!!! Therefore, I am always always open to questions… But straightforward questions 😉 .





When I started photography I reached out to about 3 of my FAVORITE photographers and only ONE agreed to meet with me for coffee so I could pick her brain.;)
And that my friends was Brittany Janelle Photography who has a wonderful thriving business. Seriously, how awesome of her to do that! Right?
I was so dissapointed at the response or lack there of from the other two. From that point on I promised myself that if I ever could be of ANY help, I would be open to chatting!
And Brittany was such a sweetheart and I will definitely always pay it forward. I ALWAYS keep that meeting in mind. 🙂

I’m not the type of photog that won’t share locations, favorite lenses or info! I know they out there but that’s not me.
You can always email me at :

These few things were so important + essential for growth as an artist:


I happen to be lucky enough that a local photographer Lauren Jean Photography was offering coffee Date Mentorship! And that’s how I learned. She was wonderful!
Also, there are online cheat sheets to learn exposure, and so on.
One you can find here:

They offer online classes that you can watch from some of the TOP photographers in the world!!! Not just AZ. So go explore!

Social Media is great to being first to know when your favorite photographers might be offering workshops, 1 on 1 mentoring, Skype meetings or other.
-For example, Amy and Jordan Photography offer both of those.:)
Jasmine Star Photography Blog was HUGE for me! Plus I would read anything she writes lol! I just LOVE her!!
Also, Ace and Whim recently began offering workshops! Those two are as sweet as cake!

I will admit I am not huge on reading books. I am the kind of person that likes to skip to the back of the book to get to the GOOD stuff! Haha
That…does not work ..when you are wanting to grow in your craft.
I not too long ago bought Elizabeth Messinas book.And just loved loved it! She shoots film but it is still a good read if you shoot digital! It is called “The luminous Portrait” in case you want to look it up.
Also, Amy + Jordan have “The Monday Minute” which is just awesome tips for photogs! Sign up to receive their emails.
Adobe was recently offering Lightroom + Photoshop for $10-20 a month. Such a steal!
I took a photoshop class at our community college.
Also, don’t underestimate lightroom! It has been life changing for me in helping me edit faster.
For editing software I use Florabella Classic Workflow + Mastin Labs.

I love the desert because there is just no light like it. So my favorite spot to shoot at is South Mountain in Phoenix. This is a list of some of my other favorite locations.
– Superstition Springs (Lost Dutchman)
– Tempe Town Lake + Vicinity
– Papago Park
– South Mountain
– Queen Creek Wash
entrance off power or 2nd option off Hawes.
– Tumbleweed Park
– Sahuaro Ranch Park
– Manistee a Ranch Park
– Nichols Park

Those are just some of the many! Be aware some have fees.

– Lemonade + Lenses
– Style me Pretty
– Inspired by This
And so so many more! That’s just the tip of the Iceberg!
– Facebook Shoot + Share
– Facebook 2nd shooters group
– Making photography friends and learning from eachother.
This unique way of sharing/Delivering Images to clients is so efficient! And not to mention the galleries are just beautifully set up!
I love my website provider show it !
Check them out! Also, Promise Tangeman has great Designs. You can find her on Facebook & Instagram.

Photography is a beautiful art & way of expression. It takes a lot of hard work and practice. I have had many long nights learning, editing and drinking WAY too much coffee. The learning just NEVER ends. But the Journey is SO so  worth it.
The best thing I heard in the past year “Be genuinely happy for others accomplishments, they worked HARD to get there”. This is so true! Just like you are working hard on your journey, they did too on their road to success! We all get our moment of reaching accomplishments. Life is to short, it’s better for your soul to be positive and encouraging. 😉
Envy gets you nowhere!
Last but not least ..



Nikon D800
Yes I’m a Nikon Girl! So few of us! Hah
Sigma Art Lens 35mm
Nikon 50mm 1.8
Sigma 85mm 1.8
Sigma 70-300
Nikon Flashes
Moneymaker Strap
Nikon F5/ Fuji Film

I have the biggest crush on Julie Paisley Photography!
Other faves are:
– Trevor Dayley Photography
– Matt Kennedy Photography
– Ace & Whim
– Vienna Glenn

Are just some of the ones that come to mind. But I have so many faves!

I hope from the bottom of my heart that this little bit of insight of what has helped me is useful for someone. Just remember




And special thanks to my sweet friends that share the same passion and make photography even more fun for me:
Anna Marisol photography, Ashley Rae Photography, Charity Maurer Photography, Brittany Leuseur Photography , and Andrea Brewster Photography.


If your read this post and have any other advice that helped you along your way! Please post! Or you simply want to give feedback, I welcome that!

Thank you!

Leslie's Life

Aspiring Photographers { Personal Post}

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