Friday, November 23, 2012

Jess & Kyle

This set is from one of my more favorite sessions.  Jess and Kyle drove 5 hours for this shoot and they totally rocked it out from start to finish with their polished style and lovely props.  We were a little late getting started but we rushed through with the remaining light of the day and I think we made everything work just perfectly!  

Phoenix Engagement photographer ~ Gilbert Engagement photographer ~ Scottsdale Engagement photographer ~ Mesa Engagement photographer

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The EKP FIVE STAR Experience

It's here!  The EKP FIVE STAR EXPERIENCE has arrived just in time for the holidays!  THE EKP FIVE STAR Experience is designed to unleash and capture your remarkable presence in the world. In the most exceptional way possible, with a team of professionals, THE EKP FIVE STAR Experience will tantalize & delight your senses, bring forth every beautiful aspect of your being and capture your extraordinary spirit for all time.

With professional hair styling and makeup artistry, with remarkable wardrobe and accessory styling, with a beautiful environment in Arizona's gorgeous City of Chandler, with delicious tastings to please your appetite and with world class portraiture by Elaine Kessler Photography, the EKP FIVE STAR Experience will satisfy your senses and create an everlasting  record of who you are in the world.  

Your EKP FIVE STAR Experience will begin with a consultation with Elaine Kessler Photography.  Elaine will custom tailor the FIVE STAR Experience to meet your personal and aesthetic needs.  Elaine and THE EKP FIVE STAR team will collaborate to create a memorable and exciting session just for you.  Our wardrobe stylist will work with you on coordinating the best color palette from your closet and will offer to pair your wardrobe with some of our beautiful accessories from THE EKP FIVE STAR Fashion Trunk.  

THE EKP FIVE STAR Experience is held at a residential property in Chandler, AZ.  The home will have delicious gourmet treats designed to be both comforting and appetizing.  Scented oils and soothing music will set the stage for a relaxing session with our accomplished hair stylist and makeup artist.  Our wardrobe stylist will help you assemble and coordinate your look.  After enjoying some specialty foods and drinks and being pampered to look your finest, Elaine Kessler Photography will perfectly capture you in a fresh studio setting with lighting that will make you feel like a fashion model.  The EKP FIVE STAR Experience also includes a session in a gorgeous outdoor setting where the natural beauty of Arizona will match your elegance and allure.  
In a post consultation, you will review the amazing images from your session.  You will select the images you love to be showcased with 5 8x10 luxury prints presented in a fine storage case.

The EKP FIVE STAR Experience is a unique opportunity to design, create and capture who you are at your very best.  You will have a phenomenal time with THE EKP FIVE STAR Team and you will have treasured images that both you and your loved ones will cherish for all time.

Schedule YOUR session today or Schedule a session for a loved one!  Gift certificates available!

Life is fleeting.  Now is the time to document the incredible person you've become.  Create a timeless treasure for yourself and all who know you with THE EKP FIVE STAR Experience.  


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's in my Camera Bag?

I carry my equipment in a gray BELLE bag made by Epiphanie.

Inside of it, I have the following gear:

Primary camera body: Canon 5D Mark 2

Back up camera body: Canon 7D

The 2 lenses I use the most are both Canon L series lenses:
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L 

I also carry 2 flashes:  Both are Canon Speedlite 580EXII

I carry extra batteries for the camera bodies and IMEDION rechargeables for flashes

I carry extra memory cards

I also carry safety pins, a small towel, a mirror, a tiny pair of scissors (SO handy to cut extra threads off a wedding gown), gum, hand cleaner, business cards, my phone, my keys and chap-stick.  

I also have the following equipment that I use when the situation calls for it:

Continuous lighting set up: 2 stands, 2 white umbrellas
Off camera flash set up: 2 stands (+ 2 flashes)
Backdrop stands + backdrops
Firefly Beauty Box
5 in 1 Reflector

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fabulous Family Sessions!

How to Have a Fabulous Family Photo Session with Style, Ease and Smiles

First of all, hire EKP and know that your experience is in great hands!  I love the dynamic elements that family shoots provide.  I never know what to expect so I always come into a new session prepared for ANYTHING.  I want to capture the uniqueness of your group.  I will be on the lookout for anything that creates that special spark and I will do whatever I can to create it and to capture it.


When you are planning your outfits, consider creating a coordinated feel for the family.  Perhaps one person wears a fun/funky pattern and everyone else’s outfit riffs off that pattern.  If one person wears plaid, pull those colors out in solids or stripes for other people’s outfits.  Get personal and have a blast!  Consider neat patterns, hats, scarves, funky shoes, and big jewelry.  Your personalities will shine in your photos and everyone who sees them will know how unique your images are!  Do your best to have everyone’s nails and shoes be clean.  I don’t recommend spaghetti straps unless covered by a jacket.  I don’t recommend horizontal stripes.  I strongly encourage you to coordinate your outfits to maximize the aesthetic of your pictures.  Whether you choose a color palette (jewel tones, fall colors, neutrals with a splash of color) or to have one pattern you riff off from, have a plan where everyone looks their absolute best and I can almost guarantee that everyone will FEEL their absolute best.  If everyone FEELS great - this will translate big time into your pictures.  

If working with small kids, I recommend giving them a couple of choices for their apparel (that you love) and then working around what they choose for the adults.  This way, the kids will feel that they’ve contributed to the session and will come into the shoot feeling great about their choices.  


Come prepared to look and be your best.  You have a gorgeous, happy, unique family and that’s what we’re going to capture and convey in your images.  Be ready to have all your awesomeness documented for all time!

So you’re all dressed up as a group - why not make it an event? While a photo session  with EKP is easy and fun, I like to recommend that my clients, already all snazzed up, do something fun in their cool outfits.  Maybe it’s a show, maybe it’s a movie, maybe it’s brunch or dinner or ice cream out but whatever the event, consider that planning something after the session creates a little more excitement for your time together as a family.  Plus, when working with young people, it gives you an incentive to have them be their best selves for their photos!

More on working with young people: bring snacks, water, and comfort items.  Feed and change little ones before the session.  While I’m pretty good at working quickly with small kids, I want to be sure everyone gets everything they want and keeping kids comfortable during our session is critical to the success of the shoot.   

Bring water for everyone!   


I love to get full face smiles!  Oftentimes these are made possible by setting up an occasion for candids.  During the session, I will do several configurations, some posed, some more casual.  I will ask questions in hopes of having the family share something unique to the group that creates priceless facial expressions and captures something new and beautiful to mark your family’s time together.   Be prepared to share more of yourselves than you thought you might during a family photo session.  I am in the business of capturing the unique love and energy of your family so I’ll be working to tune in to those trademark qualities.  

For little ones’ solo portraits, I ask that you be prepared to tickle, sing, jump up and down, do whatever it takes to elicit the happiness of your little ones.  Bring small items that elicit joy for babies and toddlers.  I will get down on the ground with them, show them their pretty faces on my camera and do everything I can to make them comfortable to smile for me but any happy antics that you can bring to the scene would be much appreciated!

Here’s the big thing: RELAX!  Having a fabulous family session is simple!  If you do your best to look and be your best for our session, you will feel amazing and the pictures will confirm it!  I promise to always see how awesome you and your peeps are and I promise to capture and deliver that awesomeness in your images!  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

TOP TIPS for an incredible couple's shoot

Here are some of my favorite tips for a fabulous couple's shoot.  In a nutshell: Hire EKP with Style, Swag and a Smile!

This post features my brother and sister-in-law who came to visit in the spring of 2012.  We headed out to a couple of fun locations boasting great light, neat architectural elements, and desert landscapes.  This post is designed to give you some ideas and helpful hints on making the most of your couple's session.

TIP #1.  Hire EKP!

TIP # 2.  Get your STYLE on
* coordinate your outfits to complement each other in style and color
* wear your best and favorite colors
* avoid large, busy patterns, avoid large logos - go with tried and true solid colors that you love
* consider hiring a stylist through EKP or your fave salon for hair and makeup - if this is an engagement shoot, consider this a trial run with your wedding day stylist
* consult your favorite styles in a fashion magazine or catalog for ideas on a color palette or wardrobe choices
* consider the environment we'll be shooting in - if lush greens of a farm field will be the background, consider grays or a more neutral palette for a nice contrast
* if an urban downtown scene is our background, bold, luscious colors may be the way to go

Katie went shopping for the perfect dress & shoes and found this gorgeous number at Express.  Shoes are from DSW.  Katie's makeup and hair were styled by Anessa Busby.  Ben had a pair of pants he liked and we found a button down shirt at Express to coordinate their outfits perfectly.  

TIP # 3.  Get your SWAG on
* channel your inner diva or hustler before the shoot by jamming to some of your fave tunes on the way to the location
* spray a little of your favorite smell goods on - you'll be getting cozy with your honey, give him/her something to enjoy besides your awesome face
* moisturize!  You'll be holding hands - make 'em soft and cuddly (if you will be baring your arms and legs, consider bringing lotion to keep your body hydrated and glowing)
* make sure nails are looking fine - you'll be caressing your partner's face and hands may be the focal point of some images
* make the bling shine for those perfect close up shots - have the ring cleaned if need be
* you're looking dapper, plan to do something fun after the shoot to show off your fancy selves

We shot Ben & Katie in Scottsdale so we headed to Kazimierz for dinner, drinks and jazz after the shoot.  It was a very cool way to end a super cool session!

TIP # 4.  Get your SMILE on
* plan something fun/funny to share with each other about your week or life and let's see what happens when he/she hears it for the first, or possibly umpteenth, time
* come ready to have a good time
* if you need a little liquid courage, and if you don't get red or puffy as a result, feel free to imbibe a tad.  Depending on the location, I may be able to suggest a fun place for a pre-shoot shot
* I'll guide you every step of the way but I want to capture your love and energy for each other so feel free to let your spirit loose!  I promise to capture it for you!

Ben & Katie picked up these wax lip toys as a fun surprise.   While I thought they were lovingly gazing into the sunset, they turned around and completely surprised me with their funny mouths - it was a hoot for all!