Phoenix Family Portraits: The Hoskins

Can we just take a moment to gush over this adorable family?

………..right?! Adorbs.

This is the third year in a row that Aaron and Marisa of Aaron Hoskins Photography, and their two sons Isaac (on the left) and Oliver (on the right) asked me to photograph their family portraits. I’m always honored each year, because I’m completely enamored with this family and I’m so fortunate to call them my dear friends! Aaron and I used to work together long ago at a consumer electronic wholesale distributor (say that 10x fast), and years later, ironically enough, we both ended up in the photography industry, reconnecting at an industry meeting. Crazy small world! Now, I love spending time with them any chance I get. They have some of the biggest, most genuine hearts I’ve ever met – always watching out for me and encouraging me in ways I’m endlessly grateful for. They are incredibly family-focused (Aaron is one of seven), and therefore, they naturally treat their friends like family too. Aaron is kind of like an older brother – making sure I’m not dating any jerks. And Marisa is like a sister you want to share a closet with and talk about how much it sucks being a girl sometimes.

And then you have their mini-humans. Isaac has his father’s dashing good looks and his mother’s sweet personality. Oliver is just as mischievous as his father, but is as cute as a button just like his mother…which will serve him well, because how can you not forgive that face?! So far, their opposite personalities haven’t caused too many tears in the Hoskins household. The boys get along super well (or so I’ve been lucky enough to witness) and can be won over with M&M’s! Haha. ;)

Aaron is clearly the jokester of the family and teaching his sons well.

Ahh! How cute are they?! I just love them together.

Oliver loves to show his muscles….and poking noses. So stinkin’ cute!

The Hoskins may look like your average family, but really…..they’re all SUPERHEROES!!! Can’t believe I got to photograph Captain America, Spiderman, Batman, and Superman! I’m still recovering from this moment. So.much.fun!

Isaac loves Spiderman….I mean Spiderman loves himself….more than anyone else I know!

Back to their secret identities for some individual portraits….

Thank you, friends! I had such an amazing time with you guys, as always! To me, you are The Incredibles! Love you all!

 

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Andy & Megan – aka Andrew & Meegan

Some of you may know that I do not specialize in weddings; I specialize in portraits. But because I’m not in the wedding industry, I don’t usually get to photograph engagement sessions, which I absolutely love! So when I do, it’s always as a wedding present for my dearest friends, which makes the shoot even more fun and meaningful for me.

Andy and I have been friends since our freshman year of college at The University of Arizona – so about 11 years now – holy crap. I’ve known Megan for almost 4 years, when she and Andy first started dating. In fact, I was lucky enough to be there on their first “date”. That is, if you can count Andy’s birthday weekend in Vegas with all of his wild and crazy friends as a first date. ;) Either way, Megan, who works with Andy as a RN (and calls him Andrew), decided to take a chance and accept Andy’s invitation to celebrate with him and a bunch of people she didn’t know….in sin city.

Guts. The girl’s got some guts.

Or maybe she just knew…deep in her gut…that this guy might be someone special.

And she was right.

I’ll never forget that first night in Vegas when Megan came up to us girls and asked in the sweetest voice, “soooo….do we like Andy?” Haha. At the time, we thought she was trying to figure out if he was a good guy or not, (which we of course immediately said yes to), but a year or so later, she admitted that she was really trying to figure out if any of us were dating him. Thankfully, Andy is like a brother to the rest of us. But she didn’t need us to tell her that. You could just see in Andy’s eyes – how much he adored her.

And they’ve been inseparable ever since!

The memories from that weekend will always have a special place in my heart for more reasons than I can count, but mainly because it brought these two together. I’m so lucky to have them in life. They’ve been amazing friends over the years, and I couldn’t imagine life without them together.

Congratulations, you guys! Love you both!

 


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Angela & Gabe

Angela has become a dear friend over the past year, and yet, we don’t spend nearly enough time together. We live about an hour away from each other, and our schedules are usually pretty hectic. But we try (even if we fail 90% of the time) to hang out when we can. At least we have good intentions, right? Sure. I really wish we lived closer though, so that selfishly, I could photograph her more often….mainly because she changes her hair color at the drop of a hat, so it would definitely keep things interesting. ;) But I love how infectious her creative energy is. Her natural talent, drive, and motivation is so inspiring. She confidently and intelligently stands up for who she is and what she believes in, while always keeping an open-mind and heart to everyone she meets. She’s a class act for sure, but what I love most is that she NEVER takes herself too seriously.

And then there’s Gabe.

Oh, Gabe. Gabe, Gabe, Gabe. What on Earth do I say about Gabe? Okay so, I actually don’t know Gabe that well, haha. But I was SO excited when Angela asked if he could come to the shoot because I’ve been wanting to get to know this mysterious guy she’s been dating for….10 months now. (I told you, we don’t hang out that often.)

So anyway, immediately, without even a second of hesitation, I said “Hell yes! But only if he lets me snap some of his snazzy self.” Confession: I might not have said hell and I might have asked to take his photo instead of demanded, but that’s how I should have responded to her text, because that’s how I felt.

To my surprise, she said “he’ll be honored, excited and probably freak out”.

YES! I love when guys freak out. They don’t freak out enough in my opinion.

But did he? Not at all – he was incredibly cool, calm and collected. Which was exactly how I truly hoped he would be. Mumbling jokes under his breath that only Angela could understand. It was so cute. We were a little pressed for time, so I ended up shooting more of Angela (because I mean, how can you not?). But even with the short amount of time I had with Gabe, he was completely relaxed….or at least had me fooled. I used his dry humor and sarcasm to my advantage by having him tell Angela dirty little secrets…that I think ended up being more politically incorrect and offensive rather than dirty?? Haha. Oh, Gabe.

Even though they’ve only been dating for 10 months, it feels like they’ve been together forever. They just make sense. I’m honored to have had the chance (even if it was short-lived) to spend some time photographing these lovely human beings. And I’m beyond thankful for them because this shoot was meant for a video I’m working on with Wired Elephant Studios! More on that later.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you two, for your patience that day. Hope to see you BOTH again real soon!


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Actress/Model: Taylor Costello

The first time I met Taylor was last summer at an annual Phoenix summer block party & film festival called Short Shorts with Short Leash hosted by local production company, Theater13. She seemed really sweet, totally rad and super stylish – an artist to the core. But what I remember most about that night was the after party, where she welcomed a dance-off in the middle of a tiny-ass kitchen, wowing the crowd with her amazing backflips!….I repeat….IN A TINY-ASS KITCHEN. The girl could have hit her head on a countertop – no joke – but she had no fear.

That’s what I love most about Taylor. She’s fearless.

Two weeks ago, my lovely friend decided to move to NYC with really no place to live, and only a dream of becoming a respected actor. A dream that I have no doubt she’ll fulfill. She is SO insanely talented – she can sing, dance, act, model – she’s also got skills as a stylist, photographer, and production designer…ya know, just because she enjoys it. Like I said, an artist to the core. So obviously, I couldn’t let that much talent leave the state without updating her head shots. ;)

And in case you couldn’t tell, she’s stunningly beautiful, and extremely photogenic! I mean…really. Just look at her.

THAT HAIR. Yep.

Good luck in NYC, love!! I’m so thankful for your friendship and the times we’ve been able to work together. You will be sorely missed around here, but you deserve this opportunity!! I wish you nothing but the BEST!!

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Working with other artists is one of my favorite things to do, so if you are in need of some updated head shots, interested in a promo shoot, or expanding your modeling portfolio, contact me for rates and let’s get to it! :)

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Singer/Songwriter ::: Julia Klee

What do you do when an old friend from Chicago comes to town unexpectedly, needs new promo shots…but is staying in Sedona (you’re in Phoenix), and it’s 2hrs before sunset?? You drop what you’re doing to spontaneously drive half way to meet at Sunset Point to shoot in the most gorgeous light! I don’t encourage last minute shoots, and I rarely accept them – but to me, Julia is just one of those inspiring artists that if you don’t photograph when you have the opportunity to, you’ll quickly regret it.

Julia and I met while attending a photography class at Columbia College Chicago about 8 years ago, and we hadn’t seen each other since! Neither one of us could really believe that much time had gone by, but it was true. So much of our lives have changed within those years. But thankfully, that was right when Facebook started to accept other colleges (if you petitioned), so we were able to stay virtually connected once the year was done.

Julia is now happily married and a successful indie/folk singer & songwriter in Chicago. I’ve loved watching her grow as a musician. Man, can this woman sing!! I love her voice so much, and wish I still lived close enough so I could attend her shows. She has now had the opportunity to play at larger venues and events, and just recently opened for Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton! So proud of you, friend!! I think it’s time for a national tour. :)

When she’s not writing or performing her own music, Julia plays with this delightful wedding cover band called, Gussied. How perfect is that name?! If you know anyone getting married in the Chicagoland area or yonder, please encourage them to check out this band! I love how they describe their music — “we’ll ‘gussy’ up all the traditional wedding and party hits into a super fun, whistle/sing/tap/dance-along bluegrass style that will give your wedding that extra unique, nostalgic and unforgettable edge.”

So fun! And as the band says, “slap your knee and say I DO!” Haha.

Being that this shoot was scheduled fairly last minute…and that I was literally racing the sun…we didn’t have any time to plan out a concept or talk about what she was wanting. All I knew was that she needed to update her promo shots…but that means something different to every artist. Therefore, we had to trust each other a lot and communication quickly, while simply hoping for the best. In the end, these have become some of my most favorite images! I love how she wanted a more real, emotionally raw and natural look. We played in the sun for as long as we could, absorbing the breath-taking views of Sunset Point, while trying to save this city-girl from any desert creatures photo-bombing her shots. Once the sun went down, we no longer felt the need to rush, and enjoyed catching up as we shot in an open field.

Thank you so much for contacting me, Julia! I’m so happy we had the chance to reconnect. Maybe next time I’ll get to meet your man! And hopefully I’ll see you perform LIVE this November when I’m back in Chicago! Fingers crossed! :)

For more information on Julia Klee’s music, click here!

For more information on Gussied, click here!

 

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