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phoenix, arizona | professional photographer conference | travel

By January 17, 2014 One Comment

I’m Baaaaaaaack…..overwhelmed and FULL of inspiration….but I’m Baaaack!!!!  It was so awesome to get away to a land of blue skies and sun shine, to hang with like minded people, and to talk “nerd talk” all in the name of improving our businesses. I’m blown away by how supportive and encouraging the photography community is and it was so refreshing. These conferences aren’t always all work…there is some play and after classes we usually head out on adventures to explore new cities and try the local food. The images below are in no particular order and are all taken with my handy-dandy Iphone and if you follow “jenmcken” on Instagram, you probably saw the majority of these already. I take way to many photos and share way to many picture updates, but that’s just how I roll.

PPA Conference, Phoenix Arizona

Arizona was not only sunny and warm, but oh so welcoming. Every corner there were friendly “spark up a conversation” type people…and if you know me well enough, I’ll talk to anyone 🙂 Thanks to my photog friend Amanda and her rental car, we made a short trip out to the dessert to go exploring. I hiked up the side of a rock with a dress shirt, dress capris and tennis shoes! hahah! The next day, Krystal and I took a little adventure of our own and hopped on the metro to go to the Desert Botanical Gardens and it just so happened that every second Tuesday of the month, entrance into the gardens was free! Whoop Whoop. So we spend the afternoon dressed up like tourists with our cameras roaming around the gardens photographing “pricks”! haha!! But seriously, it was awesome and some old guy offered to take our photo and almost dropped my iphone…..AND we got to see Chihuly’s art scattered throughout the gardens. We sat on the edge of the dessert in the sun and watched the wild life while eating lunch…it was pretty awesome!

Krystal brought this game called heads up that we played on the last night in our hotel room. We laughed so hard that I nearly wet myself. I nearly had tears running down my leg…bhahaha!! If you ever played that game, you know how hilarious it can get and Nicole had the word “pickle” so just imagine what she had to ask to get to her word. Tee he he!


PPA Conference, Phoenix ArizonaRoaming around new cities is an all time favorite thing of mine to do. I’m fascinated by all the lines that the architecture makes…ya know, I’m a small town girl, the architecture in my town is basically n0n-existent so I’m a little kid in a candy store when I see lines and shadows! One particular night Canon held a welcome party which we all attended. They had models on the run way, red carpet,mash potatoes stations served in martini glasses, free drinks and as Amanda said, it’s the one night of the year that we live how the rest of the world THINK’S we live. It was great to cut loose with friends! The next night we went to a WPPI party with my new “in real life” friend Andrea! (hayyy!!!) Funny thing is she kept saying that I looked so familiar and we just couldn’t figure it out….it wasn’t until later that she messaged me and said “ohhhh, I’ve been following your page”. haha! Small world!

And lastly, I got to meet one of my photography idols Joe Buissink and a man I look up to and respect the way he views the world, his philosophies on how and why he shoots a wedding, and just his skills are amazing. He’s traveled all over the world photographing celebrities but I think I resonate to him more because of his back story and WHY he shoots the way he does… I had an ah’ha moment while listening to him speak. He comes from a humble beginning and shared with us a story of his early childhood of being abandoned by his mom at a very young age and then abused by his step mother growing up and that he shoots weddings and people the way he thinks or wishes relationships looked like. In other words, he surrounds himself by what he imagines the relationships “SHOULD” look like in his mind and it hit me. I do the same. I don’t have a story of abandonment but having grown up with two teenage parents and having struggles on my own level, when I photograph families and relationships, I realized that I photograph people the way I imagine they should look or interact. That was a lightbulb moment for me! The last image above in the lower right hand corner is me with Joe 🙂

So that’s it folks, I apologize for the instagram overload while I was away (not really!) and thank you to everyone who was so very patient while I got back with you. I think it’s safe to say that I’m caught up and back in my groove…….but I sure am missing that sunshine!  Now I have all my pages of notes to start implementing and thoughts and ideas to short out. I’m so excited for this year….and for the people in it! <3


And as always, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter for the latest session info. I have so much fun stuff going on this year!

One Comment

  • Amanda Wilson says:

    It was ALL ABOUT the **PINK SHIRT** 😀 😀 😀 So much in phoenix – hope we can take more trips like that!

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