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AZ Wedding Photographer - Star Crossed at the Inn - By Rachel Leintz

a couple is wed at the JW Marriott

There are a ton of great wedding photographers out there, what makes you stand out from the crowd?

When I first started in the industry, I was in love with all the different styles out there. Being based in Arizona, I saw a lot of muted tones, pastels, and a resurgence of film photography. That style is really pretty, but it’s not me.

I’m inspired by dramatic lighting, saturated colors, and grit! I love creating beautiful, artistic portraits that my clients love, not just because they capture their wedding day, but because they are works of art, all on their own. My style is more in line with the jet setting, international wedding photographers coming out of New York, Australia, and Paris. My goal is to bring a little editorial, couture fashion to the desert.

Tell us a bit about the shoot you're sharing:

I fell in love with the JW Marriot at Camelback Inn after shooting a beautiful, but intimate, wedding there last year. Shelley Levy, the coordinator for the venue, and I started to brainstorm ideas about styled shoot that could really show off the bold, Southwest feel of venue and my love of dramatic light.

The original images that first came to mind were of an elegant, young, aristocratic woman. I saw a dark beauty, in a flamenco-inspired, textured white gown. I pictured her being the daughter of a Spanish Don in the 1800's, being betrothed to a wealthy rancher's son from Montana. In my story, the two young lovers were originally dead-set against the arranged marriage, but then are awe-struck by love at first sight. I named the shoot "Star Crossed" to evoke a feeling of Shakespearean love and drama. The models (Val and Ryan) did a beautiful job of conveying this story and the emotion I asked them to create in each image.

Karen Podrasky (our planner and stylist) and I both wanted a continuous, saturated color palette to connect the photographic details with the epic desert setting of the venue. The incorporation of the brightly colored parasols and the vibrant colors of the floral elements we used really brought my vision to life. The gold Mantilla hair comb worn by Val is a nod to the current trend of over-the-top bridal headpieces seen in this season's bridal fashion. But we kept the imagery original by flipping the components of the signature images. Rather than having a dramatic floral crown, we gave her a gold headpiece, surrounded by richly colored blooms.

I love how we were able to create a shoot that is at once on-trend and yet reflects the rich traditions and beauty of the southwest. The images we created manage to be timeless and modern all at the same time!



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