Jenny Stradling

CEO at Eminent SEO. Working on making the web a better place through design and business sustainability.

Jenny Stradling Family

Family Photo Shoot in the Phoenix Art District

A Little Pre-Shoot Background

I love art. I love photography. I love my family.

However, I have been so busy so I haven’t had enough time to spend with those aspects of my life. And, I started realizing we never had a family photo with Zavey.

Together Chris and I have 6 kids: Nick, Ashton, Abi, Eli, Zavey and Cam.

Because it’s a his, hers, mine and ours situation, we only gained joint custody of Zavey a couple of years ago. Prior to that we didn’t have all of the kids in one place. So, our last family photo was when Chris’s son had his baby, our granddaughter, Saige back in 2017.

Since it had been so long and I wanted to mix things up a bit and check out the changes to the local art scene downtown, we planned a new photo shoot. Finally!

Did I ever share the last one?

2017 Family Photo Shoot in Mesa, Arizona

The crew
My babies
New parents
Ashton
Abi
Eli
Cam

Family Photo Shoot 2019 Phoenix Art District

  • Idea: Blended Family Photo Shoot
  • Photographer: Taylor Jade Photography
  • Location: Downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt Row
  • Colors: Black, Denim and Jewel Tones

So, even though it was July. Even though I’m trying to lose weight. And a million other excuses not to do it. I hired our sweet neighbor, Taylor Jade Photography, to do a shoot for us.

That morning we were running around, still trying to figure out what to wear. And, since I have lost some weight I wasn’t sure what would and wouldn’t fit and didn’t bother to buy anything new for myself.

I wanted to keep the outfits pretty neutral so that the art would pop. I love the art district downtown and wanted to make sure we didn’t clash with the backdrop, but I didn’t get too specific with what everyone should wear.

Downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt Row

Our older kids are young adults now and I like to give them their own freedoms and I know how stressful it can be trying to make everything TOO perfect.

It’s JUST a photo shoot, nothing to freak out over.

Anyways, with six kids, a grandbaby and some bonus family members we were planning a group of 10 for the shoot. But, unfortunately Nick and his family couldn’t make it, so we had an imcomplete shoot yet again.

*sigh*

(but it’s just a shoot, so, nothing to freak out over)

Anyways, Taylor is great. We’ve worked together before on a client project, so I already knew she was great and would be fun to work with. I felt bad that it was hot as hell out there, but I am pretty sure any photographer in Arizona has had a sweaty photo shoot once or twice before.

You know what I’m sayin?

Behind the scenes

A Note on Co-Parenting

And, shout out to Chris, my partner, who is the coolest and most understanding person I know. Our situation works because we both chose to be open minded in how we co-parent. My son Eli has a dad that wants to be actively involved, so we have always included him in our day to day lives.

To us, this is “normal”, as we have always been this way. But for others, it can be shocking or even strange. Most think it’s awesome, but sometimes I forget it’s more common for ex’s to hate each other and exclude each other from their lives, than to forgive and show love instead.

We choose love.

The Professional Photos

Note: if you want to have the full experience, play this music while checking out the photos. I’m obsessed. 🔥🔥 Rapsody: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Co-parenting for the WIN!
Ashton
Abi
Eli
Zavey
Cam
My love
Chris
The fellas
Gio
My family
That look when too many people are telling you what to do and it’s hot outside
Cam staged this photo
Our princesses

OKAY NOW FUNNY FACE

You’re welcome.

The Phoenix Sunset

The sun started to set as we were leaving and the sky turned pink.

Edited

I loved the way the sky was so perfectly pink… “Abi, run over there, let me get some shots!”

(Abi is my muse)

Werk, werk, werk, werk

Next thing we know, Chris:

YASSS! WERK IT!

Bye for now summer!

Growing Phoenix Art Scene

If your thinking about a family photo shoot, the Phoenix art scene is pretty cool. Downtown has changed a lot if you haven’t been out for a while and the street art is growing.

For outdated reasons, people consistently underestimate the Phoenix art scene. Our state is still somewhat new and still thought of as the Wild Wild West, I guess. Like we’re uncultured hillbillies and our highest level of artistic achievement is the local saloon’s honkey-tonk player.

(nothing wrong with a honkey-tonk, just sayin)

But, we actually have a lot of act to celebrate here. There are a number of symphonies, dance companies, museums, bands, performance venues, festivals and other arts-related activities.

We have a nationally recognized ballet company, the largest art museum in the Southwestthe best instrument museum in the world and a venue that hosts major touring Broadway shows.

The Roosevelt Row Arts District (“RoRo” like we used to call my BF Chris) is a walkable, creative district in the urban core of downtown Phoenix and is nationally known for its arts and cultural events, fostering urban renewal with fixed up bungalows and new art projects.

More about the project and art district here Roosevelt Row Art.

Join the fun!

If you want to support the growing art scene and aren’t sure where to start, just start with something free in your own city. Many of the valley cities have family-friendly nights of arts and entertainment every month. 

Phoenix Art Walks

Phoenix offers two art walks: First Friday and Third Friday. As the names suggest, these take place on the first and third Fridays of the month.

Where: Downtown Phoenix – Roosevelt Row, Warehouse District, Grand Ave., and more
When: 1st and 3rd Fridays, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
More info: First Friday: artlinkphoenix.com/first-fridays

Gilbert Art Walks

Where: Water Tower Plaza, 45 West Page Ave., Gilbert
When: Oct. – April, 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More info: www.gilbertartwalk.com

Mesa Art Walks

Where: Downtown Mesa, Main St. between Center and Country Club
When: 2nd Friday of the month, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
More info: 2ndfridaynightout.com

Scottsdale Art Walks

Where: Scottsdale Arts District, Main St. west of Scottsdale Rd., and Marshall Way north of Indian School Road. Look for “ArtWalk the Line” sidewalk decals.
When: Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
More info: scottsdalegalleries.com

Art Matters

Art reflects culture and shapes culture. How you make art, share art, think about art and engage with art- matters.

Art is more than a class you took in school.

Art tells a story. Art makes you think. Art creates awareness. Art forces you to see things in a new way. This is especially important in our highly globalized and increasingly isolated world.

Art has played an important role in helping fight against and raise awareness against the intolerance of different cultures, racism, and other forms of unjust societal segregation. 

Art is uniquely positioned to move people, inspire us… to incite new questions and provoke curiosity, excitement, and even outrage.

And what better way to make change?

“It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that society is huge and the individual is less than nothing. But the truth is individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.”
― Neil Gaiman, Art Matters

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