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Nancy Hanson (Wood Family) | Albion Basin Utah Family Portraits

 I had the chance to photograph and finally meet my long time Facebook friend, Nancy Hanson.  She’s such a doll and so is her whole family!  If you’ve never heard of her, please check her out here:  http://www.nancyhanson.com She’s an amazing LDS artist and someone whom I’ve admired for many years now.  We couldn’t remember how or when exactly we became Facebook friends, but she said she had been following my work for a while and really liked it.  I felt the same.  I was honored.  It’s always special when you are mutual fans with someone.  I love that our paths crossed and that we were able to capture her gorgeous family photos when I was up in UT in September.  I really love the UT light and that crisp mountain air.  I dream of light and cool weather like we had this day.  Take me back! Thanks so much for choosing me, Wood family.  Sure do hope to capture them again another year.  They are such a gorgeous family inside and out.  xo…elle

Last call for Family portraits if you want them in time for your Christmas cards.  I’ll be in Las Vegas taking portrait sessions Sunday November 13th and St. George, Utah  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday  November 14th-16th.  Mini sessions start at $250 for these locations.  Full sessions start at $550.  Contact me here:  ellejphotography@gmail.com | 801.414.4419

COSMOPOLITAN FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER | ELLE J. SCHABEL | MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY

When I received an email a few weeks ago from Mylan Torres from Cosmopolitan.com, I almost deleted it.  I saw “Media Request” and just thought it was junk mail or another solicitor from Instagram wanting me to join in their media influencer programs, that I receive on the daily.  Just as I was about to click on the trash bucket icon, something told me STOP! So I looked at it again and saw “cosmopolitan.com” so I opened it and this is what it read:

“I’m Mylan Torres, a Photo Editor at Cosmopolitan.com. I’m working on a post regarding maternity photos and would love feature this gem. The post will feature different photographers photos along with a short intro and fun captions. We’d happily credit you for the photo as well as link back to your site. Would this be something you’d be interested in? If so, do we have your permission to use this image across all Hearst Digital platforms and partners? Would you happen to have this in image in color? Also, if you have any other maternity photo shoots that you’d like to submit that’d be wonderful. I’d love to get this post set to publish Friday, September 2nd, so it’d be wonderful if you could send hi-res submissions by Monday, August 29th. I look forward to seeing your beautiful photos!

All the best,
Mylan”

Pretty exciting to say the least.  Well, she was awaiting on a few other Photographers and images I assume and it was just published today.  Here are my screen shots from the home page today. I’m sure it will be replaced very soon as this magazine is on top of all that is trending each moment.  But for now, it’s pretty cool that an article (where 3 out of the 16 photos featured, are by yours truly) is sitting right there on the home page.  I’ve always DREAMED of being published in a magazine! Several magazines in fact. In a telephone conversation Mylan, says articles online, live forever!  She says print is becoming obsolete and has been for a long time since the internet became popular.  We  chatted about how printed magazines are hanging on by a thread.  But because we all grow up thumbing through magazines (especially me who had dreams of modeling when I was younger, who didn’t right?) I still dream of seeing my work printed in major magazines, like Vogue, Elle, Cosmo still. Right?   After becoming a modeling scout with Wilhelmina Models back 12 years ago, I quickly realized I wanted to be behind the camera. I never felt comfortable being in front of the camera (too many insecurities), even though Dieter Esch from Wilhelmina wanted me to sign as a fitness model back in the day.  He’s the coolest dude.  To be acknowledged and told I was good enough by him and fit and pretty enough, was good enough for me. But to be part of the modeling industry has always been an exciting thing for me.  But I knew modeling wasn’t necessarily for me, but someday told myself I would take part in creating images as a Photographer.

 

Did you read that? Our images are described as breathtaking!  Makes me smile.  This is really cool for me to be acknowledged. We work so hard as Photographers and sometimes it feels like we’re never going to be noticed or we often wonder if what we do really makes a difference. I mean, not all Photographers are looking to make a difference in this world, but I know I am. I feel like Photography has become somewhat of a “calling” for me. It sort of chose me.  I come from a very artistic family.  My Grandpa, Paul Schabel, whom I’ve never met, was the most amazing oil painter.  I loved growing up seeing his artwork on display at Grandma’s house in Curtice, Ohio.  I’ve been inspired by him, my Uncle Paul and his artwork, and my father, Mark Schabel. My dad was a amateur Photographer growing up and shot a few weddings and was always playing with his film Canon camera.  I was always playing with it too and in High School became involved in the Yearbook club, where I continued to discover a love for Photography.  I have artistic abilities in me with drawing and painting, and never thought Photography would end up being my outlet for my skills and abilities.  I still desire to explore my other artistic talents that I suppose have taken a back seat my adult life as the wonderful world of Photography has gladly taken over my life for the past 1o years.  I feel like I’m literally just getting started with what I’m truly capable of and I’m excited to see what my future holds.  I’m constantly trying to push myself and my own limiting beliefs. Trust me, I have several.  I’ve envisioned being published for a long time.  I still have visions of grandeur and very big dreams for myself.  And they scare the crap out of me. That’s how I know they are pretty big!   I have always dreamed of working for Vogue and really all major magazines and being a commercial Photographer for different campaigns.  Every shoot I do, I treat it as if it’s going to be IN a major magazine. NO matter how big or small or what type of shoot.  I’ve always said I try to evoke the model within all of my subjects and show them their beauty I see.

 

This is my friend Janet.  She had her baby, Caleb, last November.  We shot this end of Sept of 2015.  She is a model and has done several modeling gigs over the years. She’s a 6ft tall goddess and it was honestly my pleasure to photograph her.  This is her 2nd and final baby. So I know this shoot means lots to her and I know being featured wasn’t something she expected either. So glad Mylan chose one of her images, that I submitted. Because if anyone deserves a break, this girl does too. She almost died earlier this year and had to have major open heart surgery.  Because of this she won’t be able to have anymore children and has a very long scar mid chest. It breaks my heart for her, but at the same time, that scar is a reminder of her courage and strength and that she’s a survivor from this surgery and from her abusive past relationship.  She’s one of my dearest friends and I’m so glad to be sharing in this success with her.

This is Alison.  We shot her last July in AZ. So YES, it was very hot.  Being in the water here in the Salt River area, was very much welcomed because, what expectant momma loves being HOT outside for hours to do a photo shoot?  Why not mix it up a bit and bring in the water element?  If I had my way, all shoots would be in water.  Just saying.  I love the water, especially for the heat but mostly for the drama it creates in any photo.  As an artist, I simply love what we can do in the water.

This is the shot that caught Cosmo’s eye on Pinterest.  I don’t shoot very many maternity sessions, as Weddings, Boudoir, Fashion, and Commercial photography often take over, but I simply LOVE when I get to shoot them, because of the creativity that flows, at least with me.

Because I was blown away even at my own work, I decided to start a Pinterest board, after this session, and I have failed to update it much since.   It still only has 2 images, but I plan to update it now for sure.  Mylan loved this shot (I had featured in black and white) but she obviously wanted to feature it in color on Cosmopolitan.com.

Go here to see: elle j. photo pinterest board

Last but definitely not least, of my 3 of 16 featured images, is this beauty.  This one is special to me and made Alison cringe at her own bare belly. This is NOT an image she chose as one of her final favorites that she ordered.  But it is one of mine!

I even have video of this shoot, that her man graciously shot for me.  I knew what we were shooting was so epic, I needed it documented. I felt these images and what we were creating were going to be special somehow. It was just a gut feeling.  For whatever reason, she said “ew”to me wanting to show the bare belly.  I asked her to “humor me for a few bare belly shots” and “if she hated them, I would delete them forever.” She reluctantly obliged.  The fact that COSMO wanted this images proves to me to TRUST YOUR PHOTOG, guys.  Just saying.  Most of my time, my clients are very open to trying any new things or out of the box or “next level” stuff.  But sometimes it takes a little coercing and in the end, I KNOW they will be happy and love them.  She seriously had the CUTEST bump ever and I’m so thrilled we shot these.

You guys, there are SO many amazing Photographers out there. Millions, I’m sure.  Truly I’m inspired by so many.    To be acknowledged even a little bit with me, goes a LONG way.  Today feels very validating and gives me the confidence to keep going. I was going to quit Photography all together recently.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep going.  Sometimes we never get the big break we’re hoping for and sometimes we literally become “starving artists” in a lot of ways, especially now with the competition out there being FIERCE.  Young kids are popping up on the daily and undercutting our pricing and I know lots of amazing Photographers are suffering profit losses. But then again I heard that happens in election years. Not to get political but I guess those of us who may be struggling for bookings and experiencing profit losses, we can blame Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  So hopefully whomever wins, we can all go back to having thriving Photography businesses and all will be well in the land again.

 It seems every time I want to “throw in the towel” and put my efforts and focus somewhere else, I get a little nudge, a huge compliment from someone telling me I have to stay in the game because I am talented and that I make a difference.  Just when you think no one notices you, you receive an email from an Editor, with an offer to be FEATURED in a major magazine, of my work?  Ok, Universe, I’m listening,  I’ll keep doing my thing and hold on a little longer.  I think in any profession, we all experience “rough patches” and “storms,”  and setbacks and frustrations.  I’m learning that it’s how we deal with them, that will determine our success.  So, this proves to me, once again, to keep holding on, because the sun will shine again, and sometimes even BRIGHTER, when it does.

All my thanks goes to my God for giving me all of my talents.  I desire to bless the world with who I am, what He has given me, and with what I will become because of them. I’m humbled by this and just plain grateful. xo..elle

p.s. if you’re wanting any type of session in the Salt River area, we only have a short time until it dries up for the winter months.  Book your session today! ellejphotography@gmail.com | 801.414.4419 and please follow my new Instagram for BOUDOIR photography!

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