KITCHEN CONVERSATIONS || ARTIST FAWN DEVINEY || BY PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



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Hello Friends,

A few months ago, Fawn Deviney graciously invited me into her home to photograph her. We had the most effortless conversation about life, artistry, and her passion for helping Artists seeing their own potential.

When I arrived she greeted me with a kind smile and big hug. Duce her english bulldog soon followed suit, stealing the show with his effortless charm. He followed her like a young pup following his mother. Aromas of fresh cut grass, candles and coffee filled the air with warmth and coziness. Fawn lead me into the house, making our way to the kitchen where we began our conversation. She offered me a warm cup of coffee with coconut cream, as we drank our coffee we started to chat about her story.

Fawn shared about her photography journey over the past 8 years which has shifted and changed into what it is today. A budding business with hope and dreams, encouraging others to do the same. She went into detail sharing how she stripped layers of old notions, which helped find her truth with a love and passion for being an Artist. When she spoke, her love of others and finding a way to help them see their potential shined through. She expressed “Encouraging Artist’s to Value their work, it’s one of my misson’s right now”. She used to think the only way to be successful was through a traditional degree.(I want to underscore, she in fact has a degree in Social Work ). Breaking free from social norms, it seemed she found her soul pulling her toward Art and Photography. Realizing “SHE IS GOOD enough to be an ARTIST, and IT IS REAL WORK. Starving artist shouldn’t be a thing, when you believe in your WORK and WORTH people will follow suit.” - FD

Fawn is nothing short of an old soul with elegant poise and passion for her work and others. She is one of those Women that leads through grace, gumption, poise, and initelect. Which is something we all should be taking notes to learn from. The thing I was most impressed with Fawn, is her love for other people, and how grateful for every moment in her career BIG and SMALL.

Fawn Deviney, is an Artist, Photographer, Stylist, and now Gallery Owner. She lives and resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Below are photographs of our time together, enjoy!
Cheers,
Nicole

FAWNS WORDS:

*“Part of me is still has a childlike wonder as an Artist”. “It’s my Mission right now to encourage Artists to value their work”. “SHE IS GOOD enough to be an ARTIST, and IT IS REAL WORK. Starving artist shouldn’t be a thing, when you believe in your WORK and WORTH people will follow suit.” - FD


A few of Fawns favorite things:

Mastering the art of French Cooking -Julia Child GEM WATER : Goop.com Lacy Phillips Free and Native Daily rituals of warm Coffee, writing and reading.



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CHRISTMAS BRUNCH IN JULY || BRUNCH TIPS || FOOD+LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



Hello Friends,

Can you believe it’s Wednesday already? In my last post I spoke about how we get to move back into our home this Friday. It’s been a wild journey with the storms of the house. Officially we have been out two months, and two-ish weeks. That would make us staying at 4 different airbnb. The last place we stayed at felt like we were living in a Wes Anderson Movie. Deserted hotel, we were the only ones on the grounds at times. Anyway, we are getting really excited to finally be moving back in. The status of the house, we have walls, and currently are doing some extra remodeling ourselves. Painting, bathrooms the kids rooms and a few odds and ends. The goal is to make it feel like home again. But after all that has happened it’s time to put on some fresh coats of paint and make new memories.

Best way to do that, make a big meal gather around the table and have some laughs. Our go to favorite meal  brunch. Sunday mornings, bacon, eggs, maybe some double chocolate muffins. Or just whatever we may have in the fridge at the moment works too. Here is how we usually brunch on Christmas morning…. 

“Team Lee” Brunch (Christmas Morning Style) : 

Put everything in the middle of the table and enjoy!

Cheers Friends,

Nicole



Sunday brunch tips


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CAROL+NEIL || INTIMATE SEDONA ELOPEMENT || PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE ||



Hello Friends,

Sometimes we tend to get lost in all the details of wedding planning, in the pressures to please everyone else. Wedding planning, whether you elope or go the traditional route is stressful. I remember planning my own wedding way back when (10 years ago to be exact), and having everyone around us having opinions about EVERYTHING. People seem to chime in whether you ask them to or not.  The thing is with Carol + Neil, they were smart enough to take note and say, lets tell our story, the way we want for US. And that’s exactly what they did. Best part, the elopement was a big secret, and they were going to send out an announcement after their honeymoon to let everyone know “we’ve eloped”. GENIUS. I admire them. They have gumption!

Here is Carol + Neil’s Sedona Elopement Story.  

Cheers,

-Nicole


CAROL + NEIL|| ELOPEMENT || SEDONA, MAY 25 2017.



LETTING GO || PART 2 || FACING YOUR FEARS|| PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE



“Letting go”, it sounds easy right? I cling tightly to shields, put on armor; masks even, to protect myself, fearful to let too many people get close. Why would I do that? Well, it’s too scary to let people in.

For some odd 25 years I’ve been doing this, granted I’m only 29. I’ve lived a lot of lives, and seen a lot of things. This past weekend I had a session with my therapists and they said this, you have the survival gene, most people wouldn’t have survived what you went through as a child and young adult. The tools you used, the methods you fought with, worked and got you here. But now its time to choose to put the armor down, and stop taking everyone one out. The battle is over. Take a step back and look around where you are, you aren’t there anymore in the chaos, you are here present day in 2017. So I let that sink right in. Deep. That’s it? That’s how you let go? I think it is.                                                                                                                                                      

Over the past few weeks I’d been asking myself, how do I let go? I want to so desperately to really do it. Let go, be my best self, always. I mean that is what I am striving for. I was having a hard time connecting my brain to the actions. I was doing the actions, but my brain couldn’t make sense of it all. See, I want to have the weight lifted off my shoulders, and breathe easy. I want to stop waiting for the floor to sink out from under me. Hearing my therapist say what they did in the session, I had a light bulb moment. It’s this time where I aloud myself permission to finally surrender the flag, and start living life. In that moment, right there.

Now what? Is it as easy as saying yes I get it and erasing everything that happened in the 25 years of my life? Maybe…. See, once you know the core of your crap, where it came from, what it is, what tools you use (good or bad). You can finally start saying (to yourself) stop it. I don’t need to use that tool, it isn’t necessary, and I’m safe. What I’m talking about is, those moments where you find yourself in an anxiety-ridden tizzy, instead of running in circles around it, you face it, check it out, and you explore it. When you face it, you will know what to do with it. Sounds “kooky”, but it works.

The way I look at it is this, I have two choices, I can use the armor to fend off the Calvary, take the sward and finish them all off. – Or I can retrain myself, learn new tools, stop, and be the person who I already know how to be, kind, loving, caring. Option one works, but will be the harder road. With option two, although it seems scary as hell to put down the armor, it feels freeing to let the walls down and walk a new unknown path.

Thanks for listening friends, below are some IPHONE Self Portraits I took, and editing on my phone using the vscocam app. 

Cheers,  - Nicole 




LAURA + MATT | DESERT ENGAGEMENT SESSION || WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


Learning to be brave. How do we learn to be brave? We learn to be brave by doing something that we are scared to do. This saying keeps flying back at me time and time again. The universe keeps saying, “ be brave” here is your moment, here is this hard thing that I want you to gracefully step into, now go. One of those things are relationships.

(Does this happen to you as well?  The universe / god whomever it may be challenging you on things?)

Lately, I have been on this quest to find out how to really build lasting relationships, to understand what true love really is, and you know I may not have all or any of the answers on the subject. What I do know the scary thing to do is to step into them. The brave thing to do is take a chance on the person in front of you. Sometimes we mess up, sometimes we don’t have all the tools, but what I do know is this:

“Before your ready – before your good at it that’s when you start something. That’s how you get ready, that’s how you get good at it” – ELIZABETH GILBERT

Sit for a moment – let that quote sink in a bit……

This is how we learn to be brave. This is how we step into things we want to make, or do, or who we want to become, or how to lean into relationships, partnerships.  

With that I give you Laura and Matt, and their engagement story.

 

– Cheers friends


 





































SCOTTSDALE PORTRAIT SESSION // SMOCA CURATOR CLAIRE CARTER// ARIZONA LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE


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SMOCA is by far one of my favorite places in Arizona. What is SMOCA you say? Well it is a little haven in the melting pot of Arizona, also known as the Scottsdale museum of contemporary art. You see, it’s more than just a museum, but a community, learning hub, and from time to time they have some pretty fun events they put on throughout the year. 

In addition to having Amazing Art instillations, SMOCA has some very down to earth Curators running the show. I was honored when Claire asked me to spend the afternoon with her and photographing her for a portrait session.

This woman is strong, intelligent, and did I mention has excellent taste?! To top it off she was the first woman curator at SMOCA and plans to keep on doing her thing for years to come. Most recently, Claire curated : southwestNET Sama ALshaibi: Silsia. A short description : (Sama Alshaibi's (b.1973, Basra, Iraq) epic series of photographs and videos is named for the Arabic word silsia, or "link"-a simple noun describing a point of connection. As a verb, "link" also describes the act of joining two discrete units. Silsia represents the joining of individuals to one another, humans with the natural world, and the self to the dive.) To read more head over to the SMOCA page

Lets just say Claire rocks my socks off! She is a powerhouse. 

Here are my favorite images from the portrait session we collaborated on together. 

Cheers, 

Nicole 












 

 


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HOME LIFE || ARIZONA PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER NICOLE LEE |


A few years ago I started a personal project called home life. I was taking an advanced photo class at Coastal Carolina University and we had to pick a project for the semester. The subject had to be the same subject for the whole semester, with the narrative story in mind, one image connecting to the next. I remember resisting choosing something, I remember finding it difficult to choose a project for fear I would “mess up”.

My professor suggested that I photograph what was in front of me. Hinting at the idea of photographing my children. I hesitated, in efforts maybe to avoid the discomfort of sharing my personal life. I think I was trying to photograph landscape, old buildings or something. (You know the safe subjects) The work I was producing was mediocre. I knew if I wanted to grow I would have to start ripping of some Band-Aids and stop compartmentalizing my work life and personal life. I knew that if I just surrendered to blending them together I could get to where I wanted to go, and produce the art I was destined to produce.

So I just started, one foot in front of the other kind of thing. My first Images weren’t horrible, but they looked and felt like everyone’s candid images of their children. My work felt so literal, boring even, I knew I had to find my inner Sally Mann, but how on earth was I going to get there?

Did it just happen? No. Was there a secret sauce, formula or light bulb? No. I just took a lot of images, and let me tell you I burned threw loads of film, and digital files. Mostly film.

 Each week we had to bring our images to our professor and have a one on one critique. Let me tell you there were moments he would look at my work, and I would look at him and hope to Jesus he wouldn’t rip it apart. It was when he was silent it scared me the most. I would anxiously wait, while he looked over the images up and down, the he would say: “You have something here”, or “dig deeper”. He wanted me to come up with the answer, to figure those next steps out. Not just hand them to me, which that I am thankful for.

What I learned from the critique is to keep going, to make it better, and that it doesn’t just ‘happen’ to you have to choose the direction you want to go into. That I am going to fail a lot, and that is OKAY!

So here I am 3 years later, more images, more life and this personal project took on a whole new meaning. 

Enjoy friends, until next time

 

-Nicole 














TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SALLY MANN VISIT - https://www.artsy.net/artist/sally-mann