We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmine Pena and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jasmine, what are you inspired by?
Instead of ‘what’ inspires me, it is more of ‘who’ inspires me. It starts with the name I chose to represent my work. Leah Arie is a combination of my two daughters’ names. While it is easy to say that I find inspiration through other creatives and the masterpieces they create, the truth is that I am most inspired when it comes to raising my daughters in a world that is so distinct with the kind of roles females should have. I love events and photography, of course, otherwise I would not be doing this. But what I love even more so is having the ability to choose to do something for myself because it is what feeds my soul, and my hope is that my girls would seek opportunity in the same light.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love capturing genuine emotion in people. I get most excited when I have taken a photo and I go into edit it, that I can literally feel all the love a couple has for each other when they are gazing into each others’ eyes or holding each other so tight. I live for these types of connections with people and I believe I am where I am today because people love having photos like that! It has taken a lot of patience and practice to have queues lined up to even capture raw emotion, and it is still a learning process for me because everyone is different. The ultimate goal I have for my brand; however, is that when someone comes across my work, they will genuinely feel the light and love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Sedona! I absolutely love Sedona, and would live there if I had the chance! From the beautiful red rock views to the breathtaking hiking trails to the best shopping and delicious dining, it really is one of the wonders of the world you just have to see in person. Since we’d already be in the area, I would then travel to Flagstaff and Bearizona. Little did you know that cooler temps do actually exist in Arizona. While in Flagstaff, we would definitely explore Downtown Flagstaff and enjoy the food, drinks and shopping. Lastly, in Bearizona, we will enjoy the Arizona wildlife and calm atmosphere!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family has been the biggest support group in my journey. I could not do what I do without them and their constant support. My dad started his own business from the ground up. Being a part of that process made me believe that anything is truly possible if you believe in yourself and your work. My mom has always been a hard worker. She worked and raised a family and despite the hard days, she still gave it her all. It is that kind of dedication that has truly resonated with me. My husband has been my greatest supporter, understanding my needs to keep my work going, my schedule and holding up the fort when I could not. With that, I am able to do what I love because of the people who have raised me and continue to support me every step of my journey.
Leah Arie Events and Photography