Each year there are a select number of organizations that I donate portrait packages to for fundraising and awareness purposes. One such organization is the Epicurean Charitable Foundation dedicated to enriching the lives of deserving local students passionate about a career in hospitality or culinary arts. It is through scholarships and mentoring that these students, often underpriviledged, are given the opportunity to pursue their dreams in one of the country's most dynamic markets. Funds are raised through an annual gala called, M. E. N. U. S. (Mentoring and Educating Nevada's Upcoming Students), hosted at one of the city's world-class resorts featuring live entertainment from famous performers like Al Green, Stevie Nicks, and Chicago.
Last year's winner of the portrait package was Melissa Arias, who just before the annual fundraiser, had taken on the position of Director of ECF. We chatted in person and on the phone a few times discussing wardrobe options, the best time of day to shoot, and which location to capture her family portraits. And on the day of their portrait session, she was joined by her husband John, daughter Savannah, and their 2 dogs, Diego and Layla. We had a blast together capturing their family portraits at Spring Mountain Ranch, and here are a few of my favorites from their stylish session.