Colton Brock: Artist and Photographer

Colton Brock, photographed on top of Shaw Butte in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Colton Brock, artist and photographer, photographed on top of Shaw Butte in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Colton Brock
www.coltonbrock.com

Colton Brock has made his mark on the Valley’s art scene in a big way, as the creator of several murals throughout the downtown Phoenix area and beyond. The 33-year-old Phoenix resident creates landscape art in a variety of mediums, including photography, and presents his work at a solo exhibition at The Hive in Phoenix, called Location³. The exhibition debuts with a music and refreshment-filled reception Friday, October 16 from 6-10 p.m. and runs through mid-November.

Brock has had several commissions with the City of Phoenix and City of Tempe and has shown at The Lost Leaf and Phoenix Public Library, as well as in Minneapolis. You can currently see his murals at Tempe Farmers Market, at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, and around Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix, and he created a public installation at the light rail stop at Mill Avenue and 3rd Street in Tempe.

Brock shared his artist inspiration, and you can hear him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born in and grew up in Phoenix and went to Arizona State University, where I got my bachelor degree in art and design, with a minor in religious studies.

My grandfathers were both born in Arizona. My whole family is from here, back to four generations ago, and before then, I don’t even really know where they came from. Continue reading

Dave Ference: Owner of Ference Photography

Dave Ference, owner of Ference Photography, photographed at Gilbert High School, by Nicki EScudero

Dave Ference, owner of Ference Photography, photographed at Gilbert High School, by Nicki Escudero

Dave Ference
www.ferencephotography.com

Dave Ference is passionate about capturing the best shot for his clients, whether he’s working on family portraits, model photos for a portfolio or corporate photography. As owner of Ference Photography, Ference works with individuals and businesses around the Valley and strives to create a relaxed environment that brings out the best in those he photographs.

The 45-year-old Gilbert resident, who is also a baseball coach at Gilbert High School, talked about his best photography techniques and gave advice to everyday photographers. You can also hear him name his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born and raised here. I went to Gerard Catholic High School and got my degree in graphic design from Northern Arizona University. Continue reading

Everardo “Paco” Keeme: Co-Owner of Photo Fusion Studio

Everardo Keeme, co-owner of Photo Fusion in Scottsdale, photographed at his studio, by Nicki Escudero

Everardo Keeme, co-owner of Photo Fusion in Scottsdale, photographed at his studio, by Nicki Escudero

Everardo “Paco” Keeme
twitter.com/EverardoKeeme

Everardo “Paco” Keeme has captured some very priceless Valley shots, from documenting the Waste Management Phoenix Open as official photographer, to shooting events for American Cancer Society, to creating the perfect senior portrait for high schoolers around town with his Twelfth Year Senior Portraits. The 37-year-old Phoenix resident and certified professional photographer recently became co-owner of Photo Fusion Studio in Scottsdale, a relaxed space, open for rental, for shooting his Everardo Keeme Photography clients.

Keeme lets readers in on his secrets to a great shot, and he names his five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m born and raised here. I grew up in Tempe and went to Marcos de Niza High School. I got a degree in web design from the University of Phoenix, and went back for business marketing. Continue reading

Steph Carrico: Co-Owner of The Trunk Space

Steph Carrico, co-owner of The Trunk Space in Phoenix, photographed at The Trunk Space, by Nicki Escudero

Steph Carrico, co-owner of The Trunk Space in Phoenix, photographed at The Trunk Space, by Nicki Escudero

Steph Carrico
twitter.com/TheTrunkSpace

The Trunk Space has hosted rowdy punk shows, moving poetry readings, sexy burlesque, and life-drawing sessions. For the past 10 years, it’s been a haven for all ages to come express themselves through art and music, featuring monthly art exhibits, touring and local bands and sideshow acts that inject a quirky feel into the Downtown Phoenix Grand Avenue space.

Thank Steph Carrico, who along with co-owner JRC, strives to cultivate a diverse line-up of entertaining acts. The 38-year-old Phoenix resident is a photography and 2D/3D design teacher at Metropolitan Arts Institute and a freelance photographer when she’s not running the space.

Get excited for new Trunk Space developments. The venue, which also features an artist-made gift shop and vintage photo booth, is getting an air conditioning unit this summer, and Carrico and JRC plan to expand their coffee bar hours to all day by summer, too. Carrico talked about her motivation for running the space, and keep reading to see a video of her talk about her favorite reasons for living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

My parents brought me to Arizona when I was 9. My dad was a contractor, and we were living in northern Utah where it’s snowy. There’s no snow here, so they decided to move here because it was safer for him to work year-round.

I was born in Salt Lake City. Here, I went to Coronado High School and graduated Arizona State University with a degree in fine art photography. Continue reading

Mark Laverman: Phoenix Photographer for Arizona Office of Tourism

Mark Laverman, photographed at the Gateway Trailhead in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Mark Laverman, photographed at the Gateway Trailhead in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Mark Laverman
www.marklaverman.com

Capturing Arizona’s grandiose beauty to show off to state visitors is a monumental task, and local photographer and outdoors enthusiast Mark Laverman loves the challenge. The 48-year-old Phoenix resident has been at the helm of the ad campaigns for the Arizona Office of Tourism for the past three years, showing off the wonder of the Grand Canyon State through the award-winning “In One Word — Arizona” campaign. He was even named 2011 Photographer of the Year by the Metro Phoenix Chapter of the American Advertising Federation for his photography for the campaign.

By day, he’s executive director of branding and advertising for marketing firm Six Degrees, while in his free time, you can find him traversing the state for that perfect shot. Laverman produces fine art prints and stock photography, and you can see some of his black-and-white work at the Hotel Indigo in Scottsdale, as well as on his website, www.marklaverman.com. Laverman offered some photography tips, as well as talked about what makes the state of Arizona so great, below.

What brought you to Arizona?

My parents moved here when I was in college, in Michigan. I was spending my winters in Michigan and my summers out here, but I really fell in love with it. I didn’t know much about Arizona, but coming out here and seeing what the state had to offer, I started falling in love with it.

I was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, grew up mostly in Chicago, and spent my high school years in Omaha. Continue reading

Sadie Such: Owner of Sadie Such Photography and Films

Sadie Such
twitter.com/SadieSuch

Sadie Such has been able to combine two of her biggest passions — photography/videography and helping people — with a really cool layer: traveling around the globe. The 23-year-old Phoenix resident, who has owned Sadie Such Photography and Films for the past 3 years, also goes on volunteer mission trips to places such as Central America and West Africa. Such, who has a degree in film production from the Film School at Scottsdale Community College (and played tennis there), has worked with organizations including PhotogenX to document social injustice around the globe, as well as teach photography and video skills. She’ll be headed to Zambia in June and has ideas for films of her own, and she talked about what drives her passion. Keep reading to hear five reasons why Such loves living in the Valley, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born and raised in Phoenix. Probably about 4 years ago, I started traveling internationally and living in different states, but I always ended up back here because my family is here. Continue reading

Maria Vassett: Owner of Maria Vassett Photography

Maria Vassett, owner of Maria Vassett Photography, photographed at her home in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero

Maria Vassett, owner of Maria Vassett Photography, photographed at her home in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero

Maria Vassett
facebook.com/MariaVassettPhotography

Maria Vassett has an extremely challenging day job. As a clinical service liaison for EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center for the past year and a half, the 46-year-old Tempe resident works with more than 25 families at a time as the contact between the families and agencies such as Child Protective Services and Division of Developmental Disabilities, and schools and other agencies involved with the team. In her free time, though, Vassett is able to get her creative juices flowing, as a photographer for everything from concerts to boudoir shots, having shot for everyone from Phoenix New Times and The Arizona Republic to US Airways and Jose Cuervo — including more than 300 concerts. Vassett, a veteran in the local music industry, also has managed bands and helped open Clubhouse Music Venue, among other exploits, and is now part of Pita Jungle‘s rotating photography series. She talked about her passions for helping people and capturing precious moments, and keep reading to hear five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.

What brought you to Arizona?

My parents brought me here when I was 2. I was born right outside of San Francisco in Walnut Creek. I went to Pueblo and Mohave for elementary school and Saguaro High School in Scottsdale. I graduated from ASU with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. Continue reading