Destination Weddings

Engagement Sessions

Hamilton High School Senior Portrait Chandler Arizona

Senior Portraits

Photography Education

Commercial Photography

A Night at the Phoenix Symphony

One of the things I like about my life and work is the constant variation in what I get to capture. I shoot weddings, portraits, commercial, documentary, and more. One thing I really enjoy is when I have the opportunity to work with other artists, like the musicians of the Phoenix Symphony. From the musicians and conductors, to the marketing staff and the CEO, everyone is extremely talented. 

A few times a year, the symphony presents multimedia performances that include both music and video at the same time. This multimedia performance was a celebration of the work of legendary composer Elmer Bernstein. His iconic music was paired with clips from the movies his scores brought to life. It was conducted by his son, Peter Bernstein, who shared stories about his father and the music during the performance.

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The musical score to the ten commandments by Ernie Beirnstien.

I like to photograph the score because I like to take visual notes. This practice helps me to remember things, like names, details, and more. And I love the way music looks on a page, the way the notes are like their own language. Even though I have played music my whole life, I can’t actually read sheet music.

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Phoenix Symphony CEO Jim Ward Back Stage with Ernie Beirnstien’s son, conductor Peter Beirnstien

Jim Ward is one of my favorite people. This intelligent business genius has been the captain of ships such as Lucas Arts now leads the Phoenix Symphony. His guiding hand has made it one of the few symphonies in the US that are financially sound. This gives great artists a stable benefactor. Who says art and commerce can’t coexist?

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Phoenix Symphony orchestra master violinist Steven Moeckel getting in the zone before performance.

Phoenix Symphony orchestra master violinist Steven Moeckel getting in the zone before the performance. Steven is truly a treasure. Listening to him play is truly mesmerizing.

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Video of Ernie Beirnstien above the Phoenix Symphony performing his film scores.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony performing socres by Ernie Beirnstien with the films playing above.

Peter Bernstein, son of Elmer Bernstein, conducted the symphony as they played his father’s exemplary film scores. To accompany the music, video clips from the films and clips of his father played overhead. Between the music, Peter also told stories about his father. One of the stories he shared was about his father’s experience in Hollywood during the McCarthy hearings and the Communist black lists that threatened actors, directors and musicians during that time.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony performing the score for The Ten Commandments by Ernie Beirnstien with the film playing above.

It was filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille who vouched for Elmer Bernstein to keep him off the Hollywood blacklist. He was the one who gave Bernstein his break in the movies, which began his amazing career as a legend in film scoring.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Guest conductor Bernstein leading the Phoenix Symphony playing his father’s film scores.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Dirrector of Animal House, John Landis, speaking about the work of Ernie Bernstein.

Director John Landis (of Animal House, Three Amigos, and other ridiculous comedies) was there to discuss his experiences with Elmer as well.

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The Phoenix Symphony playing the music of film score composer Ernie Beirnstien.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony playing the music of film score composer Ernie Beirnstien.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Back stage with Ernie Beirnstien’s son Peter, guest conductor at the Phoenix Symphony.

My backstage lighting was critical to the success of these photos. With the Profoto lighting system, I am able to photograph in completely dark situations with complete confidence. With the A1 On Camera Flash (with a focus assist), and the B1 and B2 off camera flashes hanging from various walls and rafters, there is no image I can’t capture. I know where the action is going to happen and set up my lights prior to the event. Because I can control everything from the A1 On Camera Flash, no matter what direction I am facing, I can create light that will make the image work, even in the darkest conditions. Of course, when the symphony starts playing, the lights go off and I slip into stealth mode.

When all is said and done, photography is my opportunity and excuse to go into everyone else’s world. Whether it is photographing a wedding or a symphony, I love my work. And I love working with talented people who are at the very top of their game.

Reagan and Rusty: Engagement Portraits in Payson Arizona

Reagan and Rusty have been dating for a while. Reagan is my niece, so I have seen Rusty at family dinners for a long time. When they asked if I would shoot their engagement portraits, they originally just wanted to do something in Phoenix. But, it was August. August in Phoenix averages 120 degrees. Not good. When thinking about engagement photography sessions, people don’t always think outside of the box. One of the greatest things about Arizona is that within two hours you can be in an entirely different climate. So that’s exactly what we did.

Payson, Arizona Engagement Session

Reagan, Rusty and I packed up and went an hour and a half north of Phoenix to Payson. It was still warm, I couldn’t do much about it being August, but nothing over 90. Fortunately, I do a lot of location scouting. I have locations logged in China, Budapest, London, Iceland, and a hundred other locations across the world. But, when it comes to Arizona, I have thousands. So, I took them to a great spot with tree cover all day long. I also brought my Profoto B1 and B2 along to make the light absolutely perfect.

payson engagement session platt photography

Engagement portraits are best taken in the cool hights of the forests of Northern Arizona, this is one of my favorite spots, just north of Payson, AZ.

The light tree cover is not this dark, but with a little extra light, I can remove the natural ambient light and then fill in exactly what I want, giving the image a more dramatic feel.

payson engagement session platt photography

Engagement portraits are best taken in the cool hights of the forests of Northern Arizona, this is one of my favorite spots, just north of Payson, AZ.

 The lush grass and little spots of sunshine filtering through the trees and onto the grass makes for a perfect backdrop. Lighting is critical on this image to make sure my lights all appear to be coming from the sun so it doesn’t appear to be a flash photo. Obviously, on-camera doesn’t work. So, the flash is off to the left of the camera to follow the natural direction of the sunlight.

payson engagement session platt photography

Engagement portraits are best taken in the cool hights of the forests of Northern Arizona, this is one of my favorite spots, just north of Payson, AZ.

At the end of the photo shoot, Rusty was skipping rocks like a little kid. He and I finally coaxed Reagan into going into the water. She kept feeling crawdads crawling around her feet, so this was quite a challenging shot for her. But, in the end, I love the drips of water coming off her feet and the reflections coming toward the camera. Without the right lighting, the water droplets would have melded with the background too much. The drips would not show up and neither would the reflections (not that much anyway). You can see in the final shot where that light was that was separating them out.

payson engagement session platt photography

Outside or inside the Profoto light is a critical part or my photography.

Rusty helped me test the light by putting his head IN it! Good job, Rusty. He won’t be my assistant anytime soon.

payson engagement session platt photography

Engagement portraits are best taken in the cool hights of the forests of Northern Arizona, this is one of my favorite spots, just north of Payson, AZ.

payson engagement session platt photography

Engagement portraits are best taken in the cool hights of the forests of Northern Arizona, this is one of my favorite spots, just north of Payson, AZ.

Skye’s Senior Portrait in Chandler, Arizona

Skye’s high school senior portraits were taken in Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona with an extra drive out to Canyon Lake outside of Phoenix.  The music for this slideshow, “Callita Night” by KGB is licensed through Triple Scoop Music.

The final image in the collection was a must for Skye and for me.  This was Skye’s Pride and Prejudice moment… you girls will know what I’m talking about.  Guys, don’t worry about it!

View the entire collection on the web here.

Cade’s High School Senior Portraits

This was a great Senior Portrait shoot with Cade.  My camera needed a bath after this one!

Adobe Spark Page

Adobe Lightroom® CC for Beginners

Lightroom for Beginners cover image of develop module

CreativeLIVE – Adobe Lightroom® CC for Beginners

For those of you joining my workshop on CreativeLIVE January 14-15, 2017, this is where I will be posting links for the workshop.  Keep coming back here for information and links to things and places I discuss on the air.

Links for you to click:

What HARD DRIVE should you buy?  Check out the failure rates on the Back Blaze online backup service.  Great info HERE.  These are spinning drives.

For Solid State Drives, I love the San Disk Drives, check them out HERE.

My traveling RAID1 drive is made by CRU, called the Tough Tech Duo, which is a firewire 800 connection which I have connected via a Thunderbolt converter on my laptop. (CRU has a new Tough Tech for USBc as well, but USB3 cannot power it, so it has to be plugged in).  Find the Tough Tech HERE along with other CRU items, like the small green case of the Tough Tech Mini I talked about earlier in the class.  For the new version of the Tough Tech Duo USBc you will have to go to CRU’s website.

Check out the images I am posting on these FACEBOOK LINKS:

Facebook Page

Facebook Profile

See what I made on Adobe Spark Page

Those who purchase the CreativeLIVE class can see how this was done in the bonus video.

Adobe Spark Page



Find out where I am and what I am up to right now!  HERE.


10 Rules for Photographing on Location

Bringing Joy to Kids with Serious Illness at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

He’s kind of a big deal!

High School Senior Portrait for Boy Scout Eagle Project

Teddy Scott is one person you will never forget. I have known him for the majority of his life, and lately, he has been assisting me on photography jobs, so I have gotten to know him even better, because you really learn a lot about someone when you see them on the job. However, there is something that will tell you much more about a person than how they treat their mother… that’s how they serve others without thought of reward. Teddy was the first to volunteer to shave his head when my little friend Trajen contracted cancer and was undergoing chemo therapy. I already had a bald head, so I don’t count, but many people shaved their heads to give Trajen the courage to shave his. Teddy lead the charge!
Young man Shaving his head in support for young boy with cancer
group of men with shaved heads supporting a young child in his battle against cancer
Leading another charge, this month Teddy finished his Eagle Project, which was to organize people throughout his church and community to make boxes and boxes full of Teddy Bears to deliver to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to be given to the children there who are fighting cancer and dealing with other serious illnesses. Trajen was one of those little kids. He touched us all (still does, thankfully – his was a successful battle) and he obviously had a lasting effect on Teddy. Now Teddy is working to bring a little joy to others just like Trajen, who have tough days ahead.

Young boy at Phoenix Children's Hospital fighting cancer.

When you have run out of things to pray about, or places to serve… say a prayer for the families who are fighting against the effects of cancer and other illnesses and look for some way in your community to bring a smile to their faces. Teddy’s Bears will go a long way to that end. So, yea… he’s kind of a big deal!

Tim and Brittany’s Wedding at the Boojum Tree in Phoenix, Arizona

I photographed Brittany and Tim’s wedding at The Boojum Tree in Phoenix, Arizona. The wedding was packed full of beautiful ideas, tender moments and wonderful people.

My favorite photographs from the wedding

This first photo was one of my favorite details in the wedding. Later, during the ceremony, the bride and groom will braid and tie the three cords, signifying their partnership with Christ in their union.  I thought it was beautifully done.


The dress (Tara Keely by Lazaro from Destiny’s Bridal) was absolutely beautiful. The bride had the sleeves added by Destiny’s and as you will see later, it was the perfect thing to do, and so well done.

Wedding dress Tara Keely by Lazaro

The entire wedding party was wearing little homages to Star Wars and it all starts with the bride’s R2D2 heels.


The grooms cufflinks quoted the interchange between Han Solo and Princess Leah just before the empire puts Han into carbon freezing.

“I love you.”

“I know.”




I love photos through reflections in glass and of course the moment was a perfect one.


Getting ready in Wedding dress Tara Keely by Lazaro

The bride and groom choose a “First Look”

The first look is always a tender moment. It is such a wonderful way for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time. The traditional “don’t see the bride before the ceremony” is a fine way to do things as well, but I think that there is far more tenderness in the first look.


Tim and Brittany took a little walk into the green house at the Boojum Tree for a little one on one time.


With me shooting from a distance.


Brittany made her own flowers out of cloth and buttons. They were quite impressive and I am told, they took a very long time to make. But they will also last a lot longer!


There are the Star Wars Storm Trooper socks.  And who can argue with the fashionable and COMFORTABLE shoes. That is a bride who truly cares about her bride’s maids.


The groomsmen were all a bunch of nuts and very happy with their hosiery as well.


It’s all about the flowers and the dress. Brittany couldn’t have found a better dress.


The wedding portrait session

Our portrait session consisted the couple of myself and my assistant (with a Profoto B1 off camera light). We spent about twenty minutes making their official portraits, but the moments between them are the absolute best.



The Boojum Tree is full of perfect backdrops and locations. Everywhere you turn is another opportunity for a great photograph. It is a full 360 degree visual feast, which is great because that means you will always be able to find the perfect lighting condition. Some great open shade and the addition of one light is all it took.


Oh, and of course the beautiful couple.


I absolutely love this portrait of Brittany. She shows off the dress perfectly.

The bride wearing a Tara Keely wedding dress by Lazaro with added lace sleeves.

Tim is great in front of the camera, it was such a great experience photographing him. Many times, the groom is not all that excited about portraits and photos, but Tim loves the camera and it loves him.


While we were take the couple’s portraits, I spun around to find a number of the bride’s maids watching from the gazebo. I asked the rest to join them to get this shot.


Seriously cute kids were all over this wedding, all of them dressed to the nines.



I loved the flower girls’ dresses. Full of texture!


A tender wedding full of powerful moments to photograph

This is one of my favorite shots from the day. During the ceremony, the bride and groom will be reading love notes to one another, so the bride holds hers in her hands. The “kiss me” detail on her nail is perfect.


This was another great detail. All down the isle were these texture rich collages with scriptures. I thought it was meaningful and beautiful.



Here comes the ring. Notice the ear piece in the protective detail.




The bride’s father lead her to the beginning of the isle and turned to her to read a special note to her before taking her the rest of the way down the isle to her groom. I loved this idea, it was a very tender moment between a father and daughter.



When the bride and groom read their love notes to each other, it was just to each other, no mics. They were not speaking for the benefit of the crowd. They were speaking only to one another.



That is the kind of tenderness and intimacy that makes a wedding great.


The braiding and tying of the three cords was a great idea, but I especially liked the images I was able to capture during the process.






Both the bride and groom are so expressive. It just makes it fun to photograph them. I could wait patiently, knowing that at one point they would both give me beautiful expressions that were full of life.




How often do you see the Groom pick up his bride and carry her down the isle after the ceremony? So perfect!



The tables were set in the green house, but the Tim and Brittany were the first to see the room.


During the cocktail hour, we shot all the family portraits and a few others, like this cute little shot of the flower girls and the bride.


It wasn’t visible to the crowd at the wedding, but the little boy in the wagon was carrying the safe to transport the rings.


Another one of my absolute favorites. That veil was made for her and not by a dress shop. Her mother-in-law made that veil. So delicate.




The battle at the cake table was intense!


Tim and Brittany are too fun!



Tim was a bartender at one time, so I thought this shot would be an appropriate image.


With minutes to the end, the bride sneaks away to pack up her things for the get away!


So much energy, expression and love.  It is always my pleasure to be a part of every wedding I photograph. Brittany and Tim, your wedding was an absolute joy as are you both.


I wish you both the best of everything as you head off into the unknown!


Photography by Jared Platt

Wedding location: The Boojum Tree, Phoenix, Arizona

Slideshow music by Hive Riot, courtesy of triple scoop music

The Prague Master Class – September 21-27, 2016


Each year we travel to a new and exciting location for a world class travel experience and photographic workshop. You will learn everything from street photography, to portraiture, posing, lighting, and even post production. You will photograph fantastic models and locations, enjoy a new culture, eat amazing food, and increase your photographic skills exponentially.

This year, join Bob Davis and me for a week long travel adventure in Prague. Traveling to Prague should be on everyone’s bucket list. Make it happen this year. This is the ultimate photography educational experience. Explore the exotic and charming city of Prague, Czech Republic while taking your photography to new heights.

WPPI Master Classes March 6-11, 2016, Las Vegas, NV

Jared Platt at WPPI

Every year, thousands of photographers gather in Las Vegas, Nevada for WPPI. This is a photographer’s dream. The show floor sports the very latest equipment and all of the books and albums, photo services and accessories that a pro and amateur needs to make their images, but there’s more than just an eye popping show of photo gear. WPPI is also a veritable university of photography education for a week in March. The very best photographers and instructors come to Vegas to inspire and to teach photographers how to hone their craft.

I will be at WPPI this year teaching two very special classes. In years past, you may have caught me with a thousand other photographers in a platform class where I was speaking about post-production in Lightroom. Well, this year, I have limited the size of my audience to 50 per class. I am teaching two Master Classes only! Each master class has only 50 people per class, which means you will get more personalized attention and I will be able to cater my instruction to everyone’s needs even better than I can in a platform class.

My WPPI Masterclasses are designed for two different levels, Beginners and Advanced. You are also welcome to take both, but you need to sign up and I suggest you do so now to ensure you get a seat.

Lightroom Workflow for Beginners

Monday, Mar 7, 2016 – 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM : MC12 (Limited to 50 Students)

Learn how to put Adobe Lightroom to use in your business and personal photography. Whether you just started using Lightroom or just don’t know how to use it effectively, this class with will change the way you work and think about photo post-production. Stop wasting time behind a computer screen and get out taking pictures. I am not often in front of a small classroom so take this opportunity to get more personalized instruction. You many not get this opportunity again.

This class is for Beginner and Intermediate Lightroom users.

Advanced Photography Workflow – Lightroom and Photoshop

Wed, Mar 9, 2016 – 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM : MC44 (Limited to 50 Students)

Your business depends on efficiency in post production. You also need to produce high quality photographic work. Come learn how to put the two together: efficiency and powerful photo editing techniques that will have you creating fantastic images in no time flat. If you’ve seen me before in one of my platform classes, you know how valuable a few hours with me can be. Now get instruction from me up close and personal. Take the things you know about Lightroom to a new level.

This class is for intermediate and advanced Lightroom users. Prepare to still have your mind blown!

Remember, only 50 people will be allowed in each masterclass, so you need to sign up now to insure you have a seat. And be ready for a ton of free giveaways from my incredible sponsors!