Michele Celentano Portrait Artist

Thank you for your interest in my portrait photography.  You are about to embark on a truly enjoyable journey for you and your family.

My passion is to create an amazing portrait experience and to design portraits that will not only be a part of your

home decor but a treasured memory.

There is no “perfect” time capture your family.  You will never regret having a family portrait ~ but someday you may regret not having one.



Office Collage
How 152 square feet changed my life.

Before moving to Arizona in 2002, I had a professional suite where I met with wedding clients and worked from in NY. After moving and starting a new portrait business from my home in Arizona I quickly grew out of the home office and moved into a 2000 square foot studio. I loved the studio and stayed there for five years. In 2008 I remarried and my new husband Paul and I were looking for a bigger house for our expanded family. I was also at the time a little tired of the studio and the huge overhead. The market had crashed and folks just put professional family photography on the backburner. I also realized that the majority of my work was shot on location and the huge studio just didn’t make sense. At the same time Paul and I stumbled on an amazing house that provided space for me to work and a separate space to meet with clients. I was really excited about working from home since my daughter Anna was 8 then and I was happy to be more available to her and home after school.
Flash forward five and a half years…..

The house we bought was much bigger than I originally wanted but with three girls and the option of working from home it was a great deal. Our two oldest are married and in college now and the house seemed to become way too much for us. Paul is a full time firefighter and he is also part owner in a bicycle shop. With my travel and teaching schedule we are really never home long enough to totally take care of this huge house. We have been talking about downsizing to condo for a few years but thought it would be in California and after Paul retires in 9 years. Honestly, we were both done with the “maintenance ” of a big house. The pool, the landscaping, the minor repairs…. etc.…. we were pretty done.

About 3 weeks ago Paul mentions that a brand new condo development opened a few miles from our house. We stopped in to look at the models and three days later went back with a deposit and signed on to buy a brand new 1,850 square foot condo.
Of course, pending the sale of our current house.

I called a good friend and realtor to put our house on the market and then it hit me – I need to move my office/business. It was a priority for me since I wanted to have a seamless transition and no interruption of business.
Two weeks later I am in a brand new 152 square foot professional suite for client meetings and a remote office.
I did not realize how much of a house hermit and how lazy I had gotten working from home. Some people are super disciplined and can successfully work from home. I am way too much of an ADD Artist for that. The funny thing is I didn’t even know how lazy I had gotten working from home until I set up the new office.

This is my second working day here at the new office and I am in LOVE with it. It feels like a workspace not a home space. There are other professionals working in the building and that makes me feel more productive and more professional. I have 4 clients meetings scheduled for this week already and so far everyone loves the space.
Whether or not my current house sells and we move into the condo, moving my office was one of the best things I have done in a long time. I can honestly say it is changing my life. Work is now work and home is now home. No longer can I be easily distracted by laundry, cleaning, and dogs, the TV or by Paul being home and feeling guilty that I am working. No more PJ’s while sitting at my desk. It’s sad but there were days when I knew I had no meetings scheduled that I would be in my PJ’s all day. Personally for me, I am far more productive when I get my self-dressed for the day and when I out of the house.

I think we all fall into ruts we don’t even realize we are in. Sometimes it takes a quick and sudden change to snap us out of the daze we can fall into. I am looking forward to being more productive, coming up with new ideas for my business and I think I’m most excited about knowing I have a space to work in that will give me some separation from home.

152 square feet changed my life in one short week…. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Good things come in small packages.

My new office is located in the Tramanto Commons on North Valley Parkway.
34975 North Valley Pkwy
Phoenix AZ 85086




What to wear 2

Between the months of February and April accounts are crunching numbers like crazy and preparing taxes for their clients.  Between the months of September and December portrait photographers are clicking shutters like crazy and preparing holiday cards for their clients.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The holidays are often the busiest and most hectic time of the year for portrait photographers.  Most years my holiday decorations are not up until December 20th or later.  From now until December 20th I’m happily consumed with family portraits, editing, designing holiday cards and preparing portrait gifts for my clients.  After enjoying my crazy Christmas Eve feast of the seven fish, Christmas morning I’m wondering how may smiles are on the faces of grandparents opening portraits of their grandchildren.

I love seeing families year after year and it makes me happy knowing that the families I have photographed have printed portraits that they love and that will always be important to them.

I know I’ve said it before but I will say it again.  Photography is so much more that a career to me – Photographs are truly a passion of mine.  Photographs are our tangible memories.  Each passing year they become more precious to us.  I wholeheartedly believe every family should take the time to be photographed together.  Don’t put it off any longer.  You will never regret having family portraits taken with your family but there may come a day when you regret not having them.

Sessions are still available through the end of November.

Holiday session fees are $295 and include a $150 credit towards your holiday cards or portrait order.

Contact me with any questions or to schedule your family session.  480-399-3255

-Michele Celentano




Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 2.56.44 PM

Life is a crazy series of little self evolutions.  At least it is for me.  Self-improvement, redefining, reinventing, growing personally and in my craft are all important elements of my daily life.  There is a constant dull roar in my mind of, “How can I improve?  How can I challenge myself?  Where is there room for growth?”  I recently spent time in Roberto Valenzuela’s workshop and then a few days at the CreativeLive studios.  I absolutely loved being a student and learning from other great photographers.  One of my new favorites is Lindsay Alder – what an incredible photographer and teacher!  She is not even 30 years old and is leaving an serious mark on our industry already.  I can’t even tell you how much I learned from her while sitting behind the scenes at CL.  Her studio lighting is “dope” (I had to use dope)! Now, I’m in total need of a 20″ white beauty dish!

Kevin Kubota can make anything out of nothing.  I loved watching him construct light panels out of PVC pipe.   I’m not that handy but it sure did get me thinking about other cool things I could make myself.

I’m headed out to a session this afternoon and I am excited to create something I have never done before.  Inspired by Roberto, Lindsay and so many others.

Back to the new website….   I was in need of a little make over and ready for a lighter theme and feel.   My color scheme was a bit dark and serious and it was time to infuse my own self growth and light heartedness into my work.  So here it is…..   Lighter, brighter, fresh and reinvented.  It’s nearly done with a few text additions – it will be finished.

Look around, let me know what you think.  Send me a note.

Thank for spending some time with me today-

Michele


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Michele Celentano Portrait Artist