December 31, 2010

Favorite Images of 2010

What an absolutely incredible year it has been for me - both behind the camera and in front.  I don't even think I could begin to add up all the hours I spent behind my camera this year, and I've loved every moment.  I enjoyed using my camera to capture the world as I see it.  I also used my camera to help change lives, and that was one of my favorite things about this year...I helped to save hundreds of shelter dogs, I raised money for breast cancer research, and I inspired someone to move forward during the most difficult of circumstances.  I cannot tell you how choosing to give back to my community through photography has impacted my life...I only know that it has done so on a very deep, significant level.

I'd like to share with you my favorite images of 2010.  As I look through these images, I am quickly reminded of how fortunate I am to be able to do what I love every day - it's definitely a blessing.  (A special thank you to my ridiculously supportive fiance and number one fan, Jason, for his encouragement this year.)  I hope you will enjoy these images as much as I do!  For even more favorite images, visit

Click on the image to enlarge (for the best possible viewing experience), and back arrow to return.

2010 certainly will go down in my books as a favorite year, but I don't have a problem with saying goodbye to it because there is so much to look forward to in 2011!  I would like to wish you an amazing new year.  It is my hope that it brings us all continued happiness, good health and endless possibilities to achieve even our wildest dreams.  See you on the flip side, camera in hand!

~ Jennifer Leigh

December 28, 2010

Strange Flowers and Bee Butts

Since I've got the week off, I decided to put away the camera and enjoy relaxing for a change.  But with 2010 quickly coming to a close, my goal of finishing post-production on all images I've taken this year forced me to work a little tonight.  (Don't worry - a gin and tonic is nearby.  Thanks, bartender Jason!)

Following are some random nature shots I took on Jekyll Island in between sessions during my Images For A Cure photo session marathon late November.  I have no idea what the white and purple flowering plant is called, but the bees seemed to be in seventh heaven! 

Click on the image to enlarge (best view), back arrow to return.  Enjoy!

December 27, 2010

Run, Jenny Leigh, Run

I'm not quite sure what made me consider running the Sidney Lanier Bridge.  I drove across it a few days ago and thought...I should run this bridge.  I've been talking about it every day since.  It was quite a humorous thought, even I knew that, considering I haven't worked out in...well, let's not talk about that.  And then there was that other teeny tiny factor: I HATE running.  So with those two details in mind, my announcing that I was going to run the longest spanning bridge in the state of Georgia was laughable at best.

But then something possessed me to dig up some clothes suitable for running and put on my shoes today at 12:30pm.  Jason contributed some running gloves and his trusty running sweatshirt.  I could see it in his eyes that he was being supportive but also thought that I should maybe I should work up to this run because it's a challenge on a good day.  And I kinda realized my craziness in the back of my mind, but my stubbornness threw me in the car and drove me down the street before I could talk myself out of it.

When the bridge came into sight, it sure looked a lot bigger than I remembered it.  And when the wind shook my car as I drove over it, I thought...this may not be a good experience.  But again, my stubbornness took over, parked my car and walked my body to the base of the bridge.  Wow.  Yeah, it was much longer and taller (a mere 480 feet) than I remembered it.  I didn't look at it but for a brief moment.  I pressed play on my ipod, took a deep breath and started running.

About a half mile up the north side of the bridge, I thought...I will be happy if I can just make it to the one mile mark a little past the top because let's face it...on flat land and on a non-windy day, this non-runner is usually burnt out after about a mile.

The higher I ran, the stronger the wind blew.  I started laughing as I thought...I am running the Sidney Lanier Bridge - this is cool and nuts at the same time. 

I make it to the one mile mark and shout out with excitement.  Okay, so going down the other side can't be that bad.  And it wasn't.  But then I had to turn around and do it all over again.  Oy.  Now the wind was really blowing on my way up, but somehow, I just kept on going.  Oh, how I wanted to stop.  But my brain also kept saying, "How cool would it be to say that on my first try, I ran the whole thing?"  When I made it to the top for the second time, I decided that there really wasn't a good reason to stop running, and I soon found myself at my car.

What was even more shocking?  It only took me 45 minutes.  Now how far did I run?  I had no clue.  So I hopped in my car and drove my course...and it came to 3.6 miles exactly.

Wait...  What?  3.6 miles?!  I  JUST RAN 3.6 MILES?!  ME???  That's the most I've ever run at once in my entire life!

I cannot tell you how cool that felt.  What an accomplishment for me!  Me...the non-runner.  3.6 miles...half of which was a fairly steep incline...and on a very windy only 45 minutes.  And...I liked it!

I think I may be hooked to running on the bridge.  (Who is this person typing?  Do I know her?)  I don't know...we'll see.  Running the bridge is waaaay better than running on flat land.  But it's running.  I don't like running.  How is it that I like running on the bridge?  I don't think I'm going to question it...and just embrace it instead.

I accomplished something really cool today...and that feels good.

(Photo: Dana Oliver) 


December 22, 2010

Photography Announcement!

A few weeks ago, I was asked to submit some photos for possible use on  Very exciting!  But that didn't match my excitement when I learned that some were published to the website today!  Woohoo!  Check them out by clicking on the following links...

Thank you to Jennifer for this wonderful opportunity and for even using my logo!  (a nice surprise)  I'm looking forward to submitting more of my work this week.

Merry early Christmas to me!

December 14, 2010

The Modern Toy Soldier

Update:  This shot won the Sweet Shot Tuesday contest!  Thank you, my3boybarians, for the $100 gift certificate to MCP Actions!!  Can't wait to go shopping!

Jason and I have a wooden advent calendar with drawers. Our tradition is we each fill half the 25 drawers of Christmas with candy and trinkets for the other person. Jason's first box was filled with Legos that created this...

Sweet Shot Day

Felix Navidad!

Meet Felix - a former resident at a local high-kill shelter, where I have been volunteering as their dog photographer for the past 2.5 years.  Yep...DOG photographer.  I'm allergic to cats!  But when I saw these gorgeous green eyes peering at me from his kennel, how could I not risk the itchy nose and skin festival to snap a few pictures of him?  He was adopted shortly after this image was posted to the shelter's website.

Many amazing dogs and cats are anxiously awaiting their forever homes in shelters near you.  Why not give the perfect gift of a saved life this Christmas?  You'll get many tail wags or purrs in appreciation.

Runners up...
MacKenzie, my beautiful pit bull mix (rescue)

Angela, former shelter resident (adopted)

To assist in your search for the perfect four-legged companion, visit

December 5, 2010

Images For A Cure

When I heard about the opportunity to utilize my passion for photography to help people in need, I immediately wanted in.  This fall, I joined Images for a Cure - a group of 250 photographers scattered around the world, who created their own photography events and donated 100% of the session fees to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

How could I not want to participate?  I wholeheartedly believe in using my camera to create, inspire, capture connections and memorialize special moments...and any chance I get to use my camera to do these things AND support a great cause, I am there. 

I held a photo session marathon on November 20th and had the pleasure of photographing four awesome families on beautiful Jekyll Island.  (One of the ladies I photographed was a breast cancer survivor!)  Despite starting the day with an overcast sky and a few rain drops, we all had a wonderful time, and I was beyond pleased with the results!

My event raised $200 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and together, the IFAC photographers exceeded their goal of $15,000!  I couldn't be more proud of our achievement.

A big "thank you" to my clients for their participation!

The Battle Family

 The Martins

Ashley & Mickey (with a cameo appearance by Chastity)

The Riner & Cox Families

Stay tuned next October/November for my next Images for a Cure photo event - I will definitely be participating again!

December 3, 2010

Blogging Break!

Hey, there!  Since I've returned from vacation a few weeks ago, I've been on a blogging break!  Miss me?  I'll be back soon to visually catch you up on what all has been happening.  But for now, here is the verbal version:

Super successful Images for a Cure photo session marathon, Turkey Day at home with a huge spread of food for 4 (two humans, two 4-leggeds), Black Friday shopping extravanza, took down autumn and decorated the house for Christmas (it looks UH-MAZING in here), designed client Christmas cards, deal in the works for shooting this year's spring formal again for the BCA group (fun times!), was asked/signed the contract to be the sole photographer for this year's DDR races on Saint Simons Island, helped throw the best bridal shower/bachelorette party ever, applied for two jobs at the college and got offers for both (will announce the decision tomorrow!), and was asked to submit wedding photos to a local mag for a spread next month.  Whew!  Yeah, that was my last 2 weeks, and in short...IT ROCKED!  Still made a lot of time for my family in the evening and worked while they were asleep.  I am feeling like Super Woman...even if it's the Super Woman with Bags Under Her Eyes edition.  hehe  Looking forward to settling down starting Dec 18th and enjoying the holiday.  I hope all of you will get a chance to do the same!

You know I wouldn't leave you without a random image, so here you on vacation.  Photo by my handsome hubby-to-be, editing by me.  (A piece of my heart is still there in the mountains...)  I promise to post about my Images for a Cure event and edit some vacay pics soon, just as soon as I'm done taking care of my loyal clients.  Until then, seasons greetings!

November 21, 2010

Was Hiding...Decided to Return

For those of you who know a little about me, you know that my life has been in the fast lane for a while.  For example, two weeks ago, I raised $1000 for the Alzheimer's Association and participated in the Memory Walk as a team captain, I closed the musical production of The Pajama Game, Mom came to visit, I prepped for my Images of a Cure photo session marathon to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, I interviewed for a new job and applied for another, I learned from my advertising agency that I will be the face of a brand new car dealership in Vermont, and I shot about 20 commercials in Atlanta for this and other potential new dealerships/clients.  All in the span of one week.  Whew.

But then something strange...atypical...surprising happened: I went on vacation.  No, not one of those vacations where you are so busy that when you come home, you need a vacation from vacationing.  (I have been on plenty of those.)  Jason and I had planned a vacation in the Northern Georgia mountains for a few months, and while I loved everything I was doing that kept me busy and active in my community, I desperately longed for some uninterrupted time with my family, 4-legged children included.  During all the craziness of the past few months, I held close the thought that the mountains were waiting for me at the finish line.

And so, we went.  And. I. Loved. Every. Minute.  The cabin we rented was INCREDIBLE.  Sitting high on the mountain, we had breath-taking views from the main balcony and the private balcony from our room.  We enjoyed the hot tub several times a day, every day.  Every night was warmed with a fire in either the indoor or outdoor fireplace.  We watched movies, listened to jazz music, took long walks with the 4-legged children, and explored the fall-colored mountain terrain through the lenses of our cameras.  We ate entirely too much homemade soups/chowders/stews and bread and drank entirely too much wine.  We took naps on the reclining couch.  And it was PERFECT.

After a week, we reluctantly returned home, even though home is pretty darn good.  And I've just put in a 5-hour day photographing some amazing families on Jekyll Island for my Images for a Cure photo session event.  But I vow for the next however long I can manage it to take it slow and enjoy the little things in life.  Thank you, mountains, for reminding me of some simple pleasures.

I'll get around to editing my vacation pics one of these days.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with these: images from our final morning in the mountains.  Spectacular.


Oh, I love you.

November 4, 2010

The Elusive Egret

One incredibly beautiful morning on my drive to work - you know, the kind of morning where the sun softly bleeds through the trees, producing a thousand tiny rays of enchanting golden light and you feel as if something magical is taking place - something caught my eye on the passenger's side of the road.  It was an egret standing in a still pond of water, the color of his plumage starkly contrasting the dark hue of his surroundings and a delicate decaying tree served as his backdrop.  In short, my photographer's eye immediately decided it was a perfect sight to photograph.  This was also a morning - of course - that I chose to leave my camera at home.  Don't you just hate that?!

For 6 months, I have carried with me a mental photograph of that egret, and for 6 months, the egret has stubbornly refused to recreate my mental photograph...until this morning.  This particular morning was incredibly hazy, and while I had half given up on the egret's return, I halfheartedly looked over at the pond and decaying tree, expecting to be disappointed yet again.  And there he was!  While he wasn't standing in the pond, he was handsomely perched in the tree.  I didn't complain.  I took several images of him with his reflection, but the pond was rippling in the gentle breeze, so I opted to crop out the reflection.  Isn't he beautiful?  This is just a quick edit - I'm definitely not through with him.

Thank you, Mr. Egret, for some peace of mind.  Now to capture you again, but in that beautiful morning light...

October 30, 2010

Little Miss G - Black & White


The Paper Mama

This week's photo challenge on the paper mama blog is black and white, featuring a child.  Since I only have four-legged "children," I had to reach into my archives and pull out some of my favorite human child shots.  Meet Little Miss G - a little bundle of energy with pigtails.  This is one of my favorite shots of her - I love the background lighting catching her wisps of hair dancing in the breeze and THOSE EYES!  If you can believe it, I didn't edit her eyes at all.  If it weren't for the conversion to black and white and a added little texture around the edges, this would be SOOC (straight out of the camera, for those folks who aren't familiar with photog lingo).

The Paper Mama