Time to find Fairbanks’ Cutest Baby!

Think you have the cutest baby in town? You might! Send me your snapshots of your 2011 cuties by November 26! On December 1st, an album of all the babies will go live on our Facebook page, and all your friends will have ten days to vote! The babies with the top 5 votes will be finalists and a panel of non-biased judges will decide our 3 winners, to be announced December 15th.


First, EVERYBODY who enters will go into my database and when I am running certain baby offers, you will be the FIRST to know. I occasionally do call people for free sessions as well, when I am looking for a specific look or age group and am feeling particularly creative, or if I want to try out a new prop and don’t have anyone in a set age scheduled. 🙂

The top 3 finalists will receive a free portrait session (baby only) and may be used for future promotions, advertising, or receive a featured spot on our website.

The baby in third place will receive 5 fully retouched photographer’s choice images on a CD printable to 5×7 and 5 web-sized files with logo for internet sharing.

Second place will receive 10  fully retouched photographer’s choice images on a CD printable to 5×7 and 10 web-sized files with logo for internet sharing. They will also receive a gift certificate for $100 that can be used for a 2012 session.

Our first place baby will receive 20 fully retouched photographer’s choice images on a CD printable to 8×10, 20 web-sized files with logo for internet sharing, a free membership into our Watch Me Grow club for 2012 (a $199 value), a $50 print credit per session, a prevalent showcase spot on our website, and will be our Facebook profile picture for the month after their session!

Top 3 will also win a custom t-shirt that proclaims their status as Fairbanks’ Cutest Baby.

How to enter:
Email a snapshot photograph (copyrighted/studio images will not be accepted) to jen@jennieleigh.com by November 26.

Include (copy and paste and fill out) following information:
Baby’s first name and last initial
Baby’s gender (sometimes we can’t always tell from names!)
Baby’s date of birth
Parents name
Parents telephone number
Parents mailing address (optional) if you’d like to be put on my mailing list for special offers or are willing to be called for a muse session or a prop test. 🙂


  • One entry per baby. (Please do not send me 5 shots and have me pick the cutest one, that’s your job, and yes, people have tried that before)
  • Photo must be smaller than 500KB (try to keep around 400×600 pixels or smaller, please!)
  • Baby can ONLY be entered by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Twins may be entered together, but may not enter twice.
  • Baby must have been born in 2011. If this contest goes well, we may have a toddler contest down the road…
  • Entry deadline Nov 26.
  • Make sure photo is IN FOCUS and shows baby clearly.
  • Submission of your photo and entry into the contest is automatically acknowledging that your child will appear on our Facebook page for the duration of the contest, and- if selected- on our website and any advertising pieces deemed appropriate. Child will be listed with a first name and last initial.
  • After your photo is received and accepted, you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours letting you know that you are now entered, and you should start sharing our page with friends so they can vote, if you haven’t done so already!


  • Friends must “like” our page to vote. Simply send them to our site and have them vote for your baby!
  • One vote per person, NOT per account. Yes they need to have an account to vote, but do not create duplicate accounts to vote more than once. That’s just not fair.
  • After voting is completed on 12/10/11, our judges will determine the top 3 from our five finalists and the winners will be announced December 15!

So start sending in those pics! I know there are some gorgeous babies around this town, so there better not be a shortage of entries!! 🙂

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Art and Music in Schools (just a mild rant since I doubt anyone is listening anyway)

When I was a kid- WAAAY back in the 80’s… we went to music class once a week. And in that class… tada! We SANG! I still, to this day remember some of the songs we sang in my fifth grade music class- “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and “The Cat Came Back” were two of my favorites that year. We had our own little things of sheet music to follow and we actually sang. And you know what else? My school had an art room, and it was full of paint and contact paper and who knows what else- and once or twice a week we went to art class and actually learned how to make things and got to expand our creative little minds. I think my favorite thing I made in art class was a helium balloon. We took this thin metallic paper and got to use little tiny irons and heat the two sides together and then blow them up. It was SO cool.

Music and art are part of my core. I think the ONLY thing that helped me survive middle school was my choir class and my wonderful choir teacher Ms. Hasbrouck, who made me feel like I actually was a valuable person in the world- a rare find when you’re 12. She would let me sit in her classroom if I got to school early and just visit or listen to music or whatever I needed to do. That choir room was my happy place through the most miserable years of my life. There are songs that to this day I can’t listen to without picturing one of my classmates singing it. It was probably my favorite school memory from all my school years combined.

It is because of this that I am particularly horrified with what they’re (not) teaching my children in public school. They have no art classes. No art room. No hour and a half a week to devote to just spinning those creative wheels. They still do art projects here and there, and some of them are beautiful- don’t get me wrong I still love when my kids bring me home projects. But when you look in the hallway at school- EVERYONE HAS THE SAME EXACT THING. There is no creativity, no free thinking, just “put this on the paper and make your parents think we’re letting you be creative”. That’s how it feels anyway. I asked my daughter (who likes to paint) to paint on a blank canvas I have- for me to hang in my dining room. She asks me what she should paint? I say “I don’t know, paint what you feel!” Blank stare. “Paint something abstract”. What does abstract mean? *smack my head*. This isn’t second or third grade this is sixth grade. Every sixth grader in America should know what “abstract” means! But alas- creative thinking is not in the budget.
My daughter got an S+ in music on her report card. My son got an S. That’s fine, he’s not big on singing, I can see that, I say. “We don’t sing”. ??? What do you do? “Watch movies like Charlie Brown and The Headless Horsemen”. *Headdesk.

I really, truly never understood the fuss several ago why everyone was making public service ads about music and art in the schools… but at that time I didn’t have kids or they were babies and it didn’t really register with me how real that was. In my mind at the time, I was more like “what are you talking about, the music and art programs in my schools were great!”. Now I see, my eyes are open, and I have to take it upon myself- as these kids #1 teacher- to make sure they get as much creative encouragement as I possibly can. And giving them a good music heritage is pretty good too. My kids are all Journey fans. Mission accomplished.

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Today was EXHAUSTING! Had a great time shooting some new headshots for young Natalie, who has that serious face down pretty good! I look forward to seeing her career unfold. Here’s a quick peek and you can see more on my facebook page, if you haven’t found it yet just do a quick search for Jennie Leigh Photography!

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~A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears.~
Woodrow Wyatt

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I figured… since this is a PHOTOGRAPHY blog… the least I can do is post some photos once in a while…
Here is my newest little muse. Isn’t she adorable?

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Baby, it’s cold outside!

Well, after an extremely chaotic month in which I had no internet other than on my phone, I’m back, broadcasting now from my new home for the next few years- Fairbanks, Alaska! I’ve only been here a few days and so far I like it- though I haven’t left my house in 2 days. Hey, I’m unpacking, cut me some slack!! 🙂 So far, the biggest differences I’ve noticed around here are:

1. It’s obviously pretty cold. And white. However, it is pretty strange to hear someone say “it’s almost warm enough to snow” because it generally doesn’t snow once it gets below a certain temperature. Speaking of the snow, if you’re a friend on facebook you’ll already know, I geeked out the other night at Walmart when I saw some snowflakes on my truck’s window that actually looked like a snowflake!

2. The birds. Back home we have a bird called a crow. It’s annoying and loud and makes a mess in our trash, but I have never been more than annoyed by them. Up here they have “WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT!” crows. I’m talking Schwartzebirdie. Like a normal crow bred with an eagle. I’m not even kidding I saw one probably as tall as a beagle or cocker spaniel- walking on a pile of snow in the parking lot at Fred Meyer’s- and stick his head into the snow and pull out a hammer. More like a wooden tinker toy mallet, but still. Now I’m starting to believe my husband when he told me that gigantor sized bird poo on the side of the house came from a crow. Big as my hand, maybe bigger (haven’t stuck my hand out there to compare).

3. The last difference I’ll post about today- everyone here is SO NICE! Coming from El Paso, I’m always on the defensive and waiting for someone to be rude- but here that just doesn’t happen! I have been completely shocked by how nice people are. Not just polite but stopping you in a parking lot to have a conversation- people you haven’t ever seen before in your life. My husband now knows pretty much the whole life story of our mailman.  I am really liking it here.

Even though it’s cold.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with the people they love, and if you can’t be with your families, hopefully you have some great friends you can share the day with! Have a safe Black Friday! 16 days until we leave for Alaska!

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