Mandara Spa Fort Collins & ISUN | Product PhotograPhy | Jimena Peck

There is a feeling you get when you speak with someone who truly embodies the nature of their products and services.

In a world where everyone seems to have the next wellness "fix," it can be hard to discern who is just trying to sell you something from who cares about helping you achieve health. What I really appreciate about Mandara Skin and Body Spa is the authentic commitment to helping people feel vibrant and beautiful- on a soulful level.

If you get the chance to meet Laura Hughes, Mandara's founder, you will instantly recognize that feeling of witnessing passion in action. Not only does Laura glow, but she has created a breathtaking space for people to come heal and be themselves.

When Laura and I met first met to discuss how she wanted move forward with her business, I felt so humbled. She reminded me how fortunate I am to be selective about who I work with.. .I get to choose my clients based on how their intentions align with the work I do. 

There was already so much genuine energy and beauty within her business model, and now it was my job to help translate and capture it through photography.

My approach has always been to work with the remarkable preexisting elements of someone's work, and create something visually relatable. The visual story of Mandara was already there- nothing was fabricated for the shoot. Nothing was staged for me.  From the natural light, to the real services, real ingredients, and real people,

The entire team at Mandara is wonderful. They are skilled professionals who share a common desire to be of service for healing and harmony within the community.  

Mandara Spa is tucked away in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins. When you walk in, the muscles in your body instantly relax- the space is both dazzling and tranquil. It is adorned with amazing wood accents, all hand crafted by Craig Hughes - Colorado Reclaim woodartist -. You will also notice all of the wonderful smells...it's an elixir of all the phenomenal products used (and maybe the sweet smoke of sage or palo santo burning).

One of my favorite natural beauty products, ISUN, is used and sold here. They are hand-crafted, high performance, alchemical creations made with pure wildcrafted and organic plant ingredients here in Colorado. WOW! All the nutrients and life-force of the plants are kept intact by their cold-processing and energy enhancing techniques. Have a look and try them if you can. They are worth every penny. 

Nowadays It is so easy to overlook self-care. I am very thankful that Fort Collins has this place for people to come unwind and nourish themselves.

As a constant client of Mandara I always leave feeling not only blissful, but empowered and ready to take on life. 

I felt I was able to fully illustrate the moments

and wholesome nature of the space.

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ISUN lotion and skincare products
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Woman applying ISUN lotion
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The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market | Fort Collins | Jimena Peck

I feel so fortunate to have been chosen to take the pictures for the new Emporium restaurant in Fort Collins. Of course, when I heard they serve wine and cheese platters, it was a done deal. 

Fort Collins has been said to have one of the highest percentages of restaurants per capita. This creates healthy competition, which hopefully will lead to a wider selection of good, local, and hand-crafted food options.

The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market offers a place for people to come and actually savor incredible food. In addition to the restaurant, they offer wine-tasting and I've happened to found some special Argentine grapes. The space is vibrant, welcoming, and is a wonderful addition to a community who values intimacy and connection. While Old Town already boasts dozens of breweries, bars, and is a beer connoisseur's galore...the Emporium is a fresh space and showcases an eclectic wine market. The atmosphere brought me back to the heart of Argentina, where meals are enjoyed slowly- with good company and a glass of quality wine. 

As a foodie, I was totally blissing out during this shoot. Every little detail in these dishes was taken into consideration. The sense of effortlessness and simplicity were met with divine flavors and textures. The passion with which the dishes were creating definitely attributed to how brilliant and delicious these pictures turned out. I had a great time collaborating with these folks, and would highly recommend checking it out!

Here's a sneak peek of some of the dishes we captured.

Enjoy and Buen Apetito!

http://emporiumftcollins.com/

Colorado Horses and Yoga Photography | Jimena Peck

As someone who grew up in Argentina, I had the privilege of interacting with plenty of wonderful horses. Working on Mind.Body.Horse with Carrie Fraser and Courtney Mulica made me feel right at home. I met Carrie through a collaboration I did with Lululemon, for whom she is an ambassador. She is an extraordinary yoga instructor and equestrian, who also assisted in the development of Yoga2Life (a coach training program). Courtney is the co-founder and  go-to consultant for helping the business tell their story, implement strategies, and cultivate genuine connections.

With an immense amount of heart, passion, and energy, Mind.Body.Horse eagerly launched in 2018. It is a platform, both online and in person, dedicated to fitness, flexibility, and mindset conditioning for equestrians. They are committed to bringing the benefits of yoga to the equestrian athlete. It was amazing to encounter such a holistic approach to connecting with the horse. Strengthening the bond between rider and horse, as well as the link between rider and her/his own breath and body is sure to have a profound affect on performance. 

I am so thrilled to have been invited to partake in the development of this inspiring and progressive undertaking. I had so much fun photographing/recording these ladies and her horses.

One of the Jessica Greer Dressage horses, Harley, and I really hit it off. He was being uncharacteristically affectionate toward me, and I was having a blast capturing his stunning demeanor. I later found out that he is actually from Argentina...which I probably could have guessed all along. We are two Pampeanos living the life in the rockies. Probably both missing home, but finding homies wherever we are at.

The Branding was designed by the talented Belen Croce, part of www.estudio-be.com

www.mindbodyhorse.com

See more about Carrie Fraser for Lululemon

See more about Courtney Mulica Here

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Cannabis Photography in Colorado & California | Jimena Peck

CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA FARMING

I had the chance to be around the Emerald Triangle on assignment when, in November 2016, voters in California approved a ballot measure known as Proposition 64, which legalized the adult recreational use of Marijuana.

This initiative made California the largest legal Marijuana market in the world and has transformed the way farms approach business. Trinity County is known as one of the largest cannabis producing regions in America. Its ancient redwoods conceal small towns that are home to many marijuana farms and a legion of migrant workers known as “trimmigrants”.

What is it like to be a trimmer?

Preparing marijuana for distribution can be grueling both physically and mentally.

First, the flowers must be harvested, dried, and reduced to a trimmable size. Then, with great finesse, trimmers snip stray leaves/stems, and carefully shape the bud. Experienced laborers can tactfully maneuver the bud with one hand, and then quickly snip in a way that is graceful and mesmerizing with the other.

Many spend 17 hours a day seated while working. A few short breaks are taken for meals, or to walk up the hill to find cell phone service. Some farms may have someone preparing family-style meals, and if you’re super lucky- wifi. Most trimmers would agree that a comfy chair, engaging podcast, and sharp pair of scissors, keep you sane.

Change is in the air

Before the legalization proposition passed, laborers traveled from all over the world to work on these cannabis farms. In some cases the set-up was legal, and in many instances, the trimmers were working under the table, illegally. For those dedicated to the long hours and high-stakes, there was a lot of cash to be made.

The implementation of hourly wages, the use of machinery, and overhead costs of legalization have cut into the funds once used to pay trimmers. Some trimmers have opted to get paid a daily rate, regardless of how many pounds they trim. Others have learned to operate equipment and participate in the actual farming for an hourly wage.

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cannabis & tomatoes


Tomatoes are from the family Solanaceae which are also called the "Nightshades"- this also includes potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tobacco. They are a sub-tropical plant and need the soil to be at least 50 degrees before planting. 
Most people will tell you that if you can grow cannabis, you can grow tomatoes and I have found that to be true. Almost every Cannabis farm in Northern California has the massive, juicy tomatoes hanging on the vine. It's the perfect snack for the tired growers and farm workers.

From the vibrant hues of purple, aquamarine, and green, to the sweet and pungent aroma...working with marijuana is an art form. Small-scale, craft cannabis will carry on the region's tradition of cultivating marijuana using environmentally sound practices. 

 

ABOUT THE FARMS AND FUTURE

Most of the small-scale farms don’t use chemicals, pesticides or even liquid fertilizers. They try to go one step further than the trendy organic farming. They aim for long-term sustainability: focusing on the soil, and cultivating the living soil. 

Even though hydroponic, aeroponic, vertical, and other such indoor cultivation techniques can, of course, produce some high-quality herb at commercial scale, it's the generational familiarity and craftsmanship of artisanal cultivators that makes their weed legendary. 


ON ASSIGNMENT


JOURNAL

 

 

Colorado CorePower Yoga Portraits | Jimena Peck

I am a big Yoga Lover. The opportunity to take pictures in one of my favorite yoga spots in Colorado was such a honor!

I began at Corepower Yoga a while back. My friend Monica worked there and she mentioned they offer a free week of yoga- it was wintertime and the idea of stretching in a warm and cozy room after long shooting days, sounded perfect. Over the years it has been wonderful to get to know the unique style of the different instructors and classes. Some days I go to restorative classes to rest and unwind from the week. Other times I take hot power classes, which kick my butt and leave me feeling totally energized. 

Photographing the instructors was such a fun chance to get to know them on a different level. Hanging out with them all outside of class made me realize they are not just the "zen" people I know. They are silly, quick to laugh, super kind, quirky, and all come from diverse backgrounds. It's amazing what happens when you ask a room full of instructors to just play on their mats. I got to witness them get in their zone, both individually and collectively. 

Each and every one of these yogis is such a special instructor. I believe the pictures turned out so lovely because of the energy and passion radiating from each instructor...not to mention they are simply beauitful people both inside and out. 

The background was made by local wood artist Craig by Colorado Reclaim.

 

COREPOWER YOGA -  PORTRATIS

COREPOWER YOGA - THE FLOW

Colorado Reclaim by Jimena Peck

Colorado Reclaim is specialized in premium, handcrafted furnishings. Their business is located in Northern Colorado, where their materials are acquired and used in designing and creating all the furnishings. From barn wood to rusty metal, their design blends international flare with Colorado’s rugged roots.
I feel so grateful to be part of this creative community that keeps me awake and nourished everyday.
www.coloradoreclaim.com

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