One of the biggest downsides about moving away from San Francisco and spending 14 months on the road and 5 months in limbo in Portland before making Phoenix my new home, was that I lost the network I had built up over many years. I had worked with many San Francisco-based bloggers and brands and was constantly invited to events in the city (in fact I still get invitations for events in San Francisco almost every single day). Now that I am living in the Valley of the Sun its time to build my network back up.

Catch Me At Luxe - Christina J Photography
Photo credit: Christina J Photography

That's when the Catch Me at Luxe event came into my life. It's the brilliant brainchild of Bre Geiger of Her Hashtag Life. Bre brings together local bloggers matched up with a dozen local photographers and throws them together at a hip venue and the rest is magic. So I saw Bre advertise this event for early April, I pounced on it!

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Got my hair done. Check.
Got my brows waxed. Check.
Pedicure. Check.
Manicure. Check.

And I had a ball!

Here was my chariot.

Buick Enclave in front of the Graduate Hotel

Now, Mr. Misadventures and I already had a great time driving the Buick Enclave when we hit Route 66, but this was an entirely different experience. Instead of picnic supplies, hiking boots, camera equipment and water, I had a suitcase full of shoes, a wardrobe bag full of clothing options, my camera bag, my Delsey as a purse and a small vintage suitcase full of potential props. I was able to fit it all in the passenger seat next to me and behind the driver's seat so I didn't have to crawl over in the nice dress I wore to get it all in and out of the car.

I also found and used a new feature of the car…the seat cooling system. I've used seat warmers before – love them in cold weather, but I never thought I would need cool air flowing ah…hum…between my legs. But when you are wearing a black dress and its already 90 degrees at noon, you'll take anything. If I am still living in Phoenix my next car definitely MUST have this option!

The day's events took place at the stylish Graduate Hotel in Tempe, a colorful boutique hotel located across the street from Arizona State University. It has a collegiate retro vibe with mid-century modern touches. There is a lot of thought that went into the hotel's design elements and it was the perfect backdrop for the day. The interior designers thought of every detail and I loved the retro touches throughout the hotel.

Graduate Hotel Design Details Her Hashtag Life - Bre Geiger
Photo credit: Her Hashtag Life, Bre Geiger.

I didn't get a lot of time to chat with the bloggers between rotations, but enough to know that they are an eclectic bunch, all fun to be around. You should check out their blogs and get to know them as well.

Currently August 2020

Danielle Nielson with Dani Arizona // @DanielleNNielson

Jessica Dowd with Mom Life Exposed // @MomLifeExpo

Joanna Clute with Motherhood and Merlot // @MotherhoodAndMerlot

Kat Fox with The Foxy Kat // @TheFoxyKat1

Mandy Holmes with The Real Housewife of Scottsdale // @TheRealHouseWifeOfScottsdale

Marisol Avila with All The Prettys // @AllThePrettys

Something that was very clear to me as I looked around the hotel room that myself and the other bloggers used to change clothes and freshen up in: was that I definitely do not have an Arizona wardrobe yet! Everyone else was in light fabrics in floral prints and pastels, I, on the other hand, was in all black for 3 out of 4 wardrobe changes. Maybe by the time I do this again next year, my closet will have adjusted! No matter, I felt on brand for me, and that is all that counts!

One of the reasons I went to this event besides meeting local bloggers was to learn a tip or two about being the subject of lifestyle shots. When you aren't comfortable behind the camera, you have a photographer husband with a focus on landscapes, and is very precise in his composition (hint, he takes a long time to set up a shot), it isn't always the best combo. I think he takes forever and by the time he is ready, I am totally over it, lost my smile, etc. All the photographers at the #CatchMeAtLuxe event were so helpful and I really did learn a few things that I hope is going to help with future photos.

I'm actually not going to share a lot of photos for the event in this post, my goal is to use them over the next coming months. But here is a behind-the-scenes one!

CatchMeAtLuxe- Andi_Mari - Theo and Belle Photography
Photo credit: Mari – Theo and Belle Photography

Check out this talented bunch:

Ashley†Rekittke with Ashley Rose Media // @Ashley_Rose_Photography

Becca Gutierrez with Rusty Metals Photography† // @RustyMetalsPhotography

Cris Guyton with Willow Craft Photography // @WillowCraftPhoto

Christina Johnson with Christina J Photo†// @ChristinaJ_Photography

Cindy Urtuzuastegui with Cindy U Photography // @CindyUPhoto

Crystal Hollman with Crystal Clear Photography // @CrystalClearPhotographyAZ

Elizabeth Jorgensen with Cactus Fox Photography // @CactusFoxPhotography

Maria Swartz with Theo and Belle Photography†// @TheoAndBellePhotography

Ryann Lindsey with Ryann Lindsey Photography // @RyannLindseyPhotography

Sam J Bien Photography // @SamJBien

Sammy Clark with Sammy Clark Photography // @SammyClarkPhotography

Sarah Hoag with Sarah Hoag Photography // @SarahHoagPhotography

Sarah Robinson with Sunshyne Pix // @SunshynePix

I think they had as much fun as the bloggers!

CatchMeatLuxe Graduate Hotel Pool Shoot_Mari - Theo and Belle Photography
Photo credit: Theo and Belle Photography

Each blogger spent 20 minutes with 2 photographers in any part of the hotel they wanted. There was a five-minute break every other session to change photographers and a 25-minute break to change outfits every two rotations. It was all organized perfectly. Of course, that doesn't mean I didn't screw up. In typical Misadventures with Andi fashion, I missed my rotation in the extra hotel room that Bre had reserved, so there will be no lifestyle shots like these in my future…

Jessica Dowd at the Gradutate Hotel_CRYSTALCLEARPHOTOGRAPHY
Photo credit: Jessica Dowd by Crystal Clear Photography

At least not from the Graduate! You'll have to make due with the fabulous photo of Jessica Dowd of Mom Life Exposed who did not forget her rotation time!

Jambu Footwear - Cool Shoes for Spring

I had brought my own camera to take some shots, but the day flew by in a flash and I had zero time to take my own pics. As the event ended and the sun went down I couldn't help to head back up to the rooftop bar for a final shot of the hotel.

Graduate Hotel Tempe Rooftop

On top of the whirlwind day of being the center of attention of 13 photographers, we also received a fabulous swag bag full of fun products. It really made me feel like a celebrity – in for a photo shoot, pampered and taken care of, and then leave with more goodies – I could get used to this life!

#CatchMeAtLuxe Swag Bag_Her Hashtag Life Bre Geiger
Photo credit: Her Hashtag Life, Bre Geiger.

Swag Bag Sponsors:

“I am a Creative” Swag Bags: AdLipps
Journals: Adlipps
Custom Jewelry: @FYUDesigns
Arizona Art Print: LahontanLetterworks
Chocolate Chip Cookies: Megs Cookie Crate
Workout DVD: Sara Haley Fit
Calendars: Rifle Paper Co
Deodorant: Schmidts Naturals
Camera & Cactus Cookies: Sweet Frost Bakery
Hexagon Tiles: Pink by Peach
Confetti Bags, Dream Chaser Print, & Event Shirts: Her Hashtag Life

Behind The Scenes:

None of this would have been possible without a lot of organization and energy!

Graduate Rooftop Cindy U Photography
Photo credit: Cindy U Photography

Event: #CatchMeAtLuxe
Founder & Coordination: Her Hashtag Life
Event Space: Graduate Tempe
BTS Video: Cam + Beck Video
Day of Coordination Assistant: The Ivy Social
Floral: Moelleux Events

How about you? Have you been to an event like this? Would you want to do something similar? Do tell!

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Capturing Andi_Cindy U Photography

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  1. This looks like a cool event. How much was the cost to attend? I imagine the photographs are all fabulous.

  2. Neely Moldovan says:

    I would love to go to an event like this. It seems super cool and fun!

  3. Wow that is a really fun event. I love that it was full of photography too, that’s so much fun. Off to check out some of the links you shared, I am curious about everyone’s experiences and photos 🙂

  4. What an awesome event and such a creative way to make it valuable for all involved. Gorgeous pics that really bring out the best in everyone as well as the space. I’d love to attend something like that but not much going on where I live. Super cool though! Hope you’re well, Andi. 😉

  5. It sounds like an event to attend. I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to chat with other bloggers. That’s one of the best parts!

  6. What a great event! Lovely pictures too and you look great in your black dress! I would probably be one of those that missed one of their rotation times too. LOL. I will have to check all of these blogs out.