Teacher and photographer Whitney Leonard loves life and is fully able to capture that complicated emotion with her camera.
1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Whitney Leonard; high school photojournalism teacher and yearbook advisor at Little Rock Central High School and freelance photographer at Whitney Flora Photography; I have lived in Little Rock since 2003-- in west Little Rock, Hillcrest (a few times) and near midtown; My husband and I live on the North side of the river now, though we both work and play in Little Rock. We miss being there very much and we grimace at the idea that we aren't "Little Rockers" anymore.
2. You spend your days around high school students. Do you dispense a lot of advice? I do give a lot of advice. It is probably the most fun part of my job and why I love it so much. Young people are at the age where they are really close to being the type of person they will be for the rest of their lives. And I love that I might have an impact on them. I try to make them look at the world realistically and critically. Thoughtfully. Sometimes my advice is saged, wise and cuts deep into their soul. Sometimes it is more “Real Housewives”-esque, like when I try to explain why they won’t get away with throwing a raging house party while their folks are out of town.
3. Where do you and your husband go for date night? We have been doing a lot better about making sure when we go on dates we try new places. We are big fans of theater so we go to The Rep, The Robinson Center and some shows at Verizon Arena when we can. We are also big fans of food, so we try to visit new places (so we don't go to the same old place every week). We also try to support local, small artists and groups as much as possible. We love to go to the Food Truck Fest, Etsy Little Rock events, any art or music festival. We are both creatures of habit so we try to do anything new and possibly exciting that comes around. Otherwise, we would just stay at home and Netflix The West Wing and eat take out.
4. What is your favorite LR backdrop for your photographs? The truth is my favorite spot to photograph my clients is any place that matters to them--special locations, favorite parks, and their homes. I love doing in home photography because it is so personal and comfortable for everyone. There are places in the Little Rock area where you have to fight for space from other photographers any time the sun is out: The Clinton Center, Two Rivers Park, The Old Mill, The River Market area… I try to steer clients away from those places and into more unique opportunities. I’m always trying to find new and unique places that help reflect my clients personalities so I am not pigeon-holing them into places I feel comfortable with.
5. If you had to eat at only one LR restaurant for a month, what would it be? Man. What a horrible question! How do I answer that?! Maybe Sakura. The best fried rice I have ever had. I love The Red Door. They have a lobster & crab cake that is so good it makes me angry. South on Main makes a smoked salmon deviled egg that makes me proud to be a Southerner. For pizza, I would only ever pick Damgoode Pies--I refuse to eat anything else. Community Bakery has the best chicken salad I have ever had (I regularly order it by the pound to keep on hand) and I would literally slap my husband in the face for their French Silk Pie. So, in summary, if I had to eat at only one restaurant I choose: Sakura, Red Door, South on Main, Damgoode Pies and Community Bakery.
Follow Whitney's blogging adventures and take advantage of her spring photo special.