We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Hope Mancuso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah Hope, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
Everybody, Always by Bob Goff has absolutely changed my life. Within reading just a few short chapters, I knew it would be my favorite book! Bob Goff is a Christian who doesn’t focus on the “rules” of religion or being a Christ follower. His approach is to simply love people like Jesus did, that’s what matters most. We can work every day at trying to follow the rules and be the right kind of Christian, but what it’s really about is loving everybody, always. Reading this book and learning from it has helped me allow so much more grace into my life. And not just grace for others, but for myself as well. And it reminds me that the most important thing in life will always come back to loving people well and selflessly.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a portrait photographer in Scottsdale, Arizona. I believe our world if full of life, joy and color and I want the photos that I take to express that. I aim for my photos to be an elevated version of real life, natural and timeless, yet bold and vibrant. I absolutely love taking photos, but my favorite thing about what I do is getting the chance to meet new people and help them feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera! Everybody deserves to feel beautiful and to have photos that share that beauty! I never planned to be a business woman, I just wanted to take pictures and making a living from it. But you can’t have one without the other. If I wanted to have a career as a photographer, I had to learn how to be a good business owner as well. It hasn’t been easy for me. Taking photos came very naturally to me, but being business savvy did not. I spent so much time thinking that in order to be a good business person, you had to care more about making money than you cared about people. It’s been a struggle for me to find the balance of being able to be both a successful business person and also a loving person who puts people first. I think I’m finally getting there. I no longer think of “business” as a bad word. It’s a tool that can help me to love people and serve them while providing a living for myself doing something I enjoy!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would take them to Mancuso’s Restaurant in downtown Phoenix! Does this happen to be my family’s restaurant? Yes! Am I little biased? Maybe. And that is exactly why I’d take them there, to show them my family’s fine dining restaurant and be able to share some of my grandma’s recipes through having a meal there. It would also give them a chance to say hi to my family, since 5 members of them work at the restaurant and you’ll inevitably run into one of them if you go! 😉 Another favorite local restaurant of mine is The Henry! I tell all out-of-towners about this spot because the atmosphere is absolutely incredible and so charming! It has everything from coffee and brunch to dinner and a co-working space! It also gives you some great spots for a few photos! 😉 And if they’re not from the desert, I would love to show them some of my favorite desert locations! Like McDowell Sonoran Preserve in North Scottsdale! Or White Tank Mountain Regional Park where there is no shortage of saguaros and beautiful mountain views! One more outdoor location I would love to share would be South Mountain! You can drive all the way to the top of the mountain where you get a break taking view of the entire city of Phoenix! It’s absolutely worth the drive up and gives you such a unique perspective!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Abbey Kyhl and the Women Who Shine mastermind have been so essential when it comes to how I’ve grown my business in this past year! I’m so grateful to all the guidance, encouragement and support I get from them! 🙂
Other: https://leahhopephotography.client-gallery.com/gallery/print-shop – This is my print shop where you can purchase prints of cactus, and a few other things, that I’ve captured! But mostly cactus! 😉
The photo of me was taken by Quianna with Quianna Marie Photography. All the other photos were taken by me! 🙂