La Encantada Christmas Carol

December 13, 2010

By Barbara Goldman

© Jackie Alpers

La Encantada Shopping mall 2010 holiday campaign.

The wealth of good feelings from Christmas joy can come in many forms. Award-winning editorial, advertising and fine art photographer Jackie Alpers can attest to this personally with her recent  holiday ad campaign shot for La Encantada, an upscale open air mall in Arizona.

Alpers photographs food, lifestyle and social topics for advertising, cookbooks, fiction and non-fiction book jackets, magazine articles, news providers and television shows. Her images explore the emotional, psychological and spiritual relationships that people, (herself included), have with food, drink, and the world around them. 

Her clients include: Random House, Knopf, Simon & Schuster, The Globe Pequot Press, Canyon Ranch, Loews Hotels, NBC/Universal,, U.S. News & World Report, AARP Bulletin  and The U.S. White House.   Alpers’ extensive experience also includes four years as the managing photo editor at the groundbreaking Swanstock Agency, where she worked alongside the world’s top fine art photographers, photo editors and art directors.

The 2010 holiday campaign for La Encantada was especially conceived with Alpers in mind, certainly an honor to any photographer. The campaign was developed, produced and styled by La Encantada Creative Marketing Director Melanie Hebron Sutton and Marketing Associate Adriana Barillari with layout by Heidi Zielger-Voll @ Heidi5.  Alpers’ style and easy way of working was well known to the client as she had shot a successful 2008 La Encantada Luxury Holiday Catalog for them.  “Collaborating with Jackie from get-go is simple – our ideas are always on the same page; and the end result are photos that translate such clever style that we desired for the project.” Melanie Sutton, CMD – Marketing Manager.

Sutton contacted Alpers directly and told she her that she envisioned a male model and in black and white. “Collaborating with Jackie from get-go is simple – our ideas are always on the same page and the end result are photos that translate such clever style that we desired for the project,” explains CMD Sutton. They hashed out the rest of the concept over a glass of wine and both wanted the holiday campaign to be story driven. “We really liked the idea of classic, cinematic, timeless images. We kept referencing movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and A Christmas Story. Then we thought of all of the different classic gifts that the mall had to offer,” says Alpers.  

The concept they developed to promote the upscale La Encantada open air shopping mall   illustrates the story of a dapper man-about-town as he picks up last minute holiday gifts for his family… and himself.  Their hero, dressed in a Brooks Brother’s suit, stops at Tiffany & Co. where he buys a huge, four carat diamond anniversary ring. After that, he decides he could use a drink and a smoke, so he stops at a wine bar, removes a Cuban from his Tommy Bahama cigar case, and enjoys a glass of fine brandy. He chooses a new pair of specs, straps a holiday wreath from the Pottery Barn on his vintage Mercedes and tops it all off by heading off into the evening to the Humane Society and adopting a new   four-legged friend. “We used real adoptable animals from the Humane Society who did an amazing job modeling,” adds Alpers, and their male model John O. from S.I.M. Agency in Phoenix also happened to be a coach for the Chicago White Sox.  La Encantada’s  Barillari even stepped in as a Tiffany’s shop girl to participate in the festive production.

Alpers faced some interesting obstacles on the shoot, but  they all turned out to be wonderful with  a touch of the holiday magic for happy endings. “We photographed the first dog from the Pawsh/Humane Society of Southern Arizona and wanted to use that same dog for the final shot, however it was adopted that morning,” says Sutton.  Their alternate, understudy dog Jazzy made the final shot, but they had to repeat the shot inside Pawsh in order for the storyline to make sense. Also  their model was still a bit “green and needed some direction on how to relax facial expressions. Their simple solution  — a stiff shot of whiskey.  And another happy note, Jazzy the understudy was adopted the following day. The 2010 La Encantada holiday campaign certainly proved It’s Wonderful Life.

The images for the La Encantada shopping center holiday guide have been running as a seven-page magazine insert. Alpers’ holiday campaign was a success in so many ways. For the shelter dogs it was the best kind of photo op – an opportunity to get adopted.

Alpers is the recipient of numerous awards from American Photography, The Photographer’s Master Cup, The American Assoc. of Media Photographers and the International Photography Awards (Lucie’s). In 2004 she received the  Black & White Spider Award’s, Merit of Excellence, and in 2001 she was awarded a bronze medal from the London Photographic Awards. She is also an experienced educator who speaks on industry related topics at workshops and universities. 

You can see more of  Jackie Alpers work at and read more on her blog at:


Client: La Enantada Shopping Mall

La Encantada  In House: 

Creative Marketing Director Melanie Hebron Sutton 

Marketing Associate- Adriana Barillari

Layout by Heidi Zielger-Voll @ Heidi5

Photographer- Jackie Alpers