Wow! 2018 was the very best and busiest year I have ever had for my photography business, and it feels amazing to be rewarded and recognized by The Knot as a Best of Weddings winner!
“I had a vision for an “outside the box” styled wedding shoot. I wanted to do something different than the usual – greenery, pretty, pastels and more. (Not that I don’t love those too!). Seeing as Halloween was just around the corner I contacted a group of local vendors about doing a dark and mysterious Halloween type wedding. The goal was to create a vision that could actually be a real wedding, so that if engaged couples were to view the styled shoot they could vision themselves having a Halloween wedding. The other goal was to keep it elegant, and not too “themey”.
I am so honoured to be chosen as 1 of 50 photographers across the land to select and photograph a child for the upcoming edition of Beauty Revived Magazine - 50 Beautiful Children. The magazine can be ordered here and there will also be a blog post coming in October that I will link!
I knew right away who I wanted to photograph and tell her story - Ruby.
Im just taking a moment to toot my own horn as I found out this emotional images of my best friend and her daughter, Emme, finished in the Top 100 image for the 2017 Shoot and Share Photo Contest! Out of over 9000 images in the "Emotion and Excitement" category! Yay!
This is one of my favourite images. We were playing on the beach and Emme had a little girl moment and needed her Mama to console her. Who knew me snapping the camera at that moment would become one of my favourite images ever.
Freedom. Imperfections. Anticipation.
Those are just some of the reasons I love shooting film over digital for my own personal work. Let's talk about why.
I look at you and often have to close my eyes and do a double take. I am not entirely sure when you grew up to be a little girl, and not my baby anymore. Since you started Kindergarten last fall you have blossomed into this smarter, more beautiful, and calmer version of yourself. But luckily for me, you still give Mommy cuddles and love and kisses, enough to make me still see that little babe inside of you. :) (and that makes me happy!)
I have to touch on how amazing you are with your little brother lately. The two of you are peas in a pod, always hanging out and running around and playing dress up and having a good time. You teach him right from wrong, and are always by his side ready to help him if he gets stuck or needs something or has a boo-boo. You have become a natural mother-figure to him and that makes me so reassured knowing I can trust you with him at anytime.
In less than 2 months you will be a double big sis as your new sister will be arriving. You already call her "my baby" which sometimes confuses me as I think you are talking about your toy doll! But nope, you are talking about that little one living in my belly as if she is already here. About how you will dress her, and change her, and read to her and teach her everything. It warms my heart and I cannot wait to see the two of you grow up together.
Until then, lets enjoy the last 2 months of you being my baby girl, and please know that you will always be my first baby girl which holds a special spot in my heart.
xoxox Sweet Girl,
film. My first love.
A nice mix of client and personal photos for this new favourites post :)
What did I learn? I need to shoot more film and not be afraid to use it, especially at sessions! They always turn out!
Mix of Portra 400, Portra 800, Fuji 400h, Tri-x
I am SO excited to take part in a "Letters to our Children" blog circle featuring many other amazing photographers again! I took a break last year and really missed this special project. It let me take time each month to write each of my kids a little note, and feature them in a few photos.
This year we have a lot of new photographer faces, many who shoot ONLY film, some hybrid (meaning they shoot both film and digital) and some digital. Its really cool to see all the different styles of photography and even more, to read their special letters!
Once you finish up with my post, click over to Connecticut and Elizabeth's blog to read her letter and view her beautiful children's photography.
Now for my letter ....
To my "big" O,
you are seven. I cannot believe it actually. I look at you (I mean, stare at you) sometimes and just cannot comprehend that you are the tiny peanut that I gave birth to so few years ago. You spend hours a night reading in your bed, you love fact books about dinosaurs or animals (dangerous ones!), sharks, space and anything army related, just like your dad. Lego is a go-to activity as well as colouring with your sister and a ton of creative play.
I am not sure when you turned into this little man. Not so much a child anymore, but a young boy. BUT you are still my little guy, my snuggle-bum, my sweet as pie, tender hearted gentle soul. You take things to heart and often get upset by little things, which I love about you. I know that no matter what you do in life, you will do it with good intentions and kindness.
I had the privilege of attending an amazing wedding workshop back in May, hosted by Laura Olsen Events. The two days were full of amazing inspiration from so many vendors, fun little workshops on styling (which is something I know little about!), and a gazillion opportunities for photographing beautiful people and things! The best part was meeting so many wonderful people, especially Laura, she is full of sunshine and creativity and I am so happy she put this course together for us stylists and photographers! I also got to listen to the AMAZING and colourful Tiffany Pratt. My mind left her talk full and ready to change my whole mindset on my business and photography style. She also inspired me to go home and add a whole crapload of colour to my house and life! Let`s brighten the day, and give no care to what people think. (i had already painted my dining room turquoise a month previous, so I think I may have already been on the right track as to where I wanted to go with my style). Another gem in the mix - the talented and knowledgeable brain behind The Wedding Sparrow, Sara. She is super sweet and helpful and very encouraging. One day I will get featured on her site...its a goal! There are really way too many awesome people I met to list them all, but I will list them all at the bottom of the post!
Overall, the biggest thing I learned is how valuable a wedding planner/stylist is and I will be suggesting to all my new couples they look into hiring one!
I am sharing my film images from the workshop as part of my Film Blog Circle for this month! I was shooting with my Pentax 645n MF film camera, on Portra 400, Portra 800 and also Fuji 400h. It was a good day to shoot all three stocks and compare which I like best. Conclusion - I still do not know! I love how all of them turned out! (Thanks Caribou Lab!)
NOW! MOre filmy eye -candy...pop over to see Erica's blog of summer images! Beeee-utiful!
Another month of joining some other awesome film photographers and showing off our new work! This month I decided to share a few of each one of my 3 little munchkins. Its been awhile since I blogged about them. I think Tri-X is my favourite black and white film stock. A little grainy goodness but overall it always looks pretty awesome.
In order of appearance - my second (hilarious, independent, free-spirited, loving princess tomboy), my newest (sweet-as-pie go with the flow dude), and my oldest (athletic good natured sensitive old-soul)
Head over to Erin's page and check out her film goodness from DISNEY and then follow the circle to see more!! Awesome work!
Did I ever tell you I am sort of a procrastinator when it comes to my personal photography work? (And many other personal things)
So obviously these images are not "new" but seeing as they were shot on a roll of film - Ilford 3200 black and white to be exact- they are new to me! It only took me about 5 months to get the roll processed. I think I need to start processing at home! After falling in love with photography in high school I always said "One day I will have a darkroom in my house". Maybe that someday should be now? Yes, another example of procrastination.....only this time it was about 15 years overdue! (wow..totally just aged myself there!)
Anyhoo...here they are and I am pleased how these turned out with all that grainy goodness! We spent the day at Little Beach in Port Stanley, (my childhood hometown) with some of my best friends and their kids. Good times were had and I love how timeless these images feel!
Head over to another Filmie Friend's site and check out Nicole's monthly film post!
I often have people asking me questions about photography - what camera should I get, should I take classes, can you teach me? I wish i could teach everyone everything I know, but the truth is, I don't know even half of what others know, and I basically taught myself. Success comes from hard work and determination and consistency - stepping outside your comfort zone and doing the hard stuff to make it happen. It takes a willingness to keep learning even after you think you "got it". I love taking courses and workshops and continue to do so. Not only do I learn new techniques, I also make new lifelong friends and find inspiration from new artists.
I have been thinking for awhile about ways to make my blog more personal and hopefully more helpful for other aspiring photographers - whether you are just beginning, using any camera or device to record your moments, and for any reason.
Any Level, Any Camera, Any Reason. Slogan?!
When you are new to photography, or even just new to digital photography, there is a lot to learn and it can be super overwhelming. There is a great tendency to spend more money than we really need to as often we believe that more money means better equipment which in turn means we take better pictures. Not true. An amazing artist can take just as great photographs on a lower end camera and I personally know many talented photographers who use crop sensor "starter" DSLR cameras and you would never know it! So how can we rock what we got?
I am going to list some of the budget friendly ways I grew as a photographer and maybe some of these will help you grow as well!
1. Learn your camera! Cost: FREE!
Read your manual, study the little CD guide that often comes with some cameras, and if you bought second hand and do not have a manual, guess what? I guarantee you can find a copy of your camera's manual online as a free download! Just search the make and model and save to your computer. I promise that just knowing the ins and outs of the camera you have will improve your knowledge enough and you can start taking photos outside of "auto" mode!
I shot with my Canon Rebel T3 for years! And actually I still pull it out as a back up now and then and the more I got to know it, the better my images became with it!
2. Google Search Cost: FREE!
Mr. Google knows everything doesn't he? Well, maybe not everything, but he can USUALLY help us find out what we need to know! When researching our cameras, how to use software, a particular editing technique, or maybe you just want to view images that others have created with the same camera or lens as you, Google will lead the way. Search different keywords, follow links found on other pages. Just spend a few moment to look around, read and learn! I will say that Google has been a great tool for me especially when i was just beginning. It lead me to some of my favourite sources of inspiration, tutorials and has even convinced me NOT to purchase items I maybe did not need :)
3. 50mm prime Lens! Cost: 100-150$
You can purchase a 50mm 1.8 prime lens for under 150$! This "nifty fifty" was the first lens I purchased when I first bought my DSLR. It takes some getting used to as most of us have only used zoom lenses, you will quickly learn to use your feet to zoom by moving closer or farther from your subject! Compared to the lens that comes with your camera, which is usually a 18-55mm lens that changes aperture as you zoom in or out, the nifty fifty will stay put at the aperture you set it at. This will help you learn what settings you prefer and give you more control over the pictures you are taking. The glass in this lens is much better than the kit lens, giving you more clear images. Not to mention you can shoot with an aperture as wide at 1.8 which will give you that blurry background most of us strive for (called bokeh).
4. Join a Forum! Cost: Prices Range
Forums are awesome! You can learn so much from photographers from all levels, from brand spanking new (as in, they haven't even taken the camera out of the box!), to seasoned vets. The only problem may be choosing the right forum for you as there are so many! Personally, the first one I joined was Clickinmoms. I think it may have the largest membership and is chalked FULL of information! I am also a member of The Bloom Forum, which is smaller but I love it for totally different reasons such like the inspiring photographers and all the film talk! Most of the forums offer a free trial so I would suggest trying them out first to see which one speaks to you! Most of them offer workshops which can be pivotal in your learning!
Some suggestions are Clickinmoms, Bloom Forum, In Beauty and Chaos, Light Inspired, Rock the Shot, and so many more!
Hopefully this helps just one of you before you go out and spend way too much money on something you do not need quite yet! Feel free to leave a thought or question below! I would love to hear them! Or let me know if you have a topic you would like to see on a future "Thrifty Thursdays" post!
Check back in two weeks for the next Thrifty Thursday post!
what else can I say? These were just too good not to share. She was helping me test the light in the studio for some upcoming sessions and this is what we got in literally one minute!
Who ever said baking Christmas cookies was a clean event? Especially with two kids...
It was messy, and fun, and an adventure for everyone!
Cookies made with love, heart and soul ♥
I am absolutely loving our new home in Adjala Township (I know, where the heck is that?!) It is outside of Alliston, Ontario. East of Orangeville and West of Newmarket. They call is "God's Country" out here - come visit and you will see why!!!
All images are freelensed with a Canon 85mm 1.8 lens
To book your own documentary session, click the contact link below!