This past week has been a week focused on creating content for upcoming in person events and videos too. I have been giving a great deal of thought to the topics I want to discus and the length of the talks too. How many topics should I fit in? How long should each be? If I am given a 90 minute time slot, how much should I cover and when is it too much?
I came across this quote in my researching this week from Winston Churchill about giving speeches.
At first I just had to laugh, I never would have thought about it quite like that but then again he has a point right?
To me, there is so much more this could be applied to. Speeches, videos, blog posts, sales pages, emails meetings and even conversations. You always want to appropriately cover your topic and the info that needs to be shared while still keeping it interesting and leaving room for questions - how else will you engage and know what your intended audience needs?
I'm going to get a little personal in today's post. I've been a little MIA lately, and I don't love that.
After a summer of travel, family, and photography August kinda hit me hard. In the last month there has been a lot of change in my life and I needed to step back a little. Starting the last week of August we have been...
Moving out the Photographer's Studio
Packing up more than half our stuff at home to put in storage (we have a friend moving in)
Getting ready for back to school for the kiddo, and prepping my classroom too
Now don't get me wrong, I know change is one of the only constants in our lives and I try to embrace it as much as possible. These changes though, they came up quick and shook up all areas of my personal and professional life all at once.
I am excited for the new opportunities for my business in a new space (more on that soon)
I am thrilled to be able to help someone out by giving them a home, and to have one of my closest friends living just downstairs
Going back to school was something Alyssa was looking forward to and I missed my students and families
Change, even change for the better, is often uncomfortable or even painful.
Now, it's time to come back out the other side. The studio is moved. Our stuff is packed and into storage. School is settling into routine.
Thanks for being patient. I look forward to meeting up with you here again very soon!
I'm so stoked to share that the 2018 Desire Map Planner Collection is here! It’s a radically different way to plan your day, because it puts your soul on the agenda.
Check out this review I did of the planner and all the reasons I love it.
This planner puts your desires on the map, and helps you plan your days and weeks according to how you most want to feel. The way it should be. Where most day planner systems are straight dates and to do’s, this planner is so much more…it has helped me combine my basics of a planner with my gratitude journal, my desire map, and my bigger goals not just for my business but for my life.
Based on the wildly popular book by Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map, this planner system incorporates your soul and your to-do list; your gratitude and your goals; your deepest desires with your day-to-day. (If you haven't read it yet, you should check out the Desire Map Book and Workbook while you are there)
The 2018 planner comes with two versions, the Daily and Weekly edition, for the any type of planner person:
The DAILY planner for the highly scheduled, detailed thinkers, and awesome A-types who love keeping track of all the big and little things. This planner takes you through the year day by day, with unique soul prompts, scheduling space, #truthbombs, a Stop Doing list (because saying no is revolutionary) and a super condensed list called 3 Things so you can get your most important to-dos done.
The WEEKLY planner is for the big dreamers, Creatives, and entrepreneurs — the planner-types who want a bird’s eye view of their week. This planner takes a look at your week over a two-page spread, so you can plan your week with a bird’s eye view. Sprinkled with prompts for positive declarations and #truthbombs, the weekly spread also has space for your Core Desired Feelings, daily to-do’s, and a list of 3 Things so you can get your most important to-dos done. This planner also has an End of Week Check-in with unique Soul Prompts from Danielle with space for reflecting on life as you move through it week by week.
When you’re clear on how you want to feel, decisions come to you more easily, you’ll know when to say “No” and when to say “Hell, YES!” And then you can put it in writing. That’s what this planner does for me.
You can buy yours today, and start planning the life you’ve always wanted.
GET YOURS NOW
Loving the planner? Ready to dive in? Keep Reading!
As an affiliate and member of the 2018 planner launch team (yep - I loved my 2017 planner so much they let me in), I have an weekly planner to give away to one lucky reader. Here's how to enter...
Leave a comment on this post telling me something you are grateful for before the end of the day on Sunday September 24th
The winner will be chosen and contacted on Monday Sept 25th.
I can't wait to hear what you are grateful for!
**All links included in this post are affiliate links but all opinions are my own**
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved to dance. She danced before, during, and after dance class. She took ballet, jazz, acro, modern, swing...if it was taught at her studio, she definitely tried it.
Over time that little girl grew up and she let those dance classes go. Don't get me wrong, she still loved dance but now it was in her classroom, her studio, her car or the kitchen when she cooked.
This year It's time for that little girl to bring back the dance in her art. I am excited to announce a new project - "Dancer Dreams" a personal project to capture the beauty, the elegance, and passion every dancer has.
First up, the amazing Alexa agreed to be my first model in the studio and she was AMAZING!! Working with her (and her beautiful mom) in studio to start exploring the options for these dance portraits reconnected me once again to the love I have for dance (and the talent dancers who bring it to life) and the personal project too.
Alexa has a strength, a beauty, and a grace that surpasses the average person's understanding. It was a joy to watch her as she found her groove in front of the camera and really showed her own love of dance.
This post has been on my mind for quite a while but I kept putting it off for one reason, I am hugely passionate about this topic and just didn't know where to even start.
As a photographer, you don't have to convince me the importance of an image. It's a moment captured in time. It's a person captured just as they all for all time. It's a memory that you can see, that you can share. If you have ever had a photo taken or taken photos of any sort yourself, you already know there is magic there.
Where things seem to get muddy is what to do with them after they are taken.
Today i'm here to beg you, please please PLEASE don't let your memories grow up to be jpegs.
The point of a beautiful photograph (whether a portrait, a beautiful landscape, or photographs of the moment you said I do) is to enjoy it. To let them transport you to another place an time. It's a reminder of something (or someone) pretty awesome in your life. You need to be able to touch it, to hold it, and to cherish it every time you see it hanging on the wall or open the pages of an album to it.
There's nothing like holding in your hand a moment that has forever changed you. Tangible proof right there of beauty, strength, and love. Printed images are just more real, more relevant, and more valued.
On another note...
Modern technology has made it easier than ever to grab a quick snapshot of a special moment. We take a million photos today on our phones and cameras to remember a moment or share with someone who isn't there to see it. It's amazing!
The question is...What about when you upgrade your phone? What about when your laptop dies? What happens when your hard drive doesn't work? What happens when you no longer have a way to read that disc of images?
So many people are losing years, decades even, of important memories in the blink of an eye. We can't let that happen anymore. Why?
If we don't start printing our images, We risk becoming a missing or forgotten generation.
If we don't start printing our photos (and labeling them) we will become the generation that is missing from the history books not just in classrooms, but in our families too. Our children will look back on who we were, and won't have anything to look back and remember us. Our Grandchildren may never believe we were ever young. They won't know who were were, what we did, who we loved.
So please, print your most precious images. Frame them. Put them in an album. Create a special place for them. Make them a part of your life today, and a part of your legacy for tomorrow.
So I did something, something a lot of people thought was crazy to do once but then I went and did it again. I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Last time I did this, in 2014, I signed up for a family member and a student fighting cancer and all those we have lost before. I started fundraising and training for this 200+ KM bike right from Toronto to Niagara Falls. I was excited and nervous (and insanely grateful for all the love, encouragement, and donations in support of my ride).
Sadly Auntie never saw me ride past the end of her driveway when she lost her battle just 2 weeks before the ride (but my husband and parents were there cheering us on). My student however, is a success story. After 3 years he's out of the hospital, done his treatments and doing really really well.
This year I am riding in memory of my Aunt, in celebration of my students success, and I also want to ride in support a friend and photography mentor, Jennifer Rozenbaum, in her fight against Breast Cancer. Jen recently underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy but has been incredible open in sharing her entire journey in the hopes of raising awareness and helping others. She's an inspiration!
I want to be a part of making more stories like my students come true through the research, treatment, and care that the Ride to Conquer Cancer funds.
I have set my goals for training and fundraising. Every day I'll be getting closer to reaching my fundraising goal of $2500 and my personal goal of finishing strong (without developing pneumonia this time hopefully). You can help me reach that goal by making a donation on my behalf today. It only takes a second and your gift has the power to change lives for the better.
We are going to take it down a notch and get serious today.
Yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and on to the stage at the Mothers Advocating Mental Health (MAMA) Project Conference. I shared the struggles I have faced, and for the first time publicly shared and named the struggles my daughter has faced this last year. Anxiety. Depression. Eating Disorders. Suicidal thoughts.
I was there to talk about art as a form of expression and coping, and I did, but I was also there to reach out and let others know they are not alone.
As I finished up my talk, I shared this poem from Rumi that I was first introduced to by my mentor Sue Bryce.
This poem hit me right from the start. My initial reaction was something like "What? You want me to invite all those crappy feelings in? Are you nuts?!?!?" but as I walked away from the video it was shared in, I began to remember others things I have been taught that gave me the same gut reaction but have changed the way I think. I gave the poem another chance.
In life, we are going to be confronted with good times and bad. Emotions we enjoy, and emotions we don't. We have an instinct to run away from or avoid those things we don't enjoy. To do everything we can to avoid pain, sorrow, sadness.
We need to recognize that the good comes with the bad. That we can look at those moments and say 'oh, I know you, come on in' instead of fighting it (which just causes us more stress, pain, and anxiety). Every emotion is a house guest, they will not stay forever. Appreciate them while they are there - they are teaching you something, and wish them a fond farewell when they leave, knowing they will return.
"Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For"
Last weekend I took a very quick, last minute trip to Ottawa to see my husband. There was a moment when my husband said 'no kiddo, no dog, no house or computer to worry about - hope you can enjoy this' and I did. I really did.
After a day of no business or housework, mostly unplugged (got stay in touch with my little girl) time...I was so much more relaxed and so grateful.
It was also a bit of a revelation too. Heck, everybody needs a day off sometimes. So from now on...Sunday is my day off. Whenever possible Sunday's are going to be no work - biz, house, or yard - days. It's time for me, my family, and a little self care so the other 6 days of the week I can give everything I do my 110%
I know my future self will be grateful for the things I do on Sundays to allow me to take care of myself to be the best wife, mother, photographer, business owner, educator and friend I can be.
After two fabulous years as one third of the Photographer's Studio, with Erin of Erin Woodgate Photography and Christine of Cheers to You Photography, it's time to say goodbye. As of August 31st, 2017 the Photographer's Studio will be closed and the office for Rebecca Nash Photography will return to my home. (Studio and On Location sessions will still be available throughout)
It amazing to look back on how much I have grown as a photographer and business owner since we moved in back in August of 2015.
I'm excited for the opportunity to...
be with my family more
offer more flexibility in meeting and session times
work in new spaces
invest more in my client service and continuing to grow
take time to find the perfect new space to serve my wedding and portrait clients
Last week my daughter and I took off on a road trip to visit a friend, and fellow photographer Melissa Albert of Melissa J Albert Photography in Bath, Maine.
Melissa and I met in the Spring of 2015 at one of my favourite events...shutterfest. Sadly, thanks to life getting in the way, we haven't been in the same place at the same time since. This girl is a great friend and enthusiastic supporter, she's my shutterfest sister. We talk online almost every day and finally decided enough was enough, it was time for a reunion (and some way over due fun) face to face.
So first thing on Monday morning we hoped in the car with our clothes, cameras, and computers and hit the road for the 12 hour drive. We were so excited to just get there that we only made one pit stop along the way for gas, food, and the washroom. At 8:00pm we arrived to big hugs and a very happy lady.
Our visit was short (only two full days there) and then we were headed home but those two days of visiting cool places, photographing together, and just having fun were amazing!
Thank you Melissa for being all around amazing and for hosting us. I can't wait to return the favour when you get yourself up here to Canada this spring.
(Mama's, you are going to want to watch for this announcement - she does amazing children & teen portraits)
Here are a few of my favourite moments from the trip:
Sitting by the water watching the tide roll in
This sea mist was just magical.
Alyssa had to give one of our mentors (and the creator of shutterfest) Sal Cincotta a run for his money on finding the angle and getting an ab workout in.
This fort was just awesome, we had so much fun exploring.
See that gorgeous girl? That's my daughter Alyssa being photographed by Melissa (I even stepped in front of the camera too - more on that to come)
Maine is definitely on my list of places to visit again with my family and with my camera.
When Tim originally reached out to me I was super excited. Not only had someone at the innovative company Light.Co noticed my work, they wanted me to be part of a project they were working on. (If you haven't heard of Light.Co yet you should check out their new 16 lens small camera - it's got amazing potential and I am definitely hoping to test one out soon.) As part of their #VantagePoint project, Light.Co was reaching out to photographers, asking us to share our favourite image that we have taken and a bit of the why and how of that image.
Right away I was on board but I will admit, this post has taken a lot longer to come together than either of us expected. Why? Because after almost 8 years of photographing professionally, and working with some really amazing people, choosing a favourite image is hard!
So today I introduce you to a few of my favourite images from the last 8 amazing years of photography. These images come from one of my on location styled sessions to create unique stylized portraits and the experience of the whole day with Karla was a huge inspiration for the new line of Contemporary Portraits we introduced in the winter.
We were up at the crack of dawn (ok, a bit before that) - Karla prepped in hair and makeup while I loaded up and made my way (with my hubby) to the beach in Port Stanley before the firsts rays of light began to show over the horizon.
Especially for this session, we had rented a beautiful parachute dress. This dress, formerly a 35 foot military parachute, had strength and femininity. It had structure but still had flow. It was a practical item made beautiful. It represented so much of the strength, softness, and beauty that exists in every woman.
We encountered many struggles along the way including...
it was 4:30am, where was Karla going to change?
There was a storm rolling in, were we going to be able to shoot at all?
Karla would be back lit as the sun rose behind her, how would we make sure she did not become a silhouette?
The dress was massive, how were we going to get it to do what we wanted it to?
The wind was blowing, hard, how do we keep her from being blown away (it was still mostly a parachute after all)?
Equipped with my camera, lenses, reflectors, flashes, and my husband as my assistant we made it happen. We walked the beach, threw the dress for shape and volume, grabbed the dress to help Karla not get blown away, climbed lifeguard towers for a different angles, and outran a torrential downpour to take cover under a local overhang.
In the end though, we had fun, created beautiful portraits (and even better memories), and gave someone an experience that made them feel strong and beautiful. That right there, is what it's all about.
This past weekend my husband and I packed up the car and took off for one of our favourite places, Tobermory, for a weekend. We were there for photographic learning and geeky-ness with one of Canada's award winning outdoor photographers we have the pleasure of calling a mentor and friend, Ethan Meleg. (Check out his work at www.ethanmeleg.com)
Two summers ago my husband Ross and I attended Ethan's Landscape Photography Workshop in Killarney and it was amazing! Beautiful landscapes, great people, and some time to get back to the love of photography.
This time we joined Ethan for something a little more detailed, wildflowers.
The first thing I learned...we have a heck of a lot more beautiful wildflowers growing naturally in our province then I ever knew. Like...more than 50 varieties of Orchids alone with 40 or so of them calling the Bruce Penninsula home. I never would have know that if not for this Wildflower Photography Workshop.
From there it was about getting back to basics. Unlike a wedding day or studio portrait session, I could not move my subject to get the lighting or backdrop I wanted. I had to look around me and find the best options based on the position of the flower. I also had to explore things like...
my vantage point (which flowers should be photographed side on? which ones look better photographed straight down on? which angle gives me the best background and lighting?)
my depth of field (how much of the background do I want to show? is it adding to the image or distracting from it?)
and so much more!
It really took me out of my comfort zone but in some ways it took me back to basics.
I am excited to share more about the weekend and the awesomeness that happened there. For today though, I hope you enjoy this little video of some of my first images from the weekend.
One of my photography mentors, the beautiful Sue Bryce, has shown these beautiful images she creates that have the feel of a master portrait artist - it's not just a photograph, it's almost a painting! It has that same elegance, artistry, and softness. It was so much of what I wanted to bring to my new Contemporary Elegance Portraits.
When Sue began talking about painting her own backdrops I blew it off...I could never do that. I am NOT a painter.
Then, with a little encouragement (and a big ole kick in the rear) from people who know me, who love me, who believe in me, and who are learning along side me, I took a look at Sue's videos and info. Suddenly it was like wow...I might actually be able to do this. I should at least try.
I thought this was going to the easy part but half an hour after I walked in to look at paint chips, I walked out still a little unsure.
In the end, I decided on two beautiful colours inspired by Pantone's 2016 Colours of the Year. Serenity & Rose Quartz.
These colours were just so beautiful, soft and feminine that I knew they were a great place to start.
The first hurdle...I planned for a 5'x7' backdrop and now I am painting 9'x12' canvases instead. WHERE THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO THIS?
It only took a little time to figure out I could tape down some plastic on the carpet in our London portrait studio and paint the backdrops on top. It's was time to get started - I was excited but nervous. I painted for a few hours and then it was time to go home.
All night I thought about the backdrops - did I put enough paint on? did I put too much on? will the colour look good?
But the next morning I walked in to this....
I couldn't be happier with how these turned out (and I'm already thinking about making more)
Photographing them! I can't wait to show you the results
On the outside, I'm a one woman show making photography awesomeness happen all on my own but in reality I have a lot of people to thank for every single image I create.
To the brides who make their details available to me
To the families who listen careful and trust me to capture them
To the friends who share me with their friends
To my family who pose for endless test images
To my hair and makeup team who add to the experience
To the husband that holds reflectors and throws dresses (yep, thats him you see through the vents of the parachute in the picture above)
To the daughter who brings me water, fetches props, and takes behind the scene photos
To the educators who teach me
To the photographers and artists who inspire me
To the amazing people who step in front of my camera
In October of 2016 I decided to make a radical change. I went from something close to my natural hair colour to...purple hair. And when I say purple, I mean purple!
I have done a number of different hair colours throughout my life ranging from a light blonde to an almost black with a whole lot of blondes, browns and reds in between. I enjoy changing it up from time to time. But this, this crazy bright purple. It was different.
I had been thinking about purple for more than two years (ever since I first saw Jewels Grey on Creative Live and then met her at Shutterfest - that woman is seriously awesome) but just never had the courage to commit to it 100% and follow through. What if it didn't look good? What if clients didn't trust me anymore? What if people looked at me differently?
So what finally pushed me to get it done? I was going in to get my hair done for my wedding anniversary (at my husbands suggestion and offer to pay for it too - talk about bonus points) so I asked him what he thought I should do - blonde, red or purple. He (being the honest and blunt man he is) turned around and said 'well, we both know you're too chicken to do the purple so whichever one of the other two you like'.
In that moment my brain only registered one thing...
You are probably thinking - whats the big deal? So you changed your hair colour. Here's the big deal, for the first 31 years of my life one of my most used skills in my day to day life is to blend into the background and be invisible whenever I can. Don't get me wrong, I have stepped on stage in front of 500 photographers including some of my mentors and spoken, I have performed in plays and concerts, and on a wedding day just try to get me to stop directing the family members during portraits BUT outside of those times when I choose to step forward to be seen, I enjoy blending into the background.
Now, as I stepped into my day job, my business and my community I definately stood out. For more than 6 months, I never stepped into a room and blended in. People stopped me on the street. People did a double talk as I walked by. Whether I wanted them to or not, people noticed me everywhere I went.
It was an eye opening experience and I learned a lot of lessons along the way.