The beautiful displays at the Wedluxe Bridal Show by Wedluxe Magazine inspired so many, including me. Florals. Gowns. Sequin walls. And so much more!Read More
Join me in meeting Brow & Lash Guru (an gorgeous business babe) Kimberly Buckley. Kimberly is the owner of the London West location of Waxon Bar and a woman I admire. I recently had a chance to hear her speak at the Blushing Babes Society’s Blushing Babes Brunch.Read More
Beauty is about so much more than what we see on the outside. It's about who we are. What we believe in. How we treat others, How we overcome struggles. It's about how we love ourselves. Beauty is so much more than a pretty face, great hair or a perfect figure.
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I'm excited to bring the Beauty Is portrait project to life here in London, Ontario. Stay tuned for more about the project and for amazing stories of strength and beauty from these amazing ladies!
Ever wonder why some people see beauty everywhere while others never seem to see it?
If we cannot find beauty within ourselves, how can we recognize and appreciate the beauty around us. There is beauty in your kindness. Their is beauty in your love. There is beauty in your movement. There is beauty in your strength. There is beauty in your vulnerability. There is beauty in the simple rhythm of breaths in and out. There is so much beauty inside each and every one of us, if we only stop for a moment to see it.
As I dive deep into the Beauty Is project, I see more and more that our ability to see beauty in others and in the world around us is so closely tied to our ability to recognize the beauty in ourselves and love ourselves for it. As women step in front of my camera for a portrait, they are vulnerable in that moment and trusting that I can see and capture that inner beauty.
What is one thing you think if beautiful about yourself? (hint - you don't need to look in the mirror for this one)
In our busy lives we are always looking to hustle harder and do more. Often we just don't know where to start.
This is where I have found myself lately - so much I want to do.
In my journey to do more, accomplish more, and make things happen I got a little overwhelmed. And when I get overwhelmed, sometimes I just shut down.
Then someone shared this quote with me. I may not know every step I am going to take but it's time to lift up my foot.
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?
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.
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.
So many people see a list of things I have accomplished and thing I am strong and brave. They even go so far as so call me superwoman.
Now, I truly believe that each and every woman has a strength and beauty that makes her a Superwoman in her own right, but, I am still working on knowing and loving my own internal Superwoman.
Brave is not a word I would use to describe myself. I am scared of rejection. I am scared of failure. I am scared of my own shadow half of the time. In the past Brave would not have been anywhere on my list of words to describe myself but, it's time for change.
This past year I have stepped out of the shadows and been brave. Brave enough to be noticed and unable to hide when I changed my hair from my natural colour to a bright purple. Brave enough to launch a new line of services I hold close to my heart that I hoped others would love as much. Brave enough to reach out to the media to help share the news of my new portraits and even appearing on live TV. Brave enough to book my own portrait session, flaws and all, to celebrate who I am.
"The Brave May Not Live Forever, But the Cautious Do Not Live At All" - Meg Cabot
How are you being brave today?
For all the Planners out there - I'm with you!
Many people spend time in Decemmber planning out their 2017. You are setting goals. You are planning out your calendar. You are figuring out what you can do to achieve those goals. You are reflecting on what was good in 2016 (so you can have more of this) and what wasn't so good in 2016 (so you can avoid more of it if possible).
As you set those goals and plan for a fabulous year, I challenge you to do one thing.
Whether it's for one goal or for all of them...'Shoot for the Moon, Even if you Miss You will Land Among The Stars' We both know we can't always achieve every goal, but, if you make your goals bigger and better - even if you don't make it, how much closer will you be than if you keep your goals only as big as what you think you can achieve?
Believe in yourself and dream big my friend!