Fabulous Fun with Haley

When two red heads get together, anything can happen!

Haley and I had a great time at Eighteen10 Cafe in London photographing some fabulous branding portraits for her. If you don’t know Haley, she’s a financial wiz who’s excited about learning, about helping others, and building connection within the community. I suspect this gorgeous young lady is going to be one to watch in so many ways.

The other thing I love about Haley - she loves to have fun! Once we finished up the more formal part of her shoot we took a little wander down to the Western Fair Market here in London, Ontario for some more casual portraits. And what better way to end a shoot than running through the splash pad?

I hope when you look at these images, you see the stunningly beautiful and fantastic woman that I have had the pleasure of getting to know.

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Alignment Coach Amy AllChurch (of the Babe Squad) at the Blushing Babes Brunch

Alignment Coach Amy AllChurch (of the Babe Squad) at the Blushing Babes Brunch

Today I’m thrilled to be introducing you to another amazing lady here in London, Ontario. I had an opportunity a few months back to get Amy in front of my camera for a few minutes at the Blushing Babes Brunch and knew I wanted to feature her here.

Amy is the boss babe behind the Babe Squad. I hardly know how to put into word what it is that Amy does, so I’m going to use her words. Beyond being an educator online & off, she’s a wife, a mom, and a seriously amazing person who helps people understand themselves better and reach their goals.

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Beauty Is...

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!

Dancer Dreams...a personal project

 

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.

 

Why printed photos excite me in a way that digitals never do

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. 

Ornate vintage white picture frame with portrait

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. 

Black Leather Portfolio with Portraits in White Mats

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.

White Leather Frame Folio Box with Portraits in White Mats

The excitement of Creating - Painting new backdrops

The Inspiration....

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.

 

Choosing Colours...

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.

 

Painting...

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)

 

Up next....

Photographing them! I can't wait to show you the results

Sneak Peek - Karla's Portraits

 

This is Karla

Karla is a Mother

Karla is a Student

Karla is an Employee

Karla is Partner

Karla is a Dreamer

Karla is a Hustler

but more than anything else...

Karla is an amazingly strong and beautiful woman inside and out.

 

 

Over the last few years I have had the pleasure of getting to know and photograph this beautiful woman. She has shared her hopes and dreams as well as her struggles with me. I was honoured to have her sit in front of my camera, in full celebration of exactly who she is, to capture these portraits.

I just loved watching Karla spin and twirl as she smiled and laughed in this ball gown, skirt swishing around here. She looked stunning of course but it was the joy that flowed out of her in that moment that made that moment everything it was. 

 

 

Join Us - Celebration of Beauty

Join us in the studio on Friday February 17th 2017 from   

This past week I have had the pleasure of being interviewed on Daytime London on Rogers TV and been able to share a bit of who I am on The Gem too. 

It's been amazing and the response to the new Contemporary Elegance Portraits has really touched my heart. Sharing my own story and something so close to my heart is always a little nerve wracking. 

Thank you for being such an open loving community. I'm forever grateful and I hope to get to express it to each of you this Friday night.

 

Find all the details on the Facebook Event for A Celebration of Beauty - Yours!

 

Portrait Sneak Peek - Alyssa

Preteen Alyssa joined me in studio for the new Contemporary Elegance Portrait Experience. As the inspiration for the new line of studio portraits, including professional hair and makeup, it seemed only fitting Alyssa should be the first to experience it. I wanted to show her the beauty and strength she possesses inside and out. I wanted to capture the beautiful young woman she is and show her exactly what I see.  

Today I am excited to share a sneak peek of a few of Alyssa's images. 

Giving Back in 2017 - Why Mental Health?

I am so excited to be taking steps to get back to my childhood of serving and supporting the community I live in.The last few years I have struggled with how I could give back in a way that mattered when I couldn't commit time in the amount and with the consistency I really wanted to.  Then, as 2016 came to a close and I was spending time focusing on reflection in my business and personal life the pieces just seemed to fall into place. There was a way I could share my successes, that I could get involved with a cause that means so much to me, and that just felt right. (If you missed the announcement go check out the post) I am a little overwhelmed with the supportive response I have received already since the announcement but some questions keep coming up...

 

1) Why did you choose to support mental health?

2) Which organizations in particular are you supporting?

  So, if you are curious too let's dive in!

 

1) Why did you choose to support mental health organizations in London & beyond?

Not long after my daughter was born I was diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder. There was no major event leading up to the diagnosis. No massive panic attacks, no episodes of hiding from the world crying...it was just life as usual as far as I knew but someone recognized things might be the norm for me but there might be something more to it. I will never be able to thank Kay, my college program coordinator, enough for recommending I go for learning disability testing.

I went through what seemed like a million hours of testing (I think it was actually only 8 hours) and came out thinking “I’m going to look stupid, what was I thinking - there’s nothing wrong with me I’m just a lazy procrastinator and too sensitive to everything”

I still remember sitting in the office waiting for the results a few weeks later. There was a huge lump in my throat, I couldn’t sit still, I felt like I was on fire from the inside. One of the people who had tested me walked in, a smile on her face, and told me we had some things to discuss. I wasn’t just silly for thinking I didn’t do things or learn like other people - I had a reason. I have learning difficulties and a general anxiety disorder.

At first I didn’t know how to react. What does this mean? Am I going to be able to finish college? Does this mean I’m going to fail? Do I have to go to a special school?

I cannot even begin to express the sense of relief that washed over me in the next few minutes. The woman came around the desk, sat down next to me and said ‘don’t worry - we have a plan to help’. We spent the next few minutes going over exactly where my learning difficulties and anxiety were, what they meant, and what could be done to support me so I could continue on in my program just like everyone else. 

2) Which organizations are you supporting?

Canadian Mental Health Association

The CMHA is a great resource for information and has been working to reduce the stigma around mental health while increasing the availability of services for all ages throughout Canada.

Current stats suggest 1 in every 5 people struggle with mental illness. Look at you facebook friends list - how many of your friends and family may be struggling but too afraid of being judged to speak up and ask for the support they need? Vanier Family Services

This is one of the first places that was able to respond and to offer support when my daughter began to struggle with her self image an more.

It wasn't until we were there talking to a member of the team that I really realized the range of mental health services they offered to children and families.