Sheree and Blake: Kelowna Maternity Photos

So I was hoping to be doing this post on my new blog, but when I went to load the photos they don’t center nicely in the middle like they do on this blog. Not sure why.  It is very frustrating! So it may be a few more weeks before the new blog is up and running, unfortunatly!

I met Sheree at the show I did at St.Josephs Elementary School back in November. She stopped by my table to inquire about a maternity session (she was very very newly pregnant then!)

I met with Sheree and her husband Blake at Knox Mountain. When thinking about locations for this session, Marco and I went for a drive one night to do some location scouting. When he realized I had never been to Knox Mountain, he drove me to the top.  I was SO excited! I knew I had to do a session here! It was stunning!!! Long grass, stunning views, thick forest, and lots and lots of lake! So I was beyond excited when Sheree and Blake agreed to have their photoshoot done there!

Sheree and Blake were amazing! Sheree is just glowing, and she has fantastic hair! :)  They are both so excited to meet their baby girl sometime around the end of May!

They were so in love! Their kissing pictures were so romantic :)

I LOVED Sheree’s choice for shirt colour! It’s her favourite colour!

Congrats Sheree and Blake! Can’t wait to hear all about your daughter when she arrives! :)


The Happiness Project

I follow a lot of blogs…photographers and non-photographers. Over breakfast and morning tea, while Luca explores his toys, I read blogs. I have been admiring a few blogs that have projects. Like 101 in 1001. (which is to accomplish 101 goals in 1001 days), or 250 books in one year, or the 365 photo project (where you take and post a photo everyday for one year). There are so many of these kinds of projects and I was inspired. I wanted to do one. But I wanted to do one that worked for me. One that I loved. One that I was more likely to follow.

Last week while grocery shopping, I stumbled across the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and in the spur of the moment bought it. I am SO glad I did. This book is literally changing my life without changing it. It is so full of amazing ideas, that I read most of the chapters twice! I have found my project! Here is the “back cover commercial” that hooked me in the store!

Gretchen had a good marriage, two healthy daughers, and work she loved-but one day stuck on a city bus, she realized that time was flashing by, and she wasn’t thinking enough about the things that really mattered. “I should have a happiness project” she decided. She spent the next year test driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Each month, she pursued a different set of resolutions: go to sleep earlier, quit nagging, forget the results, or take time to be silly. Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness that already existed in her life.

So starting May 1, I am beginning my Happiness Project. The book clearly says that not everyones happiness project will look the same, or take the same route. If you are interested in starting one along with me, check out her blog where she has tools and ideas for starting your own!

 I can’t wait to see where mine takes me!

The Kinley’s: Maple Ridge 6 month photos

First off a big thanks to Luca for me getting these done so fast! He hasn’t been feeling well at all, and is on antibiotics…which in turn has had him taking 4-5 hours worth of naps since Monday. So I have had LOTS of time on my hands to get work done!

I first met Michelle, Jay and Mitchell when I took Michelle’s maternity photos way back last July! Linden made his appearance in August and I took his newborn photos last September! Michelle emailed me a few months ago asking me to photograph Linden at 6 months! Wow has he ever gotten big!

I absolutely love it when I get to photograph maternity, newborn, 6 months and on year! It’s my absolute favourite! I get to see and photograph that amazing journey from belly to busy one year old! I just love it! Watching them grow is so fun! Linden has definitly grown and has quite the fun little personality! He was full of smiles and his two eye teeth definitly make him live up to his nickname “vampire boy” haha!

Mitchell is still the proud and protective big brother! As long as I got lots of pictures of just the two of them together he was happy! They are such a great family and I can’t wait to photograph Linden at one year! Can’t wait to see the mischief he is up to then :)

I just love how smitten Mitchell is with his little brother!

Some Mama and baby photos are always a must :)

This one is by far my favourite!

FAQ: Editing Photos

I have had a few people during photosessions ask about my post processing. While out for dinner with Tanis and her hubby last weekend we were talking how most people don’t know that every photo we take has to have some post processing done to it. We both shoot in RAW, and this format has had no processing done to it. It can’t be printed or uploaded on to a website.

So I thought I would go through what I do to every picture from the minute it is taken to the minute I burn into on a disc for my clients!

First I upload the image to my computer….it looks something like this… (I HATE showing people what the RAW files look like…they are so boring, and look awful!)

Once I have uploaded all the RAW files into their own folder I import them all into Lightroom 3. In lightroom I touch up the exposure, the contrast, boost the colours a little bit and finally export them into Photoshop. Here is what the photo from above looks like by the time I export it out.

Much better hey? This is where I will leave a lot of the photos. Many of them don’t need too much done after this point. My favourite photos, I will take into Photoshop and play around with. Try some different actions, and filters to see what happens. I will turn many of them into black and white as well!

Here are a few I liked!

Most of them are very subtle differences but differences that change the entire feel of the photo! Some are warmer in colour, others are brighter, and some more contrasted! I usually play around with the photos until I get my favourite mixture and then I save!

After that I watermark my 10-15 favourites and put them on my facebook page and upload them to my blog for my blogpost! I then burn them onto a disc and either hand deliver or mail the disc to the clients!

Time wise a portrait session takes me anywhere from 2- 3 hours and a wedding can take anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on the amount of time I spent at the wedding and how large the wedding was!

Hope that helps! :)

A walk with Gramma and Papa

Yesterday we drove down to Abbotsford to visit my family, and for some work this weekend. It was so nice to see my family! For some reason the break between these past two visits has seemed SO so SO long!

This afternoon we took Luca for a walk. Growing up my Dad was all about the walks…every Sunday after church we would head to a local trail and go for a walk. As a child I greatly disliked this, but now that I am older I so appreciate that time we spent together. So today we took Luca for a walk! He LOVED it!

Luca just loves my Dad (Papa)! He follows him around everywhere yelling “Pa-PA!, PA-PA” and gets to excited everytime he sees him. No one, other than Marco, can get Luca laughing like my Dad does! So for about an hour Luca chased after my Dad!

I was so excited to see before we went for a walk some of my Dad’s flowers up :) Spring is really here!

Luca smelled the pinecone!

Luca of course had to stop and pick up everything that looked interesting!

Helping Gramma push the stroller!

The big open field was his favourite! So much to see :)

My Mom yelled “Freedom” when she took him out of the stroller, so he threw his hands up in the air and was so excited! haha it was perfect!

He carried that rock around for atleast half an hour! Such a boy!

Mmmmm tasty rock!

Showing Papa his rock :)

not so tasty dirt!

YAY Spring!

Papa tickling his nose with flowers!

Best seat on the way home!

Happy Birthday Marco!

This weekend we are away with the group of volleyball players we had our first years with at college. I can’t wait to see everyone! So I figured I would write Marco’s birthday post early.

Marco is especially excited to see everyone cause he turns 25 on Sunday! (Yes for those of you counting I am 13 months older…I always tell Marco is is so lucky to have married an older woman :)

Now between me and Marco there is this ongoing joke that I don’t really know a whole lot about him. He tells me things…and I think I just forget :S  For example last year for Valentine’s Day I bought him a HUGE bag of cinnamon hearts because they are his favourite. Apparently not! Infact he doesn’t like them at all! A similiar scenario has happened SO often that it is now a joke between us. So when getting ready to make his birthday cake this year I wanted to make sure I was ACTUALLY making his favourite….

I knew chocolate was out the window….same with anything cinnamon heart related. Finally I came across a “Cookies and Cream Cake” which is his favourite chocolate bar…or so I thought. I had to phone him at work to make sure he ACTUALLY liked Cookies and Cream. Well he did! So all afternoon Luca and I worked on making his cake to take with us this weekend!

It is So so so SO hard to not sneak a piece of this cake!! It even smells amazing!

The most important ingredient is of course Oreos….man it was hard to not eat my way through the bag as I was baking!

I even had to sample the cake batter….it tasted AMAZING!!!

Luca was being so good watching me in his highchair, so I let him try his first ever Oreo….I guess he’s a fan :)

The finished product! :)

It’s drizzled with white chocolate (don’t worry he does like white chocolate…just not regular chocolate…I checked! :) And the grey-ish icing in the middle is vanilla butter icing with crushed up Oreo cookies mixed in…mmmmmmmmmmmmm.  oh and I sampled the icing too :)

Now I just have to figure out how to get it to Sunpeaks!

Happy Birthday Marco! I hope you like your cake! I hope you have a fantastic weekend with all your closest friends. Me and Luca love you so so so SO much and can’t imagine our lives without you. You are the best person in our lives, and I would be lost without you. Thank you, THANK YOU, Thank you for just being you and for loving me.


** A few people ask that I add the recipe to Marcos delicious birthday cake! Here it is!

Cookies and Cream Cake

Cake Ingredients

1 package white cake mix without pudding in the mix

1 package white chocolate flavour instant pudding mix

1 cup vegetable oil

4 egg whites

1/2 cup milk

20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

icing ingredients

2tbsp butter

1 cup icing sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tbsp milk

10-12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

Cake Topping ingredients

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 tsp shortening

8 Oreo Cookies for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of two 9inch round pans with parchment paper.

2. Beat egg mix, pudding mix, oil, egg whites, and milk in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, until well blended. Stir in chopped Oreo’s and divide batter equally between two prepared pans.

3. Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completley before removing.

4. Icing – mix butter, icing sugar, vanilla and milk together. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in cookie chunks until well blended. Place one cooled cake on cake plate. Spread entire batch of icing on top of cake. Place 2nd cooled cake ontop.

5. Topping – melt chocolate chips and shortening together in glass dish in microwave for 30-40 seconds. Stir to combine. Drizzle over top of cake, and top with Oreo chunks to garnish.

ENJOY! It was delish! :)


I have a pretty amazing support network. On days like today where I am feeling discouraged I have a whole wack load of amazing friends and family I can rely on to encourage me.

Marco is my number 1 supporter! He is always there to motivate me, tell me I am doing a great job, leave me notes in my oatmeal pot so when I go to make breakfast I see it. I could not be doing this without him. I don’t think I would have taken this leap into photography and starting my own business without him.

My Mom and sisters are right there with Marco. My Mom reads and comments on every blog, my sisters are helping me coordinate a creative shoot this Spring. My sister Chantale is a wedding designer, and my other sister Monique is an amazing hair stylist. Both are so talented and have such amazing ideas :) Monique and Chantale were also models for me when I first started so I could practice as much as I could.

I do feel there is one hole in my support network that I would love to fill. Other photographers! I met and got to know some amazing photographers in WPPI and I have kept in close touch with one of them! We have sent emails back and forth almost daily talking about our work, our lives, and photographer in general. It has been amazing having another photographer to talk to!

I would love to form more relationships like this! When I am discouraged about business, or photography, or a lighting/camera issue I would love to have close photographer friends that I can network with. I would love to have coffee dates/meetings with other photographers both in the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland. I have been discouraged with this lately…I have sent out a few emails inviting other photographers out for coffee and sadly most of the time am getting no response. It is very discouraging. I am new at this career and am so wanting to learn, and network and join the community of photographers 100%! It made me wonder this morning if maybe it is because I am so new at this…I am not sure. I have so many questions and ideas for this career and I would love to have a network of photographers to bounce these ideas off of….to gain feedback on how I am doing. Feedback is the one thing I would love the most.

Since I got my first job I have been surrounded by people. I was drawn to jobs with positive atmospheres and that involved talking and working closely with groups of people on a day to day basis. I knew that photography would be hard. Other than my photoshoots it is mostly spent alone, editing, blogging, responding to emails, upgrading my website, working on marketing material, etc. I miss the day to day busy-ness of an office. I miss having co-workers. I miss working daily with other people!

So I thought I would put myself out there….see if any other photographers are feeling the same. I would love to meet for coffee or tea! :)