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! :)


My Kelly Moore camera bag!

Yesterday when I came home from taking Luca to his gym class there it was! A post office alert that I had a parcel waiting for me at the post office!

Luca and I drove out this morning to get it! YAY! I was so excited it is finally here! 

While at the WPPI I bought a new camera bag! And not just any camera bag…A Kelly Moore camera bag! They are the most amazing camera bags in the world! I am on my 2nd camera bag and am so not happy with it, so at the WPPI I was on the market for some good deals! I fell in love with this bag! First it’s purple….and it has pockets for keys, memory cards, lip gloss, business cards, and dividers on the inside for lenses, my camera body and my flash! It is exactly what I was looking for and I am so so SO glad I invested in one!  Can’t wait for my next shoot! :)

YAY it’s finally here!

That is all for  now…I am off to transfer everything over from my old camera bag!! :)

Vegas Headshots!

Before going to Vegas, the group I went with talked about doing some fun headshots for each other. I LOVED the idea!

Marco does a fantastic job at mine, but having a few different photographers taking them would result in different styles of photos!

Right before Jasmine Stars workshop, Tanis and I were walking past the pool and the lighting was just SO amazing and it was SO nice outside we just had to stop and get some photos in!

The following day Vanessa, Frances and I headed out to the strip to explore and take some pictures! I love how their photos turned out!! I had such a fun afternoon :)

I had a blast in Vegas with you guys!! So looking forward to WPPI 2012 already! :)

Who inspired me in Vegas….

Vegas was so mentally overwhelming for me! I was at an international wedding and portrait photographers conference with some of my industries leaders! I felt like a 6 year old in Disneyland meeting the princesses for the first time :)

My original plan was to indivually write posts on each of these fantastic workshops, but as one of my goals coming home from WPPI was to spend more time with Luca, I decided that would work against my goal! I love blogging and oh do I ever love the facebook, but I am trying to be on them less and spend more time with my family. I so love writing…especially writing for me. After 6 years of a Bachelor of Arts of writing paper after paper it is so nice to have the freedom to write for me…..but it is time consuming.  So while Luca spends the day with Nana today, I am going to get this done, so when he comes home tomorrow it’s just me and him.


They were our first presentation. 8am! I was a bit groggy as I am so not a morning person but Bobbi’s personality is so BIG that I was alert the minute they started speaking! I learnt so much from them!

What I do Matters! Make your clients feel this! Make them comfortable…not only with you, but with their environment, and emotionally. It’s hard being in front of the camera. Remember that!

You aren’t photographing still life. Talk more! Something I definitly need to work on. I have a bad habit of assuming my clients know what I am thinking. They do not! Ineed to tell them how fantastic they look, direct them in how to pose, and involve them in their photoshoot! Create an experience.

Be yourself. Enough people out there will like you. This one was HUGE for me. I am the biggest worrier of what others think. I worry if I put myself out there too much I will lose. Bobbi taught us we will win :)

Bobbi’s enthusiasm was so contagious! She is such a gorgeous person, and her amazing husband Mike is so down to earth. They had me leaving with a smile on my face :) Thanks guys!

Jasmine Star

You might not like where you are today, but you’ve come a long way from yesterday and you have a long way to go in the future.”

Jasmine is my biggest inspiration! Her blog is the one I read EVERY post of! If you only check out one of these photographers check out her!

Do I like the photographer I have become? Good food for thought. Especially on the flight home!

When people go to your website are they feeling YOU? I hope so! She calls your website your “jazz hands on the internet!” :) Just more encouragement to put myself out there. Stay true to me. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Just Be Me!

Changing my Story.  Don’t facebook the moment. BE in the moment! Live your life without worrying about all those little things that can bring you down. Take time for my family. Luca. Marco. My siblings. My parents. My friends. I am NEVER too busy. I need to learn to say no to things when my plate is already full. Don’t live your life in the name of your business. Without sacrifices you have no story. I need to take time to look at my life. Examine the areas I don’t like or that make my unhappy and change my story!

Check out Jasmine’s video that introduced her platform talk.


Kevin Kubota

Kevin talked lots about business, and how to strengthen yourself as a photographer and as a person.

Set goals for yourself and create accountability.  I am working on a blog post for the next month with my goals for the rest of the year. I will post them to make myself accountable.

Actively seek feedback. I have always been nervous to receive feedback. Worried it would be negative, or that I would take it too personally. Feedback only makes me grow stronger as a person, and a photographer. I need to put myself out there and take whatever feedback comes my way :)

Fear. Adrenaline fuels creativity. Things that you are afraid of might just be the best thing for you! I tend to back down from my fears. I tend to walk away when something makes me scared. I hate change. One of my goals is to change these. To work on them. To confront some fears, to try to embrace change rather than hate it! It will be unbelievably difficult but I resolve to atleast give it my best!

Be a resource. Share! I LOVE networking with other photographers. I love working with other photographers. I am so against the competitiveness! Why can’t we all just get along?! I love meeting other photographers for coffee and talking business and life. It makes me feel like I belong to this big club :)

Why solo create when you can collaborate!? I want to set up some different photoshoots this year working with other photographers! Anyone interested? Send me an email! I would love to go for coffee :)

Tamara Lackey

She was amazing! Her talk was on the Fusion of Work and Life. I knew it would be a good fit for me and it was! My workflow definitly needs some attention!

Think about how you are spending your time! Busy does not mean productive. Activity does not mean achievement. So TRUE! This was me! How many hours a day did I waste on facebook. How many times did I waste with things that didn’t matter! The answer was scary…LOTS!  Write down on paper what your ideal week looks like. What time to get up? How much time would you spend on exercise, chores, work, family, dates, TV, alonetime, creative time, hobby time, church, prayer, volunteer etc. Write it all down. Thendo everything you can to make your week your ideal work week! (Don’t forget to schedule breaks!)

Schedule time for relaxing and rest. This one spoke to me! ALOT! I tend to work work work…usually late at night. I am a night owl, and so not amorning person. But with a 16 month old son, I am up early whether I like it or not. And those late nights of working, aren’t making me any better! They are actually working against me. Another goal is to go to bed earlier. Quit work for the day earlier.

And the most profound thing I learnt from her was…

If this is what you want to do – you can’t afford to not invest in it.  Being a photographer is expensive. Everything has a cost. The most important cost is time. It takes a lot of hours. I wantto be a better time manager, a better Mom and a better wife, and a better photographer. To do this I need to manage my time giving the important things the time they need and the less important things less time. I need to invest in my life. I can’t afford not to!

Bambi Cantrell

I LOVED her! She was so great! Such a strong confident woman, and she made me proud to be a photographer. Her talk focused on lighting and posing. I don’t like posing! It is not my strong suit at all, and her talk definitly helped!

Learnt to decipher in your mind where you need to be to get that great picture. Think of quality of light first and you can shoot anywhere.

Pose based on style.  Pose a bride based on the style of her dress. She chose that dress for a reason, because it suited her personality. Don’t pose her in a position that doesn’t fit the dress because it won’t fit her personality.

Learn to see anything as a potential background if the lighting is good enough. I LOVE shooting in new locations. Different parks, different parts of the city, different cities. It challenges me and I need that!

The rest of my 4 pages of notes from Bambi`s talk are tip after tip on posing…how to make people look and feel great! I can`t wait to put them to use!

Women in Contemporary Photography

The last workshop I went to was a panel discussion with 9 amazing female photographers. Lindsay Adler, Jules and Joy Bianchi, Jessica Claire, Key Eskridge, Catherine Hall, Sarah Petty, Sawn Shields, and Jasmine Star.

It was amazing to be in the same room with these women. Sarah Petty, a photographer and ower of Joy of Marketing, a marketing company for small businesses hosted the panel discussion Oprah style :) Sarah`s blog is amazing! I get weekly updates and tips from her Joy of Marketing website that have helped me so so so much! 

I have many random one liner notes from this talk that serve as small doses of inspiration! I am debating posting some of them behind my desk :)

Be confident in your prices. You are an artist. You are the only one who can do what you to. You are priceless.

The best way to be unique in this business is just to be you.

Don`t burn bridges. Even if people are difficult. Just smile. Always be nice.

Care about clients. Make them fall in love with you.

I am so grateful I went to WPPI. I am so excited for next year already! I can`t explain even a little bit how much this affected me. It is one HUGE step forward in not only my life as a photographer, but my life as a Mom, wife, friend, daughter and sister. Many people have asked me what I learnt in Vegas, and I have such a hard time explaining it. What I wrote above is just the tip of the iceberg. The rest isn`t something that can be put into words.  Just being there, meeting these other photographers…the ones that spoke, the ones I shared a hotel room with, the ones that sat next to me at talks, the ones I met in line at the Trade show. They changed me. They made me a better person and I am counting down the days until next year! 

So it may not have been short and sweet and it may have been a tad cheesy but that is me in a nutshell! :) 


It’s not staying in Vegas!

They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! Not this time! I plan on bringing everything that happened back with me and implementing it into my life in every way I can!

Those 5 days in Vegas were so beyond inspirational I know I will never be able to relay that to anyone that wasn’t there. I felt like every workshop I went to was speaking directly to me. I was so humbled to be in the same room, let alone city as this industries leaders! People who inspire me on a daily basis were there in person! I am so blessed to have been able to hear them speak and have the opportunity to meet a few of them.

I learnt something very specific from every talk I went to and over the next couple of weeks I am going to do seperate posts on each workshop I went to and outline what impacted me the most. Tamara Lackey had the most inspirational quote that really hit me. “Is the life you’re living, worth the price you are paying to live it?” It was a quote from Tony Schwartz and it hit me the most. It really made me think. What was the price I was paying to live this life? Was it worth it? The honest answer was no. I was taking too much time away from Luca to spend on photography. I wasn’t spending enough time with Marco at night just enjoying each others company. I was so worried about what to do next, what photography stuff I should be working on, what other photographers in the business were doing.

Being a Mom to me makes this situation even harder. It changes the time I can put into this. Where other full time photographers have many hours a day to devote to photography, I only have 1-2 hours a day while Luca naps or after he has gone to bed. I don’t wany my following my dreams to affect his life in a negative way. There are some days where I am so envious of Jasmine Star and her ability to stand at her computer and edit pictures in her pjs all day. I am envious of all those other photographers who don’t have children, and that daily responsibilty of being a stay at home Mom. I knew before Luca was born that I wanted to stay home with him as much as possible. I wanted to raise my own child. 

Now that Luca is older, wow is he ever busy! He demands 110% of my time. From standing on the kitchen table to reach the light, to climbing up on the computer desk to throw the keyboard on the floor…HE IS BUSY! I have had to become a better time manager! No more editing while he plays on the floor. No more answering emails while he eats a snack. I am very much divided in my life, and I struggle EVERYDAY with how to balance photography and family. I worry that my photography is taking away from my family and I struggle sometimes with the fact that having a family is taking away from the job I so passionately love. I feel this job now defines me, and is part of who I am….but so is being a Mom and wife. Luca to me was a double blessing, not only did I gain an amazing son, I also gained a new career that I love more than I ever imagined. Without him I would not have had the opportunity or the time to start this business.  

Being pregnant with Luca was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t think I would have had the courage to start this career without him. I was accepted into the teachers program shortly after we found out we were pregnant. If I hadn’t been blessed with success in the baby-making department, I would never have turned down the teachers program and I would have never started this path in life. I went on maternity leave 4 months before Luca was born as my contract was up with work. Those 4 months gave me the time I needed to start my business and figure out what I wanted to do.

While in Vegas, one of my roommates and I had a long talk about our businesses and how they were affecting our lives. Our biggest conflict or struggles was comparing ourselves to other photographers. How we would get discouraged if they were doing something we wanted to do, if they were more “successful” than we were, if they seemed to have it more together than we did…whatever the situation was. It made me think back to Jasmine Stars wedding workshop that I watched…..when she first started her business she looked around her at all the other photographers in the industry and thought, “I can’t win at their game!”  when comparing herself to other photogs she always felt she fell short. So she decided to win at her own game. She decided to set out her own rules, her own boundaries and rather than trying to succeed at what everyone else was doing, she was going to succeed by being her, by doing what she was doing.

THIS is what I NEED to focus on. THIS is where I NEED to be. I need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus on investing in me. I need to stop worrying about what other people are thinking, about what other people are doing and just focus on me and my family.

Someone asked Tamara Lackey at her workshop how she managed to get it all done, how she did it with 3 kids at home and how she afforded to start her business and her genius response that has been with me since then is “If this is what you want to do with your life, you can’t afford NOT to invest in it” 

This is what I want to do with my life. I want to be a photographer, and I want to be a Mom and a Wife. I need to invest in both. They are the two most important things in my life. I can’t afford to NOT invest in both. I need to take what I learnt at WPPI and use it in my everyday life. I need to take that feeling of inspiration and make it last until next years WPPI.

The WPPI didn’t confirm with me that I wanted to be a Mom and a photographer….I have known that for a long time. It did however show me that I can be successful. That I can invest in me because I am worth it.