Monday, April 27, 2009

Welcome PAIGE!

What an afternoon I had with this wonderful new family! There were two real highlights for me (aside from being pooped and peed on - no one said this was going to be a glam job). 
First, it was a pleasure to work with Shaun and Brandy. They were so natural together - you can see it in their faces. They are so in love with being parents to Paige and that was beautiful to watch and capture. 
Secondly, Paige was just a couple of days shy of 5 weeks- the time when many newborns are starting to smile. I would like to believe that I was able to capture her very first smile on camera. You should have heard the squeals coming from all of us! This was a moment I will not soon forget. Now it is still possible this was gas but just look at her smile when you scroll down!! 



I have to say that my thank you this week has made made me a little more reflective than usual. I enjoy writing my thank yous each week more than any part of doing this blog (aside from taking the photos of course!!).  I am sending out my sincerest thanks this week to four special women in my life; Jen, Fiona, Sam and Erin.  Dave and I are fortunate to have planted our family amongst the most incredible neighbourhood I have ever known.  It is FULL of intelligent, creative, humourous, supportive and as you can see...beautiful women (I do think they should do a show called the Wives of Laurelwood!!). How could I have been this lucky to have met up with neighbours like this?  There are many women in our neighbourhood that have contributed in their own way to supporting me on this journey...and what a journey this is becoming (more on this later).  I had just finished a shoot a couple of weeks ago and as usual I sent out a couple of fav's (well maybe more like 5 or 6) to these women to have a peek at.  I am known to say things in the title line of the e-mail like...."Check this out" or "Sooo cute" or the most famous one, "Last one...I promise".  As I punched up the e-mail addresses for the photos I realized that I have been sending off pictures to these same ladies for a couple of years now and not once has one of them complained (they are far too nice to do that!) or told me that I am over loading their Rogers accounts! However, I know they are full because I get the "delivery failure" notice. I want to thank you ladies for always "checking them out" and sending the sweetest little notes back. It has meant so much for you to have been there from the beginning. I share this with you. 
And as for the journey part....I am quickly learning that opening your own business, learning a new craft and putting your creative energy and passion to work can be very draining emotionally. The highs are so high and the lows well - they are just that. I am also learning that they make you stronger.  It's not easy to be entering down a path where everything you produce is ultimately judged. But for those you make happy - it makes it all worth it!  So far, I think the most valuable lesson I have learned is that after you have all of the "technical" stuff figured out it really comes down to the relationship you have made with that little person or the family behind the camera lense that is the most important.  It is their eyes you are looking into. It is their life you are capturing. And for me, this is by far, the part I am enjoying the most.

Thanks again ladies.....and on a side note two of these beautiful women are embarking on their own small business journeys. I only hope that I can pay them back with the same love, support and respect for their talent that they have shown me. I will most certainly be photographing their talents (interior design and a cooking school!!) in the months to come. I can hardly wait!! 
As for the rest of the "Wives of Laurelwood" - I have some thank yous coming to you in the months to come!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Couldn't resist..!

When I was working on the photos for my thank you this week Kate came into my office in her jammies and asked me for her Easter loot bag. I turned around to look at her and this is what I saw.  I laughed soooooo hard!!!!  I had made her a waffle with blueberry jam for breakie. Apparently it was good....
She had one stipulation for me as you can see.  ONE picture Mommy!!!  I was able to sneak in a few more. 



Quite simply my heart felt thank you this week goes to my Dad.  I clearly remember his love for photography from a very early age. People often comment that we must have so many great pictures of us as kids - and yes there are some. But we have many more pictures of...mallard ducks. Yes ducks!! It was the mid 80's when my dad took some photography courses and ducks were very "in" (remember the decorating?).  I also remember my dad lending me his Nikon 35 mm camera for a field trip in grade 8 and taught me the basics of manual shooting with the little pin in the middle.  Oh it all seems so ancient now!  I am sure I gained a love, or perhaps to some an obsession, with taking pictures of people from watching my dad. 

This last weekend we had Easter dinner at my dad and stepmom's house and he had his camera out too - so I snapped a few pictures of him and said I had a project I was working on. When I told my dad I was going to start up a small photography business our conversations quickly turned to everything photography. Dad said, with a chuckle of course, he never thought we would have "these types of conversations". He was referring to all of the technical talk we were having. "Technical" has never been me.  I think he is secretly impressed at how I have figured all of this out.  Big smile. And as you can see Nikon has been in our line for a long time! 

I have posted pictures of one of his Nikon cameras from when we were little. He said the lense was dented when he fell with it during one of our camping trips (perhaps trying to take a picture of a duck?!).  The Ricoh camera was my grandpa Jacks' camera.  He too enjoyed taking pictures. And I choked up when I saw the 50 mm lense on his old camera. My favourite lense.

Thanks Dad for your interest and support...but most importantly for never letting me get too ahead of myself.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

KATE - the daughter of a "TOPHOGRAPHER"

There were two reasons for this mornings' photo opp. 
1) I needed to practice more indoor shooting.
2) Kate is keenly aware that her mother is "tophographing" lots of other kids. She asked that I "tophographer" her and promised to look in the camera...well somewhat.  She is getting a little camera envy!!


It's all about KATE!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rubberboots....a sure sign of spring!

I had the pleasure of photographing  Ethan and Emily at Waterloo park last week.  What fun we had puddle jumping and visiting "Thomas the Train"! Ethan and Emily were fantastic with the camera on them for almost two hours.  I am not sure who had more fun - them or me? 

Since having the girls - rubber boots have become my favourite thing to buy for them.  Green ones, pink ones, polka dots ones and flower ones...they all look sooooo cute!  Now that I am at home full-time I could not resist purchasing a pair of my own out of sheer necessity and fashion of course!  I can be seen in them most days - even when the sun is shining. Oh how life has changed. My knee high heeled boots have an inch of dust on them and my skin has not felt cotton or polyester in over 5 months now - how liberating!!

Enjoy the pictures this week.
ps- I loved your rubber boots Ethan and Emily!

Much love and appreciation,

PS- My heartfelt thank you this week goes to the owners and employees of The Essential Image; Daniel and Tony Tuka, Mike and Sarah.  I have been going to The Essential Image for a few years now and they have developed literally thousands of my snapshots (and I do mean thousands). They have also been telling me for equally as long that I could be a family and children's photographer! I thoroughly enjoy my time in their store chatting mostly about photography, photography equipment and printing - but we do have lots of laughs about plain old life.  I cannot tell you how important these guys have become in this journey (as they will be who I recommend for printing the photographs I take!). Their positive energy towards my work has been touching and it's working with people like this that make me love what I am doing even more.  I am really a nobody photographer at this point but they always make me feel like I am going to be a somebody photographer. Thanks and we'll see you guys this week! 

It's Playtime!

Ethan and Emily...could life be any more fun?