Thursday, February 27, 2014

Featured: Lisa's Bridesmaid Ask on Style Me Pretty!

After sorting through over 500 images, I had picked out my favourite 130 from a session I had photographed. A session I was submitting for the first time to the wedding blog Style Me Pretty. I spent the whole day meticulously choosing each image that I thought SMP would love the most - that I loved the most. Around 4 o'clock in the afternoon I held my breath and hit the submit button. I walked away from the computer and took my pup out for a nice walk. Of course, I checked my email throughout the night but I didn't hold my breath. I went to bed full of hopeful dreams. The next day I woke up, had my breakfast and tried to avoid my phone or computer but when I did finally look, there it was. I caught a glimpse of the first line of the email and it included "Congratulations". I barely read the whole thing before I was yelling "Oh my god! Oh my god!" I ran up to Robin in the kitchen jumping up and down and I explained that I had been accepted into Style My Pretty. He jumped up and down with me saying "Yayyyy" and then "Is that good?"

This shoot was a blast from start to finish! Lisa wanted to ask her bridesmaids to be a part of her wedding in a unique and meaningful way so she opted to have a girly date in the park full of treats and champagne. Although there was a bit of rain, the shoot went off without a hitch and the girls were honoured with custom handkerchiefs from the bride-to-be; something they'll have forever and that ties in with the wedding theme.

While this wasn't my first feature or second feature on Style Me Pretty, it was the first submission I made so it will always be a special memory and milestone in my career. My obsession with SMP continues and I'm so excited and thankful for this feature!

To view the whole post, click here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Favourite Photo

It's no surprise that February is one of my favourite months. It's full of love and celebrations (and my birthday) so naturally I'm a big fan. At the moment though, I'm a little relieved that February is a short month. I feel as though I'm in a state of anticipation and I want things to get going (like the start of spring and warmer weather). Patience is something I'm always working on so as much as I'm ready for this year to get moving I'm really trying to relish in each moment and enjoy the rest of this lovely month.

We've had a fair share of snowfalls this month so this sight is getting a little old, but I'm loving the stillness in this photo and it's testament to slowing down sometimes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Six Months of Growth

This month marks six-months since I officially launched this full-time photography business. It's odd to think it's only been six months. In so many ways I get ahead of myself and feel it's been so much longer and I tend to expect I should be doing more or at a different point. But when I stop to remember it's been six months that helps put things into perspective and I can appreciate everything I've done in this short time-frame. I remember back when I chose to leave the steady, full-time, 9-5 job I was scared, nervous, timid, and doubtful - but I was also sure that what I was doing at the time wasn't meant for me. I used to think I never wanted to be someone who dragged themselves to work or who dreaded Monday's and that's what I had turned into. The drive wasn't there, the passion, or the happiness and I felt I was doing myself a disservice by not putting everything I had into something that took up the majority of my time. So while the leap was scary, it was also liberating and necessary and now looking back I'm so happy with the choice I made.

In six months I've come so far and have grown so much as a little business and as a person. I am constantly reading interviews or stories from other business owners and while there's tons of advice that I cherish, there's one in particular that stands out and that was a recurring tip from many. It's the advice to dive right in and do it. When starting a business it's so easy to get caught up in making things perfect. You end up spending hours and hours editing or tweaking or fixing and never actually doing. I made sure to keep this in mind when I started and still do. I know that I want to produce the best possible work, but I also know that part of learning and growing is making mistakes so as much as I try or prepare to be perfect, I know it won't happen.

Over the past six months even my packaging has changed. Right now I've settled on this look for my lovely clients but I'm sure it'll keep growing and evolving as I do. Here's a little sneak peak:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lately - Birthday Recap

This past weekend started amazingly well. Robin and I spent all day Friday/Valentine's Day curled up on the couch watching movie after movie. I made us blueberry pancakes and we sipped on endless mimosa's while checking a few of the Oscar-nominated films off our list. After eating way too many treats throughout the day we took our pup for a stroll and then Robin made us dinner.

Saturday morning we woke up early to play squash together - this one is a big deal! I've played squash with my husband once! You'd think since he does it professionally that we'd be on court more often but nope! So this was a great treat! I'm sure it was painfully slow for him but he gave me some pointers and only laughed a little when I missed the ball ;) We spent the rest of the day hanging out then got together with friends for a (very late) night out dancing.

The next day I met up with my girls for brunch at Weslodge (where the mimosas made an appearance again!). The time was spent in simple conversation catching up with one another and eating some mighty-fine food.

That night Robin came home and we popped open a bottle of prosecco. Robin was eager to toast before midnight - I informed him that I was born at 3:30am so this didn't count but he didn't care. We toasted to my 27th year. To every high and low that came with that year. To all the change that happened. To all the growth. And to the fact that this year has given me the strength and wisdom to grow even more as a 28-year-old. Then we reminisced on everything that's happened since last February 17th.

Then it was my birthday. I shared the day with a holiday in Canada (Family Day) so I knew we would keep it pretty low-key since most "attractions" would be filled with crowds on their day off. Robin picked me us up some donuts while I got my birthday drink from Starbucks :) He made breakfast while I ate all the donuts then we took the pup for a nice walk and we went out for dinner to my favourite Mexican restaurant, Milagrio. It was such a simple day but it was perfect and exactly what I wanted. At the moment I'm just in owe of how the simplest things can bring such happiness. The fact that the sun was out during the walk with our dog. Thoughtful birthday cards. Sweet calls and messages from friends. And toasting to this new year and chapter in my life.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Featured: A Modern Tea Party Styled Shoot on Style Me Pretty Living!

This month just couldn't get any better! A styled shoot that I photographed and Lisa Ho designed has been featured on Style Me Pretty Living today! This is our second feature on the infamous blog and I couldn't be happier or more excited! (See our first feature here)

One of the things I love most about photography is working with others to capture something beautiful. Whether they be the clients in front of the camera or the creatives behind the beauty I get to photograph, they make my work what it is. I'm lucky to have so many creative friends in my life and even luckier to work with them to create wonderful things. Lisa is one of those friends and her esthetic, attention to details, and drive are what make her so great to work with. I'm so happy that we are able to collaborate together to create such beautiful inspiration - and we have a ton of fun too!

This styled-shoot was an ode to the tea party but with a modern twist. Everything was centered around a theme of "A Perfect Blend" - the tea, infused honey, and flavored butter were all part of this. I may have been drooling while taking these photos but luckily we were able to eat it all once the photos were done!

To view the whole post, click here or on the image below.

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's my Birthday!

Today is my birthday! And it's a holiday in Canada so double the fun! I'm going to eat way too much cake/donuts/macarons and drink way too much champagne and it'll be perfect! I'll be spending the day with the love of my life and my fur-baby with no big plans, just great company.

So here's to another great year! Cheers!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Love Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's to a day to appreciate those you love in your life. Here's to a day where you recognize the one's that make you happy. And here's to a day that let's you gush love like it's nobody's business! I love Valentine's Day (if you couldn't already tell) I love that it's a day to show those you love that you love them! And I love LOVE so any day around it is perfect in my books. Now, I don't like that there's a commercialized aspect to this day where we are made to think we need to buy things to show our love - not a fan of that - but I am a fan of taking a day to make sure the people you love know it. So call your mom and tell her you love her. Take your best friend out for a coffee and tell her you love her. And kiss your dog over and over until she runs away from you! Happy love day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Being a Boss

I worked a "9-to-5" job for seven years. Part-time during university and then directly after I graduated. I've sat at a desk, filed documents, corresponded with clients and worked with coworkers. I've also had a few bosses along the way. Whether a manager or a boss, I've worked with individuals who were my mentors, instructors and in many ways, dictators of my success and happiness. To me, a boss has a hard role. They need to evoke a sense of leadership and authority while also being approachable and a teacher all while encompassing the vision of what the company strives for. It's hard to have all eyes on you and to always have the answers. Add on to this that they need to show appreciation towards their employees - the people who make their company successful.

Now, I've found myself in both roles of boss and employee. It's a strange transition as I'm more accustom to the employee role. Each day I need to take time to show appreciation to myself and to not only congratulate myself on my success but to give myself a break when I mess up. It's a trait I'm not so proud of but I'm extremely hard on myself. I expect perfection and if it's not delivered I'm upset. While this is partly a good thing - it fuels the fire and makes me work my butt off - it's also the exact opposite of what a great boss is. A great boss won't tear you down and tell you that you suck. They won't say you failed or that you ruined everything. No, they will be understanding and calm. They will offer advice on how to improve next time and how to rectify the situation. When I was in my 9-to-5 job I had the chance to manage juniors and to train and teach them the ins and outs of the business. There were many (many) times they would mess up, tell the client something incorrect, accidentally delete a client's HTML code from their site, or even hang up on a client by mistake when trying to transfer calls. Each time they'd look at me with total disappointment (and embarrassment) and I'd say don't worry about it. I'd tell them how to approach the client with the correct answer, help them add in the code they deleted and that we'd write down the steps on how to transfer the call for when the client calls back. I knew in those moments that getting mad or upset wouldn't help anyone. Instead, offering help and advice got us through and let them learn what they needed to know.

There are times I have forgotten this. I forget that I was this awesome mentor who had the answers and had confidence even if things went wrong. So I've decided that I'm going to try to be a better boss this year. To be the type of boss I was before. To keep calm when I do something wrong, to learn what to do for next time, and to take the time to show appreciation to myself. I need to remember that employees need motivation and encouragement and it's easy to show through small acts of kindness. So today I will buy my employee some Starbucks and then offer that she take the day off early to celebrate being a published photographer.

A little sneak-peak photo for you - More from this gorgeous session coming soon!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Entering My Late Twenties

I've been thinking a lot lately about my upcoming birthday (in seven days!!!) and life and that I seem to be getting closer and closer to that ripe age of 30 (yes I know all those over the age of 30 are shaking their heads at me, but you were here once before so let me go with it!) Any 20-something is concerned with turning 30. You go from being this "young" person experimenting and trying to figure out what you want in life to being someone who should have their shit together and life figured out. Naturally, you just want to stay young and oblivious forever but that can't happen so enter the stresses. I'm actually not that stressed out about almost being 30, I'm more excited than anything (talk to me again when I'm turning 35 and I may be singing a different tune!). I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I'm happy with almost every aspect of my life at the moment. There's obviously things that bother me or stress me out, things that go wrong or things I could improve but overall life is great. If I were my 20-year-old self looking at the me today I would think that girl has got it made! So instead of focusing on things that should be done (or won't be done) before I turn 30, I'll instead embrace the end of my twenties with contentment and appreciation for all the positives in my life.

And to make this upcoming birthday a bit more fun for everyone, here are some fun facts about me! I'll be turning 28 so to keep this short (and for your sanity) lets say 2+8=10 so here are 10 things about me:

1. I'm a little super crazy when it comes to cleaning and organizing.
2. I love granny smith apples. (I have at least one a day)
3. I paint my nails a different colour each week.
4. I watch really (really) bad TV (like the Bachelor or Four Weddings or Keeping up with the Kardashians! Don't judge)
5. I really like penguins.
6. I could live off of chips & salsa.
7. I wish I read books more. I used to all the time and now I just read blogs or magazines.
8. I laugh until I cry at least once a day... usually it's because of my own jokes!
9. I really dislike hot, humid weather... unless I'm near a beach.
10. I can do a really good impression of a t-rex or a raptor.


PS: Did you catch this shoot featured on Style Me Pretty Living last week?!!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Featured: Black, White & Gold Party on Style Me Pretty Living!

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions. What had started as an anticipated week of excitement quickly turned into a disappointment and then today has been flipped back to crazy excitement! I woke up to a phone call from my sweet friend Lisa Ho and her giddy voice on the other side. Immediately I was awake and scrambling to the computer and then I too, turned into a giddy ball of excitement.

Today we are featured on Style Me Pretty Living and Style Me Pretty Canada!

This party was a blast to photograph. It was loaded with yummy goodies and cute details - and after all the photos I got to indulge in all those treats! (To say I love my job is an understatement). Lisa did an amazing job designing the event and coming up with such unique ideas. I'm happy to say this is just the start to our collaborative work together!

I became obsessed with Style Me Pretty when planning my own wedding and since discovering it, I've also been obsessed with Style Me Pretty Living. Everything from decor to parties to fashion is featured on that blog so naturally it's right up my alley! To say I'm excited is an understatement - this is a dream come true and I'm so thankful for the feature!

To view the whole post, click here or on the image below.