I have always had a love of looking at lovely flow dresses and just before Christmas last year I was perusing the interwebs (probably procrastinating some blogging as usual) and came across this lovely deep red, indie vibes dress. My friend Briana instantly popped into my head and I thought I need to photograph that girl in this dress. I fired her a message letting her know oh btw I’m ordering a dress to shoot you in, and she was instantly on board and we planned shoot in the spring in a greenhouse kind of setting. We then decided to shoot it seasonally and did another shoot in the summer where I took her down to Millcreek Ravine and played with some smoke bombs.
I met Jamie, Jonathan and Jasper a few years ago. I was just beginning to really establish myself as a photographer in the community and had a giveaway contest so I could test out a new location and Jamie was the lucky winner of that contest. I was instantly smitten with this adorable family and was so happy when Jamie messaged me again this fall for some updated family photos including their newest addition Jackson who is as adorable as his big brother! Once again completely falling head over heels with this lovely family, I hope I get to be part of their memories for years to come in recording these two sweet little men grow up!
I met with Justine at the very beginning of 2018 at a coffee shop here in Sherwood Park for her to interview me for her and Tommy’s upcoming wedding that summer. We chatted about everything life had to offer and when I left the shop I called my mom and was like “I don’t care if she hires me, I want to be friends with her!” Justine has that wonderful, outgoing personality that just envelopes you in love the very second you meet her and when she messaged me back saying she cancelled all of her other interviews and wanted to go with me I was ecstatic. Their day was so lovely right from how involved every single member of Justine’s family was involved in the getting ready, right from Aunty doing hair and everyone doing each others make – it was wonderful. Love rang out through the day and my second shooter Jenny Pasterfield and I loved being able to celebrate every moment with them.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I entered a huge contest called Shoot and Share. I entered again this year and went all in with 50 submissions from over my year of photographing all of my amazing clients.
This is the biggest contest that is held over the year with a jaw dropping 583, 150 entries this year. Photographers from all over the world enter every year and I am so excited that I had the opportunity to participate in it. The talent is amazing and I have learned so much from just looking at others work and knowing exactly where I want mine to be. We have just entered round 7 which means we are officially in the top 30% and I know I have at least 1 photo still in there floating around somewhere. SO Exciting!!
I went in with a full heart and a heavy hand on my decisions going back and forth adding and removing and re-adding selection after selection until I finally came to my final 50 choices. I chose photos that made me smile and laugh until I cried remembering every moment I spent photographing families, weddings, friends old and new.
I have loved every second of spending time with all of you, meeting you and finding new friendships. I chose photos that made my heart soar with memories and love and photos that made me feel all the feelings I have in me.
I truly want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with your memories as you grow together, I couldn’t be happier that I got a chance to be part of it.
This year was the year for me, I entered 11 photos into the contest Shoot and Share and hit submit, all while cringing at the thought that other professionals around the globe would be criticizing and judging my work. Along with this contest I also took part in a travelling dress piece (you might remember the lovely little yellow dress I shot at the Edmonton Ice Castles last year), which was also a huge step for me as I don’t do very well with showing off my work, despite what you may think. I loved that concept so much I started my own travelling dress this year and a travelling skirt that are both making its way around Edmonton, Alberta and BC. Stay tuned for a blog post when the projects are all done!
Back to the contest though, I entered this contest thinking there was no way I would do well, I mean I only entered 11 photos out of the 50 max you could submit so really odds were already against me. I walked away thinking “wow there is so much talent in this world how can I channel that into my work? What do I need to do to get there?” I could have walked away thinking man I suck time to list my gear on Kijiji and sell it all, BUT I wanted to learn and grow from it. And grow I did.
I took what I saw and got to work. I completely changed my entire editing, shooting, mentality and pay structure on how I ran my business. I gave away a lot of shoots for free so I could learn. I sold off all my newborn posing gear. It was huge. And scary. I gave up all I knew and all I was comfortable with. I had some serious fails but overall my changes in my eyes were a major success. My editing process is exactly where I want it to be. I shoot a lot more of what I want to be shooting, not what I feel like I have to be shooting. That in itself makes me so much happier, shooting the things I love not that people say I should.
I guess bottom line of this post is – do what makes you happy and do it for you not everyone else. In case you were wondering, I had one of my eleven photos in last years contest end up in the top 30%. Not bad – but I want more.
Laurissa and her family are probably the sweetest family a person could meet. I met with them last fall and it was an absolutely freezing day, poor Miss A was so so cold but toughed it out and got some sweet snuggles from mom in the end!
I met with this lovely family last fall on what was supposed to be a beautiful evening, the dark rain clouds rolled in…and right past us, but I was still able to capture all the amazing love this family has for each other!