I love my job.

I love my job.

I find myself saying those four words so often that it almost feels ridiculous… but its true.

I wake up each morning, head to the kitchen, grab a cup of coffee, usually put on a sundress or something comfy, tend to all my mommy duties and then settle into my desk at home to edit, market, web design, blog, network and budget etc. Whatever the day calls for, I will give to my job, and I absolutely love it.  I can’t wait to get to it.  I think about it nearly constantly.  It’s always exciting, and I never feel the fire and drive diminish.

I switch gears a lot – after all, being self-employed does mean you need to wear a bunch of different hats (but I’ve always been a fan of hats anyways), and today was no exception.

I finished up edits on an event shoot, gave my website and blog a little face lift, and put in several hours of editing on a wedding I am hoping to have done soon.

Even though I do get to set my own hours, I can’t seem to get enough, and I do think my boss (aka me) is a bit of a slave driver.  It’s hard for me to imagine now, but I remember that there was a time when I didn’t have this much drive and passion, when it was all too easy to take a few too many days off.  That was a time when I felt anxious about the responsibility of capturing moments, memories and emotions, before I embraced the enormous up-side.

What drives me the most now is exemplified by a moment that happened today. A bride whose wedding I recently shot stopped by to bring me a gift. The bride and groom gave me a pot of honey (oh I cannot WAIT to break into it, pooh bears got nuthin on me!) and a beautiful bracelet with a Venus charm on it. It’s meant to symbolize love, beauty & inspiration…and it made them think of ME!!!  It was so generous and sweet, and truly touched my heart to think that something I can do, can be so meaningful to people that they end up seeing me with such warmth.

Really, it’s I who feel lucky.  I got to witness people on the most precious day of their lives, surrounded by so much happiness.  I had the honor of caring for the recording of that day, and I’ve been reliving all those wonderful moments as I edit.

I often catch myself smiling at my desk as I edit, perhaps looking into a client’s sparkling eyes as I edit.

…then as if that wasn’t enough, I also get gifts!!

I am addicted to making my clients happy. As a child I wanted to be a singer, and I would often do so at the drop of a hat (wow gross miscalculation, I apparently could not hear myself!).  As I have grown to really know myself, I have discovered that the reason I wanted to sing and dance for people was because I LOVED to make people happy. Today I can think of no better job then the one I do to fulfill that desire within me. Somewhere deep down I’m still a 7 year old girl singing “Tomorrow” as loud as I can.  I remember my family and random strangers always kindly smiling and never letting on that I was destroying their ear drums.  Let’s hope now that my clients are smiling genuinely and with me when they look at the pictures they let me create with them. I promise you that behind the camera is an equally smiley girl:)

I’m so grateful to my treasured clients every day. Thanks for your smiles:)

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On Best Laid Plans

This week I had a lot of editing to get to and as I have said before fast turn around time is something I really aim for. I even stayed up one day this week until 5am just editing so I could get pictures to my client that much sooner because I know that waiting isn’t fun. Unfortunately in today’s culture we live in a society that watches people do editing sped up and usually on super fast computers which gives people the idea that editing is a fast and quick en devour. In truth it really can be very fast just not necessarily done right. Things like removing objects and making composites takes time. Factor in the artistic side of the equation and it all adds up. Especially if your a perfectionist like me. I had given myself enough time to have all my edits from shoots earlier in the week done by yesterday early evening and scheduled my time just so. Then I got a phone call. The secretary from my sons school had called to tell me my son had fallen and hit his head. Of course as a mom you dread seeing the schools number on your phones screen because you just know it can’t be good. She said he had a large bump on his head and they wanted to notify me. She said he seemed fine but of course I had to see for myself so I instantly got my purse and keys and went out the door. Once there I saw the large red bump on my poor guys head and winced. The teachers aid said she heard the sound of his head hitting the concrete floor and it was terrible. He did really seem fine but I still wanted to be sure (which the aid and teacher totally understood) so I decided to take him to be checked down at the KGH. Many hours later he saw a doctor and relieved that my son was in good spirits and health I took him home. He is still doing great and his bump is healing right up. I’m so grateful it was all fine. Editing flew out the window when my babies health was in question. Fortunately I am all caught up now (or I would not be blogging!) I am so lucky that I always have wonderful clients that understand and never rush me. I rush myself. I think I may have to loosen up my expectations on myself for turn around in future. Life always has a way of telling you it doesn’t like schedules.

These shots are from my recent shoots that I love and leave you with. Hope your all having a wonderful day. xx

When Alex and Andrew met they both had dogs named Lily. How perfect is that? I like to call them Lily squared. I had so much fun on this shoot with them and their doggies and buddy Justin. We shot at Babcock mill in Odessa which is a gorgeous location and moved on to a private residence and hunting grounds. I got to ride in a “mule” with my own driver (thank goodness!!) and the lovebirds rode out on a three wheeler. Like I said it was FUN! We got to shoot in golden fields. The best part about it was that I got to visit this secluded spot where Alex and Andrew spent a lot of time together while falling in love. I love it when shoots are very personal to the couple and unique because every love story is just that. Special and unique and these two are no exception.

 

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The next images are from a doggie shoot I did with a wonderful family. Susan and Fraser are truly wonderful people who take the time to give back to the community. I met Susan volunteering my services for the Kingston Humane Society. She is a wonderful woman who volunteers and adopts older animals. I had the joy of photographing her doggies in the past who have since passed away. These are her new adopted doggie’s Mr. Muggs and Lucky. They both have wonderful personalities. Lucky is quite the protector and is ready to face off any doggy who comes near his family but “luckily” he gets along great with Muggsy. It was such a lovely way to spend a morning. Their eyes just melt my heart!

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The Importance of Words

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This past week I had the joy of giving back by donating my time to a great cause. I worked with the Kingston Humane Society by working at their Paws at the Point fundraiser and taking portraits for their upcoming calendar. I managed to raise more cash than the last time I did it so yay for growth! Afterward it was a matter of editing out things like leashes and owners hands. Unfortunately I came down with a nasty flu bug that is going around which made my turn around time which is usually very fast (2-3 days for regular shoots) double. I know what a silly thing to worry about right? I pride myself on my quick turn around though. Sometimes staying up to 4am while my son sleeps just to get those images done but not rush through the process (latte’s are my friend). Being sick meant something had to fall by the way side. I’m not sure what you dump first from your list of jobs but for me its house work. It goes right down the tubes and when that happens I can get quite frustrated with my environment.

So lets just say I was in need of motivation this week. Thankfully I got what I needed and really it was just a bunch of words arranged perfectly in just such a combination as to produce the emotional effect of someone wrapping their arms around me and giving me the figurative lift up I needed to push through. The words came from my husband (who wrote an eloquent and beautiful oh so romantic email that literally got me out of bed the one day). They also came from an editor who is going to be publishing my work and really liked a past shoot I did and from the people whose doggies I took pictures of (the heartfelt thank you emails that poured in after I was done editing meant so much to me). Now I can say I’m almost at full speed again and the kind words I have received I truly believe have helped me get there quicker than I may have without them.

As a photographer I am captivated chiefly by images but words often inspire the images I create. I read or enjoy a good audio book every week and when a writer is truly gifted it gives me the same awe I feel watching a great dancer. I often have the thought “I wish I could do that”. Words can inspire great acts of love or great acts of violence. The power of words cannot be measured. When I find something has helped and touched me I wonder how can I do the same for others so I thought it might be fun to start giving out quotes. I may not be a great writer but I can always share with others that which inspires and uplifts me. I will be making a quote a week and posting them on my website for instagram or pinterest use. Quotes are a wonderful way to spread joy and I will post the quotes on the authors birthdays as an homage.

Now I leave you with a very cute doggy I took pictures of at Big Paws and a quote to enjoy!!

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My dream birthday cake!

My hubby gave me the most perfect cake of my life for my birthday! It’s a SONY A99 replica with a “nifty fifty” lens that I could EAT!! And boy did I eat! It not only looked amazing but tasted awesome too. This is the company who made the cake http://www.pudgecakes.com . The lady who made it is so very talented.

I was so happy when I saw it I almost cried. It couldn’t have been more perfect or detailed. I can’t imagine the work that went into making it. I’m so excited for this year and grateful for the last. What a yummy and beautiful way to start the year:D

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Birthday Weekend!!

I just had the most amazing weekend and to boot I just found out my recent shoot is going to be published on a national blog!! I am so excited! I’ve been working pretty hard and this weekend is going to be all about recharging the battery! Well. Lets face it. Anyone who knows me knows I can put the energizer bunny to shame. So in spite of the fact I will be on my birthday weekend having a bit of a vacation we all know I wont be too far from my camera for very long. I can’t help myself. It’s like a third arm! I have a lot of fun shoots coming up when I get back though that I could not be more excited for. Including an engagement session with a theme that I cant wait to share with everyone and a fundraising event for an organisation near and dear to my heart. I hope you all enjoy your weekend as much as I will mine. Catch you on Instagram!!

Why I take pictures

Last night curled up in my little boys bed snuggling after a story about the moon and another about cars in the silence feeling him fall deeper asleep in my arms I started to cry. I have the annoying trait of being a happy crier. I literally can’t hold it in. If I’m overwhelmed with joy and gratitude the tears just start flowing. Sometimes I giggle at myself and shake my head and call myself silly for it but I have come to accept that sometimes feeling so happy is interlaced with some sort of sadness that the moment in its perfection is falling away. I haven’t learned at almost 35 years of age how to let go of that desire to freeze time. Freeze the perfection of beautiful palpable moments and I think that’s why photography has been such a perfect match for me.

I have been blessed to be told by clients that they literally cried when they saw the images I took for them and I instantly identify with that feeling. I’m not a fan of making people cry but causing happy tears may be my absolute favorite part of my job. Making someone stop going from point A to point B and focused on tasks to see how  precious this time in there life is has been such a gift.

Its easy in the rush of a shoot to go into a zone of action. You get totally lost in the moment and that’s a wonderful feeling. Great shoots always start out with a plan but grow almost organically and its easy to remember why I am so blessed to be doing something I adore.

But its when I’m in those still moments of contemplation with no camera in sight that I appreciate what I do the most. In the midst of a kiss with my husband. It’s in the giggles while I chase my little guy in the hall way to home. Those are the moments when I know why I really chase after those illusive, beautiful, heart breaking and perfect moments and always will. Its just who I am. I’m a photographer with a photographers heart, even when there’s no camera in my hands.

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In Defense of the Dreaded, Demonized Selfie

Oh yes I’m going there. I will get right to my points:

 

1-These awesome people did it. I don’t know if you recognize them but if you do its undoubtedly due to the fact that they took the time to paint selfie’s.

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2-Its a form of self expression and self expression is good. Even if you are an attention seeking ham for the camera I say I love it. Keep being you and your kind will find and applaud you for it.

3-If you take more selfies you will become more comfortable with a camera and angles to try. New skills are great!!

4-Because nobody puts baby in a corner/takes away her eye phone and tells her to stop duck facing.

5-Because the surest way to start seeing the beauty in others is by seeing it first in yourself.

6-Because its no fun to take yourself too seriously.

7-Because the people who love you love to see your face and maybe a very long time from now your great grand kids will enjoy getting to see pictures of you through all your life’s journeys (especially the ones you ventured alone with only your own hand to catch that shot)

8-Because a lot of selfie takers are not vapid. Sometimes they are artists who love, adore and are just freaking mad about life and that they are hear right now. They are fully present today and they just HAVE to document it.

Some of us just love life and the place we hold in it. Oh and that new dress we bought today. It’s just too cute not to share. As for me I love the selfie’s in my feed. Maybe its people who need love and maybe its people full of love and gratitude, either way I’m hitting the like button. Selfie on my friends!

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