Kindred Spirits

Friday, December 17, 2010

                                               I thought this was an interesting perspective.

Is it Wierd?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

...when your bank sends you a Christmas card? Does my bank want to be my friend? Do they want to remind me they're watching what's going on? Am I supposed to send one back? What would I say? "Dear Bank. Happy Holidays! This is my cat."

Job Shadowing & the UN-glamourous.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's been a very busy week on the home front so I've not had too much photography time. I did have the opportunity however to shadow Mr. Harry Nowell this week for a corporate photo session. Shadow sounds like such a covert word doesn't it? Like I was lurking in the background spying on people. It couldn't be further from the truth. I was busting it. It took us about 4.5 hours of set up time to get to the point where he was ready to shoot and very UN-glam. But it was such a valuable experience and my most challenging photo experience yet. I got to see Mr. Nowell in action photographing staff & executives from the CBC and I wanted to do whatever I could to help him.
To Harry... Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The rest of the week has been nose to the grindstone at home and doing a little practice shooting [basically anything] when I have time. Oh, the fabulosity* of it all.

* My made up word. Spellchecker went nuts. ( :

Happy Anniversary Blog

Friday, December 3, 2010

I did it! I managed to blog my [photography] life for a whole year!

Can it actually be that long? I look back at the times I thought "Where am I going with this?" and more obvious " I'm such a dork" and those nagging "Who gives a crap?" moments. I know I'm not the only one who has them because you've told me, blogged me, emailed me, FaceBooked me and now ...heaven forbid even Twittered me. Yup I Tweet. Nothing too shocking but I've made some pretty awesome connections here in Ottawa, in the photography world and more specifically the wedding photography world.

So what have I learned in the last year by blogging? That the world is so connected. That I love taking pictures. I actually love people's reactions to the pictures I've taken. Mostly when they like them of course. That every single day I've had struggles. That every single day I've had successes. That the measure of my success is a personal thing and should not determined by anyone but me. That I love my family, my friends and everyone who has supported me and will support me in the future. I cherish you all fiercely.

If I can share some advice for photography ...and life? BE different. Be yourself. Trust your instincts. Walk away from the things that fail you and look for what lifts you up. Your passion will shine through when you are doing what you love. That said, I was going to post a picture of a cake but I just did that in my last post so I'll post a picture of my new shoes. Because they're awesome.

And I'm sure there is at least one girl out there (and maybe a few guys???) saying...Oooooooh-la-la! 

Family Ties

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life can get pretty busy when trying to balance home life, a day job and my photography. I've heard people say it's 'just taking a picture' but it's [tremendously] more than that. It requires so many dedicated hours to hone skills with my camera, meet with clients and work with the new technology. Even the word 'hone' sounds unpleasant doesn't it?

At times when it gets so hectic, I need to step back and revisit the reasons I wanted to pursue photography as a business in the first place. Relax. Focus.

Sort. It. Out.

So...a  little family birthday party was just what I needed. So many laughs. BIG laughs! My son showing us how his shirt is busting at the seams now that he's roomies with Nonna and being spoiled with her amazing Italian cooking. My brothers and their families. My gorgeous niece. Her friends.
And taking pictures....just for fun.


Winter Bokeh

Friday, November 26, 2010

The snow forecast turned to rain. Freezing rain. School buses were cancelled and my schedule was quickly adjusted. The weather has changed three times in the last 3 hours from rain, to snow and now it's in simmer mode. You know something is going to happen but it's any ones guess what and when. And so we wait.

But I did manage to capture a rather pretty bokeh earlier on. 

Weather Forecast - SNOW

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I guess we won't see these little guys for months so I'll post one last flower to tide me over until spring. It's kind of exciting to think what I'll find to photograph as the snow begins to fall and where inspiration will come from. Stay tuned!   

Networking for Ottawa Wedding and Events Professionals

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This week I attended "Networking for Ottawa Wedding & Event Professionals" arranged by Ottawa event planner Wendy Leung and her company Wendy has a passion for organizing and hosting wonderful functions where people in similar industries can get together to network and showcase their businesses . I met many new people, some of which I will work with in the near future. The night was vidoetaped by Ottawa videographer Sylvain Renaud and here is his recap of the evening:

If you look really quickly about the 57 second mark you'll notice me chatting with Sylvain's wife Caroline who is also a videographer for their business. 

It was a great social event and I'm planning to attend a few more that are scheduled in the next coming months. You should check Wendy's website to see what Beyond Events can offer!

Looking at Old Photos.

Monday, November 15, 2010

There are tens of thousands of photos on my computer and I've been looking back at them recently to compare some of my old shots to my newer ones. I have definite favorites and then there are many that I liked but never really shared on the blog for no special reason other than being busy working on other things.

There was always something about THIS picture that I liked because I was trying to create a shot with a Tuscan feel. I managed a bit of grainy texture to it which only enhances the feel of the shot and I was happy the way it turned out. So this picture is much older than what I've been posting but I still like it's  rustic Italian feel ...

I wonder if they always knew?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

                                              That they would be each others 'forever' love?

Fall Family Portrait Session

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

...and look who said he wasn't photogenic!! 

This summer Ottawa had the MOST amazing weather that stretched on into September & October and that was probably a factor why the beautiful fall foliage was just a bit off. The leaves changed to reds and golds later than normal and fell off the trees faster than normal. But as luck would have it, I had a family portrait session booked just when the leaves were their most colorful. Connie's three teenage boys were less than impressed by 'leaves' [as their mom and I were] after being dragged out of bed on a weekend but they were good sports. Once they realized that they couldn't go back to bed, they rocked it out. The pictures were just easy & relaxed, like they were modelling for A&F and I love that. Thanks to the Evans family for an awesome shoot!

Wedding Reception - Jamie & Kyle

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Recently I did a shoot for a young family, their toddler and newborn baby boy. I was thrilled that they liked the pictures and asked if I would photograph their upcoming wedding reception. I probably said "Sure" but what I actually said [with my inside voice] was more like "OMG ARE YOU KIDDING I WOULD LOVE TO!!!  Jamie and Kyle wanted to celebrate their recent nuptials with their family and friends with a relaxed and fun soiree. The evening reception was held on the top floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel with a panoramic night view of the Ottawa skyline. What was truly great was to see how much fun everyone had. I laughed so much I actually blurred some pictures. The night's lesson? Use my tripod!
Oh, and I think Uncle Jim might have proposed to me?? 

Thank you Kyle & Jamie for allowing me to be there for your really fabulous night! I hope you like the pictures.

...and ALSO important (because everyone else did) I would especially like to thank Marianne *smile*

Feasting My Eyes

Monday, October 18, 2010

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot~

Oh Dear! Oh D-d-d-dear.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It seems there is a shortage of blogs about baby pigs lately. I'm not sure why that is. 

Having Fun.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I was busy this past Thanksgiving weekend with a wedding to photograph and a family portrait session but we still had time to get together with our families and celebrate. I took some pictures for our family and did a little fun shoot to keep the momentum going. Hopefully I'll have the wedding and family pics finished and posted soon. 

How I See It - Don, Glenn, Timothy & Joe.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Like their song says "I Can't Tell You Why" but I love them. I love their respect and dedication for musical precision and harmony. Their album "Hell Freezes Over" is a testament to overcoming obstacles and moving forward. They're probably #1 on my [non family/friend/health or normal grateful things] list but I didn't want to appear too groupie stalker-ish on the first day.

I took this with my Panasonic Lumix - Summer 2010

Summer 2010

How I See It - Lots and lots of Magazines.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yup! It's a problem. We got an IPad recently so I'm  converting to online subscriptions for all my renewals. There MUST be studies where they've identified magazine buying as an addiction but I'm afraid to know. My basement is filled with old issues that I've read several times and go back to year after year. I've even scanned through old bookstores for vintage copies that I had when I was younger. I repeat: Yup! It's a problem.

How I See It - My Phone

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

As far as technology goes, I do OK. I'm not sitting in the basement playing COD late at night or anything like that *wink* but I do love that in some random moment I can get an unexpected "hey! how r u"? or "lunch or coffee sometime?" text ...or that make-me-laugh-out-loud email from a friend and it can make my day. Gold star to that.  

How I See It - Going Home

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I couldn't wait to leave. I still can't at times. I begin to miss the hustle of the city too much. It's tiny and rural and as unpretentious as a town could possibly be but it's home. It's also where old friends converge each summer, coming back to reconnect and reminisce about the 'good ol' days'. Geez...we're not THAT old!

Taken with my IPhone - Summer 2010
 That being said, everytime I head to Canada's East Coast I fall more in love with the countryside. It's so beautiful. And I'm grateful I get to see it again and again.  

How I See It - The Week Ahead.

Monday, October 4, 2010

 It's going to be a busy week ahead. I have a wedding and a family portrait session and my daughter turns 13! Then there is the part about 'giving thanks' (which I do every day anyway) so I don't really need a special day for that except I get to eat amazing food that other people have made so of course I'm thankful for that.
 The next few years are going to be so fun, in between teenage angst and well... just about everything else. At least I have some idea what I'm in for. Sort of. 

So back to giving thanks. This week I thought I would post really random photos of things I am thankful for [not including] family, friends and the expected roof over my head, bed to lie in.. etcetera.
                             Behold the beloved potato chip. *enter choir of angels here*

The Look.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Over the last year of my schooling I've met such a fabulous bunch of people who share a common interest in creating images that inspire, excite and move their audience.  We all have different points of inspiration that become more or less a genre that you become recognized for and I noticed that I was being referred to by my colleagues specifically as a 'landscape photographer'. Although I was happy people liked the images I was creating and I do feel a real connection with landscape I wasn't sure I thought of myself as specifically a landscape photographer.  Because of that,  I've been working to expand my portfolio to include several different genres. I am drawn to certain looks of portrait photography but I'm still  learning and changing at this point.  This morning I was looking through my albums and found this picture I took about 6 months ago of my son. He is in 4th year university and always seems to have this look to him that is pretty accurate to his life, like he's been hitting the books late into the night, serious, pensive, analytical.  It's that look he has that makes me say " WHAT???" and this is what it looks like... exactly! But it's not everything he is, or will be.

A Place in the Heart

Sunday, September 26, 2010

 Our family camp is nestled in the northern tip of New Brunswick and my sister and brothers and cousins spent our summers there growing up.  Every time we go back it feels like the most special place on earth. We spent some time there this summer with my brother and sister and some of our children. All the girl cousins got to hang out like we used to do as kids. I took many pictures but I thought I'd post this one today. Each evening after dinner we'd go out on the  boats as the sun set. Sometimes we'd try a little fishing and sometimes we'd just enjoy the serenity.   

Here's to trying.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Some people I know are pretty much Photoshop geniuses. I however am a Photoshop un-genius. Not that I wouldn't want to be that person that throws a photo in PS and has a jaw dropping high definition masterpiece in seconds but I'm just too 'attention deficit' to spend the time. If it didn't come out of my camera that way there's a good chance WYSIWYG.

However, every now and then I'll attempt a session of creativity. Today I made a little design, took a photo of it and then tried to make it all cool and stuff. I never know what I'll end up with because [I repeat!] I clearly don't know what I'm doing BUT because I did spend probably too much time on this I thought I'd post it anyway.

Today's lesson:  If you've been thinking of trying editing software but are hesitant because you have no experience it obviously doesn't matter. It's fun. Who wouldn't want to waste an hour having fun?

Night Photography

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I took this pic of Harry in a dark passageway with great results
 As I get more requests to shoot large events in banquet halls with various low light conditions, I thought a little specialized instruction might be valuable. I met with Harry Nowell  who designed a course that concentrated on all the questions I had. It helped immensely and although I'm an ardent fan of gorgeous natural light, it really helped me understand how to work through the difficulties of photographing with  unfavorable lighting.

Harry will be giving his 'Night Light' course in October which is listed on his website. If you are having difficulties with or just find this genre of photography exciting you might want to check it out.

Family Photography

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

 Recently I had the pleasure of photographing two families... each with a toddler and a newborn. Their story is pretty amazing because the two dads are brothers and the tiny cousins were born the exact same day only twenty minutes apart!  Can you just imagine the grandparents getting the happy news and then the happy news again? Their heads must have been spinning!

 The time I spent photographing them absolutely flew by. Big sister Ella must have said 'cheese' a hundred times for me while batting those gorgeous eye lashes. Her cousin Colin was still giving me his killer smile long after his baby brother was sound asleep. At the risk of having them escort me out, I could literally have taken pictures of them all day. But I think I'll leave that up to their grandma! I hear she's doing a great job all on her own. *wink*

Sign O' the Times.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

 Recently we've been seeing the signs. The ones that hint that this beautiful, fabulous, amazing summer we've had is creeping slowly away. You know it's happening when the A/C has been off for over a week, the evening sky is dark by 8pm and you feel the need to cook a Sunday night roast dinner ... in the oven!

It's going to happen. It's going to leave us....

 However this year's summer deserves a standing ovation for a truly spectacular performance.

 Also, I had a photo session today with an adorable newborn and his family. If I can I'll try to post a couple pics later this week.

Wedding Photography

Sunday, August 15, 2010

 Well I'm basically on cloud nine after a fabulous weekend shoot at David and Laura's wedding. I was asked by my good friend Lou to assist her with shooting the wedding for this gorgeous young couple. To say I was excited is an understatement but it wasn't until I was actually there photographing did I realize what an honor it was to be a part of their big day.  I'll begin by saying that Dave and Laura are first and foremost...simply gorgeous and in love and so easy to photograph.  Their beautiful traditional wedding was personalized by what David referred to as "typical Laura". And 'typical Laura' is not typical at all. She's traditional and demure but she's also Broadway and Charleston. From the minute the couple were introduced into the reception hall, it became pumped on 1930's style swing dancing and musical productions.  Jazz, jive and the jitterbug were rampant on the dance floor. Even the head chef peeked in from the kitchen to see all the excitement!!

 I cannot even imagine a better wedding to be a part of for my first effort as photographer. I can only hope I can deliver photos that give them even a fraction of the excitement that I got from being with them on their wedding day. And I absolutely wish them a lifetime of happiness.

That being said, Sandra Finner Photography - Wedding Division is officially open for business. Yeah!