April 30, 2011


Jesse decided that 6:09am was the perfect time to get up this morning.
You know on Saturday when we can actually sleep in a little. A normal weekday we're fighting to get him up before 7am and get him fed, changed and cleaned up to head to the sitters.
So already today I've been grocery shopping, taken Jesse to the park, put Jesse down for a nap and now trying to get a bit of work done before this evening engagement session.
Busy but productive, my favourite kind of day. Not to mention the weather is perfect :)
For now here's another photo of Steph from her Punta Cana wedding to hold you over until my next post.
Happy Saturday & Have a great weekend.

April 28, 2011

On A Whim Session: Myrna

I’m sure you all know Myrna. You know the girl who had the photos taken on the truck?
Yep ...that’s the girl. Almost all clients I speak with mention that photo shoot and how much they loved the images.
Myrna is one of my best friends and probably my BEST client.
She believes in what I do, she loves my work, and supports the philosophies as to why I do what I do. She’s one of my loudest cheer leaders.

But what I need all of you to know is that I’m really one of Myrna’s biggest fans.
Why you ask? Because she’s fabulous. Just as she is, right now.
She’s a wonderful Mom to two beautiful daughters, a loving wife to her husband, a business owner, an active volunteer in the community and her church, has creative talent that oozes from her to the point that I’m almost envious (not quite thought because that would be a sin...lol) and on top of all that, she’s a beautiful woman, inside and out.

Another reason I deeply admire Myrna is her ability to seize the moment. I’m a planner, I like lists, calendars and schedules. Myrna is a procrastinator, works better under pressure and prefers last minute decisions. It drives me nuts but is also a good balance to our ying-yang relationship. It’s also a characteristic that forces her to live life now, as is.

This lead to her decision to do her trash the dress session while on vacation in the Dominican Republic. Cause really who knew when she’d be there again and she loved that setting as the backdrop for her photos. But what you need to know is Myrna just had a baby 8 months ago, she looks great but still feels she needs to lose weight, tone up and the list goes on but I say she’s full of it because her curves ARE something worth envying.
And yet, that still didn’t stop her.....in fact this is what she said “I may have rolls and stretch marks and crazy hair, but it's me right now, and I actually kinda like it :) I know maybe I shouldn't wear a 2-piece bathing suit either but this is what I have right now and in 20 years I'll probably be wishing for it..."  ~Myrna
 Seriously how can you NOT admire someone who has such an awesome attitude and outlook on life. 

So on the way to the beach to do her Trash the Dress session, I was commenting on how much I loved the black wrap she chose to wore "en route" then we found some awesome rocks and decided to do a "on the whim" mini boudoir session.OH yes....fabulous indeed!!!

I'm very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.
Marilyn Monroe

April 27, 2011

Living in the Now

This past winter I was forced to stop.
To literally take a step back and do nothing.
I was mildly depressed and exhausted.
I was in bed most nights 10-15 minutes after Jesse would go to bed, whether it be 8pm or 10pm.
But I have to admit it was a blessing in disguise.
You see, Kristen & I are expecting our second child....yay :) We’re very excited to say the least.
The first 3 months of my pregnancy were an experience that I hadn’t had before. While pregnant with Jesse my energy levels stayed exactly the same. My mood was better than ever (no PMS.....lol) But this pregnancy came along and kicked me down. I wasn’t sick like I was with Jesse but I was definitely down and out. I didn’t have the energy to do blog posts, to do housework, and I got by on the bare minimal of just about every aspect of life. Honestly sometimes I think Kristen has to be a saint to even endure life with me.
However as mentioned, this past winter was a good thing for me. I had time to think and re-evaluate what’s important. I made time for family and nothing else. I was so caught up with where I was going and where I wanted to be that I wasn’t living in the now, until I wasn’t given that choice anymore....because this past winter all I could do was live in the now, with them...Kristen, Jesse & Boone.
Thankfully as the middle of March came along, accompanied by daylight savings time, warmer weather and a visit from my parents I started getting my energy levels back and feeling like good ‘ol Christa.

And now with a much needed vacation under my belt, I feel re-energized with a new outlook on living in the now and how THAT will take me where I want to go and where I want to be. I have a new focus, I have renewed my passions and even obtained a couple more.
I’m filled with a desire to help others, in any way possible, whether it be through my photography, my blog or a simple conversation over a cup of decaf coffee (you know being pregnant and all....wink, wink)
I’ve decided, as mentioned in this post, that I’m tired of actually caring what people think of me, and trying to go by the ‘rules’ I’ve decided that being myself is enough. That you can take me or leave me, cause truthfully I already have everything that I need.

April 26, 2011


I can’t stop thinking about Charlie......

 Charlie was the guide (also owner) on our Dune buggy tour that we did while visiting Punta Cana. As you can tell from yesterday’s blog post I was really moved by the tour and how simple life can be. But what I can’t stop thinking about is the decisions Charlie has made for his life. He’s left him homeland of Germany, to move to a tropical island to run his own business and truthfully from what I could tell, a simple life.

I mean really, can you imagine packing up everything you own and moving half way across the world to follow a passion of driving dune buggies? And yes he’s passionate about the dune buggies because if you ‘claim’ you can drive a stick shift and then you don’t drive his cars to the standards he expects, then you will surely be reprimanded for it.

And the fact that he’s so successful is further testament that following his dream was obviously the right decision. As we were heading back to our buggies after swimming in the ocean, I told Charlie that it was a great trip. He told me that he likes to keep it simple. He likes to share what he likes and interests him. I said well obviously it’s working, it’s been an awesome tour so far J

At the end of the tour we headed back to Charlie’s place where his partner made a comment about us being late....oops...easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun. I would find out later that Charlie advised his partner Angela that he loved our group because we showed genuine interest in what he had to say and actually asked questions, OH and drove his cars how he expected :)

That evening when Angela dropped off a CD of photos from the day in which we had purchased, she advised us that the CD’s were not copyrighted, we were free to copy the CD, share the images with each other, on Facebook, and the list goes on because she said our word of mouth was better advertising for them then they could ever pay for.

Wow!!!! Boy did they hit the nail on the head. I was so impressed I immediately updated my Facebook status to link back to their website. And I’m sure once we get around to updating our Trip Advisor profile it will also include a fabulous review for www.xtreme-buggy.com

But this is also exactly why I can’t stop thinking about Charlie. He gets it! He’s doing everything right. It’s made me want to be a better person and a better business owner. It’s reconfirmed that I want to give all my clients not a great experience but the BEST experience when they choose me as their photographer whether it be for portraits of the family dog or their wedding day. It’s made me what to GIVE more to my clients, because really them, YOU being happy is what I truly want. I do this not only because I like to take pictures but because I want people to feel good! Be happy about the people that they are and who they are now, at this moment in their lives.

Thanks Charlie, not only did you cover this girl in mud, show her the simple lives that many folks in Punta Cana live, but you also showed her the true meaning of keeping it simple, and sharing what you love. All the rest just falls into place. 

April 25, 2011

Xtreme Buggy Tour - Punta Cana

I haven’t traveled extensively but I have traveled a wee bit to the tropical islands down south. Every time the hubby & I visit one of these locations we usually book an excursion or two. Some sort of action adventure type tour that is fun but also educates about how the locals live and not base our conclusions by the few servers we meet within the resort.

Usually we book the tour once we arrive and through the rep provided by our travel agent. Usually we play it somewhat safe because honestly I’m a big chicken and hate to break the rules.

We knew we wanted to do a dune buggy tour, cause really who doesn’t want to get covered in mud to the point that you literally have to throw the clothes away (even the underwear), but after much research (hubby dearest is a research junkie) we quickly discovered that these dune buggies weren’t actually that much fun. They were small, they would break down constantly and the tour guide was basically just another guy trying to pay rent without much passion for what he was doing.

But this time, oh this time....Hubby went and found a dune buggy tour called Xtreme Buggy that had amazing reviews on Trip Advisor, you HAD to book in advance, and the kicker....it wasn’t “approved” by our travel agent. Eek!!!! However, the kind words by past customers convinced me and we went ahead and booked a group, paid the deposit and voila...April 15th while visiting Punta Cana, Dominican Republic I would go on my favourite excursion to date.
Yes that's mud on the lens

 After driving through what I call the canyon but was actually a quarry, we stopped at a local supermarket.
Charlie explained to us here that the locals ONLY buy what they need. And pretty much on a daily basis. With electricity always rolling, it’s almost impossible to own a refrigerator. So if they need a slice of cheese for the day they go to the market and buy one slice of cheese.

This moment, this stop on the tour is what caused me to think and not stop thinking since.....the fact that we consume, consume, consume, we buy more than we need, we throw out rotten food, and these people buy only what they need because of circumstances. I just hope someone has told them that they’re the ones doing it right. They’re the ones not destroying anything out of greed. They get living simply and in the moment.

I wasn’t exaggerating about the mud
Group photo

The beautiful beach where we attempted to clean up after the group photo

 And I’ll finish off with this little video  :)

April 24, 2011

Just Because: Kayla & Chris

There's an old rundown gas station just on the outskirts of town.
I drive by it almost daily.
I love it!
It has so much character.
My cousin Kayla was coming to visit a few weeks ago. She & her boyfriend were coming for a weekend en route to Varadero, Cuba. You might remember Kayla from THIS Just Because session.
When she asked if a Just Because session for her & Chris would be possible I immediately told her yes, we could definitely work something out with the short amount of time we would have together.

We got to talking about her vision for the shoot and I couldn't have been more excited, I explained to her how I had the PERFECT location and it would suit not only the look she was going for but it would also be an opportunity for me to add this awesome location as a choice for future clients.
Because really, who wouldn't want their photographs done here after seeing how awesome Kayla's & Chris's images turned out.

Kayla WORKED it!!! Love me these gas pumps

Chris managed to rock it out as well.
You might remember this one from the sneak peek

And this one...

I know you may think a lot of these images are "serious" looking. But it was the feel we were going for.
But I promise, we really did have lots of fun :)

Then we headed across the street to this fabulous spot.

I would highly suggest this one as a wall print :)

And to finish off the session, this one.
Yes that's right ladies, hands off, he's taken...he, he.

Happy Sunday friends. 
I hope you are all spending the day celebrating the true reason of Easter with those closest to you.

April 22, 2011


I'm back from Punta Cana with lots to write about and lots of photos to post.
I'm steadily working on everything and starting on Monday I should be back to regular posts with lots of new shoots and awesome looks.
Yeah I'm excited.
Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter

One of the many images I can't wait to share with you from Steph & Ed's wedding :)

April 11, 2011

On Vacation

While on vacation I'm going to attempt regular Facebook updates and Twitter updates.
If you haven't added me under either of these two social networks....what's stoppin' ya??!!?!
So....c'mon, c'mon...don't you want to see white sandy beaches, wedding sneak peeks and trash the dress sneak peeks?
Of course you do.

Sneak Peek: Kayla & Chris

So this is only a very quick sneak peek since I'm off to Punta Cana tomorrow and still a million things to check off my to do list.

To hold you over....here is some awesome-ness that is Kayla & Chris
Yes, yes....by FAR my most fave Just Because session EVER!!!!