July 31, 2011

Thoughts for a Sunday morning....

live with intention.
walk to the edge.
listen hard.
practice wellness.
play with abandon.
choose with no regret.
continue to learn.
appreciate your friends.
do what you love.
live as if this is all there is.

-mary anne radmacher

July 28, 2011

Christmas Petite Sessions

It's Christmas in July!
Well not really....I am however offering limited in home studio sessions on Nov 5th & 12th only.
These petite sessions will go as follows:
30 minutes for a family up to 5 people (additional fees for additional members)
Online Viewing Gallery
And depending on which session you book it will also include 25 Christmas Cards where you can pick one of the 3 designs you'll see below.

First option: Simple Petite Session

These cards are rectangular double sided cards with envelopes
Sample of one of the designs #1 - front

Design #1 - Back

Second choice is the deluxe petite session

The main difference in this session are the cards. They're the boutique cards so instead of rectangular double sided you get one of these two choices....

The Scalloped Edge  (design #2)....note the dotted line is not on the card. These are just screen shots I took so you can get a better idea of the shape of the card :)

And the ornate (design #3) ....again without the dotted line on the edge :)

If you book your Christmas or any portrait session before August 31st you'll receive a complimentary 8x10 Fine Art Gift Print
**Session fee is due at time of booking to hold place**

Don't forget if studio sessions aren't you're style I'm booking regular portrait sessions until the end of August where you can easily use those photos for this year's family Christmas card if you wish!

Playing With Light

I found Jesse playing with one of his toys in the laundry basket on Sunday.
I also noticed the interesting light on his face....so I thought I would play.
This first photo was taken in aperture priority with spot metering

This one would be my typical shot....I fixed the curtains so he would be evenly exposed and took it in manual option...yes you can even see his dirty face in this one.

In this case I actually prefer the first one. More dramatic, totally pushing me both technically and creatively...which is a good thing right?!!?

July 26, 2011

Just for Her Summer Series - Girlfriends

It was my first year after graduating college. Kristen & I were living in a city where I knew very few people and as much as I loved Kristen and spending time with him I was going crazy. I needed girl time!

I needed female opinions and conversation on the things and happenings in my life. Kristen is my best friend but he’s still a guy and I needed that balance in my life. So I rounded up a few acquaintances (“kind of” friends at the time but none I would consider “close”) and we joined an all women’s volleyball league. It was exactly what the Doctor ordered. I was able to laugh, giggle and talk girly stuff that Kristen would humour me and listen, but I’m sure some days were driving HIM crazy.

It was from that point that I always made it a priority to have girlfriends in my life. Some are only acquaintances, some were only there for a season, some were and are soul mates that no matter how near or far there’s a connection that she can and will always be someone I can depend on.

So with that here’s my list of what to  and what not to look for when looking for a GREAT girlfriend.... please feel free to agree/disagree :) I strongly encourage the conversation

A GREAT girlfriend will.....

Be a positive influence in your life.
Be there for you in bad times but doesn’t allow you to wallow in self pity.
Will tell you the truth even when it hurts.
Challenges & encourages you to be more, be better, be fabulous
Shares in your joys and achievements rather than feeling envious or jealous.
Can chat with you for hours about everything and nothing (even if you’re not a talker)

A GREAT girlfriend will not....

ALWAYS talk about herself (sometimes is okay...we all need that)
Be a victim in her own life so that when you leave her presence you feel emotionally & spiritually DRAINED (I can’t believe the life I’ve been given, I’m destined to always struggle....)
Be constantly critical of her appearance (you know who they are....I need to lose 10lbs, my thighs are too big, my skin isn’t perfect.....and on and on they go)
Critical & judgmental of others (if she’s making fun of others or thinks she’s better than others it’s because she’s insecure and needs to feel better about herself. You don’t need that in your life)

This list could go on and on but this is my short version that’s blog friendly :) I will quickly mention that there are women reading this RIGHT NOW who are saying I get along better with guys, women are cats, etc, etc....all I say to that is,...you haven’t found a great girlfriend or simply...it could be you. Maybe it’s time you evaluate the influence you have in a friendship...are you the negative, critical, always taking, draining one? Maybe, maybe not....I’m just putting it out there.

Now on to this week’s challenge:

*Really look at the girlfriends in your life and decide if a break up is in order. Yep I said it....sometimes we need to break up with girlfriends just like breaking up with a bad boyfriend.
* Recognize the VALUE in the friendships you already do have with the fabulous women in your life!
* Feel like you need to re-connect with an old friend, do it!
* Have a friend that you want to get to know better? Ask her out for coffee!

**Side-note** You don’t have to be joined at the hip for the friendship to be of value. Find a balance that works for you because regardless of the amount of time spent together, the positive side effects it will bring to your life are totally worth it!

 This photo was taken November of 2006 and still one of my favourite "girlfriend" photos

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are”   - Unknown

July 25, 2011

Failing Forward: The Tale of the Mike & Ike Candy

It was a dark rainy Monday morning...all I wanted to do was go home, crawl back into bed, cover up my head and cry. I didn't but plugged through another Monday morning in the office.
It was mid morning when I remembered the Mike & Ike candies in my purse. I quickly grabbed them and placed them on my desk where I first ate them by the handfuls and then one by one.
I started feeling better so I put them away....only to keep thinking about them so I decided to take them back out.
I figured I would only eat the yellow and green ones since they were my least favourite anyway. Once those were all gone though, I justified eating all the oranges ones....which left me with pink and red ones begging to be eaten to join their other coloured friends.
Before I knew it, I had eaten the whole bag.
I still felt miserable and now I could feel that Baby Hann had hiccups. All because of me.....all because I kept eating the Mike & Ike's and now my poor unborn child was going into sugar comatose!
I mean really, what kind of mother am I? I'm supposed to be eating properly and nurturing this child to be healthy, so that when he/she enters the world they are strong and have a fighting chance. But instead I had let my own self wallowing and sugar cravings get the best of me.

Then I remember something Mary said during the Spread the Love Seminar almost two weeks ago....she said you don't have to start over, you can "Fail Forward"
That simple statement of failing forward hit me so hard that I think it has almost become a chanting mantra of mine since then.

As women, mothers, wives, daughters,....when do we give ourselves permission to mess up? This fail forward concept made it okay to make mistakes as long as we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, learn from it but most importantly MOVE forward. After all, if you think about it, we never really start over. When we're born that's our only 'true' beginning. After that, we just crawl, stumble, walk and run forward....yes there will be bumps, bruises and tears along the way but that's how we learn, grow and figure out what does work and then maybe next time we won't stumble but we'll go forward with confidence, without error, without fail.

So next time I screw up, I'll accept the responsibility and consequences of the mistake I made, whether it be eating too many Mike & Ike's, being too quick to speak harshly, making completely rash business decisions, or any other area of my life. I can go forward knowing I've learned, grown and became a better person because of it. I can shed the horrible feelings of guilt and shame and be proud that I was strong enough to fail and yet overcome to keep going. 

"There is no failure except in no longer trying"  - Elbert Hubbard

July 22, 2011

Walk Through A Wedding with Justin & Mary

I don't want to stop blogging about the Spread the Love and Walk Through a Wedding Workshop with Justin & Mary. I've been so deeply affected in a positive way that I don't want the feeling to end. 
I just want to say that if you're ever given the opportunity to attend both or at least one of either of these please JUMP at the opportunity, it's so worth the investment.
I also want to add that Justin & Mary are the real deal. Who they are on the blog is who they are in person. Genuine and down to earth :)

Now for my last few images to clue everything up on this Friday evening! 

First here's some behind the scenes shots....Justin chatting it up with Emma Poliquin
If you're from the Halifax area, check her out!

Mary setting up our models. I HEART Mary :)

Okay so these hats get a shot all their own because Julia MADE them herself. Yep....I'm totally impressed. One of the girls keep asking Mary all day how to get herself a Julia....I  can't remember the exact conversation but I do recall Mary saying something along the lines of not being allowed to have her Julia :)

Then it was time to get schooled about off camera flash. This was ONE of the main reasons I signed up for this workshop. I was not disappointed. Here we were learning how to photograph detail shots using the shoot through umbrella. 

And this shot is where I was personally getting schooled about the off camera flash because I was being blonde, or pregnant, or just simply dumb and was not getting it until I took this image. 
EXTRA kudos to Justin & Mary for being so patient with me.

And last but not least my FAVOURITE off camera flash image. 
Brent & Patti I met earlier in the week at the Spread the Love seminar and they came along to help out at the workshop for a few of the "what I call" night shots.
Brent is a wedding photographer from the Milton area....so you'll definitely want to be checking out his work too. They too are a super sweet couple.

So yep that's it....the conclusion of the seminar and workshop blog posts, photos, and ramblings. All kinds of new goodies next week. Have a fabulous weekend everyone and I hope you have some awesome summer plans up your sleeves! Get out and enjoy :)
Happy Friday!

July 21, 2011

Alice in Wonderland Wedding - Olivia & Joseph

Now for part II of the Alice in Wonderland wedding. 
Olivia was dressed to be the Alice of the day. Yeah she fit the role perfectly....and well Joseph he was the perfect compliment to her.

Hair & Make Up: Jessica Jean Myers
I absolutely LOVE Joseph's expression in this one

And then gorgeous Olivia and that dress and that hair and, and,......you get the idea :)

One of my many favourites

And this one too

Tomorrow I'll finish up with a few odds and ends that I want to show you and then I'll move on. 
I really can't say enough about how awesome this workshop was. But then really I hope you can see for yourself :)

July 20, 2011

Alice In Wonderland Wedding: Jenna & Jonathan

I want to begin by extending a huge thank you to Justin & Mary for hosting the Walk Through A Wedding Workshop. I've learned so much and my mind is seriously still in a whirlwind....and again I apologize for asking so many questions :)

Part 1 begins with Jenna & Jonathan who are in fact an actual couple, and boy did it show. They're so affectionate and sweet together. 

Hair & Make Up: Jessica Jean Myers

Jenna was tailored to be similar to the White Queen in the Alice In Wonderland story...she rocked it out!

Time for some croquet

My absolute FAVE image of Jenna from the day

Then we headed over to the bridge for these awesome images

Part 2 tomorrow!!

July 19, 2011

Just for Her Summer Series - Quiet Time

The house is quiet....all my boys including Boone are sleeping. That's my time....to catch up on work, cleaning or me time. 
Yes that quiet time where I get to do whatever I want just for me. I really believe in quiet time, not just for myself but for all women. We put so many pressures and demands on ourselves in the run of a day that I feel even 10 minutes a day to unwind, reflect, pray, meditate or do whatever it is you do as down time is not only important but vital to our overall well-being. It helps us get out stress, rejuvenate our spirits and connect our souls to something of a higher power.

Some of my favourite quiet time activities are....
Reading Books/Bible
Writing or Journalling
Going for a Walk
Candlelit Bubble Bath
Listening to the rain
Listening to softly playing music

This week's Just for Her challenge is simple!
Take at least 10 minutes each day for the next 7 days as quiet time. Rejuvenate your spirit, rest your mind, and in turn make yourself a better woman because you decided to take time just for you.

"A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live."  ~ Bertrand Russell

July 18, 2011

It's late

It's late...I don't think I even want to know how late.
I'm working on a wedding album and needed a mental break. 
Last week was a whirlwind with the visit from Mom in Law, the Spread the Love Seminar and then A Walk Through a Wedding Workshop with J&M. I loved every minute though and can't wait to get all my ideas and renewed energy going at full speed.
To hold you all over here's a sneak peek of the Alice in Wonderland themed wedding from Thursday....yes I'm in love

July 13, 2011

Open Heart. Open Mind.

I woke abruptly at 1:50am hot and thirsty. I threw off the blankets and reached to my nightstand to discover I had forgotten my glass of water. I stumble into the kitchen drink my water at top speed and then use the green glow from the stove clock to refill my glass. I crawl back into bed and that's when it started....the thinking.
I went into yesterday's Spread the Love seminar with the mindset of an Open Heart. Open Mind. I booked this seminar back in November not knowing what to expect but knowing it was something I needed and wanted to do without doubt. And as life would have it, the timing couldn't have been better.
I had full intentions of spending today reflecting, writing, and immediately implementing some of the ideas and challenges put before me from yesterday. But instead...I awoke in the wee hours to then spend the rest of the night thinking (with some tossing & turning thrown in) I was processing the abundance of information and even started coming up with my own ideas & even a couple of light bulb moments....yep who knew wee hour thinking could be so productive.
5am I hear Kristen's alarm go off and I realize I've been awake pretty much the entire night but I realize I'm okay with that. I can catch up on sleep anytime, but this seminar was an experience of a lifetime for me. I'm excited and on fire for this next step, this next adventure. 
Justin & Mary....thank you. Your desire to help others, to give them permission to 'fail forward' and the permission to be yourself has already been worth it's weight in gold for me.

This is me yesterday on the way to Toronto for the seminar. I didn't take any photos while there because I was just too caught up in everything else. Super excited & anxious but definitely worth it :)

July 12, 2011

Just for Her Summer Series - Passion

When I first decided to do the Just for Her Summer Series – I jotted down the “themes” I wanted to cover over the summer...when I wrote today's on my calendar I scribbled down.....Just for Her – Career. But the more I thought about it the more I hated that word! I hated the word career, cause I didn't want this post to be about jobs but about following your PASSION. Should it be your income and financial gain in your life remains to be seen but I didn’t want that to be the main focus.
So let's begin.....how do you Find your Passion? Here’s a few suggestions....

1.      True Colors Career
I found this neat free quiz at True Colors Career.com  where it tells you your primary colour and what type of person you are. 

2.      Ask Questions
(Ex:) What am I insanely interested in? What could I talk about for hours? What would I do for free? What activities genuinely give me pleasure? What does happy look like?)

3.      Find your Strengths
Don’t be shy.....what things are you good at? What’s something that you posses that you feel makes you unique even if it was a childhood talent or skill?

4.      Think back to your Childhood.
What were you favourite things to do as a child? Some of mine were playing house (I’m currently living that dream as a wife and mother), I loved making mud pies (I currently love food and consider myself a bit of a foodie), I love playing school (currently my love of sharing knowledge not to mention the thirst for knowledge that never seems to be quenched) take photos, colour & write (all the little artistic things that I’m obsessed with even today) and I thoroughly enjoyed playing Rainbowland (my cousin Tammy would get this one....we very devotedly ran our little business named after my 80’s rainbow wall paper that adorned my bedroom walls.....I don’t even know what our business was I just know we were good at it and we’re quite successful) All of these childhood hobbies and interests are all a part of my life today and the passions I actively pursue.

5.      Dare to Dream
In a perfect world with no boundaries where do you see yourself? Open up your mind to ALL the possibilities.

6.      Make Lists
Write it down! Writing things down with a pen and piece of paper uses a whole other part of your brain than typing on a computer doesn’t. PLUS seeing your dreams and ideas in ink puts a way better perspective on it.

7.      Enlist Family & Friends
Since it’s sometimes hard to assess ourselves...ask your family & friends what 2-3 things they think you’re naturally talented at. My family & friends would say I’m good at talking.....I know this is taken as a bad thing by most people but I’ve embraced and I’m trying to use it for a greater good. If my voice will be heard let it be for something that will helps others and inspire.
8.      Pursue it! 
Once your discover your passion...pursue it! In fact today I’m attending the Spread the Love seminar by Justin & Mary and then this Thursday I’m attending their “A Walk through a Wedding Workshop” I’m willing to do whatever it takes & invest in resources that I feel will help me pursue my passions in photography and running my own business and to continually grow and learn within those fields just because I love it THAT much!!

9.     Nothing is carved in stone
Have you discovered that gardening is your true passion...great! But don’t feel this is a fixed mould and there’s no room for growth or change. 5 years from now who knows what my passions will be? Maybe I’ll discover a love for sky diving or pottery. Always be open to trying new things, new ideas, and listening to others as you never know what’s out there yet to be discovered that might very well be the ultimate passion for you for a season or a life time.

And on that note....let’s get into this week’s challenge...it’s pretty simple....find you passion! 
Use the above mentioned steps to start discovering your true bliss... it might be the beginning of the awesome path you could soon start travelling. 
Happy Travels :)

July 7, 2011

Old Photo

I'm working on a little project and last night I found this photo of Kristen and my cousin's dog Riley.
I don't know why but it still ranks as one of my fave photos ever!!!

Taken on the old film Nikon SLR 

For the full story on how this photo came to be click HERE

July 6, 2011

It's Summer Time

Our summer so far in a series of images....

I love summer