oneLOVE: and this was how it happened...

It was oh-so-very difficult to hold back on how many images I could use as "teasers" on this album, especially since I had SO MUCH FUN shooting & processing these, they were ready the day after... 

It started with a girl and a boy who decided to move their wedding up a year colliding with me, a person who happens to be a photographer, who happens to have amazing friends who happen know I am a chronic collector of all things vintage who also has a penchant for sewing...

throw in some impeccable timing (almost creepy) and add an adventurous and playful couple and we were off to a very good start... 

then for good measure, pour on a sleighful of happy coincidences, fate, good luck, banked karma, whatever you want to call it and voila.  Dreamy Wedding.


V&J - Thank you SO SO much for letting me be a part of your day.  My wish for you is that the playfulness, love, and joy you share is as fresh and strong each new day on your journey together as husband & wife.

By the way, like most photographers, I have a "wish list" - a list of things that we hope to one day shoot for no other reason than because it would be super cool to photograph.  One thing I've ALWAYS wished for was a winter wedding complete with Big Fluffy White Snowflakes (and a temperature that wasn't so cold that it made shooting outside painful.)  Wish granted.

Alas, the B&G are already on their honeymoon and until they return I can't share more.  So, these will have to tide me over.  

And oh how they do :)

bellyLOVE: made with love

So, I always know it's going to be a good session when it starts off with, "...and here's a pair of shoes I've already bought for the baby..."

(where were these cute booties when *my* kids were teeny?!)

I digress... 

This is Momma A.  She is gorgeous, no?

And here is Papa B, who is handsome all by himself, but looks 10x more handsome when his eyes well up with adoration for his beautiful wife.

Obviously they are keeping the baby's gender a surprise...

But what I found most compelling about this session was how at ease A&B are around each other.  They have that unspoken, indescribable chemistry that makes you feel kind of off and on kilter at the same time...

They get a sparkle in their eye every time they look at one another, the kind that speaks not only of excitement and anticipation, but of a very deep mutual respect and love.

This session was one of the most intimate sessions I've had - I almost felt like a voyeur when they were locked onto each other...

...instead of looking into the camera...

The recipe card says, "Ingredients: LOVE."

I say, this is one lucky baby.  Looking SO forward to meeting your beloved in a few weeks - thank you for letting me come into your sphere :)

newLOVE: on a bearskin AND a lambskin...

After showing signs of talent at his newborn session, Mr E has developed, bar none, the best variety of expression and range of emotion I've ever seen on a kid.  Not only can he portray attitude...

...he is adept at showing determination:






"Blue Steel":

and just plain done...

He is also classically trained in having Great Hair.

Thanks for letting me force you into posing for some of the cheesiest Christmas photos ever, even after C sustained a minor injury when his wife stabbed him in the eye with her fingernail.  You're such good sports lol :)

 And a special thank you to my beloved D-P and his beautiful kung-fu butt-kickin' wife R for making me breakfast and opening up their home for us :)

Love and smooshie kisses to you all!

newLOVE: Mr C. 9 months and counting

With the cold weather inevitably comes indoor sessions, which are constantly a challenge to be creative and unique. Part of the reason I own 9 bazillion props.  I seriously get stressed out about re-using props, which is silly, I know.  But I do.

What usually ends up happening, though... that the kids start playing with the stuff I bring...

...enjoy being the centre of attraction...

...dazzle me with megawatt charm...

...and make my props look so unimportant...

...I wonder what I was stressing about in the first place.

<3 these boys.  Thanks Momma for making me two such deliciously adorable pumpkinheads to photograph :)

Can of Worms: newbie mistakes

It seems that a number of people have been trying out some new and inexperienced photographers and getting very mixed results.  While many show great potential, the majority fall into the same pitfalls I think most of us do when we first start out.  So I wanted to put together a list of what I think are three of the most common DOs and DON'Ts but I am welcoming other photographers to expand and add to this list, based on your own mistakes or observations.  Remember folks - this isn't about beating down newbies, but giving them a little perspective from where we are at down the road from them.


DO: expect to get paid less than someone with 10 years of experience and over $10,000 worth of equipment in their camera bag and price yourself to be competitive and fair while leaving enough room to grow.

DON'T: expect to get paid a reasonable amount, because pricing yourself ridiculously low to build (or outright steal) clients will bite you in the bum when you try and raise your prices.  Not sure what a good place to start is?  Well, maybe you aren't ready to charge $500 for a family sitting or $5000 for a wedding package, but it's pretty safe to say that $100 for a family session including the disc and $500 for a full-day wedding is lowballing it - show some respect for not only yourself and other photographers, but your clients as well.  If nothing else, list the price you *want* to charge and offer a lower "limited time only" introductory price.  Do you REALLY want to win clients and get referrals because you're the "cheapest?"  I didn't think so. Especially since those of us who know you are intentionally undercutting send all the clients we don't like or don't want to deal with to you...  MUAH hahahahaaa!!!!


DO: take inspiration from standard "classic" poses as well as some successful fun poses of other photographers' work that you've seen, and try to incorporate props or gestures or some other small (or large) element that make the images unique and totally your own.

DON'T: Get into a rut taking the same successful yet boring pose again and again or copy other photographer's "signature" poses.  If you really want all your portraits to look like a) they were done at a department store or b) like another photographer's work, then you should a) go work at a department store or b) ask permission to use that shot.  We all know it can be tough coming up with creative ideas on the fly, but the more you push yourself, the faster you'll develop your style and stumble upon your own 'signature' poses, which are the shots you can (and should!) repeat time and time again.  I mean, would you rather have someone say, "That's so much like so-and-so's work!" or, "Wow - this is unlike anything I've seen before!"  I think we all know the answer to that.


DO: try out new trends and experiment with your image processing software, and mix it up a LOT.  Not unlike developing a signature pose, the way you post-process your images is a huge part of your style, and practice makes perfect.

DON'T: use post-processing as a means of making your technically imperfect images look like you "meant to do that on purpose" or get suckered into a style rut and a false sense of security by relying on presets, actions, and flash-in-the-pan trends exclusively.  Start by spending the time to learn how to take a clean, sharp, usable image that would technically be fine without you touching it instead of thinking, oh, I can just fix it later... No, you can't - all the soft blur, texture, and glow you can muster won't hide the fact you underexposed an image and didn't discover you let your autofocus pick up on the tree being leaned upon instead of the subject's eyes until you lightened it in Photoshop.  While fashion still plays the primary factor in 'dating' images, the era of digital post-processing has created a new way of making your images look 'dated.'  Examples of trends that have come on strong, and have faded from glory but left a lasting mark on the genre are heavy use of textures and frames, colour washes (often called "cross-processing" based on the pre-digital technique of using the wrong chemicals to develop film to get a funky effect - I've seen entire websites with nothing but the pinky-yellow tinted version of this...), and of course that old favourite, spot- or selective-colouring, which is where everything is black & white except for the baby's hat, or the bride's bouquet, or the child's eyes.

I know there are a tonne of things you'll need to figure out as you go along, but these are some pretty common pitfalls that are made by most photographers when they first start out.  I'm pretty sure each of my colleagues who have been in the industry for enough years all have horror stories about pricing, post-processing, and posing in the early days... ask, an they'll probably share :)

Happy shootin', newbies!!!

newLOVE: it's a....

So, just a couple of days ago I posted how leaving the gender of the baby a surprise adds an extra layer of excitement to the big event.  Well, I am pleased to announce that it's a... BOY!

Let me introduce the handsome little Mr. Z, who apparently is a fabulous sleeper EXCEPT when the photographer comes.

There are of course inherent hazards that come with doing this classic naked bridge pose...

...sometimes known as the "cold air sprinkler" effect...  (Hey, at least you got your balcony window washed, guys!)

Mr. Z is simply perfect.  Enjoy your first Christmas as a family!!!

togetherLOVE: a math lesson

~whew~ OK - so, there's a story here.  The idea is usually to capture engagement pictures prior to a wedding.  And, generally speaking, a family session would come 9 or more months after a wedding.  Unless of course you have babies first, then have horrible no good awful weather in the weeks leading up to your wedding and have to get the engagement session done AFTER your wedding, and decide you may as well, in that case, bring along the kids and the nanny, to boot.

Posers.  Little K is my technical assistant, while Mr. A is really great at coaxing smiles for me.  As much as they can help me push the right buttons, I imagine both boys do a stellar job of pushing their parents buttons, too, but not always in a helpful way.

After we finished getting some babyLOVE pictures of the boys and some togetherLOVE pictures of the whole bunch, the nanny took the boys off to look at the ducks while R&A and I took a few minutes to do a little belated nowLOVE...

So, we may have had to tackle this particular situation a little unconventionally, but the math is pretty simple no matter what order you add it all up:

nowLOVE + oneLOVE + babyLOVE = togetherLOVE