Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Maternity Photos are a must...trust me.

As a mom one of my biggest regrets was not having maternity photos done.  Many of you pregnant women are so unsure as to whether or not you want to do this type of session.

I run into women on a constant basis that don't feel great so they feel they shouldn't do a session.  I beleive that is a mistake.

Maternity photos are best done 7-8 months pregnant depending on the mother.  This ensures you are showing however aren't at your most uncomfortable, get this child out stage.

This moment is so important.  It brings back amazing memories.  Really you are only pregnant for 9 months and that memory quickly fades once your world is turned upside down by bringing home a new little baby.

This doesn't mean you have to do a session you aren't comfortable with.  Some women feel they don't want to show any skin while others find themselves extremely sexy showing off their baby bump.  Whichever the case may be, these photos are so important.

I have packages for expectant mothers depending on what exactly they are looking for.  These packages make wonderful gifts as well don't forget.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Trash the TUTU!!!!


So I figured since it was spring I would put together a fun trash the tutu mini session day.

As I came up with this idea I decided to contact a girlfriend and use her daughter as a model for this specific shoot so you could also see what a "trash the tutu" shoot looked like.  It worked that I was headed to Kelowna this weekend and it would work out perfectly. 

Girls can put on their rubber boots and tutus and get dirty!  Such a fun shoot.  If you are interested I will be running some spring mini sessions for these shoots.  contact me for dates and details.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring Mini Sessions (ON SALE)

Be sure to book in for this before all the spots are gone.  Great savings!!!

Contact me or email me to book your spot.

What to wear......

Many families biggest question to me is "what to wear"  This is a very tricky topic, because as much as I would love nothing more than to dress you.  You do need to be comfortable in what you wear.

I like to try and follow what I call the “Three Colors + POP” rule: 

1. Pick three colors (one being a neutral) and put together outfits with those colors only. More than three colors can seem a bit busy. 

2. Add in an unexpected POP of color. Be aware that this POP will become a focal point in the picture, so I wouldn’t advise adding this color in an area that you don’t want others to look at too closely. 

3.{I must make a disclaimer: RULES CAN BE BROKEN. I am preaching to myself here. However, I will say that these guidelines generally work well to produce a a cohesive, vibrant family portrait; a modern take on the whole “white shirts and blue jeans”, if you will.} 

Other tips: 

1. Think coordinating, not matching. Again, unless you want your family picture to look straight out of 1990, try to not match outfits exactly (although I have been known to match just because sometimes it works). 

2. Try and pick colors that complement the surrounding environment. for example If you have an abundance of orchards that look just lovely in the fall and spring, mustard yellow blends beautifully with the trees’ golden leaves. 

If you want to take this one step further (if you plan on displaying this picture in your home), try and choose colors that will compliment your home decor. My home is decorated with a lot of neutrals; thus, I would never pick neon colors for our outfits. Of course I’m exaggerating, but you get the point. 

3. Use your brightest colors as accessories. You don’t want the brightest colors detracting from the most important part of the picture: the PEOPLE! 

4. It is ok to mix solids and simple patterns. I know a lot of photographers might argue with me on this one, but I like to think that SIMPLE patterns add interest and texture to a picture. If you stick to a color scheme, everything just naturally blends together. 

So, that’s it! Hopefully, the above tips will help you do a little advance planning for what to wear for family photoshoots to create a beautiful family portrait you can be proud of.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Destination Wedding Photography

When you have decided to do a destination wedding you have 3 different options for photography.  This decision can be extremely difficult.  Here is a little bit of information to consider

1) Bring your chosen photographer with you

For my regular wedding clients I have package pricing put together for the day.  However I work with destination couples to come up with packages that work for them.  Usually this covers them covering the cost of my trip and an additional price based on what they are hoping for.  I absolutely think this option is by far the best.  You can have a photographer like myself who is there not only for the day.  This allows you to have photos of different days, such as time on the beach with friends, wedding, trash the dress, etc. 

2) Use the resort photographer

This option is usually your most cost effective option.  However you need to know what you will be expecting.  I recently had a friend use this option.  She got 60 photos on a disc and some prints and an album.  However just so you know my wedding packages usually consist of 400-700 images.  Also her images weren't edited.  This is so important.  I notice little details.  Eg.  Sunglasses sitting on a rock right beside them, or skin imperfections, etc.  I offered to edit her photos for her.  She definately went for that when she saw a couple before and afters.

Before edit / After edit

Before Edit / After Edit

3) Use and outsourced photographer not on the resort

Many very talented photographers are moving to tropical locations to do wedding photography.  I've had clients who used this option and it's usually about the same price as taking your photographer there.  Many resorts have fee's to have an outside photographer come onto the resort.  Definately do your research and view portfolios and photography styles.

Now if you or someone you know is thinking of doing a destination wedding please share this post with them.  Also, brides if you want a quote or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Wedding Photography can be quite emotional... this wedding in particular is one I will never forget!

I was asked to photograph a wedding last summer for a cute young couple.  At this point in my career I had chosen not to do a lot of weddings because they were such a huge venture.  I was so focused on families and boudoir sessions that I never made a point of even photographing weddings unless they were for close friends.

Alicia came to me asking me to photograph her wedding and when I knew what type of bride she would be I said absolutely.  I knew she was going to have a beautiful outdoor wedding with horses and also had a super cute bulldog so that didn't hurt.

We started with their engagement session at Centenial park in Sherwood Park.  They brought their little English bulldog puppy Roxy which made for a fun evening.  It worked out perfect that she had her trial makeup done for her wedding right before our shoot.  She went with Raw Refinement Makeup Artistry who I recommend and work closely with.  Steph is a fantastic makeup artist who always makes my clients feel amazing.

Now for the big day.....I met the girls at Alicia's parents house while she started getting ready.  My second shooter Savanna with SMcMillanPhotography met me there.  Savanna and I have worked together many times and we always have such a great time.  The house was packed full of people and it was a fun easy morning. Steph with Raw Refinement Makeup Artistry had a busy morning of makeup that is for sure but once these ladies were ready....look out!

One of my favorite moments to capture is the moment a woman gets into her wedding dress.  I think this is when reality sets in and emotion begins.  I also beleive it's one of the most beautiful moments.

 We then head over to the guys getting ready quickly and straigth out to the ceremony location.  Miller Venture Arabians.  Alicia's very involved with her horses so what better than to get married directly infront of her horses.   The weather couldn't have been better that day and everything was running smoothly.  Alicia's mother walked her down the aisle while her father waited for her at the end.  He had been extremely sick that week and was unable to walk her down the aisle.

After an amazingly beautiful ceremony the guests headed to the reception (a hall nearby)  while I organized and rounded up family and the wedding party for photos.  For those of you who know me.  I can be kind of bossy.  However this is very important to get the photos you want.  Now for the most emotional part!!!!

The bride gets organized and I get prepared to do photos of her and her parents.  Her mother comes over and quietly whispers to her daughter that her father was actually not doing well and was leaving in an ambulance from the neighbours since he didn't want to attract attention.  Weddings are emotional days and this moment will stay in my memory forever.  Alicia broke down.  I asked everyone to give her 5 minutes and let her cry.  I walked over to her and said "it's ok....cry. Let it out we will figure this out"  As I walked away from her I began to cry.  I couldn't imagine what was going through her mind.  This is her one day! Her one chance for a photo of her and her father on such a special day.  You can't just redo this day.  So while organizing the rest of the wedding party and family I asked them to stay together.  I walked over to Alicia as the ambulance drove past.  I grabbed her hand and told her "this is your one day, your one chance, and I want you to have a photo of you and your dad no matter what!!!"  Get in the car!  We pulled up while the EMS workers were loading him onto a stretcher.  Being the bossy photographer I am, asked them to stop for a moment.  They looked at me quite confused as I'm sure they have never had this happen before.   I had him sit up, and wrap her arms around him.  (as you can see from the photos below you wouldn't know that's what was happening)  I did have to photoshop his skin color a lot but this moment she will cherish forever!  

You can see the emotion in this brides eyes, however what you don't see is while I was taking these photos I was also crying.

Now as I'm sure you are all wondering.  He made it through!  He recovered and has these photos to look back on of his daughters special day.

This wedding will forever be one of those extremely special ones.  It taught me that emotion is ok.   That the fact I was in tears made me so uncomfortable and I felt unprofessional.  However, it was me.  This is also another reason I do what I do.  I capture moments!  Happy, sad, emotional....whichever these moments are I capture them.    

Saturday, 15 March 2014

What you pay for when you hire a photographer

Many of you think that when you hire a photographer you pay for someone who has a good quality camera and can take a good photo......however, guess what. That isn't the case.

So when you question my prices you must know you aren't just paying for the one hour of shoot time.    There is many expenses you are not aware of.

  • Camera gear is an obvious and is not cheap.
  • Studio equipment, backdrops, props, etc.
  • Editing software.

Now on the topic of editing.  It's rare that anyone of my clients sees unedited photos, because I always feel it doesn't show your best work.  Some other photographers show this easily, for me though I want you to always see my best, and that is the finished product.  However I'm going to take the time to show you a few photos so you can see what goes into a photo after you leave our session.

Some of my newborn sessions are in your home which sometimes don't make for ideal perfect settings.  But this image shows you exactly how much time and effort goes into the perfect newborn photo to hang on your wall.

Final Newborn Announcement

Before / After

Before / After

So this is a quick view into what actually goes on after our session.  Many of my clients are clients for life and repeatedly come back.  I get many photos and emails of clients who have decorated their homes with images I have taken.  I feel priveledge to become part of their lives.  

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Do you hate photos of yourself and think you are not photogenic?

Guess what. I am a photographer.  However I know exactly what those of you who hate photos of themselves are feeling.  Possibly why I prefer to stay behind the camera rather than in front of it.  However, personally having this feeling really helps me as a photographer.  I can absolutely relate with those of you who think they just aren't photogenic.

I work with my clients to make them comfortable.  A natural real smile is much better than a forced uncomfortable smile.  This works with people of all ages.  Those of you who know me or have done a shoot with me when people suggest saying "cheese" to kids to get them to smile that is the worst.  I use "monkey".  This is a much better smile.

Forced smiles / Natural smiles

I have sessions where children start out in the worst moods.  As you can see in this session. This little guy wasn't wanting any photos.  However I am patient and work with them and allow them to just relax and have fun.

Posing is very important too.  I have many clients who hate being photographed.  I completely understand if you are uncomfortable.  Sometimes I ask women to be super uncomfortable pose wise, however this can make for wonderful photos.  This usually happens in boudoir photos.  Posing definately helps though.  It can bring out your best assets.

So this is a reminder.  You just need to be comfortable and natural.  We all can have wonderful photos of ourselves.  It just takes finding the right photographer to help you capture them.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Cake smash sessions are such a blast

For those new parents this is the rage in photography.  What better than to capture your childs first birthday than with their first taste of cake.

I have two different types of sessions for cake smash photos.

A mini session which is a quick half an hour session and 10 edited photos of the cake smash.  This session includes the cake and is $195.

A full session begins with new family photos, some one year photos, and then last but not least the cakesmash.  This session is $325 and also includes the cake.

I have teamed up with a fantastic bakery The Blue Book Bake Shop and they never disappoint me with such unique and fabulous cakes.  They are also very knowledgable in the fact that as a photographer I want a big mess.  The icing is so light and whipped that it makes the perfect mess.

I work with parents to come up with a theme and color scheme.  I have a lot of props in my studio ranging from tutu's, ties, headbands, banners and backdrops.  We work together once booking your session to create the perfect look.

I also recommend parents practice.  This may sound funny but if this is your childs first time getting messy it can absolutely call for tears.  As a mom I never gave my son sugar before his first birthday, many parents can relate.  I recommend putting a muffin with whipped coconut milk in front of them before their actual cake smash session in preparation and getting them more comfortable with it.

These sessions are in my home studio which allows for easy clean up and a warm bath to clean the little ones up after.  If you have any questions or are interested in this type of session contact me.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Why I became a photographer...

Growing up as a kid my family did such a wonderful job of capturing those moments by camera.  My mother always had an amazingly artist eye....which I never thought I would follow.

In 2008 I moved to one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Kelowna, BC.  I had my camera out a lot however I felt like I was just taking in the beauty with my own eyes rather than using my camera. My photos however seemed to only be of my dogs.  Then when my son was born in 2010 I noticed how truly important it is to capture those moments, because it goes so fast.  I begin to really notice this with my clients now.  I usually warn parents who do photos to commemorate a first birthday to prepare to notice how grown up their babies have gotten.

I then made the decision to stay at home to raise my son.  Some of you may know I am a single mom.  Now before you feel sorry for me.  This is not my intention.  I absolutely love it and wouldn't change a thing.  He's made me into the person I have become and I will forever be grateful.  I take pride in being an involved mom, which this career path has allowed me to do this.

Now the benefits of having a studio in my home.....I have a built in model!  He began by being extremely photogenic and now as he grows it is much more of a challenge for me to capture those photos I really hope for.

This career allows me a lot of flexibility to be as good of a mom as possible, as well to travel and still make a living.  I'm currently doing photoshoots all over Alberta and British Columbia.  Since moving back to Edmonton from Kelowna my family has since moved to Kelowna.  I remember them being so concerned with leaving because my son was so young and they didn't want to miss out on watching him grown up.  However its wonderful!!  It gives me an excuse to go back every couple of months to visit friends and family.  As well I have built a great clientelle in Kelowna.

Now that you know a little more about myself....this is why I became a photographer and feel blessed to do a job everyday that doesn't feel like work.  I couldn't do what I do without such amazing clients and referrals so thank you for enabling me to live my dream.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Pet Portrait Fundraiser

As many of you know.....dogs have a soft spot in my heart.  This all began when I decided to take a huge step in life and move from Edmonton, AB to Kelowna, BC to open a couple pet food boutiques.
This experience was on of the most inspiring for me.

I began rescuing and rehoming pitbulls and bulldogs.  It became a constant in my life that I always had an extra dog.  I am however lucky to have found some of the most amazing homes for these dogs.

When my life transitioned into photography and I became so busy that I could not personally rescue anymore dogs, plus the rehoming became much more of a challenge with a young son who started getting very attached.

So I had to decide a way I could still help out.....and this is what began my start of Pet Portriat Fundraisers.   I have a couple upcoming fundraisers that are already full.

My next fundraiser is for "Alberta Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society"  it will be held in my home studio on March 29th.  If you are interested in booking in please email me at info@urbanimages.ca

Is Boudoir Photography for you?

There are many myth's surrounded by boudoir photography.  If you have considered doing boudoir photos before but have yet to book a session this post will answer some of your questions.

First, boudoir photography isn't about women who think they have perfect bodies.  It's about focusing on your assets.  Beginning to be comfortable in your own skin.  My client's don't think they are flawless, but they're confident in spite of that.  Most women who book sessions are just regular women.  They are BEAUTIFUL, not perfect model bodies.  Whether they are doing a session for a partner or are doing photos to feel confident, these sessions are definately some of my favorite.

Secondly,  women think they need to be overtly sexy and these sessions are only for women who can act sexy in front of a lens.  My clients choose me because I am able to make them comfortable and the images I take are tasteful and authentically them.  Acting sexy isn't what I aim for,  I shoot for confidence.  Its my job to pose and shape the body to accentuate your figure.  The best is when a woman laughs during a session and I am able to capture a flirty fun side.  I help you realize which aspects of you are going to best be photographed.

I begin each session with attention to details.  We become comfortable with one another and I discuss any part of you which isn't your favorite asset.  I ensure straps are in place and tags are cut out.  These little details make photo's wonderful.  Editing is another huge part of boudoir photography ensuring that when you see that image you are absolutely astonished.  I understand my clients are usually nervous on shoot day and I do take that seriously.  Usually those nerves don't last long and once I flip my camera over so you can see an image, the smiles shine and women become even more confident.  The final product is what I strive for.  In the end it's all about the women and bringing their inner beauty out.

Thirdly,  many think Boudoir photography is all about sex.  This is however not the case at all.  It's more about self confidence and empowerment.  Honestly many brides I photograph enjoy putting together these images for their groom to surprise him with the day of their wedding.  It adds to the excitement.  I also do mini session's for stagette nights which is always an absolutely blast.  Women get together and do hair and makeup followed by mini sessions and a night out on the town.  

Lastly, boudoir photography is only for women with a signifigant other.  This is absolutely not the case.  Many women think if you are single there is no point.  More than anything I think boudoir photography is a gift to yourself.  It's about celebrating who you are in the exact moment of your life and owning it.  It's about loving yourself and seeing yourself in a new way.  I personally know the benefits of this and it is one of the most empowering things I have done.  

If you want to feel confident, sexy, beautiful and empowered.....boudoir photography is definately for you. 

If you have any questions even the smallest about Boudoir Photography please do not hesitate to email me at info@urbanimages.ca and visit my website PORTFOLIO