Category Archives: Personal

Ottawa Photographer :: Me, Myself and 2013

I could tell you that it’s because my kids have been off school. I could tell you it’s because I’ve been constantly preoccupied with Christmas and New Years family commitments. I could even tell you it’s because I’m currently detoxing from carbs and refined sugars and I’ve got a headache 24-7.

But the reality is that my absence from blogging and shooting this past month or so is really a combination of all of those things and more. The biggest reason I haven’t been spending any time here: I’ve just felt uninspired.

Yes folks. Believe it or not, that’s totally possible. In fact, I don’t think I picked up my camera the entire Christmas break. Not because we didn’t have moments worth capturing, but because I simply didn’t feel inspired to. I find this is a common occourance for me around the holidays. I spend most of the spring, summer and fall being busy…and when I finally get a chance to relax and spend time on me, I prefer to put down the camera and do other things. This holiday season I’ve spent a lot of my time at the gym, in yoga classes or simply doing nothing meaningful at all. It’s been perfect. At first I felt guilty about all of the time I’m spending on myself, or not immersed in my business. I worried about the things I should be doing for my business but wasn’t. But much like with a child, I’m starting to realize that if I don’t spend the appropriate time on myself recharging, I won’t be the best photographer (or mother) I can be. So with that realization, the guilt just melted away. I also realized that there is no “should do” for me. This is my business. I define it’s success.

My 2012 was an interesting year. I tried to keep most of my personal stuff on the down low, but the truth is, it was a scary year for me. My anxiety was at an all-time high as the result of a leg/back/hip problem that popped up in late March. I spent a great deal of my time in pain last year. I spent a lot of time in doctors offices, urgent care at the hospital and my chiropractor’s office, trying to manage this pain while running my business. As a result of this pain, I became an anxious, emotional mess. Only the people closest to me know the depths of it. While I don’t think it effected my photography in any major way, I do think that it made a difference in my social life. I spent a lot of time alone. I also found myself dealing with feelings of being a crummy wife and mom. Towards the end of 2012 things started looking up quite a bit. I began focusing on my health and my mental well being, I began spending time with friends who really understood me and who really helped lift my spirits. I also began tackling some of the more difficult issues from my past that seemed to randomly surface along with the anxiety. Thankfully, a fairly miserable, scary year in my personal life turned around dramatically and I’m so grateful for that. It came at the perfect time. I feel like it gave me the boost I needed to launch myself into 2013 with a more positive attitude and a fresh outlook.

This year my main goal is simple: I will not allow myself to be driven by the superficial. I will continue to do what I love for two people only – my clients and myself. I will pour all of my energy into what matters most and will continue to let my client’s faith in the quality of my work be what drives them to choose me as their family photographer. And whether I photograph 3 families, or 300 families, my year will be a success. Because each of those families will get the best I can give them. For me it is not a race to see how many sessions I can cram into a week or how popular I can become. It’s a journey. It’s my journey.

I have a busy, exciting (and healthy!) 2013 year planned! I look forward to meeting some new new families and hopefully re-connecting with some past families too! I wish each and every one of you a fantastic year ahead with lots of wonderful memories waiting to be made! 🙂

Last Fall I had my wonderful and talented friend Genevieve (Ottawa Wedding and Engagement Photographer) take a few photos of me. It was a very vulnerable, humbling experience to say the least – especially given what had been happening in my life at the time. I know I’ve thanked Gen a million times for taking these but I have to give another big shout out to her here again. Gen, you helped me to see something in myself that I hadn’t seen before. Thanks a million my friend. 🙂

 

A New (Old) Toy :: Ottawa Photographers

There’s nothing like the dreamy sound of a record. Nothing. The crackling. The hum from the speakers. The perfect imperfection. So primitive by today’s standards, yet so amazing that a simple vinyl disc with all of those intricate little grooves can produce something so complex and beautiful. In a world of instant music downloads and mix CD’s, I am so grateful that there are still places that records and players can be purchased. They help remind me to slow down. To stop aggressively pursuing perfection or instant results in the things that I do. To have patience. To enjoy the now.

To just be.

 

A Reflection of 2011 ~ Ottawa Photographer

Wow 2011. Way to bring it.

Seriously, 2011 has rocked. Its been the year that I’ve started to see things truly flourish and there’s nothing quite as exciting as feeling the joy of your hard work paying off. This has reinforced to me that setting goals for myself is crucial to my success. Its not even a question really. I have to do it. It holds me accountable. It puts the success or failure of my business squarely on my shoulders. And I hate pressure. I complain about it. But boy oh boy, do I work well under it. 😉

This year was hard for me in many ways too. I was busier than previous years, which is WONDERFUL but also challenging when it comes to the family/work balance. Another challenge came in the form of a local individual who had attempted to replicate something I had done for my business. That situation alone provided months of frustration while I dealt with their never-ending wrath after standing up for myself. I am thankful though. During some of my hardest moments and most challenging of situations of 2011, I had support from so many wonderful friends and colleagues. I learned a lot about myself, my industry, my friendships and I have come out feeling so much stronger. So come to think of it, maybe the bad isn’t all that bad after all! 😉

Some of highlights and reached goals of my year include:

~ Having my work published in print. This ended up happening for me in more than one instance this year. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to shoot semi-regularly for Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine. I have also had the opportunity to be featured in Ottawa Citizen‘s ‘The Wrap’ newspaper and last but certainly not least, I’ve also had my work featured in PAWSH Magazine. This is VERY cool for me. I was hoping for at least one opportunity. I’m thankful to have been given so much more than that.

~ Being offered the fabulous opportunity to write a little series of articles for The Dedicated Photographer, which is a fantastic resource for the professional photographer. Bookmark it photographer friends!

~ Working commercially. Again, my mind was blown when I was contacted by the Canadian Red Cross for a shoot that involved producing images for a nation-wide campaign. My images were featured very extensively in all Canadian Walmart stores. And as if that wasn’t enough, one of the models I used for this campaign was my own daughter. A proud photographer moment AND a proud Mama moment!

~ Joining and being accepted by not one, but two highly respected professional photography associations. I’m SUPER proud to say that I became a member of WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) and also the NAPCP (National Association of Professional Child Photographers). To have such highly respected organizations backing me was kind of a big deal. I look forward to working towards becoming a part of more associations in the future.

~ Winning an image award. WINNING AN IMAGE AWARD. Ya….that took a while to sink in for me too. Much to my surprise and delight, one of my images placed 3rd in the Tweens age category of the July 2011 image competition with the NAPCP.  I know its totally cliche to say, but it was truly a dream come true for me. In fact, it took me COMPLETELY by surprise! But when the results were in and I saw my name up there with the other handful of winners, there I was. Placing amongst some of the most well respected photographers in Child and Family Photography and chosen out of potentially thousands of images. WOW. If that isn’t motivating me to rock 2012, I don’t know what will!!!

2012 will have its work cut out for it, that’s for sure! But as I continue to work towards my goals I am reminded that its not about how many props I buy or how many sessions I shoot. What’s important is loving what I do. Its discovering myself through my art. Its connecting with people authentically. Its nurturing the unique qualities that I bring to the table as an artist. Its the ever evolving skill that motivates me to do what I do and its my wonderful clients who trust me with their family memories. I am so very excited to see what’s in store for 2012!!! I also look forward to meeting those of you who I will have the pleasure of working with. 🙂

Much love, health and happiness for 2012 everyone! I want to leave you with you a slideshow of just a small number of my favorite images from this year.  Enjoy! 🙂