Mission Engagement Session /LAURA & MATT

Laura and Matt's wedding photographer lives out of town so they asked me to take their engagement pictures for them. They chose an excellent location in Mission, with lots of backdrop options. I love variety so I was happy with their choice!

I seem to have random connections with all of my clients! I guess that`s what happens when most of my business is through word of mouth. Laura and Matt were great to work with and to get to know! Good luck with the rest of your wedding plans and enjoy this time of being engaged! It goes by so fast.

Like always, here are my favourites!


Granville Island Portrait Session /SIM, LISA, JACK & PAIGE

What a great family this was to work with! We had to reschedule our session once on account of rain but managed to find a day where the rain held off while we were taking pictures! Poor little Jack was pretty sick, though. Running a fever and just overall not a super happy guy. I did manage to get some shots of him smiling with the ducks! And little Paige, what a sweetie pie!

When I asked Sim and Lisa if there were any particular shots they wanted Lisa replied with the words that make my heart skip a beat..."We don't like posing. We're not pose-y people." PERFECT!!! Lifestyle photography at it's finest! =) Go play, I'll take your pictures! haha. So that's what we did. I actually forced them, literally, to do one posed picture where everyone was looking at the camera, just to have one incase Grandma and Grandpa want one to frame. But that rest of the pictures were definitely my favourites!

Here they are, ducks and all!


Take Time

This week hasn't been the most fabulous week of 2010. I've been a day behind, for starters. On Tuesday I thought it was Monday. On Thursday I thought it was Wednesday. Today feels like yesterday. You get the idea. My daughter's been waking up a little earlier than usual so I've been tired everyday, all day. I think that's problemo numero uno. I'm tired. When I'm tired everything gets heightened to the enth degree. Crapola hits the fan in any and every situation. I make mountains out of molehills. Etcetera. Not my favourite state of mind to be in.

Our house tends to be a little chaotic, as far as toys strewn about and cupboards empty of all their contents. Normally this doesn't bother me so much. I'm pretty laid back on most occasions. We have a busy toddler in the house so it's expected that our house will look like Toys R Us threw up in it. But this week I've been frustrated by it. Why do we need to empty ALL the lotions out of my lotion drawer and put them on the bathroom floor, our bedroom, and her bedroom? Why do we need to drop the lamp again for the 100th time? Why do we need to touch the remote again after repeatedly informing her that this is not a toy?

After giving up on nap time (hers, not mine) I went and laid in my bed as she ran around beside me. Tears fell down my cheeks, onto my pillow. I prayed. For patience. To be slow to anger. For rest. For energy. For love. Lots of love.

Then this peace came over me. Peace that can only come from God. In the stillness of my room He spoke to me, He told me to take time.

Take time to rest.
Take time to be with my family, my daughter.
Take time to love. 
Take time to relax.
Take time to embrace the coming Christmas season.
Take time to enjoy my surroundings.
Take time to rest my mind.
Take time to not work.
Take time to fall more in love with Him.

I've been busy, as you can see from my blog posts. It's great, I love my clients and I love the work I've been doing! But I need to slow down right now. I have hardly even thought about Christmas this year. I hate that. I love Christmas. I love what it's all about. The real reason, not all the Santa/presents hoopla.

I still have a few shoots to finish editing, which I'm working on now, but I'm strongly feeling like I need to take a break. I feel bad for clients having to wait so long to get their pictures. I feel like I'm on the path of burning out, or just not working as efficiently as I'd like to.

So, that being said, I think I'm going to slow down temporarily. Aside from the couple shoots I already have booked in December, I don't think I'll take on any more. We're going to visit my inlaws that are out of province for a week in a few weeks and I want to be able to enjoy that week off, not thinking about all the work I left at home. I want to come home and enjoy Christmas with my family. I just want to be present, whole heartedly, for this Christmas season.

I hope you can understand where I'm coming from! Please do email me if you're interested in a session and we can plan for a shoot in the New Year! I am so thankful to have found my true calling and my passion. I love it. I love all of my clients, all of my photo shoots. I love the anticipation of what 2011 will bring for me and my business! It's all so very exciting and I thank you all for being a part of that!

Enjoy your weekend! I know I will! We're having multiple Pizza Nights with different friends and that's just fine by me! =)


FAQ /post processing

This week I've had a few people ask me about my workflow/post processing (ie: editing). So I figured I may as well write a post about it in case anyone else is interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes!

What is your workflow process like?

Here's a quick run-down of what I do:
1. Take pictures
2. Come home, upload pictures onto computer
3. Import pictures into Lightroom
4. Go through all pictures and purge, getting rid of any blurry ones, blinking eyes, funny faces, etc.
5. Edit all pictures in Lightroom
6. Export edited images into JPEGs
7. Go through JPEGs and fine tune any that need touch ups, and convert to Black and White - this is all done in Photoshop CS5
8. Pick favourites, enhance, add watermark, resize
9. Post pictures on Facebook and write blog post

That's the main gist of it.

What kinds of tinkering are you doing in post? Do you play with saturation or curves? It looks like you're adding some vignetting?

My goal is to do as little tinkering as possible. Ultimately I'd love to have my pictures as close to perfect as possible SOOC (straight out of camera) as possible. Since I'm just using a more basic, entry level DSLR I can't expect that right now. I take my pictures using Auto White Balance but it's always off. It might be easier if I explain what I do using pictures. So this is what this image looked like SOOC. 

It's got potential but the colour is pretty dead. Not my style, AT ALL! I tend to like my colours slightly on the warm side too, no one likes to look sick in their pictures!

So, first off, I use my sliders and adjust the white balance (Side Note: I shoot in RAW all the time which allows more room for adjusting your images in post. And I shoot in Manual mode.) Once I've got my Colour right I move to the Brightness and Contrast sliders. I like to crank my contrast quite a bit. I like my images to pop. I'm not a fan of soft images. Then I slightly add a little "Light"ness to the image and drop the "Shadows" a fair bit using the sliders as well.

I don't touch the saturation. I decided that I want my pictures to look clean and fresh and not overly processed. It's either full colour, or black and white. No in between. And I want to stay consistent with that.

(And, no, I don't do any vignetting (making the corners darker) because it didn't go with the look and feel of the pictures that I wanted to have. Plus, it's extra time editing that I don't want to have!)

So, after doing all that, here's what we got...

Much better!!

Now I'll take that image and open it in Photoshop and add a few enhancements using my Kubota Actions, add my watermark, resize for the web, and VIOLA! Picture is done!

I hope that made sense. I do hate showing my pictures SOOC because they're not the quality that I am happy with! But I know how much I appreciate it when other photographers show their images SOAC so I'll do the same in hopes that somebody appreciates it!! haha.

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!!!

PS: I have no idea why it's making such ginormous spaces between my paragraphs! I swear it doesn't look like that when I'm actually writing!