Friday, December 27, 2013

Thunder Bay Beauty

Sometimes, I just really love Thunder Bay.


I'm finding it extremely difficult to take photos in the winter!
As much as I wish Spring would just arrive already, I take winter as a photography challenge and am hoping to grow with my camera when it comes to my technical skills.

I also read a LOT today about proper exposure on your camera and how to tell if a photo is over or under exposed. I can't believe I just learned that today.. so crazy what having an SLR will teach you.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New SLR!!!

You guys... I finally got an SLR!
So there I was, Christmas morning opening up my gifts, when I open up a Nikon D7000!!! It was so unexpected that I shed a tear or two. After all, I really wasn't expecting to invest in one of these bad boys until the Spring. John really surprised me and I couldn't be more grateful. It really is a thoughtful gift more than anything especially since he spent so much time researching what would be best for me.

I got 2 lenses today too during the amazing Boxing Day deals! So right now, I have a 50mm 1.8d & a 70-300mm VR and I'm so pumped up about each of them.

John came with me today to take some photos and I am definitely still learning how to use my camera in general but we managed to get some beautiful photos. I particularly love the shot above and it's completely unedited.

I can't wait to continue using this amazing camera and seeing what types of creative projects I can come up with. Practice, Practice, Practice!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas :)

Taken with my Nikon Coolpix P500. Still does the job if I do say so myself! However, I'm definitely ready to graduate to an SLR. It really does make a difference.

Anyway, I have been so busy lately with Christmas preparations & time spent with friends who are home for the holidays, Christmas has completely snuck up on me. I can't believe tomorrow is already Christmas Eve? Like, what?!

Also, I feel like all I've been doing lately is going to see movies. In the time span of a week, I've seen the Hobbit, Frozen (best movie ever), Saving Mr. Banks & American Hustle. All really great movies!!

I probably won't post until after Christmas and if that's the case Merry Christmas!
As always, thanks for viewing my photos. :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This photo makes me want to go bird watching and just take a million photos of different types of birds.
Now, to buy a book on bird watching because I have no idea what to do or where to find them.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dayna, Jeremy & Mikaela

Some of my favorite shots from my shoot with Dayna, Jeremy & Mikaela.
I can't wait to do a second portrait shoot so I can apply all the things I learned from my first one.
I love the way these photos turned out and they will always feel special to me considering it was my very first family photo shoot!! The first of many I hope :).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Black & White

I love how changing a colored picture to black & white can dramatically change the appeal of the photo.
These photos were all taken in color and I just tweaked it a bit to give the images a more dramatic look. I really like the outcome. I'd like to try shooting in black & white more often as a way to expand my photo opportunities. I feel that if I'm looking for an image that would look great in b&w, it might allow for more inspiration.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Farms & Planes

Another set of scenic photography, my favorite!!
I couldn't believe it when I was driving down a road in the middle of nowhere and saw 2 parked planes in a field. It was so beautiful to me. I've pretty much gotten over people staring at me thinking I'm crazy when I pull over on the side of the road to take pictures. Some lady actually gave me the thumbs up yesterday when I did this.

I'm seriously obsessed with photography right now - I'm living & breathing it. It keeps me up at night when I try to fall asleep, it wakes me up in the morning & it distracts me from day to day activities. Photography: I love you!

Dayna, Jeremy & Mikaela Portrait Preview

My first family portrait session was today and I loved every minute of it.
In my previous post, I spoke about growth and how it's important to introduce new methods into your craft and today I did just that.
Dayna, Jeremy & Mikaela were total troopers considering it was almost -30 degrees outside!! We kept having to run inside to warm up but it seemed to be worth it considering the photos turned out fantastic.
I couldn't be more pleased with how my first portrait shoot went and I can't wait to do more in the New Year if anybody will book me, haha!

I learned a lot on this portrait session for future reference that I'd like to notate:

1. Make sure I find a spot where the sun isn't shining directly on one side of the face which happened in a lot of these photos. I don't think my clients would mind this time around considering it was my first session but in the future, I'd like to avoid that. Therefore, I need to look for areas where the light is shining onto the back of my clients or even directly in front for a bright effect. Just not on the side of their faces lol.

2. Take advantage of the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen!!! We were trying to get photos of Mikaela blowing the snow away from her hand but because with the LCD screen, it creates a delay, I couldn't manage to grab the picture. Later, I realized that when taking photos while peering through the viewfinder, it's a constant snap so there's no delay..therefore I could have gotten the snow effect. Ahh! This one also goes along with a lot of other moments too like when they were holding Mikaela's hands and having her jump up in the air.. a lot of my shots didn't work out because of the screen delay.

Like I said, I can't wait to continue doing portrait sessions. It's fun seeing the love within a family and getting to capture their precious moments through a lens.

Stay tuned because I'll be posting a select few favorites from this session once the client has seen the photos.


In photography, I love how there are always new things to add to your portfolio.
I specialize in scenic photography and even though Thunder Bay is relatively small, there are always new things to discover and take photos of.

Today, I'm going on my first family portrait shoot in the freezing cold (-26 to be exact) and I couldn't be more excited. I'm a little nervous because I've never taken family photos before and I'm not the most assertive person but I did do some research as to what may be cute for photo ideas so I'm confident that it will all work out. I'm excited to add this session to my portfolio and grow further as a photographer.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Territorial Wildlife & What I Want to be When I Grow Up

Today was an exciting one for me as a photographer.
I decided to go to a place called the Mission Marsh Conservatory where I knew there would be a ton of wildlife. Here in Northwestern Ontario we actually have an overflow of deer and normally they just sort of sit on the side of the road and stare at you if you decide to watch them and they don't often feel threatened. However, when I pulled over to snap a photo of this guy from my car window, he seemed very frightened. He just sort of stared at me for a couple minutes as you see in the photo above but basically as soon as I hit the shutter, he LEAPED over this snowbank right in front of my car. I was terrified! I slowly backed my car up and he slowly followed me (of course at this point I'm snapping photos with my cell phone too!) and then once I was far enough away, he went back to eating. I'm not sure if he was protecting his food source or perhaps their were babies nearby but he did not want me around. There was a house about 10 feet away and about 7 other deer also eating so I wonder how those people go into their homes?

I took a risk taking this guys photo as he was obviously protecting something and even though my heart was racing after my car almost got mauled by the buck, I got the photo I wanted. I feel like I hit some sort of milestone with my photography and I couldn't be more proud of myself.

Which leads me to another thought.
Most people know me as being flighty with my interests.. I'm definitely one to flip flop between different ideas of things that might excite me as a career or a hobby and I've always struggled to find my "it".
I realized today that I've been taking photos now for over a year and I feel like I get more and more excited each time I go and find photo opportunities. It's something that feels exhilarating to me and a hobby that's lasted a lot longer than a couple of weeks.

After a long time of wondering and waiting for the thing that I'm actually good at, I've found it in photography and I couldn't be happier.

So what do I want to do with my life?
I want to take photos. I want to travel to a new place at least once a year and snap pictures of everything & anything. I want to take photos of interesting people, breathtaking landscape, wild animals & more. I want to take photos of places within my hometown of Thunder Bay - constantly reminding myself that where I live is just as beautiful as places across the world.

I just want to take photos. That's what I want to do with my life.

Monday, December 9, 2013


While in Nova Scotia, we were walking back to our cars from Peggy's Cove when I spotted this precious moment.
This couple was just sitting on the bench overlooking the lighthouse and ocean and my heart melted a bit. I decided to be a creeper and snap the photo because it was a memory I didn't dare to forget.

Which leads me to a new project..photographing strangers, tastefully obviously.
I'm going to try this tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Unedited Historical Photos

I was looking at some photos that I took in Nova Scotia from the Citadel Hill and was blown away with what I was seeing. The photos above are pictures that I barely paid attention to when choosing my photos to upload to my blog originally because they weren't pretty & scenic.

Ever since I joined the National Geographic website (which I'm obsessed with!), my eyes have been opened to new & exciting ways to take photos that I never thought to before. I felt sad for these photos because I didn't give them the love they needed because they didn't have grass, flowers or ocean water.

Self taught photography tip that makes all the difference: Don't delete your photos. Upload them and pick the ones you want to showcase but then a couple weeks, a month, or a year from now, look back at the photos you left behind and I bet you'll find a real gem. That seriously happens to me all the time!

Christmas Adventure!

Last night I went out to a local shrubbery with my mom and sister where they celebrate Christmas like no other in town!! There were so many christmas lights, ribbons, bows, Santa's and all things Christmas that you can imagine. To say I was inspired was an understatement. It was the first time that I was in a retail environment snapping pics so I probably looked like kind of a weirdo but I didn't care.. everywhere I turned there were more holiday photo opportunities!!

I felt like my blog could use a little bit of Christmas spirit anyway! :)