local business, photography, portrait photography

So Pretty Jewelry

When something you love becomes something you do for a living, it can be hard to continue to love it.

I remember when I first got a digital SLR, all I wanted to do was take photos. I was planning photo shoots with friends and fellow photographers as something to do in the evenings after work. I had all these crazy ideas and couldn't wait to make them happen; not for fame or money, just for creativity's sake. Since I've started working full time as a photographer and designer, I find that the piles of photos waiting for edits in Lightroom, the houses I have to shoot and the realtors I have to meet, the weekly ads I have to produce, and the stresses of deadlines, book keeping and invoicing have sapped the creativity I used to have an abundance of.

To solve this problem, I've decided that I need to plan and execute at least one "just-for-me" creative shoot per month. I need to get inspired. I need to continue to take photos for the same reason I started taking photos.

My latest inspiration came from the Flickr Blog. Someone had done a bunch of scary looking self portraits caked in flour, and I thought to myself, "I can do better than that. I can do something elegant and beautiful and... way less scary." The flour could be functional, used to highlight something shiny or colourful; I immediately thought of jewelry! My friend Rosslyn and I had talked several times about doing a photo shoot, and I really wanted to use her for this idea. Cara Cotter of So Pretty Jewelry came on board and graciously allowed us to use some of her beautiful turquoise, gold and silver.

Below is a lovely diptych from the shoot, probably my favourite of the series. You can click on the phto and see a few more from the set on Flickr.

Cara's jewelry is available at Coup Boutique in downtown Edmonton or from her Etsy store.




Well here it is. The end of the year. Seriously, where did 2011 go?

This has been such a great year for me. I've shot more weddings than I've ever done in a summer (and booked several more for next year), established myself on Twitter and LinkedIn, transitioned into a full-time role as the Black Dog Freehouse's poster & ad designer, picked up several other exciting new clients, and tried my hand at interior & real estate photography as a contractor with MyVisualListings.com. When I quit my job in September of 2010 and decided to embark on the scary path of entrepreneurship, I never knew my first full year would go this well. Thank you to my clients, friends, family and everyone who's supported this small business in 2011, and I look forward to your continued support in 2012!

Here's a quick recap of some of the things I got up to in these last weeks of 2011:

  • At the end of November I got to shoot the 4th annual Italia with Gusto wine & food festival at the Italian Cultural Centre. You can view the gallery here.
  • For the second year in a row I also got to shoot the Astral Media Christmas Party (and saw Paul Brown's rear end a few more times than I wanted to). It was at the River Cree Casino, which may be my new favourite event venue!
  • I've continued to design eye-catching materials for the Alberta Liberal Party, and there is a rumour that I may be picking up another candidate as a client early next year...
  • Just over a week ago I had the opportunity to photograph my first "giant cheque" presentation, a heart-warming display of goodwill by the ABCRC, Merlin Plastics and students of St. Brendan Elementary to the Rainbow Society of Alberta.
  • Using my new 50mm f/1.4 lens for the first time, I photographed local band Thea vs. Loki at the Black Dog Freehouse's annual Ho Ho Ho Down on December 14. It was a head-swirling combination of low light and colored light, but the new lens performed admirably. Here's a small sampling of the photos I shot that night:



local business, photography, portrait photography

Photobooth Fun

With November right around the corner (I know… shut up Karin) Christmas parties are being planned all over the city. Instead of having a photographer roam around and annoy your guests…

Try a photobooth! It's like a small portrait studio set up at the event. Your guests choose to come have their portrait taken, and it's so much more fun for everyone!

I can customize a photobooth just for your event. There are so many options:

  • Choose a backdrop (white/grey) - OR - choose an area within the event venue (fireplace, colored wall, etc.) Include your banner in the space if you like!
  • Choose to have your logo and/or a custom text overlay (date/name of event, etc.)
  • Choose a holiday themed frame, polaroid frame, or no frame at all.
  • Ask me about special Christmas props and decorations!

All guests will be given (upon having their portrait taken) a link to an online gallery where they can view and download their photos within 3 days. Event host will receive a DVD of high resolution images to commemorate the event.

4 hour photobooth packages start at $300. I can also customize an event package including photobooth AND general event photography. Get in touch!

art, graphic design, non profit

Monsters Ball


I really intended to write this blog post sooner, but my week has been crazy! Everyone's finally back from summer brain fog and my Realtor clients have been keeping me busy shooting houses before the snow flies. But I digress...

Tomorrow night I will be taking part in a wonderful fundraiser event for Laura's Literacy Campaign. The 2nd annual Monster's Ball Halloween Costume Fashion Show & Auction kicks off at 9:00 at the The Artery on Jasper Ave, and features local music, local art, DJs, dancing, drinks, and of course the fashion show! All proceeds from the fashion show go to Laura's Literacy Campaign, and costumes will be auctioned off live during the show. If you don't have a Halloween costume yet, I suggest you check out this event! Not only will I be "modeling" in the fashion show, but I will also have a set of 6 of my elusive paintings up for sale. (The poster at the top of this post was designed by me also...)

I don't paint a lot. I took a few acrylics classes during my time at the U of A and I really enjoy it, but I find I need to be in a particular mood to really get into it. A lot of my creative energy is expended on photography projects too, so I tend to produce only 1 to 2 paintings a year. Below you can sample a few of my paintings that will be up for sale at the Monster's Ball.

From left, top to bottom:
1939 Cadillac Grill (2006) | Acrylic on Board, 24" x 24"
1957 Imperial (2008) | Acrylic on Board, 24" x 24"
Contracts, Consultants & Cost Engineers II (2004) | Acrylic on Masonite, 8" x 48"
Contracts, Consultants & Cost Engineers I (2004) | Acrylic on Masonite, 8.25" x 40"
The Swimmers (2006) | Acrylic on Masonite, 15" x 21.5"
Jasmine (2011) | Acrylic on Canvas, 16" x 20"