Friday, March 29, 2013

We'll be seeing you!

Have a wonderful Easter everyone! We will be leaving this weekend and be back in business April 8th.
Enjoy your time with your families this weekend.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Agent Kate

Looking to sell your home? Contact me for details. I'm working with Agent Kate; she does the home staging and works towards selling your house, and I photograph her beautiful work. We laugh a lot. We are professional. And we get the job done.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Your single life book

I recently read a quote: "Life is written in three books: single life, family life, and retirement. Family life commences with a child, like it or not. You can't write anything further into your single life book after that. So make sure that you've written everything that you wanted to before you decide to have a child, because it ends up being out of context if you try to write single things into your family book".

To my friends trying to find the "right one"....enjoy your free moments now. Everything happens as it should.

Happy Monday everyone!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

A real life Carrie Bradshaw

Sometimes I am so busy being smitten by others and their sheer awesomeness that I don't realize there are others who feel the same way about me. It takes me aback to receive emails like "I want you to know that you are my  Natalie Spencer and you inspire me so much." When other photographers and writers come to me and say these words, you have no idea how it feels to be part of that community.

Last night, I received an email from someone who is no longer part of our family. It was as if a ghost reached out after four years of silence. You don't even realize the impact you have on some people and especially if they never tell you. I had to share this inspirational email which reminded me I was once in a place of unsure futures and self-doubt.

To those of you who write me, support me, critique me, hate me and love me, I thank you so much for feeling these things and taking the time to make me feel important. The other day a client told me that a friend of hers said I instantly made her feel comfortable at a social gathering. She said that I have a unique ability to do that with everyone I meet. Do you know how nice that is to hear? It's so important to tell people these things...what's the use of keeping this information to yourselves when you can make someone else's day? To the writer of this email, you have no idea your impeccable timing and I do appreciate your heartfelt words and the time it took to write this.


Wendy, I need to tell you, I am so inspired by you. I have read every blog post, and seen every public picture that you have posted over the past couple of years I didn’t know why at first, but I was secretly and religiously reading your blogs, and at times completely overwhelmed by the intensity, honesty, and wisdom in which you write. You are so talented. Your writing is so beautiful, and refreshing, and you have struck so many chords with me. You’re like my real-life, modern day Carrrie Bradshaw. You make me think about things that I never would have, and look at them from such an honest and powerful point of view. I look up to you. I have found inspiration and guidance from you, without you even knowing you were giving it. Your pictures bleed heart, and soul. Your booming business and endless referrals should be a constant reminder that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

I know I’m taking a risk of sounding like a total creeper here, but I figure really, I have little to lose. I recently read back our message stream on facebook (I don’t deleted anything, super weird I know), which is how I was reminded of how lovely you were to me, and how stupid I was. But in that thread, you did pour your heart out to me, and spoke of being lost, and unsure of where you were heading in your life. To quote you: “I'm just so down on myself and never find anything I'm good at or talented at. but then every once in awhile friends come to me for advice and I give them my whole hearted attention and advice, and I sometimes wonder..maybe that's my hidden talent.” You have found your hidden talent, girl. In capturing so many special moments, writing about them, speaking of your own life lessons, and creating hope for those that often feel lost. I am 100% sure I am not the only one. It’s no wonder why you have so many amazing friends and people in your life, your energy is infectious.

I work in the wedding industry as well, I’m an event coordinator for a venue in downtown Vancouver. I work alongside wedding photographers a few times a weekend, and of course see a ton of wedding photos. Yours continue to be some of my favourites, your work is consistent and often off the beaten path. You take risks, and the results are breathtaking. I feel like I know what I’m talking about when I say your talent is apparent in every ounce of your work. 

Your story gives me great amount of pleasure, inspiration, and dare I say it-makes me so proud. Thank you for what you share on your blog, and through your photos. Thank you for reminding me that things get better, and can be amazing if you follow your dreams and take leaps.  Congratulations for the success you’ve found in your life. You and Michael make an extraordinarily beautiful couple.  

I think of your family on the regular, and though we’re no longer in touch, they are still so dear to me. I feel blessed to have met you all, and can now see the role that each of you has played in my life.

Again Wendy, thank you. Keep fucking rocking the industry, and should you ever find yourself wanting to shoot in Vancouver, I would have a lineup of couples for you.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Something old, something new.

I have had and continue to have the best clients, and specifically I have fallen so in love with my brides. I would say 90% of past brides have become new and lifelong friends. The amount of time we spend chatting and getting excited about the details of their day leading up to the wedding makes for natural moments on the day of because we genuinely adore each other. Feeling grateful and reflecting on old photos before next week's Costa Rica wedding....with yet another amazing crew of people.

Happy Spring everyone!


(p.s. I'm on a Terence Trent D'arby kick so I hope you'll enjoy the recent blog songs!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Facebook Business Page

I did it. I'm back on my Facebook business page. And Twitter. And Instagram. And Tumblr. And Flickr. Can't avoid social media so may as well live with it. Please like or leave some love on my pages. And come follow me on my photography adventures around the world.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

A piece of the pie

I've drawn a comparison between selling wedding albums and managing expectations for friendships. Today I watched a course on the art of selling. How to show contrast to allow clients to understand that they don't want the cheap album. How can they possibly understand the value of the $1,500 album unless you compare it's beauty to a crappy Walmart album?

In this business I've come to understand more than ever that I am an all or nothing person. I once read that instead of spreading yourself too thin and giving everyone 10% of your time, to instead focus on the present and give 100% of your focus and energy. How could you possibly be in the moment at home when you are checking and answering work related emails? Alternatively, how can you be focused at work when your family life, phone calls and issues start trickling in?

All or nothing gets me in trouble sometimes. If you have been my bride, you know how invested I am in you in the moment. I wrote a previous blog post about feeling cheapened when I form a relationship with a client and then, by way of business,  am forced to move on to the next without much time to even absorb the now.

Not to sound like a whiny celebrity who's "tough life" includes having too many social functions to attend but really, for a relatively homebody'ish person, we have quite the social calendar. There are some people who thrive on having something to do all the time. They are planning their next get together at the party they are presently attending. They are the networking gurus, the extroverts, and the social butterflies of the world. There is nothing wrong with this.

I, by nature of research and a book called Quiet, have come to realize that I recharge best either alone, or with a small group of trusted people. I don't love team sports. I don't remember loving group assignments in school. I don't like having the loudest voice and trying to show off and yell decibals above others to be heard. Perhaps this is why I have been drawn to photography and writing.

Photography allows me the perfect mix of social time mixed with down time. Note: Introverts are not necessarily social recluses. They just prefer to unwind and recharge in quiet scenarios. I feel like I've found the reason for my misery for so many years. I was indeed an introvert living in a world that won't stop talking. I had high anxiety issues in the office. People naturally signed me up at every job I ever worked for, to be the event coordinator for the company. Whenever there was a birthday, golf tournament, shower, retirement party, luncheon, I was to arrange it, and make the dreaded speech; all the while just wanting to do my paperwork in my office alone.

I used to deliberately take my lunch break at 11:30, because I knew at 12 pm the lunch room or underground cafeteria would be packed. In a world where the only way to be successful is to be socially affluent, this was a debilitating handicap. From the outside I seem bubbly and happy. And for the most part I am. But I absolutely loathe taking the public spotlight. I feel like this is the irony. A photographer, who hates people looking at her in real life, yells to a group of people, mostly strangers.....everyone! Look at me! The bonus of this mostly uncomfortable day, is that I've got paid a month's salary to spend one day feeling a healthy uneasy, and 29 more days working from the comfort of my own home. I say healthy because it's been proven that most introverts take on roles such as CEO's of companies and lawyers, in hopes of trying to change this personality trait. It's healthy to put yourself in an uncomfortable position. Sometimes.

This is going off in a tangent, probably meant for a different day; a different blog post.

Recently I've been rightfully accused by some former brides-turned-friends of being a shitty friend. I'm not there for their social gatherings. I don't "like" or respond to their requests of selling Arbonne, Avon, Pampered Chef, Epicure, Girl Guides, Diet Supplements, Extra Income ideas etc. I have mad respect for one who unfriend me off Facebook because, she honestly admitted that she has her baby girl now, and doesn't have time for fairweather people. This is a powerful statement and one that we all sort of live by.

How many of us do a spring cleaning of sorts and remove people from Facebook? (Facebook by the way, seems to be a silly way of making us feel neglected, or not important when someone doesn't accept your "friend" request or comment on your postings.) I'm guilty as charged as well. If someone doesn't add to my life, why on earth would I have them in my personal business? In addition, when the most important people in my life are my family, a handful of friends and in the moment, my clients, why would I spend 10% of my free time attending things that I have no interest in attending, just to keep my social calendar booked. (I'm an introvert, remember?) I feel it's a fair statement to say that in life, we do the things that we want to do. We find excuses when someone doesn't mean much to us. We find a way when they do. It really comes down to that simple honesty. If we lived in a world like the movie The Invention of Lying, we would be much less prone to being hurt because we would always say the truth. So for example, in our world, if we don't feel like attending something, why can't the answer simply be no and the reason because I don't want to, be accepted?

I'm an extremely emotional and invested person. I take my relationships very seriously. I take my job very seriously and when I am in it, I am 150% into it. As time goes on and the client relationship ends, it becomes difficult to maintain those high standards of giving. When you give 150% to everyone, what's left for you? And by the way? What have those people done for you lately?

I am known for being fiercely loyal. I've had it backfire in my face. I stand up for people who won't even stand up for themselves and in the end, the abused goes back to the abuser and I am the one left with egg on my face and a soul with the energy sucked out of me for the hours I've spent pouring over their problems. When is the last time someone asked you how YOU were doing and genuinely meant it? And I don't mean to start a conversation so they can turn it back on themselves, or to find out the scoop. I mean someone who genuinely cares.

Believe me, there are very few in this world. And if you know in your heart that someone doesn't return your sentiment, energy and effort, why in the world would you give them a piece of your very limited pie (graph) of time?

Don't get me wrong. There are politically correct things that we have to do in life. We have to sit through boring-ass meetings making small talk with people we don't care about. We have to attend family functions that we don't necessarily want to. We make idle chit chat with our neighbours in suburbia, all the while knowing we all go back into our own homes talking about each other.

The problem becomes the persona that we put out there. If the bitch in the office is always this way, the one day she smiles, everyone sings her praises. But God forbid, if Suzy sunshine, the office spunk and cheerleader has a bad What the hell is HER problem?

Sometimes setting the bar too high gets you in trouble. It's like the dating game. If you give it all up at the beginning, the expectations will always be there and nothing will be appreciated. Like the album comparison...without experiencing the small and crappy album, how could you ever appreciate the big and beautiful one? You cannot appreciate the sweet without experiencing the sour. My problem becomes when I've given more than I can humanly give to someone, and then I can't possibly keep up that unattainable level of do people turn sour.

And then I am left to wonder...what exactly have you done for me lately? In a world where everyone emotionally takes, dumps and robs...when is the time set aside for me to enjoy the piece of the pie?

Miss D.

Miss D decided to hire me to shoot her bridal boudoir session. She adores all things vintage so I incorporated that feel into her shoot, and added a few extra wedding related photos that she may not get on her wedding day. Not all boudoir sessions need to be racy or skimpy. Loved our morning yesterday.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Go your own way.

After the week I've had, I received this gorgeous package from my dear friend and photography mentor/idol Natalie Spencer. She knows I've been oodling (is that a word?) over her photos for years now and I adore everything she's done, from a simple photo of cut prosciutto to her whimsical selfies. She inspires me, and we have been there, albeit through distance through each other's life struggles and strifes. We first "met" in real life last fall when a dream of mine was fulfilled to photograph her Ottawa maternity session, after years of chatting online. She's the reason I figured out my dream job.

Since then, we've continued to correspond daily and I get pure joy seeing her miracle baby Ellia grow up before the world's eyes, daily. 

Almost as frequent, I have bouts of self doubt, negativity and worth about my work. This package came just in the nick of time. I will forever be reminded to go my own way.

Sometimes, love and kindness come exactly when you need it the most.

Simply Nat,

Thank you.

Love you always.

p.s. The pencil & fork are the custom logo Nat designed for Mike's blog. This family's talents just continue to astonish me. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Winds of change

Every once in a while, I look back at my first photographs and want to change up the editing style.
It's a great thing I keep all the RAW photos. Playing with a new recipe on old photos today.