• Why I became a photographer

    Portrait of Dad
    This is my dad. My hero, my mentor, and one of my career inspirations. He comes from hard-working people. He’s a provider. I love him for his strength, his perseverance, and his love for his family. I’m his only daughter.

    Ironically, he’s not overly fond of the lens, so there are very few photos of him in existence, save the ones I’ve secretly snapped when he hasn’t been watching, which isn’t often. He’s a quick one. Someday, photos will be the tangible legacy of our family’s memories. They’re precious cargo. Snap that shutter today, or commission me to photograph your family’s most special moments. They will be glad you did.

Jennifer and Paul just moved to Nova Scotia about four months ago with their two year old son William (Liam for short). They are all settled in now for the most part, just in time for the arrival of sweet baby Clara. Both of the children have beautiful names. (If you love Dr. Who, you’ll immediately think of Clara Oswald. It’s a wonderfully pretty name in it’s own right, and really suites her.)

One of the things that Jennifer told me when we planned the session, is that they love images that are free of to many props, preferring to keep the focus on the magic of new life. She also wanted to know if we could use a black background for some of the images, because they had done that with William’s newborn photos, and they ended up being the images they liked best from the session. What was great about this, is that it allowed us to focus on relational images that showed off how much Clara was loved, supported, and cherished as a new addition to their family. William even cuddled her for a few minutes, and he was very gentle with her.

A few highlights from their session:

Newborn baby Clara

Newborn baby Clara

Newborn baby Clara

Newborn baby Clara

    

When I say bullies, I mean English Bulldogs, of course! When Lauren and I spoke on the phone about planning a session with her fur babies Wendy and Barb, it was clear to me that the girls brought joy to Lauren (and really everyone they meet). These ladies are classic beauties with lots of character. Wendy totally cracked me up with just the tip her tongue often sticking out, and her immediate need to play whenever Barb had a toy all to herself, even if she was totally chilled out on a cool surface moments before. Barb was super playful and athletic, and definitely in her teenaged awkward stage… she rammed her head into my camera no less than three times and banged it off a table. Good thing she’s tough!

Since Christmas is right around the corner, we decided to dress the ladies in their Holiday Best for the last few photos. Check out Santa and her reindeer.

English Bulldog photography

English Bulldog photography

English Bulldog photography

English Bulldog photography

English Bulldog photography

    

Every year I volunteer to photograph pets with Santa at their annual fund raiser Santa Pix. Both of my cats come from the SPCA, and I know they do good work. This was really brought home to me when I had the opportunity to photograph on a ride along with one of their Special Constables a few years ago. There are so many animals out there who just need a helping hand… or paw!

This great fund raiser is a lot of fun, and I generally end up photographing hundreds of furred, feathered, and quilled family members. Here are a few of my favourites from this year, listed in order of the date photographed: Sunny Side Mall, Pet Valu – Larry Utek, and Fall River Animal Hospital.

Sunny Side Mall
Click here to view the Sunny Side gallery
Santa Pix Sunny Side Mall

Santa Pix Sunny Side Mall

Santa Pix Sunny Side Mall

Santa Pix Sunny Side Mall

Pet Valu – Larry Utek
Click here to view the Pet Valu gallery
Pet Valu Larry Utek

Pet Valu Larry Utek

Pet Valu Larry Utek

Pet Valu Larry Utek

Pet Valu Larry Utek

Fall River Animal Hospital
Click here to view the Fall Fiver Gallery
Fall River Animal Hospital

Fall River Animal Hospital

Fall River Animal Hospital

    

Ethan is an outdoor kid. He loves being outside to play, and even when it’s cold outside, he is happy and content in the great outdoors. On the day of the session we met Kaitlin, Roger, Ethan, and Kaitlin’s parents at the park, and it was really chilly… I’m talking -2 with light snow and a brisk wind, kind of chilly. The kind of cold that makes your ears and your nose turn red, and gives you a runny nose. Originally we booked their session in late October when the fall colours were out, and the weather was warmer, but poor Ethan ended up with some kind of a rash on his face, and it wasn’t meant to be so we rescheduled.

Kaitlin had really wanted to photograph outdoors, so we bundled everyone up, and headed to a nice sheltered spot at the park. Ethan was busy, but lots of fun, and we hunted down interesting leaves and sticks, ran around on the grass, and played at the playground. He was so tough, that he kept taking his mittens off, and I was surprised that Kaitlin and Roger were able to keep track of them the whole time.

Stanzel family

Stanzel family

Stanzel family

Stanzel family

  • Kaitlin - So in love with these photos! I cannot wait to see more! It was such a fun (and cold) time! It was worth those beautiful outdoor shots!

  • Rebecca Clarke - Yay, so happy to hear you love them :) Ethan was one of the best two year olds I’ve had the pleasure of working with! You and Roger were pretty darn cute yourselves *lol*

    

Junior Achievement is a great organization that teaches high school aged students about running a business. The programs teach valuable life skills, and although not every participant goes on to run their own business, a large percentage do. It’s a wonder that schools don’t make business classes part of the regular curriculum.

Two recent Junior Achievement events were the Executive Training day, and the Pitch It Regionals events.

There was some really valuable information presented at the Executive Training day, including advice on what roles executives play in companies, marketing, and production management. It was really neat to listen to the presenters and I captured the atmosphere in the rooms. The students were really interested and engaged and asked lots of questions.
JA Executive Training

JA Executive Training

JA Executive Training

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The Pitch It events happened all around the province, and the following images are from the Halifax Pitch It which took place at the Waegwoltic Club. You could practically slice the excitement and nerves in the room as the kids prepared to present their pitches for their 2015 JA companies to a panel of coaches. There were some really neat companies, that were as wide and varied as the students were themselves.
JA Pitch It Halifax

JA Pitch It Halifax

JA Pitch It Halifax

JA Pitch It Halifax

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It was a pleasure recently, presenting at the Sackville Photoraphy Club about how I photograph pets. Coming from a farming background in rural P.E.I., we always had animals around. My family were Border Collie breeders, and the dogs were as much a part of the family as they were working dogs. When I was small, still toddling around in diapers, one of the dogs used to guard me from getting to close to the wood stove we had in our house. If I got to close, she would grab me by my clothing, and pull me back. She was a wonderful dog named Fay, and being so close to her and the rest of the farm animals from such a young age really taught me a lot about how to respect and interact with animals.

Nowadays, you’ll find me photographing pets with their family all the time. They are important. Since they are only here for a short while, having beautiful photographs to remember them by is precious.

Meet Phineas: An energetic wheaten terrier who modeled for us at the Sackville Photography Club while I was demonstrating some tips for getting better pet photos. Thank you to his mom, Stephanie for bringing him.

A dog named Phineas

A dog named Phineas

A dog named Phineas

A dog named Phineas

A dog named Phineas