red deer lifestlye photographer

And finally, I'm excited to share with you the Photography Studio Tour!

As with any project, one of the best parts is seeing it finally come together as you had envisioned. And, as a creative person who doesn’t always (but just about always;)) finish what she starts, creating, building , designing and styling this space was gratifying.

After a solid two months in planning with my favorite designer, Lindsey Johnson, and contractor Saka Builders, we started demolition in October 2013. And thanks to their commitment and hard work, we were able to finish and shoot our first sessions in the middle of December.

After you have had a chance to see the tour, don't forget to check out the 2 previous posts to this 4 part series:  Studio Tour: The In Between and Studio Tour:  The Before.

red deer lifestlye photographer

Being a natural light photographer, moving the studio shooting area to the opposite end of the space, made such a big difference. We were able to install 5 windows, which face west and north. Ideally, a full north wall would have been amazing, but as with any renovation, you are limited in working with what is already existing.

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As I focus my business on children, families and women’s portraiture (through Honor Studios, of which I am co-owner), I didn’t require a lot of area for storage of props and such. Rather, a couple of makeup stations, dressing rooms and a relaxing atmosphere was a must.

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I hope you enjoy the little peek into my country studio. And perhaps one day you will have a chance to visit!

PS: For anyone interested, a list of resources is at the bottom of the article.

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red deer lifestlye photographer


Couch: Hudson Madison Pink Chairs: Kijiji Square Coffee Table: EQ3 Round Coffee Table: Hudson Madison Rug: Overstock Long Sofa Tables: Ikea Pink Silk Curtains: Etsy - Avec Dieu Gold Chandelier: Red Deer Lighting Beige Bench: Home Sense Gold Hooks: Anthropologie Makeup Table: Custom Made Makeup Mirrors: Structube Makeup Stools: Overstock Wall Sconces: Restoration Hardware Coffee Station Cabinet: Kijiji Pink China: Antique Bathroom Vanity: Home Depot Vanity Hardware: Anthropologie Bathroom Mirror: Home Sense Bathroom Light: Restoration Hardware Changeroom Curtain: Ikea Chandelir in Changeroom: Ballard Designs Love Print: The Calm Gallery Headboard: Overstock Bedding: Etsy - My Shabby Chic Shop Clothing Rack: Allen Display


red deer photographer studio tour

We began the demolition and reconstruction on the studio in October of 2013. After a couple of different revisions we settled on a few of the following guidelines:

  • Floorplan. Moving the shooting area to the back of the studio, which allowed for a couple of great additions. More natural light, because we were able to add additional windows. As well, in the previous floor plan, clients had to walk through and past the shooting area to get to our seating area.
  • A warm welcome. Upon entry, I wanted clients to feel relaxed and welcome, therefore having a clean, organized, inspiring place was important.
  • Good lighting. Not only in the shooting part of the studio, but also in the makeup areas and the lounge area. Bright, but still warm and relaxing.
  • Original. As challenging as it is to consider every single detail when designing a space, the results are worth it. I wanted to be sure that everything that was chosen for the space was unique and interesting.
  • High and low. As you will see in the next follow up post, STUDIO TOUR: the after, items were purchased everywhere from a variety of places such as ikea, etsy, kijiji, Hudson Madison and Home Depot. Be resourceful and determined to fulfill your vision.

If you haven’t yet, bet sure to check out the previous post to have a peek at the before tour.

And stay tuned for the next post in this four part series, "STUDIO TOUR: THE AFTER", which will be published next Tuesday.

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Well .....since it has been a good year and a half since the studio renovation has been completed, I thought it was about time to finally share with all of you the process, the before and afters, and the final result ;).

This will all be shared in a 4 part series, with the first being what it looked like before.

I have to say that I am incredibly grateful we live on an acreage, which already had an existing building with an attached living quarters.  This enabled me to not have to consider so many overhead costs associated with the rental, or purchase of a building.   I did use the area previously on occasion for indoor photo sessions, and I had tried to make best use of the space as possible. It was definitely workable, however I envisioned a relaxing, inspiring retreat for clients to visit and feel at home.

In order to give you an idea of what it started out as, here is a peek at the before (and I can’t wait to show you the after!).

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And just to “keep it real”, I wanted to share a few of the behind the scences prior to the clean up.  Yikes ;).

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Look for the next post in this series, STUDIO TOUR: the in between, on Thursday!

A gift for your family: 10 ways to simplify your 365

project 365 lifestyle photographer red deer

December 2013

When I sat down to design our families annual Christmas card I realized there were certain months where I had hardly any photos.  Like none.  Yea, I had lots of vacations and "big" moments.  But, I feel like that's not where life is really lived.  It's in the day to day everyday stuff.  Choosing to cultivating gratitude in those in between moments is really where it's at. And I was sad I had missed so much of those.  Not only for me, but to show my kids (through what I choose to prioritize as an important photograph) the importance of this daily gift.  Sooooo, without over analyzing and thinking it through to much (which for anyone that really know me, is HUGE), I started.Now, after completing a full year and into my second, I wish I would have stared sooner. If you're even slightly thinking you might like to give this a try. Do it. Don't think about it. Just start.

To help you out, I've put together 10 ways to simplify your 365 project :).

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer 1. Keep your camera closeOkay, this is probably a no brainer, and I hope you keep reading the list even if you think "this is what you call a tip?!" haha, but it's seriously one the most overwhelming things for people I talk to. The thought of picking up the camera every day. The "one more thing to add to my list" thought. But really it doesn't have to be that complicated. You can do this on any camera you wish. From your iPhone to a point and shoot to your DSLR. I've chosen to do mine with my canon mkiii, but that's only because I don't find it a burden. I keep it on my counter. And yes, carry it with me most of the time. And have had people comment "I didn't even know they still made cameras like that!". For real.  Yea, I'm that mom. Once I have spent my couple of minutes capturing something I'm grateful for I put it away and that's it.

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer

2. Start with the end in mind

What do you want at the end of the year? Please don't let them sit on your hard drive, have a plan.  A family book? A book of each child? Just try to take a few minutes to reflect on what would mean the most to you to have in your hands. This will help determine what and how you shoot.  Sort of a little reverse engineering if you will.  It can help you make less decisions on a daily basis if you have some parameters in place. And less decisions on a daily basis are always better ;).

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer

3. Just do it

Don't over think it. Don't be stuck in decision or perfection paralysis. Just take it day by day. Start today. Start at the beginning of next month. Don't worry about perfect. Done is better than that. Which leads me into....

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer 4. So it's a 332Is it really a big deal if your missed a day or two? Nooooooo. It's the collective. Weather you have a perfect record or miss a few days ......or 50, your family (or you) won't care in a year (or 20) from now. Mine wasn't perfect. I would miss one, two or even three days in a row here and there. Sometimes I would fill them in with additional photos from others days and sometimes I wouldn't. Again, I just let it go and reminded myself that at the end project how grateful I would be with however many I ended up with.

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer

5. What's really important

That this is a gift. To you. This is your gratitude journal. Your way of showing the world what shines the brightest in your eyes.

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer 6. The power of one photoWhich translates into very little of your time each day (yay!).  I heard a speaker at a conference (sorry, I don't remember who it was) once talk about the power of one photo. How one photo can not only take you back to a moment, but a whole day. And it's so true. Try it.

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer 7. Have a systemSomewhat anyhow. Mine isn't perfect but here's a rough rundown. * I usually keep my card in my camera for the week and download one time over the week (give or take).  I knew going in that I am not one to sit down daily to download, edit, organize photos.  But once a week seemed manageable. * I use photo mechanic to download, saved to folders on my computer (example: 2015_365>januaryraw>filedate of download). * I quickly cull in photo mechanic and bring into Lightroom while renaming to the date captured * complete my quick edits (I use RedLeaf presets which are so wonderful they make this part super fast) * export to a new folder (example: 2015_365>januaryedit)

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer red deer photographer 8. You don't have to shareI shared my images last year. But haven't this year. I am sure at one point I will here and there but I felt like I needed a bit of a break from that. I didn't share everyday either, opting to group them into groups of 6.  And then quite often shared the whole month at once.

project 365 red deer photographer lifestyle 9. ResourcesiPhone: if you decide to take your 365 on your iPhone artifact uprising has a great app to download directly to a photo book. Blurb books: they have great books and build your own templates.

Photo Mechanic


project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer 10. What to do with it allAs 2014 was my first year doing a 365 I'm still thinking about how I want to design a large book for myself. 365 pages would be rather HUGE.  However, I have ordered small 7x7 books - 2 of them. One for each of my boys. Of which I will be writing a small personal note to them as a keepsake.

project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer
project 365 red deer lifestyle photographer


11.  You'll get better

As a bonus, guess what?  Your photography will get better.  Weather you are a mom with a camera, a hobbyist or a professional, the only way to take better photographers is to .... drum roll ... take them!  Shoot every day.  Try new things, new perspectives, different light.

I can't wait to see what you create.