Friday, August 26, 2011

the best of the best

We've all seen the ads, "I'm a PC," and "I'm a Mac."

Well in the camera world, the Canon vs. Nikon debate holds a similar level of competition. In my opinion, Canon likes to show off its pretty colours and cool tricks (kind of like a really expensive fish you would order off ebay), while Nikon is there, time and again, just trying to give you the very best you could want, no bragging required (like a....golden retriever? Okay I'm done with this metaphor).

That's what Nikon has always been for me, and that's why it is my first choice. In the process of trying to pick out my very first DSLR camera, I weighed out the options for both. The first guy I dealt with at Henry's told me:

"Go Canon, it's lighter. Here...feel it"

It felt like a toy. I guess I missed the memo where everyone decided that lighter was better, without exception or limitation (okay, legal-admin-speak just came out there, let's dial that back a bit please).

I remember picking up the Nikon D3100, noticing that it was significantly heavier than the Canon, loving the way it felt sturdy in my hands, and thinking that I would most likely be taking it home with me that day.

After that, I started purchasing lenses! And then when my experience started to out-grow my camera body, I knew it was time to upgrade. Two weeks ago I started shopping around, to find out what camera was going to get me through the next stage of this business.

I came across the Nikon D7000, in all its glory, and once again, I fell in love.

I'll be the first to admit, my very first DSLR purchase was pretty darn recent...but I've decided to look at it as a success that I've already out-grown it.

My friends are asking me if I'm selling my old one, and the answer is no, for a few reasons. The first, is the same reason as why I would never, EVER, think about selling my Nikon F55 (even if I could get more than $50 bucks for it). It means so much more to me than just a collection of parts and mechanics, and to me it will always represent the beginning.

The second reason is a pretty exciting one. I have recently acquired a second shooter, whom I will be working with over the next few months. It's a great DSLR to start out with, and she's going to love it.

My very first shoot using the new equipment is tomorrow afternoon, I think I will really be able to see a difference in the quality, I can't wait!

PS. this post was written in order to demonstrate that if we're all picking sides, let it be said that "I'm a Nikon." Let this post also be used to demonstrate how I get carried away in my own thoughts.

Friday, August 19, 2011

well, this took a turn.

As you might know, sometimes I get a little stressed out with my own ambition, and unfortunately this morning is no exception.

I'm going to blame it on the two coffees I inhaled as soon as I arrived at work. I have been "off" coffee for the last two months or so, but had a bit of a craving for some extra energy this morning.

[Small useless note to add: the kitchen was out of skim milk (ugh...)
so I had to throw a drop or two of cream into my coffee, and holy
crap, I'm so confused. Have people been drinking coffee with cream
this whole time and NOT telling me how insanely delicious it is?!
This changes everything.]

I don't usually react to caffeine like the average person (perfect example: I once drank a 750mL Full Throttle and chased it with a 2-hour nap), but I guess my brain is having a bit of a reaction this morning! I feel like it's working overtime, trying to plan out the next 5 years of my life.

If you've been my friend for quite some time, this whole notion of the 5-year plan won't really phase you, since you would know that I've been following a 5-year plan since I was freshly 17.

[Another useless side note: aww...I just thought of being freshly 17,
celebrating my birthday with my favourite people at the Coliseum
(seeing The Prestige), which was also my very first date with Ryan.
It was the beginning of a new chapter, that's for sure.]

Although there have been some twists and turns in that old 5-year plan, I couldn't be happier with the way everything turned out. In 2007, Ryan and I made a plan to buy a house together in 2011, once he graduated at Carleton. We did. In 2007 we made a plan to get engaged sometime in 2011. We did, (he proposed on January 15th, 2011 to be exact...can you tell he couldn't wait?!). In 2007 we made a plan to get married in 2012. And we are!

When I think of my next 5-year plan, it gets a little fuzzy. But, there are a couple things I know for sure, so I'll start there:
    • Getting married in the Dominican Republic, November 20, 2012
    • Trying to have a baby, anytime after November 20, 2012 ;)
    • Going on maternity leave
    • Saying goodbye to my day-job forever, and focusing 100% of my efforts (okay, more like 20% of my efforts since being a new mom will PROBS come with some extra responsibility), on my business.
I am hesitant to just spill my guts about everything that I want for the next 5 years, largely because it could seem way too ambitious and I don't want to fall short, it's hard to say. I'll try and suck it up though...
    • Do a promotional video
    • Produce and order sample wedding albums
    • Work the Ottawa Wedding Show
    • Get featured on a wedding blog / wedding magazine
    • Capture the perfect "I do" kiss
    • Open a studio (this one was tough to actually put on the list...)
    • Shoot a destination wedding
    • Order a professional blog re-design
    • Photograph the weddings of two of my besties (Kayla and Shannon)
So, how do you go about summarizing your life in a blog post? I have no I'll just say that as I look back on my previous 5-year plan, it has been fun, and all I could ever want is for my next 5-years to come with as much love, laughter, and unforgettable experiences.

[Last side note to add, promise: this entry was supposed to be about
how I'm a crazy person and need to tone down the coffee intake
for the day. Unsure as to how it ended up being the kind of life
re-cap everyone expects to see on a blog on January 1st...]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

people facinate me

People facinate me.

I mean, how does a talent like this get discovered? Because I've played with the tip of a pencil in math class, and never once did my imagine run this far...

I wonder if you're born with that kind of artistic eye. Or maybe you're homeless and happen to find yourself near the garbage bins of an elementary school, and then this magically happens.

Doubt it though.

I wish there was a photo of the artist, because I'd love to know if I've ever sat down next to this guy on OC Transpo without knowing it. I guess I'm assuming it's a could very well be a woman (but they definitely look like man hands...)

Also, how would you explain this to someone who couldn't see a picture?

"What do you do?"
"Well, oddly enough, I make sculptures out of pencils, and it's way cooler than anything you'll probaby ever do in your whole life"

I guess I answered my own question, because that's how I would explain it.

I'm not a spatial person, in ANY sense (no, trust me, even my grade 5 teacher said so, as he crushed any potential dreams of becoming an architect.)

I remember a serious conversation I had with Ryan about whether facing the wrong way on a stair master would be the same as walking down stairs. I argued that it would be. To this day I'm still not sure I was wrong... 

But anyway, my lack of spatial awareness aside, HOW is this possible?

in the clouds

On Saturday night, I sat down to dinner with Ryan and my parents, and the subject of the meaning of life came up. Ryan posed a question to the table, asking us what we consider life to be about. I answered first, probably because my head had been in the clouds all weekend and I had lots of time to think about it. 

I said:
to find out what you love, and find ways to do the most of whatever it is.

My dad said:
to love & to serve.

My mom said:
to enjoy the small stuff along the way.

Ryan said:

What my mom said really stuck with me. Sometimes I worry that I get too concerned with moving forward, that I forget to look around at where I am. Starting this business has been a blast, but it has always been about taking the next step. I need to remember that someday I'll look back on all this and wish I looked around a little bit more.

So for today, there are no new projects on the horizon, no business ventures to research or prepare.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

gabrielle + francis | aylmer marina couple shoot

4:30pm on Sunday evening. I had been e-mailing Francis about possibly cancelling their couples shoot for the day, on account of bad weather. It was dark and the clouds looked heavy, like the sky was about to break and it would POUR.

But since the first rain drop hadn't fallen, we decided to go for it. I drove to Aylmer and thought about what I could do if it started to pour; how I could give them beautiful pictures to love and cherish forever. I thought, hey...if it rains, we'll make it work!

Turns out we didn't have to.

The skies stayed dry for the ENITRE shoot! That's when the clouds started to break open, and a perfectly pink sunset peaked out. We couldn't have asked for a more picturesque setting. Sometimes things just work out.

If you haven't already figured this out...Francis & Gabrielle are madly in love. It was almost contagious, the way they both smiled and laughed every time they looked at each other; the way Francis couldn't take his eyes off her.

They made my job easy by being so head-over-heels, and I honestly can't wait to continue documenting their love over time. I have no doubt you'll be seeing more of these two sometime soon...

Friday, August 12, 2011

the full card

One of my favourite parts of a photoshoot, is the drive home.

That sounds bad though, it makes it seem like my favourite part of taking pictures is when it's over, and that's not at all the case. What I'm really talking about is the feeling I get when I have a having a memory card that's full of pictures that I really can't wait to get home and take a look at.

That's the feeling I had tonight on the drive home from my shoot with the Stockill family. The kids were ADORABLE, seriously can't stress that enough, and the sun was really cooperating with me for the entire shoot. On the drive home I had the window down, the music going, and I just couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with happiness.

I'm in the process of picking through the 1,400 frames I took tonight, and I'm already in love with what I see.

I've been photographically inspired all day, and I think it shows in this shoot. Sitting down with a glass of wine, ready for a night full of editing...can't wait to post this one!