December 27, 2011

2011: Year End!

It's that time of year!  Time to wrap up 2011 and look forward to 2012 and what it has in store!

I've picked 1-2 favorites from each wedding, engagment session, or everyday session from 2011 and compiled them into a "Best of 2011" post!  This past year was amazing! I was super excited to see that EVERY wedding I shot in 2011 was FEATURED on a wedding website (a couple sites each!) CRAZY!  I would love to continue that goal for next year and see each of my 2012 bride & grooms featured as well!

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

In the beginning of the year, I participated in a contest, to create this collage of headshots with everyone having a heart on their face in red lipstick.  Thank you to everyone who participated!  I came in 5th in the contest and had tons of fun shooting everyone.

DeHaan Family - Barnston Island Ferry Terminal, Surrey, BC

Finn - Campbell Valley Park, Langley, BC

Elya -  Elgin Heritage Park, South Surrey, BC

Lindsay - Elgin Heritage Park, South Surrey, BC

Courtney - Historic Stewart Farm, South Surrey, BC

Courtney was featured in a crazy amount of wedding sites!  They loved her relive the dress session and the props she used, like her hunter boots and cowboy hat.  She was quite popular with a total of 6 features in 2011:  The Charity Wedding,  Bliss!,, Wedding Wire,  Bow Ties & Buttercream, and Brides View!

Rachel - Elgin Heritage Park, South Surrey, BC

Erin, Rachel & Lindsay - Elgin Heritage Park, South Surrey, BC

Brian & Grace - Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC

Brian & Grace (and their dog Mulan!) had their engagement session featured on 2 sites: and the Oceanside Bride!

Jesse & Alayna - Jericho Beach, Vancouver, BC

This couple shared their wedding date with the Royal Couple, Will & Kate... but they stole the show in 2011 and were featured on SEVEN wedding sites:  Wedding Obsession, Bow Ties & Buttercream, Fab You Bliss, Wedding Bells!, Done Brilliantly, and Brides View.

Lindsay - Campbell Valley Park, Langley, BC

Brian & Grace - Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, North Vancouver, BC

Brian & Grace and their dog Mulan also caught the attention of a few editors and their Capilano Suspension Bridge Wedding was featured in:, and on Wed Loft!

Cromb Family - Private Residence, Langley, BC

Mike & Danica - Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club, Coquitlam, BC

Mike & Danica's gorgeous wedding was featured in: Brides View and Bow Ties & Buttercream!  Even though we had rain, it was a ton of fun taking photos with their wedding party and running around trying not to get wet.

Adam & Gena - Crescent Beach, South Surrey, BC

Matt & Katie - Crescent Beach, South Surrey, BC

Chris & Renee - Vancouver, BC

Rick & Kara - Vancouver, BC

Rick & Kara surprisingly aren't married... but they look gorgeous as bride & groom.  This couple are boyfriend & girlfriend and volunteered to act as bride & groom for the day for a styled shoot in front of  dozen or so photographers!  Their styled shoot was featured on Done Brilliantly!

Jeremy & Janelle - Ironworks Studios, Vancouver, BC

Colin & Andrea - Ironworks Studios, Vancouver, BC

Thomas & Annie - Ironworks Studios, Vancouver, BC

Antonio & Jessica - Ironworks Studios, Vancouver, BC

Grochowski Family - Campbell Valley Park, Langley, BC

Wagenaar Family - Tynehead Park, Surrey, BC

 I loved working with all these amazing bride & grooms, wedding parties, families and couples! It was busy, crazy and tons of fun and hoping 2012 is even more fabulous.   Thank you to all of my clients who made it so easy to take fabulous photos of you!

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas today!  Take time to celebrate the birth of Christ and enjoy your holidays with family and friends!  It's sad to see the year ending, but I'm getting excited for what 2012 has in store!  I am looking forward to spending the next few days with family and friends... sorry, I won't be around to blog for a bit! Holidays and relaxing await me. :)  Enjoy your Christmas holidays and have a Happy New Year!

December 24, 2011

Crescent Beach HDR: Adventures of Steve & Cecilia

Steve and I spent last weekend at Crescent beach, taping clips for my Creative Live with Zach and Jody video entry, but also spent some time taking some night photography shots afterwards!  It gets dark so fast this time of year, but we brought out the tripod and were able to have some photography fun even after the sun disappeared.

Tonight we're spending Christmas Eve at home, relaxing before the family gatherings and busy schedule kick in!    I'm slowly able to catch up to processing all of our own personal photos from the past couple of months.

The first couple photos below were taken by me and are HDR.  Then, the last 2 scenic shots are taken by Steve!  I love living on the West Coast... so many great views and scenes!

December 18, 2011

Creative LIVE Video Entry: Zach and Jody Gray

In the end of January 2012,  Creative LIVE is holding a 3 day wedding workshop with ZACH & JODY GRAY!  (Gray Photography).  I have watched many workshops on Creative LIVE and constantly learn something new every time that adds to my photography business, so I loved Creative LIVE to begin with, but... was SUPER EXCITED when Zach and Jody made their announcement!

They are picking 6 students to join them for the 3 days and I would LOVE the chance to attend.  I want to see how they work "behind the scenes" of a wedding... and especially how they set up shots with off camera lighting.  I just started using off camera flash and would love to see how they incorporate lighting to create their dynamic images.

In order to enter, you have to create a short video saying who you are, what you shoot, and why you want to join Zach and Jody at Creative LIVE.  Well, I did it!

This past weekend Steve helped me out and we recorded a few different clips on my D300s.  The funny thing is that we both don't know how to record video (we only take photos!) and I had to spend a week on google and studying How To's to learn how to use my D300s in video mode... and then learn how to edit video clips in iMovie.  Somehow we pulled it off... here's the finished product!

December 12, 2011

BridesView: Featured!

I love looking back at weddings I've shot this past summer!  Today Brides View decided to feature Mike and Danica's Westwood Plateau wedding from this past summer and I loved looking through the shots they picked.  My second shooter Melissa and I had a blast working with this couple and their wedding party.  The rain unfortunately came and went throughout the day, but the ladies braved the weather with umbrellas and we still managed to get the shots we wanted!

You can view Mike and Danica's wedding featured here!

December 10, 2011

Help-Portrait: Abbotsford 2011 Recap!

It's midnight and I'm still awake after the long day I had today at Help-Portrait Abbotsford!  I woke up early this morning (6am!) and after a quick stop at Starbucks, I headed out to Bakerview Church in Abbotsford, BC.

This year was amazing again, and I loved having the chance to talk to our guests and catch up with other photographers.  Last year I was an editor and this year I had the opportunity to work and assist some fabulous ladies in the Help-Portrait studios (Anita Chapman, Natalie Bilson and Gena Davies).  I even had a chance to photography a few families myself!    It was really touching and heartbreaking to hear some of the stories of the people we photographed.  One that stood out in my mind is a single mother with her 10 year old daughter and 3 month old baby girl.  She had never had a family portrait with her daughters before and was so excited to see the preview of her family photo on the back of my camera.  It really stuck with me because as a photographer, I am constantly photographing everything and I have tons of photos of my husband and I.  It never really dawned on me that some people don't get the opportunity or have the means to pay for a family portrait.

With the help of  photographers, photo editors, hair stylists, makeup artists and many volunteers, we were able to give portraits to 350 people!  It was amazing and touching to see so many people using their skills and time to give back to the community.

Here's a few candids I took throughout the day!  (Also I threw in some fun shots with volunteers at the end) :)

December 8, 2011

Help-Portrait: Abbotsford 2011

I'm super excited... Help-Portrait is THIS SATURDAY! Ony 2 days away!  Last year was the first time I participated in the event (see photos from last year here!) and I've already blogged a bit on what Help-Portrait is all about this year so I won't go into too much detail.   I highly recommend that you check out Help-Portrait's website for some great videos and updates though!

Help-Portrait will take place in over 50 countries on Dec 10, 2011.  In Abbotsofrd, a team of photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, photo editors and volunteers will help style, shoot, edit and print free portraits for those in need, who wouldn't normally be able to afford photos.

[quote-float]"The name "Help-Portrait" is the opposite of "Self-Portrait". The idea is to help others first, before ourselves." - Jeremy Cowart / Help-Portrait[/quote-float]

This year is the second time around for Help-Portrait Abbotsford and I'm looking forward to working with some familiar faces again and of course meeting new volunteers who have come on board as well!   We're expecting around 600 people to come through on Saturday... which is double from last year!  Thanks to Bakerview Church for letting us hold Help-Portrait Abbotsford at your location this time around!

December 3, 2011

HDR Christmas Lights: Personal

To celebrate the beginning of December and the Christmas season, my husband and I headed out for a walk around Morgan Crossing to take photos of their fabulous Christmas lights they have up!  We had some issues where a security guard came up to us and didn't want us taking photos... but then he realized I was only after the lights (and not staking out the and let me still take a few more before we headed home.  Since Steve was willing to carry the tripod, I was able to take some HDR shots of a walkway that had lights covering the ceiling!

December 2, 2011

Steve & Mocha: Portrait Assignment

This past weekend I had a chance to work on my latest photography assignment for a course I've been attending.

This assignment was to take a portrait of someone using only natural light from a window.  Steve, my husband, was "super" excited to volunteer (not....), but he still did it anyways. :)  Like usual, Mocha realized he wasn't getting any attention and had to get in the middle of everything too.  Anything that "gives" my cat attention, he wants in. :)   I've picked out a couple of my favourites...

Wagenaar Family: Tynehead Park Family Session

I met up with the Wagenaar family in the parking lot by the hatchery in Tynehead Park.  The rain and snow stayed away, but it was still a bit chilly!  We were able to brave the cold for a while and get these fun family shots!

November 30, 2011

Our Family Photos: Personal

I've put it off and really left it till last minute... this weekend we finally took our "family" photo for our Christmas card!  We didn't have time to get another photographer to do it, so I set up my tripod & camera, and took advantage of the natural light streaming through our living room window.

I laugh looking at each shot, because Mocha looks terrified in every one of them... he was constantly staring at the camera (which is good), but freaked out that it kept on "clicking" by itself. lol.

I ordered our Christmas cards late Monday night and they'll arrive next week Tuesday!  Can't wait to share what they look like... but you'll have to wait till they arrive! :)

Here's a couple of my favourites...

Help-Portrait Count Down: 10 Days!

It's only 10 days away!

Help-Portrait takes place this year on December 10, 2011. This is the 2nd year I am participating in it!  Last year I spent the day as an editor and candid photographer and this year I will be assisting in one of the studios.  If you haven't heard about Help-Portrait before, check out this video below or feel free to visit their website:

November 28, 2011

BridesView: Featured!

Happy Monday...  I can't believe it's almost December!  Christmas is only 27 days away! This past weekend I had the chance to start my Christmas shopping, catch up on some errands, answer a lot of wedding inquiry emails and meet up with a lovely couple that will be getting married in 2012. Busy!

I was excited to find out Jesse & Alayna's wedding was featured again, this time on BridesView's blog!  Jesse & Alayna's wedding was my first one of 2011 and took place at the Brock House Restaurant on Jericho Beach.  They were married the same day as Prince Will & Kate!  You can also see their wedding photos on the blog here!

November 24, 2011

Wagenaar Family: Tynehead Park Preview!

Before I head to sleep I wanted to share a sneak peek of the photos I am currently editing and working on!  This past Sunday I met up with the Wagenaar family to take some family photos in Tynehead Park.  They braved the chilly weather and also brought their dog, Kipa!  

Here's a few of my favourites so far: