Last year, my husband and I escaped to St Andrews for the afternoon with our 3 girls. Kingsbrae Garden is only about 20 minutes from our home. We have shot a few weddings there and the Garden Cafe is one of our favourite restaurants. Usually when we are there we are working but this time we enjoyed ourselves immensely.
We went the end of June and it was still quiet due to Covid preventing the summer tourist season. This suited the girls perfectly. They roamed the paths, explored the playground and had front row to seeing all the animals. We leisurely (as the girls would allow us) walked through the garden.
We talked our older girls into throwing a dress on (they were not overly impressed) and went out to dinner afterwards. The perfect afternoon.
My older girl ventured onto the bridge first, she known no fear. My youngest was much more cautious but finally went with some coaxing.
Kingsbrae has so many quaint little playhouses. They explored to their hearts content. I love that is the all about exploring, not overly stimulating and perfect for my girls.
Kingsbrae is perfect for school age kids, they have the space to wander, roam and run! The girls were so tired by the time we finished exploring and slept so good that night. Worth every penny.
There are so many beautiful little spots that are unexpectedly gorgeous. This is the back of a shed and covered in greenery and those peonies!! She wasn’t thrilled I asked her hold still for 3 seconds.
These guys were highly interested in what we were doing and the big camera. They kept coming over and were very friendly. The little girls thought they were pretty neat but both agreed they didn’t want one for a pet.
My youngest was fascinated but the sun dial. She examined it for a good amount of time. This spot is so pretty and there is a little opening in the cedar hedge to to go another section of the garden.
If there is a playground or play structures my girls will sniff them out! This all declared that the afternoon at Kingsbrae was amazing because they were able to climb into the castles.
The real reason we spent the afternoon at Kingsbrae garden was for pictures. I have captured so many other families and brides here but not my own. Hopefully I can convince my boys to come with us next time!
Every path and road was fully explored. The led the way, we loitered. They would tell us to hurry up because they were so curious and impatient.
As of Sunday, I can now say I am an Award-Winning Photographer! This has been a huge goal of mine for man years and to have finally achieved this first step has been amazing!
There are so many different competitions that a photographer can enter but I wanted to choose something that had a higher purpose and peer-reviewed. I choose to go through PPA (Professional Photography Associations ), the world’s largest trade organization for photographers. Their International Photography Competition was held and judged the past few days and I am excited to say 3 of my images were awarded merit!
I also had two images that the judges argued and discussed going to a higher level for the competition. Overall they did not score higher but I was given great information on what to do better next time and how close I came!
This process of learning has taken almost a decade of study and practice and the advice of good friends in the photography world. I loved learning a new technique of editing, I also love finding the ‘story’ and titling my images.
The competition bug has bitten me and now I cannot wait to enter my next competition.
About a month ago I received an email from one of our expecting mothers, her message exuded stress because her new baby was born too early and now was in the NICU. Knowing that she needed comfort and support I turned to my business Facebook account and asked what advice could mothers give to another mother when their baby is born too early and now in the care of the local NICU.
The responses were heartfelt, well written and beautiful. I did not want those sweet words of encouragement to get lost among the daily posts of social media and decided to share their messages here. The next time a mother messages, I can send her here, to read the words of other mother’s who have stood in her very shoes. In the hope’s she receives the comfort she needs during that time.
A special thank you to these wonderful mothers who took the time to give hope, advice, and reassurance. I appreciate you all reaching out!
Last summer I had the most amazing clients, every week I was in the studio with new babies and families. The weekends were spent photographing weddings, Sundays were uploading and double saving images and editing…every spare moment went to editing. While on vacation I answered phone messages, emails, chatted with brides and made sure we had the details we needed. In short, it was pure madness. Career wise is a success. Clients coming out of my ears and mazing clients who I loved photographing.
On the family side of things I sucked. if you asked my kids what we did last summer they will tell you we went to PEI and we watched tv because Mom was working.
This is the conundrum I have been facing for 14 years. How do you balance being a good mother while running a business? I have been self employed since Charles was a baby (and this kid is turning 12 this year!) and I have felt myself struggling between the ambitious working goals and satisfaction that only motherhood can bring.
I love my work. It has allowed me to work in the cracks of my children’s lives, given me a creative outlet, and introduced this chatty introvert to amazing people who have turned into friends. I truthfully enjoy a full calendar, having something to look forward and work towards.
Last summer the scale slipped the wrong way. I said yes, too many times and booked what I could. Only to regret how the summer became a hot sticky blur. The fire pit we bought for family evening was never used once. The planned picnic recipes were never made and I realized that September had arrived without me purchasing a single pencil.
Summer of 2018 is a slow summer with only a few special clients. I will still be taking pictures but rather my favourite subjects…the ones who taught me to love photography and the reason why I feel it is so important. For the first time in over 6 years I will be taking my camera along, grabbing it to capture them. Like below when my girls were experiencing running through a sprinkler for the first time ever. When my schedule has been so full I didn’t want to photograph or edit anything else, a bit of the cobbler’s child happening in our household.
This will be a slow summer, with a few little adventures, a whole lotta memories because before I know it, it will be time to buy pencils again.
Over the Christmas holidays, I wanted to capture some sweet shots of my youngest daughter. Not in the studio but rather at home and bit of a lifestyle session.
My family loves Christmas and every inch of the formal living room is decorated. For my little girls (and my older kids too!) this is the most exciting time of the year, with presents tucked under the tree, the lights in every window and the Hallmark Channel playing every night.
Rosalie doesn’t quite understand the season but has a general idea and realized there were new rules about not being allowed to touch the pretty ornaments. Her face always lights up when she would get close to one of the tree (confession I had three trees this year….and if I can get away with it I will add a few more next year) and I wanted to capture the wonder.
She had a sweet new dress and for once I allowed her to get a but closer and touch a few a the less delicate ornaments. My typical style of photography is posed and I wanted these pictures to feel a little more lifestyle, but I still gave her a few prompts and instruction, so not a true lifestyle but I am happy with the result.
They are just nice Christmassy snap shots that I will always treasure.
My darling Rosie-Posie. She is the happiest, sunniest little creature, when well rested (that is the key…woken from her morning sleep or nap before she is ready and she is the polar opposite). She is my baby, my mess maker (amazing how she can destroy a room under 20 seconds flat) and my joy.
The last time I blogged about her we were struggling with her diagnosis of Autism and comprehension issues and in February she joined her older sister, Cecilia, in daily therapy. Cecilia thrived in therapy, she flew at break neck speed through programs. Amazed us daily with every accomplishment and I was excited for Rosalie to begin the same journey and could not wait for her to wow us with every weekly report.
She may be the youngest of five siblings and she may trail behind them while they play but she never tries to keep up. She walks to her own path and her journey is hers alone. The comprehension issues are greater than we wished and her learning curve is large. She struggles to learn new targets and struggles to retain what she has learned. Language is improving, there is more and she is putting words together and we are so thankful for the amazing work her therapy workers do.
However, we were advised it was time to reach out and find more answers, to find out why. I reached out to our family doctor and again found myself feeling deja vu. Wishing my worries would be dismissed as over reacting but praying they listened to our concerns. We have amazing doctors in my children’s lives and he listened and agreed. We now await more specialists, more testing and hope that a solid answer is on her horizon.
I am staying hopeful.