We will remember for him- Red Deer Family Photographer

Today is Remembrance Day.

It’s always a big deal in my family, because my dad is a WW2 Veteran. He fought a battle so that we can be free. But now he’s fighting his own battle. He’s fighting demons in his mind, and they’re brought on by that horrible “D” word called dementia. Every year for the last, I don’t know how many years, many members of our family gather from B.C. and Alberta, to be with Dad on this special day. The days leading up to it are usually exciting for him, as he looks through pictures and we write on his calendar to remind him we are all going to be together. You see, pictures are all my dad has now, and they bring him the most joy, because they allow him to go back in time, perhaps with just a little bit of reminding as to who is who. In the top image, he points to his siblings and names each one. It’s a good day when he can do that. Just think for a moment, if you had no printed pictures. No way of going back to a cherished time and place. The demons in your head growing ever so stronger until you don’t even know yourself anymore. That is my biggest fear. Not having enough pictures to remind me of who I was, how I started, who loved me and where I lived. I could go on and on about that topic, and someday I will. But for now it’s all about my dad. Our dad. Our hero. Our veteran. The one who brought us freedom, while so much was taken from him. He lost his baby brother in that war. And he talks about him today with tears in his eyes. He remembers. Perhaps a little too much, about what went on in that war. But soon he won’t. And perhaps that’s a good thing, a blessing. Because right now, too many bad memories are surfacing, and he’s getting tired. Tired of having to remember. So we will remember for him, when he’s gone, and pictures are all we have left.

Light Matters – Red Deer Professional Photographer

Light MattersProfessional Photographers Of Canada

red deer family photographer

Learning some posing a finding light with Scott Robert Lim

I don’t know about any of you, but do you ever return from a weekend of learning and feel like you need to take a day off just to absorb it all? Well maybe it was more the fact that it’s Monday. And Monday’s are generally shitty. Right? I seriously need to change that, I’d have so much more time to do things if Monday didn’t get all the attention that it does (for being a day wrecker). So this weekend was Alberta’s annual convention.  It’s always a fun time at any annual convention, national or provincial. This years provincial was no different. Held at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino, we were treated to world class speakers Lisa Evans,

red deer family photographer

Lisa Evans, showing us her before and after images.

Michele Celentano, and Scott Robert Lim.

red deer family photographer

posing our lovely model in this awesome runway of light!!!

Even a couple of our very own members, Karyn Lee and Jeff McDonald, got up very early each morning for the early risers, to teach us about SEO and Photoshop techniques. For those that wanted to attend and either see their own images being judged, or just learn about the process, there was also the accreditation judging happening all day Saturday.

red deer family photographer

After dinner photos with THE Lisa Evans 🙂

Lunches provided were delicious, and the service was excellent. I may have had a few too many desserts. . . (and a lot of fish!!)
The awards banquet was fantastic and well attended, with some well deserved awards being handed out. This year I didn’t fair as well as I’d have hoped, with only one image getting accepted. But the percentage of those accepted or higher were about 30%, so I do feel like one of the lucky ones, and am happy to be in the company of the winning image makers. I WILL do better at nationals. That is my goal. Perhaps I should start getting those fine tuned now 🙂
The after banquet fun was unexpected and very much appreciated. I got the chance to speak personally with my new favourite mentor, Lisa Evans, who is an amazing portrait artist. Nothing like a dance party with a bunch of ladies to end the night. Makes you feel like you really belong, and that you’re all on the same playing field. After all, we are there to lift each other up. That’s what I love, have always loved, about the PPOC. I have never quite felt there was any other organization out there that had what I needed, with fellow members all around me, just a phone call away, who could help with anything I might need, you can’t quite get that anywhere else. And the vendors. My printer of choice was the sponsor at this event, and they are at EVERY event the PPOC holds. Always something new to offer us as professionals, Kathy is there to answer questions and provide guidance should we need help choosing any one of their amazing products. They really are a great sponsor, and our winning images were printed up and ready to take home, with a small donation to a chosen charity. win/win. If you’re a photographer reading this, I highly encourage you to check out the PPOC. There has never been a better time than right now, in a market with so many photographers. Join an organization that will offer you the tools to get ahead, to better yourself and/or your business, to be a part of something valuable!

Red Deer grad photographer – summertime moments

Ok well, it’s actually now October 17th, which tells me that I completely forgot to finish and schedule this blog post. . . So let’s get on with it shall we?  🙂

October 1. On the eve of a very possible snow storm, I am finding it difficult to think of anything but the warm summer time moments I spent with so many families this year. This particular family had me in stitches pretty much from the moment I took my camera out of its bag. The first image I couldn’t and still can’t get over, of this brother who looks to have had enough of his older sisters antics . . . what a perfect moment of silliness. I actually love to show a family’s many sides because it’s those moments, when combined with the more serious and/or touching ones, that you are more able to recollect how you felt at that particular moment in time. This family didn’t disappoint. A local family, but even having lived in this town for many years, we rarely crossed paths, and I didn’t really know them well.  After their session, I can’t wait to photograph them again. Yes. It was that fun. I love it when you meet a family for their session, and it feels like you’re in the middle of a family gathering, or informal party. Like you’re part of the family. Because they’re THAT comfortable with you, you with that big lens in their face. I’m thinking that being a grad photographer in Lacombe, and photographing the entire family along with the grad, is the best possible way to go about the end of their highschool year in photos. After all, they started as a family, right?

A house warming of a different kind . . ..

Many months ago my hubby and I were invited to a house warming of some close friends. We were later told that we needed to keep a secret and that they would actually be exchanging vows on this day, but no one else could know. Not sure about the percentage that really didn’t know, but what an amazing day this turned out to be yesterday! In true Alberta fashion, the days leading up to the nuptials were uncertain, but in the end, the day turned out to be perfect. Our sunset boat ride to get the perfect bridge and dock photos happened without a hitch, and all was good. (bride and I have been planning this since before the engagement even happened 🙂 I am so happy to have witnessed and shared in this day of Love, no two people I know, deserve this more, and I’m so happy they found each other. Love you guys!

Dress- Wedding Gallery & Bridal Plus Boutique Edmonton

Flowers – Willow Lane Flower Farm, Mirror

Hair – Gillian Gramlich

Make-Up – Darcie Kary

entrance to wedding party

Love At the altar

just signed the certificate

newly married couple

couple cutting the cake

wedding bouquet in fall colors

wedding couple in field with bales and dogs

wedding couple in field of bales

beautiful bride holding her bouquet

groom looking at his bride

wedding couple laughing

wedding couple on a bridge

wedding couple on a dock


What’s in it for me?

When I have a conversation with other photographers about the PPOC, generally the comments boil down to “what’s in it for me?” I’m going to tell you now 🙂

This past 2 weeks has been full of amazing changes for me. The Professional Photographers of Canada just held their annual conference in Ottawa, and I was thrilled to be able to join all of my peers at likely the best photography event I’ve ever attended. I know that when I speak about the PPOC, many people question what it stands for. I find myself explaining it often, but I have a new description to add. Comradery. There is a huge feeling of this when I am among a group so large, of people who have a common goal. We exist partly to help in “raising the general standard of photographic craftsmanship”. (quoted from our PPOC code of ethics). There are no “adolescent type cliques”, there is only a feeling of welcomeness.

My four days there were filled with learning from industry leaders such as Joe McNally, Drake Busath, David Williams (who made that incredible image of me laughing!!) , Joel Grimes, and Tracie Maglosky. It doesn’t matter how seasoned you are, we can all learn something from our speakers!! There was a two day Trade Show where you can connect with your favorite vendors and find new ones too. So much better to be able to see and feel products in person! I Connected with old friends and made several new ones. As usual, at least one night was filled with too much wine consumption but the memories made are unforgettable. And then there’s the Awards Banquet. This is always a very lavish affair. A delicious four course meal awaits us all. Up next is the awards. The recipients are always dressed to the nines, and when they walk through the crowd to receive their awards, their own excitement seems to fill the entire room.

I wish I had taken photos of at least one of the recipients as she found her way through the crowd. She had a look of almost shock, disbelief. I know exactly how she felt, because I was there last year. Pure humbleness. I didn’t get to take that walk this time, but those who did, deserved it immensely. Such an amazing honor to be nominated for Best In Class in the Fine Art category!!! Very tough competition!! I did however get these accolades during print competition (which I’ve been dying to share but wanted to wait for the ribbons 🙂 )

Judges Choice, Loan Collection, Excellence:

Date at the Bistro
Marlene Palamarek
10 Fine Art, Excellence


The mischief sisters
Marlene Palamarek
08 Animals, Merit


Her Settlement
Marlene Palamarek
13 Portrait, Merit

Dedicated professionals. Unity. Strong national identity. These are some words from the “About” section on the PPOC website. When attending the conference, you feel it. You see it. You ARE it.

Lastly, I just wanted to share a few words from one of our newest Ontario members, Melissa Roy.

“I just wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone in the PPOC and those that helped organize the International Photo Conference – Congrès International de la Photo. It was my first conference and my first event with the PPOC after almost a year membership.

I have been on the fence as to the “value” of the membership and as to whether or not it was worth it to renew. I am generally a very shy person when it comes to meeting new people – but for the most part, everyone at this conference was so kind and outgoing, I am less fearful to attend future events and I see the value of a network that can help me grow in this industry.

I am thankful for the learning opportunities that were provided by the speakers, and for all of the people whom I spoke to that are so willing to offer a hand on pushing forward with becoming a better photographer, and (hopefully) getting my accreditation(s).

Well done everyone. I look forward to what the year ahead as a member of PPOC has to offer me, and I will be sure to put myself out there a little bit more”

Red Deer Baby Photography ~ the buggy

As you know, I am not much of a prop user. I prefer to focus mostly on my subject, without the use of too many eye catching items scattered in the scene. This buggy, I had to have. I purchased this prop about 2 years ago at a little market here in town. Even though the price was quite steep, I knew it was worth the investment. A bouncing baby boy in a 1930’s carriage made by Heywood-Wakefield. A beautiful prop for the most cherished infant portraits.
Baby “L” is the son of an antique lover. So how fitting would it be to use this for his 6 month session! It really does look like it was taken way back in the 30s!

6 month baby boy in antique baby buggy

6 month baby boy on his tummy on fur rug covered with blanket

6 month baby boy on his tummy on fur rug

6 month baby boy on his back playing with his toes

6 month baby boy in basket

Red Deer Family Photography

I had this sweet little bunch into the studio just a few weeks ago. How cute are those little boys??? I know they will love seeing these images up on their walls, and you know what they say, a child who regularly sees pictures of himself feels more loved, valued and accepted. And well, it’s about time this family updated their family portraits!! When baby isn’t a baby anymore, it’s time folks!!! 🙂
Ideally I’d love to see my clients in once a year when the kids are small. . . so many changes when they’re little, it’s great to get everyone in front of the camera to see those changes!! Think about that for awhile.. . . what would you have to give up in your daily life to be able to make a yearly portrait possible? And I’m not talking about 20 pictures. Who needs 20 pictures? I’m talking about ONE PERFECT SHOT. When you think about all of the things you habitually purchase during the day/week/month that you could actually live without, you’d be surprised what that adds up to. Think of your kids and how much these pictures will mean to them when they really need them most. xoxo

Lacombe Grad Photography-Life is good

Miss A was like a quick breeze through the studio the night she came in to do her grad session. A busy girl’s got things to do, no photo session is gonna slow her down! 🙂 We got some great shots, of a gorgeous girl and a gorgeous dress.

Central Alberta Family Photography

It was a combo grad/family session. This was such a fun one for me to photograph. First of all, there’s just something about a boy in a kilt. Add to that, he looks a little bit like JFK junior except blond. And he loves his family and he loves the outdoors. As I drove up the road, I see a makeshift tent set up. No zippers, nothing fancy like that, just a line and a tarp. Oh, and a bed inside. Fun. Makes me wish my kids had grown up on a farm. So many more possibilities for growth with farm life. (as I see it anyway) As I move further into the yard I see a couple fancy chickens and a rooster. And a cat. All farms need a cat. And cows. Beautiful cows! Train tracks visible right there, lots of outbuildings, and in the center of this beautiful yard is this gorgeous garden with a beautiful arbor that the family had built. Stunning spot for family photos! The love this family has for eachother was so touching. Grandpa was there for photos too, and he reminded me of my own daddy. His love for his daughter and her family was very evident. It truly was a joy to witness these moments with this family. xoxo



grad boy in kilt
family in the field
elderly father with his daughter
family in the field
family in the garden
siblings with grandpa
siblings and cousins in a field with a cow siblings in a garden
grad boy in kilt

a girl and a plane

So today I’m going to share some shots I did one beautiful, windy day in September. I was hired by a guy who wanted his big boy toy ( an ACA (American Champion Aircraft) “Denali Scout”)  photographed with a beautiful model, and Mandy was definitely the perfect choice.  Check out her fb page HERE   The plan was to gift his very good friend (THE Bob Hannah of all people!!!) an amazing collection of shots from this photo shoot. I just received this image of Bob holding his gift, a 20×30 Metal Print. The Metal makes the colors on these images POP!   🙂  So very cool, and what guy DOESN’T have pictures of sexy women in his garage?  And this one happens to be made by me. I’m honored.

Bob Hannah holding an original Painted Light Photography Metal Print

Bob Hannah holding an original Painted Light Photography Metal Print

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