Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Golden Pen Awards and the MomWriters Anniversary!

Every year, throughout May, I celebrate an amazing group of Women writers.  They are strong, creative, talented, giving, hard working, incredible people – and I am proud to call them my friends.  They are the MomWriters.

I can’t recall how long I’ve been one of them, but it’s as long as I can remember…  before I was mature enough to really be considered an adult, before I really knew who I even was.  They’ve seen me through many, many trials, and they’ve celebrated with me through many triumphs too.  The MomWriters are an incredibly important part of my life.

I started writing out names here – but got to 30 and had to stop…  there were still so many to go, and well…  I’d feel awful if I forgot someone.  LOL  So better to just say “YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!”

Today marks the MomWriters Anniversary.  The culmination of a month full of celebration, and remembrances.  We have a virtual ball.  We all choose our dresses (and yes, we call all fit into whatever size we wish, and take whatever dates we like – it is virtual after all).  So here is my dress:  http://www.simplydresses.com/shop/viewitem-PD675659  And I’ll wear it in MY size.  I’m a 15, but am comfortable in my skin.  And definitely in the coral, it’s my very best colour.  😉  And girls?  This year, I’m leaving my date at home.  It would have been my husband or Orlando Bloom – but I’m feeling like a grrrlz night is in order.  And I’m going barefoot!

The Golden Pen Awards are always organized by our dear Carma – the true heart and soul of MomWriters – and she tallies our votes on this day every year.  I’ve won a few over the years (but always in one category, the John Hancock award).  This year though, not only was the award a surprise, but so too was the nomination.  Still don’t know who actually nominated me – speak up if it was you.  I’d like to give you a big squeeze to say thank you!  So, this year?  A huge surprise to win the Debate Diva award “for the Momwriter who loves to debate issues — any issues — but does so in a kind manner”.  Thank you ladies (and gents, because we do have a couple of gents in our little group), this means a lot.  🙂

When I told my husband that I won the Debate Diva Award for this year, he laughed and said “no shock there”.  LOL  But it was a shock, a really wonderful one.  It really was.  I didn’t even campaign for this win.  LMAO

Congratulations to all the Golden Pen winners, and to everyone who was nominated – you are all such amazing women.  I’m proud to be in your ranks!  And to have not yet been thrown out!  😉  Can you guys throw me out?  Maybe no-one has thought of that yet.  I better be quiet (and pay off Guido).  hehehe…

So…  before I head to the ballroom to join my wonderful incredible friends – my source of support, of unconditional love, of motherly advice and wisdom, of power, of kindness, of all things good that Women are – Thank you!  I know none of us says it often enough.  But you truly mean the world to me.  I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of women.  I believe in the power of SHE!

The BFFs and Us.

When we picked the girlie up from Pre-K today, we snagged her BFF too.  And thanks to an awesome gift from a friend (thanks again Ann-Denise) the four of us headed to the Fun Factory.  The girls had an absolute blast, and before we knew it, it was time to take Carissa home.  But the fun couldn’t end there.

It was too late by then to start cooking anything for Supper.  So we had sandwiches at the park.  Our first picnic of the year.  Granted, by then it was pretty cool and windy (lovely day up until that point).  So we ate quickly, then took our first Merry-Go-Round ride for 2011.  There will be many more on days when the sun is shining and the birds are singing – but despite the wind and the chill in the air, it was a nice way to end a busy (but super fun) day.

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Happy First Weekirthday!

Our puppies are one week old today.  😀

For those of you who follow along with me on facebook, you know that the little boy lost his fight.  He got tired, and had nothing left to give.  He fought hard while he could, but in the end, he went peacefully, sleeping next to his sisters and mom.  It broke our hearts a little.  His sisters are strong and healthy though, and that is something to be thankful for.

This morning, before even getting out of our jammies, I snagged a couple of pictures.  So here’s the wee girlie (who isn’t looking so wee any more) with the wee puppers.

The wee girlie holding Deedee the tri-colour Chihuahua puppy.

Lily-Ann and Deedee

the wee girlie holding Alice, the spotty Chihuahua puppy.

Lily-Ann and Alice

Photography as a Cash Grab.

It always surprises me when I hear stories about things other photographers have done as a cash grab…  but perhaps it shouldn’t.  For so many, that’s what this business is about…  well, for many in many types of business that’s all that business is about.

I’m a photographer because I love life.  I love capturing life.  I love stopping that perfect moment, and storing it forever – perfect, without failure of memory.  I love photography.  I charge what I need to, and no more.  It’s not a cash grab for me.  It’s not about finding the peek that our area can support and charging as much as possible.  I charge what I have to, in order to make photography viable for me, and no more.

Today I heard a story from a client, about a family who purchased a couple of Groupons recently from a photographer in our area.  My client (who also found out about me through Groupon – I was the first photographer from Saskatoon who was featured) had raved about her experience to this other family.  So when they saw another photographer there, they jumped at the chance to purchase two groupons – one to keep, one to give as a gift.

When this family contacted the photographer, they asked if it would be possible to use the groupons for graduation sessions.  The photographer said that would be just fine.  Later, the photographer changed their mind telling this family that she had so many people requesting graduation shoots that she decided to add an additional fee for all graduation portrait sessions…  so they could have their graduation booking by paying the additional fee, or they’d have to book some other type of session.  That, in my eyes, is soooo wrong, on soooo many levels.

Perhaps things like this shouldn’t surprise me, but they do.  Really, talk about the ultimate cash grab.  When they realized the demand was high, they go back – even to people they had already said yes to – and say “yes, but only if you pay extra”.  I just can’t imagine doing something like that.

There are enough mediocre photographers out there, billing as if they aren’t – 0ffering a couple hundred low res images on a disk for a few hundred dollars (and then charging out the nose for prints or one high resolution file).  It’s hard enough for people to put their trust in us, without us having to battle these types of negative experiences.  It’s no wonder that so many people have reservations about hiring a professional photographer.

If you don’t LOVE what you are doing it shows.  It becomes about the cash grab, about taking people for as much as you can.  And I find that to be so disheartening.

Photography is more than a job (or at least it should be).  Photography is about passion, about pride.  It’s about how you see the world.  It’s about taking others through the lens with you – and introducing them to the beauty you can’t help but see.  Opening their eyes to what was already there.  Taking their hand, and bringing them into your world, sharing a very deep, very intrinsic part of yourself.  As soon as it becomes about the money, you can’t hold onto that.  As soon as your eyes become clouded by dollar signs you lose sight of the rest.

So, for those who have been taken advantage of…  take heart.  There are photographers out there who are in it for the love of something more.  Sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper, and look a little harder to find us.

Boudoir Photography

More often than not, boudoir photography is about what you don’t see.  Sure it can be hit-you-in-the-face sexy, but it can also be subtle and leave hints at sexuality.  More than anything, it’s about feeling good about yourself and loving your own skin.  So why not drop me a line, and try a session for yourself.  It may be one of the best things you ever do to pamper yourself!

boudoir photograph taken at the Ramada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

...hinting...

Puppy Pictures!

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Thanks to Damon for snapping these pictures as I held the babies.  🙂

What a Weekend!

Wow.  Seriously.  This has been a crazy few days.  The puppies are now three days old.  Born early, and catching us unprepared.  Unfortunately the very first puppy didn’t make it.  Damon found Roo trying to bury it in her bed early on the morning of the 22nd.  That’s when he phoned me (and where was I? a couple hours away getting ready for the ring, at a dog show in Regina).

I was a complete wreck that morning.  And I’m sure Damon was too.  Somehow we made it through though, and have three lovely LIVE puppies.  One of the people at the show even commented to me in the afternoon (when I was feeling much happier having learned that we had healthy babies) that I was a completely different person than I had been in the morning.  And yeah.  I have to say, I felt like a different person by the afternoon.  If you’d asked anyone who saw me, I was falling apart that A.M..  I didn’t know whether to throw up, to cry, or to roll into the fetal position…  so what did I do?  I cried, pulled myself together, took my dog Marnie into the ring, won another point towards her championship, went back to the hotel, and cried some more.  And then cried again once the news became overwhelmingly happy.

That day really was a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  Losing a puppy, having three live puppies, almost losing a puppy (thanks again to my fabulous Chihuahua friends for their advice and support, and to my amazing husband who was a total rockstar and brought him back safely).

The hardest thing about Monday the 23rd was the waiting.  It was the last day of the dog show, and DH felt he had everything under control.  So I had stayed in Regina.   I didn’t get back into Saskatoon until around 5:30 or 6:00 – which just felt like forever.  I couldn’t wait to see our new babies.  And they didn’t disappoint.  I’m going to see if Damon will take a picture of one of them in my hands – so you can see just how tiny and precious they are.  Seriously, until you hold a three ounce puppy in your hand, it’s hard to really imagine such a tiny perfect little life.

Today was back to absolutely craziness.  Because the puppies were early, we weren’t set up for them at all.  So today was all about calling vets, a flurry of shopping all over town, with a last minute vet trip thrown in for good measure.  And making sure we were home every couple of hours in between it all to ensure that the tiny boy pup was getting plenty of chances to nurse…  because Roo has been picking him up and taking him OFF to make more room for the girl puppies.  She is getting better about letting him nurse though – so I have hopes that soon we won’t have to intervene on his behalf.

Sooo…  it feels awfully good to be able to lay in bed next to my sleeping girlie and see our little nursery set-up right next to the bed.  Finally.  🙂

One Heck of a Day – Chihuahua Puppies!

Wow.

Seriously.  Long.  Day.

LOL  If it weren’t for the pure exhaustion, I’d share it all with you.  But honestly?  I am wiped right out.  The adrenaline is no longer pumping, and I’m likely to crash soon.  Okay, I’m starting to crash NOW.  😉

Details can wait, but one thing can’t:  a HUGE shout-out to my husband Damon!  Seriously, this guy was a freakin’ rockstar today.  Never whelped a litter of puppies before, and he was amazing.  Seriously, amazing.

Roo went into labour early, she was due on the 27th.  And of course, I’m in Regina, hours from home.  But I didn’t need to worry, (even though I did, I worried and stressed – LOTS) Damon nailed it!  Not only did he keep Roo calm, and help her out with her first litter, he actually saved a puppy who was in distress.  Like I said.  My husband is a rockstar.  🙂

And another huge thank you to Em, Rosalie, and Laurie who all helped out with advice when the little boy was struggling.  And further thank yous to all my dog show peeps (Lisa, Haille, Kandy, Barry, and everyone else) who tried to console me when things were looking bleak, and celebrated with me when things ended up being great.

So yeah.  Long day.  But, one with a bright happy ending.

Rooty-Toot and Puppies

Oh!  And Marnie won another point today, and got Best Puppy in Breed.  LOL  So, yeah.  Totally draining and exhausting and amazing day.  🙂

Rapture?

Sooo….  quick show of hands:  Who’s still here?  (you know, post-rapture)

RKOC Dog Show – Day Two

Today, being completely exhausted, I’m going to just share a bunch of photos.  As always, captured by my lovely younger sister, Jewles.  🙂  We’re another point closer to Marnie’s Championship – which is always a nice thing to be able to say after a busy dog show day.

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