December 31, 2013
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The months leading up to Christmas are always busy.  Here are a few things I have been up to:

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December 18, 2013
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For a limited time!  Get them now before Christmas!

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October 01, 2013
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I LOVE photographing teens and being able to capture their burgeoning personalities.  Teen (or high school Senior) photography is in high demand in America.  It’s a Right of Passage. It’s that transitional period from matriculation to University or ‘real life’; away from parents and sometimes even long time friends.  It’s so much fun to be able to capture this time in a young adult’s life! Fortunately, the teens I’ve photographed have been thrilled at the prospect of having their photograph taken!  Their excitement is contagious and it gives me a chance to relive that feeling of excitement along with them.

The secret with teens, is that they have to ‘want’ to be photographed.  Their ‘wardrobe’  has to be conducive to their comfort level AND flattering in the final product. They have to feel the ‘vibe’.  If they don’t, it doesn’t work.  I usually work closely with each individual (or small group of close friends) prior to a shoot to discuss his/her likes and ideals.  Together we put together a type of story board that helps both of us see his/her vision and re-create it on film.  It hadn’t occurred to me that Senior photography wasn’t as popular here in New Zealand.  But I don’t think it is.  That being said, I had a fabulous opportunity to photograph 4 talented and good-looking young adults recently.  It wasn’t my normal way of shooting, but I had a great time!  I got some really cool ‘hollywood’, ‘James Dean’ looks from the boys.

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And some stunning images of their sister.  They all have such amazing eyes!

 

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September 30, 2013
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I’m trying not to complain, but I am very cold. The blood that runs through my veins must be 90% water and is taking it’s sweet time to thicken up.  As much as I LOVE my new home, I really have had to do something about keeping it warm and toasty. Since we moved in back in July, I’ve had to learn how to build a fire in the Wegj AND keep it going. What a learning curve that has been!  I’ve also come to the realization that a nitestore is not nearly sufficient to keep the cold at bay.  I really tried to give that nitestore a chance to prove itself but it just kept letting me down.  It has now been replaced by a brand new Mitsubishi heat pump that has me completely wrapped in it’s soothing warmth. Oh, heavenly warmth… I’ve also broken down and bought electric heaters for our master bedroom and our closet room (we converted a spare room into a walk-in closet) as well as a smaller Dyson heater for our study.  Oh, and another space heater in the bathroom.  I grew up in Canada so I’m used to central heating.  It’s standard. Houses are warm, cozy and inviting. No need to wear anything more than one layer of clothing. I’ve been wearing at least 3 layers… inside.

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Needless to say, I’ve just been hunkering down waiting for the big thaw.  Most of my time has been spent doing minor renovations and making our house a ‘home’.  I can’t say enough about how much I love my home!  I’m getting excited about cleaning up our country garden, planting veggies in our veggie garden and spending some lazy summer days in our beautiful yard.

I also can’t wait to get my camera out and start taking some real photographs!  I’ve been relying on my iPhone to capture my life so far as I have just been way too busy settling in… and thickening up my blood.

 

June 30, 2013
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House hunting can be both exciting and exhausting.  There hadn’t been a lot of new listings but we were continuously hopping from one open house to another, scheduling times to coordinate with those houses in closest proximity to one another.  We were concentrating on only 2 areas. One area has A-mazing views of the ocean and sunsets.  The other area is closer to town and within walking distance to all the shops, cafes and local activities.  It was hard to choose. When we were overlooking the breathtaking view of the coastline we felt we HAD to have this!  But when we were closer in to town, we felt this would serve us better.

That being said, we have put an offer in on a house and it has been accepted!  I keep driving by the ‘SOLD’ sign and pinching myself just to experience the reality of it!

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My husband, being the ‘closet’ romantic that he is, sent me this text:

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Now that I no longer feel it necessary to frantically scroll through real estate listings and schedule our weekly weekend excursions all over the city, I can relax and enjoy the surroundings a bit more! I’m really loving the Grampian trails.  I’ve been lucky to check out several other tramping trails close to town with friends also.  I’m so happy to finally start the settling in process!

May 01, 2013
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It was a long journey but we have arrived in Nelson, New Zealand!  I can’t believe the entire contents of our house in Malaysia are completely packed up and on a shipping container (hopefully).  It’s so surreal…

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Luckily we found the most adorable guest house on top of Mount Street called Marmalade Cottage.  It is a quaint little place.  Cozy and WARM!  I can tell I’m going to have to get used to these colder temperatures quickly if I’m going to survive.

Jean, our wonderful host, is the most amazing chef and is a wealth of information of the surrounding area.  She also has a vegetable garden from which we can pluck some of the fresh lettuce and herbs.  I can see I’ll be learning quite a bit about gardening and growing my own veggies.  I’m so excited!  What a far cry from the country we just came from.

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We have also managed to pick up the vehicles we purchased back in February.  I can’t believe we actually paid money for big ticket items before actually arriving here!  But I can safely say we’re jumping in with both feet in our new ‘home’.  We’ve explored the town of Nelson, tramped across the Grampians and discovered lots of amazing coffee shops.

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Now we just have to find an actual house to call our own.  This has consumed the majority of my time so far.  I just want to be settled!

 

 

April 10, 2013
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I had such a great time with Marcel, Jeannine and their two girls!  Even though I just live around the corner from them, I rarely ever see them.  They’re always so busy.  I don’t even think I’ve seen more than a glimpse of the girls until this shoot!

It was an early morning start, which I LOVE because we were able to get the best light at Lutong beach.  The sun comes up from behind the trees and casts a beautiful even and muted tone over the sand and surf.  I absolutely love it for photographing people.  The afternoon sun is harsh and bright and either casts too many shadows on the face or causes people to squint against the glare.

From the beach we went into Lutong which just has so many different options for textured backgrounds and indigenous flora.

The girls were so good in front of the camera that we shot for almost 2 hours!  Thanks girls!  I had a blast!

 

March 22, 2013
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We have all heard the news about Lululemon’s ‘sheer’ catastrophe this past week.  Apparently, in the beginning of March, their black Luon pants were received with slightly less coverage, showing more than appreciated while down-dogging on the mat.  I am not one to hold any grudges against Lululemon. I am, after all, one of their biggest fans (and investors) and I’ll continue to don their apparel; albeit I’ll dodge the pants for a while.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered another company that produces athletic apparel that will probably never have a problem with being too sheer.  Zaggora designs and produces workout pants, jackets and bra tops made with a light-weight, heat-inducing material referred to as ‘Celu-Lite technology fabric lining’.

The whole idea behind it is to burn more calories by raising your body temperature.  These pants really do hold the heat in and make you sweat like crazy.  They were tested at the Chelsea School at Brighton University to prove its effectiveness but it has been the consumers with the most enthusiasm about the results.  I admit they do take some getting used to.  But if someone says they help burn up to 11% more fat than regular workout pants, I’ll accept the challenge!

image courtesy of amazingpr.co.uk

image courtesy of amazingpr.co.uk

March 21, 2013
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You may recognize one or two of these characters.  I’ve photographed both the kids on separate occasions for a ‘fashion’ type photo session.  Now it’s time for the parents to jump in… finally!  So glad I was able to capture everyone together as a family.  We had a bit of rain to contend with. And, as most people are aware who live in this region, it doesn’t just rain, it pours!  But it eventually cleared up into a very bright sunny day.

March 10, 2013
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Sometimes kids just don’t feel like being the star of the show.  But I actually embrace this challenge as it allows me to come up with whole new ideas and some unique shots.  I truly believe that kids don’t have to be smiling all the time in order to get a good image.  As a matter of fact, I prefer to capture something much more authentic.  I even get some of my favourite shots on these days!  That certainly happened on this shoot!  We started out in some colourful spots, ran around on an old bridge, and ended up playing on the beach. I had a really great time chasing the kids around and eventually splashing in the water with them.  Here’s a few of my faves: