Time to Rest

When all the presents have been delivered and opened…

When all the cookies have been eaten…

When all the hugs have been given and kisses received…

When all the twinkling lights shine memories back into our nights…

It is time to rest and to take a breath.

It is time to reflect and prepare for another new beginning.

Enjoy your rest.

I’ll be back later this week to share a bit more on beginnings…

ps. this Santa is a very special one.  I’m not sure of his exact age, but I do remember him from all of my childhood Christmases.  He was always my favourite! 

 

Our Christmas Tradition

In our family, we love to make cookies at Christmas. We’re not happy with just one or two varieties….No, my grandmother, and then my mother, used to make at least 10 different kinds each year.

When I’m home, I come close to this heroic baking extravaganza. This year, as I’m visiting my family in NC, I’ve had to settle for making only my favourites…but I did get to capture my little niece with her first attempt. Pretty good for a 1-year old, don’t you think?

Do you make cookies at Christmas? If not, what are your traditions?

Happy Christmas Everyone! Thank you so much for reading and commenting here.  I’m truly grateful for you and send you best wishes that your day will be delicious and merry. xxo

Christmas Magic

 

Every year I wait for Christmas-time to work its magic.  Sometimes it comes early.  And sometimes it comes late…after all the rushing and the craziness have died away.

This year is one of those years.  Finally, I have made it home to NC.  Time is slowing down as we relax and start our family-time together.

One big deep breath and the magic is starting to happen. I hope you are finding it too.

Who says Corporate Portraits Have to be Dull?

Maybe it’s because I spent 15 years, suited in the corporate world.  Maybe it’s because I thought my stiff ‘traditional’ corporate portraits never looked like me.  Maybe its because I always push myself and my photography to create images that stand out.

But when I was asked to shoot a series of management team portraits, I made sure they were anything but dull.

Here’s a sneak peek. Stay tuned for lots more with some tips and tricks for shooting the unconventional corporate portrait.

To Photograph is to Hold One’s Breath…

Yesterday, a friend shared this Henri Cartier-Bresson quote with me.  To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality.  It is at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

Henri calls it joy.  I call it magic.

Regardless of the name, I find it ever so addicting.  Here’s to lots more magic and joy in your life today.  Find your camera and hold your breath. Smiles…

 

How I Became a Full-Time Photographer: My List of Inspirational Reading

When I tell people that I am a self-employed, full-time photographer, they often say, ‘Wow! That takes a lot of courage.’  They are right.  It was scary to make the leap.

And no, I didn’t have buckets of courage at the beginning of my journey.  I had to discover it, grow it, and dig for it.  Step by tiny-baby step I taught myself to overcome my fears and insecurities.  Slowly, I found a way to trust in me…and in my abilities.  Most importantly, I learned to trust in the FUTURE help and opportunities that would come my way.  I learned to BELIEVE in my developing success.  And then I acted on it as if it was already there.

You may be wondering how I taught myself to do this.  Quite simply. I read.  Books were the seeds of my inspiration. The list below is a compilation of the books that inspired me during the last three years.

We all find our inspiration in different ways.  These books may, or may not, resonate with you.  Perhaps one or two of them will.  Perhaps you know them already.  But perhaps you might find something here that helps you to move toward your dreams.  I hope so.

1. Manifesting Change by Mike Dooley.  Ahhh…Mike Dooley.  I love, love, love his down-to-earth approach and his humour.  These first two book recommendations, more than any others, helped me to change my perception and the way I think about life.

2. Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams, also by Mike Dooley.  Though this is his first book, I read this second.  I recommend both. The title says it all.

3. If you like these books and would like a daily nugget, pop over to Mike’s website.  There, you can sign up to get his daily ‘Notes from the Universe.‘  I look forward to mine each day…and more often than not, they give me pause and make me smile.

4. The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. If your dreams are at all creative, give this a read.  It’s short, but dense and does a great job exploring and explaining the creative process…including the struggles and difficulties we face as creatives!

5.  Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK.  All of SARK’s books are wonderful playful fantasies of colour and ideas.  I loved this one but would also recommend her others. More than anything SARK taught me that baby steps…even the teeniest of steps is enough to keep up the necessary momentum.

6. Its the Thought That Counts by David R. Hamilton.  Though this book is written more around the topic of health and healing, I found that the basic concept easily extended to other parts of life and the pursuit of dreams.  David’s work complements Mike Dooley’s.  I also read How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body and can recommend it if your dreams are at all related to health and well-being.

7.  A Little Light on the Spiritual Laws by Diana Cooper.  OK, now we’re getting out there a bit in a very non-mainstream kind of way.  After all, Diana writes about angels and unicorns.  Even if you think this is crazy, there are nuggets in this book that translate into everyday life.  As for me, I kind of like to think, ‘What if…’.  :)

8. One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voscamp. In contrast to Diana, Anne’s writing is very grounded in the conventional teachings of the Bible.  Using these as a basis, Anne translates these to modern life.  Throughout, her message of being present, grateful and grounded in the moment shines.  Poetically written!

9. Biology of Belief:  Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles by Bruce Lipton  A very interesting read about biology, cell processes and thought.  Bruce argues the link between mind and matter.

This is my list, but I’m sure there are many other wonderful and inspiring books out there.  What has inspired you?  What would you recommend?  Please post the titles in the comments.  I would love to know…

How I Became a Full-Time Photographer: From Trust and Fear

A full-time photographer.  Wow!  I still get an excited shiver each time I say this is what I do.  Every day.

But this hasn’t always been the case.  Photography may have been my dream for many years now, but I have always lived my life in a fairly level-headed and responsible way:  I own a house.  I pay a sizeable mortgage.  I have a little girl and two dogs who depend on me and only me.   And to support all of this, I have always done the sensible thing and worked for a monthly pay check, corporate benefits and the security of a pension.

But all these years, my insides felt wrong.  It is hard to describe but…though I was successful in my career, it just didn’t feel like me.  Do you know this feeling??

A few weeks ago, I started to share my backstory on how I made the leap from hobbyist to part-time to full-time photographer.  Since then, I’ve debated how to share the rest of my journey with you.  There are so many pieces of this story to tell.  And which is most important?

Of course, to become a photographer, I had to learn my craft.  I had to build my business and find my first clients.  I had to create a financial plan that would allow me to survive the start-up period.  I needed mentors and guidance.  But then it hit me.  Square in the face.

The most important piece of this journey happened inside of me.  The biggest thing I had to do to start living my dream was to recognise my fear and to learn to trust.  To trust in me. To trust in the process.  And to trust (and believe) in my own future success.

A few days ago, the wonderful Sarah shared her Tumblr stream with me.  Sarah is 19.  She’s has left her family far behind in Australia to travel Europe for a year.  Travelling is  one of her dreams but she is working to pay for her trip as she goes.  She has miraculously appeared in my life and helps me look after Phoebe so that I can work the hours I need to work.  Sarah’s other dream is to become a photographer.  And though she is at the very beginning of her journey…just learning how to shoot manual, just buying her first pieces of kit, Sarah is already way ahead of where I was a year ago.

You see, her Tumblr introduction says, ‘One day I will be a photographer. You watch.’

You watch.  No excuses. No fear. No questions.  No what ifs.  No doubt.

Is this being 19? Or is this really where we all should be with our dreams?

Where are you with yours? Do you have to fight your fears? How are you doing this? Come back tomorrow…I’ll share how I conquered mine. :)