The Photographer's Revolution Podcast

Did you know that I have a podcast? Well, I do!! It’s called The Photographer’s Revolution and is OBVIOUSLY aimed at photographer’s, but I actually think that a lot of other creatives and mamas can gain so much by listening to it as well. It’s a lot about the creative process and being a mother, but also about believing in your own self worth.

I just posted a new podcast today where I speak with my friend, Amy Rushbrook but I have also spoken with so many other amazing creatives—Summer Murdock, Tara Whitney, Jen Downer, Alpana Aras. Go check it out and give us a like on iTunes if you feel so inclined




Backyard Adventure Session | Calgary Family Photographer

Why have an at home session?

This is something I have been talking about since 2007. So, 12 years!!! Wow. At home sessions are a wonderful way to document your life in this moment. Kids rooms change and grow with them and, as many of my clients tell you, I always make an effort to document kids in their rooms. For the families that I have seen over and over again, this has provided them with a wonderful collection that shows not only how their child has grown, but how their room has changed as well. If only I had a photograph of the room I shared with my sister—complete with pink shag rug and daisy wallpaper. Sometimes with a masking tape line running down the centre which we dare not cross for fear of retribution.

It’s also a wonderful environment for small children who don’t like to sit still. This gives them the opportunity to have their photographs taken in a space where they are comfortable. It can be intimidating meeting a photographer—especially when they have a large camera. People sometimes feel like they have to perform(especially children). Being in their own home allows small children to take their time to warm up to me while they show me their favourite things and we play with familiar toys.

An at home Adventure Session means we spend time together focusing on some of your favourite activities. This allows me to capture some more ‘documentary’ type images while also taking kids aside for a few portraits as well. This family wanted to keep things super casual. We had a fun evening together just hanging out before supper in mid-October. They had such a cute house—filled with character. And, their children showed me the ropes…

I’m taking a limited number of Adventure Sessions in 2019 and space is filling fast. If you are interested in a spot, please contact me sooner rather than later to discuss the details.

Personal Albums and Slideshows--My 2019 Goal

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If there is one place where I have really fallen short in my photography, it is with my personal work. I am great at printing wall displays, but I have fallen behind in my personal albums. And, by behind, I mean…I have done one personal album(aside from the albums from our family sessions—I’m good at getting those done) in 16 years. SIXTEEN YEARS PEOPLE!!! What the heck?! I have the typical mom story which means that I have always put myself last on the list of priorities, but in 2019, I’d like to change that—and, I’m going to share it all here with whoever cares to watch!

Jack graduates from high school in 2020. That reality has hit home and lately, we have enjoyed looking at old photographs and old home videos. Here’s the thing though…more than ever, I have longed to hold something tangible in my hands. As much as I am a big believer in the importance of digital files, I have come to appreciate more and more what we are missing out by having all of our photographs and videos on hard drives. I mean—it is a giant pain in the ass to go back to hard drives from a few years ago. And there are so many photographs and videos that live on our devices or in the cloud…and I worry that one day, they will all be forgotten about. So, I have long wanted to make it a goal to get the best of these images into something tangible.

I think that being a perfectionist has held me back. I’ve wanted to include stories and letters to my kids and details about where we are and what each photo is in every book. That task is so huge that, in the end, it has paralyzed me. So, I’m letting all of that go and realizing that, when I look back on the photo albums of my youth, part of the beauty of going through them is found in the re-telling of the stories behind the photographs. That is, in fact, the biggest part of the joy for me. So, I’m going to treat these like old fashioned photo albums done in the digital age.

I’ve decided that the first step is to decide what it is that I want to have in the end. We have an exceptionally large catalog of images. Ideally, when all is said and done, I’d love to have annual books of every day images. Most importantly, for us, I’d love to have one book from every vacation that we have ever taken separate from the annual books. Mostly because there are so many images from each vacation, that they truly do require their own separate book. Finally, when Jack leaves home, I’d love to be able to give him a large book of the best images from his own life…a sort of ‘first chapter’ kind of book. This is going to be a bit complicated because we started out documenting our family on film and moved to digital, but I’ll work out those kinks when I get to them. So, to sum up…here are the books I’ll be aiming to create:

  • annual books for each year of our family

  • a book for each vacation we have taken

  • a book for each kid of their best images throughout their lives

This is probably a big enough project for now, but I’m also going to be organizing any video that I come across in my journey. Because, I’d love to have a video/photo montage to play at Jack’s graduation party that could then be updated and used at his wedding one day. So, I’ll share some of my favourite finds, my tips on organizing, the software that I use and, of course, the final products.

Who out there is in the same boat as me? I’m wondering if you want to follow along and create your own books alongside me as I have always enjoyed the idea of ‘community’ in everything I have done. I certainly don’t need another Facebook group or email list to manage(ha), so, I’m hoping that Instagram and my blog will be enough of a place to come together and share. Let’s use the hashtag #personalalbums and share our journeys.

Lake Minnewanka Family Adventure Session

I’ve been thinking a lot about what people tell you is the ‘right way’ to photograph a family. It might surprise many of my clients to know that there is discussion around the proper number of images to show a client—for example….and that I fail miserably at that by all standards. I promise that I am trying desperately to get better…to truly narrow things down and only show images that I truly love. The problem is….well, my Adventure Sessions aren’t much like other photographer sessions. I want the images to both tell a story in a way, but to also truly capture portraits of who you are…and, when the adventure happens in an epic location like Banff National Park…to also share that epicness. The goal for me is far beyond just a ‘family portrait’…it’s truly so much more than that for me. With these sessions, I give my clients a piece of my heart. Truly. The images created from Adventure Sessions are a huge piece of my life’s work. Images that show more than what you look like.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately…all of that…and making some decisions about 2019. A new website is coming(any day really…it’s been almost ready for months so it is time to just FINISH IT ALREADY) and a new way of doing things. I can’t wait to share it with you all. For now…a fun little slideshow and some images for those who are too lazy to watch the slideshow ;)

What I love most about this session is that there is no pretense…this is them. Truthfully, it was kinda cold…so we just went with it. We took a break and had a snack in their camper van. We mostly just walked and explored and had a fun evening in the most beautiful of settings. Soooo…here’s a sample of what they got. The slideshow is about 1/3 of the images we created together.

Only very limited space left for 2019…contact me now if you are hoping for a session.

~ Dana