An afternoon with Karen

Back in October I posted to FB to nominate someone who was affected by Cancer for the opportunity to win a session.  I was overwhelmed with the number of entrants.. It is humbling to know how many people are affected by Cancer and live with the diagnosis daily. 

One of those inspiring winners was Karen Lyn, who's daughter entered her for the session.    Karen lives in Ontario, but her daughter is out here on the west coast in Victoria so we planned to spend a day shooting the next time she was in town.  Karen and I connected right away and talked about the last time she had portraits done, her husband immediately pulled out an image of her last glamour portrait.. wow, that was over 20 years ago!  Amazing how time flies! (by the way she is just as stunning now as then)  We chatted about her diagnosis, her healing journey, the last time she had a family portrait done, family vacations, cruising and how much work it was to be a glamour girl in front of my lens ;) 

Here is a little memory of their day.  

How to be camera ready for the holidays.

49 days to CHRISTMAS!  Ok, I realize it is still a ways away but that thought had me wondering if you curvy ladies out there are like me and hide when a camera is pulled out for snapping those happy moments during the holidays.  Well,  I hope I can help alleviate some of that angst.   

I am not fond of having my photo taken because, well, stating the obvious, I am curvy and have issues with the lack of my jawline..  I call it a 'check' .. my chin and neck collide no jawline there.. anyhow I am not fond of that little 'waddle' nor my buddah belly in photos.  Taken at the wrong angle or - god forbid - in profile I am ruined.  So, my point here is there are ways to slim the body, and also create a 'jawline'.. Here's some selfies I did - it was quick and dirty just to make the point and I will do more of these with more ways to get a flattering pose without too much fuss this holiday season so keep watching the blog.


note the lack of jawline, and with my arms just at my side I look thick in the middle. 

Create shape

Just pulling back your elbows creates an illusion of a waist line, add in a slight tilt forward and push the chin forward.. and I have a jawline! 

Refine shape

Kick out my hip, put all my weight on it, pull my elbow back to create a curve, and bring my right knee across the body.  I have a neckline, and a waist!  

Of course there are many other tricks I am just highlighting one in this blog.  (Personally I think those quick tweaks on my body shape, make me look younger and thinner.)  Additional tweaks - making sure who ever holds the camera is shooting slightly above your eye line also helps.  These images were captured at eye level (and a bit below) for the 'worst possible' angle for a curvy girl - to show you what shaping the body can do!  

Here are other examples of how it shapes the body. 



pulling the one elbow back, putting all the weight on her one hip and pulling the knee across her body creates a nice 'S' shape, and slims her down even more.

Keep an eye out I will be sharing more of these in the comming weeks... and please let me know your thoughts.

Vikings Landed

I had the pleasure of collaborating with some amazing talent to create a viking shoot a few months back.  Sometimes it takes a while to get to working on them.   



your inner VIKING!


Make up was by Haley Walker, who did both hair and makeup and it was amazing! 

The wardrobe was custom made by Sonja Miller from Kitsune Crafting in Sooke, BC.  You can find her on IG @kitsunecrafting (I highly recommend following her)

My muses for the day are Sophia and August.  Both of these lovely people are avid bodybuilders.   August will be competiting in the comming weeks!  You can follow them at IG  @augustmoonjones and @sophia_anne_mc.  


inspired by Sue Bryce

In 2013 I came across a portrait photographer from down under named Sue Bryce.  At that time she had a mission to bring back glamour portraiture, not the 80s style that I still have haunting nightmares about but a more updated version.  A Vogue magazine inspired glamour, traditional chic.  Her desire has always been…'to help women to love and value themselves, to recognize their own beauty and to have amazing photographs of themselves.'   Over the last few years her message has been refined and reinforced with the passage of time.    

Photographers around the globe are echoing Sue's words encouraging everyone (but especially women) to exist in photographs.

'Exist in photographs for yourself. Exist in photographs for your children.'  

I am one of those portrait photographers, so I ask you, when did you last have your photograph taken?  #EXISTINPHOTOS now.  


Nominate Someone - Winner(s)

I wish that I had the resources to capture every beautiful soul who was nominated for a gifted portrait session but that is simply not possible this year.  Having said that I am humbled how much support there is out there for those affected by Cancer and touched by the number of beautiful stories.  I received a few amazing emails as well.  As mentioned I will be doing 2 draws one on the 17th and one on the 31st.  

Congratulations to Joeleen!  I will be reaching out via FB to connect about your session.

Nothing to wear? No problem!

I love fashion, I love dressing people, I adore making outfits.  I admit it I am a bit obsessed, and that could be one reason I enjoy my portrait sessions so much.  Most women I know want to let their glamour girl out, it could be jean glamour - think Calvin Klein, or more Couture glamour, however if you are like me you don't own anything tailored. Other than going online and renting something (check out, you definitely only own a great pair of jeans and a black skirt or black dress you love.  No problem! With a sash or two, I can create some sophisticated glam looks for your session.  Since photos are worth more than words, here is a quick session I did with a friend of mine.  I called the Session The Grey Sash, because .. well I did not have black. 


With a little creativity I can create about 10 different looks for any session.  The Sash can used on anyone, any body type, and any age.  I love it so much I am making a few more in different colors likely black, seafoam, and possibly a cream color.   Kendall loved the full length halter top and was a bit disappointed to have to take it off.  She was joking about how she could wear it out to an event!  

So, embrace your inner chic, and glam girl and don't worry if you think have 'nothing to wear', I can help you in that department and styling is part of the photoshoot, the images above prove it. 

So,  how would you like to be photographed?


Forty Nine and feeling FINE


So, it's my 49th birthday and to celebrate I decided to launch my new site.


I have been shooting for over 7 years, and have done so many different styles, fashion, weddings, fine art, storytelling, fantasy, artistic...sometimes I feel a little crazy, with all my styles... or it could just be that I am slowly finding what I ACTUALLY LOVE to shoot and what I love about it.  I tend to mature fine wine.  

Anyhow, in all my time behind the camera the one thing most clients say is that they are not models and they are not good in front of the camera. 

GOOD I say, because I am like a lady boss when it comes to portraits. 

I know what it's like to be hanging in front of a lens wondering awkwardly how to put my hands or feet, smile or not or how to hide my love handles and my extra bits of neck flesh.  I get that, I TOTALLY get it, and I don't want you to think about it.  I direct everything, I even want to help style you, and createan amazing experience ... where you are not worried about what to do in front of the camera.  I want to take that stress out of your photoshoot, and I truly desire you to have stunning portraits, that may make you stand taller, and smile wider, because you will see just how beautiful you are.    

So, happy birthday to me, and welcome to the next phase of portraiture in the Cowichan Valley.

Portraits are the greatest gift you can give someone. 

Every October, in honor of those diagnosed with Cancer, I will be giving away a photo session to a cancer patient or survivor.  During the month of October I am asking you to nominate someone you feel is deserving of a photo session.  I will randomly draw one winner on 17th and another on the 31st of October.   The session can be either a Conceptual Storytelling Session or a Family Session. 

To nominate someone, you can either tag them in my Facebook post (    ), or email me directly with the subject line "I Nominate" and in the body of the email include the persons name my email -  I realize that not everyone who has been diagnosed would like their name posted on social media, so that is why I am opening it up to email entry as well.  Please note, you can nominate more than one time, but please put each nominee in a separate comment.  The draw will be FB live and recorded on the dates mentioned above, and the winner will be announced (first name only). 

How it came about:

I have always wanted to give back and have been known to gift sessions in the past.  However, in 2015 I had run across a post on FB of a woman dealing with a shocking breast cancer diagnosis and I was moved to tears.  I reached out to offer her a gift of a portrait session.  The intent was to document the change in body post-mastectomy, and celebrate where she was in the process. Upon meeting however, we both realized this would not be an ordinary shoot.  This is the Behind the Scenes of that day.  


I want to give back to anyone who has been diagnosed with Cancer, a portrait session, a memory.