Thursday, February 14, 2013

A little bit of Romance, Valentine's Day and Santorini

Unless you live under a rock, you know it is Valentine's Day today and there is romance all around us. There is chocolate, roses, mushy greeting cards and people in love everywhere you look. Now normally I would post something about boudoir photography and maybe different props to use in your Valentine's Session, but it is Travel Thursday, so that wouldn't be appropriate. Instead, I have some information from a recent trip I took to Greece that included a visit to the island of Santorini which just happens to be one of the most beautiful and romantic places on the planet.

I was lucky enough to sail there and spend an afternoon visiting various hotels, enjoying the scenery, sampling some wine and taking a ride on a cable car.

Santorini is known for its sunsets, wine, donkey rides and stunning scenery. When we were cruising towards the island, at first I didn't really get it. But it wasn't until we got a little closer that I felt the full impact of the scenery. It was breathtaking. The water is a deep blue which is due to the depth of the water and these cliffs that are 300 meters high (about 1000 feet) shoot straight into the sky. As a photographer, I couldn't be happier.

We arrived at the island around 5 pm, which meant I was there at sunset which was something else completely. After a few hotel inspections, my group had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time in Oia where I sampled some wine which I purchased and have since consumed before taking the cable car to our tender boat. Where the passengers board the cable car, there are some shops and restaurants. There was one restaurant in particular that offered a front seat view of one of the most stunning sunsets I have ever seen in my entire life. I would love to go back with my husband and have a nice glass of wine at the restaurant while enjoying that sunset.

So instead of going to an overbooked, busy restaurant this Valentine's Day, why don't you spend some time with your honey dreaming (and planning) your dream romantic trip to Greece or wherever else you heart desires.

And in case you didn't know, I love to travel and I love weddings and photography and I am happy to travel wherever you are going for your destination wedding if you are in the market. Please give me a ring or send me a short email ( to find out more details about my new inclusive wedding package that I am offering to local and destination wedding clients. And until the end of February, I am sharing the love for any new weddings booked. You will receive a complimentary first anniversary session or maternity session....whichever comes first.

Happy Valentine's Day to all my followers.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Greek Mojitos and gyros in Mykonos

Last May I had the opportunity to go on a travel agent familiarization trip, aka fam trip. All that means is that I sometimes get to go on a trip with a bunch of travel agents and tour operators to become familiar with the product so I can sell the product more confidentally. This particular trip brought me to Greece.

The trip started with a direct flight from Toronto to Athens on Air Transat. If any of you have flown on Air Transat, you may have either heard of their answer to First Class which they call Club Class. It is a much more confortable way to travel (more on that in a later post) but I opted to upgrade my economy class seat to include their Option Plus which allowed me to receive certain perks. I arrived in Athens the following morning, not having slept at all on the flight over. I was too excited and too busy reading "Fifty Shades of Grey" to be able to sleep. From the airport, our group left for the pier in Athens to board our Louis Cruise ship to make our way to Mykonos. At this point all we had seen in Athens was the airport and rush hour traffic.

After a few hours on board the ship and a short nap, I was in Mykonos. We only spent the evening there and the better part of it was checking out a few hotels. After all, I was "working". So not complaining.

The first hotel we went to was the Mykonian Ambassador where they greeted us with a special Greek Mojito. Normally, I am not a fan of Mojitos but the ones I had at this hotel was delicious. It had mint and sugar and a Greek liquor in it called Skinnos. It has been a great addition to my basement bar.

After we were done with hotel visits, we had some time to go into town to grab some food, shop and just take a look around. I managed to get some souvenir shopping done and had my first authentic Greek food which was also the first time I had a gyro.

Next, I will tell you about Kusadasi and Ephesus.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Inspired, motivated and only 5000 plus Pins of Inspiration

Those are just some of the words that describe how I have been feeling lately and all of that is because of someone named Jasmine Star.  If you haven't heard of her, I recommend that you find out about her. She is a wedding photographer out of Southern California and she is super talented, super smart and she worked very hard to get where she is and I love her approach to business. And plus she just seems very genuine and kind-hearted. And at the risk of sounding like a complete nerd which I am totally okay with, Jasmine actually commented on a Facebook coversation I had with Christa Hann about her reSTART program (which I discuss below). How cool is that!!!!

Jasmine has teamed up with creativeLive which is online school of sorts based out of Seattle that makes photography education accessible through live online workshops. They are actually free if you watch them live or you can pay a very affordable price to get the recorded versions. Anyways, Jasmine has done a few of these workshops and I have purchased two of them. One of them is her brand new "reSTARt" program. By watching it and taking part in a Facebook forum I have finally received the kick in the pants that I needed and actually deserved about my photography business. Now I am feeling focused and motivated to take my business where I want it to go.

Part of this program includes homework assignments and while she isn't going to be grading my assignments, I feel that it is my responsibility to myself to do the work. Afterall, no one is going to do it for me and plus with some of the new photography friends that I am meeting on the Facebook forum, I feel a responsibility to them as well. It is about being accountable.

Just this week, I had a three hour Skype coversation with a like-minded photographer and friend Christa Hann about business goals for the following year. It seems like everytime I spend time with her, I end up getting stuff done. She has even given me an assignment for goals that I have to write down and have two months to complete....that means by the end of March. Yikes!! One of those goals is to finally design a new blogsite to replace what I am working with now. And just a few minutes ago, I made the decsion. I will be starting this week with the design process and I am SUPER EXCITED about making this change to my business. You will be seeing more than just a couple changes throughout 2013 which I am so excited to share with you.

If you would like to see some of my inspiration (only 5000 plus Pins of inspiration), please follow me on Pinterest at

In the last couple weeks, I have made some solid decisions about my photography business that I hope will being me closer to my goals.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

USB keys vs. CD/DVD for image delivery

I am so excited to show off my first studio sample products. After much thought and consideration, I made the decision to switch the delivery method of my digital collections to my photography clients.

In the past, I have delivered my digital collections on a DVD. But, now with changes made by some computer companies to remove their CD drive from the body of their computers, I thought it was time to make the change.

I researched a couple of different custom USB key companies but found they were not the right fit for what I wanted to offer my clients. When I heard that my preferred professional printing lab was offering custom branded USB keys with custom USB cases, I knew I had found the solution I was looking for.

What you see above are two of these cases. The first case is a leather cover in purple. I also offer black as a colour option. This case was sent to my most recent boudoir client Miss E. It offers my boudoir clients some discretion, but looks far more attractive than a CD case. The second has one my photos from my session with Andreaa and Aaron. My clients can choose whichever cover option they prefer, for the same cost. I personally prefer the image cover. It doubles as a photo print from your photography session.

The USB key is located inside the case which is seen in the fourth image. It is mat black with my logo in gray.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about USB keys and their benefits. Happy Sunday.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Conch fritters, Smithwicks and where you need to go on your next vacation...

This blog post has been a long time coming. Mainly because I took these photos on a trip to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos in December 2010.

What can I say, I am really just starting to get into the routine of blogging on a regular basis, maybe in this case, only, the saying that better late then never is accurate.

So back in December of 2010, I was able to visit the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Nassau, Bahamas to see a few different all-inclusive properties of a chain you may have heard of...the one and only Sandals.

Luxury Included Vacation is not only a part of their branding, but it is there motto and what they are known for and let me just tell you, if you were to visit either a Sandals property or Beaches property, that is the type of vacation experience you will have. Some of the highlights for me were the beaches. Sandals has a way of acquiring the most beautiful properties in the Caribbean and the beaches are amazing. The food was out of this world. While I was at Beaches Turks and Caicos I had the opportunity to try duck and in Nassau at the Sandals Royal Bahamian I tried conch fritters. For those of you who know me, you know that I am a picky eater, so for me to go out and try these food items and to admit that they were pretty good is saying alot.

The attention to detail that I saw while wandering around the properties was impeccable. They offer a pub at their hotels that serves domestic and imported beverages such as Smithwicks and Guiness (included, by the way) which is awesome and they could have just left it at that and had pub constructed with locally produced materials or North American materials, but they didn't. They actually went to auction houses in Great Britain and Ireland and purchased dismantled pub furniture and fixtures to bring to their resorts.

If you are thinking about a vacation spot for just the heck of it or for a special occassion like a wedding, bachelorette party or a honeymoon, I urge you to consider Sandals and Beaches.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A newly discovered make-up technique

I don't know if you have heard of this new social networking website called Pinterest, but if you haven't, you should take a look. I have a slight addiction. If you would like to follow me, you can find me at

On this site, that I have spent plenty of time on, I have found an endless amount of beauty tips. And one that I have actually tried out is something called tightlining. It is away to define your eyes and make your eyelashes appear thicker.

If you were to look at my son Braeden, you would notice his eyelashes, they are thick and long and all my girl friends are jealous. He did not get that from me. I have always been on the lookout for a way to make my eyelashes look a little fuller and tighlining does a great job.

After finding a video on Pinterest (see the link below), I followed the instructions and purchased Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Black Ebony and a flat eye liner brush and have tried it out. I am impressed with the product itself. It is easy to apply and lasts all day long. I am not an expert with make-up, so that says a lot. I recommend you try it out.

Another question for everyone. Did anyone see the premier of The Carrie Diaries tonight? As a very loyal fan to Sex and the City, I tooned in. It is the prequel to Sex and the City and shows Carrie Bradshaw as a teenager. It's cute.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Start of 2013 and Travel Thursdays

Happy New Year everyone!!

It has been a busy start to the new year for me, at least with my day job. And 2013 will be a very big year for me.

Not only do I plan on some home renovations including decorating my living room, hopefully installing hard wood flooring throughout the better part of our main floor and some major landscaping for our backyard, but I am turning 30!!! Yikes, it even looks scary in writing.

I will also be doing some travelling in 2013, which is pretty exciting.

There have been a couple mentions of my day job on the blog which I haven't really gotten into for a few different reasons. But I think now, with the start of new year (and blog schedule) is the time to get into it.

I am very fortunate to have three jobs that I am passionate about. The first, and most important is being a mom to my four year old son, Braeden and a loving and supportive wife to my husband Adam. The second is part-time wedding and boudoir photographer and the third (which pays the bills) is a full-time travel agent. Yes, I am very fortunate. I am new to all three jobs and in some cases, learning as I go.

So with this passion for travel and having a career that revolves around it, I am again very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to some incredible places. In 2012, I had the opportunity to travel to Greece with Transat Holidays, which was amazing.

With trying to be more organized in 2013, I have come up with a new blog schedule which will include regular, weekly posts about travel. So to start, over the next several weeks, I will be posting about my trip to Greece. Of course, I have "some" photos from the nine day trip.

Stay tuned....