Award Winning Pet Portrait - The Portrait Masters

Well it’s the season again, every year I enter images for judging by my peers to help me learn, and inspire me to grow and get more skilled. This past July I entered the Awards & Accreditation hosted by Sue Bryce Education. Images are reviewed by a panel of 5 judges and scoring is based on a combination of: expression, connection, styling, composition, posing, lighting, technique & presentation, post-production, focus, and storytelling.

Last year I sat on pins and needles waiting for my results, and this year I just ‘let it go’ and today I happened to go through the awards and accreditation results and I PLACED in a SILVER! You can find the gallery of portrait winners here > and I submitted in the pet category. I seriously screamed and jumped up when I saw I place in the Silver.. with some amazing photographers at my side. I am so proud and honestly AMAZED to see my name in the list of winners… I may be celebrating for a few days!

Here is my winning SILVER submission along with the other 2 that won at BRONZE level.

Honestly, sill feeling super excited. Wow.

Pet Sitting, Puppy Parks and Portraits

My girlfriend is pet sitting this weekend, It’s the first time having a dog in the house since her’s crossed the rainbow bridge a few months back. We chatted about how weird it might be with a dog in the house and maybe it push her over the edge into looking for a new family member. She used to work with rescue organizations around the island and let it slip, they had already started looking. After us chatting a bit, I mentioned I would love to work outdoors with new dogs to trial a new lens I had. I am always loving the soft backgrounds so I was hoping to capture that. The biggest challenge was where to shoot, so I picked a dog park. Now, to be fair, that could have been bad news, considering there is only 1 fully enclosed dog park in Duncan, and bringing a new dog into that environment, along with equipment, oh and my own puppy to have a play day may have been a bad idea. So we booked for 330 slot, and when I arrived the park was very quiet which was perfect…. Tabitha (the pupper), Bonnie and Michael showed up just a few seconds later, and after a little social time, we got down to business.

The weather was just right, with some cloud cover, so we got to work, and Tabitha nailed it. Of course her handler (Bonnie) having worked with me before knew exactly what to do and oh yes … TREATS! ( I don’t suggest bringing too many treats into a dog park you basically become a treat beacon for everyone.)

So we worked for a little while and a few more dogs came in, but we had the chance to capture these images below of Tabitha, who’s parents have no idea this session happened so SURPRISE Michael and Michelle Sansregret! Your dog is a superstar.

Sarah and Max - Maternity

Maternity Glamour

Belly bumps are the most amazing things. The astounding changes in a woman’s body to create a mini me makes my jaw drop. Like for example did you know that a woman on average has an additional 4 liters of blood while pregnant? Um whoa….. I mean really whoa.. That was something I found out when I shot Sarah who is expecting in May. Popular month. ;) Anyhow, Sarah and her hubby, Matt are teachers, teaching Sciences and fun stuff like that.

Angus and Jett

Angus and Jett

Brothers from a different mother. These two were absolutely wonderful to work with. They had so much spunk and joy. Their fur momma (Carolyn) was just as sassy as these two dolls, and we all had a great time. Of course it is soo interesting and fun to meet new people but they certainly were camera ready when it was time and we happily captured these classic images.



I love the spring and summer months with all the roses and floral in bloom. This year I am looking to book some personal projects outdoors. If you are interested in modelling, please email me. Details are: Female with shoulder length hair or longer, size 4-8 dress size or supply your own gown, makeup will be applied, and you must sign a model release. As the model you will get one digital file for social media use.

The session is at my home studio in Lake Cowichan in the gorgeous evening light.

Summer Time, Summer Time!

Summer Time Session Tips

Summer time .jpg

Ah Summer time, a great setting for some fun photos of you and your loved ones in the great outdoors. Like any season there are some suggestions to keep in mind when going out for a session.

1.       Wear sunscreen. If you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time, especially with children, sunscreen is a must. It can however also make your skin look quite shiny. If possible apply makeup that has built-in sunscreen otherwise apply some powered concealer to spots that look especially oily.

2.       You will ‘glow’. Unless it's a cool day, you're probably going to sweat. Bring along some tissues for dabbing and your concealer powder for touch ups.   

3.       Bugs.  A portrait setting in the woods can be romantic and beautiful, and it could also mean swatting away flies and mosquitos.  Ugh.  So apply or bring a little bug repellent just in case. 

4.       Water. I can guarantee that posing for portraits can be a bit of a workout.  Trust me on this one, but if you schedule a summer session, you may get over heated.  Make sure you bring lots of water and drink up often.

5.       Makeup.  To stay looking fresh with that sun kissed look, avoid over doing your r makeup application.  In this case less is best.  (of course do some trial runs before your session day)

6.       Clothing is not optional. Make sure that what you wear to your session is thought out, you want to be comfortable.  Don’t’ wear anything that is to constricting, or too warm.  Choose clothing that is comfortable and fits your body shape. A quick chat with your photographer may give you some ideas as well with styling.

7.       Choose your time of day. I am sure you have seen those beautiful back lit summer portraits that make you swoon.  Images like that are well thought out with the time of day, so plan your shoot early in the morning or just before the sun sets.