I guess you could say I'm way behind in my blogging with lots of new photos to post. They will be out of order but I wanted to share this day with you from back in February.
My family and I ventured out to Thetis Lake, which is only about a ten minute drive from our home. It was a chilly and damp day but we didn't care and right away we met this old-timer Golden Retriever who kept running in circles from the beach and jumping off into the water. I of course had to bring my camera out and capture as he joyfully leaped about ten times in a row! His buddy was pleased and I took his email so I send him a photo or two.
We continued on into the forest with two cameras - my pro camera and our point and shoot. Of course as soon as I started taking pictures with my Canon 5D Mark III, Connor wants to take pictures with it and not with the point and shoot, which is a great camera too but not like mum's big camera!
I gave in of course as I love seeing the world through his eyes in the images he creates and to be honest, some of the images I can't tell or remember which of us took. Of course he took the lovely portrait of me and Mike at the end!
I hope you enjoy our little walk around Thetis Lake - just one of the natural beauty spots we have enjoyed so far in our early days as newly landed Victorians.
I'm pretty lucky to know a lot of great women but I happen to know one who is also incredibly dynamic, and her name is Diane Rolston.
Diane is the mother of two beautiful children under the age of five. She's an entrepreneur, business and life coach and founder of the very fast growing business networking group Dynamic Women in Action (DWA) with chapters all over the lower mainland of Vancouver. You'd think that would be enough but no! She also just published a booked called Dynamic You: The Secret Code To Being Confident, Wealthy & Successful, set to launch in Canada on May 4th.
So it's no surprise if you know Diane that she was recently awarded the Motherpreneur Award at the Tammy Moyer WOW Awards. I only have one child aand I've always wondered how she's able to accomplish so much and keep everyone around her motivated...big congratulations to you Diane on that one!
Not only did I have the opportunity to photograph this gorgeous woman, I got to experience her coaching and expertise and knowledge Diane brings to her clients. I'm proud to say that I'm a dynamic woman myself as a professional photographer and member of the DWA group of entrepreneurs who she leads.
Diane needed some dynamic portraits of herself that really show off not only her natural beauty, but her fun and quirky personality and love of being bold! I had a great time photographing Diane and doing her hair and makeup Diane using products by Beautycounter, a company I am a consultant for who are leading the way in the industry towards safer beauty.
Diane is My Lovely Client Spotlight for April....prepare to be inspired!
I love working with professional women to provide clarity, boost confidence and get them into action. I left the life of the 9-5 employee and simultaneously became an entrepreneur and mother. Now a mother of two, business owner and community leader I consider myself an expert in change, work/life balance, prioritizing and getting things done!
It was nice that Linda was with me for the whole experience. She did my hair, my makeup and took the photos. That made me really enjoy our time together and I knew she had her hand in each aspect of the photos.
I love the shots where I'm in the bright peach dress and I'm angled with my hands on my hips and my hair is blowing. The angle pose she got me in was really flattering and I feel it really shows my friendly and open personality, and still shows my strong and powerful side.
My mission is to give every person permission to not be listed by our titles and our roles. We are more than that! If we started to show up in our lives as "who we are" rather than "what we do" then we would show up as equals, we could ditch perfectionism, we'd feel more in control of our outcomes, we'd increase our satisfaction and success as well as be able to be unapologetically ourselves! This is why I created the community called Dynamic Women™ in Action and wrote my book "Dynamic You™".
After just returning from being the keynote at a large conference in Washington I feel like this year has started strong. Being in front of 300+ people in an audience is really where I get to shine and I loved sharing my message and afterwards hearing from a lot of them. My book, "Dynamic You™" which is also a program by the same name just came out! It's on its way to be a best seller which I'm very proud of. So I guess what's next is the book launch, tour and speaking on more international stages.
Trail Blazer, funny, creative, ambitious, strong.
My ability to unlock the greatness in others with my "kind heart", my "intuitive ability" and my "get it done" coaching style.
Continuously working with women who inspire me and challenging myself all the time with things that keep me on my toes and push me to the next level.
I often work with women who are amazing, but don't realize it and as a result they play it safe, are overcritical of their abilities and they often undervalue themselves. Recently I've been working with a entrepreneur who is in the beginning stages of her journey. She has already had a lot of success, but she didn't realize what she was missing out on. It has been so great to stand in the coach position and pull her greatness out of her. This has helped her to believe she can do more than she thought. In a mentor role I'm passing on my learnings so she doesn't lose time, money and opportunities. In just a few sessions we were able to double her revenue, double her reach, build her list and position her next opportunity. She is now seeing the big picture a lot clearer and having me in her corner brings her clarity of where she needs to go, confidence to go for it and a tangible action plan to get there.
When I'm laughing and when I'm wearing bright colours and great accessories!
Blessed to be strong, curvy and healthy.
"If you don't believe in yourself 100% of the time, hire someone who does."
Photography: Linda Mackie Photography
Makeup and Hair Styling: Linda Mackie using skincare and makeup products by Beautycounter
As I become more and more accustomed to our new home in Victoria, it's only natural that you want to share it with your dearest friends and family, so it was such a special treat when our friends Jude and Chris came to visit. We spent a relaxing weekend at our home just above Royal Bay, despite the fact that we all came done with a nasty stomach bug by the end of it! Even so, my favourite part was our girl's mani/pedi followed by a very pleasant walk with Jude along the beach below our house. It's very rugged and wild still, which I love and made for some beautiful images of the bare winter beach and trees. More than that, it was wonderful to catch up on one on one and reflect on our lives now with a friend I've known for the better part of 25 years...a rarity indeed, but a cherished one.
I had the absolute pleasure of photographing one of Vancouver's top radio hosts and TV personalities - Carmen Cruz! Carmen currently rocks out on the world famous CFOX, Vancouver's coolest modern rock stations.
Carmen and I met a few years ago when she and our dear friend Darren Doyle co-hosted a cool home renovation show called 'Consumed'. I got to do their publicity portraits - which was a blast, but what struck me most was Carmen's instantly friendly, easy-going and fun personality. It was like we had known each other for years when we reconnected on Facebook some time after. We also had a lot of the same musical tastes which is super cool, considering she's a youngin' compared to me!
So when it came to finding a subject to photograph for my intro video for my website, I immediately thought of Carmen. What better person to photograph than a local celebrity who will instantly shine in my video and of course in the photographs! I knew she would be the right person to make me look good while I'm making her look good on film. As they say, a match made in heaven!
In any case, this is a spotlight on Carmen and our uber fun photoshoot together. Enjoy some of our favourite shots and no doubt learn a thing or two about Carmen that you didn't know before!
Hair, Makeup, Styling and Photography by me and photographed at
Even though I'm born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, my first language is Spanish (both my parents are from Chile). I moved to Vancouver to further my TV career with a job working for CTV. Once that contract came to an end I somehow landed a dream job working as a drive time host for (what was known at the time as) 100.5 The PEAK. 7 years later and I'm still playing in radio land as the host of the weekend show on 99.3 CFOX, as well as working as a social media contributor and consultant, with the occasional voicing projects on the side. In my spare time, I love cycling, belly dancing, listening to music, and going for looooooong walks. I'm also incredibly passionate about skin care (I have 7 years of experience working for a high-end bath and body company) so I like to create my own skin care products in my spare time.
Linda is the type of person who makes you feel incredibly at ease, as soon as you meet her. She's kind, patient, and absolutely excels at helping to bring out your genuine self when posing for pictures (believe me when I say, that's no easy feat!). I look forward to using the photos for my own personal branding.
I love this image because Linda captured a moment I remember distinctly. It had rained for weeks and Linda and I happened to shoot on the one gorgeously sunny day. My dog had passed away earlier that year and at that exact moment, I had just sat down, stared out the window and I was thinking of him as I looked up at the sunny sky. It was the briefest of moments, but it was captured perfectly.
Life is like art. It's an ever changing work-in-progress that's never completely perfect, but perfectly yours.
A trip to Chile to see family and travel for an entire month! Later on this year, I'll be launching a new lifestyle website, as well as my own line of luxury facial oils called PuraFina Luxury Oils. Phew! I'll be keeping everyone updated via my website at Carmen Cruz!
Funny, fiery, determined, compassionate, and " a fast walker" - according to friends . Sorry! More than cinco.
Inspiration is everywhere! You just have to be open to new ideas.
2017! I've got some major projects in the works that I'm incredibly excited about.
Book: The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho and Movie: Kung Fu Hustle
The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins. ~ Bob Moawad
Anywhere dog friendly, and wine friendly. Vino!
I'm a bit biased as I make my own all-natural facial serum. It's AMAZING (if I do say so myself!).
Be brave. Take chances. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. And research, research, RESEARCH!!!
A Look Back at 2016
2016 was a fantastic year, albeit that came with many changes. We bought and sold our place in North Vancouver, went on an epic cross country road trip and moved cities from Vancouver to Victoria! Needless to say my life and business in 2016 was mostly in upheaval, but I'm proud to say that I created some wonderful images along the way for my clients, family and friends.
Now that 2017 is here and in full swing, I'm super excited about the changes underway in my business and to the amazing work I have yet to create!
Here are some of the highlights from 2016 for you to enjoy!
I'd love to know what you think so please feel free to comment below or write me a personal note here.
becoming quite the expert drone flyer with the DJI Mavic Pro!
This little guy is not so little anymore!
Today we celebrated his 9th birthday party with Connor's new friends from school.
My question is, how did we get here so fast!
This coming year for me will be all about how can I maximize my time with him - it's just going way too fast!
It was a beautiful October day and I had the pleasure of photographing my good friend Corinne and her three handsome boys. Actually 4 as we don't want to forget about Woodrow! The day was perfect with blue sky and fluffy clouds over head and shooting at Caulfield Rocks in West Vancouver provided a picturesque backdrop of the city of Vancouver and the Georgia Strait. The order's been place for some large wall and desk prints and I'm super excited for them because I know that she and her family will cherish these for a very long time!
Victoria I'm told doesn't get much snow in the winter...it snows maybe once every five years. Lucky for us that this year we get to experience a beautiful winter wonderland in our new community of Royal Bay.
I managed to venture out of house despite nursing a cold and a sore back to a couple of good vantage points overlooking Royal Bay with Victoria proper in the distance. Connor says our little community looks a bit like Whovillle, and he's right. It's nestled in just about Royal Bay in Colwood. Every day when we venture we become witness to this incredible view. I must say though how much prettier it is with freshly fallen snow.
I managed to climb the stairs to our local lookout point and the view was breathtaking. You can also see our little 'Whoville' nestled on the hillside surrounded by forest. Felt good to get out in the fresh air and limber myself up a bit and come back to our cozy home with these gorgeous shots in-hand and share with you...enjoy!
I'm excited to share a few highlights from a very fun and successful portrait shoot I did with REIN Canada (Real Estate Investment Network of Canada). They're a wonderful group of people and the shoot was done at their ACRE Live Program held in Vancouver at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam November 4-6. I photographed the REIN team and several of the event speakers, 17 portraits in total, on a dark grey background and 4 environmental portraits of the REIN Canada partners. Myself and my team, Richard and Andrea had such a great time with these folks and I couldn't be happier with the results. My client is super pleased with them too....I think the word my client used was 'giddy' - what more can I ask for! I'm exited to see their new portraits lighting up their new website, social media and marketing materials and helping to take the company to the next level. Big thanks to Sarah, the REIN team and all the speakers for being so welcoming and fun to work with!
Richard Amies - Photo Tech / Assist
Andrea Salazar - Makeup & Hair Artist
It's been a whirlwind year - a move to a new house in July 2015 then almost a year later the decision to start anew in a new city altogether, followed by a once in a life time cross-country adventure to Halifax and back. We took the scenic route! There's so much to tell and share but for now my family and I are over the moon in our new home in Victoria and really enjoying the peace, serenity and joyfulness we experience every day.
My husband Mike and I celebrated our 11 years of marriage this past September and chose to do what we love doing together - exploring nature and capturing the moment using our chosen mediums. We're barely scratching the surface here in terms of places to discover and happened upon Whitty's Lagoon Regional Park Tower Point. It took our breath away...the light, the sounds, the smells. We met a few nice folks who were picnicking on the rocks who offered up freshly picked apples and meaningful conversation. One of my favourite portraits now is of the older gentleman who has lived in our area for over 50 years. He didn't talk much but that didn't matter to me as all could be told in the lines of his face and expression. That and the beauty all around was all I needed to feel connected and resonate and to know we had finally found our forever home.
Ok, so now I am really putting myself out there! First, an interview on Self Discovery Radio and now a promo video!
It's always exciting to change things up a bit and, as I'm in the process of rebranding and up-leveling my own business, I'm super happy to have had the opportunity to photograph the gorgeous and super fun Carmen Cruz for the visual branding photo shoot part of my new business promo video.
We spent a whole morning laughing, listening to music and dancing around to get the many beautiful portraits of Carmen, all the while being filmed by the super talented and beautiful Jamie Munro of Whisper Media! We infused Carmen's passion for music, her sweet and quirky side, along with her girly, sexy side...she really shines through and I can't wait to share more! Carmen really is all that and more and her new portraits reflect her nature so well. You'll get to see all the action and behind the scenes in my new video (eek) of what a photo shoot with me looks and feels like and hear what I have to say about photography, my work and why I love what I do (and pretty much can't think of anything else I'd rather do other than be with my family!)
Not sure what a Visual Branding shoot is? Find out here or message me and I'll be happy to chat with you 1:1 all about it!
In the meantime, enjoy these sneak peeks until the video comes out!
Connor with the majestic Rocky Mountains towering over Saint Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island in the centre is a nostalgic reminder of our journey together as a family this past summer. Taken from the exact same vantage point family and I stood nearly 40 years ago, I can't help but wonder what my dad was thinking and dreaming about in those early days as a husband and a father. We happened to stop here on our big cross country road trip via Logan's Pass on the Going to the Sun Road into Glacier National Park, only to discover shortly after that my dad had taken the same photo. To my pleasant surprise and obvious lack of memory, I realized that my family and I had travelled the same route all those years ago and stopped at this very spot. Not happenstance but destiny brought me here once again to experience with my family to revel in its beauty, and perhaps share a thought or two my mom and dad may have had as they looked ahead at their lives together with us in tow. I see Connor grow bigger and wiser and am so grateful for these times we have been given to experience together and proud knowing that he is strong and appreciates life and the nature that abounds with all his heart. He will be just fine.